I'm Going to be an Auntie! | Baby Shower Ideas

In just a few short weeks I'm going to have a niece or nephew and my little miss is going to have her very first cousin! We are beyond excited for the newest member of our extended family to arrive. I assisted hosting a lovely low key 'high tea' for my sister-in-law at the Stamford Grand Glenelg here in SA (click here for a link to the High Tea menu - if you're an Adelaidian I highly recommend it as a special treat!)

Here's a list of a few ideas to inspire anyone planning a baby shower for a loved one. Our theme was gender neutral with polka dots!

1. Invitations

I LOVE love love Vistaprint for all things invitations, birth announcements, thank you cards, Christmas cards... If you haven't heard of them check it out! Etsy is another good resource for personalised invitations and stationery. Often an Etsy seller will email you an electronic invitation and you print them yourself. It can be a cheaper way to go than Vistaprint.

2. Book Instead of a Card

A popular idea at the moment is to request that guests bring a book instead of a card to baby showers (there really would only be a few dollars price difference and a book can be kept and treasured much longer than a card). And of course it's a great way to set up your own little library and plant the seed for a future love of reading. There are various little poems that you can include in your invitation to politely express this request. Here's a few ideas (did not write these myself so not taking any credit- all found on Pinterest).

One small request that won't be too hard, 
Please bring a book instead of a card.
Old or brand new is just fine
The inside cover is a perfect place to sign.

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One small request that won't be too hard, 
Please bring a book instead of a card.
Whether 'Cat in the Hat' or 'Old Mother Hubbard', 
Please write a note inside the cover
Your book will be treasured, 
Be it pre-loved or brand new
And each time (baby) reads it, 
He/she'll be reminded of you

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One small thing we'd like to request,
Please bring a book for (baby), one you like best.
We're starting a library, so books we'll be needing
Lets get (baby) on a journey of reading.
A book that you love should be the one that you choose
Please write inside a message from you

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You get the idea!

3. Gifts for Guests

Just like at a wedding, I think it's lovely to come away with something after a special event. At my baby shower my friends and family received macarons in little noodle boxes. For my sister-in-law, I bought the smallest baby bottles I could find, filled them with mini M&Ms and attached a name tag (these doubled as place settings for the table). A pretty standard game at baby showers is "Guess the lollies in the baby bottle" and my original idea was for guests to guess how many M&Ms were in their own baby bottles but this would have been too time consuming for me! So we just guessed the mother-to-be's bottle.



My sister-in-law also made DIY bake your own cookies in a jar. The idea is that you fill a jar with the dry ingredients needed to bake a batch of cookies and attach a cute little recipe card.


It really depends on the number of guests you are having as to which types of gifts will be appropriate and affordable. It's also nice to have prizes for winners of the games, and extra practical things for the mother-to-be (nappies, wipes, bibs etc).

4. Quizzes and Games

Quizzes are quite popular for hens nights, but they're a nice little idea for baby showers also. There's several ways to go here... (I had a great time coming up with these little rhymes for each game)
- How well do you know the mother-to-be?
- Mum or Dad? (guess whether the statement is true for the mum or the dad eg Who's middle name begins with J?)
- Nursery Rhyme Quiz (see below)



We also asked the mother-to-be to "Guess the baby photo". All you need to do is inform guests that they need to bring a baby photo of themselves. We simply used blu tack to stick them all to poster paper (the small numbers in circles below labelled each photo). Be sure to remember to nominate someone to record the answers as people arrive and hand in their photo.



5. Guess the date, weight, gender etc...

I did the guess the gender a little differently for my sister-in-law. One idea was for guests to wear pink or blue clothing to show their prediction, but I chose an easier 'peg' option so the people simply attached a blue or pink peg to their outfit. The mother-to-be had a photo with all the pinks and then all the blues!



6. Something Sentimental

It worked out perfectly at the recent baby shower I hosted that there were 12 guests, and obviously 12 months in a year. So a special little idea I came up with was for each guest to write a message for the mother-to-be to open each month of her baby's first year.


Another idea I've seen is for guests to write a humorous message on a nappy for mother/father-to-be to read during late night nappy changes!

If you'd like any of these document files emailed to you - feel free to comment with your email address below and I'll gladly share them.

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I've also hosted a "Baby Sprinkle" for a friend who's having her second bub - I love the idea of a "Baby Sprinkle" because it's nice to still celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new little person, but after one baby you usually have most of the things you'll need. Hence we 'sprinkle' with little gifts, rather than going over the top with another 'shower'. I've blogged about it too!

Another important upcoming celebration is my little one's first birthday! 1 week to go and I'll have a one-year-old! 

