Fun with Painters Tape

Flying Sprout pinterest blog Painters Tape

I’m not much the home reno type so had never even heard of painters tape until two years ago.

I was reading a blog post on suggested items to pack for entertaining children on long haul flights and saw this tape recommended. It peaked my interest, I bought a roll and have since fallen in love with the stuff!

There are loads of fun activities kids can do with painters tape which, unlike regular masking tape, will not leave a sticky residue or be hard to remove. Here are a few winners:

Letter or number writing – Write numbers, letters and words on any surface, practise making sums or spelling key words.

name art

Make a bridge – Your child might like to take up the challenge of creating a bridge using only painters tape. The challenge can be extended by testing the load limit of the bridge.

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Create a road on the floor – Use the tape to draw out a road along the floor, you could include round abouts or make a whole town. Use toy cars to race or drive along the road.

DIY-Hot-Wheels-Race-Track-9-w

Draw shapes on the wall – Young children can learn about shape properties, older kids might like to measure the perimeter and area.

shapes

Maze – Older children might like to plan out then create a maze using the tape. You might like to make a maze for younger children to drive cars or walk toys around.

maze

Races- Instead of a maze, your child might like to create a race track. They could then use a straw and pom-pom, blowing the pom-pom around the race course.

racing

Marble/rolling – As a children, my brothers and I would play marbles in the hall way room. Painters tape is handy to draw a circle and lines.

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Create an obstacle course – Tape some kitchen or toilet rolls to the wall and have a marble race through the course.

marble run

Tape painting – There are so many options here, just search on Pinterest. The idea is that you stick tape onto a canvas in order to create blank space once it is removed. You may like to creates a geometric pattern or write your child’s name, they then paint, splatter or colour all over the canvas. When the artwork is dry, the paint is removed an voila! Masterpiece!

painting-fabric-with-latex-paint-Hearts-And-Sharts-Crafting-Chicks

For many more great ideas and links to all the above activities, head on over to Flying Sprout’s Pinterest Board dedicated to all things painters tape.

I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions, do you use painters tape with your little ones?

Making Bath Time Fun for Kids

The bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. Crayons, bubbles, food dye, ice, toys and treasure hunts can make the humble bath a blast!

Having a bath is more than a necessity for most kids, its a fun time to relax and play.

When we don’t have early morning activities i’ll often let my son have a long bath and and some watery fun. There are many things we do to make bath time special, here are a list of them:

Bath crayons – I remember having special crayons when I was little and I’ve bought them for my son too. Kids can draw on the glass, the tub, tiles or on them selves and the colour washes off easily. They can draw and scribble, write letters, numbers, practise spelling words or solving sums, play Pictionary, Hangman (or the child friendly version I call ‘The Ladybird Game’), Noughts and Crosses…they can write and draw as they would on paper. The bath crayons pictured below are available here.

The bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. Crayons, bubbles, food dye, ice, toys and treasure hunts can make the humble bath a blast!
Available at Target

Bubble bath – A bath full of bubbles is just good, clean fun! Of course it’s nice to sit in mountains of bubbles but your children (and you) can also put the bubbles on their face and head to give the appearance of facial hair, fill small plastic container with bubbles to make cappuccinos or cup cakes and play shops, hide as much of themsleves in bubbles as possible, scoop up hand fulls and blow them off or clap to make the bubbles scatter away.

Food dye – I saw a friend of mine comment on her son loving blue water in his bath and was instantly inspired to try it out. We’ve had blue water, green, purple, red (not my choice!) and everything in between. It’s great fun and all it takes is a few drops or regular food colouring. Adding the colour and watching the water swirl and dye disperse is a great experience for the little ones too.

The bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. Crayons, bubbles, food dye, ice, toys and treasure hunts can make the humble bath a blast!
Food dye in the bath

Measuring capacity – taking a few, various sized containers into the bath and pouring water from one to another is a great way to develop an understanding of capacity. Encouraging your child to predict, order and test out theories as to which container holds the most water, how many cups it might take to fill the rectangular container etc is great fun and real-life learning.

Find and seek underwater – Taking toys into the bath is great, but losing them under the bubbles and having to find them is even better. Your child might like to search with their hand under water or they could wear goggles or even a snorkle while they go exploring for the lost ‘treasures.’

bath toys rubber ducky bath time fun

Washing toys – Whether its giving a doll a bath or scrubbing a dirty monster truck, washing toys is far more fun for the little ones than washing themselves.

Sea themed toys – Fish, animals, boats, mermaids and pirates are great toys to play with in the bath. Of course any waterproof toy would be fun but these ones are especially good because they encourage small world play. The pictured toys are available from here.

The bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. Crayons, bubbles, food dye, ice, toys and treasure hunts can make the humble bath a blast!
Available from iHerb

Melting ice blocks -In Summer we made coloured ice cubes with a dinosaur in each. Once the ice cube was added to the water it melted fast, the colour of the water changed and the dinosaur was free. You can use ice to discuss the different states of water, different coloured ice and water to discuss primary and secondary colours or frozen creatures in big ice blocks to make bath time last a little longer.

