Winter School Holiday Fun

Here’s a few snaps from our day in the winter sunshine today. I was planning a stay at home and chill out day but I just couldn’t resist this Mud Play invitation! Thank goodness we had these guys to keep the kids dry! Then we stopped by a nearby playground afterwards. I can highly recommend Princess Elizabeth playground on South Terrace, it was awesome and our first visit. I’ve driven past it many times and always meant to stop by for a play. Today was the day.

p.s. Rocky didn’t want to know about the mud! He just kept saying “no! dardy! {dirty}”.

 Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun  Winter School Holiday Fun

What have you been up to this school holidays?

If you’re looking for fun stuff to do in Adelaide check out these links:

Magic Number – A Subitising Game

Magic Number - A subitising game for young children

Magic Number - A subitising game for young children

I have been practising subitising and subitising and MORE subitsing with the five year olds in our classroom.  There are lots of fun ways to learn this skill! Learning to subitise is a super important foundation maths skill for young children, they can never get enough of it.

You can find more subitising games here >>> Learning About Numbers – Subitising and Number Recognition

Here is a simple game that we’ve been playing. You might like to try it out with the four and five year olds in your life.

Magic Number

Number of players: 1 (a whole class can play this at the same time)

You will need:

  • 1 six sided die
  • 1 whiteboard (or piece of paper)
  • 1 whiteboard marker (or pencil)
  • 1 dice mat*

*the dice mat is just for making the sound of 24 children rolling dice a little quieter!!

How to play:

  • Think of a ‘magic number’ from 1 – 6.
  • Roll the dice onto your dice mat and into your bear cave. A what now? A bear cave means slightly cupping your hand on the desk as a little gutter to stop the dice from rolling off the table. It helps prevent over eager dice rollers!!
  • Look at the number on the dice and say it to yourself, eg. if you roll a 6, say “six!”
  • If the number you’ve rolled is your magic number, draw a tally mark on your whiteboard.
  • Keep playing and adding tally marks to your board every time you roll your magic number.
  • See how many magic numbers you can roll!

Adults might not think that this simple game is much fun but kids who are just learning about number get super excited when they see their magic number appear!

Here are some other subitising activities that I use in the classroom:

Fun Water Play Ideas for Kids

Water Play Ideas for Kids

11 Fun Water Play Ideas for Kids

Parenting fact #237: Kids love water play.

It’s SO easy to do and SO much fun. My kids spent an hour jumping up and down in a paddling pool yesterday. You know what I did? Sat with my butt on a garden chair and my feet in the water and relaxed. And got drenched! Well, I couldn’t really leave them alone in the pool now, could I? I HAD to sit there. Such a hard life.

Water play is definitely my go-to play activity, especially in the warmer months. We do indoor water play too though. Here are some of our favourite ways to play with water.

The Car Wash

Water Play Ideas for Kids

Set up a couple of buckets and some dish soap, chuck in a couple of rags and line up the bikes and cars for a wash. Easy peasy.

Mud Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This is not for the faint hearted. As you can see it gets rather messy. But it’s FUN!

Puddle Jumping

Water Play Ideas for Kids

A classic, this one never gets old. We had some fab storms over this steamy weekend that allowed for hot weather puddle jumping. Bliss! You could even try using sidewalk chalk in the puddles and see what happens. This pic is an oldie but a goodie – my fav puddle jumping pic ever :)

The Paddling Pool

Water Play Ideas for Kids

No brainer, right? Throw in some toys, see what floats and sinks ~ make a mini whirl pool ~ drop in some coloured ice cubes ~ just soak it up and have a splash.

Water Painting

Water Play Ideas for Kids

Grab any container, a bucket or empty ice cream tub, fill it with water, throw in a few paintbrushes of different shapes and sizes and away you go. Paint the walls, paint the pavers, paint the cubby house, paint the tree :)

The Water Table

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This one is an absolute favourite of mine because it keeps everything kind of contained. It’s perfect for days when I can’t quite cope with mud play or blowing up the paddling pool.

The Sprinkler

Water Play Ideas for Kids

There are so many awesome sprinklers you can get these days, like this wiggly caterpillar guy. Hilarious!

Bubble Play

Pebble and Rocky love to stand at the kitchen sink and play with bubbles left over after I’ve done the dishes (ok, maybe I make sure there’s a few extra there for them). My windows get thoroughly covered in bubbles but that’s probably the best clean they get all year, so who’s complaining?

The SUPER Sprinkler

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This is a crazy contraption I made last summer.

Coloured Ice Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

A great one for indoors or even in the bath.

Bath Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

 

I remember the early days with Rocky, during his first year, I often ran a bath twice a day for him, just to help keeps us both sane! Check out this snowy road bath play or this DIY bath paint. Some kids may not be so keen on bath time, we struggled with Pebble in the bath for years. Try out these ideas for kids who hate the bath.

Have you ever had a backyard mini car wash?

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

As you may have noticed I’ve been trying to find ways for Pebble (4 years, 9 months) and Rocky (20 months) to play together. This pretend play experience with farm play dough is perfect for both toddlers and preschoolers. They had a ball together! It’s so sweet seeing them play… mostly. Of course they are siblings and have their fair share of fights too.

