Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Playing "ROCKS"

We play outside a lot in our household!! I believe outdoor play is essential in a healthy active lifestyle that I want the girls to have.

I will be posting a lot about the types of activities we are participating in at the moment outside which will be great in time for Summer in the northern hemisphere.

But today I just wanted to post this picture of my daughter Scarlett enjoying her rock garden - like mother like daughter apparently I was obsessed with a rock garden I had as a child, that my parents even got me a garden gnome so I had company :-)

(Scarlett Loves to Play & Explore with Rocks)
Playing with rocks is great for exploring different sizes and textures and it is a fun way to develop fine motor skills as the children tend to pick up and move the rocks around into an intricate toddler pattern. I also teach them cleaning up skills as we use the broom to sweep the rocks back into the garden.

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Favorite Old MacDonald Clip

So we are currently in the throws of loving animals, learning their sounds and imitating them.

I searched through You Tube trying to find an appropriate Old MacDonald clip but they were either to cartoony, to boring and the kids wouldn't be interested.

Then I cam across the Fox Pail version and it has everything you could want, cartoons, but real life animals on the farm and realistic sounds they also love Jack the dog who makes an appearance.

They are giggling, clapping and mimicking along with it and I feel it has helped their understanding and development in addition to the other animal activities we do.

We have embedded it here if you want to check it out and show your little ones.

Happy Play Times :-)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday Fun Facts - Weekend Edition

Our fun facts were delayed this week due to my little bunny Scarlett having her first ever knock her down illness (which we are very lucky has taken 18 months) in the form of tonsillitis and an ear infection. Here the poor poppet is below :-(

She is thankfully on the mend now though and both the girls have gone to the store with Daddy so I can get caught up on things.

So I thought we would do our Fun Facts on those little critters called tonsils!

  • For 30 minutes after tonsils are removed they actually can bounce high like a little rubber ball - now how cool is that I wonder of doctors do that :-)
  • Tonsils are shaped like half moons.
  • Infected tonsils make you snore (yes this was true for Scarlett we could actually here her!)
  • A baby has small tonsils that grow then between ages 3-7 they are large and from 7 onwards shrink.
  • 1 in every 10,000 children have their tonsils removed.

I hope you learnt something new in amongst those facts. I did and I bet your children will think the bouncing tonsil ball fact to be pretty cool.

Happy Play Times :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our 18 Month Old's Top Five Play Activities

Well as we are soon hitting the big 18 month milestone I am in awe of how far these tiny babies have come in such a short time!

So I thought I would do a list of the five activities in no particular order that they are currently loving to be used as a guide for people looking at play ideas in this age group.

Play Grounds and Play Equipment
Whether it is inside (such as a play cafe) or outside in the park or the small play set we have at home they can not get enough of the climbing, sliding, swinging and all round fun play equipment provides! It is great for there physical capabilities but also social as they start to interact and play with other children at the playground.
(Getting our Playground Play On)
Water, Water Everywhere
Whether it is swimming (and luckily we can do that everyday in Singapore as the tropics are always hot and the condo has a pool) through to their water table, water parks or simply playing with the hose and taps. They can get enough of this wet and wild fun.
(Water Play Time)
Simulated Real Life Play
As they are growing older and becoming much more aware they are little mimics and they to love playing house. They make Mummy a cup of coffee at their kitchen or a sandwich for her lunch and serve it up to me. They love to be given a broom and sweep the floors or dust the tables with a cloth. Push their baby in the pram, feed the baby, brush the babies teeth. They are Mummy's best little helpers. And it makes you realize how much they pick up on with the everyday when they incorporate it into their own playtime.
(Helping Mommy with Chores is Fun)
Reading, Reading oh and did I mention Reading
This one makes me very happy I have always tried to instill a love of books into our girls since they were born. When Scarlett was in NICU every night I would go and read her stories  and we have read everyday since.
Now they will want some quiet time and sit in their chairs with a book looking through it, they bring me books to read (they know Mommy stops almost anything for story time!) and they can not go to bed without picking a book they want to take into their cot.   
(Annabelle loving her books)
Build it Up - Bring it Down
They are now understanding how to put blocks together or stack things on top of each other with enough competence to build something themselves so that they can squeal in delight as they knock it over and start again. So our Duplo (LEGO) set gets a big work out in this house and I swear no matter how well I tidy up we are always stepping on a LEGO piece.
(Serious building going on here)
What were your 18 month old's favorite activities?
Please share in the comments section would love to hear from you.

