Rainbow rice ‘lollipops’

I haven’t disappeared – I just haven’t had much motivation to do too many arty, crafty, creative things with the boys lately as it’s getting so hot – so we’re staying inside or playing with water outside. But when I saw some coloured rice being played with at daycare I thought I’d whip up another batch and do something with it.

So making the rainbow rice is easy as see my previous post on making rainbow rice IMG_1759

I then cut out some shapes using cardboard from a box we had laying around and of course Mr 3 had to tell me what each shape was as I cut them out. I then cut out the same shapes with plain white paper and stuck them onto their corresponding shape so that we had a white canvas but some sturdy-ness to each shape.I let Mr 3 help with the cutting as he’s quite obsessed with using scissors – he doesn’t have any precision yet, but supervised practice is the only way he’ll learn.IMG_1757

We then glued some paddle pop sticks to each shape so they could be held to do the next step.IMG_1758

The next step was to squirt some glue onto each shape (which in itself is so much fun for the little ones and a great fine motor skill), then either dip it in the bucket of rice or sprinkle it on top.IMG_1760IMG_1761IMG_1762

I think they look super beautiful and quite like a large lollipop!! I *may* have helped with the gluing on the heart and can’t deny I love that the whole shape is a pretty rainbow but I also love that the other shapes were glued, sprinkled with rice and put in the sun to dry without any assistance at all. Love the independence and eagerness to just get into it and finish the activity too! Very impressed I was.IMG_1763

Colour & number & shape sorting – busy bag style!

I saw this activity with free printables on this website and had to try it out with my little guys as I also thought it would be perfect for a busy bag too (if you’re not sure what that is, check out my previous post on it).

So each shape has 5 different colours on them with each colour having a different number (1-5). The aim is to get a peg of the same colour and number and clip it on to the matching colour and number. It is a great colour matching / sorting activity with the added element of working on numbers! And of course each shape is different so they will learn each shape as they’re working on it.

So, it’s super simple – just print the shapes out from here and you can laminate if you wish (I did) then cut them out.

I got a packet of wooden pegs to paint and got master 3 to help.


Once all the pegs have been painted and are dry just write the number on each peg with a marker pen and you’re good to go!

I put Mr 1 to bed and came out to see Mr 3 sitting so occupied pegging shapes and he’d even stood one shape up:




Erupting snow

My good friend Tennile highlighted this little ‘trick’ from the pagingfunmums website and I had to try it, so here is our effort!
It’s an easy bi-carb / vinegar reaction but has loads of sensory components. Was really fun and engaging for both my boys.

You’ll need this:

So, just empty your bag of bi-carb into a large bowl:

Then add half a can of the shaving cream (ours was scented – so added a cool smelling sensory aspect).

Then some glitter (if you choose) and start mixing.

It should resemble this: (a snow like consistency)


Now you can play with it, form it into balls and enjoy the cool softness as a touch sensory aspect, but the ‘erupting’ happens next!

Add some vinegar:

Listen to it fizzle and watch it explode or erupt and of course touch it!!



Both boys LOVED this part – they absolutely adored touching it and feeling the bubbles through their fingers and playing with it – they both ended up washing their hair with it, but seriously had so much fun dipping their hands in and exploring. I let them go wild and it kept them entertained for ages!





Walking water and human rocks

What’s happening in the world when water walks and rocks are human-like?! Experiments (otherwise known as ‘tricks’ by Mr 3) and creativity of course!!

We did these two beauties today as there was some time to spend in the middle of the walking water activity – so, two birds with one ‘rock’…? 😉

So firstly the water is a walkin’! (I saw it here). Seriously – this is the coolest fun I’ve had with my little crafty apprentice to date! It’s so truly simple yet incredibly fascinating to see!

It’s not just water walking – it is also a colour changing discovery so a great little test for the little ones.

So you just need the following:


Yep, that simple – 3 glasses (the same size), paper towel, water and food colouring.

So fill two glasses with water and let your little one add some colour to each – they just love to add a few (thousand!) drops of colouring to anything – so let them go wild!

