Friday, October 23, 2015

Ella's 18 month update

My sweet face,

Happy half a birthday to you!

You’re one-and-a-half today, and we celebrated it with one-and-a-half candles on a cupcake for breakfast!

I just love your face, I love to stare at you and kiss you and hug you!  You give the best hugs and kisses back, which makes my heart burst with love.

You love to jump with your sister in the trampoline, you love to paint, you love to watch Barney, and you love to play outside.  Your favourite toy is your dudu bunny, and you love to do row-row-row-the-boat song with mommy.

When I give you two biscuits, you immediately share with your sister. I love that! You love to make us laugh, you’re quite the entertainer! You love to pretend to talk on the telephone and have a huge babbling conversation.

You’re growing into a beautiful little girl, my darling, I love you so much!


1.) How old today?  One and a half today!

2.) New milestones/ talents/ achievements?  She’s trying very hard to run – does a very cute fast-walk! Trying to jump too. She’s starting to sleep better at night – some nights she sleeps through the night now, yay! Some nights wakes up once or twice for some reassurance.

3.) Favourite toys & favourite things to do?  Her dudu bunny is her absolute favourite thing in the world.  She hugs it so tight!  She enjoys watching Barney and Lollos dvds.  She loves exploring outside. She’s starting to enjoy play-dough and painting.  She loves the Moms&Tots class we go to on Wednesdays, takes part so nicely!

4.) Current words?  Klaar, daarsy, there, uh-oh, hello, mamma, pappa, miaow, woof.

5.) Favourite food and snacks?  Yoghurt, icecream, chocolate, pasta, mashed potato, biltong sticks

6.) How is toddler sleeping at night?  She’s starting to sleep through the night more and more, maybe every second night though she still wakes once or twice, then I just re-settle her and she goes back to sleep.  Bedtime is between 7pm and 7h30. She wakes up really early some mornings, and others she sleeps til after 6.

7.) Day naps?  Two day naps, mostly.  Usually from 9h30 til 11h30, and then at 3h30 for about an hour.

8.) How many teeth – and how are teething issues going?  16 toofies!  Yay, almost done! The last 4 are the two-year molars, so relieved we have a bit of a break from all the teething niggles!

9.) Weight and length?  Weighed her on our scale the other day, 12kg. Will get proper measurements with the vaccs next week.

10.) Clothing size and shoe size?  12 – 18 months, or 18-24 months, or 1-2 years. Shoe size 5.

11.) Recent toddler ‘highs’?  I love the interaction, and her cuddles and hugs and kisses.  Seeing the two sisters together is so awesome.

12.) Recent toddler ‘lows’?  Some separation anxiety issues at the moment.

13.) What are you looking forward to in the coming months?  New words, better understanding and communication.  

14.) How are mommy and daddy doing?  We’re exhausted at night, wish we could spend more time together in the evenings, but we just collapse into bed! Weekends are great though, always spend special time together.  Looking forward to family holiday coming up in December!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our ladybird golf balls!

We had so much fun doing these!

Living on a golf estate, means we get quite a lot of stray golf balls landing up in our garden...  we decided to put them to some good use and create cute little garden ornaments!

We first spray-painted the golf balls with primer.

Then we painted them red with acrylic craft paint.  For the black bits, we used nail polish!  Worked so well.  Then the white eyes and black dots on top.  So easy and cute.

When it was all dry, I did a layer of varnish.

They look super cute in the garden, and make such cute lil gifts for the grannies and aunties!

Hopefully they'll last quite long in wind and rain.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

List of Toddler Activities

Toddler Development, Stimulation and Activities (Mostly suited for 1 – 3 years)
Gross Motor Development
  • Play ball games.  Throwing, kicking, bouncing, rolling!
  • Toss bean bags
  • Dance to music together!
  • Climb in, over, under and through things!
  • Make an obstacle course using cushions and pillows
  • Hold your toddler on a gym ball and do movements
  • Play ‘ball’ with a balloon
  • Let them balance – walking on a plank, or on big tractor tyres, or along little garden walls (always support them!)
  • Give your toddler colourful scrap paper and a small hole puncher.  Show them how to use it.
  •  Make tents with furniture and big sheets to climb into
  • Make tunnels with chairs for them to climb through
  •  Jungle gyms, swings, sandpits 

