Mum of 4 🏼🏼🏼🏼
Playfully supporting learning at home
TeacherWest Aussie@earlylearning101 co-host
39,023 followers302 following451 posts
Here's the extreeeeeemely simple little invitation my crazily overtired 13 month old was enjoying this arvo - popping GIANT Pom Poms into one of our many DIY toys: an empty milk bottle with a hole cut into it.
Fancy? Ummmmmm no.
Simple and engaging? Absolutely.
But the absolute best thing of all for her? I was sitting right next to her sticky little smoothie covered body, being silly and playing WITH her.
And that, at the end of the day, matters more to my little sunshine than anything else. (Plus, the deliciously perfect baby giggles that resulted filled up a rather empty Mummy tank, too )
It's Toddler week over at @earlylearning101! The amazing Susie @busytoddler is on board, so get involved by tagging your pics with #earlylearning101 if it tickles your fancy! Happy Tuesday! xx
More pics of mine like these here 🏼 #playfullittlelearners_baby #playfullittlelearners_pompoms #playfullittlelearners_diy
Only three years separates these three little monkeys. 🏼🏼🏼 Looking back to 2014, we had a newborn, an 18 month old and a just turned 3 year old (plus I was still teaching and just launched my small business ). It was SUPER tiring, but having them close in age was something that was really important to my husband and I. Now they're 6, 4.5 and 3 (and their littlest sister is 13 months) and our life is busy, soooo messy and super LOUD... but it's so perfect for us. The sleepless nights, long days and constant demands from little hands are worth it tenfold.
Of course, tears and tantrums are part of 'the fun' of growing up - and believe me when I say we have MORE than our fair share of this - but moments of calm like this amidst the crazy are certainly treasured! Happy, happy Monday!! #playfullittlelearners_playroom #family#playroom
You know it's going to be a loooong day when all four kids have had their first showers by 9:30am!! 🌦⛈ It's STORMY here - flash floods and all - and after some serious muddy puddle jumping and 'footy training' in our mud pit / aka backyard (we've got a young Fyffey in the making here) we are taking the rest of the morning reaaally easy with little inside invitations like this Frog Small World - see our stories for more! Happy Sunday, hope it's filled with P L A Y!! ⛈
PS - check out more of our small worlds here 🏼#playfullittlelearners_smallworldplay (#hiremeplayschool !!)
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Dear weekend, you make me HAPPY! Anyone else?!
Pic by the uber talented @amytangerine xx
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BABY DOLL 'HAIR' CUTS
It's all about scissors and babies here at the moment for my three year old.
Here's today's rest time invitation: colourful 'hair' (aka paper strips sticky taped onto a baby), salon chair (aka highchair from @thecreativetoyshop) and scissors.
My 3 year old is in heaven - not so sure about the baby though Happy Thursday!! #playfullittlelearners_finemotor
Please note: common sense prevails around here, I always supervise her when using scissors 🏼
I left out a little invitation for my almost three year old recently: cut pool noodle, some giant buttons and pipe cleaners.
Just goes to show (once again!) that children are so capable - this is what my 4.5 year old fella decided to do with this invitation! No buttons were used, and my little girl only played with it for a little ...but my son was engaged for ages, building heaps of words he knows! Happy Sunday lovelies xx #playfullittlelearners_literacy #playfullittlelearners_homework #playfullittlelearners_finemotor
At our place, most of the time the homemade toys end up being the most loved! Here's a close up of the empty box my almost 3 year old and I turned into a washing machine using $3 adhesive vinyl from Kmart (see original post two pics back). Definitely not perfect, but she LOVES it Happy Thursday! #playfullittlelearners_diy #playfullittlelearners_cardboardbox
If you've got any #playfulandinspiring accounts please tag them below - love finding new inspiring people to follow! Happy hump day! xx
#Repost@the.kindie.mumma with @repostapp
SPRINKLE LETTER TRAY • Could there be a more irresistible way to practice forming letters? All you need is a tray, a packet of sprinkles, some letters (from an old puzzle or even fridge magnet letters), and a dry paintbrush. We use a combination of our fingers and the brush to form our letters. Perfect for children aged 3.5 and older.
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I hate washing. (#whyistherealwaysmooooooore)
So this morning, rather than tackling Mt Washmore, my almost 3 year old and I made a washing machine out of an old cardboard box
Empty cardboard box, Kmart $3 adhesive vinyl, a couple of bottle tops, gloopy glue and 25 minutes later (would've been less if my 1 year old wasn't crawling all over it!) this little set up resulted.
