An update, a look back and a cheeky birthday

Well hello there my little blog! Long time no see.

It's been a bit of a quiet December here, so I thought I should post one more time for the year with a bit of an update and a reflection of the year that was. The end of a calendar year also marks the end of another year of blogging, that's been four years since I started Teacher Types (a very easy blogiversary date to remember) so it's time to get back into it and set some goals for 2018!

So 2017 for me was the year of the juggle. The spinning of the plates. Motherhood, part time teaching + extra relief days, and maintaining the blog, and I think I've managed to do it all! I actually had a really good year.

I wrote 85 posts in total, with January and February being the busiest months (I must have started the year more enthusiastically than I finished it lol), and here are my top 5...

Kid & Hub Opened in Adelaide!

We absolutely love Kid & Hub! They have had such a successful first year of business with their movers and makers classes a big hit for both of my kids and we love their new and improved play hub!


WIN New Release Kazoops Figurines

Isn't it great when you find a kid's TV show that you actually don't mind watching as well? Well that's how it is in our house with Kazoops! It's such a fantastic show for preschoolers and encourages them to use their imaginations, problem solve and become critical and creative thinkers (read more on how great it is here...)

Well, following in the footsteps of many other popular TV shows, Kazoops have now released a new range of plush toys and figurines. Not only were we kindly gifted this set you see below, but the team at Cheeky Little Media are giving away another to one of my lovely followers! Read until the end of this post to find out how to enter.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 


My Top Christmas Classroom Activities for End of Year

Christmas is coming! Assessment is almost at an end so it's time to start all of those super fun Christmas activities in your classrooms for the last few weeks of Term (depending on where you are in Australia, it sounds like the end of term dates are quite varied this year from the 1st to the 15th of December!)

Teach Starter is always adding new resources to their collection and they have some awesome Christmas activities to keep your children busy and engaged across all curriculum areas.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with Teach Starter. 


The First (and Second) School Visit

Last Wednesday was a very big day in our household. It was Miss M's first school visit!

The other night I took a look back through my blog archives and realised that I've documented quite a few major milestones in her life...

If you have only recently started following me - I'd love for you to take a read at a couple of those stories - especially if you are experiencing one of those stages at the moment. 

And now, it's happening. SCHOOL!

She gives her school a big thumbs up!


This Month's STEM Nest Activity Kits

You all know how much I love STEM right? Well it's time for another update on what we've been doing with our monthly STEM Nest activity kits. We have got to experience so much already - constructing, designing, building, experimenting, recording, freezing, melting, pouring, mixing, stacking and exploring our senses. Incase you missed them - check out my previous posts here...

This month was all about living things - in particular, germinating seeds!


Christmas Gift Ideas for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Christmas is coming (again!) and every year I love to share my favourite picks from my favourite online stories and this year's is no exception. I've rounded up my top ten toys from babies up to preschoolers all from The Creative Toy Shop! Trust me - you are going to love this collection.

This post contains affiliate links. I was kindly gifted the Grimm's butterfly pictured towards the end of the post in exchange for this feature. 

Technically this Wooden Christmas tree puzzle would have to be an early present for your child to engage with in the lead up to Christmas, or it would be perfect for the classroom as you begin to decorate and celebrate Christmas. Great for fine motor skills, problem solving, balancing and creating and it's just so pretty. Can I have one please?


A-Z Letter of the Day Craft

Today's activity has been weeks in the making and I'm so proud to share it today (I even created a little video of our finished product!). I've been posting our progress on Instagram and have gotten a great response from my community! I really wanted Miss M to have a good background knowledge of the alphabet before she starts school, but this doesn't just mean writing out the letters 10 times each. There are so many more hands on and engaging ways to learn letter formation, as well as the sounds and words which begin with each letter.

This is a sponsored post as part of my ongoing Brand Ambassadorship with Teach Starter.

So I found these awesome alphabet play dough mats on Teach Starter, and you could of course laminate them and use them to create each letter with play dough as a fun, sensory experience to learn letter formation. But I decided to find a craft material for each letter for Miss M to decorate each one.


