This week my son was completely relaxed and happy at kindy drop off (yay!)
It has taken three full terms of kindergarten in order for him to now feel comfortable enough to just kiss me goodbye before joining his friends.
The separation anxiety he felt was my inspiration when creating the new Pocket Rock line.
These lovely pet rocks are small decorated stones featuring friendly characters.
The cute character stones are the ideal friend for a child suffering from anxiety or nervousness. The Pocket Rock can be kept in your child’s pocket, unseen by anybody other than the child holding it.
Better than any invisible friend or words of comfort, the Pocket Rock friend is a tactile experience. It can be played with, spoken to and held. The weight of the rock means it can be felt in a pocket so it’s a constant reminder that your child is not alone.
Each character stone comes in a small decorative bag to keep it safe and secure.
The Pocket Rock also comes with a special, meaningful poem.
Everywhere I’ve looked lately I’ve seen decorated rocks and story stones. I tried my hand painting some of my own recently and let’s just say…painting is not my talent! I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to buy rather than create story stones when I came across an Instagram story from Casey at Little Life Long Learners (@littlelifelonglearners). She shared a very clever way of decorating stones without needing any artistic skills. I was definitely inspired and want to share that with you.
It is super simple, easy and fun for the whole family! All you’ll need is:
Mod Podge or PVA Glue (if you use PVA you may want to water it down a little)
Stickers (make sure they’re small enough to fit completely on the stones)
A small paint brush
Once you know the materials, you can probably guess the process…
Peel off each sticker and place them on the stones. Make sure you match the stickers to the size of the stones, you don’t want them hanging off the sides.
Cover the sticker areas and their edges with a layer of Mod Podge/glue.
Allow the glue to set.
Coat them a second time.
Allow to set again.
Play with and enjoy your beautifully decorated stones!
If you’re not sure what to do with the stones once you’ve decorated them, I have a few suggestions:
Hide and Seek – either in your own backyards or within your community. There are plenty of local Facebook pages dedicated to hiding and finding decorated stones.
Literacy – Ask your child to name the pictures on each stone, ask them how to spell each word. Say rhyming words or list adjectives that can be used to describe the pictures on each stone.
Story Telling – Tell a story by picking up one stone at a time and adding to your story with each new stone. Pick three stones and use them to structure a short story or sentence or choose one stone as the inspiration for a whole story.
Imaginative play – Imagine the fun that could come from having a mini pirate, fairy or dinosaur in your pocket all day!
Rewards – No sugar in these little treats!
Comfort toy – Having a little object to touch and look at throughout the day can be comforting for children feeling low or those with separation anxiety.
If DIY is not your thing but you love the idea of having a set of stones to use then I have you sorted!
~Each set comes with a task card with plenty of ideas on how to use, play with and enjoy the special stones. Each set of stones can be used for story telling, treasure hunts, imaginative play and much more.
~You can expect a set of clear, vibrant and detailed pictures that will engage your child’s imagination. The lovely images on these story stones are not hand painted which allows for finer details and more vibrant colours.
~The white stones are perfect for little hands to comfortably hold; they are shiny, flat and measure around 38-40mm in length.
What you’ll receive with your order:
~ 8+ different story stones with various pictures
~ 1x transparent zip-lock bag (to keep your stones safe and visible)
~ 1x task card (with ideas on how to make the most of your story stones)
For a limited time you can save 20% on every Story Stone Busy Bag you purchase! Use the code NEWSS20. Head over to the Flying Sprout store now to view the whole range.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3
Please be aware these story stones may cause a choking hazard and are therefore not suitable for children under 3 years of age.
Finding Myself Young is a fantastic website and blog written by a lovely lady named Toni.
I was very lucky to have Toni contact me, saying she’d like to feature Flying Sprout’s Busy Bags on her weekly Mummy Must Have review. I was even more lucky to have her write such wonderful things about my products!
You can find the blog post here. While you’re there I encourage you to read through her other reviews and discover some amazing must have items for your little one to enjoy.
You can also follow Toni on Instagram, @finding_myself_young.
Travel is fun…but not always with a toddler, especially a bored, restless one. Keeping your little one entertained and engaged will make travelling more relaxed for you and more fun for your child.
It is super important to keep your child amused and entertained while flying, or on long journeys by road, rail or sea, but it also pays to think about what they’ll need when you reach your destination. You might plan to be on-the-go most of the day but in those moments when you need some quiet time or your child needs to wind down before a sleep, having a quiet, independent activity on hand can be invaluable.
You want to choose a range of activities and toys that will hold your child’s interest, are age appropriate, versatile, are lightweight and also compact so they don’t take up too much room in your travel bag.
