“Making Childhood Magical.” I’m not done!

Posted under Imaginative Play, Play activities

2Apr
making childhood magical

“Why I’m NOT Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical”   Yesterday, a friend posted this on her Facebook page. “I’m done making my kid’s child magical“ by Bunmi Laditan, featured on The Huffington Post. Bunmi’s article is a reminder that it is not our job as parents to CREATE a magical life for our children, and that they already see and…

How To Make A Standing Doll For Play Using Felt

Posted under Dolls

15Oct
How To Make A Standing Doll For Play Using Felt

How to make a standing doll for play using felt No. 19 in the 30 Days of Dolls Series: Lovely Flower Girl   I’ve been making simple standing dolls ever since I started working in a Waldorf kindergarten. Some were huge, standing at least 30-35 cm tall. (In hindsight, a big dud.) Others were tiny and cute, only 5 or…

Children Imitate Parents: Imitation for Learning

Posted under Practical Advice

16Sep
children imitate parents

Children Imitate Parents: The Power Of Imitation For Learning     Here is a really cute video reminding us how powerful imitation really is. This sweet video makes us laugh but there is a message in here. Children imitate parents… and caregivers, and teachers, and siblings, and grandparents, and….just about anyone who has some kind of impact upon that child’s…

How to make a simple knot doll for kids

Posted under Dolls

6Sep
how to make a simple knot doll for kids

30 Days of Dolls: How to make a simple knot doll for kids No. 6: A knot doll with 3 pieces of scrap fabric I loved learning how to make a simple knot doll for kids many years ago when I was teaching in kindergarten. There was even a gorgeous story about a Giant with cold feet and his new…

Puppets For Children: Handmade Puppet Stand

Posted under Nature and Animal Crafts

17Aug
puppets for children

Project 17: I love puppets for children! Handmade puppet stand using logs and sticks from nature Time: 15 minutes plus drying time Difficulty: Adult required.   Yesterday, we made some puppets for children, two cute fish-shaped finger puppets. (At least I think it is pretty cute!)  But one thing I know about finger puppets is that they are often (usually?)…

Rainy Day Indoor Activities For Kids

Posted under Nature and Animal Crafts, Rainy Day

9Aug
sandpit

Project #9: Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Kids Indoor Table Sandpit   Time: If you can stand a bit of sand on the floor, children may play there all day long! Difficulty: Child’s play!   “Nature crafts” don’t have to be complicated. In fact, this one is as easy as finding the biggest container you have, filling it with beach…

Magic Wool Fleece Trees

Posted under Nature and Animal Crafts

8Aug
story props

Project #8: Magic Wool Fleece Trees for Story Props and Play Toys Time: 20 minutes maximum Difficulty: A piece of cake   Over the years of being a kindergarten teacher, I often used a simple prop such as a nature craft when telling a story to help the children spark ideas for their own play and storytelling fun too.  Many…

Easy craft ideas for kids: felt ball peg caterpillar

Posted under Nature and Animal Crafts

3Aug
easy craft ideas for kids

  Project #3: Easy Craft Ideas for Kids Felt Ball Peg Caterpillar Time: 20 minutes maximum Difficulty: Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy   I have a stash of pure wool felt balls floating around my craft room and I wanted to use them up so I came up with this easy craft idea for kids. You just need a bit of…

Play Resources For Indoor Creative Play

Posted under Imaginative Play

8Jul
play resources

Play resources for children’s indoor creative play   Have you ever searched or wished for a list of things you could use as play resources for children’s indoor creative play?  Well, look no further. Here it is. This is the list I wanted when my daughter was small, and I’ve been adding to it over the years too. It’s a…

Creative Play: Scaffolding Experiences

Posted under Imaginative Play

7Jul
creative play

Photo source  Creative Play: Scaffolding Experiences to spark imagination! When it comes to ‘loose parts’ and children’s inventiveness, creative play can be stimulated by occasionally offering a variety of tactile things that ‘scaffold’ (in loose terms) imaginative play. Tactile experiences help to enliven the senses and may also allow a child connect to their body a little more strongly. They also encourage…

How do children play? Loose parts in action

Posted under Imaginative Play

6Jul
how do children play

How do children play?  Loose parts in action. How do children play? It’s a question that I often ponder, especially in recent times as I watch this massive growth and accessibility in technology become a huge obstacle standing in the way of free play for many young children. Then just the other day, I found this old ideas book of…

Designing with loose parts

Posted under Imaginative Play

5Jul
loose parts

Designing with “loose parts”   When children have open-ended materials, or loose parts, at their disposal- especially things from nature or those that are particularly beautiful- one of the things they often do with these materials is to make designs. In my experience, these designs are often mandala-like in their nature, with repetitive elements of colour, shape, texture and form….

24. Creative play wins the day!

Posted under 30 Days of Awesome Parenting

24Jun
creative play

30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING  (read about the adventure here) Tip 24: Creative play, and more play, and more play is the key to happy kids.   The best thing we can do for our kids is to let them be bored. For boredom is one of the keys to creative play. Boredom is the vacuum and a vacuum cannot stay…

Steiner Wooden Play Stand Toys for Imaginative Play, and Handmade fairy wings made by Dave and Sharon Denning

Posted under Toys and Toy shops

19May
steiner wooden play stand

Steiner Wooden Play Stand Toys Today, I’d like to introduce you to a local business run by my friend, Sharon and her husband Dave.    Sharon and Dave make delightful Steiner wooden play stands for children, often seen in Waldorf kindergartens. Children can use playstands in all kinds of play- to make cubbies, shop windows, walls for ‘homes’ or ‘home…

A no-frills cheap Christmas or birthday gift for young children

Posted under Gift giving

22Dec

In this month of Christmas excess, I was reminded that sometimes the most simple of things, in this case a whole bunch of pegs from the peg basket, can be the best gift ever. Playing with pegs! Who’d have thought a pack of pegs could ever be such fodder for children’s creativity? Ned and his little friend spent at least…