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River

I always wanted to do something new with water besides sprinkler, water balloons, or pool. So I trieed something different and this activity was fun! All you need is foil! Just turn the water on and form the river around it.

Rayes took the serious job of relaunching the boats and changing the flow of the river by reshaping the foil. We played till about late evening then we just rolled up our foil to save for another day. Our neighbours were giving us strange looks… but we had fun! ūüėČ ūüėČ

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Rock Painting

Rock painting is an inexpensive way to encourage children’s creativity and imagination through art. It is a brilliant way to bring creative imagination into their mind and help kids to be inspirational with nature. We did this activity two weeks ago.

It really doesn’t matter what they paint . . . just let them paint what they want and have fun!!

rock painting

rock painting

Materials needed:- paint palettes, paint, brush and rocks (anything u can find will work).

For my son who is under 3, the fun was all in just applying paintbrush to rocks, but older kids will enjoy painting specific pictures on rocks, or entirely covering rocks with colorful designs. If you find particularly smooth rocks, permanent markers can be used as well to outline shapes. You can add glitter or glue buttons, pipe cleaners and other items to the rock for more added fun (just wait until the paint dries).

rock painting

If it is difficult to get your kids to paint the rocks by just saying “let’s paint rocks”, you can give them a jumping off point like what I did with Rayes.

  • Paint Spider-Man on this rock (since he is very much into Spider-Man now)
  • Paint daddy’s face on this rock
  • Paint this whole rock green

My little artist got excited of applying paint to surfaces he didn’t normally see as canvases and Painting outside might inspire him more than sitting at the kitchen table would.!!

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Fun with Water Balloons

All children love water balloons!  We played water balloons smash this morning. We tossed, squeezed, and sat on the balloons !!

Fun with Water Balloons

Fun with Water Balloons

There are many ways to take learn and play with water balloons!

1.¬†¬† Spoon Races –¬† Fill up small water balloons and race them on a spoon, much like an egg race.¬† First to the finish line with balloon intact wins!

2.¬† Pops, Pops –¬† Place the water balloon on your head and squeeze until it pops.

Fun with Water Balloons

3.  Sit and Smash РDivide players into two teams and give everyone one water balloon.  The objective is to run to a designated place with the balloon, sit on it to smash it, and run back.

4.  Water Balloon clean-up Рgive each child a bucket and send them on a race to collect the most balloon pieces.

5. Color Sorting РPlace buckets (different colours)  on the grass and get your children to sort the balloons.

 

6. Number Racing –¬†Mark balloons with the numbers 1-5 and place them in a bucket. (Repeat) Your children will race to see who can get all five balloons in the other bucket first.¬† They must place them one at a time in number order. For toddlers, change from a race to a fun activity- help your child to identify numbers from 1 to 5 and place in the bucket.

 

7. Relay Racing РGet your kids to balance a water balloon on a cup and raced from one end of the yard to the other.  Great for gross motor development and balance.  Also wonderful for family team building!

 

8. Water balloon pinatas – Fill up some water balloons and hang them from trees outside. Let your kids (and maybe even you?) swing at them with bats!

 

9. Water Balloons bowling – Fill empty pop bottles about 1/2 way full of water and set them up like bowling pins. Use water balloons to try to knock them over. You could also freeze the water balloons ahead of time and have hard bowling balls!

Fun with Water Balloons

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Butterfly Sensory Bin

Sensory bins is a wonderful way to introduce your child to different items, textures, colors, and smells.¬†Sensory bins also provide for lots of imaginative play. If you’ve never made a sensory bin for your children before, I want to tell you how simple it really is to put one together.
 
Everything in this bin, I already had in the house, and it’s all been used for assorted play before. That’s the beauty of it. you can re-use these treasures over and over again, everytime using a different combination of materials so you’ll never have the same activity twice!! you don’t have to spend big money, go through your cupboards, craft supplies, your kitchen drawers,toy box… you will likely find a lot of stuff once you start looking. We have used pasta and rice for sensory play many times. This time, I decided to use sand.
 
