Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Show and Tell with Your Pre Schoolers

Some of you may have children that already do this who are of school age. Others like me may just remember the fun it was to do at school as you took something or someone of great love to school and told everyone about it.

Children between 3-6 love this activity and it is great for building confidence, learning to communicate and developing a deeper understanding in the world around them.

But does it just need to be done in the classroom? No you can be a captive audience for your little one at home and have them pick various objects to conduct show and tell for Mum’s, Dad’s, grandparents, the postman ;-)

It’s a perfect indoor activity for those cooler months coming up in the Northern Hemisphere and the scorchers to occur in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Watching - Thanksgiving Day Activities & Games : Turkey Stories for Thanksgiving Games

Learn about a fun way to implement play and games into your Thanksgiving holiday this year!

Also if you are looking for more ideas You Tube is full of great fun and creative games to get your children into the holiday spirit and have loads of fun.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Thanksgiving Edition

It would be a miss of us to not celebrate Thanksgiving for our loyal and lovely US friends in this weeks Friday Fun Facts with the big celebration next Thursday November 22nd.

So please enjoy! 

- Yummy turkey which is  the traditional fare eaten on thanksgiving (by 91% of the US Population) was Benjamin Franklin's choice of national bird for the USA.

- If you are in California then guess what your state is the largest consumers of turkey.

- Green bean casserlle must be pretty popular too as 40 million of them are served on Thanksgiving day.

- In 1939, 40 & 41 the date was changed by Franklin Roosevelt to change the date to the 3rd Thursday in November to boost the economy and extend the christmas season - didn't really work out to well as only half the states followed suit.

- The west coast of the US like to consume crab for thanksgiving as this is the beginning of the crab season.

- The first thanksgiving lasted 3 days!

And I believe the tradition is to share what you are thankful for so I am extremely thankful for all the support, encouragement and loyalty from our Happy Play Happy Children readers I truly appreciate and value your support and time to this endeavor.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Dogs

Welcome to Friday and another fun filled factual post!

Things have been really busy around here lately and I was racking my brains to come up with a topic and then as I was cooking up the babies food my gorgeous dog Ruby was sniffing around hoping for a morsel or two to drop - then it hit me lets learn some fun facts about dogs.

(Our Beautiful Ruby)

So here they are we hope you enjoy.

- The earliest form of dog is traced back 40 million years ago WOW.

- Wonder why a dog runs so well? Is it the four legs that power them along?
Well no it is in fact because their shoulder blades are not attached to the rest of their skeleton.

- Kublah Khan owned 5000 dogs a world record - wow I can't even imagine those vet bills, or space, or food......

- Were you born under the Chinese symbol of the dog? You are then classified as loyal, discreet and a little bit temperamental - sounds very much like a dog you just need to add loving and it is a perfect description.

- What have you named you dog apparently the top two male dog names are Jake (my husband had a Jake dog) & Max. For females it is Maggie & Molly (my husband also had a Molly)

- It takes eighteen muscles to move your little dogs ears.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

(Annabelle and her BFF)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend Watching - How to Make a Thanksgiving Kids Craft: Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree

I have noticed many people on Facebook are doing a month of giving thanks status updates for November in readiness for celebrating thanksgiving.

It got me thinking how you could get your children involved in this activity. So we went searching and have found this clip for our weekend watching series where it shows how your children can build a tree of gratitude. Such a lovely idea and a great way to have kids learn what they are grateful for and have fun doing so.

Please Watch, Enjoy and Share 

We would love to hear what you are grateful for and what your children are grateful for when doing this activity.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Welcome to November

Welcome to Friday and Welcome to November (Well the 2nd but close enough!)

We are dedicating our fun facts this week's to the month of November the time where the busy end of the year really starts.

Please enjoy and share with your children, family and friends.

November Fun Facts

The national week that is right not just a day BUT a whole week for split pea soup happens in the second week of November every year this year I believe it form November 8th to 11th

Movember happens where men step back to the 1970’s and have the big ‘Mo’ to raise money for good causes related to men’s health such as prostate or depression.

On the 11/11/11 at 11am in Australia we remember our fallen soldiers.

November is one of only four months with 30 days.

US presidential elections are always held in November every four years.

A very historical event that changed my life happened with the birth of my daughters Annabelle & Scarlett on 29th November 2011!

Happy Play Times :-) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dress Up Play for Toddlers and Pre Schoolers

With Halloween just gone and your children having had dress up fun remember it is not time to shelve the fun for another year - dress up for young ones is fun all year round rain or shine.