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Book of the Moment

Who remembers "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle from their childhood? I recently learnt it has been around for over 40 years!

My children were given it for Christmas (2012) and it is one of their favorites just like it was mine. And as of May 2013 we read it everyday and I am not yet sick of it, now that is saying something for a children's book because I am sure all parents can relate to getting SICK and tired of the same book :-)

The story follows this little hungry caterpillar from his days as an egg, to his journey to eat through everything to become large enough to cocoon himself up and emerge a beautiful butterfly. The kids love the holes the caterpillar has eaten into the book as he goes about his food search and turning the pages using these finger holes (a gimmick I know but it adds to the fun for them!) 

We are also not the only family that loves it as Amazon give it a 4.6 out of 5 star user rating with 587 people giving it the full ***** 5 stars*****

Have you read it? Do you own it? If your interested you can see more by clicking on the little caterpillar below (And if you purchase it on Amazon - By clicking here you will be taken to a link with our affiliate ID embedded if you make a purchase you will be supporting our BLOG :-) 

Happy Play Times :-)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Watching - Science Edition

This weekend watching clip is on at home science experiments you can do with your kids!

It is inspired as I took my 18 month old daughter on a one on one Mommy date to the science centre this weekend (check back later in the week for the benefits of science centre's for kids of all ages)

Enjoy the video and do let us know if you try these at home!

Happy Play Times :-)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday Fun Facts - Twins

This week I am going to dedicate our fun facts to the beautiful and awe inspiring (well that's what I believe being a twin Mommy :-) TWINS!

So did you know....

  • 22% of twins are left handed (One of my girls Annabelle is showing a left handed tendency)
  • Fraternal & Identical are not the only types of twins there are in fact 7 categorizations.
  • Every year in Twinsburgh Ohio a festival celebrating twins occurs.
  • Mothers of twins live a longer life a 2011 study found.
  • Identical twins DO NOT have identical finger prints.
  • Twins become aware of each other at 14 weeks in the womb - I used to love this fact and thinking of them playing together when I was pregnant.

Well that is all for this edition - wishing you a wonderful weekend with your families.

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Piles of Pipe Cleaner Fun

This is an activity I did with the kids on a rainy day.

I call it Piles of Pipe Cleaner Fun.

It was essentially getting a bag of pipe cleaners in my bag was 100 (hence the piles) which I picked up at a dollar store and then used various shaped bottles.

The aim of the game was to pick up pipe cleaners and fill the bottles up with them - while of course they were exploring all the other wonderful things about pipe cleaners.

For the children it is a fantastic activity for fine motor skill development, concentration and they were fascinated by the colors, textures and bendy shapes they could make with the humble pipe cleaner.

The activity is inexpensive as you already have the bottles lying around home and the pipe cleaners are only a $1 if you search.

The age range is probably 1 year old to 2.5 year old would enjoy the fun 

Would love to hear how your children find it if you try this idea out. 

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Delayed Weekend Watching Clip - Kids Crafts : Simple Art Projects for Children

We hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day this past weekend.

I certainly did and I also put down the technology to focus on family activities.

So hence our weekend watching clip was delayed but we still wanted to share something with you and hope you enjoy these great art project ideas you can try with your kid's this week.

Happy Play Times :-)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fun Facts - All About the Month of May

We are so excited to have our Friday Fun Facts section back!

We share some interesting, random facts that you can then pass on around the dinner table or a drive somewhere with your little ones.

With it being the month of May we thought we would do a fun facts on May :-)
  • The birth flower of May is 'Lilly of the Valley' and does anyone else find this random because I didn't even know each month had a birth flower!
  • No other month ever begins on the same day as May.
  • Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica in May.
  • The 33rd US President Harry Truman was born in May.
  • No US President has ever died in the month of May.
  • The month of May was named after the greek goddess of fertility Maia.
We hope you enjoyed this random trivia and we look forward to having you stop by next Friday for more fun facts.

Wishing you a great weekend.

Happy Play Times :-)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Taking the Time to 'Just Be' in Play

I am a big one for giving my children the time to enjoy the simple things.

Children need stimulation and engagement but sometimes they just need to stop and watch the world go by.

So this is a just a quick post to remind us of taking things back to basics with children's play.

