Facebook round up of 15 fun things to do this weekend

I recently found these fun things to do with your kids on Facebook.

I’ve tried to give credit where I can.

1. Playdough

2. Easy garage for those cars

www.frugalfun4boys.com

3. Home made finger paints

4. Glow in the dark bubbles

5. Bottle bottom turtles

6. Gummy bear treat

www.snackhacks.org

7. Paint with water

8. Water pinatas

www.dumpAday.com

9. Outdoor bowling

10. Moonsand

11. Create sea glass

In South Africa you can use wood glue instead of Elmer glue

12. Play snow

www.huckleberrylove.com

13. No spill paint cups

14. Homemade paint

15. Colourful drinks

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Defining your toddlers 5 types of play

As a parent or educator by understanding that if you are encouraging play you are supporting every aspect of your toddlers growth and development.

You are helping to build new physical, emotional, social, language and cognitive skills.

Different types of play have different roles in child development.

There are 5 types of play that your child will engage in :

  • SOLITARY PLAY
  • PARALLEL PLAY
  • IMITATIVE PLAY
  • SOCIAL PLAY
  • COOPERATIVE PLAY

Let us break these down to understand them further.

  • Solitary Play: This is when your toddler plays alone. All children like solitary play at times.
  • Parallel Play: This is when your toddler plays beside another child without interacting. Your toddler will observe the other child and often imitate what they do. Toddlers enjoy parallel play.
  • Imitative Play: This is when your toddler and another child copy each other’s actions, words or behaviour.
  • Social Play: This is the first step toward having fun with others. Before the age of 2 years, your toddler will offer toys to other children. This is your toddler’s way of communicating.
  • Cooperative Play: As your toddler gets older,they start to play with other children. Many toddlers are not ready for this kind of play until they are 3 years old.

I think Jean Piaget said it best when he said …..

Mommy bear … EST 1992

It was 25 years ago ….

I was a single teenage mom navigating my way in an adult world, trying deseperatly to soak up enough knowledge to raise this beautiful little girl who had turned my world upside down.

I was 19 years old in this photo. Tammi was 20 months old. It was Christmas eve.

My father and stepmother were drunk.

I had popped enough popcorn for an entire army and my sister, step brother, little girl and I strung the popcorn for the Christmas tree.

We coloured in and made Christmas cards.

That year her big gift was a baby doll from Santa. She got some plastic high heels from me and I wrapped a story book and wrote ” with love daddy “.

Daddy never knew… he was too busy enjoying his youth and avoiding his responsibilities.

I worked 2 full time jobs and waitressed or did promotions after hours to support my child. I was a youth leader, taught Sunday school each Sunday and served as a volunteer at a soup kitchen once a week.

On Sundays (my only day off) we caught a bus and went to flea markets, museums, a park or to feed the pigeons.

Each night we read beautiful stories from the library and every day I felt I was faking this parenting gig. I was clueless and lost. Overwealmed and not sure what it was a good mom did.

So, I did the only thing I knew how to do ….

I became the mother I wished I’d had and I loved my child .

Mom’s there is never a right time to have a child. No one , not even a parenting expert , has all the answers. We all feel like we’ve failed our children but the truth is your child just needs you ….. exactly as you are ❤

13 Free play ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers learn best through play.

The activities below will keep your toddler busy as well as teach them vital skills.

I’ve personally used each idea either in a class or with my own kids.

  • Ribbons in a bottle

Take an empty bottle with a wide lid . Stuff with ribbon. Help your child to push the ribbon in and pull it out.

  • Pom pom play
  • For this you need a bowl of pom Poms and some tweezers. Use the tweezers to transfer the pom Poms into and out of the bowl.

    • Colander pipe cleaners

    Take several coloured pipe cleaners and a colander. Turn the colander upside down and have your toddler stick the pipe cleaners in using the colander like a peg board.

    • Corn kernel sensory box

    This is great for if you have a child learning about the farm or food theme. Place popcorn into a shallow box. Insert farm animals, farmer and a tractor into the kernels covering them.

    Give your child spoons, a funnel, an empty container and a jug to play with.

    Let them discover the animals and scoop out the kernels. Teach them to pour the kernels into the container and how they pass through the funnel.

    • Cardboard box

    This is self explanatory, give your child a box and let their imaginations go wild.

