Wonderful Word Building {Childhood 101 Guest Post}

I have another post to share today which is featured over at Childhood 101. Have you ever wondered what happens between a child learning the alphabet and actually reading and writing? Word building is a crucial step in this process, and here's my collection of hands on ways to do so!

Lauren x

Brilliant Books & eBooks written by Bloggers

I've really been looking forward to putting this post together and have been gathering my own little collection of brilliant books and eBooks written by some very talent bloggers out there.

Not sponsored or gifted - just sharing these brilliant resources and giving some well deserved shout outs to these talented bloggers.

Zero to Two the Book of Play

The first three books I'm sharing are all compiled and edited by Cathy of Nurture Store, with various blogger contributors (including our very own Adelaidian Kylie from Octavia and Vicky). Some of the fantastic baby friendly activities include sensory boxes, colourful bubble play and edible finger paint.

Three to Five Playful Preschool

There are some fantastic ideas in this eBook that will be perfect for me to use in my class (including learning letters through sensory play, rainbow block play and playdough patterns). Parents and Educators of three to five year olds would definitely find many useful ideas in this eBook. 

Fizz, Pop, Bang!

I'm always looking for more hands on Maths and Science lesson plans for my kids so this book was a perfect find for me. I LOVED the 'Colour Mixing Addition' activity and 'Graphing with natural materials'. I'm keen to try the 'Exploring Absorption' experiment with my class soon. 

Time to Create

Time to create is written by Christie from Childhood 101. I love that her philosophy is focused on process rather than product. She shares many great ideas using a variety of art materials together with clear instructions and helpful tips on how to minimise the mess.

Red Ted Art

Red Ted Art is a brilliant blog and Maggy has had her own hardcover book published. Ebooks are so handy and convenient (and cheaper), but there's something special about flipping through the pages of a REAL book. This book caters for all ages and has 60 brilliant craft activities and ideas. Shop here :)

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids

Another 'real' book is by one of my favourite bloggers, Asia from Fun at Home with Kids. The thing that makes this book (and blog) stand out is that not only is Asia a qualified teacher and mother of two, but she has a science background and over time has perfected her recipes for play. In her book you'll find slime, dough, paints, small worlds, sensory play and DIY toys. Shop here (she also has just released a second book 'The Curious Kids Science Book').

Busy Little Kids

You may have heard of the app 'Busy Little Kids'? Well it's also a beautiful hard cover book (referred to as to coffee table book for kids - I love this!). Available from a variety of stores such as Big W and David Jones, ABC and Dymocks, it has so many ideas for play - organised into sunny days / rainy days with sub categories of imagine, create and move. 

Hands on : as we Grow

Weekly Activity Plans for the Early Years. 

If you feel like you'd like a bit of direction and extra help planning activities for your kids, this pack might be for you (or just purchase the eBook for your age child). The key with these activites is that the are SIMPLE, there are no photos included because Jamie says, if you can't get what the activity is without photos, then it's too complicated. Shop here :)

I hope you found this left useful.

And great work bloggers to have your own work published!

Lauren x

What's a 'Quiet Box'?

Pretty much all year long, Miss M has been inconsistent with her day naps. It was shortly after her 2nd birthday when (after much persistence) I gave up all together. Recently, she's figured out that if her dummies are in her cot, she'd like to go in her cot as well to play or have 'rest time', and will occasionally even nod off (which is fine by me). So I threw together this quiet box to give her another option during the day if she doesn't have a nap.

When putting together a quiet box of your own, here are some things to keep in mind;

  • The toys and materials should be safe for the child to play unsupervised
  • They should be able to play with them independently without any help
  • They should be quiet, nothing with batteries that plays music or makes noise.
  • Change it up every now and again to keep in interesting and inviting.

So this is what we included...

  • Simple board books
  • Mini magnadodle
  • Peppa Pig dressing game
  • Fuzzy felts
  • Blankie & soft toy
  • Mirror
  • Pretty ball
  • Slinky
  • 'Viewtainer' with pop sticks
  • Discovery bottles / glitter bottles
Well Miss M is starting to come down with a cold at the moment, so she is in her cot as I type. Not asleep just yet, I hear a few coughs, but no crying. Fingers crossed she has a nap or at least a little rest.

Lauren :)

Clever Craft Ideas + CleverPatch GIVEAWAY!

I love that Miss M is getting to the age when we can enjoy doing art & craft together. So I was thrilled with CleverPatch sent me another box of crafty goodies and asked if I'd like to host a giveaway. I said yes! Keep reading to find out how to enter and win a box of goodies worth $50.

{gifted - not sponsored}

If you missed my last 'CleverPatch' post - here's a snapshot of what we got up to...

- Decorate a coffee cup with porcelain markers
- Foam flower photo frame magnet
- DIY suncatcher clever kit
- Bead book work clever kit
- Wooden key holder
- Super silky twists for drawing


Under the Sea Painting & Stickers

Miss M loves to "mix all colours" when she does painting, so for this activity I restricted her to blue, yellow and green so that the end result wouldn't end up a shade of brown and would somewhat resemble the ocean (these water colour paints are my own). Once dry she had fun decorating it with these fantastic sea creature stickers. 

Foam Fishy Magnet

A super quick and simple activity for all ages!

3D Wooden Flower & Tree

This flower & tree were lots of fun to paint. We used our own paints and there are endless possibilities for decorating them. They'd make a great gift!

DIY Windmills

These windmills are super cute and come in a packet of 8. Little ones can enjoy decorating and older children can have a go at assembling it themselves by following the simple instructions included in the pack.

Terracotta Birds

I'm still deciding what we might do with these cute little terracotta birds - paint and decorate and hang from the cubby house verandah maybe?

A couple of other craft ideas I wanted to share...

Terracotta Pot

This was a special Mother's Day gift that Miss M and her cousin made for their Nanna. I bought this pot myself, but CleverPatch sells them too.

Painted Shells

These are some shells Miss M collected from the beach, but you can also order them through CleverPatch as part of their 'naturals' collection. Still deciding what to make with these - maybe a mobile?


To enter this CleverPatch giveaway...

  • Leave a comment below telling us why you love art and craft (in 25 words or less)
  • Enter your name and email below to subscribe to the CleverPatch newsletter.

The winner will be selected by me (Lauren of Teacher Types) based on the best and most creative response to the question. This competition will run for the entire month of June 2015, and a winner announced in this blog post in the comments and on Facebook on Tuesday the 30th of June at 8pm (Adelaide time). This competition is open to Australian residents only. The winner has one week to contact me with their mailing address and I will pass it on to CleverPatch. There is no postage cost to the winner.

Good luck! And thanks again to the lovely team at CleverPatch :)

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