Dear Little Bear … A chef’s dream

14 January 2019

Cape Town

Dear Little Bear

What a special day today was. You recieved your mud kitchen from The pole yard.

I’m sure I was much more excited than you. It’s such a lovely kitchen. Sturdy and durable. Perfect for little boy messes and enthusiasm.

Your excitement was contagious as you explored the kitchen, turned the knobs and tried to see if the tap worked.

The oven door kept you busy as you opened and closed it.

I loved watching you at play and listening to the chatter of what you were going to cook as you rushed about finding new kitchen utensils.

Before I had time to explain how we can play with the kitchen you took the lead asking for water in the basin.

First you washed your dishes with splooshy waves of bubbles and I happily noted to myself that this is outside so no more mess on the tiles.

Then you found a pot and out came the sand….

Before I knew it you’d mixed up a pot of mud stew and were adding Ronan’s gem stones in one by one as potatoes and onions.

Whilst Ronan was far from impressed I was quite excited to see you remembered the vegetables that we had added to our stew the other night.

I see many hours of happy play with your new kitchen my bear and as your mom I couldn’t be happier.

Happy cooking my little chef.


Mamma Bear


Dear Little Bear – I’m puzzled

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Cape Town

Dear Little bear

You love puzzles and we spend about 30 minutes on average a day just building puzzles.

Lately you really like the 2 and 3 piece puzzles you got for Christmas and today you wanted to build the transport box.

You manage the 2 piece puzzles very easily but I am still helping you with the 3 pieces. They can be a bit tricky.

I like to build puzzles with you just before nap time as busy boys like you are so full of adventure during the morning, so I find this calms us both down and prepares you to have a nap.

We also enjoy building puzzles together before our bedtime story and when the world has been to busy and loud around us.

You will take my hand and guide me to the puzzle shelf and tell me which you want to build.

And we build until the world goes quiet or we have had enough.

You love to tell me all about the pictures that you building, so I have started choosing harder puzzles for you- ones that have more detailed pictures for us to discuss.

Why I love puzzles

The reasons I love puzzles is because of all the skills you are secretly learning while you build the different puzzles.

Did you know that by building puzzles you become more aware of the world around you? The pictures teach you about the themes and you develop your vocabulary as we name and discuss the image.

You also developing your visual spatial skills and learning how to solve problems.

You are learning to think, develop a strategy, develop reasoning skills and an understanding of how to complete a goal.

You also get to understand the pride behind an accomplishment.

Through play you are refining your fine motor development each time you pick up, pinch, grab or manover a piece of puzzle into the correct space.

And of course your hand eye co-ordination is practised as you place the pieces correctly.

Puzzles are also great for co- operative play helping you to learn the social skills you need to play with your friends and they are fantastic for helping you to gain a positive self esteem.

So you see my boy, we did so much more than just build some puzzles today before nap time…

Sweet dreams


Mamma bear ♥️

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.

    Coding the musical – teaching girls to code through play.

    “Coding, the Musical” is a completely free interactive musical that teaches basic coding concepts to kids aged 4 to 8, designed specifically for girls!

    Children are introduced to coding by creating their own characters and building their own musical story worlds.

    The purpose of “Coding, the Musical” is to get girls engaging with computer science in a fun, playful and extremely creative environment so that they fall in love with coding and want to learn more!

    • 20 beautifully animated interactive stories,
    • 60 songs,
    • 40 games and
    • 5 fundamental coding concepts

    lots of learning, lots of fun!

    Coding is a great way to develop logic and problem solving skills in children. But it has more than just cognitive benefits, it’s also socially important that girls learn to code.

    Coding is the language of the 21st century and it is extremely important that both genders have a voice.

    As technology develops, we need to make sure that girls are a part of what is becoming an increasingly powerful political and economic force.

    Download Free

    Unfortunately this app is only available for Apple users.

    For more information view this short preview video:

    “Coding, the Musical” breaks coding concepts down to their essential logic so that young kids can understand, and enjoy them.