New Exciting Products from STEM Nest

Over the past four months, we've been sampling the STEM Nest and Little STEMies activity kits. I've been so impressed with the variety of activities. and learning opportunities in which they have provided. This month, Karlie, the owner of STEM Nest (also from Adelaide) has expanded her online store range to include some fantastic educational products, toys and resources to encourage STEM thinking.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with STEM Nest. 

Here's just a few of my favourites...(well my top 5 actually) but there are many more on the site!

Firstly are the Neoformers magnetic shapes. You may have seen similar products to this one around (but this one is much more affordable) and it's such a great construction toy. The shapes cleverly attach together with magnets making structures more stable. This set comes with triangles and squares which allows for many possible structures and shapes. Learning about magnets is more certainly a part of science, however this toy pretty much ticks all of the STEM boxes.


What I've Been Reading This Month

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been a bit absent this month... I've still been active on Insta but not so much on Facebook or here on the blog. I'm trying to get back some motivation and finish off all of the things on my blog to do list by the end of the month!

In the mean time there are some articles and blog posts that I'd love to share with you all!

First of all I was over at Teach Starter this month for their regular Teacher Spotlight feature. Cassie asked me all sorts of questions about returning to work after having the kids, what my schedule is like, my favourite Teach Starter resources... and then she cleverly crafted a fantastic and comprehensive piece all about me! I would love for you to check it out.


My Epic Fail {Growth Mindset Guest Post}

Growth mindset. There's a lot of talk about it amongst schools and workplaces at the moment. We are being encouraged to train our minds to embrace challenges, look on the positive side, find solutions and problem solve. The simplest example that comes to mind is to add the word "yet" at the end of the statement "I can't do it". 

Today's guest blogger is Bec from Square Peg Tutoring (you know that expression - square peg round role?). Well Bec is all about helping those square pegs to learn in their own way and at their own pace through her tutoring business. She's sharing a really personal story from her past experiences in the classroom - her "epic fail". Something I'm sure we have all found ourselves doing at one stage or another. I applaud her for so bravely sharing and for allowing me to publish her story here and share it with my community of teacher types. 

Welcome Bec.


Adelaide's BEST Nature Playgrounds

The October school holidays fall at such a beautiful time of year. The weather is just perfect to get outside and experience our natural world. Gorgeous nature playgrounds and spaces are popping up all over Adelaide and are becoming increasingly popular as our communities are seeing the value in getting kids climbing trees, taking responsible risks, getting dirty and connecting with their environments.

So as you start thinking about how you're going to fill the next two weeks - schedule in some time to visit some of Adelaide's best nature playgrounds.

Glenelg Foreshore

Interview with the Producer of KAZOOPS!

I've got something exciting happening today - a first for Teacher Types! I get to interview the producer of Kazoops, Patrick Egerton. You may have read my post yesterday, explaining the importance of imaginative play and how Kazoops encourages children to use their imaginations to make sense of their worlds (if you haven't read it here), so this is the perfect follow up. We get an insight into how the ideas for the show came about and a snapshot into how it's created. Patrick shares what it's like being a producer, and even some future plans for Kazoops.

Did you know that "Moops" was the original name of the show? But it was already taken, so they experimented with different made up words that could express fun, surprise and wonder! And that's how Kazoops started...


How KAZOOPS Will Encourage Imaginative Play in your Child

One of the fundamental principals of child development I learnt when I was at Uni was that children learn through play. They make sense of their world, act out familiar experiences when playing and use their imaginations to process and solidify their understanding. Just a few examples you may have seen or experienced include home corner play, acting out "mums and dads", feeding dolls, pushing trains along a train track, making animal noises as they play with toys - it's all imaginary play! They are learning while they're playing and using their imaginations. An essential ingredient to a well rounded childhood.

The TV show Kazoops is embracing this philosophy as imagination is the key theme throughout each episode. Targeted to preschoolers, young children will be encouraged to use their own imaginations as they watch, and chances are it will spark some learning through play experiences of their own.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 


When Should Your Child Start School? {Guest Post}

My daughter will be starting school next year! It's such an exciting time for our family and we are really looking forward to it. She'll be four when she starts, turning five in early March. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be ready. Not that I have pushed her to do any of the educational activities you've seen on the blog or Instagram - I really do try to take her lead and follow her interests of when she wants to do writing, drawing, reading, numbers, sensory or imaginary play. As well as being academically ready (in my opinion), her Preschool teachers agree and she is so used to the daily routine of a 7:30 - 4pm day that I think she'll cope with school life really well.

