Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Websites We Love

Here we are again with two more fantastic sites for you to perhaps check out and follow.

Structure in an Unstructured Life
Twitter: @BethAtStructure
Meet Beth a Wife and Mum trying to find calm amongst the chaos.
Follow her journey with the coach, Roo and Monkey as she shares in a fun and entertaining way about de-cluttering their life, home and getting ahead in this unstable world.
The meal planning section is full of great tips and advice . Another must where I certainly can use some advice with ever growing twin girls is the organization section.
I truly love perusing this site and always find something new.

How to be a Dad
Twitter: @HowToBeADad
Charlie and Andy write this hilarious take on parenting from a Dad's perspective.
You need to see this site just for the funny instructional diagrams are my favorite - Ninja Dad, Zombie VS Baby a fantastic take and fun in the crazy but ever amazing side of parenting.
If you want a fun and entertaining break then don't miss How To Be A Dad.

Enjoy and please let us know your thoughts or other websites for us to share in.

Happy Play Times :-)

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Watching - How To Make A Can & String Telephone

We have been doing a series on classic games recently and it gets the mind thinking of all types of fun stimulating things you used to do when we didn't have all that is at the disposal of children today.

Then my 10 month old daughter was using the bath cups where she was holding one to her ear and one to her mouth and making delightful screeching noises (anyone with young babies know that excitable ear piercing but oh so sweet until the 1000th time sound) and it made me think of the old tin can phone my Grandfather showed us how to make.

So therefore this weekend's watching is in honor of an age old communication tool way before the Iphone or Blackberry.

Give your children the joy of yesteryear and make one together and tell them that now the challenge is they have to make a game out of it there is not one built in :-)

Have a wonderful weekend to you and your families.

Happy Play Times :-) 

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Past Editions

This week has seen a nasty sinus and chest infection invade this twin Mummy and I am not as young as I used to be or perhaps pre kids I slept them off? Either way we have decided to share some past posts for this week to reminisce on or perhaps see for the first time.

We look forward to returning to full health and having a bumper issue next week!

Thank you for all the continued support of our BLOG.

Happy Play Times :-)

Random Facts for You

Space and Beyond....

Animals Anyone? Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Children's Play The Old Fashion Way - Part Two

This post once again is to take another trip down memory lane and bring old into the new generation once again!

Please enjoy and use some of these classic old play games with your family.

Hula Hooping
Ok who remembers this as a child?
Great fitness, great for improving motor skills and hey great fun!
How long can you keep that hoop spinning?
I remember we used to have a group of girls in the neighborhood and we would compete round after round for the best hula hooper.
How to Play
Pick up a hula hoop have loads of energy and sway the hips!

Why was this so much fun?
Who knows???
But as a youngster I whittled away hours with my sister and next door neighbor on this game.
How to Play
Get a large piece of elastic (2 meters  +) and have it looped around two peoples ankles.
The player then performs various skips and jumps through the elastics raising it higher to increase difficulty until they can't complete then the next person takes a turn.

A great game needs nothing but two or more players and your hand.
This is fantastic to amuse youngsters in the car. I remember playing it on long road trips to pass the time.
How to Play
Open Palm = Paper
Closed Fist = Rock
Two Fingers in a Sideways V = Scissors
Count to 3 and make one of the 3 shapes.
The following combinations show you who is the winner...
Paper beats Rock (Paper can Wrap)
Scissors beats Paper (Scissors can Cut)
Rock beats Scissors (Rock can break Scissors)
Doing the same combination is a draw.
You can have a best of competition say 3,5 or 7.

Hope you've enjoyed these three additions in our series please check back soon for more old fashioned play ideas.

Happy Play Times :-) 
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book of the Moment - Dogs by Emily Gravvett

When your little ones start becoming aware of dogs it really is the cutest thing.

A walk out and about will greet you with squeals of delight or if like us and you have a pet dog it offers up hours of endless entertainment as they watch (safely and supervised of course) the dogs antics of the day. In fact it is one of the earliest words children can say!

Therefore any book about dogs at the upper end of the first 12 months is a huge hit.

And one of my favorites is "Dogs" by Emily Gravvett, the illustrations are beautiful, the wording simple and easy to teach as first words. We really have so much fun reading and sharing this book at story time.

You follow dogs that are spotty, sloppy, big, small, hairy and bald to find out which one is the child's favorite of all....