IMG_0165.JPG – we used yellow and blue to make a completely new colour (and no word of a lie when I asked Mr 3 ‘if we have a yellow one here, a blue one here – what colour will they make in the middle here?’ He answered ‘green’ – fluke or not, great work champ!!).

Then fold a piece of paper towel in halves lengthwise twice and put one end in one coloured water with the other into the empty glass in the middle, then the same for the other colour.


Then watch the magic start to happen – you can see the water walking along the paper right before your eyes immediately.


It does take quite a few minutes for any water to start filling the empty glass so it’s a brilliant lesson in patience for you and your little ones! But once it starts it’s quite riveting to see it starting forming a new colour in the middle glass.



The water equals out between all three colours – we left it for about an hour, checking intermittently – so it takes a while but really is fun to go back and keep checking.




So in the middle of that we decided to find some rocks to paint and decorate. Mr 3 suggested this out of the blue which was really awesome for me to hear and such a clever idea. So we put our hats and shoes on and went for a wander around the yard to collect some flat surfaced rocks. We got a bunch then laid them out on some paper to paint.

IMG_0174.JPG Then I put some paint on another sheet of paper and let my little guy get creative. I pulled out the googly eyes and glue as well as pipe cleaners and suggested we make a face. He painted the rock nicely


IMG_0176.JPG then we added some glitter (as it’s quite impossible for me to resist using glitter in almost every activity!!)

IMG_0177.JPG then I helped with the eyes and mouth and I’m pretty chuffed with how he turned out!!


So quite a fun few hours whilst Mr 1 slept in this household – happy Mumma and happy kidlets. Till next time…

A glitter rainbow

What combination could be more heavenly than glitter and a rainbow? Truly spectacular – the image I had in my head of it anyway! This fun craft didn’t turn out ‘perfect’ (as I had imagined), but the boys had fun, I really enjoyed watching them play and create and it turned out the way they made it and that is perfect after all.

So my idea was to paint some glue onto paper in an arc wide enough to have 4 or 5 colours and then sprinkle on a a little glitter in different colours. Of course – the art of ‘sprinkling’ glitter for a 3 year old holds no precision whatsoever so of course the colours were not in any real arc form (unless I let my sidelined OCD on field, and cut in on their fun!!) but it is glittery and rainbowy and sparkly and beautiful! I loved doing this craft despite the mess afterwards (we were outside of course!!).

So it’s super simple, grab yourself the following:

  1. Some paper (I have a large roll of butchers paper that I tear off in an appropriate size for each craft – but construction paper would probably be ideal)
    Craft Glue (or school glue)
  2. A paintbrush (or if you’re really keen a ‘glue brush’ – there are brushes specifically for painting glue!)
  3. Glitter of course!

So just squirt your glue onto the paper in an arc shape with 4 or 5 layers. 20140804-230256-82976228.jpg

Then let the little ones paint the glue to spread it out 20140804-230257-82977315.jpgand finally take each coloured glitter one at a time and sprinkle on one arc, 20140804-230254-82974500.jpg20140804-230252-82972722.jpgthen move to the next colour and next arc. Then once you’re done pick the paper up and tilt it around so the glitter can move about and stick to any spare spots of glue.

The excess glitter can be stored for another time – I slightly folded the paper in half and poured all the glitter into an empty paint container I had so now I have rainbow glitter for the next activity which is super pretty!!


Let’s talk Mobilo



But before we do, let’s talk Lego… I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a child that has a tub of Lego and that tub gets emptied all over the place in one quick swish but unless I pick up every single piece myself it never gets put away in one quick swish. The floor has an uncanny ability to hide the Lego pieces so that your feet can find them for you… Yep we’ve all been there with Lego – they can be fun for the kids to explore and use their imagination every so often (and perhaps there are way more than I know that actually spend hours on end playing and creating and getting the absolute most out of it), but in my experience it is more fun for my kids when they empty the tub and see the strewn mess before finding something else to do or play with…

This is true too (for my kids) with mega blocks and duplo. They definitely do have their place in a home but they just don’t enthral them.

