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17 fun things to do at home with the kids

April 2, 2013
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I recently read a fantastic article on what to do with the kids before turning on the tv.. it got me thinking about how often I put on the tv because I may be too tired or too lazy to organise an activity. Or simply not feeling creative to do something different. So the tv will go on. guilty! Especially when I am trying to feed the young baby or prepare dinner.

My goal for this year is to do more arts and crafts. And that is exactly what we have been doing. With wonderful success of at least one hours silence and entertainment. But there are also more simple things to do and sometimes less messy. So adding onto the above list, why not:

1. Create a masterpiece out of stickers
2. Turn on some music – and have a dance
3. Sing songs
4. Plant some herbs outside
5. Do a painting
6. Paint your nails
7. Ride your bike
8. Build blocks up high
9. Make some muffins
10. Do a puzzle
11. Sort the toy buckets
12. Play dress ups
13. Make play doh
14. Build a marble run
15. Fill a bucket with water and wash some toys
16. Pick some flowers from the garden
17. Create a masterpiece

There is so much you can do with your imagination, creativity and play. Play is the best form of learning for children. The building blocks for their future. A simple tablecloth can be used as a tent, a cubby, a ‘pick a boo’ scarf, or maybe a superhero cape! It is amazing what children can do with their imagination and a little guidance along the way.

What are your fabulous things to do at home? 

Linking up with Essentially Jess

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Create

how to make paper mache easter pinatas

March 22, 2013
easter egg piñata

I am loving all the easter inspiration at the moment. Everyone is really getting into the crating spirit and not just focusing on the easter eggs. I mean, we all love chocolate, but there is so much fun that can be made from simple crafting activities. And long after the actual weekend and festivities as well.

I have seen easter canvas’s, and easter toilet roll bunny’s, and now I have seen easter egg pinata’s. I have never had a pinata experience, I always remember them being for birthday fun activities. But I am thinking how wonderful they would be for Easter, and just a little fun really.

Out of all places, I originally saw this on Michelle Bridge’s 12WBT site {insert confession of doing her fabulous program}. She also has the full instructions with pictures to follow each step:

You will need:

PVA glue
Water
Balloons
Thin strips of Newspaper
Paintbrushes
Paint
Small tub
Glass or cup
Confetti filling {such as, easter chicks, streamers, confetti, streamers}

Instructions:

Step 1: Mix 3/4 glue to 1/4 water into a long and wide container, big enough to place newspaper strips inside. You want the glue to be a runny consistency. If you don’t have glue, or you want to make your own, you can do so by mixing flour and water. Check out this recipe here.

Step 2: Blow up a balloon to the size of a grapefruit. Once tied, sit it in a cup, tie side down.

Step 3: Cut thin strips of newspaper or old magazines. Place each newspaper strip into the glue container, covering it entirely. Once the strip of newspaper is covered in glue, transfer to the balloon. Do this until the balloon is totally covered. Continue to do so for at least 2-3 layers.

Step 4: Let the balloons dry over night. Once the balloon is completely dry, use a pin to deflate the balloon. Carefully remove the balloon from the underside, trying not to tear the outer layer.

Step 5: Now is the time to fill the egg. With a few streamers, confetti, maybe an easter egg or two, Just be careful to not over fill it.

Step 6: Covering more paper in glue and removing excess glue from dripping, cover the hole. The longer the paper strips, the better. Be careful not to dent or cave in the egg. It is a little fiddly, so take your time. Leave to dry.

Step 7: Paint the egg in a base colour. You may need to do two coats here, depending upon the nature of your paint and the thickness of the newspaper. Once the base layer is dry, use other colours to make dots, or stripes or other decorative patterns.

Step 9: Smash it!

Do you celebrate Easter? What is your best Easter craft? 

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{image found at Not Martha}

Create

5 creative craft ideas

March 5, 2013
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The day my daughter turned two was the day her imagination & creativity began to shine. Maybe there were glimpses of this trait within her earlier, & I am pretty sure there was, but it was from the two-year old stage onward that I noticed more. She would take herself off to draw, go to the arts-and-crafts cupboard, be wanting to do play dough more often, use garden treasures in her artworks, & be the little artist she is. Yes, my little artiest began to shine.

