Does your toddler ... ?

Ever find your self talking to your mummy/daddy friends of children the same age as yours, sharing stories of their latest antics, venting your frustrations, only to discover your friend says "Mine does that too!". "What a relief! It's not just me" you think to yourself.

That's the idea behind today's post. I'm hoping I can share some reassurance if your toddler exhibits some of the similar behaviours as mine - and some of you might even be able to return the favour.

  • Does your toddler dislike being rugged up warm and refuses to wear jackets outside on cold days no matter how hard you try and bargain with them? Mine does.
  • Is your toddler fussy with what he/she wears? Does your toddler only like to wear their old, comfy, daggy clothes and refuses to wear anything new - even if he/she picked it out at the shop themselves! Mine does.
  • Does your toddler insist the tags be cut off every item of clothing? Mine does.
  • Does your toddler have trouble sharing? Mine does.
  • Is your toddler shy and mummy clingy? Mine is.
  • Does your toddler despise hair washing time? Mine does.
  • Does your (girl) toddler refuse to let you put anything in her hair? Ties, clips, headbands? Mine does.
  • Does your toddler still sleep in a cot and had dummies for sleep time? Mine does.
  • Is your toddler still in nappies? Mine is.
  • Has your toddler dropped their day nap? Mine has.
  • Does your toddler ask to do 'art' all - the - time? Mine does.
  • Does your toddler still cry at the child care drop off? Mine does.
  • Is your toddler amazing, smart, clever and the apple of your eye?

Mine is.

Lauren x
5

Play Space Inspo + Sarah Tamblyn Designs Giveaway

Woo hoo! Another giveaway on Teacher Types! My recent Ecoviva Bumpa Mat giveaway was such a success, I'm teaming up with my lovely friend Sarah of Sarah Tamblyn Designs and she is generously giving away one of her prints - either Numbers or Alphabet (winner's choice!).


Here's a little bit about Sarah's business and how her prints are made.

My passion for creating pieces of artwork was re-ignited when my 3 year old began to bring home paintings from playgroup. After the pile grew and grew, I didn’t have the heart to throw them out however had no room to display them properly. I decided to turn them into a more sentimental piece of artwork by cutting them up and using the colours in the paintings to create 2 farm pictures to go in his bedroom. I received so many comments on these designs from friends and family that my idea was born. I decided to create my own messy paintings to then cut up and create fun, inspiring and colourful designs to brighten up children’s spaces. All of my designs are unique and created by hand (no stencils, templates etc). You will notice no shape is perfect and no two pictures are alike. This is intentional as I wanted to bring the innocence of child-like art and a sense of fun to all my pieces.
My original pieces of artwork are professionally photographed and printed by local Adelaide businesses onto high quality satin paper. All print sizes are IKEA frame (and many other stores) compatible. There is nothing worse (particularly on your hip pocket!) than buying an awesome piece of artwork and then having to spend a fortune on having a frame custom made. Unframed prints will be rolled in plastic and posted in a mailing tube.

Sarah has a huge range of prints to choose from for a wide range of ages, boys and girls. We have this Pink Bird Print is Miss M's bedroom. It's also available in different colour combinations.


Here's another few of my favourites - You Are My Sunshine and Pineapple Print.


Custom designs are also available if you have something particular in mind (or a birth announcement print for example - pictured below). 


So now we've got your walls covered - what about some more play space inspo?

Another of Ecoviva's products we love is their pom pom rug! (Shop here). 


I cannot go passed IKEA Expedit shelves (although now they're called Kallax). On the right is the white 4x4 unit with white Skubb boxes, and to the left is the 2x4 unit with Ikea cube baskets, and green plastic tubs from Howards Storage World.

It's always nice to try and keep a place space relatively uncluttered so that children can see all of the items and make their own choices about what they want to play with. Toy rotation is also worth considering, it always makes the play space seem fresh and new. This article from Playful Learning explains how to do it! Round baskets also make a nice little addition. 


