Thursday, October 31, 2013

Watercolour Resist Painting with Candles

Miss Daisy and I enjoy the times when Li'l Peppa goes to bed. She's napping about 3+ hours at the moment so we usually get a nice block of time together.

We use this time to do things that we can't get out while our active 1 year old is bouncing around! So paints, puzzles, peg boards and anything else with small pieces or ultra messy.
It's also not unusual for us just to use this time to play something like tea parties, dolls house or mummies and babies without a real baby interrupting us!

Last week I thought we'd make some thank you cards for (the first lot) of people who've been so kind as to send Miss Daisy something special in the post or brought something on their visit. She's been really well entertained and gained lots of special new things too!

I decided to grab some tealight candles and make some Watercolour resist paintings.

Miss Daisy took the candles out of their foil holder. Then she created her own designs all over the page.  I explained she'd have to press quite firmly and she remarked about them being secret because you could only see if you looked on a certain angle with the light.

Then we got to the real magic! Making our secret patterns come alive! We grabbed our watercolour paints and set about painting over our paper.

At first Miss Daisy was a little disconcerted that 'those bits' weren't painting. And she tried over and over again to cover them up. So we discussed some more what the candle had done and why the paint wasn't covering them!

We made some cards out of our paper scribbles and then I also wrote the words Thank You on some prefolded paper and let Miss Daisy bring our secret message to life with the water colours.

And all this card writing is great practice for writing our name!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipe:: Easiest Pizza Dough

When lunch time comes around I'm usually pulling leftovers from the fridge, making toasted sandwiches or looking in the freezer for inspiration. 

Homemade pizzas are always well received and I usually keep some pita bread in the freezer ready to make some last minute pizzas. 

If there isn't anything as a ready made base, our go to recipe is the 2 Ingredient dough. 

Last week since I only had one of those two ingredients I had to do something else!

So I came up with this quick and easy pizza dough with other pantry staples. 

What you will need::
(Serves 4)
1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup warm water 

What to do::
Mix all ingredients well to form a dough. 
Leave to rest while you chop/prepare other ingredients. 
Add a little flour and knead into a smooth ball of dough - Miss Daisy's favourite part!
Separate into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Squash the ball with your hands to create flat pizza bases. 

Add your toppings of choice. Bake for around 10-15 minutes in a 180'C oven. 

Daisy Girl's Top iPad Apps for Toddlers

Would you believe that the iPad has at times lately become another boring toy for poor little Daisy as she battles to stay off her poor broken leg!

Well, not everyday, but sometimes it is. Yikes! However, there are some applications that she absolutely loves and these will keep her occupied after we've exhausted our options with painting, colouring, crafting, playing farms, reading books etc!

So without further ado, here are Miss Daisy's favourite apps for iPad:
(You can search for each of these in the app store!)

Play School Art Maker
We love this app. We love Play School and we love free apps so of course this is one of our top picks! Play School Art Maker allows your child to create collages at various locations, farm, beach, space with their favourite play school characters. Charming illustrations and a real connection the the TV program... we highly recommend this one! There are also puzzles that you can build whilst you create your collage.

Play School Play Time (New!)
Recently Play School Play Time was launched and we've enjoyed exploring this app so much! It is centered around Humpty's birthday and the play school clock. There is a party related activity for each hour of the day... as well as putting Humpty to bed after his busy day!
My favourite is Humpty checking the mail and reading his birthday cards. Great for pre and beginning readers as they follow along and tap the words as they are read aloud. Genius!

Teach Me - Toddler
This one is certainly worth the dollar we paid for it. Miss Daisy enjoys this app and is able to navigate around the app easily on her own. You can choose which skills to practice and there is a great 'report card' that shows you the skills your child has mastered. Teach Me is also available for other grades and can have multiple users progress saved.

Writing Wizard
We purchased this one a week or so ago as Miss Daisy has been starting to further enjoy writing and request letter practice a lot. Why not add in some iPad practice! We've got a few other free word tracing apps but this one takes the cake! There are so many ways you can personalise it for your child's level of interest and skill.

Animal Kingdom (Animal Draw)
(Lite version - free or $1.99)
We currently have the lite version of this but I would love to buy the full version... each time I go to buy it I seem to have forgotten my password or have to enter payment details that I don't know on the spot! But the lite version is great! A good app because it doesn't require an internet connection... and has a variety of different activities for children to enjoy.

