Anyone out there intolerant to soy products???
It’s very rare in our household to get mail thats not either bills or junk so our family decided to go back to writing some old school “snail mail”. Not only does my toddler love receiving letters but she also gets a huge kick out of posting and delivering them too! I’m sure this will bring a lot of fun into your house hold like it has in ours!
What you need:
- Markers, crayons, colouring pencils of your choice.
- Optional: Make your own letter box – you will need scissors and a small cardboard box. You will need to make a slot in one of the sides of the box so your toddler can post letters in it.
What to do:
1. Ask your toddler who they want to send a letter to. Give them a range of choices as making the decision about who to send to is part of the fun – you could suggest grandparents, Aunty, Uncle, a sibling, a friend, even a favourite toy or tv character. If you think about it they will have lots of options I’m sure!
2. Let your toddler go wild drawing on the card! You will need to help them write a message -make sure you ask the receiver to send a letter back so that your toddler gets double thrill of giving and receiving.
3. When the letters are completed you can help your toddler deliver them. This can be another adventure on it’s own! If the recipient lives close by you could walk down or drive to their house and post it personally. Or if the recipeient lives somewhere else your toddler will be able to help you put a stamp on it and post it in the real postbox. Even better, if you have made your own postbox your toddler can post the letters them selves then pretend to be the postman and deliver them to all their toys and mum and dad!
Anything that involves ice is right up my daughter’s alley so when I stumbled upon this ice balloon idea on pinterest the other day I knew I had to give it a go! This colorful, fun sensory idea is so easy to make and sooooo much fun for your toddler. The blog that we got the idea from based it around being an outdoor activity, however we thought we would try it as a bath time trick. This way your toddler will be able to physically fell and see what happens when the ice balloons start to melt and disappear into the bath.
This toddler trick is great for those toddlers that can sit securely in the bath.
What you need:
- - Balloons (We used water balloons (small ones) as they are easier for toddlers to hold )
- - Food coloring - a number of colors (preferably vegetable based colorings)
- - Freezer to freeze them in.
How to make:
- Simply take a deflated balloon and put 1 small drop of food coloring in to it. Carefully make sure the balloon is attached to the tap properly then slowly fill with water until you have reached the desired size, be care ful not to over fill! Tie a secure knot at the top of the balloon, then repeat this step till you reach your desired quantity.
- Freeze the balloons. I popped ours in a plastic bag just incase the balloons got stuck to the bottom of the freezer or happened to pop. We froze ours over night to be sure they were properly frozen. Once the balloons are frozen, use sissors to chop the top knot off then peel the remainder of the balloon off! This is a lot easier than I thought it would be, it just peeled off with ease so this is something your toddler can help you with.
- There are so many different things you could do with these very cool ice balloons! Bath time was at the top of our list. I ran my daughter a bath then handed her the balloons in a bowl. She loved watching and feeling the balls melt and the color spill into the bath. Talk to your toddler about what they can see and feel….As we used vegetable food coloring and very little of it (1 drop in each balloon) it did not stain the bath or my daughter! =)
This toddler trick would also be great outdoors in containers of water or in the paddling pool during the summer time.Tweet
I have finally found the ultimate distraction for my daughter while I hang out the washing! For the last few days she has been washing her bikes with soapy water then hosing them down. It’s bad enough hanging out baskets full of washing by your self, but with a toddler who runs away in the mix, it takes three times as long so the “bike washing” has become an absolute godsend! It is also a great trick for when you want to wash the car, your toddler can wash their bike at the same time!
This toddler trick is perfect for those toddlers that can walk/stand on their own.
What you need:
- - Bike/s
- - A small bowl/bucket of soapy water. (Car or dishwashing liquid is fine)
- - Old sponge or cloth.
- - Hose, if it’s handy!
How to play:
1. Set your toddler up in a safe area with their sponge and soapy water. Explain to them that they need to wash all the dirt off the bike by washing all the surfaces! Demonstrate the washing action on the bike with the sponge.
2. Once your toddler has washed their bike either get the hose or a bucket of plain water to pour over the bike to rinse all the soap off! If using a hose, be sure to stand with them as a hose on the loose is not a good thing, especially if it’s close to the washing line! =)Tweet
A friend from my coffee group back home in New Zealand got me on to making this amazing “rainbow rice’! I think it’s a great alternative to sand and is vibrant and fun for your toddler to play with! Your toddler can play with it pretty much any where!!! at a sand table outside, in a empty bath tub, paddling pool or in big bowls/containers you have lying around the house. It’s cheap, fun, easy to make and any spills are easily vacuumed up in minutes!!!! Joey also suggested you add in some shells, spades, cars, rakes which I thought was a great idea!
This toddler trick is perfect for any toddler! Parent supervision at all times to ensure none is consumed! =)
Go to african babies don’t cry blog to find out the amounts and how to make this amazing rainbow rice!