I highly recommend this book for your youngster it is sure to become a well loved and favorite book in the collection and of course for this age group it comes as an all important slobber proof and chew proof board book!

Perhaps you have read it and would like to share your opinion or we would love to hear of other dog books or animal books to add to our collection.

Happy Play Times :-)

Beautiful Quotes on Childhood - A change of play pace

A change of pace with this post I want to share some of my favorite quotes on children.

Because a quote always serves as a reminder and awakens the spirit and my spirit is truly awaken with how much I love my gorgeous daughters.

So here they are….

The souls is healed by being with children
(English Proverb)

Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.
(Walt Disney)

A person is a person no matter how small
(Dr Seuss)

Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.
(H Jackson Brown)

In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.
(Ann Landers)

And finally this on which I love….

Hugs can do great amounts of good especially for children.
(The Late Princess Diana)

What are some of your favorites? Please do share with us in the comments section.

Happy Play Times :-)
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Watching - Easy Arts & Crafts Projects for Kids : Thumbprint Art: Arts & Crafts Pro...

This looks fun and easy as a simple art project for little ones.

I will keep it in my log of things to do when the girls are a tad older it will not be to far away though.

Enjoy it this weekend with your little ones and looks like a great activity for our northern hemisphere friends where the weather is beginning to cool into fall!

Have a great weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - On This Day....

For today’s Friday Fun Facts I have been researching events that happened on September 21st in history.

It is great to find interesting things about a certain snap shot in time hope you enjoy them as much as I have finding them and please share them with your children.

So on this day September 21st…..

- 1784 the first ever newspaper was published in Philadelphia USA

- The French monarchy was no more in 1792

- Duryea Motor Wagon Company who were the first auto manufacture opened their doors in 1894

- 1930 saw the flash bulb be patented

- In 1937 the famous Hobbit by J R R Tolkien was first published (it would go on to make even more history!)

- 1952 saw CBS debut Perry Mason

- My current place of residence Singapore was admitted to the UN in 1965

- 1984 NASA launches the Galaxy C

- 1996 JFK Jr gets married to Caroline Bessete

- Space fact Galileo mission terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter's atmosphere, where it is crushed by the pressure at the lower altitudes in 2003

These cool facts all came from it is super fun to explore any date in the calendar to see what went on!

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Children's Play the Old Fashion Way - Part One

We will be doing a multi part series on some good old fashion games of times gone by.

With the multitude of tools available to entertain children 24/7 we've lost some of that young wonderment of just you and a group of friends who could do so much with so little.

This is why we want to introduce some of the games of old to become the 'old new'

Chinese Whispers
(4/5 + Age)
Can you relay what you first hear or how will the story change.
How to Play
This needs a group of children and adults can join the fun as well.
Sit in a circle and a person is selected to start.
They whisper something such as "My favorite color is Red" to the person next to them, who then whispers to the next person on what they think they hear and so on.
At the end when you get to the last person they say what they heard and you see how close it is to the original statement.
This game can be so funny as messages can change greatly the more people playing.

Hide and Seek
(2/3+ Age)
You hide and I will go seek.
I am sure this game has not lost favor and still played the world over!
How to Play
One person is selected to seek out those who are hiding. You need at least two players.
The seeker counts to ten (or any age appropriate number) the hiders find a place that is difficult to be found (note to parents don't let it be to hard where no one can find them!) and when the number is reached the seeker seeks the other players out.
Usually whoever is first found becomes the next seeker.
I LOVED this game as a child.

Musical Statues
(2+ Age)
Get your little musical monkeys learn stop go by playing this super fun game.
How to Play
Have an adult be in charge of the music and play it fun and fast so your little ones can run and dance around BUT be aware when the music stops so must they as still as a statue the last child to stop waits for the next game.
Great for exercise, learning rules and patience waiting until the next game.

Please check back soon for more in this fantastic  play series.

Happy Play Times :-) Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - Little children and their pets

I am dedicating this Wednesday's warming moment to that beautiful relationship of a child and their animal.

It came to me when I saw my beautiful Annabelle reunited with our gorgeous Labrador Ruby tonight after Ruby has been away while my parents stayed.

Pure squeals of excitement and sounds of laughter at the sight of Ruby, then tears flowed when Ruby left the room, only for tears to turn to laughter once again when Ruby came back. After this lasted a while Ruby just decided she would stay right next to Annabelle and all were happy :-)

Do you have any memorable heart warming children and pet stories I would love to hear them please leave us a comment!