Needless to say my almost 3 year old managed to get her laundry done quicker than I did...🙄
Happy Monday! xxx
Miracles happen every day. Check out our stories to see how hard the kids and I worked this arvo Happy Sunday!! #playfullittlelearners_playroom
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My boys (and I ) are STUFFED at the end of the school week, especially my 4.5 year old fella. Full time school is hard work, it's a been a big transition for a little guy! Anyone else's little ones DONE by Friday?!
Trying to get him to dinner screen free with minimal meltdowns has been a delicious challenge - here's the way we did it this arvo: a little small world with 2 colours of blue foam (made in my thermie with a little water and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid and food colouring) and some cars/trucks. Easy peasy and you're looking at an hour of engagement! (See my stories for more!!) We've recently had flooding where we live - a couple of weeks ago 220mm fell in 24 hours!! - and it was gorgeous seeing the way he processed what he had seen through his play!
Happy Friday! Looking forward to a RELAXING and sleep filled weekend
SEA SIGHT WORDS
I love my boys' school. My 4 year old guy's teacher was at school last night until 7 decking out their Sensory Area and Role Play corner - with a SSSSSEA theme! Natural elements like these featured in these areas plus on their Fine Motor table! I was VERY excited when we got to school this morning So lucky to have such dedicated and passionate people supporting their learning
I LOVE leaving random things out for my boys to discover that supports this and I'm looking forward to them discovering this one this arvo: Playdough, Coral 'pencil', sight words on shells (one speech sound per colour, as always) and gems to trace the words. Hands on / kinaesthetic, develops proprioceptive skills (strength of effort being employed in pressing the 'pencil'), supporting what they're doing at school, plus...novelty factor!! Will post an in action shot when they get home later on tonight :) Another #playfullittlelearners_homework idea :) Happy Tuesday! #sightwords#aussiemum#aussielife
FEEDING BABIES 🥄
Babies + Bibs + bowls + wooden knives + spoons + playdough = an engaged little girl all. Day. Long.
My almost 3 year old is into all things BABY at the moment! Bathing them, cleaning them, dressing them, feeding them... it's so adorable to watch! We have had the 'bath' set up for the last couple of weeks, but here are her (spotlessly clean!!) babies from earlier on today. This is their third location - see my stories for more!
She loves making, chopping and serving playdough 'food' and her babies LOVED eating it!!
Jeepers we love playdough at our place - check out #playfullittlelearners_playdough to see more
Happy Monday! 🏼🏼
PS - this is a little hint to this week's @earlylearning101 theme too!
FOOTY SENSORY WRITING TRAY
Another way we've used our DIY PUFFY PAINT letter / word cards (see last post)!!
I coloured some salt using a dash of paint, spread it on a tray to dry and then popped it in the bottom of an empty Melissa and Doug puzzle box. (Additional note: I've posted about this before, but you can get trays EXACTLY the same for $5 from @kmartaus! Check out #sensorywritingtray to see my previous pics for more info). I ask the boys to trace over our homemade puffy paint letters using their fingertip to practise correct letter formation (starting position marked with blue dot) before they using the 'footy player' peg man to write it in the tray. This is an awesome way to practise letter formation / sight words in a hands on, unique and kinaesthetic way!
We made this with equal parts self raising flour and salt (I think i used around 2 tablespoons of each), mixed in a dash of water and food colouring until it's slightly thinner than the texture of cake mix. Next we wrote the sight words on some strips of cardboard (small enough to fit into the microwave).
We popped painted cardboard strips in the microwave for 10-20 seconds (please make sure you watch this stage - ADULTS only - if in doubt only do a little bit at a time) and woolah! Perfectly textured and hardened puffy paint sight words! 🏼🏼 Its hot when it first comes out so allow to cool down before letting kids hold completed paintings.
We played a game with these cards last year, where my then 5 year old had to close his eyes and feel the words with his hands and then guess what they were. Really tricky as it encouraged him to reflect on what he knew about the shape of the letters and the sounds they made!
Happy Thursday - make sure you check out @get.creative.with 🏼
My 1 year old thinks she's big enough to play with my almost 3 year old's 'baby bath'...bubbles are just as fun to make as they are to wash off!! What's that saying...grumpy child, give them some water? Sounds about right to me Happy Thursday! #playfullittlelearners_baby #playfullittlelearners_water #playfullittlelearners_sensory
This has recently landed on our doorstep! The Story of the Kindness Elves is written by the amazing Anna @imaginationtree and is such a beautiful story The world needs more LOVE and KINDNESS and if you'd like to encourage these traits in your kids in a magical way, this book is perfect! Head over to @thekindnesselves for more info :)
SNAPSHOTS OF PLAY
After running out some after-school energy with some gorgeous school friends (and their equally awesome Mums!!), my view cooking dinner looked something like this 🏼🏼🏼🏼P L A Y !! It definitely is NOT always this calm at our house......but when it is, it is totally amazing!!!