Play kitchens are such fun in a play space and encourage dramatic and imaginative play. Miss M is kept busy for ages having tea parties and 'cooking' all sorts of meals. A little table and chairs are a must have - and they have multiple uses. 

I love, love, love bunting - it's such a gorgeous decoration for kiddy play spaces. Check out this one I found on Etsy (click image to shop). 


Finally - here at Childhood 101 is a list of 60+ inspiring play spaces. 

So, how to enter this awesome giveaway?
  • Like both Teacher Types and Sarah Tamblyn Designs on Facebook. 
  • Leave us a comment (either here in this post, or on the FB post) and tell us whether you'd like to win the Alphabet or Numbers print.
The comp kicks off TODAY and ends Sunday the 31st of May, 8:00 pm (Adelaide time). The winner will selected at random, announced on the FB page and will have one week to contact Sarah with their choice and mailing address.

Thanks again Sarah for teaming up with me!
Lauren x
4

You Know You're a Teacher When...

Happy Friday everyone! Yesterday I brought you 'You know you're a mum when...' and thanks to the 'No Time for Flash Cards -Teacher Talk' FB group, today's post is...


  • You have marker on your hands and paint on your shirt!
  • You laminate almost everything.
  • You start singing jingles to get kids to do what you want/need them to do.
  • You automatically cut out 20 paper circles, when you only really needed one.
  • You go on pinterest all the time to come up with fun project ideas!
  • You're excited to see back to school supplies at the stores in the middle of the summer
  • You know you are a (preschool) teacher when you can make up a song for anything.
  • You lose sleep over your lesson plan for the next day
  • You ask your husband if he needs to go potty!
  • You watch the news, and think to yourself "Someone needs a time out!"
  • At staff meetings no one looks at each other because everyone is busy cutting something out.
  • Your soon to be husband is planning on taking an empty suitcase on your honeymoon so you can bring back all the cultural resources you will find while in another country.
  • You keep every recyclable imaginable because you just know you'll need them for a class project.
  • You find glue sticks in your purse
  • You say you have to go to the potty!!!!!
  • You have glitter on your face
  • You're cupboards and/or spare room is filling up with teacher resources.
  • Holidays are only 10 weeks away
Anything to add to the list?

Thanks again to all the contributors.

An exciting weekend coming up - another giveaway is coming your way!

Lauren x
1

You Know You're a Mum When...

Hi there :)

I was a bit stuck for something to write about today, but I'm not giving up 'Blog every day in May'. So I asked for inspo from two awesome FB groups I'm a part of for help...

...and these were the amazing responses they gave me (so much so that I've made it two posts instead of one!)

You know you're a mum when...



