Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Block bowling

We did some block bowling today, both Bubble and Squeak love this game. First we build our towers and then we use different size balls to knock them down. To begin with we stand quite close, and then back further away each time.


* blocks
* balls of different types/sizes (tennis balls, soccer balls, dimple balls, even the great big fitballs are fun to use)

A little sewing

I found these mesh sheets and childrens sewing needles in our local craft store (Riot Art & Craft if anyone is interested) and thought they'd be the perfect introduction to sewing for Bubble. I sew a little bit (mainly felt crafts and mainly quite badly) and she loves to watch and pull the needle through for me sometimes, so now she can do some sewing of her own.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hide and seek in the park

Bubble loves to play this version of hide and seek at the park; basically I bring along something small like a bouncy ball or figurine from the dollshouse, then Bubble covers her eyes and counts to ten while I hide it somewhere nearby. She then hunts for it until it is found and we start again. We never swap roles because I dont like to take my eyes off of the girls when we are out in public, but if you have a backyard to play in then you can take turns being the counter and the hider.

Scrubbing up

The weather was glorious today so I filled some small buckets with water and put the girls to work :-) They spent over an hour outside with small dishwashing brushes scrubbing everything they could find - double bonus, fun and a clean balcony!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Felt butterfly mask

I saw this idea for felt butterfly masks on one of my favourite Blogs, Childhood 101, and wanted to try making one for Bubble and Squeak's dress up box. I modified the design when it came to the headstrap though because Im not an awesome sewer in the slightest and it looked tricky to me, but I found a headband worked well. I used a wide fabric one so it would be comfortable and just cut it so I could attach either end to the sides of the mask. I didnt use sequins or anything because Squeak is still so small, but I may add some in a year or two when she is older because they do look so pretty!

Floor drawing

We have very large cream coloured floor tiles - perfect for drawing on :-) To protect the grout I use large rolls of clear contact and stick it directly onto the floor, we can then draw on it using whiteboard markers and be able to wipe it clean like a whiteboard. I've never had a problem with residue being left behind once it is pulled up (usually after a few days) but maybe test a small space on your floor before sticking down large areas just in case.
An even better method is to buy a length of clear pvc type tablecloth from somewhere like Lincraft or Spotlight that you can lay down and use over and over as many times as you like. This idea is particularly great if you want to floor draw but only have carpet or if you'd like to use it on a tabletop/outside/when travelling.

Felt hairclips

I saw this fabulous idea for making felt hairclips on Childhood 101's blog and gave them a go the other night. My versions are quite dodgy because I was a bit over enthusiastic when cutting the slits in the back and made them a tad too big so they slip around on the clip a little bit, but it was such an easy fun way to create something wearable that I'll be definitely be giving it another crack (and hopefully taming down my scissor action next time :-D).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paper plate gardens

Today we made our own little garden using felt offcuts and small sized patty pans. Bubble really enjoyed this activity and spent ages making her stems as straight as she could - I think they look great!


* green felt offcuts for the stems
* small patty pans for the flowers - Bubble really enjoyed turning them over and flattening each one with her hands.
* child safe glue (Clag)
* paper plate

Other ideas: you could add bug and butterfly stickers to your garden, or even use essential oils to add a further sensory experience. Sand or soil sprinkled over glue would also look great underneath the flower stems as the garden bed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Face painting

We did some face painting with skin crayons today, it was so much fun! We made ourselves into cats, then bees, then butterflies. Later in the day Bubble asked for an Elmo and a Cookie Monster - talk about throwing down the challenge for her drawing challenged mother! Sorry for the terrible photos, but as you might have noticed I dont like showing my children's faces on the net hehe :-)

A link for ideas for your own face painting fun:


By the way, the crayon did take some rubbing to get off and the blue was especially resilient.