Here’s a selection of great toys, books and activities to give you inspiration when it comes to screen-free travel entertainment for your child.
Educational Busy Bags
Busy Bags are the perfect way to keep your child engaged and learning while travelling. These Toddler Busy Bags are colourful, compact and provide different task options in one little bag. You can select activity bags to target specific skills and concepts such as numbers 1-10, making patterns, colour awareness and threading.
Keeping little hands and minds active is made easy with stickers. Peeling the stickers builds fine motor skills. If you choose reusable stickers with background scenes, like these offered by Tiger Tribe, they can engage your child’s imagination and be used as inspiration for story telling.
Puppets are a wonderful way to encourage your child to tell (or listen to) stories. They can be used to perform puppet shows or as little companions that can easily fit in a pocket. This set of 6 finger puppets come in a handy storage bag.
Activity pads and colouring pages are an easy way to occupy your child’s concentration. If they have the dexterity; colouring within the lines, tracing and completing mazes are small, satisfying challenges they can work on. This activity book is made especially for younger children.
Magnetic Drawing Pads
These are a fantastic, clean, all-in-one way of drawing. Magnetic sketching pads can be used for drawing or playing games like tic-tac-toe. Having the drawing instrument attached means there is no risk of misplacing a lid or even a whole pencil or texta, plus they won’t mark the furniture! Quack makes this compact magnetic drawing pad.
Interactive books are always popular with little ones. The joy of lifting a flap, opening a door or peeking behind a window means they are likely to want to read one book over and over again. Spot is a classic lift-the-flap series. Spot Goes on Holiday is perfect to take traveling.
These are not traditional books in the sense that they don’t tell a story, rather each page has a simple activity to entertain and build fine motor skills. Quiet books are fabric, often felt, and stitched to include things like buttons, laces and velcro shapes. A great deal of work goes into the creation of these books so they are not cheap but are a worthwhile purchase. This one is made in the Philippines and money raised from it’s sales helps the local women.
Look and Find Books
Exploring all the details in a densely illustrated book is like a visual treasure hunt. Collections like Where’s Wally and Seek and Find are full of amusing and surprising illustrations while books in the I Spy collection contain photographs of many items on each page.
A Favourite Story
Having a favourite book on hand can provide your child with a familiar comfort when their surroundings are not so familiar. Reading a story can have an instant calming effect and help transition your child to sleep time. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favourite of many children and parents alike.
If you’re not sure about letting your toddler loose with pencils or crayons, drawing with water is a fantastic idea. Add a little magic into the mix with these mess free water pictures by Melissa & Doug.
A Favourite Toy
Taking a favourite toy along while travelling can be really reassuring for your child and can providing them with entertainment as well as comfort. Just don’t lose it!
Often when travelling there are unexpected delays or unavoidable queues. In these situations it is not always convenient to search through your bag for something to entertain your child. Here’s a great idea from @critterz_, a wearable toy! The necklaces each include a toy figure so your child can wear their entertainment.
There are many, many great toys and activities to keep toddlers entertained while travelling. When shopping for items to pack on your next adventure make sure your choices are appropriate to your child’s age, will hold their interest for more than a few minutes, are lightweight and compact and will also provide them with entertainment once you reach the destination.
I have big dreams for this site and it will take plenty of time to achieve them but even the longest journey starts with a single step and this is it; Blog Post #1!
While you can find all this information elsewhere on my site, let me start with the basics.
My name is Bianca. I am a qualified teacher, though currently a stay-at-home-mum. I taught in a Primary School eight years. While working in the classroom I was also my school’s Numeracy co-ordinator for a number of years. As I progressed through my teaching career I realised one of the main challenges faced by teachers is a lack of time. I recently realised there was a way I can give teachers back some time, lift their work load and take away the tasks they didn’t particularly enjoy but still have to complete.
Flying Sprout is dedicated to Saving Teachers Time; less time spent on undesirable, energy-sapping tasks means more time to do the things you want to do and more time to focus on the needs of your students.
Flying Sprout gives teachers the opportunity to outsource many non-teaching duties. These tasks include but are not limited to:
Proof reading and editing
Printing and laminating
Cutting and sorting
Reading and summarising
Also offered by Flying Sprout is pre-service and graduate teacher mentoring. Sometimes it can be hard to talk through issues with colleagues, gain advice and support in a new workplace. Having a mentor who has worked in the same environment, understands the pressures and is willing to listen and offer advise without judgement can be a very valuable thing.
I hope you enjoy taking this ride with me as I aim to grow a business from my passion.