Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Outdoor splashing but not in the pool!

One of the things I've noticed since becoming a parent is how many children's toys are plastic.  During Bean's first year, I tried to buy toys that were made of natural materials such as wood or cloth, but there are very few of them for older children.  Plus, my daughter LOVES duplo!

Since Bean enjoys the sand box at the park as well as the splash pad, we decided that the perfect outdoor toy for her would be a hand me down water table for both sand and water.   So far, we've only used it for water, because it's been very hot and humid lately.  I'm sure I'll let her have sand soon:)

We put her toy cars in there since there are two ramps, old measuring cups and tupperware and yoghurt containers that I cut holes out of the lids.

It's been a hit so far and hopefully continues to be!  What are your toddler's favourite water or sand toys?  Have you made any at home?

Monday, 22 June 2015

Freezer bag art

I saw this mess free and fun art activity on a television show last year and I had been waiting patiently until my daughter was old enough to try it out.  I know it's important for children to get messy and use all their senses to play and discover the world around them, but sometimes you just want a quick and fun activity that requires little clean up or preparation.  You probably have all of these items at home already.  You'll need:


  • plastic freezer bag
  • thick paper cut to fit into the freezer bag
  • paint- as many colours as you'd like
  • glitter (optional)
  • masking tape
This activity is basically finger painting without actually touching the paint.  You move the paint around while it is inside the plastic bag.  Adding several colours of paint makes it interesting to move around and mix together.  Of course adding glitter paint to it adds a little something extra :).

I taped the bag to the floor and put the paper and squirted paint onto the paper then sealed it shut.  Next my daughter pressed down on it, poked it and moved the paint around, creating an interesting piece of art.  It's a quick activity that you'll have fun trying out with your little one! 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Spring time -outdoor activities

It has been so warm and sunny lately, we have been spending a lot of time outdoors with Bean.  We are lucky to have lots of local parks near us and it's probably my daughter's favourite way to spend the morning or afternoon, or even an entire day if she had her way!  Since we cannot spend all day at the park, she is still quite happy playing in her backyard.  I'm surprised at how little she needs to be entertained for (sometimes) hours.  Here are some of her current favourites:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • A wagon
  • Plastic baseball bat and ball
  • Her toddler sized chair (too cute!)
  • Rake and shovel

  • What are some of your toddler's favourite outdoor activities/toys?  What is their favourite thing to do at the park?  Bean LOVES the swings and sandbox!

    Thursday, 7 May 2015

    Book Review- Duck! Rabbit!

    This is a hilarious book that my daughter finds quite enjoyable and one which I laughed out loud at the first time I read to her.  This book was a Christmas gift from friends and Bean has been enjoying it ever since.  It has an illustration of an animal that could be a duck or a rabbit and the book is about the ongoing discussion about which one it truly is.  It is really cute and in case you're wondering, my daughter definitely thinks it's a rabbit.  Have any of you read it?  What do you think it is, a rabbit or a duck? ;)

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015

    Playing with goop


    To explore with senses using goop


    • corn starch
    • food colouring (optional)
    • 1/4 cup measuring cup
    • 1 teaspoon
    My daughter and I played with goop yesterday.  I loved this messy activity as a child and I hoped that my daughter would too when we made the sticky, wet and crumbly mixture.  I started out with measuring 1/4 cup of cornstarch and then added one teaspoon of water at a time along with drops of food colouring to make sure it would not get too runny too quickly.  Although hesitant to touch
    it first, after Bean saw that I got my hands dirty, she was more than happy to join me.  She was excited and intrigued by it.  She spent about 20 minutes just exploring it with her hands and at one point even put it in her mouth.  She was not impressed with the taste of goop, but I guess she had to try!  

    Tuesday, 31 March 2015

    Cotton balls and Q-tips


    To further develop fine motor and sorting skills for my toddler

    • cotton balls
    • Q-tips
    • Two containers (one for the cotton balls and one for the Q-tips)
    Like many toddlers, my daughter likes to play and explore objects that are not necessarily toys.  A couple of weeks ago, she found the Q-tip holder in our bathroom and dumped out all of the Q-tips.  I watched what she did with them.  Instead of just dumping them and moving on to the next activity, she began picking up the Q-tips. One by one, she put them back into the container, making sure each one was flat and fit back into the holder correctly.  She managed to put them all back and then proceeded to dump them back out and do it all over again.  She must have spent a good half an hour doing this. It was amazing to me that she was so focused on this and was practising attention regulation despite the distractions near by.

    She also gave me inspiration for this post.  This activity could be used to develop fine motor skills, sensory exploration as well as sorting.  I set out the cotton balls, Q-tips and put containers for each of them so she had separate containers if she wanted to sort.

    Here is what I used:

    What are your toddler's favourite bathroom accessories?

    Tuesday, 24 March 2015

    Food Colouring Magic


    To give my daughter the opportunity to practise learning the names of colours in a fun way


    • food colouring
    • milk 
    • dish soap
    • Q-tips
    This activity is actually a science activity for children slightly older than my daughter.    I decided I would try it with my daughter anyway since we had some milk left over that she did not finish this morning.  Thanks to my cousin for suggesting this activity a couple of months ago:).

    I poured the milk in a clear bowl and added drops of food colouring.  You can easily add counting as a skill to this activity by having your toddler count the drops.  Bean decided which colours we would use by naming them.  I may mix the colours together next time so she has more than four to choose from.  Next we dipped a Q-tip into the dish soap and swirled it around.  You can try it and see for yourself what happens next ;).