Category Archives: Toddler Activities

Quick & Easy Sensory Clay (microwave) & Printable colour chart!

Quick & Easy Sensory Clay (microwave) & Printable colour chart!
Quick & Easy Sensory Clay (microwave) & Printable colour chart!

I like this rough grainy clay as its good for sensory development for small toddlers and the shape of your characters stay in place much better when it has something rough to hold on to.

This recipe is so easy your kids can make it! I made this batch twice to make sure it doesn’t clump when making one big batch but maybe it will work for you? Let me know! 

You will need:

Sensory clay, rough textured clay, toddler activities, free colour chart printable.

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Microwave

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coarse salt 
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Food coloring

Step 1:

Sensory clay, rough textured clay, toddler activities, free colour chart printable.

Mix all the ingredients except the food coloring. 

Step 2:

Sensory clay, rough textured clay, toddler activities, free colour chart printable.

Separate the batch in two if you want more colors. 

Add the food coloring and put in microwave for 30seconds. If its not firm and still stick to your hands, put it back into the microwave for another 30secs. If it still sticks, add a little flour and repeat.

I ended up with 5 colors because I made the batch twice and then took a little of the blue and a little of the purple and added yellow to get that awesome stone grey colour. 

Enjoy! 


Having trouble figuring out the colours? Here’s a free printable colour chart!

DIY Christmas series for last minute Christmas decorating with kids!

DIY Christmas series for last minute Christmas decorating with kids!
DIY Christmas series for last minute Christmas decorating with kids!

Still having Christmas with other family or friends? Heres a full list of my DIY Christmas series. These are mostly made with found objects around the house and easy to do with kids.

Enjoy!

DIYChristmas1Christmas calendar, advent calendar, diyDIY Christmas, Glitter Rope bulbsDIY Christmas, Button Bulbs

DIY Christmas, Christmas Tree ornament

Bouncy Frozen Glitter Slime!

Bouncy Frozen Glitter Slime!
Bouncy Frozen Glitter Slime!

 

This is such a fun and easy project to do with toddlers and its super easy!

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

What you’ll need:

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

 

  • 2 bowls and a cup measure
  • Access to warm and cold water
  • Teaspoon and mixing spoon
  • Craft/ office glue (Elmers glue) 
  • Borax
  • Gel food coloring (or any form of coloring) 
  • Glitter (optional)

 

Step 1:

Mix 1/2 cup glue with 1/2 cup water

Add coloring and glitter

Mix well

Step 2:

Mix 1/2 cup cold water with 1/4 cup boiled or warm water

Add 2 tspoons borax 

Mix well

Step: 3

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

Pour glue mix into borax

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

Start taking all the glue out with your fingers and the glue will magically transform into bouncy frozen glitter slime! You can break it and press it back together again and bounce it around when its settled enough. 

Make sure to store it in a glass container to ensure it doesn’t dry out. It happens within a day if not in a sealed container!

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

TIP!

Sell it as an Entrepreneurs project or make it for Christmas gifts!

Frozen, Glitter Slime, Crafts

Paper Plate Crafts

Paper Plate Crafts
Paper Plate Crafts

 

We had so much fun creating something out of nothing with mainly paper plates, glue, paint and an extra crafts material here and there. Paper plate crafts are so easy and it’s a cheap way to create and explore.

The porcupine above was made by 6 year old Corrie. We made this one from an example off Pinterest in a few easy steps:

  • Fold a paper plate in half and draw and cut out the nose
  • Paint a cardboard dark brown… Cut roundabout 8 strips out of it for the pens
  • Paint the porcupine light brown
  • Glue the pens in between the open sides of the plate with craft glue (I prefer Bostik as it doesn’t clot easily and it is thick enough to manipulate and is strong once dry.)bostik glue, paper plate crafts
  • Staple the pens and plate together (you can also just glue the pens to the back if you have already stapled it, the glue will hold once dry.)
  • Glue the eye and pom-pom for nose

Remember not to try and “correct” everything. Its OK to help but try not to even out those brush strokes or move that nose or eye to the “perfect” place!!

The other kids made their own creations… 12 year old Ilané made this happy funny face:

paper plate crafts

The hair is made from pipe cleaners, the bow from felt, the cheeks are painted egg carton nests and the tongue a craft stick. She cut out the mouth so the tongue can stick out and go in and out… what a great idea!

She also had another clever idea and made this cute little chick out of pom pom’s, feathers and pipe cleaners. The nest is made of an egg carton. She cut a hole in the bottom, glued a pipe cleaner to the chick and stuck it through the hole so the chick can bounce in and out of the nest.