ABC iView
This is a life saver around here. We are a commercial TV free family. Haven't hooked it up in coming up to two years! However, we do still pop our children in front of TV shows every now and then and iView is a great way for us to do that. We use it to access ABC for Kids and love that it's updated frequently with new episodes of our favourite shows. My only addition here would be that iView is not only for children's programs. Miss Daisy is very well versed in selecting the 'ABC for Kids' section and choosing her programs there but there is definitely room for children to click onto other programs in error. Just a 'buyer beware'.

So there you have it. Six of Miss Daisy's most used apps that we're currently loving!

What's your favourite iPad app?

Still looking for ideas? Check out my iPad Pinterest board for more great apps!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bubble Wrap Painting and Collage {with links to 10 fabulous bubble wrap activities}

Since Miss Daisy is mostly confined to being seated in one place or another around the house I've been trawling through my favourite blogs and finding inspiration to keep us both occupied so as not to go stir crazy!

Of course one of my first stops was Aunty Hannah at Paint On The Ceiling. Her blog is full of so many wonderful ideas, some we've tried and the others all wait on our to do list. I've packed away bits of bubble wrap since seeing Hannah's first post on Bubble Wrap Printing. Then last week Daddy received a parcel in the mail that was wrapped in a large sheet of bubble wrap. It was perfect timing to keep Miss Daisy entertained and I had lots of fun too!

This was only two days after her injury so she's still in the 'back slab' which is a half cast and she was still quite sore and sorry with the top of her leg exposed. It was great to be creative and paint without too many restrictions or instructions. I cut out some shapes that she could apply paint to and print with onto coloured paper and card. Other pieces she just painted as she liked and of course by the end our palette was brown.

I've had to work out systems to 'get things done' around here whilst still keeping Miss Daisy happy. She still needs to be carried everywhere (although today she got a little bit of a bum shuffle going!) so I take a picnic blanket with me outside to hang the washing out. We hung our paintings out to dry too and then Miss Daisy settled down with a thrift store Sesame Street puzzle set and I hung the washing!

Once back inside with our dried bubble wrap prints (it took no time at all in this weather) Miss Daisy and I grabbed scissors and glue and set out to create a collage.

We were inspired by Hannah's amazing collages here (definitely go there for inspiration!) and Miss Daisy was adamant that the yellow spots would make a giraffe!

Miss Daisy enjoys practicing with scissors and cut around the basic shapes of some circles, squares and this heart. She decided that the top middle section of the heart was best 'cut out' by tearing it precisely by hand!

We were doing this for entertainment, skills practice and pure enjoyment so I had no specific end plan, only that Miss Daisy enjoy the process.

And enjoy it she did. She has promised several friends that when they come over they can do some bubble paintings too!

Have you used bubble wrap for craft or painting!?

Here's some other great ideas that we're going to try out with our remaining bubble wrap. Such a great way to reuse something that would otherwise go straight to landfill.

- Bubble Wrap Snow Paintings from A Little Learning for Two

- A DIY Sensory Board from Laughing Kids Learn

- An amazing large scale Bubble Wrap Painting from An Everyday Story

- Printing With Highlighters from Learn With Play at Home

- Book inspired bubble painting from My Little Bookcase

- Add bubble wrap to your list of Things to Save like Picklebums

- Make your own wrapping paper with a rolling pin at Childhood 101

- Or use textas for some Printing Fun inspired by Octavia & Vicky

- Some sensory rolling fun with Mummy Musings and Mayhem

- And don't forget to visit Hannah's amazing collage here

Just for fun: If you're a regular reader I wonder if you'd like to do a treasure hunt in the images above. One of the photos contains something quite ironic...can you guess what it is?? :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Let there be cake

I am writing over at Octavia & Vicky today to join in remembering the life of Kylie's brother Ryan. Kylie is sharing some of the things that Ryan loved this week and one of those things was cake and desserts!

Cake is something we do a lot of around here.

You can read about Ryan here.

And you can read my guest post here.

Much love and deepest sympathy to Kylie and her family at this time xxx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Word families and rhyming flip books for toddlers

Miss Daisy has recently acquired the skill of rhyming. She's absolutely perfected it, to the point that each and every conversation includes rhyming. Mostly those one word slightly cheeky answers include a cute rhyme added on the end.

I thought I'd build on this interest with some word families as she's also recently taken an interest in reading and writing letters and telling me things like 'b is for bananas' 'm is for medicine and milk'.
These were really quick and easy to make and have provided us with lots of different learning experiences.

