Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Create Your Own Olympic Fun with Games of Old

One of our Friday Fun Facts was that Tug of War used to be an olympic sport.

This got me to thinking what did I do as a child at school sports days or just in the backyard with the neighbours we used to always be having friendly competitions in our neighbourhood.

So this post will give you ideas on how to put together some of these old fashioned games and let your children create their own Olympics over the coming two weeks but they are great for summer time fun at anytime!

What is great about these games is they promote exercise, co-ordination and teamwork in some cases.

Egg and Spoon Race

See who can get across the line without dropping the egg

What You Need
- Spoons
- Eggs (Hard Boiled so it is not to messy)
- Something to mark out the start and finish line (Bin, Rope anything really…)

Line the children up and give them a spoon and let them get the egg balanced.
Start the race and the children have to cross the finish line as fast as they can without dropping the egg – if they do they go back to the start line and try again.

Three Legged Race

Pair up the children and have them use teamwork to balance and complete the race together.

What You Need
-Scarf or Rope to tie the legs together
-Something to mark out the start and finish line (Bin, Rope anything really…)

Place the children side by side and tie the ankles together
The children then walk or run (this may make them tumble) the whole point is for them to work out the most effective way to get to the finish line together.
Mark out the distance and begin the race

Tug of War

A show of strength and tactics this is a fun competitive game for all. Even get Mum and Dad involved to even it up.

What You Need
-A Rope
-A marker in the middle of the rope

Place an even number of children on each side
Mark a line on the gorund
The team achieves success when they pull all team members across the line marked

I hope you and your family have much fun with these fun old fashioned games.

Happy Play Times :-)   

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book of the Moment - Little Quack Loves Colors

This is a bright fun story that follows the two little ducklings, Little Quack and Piddle.

It is entertainingly written and takes children into the colorful world of little quack loving the bright blue sky and piddle loving sparkly white sand…. The illustrations are bright and gorgeous.

These two little ducks are my personal favorite characters – I get as much fun reading the book as the children do listening.

The target is really for newborns to about one year/eighteen months.

I have so loved this book that I personally wrote a review on Amazon, the first time I have ever done so.

If you have youngsters I highly recommend having them fall in love with Little Quack.

Happy Play Times :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Watching - Outdoor Games for Kids

Join the team at http://www.preschoollearningonline.com for this weekend's watching as they show you how to create your own game of bowling.

Love this I had never thought of it before.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Olympic Special

This week in keeping with what all the world will be watching and talking about in the next 2 weeks we are dedicating this Friday’s Fun Facts to the ‘Olympics’

- The early Olympics ran from 776BC to 393AD
- They were then returned in 1896  by French educator 
- Good Old Fashioned “Tug of War” was once an Olympic sport
- The US have won the most medals overall in the modern Olympics BUT in the first Olympics Greece
- The continents of South America, Africa and Antartica have never played host to an Olympics
- A gold medal is not solid gold, the last of the solid gold medals were at the 1912 games

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let your Kids Get Muddy with Mud Pies

When I say mud pies what do you think of???
The delicious chocolate goodies OR the fun and imagination of children baking mud pies in the backyard.

For me it is the latter and one of my favorite childhood memories.

At my grandparents house be it summer or winter (we lived in Australia no snow) my grandma would give us some old plastic mixing bowls, utensils to mix and saved icecream containers/egg cartons to set about making our gooey, messy, muddy creations.

Into the garden we would go to dig up the dirt, turn on the taps (in summer really splash about) until we had the right consistency, mix it up and mold away.

We would then put them into our pretend oven, which was an old stone BBQ and move onto to our next adventure in the garden. We would return an hour or so later to un-mold and set up a bake sale. Which was an old wooden bench but we would decorate and make festive while dragging, Pop, Grandma, Mum, Dad whoever would indulge us as we tried out our sale pitch – needless to say we always sold a good amount (perhaps that’s why I went into sales ;-) 

What I love about this is it is good old fashioned, use your imagination child play – it gets kids outside away from the TV & Computer screens and participating in the world around them.

How about following the tips of old here and let your kids get muddy, messy and baking today it really does pass the time in a fun and creative way best of all they are doing it in the fresh air and it isn’t so hard to clean up when you can hose the paths and the children down (in the summertime of course).

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fun Outside

My daughters Annabelle and Scarlett had some fresh air fun Friday play time today.

That was unfortunately until it started raining - wow the disappointment on their faces as I bundled them inside, I think they were quite fascinated with the drops of rain coming down. When your a baby everything is wonderful and new.

My babies play with toys and crawl around the grass exploring their surroundings it gives them the air, exercise and stimulates their mind through exploration.

This doesn't just apply to babies all children can gain these benefits - so we will be posting on activities to get children outside and enjoying what the outdoors has to offer in the very near future.

