Sometimes it can be difficult to find educational activities for children that are both fun and engaging. Sometimes your child will just want to play, not learn and play at the same time.
However an online website called Education.com offers a wide range of learning resources for children from preschool to primary school age. They offer fun and educational games, worksheets, stories, songs and activities like the one they’ve given me below.
I am more than happy to present to you “Clothespin Drop” – an educational game that will help preschool-aged children to learn about colours, sorting, pattern matching and counting. I have also added a couple of alternative suggestions, just look for the pink text below to see what they are. I haven’t changed much because it’s pretty good the way it is; a why-fix-it-if-it’s-not-broken kind of thing.
I’ve been wanting to give this game a try as it looks so cool but I haven’t gotten round to doing so with LO as work’s been busy (will be more so in the lead-up to summer!). I hope you like the activity below – if you decide to give it a try, let me know! Education.com may be providing me with more games and activities to offer you guys so keep an eye out for them as they’ll be exclusive to this blog. 🙂
5 Sheets of construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green and blue)
25 Wooden clothespins
Tempera paint* (red, orange, yellow, green, blue) *you can also DIY with some egg yolk and food colouring – cheap & cheerful
Stopwatch, or digital clock
What You Do:
Help your child cut down each piece of construction paper to the size.
Roll one color of paper around each can and tape it in place.
Have your child tell you which color is on each can, while you write the name of the corresponding color onto the paper.
Ask her to separate the clothespins into groups of 5.
Have her paint each group of clothespins a different color. Let dry.
Line up the cans on the floor in a row, in the center of a room.
Scatter the clothespins, mixing the colors around in the cans.
Encourage her to see how quickly she can separate the colors and put them in the corresponding can. Time her to see how quick she is!
Dump them out again and mix them up. Tell her what her last time was and shave off a few seconds. Yell, “Go!” and have her re-sort them. Yell, “Stop!” at the end of the time allotted. Did her speed increase? The more she practices, the faster she’ll get!
Practice creating patterns by timing her as she places clothespins in the colored tins in a specific order. As she continues, try to introduce more complex patterns.
Lately I’ve been thinking about booking our little family of four a new holiday – a proper family holiday this time as the last time was more of a mini one than anything as Daddy P didn’t come with us to Fuerteventura. LO, bump and I went around late January and it was lovely. The temp was nice, not too hot, we got to do a few things and enjoyed what was pretty much a chilled out holiday.
As I was six months preggers and so sure I would be going into early labour I didn’t book any activities. I also don’t drive so couldn’t hire a car which is said to be the best way to explore any one of the Canary Islands. However I just wanted to share with you the 5 most important things I think any mum should think about when taking your toddler on their first holiday.
I love swimming even though I can’t really swim, it’s never stopped me from going in the water and trying to. I have always told myself that when I have children, they will learn to swim. This was an essential goal for me. For the fear of them drowning and just wanting to equip them with the best skills in life, I feel like swimming is one of those things everyone should know how to do.
I took LO to many months of swimming classes with Water Babies from when he was 6 months old until he was about over a year old. They taught him survival skills like holding his breath underwater which was great. Children under three actually don’t have the physical strength yet to physically swim but they can be taught how to get themselves out of trouble should they fall in water. It’s also said the sooner to start the better when it comes to water survival skills as it’s easier to teach when their gag reflex is still strong (from birth to approx. 6 months). However, I couldn’t afford to keep us going there and stopped our swimming altogether. Sad to say, I think he’s probably forgotten all of his swimming survival skills now but I know for sure he hasn’t lost his confidence in the water, regardless of whether he can swim or not.
On Sunday 15th May, the Greenwich Peninsula hosted a brilliant day out for everyone. The Urban Village Fete was a great hit the previous year and this year saw another fantastic turnout. Alongside workshops, food stalls and live performances there was a special area dedicated to children and families. Super Yummies had a pop-up playground for the kids and a sample stall where parents could get their hands on free samples of the brand’s toddler snacks.
The Super Yummies Discover Playground looked simply amazing. Here are some photos of the pop-up playground that was at the event. The Super Yummies are from the Cow & Gate family and developed with mums and nutritionists to offer a healthy and natural range of snacks for toddlers from age 12 months plus.
The Discover Playground will also be making its way around a few other London events so if you missed it this time, you can catch it again (details below).
We managed to get our hands on some free samples which LO tried out. I’ve never heard from this range before a week ago (I think the brand is relatively new) but have been seeing it a lot in supermarkets like Tescos and Sainsbury’s and like other brands offering similar things, the Super Yummies are really affordable and decently sized.
The fruit pieces are made from 100% fruit (freeze-dried) to offer little ones all the goodness of fresh fruit. The squeeze pouch is made of fruits and the yoghurt pouch has Greek yoghurt mixed with the fruits. The bread sticks come in spinach or tomato & basil (we had the former) and are a great natural source of fibre for the kids. The re-sealable packaging is extremely handy and a great feature which I’ve not seen done by other brands.