Dressing up is an important component of role play for children and helps them to learn important skills like:-

  • Using Imagination
  • Thinking Abstractly  
  • Problem Solving
It doesn't have to be expensive, children will find the most simplest things fun and see the potential to dress up in almost anything.

Take the example of my young niece who took a washcloth tucked it into her skirt, then grabbed another one and walked around the house cleaning - was she a cleaner as we thought? No she was in fact Cinderella before the ball!! Abstract, imagination and problem solving all at work there.

As a child we had a dress up box we played with and ours had my Mum's wedding dress in it - do you think my sister & I fought over that....

So you may not want to put your wedding dress in a box but what type of affordable ways and what can you use to build a dress up box with?

Here are a few suggestions:-

  • Visit thrift shops or yard sales to pick up vintage clothes, shoes, hats and accessories children love it being big on them.
  • Go to the dollar stores for goodies like beads, pirate patches, watches, glasses, plastic fire, police hats etc...
  • Get an old tie of Daddy's and make a permanent knot at a safe age appropriate level to be slipped on.
  • Have old handbags, purses, wallets, phones and alike laying around the place will make great additions.
  • I also read that many stores put out Halloween costumes very cheap in the days after the event so you may soon pick up some bargains that way.

Your only limit is your imagination in building the box and the more creative you get the more creative your children can be in creating their outfits and roles.

What role does dress up have in your house as a regular play activity? We are always keen to hear your thoughts.

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - The Cutest Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween to our loyal readers!

We hope the day is full of spooky fun and lots of candy :-)

Just had to share this for our Wednesday Warming Moment in honor of the day.

It is some amazing cute costumes - who will win the kids, dogs or hedgehogs? You decide?

Please share with us what your plans are? What are you & your children dressing as this year?

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Halloween Edition

Can you guess what this week’s Friday Fun Facts will be about?

We will give you a clue it is celebrated by many next Wednesday with spooky costumes and candy galore?

Go on you guessed it Halloween!

Whilst as an Australian living in Asia it has never been something we really celebrated but it has gained popularity in recent years. In fact a couple of years ago in my neighborhood in Adelaide we had parents arrange for the children to trick or treat by sending out letters and a balloon if you put the balloon on your letterbox you were happy to participate. I must admit it was a lot of fun and so cute to see the children dressed up and enjoying themselves!

And at our music class in Singapore on Tuesday the children can dress up and it has a Halloween theme – so that should be fun now just to think about what to put the girls in??

So for my readers who do celebrate have fun and for everyone enjoy these random fun facts!

  • Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas - Ok so it might be commercialized but everyone seems to have fun!

  • What do your children prefer? apparently 50% prefer to receive chocolate candy, 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% like to get gum. This is a legitimate study by the National Confectioners Association USA.

  • Remember our pumpkin random facts well the first Jack O Lantern was not a pumpkin! What was it? The humble turnip. Somehow I don’t think it would have had the same effect do you?

Ever wondered why you dressed up for Halloween? It comes from ancient Celts who started wearing masks and costumes in order to not be recognized as human as they thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the streets on all Hallows Eve (Traditional Name of Halloween)

Are you a Halloween home decorator? 86% of Americans are (Wow I am thinking America looks pretty great this time of year then)

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flash Card Fun Play

So the time has come that we are going to start to introduce flash cards.

We have read to our babies since the first day in the hospital but my Nanny who comes and helps twice a week and is studying early childhood development said today "Are you helping their learning and vocabulary yet with flash cards?" 

Cue flash fear across this first time mothers face thinking I was missing something critical in my girls development!

But after doing some research and understanding more about flash cards it seems like a great fun way for us to take our reading and learning to the next level in a fun, interactive play setting.

Flash cards are extremely beneficial to babies as they enter the end of the first year and continue to be great through toddlerhood in fact I remember being in kindergarden and doing spelling flash cards with my Mum at the dining room table.

I was told the best way to do this activity is to choose a theme and only work through five at a time.

Example category ideas may be:-
  • Food  
  • Animals 
  • Transport
  • Household Goods 
  • Weather 
  • Emotions 
At Brainy Kids BLOG Professor Shichida and Glenn Doman say you should flash the cards at a rate of 0.5 seconds per card. The information will be absorbed unconsciously by the right brain. The fast speed of flashing sends strong vibrations to the brain. This also aids your baby’s brain to develop better and faster.

So there are some tips that I hope are helpful for you to introducing flash cards to your child. I will spending my time now creating my own which I will share with readers of our BLOG soon and make copies available for use. So please check back soon.

