active kids – alphabet scavenger hunt

We did this activity last school holidays and my boys had SO much fun.  The bonus is it’s super dooper easy for you to set up and can be played indoors or outdoors.

Simply lay out letters of the alphabet on the ground or floor and set the kids a challenge to find an item starting with each letter.  One handy tip is to have a set of letters for every two children playing so the collection area doesn’t get too crowded or confusing.  The letters can be magnetic as in the picture or a piece of paper with the letter written on it.

alphabet scavenger hunt

Image courtesy of Play Dr Mom

For other fun ideas to help your little ones learn the alphabet, just visit our little store. x

diy nature scavenger hunt game

I have lots of clever clogs friends.  One of them is Jo.  She throws the best kids parties with games, craft, themed food and activities she has researched for months.

She’s probably done 99% of the craft activities I have listed on here along with a bazillion she has found on pinterest.  She is a doer.

So when we arranged to meet at the park for a play date this week it should not have been any great surprise that she rocked up with a homemade scavenger hunt game for the kids. 

Between us we had eight boys (aged from 2 to 9) and one little girl aged 3.  We all played.  We all loved it.

To play you need a list of goodies to find for each player.  Super Jo personalised ours for each child, (of course!) but this is optional.  You can make the lists the same for everyone, or tailor make them to be more age appropriate or even include images rather than words for pre-schoolers.  Toddlers will need adult supervision and assistance.

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To collect the listed items we used brown paper lunch bags but a basket, backpack or any other kind of bag would be fine.

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Allocate a certain amount of time, half an hour is great, for everyone to collect as many items on the list as possible.   Everyone then gathers around to show off their treasures. The winner is the one with the most treasures in their bag. 

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This game is soooo simple and so much fun.  We LOVE that it gets the kids outdoors but it can be modified for indoor play in case of rain.  Happy days.

craft express – foil me a river

This will only take a sec!  Grab your roll of aluminium foil, let the kids unroll a loooooong strip, shape it to accommodate a stream of water, add kids and some small boats, animals or cars and off you go!  Easy peasy.

image courtesy of amoandbows.com

family bucket list

Here is a fab way to curb those “I’m bored” complaints from the kids and also to keep your own wishlist fresh in your mind.

Have everyone in your family list their wishes and dreams of places they’d like to go, things they’d like to do.

Pop each card into a jar or box and then randomly select.

You might want two jars – one with big picture dreams like “Visit Disneyland” and one with more readily achievable day to day goals like “Go to the Zoo” or “Eat Yum Cha”.

Another option is to have a jar for each family member and kids can select one of their cards as a reward for good behaviour.

image courtesy of tatertotsandjello.com

cardboard city

This project is fun to make and will get hours and hours of use no matter the weather.  Kids can let their imaginations run wild and include whatever they like in their own special town.

image courtesy of theimaginationtree.com

All you need is a BIG cardboard box, or a couple of smaller boxes secured together.

As an added bonus, it keeps really little ones contained whilst they happily play.  Everyone’s a winner!

Love this idea? You might love these too …

rock (and roll)

Whether your little one has their very own collection of special rocks accrued over time or through adventures, they grab a handful from the backyard or buy a pack of shiny river rocks from your local nursery, we have some fab ideas of rock creations and games.

Help kids develop their imagination and storytelling with these ‘story rocks’.  Paint a range of pictures onto your rocks then varnish for protection.  Kids then randomly pick a rock out of the box or bucket and have to tell their part of the story based on the picture they select.  Suits one on one or group play. Courtesy of modernparentsmessykids.com

For these bright sparks you’ll need to grab your brightest paints and a black markers.
The new pet rock – Monsters.  To create these crazy monster rocks there are absolutely no rules!  (courtesy of minimatisse.blogspot.com)

Hide N Seek – paint rocks however you like and hide them in the garden.  Numbers and letters work really well if you are playing with just one child (eg find me numbers 1-10, or find me all the letters in the alphabet) or colours and patterns are great for group play where the goal is to simply find the most number of rocks. Courtesy of http://www.athomewithali.net/

