Lauren Recaps 2016

When I look back on 2016, I think about how many coffees I drank, how little sleep I got and how much of my kid free time I spent on the blog/social media...

Without a doubt, 2016 has been the best year for Teacher Types! 111 blog posts, (30 of which were product reviews), together with many opportunities that have come my way (incuding becoming a TRIBE influencer). I'm truly grateful and have loved all of it.

I didn't just write here though - I've been popping up all over the place! You may have seen me over at Adelady, Kids in Adelaide, Alphabet Street, Childhood 101, Kid MagazineFinlee and Me, Baby Hints & Tips, and the Parent Talk Australia Instagram account.

As the year draws to a close it's nice to look back on the highlights and best blog posts of 2016...and you might even come across a post that you missed! Or if you're a new follower you can catch up!



5

14 Things to Make and do with Salt Dough

Move over play dough - salt dough is our new favourite sensory play + craft material! Play dough has probably been the activity Miss M spent the most time doing in 2016 - but the thing she loves with salt dough is that she gets to keep and preserve her creations.

So it's the week leading up to Christmas and it's a great time to make some Christmassy bits and pieces using salt dough, either as a gift for family members or just for the fun of it!

I brainstormed (and then browsed Pinterest) for as many different things to make with salt dough and we tried to make as many of them as possible!


This is pretty much a fool proof recipe - just don't make any plans to leave the house because they take about 3 hours to bake and dry out in the oven (very low temp - around 120).
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • half a cup of salt
  • half a cup of warm water
2

Keeping up with the Kid's Learning During the Holidays

You might not even be contemplating or thinking about this yet (in which case please save, bookmark or pin this post for later in January). On the other hand you may be fresh out of a parent teacher interview or you've read your child's report and want to know how you can keep up with their learning during the long summer holiday break. (You'd be surprised at how many parents would ask me for 'activity books' and worksheets to be sent home with their child during the last week of Term 4). 

5

SNIP SNIP! {Early Learning Opportunities with Scissors}

This week it's been all about SCISSOR skills and activities over at Early Learning 101 on Instagram. If you don't follow them already you really should! Each week there is a different early learning theme to inspire your week of activities, and the hashtag #earlylearning101 has heaps of great inspo! Lucky me this week I was asked by the hosts Nichole (You Clever Monkey) and Amy (Playful Learning Co) to be their guest judge - so of course this got me thinking as to how I could put some more scissor skill practise into my week with Miss M (and I looked back through some old blog posts and photos as well to find some more ideas to share!).

Play dough is a great way to start with a toddler developing their scissor skills. Easy to use plastic scissors cut through the squishy play dough with ease. Roll out skinny worms to cut, or play hair dresser like Miss M is here!


1

Eight Excellent Christmas Tree Arts, Crafts & Activities

~It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas~

The tree is going up tonight!! Our normal family tradition is the first of December, but Miss M and I are off to the Christmas concert at school tomorrow night so we are doing it one night early! I am so looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit this year with our two little ones. To keep the tree safe from Little Man's inquisitive clutches we plan to pop it in the play pen (which wasn't being used for it's intended purpose anyway). This is quite a popular idea for households with toddlers and babies on the move I've heard.

So today I've got some fun and festive Christmas tree themed art, craft and activity ideas for you and your kids to enjoy in the lead up to the special day!

Felt Christmas Tree Decorating



A perfect activity for toddlers (but preschooler's will love it too) is this felt Christmas tree. Stick the tree to a wall using command strips, and the felt decorations stick to the tree. Your little one can decorate and re-decorate the felt tree to their hearts content. Get them from Charlie Robin Designs (but make sure you order before the 12th of December).

Kindly gifted for the purpose of this post.

10

EPIC Water Play Ideas for Summer in Adelaide!

It's heating up here in Adelaide and the official start of Summer is just days away, so I've put together an EPIC list of water play ideas thanks to some of my kid blogger friends from all across the globe! There are some really great activities here that I hadn't thought of before and can't wait to try them out.

