Rainy Day Activity: playing with rice

This activity is brilliant for all ages, easy to throw together at short notice and gives them hours of fun. My 8month old has just as much fun as my toddler tipping, scooping and spreading it between his fingers.

I have a tuff tray that I lay down on my kitchen floor. Then I tip in a bag of rice and throw in some containers from the recycling box and different sized spoons. You could also use a small blow up paddling pool or a washing up bowl.

Brilliant for rainy days.

What to do with your child’s art work

Since my daughter started Pre School she has come home with many bits of paper covered with her lovely artwork. But who has a fridge big enough to display it all? Obviously some does end up in the bin but here are some other ideas that you can do before you decide to throw it away.

Create an Art Gallery 

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Here I used two ikea picture ledges and framed some of her Early finger paintings. I then screwed in four hooks undearneath and hung string between them. Using small pegs I then just hang up her work as she brings it home.

Create an sign for their room

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I simply cut out letters from her work, backed it in black paper and framed them in an old picture frame.

Stick it to Windows 

My daughter loves creating pictures on contact paper stuck to the windows. I cut the best ones up and keep them stuck on her playroom window. Click to read blog about making these.

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How to make your own playdough

For Christmas my daughter got some playdough but within days it had dried up because we had forgotten to put the lids on. I didn’t want to keep buying it so I made my own and we love it.

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What you will need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable or sunflower will do)
  • 1/2 a cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Cream of Tartar.
  • 1 tablespoon of food colouring (or more for deeper colours)
  • 1 cup of plain flour

Method:

  1. Put the water, oil, cream of tartar, salt and food colouring in a pan and heat up on a medium heat.
  2. Take off the heat. Allow to cool a little.
  3. Add the cup of flour.
  4. Mix together.
  5. Knead when cool enough.
  6. Store in an air tight container.

NOTE: This can be made without the Cream of Tartar but will not last very long. With the Cream of Tartar it should last around six months, if you keep it stored in an air tight container.

Developing Gross Motor Skills

This morning my daughter spilt porridge oats all over he kitchen floor and I turned it into a fun game to keep her occupied while I made breakfast.

I simply taped a square on the kitchen floor and asked her to sweep all the oats into it so that we could use the dust pan and brush to collect up the bits.

Brilliant! And she was also developing those Gross Motor Skills.

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Mark making

I would never ask my two year old to sit down and write. There is no way she would stay interested and it would be a waste of time. But that doesn’t mean she can’t practise holding a pen, crayon, chalk or pencils. Or even simply use her finger to make shapes and patterns. She won’t be able to form letters yet but I use any opportunity to get my daughter to ‘Mark Make’. This is basically just making shapes and patterns; it could be in wet sand, flour, on paper, in gloop or even making patterns in the mud. Normally she would just use her finger but today she asked to use a pen.

Here my daughter was sticking tissue paper shapes onto some contact paper on the windows and making birds and flowers. She asked if she could use a pen to draw on the eyes, mouth and feathers. I jumped at the chance for her to practise drawing dots and lines.

 

Make your own stick Christmas Tree

My daughter loves to collect sticks on our walks out. Here is a great crafting idea to use them.

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What you will need:

  • A selection of different sized sticks
  • Paint (white, red and green)
  • pva glue
  • glitter
  • string or ribbon for tying
  • brushes for painting

Method:

Make sure all your chosen sticks are dry and clean. Get your toddler to paint them white, red or green.

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Let them dry. Get your toddler to brush on plenty of pva glue. Let them Sprinkle on the glitter. Allow the sticks to dry. Tie the sticks together in length order with the longest stick at the bottom.

img_1519Add a loop at the top so that you can hang on your wall for Christmas. Why not also add any small christmas decorations for added sparkle.

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