  • You defeat the research and you CAN actually multi task like a pro.
  • You think about your own needs last
  • You dress up (once in a blue moon), think you are looking pretty hot, only to discover (half way through the evening) that you have stickers all over your backside courtesy of your (then) three year old.
  • You take a trip to the bathroom with an entourage!
  • You go to the toilet with an audience 90% of the time
  • Your idea of a good night is kids asleep by 7pm and a full nights sleep
  • You consider 7.30 to be the world's greatest sleep in!
  • You debate the most annoying kid's shows over coffee!
  • You are so tired but you still have what it takes to get up and do what needs to be done.
  • You can't remember the last time you brushed your hair.... (or is that just me?)
  • You rock anything with wheels like it's a pram
  • You are waiting in line to try on some clothes and you find yourself rocking from side to side...
  • You say anything resembling "shut the door".
  • Nothing is clean. Ever.
  • Your washing basket is never empty for more than an hour
  • You hide all the good food up high.
  • You have more odd socks then matching ones even though some of them were outgrown years ago you for some reason hold on to hope that one day you will find it's mate ....lol
  • Your 5 year old grabs your brand new iPhone you accidentally dropped in the toilet!
  • You feel extreme love and extreme fear all at the same time.
  • You look at this little person and know you now know what love is and you realise that each child grows a whole new lot of love 
  • You manage to get out of the house alone and really just want to do the crazy 'Phoebe' run because you feel so FREEEEEEEEE.
  • You have a little person calling out for your attention at 6 am and there isn't enough convincing for them to hit the snooze button.
  • The contents of something unidentified and gross on your floor / car seat / jumper is more of an intriguing guessing game than an outrage.
  • The only Oscar nominated movie you saw recently was Frozen 
  • wink emoticon
  • You think you are all organised for an outing and you realise you're going to be late because your toddler somehow found chocolate
  • You feel a surge of love when you look at your child. It's special, like nothing else.
  • You practice meditation, yoga and are generally a very calm easy going person until someone threatens your child's safety and you instantly turn into a Lioness!
  • You've missed a decade of sleep #yawn
  • Your kids give you a kiss and a hug, and tell you they love you.
  • You are so hungry, you drive through McDonald's, and then park in the car park to eat your chips because it is easier than waking the sleeping baby.
  • You've been out all day with your jumper inside out, snot on your shoulder and smeared vegemite on your pants. Of course, you only realise this when you get home.
  • The hotness of Jimmy Giggle is a conversational subject amongst friends.
  • You can name all the engines, buses, planes and vehicles on the Island of Sodor.
  • You can no longer think or remember anything and you haven't looked at yourself in the mirror in a while.
  • You are rocking the washing basket on your hip or worse, the shopping trolly in the supermarket line!
  • We mums with these funny anecdotes aren't the only mums. A special mention to the mum's who may have only held their baby for an hour, a day, a week, or not at all. They are just as much a mum.

Thanks so much to the Aussie Parenting Bloggers - my favourite FB group.

In the coming days I'll bring you "You know you're a teacher when..."

Lauren x
0

Beautiful Bird Art & Craft Activities

Today I welcome back Benita - teacher and friend from my online FB Mother's Group (and loyal follower of Teacher Types). Benita joined us last year and shared her amazing Outdoor Kitchen. Since her last post, Benita has welcomed her second child, Miss H and is kept very busy with her two girls. Benita is here to share some beautiful bird art and craft she's been doing with two year old Miss E to keep her entertained while she's busy with bubs.

--------


“More birds, more birds” is what breakfast with my 2 year old sounds like. Currently she is loving anything crafty and everything bird (or concrete mixer) related. So today I thought I’d compile some of our bird crafts into a little recipe book for any other little bird enthusiasts out there. And birds are such a wonderful thing to want more of really.

First on the list is of course the paper plate rocking bird!



I love crafting with paper plates, they’re thick enough to withstand large blobs of paint, glue, and most manhandling a toddler can throw at them, and they’re inexpensive and easily customised.

Materials:
Paper plate
Googly eyes or cut little circles from paper to glue on
Feathers, or scrunched tissue paper, or feather-like shapes cut from coloured paper
Paint, or textas/crayons if you’re not up for the potential mess of painting.
A yellow diamond of paper for the beak
Glue

Paint/colour your plate, when dry fold in half and let your little person add feathers, beak, eyes, etc.
This is a good opportunity for counting out feathers, eyes etc and discussing what each body part is used for and perhaps how some birds differ depending on how ‘educational’ you want to make it, or what time of day it is.

Paper plate toucan!



Yep another paper plate bird! Thought we’d introduce another really different type of bird, so we read about toucans in our visual dictionary and whipped up this one.

Materials:
One paper plate
Scissors
One googly eye sticker
Colouring implements –we used a mix of texts and crayons, Miss E’s choice

Cut a long shape out of the centre of your plate so your toucan has a gap between his back and beak –this piece becomes his tail. Trim around the edge of the plate to give him claws and to shape his beak. Attach the cut out as the tail –stapler.
Colour your toucan and give him an eye –Done!

