June 23, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
0 comments

Balloon Squishies

Balloon Squishies

We’ve been having some cold, wet, loooong days lately. We love getting outside and splashing in puddles, but there’s only so much washing I can cope with before I start losing. my. mind. I am a big fan of finding stuff to make and do using the things lying around the house and that takes very little effort, and this week has been no exception. I’ve always got a bag of balloons in the cupboard because balloons = awesome. Play dough is another staple play ingredient in this house. Put em together and you get balloon squishies!

These little guys and gals are fun to squish and squeeze, to add to pretend play or to role play different emotions with kids. Pebble decorated her own balloon squishies and named them after everyone in our family. To make your own just push some play dough inside a balloon, tie a knot and draw on a face with a sharpie. Instant fun!

Tip: to get the balloon into the play dough make several small, grape sized balls of dough the stretch out the balloon using two hands while your little person throws the dough into the balloon. I managed to fill a few on my own too, using my index fingers to stretch out the balloon and my other fingers to grab the dough and push it into the balloon. Yep, I was impressed with me too.

Want more ideas for preschoolers? Check out the Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook, it’s packed full of fun stuff to do.

What would you use these balloon squishies for?

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June 16, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
8 Comments

These days

So, I’m back :) I’ve enjoyed my two week bloggy break, it’s really whizzed by. It’s given me a little time and space to be with my little ones, work on some big deadlines at school and figure out a few of our battles (ugh, kids and food!).

The time away has also allowed me to think about the blog a bit. I was interested to see flashbacks thanks to a little app called Time Hop, have you seen it? It’s kind of nifty, it pings you with reminders of what you were up to this time last year, the year before, the year before that, according to what you shared on social media.

Aside from showing me just how many typos I make, it’s reminded me of the blog posts I started out writing, when Pebble was a baby. They were simple bits and pieces about our days, the small moments from our lives. I still love sharing activities and recipes and ideas, but I do miss keeping a record of the goings on, to look back on and remember when. You might see a few more of those sneaking in to the blog.

Things might be slow to ramp around here though – my laptop is currently in a coma. I know! I could just cry. While I figure out if it’s able to come back to life I’m suffering with sharing hubby’s ancient laptop or using apps on my mobile. This is not ideal! But it’s not the worst thing that could happen.

While I sort out that little problem here’s a peek at one of our wintery days out and about.

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What kinds of blog posts do you like to read?

June 2, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
3 Comments

Taking a break

Sh. I'm in my quiet place.
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I’m going to take a wee little break from this blog for a couple of weeks. I have a lot on my plate right now and need a little breathing room. Besides, all the bloggy experts say that taking a break is one of the best things you can do for your blog. And who am I to argue?

I’ll be keeping myself occupied with writing school reports, trying to get this almost 15 month old boy to sleep and eat properly (don’t even ask) and focusing on loved ones. Next week would have been Ryan’s 30th birthday, and that’s kinda hitting me where it hurts (don’t worry, I’m ok).

I will be back on 16 June. Until then x

Wizards Brew 13

May 29, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
3 Comments

15 of the Coolest Science Ideas for Kids

15 of the Coolest Science Ideas for Kids

Pebble is still a keen little experimenter, often an experiment is the first thing she suggests doing each day (well, maybe second, after painting). Rocky has gotten in on the act too, playing with all things that roll. I found some fab science ideas in The Weekly Kids Co-Op last week, we’ll be putting them on our ‘to do’ list.

Learn all about birds with You Clever Monkey

Go to an awesome science fair from Planet Smarty Pants

Enjoy some coloured ice play with Excite and Explore

Finding out how bubbles work with Left Brain Craft Brain

Investigate states of matter using candle wax with Gift of Curiosity

Grow veggies with kids with Outdoors in London

Make pepper runaway with P is for Preschooler

Choose one of these simple science favourites over at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails

Experiment with shaving cream over at Preschool Powol Packets

Play with vinegar and baking soda over at Mom, Teach Me to Read

And here are a few fun science ideas that we’ve enjoyed before, you might have missed them:
Rainbow Coloured Roses
Make your own wizard's brewDIY Science Kit
Simple science with kids - things that roll
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I wonder what cool ideas we’ll find in this week’s Kids Co-Op?

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May 27, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
6 Comments

Awesome Apps for Preschoolers

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

Book Creator

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

This app is a powerful and simple tool for creating iBooks on the iPad and is just amazing for practising literacy skills. There are so many things you can create with it – it’s not just for little kids, older children and adults can use it too. Pebble loves creating her own stories by taking photos of her toys and recording her voice.  It took about five minutes for her to learn how to use it independently. I love using this in the classroom too.

Play School Play Time

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

This is one of Pebble’s favourite games to play, especially in the late arvo as I’m cooking dinner. If she’s not in the mood to help in the kitchen she sits at the kitchen bench and plays this instead. It’s fantastic for teaching children about time and patterns throughout the day with lots of interactive games. There is a game for every hour of the day on the Play School clock with each game teaching new skills. Children can also watch Play School through the app (and it’s not metered by our ISP! Winning!).

Bo’s Bed Time

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

This app teaches kids about bed time routine with the help of a cute giraffe named Bo. They help Bo to tidy her room, take a bath, brush her teeth, put on her PJs, find her teddy bear, read a book and give kisses goodnight. It’s super easy for kids to follow and play along, and some parts of the game change each time you play, which helps to keep it interesting. It includes concepts such as colour, sorting, matching and counting. Bo has a bunch of other games available too.

Bugsy Kindergarten Reading School

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

Go into outer space with Bugsy and learn about letters, sounds and words. When Pebble first started playing this game she didn’t know many of the letters, but now she is getting much more accurate. The game allows for mistakes, giving you as many tries as you need to get the answer right, which is perfect for preschoolers who would get too frustrated with a three-strikes-and-you’re-out style. Parents can choose which subjects the game covers, so if you’re child isn’t ready for spelling or reading yet you can choose to turn that off.

Bug Builder

Cool Apps for Preschoolers

Bug Builder allows kids to create their own cute bugs using coloured paints, dress them, feed them, wash them and take a photo of them. Once each bug has had his turn it pops out a little egg, which sees the arrival of a new bug to be coloured, dressed, washed, fed and photographed. Just for fun :) I love hearing Pebble laugh hysterically at her creations. This app is also great fun for toddlers.

Pocket Phonics

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

Another app that I love to use at school and home. this app teaches children letter sounds and formation and simple words. I love how quickly Pebble has been able to make words on her own, and so does she! She almost exploded with excitement as she read new words. You can add different profiles for each user, so that they can continue their learning from the last time they played.

Which apps do your preschoolers love to play? 

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