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Websites We Love

I spend a lot of time reading, researching, learning and sharing with others who are involved in children's happiness, play and development.

There are so many great people and sites out there we don't know even see the tip of the iceberg so I wanted to start writing periodical posts to share some of these with my readers.

Here are the first two I hope you visit them and find something of interest.

** I have absolutely no commercial or reciprocal relationships with these sites they are offered to you as 100% my personal opinion of what I believe  is good and valuable information **

BonBon Break
Twitter: @BonbonBreak
This is a recently launched site that brings together influential, knowledgable people in the family and parenting BLOGOSPHERE to write a weekly edition of new fresh content in areas such as the porch, family room and this BLOG's favorite the play room ( if you want to know what that all means then check out the site!
This is a must place to hang out for Mom's everywhere.

Children and Nature
Twitter: @ChildrenNature
A fantastic organization that I passionately believe in connecting children with play in the great outdoors.
The websites has information on their programs, how you can get involved, news and research in this key area. It is worth surfing around and delving in to the content.
I also really enjoy the twitter feed if you are on twitter perhaps go check out what they have to say.

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Terrific Tummy Time Tips

It is important babies spend time on their tummies in order to avoid flathead syndrome and gain those all important muscle, strength and skills to sit, crawl and walk.

Do babies get distressed during tummy time yes they can my goodness you would of thought with the girls we were the world's worst parents how they would cry - but it doesn't have to be stressful for parents and babies once we worked through it we all found it enjoyable.

My advice as you try these tummy time play tips is remember to stay happy in the moment, accept tears will happen but remain calm so your sweet little baby feels it to be a positive experience.

So here they are....

- Lay baby at first on your chest and stomach they will begin to feel secure and more adventurous. Lean up and kiss your baby and get a post baby abdominal workout in!

- Lay your baby on their tummy on an activity play mat with the toys that hang as they grow they will be curious of those toys and try to lift and focus on them. Tummy time for our twin daughters was more of a success on their activity mat than just on the floor.

- Lay face to face with baby on the floor, close at first then moving further away as they grow in skill and confidence so they can reach out to you.

- In line with the previous two comments place toys like rattles or a lovey they are attached to.

**Remember though do tummy time fun when your baby is not really tired as this will distress them more we used to do it a little before a feed when babies as it would start to tire the girls then they had a bottle and down for a nap - Happy Child; Happy Parent In that scenario**

Hope these tips are helpful in making tummy playtime fun!

Happy Play Times :-)

Daddy watching on as Annabelle & Scarlett had
First Tummy Time Session (2 weeks old)

More Fun with Mummy on my Tummy

Tummy Time can be Tiring

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Watching - How to make a Door Name Plate

Here is this weekend's watching video.

A simple fun craft project for your little ones from 

Let them get creative and put their name and mark on their bedroom or playroom with this door name plate.

Let me know or share some pictures of the project outcomes if you try this at home.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - The British Royal Family

On Wednesday I along with my mother kept up a family tradition with my  daughters by introducing them to being a royalist when we went to the walkabout in Singapore of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Catherine Middleton)

As an Australian whose mother immigrated from the UK she was bought up respecting the British Royal Family which was then passed down to myself and now the next generation. 

It is great to think that the girls had this experience even if they won't remember but can share my memories it is just like I was a young child and saw the late Princess Diana on her visit to Australia in the 1980's. 

And the best part we did catch a glimpse and even got a smile and wave very exciting!

So I decided to do a Friday Fun Facts on the British Royal Family.

Hope you enjoy and learn something new.

- At 100 you receive a letter from the queen if you are part of The Commonwealth so did the queens mother receive the official letter when she turned 100? Who knows but she certainly was old enough passing away at 101.

- When Prince William becomes King his wife Catherine will be the sixth Queen named Catherine.

- The royal family had always done a lot of radio (remember the movie The Kings Speech) and in 1961 Prince Phillip the queens husband was the first member of the royal family to be interviewed for Television.

- The queens son Prince Andrew could play professional golf as he has a handicap that would qualify him.

- The royal family don't have last names.

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Baby Games to Play 0-6 months

As we are approaching ten months with Annabelle & Scarlett and that first birthday is just around the corner it makes me think back to the first six months (yes I remember them clearly even through the X2 sleep deprivation)

So today's post is a quick one listing my top ten play time activities for 0-6 months some tried and true and maybe some you have not done?