9 year old Elzanne made this interesting lamp:

paper plate crafts, tin can, found objects

First she cut a hole in the paper plate and painted it with these wonderful Dala colors! She added pompoms and googley eyes to give it some character.  She also painted a toilet paper roll white, and a tin can purple and painted blue dolphins on it.

paper plate crafts, dala paints

Then she glued two pieces of egg carton together and painted it yellow to look like a light bulb.

Light bulb, dala paint, egg carton

Finally she traced the toilet paper rolls circumference on a piece of card stock and glued it to the toilet paper roll to give surface to the glue to stick to the tin can. She placed the light bulb in the toilet roll and made holes for the pipe cleaners to attach to the paper plate and there you go! What a clever model of a beautifully designed lamp… maybe she will make the real one, one day!

paper plate crafts

Crafty Kids Competition!

Crafty Kids Competition!
Crafty Kids Competition!

 

Hey Moms of Crafty Kids, here’s a great competition for 4-13 year olds to show their Craftiness! One awesome Kid from each category will win a R250 voucher from takealot.com. If a US reader wins, they will win a $20 voucher from Amazon.com.

The two categories are:

  • 4-8 Years
  • 9-13 Years

The instructions:

Kids, make a creation of your own with found objects like recycled materials and whatever Crafty stuff you can find at home, like paper plates, toilet rolls, yoghurt containers, tin foil… use your imagination but REMEMBER… Read the rest of this entry

Easy DIY Face Paint

Easy DIY Face Paint

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I found this great, easy to make Face Paint recipe on Popsugar.com and decided I had to share! This is fairly easy to make but does take a bit of time as each color must be mixed
separately. You’ll do better than me if you have a bigger little mixing container for each color rather than having to wash the mixing bowl after every color. I used acrylic water bas Read the rest of this entry

Great Father’s Day Gift and Card Ideas for Toddlers

Great Father’s Day Gift and Card Ideas for Toddlers
Great Father’s Day Gift and Card Ideas for Toddlers

I got some awesome Father’s Day card ideas on this page but I liked too much of them so I decided to make a special keepsakes box big enough to fit a lot of pages with lots of different messages. The kids had already made Dad special match boxes at a play group we attend so I thought I’d make it big enough to fit different kinds of objects. This project was so much fun and the kids loved it too!   Read the rest of this entry

Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #2

Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #2
Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #2

This is the second post in the series “Fun with Practica for 2-3 year olds. In the first post we focused on balance, counting and working with color. This post we will focus on Spacial Relations, Visual Conceptualising, Color Perception, Manual Dexterity, Eye-hand Coordination, Visual Figure-ground Distinction, Sequence of Events, Memory, Logical Reasoning, General Insight, Spacial orientation and Listening skills… all of this in just 4 simple exercises! Here we go…

 

1. Pegboard: Develop Spacial Relations, Visual Conceptualising, Color Perception, Manual Dexterity, Eye-hand Coordination, Visual Figure-ground Distinction, Sequence of Events and Memory

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– Put the pegboard upside down and trace the holes in the board. Draw a circle around a dot to show them where they should put a peg in the board. This will help them draw the connection between the pegboard and its cards.

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– Now show them Card 1 and tell them about the boy on the card and how he wants to get to his dog on the other side and that he has to follow the red line to get to the dog. Show them how they must fill the first row with red pegs for the boy to follow to get to the dog. Do the same with the blue, green and yellow lines with the dog and cat, cat and mouse and mouse and hole.

2. Sorting bowls: Develops Numerical Conceptualising

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– Give each toddler or mom/toddler each a sorting bowl and play “one for me, one for you”. This teaches them to wait… name each color as you are sorting… “One blue button for mommy, one blue button for Pieter.” etc.

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– Now let him do the sorting. IF theres two toddlers, give each a chance. Describe each action… “One for mommy, one for Pieter” “One red button for Pieter, one red button for Hanlé” etc. This teaches them to share.

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– Now let each take their own button and repeat “Each take one green button. Now each can take TWO yellow buttons… wow! One, two yellow buttons each…” This teaches them to take only what they are told.

3. Long Jump: Develop Major Muscle, Balance and Mathematical Development

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– Place a shoelace on the floor as a starting point and let her stand with both feet behind the shoelace. Show her how to jump with both feet as far as she can. Measure with the Hex Counters (or Popsicle sticks like I did) after every jump and write the results on the black board.

4. Kwik Pick Book

– Use the Pre-school Kwik Pick workbook #1. Explain to them how the boy in block 1 has no head. “Look this boy has no head! Oops… where is his head? He has arms, legs, hands, feet and a body but no head.” Show them the rest of the pictures in the block. “Look, here is his head!”