This pretend play farm play dough so easy to set up. Just grab some farm toys, you’ve probably got some wooden or plastic toys at home, or they’re very cheap to buy. You may get lucky and find some second hand at your local op shop or online. Make up a batch of green play dough and set up an invitation to play. If your child needs extra help to get started with pretend play you can try role modelling by moving the animals around and making animal noises. They will soon join in the fun.

Looking for a fool proof play dough recipe? This no cook method is my favourite.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pebble and Rocky also enjoyed the process of making play dough together. Just a warning – it gets messy! Especially with toddlers. ESPECIALLY if one of those toddlers is Rocky!  Expect mess and let it happen. It’s not so hard to clean up afterwards and the experience of making the dough adds so much to the play. It’s also great for learning about measurement, procedure and concepts like hot/cold, wet/dry and empty/full.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Ideas for extending the play:

  • sing farm songs and nursery rhymes, like “Old MacDonald” and “This Little Piggy”. Nursery rhymes are SO important to children’s early literacy development and are often forgotten about these days. Plus kids love them!
  • read books about farms – some of our favourites are Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, My Farm by Alison Lester, and A Year on Our Farm by Penny Matthews and Andrew McLean.
  • make your own animals from play dough.
  • print out and use these farm play dough mats which encourage early numeracy skills.
  • encourage children to pretend to be farm animals – say “can you be a…. pig/duck/horse/cow/etc”
  • draw or paint pictures of farm animals
  • visit a local farm and get hands on with the animals

More ideas for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy together: 

10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids {Giveaway}

10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Chalk.com.au

You’ve seen our lovely big lawn quite a few times on this blog and my Instagram feed, but the reality is that our lawn is really the best play feature in the backyard. We have a few bikes and scooters and an old play gym, but I really want to add a few more toys and activities to our outdoor collection this Christmas. So I was super excited when one of my favourite online toy stores, Chalk.com.au, contacted me asking if I’d like to try some of their toys and share my experience with you all. Oh, and they wanted to giveaway some vouchers to you guys. Um, yes please!

I’ve used Chalk.com.au before to buy toys through fundraisers with Pebble’s child care centre, but that’s always been catalogue based. I didn’t realise that you can go straight to the website and buy there. I love, love, love searching on websites, using filters and categories and zeroing in on what I want. My brain finds it so much easier to process than a catalogue.

Chalk.com.au allows you to search by category, for example “construction” or “arts & craft”, or by brand. You can also use the search bar to type any word you like and find what your heart desires. My only problem is that they had so many cool products to choose from that I had a hard time making a decision! I can see myself buying all my Christmas presents from the comfort of my own home this year. Aaahhhhh, bliss.

Another cool little perk is that you can choose a child care centre, preschool or school to donate 20% of the total value of your order to. I’ve been using parent company, Modern Teaching Aids, as a teacher for years and have always loved their products in the classroom. The school incentives program gave me a chance to give some $$ back to my school to use to buy more educational resources. Win-win! Here’s my top ten toys for outdoor play with kids this summer.

10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids

  1. Space hopper – I always loved these as a kid! I never had one of my own, and loved any chance I got to hop on one.
  2. Bubbles – you gotta have bubbles! Chalk.com.au has the Extream Bubbles bubble blower, the My Bubble Lawn Mower (cute!) and a Bubble Rocket. They’re all on my wish list.
  3. Sprinkler – there are lots of cool sprinklers to choose from these days. We got one of these Wigglin’ Waterpillars and it’s  hilarious! The first time we used it he kinda sprayed in one spot the whole time, but the second time his arms went crazy and he really was wigglin’! The kids thought it was a hoot.
  4. Water slide – we already had one of these dual racing slides so I didn’t pick one up but they are definitely a summer play essential, especially when have friends over for a play. I love that the racing slides at Chalk.com.au come with bodyboards, great idea.
  5. Blow up swimming pool – I very nearly bought this splish splash activity pool, it’s just so cute! We already have a blow up pool but it’s nowhere near as cool as this one. With the little slide and canopy, the palm tree. Adorable! The kids would love it. A kiddie pool is definitely a summer must have.
  6. Bat and ball set – a favourite from my childhood was totem tennis. I thought about grabbing one of those but I think Pebble and Rocky are still a bit little. This Lil Slugger T-Ball Set was the perfect choice and they can both use it really well. I was suprised at Pebble’s skills! Rocky is a great little fielder, he loves chasing balls, and he can have a hit too (when Pebble let’s him get in there!).
  7. Stilts – these are great for gross motor development and also just fun to watch kids get around on. Pebble had fun with them, but she kinda forgot to look where she was going and took a dive. She was a good sport and had a laugh about it. These are only $8.90 – bargain!
  8. Sports practice – There are lots of ways for kids to practice their sports skills and have fun outdoors. Try basketball, soccer or bowling
  9. Sand and water table – these tables are worth their weight in gold. We’ve had ours since Pebble was one and it gets so much use, summer and winter. We’ve used it for sand, water, rice and gloop!
  10. Ride ons – we have a small space for riding wheeled toys around our yard and are also lucky to have a school nearby with paths and asphalt to ride on. Try scooters, tandems, skates or this cute plasmacar.

10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids 10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids 10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids 10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids 10 Essentials for Fun in the Sun with Kids

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