Since we went to the Butterfly Park on last Saturday, so i thought it would be interesting to prepare a Butterfly sensory bin for Rayes !!

at the Butetrfly Park

exploring the sensory bin

exploring the sensory bin

exploring the sensory binYou can make it themed or not. There is no pressure and really no right or wrong. As your making your bin think of your child’s interests. You can make a sensory bin out of almost anything. You don’t need a fancy, expensive sand/water table in order to create a sensory bin for your child. I have used several different things in our home…Items that I have used with great success are –

  • flour
  • decaffeinated coffee grounds
  • rice, pasta, noodle, beans
  • cereals
  • shredded paper
  • buttons, ribbons and beads
  • grass, rocks, leaves, sand

Sensory bins are great for kids because they receive loads of tactile stimulation and it encourages imaginative play.  On the other hand they are particularly helpful for children that are tactile defensive (experiencing discomfort when touching various textures). Because these bins usually catch the curiosity of a child, they will often push themselves out of their comfort level to explore!!!

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The YBIKE – balance bike

I’m not sure if you are familiar with the concept of a balance bike. I’d never heard of it until I was told about the YBIKE.

YBIKE has been designed with less balancing aid, with just one thick rear wheel to maximise the gross motor skill development of the young child at 2 years old. It has no pedals, no gears, no brakes, and no training wheels. Kids use YBIKE by sitting in the saddle and pushing or running along the ground with their feet to propel the bike forward.

balancingAs children get comfortable on a balance bike, they are able to lift their feet off the ground and coast along. A child’s legs act as stabilisers when the bike starts to tip over, which has an effect similar to training wheels but without the bad habits. This bike helps to teach independence and instil confidence in your child. Not to mention, it is less likely to tip over than a bicycle with training wheels and generally produces fewer tears and less frustration throughout the learning process.

turn.. turn... don't hit the cone

too hard to turn/avoid the cones. (Let's be smarter than mummy ...Remove the cones!! )

turn... turn.... dont' hit the cone

YBIKE does not have pedals or brakes, so it does not teach your child these important aspects of riding a bicycle. ??

Don’t worry.. there are many strategies for teaching your child to pedal and brake, and these actions tend to come very naturally once they have learned to balance. So, All-in-all, YBIKE is the most effective, safe, and fun way for your child to learn to ride a bicycle.(But mommies…. Your young kids should be supervised when at first learning to master YBIKE. ).

I like to keep thing fun by making a game out of steering and turning by setting up a line of cones (or other friendly objects) for Rayes to navigate.! Once he can coast, steer, turn, stop and avoid cones (well at the moment, he would either hit the cones or remove them), he is almost ready to really ride.!

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Outdoor Play – Park

Don’t let our culture takes away outdoor play from young children through excessive TV, computer /i-pad use, busy and tired parents, unsafe neighborhoods etc etc.¬† Take your kids to the park and let them have natural play!

Here are the main why outdoor play is critical for the healthy development of young children.

Physical Exercise

Children need to develop large motor and small motor skills and cardiovascular endurance.

balancing

Learning about the World

Can sticks stand up in sand? Why do we slide down instead of up? How do I make my tricycle go faster? Much of what a child learns outside can be learned in a variety of other ways, but learning it outside is particularly effective and certainly more fun!

playing with stick

Learning about Self and the Environment

To learn about their own physical and emotional capabilities, children must push their limits. How high can I swing? Do I dare go down the slide? How high can I climb? Can I go down the slide headfirst?

To learn about the physical world, the child must experiment with the physical world. Can I slide on the sand? Can I roll on grass? What happens when I throw a piece of wood into the pond? Is cement hard or soft to fall on?

climbing

slide!!!

Health

Outdoor play also enables children to enjoy the natural environment and learn to seek out exercise, fresh air, and activity.

walking in the park

My husband and I would always make time  to take Rayes to the park despite busy schedules. We are so lucky to live close to the park (about 5 minutes walking!).

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Feeding animals – Petting Zoo visit

Animals, just like food and plants, give children an opportunity to explore nature. Visiting petting zoo will allow your children to see lots and lots of animals such as chickens, bunnies, horses, donkeys, goats, rooesters, etc.  They will have the opportunity to pat, hold and feed the animals.

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click to see more photos

  • Location : A-Famosa Petting Zoo, Malacca, Malaysia
  • What I like about it : The animals were small, therefore allowing¬† my son the opportunity to touch and feed with absolute confidence. It was fun to see him enjoying the elephant ride with his daddy, checking out the egg room¬† and chasing some excited goats!!