– Now let them do the second one and ask, “What is missing from this boy? An arm? Which of these pictures are his arm?” As you progress you can just ask, “What is missing in this picture and they should get the idea of finding the missing part.”

– Go on with the pages as long as your child can stay focused. Once my daughter started she didn’t want to stop so we went up to no16 until I had to stop her from getting brain fog 🙂

Well thats it for now folks… please like the Facebook page and follow this blog to stay in touch for more awesome Practica activities.

For more fun Practica activities, click Here!

For more about the Practica Program, click Here!

* Disclaimer: I am not a spokesperson/ promoter/ reseller of Practica. I share my activities, often adapted for my children with other mothers who also have the Programme or would like to know more about it. I will not be held responsible for any damage and/ or injuries obtained while following my instructions.

Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #1

Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #1
Fun With Practica for 2-3 year olds #1

Practica, according to their textbook is a comprehensive Guide for individual stimulation during the formative years of children from 0-6 years. It is based on recognised one-on-one activities within a closed parent-child relationship. I Have found it very comprehensive, catering for every level of a child’s development. I have done LOTS of research on the internet and I must say theres not many places where I have found something quite like this.
Like with everything else in life I do not agree with every little detail and just take what I want, from what I need out of it. Its like the internet… So many different frames of references combined with so many different techniques.. The fun part however is that its based on educational games, encouraging parents to play. This I LOVE!!

As the slogan says: “Practica, inspiring parents to play.”

Over the past two years since the twins was 6months old we have been doing a lot of fun stuff using the Practica Programme. I am not a Practica promoter and I am not selling the Practica programme, but find the activities fun and my kids sure do learn a lot form it, so I think it has become high time for me to share some of the activities we do! These 3 activities are cause for lots of fun and learning all together for mom and toddler! (Please note that these activities require the Practica Chest with games to play)

1. Balancing beam

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Place the wooden blocks with the balancing beams on top on the lowest setting and let the kids help put the pegs in. This is great for fine motor skills and they love it!

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Let them walk from one side to the other by holding one hand, allowing them to balance from the beginning to end. Repeat a few times.

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Now place the balancing beams on the floor and let them walk by balancing by themselves.

2. Color and shape recognition while counting

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Use the green, blue and red circles, triangles and squares (found in the construction set).As they learn you can add more colors and shapes.

If your child is not yet familiar with the shapes, begin by holding each shape up and talking about them. “The circle is round, feel with your finger, there are no sharp edges.” “How many corners do the triangle have? One, two, three! Look they are very sharp… The triangles has one, two, three sharp corners.” “The square have four sharp corners. One, two, three, four! Look, the edges are all the same length. One, two, three, four edges are all the same in a square.”

Let her place the 3 circles in a row, 3 triangles in a row and 3 squares in a row and let her count how many of each.

Now let her put the three blue shapes in a row, and do the same with the green and red.

Let her count three of each color.

3. Colors and counting with the animal set

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Take out three or four animals in three or four of the same colors

Let him name each animal

Let him name the colors

Let him count the animals

Let him count the colors

That rounds up the first of the series “Fun with Practica for 2-3 year olds.” Please Subscribe to my blog and like Mother in the Making… Naturally on FB for more awesome activities for toddlers. Much more coming up, including a scoop on quick & easy Practica activities for busy moms! Please stay in touch!

For more info on Practica, go to http://www.practicaprogram.co.za

* Disclaimer: I am not a spokesperson/ promoter/ reseller of Practica. I share my activities, often adapted for my children with other mothers who also have the Programme or would like to know more about it. I will not be held responsible for any damage and/ or injuries when following my instructions.

Mess free painting with MR Price Home Chunky Paint Pens

Mess free painting with MR Price Home Chunky Paint Pens
Mess free painting with MR Price Home Chunky Paint Pens

I have to admit that I have not been painting with the kids nearly as much as I want to because I have been lazy when it comes to the messes it makes when the kids put their hands in the paint tubs and paint everything around them except the paper in front of them… no, I have not been lazy… I have been drop dead tired and not up for cleaning!

Even though I absolutely love crafts, I am a pain in the butt with messes.

I walk around with the washcloth, cleaning every little drop I see, put the washcloth down and tell myself its good for them to mess… But after like, 5 seconds I just find myself with the washcloth again trying not to yell at them, not to mess around… Not cool, I KNOW!

So when I saw these in Mr Price Home I had to try them out. My kids love painting so this was an opportunity for me to try it out and maybe we’d get to paint a bit more. Well, we did! I got some white shirts that they can wear every time we paint and I had some plastic aprons that wipes off easily… Ready to go!

