Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick end of year post to say Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family and of course, those of you that take the time to read my blog. There are good things and not-so-good things happening in our family at this time this year so it has been a good lesson for me to take each day at a time and be grateful for the things that we are blessed with.

Some of the things I am grateful for right now are...

  • My little girl (almost 2) who is beginning to understand and feel the magic of Christmas. I never want to forget the way her little eyes lit up when we took her to see the Christmas lights this year. An absolutely magical moment!
  • My mum and dad who are always there for me whenever I need them
  • Time spent with my Nanna in the last few weeks of her life. While I am sad to be saying goodbye to her I also want to be grateful for this time because there are family members that are elsewhere in the world who would give anything for some of this time. 
  • Beautiful friends who know me and Little Miss so well. A friend and I swapped gifts for our girls today and she chose perfectly for Little Miss. I hope we keep these friends for a lifetime. 
I hope and pray that you all have an amazing and memorable Christmas. 

All my love, 

CommonSense Mummy xxx

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Indoor water play

This is a little activity we did a few months back on a rainy/windy afternoon. I think I was cooking - but using sharp knives - so nothing that Little Miss (must have been 18 months at the time) could help me with. I decided to set her up with some indoor water play in the kitchen...


I put a couple of towels down on the tiles and filled the bottom of a washing up bucket with a bit of water and added some plastics from the tupperware draw. Little Miss had a grand old time for at least 30 minutes! Pouring, tipping, squeezing, drinking! 

Maybe you could do this on your deck or even in the laundry while you are folding washing???

What are your favourite water play activities?

CSM x

A holiday!

This CommonSenseMummy and her little family are currently enjoying their last night of holidays! We have been on the NSW north coast for a week swimming, fishing, watching the dolphins, eating and playing in the park. What a beautiful week it has been! I didn't realise how much we needed a holiday until it was here.

It has been such a pleasure to give Little Miss all our attention at any time of the day and it has really been amazing to watch her language develop even further because of all this one on one time! What a treat!

Hope you have all had an amazing week.

Where is your favourite place to holiday as a family?

Love lots,

CSM x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Book review - GRUG!!!

Hi everyone.

You may not be aware but our Little Miss (20 months soon!!!) is (and has been since forever) obsessed with books. She would probably bring us upwards of 20 books a day to read to her and often we get the same ones over and over again. I love books and love reading and I hope in some way I have passed this love on to her but for some reason I don't think I can take much credit. She just seems to have an in-built love of reading.

Anyway....(prattling!!!).... for my baby shower I had everyone bring their favourite childhood book for our little princess instead of presents. And I'm so glad we did it! I got an absolutely beautiful collection of books for Little Miss before she was even born.

One of my most treasured friends (you know who you are!!!) gave Little Miss two Grug books:


and

Now I have to admit that Grug plays soccer is her absolute favourite and the whole Grug excitement has heightened since we saw Grug live at QPAC a few weeks ago.

Why Little Miss loves Grug
I think she loves Grug because he is an identifiable character and he is quite lovable in his own little way. The words are simple and it doesn't take long to read through the book. She has memorised a portion already!

Why Mummy loves Grug
Most importantly Mummy loves Grug because he is Australian. Unfortunately for us the other characters that Little Miss seems attached to at the moment are Dora (and Boots and Swiper). The books are simple and clearly illustrated and provide lots of memorable sentences just perfect for language learning. Our latest Grug word is "Goal!!" (he kicks a lot of them when he plays soccer!!

Do your kids love Grug? What else are you reading at the moment?

CSM xxx

Monday, 12 September 2011

Play dough cakes (cooks)

On Wednesday afternoons we have swimming at 3 and because Little Miss is not 2 yet I have to get into the water with her. It is way too hard to try and get us both dried and dressed in the swimming change rooms (Little Miss either shivers while I get dressed or I shiver while I get her dressed not to mention the whole wet floor thing!!!) so I have gotten into the habit of bundling us into the car after swimming and racing home to jump in a hot shower. As a result, we are in our pyjamas by 4pm on a wednesday afternoon so this means "quiet" play inside.

Last weekend I made some play dough finding the recipe at the Imagination Tree (www.theimaginationtree.com). If you haven't visited there yet make sure you do. They have zillions of amazing play ideas for babies. toddlers and preschoolers. Anyway, getting off the topic!! Little Miss has been loving her new play dough (and Mummy is more relaxed in case Little Miss takes a lick!!!) and one of her new words lately is "cook" - which means cake! So our obvious "quiet" play activity last Wednesday was making PLAYDOUGH CAKES.

I started Little Miss off by moulding the play dough into 3 flat balls and placing them on plates. Little Miss then had a lovely time adding beads as candles...




Luckily she wasn't so busy thay she couldn't give Mummy a big "cheese"!


After a while, we ran out of "bead candles" and Little Miss was saying "more, more, more" so Mummy was brave and got out the real birthday candles...


And one more happy "cheese" for a fun afternoon of "cooks"!!!


This activity is good for:
  •  Fine motor skills (pushing candles into the play dough)
  • Language development (talking about the cakes and the candles and eating. We even sang Happy Birthday a few times!!)
  • Pretend play
  • Independent play (once I set her up Little Miss was happy for a long time by herself - ocassionally bringing me one to taste!)
Have a great week. Would love to hear about other play dough ideas for toddlers....

Common Sense Mummy xxx






Sunday, 14 August 2011

Water play

Hi everyone! I haven't blogged for a while. Not because I haven't had any ideas but just because I have been busy. Blogging for me is purely a hobby. A fun one at that!

When Little Miss used to have 2 sleeps a day I would treasure her morning sleep and spend that time in the kitchen. I would do all the dishes, do some baking or start dinner, sweep the floors.... You get the idea!

Now, we have one sleep a day and, while I am enjoying the longer sleep (!), it has made me rethink my morning cleaning routine. Little Miss just wants to help mummy whenever she can which is just lovely but makes thing take just that little bit longer.

So...I have discovered that if I set Little Miss up at the spare sink and fill it with water and add some plastics then she is happy for over half an hour while I am in the kitchen! Such a simple idea but so effective!




Does your toddler love water play? And how do you keep them occupied when you are in the kitchen?

Have a great week....

CSM xxx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sticker and crayon play

As an OT I am obviously interested in developing Little Miss CS' fine motor skills. I am continually inspired by the amazing blogs that I follow but often the activities that I see are targeted more at the 2-4 year age range.

Last week I bought a packet of stickers at Kmart (Dora of course!) and thought we would give them a go. I had to help Little Miss pull them off the page but then she loved placing them on the paper and pointing/chatting about them. We had the crayons out as well and we both did some drawing on and around the stickers. I have been using Crayola Slick Stix with Little Miss because they are so smooth and so much darker than regular crayons so she is able to see her drawings better and get more immediate satisfaction from her drawing attempts.

Here is our finished product:



This activity is good for:

  •  Fine motor skills (pulling the stickers off, drawing with crayons)
  • Starting to understand that what we draw means something (the very beginnings of handwriting believe it or not!)
  • Language development (pointing at drawings/stickers and talking about them and labelling them)
What are your favourite toddler fine motor activities?

CSM xx