Sometimes homemade items for play last longer than store-bought ones...we made these 'beads' almost a year ago and they're still going strong! Baking cotton balls may seem random but it's amazing!!
These 'beads' are large so they're perfect for toddler fingers to thread, and another bonus is our newly turned 1 year old can't choke when she inevitably gets her hands on them (my almost 3 year old tries to keep things on the table, but honestly it's like they have legs sometimes with how far the mess can spread!!)
I got the recipe for baking cotton balls from Asia @funathomewithkids' amazing book (definitely worth checking out!!!) and then we added our own spin! The kids helped me stick some penne pasta through the centre of the uncooked cotton balls so we could use them as beads for threading. Once cooked, these are amazing - hard on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside!
Happy Monday, hope its C O L O U R F U L #playfullittlelearners_DIY #playfullittlelearners_finemotor #finemotorskills#kidscrafts101
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We have gone through SO.MANY.BABY.WIPES over the years!!! 🏼🏼🏼🏼
As I'm a level three recyclables hoarder, I save the empty packets to repurpose... here's another of our homemade posting toys using an empty box with lids off the top of the wipes stuck on (covered in washi tape and numbered).
Another easy time filler - all four of the kiddos LOVE this one - my baby has really been getting into it recently! (Again...why do we have toys?!) I'll share another of the ways we use this soon
Happy Saturday #playfullittlelearners_baby #kidsdiy#homemadetoys#recycle#playfullittlelearners_diy
"Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Roald Dahl
Ahhh the magic in possibilities!!
Happy Friday, hope it was a goodie! xx
What a change three years makes!!!! The 'go to' favourites at our house have TOTALLY changed; 'brrrrm painting', tonkas and Kinetic Sand with diggers have now been replaced with things like collecting flowers and making perfume. (All instigated by this almost three year old, naturally - all these things are still readily available if she wants them!!!).
Life presents us with lots of surprises...I certainly miss my boys now they're at school full time but also enjoying the changes having my girls at home is bringing! Happy hump day - ours is smelling rather sweet over here xxx
Teaching and Learning Resources are like my Achilles heel... Most resources I have are household items, but some are 'educational items' like these.
Here's a peek inside one of the boxes in our Rainbow Room - (some of!!) our Fine Motor tools! The awesome @thecreativetoyshop stocks most of these items
I'll be sharing a couple of posts about our #playfullittlelearners_playroom plus all the tubs in my resource room when I launch my website later this month! I'm getting all sentimental... it will be going live around the time we moved to the Red Dirt, marking almost a whole year since I've been regularly 'InstaBlogging' .
Thanks to everyone who shared their #playfulandinspiring accounts yesterday, I've found some new ones to follow!
Happy Tuesday! xx
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Who has been inspiring you this week?
There are so many awesome new (and not so new!) kiddy accounts that are #playfulandinspiring! If you know one (or if you ARE one!!) I'd love for you to share in the comments below 🏼
Snipping playdough snakes- an easy way to learn how to use scissors! (Although using this many colours will result in coloured dough )
SNAPSHOTS OF LIFE
In the midst of our messy, loud and chaotic normal, we have had to say goodbye to my family's much loved patriarch. This man had 90 years of life, a beautiful wife, 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 6 GREAT grandchildren. My kids are so lucky to have known and loved him, as am I. .
Times like these remind me - once again - that it's not what you have, but WHO you share it with
The mess is just mess, and won't be remembered. But the memories, the love, the laughter and the good times will. Hope your days are filled with L O V E and P L A Y with those who matter to you xx #love#life#family#playroom
Ice cream container with a hole, GIANT Pom Poms + almost one year old = FUN. See more in our Stories All my kids have adored this simple, cheap DIY toy as babies! (Seriously why do we have 'real' toys?!) Happy Thursday! xx #baby#babyplay#playfullittlelearners_baby
A little bit cheeky on this Tuesday night
SOOO many members of my family along / teaching friends are back at work with kids tomorrow (Western Australia)! Wishing everyone going back tomorrow a fabulous first day I will quite literally be crying my eyes out after dropping my two boys off... think of me at 8:30am please!!! Happy Tuesday xxx
Please note - I didn't write this poem! If you know who the author is please let me know so I can tag them