Rock creatures – some tips! Be sure to glue rocks together before painting them, attaching small stone features such as eyes, feet, or beaks to body parts before joining larger parts.  Attach whiskers and tails after painting. Cement glue makes the strongest bond but should be used only by parents working in a well-ventilated area. Kid-friendly glues are less durable and are best for rock crafts that will sit on shelves. Image courtesy of marthastewart.com

Footprints – this is a cute way to show who lives in your home!  Pop them in your garden or at the front door.  Image source unknown

Tic-tac-toe game – use a slate tile with chalk lines as the board.  You’ll need a selection of noughts rocks and crosses rocks.  These can be painted or also written in chalk however this is, of course, more temporary.  Image courtesy of realsimple.com

We included these just because we love them and they are soooo terribly sweet!
Birds – courtesy of http://www.inspirebohemia.com
Sweet little birdy – courtesy of jenniferpaine.tumblr.com
Little owls – courtesy of thecarolinejohansson.com

 

 

imagination + paper = fun

Got a roll of  butchers paper or kraft paper handy?  This great play mat not only provides hours of play once completed but uses lots of imagination to create.

Kids can include whatever scenes they like – city, farm, seaside, river – the list is endless.  You can also add 3D elements (think cotton balls, corrugated cardboard, boxes for building and rocks) if you like!

If you don’t have large sheets or rolls of paper simply glue or tape A4 sheets together.

Image courtesy of tokketok.com

5 easy peasy craft activities

It’s raining here.  Cats and dogs.  My boys have completed two games of rugby before 9.30am and we are now home, showered, fed and bunkered down for the rest of the day.  A bit of easy craft (the kind I don’t have to think about too much) is definitely on the cards.

Here are 5 easy peasy ideas …

Duplo painting – everyone has their own plate with paint blobs on it.  Choose duplo blocks of different sizes, along with wheels, and you will have a great little masterpiece in no time at all! (courtesy picklebums.com)



Collect some leaves from the backyard or park and glue them onto pages to make animal shapes,  Add eyes, arms or legs as required and, voila!  We love this fish.  (courtesy marthastewart.com)

Balloon ping pong – add a paddle pop stick to a paper or plastic plate, blow up a balloon and play away! (courtesy theweekendhomemaker.com)

Lanterns – cover a glass jar with pretty paper then use a small flameless candle to play with it outside in the evening!  If raining, it also makes a gorgeous centrepiece for the dinner table! (courtesy picklebums.com)

Enjoy!

may the (noodle) force be with you

Here’s a super dooper quick crafty idea that if, like me, you are constantly stuck in the middle of a battle of some kind between little people.  It might be a friendly pillow battle, a jumping battle on the trampoline, a food battle, a Lego battle, a REAL (mean) battle of wills, or a good ole light sabre battle!

If you don’t want to spend a mozza on a Light Sabre with all the bells and whistles, you can whip one up with the kids using a pool noodle and some electric tape.  Easy peasy. Done.

are we there yet?

After taking a little road trip solo with my three boys this week, I felt it was high time to share our favourite activities that keep everyone in our car happy (enough) and keep that burning question “are we there yet?” at bay.

Eye Spy With My Little Eye
This one has been a good ole favourite for decades!  When catering for younger kids who can’t yet spell, we adapt the game to spot something of a particular colour and introduce letters in due course.

50 Things To Do On A Journey
We don’t leave home without this little pack of cards full of fun games and activities.  Our favourites are;
– Who Lives There? (this one is great if you are stuck in slow moving traffic!)
Someone spots a house and then everyone adds their thoughts about who lives there including the owner, their pets, what they like to do etc

– In My Backpack
Start with “In my backpack I have …” followed by an object, then the next person repeats the first sentence and adds another item.  Eg, “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich, then “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich and a teddy bear”.  The sillier the better.  We usually have something slimy, something smelly and something dirty in our stories – one of the joys of an all boy family.

CD Books
I have a friend who swears by Paul Jennings CD books for her boys.  She says it keeps them quiet from Point A to Point B and we are LOVING that!  There is a huge range of CD books available for kids of all ages.  You can even get them personalised.

On our way home yesterday, with three tired little fellas in the back seat I put on our Sleep Stories CD and they were sound asleep within minutes.

I have also learned the hard way on solo parent trips that everyone must take a “wee stop” before departure and that everyone has their water bottle and some snacks handy.

Oh, and don’t forget your sunnies!