Kids Craft Room wrote this fantastic post about the benefits of water play; it's a sensory experience, it's clean, it will keep them cool while playing outside on a hot day, it allows them to experiment and explore simple scientific concepts as you'll see in some of the other posts.


(Click the image to go to the full post - all images + links were used with permission from the blogger). 


1

2016 Christmas Gift Guide! {Educational Christmas Gift Ideas}

November means... Christmas gift guide time! I've got an epic collection of ideas here for you today that I have spent weeks gathering. Many of these products are on Miss M's wish list that she'll be asking Santa for this year. As ever the focus is on education and encouraging a child's development in all areas.

This year, more people than ever are shopping from their lounge rooms rather than hitting the shops - and why wouldn't you? (I saw a meme today - that said "Instagram is like the biggest store in the world"). So true!


Disclaimer: some (not all) of the products in this guide have been gifted to me, or I have had a previous collaboration with the brand. I received no payment for any brands to appear in this gift guide. All opinions are my own :)


10

10 Ways to Use Your Honey and Co Club Canvas Bag

You may have already heard of Honey and Co Club subscription kits - I've featured them here on the blog and Instagram from time to time, and they've made a great gift to give some of my friend's kids this year. I love how every month is a different theme and all the little goodies come in the loveliest canvas bags which can be used over and over again for so many things (and every month is a different funky pattern too - we've got a collection of 4 already!).


Today's post is giving you TEN ways to reuse your Honey and Co Club canvas bag. They come in so handy as you'll see...

1

Why I Think EVERY Classroom Needs This Rainbow

If you asked me to choose my ONE FAVOURITE toy for kids - it would be the Grimm's wooden rainbow stacker. I just adore them for so many reasons (possibly all stemming from my childhood obsession with rainbows).

Another way to order the arcs from biggest to smallest

Did you know Grimm's is a German based company, and one question I'm always asked is "Where can you get them here in Australia??". Well you need look no further that one of my fave Instagrammer Brianna's (Notes from a Home Educator) new shop The Creative Toy Shop (*affiliate link). Brianna is a professional nanny + special ed teacher who is (like me) passionate about play based learning and she has so so SO many brilliant ideas on her Instagram page (here's some ways the boys she educates use their rainbow).

Image credit - Notes from a Home Educator

As you all (probably) know I'm still on maternity leave, so today on the blog I get to pretend that I'm back in a classroom and share all the brilliant ways I could use this rainbow stacker with my class, and why I think EVERY junior primary classroom (preschool, kindy, early years classroom, homeschool playroom) should have one. There are many possibilities for learning in various curriculum areas.

*Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review. 

2

Just Like Riding a Bike {FirstBIKE Feature}

Traditional tricycle vs balance bike??
That's what we're talking about today!

Promise you won't laugh, but I have a confession to make... I actually can't ride a bike...
Did you laugh??
It's ok if you did.

I also know nothing about modes of transportation. So I've called in my expert husband James to answer my questions after his hours upon hours of research into getting the right bike for Miss M (which he secretly enjoys - it's like his hobby. Blogging is mine and research is his). I was a bit worried at first as I'm sure lots of mums would be about how their little ones would go on a balance bike - but James is going to ease those worries and explain it all to us!

*Balance bike kindly gifted by FirstBIKE for the purpose of this review.


3

It Really Does Take a Village {Tree Hut Village Feature}

This post is brought to you by Tree Hut Village. 

It really does take a village to raise a child.

That village may look different to you and I. Everyone's village is different - some have their parents, in-laws, aunties and uncles, grandparents, friends, mother's group, neighbours but there are also lots of 'virtual' villages out there to help parents as well. Via my Jan 2016 birth club + the Mums With Hustle biz club on Facebook I met Eva and learnt about her brand new biz the Tree Hut Village so I'm helping her out by being a member of her village and trying to spread the word. 

Meet Eva!

Eva shared with me a bit about how the biz came about...