However in my chats with family and friends, it can be a difficult decision to make for March & April babies who will either be 4 turning 5 when they start (making them one of the youngest in their cohort), or 5 turning 6 when they start school. And in many cases you need to have a plan the year prior to decide if they will commence sessional kindergarten or not. A really good piece of advice I heard from a friend (she read it in a book) was to ask yourself; "Will they flourish? Or will they just cope?". Parents often do not regret their choice to wait another year before sending their child, but some who choose to send them 'early' do.

So to help you navigate this big decision and to give you some food for thought, today I welcome Aly from Grow to Know. She's a teacher of the Early Years like me and her website Grow to Know is all about preparing children for school. Aly has some really clear dot points for your to consider to decide if your child really is ready...


Tips for Teaching STEM to Preschoolers

There's been a lot of talk about STEM and STEAM on my blog lately, and for good reason! I've been working with a new small Adelaide based business called STEM Nest who are all about bringing STEM into your everyday life at home - no matter the age of your child! You may remember my post on school aged children's activity kits and I'm so pleased this month to be able to give you an idea of what Karlie from STEM Nest is able to provide to preschoolers (or "Little STEMies"). It's all about hands on learning, exploring materials, sensory play and encouraging our little ones to be little innovators before they've even started school.

Sound like something your little one might like? Read on!

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with STEM Nest. These products were kindly gifted.


Numeracy Activities for Preschoolers

Did you know that there are several aspects to consider when teaching early number concepts to young children? It's not just about how high they can 'rote' count by memory, or writing the numerals (some would argue that is a handwriting skill, not a mathematic skill). It's much more about their understanding of number, grasping what a group of '3' looks like, understanding words such as more or less, and counting a small group of objects using one to one correspondence.

In preparing Miss M for the start of school next year, this week I downloaded some great resources from Teach Starter. Where you'll not only find excellent resources for school aged children - but some fantastic resources for preschoolers as well! Here are 5 of my favourite number activities.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with Teach Starter. 


Our Top 5 Weekly Activities & Lessons

There are a lot of activities, classes, lessons etc. available to babies, toddlers and preschoolers to keep their days busy before they go off to school full time. From discussions I've had with other parents, sometimes it's hard to know which ones to choose for your child. I think it's important not to be overcommitted and find the balance between keeping busy and giving the kids opportunities to develop a variety of skills but also having enough time to relax and play at home.


5 STEAM Learning Opportunities with Rusty Rivets

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Mumtastic and Nick Jr. 

Every now and then you come across a new kid’s TV show that really impresses. Now, as a teacher I have quite a critical eye when it comes to my kid’s TV viewing, and if they have opportunities to think and learn while they’re watching – I’m happy.

STEAM (an acronym for the subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is huge in schools right now – and Rusty from Nick Jr’s new show Rusty Rivets is quite the little engineer creating all sorts of gadgets and gizmos using a variety of tools and recycled materials. His friend Ruby is always by his side ready for help and work as a team!

So this week we got our thinking caps on and raided the shed to find all sorts of nuts, bolts and bits and pieces that we could use to do some STEAM of our own! Keep reading for a fun activity to do for each learning area (some of course will cover more than one!).


The Perfect Book for Literacy & Numeracy Week

This brainwave came to me the other day and I couldn't wait to write about it and explore the book Uno's Garden with my Year 2 class - as part of Literacy and Numeracy week.

Graeme Base would have to be one of my favourite Australian illustrators (and authors of course but I feel his art work really needed a mention - did you know that original art works from the books sell for up to $50,000???). They detail is absolutely brilliant and the reader gets completed enthralled in the story thanks to the imagery.

Uno's Garden at it's core, is a story about how fragile the environment is, and how society needs to strive to create a balance between creatures, man made structures, and plant life. It uses multiplication concepts to do so, both increasing in numbers, and decreasing - even touching on square numbers. The mythical creatures and plants are so fun and creative!

