Flower Power (in your mud kitchen and beyond)

Did you luck out with a lovely bunch of flowers for Valentine’s Day? A week on they may be ready for the compost, but don’t be too hasty throwing them away. Instead pull off the petals and use them in your tiny human’s mud kitchen.

Don’t have one? No worries. Why not set up a little potion making/cooking station inside with the petals, water, and any other natural ingredients you can find. Worried about the mess? Use a towel as a tablecloth/rug to catch all the spills.

Heavy Work for Kids

Let’s talk about ‘heavy work’. 💪 Heavy work is any activity that requires you to put pressure on your muscles and joints as they are moving. During yesterday’s playgroup, there was some brilliant heavy work happening as the kids worked together to load up and push a wheelbarrow full of big rocks, which then transitioned to loading up and pulling each other around in a wagon. :)

“Heavy work helps your child in more ways than one. Aside from helping your child to feel calm and self-regulate, it also improves clarity and alertness, extends attention span, aids body awareness, and strengthens muscles.” (via Connections Therapy Center)

To trampoline or not to trampoline?

To trampoline or not to trampoline? A solid question for those with kids and yard space. I never thought we would be a trampoline family (although childhood me would have been so disappointed – how I longed for one as a kid). However two years ago a neighbor opened our back gate and rolled over a small old trampoline they no longer needed and we were sold. This one had no net and more than once my kids bounced with a little too much enthusiasm and…. 🙈. But my boys LOVED it and on days when energy was high (my oldest is 100% the energizer bunny), I would just send them outside to bounce and burn it off.

Fast forward to six months ago and this same family was moving overseas and looking to part with their springless trampoline. We jumped on the chance to upsize and found ourselves rolling over a much larger new friend (while a new family came and rolled away with our old one). During play dates and playgroup, it is the hot destination for multiple friends. Watching them learn to negotiate the space and use their bodies in new coordinated ways is a joy (and quite humorous) to watch.

So if you’re on the fence and wondering whether you should jump in (pun intended), my vote is a resounding yes!

Interested in learning more about the benefits of trampolining for kids? Visit here and here to read more!

Send some Thanksgiving love!

This week’s #humpdayhangout (playgroup) was a smaller cozier affair than usual. With Thanksgiving tomorrow I wanted to do something special this week, without pushing racist or harmful stereotypes of the holiday. So we focused on being thankful for the people in our lives we love and who make us happy. I’m personally not a big fan of crafts, so instead we decorated blank postcards and wrote letters to friends and family. Stamps went on and into the mailbox they went, sending a little extra love into the universe. ♡

Create an impromptu obstacle course (outside and in!)

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It may be #Friyay but I’m already counting down the days til next Wednesday and our weekly #humpdayhangout (aka playgroup). We spend the majority of the time outside and the littles always flock to the sandbox and mud kitchen, however right now my play area is in flux and dismantled so we had to get extra creative this week to keep bodies and minds busy. Cue – the impromptu obstacle course!

Using wooden boards of different lengths, ladders, cones, a saw horse and blanket, cushions, a soccer goal, and a tight rope, + bubbles to celebrate reaching the end, we created a play invitation that everyone wanted to try (over and over again). This is something so simple and opened-ended you could set up at home too (inside and out). Get creative and let me know what you come up with, or even better, send pics!