Stained glass birds



Materials:
Clear contact paper
Paint or tissue paper
Plain or coloured paper
Scissors

Cut your bird outlines from your paper and stick them to the contact. Have your little person paint on the sticky side of the contact, it doesn’t matter if they paint over the outline. When the paint is dry stick another layer of contact over the paint so it is sandwiched inside the two layers of contact. Cut around the edge of your paper outline and hang your beautiful birds in a sunny window, or even on a white wall they’ll look lovely!

Wooden birds



Materals:
Wooden birds either thick enough to stand alone and play with, or thin wooden craft shapes if you want to use them as part of a larger craft project later or simply attach a magnet and pop on the fridge!
Paint
Clear varnish if they are likely to get wet/lots of loving

I cut birds for my daughter as she asked for them, so we now have 15 wooden rocky birds nesting around the house as well as various thin ones used for magnets and framed for Mother’s day gifts etc, but I imagine most of you doing this craft will buy your bird shapes, and then simply pull out some paints and let your kiddo go! We did some in water colours, some with acrylic craft paints, some were painted with our fingers, some with cotton buds, some with paintbrushes, we scratched texture into some with sticks while the paint was wet to make ‘feathers’, some we even pressed onto the table while the paint was wet and lifted them again which was totally unplanned but made a beautiful feathery texture on the wood. If you are varnishing or adding magnets etc do this once the paint is fully dry.

Build a bird station



Materials:
Coloured paper
Glue
Googly eyes
Lots of little containers

Cut lots of different pieces and pop them into containers, so all the potential bird bodies are in one tub, all the wing pieces in another, all the beaks in another etc
Let your little person build their page of birds! I was quite surprised that despite some birds having multiple tails on their heads, some being covered in wings, some having two eyes on the side of their heads, all her birds were quite bird looking! Quirky and with personality, but definitely birds.
This is a good opportunity to discuss colours, size difference, positioning (front, side, above, behind etc). Ask lots of open questions to get your kiddo to think before they glue
What colour bird will you make next?
Where are you going to put his wings?
What will this bird be doing? -Is he going to be a flying bird or a sitting bird?
How many eyes does this bird need?
What colour tail do we want to match/contrast with this bird?
How big should this bird’s beak be?
My daughter doesn’t have the language to actually voice answers to any of these questions as she has only just started talking, but they definitely got her thinking about where and how she wanted to make her birds.
For older children you could add more pieces.. legs, nests, leaves, branches, feathers, etc.

Nut birds



Materials:
Largish nuts collected on a walk, like acorns, gum nuts, banksias etc –try to get dried out ones or as they dry you may end up with seeds everywhere, but if you have to vacuum daily anyway, perhaps it’s not such an issue
Googly eyes
Felt bits for wings, beaks etc. You could also use other nature bits like leaves, or just paper, card, or whatever you have on hand

Go for a walk with a bucket for collecting interesting bits. Assemble your birds! Let your little person do as much as possible!

Potato stamped birds



Materials:
Potato
Knife
Paint

Halve your potato and using the knife carefully cut your bird shape.
Apply a thin layer of paint to your stamp and let your little person go! We did our stamps in a contrasting colour onto a fairly plain painting she’d done the day before.

Recycled Bird Bird Feeder



Materials:
Juice carton/milk bottle/shampoo bottle/any bottle/carton from your recycling bin
Hot glue gun or other weather proof glue
Scissors
Lids
Googly eyes
Bird seed
Stick

We didn’t paint our bird as we didn’t have any waterproof kid friendly paints. Cut wing and belly holes in your ‘body’ leave wings attached to give some weather protection to the seed. Use your glue gun to attach lids as eyes and accent with googly eyes for effect. We cut our beak from the tummy piece. Poke your stick in through some holes and fill with seed. Attach to a fence or tree and wit for all those birds!