Literacy and Numeracy week is all about integrating these two learning areas together, and what better way to do that than with books about numbers?

Let me explain Uno's Garden a bit more...


Fab Father's Day Crafts

I can't believe that another Father's Day has rolled around again! This year is just going way too fast. Before I know it I'll have a two year old and Miss M will be at school - eek! 

Anyway - just like last year, I've decided to bring you all some simple and sweet Father's Day craft and gift ideas. So if you haven't already planned anything - check these out!


Brilliant Book Week Resources & Lesson Plans

BOOK WEEK is here! It's a time to celebrate our favourite books and immerse ourselves in the joy of reading. The CBCA winning books have been announced and children all over the country are getting their Book Week costumes organised. Teacher's are planning their lessons - and with the help of Teach Starter, I've found some fantastic resources you might like to check out.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with Teach Starter. 

Let's start by discussing the theme - Escape to Everywhere...

A very imaginative theme, as we explore how books allow us to escape into another world. Kicking off this collection of resources with a classroom banner - giving students a starting point for their thinking about the theme. Will they escape to outer space or into a fairy tale castle? A great story writing prompt or story book investigation.


Rain Cloud in a Jar Experiment {Science Week}

Hi everyone!
I'm back again this week with another Science Week post. Our theme in Year 2 is "Water Wise" for this term and so the perfect Science Week experiment for us was the rain cloud in a jar. I've done this with Miss M before, but it's great for all ages. The shaving cream represents the cloud, the food colouring is the rain - and when the cloud gets heavy, the rain falls down. It really is mesmerising.


Sensory Play for Every Sense {Guest Post}

I know it's not just me who thinks sensory play is the best thing ever! Lots of you do as well and so my guest blogger today has organised some fantastic baby and toddler sensory play ideas into each category. Meet Katie from Sensory Sensations.

My name is Katie and I run ‘Sensory Sensations’, a sensory and messy play business based in Kent which offers classes, parties and events to 0-5 year olds. I’m a former primary school teacher (having recently left after 10 years of teaching to ‘do mess’ full time) and I have two young daughters (Daisy, aged 4, Indie aged 2). I’ve been running ‘Sensory Sensations’ for 2.5 years and have loved every messy minute! I try and incorporate as many activities as I can that stimulate all the children’s senses, for both babies and toddlers.

If you google ‘sensory play’ there are thousands and thousands of activities you could try with your child and it’s a little overwhelming… so what I’ve done here is give an example of an activity for a baby and a toddler for your child’s senses - sight, taste, touch and smell to get you started!


Celebrating Science Week with STEM Nest Activity Kits

It's Science Week, hooray! Term 3 is always a busy one for us with lots of things happening but Science Week is one of my favourites - especially since it's the speciality subject I've been teaching this year in my part time role. You may remember this post I wrote recently on an introduction to STEM, and I wanted to share more of the fantastic activity kits you can get via a subscription with STEM Nest for all different ages.

This is a sponsored post for my Brand Ambassadorship with STEM Nest. 


Be Inspired by Inspire Book Box

I'm a big fan of monthly subscription packs for kids, and I've been lucky enough to review a few of them on the blog (I'm actually planning a round up post of all of them!). But this month I actually got to contribute to one! Roxanne from Inspire Book Box contacted me to see if I'd be interested in partnering with her business to come up with a book inspired art + craft activity to be included with the July book boxes. I have always said that a child can never have too many books - so I thought this subscription program was a fantastic idea! This month's theme was friendship and the key text was "Oliver and Patch" by Claire Freedman. So I got my thinking cap on and got to work...

Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review (not sponsored). 


Fantastic Father's Day Gifts!

Is it just me or did Father's Day sneak up on anyone else? It's about 3 weeks away, but if you're planning on getting anything online (especially if it's something personalised) you better hop to it! Which is why I'm smashing out this blog post tonight to get it out there to you all so you have enough time to get your orders in to some of these brilliant small businesses!