We have lived in Melbourne for over six years and are loving it. The food and the people are amazing and it was an easy decision to start our family here. We have welcomed our little man in January this year and love being parents. My husband I have wanted to start a business for a long time now. We've been busy with work and one day, when my brother visited with his little girl and we had to get so much stuff for her, we thought: "Wouldn't it be great to just get it from a mum down the road?". A bit of time went by and once I was on maternity leave and I had no more money coming in,  I felt that not only would it be great to not have to take a bunch of stuff when you travel but that bit of extra money really does help as well. The experience of being a mum myself and knowing how hard and nerve wrecking it is to travel with a little one and the feeling of not having any of your "own" money all of a sudden really motivated me to start Tree Hut Village.  

2

Tailor Made Tales {Personalised Books for Kids}

There are so many nifty little products for kids out there these days, you just need to know where to FIND THEM! That's where I (and lots of other bloggers) come in. We love to discover unique and personalised items for your kids that you won't find in shops, try them out, and share them with you. We also love helping out small biz mums to get their awesome products seen by more eyes!

So today's product review is a pretty special one. It's a personalised story book, made by Kim from Tailor Made Tales. It's not just an ordinary photo book though, Kim will actually write a unique story especially for your child based on the photos you send her. I just love this idea, and I was so happy with what she came up with for Miss M (kindly gifted for the purpose of this review).


"The Big Adventures of a Big Sister"

I even love the title!


1

Encouraging Kids to Colour, Draw and Write

It all begins with toddler scribble, then comes more purposeful colouring, shapes become recognisable pictures, letters start to appear and it all falls into place!

Well, in theory!

Some of Miss M's art work #soproud

Children come to their first year of school with a wide variety of pre-existing skills. Some have never really held a pencil before, and others can write their name and colour in neatly. It really varies from child to child. Just quietly I think it's super cute when kids first start to draw pictures of people and its just a circle head with sticks coming out of it lol! I always say to them - "Do your arms come out of your ears?" 

If you want to encourage your preschooler to colour, draw and write before starting school (or if your school kid needs a bit more help in this area) I have some ideas for you!

10

Helping Kids Learn about Emergencies & Triple Zero

It's something that we hope our kids will never have to do - dial triple zero in an emergency. But it's important that they do know how to should they ever be in that situation. It's also important that they can differentiate between different 'emergencies' and identify 'is it really an emergency?'.

I was recently sent a fantastic book which gently introduces this concept to young children in a not-at-all scary way.


Meet Toby the Teddy...


8

Play is Play {+ A History Lesson}

Something a little different, but something close to my heart.

On the weekend we attended the 50th birthday of the Kathleen Mellor Kindergarten in Tea Tree Gully (Kathleen was my great great aunt, and my maiden name is Mellor, so that's where the significance lies). You can read more about my visit to the kindy back in 2014 here. When I re-read that post, and at the time the director Anne was talking to me about the 50th birthday celebration planned for 2016, it sounded so far away, and I can't believe it's been and gone!

Anyway, my Aunty Sue had unearthed some treasures and memorabilia from Kathleen's life that we were eager to share at the celebration. The one thing that really stood out to me was the photos of PLAY. And how the children 50 years ago were playing, not far different to today. Play is play. Play will always be PLAY.

Reading

7

Dear LUSH - Thank You For Making Me Feel Human Again

Ok, so before you say "What do Lush cosmetics have anything to do with early learning and parenting? Hold on Lauren you are not a beauty blogger no matter how many times you dress up and pretend to be!"... I couldn't not share and write about my awesome night out at the special sneak peak opening of the new Lush store in Rundle Mall.

L is for Lush

3

Our Play Space for a Crawler and a Preschooler to Co-exist

He's 10 months old and well and truly on the move!


Crawling that is.

And that means it's a whole new ball game.

We suddenly seem to have this extra presence in our house and have to be aware of where he is and what he's doing all the time. No more plonking him down on the mat with a basket of toys to occupy him. Cupboards, drawers and doors are now hazards we have to be even more careful of Miss M's teeny tiny bits and pieces.

So, as we've gathered more and more "STUFF" our play area has evolved over the years, from this...

