Finding My Style – The Shopping Day

If I get a text from my sister that says,”Pretty Woman!” it means just one thing. She’s been clothes shopping and has armfuls of loot! This has been our not-so-secret-code since our big shopping days back in our twenties. These days those euphoric shopping moments happen much less often, and if either of us does have armfuls of shopping bags they’re either groceries or clothes for the kids!

Personal Shopping Experience

Luckily for me I recently had that ‘Pretty Woman’ moment again and this time I had help. Nat and Tatum from ‘Make it Look Easy‘ took me on a Shopping Day as a part of their Mile High First Class Personal Package. Previously they had visited me at home and helped me reorganise my life, including my wardrobe and pantry, and Nat had given me a professional style consultation. I was armed with knowledge about personal colours, body and shape face, necklines and hemlines, prints and patterns and much more.

Fashion has changed so much since I was a more regular shopper. Lots of my clothes have come from clothes swaps with friends or thrift shop finds. Before my style consultation I would walk into a clothes shop and feel overwhelmed by the options and have no idea how to mix and match pieces to make them look good. The style consultation was like being given Super Fashion Goggles that help me spot the pieces that will work for me. It’s made it so much easier to wade through patterns, textures, colours and shapes and pull an outfit together from my own wardrobe too.

Nat and Tatum had done all the hard work before we met for our shop. They used the style consultation results to search through their favourite fashion stores and pick out pieces just for me to try. They really know their stuff and had all my sizes picked out just right, we never had to send an item back to swap for a different size. They also remembered items from my wardrobe and made suggestions for how my new pieces could work with what I already owned. I know! Awesome, right?!

I was amazed as time and again they picked an item from the rack that I wouldn’t have looked twice at, then as I tried it on they showed me how to fold, tuck, cuff and belt to make the outfit look amazing, but still effortless. As we got to the checkout I was able to take advantage of their relationship with many of the stores and get a happy little discount. Winning!

Tatum and Nat - MILE Make It Look Easy
The gorgeous Tatum (L) and Nat on our shopping day

Finding my style - the shopping daySome of the items I tried on and purchased:
Just Jeans Authentic Skinny Ankle Crop Jean | Essential Long Line Tunic | Birdy Floral Scarf

A very special thank you to Nat and Tatum for this fun day and for giving me the Mile High First Class Personal Package to try. I’ll be sharing more with you soon about how I’m working my new wardrobe and Tatum’s advice on food, health and fitness for our family.

If you’d like tips for Making It Look Easy you can sign up for free weekly newsletters full of style tips or follow Make It Look Easy on Facebook. Nat also shares her daily outfit posts on Facebook. Find out about Make It Look Easy packages and ebooks in their online shop, including their brand new Scarves Made Easy ebook – available for purchase THIS WEEK ONLY! Be quick :)

Do you have many Pretty Woman moments? Or are your arms full of groceries?

16 Ways to Play with Sensory Bins

16 of the Best Sensory Bin Play Ideas

Do your children love playing with sensory bins? Or are you wondering what a sensory bin is!? Let me explain :)

A sensory bin is a large container, large enough for little hands (and sometimes bodies!) to reach in and feel, grasp, move, play. You can put almost anything and everything in a sensory bin, anything that will help young children play, explore and experiment using their senses.

Diamond-Dig-5 IMG_1607 spagetti-sensory-tub-1

Children are sensory seekers and learn through their senses. When swishing coloured shaving cream, or pouring rice, or smelling scented play dough, children are practising maths and science skills, learning and using language and social skills. Sensory bins give children the chance to do all of these things without fear of failure or getting it wrong. There is no wrong!

Whether you’re new to sensory bins or have been using them for years, here are a few fun ideas to try out.