    • Rip tissue paper

    This is fantastic for fine motor skills. You can start with soft papers like serviettes, tissue paper and work up to white paper, old magazines and wrapping paper.

    • Fabric scraps

    Give your child a box of fabric scraps.

    On a huge piece of paper trace around their body. Let them glue on the fabric scraps to make clothing.

    • Jars and lids

    Take several jars with lids. Unscrew all the lids. Muddle them up and have your child match the right lid to the container and screw it on.

  • Pots and pans orchestra
  • Hold your ears with this one. Give the kids some old pots and wooden spoons let them make music.

    • Transfer water

    This is especially fun in the bathroom but a bowl of water outside will also work.

    Fill a container and have your child transfer water from it to another container.

    You can use a variety of different items like spoons, cups, jugs, buckets, ect.

    • Stack cups

    Let your child stack plastic cups or Tupperware in your kitchen the same way they stack blocks.

    • Toothpicks and meat trays

    Draw a simple picture on a meat tray and let your toddler prick all around it to make the pattern.

    Most importantly have fun and always stop an activity if your toddler has lost interest.

    15 fun Toddler Activities to do this weekend

    As an educator I enjoy easy activities that not only keep kids busy but allow them to learn through play.

    Here are 15 fun easy activities to keep your toddler ( and you) busy this weekend.

    1.Cut up pipe cleaners – collect a variety of coloured pipe cleaners and let your child practice their cutting skills by cutting the pipe cleaners into smaller pieces.

    2.Balloon badminton – make 2 bats by taping a carton tube to a paper plate. Alternatively You can cut a pool noodles and each use a piece or use fly swatter. Take turns using a balloon as the ball to hit.

    3.Bubbles wrap runway – this is very cute and perfect for little toddlers. Place a long strip of bubble wrap on the ground. Have your child stand like an aeroplane , arms outstretched and run down the runway to take off and fly.

    4.Golf tees into Styrofoam – for this you need a few golf tees and some Styrofoam. Give your child a wooden hammer and let him hammer each tee into the Styrofoam.

    5.Highways – make roads from tape on the ground and let your toddler ride their cars on the roads.

    6.Treasure hunt – hide a few items in a room or outside. Draw the items into a piece of paper and help your child to find each one. I like a nature hunt where each child has to find a few items to collect outside.

    7.Cereal necklaces – using a cereal that looks like hoops make a necklace by stringing tgem onto a piece of string or ribbon.

    8.Thread cereal onto a spaghetti stick – place a piece of raw spaghetti into a piece of playdough. Thread cereal with hoops onto the spaghetti.

    9.Newspaper balls – roll newspaper up into a ball and throw, kick and roll the balls with your toddler.

    10.Roll down a hill- I’m sure you all remember the fun of rolling downhill and in the grass. Teach your toddler to roll downhill.

    11.Balance beam- a balance beam can be made from a piece of plank or a few bricks placed together . Allow your child to hold your hand until they are confident enough to balance by themselves.

    12.Block stack – use blocks or plastic containers to stack into tall towers and let your toddlers knock it over.

    13.Lacinging cards – cut some easy shapes from card boxes. Old cereal boxes work best. Punch all around and let your child use a shoe lace to thread around.

    14.Cook with mud- who didn’t love cooking with mud as a child? Give them some old kitchen utensils and make a small mud patch outside. This is great for creativity.

    15.Peg play-allow your child to peg the clothing pegs on and off a paper plate, shoebox or string tied between two chair legs.

    Bears first toys & fun ideas to stimulate your baby at home

    These were Little bears first toys.

    Mammas you do not need expensive items to entertain baby.

    The wooden bunnies were made by my friend Karolien at www.momsdirectory.co.za and I painted them using nail polish . I used them to help him focus and do tracking with his eyes.

    The plastic containers, I would put beans, ect in to make different sounds. I shook these for him to hear.

    We placed all the items into the gift bag as storage and pointed out the bright items on the bag to bear as we spoke during the day.

    The washing machine I made from an old mug box by cutting a hole in the centre and drawing on the details. I would place various tactile materials inside for him to pull out.

    The finger puppet fitted over bears hand and I would place it on his hand or foot for body awareness and to get him to grasp at it and cross the midline.

    Those first 1000 days are the most important and one of my peeves at having worked in several daycares, is how the school owners feel babies do not need as much stimulation as older children .