3

I didn't plan on baby wearing... but here I am {and I love my Ergo}

It really fascinates me how two children raised by the same parents in the same home in the same way can be so different. This is when you really understand what they by 'nature vs nurture'. As Little Man is growing and developing and we are learning more about his personality and how he is so different to Miss M.


Long story short, he likes to be held...

2

Water Play Fun with Splashlings {Product Review}

Move over Shopkins, there are some new kids on the block ;)



Meet the Splashlings! Oh so cute little under the sea creatures, critters and mermaid collectables that Miss M has decided are the best things ever. I asked her whether she likes Shopkins or Splashlings better (because honestly to me they're pretty much the same), and she said "Splashlings because you get more sea creatures!". It probably also helped that I set up a small world play tub to get her started with them. What is it with three year old who love playing with teeny tiny collectables?

Disclaimer: we were kindly gifted these Splashlings for the purpose of this review, but as with all my reviews, my (and Miss M's) opinions are totally our own and we always aim to be honest and authentic.


3

Reading Aloud is More Than Just a Bedtime Routine {Guest Post}

I'm so thrilled to have a special guest here today - author Amelia Trompf who is launching her book Who is Fitzy Fox? this month with a blog hop, and we are her last stop! You probably saw my review yesterday, and today Amelia's talking all about the importance of reading to our kids. 

{Sponsored}
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A couple of unexpected things have happened to me since I had my son. One is that I get ridiculously excited when I go past a yellow digger and absolutely beside myself when I see a really big crane, even when it’s just me in the car. The second is I am overjoyed when the toilet roll is finished because I have yet another cardboard cylinder to add to the ‘making box’. Actually the toilet roll excitement is relatively new and has started since I decided to challenge myself to get more ‘crafty’.

2

{Book Review} Who is Fitzy Fox?

I love hosting book reviews here on my blog. I think it's just such an amazing thing that a person can write a story and go through the whole lengthy process to have it turned into an actual book! A book with pages and pictures and a front cover. What an achievement! And on top of that, books are such an important part of childhood and early learning, it's always great to find and share a new one. And that's what I'm all about :)

{Sponsored}

Who is Fitzy Fox? written by Primary school teacher Amelia Trompf and illustrated by Jennifer Bruce is a story about identity, belonging and bravery. Fitzy Fox is the most adorable character with his glasses and fancy outfits and accessories. He's so adorable and endearing!

See? He's just the cutest! So lovable!

6

An Apple for the Teacher {End of Year Gift Ideas}

OK OK so I know that Term 4 has only just begun here in SA, but everything happens a bit earlier in the Internet world and the 'Mums with Hustle' tell me that businesses are organising their Christmas stock, and blog posts are being written so that you can order and receive your products in time!

I'm so excited to bring you this post today - it's an awesome collection of end of year teacher gift ideas (and I'm totally allowed to share this because I'm on maternity leave and this isn't a hint to my parents at school to buy me this stuff!! But teacher friends - feel free to share!).

Your child's teacher works so hard over the school year, and it's not that we expect a gift (sometimes a lovely message inside a card is all we need), but if you do like to get your child's teacher a gift, or perhaps the class is all chipping in a few dollars to get something special - look no further than my list of unique and special teacher gifts.

Thanks to the awesome 'Mums with Hustle' who have contributed their products to this post. (Not sponsored, just love to #supportlocal and #shopsmall)

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Prints and Posters


9

Little People Aren't Supposed to Sit Still {Fidget Toys Feature}

"I am in Preschool. I was not built to sit still, keep my hands to myself, 
take turns, be patient, stand in line, keep quiet all of the time.
I need motion, novelty, adventure and to engage the world with my whole body.
Let me play. Trust me I'm learning"

This quote has circulated the Internet many times and so I'm not sure of the original source - but it's at the core of what my blog post is all about today.

Miss M's favourite fidget toy - large elastic ball

Let me start by saying that we want young children to develop these skills; to be able to sit in a group and listen to a story is vital in the early years of school, to listen, to follow instructions, to not hurt others etc etc. But we as teachers and parents need to remember that it does not come naturally to all children and that it's our job to cater to their needs whilst encouraging them to display the desired behaviour of that particular setting.

