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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Gelatin Brain Science Experiment

My girls are fascinated with anything jelly, so I decided to capitalise on that interest and create some scientific fun with a jello brain. This edible science experiment was so easy to put together in the kitchen with some simple ingredients. As a bonus it doesn't contain any sugar, so it doesn't matter if the kids end up tasting it.

I fully admit this is a pretty creepy looking activity, which means it's perfect to do as a Halloween science experiment and if your kids like zombies then they'll love it. It's also a great interactive way to teach children about neurological pathways and capillary action in the brain.
gelatin brain science experiment

This gelatin brain activity is a great way to combine scientific exploration and sensory play in an age appropriate way for kids. As the children are squirting blood and neurons into the brain they'll be working their fine motor skills and learning more about how the brain works. Making the gelatin brain is also a hands on way to learn about semi solids.
Friday, August 12, 2022

Ikea Trofast Hacks & Play Ideas for Kids

Are you looking to buy a Trofast unit for the kids but not sure which one to get and how to use it most effectively? Or maybe you already have one and want to make it more versatile.

The Trofast units are a great modular storage option for kids toys, clothes, books and more. They come in individual, multiple, tiered and wall storage units in varying sizes in white and pine. The storage tubs also come in multiple sizes and colours meaning there's a Trofast configuration to suit any space and any decorating style.

In addition to using them as basic storage shelves, there's also many ways to hack the Ikea Trofast units. Whether your kids toys are stored in a dedicated playroom or in the bedroom, these Trofast hacks will give you many creative and functional ways to transform the Trofast for play and storage for kids.

trofast hack ideas for kids rooms
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. As a bonus you could reuse them as Halloween costumes too.

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