Bird themed pasting



Materials:
Anything bird related that can be pasted to a piece of paper!
Bird pictures, feathers, egg shapes, bird cards you’ve got lying about from the recent Woolworths promotions, egg shells…..
Heavy card/paper to paste onto
Clag

Multimedia art making is always lots of fun, let your kiddo go wild and make some kind of collage with all these bird related bits!

Think you have no supplies to make birds?



Go through your recycling and find some cardboard, a cereal box perhaps..
Collect some leaves with nice raised veins, show your little person how to make leaf rubbings with a crayon. Cut out some bird shapes, decorate with crayons/textas and glue your birds to their freshly made forest of leaves

Hopefully this gives you a bird idea or two to take away and create!

Other bird ideas from my mummy friends:
Pompom birds
Bird shaped cookies
Bird stamps in your kinetic sand
Toilet paper roll chicks or penguins
Fingerprints turned into birds

--------

Thanks so much for your fantastic ideas Benita! There's definitely a few on this list I'd like to try.

You can find Benita's beautiful hand crafted wooden puzzles here at - Little Bird in a Beehive.
1

Learning 2D & 3D Shape {Childhood 101 Guest Post}


Today I'm over at Childhood 101 to share some suggestions of helping little ones learn 2D and 3D shapes in various hands on ways. Building my resources and ideas in this area is a focus for me at school at the moment, so if you have any other ideas or links, please leave them below.

While you're browsing around Childhood 101, here are some of my previous guest posts :)

Awesome Autumn Activities

Summer Activity Ideas

Busy Bags for Preschoolers

Busy Bags for Toddlers

Lauren x
0

Arty Crafty Fun at Splodge!

I always love discovering fun new places to take Miss M. Here are some of our favourites I've blogged about previously;


Last week we ventured a bit further away from home base to Splodge on Diagonal Rd in Warradale to meet Miss M's Auntie and cousin and we absolutely loved it! There was so much to do and it has a really homely feel with little rooms and play spaces to be discovered. Little ones can be kept busy with art & craft, painting, sensory play, dress ups, play dough and much more (while parents enjoy a coffee & snack).

Entry is $5 (for under 3s) or $7 (for over 3s) and little extra 3D crafty models are an extra $4 (but there's heaps of other paper and materials which are included in the entry price). There's plenty of choice on the menu for adults and kids.




The staff were friendly, and always zipping around, dustpan in hand to clean up after little people and ensure supplies were topped up.

What else do you need to know?

Open Tues - Fri 9:00am - 3:00pm
They also offer birthday parties and school holiday programmes. 


I forgot to take my usual good camera, so just snapped these few with my iPhone.
{Not a sponsored post, just wanted to share our fun day}

We'll be back to see you another time Splodge!

Lauren x
0

Welcome Christine | Adventure, Baby!


Why hello there!

Today I welcome another Aussie blogger to share a bit about her family and insights to the blogging world. Christine Knight from Adventure, Baby! is a professional writer based in Sydney and her blog encourages us all to "turn every moment into an adventure!".

Thank you Christine for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Christine and her daughter Cheese

1. You have such an impressive writing career – DOLLY magazine, Google, Huffington Post, Mommy Nearest just to name a few; what has been your career highlight?


I’ve had a few that stand out. The first time I saw my name was in print for an article I wrote (it was for Juice magazine), my amazing 6 years at Google, where I learned so much about the digital space, and recently when  I had an article I wrote for MommyNearest.com get picked up by the Huffington Post and go viral. It had something like 150K shares, and was a real confidence builder to have written something that so many people felt they could relate to.

2. If I was only in Sydney for one day – what would be your number one pick of child friendly venues?


The Grounds of Alexandria is my absolute favourite. It’s crazy busy, but the food is so good, and there is so much to see and do that kids don’t want to leave. The little play area is fun (and gated!) and the animals (including the famous pig, Kevin Bacon), are happy to be patted. It’s a wonderful experience for everyone.

3. You’re always out and about at fantastic restaurants and cafes! (I love your IG account by the way) What’s your favourite food?