One of our favorite quiet play times is to just sit and look out the window and see what is happening below us. I point out interesting sights or name objects but we are taking the time to just be...

What simple quiet activities do you like to do with your children?

Happy Play Times :-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Little Artists...

We have recently begun to explore the fun and creative past time of art creation.

Starting with a recommendation from a friend who was taking her children to an art class called Mucky Pups at around 14 months of age we decided to give it a go!

Below you will see the girls very first art class project - which I think this Mommy will proudly displayed on my fridge forever!

We now also brave getting down and arty (or should that be dirty!) at home.

Some of the projects we undertake with our toddlers are:-

  • Hand Prints - We make a cut out of my hand and then dip their hands into it and make hand print patterns on my hand shapes.
  • Finger Painting Fun.
  • Bubble painting - This one can be a bit messy but you get dishwashing detergent add your non toxic child friendly paint (Crayola do a great line of this) to a plastic cup then Mommy's or Daddy's blow through a straw until it is bubbling over and then the kids take the bubbles and make patterns on their paper.
  • Using different objects to create patterns and textures - Items such as toy cars, spatulas, paper towel rolls, straws, sponges etc...
Painting is a great way for kids to learn important skills such as:-
  • Exploring Creativity
  • Development of fine motor skills.
  • Improvement of Self Esteem through accomplishment of task.
  • Having FUN!!
It really is a great bonding activity for you to do with your kids and from my personal experience their attention level is captured longer than with other activities.

Do other people have ideas they wish to share with us on their kids painting activities and things we could all try? As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Happy Play Times :-)

Repurposed Baby Goods for Toddler Fun

In this post I am going to share a quick tip of something my girls love, that cost us little to begin with (we bought my favorite Ikea!) therefore has little resale value and we have repurposed it into a fun toddler activity.

It not only keeps toddlers happy but keeps Moms and Dads fit doing the pulling :-) and hey we can all use a little extra exercise right?

What is it you ask?

The baby bathtub....

See the below picture of the girls enjoying the fun!

(Annabelle & Scarlett enjoy playing in their old baby bathtub)

All we did was get an old towel along with their baby bath put them inside and pull the towel around the house to make a Boat? Car? Spaceship? you get the point leave it up to your imagination what you want it to be.

The outcome is the same squeals of delight from your little one having great fun playing a game with Mom or Dad.

I personally use the boat and sing "Row, Row, Row your Boat" while Daddy likes to think he is taking them in a race car.

We will be sharing some other repurposed baby goods for toddler toys in upcoming posts so please keep an eye out.

Do you have any suggestions of things you have done with baby products to amuse your toddlers for fun? Please share we would love to hear.

Happy Play Times :-)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weekend Watching - Water Play and Music

My children LOVE water play and they LOVE music!

So when I came across this weekend watching clip I could not resist.

We will be trying out some of the ideas during one our afternoon water play sessions this weekend.

Perhaps if the weather is right where you are you may want to give it a go?

We can compare notes on how the children found it.

To get you started with how to incorporate water play and music play together see the You Tube video from Child's Play Music.

Happy Play Times :-)

We Are Back

Wow it has been a while since we have been here. Feels good to be back.

I am looking forward to stocking up this BLOG again with lots of great fun, happy children’s play ideas!

In fact we already have a lot of posts ready to go that we will be uploading.
The favorite Friday Fun Facts will be back and our weekend watching segments will resume.

So where have we been? It may not be what you might expect. And it wasn’t exactly taking a step away from BLOGGING but enhancing it.

We have been spending several months setting up and launching the new business that connects brands and Mom BLOGGERS over at Building BLOG Bridges. If you would like to learn more please click here and if you own your own BLOG see how you can be rewarded through our Building BLOG Bridges Brigade.

But the fact that I got into this new business venture through my passion for BLOGGING, the connections it makes and the information that can be shared I felt a strong desire and calling to come back to the start of it all and revive Happy Play Happy Children.

My twin girls are now almost 18 months old (can you believe it!!) many of you out there I am sure can relate about how time flies when raising your children.

And as these months have been passing the need for fun, games, play, engagement and development grows and grows and so we have a lot to share.  Boy do I love getting down and being a kid again with them it brings the girls and I so much joy.

So I hope our old readers will forgive our absence and join in the fun again and I look forward to finding and getting to know new people on this BLOGGING journey.

Happy Play Times :-)