I personally look forward to introducing this activity to our structured play routine in the day.

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - Video: Kids on the 2012 Election

Our Wednesday Warming Moment is a cute look on children's opinions on the presidential campaign in the US.

What do your children know about politics? How important is it they are aware? I would love to hear feedback from parents on this.

And if you want to share some interesting facts with your children you can check out our past Presidential Edition - Friday Fun Facts

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Family Fun Project Sites

Annabelle and Scarlett my gorgeous babies are about to turn one in less than 5 weeks - how did that happen!!

I wanted to make them something special but guess what I am not crafty at ALL!!! But I love to color & I can do scrap booking so I am creating them a disney princess collage on canvas. Fingers crossed it turns out kind of like what I have envisaged in my head....

How does this relate to play? It doesn't really I just wanted to share :-)

BUT when looking for the Disney Princesses I could use to color to form part of the collage I stumbled across the fantastic Disney sites with coloring and craft projects for your little ones toddler through primary.

So I thought I would share some helpful links, this is great for a cold or rainy fall/winter day OR in the Southern hemisphere projects for when the weather will become in the 40+ range and to hot for the outdoors in the middle of the day.

I do hope you find it useful.

Get Crafty


Pre Schooler's 

Primary School

Coloring Fun

Disney Junior

General Coloring 

Happy Play Times :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Watching - A Child-Friendly Way to Carve a Pumpkin

With Halloween just around the corner we went in search of a child friendly lesson in pumpkin carving for this weekend's watching clip.

This clip shows you how to do it with a melon baller so your youngest members can enjoy the fun!

What are people's Halloween plans? Do you carve pumpkins in your house?

We would love to know.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Singapore Edition

Last week I featured my home country of Australia for the Friday Fun Facts, this Friday I want to share fun facts on my current country of residence Singapore.

We hope you learn, enjoy and share these fun facts with your children.

  • The USA is 15,000 times larger than Singapore, which is made up of an island and tiny surrounding islands measuring only 682.7 square km.

  • Domino’s anyone? Human ones at that? Singapore has the world record of human domino’s with 9,234 students measuring 4.2 km long participated.

  • Singlish is in the Oxford dictionary for the mix of English spoken where lah on the end of a sentence is common “Would you like fries with that lah?” can be heard at McDonald’s the island over.

  • Don’t bring gum to Singapore it is illegal and there are fines for doing so.

  • If you are convicted of littering three times, you will have to clean the streets on Sundays with a bib on saying, “I am a litterer – No problem of that with me!
So there you have it random fun facts on Singapore.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and please stop by for our weekend watching clip on Saturday.

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Play Dough Time for Babies

A book that I have consulted with a lot in the first months of Annabelle & Scarlett's life is Dr Miriam Stoppard "Baby's First Steps" and one of the play milestones they have reached is play dough.

What fun for Mum as I loved play dough as a kid and love playing it as an adult.

Here they are enjoying the first feel of a new texture after our afternoon snack.

I thought if they has just been fed they may not eat it - rookie mistake of course they wanted a try but they luckily spat it out rather quickly!

They were fascinated by the feel and enjoyed the feeling of pulling something apart. It was extremely interesting to them seeing how this foreign object stuck to their little hands but shaking and pulling would release it.

I would roll shapes such as a snake or snowman and they would turn it around, study the shape and then of course break it up.

Play dough is a great first exploratory activity for the above reasons and helps improve tactile skills and imagination.

In our house play dough time will become a regular occurrence.

Do your children love it?

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - Cute Kids Kissing & Cute Kids Flirting Funny Video kids hugging

Welcome to this funny look at little ones giving their first pecks.

When I became the mother of two daughters at once I thought Wow what will I do when boys come knocking when they are teenagers.

Little did I know the kissing started so young.

We actually were at the mall a few weeks ago when an 18 month old little boy ran up to my daughter sitting at a restaurant in her high chair and kissed her hand and told her "pretty"

Hope this brings a smile at the age of innocence!

Happy Play Times :-) 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekend Watching Fun Tabletop Games : How to Play Simon Says

Here is one for the toddler and primary aged children in the family.

As we have been doing a series on old fashion games with this weekend’s watching clip I wanted to bring a game from my childhood memory to visual life and have Fun Table Top Games show us how to play ‘Simon Says’.

What I think is great about this game is it is a way to help children learn important listening and following skills.

So get the family together and have a game or two this weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Australia Edition

I am an Australian girl living in Singapore so I wanted to dedicate this weeks Friday Fun Facts to my home country.