Eating – When babies start eating solids it is a messy time in most house holds. Ours was no exception! Spaghetti was especially fun and particularly messy! I once heard of a mum (or maybe it was a dad?) who put their young one in an empty bath with a bowl full of messy food. The child could make as much mess as they wanted and cleaning up was a breeze!

Singing – I must admit, I’ve never really been much of a singer (trust me, that is a good thing!), however I do love to break in to song at bath time….’Splish splash I was taking a bath, all about a Saturday night….’ I sing, my son splashes, we act it out and have a crazy good time. If you have any great bath time songs please share them below! I’d love to add a few to my list!

As you can see, the bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. What are your child’s favourite bath time activities?

The bath can be much more than a place to wash. It can be a place to play, explore, learn and relax. Crayons, bubbles, food dye, ice, toys and treasure hunts can make the humble bath a blast!

Screen Free Activities To Keep Kids Cool On A Hot Day

I love the idea of sitting under the air conditioner all day and watching movies but that’s just not possible in my house with a toddler and well, lets be honest, it's not ideal. So….here’s a list of simple activities to keep your children entertained while keeping cool on those scorching Summer days.

Australian Summers can be HOT so keeping cool and calm is a priority, especially when the school holidays are stretching on and you’re running out of ideas for how to entertain the kids.

I love the idea of sitting under the air conditioner all day and watching movies but that’s just not possible in my house with a toddler and well, lets be honest, it’s not ideal. So….here’s a list of simple activities to keep your children entertained while keeping cool on those scorching Summer days.

 

Sensory Play

Quiet activities are a great option when the weather is really hot (or wet, or cold). Activities that allow your child to use their hands to manipulate materials are great for the development of fine motor skills, encourage imaginative play and are wonderfully calming.

*Play dough – play dough can be made at home or bought. It can be moulded with the hands, flattened, rolled, cut or stamped.

*Water beads – these tiny little balls absorb water and grow. They are soft, colourful and fantastic to play with.

*Coloured spaghetti – cook a few batches of spaghetti with a little food dye, let it cool and play away.

*Rainbow rice – rice can be dyed a rainbow of different colours with some food dye and a little vinegar.

*Bubbles – watching bubbles floating through the air is simple but always special.

play dough hot day

Bring The Outdoors In

When the outdoor environment isn’t welcoming, just bring the fun inside!

*Indoor forts – build a cubby inside using sheets draped over clothes horses, chairs or tables then make it cozy with cushions and soft toys.

*Inside picnic – pack a picnic basket full of goodies, set up a rug on the floor and have a special picnic in the living room.

*Treasure hunt – write clues and hide objects around the house for your children to find.

 

Water Play

Playing with cool water is the best way to escape the Summer heat but there are many more options than visiting a public pool.

*Paddling pools – set up a small pool, clam shell, tub or even bucket at home for your children to splash in.

*Washing dishes – washing dishes with cool water and plenty of bubbles can be fun on a hot day.

*Playing in the bath – having a long, cool bath is a great way to pass time.

*Floating/sinking – encourage your child to explore the concept of floating and sinking by making boats and testing the properties of different objects.

*Bath crayons – drawing in the bath tub or on their bodies with special bath crayons and soaps is a great way for your children to get clean and be creative.

*Paint the house/fence – give your child a bucket of water and a paintbrush, set them up in a shaded area and encourage them to ‘paint’ the fence or house.

*Wash  a car – using water from the hose and bubbles from a bucket to wash the car is cooling and helpful.

baby hot day activity water bucket

Cooking

If you cant stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Right? Or maybe not. If you choose simple foods that don’t require heat, the kitchen can be a great place to pass the time on a hot day. Think non-bake slices, icy poles, dips, smoothies or cheesecakes. Yum!

 

Out of the house

Sometimes the heat is just too much and a change of scene is needed so a trip out of the house is needed.

*Drive – if your car has air conditioner sometimes being stuck in traffic is the coolest place to be.

*Forest walk – head up into the hills and go for a walk in some well shaded forests, the temperature is sure to be much more bearable.

*Shopping centre – shopping centres are temperature controlled and will always be cool on a hot day.

*Gallery – visit a gallery and immerse your children in the arts.

*Museum – spend some time learning new and interesting facts in a lovely cool museum.

*Library – local libraries have fabulous kids sections, take some time to browse the shelves before borrowing some books to enjoy at home.

*All you can eat lunch – spend a hot afternoon in a cool restaurant grazing on the delicious foods, all you can eat style restaurants are perfect for this.

museum kids activity

More suggestions…

*Busy bags – these are a great way to learn while having fun and keeping cool.

*Stories – grab a few favourite books and enjoy reading them as a family.

*Performance – encourage your children to put on a performance; sing, dance or act out a favourite book

*Board games – pull a classic game out of the cupboard and play together.