Yay for the Super Yummies!
He really liked the squeezy puree pouches, fruity pieces and rice cakes. The rice cakes are similar to the ones we normally buy so LO was very keen on eating these. Unfortunately, LO was not a fan of the bread sticks which is weird as he usually loves bread sticks. (Maybe it’s the green colouring or mild taste that he didn’t like!) I guess I’ll have to purchase the tomato & basil one in our next food shop.
I will definitely be buying LO the rice cakes as he really couldn’t get enough of them – there’s a pear and berries version which LO sampled and the apple and orange version which I will have to get for him to try out.
The pop-up playground at upcoming London events
If you missed out on the wonderful pop-up playground at the Urban Village Fete @ Greenwich Peninsula, you can catch it again at the following upcoming events:
Wimbledon Guild Fair (Saturday 18th June )
Lewisham’s People Day (Saturday 9th July)
The Mayor Newham’s Show (Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th July)
Lambeth Country Show (Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th July)
*NB. We were kindly sent samples by Super Yummies. All words, opinions and photos are my own. Any photo that wasnot taken by me has been credited to its original source respectively.
LO is now 2 years old and competent at using the potty when his nappy is off and we’re at home but it’s a completely different story if he’s clothed or if we’re outside. Poor thing, I don’t expect him to know how to use the thing properly until next year or so but I know that many parents from our previous nursery have started getting their little ones to use it.
The thing is, LO has been using the potty on-and-off since he was about 18 months. The nursery staff had advised us to stop as LO was getting the hang of it some days but then other days wasn’t – I guess they thought it was too stressful for him and told me that “many children in toddler room (we were in baby room at the time) weren’t even potty-trained so we shouldn’t have to worry about it”. I took that advice and only encouraged LO to use it when he wanted to which seemed to have worked out well for us. LO is now more dry during his naps and at night which makes me think he may soon be getting used to using the potty properly. However he’s just moved to another nursery nearby so we’re holding off any major changes at the moment to make the transition to a new nursery less stressful but I am telling you, I CANNOT WAIT until he can be nappy-free! 🙂
We currently have a cute little potty that looks more like a chair (see above – from Ebay approx. £7) which seems to have suit LO very well. Recently, when we were over at my sisters he took a real interest in my nephew’s potty, just the standard one, so I’m thinking to “upgrade” him to a new one as this one’s becoming a bit of a snug-fit for him. Although, the other idea I had was to get LO a little step and small toilet-seat fitting to go over the main toilet and get him to use that but it might be a challenge so I will probably see how he goes with a new potty then later get him to use the big-boy’s one.
We are still on our potty journey but here are some things I found along the way that were pretty useful (and still are!) to me:
There’s a whole range of children’s books available at the local library on using the potty, I found one just the other day! If there is no library near you head down to any shop that sells children’s books such as The Works, WHSmiths or go online. I found this cute book for LO at The Works on potty training for about £3. It even has a little ‘cheer’ button you can press to celebrate potty-success. 🙂
Songs & Rhymes
I (well, LO actually stumbled across them) found this potty-training songs on Youtube which I think are fantastic. They teach the children about using the potty and praising them, but also it teaches them not to be scared if they make mistakes which is a great lesson. There’s quite a few you can watch but this one with the cute panda is my favourite!
The BabyCentre website is a great little site for me. They have a page dedicated to potty training and there’s an extensive list on everything about potty training including tips.
What I personally love the most about BabyCentre is the fantastic online community. You’ll need to register before you can post on the forums however there’s literally a forum for every birth month as well as other hot topics such as potty training so you can easily find what you’re looking for advice-wise from other mums using tried-and-tested methods. If you have a burning question, simply post it up and someone will be sure to comment to help you out or refer you to a current post if there’s something similar with loads of advice on.
This is something that I learnt from LO’s nursery. It’s also a very cheap way of providing your little ones with cheap and convenient paints that can be easily discarded, not harmful to the kids if they accidentally eat it, and relatively easy to clean.
The paint mixture is simply made up of cornflour, water and food colouring – simply household things that you may already have in your kitchens. I don’t have any specific measurements but I use a ratio of 1:1 parts cornflour to water for a more watery consistency or 2:1 parts cornflour to water to create a thicker consistency more similar to paint. I usually only add a drop of colouring so the colours aren’t too strong in case they cause stains.
LO had a brilliant time painting with his homemade paint 🙂 I had only pink food colouring in the cupboard so that’s what we used. As it went down a treat, I am going to pop our and get some more food colouring so he’s got a few more colours to play with. LO always puts things in his mouth without a doubt so knowing that if he decided to have a taste/drink of the homemade paint I don’t have to worry too much.
If you’re planning to give it a try, I highly recommend it as it’s much cheaper and easier to manage that buying those child-friendly poster paints which can become costly so it’s just better to make your own homemade paint for your babies and/or toddlers.