Firstly I cut an A4 sheet of paper into 3" strips. I then cut off a 3" cross section to create the changing part of the flip book.
We decided on a word to start with e.g. cat and Miss Daisy then told me as many rhyming words for cat as she could. We tried to keep them to 3 letter words to stick with the nature of word families but discussed other words as she came up with them.
The original word 'cat' went on a long strip and the new beginning sounds went on the flippable pages. Easy right?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On my heart:: taking away the pain

If you're following along with my ramblings on Instagram you'd already be up to speed and know that Miss Daisy (3.5y) broke her leg on the weekend. A fracture straight across her tibia, just under the kneecap. 

The moment I heard her scream out as she landed down hard on the trampoline I was certain she had broken her leg or her foot. Her cry was something I'd never seen or heard from her before. I'm glad that we went on our knowledge of our girl and took her straight to emergency. 

She was in agony the whole way although only a 5 minute trip and yet still her ever polite self. Asking me to please not go around the corners because it was hurting. In shock. In pain. 
X-rays were done. Mistakes were made by an ill prepared doctor. And complaints were made. Big. Complaints. We then returned back to receiving the highest level of care from the CMO of the ED himself. Around 4 hours later we were driving home. 
I cannot fathom that some people receive the news their child will never walk again. Will suffer. Will need surgery (we're almost certain this wont but find out Wednesday). Or even worse will be outlived by their parents. I am trying to remember this amongst this small trial. 

My girl is handling it in the most amazing way. Without complaint. Occasionally whimpering to me that it's hurting. And I see in her eyes she's trying to be brave. She's never felt pain like this before. Skinned knees and prickles in fingers yes, broken bones, no. 
And so I wish I could feel it for her. Take it from her. Turn the clock back to the cheerful girl putting ice down people's backs only a small while before. But that's not how this thing works. 

So I'm going to learn from her. Each time I juggle my way with her into and onto the toilet, as we find things to do, as we embark on a very different paced 6-8 weeks. 
She triumphantly high fives me and declared 'We're a great team mummy" after our second successful toilet trip! And we are. We are a team. 

Ill keep you updated as I can't help but put these days into words here. 
Specialist appointments and a wheelchair fitting the next few days. 

We've also shuffled our bedroom furniture and have a new roomie which is easier than having to go to her room several times a night to settle and reposition her. 
And this. This will be a common occurrence round these parts I think! Trackie pants, iPads, bed hair and Babywearing!

Friday, October 11, 2013

DIY Flower Press - How to make your own flower press

Today we got to play with our newly Daddy made DIY flower press.

We're loving the fresh Spring mornings and the long sunny afternoons of late. Our garden is getting lots of attention and the girls are enjoying running about on the lawns. And of course the girls love to pick flowers...which thankfully we have quite a variety of at the moment!

A month or so ago I saw this great post on making a flower press. I just knew this was perfect for my garden loving Miss Daisy (and Li'l Peppa too) so I sent the link to Daddy with a pretty please attached!

I'm not sure how exactly Daddy made it (he basically cut two pieces of wood, drilled 8 holes and gathered the right screws/wing-nuts) but there's great instructions at the link above so be sure to visit if you're not sure. Isn't his wood burning a delightful addition!
When we placed our flowers in the press I added in some cardboard and the tissue paper sheets.

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

First step of course is collecting flowers and little sister was very happy to hold the basket while we gathered the goods! Miss Daisy enjoyed walking from one corner of our yard to the other and collecting a variety of flowers!
We had scissors on hand for cutting longer stems.. but any excuse for scissors is a good one round here.

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

I allowed Miss Daisy to order the flowers on the tissue as she pleased, she had already got the idea of what would happen to them between the wood sheets. Although I think she'll be surprised when she next sees them all the same! She wanted to include all that we had gathered... so we talked about perhaps including less and using some for something else...
Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

Unfortunately her beautifully laid (and very thick) arrangement blew away in the wind so once we'd picked them all up she happily told me I could do it and ran off across the yard with Li'l Peppa in tow! So I rearranged them with a little less of our collection included and layered the cardboard, tissue, flowers, tissue, cardboard between the wood boards.

Then we screwed the wing-nuts nice and tight and popped our flower press inside on a high shelf to 'forget about' for a week or two or three :)

We made rosy tea with our leftover flowers and a few added camellias from our tree.

Making your own flower press is a really simple DIY that you should definitely make for the little people in your life! And perhaps yourself too! We can't wait to see our 'squashed' flowers and will definitely show you what we create with them when we're done!

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press

Just For Daisy: DIY Flower Press