Savoury: Cheese. I’m liable to eat a whole block in one sitting if I’m not restrained.
Sweet: Gelato from Gelato Messina. I’m addicted and go at least once a week. I love their chocolate chip and salted caramel best, but their specials are amazing as well.

4. I’ve never been to New York. It must have been an amazing place to live and raise your child. You say it was challenging, yet built you into the happy and confident person you are today. Could you give us Aussies an insight into a day in the life of a toddler in New York City?


We lived in south Brooklyn, and a typical day would start with be a stroll down Trader Joe’s, with my big stroller for carrying back the groceries. We might stop by my favourite bagel shop for a bag of plain or blueberry bagels, or pick up clothes from the alterationists, etc. Everywhere we went was on foot, so I got plenty of exercise without even trying. After running errands in the morning, we’d go home for lunch and a nap.

In the afternoon we would regularly stroll down to the DUMBO foreshore and meet friends at the playground there, or take a spin on the beautiful Jane’s Carousel which sits right on the waterfront. I’d admire the view of Manhattan across the river and pinch myself that I really lived there. If it was summer, we’d stroll home through Brooklyn Bridge Park and grab an ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery.

5. Any plans to visit South Australia in the near future? I’d be happy to give you some tips on places to visit.


Yes, absolutely! I want to take a trip down to Melbourne, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. We have a huge overseas trip this June, so it won’t be this year sadly.

6. I see your little girl ‘Cheese’ loves her ballet lessons at the moment. What is her favourite activity/art/toy of the moment? Would you mind including a photo?


Cheese is a real performer. She loves dancing, at any time of the day, and also singing. She’s got a great memory for songs and she’s starting to learn dance sequences, too. She’s got so much passion in her little performances, it’s a joy to watch her.

Cheese enjoying her ballet lesson

7. I loved your recent post ‘How I do it – Blog Monetisation’ and it was just what I needed to read at the moment as I’m about to embark on this next step. What’s a good starting place for a small blog? Affiliate links, side bar advertising, develop a media kit?


Thank you, and I’d say a media kit! Absolutely the first step so potential advertisers, sponsors or partners can learn about what you and your blog can offer. A media kit is essential if you want to work with brands or businesses, even if you don’t intend to make money from your blog.

While developing your media kit, do a “rate card” too, that has your advertising options, and make sure it’s easy for people to contact you. A “work with me” tab lets potential advertisers know that you invite their business, with a contact address for them to request your advertising information and media kit.

8. How can an ordinary mummy/teacher blogger like me improve my writing? I think I’ve found my blogging voice and tend to just let the words spill onto the keyboard, rather than scrutinising every word and comma (like when I’m writing school reports for example) ☺


Find a mentor who is an experienced writer or editor to give you feedback on a few of your articles. Another perspective will help you see where you can improve your writing, from basic things like grammar and punctuation, to things like tone, consistency of voice, areas where you need to expand the text, and areas where you need to be more economical with your word choices. You could do a mutual article swap with another blogger, too, so you’re helping each other improve.

9. Favourite social media platform and any tips to optimize it?


Instagram. I love images. I think the key to gaining an engaged following is consistency. Posting every day, one to three times on average, and keep the types of images consistent too. Think of your social media feed as a blog and your followers as readers. They “liked” or “followed” you because they liked what they saw, so keep posting similarly to keep them interested. Network to gain more followers. On Instagram, look up other IGers in your niche and comment on their photos and get to know them. It’s a good way to grow your following.

10. Favourite quote you’d care to share?


made with wordswag app

I have to remind myself of this pretty much daily. It’s far too easy to look at people who have bigger followings or are getting bigger sponsors and be envious. The way to happiness is to be grateful for what you’ve got.

Christine with her husband Alec and daughter.

Thank you so much Christine for sharing your words of wisdom. 