I can’t blame her really, I have always had an arty flair. I did art classes from 5 years of age, and always had a love for painting. Still do. My house is filled with my own designs and creations. So my Little E naturally inherited this… well I like to think so anyway.

So this year, 2013, I have made a goal for myself and my little girl to do more arts and crafts.

:: Create more.

:: Paint more.

:: Use our imagination more.

The restocking of the cupboard has begun & I am always on the lookout for what can be used in her next masterpiece.

1. Don’t throw away your cardboard boxes. If making a car is not your thing, cut it up into pieces. Cardboard is great for hand painting, foot painting & outdoor painting.

cardboard car {image and tutorial found here}

2. Toilet roll holders, glad wrap tubes, cereal boxes can be turned into just about anything. With a little sticky tape, glue and paint, you could have a dinosaur living in your house soon enough.

3. Those foam fillers that come in delivered boxes that sometimes you wonder is filling the box more then your purchased goods… another great crafting item.

4. If you are stuck on ideas, just go outside. There is a world of crafting items, tools and imagination waiting for you. A stick can even be used as a painting tool, while the leaves can be then stuck down.

5. Think like a child. They don’t care what they use, as their imagination is forever growing and evolving.

And if all else fails to find bits and boobs, things are made even easier with pre-packaged packs and accessories from Riot. Yes, Riot have recently helped me on my journey. And I could not be happier!

Who knew a crocodile was so easy to make? I admit, Mister Maker is a favourite at our house and I am forever inspired by his 1 minute creations. Have I ever tried? Your joking! But our crocodile from Riot was a success. Not in 1 minute, but not too long after.

And we played together, we created to together, we helped each other along. There is something about those googly eyes!

Riot have made it super easy for families and mums like me to get into the creating arts and crafts era of play with their packs that includes everything… even glue! They are fantastic.

giveaway

I have 5 packs to give away. A lucky dip kind of feelings, where you could win a Paper Cup Crocodile Pack or a Majestic Castle Pack.

All you have to do is tell me ::: What is your best crafting idea?

And the winners are: 

Jessie Hay
Jody Jamieson
Michelle Vamvas
Sarah Armstrong
Jessica Norris

Congrats Ladies :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was gifted with a Riot gift pack in accordance with my disclosure policy.
Terms and Conditions: The competition is open from 5th March 2013  to 5pm on 19th March 2013. The winner will be drawn at random. The winner will be announced on this page and via email and have 48 hours to respond. If no response is given another winner will be drawn. To be eligible for the competition entrants must meet the terms and conditions above.
Open to Australian Residents only.

Linking up with Essentially Jess

relationships

DIY: Valentines Day Love

February 11, 2013
valentines day

For some, Valentine’s Day is about getting those beautiful red roses, box of chocolates, and a lovely romantic evening with your partner. A day for just the two of you. But for others, it can be a little more. I have collected some of the best DIY crafting love ideas, that not only could you do, but if you have kids, they can do too. So get your crafting box out, your glue stick, and let’s get creative.

Firstly, don’t underestimate the beauty of some paint, paper and your hand. Get your hands dirty, and make a picture. And if you have a few stamps, stickers or other ‘love kind of things’, well, why not add that too.

valentine's day

Do you have a sweet tooth? Cupcakes are always a winner. And the beauty of cupcakes is, you can use any recipe. Just add a little decoration on top and you have a whole new looking, Valentines Day cupcake. You could make my orange and poppy seed cupcakes, or try Martha Stewart’s. Who doesn’t love a little frosting? Cookies are also a fantastic, ‘something special’, kind of treat. Glorious Treats shows you how to make the cookies, AND the coloured coating on top.

valentines day printables

A brown paper bag can also hold many uses. So why not create a little something special, with a few goodies inside, and your own personal message on the bag. The Sweetest Occasion have got a free printable, and step-by-step instructions of how to print this gorgeous message onto a brown bag. Too cute. Too special. Now all you need to do is think about what goes inside….

heart garland template

If you feel like a little extra decoration around the home, why not some heart garlands. You can string them horizontally or vertically, which ever way you want. Over the bed, in the bedroom, or maybe the kitchen? Today’s Mama have these as a free template to download, making it even more simple.

valentines day bookmark

And for those Valentines that are book lovers and love their reading, I have tracked down some bookmarks you can print, create and follow the step-by-step instructions from Positively Splendid. All you need really is a hole-punch, some ribbon and a lamination. I might just make a bookmark for myself actually.