    Today I’m sharing just a few of the items bear and i did together in his early months …

    Shaving cream

    This is one of my all time favourite go to sensory activities and even my age 4/5 year old class enjoyed writing and playing in the shaving cream.

    You can colour the shaving cream with a dash of food colouring .

    Best of all if you spray into a cupcake tray , put a different colour into each cup, mix and leave in the fridge till bath time you have awesome bath paints. My older bears loved these.

    Little bears reaction to the shaving cream was delightful. He was 4 months old here and loved mooooshing the cream over the tray.

    And …no mess!

    Just dump in bath 😛

    For bath fun I love the www.acornkids.co.za bath foam which is the same as coloured shaving cream. Too much fun in a can.

    Serviettes

    Items as simple as a serviettes can keep babies entertained and are great for tactile discovery.

    Just watch how quick those little hands can get to the mouth …

    Bubble wrap

    Another one of my favourites.

    Little bear squished it in his chubby fingers, walked on it, rolled on it, crawled on it and I sat him in it, in his pool.

    Obviously never leave baby alone with plastic of any kind. And watch items near babies mouth.

    Crawling tunnels

    One of our favourite items when little bear was crawling was his www.melissaanddoug.com tunnel.

    When my other bears were babies my budget didn’t allow for such fancy items and we made tunnels from empty boxes, chairs lined up and under beds.

    Crawling obstacles were placed within reach to encourage movement and develop those gross motor skills.

    Baking

    Baking is one of the activities little bear and I enjoy together.

    You can bake from young.

    Even at just a few months he enjoyed tasting the dough, squishing it in his fingers and slamming rollers and cutters onto the dough.

    As he’s gotten older he now helps add ingreadience to a bowl, place decorations on and has more control over the roller and cutters.

    How cute is his chef hat from Theresa at www.magoo.co.za ?

    Sand

    Oh how much fun was Little bears first sandy day at the beach?

    Sand is a wonderful medium to explore.

    As I was stuck inside with a broken leg for most of bears early months we used kinetic sand from www.acornkids.co.za on a tray to play with often.

    Garden sand is his favourite and he loves the feel of squishy mud between his fingers as he drags his bulldozers through it.

    We’ve tried to build sand castles on the beach but up until now my OCD builds the castle and bears Toddler curiosity crushes it 😂

    Did you know preschools steralise their sandpit sand with coarse salt. It keeps it free of worms and fleas.

    If you have pets always keep your sandpit covered.

    Water

    Water play can be just as exciting to explore as sand and again you don’t need any expensive water tables.

    A large container with a bit of water, a small blow up pool or a plastic shell will do.

    You could even put baby in the bath.

    Boats, bath toys and kitchen odds make the best experimenting tools.

    You can colour the water with a drop of food colouring or use www.acornkids.co.za angel powder.

    A bit of bubble bath, shower gel or shampoo makes amazing bubbles.

    Alternatively if your toddler is older you can give them a hand whisk and get them beating that water to make the bubbles …

    Ball pitt

    A ball pit can be tremendous fun at any age .

    We turned a mini blow up pool into bears first ball pit.

    He would sit and play like that for a few minutes at a time and soon learnt to throw them out .

    Bubbles

    Who doesn’t love bubbles?

    I collected some of Kikis bath bubbles and placed them in a container for little bear to explore. He enjoyed feeling the bubbles on his hands and feet.

    So much fun in a box.

    Balloon play

    This is still one of little bears favourites.

    I started by tying a balloon to his car chair or pram for him to watch.

    As he began to sit and crawl I would blow up several and place them all around him to bop at and try catch.

    Now that he is older we can throw them to him and he kicks them.

    Bring nature inside

    As I mentioned I was stuck with a heavy cast and moonboot for most of little bears early months and so i would often get one of my older bears to find me leaves, flowers, bark, stones, shells and other pieces of nature for bear to explore.

    Sensory pools

    These really can be made with any container large enough for baby to sit in.

    I filled Little bears blow up pool with a variety of different items and hid toys and small things in between for him to discover.

    This one I used packaging pellets but you can use :

    Rice
    Beans

    Foam
    Cut up pool noodles
    Sponges
    Cooked noodles
    Dry noodles
    Leaves

    Paint

    I introduced Little bear to paint at a very young age and it’s one of his go to activities.

    It’s possible to let your child paint from 4/5 month old with help. You guide their hand and then watch as they learn to swipe the paper themselves.