8 Ways to Keep Your Family Organised & Have More Time to Play! {Guest Post}

Hi everyone! How are you at organisation? I always thought I was pretty good at it - but with two kids, working part time and just the general chaos and busyness of life it's not always easy to keep your household running like clockwork. 

Today, guest blogger Erin (you may have read my interview recently) has some fantastic organisational tips to keep the household running like clockwork, ultimately leaving you with more time to actually play with your kids!
-------- if you are anything like me, you are always on the hunt for fresh ideas to keeping the home, routines, family as organised as possible. Today I am sharing eight ways to help keep your family organised so you have more time for play. These ideas are nothing new, we didn't create them (other than our version of #8), these are ideas that we have seen and/or adopted from various experiences and influences. Some we have changed to meet our needs and others we have simply followed in the original form. By using these systems, we have found there is more opportunity for family adventures and PLAY!


An Introduction to STEM in the Early Years

STEM is huge in schools right now, but from what I hear many parents don't really know what it is or why it's so important. And some teachers may be not sure how to tackle it, where to fit it into their timetables and how to come up with engaging STEM activities into their classrooms.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with STEM Nest. 

STEM is an acronym for the subject areas;
S - Science
T - Technology
E - Engineering
M - Maths

To elaborate on these subject areas, in STEM we explore the science of how things work, we keeping up to date with new technologies which are ever evolving, we get to be mini engineers to design and construct our own machines and finally we use mathematical skills to do it all!

You may have also heard of the acronym STEAM with the addition of A for Art, and I recently came across METALS (where the L stands for Literacy).


Being Water Wise {Junior Primary Science Ideas}

Let's talk about Science today!
I love teaching Science. It's one of the most 'hands on' subjects. Children get to observe the world around them and figure out how things work. They get to predict, hypothesise, experiment, discuss, record and reflect. This term in Year Two we are focussing on the theme WATER!

Disclosure: I'm a Brand Ambassador for Teach Starter. This is a sponsored post. 


Teacher By Day {Melissa - Paper Halo}

Hi everyone!
Today's teacher by day is an Adelaidian like me and I'm so pleased to have her here on the blog to share a bit about her biz. Meet Melissa from Paper Halo. She knows all about weddings, parties and events and creates gorgeous invitations and stationery. 


Toy Storage Ideas With Play Pouch

Is this story familiar to you?

Kid digging through the huge tub of lego.
"Mum, I need the skinny red piece..."
Mum helps kid to find the exact piece they want.
1 minute later...
"Mum, I need the blue square piece."
Mum helps kid to find it
"Mum I can't find the ..."
*Tantrum imminent
Kid tips out entire tub of lego to find the piece they want. 
Later on mum ends up stepping on lego, followed by cleaning it up when kids have gone to bed. 

Well I've discovered a solution to this ever so common problem of where and how to store your gigantic collection of Lego and/or Duplo. Introducing the Play Pouch!
*Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review


Fairytale Inspired Imaginary Play {With Little Peggys}

It's been a while since my last small business product review so today I'm really pleased to introduce you to "Little Peggys". Hand painted peg dolls ideal for imaginary play and perfect for little hands. We were lucky enough to sample the Goldilocks set + The Three Little Pigs set and I watched them unlock a whole heap of pretend play possibilities, language development and story telling. Both of my kids love playing with them.

*Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review.


That time we went to Sydney {and survived Little Man's first flight}

Hello friends!
We have just got home from our first 'family-of-four' holiday. We enjoyed 4 days in gorgeous Sydney, more specifically Darling Harbour. It was crazy busy with the kids, trying to juggle everything and keep everyone happy - but we made it and the fun times far outweighed the tantrums and grizzles ;)

There was so much fun stuff for kids to do over there that I couldn't keep it all to myself and had to share a few highlights and snapshots of our trip!

The kids are checking out the view


How I Got Started with TRIBE

Have you heard of TRIBE? If you're a blogger, influencer or a brand and haven't heard of it, or you'd like to know more about it and how to get started, please keep reading!

TRIBE is an app which connects brands with social media influencers. It's a way for people like me (sometimes referred to as a micro-influencer) with a reasonable size social media following to be paid to recommend brands they use and love. The example below was a post for Chux Superwipes which was right up my ally! They were looking for messy play activities with the Chux Superwipe being used to clean up afterwards - like it never happened!