So, when I saw my son playing (and I use that term loosely – I really mean getting stuck in and creating whole pieces and becoming absolutely mesmerised with the intricacy of the clicking pieces and items he was creating) with this thing called mobilo it piqued my attention a little. It was at a trial run of a 3 year old kindy he’s starting and I didn’t think much more of it as I was more interested in assessing the kindy. But the very next day at daycare I happened to pick him up right as they had pulled out their tub of mobilo and he was completely and totally absorbed. The educator asked if he’d played with it before and I said I think it was the stuff he played with yesterday for the first time. She said he was amazingly talented at it and assumed he’d had plenty of practice. He was absolutely loving it and for the first time in a year of attending daycare he didn’t want to come home. He wanted to finish playing. I knew this mobilo had to be a pretty special toy. So I arranged to get some for his 3rd birthday and got it here – the absolute best price and free delivery – absolute bargain. So if you’re after some, check it out.

So it’s not a new thing – it was around when I was a kid 30 years ago and my mum said we all played with it back then. I believe it’s German. Not sure if I got as much of a kick out of it as he does, but I certainly am now – it is my ‘saviour toy’ (it seriously keeps him completely and utterly focused and entertained and all so independently).

In my opinion it has so more potential for quick and large constructions than Lego or the like. My little guy will make a car with trailers within minutes.


It has wheels that click onto the main pieces and axel type pieces that connect one to another as well as the main pieces that come in a range of shapes. There are little heads with faces to click onto the little vehicles you create or if you’re super talented then the seat you make for the vehicle! There are a whole heap of connectors and honestly it has endless capabilities!!


I’m going to get him more as the bucket I got was a starter kit so there are so many other packs you can get

The sound of the click clack is strangely soothing and instantly makes me proud as I know he’s working towards something and already on the way to creating something impressive. He plays so intensely and focuses all attention on what piece will go with what. The power it has to keep him sitting still and quiet and so absorbed and so very content is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Some of the marvellous pieces we’ve had so far include ‘a tractor for Poppy’, another ‘tractor’ that looked so much like a dune buggy it wasn’t funny, an ‘aeroplane’ that had wheels of course and a ‘digger’ – which was actually a really awesome bulldozer complete with the front end loader, brilliant!


Well I’ve written way more than I expected given I’m not endorsing this product (although if you do purchase through the links I’ve provided I will get a teeny tiny commission and it won’t affect your purchase in any way at all)  – purely trying to express how absolutely amazed I am at how much my little guy loves it! I’m not sure if it’s something boys would like more than girls or vice versa but I can say it is so worth every cent for me – so might be an idea for your 3 year old, you just never know.






Rainbow play

Rainbow rice

Rainbows are beautiful and kids are so attracted to them – I’m sure there are loads of activities that incorporate a rainbow theme (I still love our awesome magnetic pom pom rainbow that we made recently) and I will endeavour to do some more (so as always, stay tuned!) but here is what we’ve tried recently. The first is a simple rainbow rice. I had seen it around and didn’t actually think it would create much fun for the little ones… Until I had seen it in action at a friends place. There were loads of kids playing ranging from aged one to 8 or so and they had an absolute ball!! It’s actually an amazing sensory activity and my friend had even added some essential oil to it to add another sensory appeal – it was lavender and smelled beautiful!

So here is what you’ll need:
Rice (clearly..!)
Food colouring
Zip lock bags
Essential oil (if you wish)
A tub to play with the rice in.

I didn’t grab any photos of the making of this as it was done a little while ago… But it was super easy – separate the rice into several zip lock bags and add some food colouring to each bag then a tablespoon or so of vinegar (add the oils here too if you choose) and close the bags and shake all around. Then open the bags and leave them a few hours to dry completely. 20140708-202231-73351244.jpg Then empty the bags and let the little ones explore. image We used funnels and a sieve and our hands of course and enjoyed the colours and textures and smell. image

The next ‘activity’ (I use that word loosely here) was to make a rainbow cake. I didn’t actually make it with my little guys (but will definitely do so soon). I think it’s a great little colour sensory activity that the little ones will love.

So I just made a basic butter cake (I used this recipe) and divided the batter into four bowls, then added some food colouring to each. The kids will love this part! Then add the batter into your cake tin (or slow cooker if you’re like me as that’s how I cooked this one!) and you can have a bit of fun with the mixing and pouring of the colours. Then bake/cook it and wait to see how it turns out!