That ‘outta get your creativity flair going a little.

Let me know how you go. Are you a DIY Valentine Day kinda person?

Create

colourful play: how to dye pasta

February 5, 2013
how to dye pasta

Being a little addicted to Pinterest lately, I have discovered some amazing things, wonderful things really. And one of my discoveries I will share with you today.

When I stumbled upon the idea and then the instructions by A Little Delightful, I was gobsmacked how easy it was. I thought I was going to have to put the pasta in water, and then colour it, and do it repeatedly for a rainbow, colourful effect. But no! So easy.

So easy in fact, that I even got my Little Miss to help me out too. And she loved it! She is a little lady that loves to help, loves. I guess I am pretty lucky like that. And she got right into it!

You will need:
Uncooked pasta
Hand sanitizer {containing alcohol}
Food dye
and zip lock bags
a tray
paper or baking paper

how to dye pasta

♥ Firstly, I picked up really cheap pasta from the supermarket, especially for this activity.

♥ Place your pasta in a ziplock bag.

♥ Put 1-2 squirts of hand sanitizer in the bag, and then some drops of food dye. I was a little unsure as to why the hand santiliser, but I think it has something to do with the alcohol and food colouring sticking to the pasta.

how to dye pasta

♥ Close it up and gently ‘massage’ the pasta so as to spread the colouring evenly all over. In our case, we did a lot of ‘shacking’.

♥ Allow to sit for a few minutes in the bag while you line a tray with baking paper.

♥ Empty the bag of pasta onto the paper. Allow to dry in the sun or on a table inside. Alternatively, you can put the tray in the oven on a ‘warm’ mode or the lowest of lowest settings to speed up the drying process.

how to dye pasta

 

Enjoy the hours of play. This little one spent a good solid hour sorting, stringing and re-packing her pasta. She just loves it!

Linking up with Essentially Jess

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Create

father’s day gift ideas

August 23, 2012
kisses for daddy

It is not long now. The day where we celebrate dad. All things ‘dad’, ‘dadda’, ‘daddy’, ‘aba’, daddo’. The day family comes together, is together, and hangs out together.

The one thing I love about father’s day is the acknowledgement and appreciation we give dad on this one day. I believe we don’t need a ‘day’ to do this, why can’t it be every day of the year? But it is just another reason to celebrate and have family time.

Share. Together. Love. Appreciate

So I thought I would give my list of cool father’s day gift ideas. I know I get stuck every year. This year we are keeping it simple… (I can’t tell you just in case ‘dadda’ reads this):

1. Hand and foot prints:

These days you can buy little canvas’ from the $2 shop and pick up some really simple art supplies, for those that are running low. Simply paint the background one colour. And do the print another colour.

2. A photo book:

A collection of the best photos with dad. A collection of the best family photos. And you may even want to include little sayings or “things you love” about dad.

photo book for dad by design a glow

Keep a few pages blank so the kids can write something personal for dad.

Why not get the kids to answer a list of questions that are all about dad. Some ideas could include:

– I love my daddy because…
– Daddy is the best daddy because…
– I know daddy loves me when….
– Daddy knows I love him when…
– Daddy and I like to …

These could be made into it’s own keep sake book for daddy to keep or could be added to the photo book.

If you want some more inspiration and instructions of how to do this, check this out.

3. create a photo collection:

We gave this to daddy last year. It now hangs in Little E’s room and she loves it, and of course so does daddy. Not only can daddy enjoy it every day, but so can she. Reading is something they are always doing together. What better way to show case it.