Perhaps you have others you'd like to share or if you have a newborn you may get some helpful ideas.

Without further ado and as my children loved them all in no particular order.

1. Cuddles (OK I lied that is definitely #1) it is the earliest and nicest of play time activities

2. Peek-A-Boo now you see me now you don't

3. Like a Teddy Bear (If you haven't already see more detail ...)

4. Tummy Time

5. Story Time - Never to early to start we could not hold Scarlett for the first 4 days but we began to bond because Mummy & Daddy would go read her a bed time story every night she was in NICU

6. Baby Gym Mats - It was a sad day they outgrew these they were great for them to start concentrating with, then kicking & reaching hours of fun

7. VIP photo album - We did pictures up of all the important people in their life into a hard covered album to go through and share stories of babies love to study pictures as they can begin to focus (I noticed reactions around 14-16 weeks)

8. Dance Baby Dance swan around the room with baby on hip to your favorite tunes or own voice

9. Puppets as we headed towards the 5-6 months they became fascinated with hand puppets I had finger ones and would play things out using different voices with two on each hand.

10. Laugh Baby Laugh Games the sweetest sound you want to help develop this and it makes you all feel happy. We spent time tickling, raspberry blowing and tongue flicking(it's hilarious when they try to grab it)

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - Compassionate Twin

No video, no photo for this one.

Just a proud Mummy who realising she must be doing something right in the way she is teaching her children about playing and caring from a young age.

When we were at our 'Musical Monkey' class on Tuesday a little girl just four month's old had just started. One of the games they play towards the end is a all the children laying under a parachute as the parents wave it up and down over the children and the parents sing songs. This little girl was so scared and started to really cry hard, my little Scarlett lent over and took the little girls hand and just held it when this didn't work she started patting her.

This Mummy was proud and had a few tears but I and many other parents were blown away by the act of compassion by a ten month old who usually parallel play and little awareness of others - I believe perhaps being a twin and used to having someone around all the time and witnessing your twins different emotions makes very young children who are twins faster in their emotional development.

What are your thoughts readers?

Happy Play Times :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Watching - The Wiggles, Rock a Bye Your Bear

My sister bought us a Wiggles greatest hit CD which has fast become the girls favorite CD as I may have mentioned previously they are just starting to rock and bop to music when it comes on.

They go crazy for the below song (so does Mum to be honest I have been singing it repeatedly for 3 days I can not get it out of my head!) and whilst they can not yet do the movements when they can it will no doubt be a family dance :-)

Have a watch with your children this weekend and if old enough get them to bow to their partner and rock the bear to sleep.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Presidential Edition

No matter where you are in the world the election campaigns for the United States president could not escape your attention with both parties holding conventions recently.

Therefore this Friday's Fun Facts are dedicated to 'Presidents of the USA'

- Aww moment...  President "Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt" refused to shoot a bear cub one day and an entrepreneur decided to create a stuffed bear in honor of this act and so the beloved teddy bear was created.

- OK a common term in the English language was coined during 'Old Kinderhook' President Van Buren election campaign when he created O.K clubs to support his campaign.

- Six Presidents have been named James - Madison, Monroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, Carter

- WW1 & WW2 President Eisenhower served in the army for both.

- Impressive fact President Garfield could write simultaneously Latin in one hand and Ancient Greek in the other - neat party trick!

- President Hoover went one (or is that two) better than the old White House dog with his sons having two pet alligators 

Share these facts with your children this weekend and give a fun alternative history lesson around the dinner table.

Happy Play Times :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baby Music Classes

Children love music I have posted previously about singing and dancing with my girls ( and of course the gorgeous identical twin girls featured in the Wednesday Warming Moments who found online fame for dancing to Daddy’s guitar (

My girls have loved music even in the womb as we used to listen to the Ipod and they would groove along to their familiar playlist ☺ so music has been a big part of our play from the earliest age. 

And at six months we began to attend baby music lessons. 
**Disclaimer Time** and I am ashamed to admit that before I had children I used to think baby music class was a plain waste of money what would a baby know but now as a mother who is passionate about children playing and having fun I have changed my tune (pun intended) 

We attend a class called Musical Monkeys ( where we sing songs, do dances, explore a new instrument of the week, learn a song in another language and play various instruments (with Mummy’s help) like the shaker, triangle, clickers and finger cymbals. 

Each week as the children get older and through the repetition of activity, which is so important for baby play they have started to respond and get real enjoyment from it.