I just layered mine in one on top of the others and was very happy with how pretty and rainbowish it came out.

I have a few ideas for some other rainbow play so I have some glitter for our next bit of craziness fun!! Keep an eye out for that – until then, get crafty!

Busy bag swap – my magnetic rainbow

I couldn’t wait to tackle this activity after the boys had gone to bed as I was so keen to see if Mr almost-3 would a) get excited and enjoy the new activity awaiting him and b) actually know how to do it – or at least learn how to.

So a friend had read about a busy-bag swap and asked a bunch of us if we were interested in participating. I had never heard of it but after googling and Pinterest-ing I soon discovered how awesome it looked and as I am always keen for a crafty challenge, this was right up my alley!

I searched around and finally decided I wanted to make a magnetic rainbow pom pom sorting activity. The aim (apart from having fun with little felt pom poms that are magnetic!) is to sort the coloured pom poms onto the matching colour in the rainbow.

What you’ll need:
A rainbow template – I got mine here
A colour printer
A laminator (though not essential but will make it a lot easier to do the activity)
Coloured felt pom poms (they need to be fairly sturdy pom poms – more on this below)
Magnets (I bought little round discs that are 8mm)
A hot glue gun (I guess super glue would work too – but I already have a hot glue gun…)
A cookie tray (to put under the template as the other magnetic item)

So, it’s as easy as printing the template, laminating it; gluing the magnets to the pom poms and having FUN – EASY!

So I set up my bench with my cookie tray, all my little magnets attached to the tray a few cms apart, my hot glue gun and my pom poms.


I glued and stuck and I was done… Or so I thought! Some of the pom poms I bought (I had a few different brands) were a really soft felt and so when I picked up the pom pom it actually pulled off the magnet… The others I had were a tight ball and sturdy so grabbing the pom pom picked up the whole thing without pulling away from the magnet at all. So I will get some more of them but in the mean time in have a few (check out the green ones in the pic below) that look like those old troll dolls! which makes them kinda cool and they’re perfectly usable!

My little guy couldn’t wait to get sorting and LOVED IT! It was way easier for him than I expected but still kept him occupied for a good 10 minutes and he was pretty chuffed with his efforts!



Some paper play

Two activities we tried just recently that involved paper and washable markers had a 50% success rate!

The one that didn’t really work (for us) but is such a cool idea and with better preparations perhaps and maybe just an older toddler and not both it might be loads of fun… Maybe…

Anyway – here it is in case it is perfect for your little one.

Drawing with cars

The idea is to stick a marker to a little matchbox car (or something similar) and draw with the car (or race the cars…?). I saw it here and couldn’t wait to try it out. But after a busy morning of swimming lessons, then some shopping and post office run the boys were a little irritable so I decided on a whim to give this a go. This meant I was trying to set up the cars with their markers attached and the paper to draw on with two little helpers! It would have been so good to have it all set up like this

20140621-151133.jpg and ready to go for them to get straight into playing… But things aren’t always ideal and we got there in the end – so here is some of their drawing/racing/artwork:




As you can see, by the end they were just using the markers and then they both drew all over themselves with the (thankfully washable) markers! And they didn’t spend a great deal of time on this activity – it just didn’t take their interest.. But we tried it!

The next one I tried a few days ago and absolutely loved it. It is paper towel drawing with a twist. I saw it here (one of my favourite craft blogs)

You need:
Paper towel
Washable markers (they have to be washable for the effect of this craft)
A paintbrush

Let your little one draw on the paper towel and try to fill up as much of the towel with as many colours as you can.
Then let them paint the towel with the brush dipped in water.
The colours will bleed and create an awesome effect!

The photos don’t do it justice (and I have no action shots – just the end result)



I’ll be doing this one again as it’s quick, easy, not messy and I think the artwork is so lovely – could be framed and hung or put underneath the glass top on our outdoor dining table!

Farewell for now, but I’m already looking forward to my next blog post which is an activity I’m creating for a busy bag swap – if you haven’t heard of it, check it out here