What you need:
- - White wine vinegar
- - Food coloring
- - Zip lock bags
- - Rice
This rice is also great to pop inside old plastic bottles to make maracas or I-spy bottles!
When we go on walks it is great to have a purpose to our wanderings. Over the past few weeks we have been building a great collection of sticks. They are all shapes and sizes, colours and degrees of ‘bendiness’. I have a project in mind for the sticks – but that will be another blog when I have time to get creative. In the meantime we have a growing collection of sticks and our skill at finding “big” ones and “little” ones is getting better all the time. If you can find more than one of anything, it is certainly collectible and a great way to focus a toddler’s attention away from tired legs or wanting a snack.
What you need:
- - A bag for your collection (or use your pushchair)
- - Time and patience
What to do:
1.Your toddler may spontaneously start collecting for you – as mine did - finding sticks every time we went for a walk. However to get the ball rolling find a special stick, sea shell, leaf or empty snail or cicada shell and show your toddler, then see if you can find another one together.
2. It won’t take long for the idea to gain momentum and your toddler will be able to find the collectibles for themselves. This is when you can start talking about the different sizes, colours, shapes and designs of what you are finding.
3. As your collection starts to grow it pays to get a little more discerning. Particularly with older toddlers you can talk about finding items of different size and colour, then discarding the ones who don’t measure up (if you are allowed to).
4. Then comes the question of what to do with what you are collecting. We have a rule of not collecting anything that is living so much of what we pick up is easily disposed of back in the great outdoors – but there is a great deal of pride attached to what is collected and my toddler does like to bring them home to show Dad or anyone else that cares to pay attention.
5. If you keep your collection in a bag then you can add and subtract to it as you go for a walk. A large jar is a great place to deposit your shell collection – including empty cicada and snail shells as well as seashells.
This is a really simple idea that can turn a walk that is going a bit ‘grizzly’ into a lot of fun for young and old alike. It is also a talking point when you get home and although having a bag of sticks hanging around can be a bit annoying it is well worth the inconvenience.
Those who are regular readers of this blog will know that we love chalk drawing – particularly on the pavement. So this week’s blog is a really good opportunity to get your chalk out and draw a life sized image of your toddler. But you don’t have to stop there. Your toddler can have just as much fun drawing you or you can work together and create a chalk drawing of another family member. It is a great opportunity to talk about colours and different parts of the body; plus it generated an awful lot of giggling when we tried!
What you need:
- - A packet of chalk
- - A piece of pavement big enough to lie on
- - A dry day
What you do:
1. Get your toddler to lie still on the ground; this can be the hardest part and the ‘trick’ might be to do a little demonstration with tracing around your legs first so they can see what you are trying to do. Or, you can trace around a doll or soft toy to start with – they are very good at lying still.
2. Trace around your toddler with a piece of chalk. Be as quick as you can and talk about drawing around the hand, arm, foot, leg, tummy, head etc as you go.
3. Once you have completed your tracing get your toddler to stand up and they should be able to see a pretty good image of themselves!
4. Now the real fun starts – older toddlers in particular will enjoy helping you fill in the blanks. Ask lots of questions…where are your eyes, what colour is your hair, your shorts, your shoes?? I am sure you get the idea. You don’t have to absolutely colour everything in but you end up with a really fun toddler sized drawing.
5. Other members of the family might want to be traced too and your toddler can have just as much fun helping you to do the tracing as being the subject of the artwork.
My daughter discovered her shadow last week which resulted in hours of fun with her new best friend. This is a simple, fun game to play outside with your toddler on a sunny day. It will help them learn about shadows and how the sun creates them.
This toddler trick is perfect for any aged toddler!
What you’ll need:
- - a bright, sunny day.
- - somewhere outside
- - a garden, playground or park
How to play:
1. Get your toddler to stand in the correct direction so that they can see their shadow. They will naturally investigate it!
2. Get your toddler to jump up and down, wave, shake their legs and arms and watch their shadow copy them. You can explain to your toddler that their shadow will always copy everything they do!
3. Try playing the game “tag” where the idea is to ” tag” the other player by stepping on their shadow. First, help your toddler find his shadow. Change directions and move around so he can see what effect it has on their shadow. Then try chasing the shadow or pretend your shadow is chasing you. Your toddler will find it very funny. When you stand on their shadow say you are “it”. Then it’s your toddlers turn to step on yours.
We will have a few more shadow play ideas for you and your tricky toddlers on Friday!Tweet
When the weather takes a turn for the worst it’s time to get your wet weather gear on and go rescue some worms! You may not of thought as this as a career but your toddler will take it very seriously and you will be an over night super hero! The weather is never as bad as it looks so once you get out there the fun over takes the fact that you may be getting a bit damp! However this is not an activity for torrential rain, cyclones, lightening storms or hurricanes! Pick warm wet days with good visibility and not much wind.