*Card games – teach your children a new game or play an old favourite.

*Arts, craft, painting & drawing – the possibilities are endless.

*Stickers – peeling stickers off a page and sorting them or sticking them down to form an image can take a while to do and is often very satisfying.

*Lego – build a big tower, a house or other design. Lego is fantastic for imaginative play and motor skill development.

keep cool art

Dolls, cars, dress ups…..the list goes on. For more great ideas head on over to Flying Sprout’s Pinterest page and look at all the clever options to keep your little ones cool and calm on those hot Summer days.

 

30 Ways for Kids to Collect and Keep Travel Memories

Photos are a fantastic way of storing memories while travelling but they are certainly not the only way. Here are 30 other child friendly options for collecting and keeping memories of your next adventure.

Having a camera built in to our phones means capturing moments and storing memories is easier than ever. It’s super convenient to flick through digital photo albums and relive special travel experiences. Children particularly enjoy taking a digital walk down memory lane.

pexels-photo-129426

Photos are a fantastic way of storing memories while travelling but they are certainly not the only way. Here are a few other child friendly options for collecting and keeping memories of your next adventure:

 

Videos

Videos are a great way to truly capture a moment. You can record your kids in action, whether that be splashing around in the water, eating a meal or trekking through a forest. Alternatively, you (or your children) might like to create a video diary or interview people you meet along the way. Videos, even more so than photographs, can truly record a moment in all it’s glory. Plus they provide a real talking point that helps make memories more relatable for kids, especially young ones. With things like Go Pro you can even record hands–free.

 

Specialty Books

If you are visiting new counties, major landmarks or popular tourist destinations you may be able to find engaging children’s books that capture the destination in print. There are fabulous sticker books, pop-up books, children’s map books, atlases and stories published to engage, inform and educate young readers. Like photographs, books are easy to store, look through and revisit again and again.

9781409582373
First Sticker Book London – available from www.bookdepository.com

Collections

Starting a collection of items from each location you visit is lots of fun for children of all ages. Your child might like to choose something different each time or keep it the same; postcards, mini landmarks and key rings are easy to find and generally kind on the budget. Alternatively, they could fill a bottle with a little sand from each location you visit, collect admission tickets, boarding passes or perhaps collect a pebble from each location, If you are visiting multiple countries with your children, they might like to collect stamps or coins from each place.

pebble collection

Journals/Diaries

Travel journals can be as simple or complex as your child chooses to make them. They could create an elaborate scrapbook or simply write a sentence in a notebook to reflect on each day of their adventure.

Your child might like to write a letter or postcard home every chance they get, that way when the adventure is over they will have an instant collection of memories, neatly packed away in envelopes waiting to be relived.

If your child is school aged, they could post their correspondence to school. Their class would have the opportunity to read the mail and follow your child’s adventure before returning the mail to your child when they get back to school. The lovely thing about this is the writing will capture your child’s personality at that age; the spelling, letter formation and pictures can be looked back on in many years to come.

love-heart-hand-romantic

Maps

Recording your journey on a map is another fantastic way to keep a visual memory of places travelled. You might like to place coloured stickers on a map or upgrade to a scratch map or pin board map. They are easy to use, educational and look fantastic hung on a wall. Not only are maps great to show where your child has travelled but they are handy to use before setting off to show distances, places and create some excitement about adventures to be had.

BBJB-scratch-map-web
Scratch Map – available from National Geographic

While there are many options, most of the time taking photographs is the simplest, easiest and most convenient way to capture your memories. But that doesn’t mean the photos can’t be interactive. Professional printing services now offer a huge range of options when it comes to creating something a little more exciting. You can create puzzles, clothing, mugs, cushions, even snow globes with your happy snaps. Plus, of course, there are photo books. With these books you are not limited to images, you can add headings, stories, captions; any text, to accompany each photograph and build a great resource about your experiences.

Regardless of which method you and your child/ren choose to store memories, the most important thing is to make them in the first place! Don’t concentrate too hard on taking those photos or finding items for a collection when you could instead be totally present and immersed in your experience, making some amazing memories you’ll keep with you forever.

pin map

In summary here is a list of ways you and your child can collect and keep memories of your travels:

  • take photographs
  • take a video diary
  • record video interviews
  • buy location specific sticker books
  • buy location specific pop-up books
  • buy children’s map books
  • buy an atlases
  • buy location specific stories
  • collect postcards
  • collect mini landmarks
  • collect key rings
  • create a bottle of sand
  • keep admission tickets
  • keep boarding passes
  • collect pebbles
  • collect stamps
  • collect coins
  • write a journal or diary
  • make a scrapbook
  • write letters to themself
  • write letters to their school
  • place stickers on a map
  • use a scratch map
  • use a pin board map
  • create a photo book
  • create photo puzzles
  • create printed clothing
  • create photo mugs
  • create printed cushions
  • create a photo snow globes