Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Felt fish

I made these fish to add to Bubble and Squeaks play things last night. We've been using felt and fabrics to create little ponds, lakes and rivers when we do our imaginary play but so far have nothing but wooden ducks to put in the 'water'. They were very simple and quick, I just freehand cut a fish shape, used it to trace and cut a second fish, embroidered the eyes and fins on (very dodgily, dont look too close :-D) and then sewed both sides together. I stuffed them slightly with wadding and added a small metal jewellery ring at the front so we could use them with our magnetic fishing rods. It took about 15 minutes to make all three and the girls love them. I might have to make some more marine life to keep them company now :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have seen a lot of examples of 'playscapes' on Waldorf/Montessori style learning websites and others (like this one on Childhood 101 and these examples on The Magic Onions) and think its a fantastic idea. I love that you can take natural and simple elements and create a little world for your child to enjoy. We are steadily building a collection of animals and fabrics and other bits and pieces to create our own playscapes and its great to use our imaginations and see what we can create.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Marble painting

I remember doing this at school and loving it, and now Bubble loves it too :-)


* marbles
* plastic tray/shallow container
* paper
* paint (you can thin it with water if you want to)

Lay your paper in the base of the tray and add spoonfuls of paint.

Drop in the marbles.

Let your child pick up the tray and roll the marbles around, creating patterns in the paint.

It is great for teaching kids cause and effect as they move the tray in different directions.

Giant felt dice

Bubble is right into numbers and counting, so I made her a giant dice to play number games with. Her favourite game so far is we spread the wooden numbers from a puzzle across the floor, then take turns to throw the dice. We then have to match the number on the dice with the wooden piece that is the same. Bubble can count to ten already, so we made it harder by not being able to count out loud before choosing the number piece, but trying to just look at the quantity.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mini mixer milkshakes

I found a battery operated childrens mixer at our local supermarket the other day and the girls had a go at making milkshakes with it for morning tea. At first they just frothed up plain milk to drink with their snack, then afterwards I gave them some rice milk we had that had just expired so they could experiment with colouring it using things like cocoa. Neither of them has tasted flavoured milk before so they just enjoyed doing the mixing without wanting to drink the concoction at the end - if your child wants to drink their creation then in date milk would probably be better :-D!

Bubble doing some mixing.

Little Squeak's turn to get in on the action :-)

Bubble showed her little sister how to operate the mixer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marble lights

Bubble just bought her first bag of marbles and tonight we did some experimenting with her torch. She was fascinated by all the colours she could see when we laid different marbles on top of the lens and the light shone through them.

Wiggly binoculars

This Wiggles paper was in the latest Wiggles magazine, but wrapping paper or paper covered in stickers or stamps would work just as great. After we taped the paper around the outside of the toilet roll tubes we then taped the rolls together. We punctured two holes on either side at one end for the wool to thread through to make our neck strap. Bubble was pretty stoked with her Wiggly binoculars and when we went grocery shopping she was great at spotting the things we needed through them. Pity they seemed to be concentrated mainly on the confectionary aisle ;-D

Cutting strips

We were told by Bubble's OT that cutting skills were the one area she needed help with, so we bought her a few different pairs of scissors and have been practicing ever since. To give her a goal I make her cutting shapes and strips, she doesnt often cut correctly along the lines but she will get the hang of it as she gets older. Cutting strips are a great way to turn using scissors into an interesting challenging task and a great way to teach basic cutting skills.

Cutting strip cut in half.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pegging clothes

I found some very cute ladybird pegs at our local supermarket this week and decided to make a game from them for the girls. Bubble finds a lot of fine motor activities a bit tricky so I thought a pegging clothes game would help with her pincer skills. The 'clothes' I just free hand cut into shapes from sheets of felt, but you could just as easily use small face washers, dolls clothes, scarves, scraps of fabric etc...
For the clothes line I was a bit stumped, Ive seen some very cute ones in toy stores locally but they seemed a bit expensive to me and space is limited in our tiny apartment. Instead I used an IKEA stool we have at the craft table and tied wool from leg to leg, this could work just as easily using a kitchen chair or even table legs.
At first Bubble found it frustrating but after some practice she got the hang of pegging up the clothes, and Squeak enjoyed following along behind yanking them off again :-D


* felt sheets
* scissors
*mini pegs
* wool
*stool (or chair/table)

The felt clothes were very easy to make, it doesnt matter if they aren't perfect the kids wont notice :-)

Litle ladybird pegs.

Our 'clothes line' - wool strung up between the legs of a stool.

Bubble pegging out her clothes.

Paper boats

I saw this demonstration on making paper boats and wanted to give it a go. Both Bubble and Squeak loved decorating their boats with stickers, although unfortunately they did come off pretty quickly in the water! I filled a baking dish with blue coloured water as our 'lake' and our boats floated really well. Bubble enjoyed blowing them around back and forth, especially when we made little plastacine and matchstick passengers to ride in them.

Nature walk

I saw this idea for making a leaf window hanging and adapted it slightly after one of our leaf collecting trips to the park. Instead of sticking two sides of contact together with the leaves in between, we laid it sticky side up and placed our leaves where we wanted them then stuck it straight down onto the outdoor tiles. Bubble and squeak enjoyed examining all the things we had found and walking along the contact feeling the textures and bumps under their feet.


* clear contact
* leaves

Bubble laying our leaves and other collected items onto the contact sheet.

All stuck down.