Fine Motor Development
  • Fill a few small containers with different textured things, like popcorn, rice-krispies and raisins.  Let your toddler empty the container, and then pick up the small individual snacks and put them back again.  (Munching along the way!)  This encourages picking small objects up, and can help with sorting too.
  •  Stacking rings and cups, or building blocks
  •  Jigzaw puzzles, or wooden shape puzzles
  • Stringing macaroni onto a string
  •  Stick stickers on a paperplate or surface, and let them pick the stickers off
  •  Scribble with crayons
  •  Tickle with feather dusters
  • Play with cellophane
  • Put grains of rice inside a deflated balloon
  • Bury plastic animals in a bowl of sand, or a bowl of material etc, and let the toddler find the animals
  • Give the toddler containers with lids and screw tops and show them how to open and close them
  • Play with fridge magnets on the fridge or on a tin tray

Language Skills
  • Talk, talk, talk to your toddler.  Tell them what you’re doing.  Tell them what colour things are.  Count things.  Explain shapes.  Use descriptive words, and let them participate / feel / experience:  “feel the cement is hot” “feel the tiles are cold” “feel the rain is wet” “touch the soft blanket” “taste the sweet grapes”
  • Copy sounds that your toddler is making, and then encourage them to make sounds that you make
  • Using a doll or another person, point out body parts
  •  Show pictures of facial expressions and point out happy, sad, etc
  • Show them photographs of loved ones and talk about them
  •  Let your toddler learn words and say them – don’t let them get used to just pointing out what they want, ask them “what”
  • Play word games with your toddler, like pointing at an object, starting to say the word, and letting them complete it
  •  Read books!  Read lots!

 Social and Emotional Development
  •  Arrange playdates with other toddlers
  • Put words to their facial expressions or actions: “oh you got a fright at the loud noise!” “are you upset that you have to put the toys away”, “wow, isn’t that so pretty!”
  •  Give them time and space when interacting with other toddlers
  •  Teach them to share – when eating finger snacks, ask for a bite, thank them for sharing.  Set an example by sharing with them.
  •  Talk about feelings – tell them you love them often, tell them how you feel when you are tired, irritated, happy, excited.
  • Massage your toddler
  •  Teach your toddler respect for people and animals by setting the best example

Messy Play
  • Messy play gives kids lots of opportunities to learn and develop. 
  • Painting: finger paints, hand or foot prints, big paintbrushes, using cut up sponges or materials to paint with
  • Playdough
  •  Maizena mixed with water
  •  Custard
  •  Jelly
  •  Shaving foam
  •  Baby powder
  • Glitter
  • Cooked spaghetti
  •  Rice, cereals
  • Shredded paper
  • Decorate marie biscuits
  • Make ‘slime’ (using grated soap and water!)
  • Make iced marie biscuits
  •  Oats & syrup
  •  Smash (instant mashed potato)
  •  Sand
  • Make fruit kebabs
  • Bark chips
  • Water bowls with small containers, cups and utensils in to pour water in and out of

Creative Activities
  • Do lots of hand print and foot print art!  These are great fun for little ones, and make such great keepsakes!
  •  Let your toddler scribble with crayons on paper
  • Let your toddler make birthday, Christmas, I-Love-You cards for loved ones
  • Play scavenger hunt with your toddler, with themes such as shapes, opposites or textures.
  • Let toddlers taste different tastes and explain to them what they are tasting
  •  Create a home-made band out of pots and spoons!
  • Encourage your toddler to sniff at things, tell them what they are smelling
  • Peg-a-box:  Put clothes pegs around an icecream container or similar, and let the toddler remove them.  Show them how to put them back again.
  • Have two buckets – put them some distance away from each other.  Fill one bucket with objects, such as socks, and let toddler transfer all of them into the empty bucket.  And back again.
  • Play with dried leaves – make piles, jump through them.  Stick them on a paper with a tree drawn on it.
  • Bake cookies – involve the toddler in the process and the decorations afterwards
  • Play memory games like hide and seek – hiding objects in the same place in a room
  •  Dance with scarves or ribbons

Outdoors / Outings
  • Go for a walk.  Take a basket or container with, let your toddler collect little items along the way – stones, leaves, sticks.  Talk about them.  Ask questions, “how does it feel”, “what colour is it”
  •  Let your toddler do “people-watching”.  Whether it’s people riding bicycles, shopping, exercising, playing games – the movement really stimulates these little brains.
  • Blow bubbles – let your toddler catch them, and let your toddler try and blow bubbles by themselves
  •  Let them walk in the rain – with raincoats, boots and umbrellas
  •  Let them walk on grass and in sand, tell them about the texture
  • Point out flowers, trees, birds – make them aware and appreciative of nature
  •  Lie on the grass and point out clouds
  • Run and chase each other!

