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 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.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moment - Baby Laughing Hysterically at Ripping Paper (Original)

Do I even need words? it is simply better to watch and bask in the beautiful sound of a baby laughing as they discover new things in this world.

Play with a baby is so easy!

A reminder to us all to get back to the simple things.

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Put it in Pull it Out Toy Tubs of Fun

From dawn to dusk as they say my girls can play this game pull it out and discover the wonderful array of toys with which they can play.

This activity is great from about seven to eight months onwards it takes effect when your baby has body control and can grasp objects.

Fill a container of small toys things that are easy to grab and place it in front of your baby.

The below photo is an example of what I use.

I find depending on the time of day or mood of the baby they will take them out carefully , looking, exploring each toy. Or it is like tornado alley and they come flying through the air with claps and laughter.

I also use this toy taking out technique when I am playing explaining "Mummy took out the Doll" this helps the children to develop language skills.

Added to this now as they are getting older when we take toys out I play the yes/no game which helps develop mental capabilities.

If it is a doll for example I say is "Mummy holding a Dog?" and shake my head saying No. Then I say is "Mummy holding a Doll?" nod saying Yes.

A simple past time that has so much development opportunities.

Just another example of how at this age everything that we just think is play really is all about development so it is so important we give lots of time for play and experiences.

Happy Play Times :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Teddy Bears Picnic

My three year old niece recently went to a local Teddy Bears picnic and it made me think that it was not something I had heard about in a very long time.

In my hometown of Adelaide when I was small there used to a be a huge picnic in the city along our river every year attended by hundred’s of children then it kind of disappeared.

It is where a child comes along with a picnic lunch and a teddy bear to join in fun and games with others and their bears.

Let’s face it what child does not love their teddy bear, playing, interacting with others, having some food and enjoying the fresh air.

I was so happy to see this tradition bought back even on a smaller scale. And I do not know whether they have them in other parts of the world but it made me think this is something you can run for your own child and their friends at home – doesn’t it sound like fun?

As part of a play date invite your children’s friends over, ask them to bring their favorite bear, lay out the rug (indoors if the weather is cool, outdoors if it is fine), put on some snacks and create some fun games to play (if you are looking for ideas how about the old fashioned games we have posted about recently)

We would love to know if you have teddy bear picnics in your hometown? if you remember them as a child? Any experiences you care to share?

Happy Play Times :-) 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekend Watching - How to do a cartwheel - Tutorial

This week a weekend watching for the older children.

I know as a young girl I was always keen to cartwheels, somersaults and handstands what child isn’t however a cartwheel was always out of my reach.

Where was YouTube instructional clips in the 1980’s – oh that’s right not even invented yet in fact I am pretty sure the creators just like me were in diapers.

So as an ode and revisit to my childhood and what I wished was available I wanted to share “How to Do a Cartwheel’ for this weekend’s watching clip.

Good luck and I hope this helps other children fulfill my dream ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Fun Facts - Apples and Pumpkins

Fall has Fallen in the northern hemisphere a time for apples and pumpkins so let us have some fun with random facts about these two delicious foods.

Enjoy the facts and the food!

  • Have you bobbed for apples before? Ever wondered why they float which is what allows them to be a perfect fruit for this game? Because they are made up of 25% air.

  • Fall is a delicious time to consume apples and we enjoy them on average of 65 times per year, per person around the globe.

  • Always thought of New York as the Big Apple? Did you know it is also the official fruit of Washington, Rhode Island and West Virginia

  • There are 7,500 varieties of apples Worldwide – how many have you tried?

  • Pumpkins are originally from Central America but can now be found grown all over the world

  • How much pie and soup do you think could be made from the largest ever recorded pumpkin grown which came in at a whopping 1,340 pounds or 609 kg WOW

  • So then following on from the biggest pumpkin in Ohio the biggest ever pumpkin pie was made it was 12 feet, 4 inches wide, 4 inches deep and weighed 2,202 pounds (wonder if they used some of the largest pumpkin for that!) it had 1,860 eggs and 300 pounds of sugar – dig in.

  • The name pumpkin has its origins from the Greek word pepon which means large melon.

Happy Play Times :-)

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Making Kitchen Music

When a baby is able to sit up and starts to learn hand eye co-ordination they love to bang!

So my life has changed dramatically from bopping around the kitchen to the latest songs to rocking out to the sounds of the kitchen drums!

Welcoming your baby into the world of kitchen percussion has a Mummy benefit-:
  • They are amused as you prepare the meals giving you extra time.
And has many baby benefits-:
  • They are in close proximity to you as babies love the company of their favorite playmate you but they are also learning to amuse themselves
  • .Hand-Eye co-ordination is improved as they make contact with their make shift instrument.
  • Listening is improved as you see them concentrating and understanding the different sounds of objects being hit.
This activity also costs absolutely nothing no special purchase required.

Having twins we share the drumming around giving each a turn at the banging of the drum (a wooden/plastic spoon and light weight pot/plastic bowl) and the other chiming in with the crashing of cymbals (some pot/pan lids) with only one baby give them free range to bang and crash at will.

You know the biggest surprise is I never thought I would be a Mummy that would love this type of noise but the happiness it brings and the sounds of laughter make it the sweetest music of all.

So let your little one get drumming today.

Happy Play Times :-) 

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Warming Moment - Talking Twins

We are showing a classic YouTube clip of “Twins Talking”

It is oh is so relatable in our household at the moment our girls entertain themselves endlessly with this to and fro of gorgeous babble.

We could watch them endlessly but do you think we can capture it on camera – the answer is NO sure enough they see, sense a camera from 10 paces off and will just stop! So for now we will share these other gorgeous talking twins for this Wednesday’s Warming Moments.

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Children's Bedtime Reading Giveaway

You may have seen our review on Where Is The Green Sheep by Mem Fox a classic children’s bedtime story.

It is still and I think will be for a very long time our daughters favorite and I want to share it’s joy with our readers children.

So we are giving away 3 copies of this book to be shipped from Amazon.

Please use Rafflecopter to enter and best of luck.

Happy Play Times :-)
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Splish Splash Water Play

My twins are ten months old and if your a parent with children that age or you've been there it is an age of rapid development, a curiosity of everything in the world around and a little frustration that they can't quite get what they want when they want it. 

Therefore it's an age that needs lots of hands on show, tell and play to quench that worldly thirst for adventure.  I think it is such a wonderful time I am loving sharing this special time and planning fun activities for us all. 

One I wanted to share for this age group is the nested water cups in tubs of water. I lay out a waterproof mat (I won't lie it spreads from there but I don't mind) I then use tubs filled with water and place the cups in there. Babies can then pick the cups up, see the water seep, they do this repeatedly as the gorgeous little brain ticks over how this is happening and enjoy the sensation of water splashing their hands about in the tubs. 

The other part of this activity is that babies also try to figure out how the cups go together great for problem solving and motor skill development. 

A photo tells a thousand words so for proof of the fun had with this activity look at the enjoyment on these gorgeous faces.

Do your little ones like water play?  

Happy Play Times :-)