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Friday, August 5, 2022

DIY Fall Leaf Sensory Bottle

Fall {or Autumn if you're in Australia like us} is typically characterised by continuously falling leaves in different shades of orange. This is because deciduous trees adapt to the change in season by losing their leaves, in order to conserve water and energy in preparation for winter. During this time falling leaves and piles of red, orange and yellow leaves on the ground are a common sight.

Unfortunately there aren't many Maple, Oak or Ash trees in our neighbourhood so my kids don't get to experience the joy of jumping in Autumn leaves. However, I decided to make our own DIY fall sensory bottle which mimics how the leaves fall off the trees so they can still see what it's like. It's one of the seasonal sensory bottles we've been making to display at home.

diy fall sensory bottle

Thursday, July 28, 2022

39 Easy World Book Day & Book Week Costume Ideas for 2022

Probably the most stressful time of the year for any school parent is the lead up to Book Week or World Book Day. First your child needs to decide what character they want to dress up as {and hopefully they don't change their mind a million times} then you start frantically scouring shops like Spotlight for premade costumes or craft pieces to make DIY costumes. Book week can be exhausting and overwhelming for parents....

But it doesn't have to be! I've put together a huge list of easy book character costumes for girls and boys, with DIY instructions and links to premade costumes, to make your Book Week or World Book Day run a lot smoother.

kids dressed in diy book week character costumes
Image: @elliewhittakerstudio

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

DIY Spring Flower Sensory Bottle

Spring is my favourite season because it's not too hot and not too cold, and there's lots of pretty flowers, birds and butterflies around. You can bring the beauty of spring inside with this easy spring sensory bottle. It would also be a great resource for a nature, seasons or science {living things} unit. I'll show you exactly how to make this spring flower sensory bottle in a few easy steps.
spring sensory bottle with flowers laying on side
Sensory bottles are a great tool to have on hand at home and in the classroom, not only as a learning resource, but also as a calm down tool. Watching the contents of a sensory bottle slowly move around helps children to focus, calm down and reduce anxiety. They're particularly useful during transition times between activities.
Monday, July 11, 2022

Trofast Rotating Bookshelf Hack

Rotating bookshelves have become a popular playroom storage solution over the last few years because they provide a compact and condensed way of storing lots of books. Having a rotating bookshelf allows children access to numerous books in a small reading nook, without compromising on precious playroom space.

Rotating bookshelves are also popular because they provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing way to display books vertically, either with the spine or front cover showing. This allows children to easily visually search for what book they want either by title or cover.

Bunny Tickles are one of the most popular brands, however their rotating bookshelves {and many other brands} cost more than $500, which is simply out of the price range for many families. However, I'm going to show you how to make a DIY rotating bookshelf for half that amount.

DIY rotating bookshelf made with ikea products

It's actually relatively simple to create a rotating bookshelf using this easy IKEA Trofast hack. Thanks to IKEA's budget range of furniture, most of the design work is done for you, you simply need to assemble it all together with a few other pieces from the hardware store.
Friday, July 1, 2022

Painting With Flowers

Did you know you can paint with flowers? 

If you're looking for a fun spring or summer process art activity, or nature play idea for playgroup or kindy, then painting with flowers ticks all the boxes. It's a great way for children to investigate and learn about flowers while also immersing themselves in a sensory learning experience.

flower painting

Saturday, June 25, 2022

49 Creative Painting Ideas for Kids

If your kids are like mine then painting is one of their favourite activities. My girls would paint every day if we had the time. To keep things interesting I'm always changing up what type of painting we do, sometimes it's regular painting with washable paint on paper, other times we do salt painting, magic paintings, flower painting and more.

I've put together a huge list of 49 different painting ideas for kids to help you get creative with your children at home, or students in the classroom. There's ideas for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school children. Most of them don't even require a paintbrush.

child looking at painting

Painting is a great way to combine sensory exploration as well as creativity. Painting can also be used as a play based learning opportunity to teach children concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes, colours and colour mixing.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Ball Painting: Sensory Process Art for Kids

Ball painting is a fun interactive painting experience for toddlers, preschoolers and school children where they can create beautiful paintings without using a paintbrush, or touching the paint. 

It's a great way for children to combine movement and creativity in a sensory experience, that's essentially mess free. Follow our step by step instructions to create ball paintings with your children or class.

child creating art by painting with balls
Thursday, June 2, 2022

10 Ikea Playroom Essentials: Clever Ikea Playroom Storage Solutions and Hacks

If you want to set up a functional playroom that has lots of storage and is also aesthetically pleasing, then you can't go past Ikea. The Swedish giant are masters at storage for small spaces and famous for beautiful neutral scandi designs that will suit any decorating style. I've put together a list of clever Ikea playroom storage solutions and how to hack each one to make the playroom of your dreams.

These Ikea items are great for creating open ended Montessori style play spaces and each piece can be hacked for multiple storage or display uses. Only 3 of the 10 items are actually toys or traditional toy storage, but they all work amazingly in a playroom {or childcare centre}. You just have to think outside the box and see the play potential.

ikea kallax shelf in playroom
Saturday, May 14, 2022

Magic Crayon Resist Sight Words Activity

My youngest daughter is in prep {the Australian equivalent of kindergarten} and is learning sight words for the first time. It's becoming increasingly obvious that she learns and retains information much better through hands on activities and play, rather than memorising flashcards or doing worksheets, so I've been coming up with some creative and fun ways to teach sight words.

Crayon resist magic paintings have always been popular with the girls so I put together this crayon resist sight word painting activity for her. It's a fun, interactive and mesmerising way to teach sight words to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Plus it adds a little magic!

sight words crayon resist painting
Saturday, May 7, 2022

4th of July Science Experiments & STEM Activities

Bring some patriotism into your summer camp program, or your homeschooling curriculum, by celebrating the 4th of July with these red, white and blue science experiments and stem activities. Combine science and Independence Day learning to introduce children to chemistry and physics with these easy 4th of July experiments.

4th of july slime, magic milk and fireworks in a jar