4. Story books about dad

There are some wonderful story books that tell beautiful tales of children, or bears, with their dads.These are just a few of my favourites:

me and my dad

Me and My Dad : Dad isn’t afraid of anything…except that is for one thing. And there’s only one person who can help him overcome it. Sometimes even the bravest of the brave need a helping hand.

i love my daddy

I Love My Daddy: a phrase that fills the heart of every proud dad. This book is a celebration of fatherhood conveyed in pictures and words.

kisses for daddy

Kisses For Daddy: It’s time for bed, but Baby Bear just wants to play. When Daddy asks for a goodnight kiss, this grumbly baby says no way. This charming father coaxes his son through his nightly routine by asking Baby Bear for giraffe kisses, crocodile kisses, bat kisses, and more!

What are you doing for dad this Father’s Day?

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Create

Olympic Games printable fun

July 16, 2012
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With The Games drawing near… who isn’t excited to be getting into the spirit of the games! I personally love it when The Games are on as I get to see some of my favourite sports in action. Swimming, gymnastics and diving are my top three.

And for those kids that play a sport in The Games, seeing their country in action often gives them the world of joy and smiles.

As I know everyone loves printables, these by Tinyme (which was previously known as moo for those who don’t know) are just super fun and cool.

Here is a peak of what you get:

And this board game could be very cool…

I personally love these medal cutouts. Because who does not feel like a super star with a medal around their neck. And you can personalise them as well! How amazing is that!

 For one of those rainy days, or just any day really, these printables will give hours of entertainment for the kids.

Head on over to TinyMe to download your copies of these Olympic Game printables.

How do you get into the spirit of the Olympic Games?

 

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And don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway where you can win a Dymo LetraTag Labelmaker valued at $59.95. Competition closes today at 5pm!!!

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I just love printables and love to share!

Create, Play

easter printables for the kids

April 7, 2012
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I used to love colouring in. I used to have my favourite colouring books and had them for years! I remember discovering one only a few years back; stuck away in a treasure box.

I was searching for some lovely easter printables for the kids and stumbled across these. The one thing I love about the internet and technology is that it is so easy now to find information, advice and fun colouring fun for the kids.

Long weekends, festive joy is a time to come together. Do the little things that other weekends don’t allow you to do.

Download the easter rabbit here

And here for the eggs

And here for the blank easter egg

Check out the other fabulous printables from Erin Vale Designs. They are just wonderful! 

See this is what I love about technology. This is what I am grateful for today. The joys of sharing and being able to share some of my fabulous finds with you

Happy colouring fun ! :)

 

Like what you have just read? Don’t miss a post and sign up to The Parenting Files via emailRSS or the monthly newsletter, which has extra goodies by the way.

And don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway where you can win a Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner! Get in quick as it is ending on the 13th April 2012

Create

party planning

March 27, 2012
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It is party planning mode here at our house. Venue booked. Invites done.

I have seen some amazing invites. Some are truly truly inspiring and all soooo fancy. There is no doubt that a snazzy party invite is just really grabbing. Right from the second of receiving it it has this “I want to go feeling”.

When I saw one of my dear blogger friends post her party invite ideas I was blown away! Literally!

There is so many places the imagination can take you…

Like a lego themed party and invites…

Not quite sure how you would send these… but still love them!

and this one is great for the boys…

or these ones…

And these are just simple and gorgeous

I had to expand on her ideas as I just knew there was no way I could compete with her inspiration and these fabulous ideas. I love them! Totally! but….

Ok, I must stop there!

Because….

In all honest fact I really have not got the crafty skills, time to go buy all the little trinket details for the invites, time to sit and cut, detail, paste, stamp and send.

And I wanted something QUICK! EASY! and CHEAP!

So this is what I did….

It is one of our latest photos which I have edited and added text to. With online editing sites like picnik (sad face as they are shutting down :( ) it is so easy to add text to photos.

and then….

EMAIL!

Ok, so I admit, it is not like these fancy invites… but everyone also loves a good recent photo of your cherub!

Sometimes the simple things go a long way. Sometimes a simple photo can grab people in a second and give you that “ahhhhh” feeling too…

What are your party invite ideas?

 Linking up with Diary of SAHM to share my party invite ideas

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