10

Terrific Transport Activities {+ Click Clack Toys Giveaway}

Today is all about TRANSPORT! Such a fun theme - and so relatable for little ones because they are immersed in all different types of transport in their everyday lives. Cars, buses, trucks along the road, planes in the sky, boats in the water... They learn to ride bikes, they go on train rides, and how exciting is rubbish collection day when the big truck comes?!? So naturally (as children learn through play) when they are playing with transport toys, they are acting out what they know about real life. The essence of learning through play. Children making sense of the world around them.


20

Things we LOVE to do in Adelaide

You may have seen me popping up on all sorts of other websites lately, e.g. Alphabet Street, Adelady and Kids in Adelaide where I share some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in this beautiful city we call RADelaide.

So why should Teacher Types miss out?

I thought it was about time I combined all of these fantastic locations into the one place for my Adeladian followers to get some inspo of where they can take their kids these school holidays. Maybe somewhere you've never been? Or somewhere you've forgotten about :)

Princess Elizabeth Playground, South Terrace, Adelaide



Because trampolines in the ground are the actual best. This playground has a sand pit area too and plenty of play equipment for all ages. 

3

{Guest Post} Small World Play 101 - Benefits & Implementation

Today I'm so pleased to welcome Krystal, a former teacher, now a mum of three and owner of Sweet Elephants (*affiliate link). She has some unique, beautiful and educational products for kids and babies on offer - and has compiled some brilliant small world play ideas to share today.

Welcome Krystal.



2

Bridge to Learn Educational Resources {Product Review}

It's always a joy to find and a pleasure to share educational resources that parents can use at home to help their children with early learning. Just a short scroll through my blog and you'll find some of my previous educational product reviews...

Bridge to Learn is a fun and engaging learning program targeted at children from birth to 8 years comprising of a series of storybooks, toy kits and learning books. The main character 'Ollie the Octopus' seems to always be off on new adventures with his sea creature friends. Key concepts such as shapes, numbers, colours and beginning sounds are introduced to the learner and woven through the 'under the sea' theme. The resources are developed, made and printed in Australia and aligned with the Australian Curriculum and Early Learning Years Framework which gets a tick from me!



4

That Time Miss M and I Went to Melbourne

If you had 24 hours in Melbourne, with a three year old, how would you spend them? I asked my Aussie Parenting blogger friends and here were a few suggestions...(of course with Melbourne your plans are always weather dependent).


Miss M and I ventured off on a girls weekend to visit some friends in Melbourne. She's been once before (read about it here - oh my how things have changed), but was too young to remember. From chatting to friends, 3 seems to be the turning point when children become somewhat easier to travel with. So here's just a quick recap of how we spent our 24 hours!

8

Seven Puzzle Hacks for All Ages!

Ah puzzles. They've been around for ever and kids still love them - plus they're great for early learning. Shape, rotation, transformation, spatial awareness are the foundations for more advanced mathematical concepts learnt later on.

To be honest, Miss M doesn't play with puzzles all that often, so I'm always looking for new ideas for how to make a standard simple puzzle more interesting and turn it into a fun and inviting play activity. Some of my favourite Instagrammers/Bloggers have shared some of their ideas lately, so we wanted to try some ourselves.

Peekaboo Puzzle



8

What To Do With All Those Special Baby Clothes?

Are you a keeper of all your little one's baby clothes? Do you organise them into sizes? Store them in nappy boxes? Tuck them away in a cupboard for if you have another baby or to give to a friend or family member to make use of? Or do you regularly purge and make trips to the op shop?

But what if you aren't planning to have any more children? What about all those super special teeny tiny items of clothing that you feel you must keep? Would you love to do something special with them instead of leaving them packed away in that cupboard to be forgotten about??

I was so pleased to meet Nicoleta via the Mums with Hustle biz club FB group. She turns those special baby clothes into keepsake softies that are just as cute as pie :)

Here's what I sent her...