Christine Knight is a writer, editor and marketing strategist. Her blog, Adventure, Baby!, is a guide to navigating the world and parenthood. Follow her travel, food and parenting mishaps over Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

Read my previous interviews in the series here
1

How to make the perfect Rainbow Rice


Today's prompt for 'Blog every day in May' is a 'How to' post.

The other day Miss M helped me to make the most beautiful rainbow rice. There are a few different methods out there - but I've found one that lasts for ages, won't stain hands and doesn't smell.

The secret is hand sanitiser.

First put your rice in a zip lock bag, add your food colouring (the more colouring the brighter the colour will be). You'll notice my green is quite light and blue is quite dark. Add a little squeeze of liquid hand sanitiser and shake the bag around (this is where your toddler can help). Leave to dry on a paper towel for about an hour and then it's ready to play with.






I kid you not, this kept Miss M busy for ages. She loved mixing all the colours and then experimenting with different scooping and pouring equipment. 

Why not give this one a try?

Let me know if you do.
Lauren x
1

Helping with the Homework

Today I'm over at my friend Sarah's blog Working Mums Collective with some tips for (not just) working mums to help their kids with homework.

As a working mum you may find it a struggle to sit down with your child when you get home from work and do their reader, sight words, alphabet or whatever it is they need to do each night. It may be late when you all get home, they may have been in after school care, they may just want to play – and you may just need to cook dinner! As Sarah said, maybe you aren’t always there to do the school pick up and chat with the teacher about these kinds of things.

So here are a couple of suggestions from me (please note this is just from a teacher’s perspective, I don’t have a school aged child of my own. Thought that should be stated from the get go).

1. Routine, routine, routine

2. Try a rewards system

3. Make reading fun!

4. Learn from your environment.

5. Ask your school about their homework policy

6. Most importantly, if the nightly homework ritual is like pulling teeth and stressful for all involved, ask for some advice from your child’s teacher and try some different strategies until you find something that will work for your family. It is so important that children still have time and opportunities to play in their free time after school and that you get to enjoy time together as a family.

Read my explanation of these tips here at Working Mums Collective.

Lauren x
1

There's a story behind this handbag


My Mum bought it, but sadly she passed away in October last year.

She must have bought this handbag ages ago, early last year maybe before she got sick.

She would have seen it was on special, and thought, 'that's a nice plain & simple black handbag...'

'...maybe I'll just buy it and put it away in a cupboard and it can be a present to myself for my birthday or Christmas'

(my mum hardly ever bought anything for herself).

So it was stored away, in the top cupboard where she used to hide our birthday and Christmas presents from us.

Until shortly after she passed away, Dad found it.

He said that I should have it, he said 'It's brand new, someone should have it'.

Such a simple thing.

So I took it home, not sure of what to do with it. Left it in it's Myer bag, and put it in my top cupboard.

And forgot about it for a while.

But remembered it from time to time.

Wasn't ready to use it.

But now, on Mother's Day, my first Mother's Day without her, which is so devastating, maybe I'm ready to use it.

And maybe it can be my handbag.

And maybe when I carry it on my shoulder I'll feel like she's a little bit closer to me.

She'd be happy it was getting used.

And it's such a great size, to fit my stuff and Miss M's stuff (I'm over nappy bags and sometimes it's just annoying to carry around her little back pack and my handbag when all I need for her is a drink, snack, nappy & wipes).

And it's a plain black handbag.

And I usually go for plain black handbags.

They match everything.

Mother's Day just isn't the same this year.

But I'm a mother too, and that's something really special. And I have a wonderful mother-in-law who I adore.

So today I enjoyed brunch at our place with the in-laws and dinner at the pub with Dad and my family. James and Miss M made sure it was a special day.

So Happy Mother's Day to all the mummies.

Thanks for reading my story.

Lauren x

And if you are without your mum this Mother's Day, my heart goes out to you. I found these two links helpful.

