Shaving Foam Prints

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I’ve been looking forward to trying this for a while now and a little gap in our afternoon provided the perfect chance to throw it together.

You will need:

shaving foam
and old tray
food colouring
paper
thick card (to scrape away excess foam)
a stick, paint brush, old pencil or fingers!
optional: newspaper, damp cloth, old clothes

I set up some shaving foam in an old oven tray, drizzled it with food colouring and made sure the paper was close by. I threw some old clothes on the kiddo and myself, grabbed an old pencil for swirling the colours and we were away!

Pebble had a ball swirling those colours around and around, I think she would have been happy to do that all day. Then came the printing! Pebble was able to press the paper onto the foam herself, with some instructions to press gently all over. Then I helped her to lift the paper off and scrape the excess foam away revealing an ooooooh-aaaaaaah inspiring print. We did about five prints, re-swirling inbetween, before the colours started to get really murky.

Tips: have an old damp cloth close by to wipe up mess and some folded paper or sturdy card to scrape off the excess foam from each print. You can also set up some sheets of old newspaper to put your prints while they dry. If your child has sensitive skin it might be best to avoid this activity, however Pebble is one of these sensitive ones and she had no worries. Use your own judgement!

Got a baby? This is not cool for babies. Everything goes in their mouths and shaving foam is not food, peeps! Try this sensory play idea instead.

Got a preschooler or a school kid? Try levelling off the foam and writing or drawing in it before making a print for a different effect. Use different objects (old toothbrush, comb, fork) to ‘draw’ in the foam before printing.

Got a classroom of school kids? Aren’t you brave to try this? But you can! Each child can have their own paper/plastic plate with a small amount of shaving foam and smaller pieces of paper for printing. Or set it up as a small group experience – I recommend no more than four at a time!

Tuesday Tots

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16 Ideas for Playing with Wooden Animal Magnets

How’s your long weekend been? As you’re probably in a chocolate haze, and recovering from all those family get togethers, I thought I’d share a relaxed play idea.

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Pebble was given an adorable box set of animal magnets for her second birthday. She fell in love with them straight away and they get a good play most days in one way or another. Here are some ideas for using these magnets with your toddler:

  • Fridge play– duh. Magnets go on the fridge, right? Put them high, put them low, move them around, have them chat to each other… see where your toddler takes the play. You could also use a magnetic easel or board.
  • Who am I? Take turns to say an animal noise and have the other player(s) find the magnet that matches your sound. eg. “I’m thinking of an animal that says “moo”. Which animal is it?” Start with only a few animals to choose from, then add more as your kiddo gets more confident.
  • Doll house play– Of course the animals can come on over to the doll house! Turn the doll house into a zoo. Or maybe the animals are housemates.
  • Animal Hunt – hide the animals around the house and give clues for finding them. A magnifying glass and a basket for collecting with make this hunt oh-so-much fun.
  • Sand play– rock some animal magnet fun in the sun with a sand tray or sand pit. Use branches, leaves, twigs and seeds to create a home for the animal friends.
  • Sorting– how many different ways you can sort the animals. Colours, sizes, spots, stripes. Keep it simple with toddlers. Find out how they want to sort them.
  • Free play – the most important option! Don’t feel like you always have to lead the play – children are the experts. They need time and space to use their imagination. Follow their lead, join in, or give them some independent play time, which is an important skill too. Put your feet up and have a cuppa!

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Got a baby?

  • Bubs will get a kick out of exploring these safe-for-baby magnets and sliding them around on a magnetic surface.
  • Make a visual board for bubs next to the change table – pop a magnetic board on the wall and stick some animals magnets on it. Have a natter about the different animals and the sounds they make, or do your best Old Macdonald rendition.

Got a preschooler?

  • Get two sets of inexpensive magnets to create your own matching game.
  • Kick the sorting game up a notch by making the categories more complicated – ask them to put together all the animals that live underwater, or all the animals that have fur.
  • Use the animals to make up stories – take turns to pick an animal and say “one day there lived a insert-name-of-animal who loved to make-up-something-funny”, eg. One day there lived a horse who loved to eat ice cream.
  • If you’re keen you can get dramatic and act out the stories too.

Got a school kid?

  • Using two sets again you could pop a selection of matching magnets face down on the floor and play ‘memory’.
  • Get really tricky by sorting the animals using the sounds in their names – all the animals that start with ‘a’ or all the animals that have an ‘a’ sound in the middle.
  • What about organising them into alphabetical order? Use an alphabet chart to help or sing the ABC song.

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