12

Activity Ideas for the Four Seasons {Wrap Up Post}

Over the past two years or so I've written a few 'seasons' posts, and for a while I've wanted to compile them all in the one place for your ultimate Four Seasons activity collection. Make sure you pin this one!

Summer



This was my very first guest post over at Childhood 101 and ever since I have written for Christie every month! We did ice play, kinetic sand, sunshine craft, and sponge water bombs. Water play is a MUST in summer time!
0

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere! {30 Art & Craft Ideas}

As I sit and write this, it is a glorious 25 degrees in Adelaide! Whoop whoop!

So to celebrate the start of Spring I've got an awesome collection of flower arts and crafts from some fantastic kid bloggers. I've organised them (roughly) into ages, but of course your little one will probably need a bit of assistance and guidance.

All images used with permission. Thank you contributors! 
I've got the love heart eyes for these collages!

Toddlers


 

There's lots of paint stamping, handprints, footprints and egg cartons in this collection. Miss M and I are keen to give the egg carton flowers a go! Will be sure to share when we do :)

8

The Liebster Award {but I'm changing it up a bit!}

It's been a while since my last Liebster Award (first one here and second one here) - so it was a lovely surprise when Amanda from Jelly Fish Sticks nominated me!!

The Liebster is just another way that bloggers can share the love (links = Google love) and introduce their readers to some new awesome blogs. Just like #followfriday on Instagram (which I also love and regularly participate in).

So here are my 10 random facts...


  1. I am obsessed with Greys Anatomy - when I knew (spoiler alert) they were going to kill off Dr McDreamy I actually boy cot the show (temporarily) and still can't bring myself to watch his last episode...
  2. I always have two coffees a day - the first a Nespresso at home, the second one when I'm out and about.
  3. I started my blog on the 1st of Jan 2014 - and I still think it was the BEST DAY to launch a blog. I've never missed a month without a blog post - and this year has been my busiest yet.
  4. I love being a teacher. And I love being a mum. I hope to continue being about to do both jobs to the best of my ability for years to come.
  5. I have 'time-xiety' (a word my husband invented) meaning I get anxious about being late! Even to the point where my nightmares usually involve me being late to school/work.
  6. I go to bed ridiculously early whenever I get the chance.
  7. I have a secret (not so secret) crush on Jim from The Office and Ted from HIMYM.
  8.  I'm a clumsy klutz. I regularly drop things and regularly trip over.
  9.  I've been a bridesmaid 3 times and a flower girl twice.
  10. I went on a Contiki tour to New Zealand during my single crazy days when I was 24 and had the time of my life! I even jumped out of a plane!
Yes that is me. No it is not a stock photo.
3

Handy Mum & Bub Products That Will Save Your Sanity

Being a second time mum, I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to surviving the every day with my Little Man. There are so many clever little products out there designed by mums who want to make your life that little bit easier.

Mummy Beads


If you're anything life me in the midst of #mumlife you'll probably find yourself rockin' the same jeans and black tops everyday. Forget about wearing your hair down or dangly earrings because that baby on your hip will just grab and hang on for dear life. AND we all know that babies put everything in their mouths, so if you want to at least look a little pretty with some jewellery on, these silicone + wooden bead necklaces from Indera Beads are what you need in your life! (Gifted - and yes that is baby dribble on my top #mumlife #keepingitreal)


3

Last Minute Father's Day IDEAS!

Dad's special day is coming up this weekend so it's time for us mums to get our creative on and make some stuff with the kids. In my house we got busy with salt dough, handprints, footprints and dotty pictures!

16

Book Week Book Review #2 {A Ferret Named Phil}

Book review day! Just in time for the end of Book Week!!

I am utterly amazed that a 22 year old from (you guessed it) ADELAIDE - William Reimer is a published author!! What an incredible achievement for such a young age. His children's book A Ferret Named Phil has a very important message to tell as it aims to help children deal with bullying.

Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review :)

William has always wanted to be a writer, and settled on Phil the Ferret as the main character for his book after Mem Fox had already taken every other cute animal. He actually wrote the original version of this story at the last minute in Year 11 believe it or not!