Car trips
  • Pack a ‘goodie bag’ – a drawstring type bag, filled with small toys like cars, shapes, Purity lids, different textures, ribbons with bells on, etc.  This provides entertainment by unpacking and examining each object.
  • Offer snacks that take time to eat – like a container of cheerios, or biltong sticks
  • In-car DVD player
  • Books
  • Nursery rhyme CD’s

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Edible Paint and Soap Slime fun!

Mia's on school holiday this week, and we've had a playdate with friends here at home, we've been for icecream at the dairy farm and we've made iced marie biscuits for my grandfather.

Today I didn't have any clients booked, and decided to just do some arts & crafts stuff at home.  I came across a whole lot of ideas, and thought we'd see how far we get with doing as many as possible today.  Ha!  We only did two:

Edible Paint:
 - 2 tablespoons of sugar
 - 1/2 cup of cornflour
 - 3 cups cold water
 - food colouring

Stir sugar and cornflour together, then slowly add water and heat over medium heat until mixture thickens.  It will thicken further when it cools.  Divide into four containers and add food colouring.  Paint with brushes or fingers!

This takes quite long to prepare - it took about 10 minutes to mix and cook, and then about 20 minutes to cool down.  While cooling, we prepped the next activity:

Soap Slime:

 - half a grated Lux soap
 - 3 cups of boiling water
 - food colouring

Mix boiling water and grated soap together to melt it - we used the electric mixer.  Add in food colouring. 

It went all soapy and bubbly - and then it also needed to be left alone to thicken and cool and become slimy.

The girlies enjoyed the painting - however, the "edible" part was actually wasted, as neither of them wanted to eat any of it!  Surprisingly, even Ella didn't like it when I tried to give her a lick.  I'm actually relieved - this means we can start moving on to regular painting with Ella - no need to worry that she'll want to put the paintbrush in her mouth!  However, she did not want to stick to painting only her paper, she painted Mia's paper (much to Mia's horror), she painted the newspaper and the table, and even tried to go outside with her paintbrush...

The soap-slime took quite a while to cool down and become slimy - Mia was super impressed and "dug" right in.  Ella, on the other hand, was not keen on the texture at all and preferred to dig into it with her spade, flinging bits of the slime all over the place!

Both of these activities took quite some time in preparing them - and the painting kept them busy for maybe 10 minutes, and the slime for less than 5...  Felt like so much effort for such a short time of "fun" - but nonetheless, it was an experience for all of us and nice to do something different than the usual daily activities and play.

Another painting activity I found that looks super cool, but didn't have the energy for today, is this salt, glue and watercolour art...  Perhaps tomorrow! ;-)


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Interview with 5-year-old Mia

What is your favourite colour? Blue and purple

What is your favourite toy? Ballerina barbie and Queen Elsa barbie

What is your favourite game to play? Jungle-jungle. And hide-and-seek!

What is your favourite fruit? Mango!

What’s your favourite tv program or movie? Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses

What’s your favourite thing to eat for lunch? Bread with chocolate on

What is your favourite outfit? This pink dress

What makes you happy? Mommy!

What is your favourite snack? Chippies and chocolate

What’s your favourite animal? Kameelperd, oh that’s a giraffe

Where is your favourite place to go? Ducky holiday

What’s your favourite song? “Seerower” (by Kurt Darren)

What is your favourite book? Liewe Heksie, and the bedtime stories book

Who is your best friend? Talia and Noa

What do you like to do with mommy? Jump, run and play

What do you like to do with pappa? Listen to songs. And help him make his beer!

Favourite thing to do outside? Pick flowers

Favourite drink? Cream soda

Where is your favourite holiday place? The sea

What do you like for breakfast? Eggy and bacon

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy and a hairdresser

What did you do on your birthday? A Barbie party with a Barbie cake.  Got a ballerina Barbie present. There was a jumping castle.