Music classes are great for:-

Motor skill development as they grab for the shaker or try to bang the cymbal. In fact at our recent class I could of burst with pride as Annabelle was the only baby who used the drumstick on the hand snare (the instrument of the week) to bang all by herself, the only baby to do so!

Social Interaction as children have to get used to being around others, being patient and sharing as each child has a turn at the instrument of the week.

Verbal and language skills are heled through the song component as this teaches your children how to pick up on patterns. It is also much easier to memorize song lyrics than to memorize a string of spoken words. It has been researched that listening to and learning lyrics helps improve early memory skills and brain functions associated with speech.

Mental and physical stimulation the children have to concentrate on learning new things and also using their physical attributes through the dance and play activities (we have very tired babies that are easy to settle for the night after music class afternoon)

You can recreate music classes in your own home with some of these simple tasks.
- Buying some cheap instruments to show and allow the children to play with and/or creating your own with household objects and pan and wooden spoon make for great music time. 
- Playing CD’s where you sing and dance together.
- Singing and acting out nursery rhymes.
- Showing clips on YouTube of songs and dances of other cultures.

I hope this post will help stimulate some ideas you can try and share to bring the joy of music into your child’s life.

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moments - Dancing Twins

The YouTube viral sensation of the 11 Month Old Twins Dancing to Daddy's Guitar can not do anything but make your heart smile and is therefore the first in our Wednesday's Warming Moments.

Children love music and have such fun it is a great way to play. If you can't play an instrument like this Dad it's ok children love to groove to a CD or even your own voice (may be horrible to you but to your own children it is a great source of entertainment) they have not yet learnt to be discerning.

We will be posting soon on our experience of musical play at our baby music classes so stay tuned.

Warm your own heart and get involved in some musical play with your children today both child and parent will be happier for it. 

Happy Play Times :-)  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jumping Good Time

A friend yesterday let us borrow her jolly jumper to try out with Annabelle and Scarlett and I must say it is an overwhelming success so far.

I mean check out the pictures below they are what tells a thousand words!

Our children are currently 9 months old this toy can be used from 3 months onwards we were just a little late to the party.

The great thing about a jumper is that it is designed to hold their spine in place and be safe. I find that it it is going to be a great outlet to get all of that pent up energy out that just seems to build at the pre walker stage. And I can tell you from my experience as I am writing this the girls are in a deep morning nap this seems to only happen nowadays when they are worn out!

Other areas that are improved with the jumper are it:-
Develops Motor Skills as they learn to co-ordinate all their movements.
Instills curiosity the kids are fascinated by how it is working and what they can suddenly see all around them from this new vantage point.
Promotes rhythm, we had The Wiggles CD on and I will have to video it and post in the future they were bopping and dancing in time to the music (oh and a tip for mothers I read in the instructions you can put your own exercise DVD on and both you and the baby can get your exercise time in apparently babies love the music and moving in time with you so that is a great way to get a work out in!)

Happy Play Times :-)

PS: If you are interested to learn more check it out on Amazon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Get Your Shop On

We all know the importance of our children using their imagination and for us as parents to give them the tools and space to use it.

Having my parents visit at the moment has made us take a walk down memory lane and think back to my childhood and the games I would play.

One of the things that whittled hours away and is a great indoor activity or outdoor if you have the space and weather was to play shop.

Because children’s imagination has a basis in reality it is a situation children are exposed to often and they love to play make believe of real situations.

For this game my mum would collect old cereal boxes, laundry powder boxes, wash out bottles etc… and put them away in a play box. My sister and I would then get chairs and tables and set up a grocery store. We would then label prices on the items and Mum made us fake money.

Each of us would take the time to go through and play ‘Mummy’s’ doing the weekly shop and the other would be the shopkeeper.

The benefits to this play are:-
It helps children use their imagination.
It teaches children to understand early good social skills by pretending to be the friendly helpful shopkeeper.
Improve mathematic skills by adding up the totals and giving correct change.
It is free and uses household items you already have.

So start collecting and saving household grocery items today and let your children get their shop on!

Happy Play Times :-)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Weekend Watching - Who Took the Cookie?

I started to sing this to my children the other day as I was feeding them an afternoon snack of milk mixed with rusks (baby biscuit).

So I thought I would share this instructional video as part of the weekend watching series.

Perhaps you may like to play it with your children this weekend!

Happy Play Times :-)