In the mean time I thought I would share some photo's of the fun.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday Fun Facts

This weeks fun facts to share with your family are in the big black sky – outer space! Enjoy

- When man lands on the moon the footprints are forever engraved because no wind exists there to blow them away
- The moon is 4.5 billion years old (Is there even a card for that ;-)
-Thought you’ve had a long night try living on Uranus a single night lasts for 21 years hmmm….
-How about a long day on Pluto that be 6 days, 9 hours to us
-There is an estimated 2 x 1023 stars in space. In English, this is: 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! 

And on that mind boggling number…

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book of the Moment - Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is a lift and flap book taking children on a journey through the zoo to find the perfect pet.

I wish I could film how excited my daughter Scarlett gets when she see's this book appear to be read. It is usually our after lunch book before nap time.
The excitement and anticipation as we fold back the flap to discover elephants, lions and snakes is priceless.

It is fun and educational and what child does not seem to have an inherent love for the animal kingdom.
The book has stood the test of time and is 25 years old - it was given to us by family who read it to their children.

Amazon parents in fact have 114 people review and rate it 5 out of 5.

When reading this to your children be sure to act out the noises it makes it way more fun! 

Happy Play Times :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Experience the Fun of Play Cafe's

I had a wonderful day today with my family at a local play café. The joy on Annabelle and Scarlett’s faces as they explore and try new things is priceless.

My girls are almost eight months old and our local cafe is not just about slippery dips and ball pits. They have many toys and activity stations set up that cater to all ages so we get a lot of value from a very young age.

Other play cafes however are focused more on when your child is walking or at least crawling so I advise before this stage you visit their website or call to check what is on offer before taking the child and spending the $.

From observing my children and the other youngsters at these cafes the benefits for your children’s play and development that I see are:-
- They can interact, observe and learn from the children around them.
- Improve confidence and social skills through interactions with strangers.
- Improve sharing abilities (Luckily I have twins who are already used to the other taking toys but I was shocked that a girl snatched a ride on train that my daughter had in front of us to ride and the parent didn’t say anything and I wasn’t up for creating a scene)
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! As they run and crawl through various activities they expend a lot of energy.
- Explore and understand their capabilities when trying new tasks and activities in a child safe and friendly environment.

I highly recommend finding a café in your local area and trying it out.

Personally I love getting down into it with my children so I can share in the fun and games and I definitely see the true meaning of ‘Happy Play, Happy Children’ when we do.

Happy Play Times :-)

-Tired children who are looking for their sleep (Don’t we all love that!)
-The opportunity to meet other mother’s, and expand your social network.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekend Watching - Games & Crafts for Toddlers

Have fun participating in these crafty ideas with your little ones!

Especially in the northern hemisphere where it is summer-there is much fun to be had with the ice drawing!

May you and your family have a fun filled family weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fun Facts

Last Friday I took my daughters to the Singapore Zoo for the first time, they had a ball so this Friday I thought I would share some interesting animal facts.

- Gorillas eat bamboo, leafy plants and sometimes small insects. Adult gorillas can eat up to 30 kilograms of food each day!

- Sharks are completely boneless their body is made up of cartilage

- Wish for hearing like a shark? They can actually hear a fish flapping up to 500 metres away

- 500 million cats are domesticated in homes around the world and 400 millions dogs

- Sad :-( a tiger cub leaves their mother at 2 years of age (I still want my little girls forever ;-)

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Rolling

From a very young age (around 2 months) my children loved this fun little playtime activity. It is an age where they want more but not too much and also an age I found extremely difficult to find activities to do.

This activity helped to rid excess energy to aid in daytime naps and the joy on their face was priceless.

What is it?  A nappy free, clothes free kick and play. It is an activity that costs nothing!

What will you need for this playtime?
A space for the baby to be free (Inside if too hot/cold OR they love it in the open air taking precautions to protect the babies skin and eyes a shaded umbrella or tree is perfect)
A waterproof or easily washable mat
Spare nappy on close hand for the quick change

As soon as the nappy is off they will kick and squiggle around in delight, it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to see them wear down when they are young and it is a great way for your baby to explore and discover their hands, feet and movement. It was in fact during one of these rolls that my daughters tried to roll clothed they didn’t even move.

Try it today with your baby and have fun!

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fly Baby Fly

Since between three to six months and still not tiring of it at seven months my girls are in love with the flying game.

Securely placed in my arms lying flat we move up, down, side to side, round and round we fly through the house look at pictures, land on the change table and have a giggle and hoot.

The beauty of this game like all baby play it is not just fun but teaches and develops key skills.

In particularly here it helps strengthen their body control as they hold solid and look around the room, they are practicing balance to stay securely and feel safe in your arms and lastly their visual tracking will improve as they look and focus on what they see around the room.

So strap your little one for the ride of their little lives.

Happy Play Times :-)