Train watching

When we have a quiet day with nothing much to do (like today) one of the things the girls enjoy is train watching. We have a few favourite spots to go to and it never fails to amaze me how mesmerising they find watching them coming in and out of the stations, and all the people getting on and off. I love hearing Bubble's observations as well, such as "train said whoosh Mum, hes tired" :-D

Coloured shaving foam play

Shaving foam and food colouring are always a great combination where kids are concerned, and today we added some things from the kitchen drawers to make some extra fun. We experimented with different utensils to see what effects we could get, and made some beautiful patterns and pictures as well as shaving foam 'pies' (yum yum). I laid out a large waterproof picnic sheet and Bubble squirted out a few different piles of shaving foam onto it. She then added the food colouring she wanted and got busy creating.

We got our favourite effects using:

* wire whisk
* cookie cutters
* cake scraper/decorating thing with a zigzag edge - if anyone knows the proper name for this please enlighten me!
* rolling pin
* our hands! :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Felt rocket jumping cup

I saw this idea for Jumping Cups on typepad, thought it was genius and had to give it a go! I wanted something a bit more Bubble proof than paper though (she can be a bit enthusiastic with her toys :-D) so made the rocket part out of felt instead. I copied their rocket shape as closely as I could because I thought it was just so cute, and then attached it to a band of felt that I then stitched into a cuff to fit over the cup. Their instructions were so easy to follow and it was a matter of minutes to assemble the cup part of the project. It took a few practices but bubble eventually mastered the art of launching her rocket - it's been a hit all week!


* two plastic drinking cups
* tape
* felt and embroidery thread
* scissors
* two large rubber bands

Two plastic drinking cups, punch four holes in the top of one cup and tiw cut elastic bands through the holes to form a cross. Make sure the knots are secure enough not to come back through the holes when pulled hard.

Rocket cuff: I just free drew the rocket shape using the photo as a guide (you could use anything really; a toy, any photo or picture or just your imagination) traced it onto the felt and sewed it all together. The cuff is just a strip of felt sewn to the circumference dimensions of the plastic cup.

Make two tabs on either side of the cup with the bands by doubling over tape. You will be using these tabs to pull down your jumping cup so make them secure.

Upturn the untouched plastic cup and place the other cup on top bands down.

Pull down the top cup using the tabs and then let it go to launch it into the air! Bubble found the tabs hard to grip so she perfected launching the rocket by holding the cup in her hands instead.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Felt eggs

There are felt egg tutorials all over the net, but the beauty of eggs is that you can make pretty much any blob shape work as a template. On a piece of paper I drew the wavy outline for the egg white and a small circle for the yolk (I traced the end of a glue stick actually :-D). It took about 15 minutes to cut the pieces from the felt and sew/stuff them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bookshelf felt board

We have an old bookshelf in Bubbles room that we are using for toy storage until we find something we really like. I decided to up the fun factor a little (it couldn't really get less fun ;-D) by making a felt board on one side. I covered one side of the bookshelf in wood glue and let it dry until tacky, then it was just a matter of smoothing sheets of felt over the top. I cut some felt shapes from scraps I had and backed them with rough lightweight sandpaper so they had extra grip when used on the felt board.

Put something under the base to protect the carpet and make sure the room is well ventilated when you do the glueing. I kept my girls out of the room entirely while I did this part.

Smoothing on the felt sheets. I used white to suit Bubbles bedroom.

Alphabet iceblocks

This activity was enormous fun and something I think we will be repeating again and again. It began as something a bit different for bathtime, but we ended up using these giant icecubes outside as well. The idea is very simple and has been done in various forms 100 times over, I think I'll let the kids choose the themes and toys that get the big freeze next time.

* large flexible freezer friendly containers (empty icecream tubs etc...)
* food colouring
* water/freezer safe small toys
* water and a freezer

Bubble with a big icecube full of alphabet magnets. We put down a big waterproof tablecloth so we could slide them back and forth to each other and watch them melt.

This icecube was full of plastic safari animals.

Squeak was so mesmerised by all the colourful letters that she had to get a closer look :-D

We added a tub of water to make them melt faster and to watch them float.

Small hands investigating the emerging animal parts :-)

A cup and spoon iceblock that went into the bath at bathtime. I added blue food colouring to make it more interesting and it ended up freezing mostly inside the teacup which gave an awesome effect as it melted.