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.

Mirrors | #curatedPSA + #unexpectedtoys

You might have noticed that I use mirrors in all my installs – inside and out. Aesthetically, they are an easy and inexpensive way to make your space feel bigger and brighter. I love adding large mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect light, over desks and work spaces, or hung low to the ground so our small humans can watch themselves play and learn (side note – all kids love looking at themselves in the mirror).

A long or full length mirror is also essential for your dramatic play nook (how else can you admire yourself post dress-ups?).

Outside I often hang mirrors over/around sandboxes and mud kitchens, but you can choose to hang anywhere where you want to add a little more dimension.

You can look to thrift a large (my general go-to) or get something simple like the NISSEDAL mirror from IKEA.

I also love to use small mirrors in play. You can buy acrylic mirror sheets, which are non breakable and make a really lovely play surface – for inside and out (note they will eventually get scratched). I’ve also used smaller square mirror sheets to create mirrored trays for a more portable play surface/display case.

I also keep a couple of table top/hand mirrors with my art cart. They are great when drawing portraits or for adding a new dimension to still life artworks. You can also use the acrylic mirror sheets as a washable canvas.

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!

From little things, big things grow!

This holiday season has been a bumper time for this little business. So many consults (yay!) and lots of installs for the new year. As things gets busier, I’m still figuring out the time juggle between working and mama-ing full time (any hot tips?). I so appreciate your patience as we figure out the best way to grow and make sure we’re giving you the best product and service, while still maintaining some resemblance of sanity at home.

My own outdoor play space has been in flux this fall as we prepare to do a major overhaul of the space. The cold wet weather definitely slows down outdoor progress, but we’ve finally got a (mostly finished, insanely huge) sandbox back in action. My playgroup crew were so happy to get back outside into it this week, and were even more excited to find that the slide now lands into the sandbox. Now onto the new mud kitchen and play structure. #cantstopwontstop