Read more about his story here - his determination to have this book published is both remarkable and inspirational.

0

Book Week Book Review #1 {The Day You Came Into The World}

It's Book Week! Hooray! I miss being in the classroom at this exciting time in Term 3, so I thought I'd share a couple of book reviews this week. This first one, The Day You Came Into The World by Frances Lalor is perfect for young children, toddlers, babies and new parents (it would also make the perfect baby shower or newborn baby arrival gift - I have a friend due in a few months and I'm planning to get her a copy).


3

10 Ways to use Play Dough in the Classroom

Last weekend Miss M, her Auntie and I had a fabulous girly morning at the Finders Keepers markets. It was the first time they've come to Adelaide and I was in awe of the aisles upon aisles of all the pretty things. My main aim though was to catch up with Emma from Happy Hands Happy Heart to sample her beautiful, squishy, scented, natural play doughs (hand made with 100% love).

In all honesty, if it wasn't for Emma's play dough play area, Miss M would have been a bit bored with the whole outing, but we could not get her away from the play dough tables. Of course we had to go back for a second visit before we left.

Image credit Finders Keepers Instagram - used with permission.

6

Threenagers Say The Funniest Things

You all probably know that I hang out quite a bit in my Facebook mother's groups and they are a wealth of knowledge, inspiration and non judgemental advice (I think I got lucky with both my groups being so lovely). We also regularly share funny things are kids are saying and doing, what milestones they're reaching, what they're eating and just supporting each other in general.

My March 2013 group has helped me out with a few blog posts in the past - Funny stories from the mouths of fussy eaters, Becoming a Threenager, and over a year ago, Funny things our two year olds say. Today we've compiled a list of all the humorous, hilarious and crazy things our threenagers say.


0

Clever Cardboard Cubbies! {Emy Meets Lulu}

Long time followers might remember this post when we (by 'we' I mean James and his dad) built Miss M this cubby for our back yard. It was such an EPIC task! We spent a few hours each evening painting the pieces for about a month before it was ready to build (which took another few days) ready for the grand reveal of Christmas 2014.

A far simpler (indoor) alternative was delivered to our door and took about ten seconds to assemble PLUS kept Miss M busy decorating for another 15 minutes. Check out this oh so cute cardboard cubby house from lovely 'mums with hustle' small biz Emy meets Lulu. (Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review).

Miss M can't actually wait to try it out, it's not even finished yet!

2

How to have a "BAD MOMS" Movie Night

Truth time: I haven't been out to the movies in a loooooooooong time. Well, I took Miss M to Finding Dory, but that doesn't count. I honestly could not tell you the last time I went out to to see a movie that I wanted to see.

But on Monday night I did!!

Thanks to mother/daughter biz duo Amber (The Infant Boutique) and Jo (Send a Gourmet Basket), I was kindly offered two 'mummy blogger' tickets to come along to their Bad Moms movie night.

So incase you're wondering how it is actually possible to have a mums night out... allow me to share how my night eventuated :)

Photo Credit - Tamika Lee Photography

5

Babies Be Like {Part 2}

Today I've got another installment of "Babies be like..." thank to my fabulous Jan 2016 FB mummies group... You can read (and giggle) at part 1 here which we compiled when our babies were only 2ish months old. But these days we are in a whole new world of eating, teething, runny noses, smiles, giggles, playtime and crossing our fingers every night for a decent sleep.


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A Tutor in a Box {The Sunshine Collective Review}

As teachers, a child's learning is obviously our top priority, and for most parents, it's their top priority too. Parents are always asking me for ideas they can do at home to support what their child is learning at school. Not only if they are struggling in a particular area, but just to give them some extra help along their learning journey. You'd be surprised at how many students actually enjoy homework and want extra worksheets to keep them busy!!

Tutoring is one option that many parents consider, but what if that tutor could be packed into a box and delivered to your home throughout the year? A tutor in a box that would cover all areas of the curriculum and cater for a range of learning styles from Preschool until the end of Primary School.