16 of the Best Sensory Bin Play Ideas

Using Sticks as Sensory Bin Fillers (Danya Banya)
Recycled Paper Sensory Bin (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Birds and Nests Sensory Play (Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes)
Shaving Cream Play (Triple T Mum)
Water Beads Sensory Play (Racheous Loveable Learning)
Bedtime Sensory Tub: Lavender Dyed Rice (Nurture Store)
ABC Sensory Bin (3 Dinosaurs)
Baking Sensory Tub (The Imagination Tree)
Farm Sensory Tub (Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails)
Construction Sensory Bin (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Tub (One Perfect Day)
Christmas Sensory Tub (Octavia and Vicky)
Fresh Mint Sensory Play (Mama Papa Bubba)
I Spy Sensory Bin (Happy Hooligans)
Diamond Mine Sensory Tub (Childhood 101)
Sludge Sensory Play (Picklebums)
Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Welcome to The Weekly Kids Co-Op


Bubble Prints

Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky}Today was one of those relaxed, gorgeous days that you feel like doing not a lot of anything, but get bored doing nothing at all, so find yourself looking for something fun to fill the time. I had bubble printing on my to-do list for a while and today was the perfect day for it. The sun was shining, perhaps the last of our sunny days for a while as Autumn takes hold, and this creative play is best suited to outside, unless you like worrying about mess!

Bubble Prints

You will need:

  • 1 large jug
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dish washing liquid
  • 3 bowls
  • 3 different food colourings
  • 3 straws
  • white paper
  • paper towel (optional)

To make bubble prints:

  1. Fill the jug with the water and dishwashing liquid and stir gently with one of the straws to combine.
  2. Pour a good squirt of food colouring into each bowl then top up with the soap mixture. Put a straw in each bowl.
  3. Invite children to blow bubbles into the soap mixture and watch as bubble grow in the bowl.
  4. Before the bubbles disappear gently press the paper on top of the bubbles and hold until the bubbles have popped (a couple of seconds).
  5. Lift the paper to reveal your bubble print! Keep making more prints to create your own art work, or just for the fun of it.

Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky}Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky}Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky} Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky} Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky} Bubble Prints {via Octavia and Vicky}

Tips for successful bubble printing:

  • Gather all your bits and pieces and set up the activity before eager kids join in.
  • Use a safety pin or needle to poke a hole through each straw. This will help avoid children slurping the soap liquid up the straw and into their mouths.
  • Place paper towel under the bowls to help soak up any spills as they happen.
  • The more food colouring you add, the more intense your colours will be.
  • Wear old clothes! Food colouring stains.

Have you ever tried bubble printing? 

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

Sponsored by Energizer

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

It’s almost school holidays! The count down is officially on because WE’RE GOING ON A HOLIDAY! We’re staying at a lovely big beach house with my extended family. There will be plenty of cousins for Pebble and Rocky to play with (and lots of adults to help with all those kids!). There’s a nice deck out the back of the house and a large living area, plenty of space for playing and hanging out.

The weather is quite a bit cooler down south where we’re staying. This means that we’ll need some back up plans for when we’ve had enough of sand blowing in our faces on the beach. Here are some of the essentials that we’ll be packing for the kids, aged from five months to nine years old.

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

Simple Art materials

I can just imagine the kids sprawled out on the deck with paper, watercolours, textas, pencils and stamps, creating memories from their beach house stay. Pebble and her cousins often enjoy creative time with Nana-ette when we visit and I’m sure this beach holiday will be no exception.

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

Night lights

Pebble’s had a portable night light since birth and just won’t go to sleep without it. It’s kind of a pain to have to lug it around with us when we stay away, but at the same time it’s a lovely bit of familiar comfort for her – and easily replaceable if she loses it as they still sell them in the shops!

Can’t-Leave-Home-Without Toys

Pebble’s favourites lately are her dolls of all kinds. She plays with them in the garden, in the bath, at the kitchen sink, in her book nook. Everywhere! Her imagination takes them on lots of adventures. For Rocky we’ll be taking along his big box of cars – his current favourite is this light up, musical number that he got for his birthday (thanks Aunty Cass!). He keeps it close most of the day, carrying it, pulling it or pushing it with him. Cuteness!