    If you are worried about mess mix a little dish liquid into your finger or poster paints , it helps it wash out faster.

    Or you can make your own paint by mixing either flour or cornflour with a drop of colour and a small bit of Water till you have the consistency you need.

    He has his own style and will paint anything in front of him.

    This box was from his www.buddingminds.co.za kit and he had not finished painting yet so the box was his next project 😂🤣

    Discovery boxes

    I feature my discovery boxes often because I feel it’s important to place a child in an environment that fosters learning and discovery.

    The box is an old train box but you could use a tray, shoe box, cupcake tray or printers tray.

    Chose a theme

    For this box we used a baking theme

    Fill the box with items related to that theme and step back allowing your child to explore and discover each item for as long or short a period as they like.

    This was my saving grace over the December holidays and kept bear busy enough for me to get some work done.

    And always end with lots of mamma hugs and kisses

    We have a talker …

    Over the last few weeks I watched bears vocabulary grow in leaps and bounds from simple words and gutteral gestures to full blown conversations.

    This morning was the cutest…

    Bear was watching Caiou when the little boy hugs his mom , next thing bear runs up to me and gives me a big hug. Well my heart just melted into a puddle of mommy mush right there… I mean , just how darn cute is that ?

    Next he’s at his toy box and he looks at me and in his best Barney sing song voice ge says ” I wuv oooo”.

    A few minutes later he ungracefully shoved a “kaaar” into my hands and told me to “Taaaa” so he could eat his “naanaa”. He proceeded to chomp the banana, and his eyes spotted his Fischer Price talking “og” ( that’s dog for those who don’t speak beginner toddler).

    For the last few days we’ve been talking more directly to bear. By this i mean , up until now we’ve included him in conversation, read to him and spoken to him but now we have this underlying goal to have our baby be able to communicate with us.

    So I insist he say ta when he wants something and no longer just give him things he points to . I wait for the thank you after he’s received an item.

    We purposely point out animals and items and hope to have him copy the word.

    Last night as him and i sorted the mismatch chaos of his puzzle play I said dinosaur …what he copied was no where near dinosaur but it was a good try.

    At the moment bears vocabulary is about 25 words and 4 phrases.

    So how can you assist your toddler to develop their vocabulary?

    1.Teach new words daily

    Try to m

    ake it a habit to teach a new words everyday. To do this you can point out the different objects in your home or in books. Bear likes us pointing out the animals in his puzzle and i find he loves to tell us what each piece is before placing them in the right space.

    2. No baby talk

    Developing language not only requires speaking but also listening so talk to your child as you would to another adult. This will encourage them to use proper words, rather than baby talk.

    3. Describe your life

    Talk as much as you can and often.

    Spend the day describing your activities, the things around you, what you see and the sounds you hear to your toddler. Your child may not appear to be paying any attention but he is listening

    and learning.

    4. Use cues

    T

    ake advantage of the cues around you. If it’s time to eat for example, involve your child in putting plates on the table and smelling the food before saying “it’s lunch time!”

    Your child may not understand the word “lunch” but will soon get the idea that whenever you say “lunch” it means it’s time to eat.

    5. Create opportunity

    C

    reate opportunities for your child to respond to you. Ask your toddler plenty of simple questions throughout the day.

    You can start by asking ‘yes or no’ questions.

    As he becomes more responsive, ask more complex questions like what do you want to eat or where do you want to go?

    Remember to pause after asking a question to give your child time to reply.

    6. Simplify

    If you can, use simple words and short sentences to make it easier for your toddler to grasp what you’re saying.

    “Ta bottle” may be easier for your child to understand in the begining, rather than “please go collect your bottle from the table.”

    7. Repeats to correct

    Sometimes, your child might say ‘naanaa’ instead of banana , in this case reply with the actual word so that he can hear it. Reply by saying “yes, this is a banana”.

    8. Keep it fun

    Introduce singing , rhymes and poetry to your child’s day. These are fun ways to keep your child wanting to learn more.

    9. Constant exposure

    Read daily. Allow your child to interact with words through tv, apps, games and flashcards.

    9. Grab focus


    Maintain eye contact with your child when engaging him. Doing this will promote better understanding and helps to focus on what you’re saying to him.

    10. That’s my name

    Always use your child’s name in a sentence.

    Your child will learn their name, identify that they are being addressed and gain a send a of self esteem .