Opening and unpacking our Brilliant Box! The mini paints are just the actual cutest!
Yes that's a sticker on her t-shirt #kidlife
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Fat Mum Slim's ADORABLE New App!

Something exciting is happening today!

It's the release day of Fat Mum Slim's new app...

...and it's ADORABLE!

Chantelle has this way of making my day (which she's done more than once!). Like when I got a fun kit in the mail, or when I guest posted for her...or when she asked me to be one of the 50 lucky ones to test out Adorable for her!

Of course I squealed with joy!

You may already have her Little Moments app, and might be wondering what makes Adorable different? Little Moments is ideal for Photo-a-dayers to keep track of the daily prompts. There's a broad range of text and artwork for everyday things designed by a group of contributors. Adorable is specifically for pregnancy, announcements, bellies, babies, birthdays and milestones through the first five years. You can find something beautiful for almost every occasion. Of course there are pretty filters and frames. Even the logo is damn adorable.

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Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf? Let Us Explain...

In the field of Early Childhood Education, there are several different approaches to teaching young children and much research behind them. There is no right or wrong way to educate a child, it all comes down to personal beliefs and the needs of the child, much like everything else in the world of parenting. You've probably heard of the term Montessori (especially since Prince George attends a Montessori Nursery School) and Montessori centres are becoming more common. You may or may not be familiar with Reggio Emilia or Waldorf Education philosophies so I've called in three lovely ladies today to explain each to give you a bit more information and figure out if they would be a good fit for your family.

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Celebrating the RIO Olympics With Your Kids


It only happens every four years, but the Olympic games are nearly upon us, commencing on the 5th – 21st of August. If your child is under 4, this would be their first exposure to the world wide sporting event (well honestly even if they are 5-6 they probably wont remember much from the 2012 Olympics). As you know Miss M is 3, so here are some activities we’ll be doing at home this month!

The movie Rio is a great place to start! This is a beautiful clip (I have a thing for birds)...

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Beautiful Baby Sensory Classes {Review}


I think Little Man is suffering from second child syndrome... He gets carted along with Miss M to her activities like kindergym, the park or the shops and just happily hangs out in his pram. When she was his age she was already doing swimming, baby time at the library, mother's group etc... So I was really excited to take my little man along to try a Baby Sensory class last week! Miss M was at child care so it was the perfect opportunity for him and I to have some special time together.

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Homemade Musical Instruments

Ok so what kind of kid blogger does homemade musical instruments with her three year old while the 6 month old baby is asleep??

Me that's who!

Oops.

Apart from the fact that we woke the baby up with our instrument playing, this activity was so much fun. I'd been wanting to do it for ages. I had been gathering and collecting materials, and finally had the time this week. 

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{Guest Post} 5 Reasons to Choose Wooden Toys

If you hang out in Instagram land - you've probably noticed that I'm a brand rep for an eco toy hire + shop Mr Kipp and Little Jimmy. Jane is my guest today and she shares her 5 main reasons for being in the biz of wooden toys and why she is so passionate about it. 

You have the floor Jane!
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My journey to a state of better health began 4 years P.C. (pre children) and amongst my research I discovered the toxins that may be present in children’s plastic toys! At first I filed that away for a later date but 11 years and three kids later that discovery has now become my passion: to inspire Mums to reduce the toxic load on their families lives. So what exactly did I discover? Read on to find out why you should buy wooden toys. Yes they are more expensive than their plastic counterparts but the pros far outweigh the cons.


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You Have to See it to Believe it! {Crayola Color Alive Review}

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola. 

Today I get to review a super cool new product from Crayola. Miss M is so into colouring and drawing at the moment that I jumped at the chance to give Crayola Color Alive a try for ourselves. It's not just your average colouring book + crayons believe me!!

This is what we got...

These were our faves...

And this is what happens...

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The Marvellous Mister Maker LIVE Show

Today Miss M and I headed on the train (as we do) to the Adelaide Festival Theatre to see Mister Maker LIVE! If you read this blog, I'm sure you can imagine that I was just as excited as her!


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