Chux Superwipes Messy Play Campaign

Rewind to this time last year, and I first heard about TRIBE on The Project, and signed up immediately. Then was the painstaking climb to get to 3000 followers on Instagram to be able to get started. But I got there. And today I'm at 10.4k and growing by about 100 followers per week.

Instagram is my jam and I've been able to make it work for me.


Why does my child eat at child care but is fussy at home? {Guest Post}

So many parents struggle with fussy eaters! I know I was as a child!! A perplexing issue that seems to be quite common is that fussy eaters are happily gobbling up their meals choc full of meat and veggies at Child Care, but turning their nose up at it at home. So frustrating!! So I called in Nutritionist & Feeding Therapist Simone from Play with Food to give her insight as to why this is a thing, and what we can do about it. 

Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us Simone, I know you are a busy lady!

*This post contains affiliate links :)


Teacher By Day {Nappy Cakes by Erin}

It feels like the perfect time to sit down and post another instalment of the Teacher by Day interview series - a cozy winter afternoon at the end of a long week. Little Man is asleep and the heater is on! Today's Biz Mum Erin is a fellow member of the Mums With Hustle Biz Club and creates nappy cakes - perfect for baby showers! She isn't currently teaching, but plans to return later in the year. Erin also has a Facebook group dedicated to sharing and celebrating play ideas which I'm sure many of your will be interested in joining. 

Welcome Erin.


BEST Lego Duplo Play Ideas

This week, I was lucky enough to not only choose the theme for Early Learning 101, but I am their guest judge! When Amy and Nichole recently put a call out for theme ideas, the first thing that came to mind was DUPLO! The iconic toy which is likely to be in every household with an infinite number of play ideas; I knew it would make a great theme.

So here are some of my ideas, and I'll finish with the grid of the four winners from the #earlylearning101 challenge.

Miss M gets credit for this first idea - she decided one day to divide the lego base board into halves, so we could build our own creations on each side. We've even divided it into quarters before. This would be a great idea for siblings who need to learn to share the one DUPLO base.


What it's like being a Teacher Mum

When you become a parent, you are on duty 24/7. That new little person is 100% your responsibility and your life is utterly consumed by their existence. However as they grow, you might return to work and spend the hours of 9-5 in an office. 8 hours of kid free time…

Not teacher mums! We go back to work and are still surrounded by little people with no escape. 24/7. At the start of this year I went back to work part time after having my second child, and here’s a little insight into what life is like as a teacher mum.


The Educational Advantages of Crafting With Nature

Today we have a very special guest blogger joining us at Teacher Types, she's a fellow member of the Aussie Kid Blogger Network, is passionate about nature, and has just released an ebook of Nature Art & Craft Printables. Meet Penny from Mother Natured! She's going to talk about just some of the benefits of nature play and using materials from our world for art and craft activities!

Welcome Penny!


Games & Story Telling {My Little Set}

Hi everyone!
The blog has been a little quieter than normal this month, I've been busy at work taking on some extra relief days in a variety of classes across the school (which I've been loving) and of course the kids can be a handful when we're at home!

So today I'm pleased to bring you another brilliant product review with a focus on early learning (by the way if you're ever interested in browsing the other product reviews I've done, just look for the "review" label on my side bar, or if you're on mobile, scroll to the end and you should find it). 

We were recently sent two "My Little Set" sets of wooden discs that I'd love to share with you (kindly gifted for the purpose of this review).


I'm the Mum... On Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

To the all the mums. The single mums, the nannas, the great grandmas, the mothers in law, the working mums, the stay at home mums, the new mums, the seasoned mums... All the mums.
Gorgeous lettering by the gorgeous lady - Emma Kate Co

Today marks the third Mother's Day that I haven't had my own mum to share the day with. I think of her often often, but especially on days like today. There are so many little snippets of her that I remember. Little bits and pieces that made up our life as mother and daughter.  I felt like if I wrote them down somewhere then they'd be preserved and I wouldn't forget them as time goes on... So I keep a list in a word doc on my computer, and thought I might share just a few of them today.