We hope you and your little ones learn something new about the land down under.


  • Australia is the flattest, driest inhabited land in the world.
  • Australia was the 2nd country to give women a vote.
  • 25% of Australians were born elsewhere making it the highest populated nation of migrants.
  • A wombats poop is square.
  • Kangaroo's & Emu's can not walk backwards.
  • My hometown of Adelaide is known as the city of churches.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge took 273,000 liters of paint and is held together by 6,000,000 rivets.

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Play Therapy and Your Child

This post comes to you from Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT, Registered Play Therapist from Petit Play 

We are so thrilled to have her be so generous in sharing her expertise on play therapy with our readers.

For more information on Georgie please see the bottom of this article. 

How Play Therapy Can Help Your Child

Did you ever notice that once children reach a certain age, they start to play pretend, without anyone ever teaching them how to do it? Sure, they need grown ups to teach them their colors and numbers and letters, but for most children, playing pretend comes automatically. It’s pre-programmed. Why? Because children’s brains help them learn about the world through playing. Kids don’t learn the same way adults do. They must pretend to comprehend.

Especially during the preschool years, children are spending a lot of time imitating what they observe in the adult world in order to understand how everything works. Young children use pretend play to answer their biggest questions, like “What does a fire fighter do?” (Let’s dress up like one), “When I go to the doctor, what will it be like?” (I’ll make you better with my play doctor kit), “How does daddy make pancakes?” (I’ll cook in my play kitchen just like daddy).

Because we know that play is a valuable and necessary part of growing up, it makes sense that one of the best forms of therapy for children relies on imaginative and creative play.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy incorporates what comes most naturally to children, expressing themselves in their play, in order to help children adjust to major life changes or recover from difficult life experiences. There are different types of play therapy, but the one I practice is called Child Centered Play Therapy. “Child centered” means that the child directs the play, decides which toys to use, makes up the stories and characters, and invites others to join in. Allowing the child to set the agenda provides an opportunity to prioritize what needs to be addressed first.

Who Does it Help?

Children come to Play Therapy with a variety of concerns. Sometimes they are having a rough adjustment to a divorce, remarriage, adoption, the birth of a new sibling, the death of a grandparent, moving house, or starting a new school. Other times kids have had major stresses, like being in a car accident or natural disaster, witnessing fighting, being hurt or abused, or being bullied or picked on at school. Usually children are very resilient and they do their best to get through these situations, but sometimes it can be too much, even for healthy children. Kids’ feelings start to leak out: through their behaviors, attitude changes, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, developing headaches or stomach aches. Parents have often tried lots of things already but the solutions just haven’t managed to “stick”.

How Does Play Therapy Really Work?

As a Play Therapist, I have been specially trained to communicate with children from 3 to 12 years old through the medium of creativity. In a typical play therapy session, your child is invited into a uniquely designed play area, where toys, art materials, puppets, and costumes are available so that they can choose how they would like to play. Children use their play therapy time to play pretend, creating imaginary worlds and stories where they can re-live and re-explore aspects of their lives that may be too difficult to talk about. When they are pretending, children can be in full control, conquer their fears, rescue someone in distress, and be the hero of their own stories. Children can go back in time and write their own happy endings, and along the way, they build confidence and skills to adjust positively to changes happening in life.  

How do Children Transfer New Skills from Play Therapy to Real Life?

Taking on new perspectives and looking at problems from many angles in Play Therapy helps children make new connections that apply wherever they are. They start to feel more confident in themselves, trusting their own ability to handle big feelings and stressful situations. For the first time, they have been able to face their most painful or scary experiences and realize they made it through. They become independent thinkers who can ask adults for help when they really need it. Before Play Therapy, their emotions tended to escalate quickly, but now they can calm, soothe, and keep their logic when upset. Kids develop new language for their thoughts and concerns and their mature verbal ability brings them closer and more connected to family and friends. They focus and try harder than before, not giving up so easily, because now they know they can handle just about anything!

If you are taking care of a child who has had a tough time with changes happening in life, you may consider talking to a Play Therapist who can help. For questions about Play Therapy and Play Therapy resources in your area, contact Georgie Wisen-Vincent at georgie@petitplay.com.   


Georgie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. Georgie is a clinician with 15 years experience in helping children and families find positive ways of relating. She lived in London where she completed her post-graduate work in Child-Centered Play Therapy at Roehampton University. She has used individual play therapy, creative arts therapy, family play therapy, trauma focused therapy and behavior modification in her work with children and teens in schools and nonprofit settings. Georgie has a private practice in Los Angeles, CA.