This toddler trick is great for all those toddlers that can walk confidently.
What you need:
- - Wet weather gear
- - Bucket
- - A warm rainy day
How to rescue the worms:
1. Once your toddler is dressed in their wet weather gear, grab a bucket and head outside. You want to stick to the footpath as the worms will be popping out of the damp, wet grass looking for a dry surface.
2.When you spot a worm, get your toddler to pick the worm up carefully and put it in their bucket. This is a great time for your toddler to analyse the worm. How does it feel? How big is it? How long is it? Where is it’s eyes? Your toddler will be fascinated with the experience.
3. It’s now time to rescue the worm. Explain to your toddler that they were wriggling out of the grass as their was too much water getting into their homes and now it’s up to them to find the worm a nice dry home! Under trees at their roots are always a good dry place.
4. Get your toddler to place the worm down carefully in their new home you have found for it. Praise your toddler so they now they have done something good!
5. Once you have rescued one worm, go find another and another and another until the worm rescuer calls it a day!
If you don’t have any luck finding any worms then there is always next time! It’s an adventure on it’s own just looking for them! Who knows you may find some other insects or animals to rescue!
NOTE: you could be a tricky mum/dad and take a few worm lollies with you and sneakily bury them for your toddler to rescue if your not having much luck finding any real ones!Tweet
There were many reasons why we enjoyed visiting my great aunt but helping her to fill her bird feeder was definitely one of them. I must have been quite young at the time but I can remember watching the birds eating the seeds and enjoying the antics of all the different species that came to feed. While food is plentiful at this time of year for most birds, coming into autumn can be a good time to start a bird feeder that you can tend over into the winter months. There are some elaborate feeders around to buy but our ‘peanut butter pinecone’ feeder is not only fun to make, it is cheap, easy for little hands and it only takes a couple of minutes to create.
Building a bird feeder is a Toddler Trick for all ages, with some older toddlers managing to make their own alongside you. Please be careful in using peanut butter around children who may have allergies – any other nut butter can be substituted but it does add to the cost.
What you need to make one feeder: (we usually make two or more in one go)
- - A pine cone – or any other cone you can find! You can hang several small ones in a cluster to good effect.
- - Small bag of bird seed – pet shops, some hardware stores and supermarkets are also good sources
- - Peanut butter – a large jar of the cheapest unsalted brand you can find, the birds aren’t fussy
- - A spatula for spreading
- - A bowl
- - String or yarn for hanging the finished cone.
What you do:
1. This can get a bit messy, but that is all part of the fun. I would recommend working with a floor cover or in an area that you can sweep up. An apron for all those participating is also a good idea.
2. If you are worried about messy hands I would tie the string to your pine cone before you start. Usually the bottom, or fattest end of the pine cone is the easiest. Be sure to leave enough length in the string to tie around a branch or railing.
3. Using the spatula drop a couple of good spoonfuls of peanut butter onto one side of your pine cone. Show your toddler how to spread the peanut butter into the cracks on the cone. My toddler used a plastic spoon and did a great job of covering the cone and herself with a couple of taste tests along the way.
4. You can choose to cover both sides of the cone with peanut butter (we did) or just one if you don’t want to get sticky hands.
5. Next, place the cone in a bowl and pour in some birdseed. Be careful to explain to your helpers that this is for the birds to eat, not us. Pick up handfuls of the seed and pat firmly into the peanut butter. Use as much of the seed as you can push into the peanut butter. My toddler loved holding up handfuls of birdseed and watching it sprinkle over the cone.
6. And that it is. Time to hang your cone and watch for birds.
7. It can take a day or two for the birds to find your creation – don’t get disheartened, they will come. Be careful to hang your feeder on the tip of a branch which is most likely to be out of reach from cats and other predators.
8. Unlike a lot of feeders this version is pretty much weather proof. Peanut butter stands up well in the heat and in the rain – ours withstood a couple of storms and didn’t lose much seed at all. Once the seed is all gone, give the cone a bit of a wash and start again.
This is a really simple, inexpensive, watering can to make. But even better, because you keep the lid on the top, spills are kept to a minimum. The water doesn’t come out particularly fast (unless you squeeze the bottom of the bottle) so a small amount of water can go a very long way and you minimise the number of watering ‘accidents’ you have. Your milk bottle watering can, can also go on walks with you and replacements can almost be instantly made should it go missing. We are using ours to water our tomato plant on a daily basis.
This Toddler Trick is great for all toddlers!
What you need:
- - Empty 1 litre milk bottle with lid attached
- - Large nail
How to make:
1. Use the nail to punch about 10 holes on the opposite side of the milk bottle to the handle – at approximately the same height (as shown in the picture below)
2. Put about 4cm of water in the bottom of the milk bottle, screw the lid on tightly and then show your toddler how to water. The flow will be just a trickle…if you want anything more than that, squeeze the end of the bottle while your toddler is watering.