The pens had tight sealing caps inside that needed quite some force with a knife to get out. It was pretty messy and took a while with the kids waiting in anticipation for me to finish so make sure you do this over paper or in a basin before you start. After opening them, also make sure to turn them over and squeeze until the paint seeps through… Once thats done, Bob’s your uncle!

Once they were all open it just took a minute or two for the kids to figure out that you have to turn it upside down all the way to get paint out but once they were on a roll they loved painting with the pens. They are almost mess free (cause can you ever be mess free with toddlers??) but the best thing of these Chunky Paint pens is that they dry really quickly and even after it has dried it wipes off hands and tables easily with just a wet cloth.

At only R39,99 it’s not too pricey either if you consider the prices of other proper paints. This paint is good quality, theres no clotting and when the colors mix it just takes a squeeze to get the original color back. I have re-used them multiple times and can say that they haven’t dried out yet as I keep the caps sealed tight when stored.

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I love to draw them each a circle, triangle and square to show them the shapes and give them a basic starting point in drawing and color and then they usually try to imitate them or color them in. After this we move on to other activities like coloring or free painting on white paper. I found with this age that they have more confidence once there is a starting point.

The nice thing of the chunky paint pens was that I could make dots to give them some color guidance on their coloring pages. I believe its good to also give them free play on paper but following instructions is also a good part of development so sometimes I try to give them instructions to follow too. Coloring in specific pictures with given lines is great for fine motor skills to teach them control of the pen and helps them to have better handwriting but free drawing on white paper allows them to unleash their creativity and conquers fear of the open paper. Don’t neglect one of the two, they are two totally different activities that are both important for development

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We will certainly enjoy lots of this in future and I’m pretty sure I will be buying some more soon! Head to any Mr Price Home store or order them online at : http://www.mrphome.com/en_za/jump/HOMEWARE/Pack-Of-6-Chunky-Paint-Pens/productDetail/2_3201016423/cat860009/general

Enjoy!

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Cardboard Quiet Book DIY

Cardboard Quiet Book DIY
Cardboard Quiet Book DIY
When my husband wanted to take my 2yo daughter on a business trip with him I knew we were going to need some In-Flight Activities to keep her busy. I made this in a rush the night before so I think I will do one of these properly again, but for this one I just wanted to make something fun for her to do. I sent her off the next morning with a backpack filled with snacks, Pipe cleaners, colored Ice Cream sticks and this book and a sticker book for the activities in the book. It seemed to do the trick and
this is what I did:

 

MIMNQuietBookBefore
I found a bunch of scraps of cardboard left over from other activities and some glue-pens, markers etc. and some stickers. I didn’t have much to choose from sticker wise but I found sea animals and flowers so I thought I could make a page for the sea activity and a page for the garden activity.  I also had some bows and butterflies etc. made for creating cards so I counted what I had of what and used that as the counting page since Hanlé has become really interested in counting as of late.
  • Use A4 cardboard for the cover if you like, and about 10 A4 pages for the rest
  • Get all of them together neatly and fold all of them together in half (don’t staple yet)
  • Keep the book together as if it was stapled as you need the order of the pages to work out in the end. Now you can either Plot your pages and start working from the back, as it becomes difficult to write on the back of a page once you have glued layers of cardboard and bows on the other side (activity page). If you use glitter glue like me, you will also need to take those pages out to dry so doing the back first will save some time BUT if you are not going to use glitter glue and don’t mind a thick book, feel free to staple and start from the front, then you can write the activities on a separate piece of cardboard, cut it out with a nice pattern scissor and just glue it on the left sides to the backs of the activity pages.
  • If you start from the back, write the activity on the left page and create your activity on the right… take note of the page that goes with it to the right as the order will be messed up once you take it apart for all the glitter glue to dry.
  • Draw a few coloring pages with open pages in between… its important for creativity to draw their own pictures too!
  • Once everything is glued and dried (for me it was the next morning), re-order your book, open it up and press it against a soft surface like a couch with the cover facing up. Open up your stapler and staple three times along the centre fold (one in middle and one on each side) to ensure the book is fixed properly. (Note: Staplers staple at least 1-2 mm below the edge so align it with the fold and take it up a bit before you staple otherwise the staples wont align with the fold and your book will have a new centre fold!)
  • Stick all the stickers that belong in a scene on one page of the sticker book and add some extra random stickers for free play. This is their book so they should have fun creative pages for themselves as well.
  • If you are sending your toddler away with the book, remember to send the sticker book and some crayons to draw with.

This is what it looked like when it came back… I was impressed as I thought there would be torn pages and Dora stickers in the sea and fish in the garden but it seems daddy took note of the instructions 🙂

MIMNQuietBookAfter