Without your Mum on Mother's Day

A Letter to the Motherless on Mother's Day

PS - I don't really like this word 'Motherless'. I have a mother. I'm not motherless. She just isn't here anymore.
4

Art Work made from Toddler Paintings

Just a quick one today - so as not to miss a 'Blog every day in May'. I wanted to share a little something I've been working on this week (if you don't follow me on Instagram you might have missed it).

I call this "Mummy Art", created from Miss M's toddler paintings.


I cut up her toddler paintings into little squares, arranged them in this rainbow order (taking photos as I went) and then stuck them all down. I had an evening away from my lap top which was quite nice to do something crafty.

I was inspired by a post I saw pop up on Facebook recently (from The Quirky Parent) who's friend did something similar. My friend Sarah over at Sarah Tamblyn Designs creates her prints for kids using the same technique. And this collage from Playful Learning was created with circles instead of squares.

I absolutely love it and I'm quietly so proud of myself! What do you think?
Lauren :)
6

Learning Experiences with Peppa Pig

Is it possible to create some real and true learning experiences and activities inspired by every two year old's favourite TV show? Of course it is! Keep reading.

Pancakes



Miss M was watching the episode 'Pancakes' (thanks ABC Kids) the other day, and so we decided that we would have a go at make some pancakes ourselves. It was fantastic! It was like we brought the episode to life. The language opportunities were great as we discussed what to do, she helped add the ingredients and stir the mixture, then watched me cook them, and enjoyed eating them for lunch. 

Peppa & George's Garden



This is a great episode about planting seeds and watching them grow. It's a bit more of a long term project, rather than something that gives an instant result. In my classroom we quite often plant cress seeds in little cups of cotton wool and they grow pretty quickly!

Painting



I love this one! Peppa and George get messy and paint with their hands before Daddy Pig takes them outside, teaches them about colour mixing and paints a tree from observation. Miss 2 is right into colour mixing at the moment (many of her paintings end up a funny shade of brown LOL).

Shadows



I swear Miss M learnt what a shadow was from watching this episode, and now she is so fascinated! Make your own shadow puppets, look at shadows on the walls, go outside and find your shadow, compare it to different times of the day, trace around it in chalk on the ground. Lots of ideas!

Shake, Rattle and Bang



This episode is all about musical instruments. We have a small collection of our own, but if you don't you could always make some 'shakers' with plastic bottles and different items to fill them with (rice, pasta, tin foil, pom poms etc). Discuss with your child, how to play each instrument - do you shake it to make the sound? Do you strike or bang it? What a great opportunity to put on some music and sing and dance!

Pottery



Ah playdough (in Peppa Pig they call it play clay). A timeless classic to keep children entertained for ages! Be inspired by this episode by making a tea set and having a tea party together!

The Rainy Day Game



This was another episode which gave me the idea to write this post! Miss M and I decided to play the rainy day game on a particularly wet and windy Adelaide day recently. She could understand the concept of finding the toy I had hidden, but she's not very good at hiding things herself. As soon as I finish my count down, she runs out from the hiding place all excited to show me the toy!

Numbers



I love the quote in this episode from Pedro Pony "We can count to 10 now, but we have to be playing to do it". Spot on Pedro! Play is a fantastic way to learn numbers and counting. Counting how many steps you take, jumps, skips, hops you can do, throw and catch or bounce a ball, the list goes on.

Alphabet



Click here to watch

This one isn't an episode, but a video clip of the alphabet. A great way to learn beginning sounds (although it uses the name of the capital letter A rather than the sound 'a'). Extend this activity by pausing after each letter and ask your child to go and find (or simply name) something starting with that letter. (Am I crazy or are there some 5 year olds who still love Peppa Pig?)

Colours


Click here to watch

Another video clip about colours. You could do the same activity as above and after each colour, go and find a collection of objects from around your house in that colour. Great concept for 2 and 3 year olds to learn and practise.

Do you have a Peppa Pig fan in your house? Can you think of any other episodes which provide learning opportunities for little ones?

Lauren :)
5
Back to Top