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

Torches

We’re planning a night time excursion to a penguin colony, which the kids are going to be so excited about. They’ll each need their own torch to light the way. I remember doing this when I was a kid, it was such an awesome experience.

Movies, Leap Pads and iPads

We’ll definitely be bringing along a few favourite DVDs for lazy afternoons spent on the couch. Pebble’s favourites at the moment are Tangled, The Croods and Despicable Me. Rocky is a huge fan of Ben and Holly and Peppa Pig, so those will be in the suitcase for sure. All the families have either Leap Pads or iPads and they’ll be put to good use when the time is right.

Batteries

Because that light up car won’t run itself! Energizer sent me some Energizer Max batteries to get us through the holidays and way, way, way beyond. Did you know they hold power for up to 10 years. YEARS! And they will protect our toys and devices against leakage. I’ll only use quality batteries in our toys and other gear, it’s not worth it to have that night light breaking down on us or penguin spotting in the dark with a dead torch.

Family Holiday Planning: Toys, Games and Gear to Pack for Kids

Balls

We’ll pack balls of all shapes and size. All the kids love throwing, catching, rolling, chasing, bouncing and kicking balls. And second to cars, balls are Rocky’s very favourite thing in the world.

Buckets and Spades

Classic beach toys, you can’t go wrong. It doesn’t need to be summer time to enjoy a good sandcastle making session or some beach combing.

Our imaginations!

There’s nothing quite like seeing kids deeply engrossed in pretend play. This mix of kids will come up with some hilarious and memorable play scenarios, I’m sure.

What are your can’t-leave-home-without toys? 

Three ways to play and learn with measurement

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Children love to measure things in their world. Pebble has often helped us with measuring furniture for a space in our house, or measuring ingredients for cooking. She also naturally measures objects in her play, choosing longer and shorter blocks for building, filling and pouring different sized cups of water in the bath or choosing which piece of furniture to put where in her doll house. 

Giving children the chance to play with measurement helps them learn how to compare objects and use words such as ‘tall’, ‘taller’, ‘heavy’, ‘heavier’, ‘full’, ’empty’.

1. Block play

You will need:

  • blocks of different sizes

How to play

  • Build with the blocks.
  • Talk about the similarities and differences – colour, size, shape.
  • Hunt for blocks that are short and blocks that are tall.
  • Choose five blocks and put them in order from tallest to shortest.

Before starting this activity it’s important that your child knows what “long” and “short’ mean and how to compare two objects. If five objects is too overwhelming then start with a few less.

Pebble found this activity easy peasy. I asked her how she knew which one was the longest and she showed me how she lined them up along side each other to check. Rocky joined in alongside, playing with the blocks too.

We talked about how the size of the blocks changed depending on which way you turned them and ultimately Pebble chose which way she wanted the blocks to go.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

2. Lego Towers Race

You will need:

  • duplo/lego
  • stop watch/clock/timer

How to play:

  • Set the timer for 60 seconds.
  • Build a tower as tall as you can in that time.
  • Keep repeating the tower building race until you have three or four towers (or build one each if you are playing with three or four children).
  • Compare the towers to see which is the tallest and which is the shortest. Put them in order.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

3. Straw collage

You will need:

  • straws
  • scissors
  • paper
  • craft glue

How to play:

  • Cut straws into different lengths using the scissors.
  • Choose some straws of different lengths to stick on to your straw collage.
  • Stick the straws in order from tallest to shortest.

This looks very simple but can be quite tricky, especially with so many objects to compare. Pebble lined up each straw from one end, so that she was getting an accurate comparison. It takes children a little while to get the hang of doing this. Lots and lots of practice will help them get more confident and accurate.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

More ideas for playing with measurement:

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities
More maths play on Octavia and Vicky:

Invitation to Play bottle top numbres

Learning about numbers - subitising and number recognition | Octavia and Vicky