Stay tuned!
Lauren
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Three Simple Activities | Baby Play

Looking for some new ideas to keep your little one entertained? I find that my eleven-month-old gets bored easily with the same toys, but by adding a few additions or presenting them in a different way you can make the old seem new again! Changing toys around regularly or putting some away for a week or two and then getting them out again can also help to keep little ones interested. Think about the way you present the toys as well (eg treasure baskets or tins - see 2nd picture below). I come across the term "invitation to play" quite often (will do a post all about this idea soon) and this is what I try to create when setting up activities and toys for my little miss.

A mummy friend and I also love to do toy swaps... At the moment her little one is borrowing our ball pit white we are borrowing her Fisher Price "learning home". Fun, fun and more FUN!

So here's three little easy ideas for you to try...


These types of balls are available at most baby/toy shops (the one on the top is called an 'o-ball' and the one on the right has a bell inside so that's nice for a bit of music). I simply cut up some soft thin material scraps and put them inside the balls. It's fascinating watching my little one try to pull them out with a look of determination on her face! You could also try putting material scraps in an empty tissue box or baby wipes container.



Another very simple idea to present everyday baby toys in a different way. My little one loves small toys that fit into her hand that she can carry around with her (pictured are some of her favourites). She enjoyed taking them all out and putting them in, banging them against the tin, all the while discovering what sounds they make.




Ribbon rings are very easy to make (I used curtain rings from spotlight). I'm not sure the name of the knot I used to secure the ribbon, but it worked well. I'm hoping to add to our collection and make many more using different colours. One tip I have is to regularly trim the ends of the ribbon because they fray.

I hope you enjoyed these little simple ideas, please share in the comments below if you have any baby play ideas to contribute.

Thanks for reading :)
Lauren

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Fun Things To Do With Food Colouring | Baby & Toddler Play

Hello there! I haven't posted in a while - my maternity leave is officially over and my teacher self has returned to the classroom for two days a week. It's going really well so far! We have even set up our own blog for the students and families (can't share it on here due to privacy reasons), but I've been extra busy setting up that blog and website as well!

Did you enjoy my previous post about Rainbows? Well here are three simple ways to bring some rainbow fun your little one's sensory play time using humble food colouring.

1. Rainbow Rice



Best. Idea. Ever! What a feast for the senses!

Sight - the visually appealing colour in rainbow order. How much fun would your little one have mixing up all of the colours! (Try hiding little toys in the rainbow rice sensory bin for your little one to search for!)
Touch - the rice is so much fun to hold and move around and let it run though little fingers. Try adding funnels, cups and containers for pouring.
Smell - add a scent!
Sound - put some rainbow rice in a discovery bottle to make your own musical shaker (see one of my previous posts for other discovery bottle examples)

Simple to make with endless possibilities for play, art and craft. For my first attempt I simply soaked the rice in water with a few drops of food colouring (the longer you soak the more vibrant the colour). Next I placed it on paper towel to dry (make sure it's completely dry or else it will go mouldy when you put it in a sealed container).

Some recipes I found on the net suggest using rubbing alcohol or vinegar to set the colour of the rice and preserve it - but I'm yet to try this method! Here's a couple of links I found...

http://happyhooligans.ca/rainbow-rice/
http://gatherandnest.com/gather-and-nest/7551

Older children could even use glue on card to make a rainbow rice pictures!

Since my little one is only 10 months old and still very much in the 'putting-everything-in-her-mouth' phase, I'll try the rainbow rice sensory bin idea again when she's a bit older :)

2. Rainbow Ice

After doing a bit of research on the net - it seems that many experts recommend that you do not give ice to children under 4 as it can be a choking hazard (admittedly I learned this after I had already let my little one play with these rainbow ice cubes during water play in the middle of our recent heatwave! Oops!)

So if your child is 4 or older, they might enjoy playing with these colourful ice cubes on a hot day! Involve them in the process of mixing the food colouring with the water, and carefully pouring it into the ice cube trays. Discuss how long it takes to freeze, observe how long it takes to melt. You could even freeze little berries or pieces of fruit in clear water ice cubes as a cool treat!

Visit my friend Sarah Tamblyn's blog here to see a great "ice" idea she came up with for her 4 year old archaeologist!


3. Rainbow Spaghetti

This idea is on my to-do list! I love that it's an edible sensory rainbow play idea. Can't wait to try it with my little one.

image credit

image credit

One of my favourite blogs I follow is Mama OT. Click here for helpful step by step instructions on how to make rainbow spaghetti and why sensory play is so beneficial for young children's development. While you're there have a look around her website - so many good ideas.

Right... so I have another simple baby play post in draft form, soon to be posted in the next few days. Also, I'm in the process of helping plan my sister-in-law's baby shower and hopefully I'll post some photos of some of the cute little ideas I've come up with to make her day extra special!

Thanks for reading,
Lauren

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