Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bubbles Galore! (take one)

I really love playing with bubbles, and so do my children (yes, even the tween has shown interest in some of the bubble activities on my ultimate to do list)
So we tried making our own bubble solution to play with and to make stronger bubbles.
With the littles help (seems the big boy is away too much nowdays) I made some simple bubble solution using baby shampoo, water and corn syrup.
The children enjoyed making the solution and really had fun watching the bubbles float up off the balcony into the air.

I know part of the fun with bubbles and kids is trying to catch them, so I told petit monsieur to dip his hand in the bubble juice and he would be able to catch some of them. after a few attempts, he asked me to blow one right onto his hand, which I happily did.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Screen Time

Do you set any limits on how much screen time you and your family have?
I try to set limits on TV, computer and other devices that have screens, but it is getting harder and harder to do with all the gadgets around.
I don't have cable TV, so that helps, but I use netflix, and youtube daily. At least using those I have a *tiny* bit more control over what my kids have access to, plus pretty much no commercials, which is the thing I hate the most about cable television in the first place. (Yes I know there are PVR's but I still get commercials that way.)
There are some studies that show too much screen time is bad for kids. I have noticed in our house when the TV goes on it's hard to turn it off. It's always "just one more show" or "one more minute" and that leads to sometimes wasting the whole day or evening in front of the boob tube unless I strictly enforce the screen being turned off.
But sometimes it's really hard when they are watching something as great as the magic school bus, or another interesting documentary or educational show. Sometimes the things I remember the most were from documentaries I watched on television as a child. I know we need to get out and play outdoors, and read and colour, but sometimes time in front of the tube is just the thing my busy family needs after full days of play and work.

homemade paints

Me and the littles made some home made paints using an easy recipe I found.

DD mixing her chosen colour all by herself

 The children enjoyed being a part of the process of making something they could use later on.
Petit Monsier mixing his chosen colour, with a little help from momma

They used brushes, stamps and of course their fingers to spread the paint all over pieces of cardboard boxes I kept specifically for that purpose.
Our home made paint in action

A little bit messy, but the delight of my children in the end was more than enough for me to clean up this mess and start again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Let's Play Trains

Lately my children (ok, I admit, not only the children) have been into playing with toy trains. I found a neat Thomas the tank Engine set second hand, set it up and we have all been hooked ever since.

The neat thing about this one is that the engines are battery powered, so they can run on their own!
The youngest really likes making "accidents happen" all the time, and we are forever setting up bridges that have no ends, and broken tracks for the trains to fall off of.

Luckily we also have 2 set ups that have their own fall away parts built right in, a zip line and a drop down onto another track below!

(I personally can't wait to find the shake shake bridge)
What fun!

The thing I love the most about this track though, is that we all enjoy playing with it, from my oldest, who is now almost a teenager, to my youngest who is 2. Even mommy and daddy get in on the set up (and daddy has been known to stay up all night setting up tracks for the littles to play on the next day, even if it only lasts an hour)

We have spent hours as a family setting up tracks, running the trains (including a couple of remote control ones) and yes, even cleaning them up at the end of our play.

Painting as sensory play

How many people think of painting as something that tickles the senses?

We tried painting with cubes of ice a short while ago, and the littles sure noticed something was different about this painting exercise!

One of the first things they noticed (of course) was that I brought out cubes of ice to paint with. Keeping in mind that they had also helped me make these painting cubes, they were still fascinated by them after they had frozen.
The children took delight in how the ice was so cold, and at how it melted in their hands. .

They took turns using the different colours and saw how they spread out on the page and the different colour combinations they could make using the frozen paint cubes.

There are many other ways that painting delights the senses. The smell, feel and sight of paints can bring different feelings in all of us.

As long as the children are having fun (and mommy isn't going too insane about the MESS!) I love letting the children explore different ways to play with the paints.