"Tobbles" and other Top Toys for Toddlers

Ahhhh... the toddler phase. I've been here before. My little baby is no longer a baby but a walking, climbing, exploring, busy, determined and inquisitive TODDLER! At 16 months old Little Man is into everything, especially things with buckles, locks, knobs, switches, latches, doors that open and close and buttons to push!

Toddlers can be tricky to keep entertained for more than five seconds and focus on one toy or activity long enough to actually "play" with it before moving onto the next thing. So here's just a few of Little Man's favourite toys at the moment...


Teacher By Day {Jenny - Eckles Invites}

It's been a while since my last Teacher by Day interview so today I'm really pleased to introduce you to Jenny from Eckles Invites. Turns out her hubby is a teacher too (how great would that be to have 12 weeks off as a family each year??). They live in the most beautiful part of Australia and I am serious jealous of the year round stunning weather they get to enjoy. 

Read more about Jenny's #teacherlife and her stunning custom invitations and stationery she creates over at Eckles Invites...


Homemade Bath Bombs for Mother's Day

Yay for May! It's Mother's Day month!

Being a teacher/mum means you usually need to plan a gift + card for your class to make to give to their mothers or special people in their lives for Mother's Day. During our planning meeting I had the brilliant idea of making bath bombs with the students, because it would tie in perfect with our Science unit on mixtures and chemical reactions. Yay for integrated learning opportunities!

So Miss M and I had a practise run, because I've never made them before and I wanted to be confident that they would work when I do them at school. She has decided to give them to her Nanna and Aunties for Mother's Day (she has loved bath bombs even since I bought one home from her from Lush - and I get her one every time I go to the city!). But making your own is faaaaar cheaper and an educational experience too.


What We Got Up to in the Holidays

When people ask how my school holidays were, I say "I feel like I can breathe again". It has been a really hectic term, and a big adjustment going back to work. The kids have still being going to Child Care (for a shorter day) and I've been able to catch up on everything that needed to be done, and just BREATHE. Enjoy time on my own, a quiet house to myself, and getting reacquainted with the blog. On my first day the floors were vacuumed and mops, every dish washed and put away (not just left sitting in the dish rack) and every item of clothing washed, dried, folded and put away (which never happens all at the same time).

I felt like I could breathe again. In my own home, I could breathe again.

You may have read this article I wrote a while back, explaining why I still sent Miss M to child care last year when I was home with Little Man, and a lot of the same reasons apply now during the school holidays. I completely understand that it wouldn't be the choice that everyone would make, but for me, it saved my sanity.

I felt like I could breathe again.

But, we have had awesome fun in the school holidays together as a family! There was so much fun stuff happening and so I wanted to do a quick wrap up to share what we did with you.


Archie and The Bear {Book Review}

Book reviews are one of my favourite types of posts here at Teacher Types! Books are such an important part of childhood and if I can introduce you to a new book, or give you some activity ideas based on a brilliant book - well then I'm going to do just that.

You may remember Zanni Louise, author of Too Busy Sleeping (which I reviewed back in 2015 before Little Man's arrival and it's still a favourite in this house). I was so excited to hear that Zanni's new book Archie and the Bear was going on a blog tour and of course I put my hand up! Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review.


A First Pen Pal {Jack the Wombat}

Encouraging children to read and write in a fun way, from an early age can be so instrumental to how they'll flourish at school. Whenever I come across a brilliant product, brand or business which is trying to do just that, I can't help but share!

(Not sponsored)


Get Creative With... LOOSE PARTS

I often think to myself - how did Instagram become a place for teachers, early childhood educators and parents to turn to for lesson plan and activity ideas? It really is amazing! There are so many brilliant accounts you can follow for daily inspiration. Or search specific hashtags if you're looking for something in particular. You could also get some motivation from accounts such as Get Creative With who have weekly theme prompts. (You may remember I was a guest just for Early Learning 101's scissor theme - and I blogged about it here.)

This week I got to choose the theme "Loose Parts" for our insta-community to "get creative with" and there were some fantastic ideas, but I'll share those later in the post.

Tinker Tray from Invitation to Play

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