5 activities to invest in for a rainy day

The mums and dads of Melbourne were pulling their hair out this week as they battled days and days of driving rain. Kids were bouncing off the walls and quite literally turning their bedrooms upside down. I've found there are some activities that are worth their weight in gold, invest now and stash in a special rain day cupboard - you never know when the next rainy day is going to hit!

1. Kinetic sand

Cost: $15
I'm always amazed at how absorbed my three year old becomes when I pull the kinetic sand out. We keep it stored in a wide flat plastic tub with some little bull dozers and trucks. Every time I pull the kinetic sand out I am guaranteed 1.5 hours to myself. Our favourite is Sand In Motion.

2. Paint with water

Cost: $5
When I found a paint with water activity book at my local newsagent I got so excited, I couldn't believe they still existed - I loved them when I was a kid and so does my son. Easy to set up, no mess, and great for fine motor skill development. Win, win, win. 

3. Play dough

Cost: $10
I'm never without a can of Cream of Tartar these days. I'm not sure what else it's used for, but having it there ensures I can whip up a batch of play dough within minutes.  We don't bother with colour, instead we use yummy smells like cinnamon or lavender. Hot tip: make sure you use the more expensive flour - the discount brands make the play dough dry and crumbly. 

4. Puzzles

Cost: $15 - $45
The more the merrier with puzzles. I hide them away and at the first sign of a wall bounce I pull them out. Immediate quiet descends. Ravensburger have an excellent collection for all ages. And our most recent acquisition, a giant floor puzzle, is a lot of fun to do in pairs.

5. Duplo / Lego

Cost: how long is a piece of string?
Yes, this one seems obvious, but to any new mums and dads out there I'd say this - start investing in Duplo now. It really does keep my son amused for hours (and I can say the same for my niece). It's brilliant for hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, learning colours and counting. And the imagination just blows your mind - I'm building a wall and my son is building a fantasy train with floating boats and a flower tower. Duplo really is a fantastic toy and you just can't have too much of the stuff. It's pricey though, so best to chip away at your collection slowly but surely. 

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Autumn leaf prints

Author: Rachel Foster

Autumn has arrived in Melbourne and everywhere you look there are beautiful coloured leaves falling or about to fall.  We collected some at the local park and set about making some beautiful watercolour prints.  I think this would look great using ink as well, and I'm also imagining the use of crayon could look great, maybe for next year ....

 

Step 1: Gather supplies.

1 water colour set
1 rolling pin
A good quality paint brushes
Water colour paper
Regular paper
A glue stick
An assortment of leaves 

 

Step 2: Set up your print template.

Glue the leaves to the regular paper, being careful to glue all the curly bits down. 

 

 

Step 3: Paint your leaves.

Choose similar colours to what you see on the leaves. Ensure you add a nice thick layer of water colour to each leaf.

 

Step 4: Roll and roll some more.

Dampen a piece of water colour paper (make sure it is the same size as your leaf template). Carefully place over the top of your leaf template and then roll with a rolling pin. My little one had the most fun with this step!

 

And your finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Scribble art using water clolour

Author: Rachel Foster

For some reason kids and water colour just work. When my three year old makes water colour art it always looks great, so if you are investing the time to make a special piece of art for one of custom art tea towels or cushions then we highly recommend something in water colour. This scribble art project is fun, unique and creative, my husband and son had some fun with it just last weekend and the results were fantastic.

So let’s get started...

 
Step 1: Gather supplies.

1 water colour set (any cheap kind will do, ours is from Ikea).
1 grey lead pencil
A couple of good quality paint brushes
A water colour pad

 

Step 2: Choose your shape.

Decide if you are going to make a tea towel or a cushion. Cushions work best in a square format and tea towels work best in rectangles.

Cut your rectangle to a square if making a cushion.

 

Step 3: Create your scribble pattern.

Scribble some lines across the page so that a mix of big and small shapes are created (if your little one is too young you can do this part for them).

 

Step 4: Paint with colour!

Paint in the sections with different colours. The more colours the better!

 

Step 5: Photograph your work.

A mobile camera or regular camera are fine to use. iPhones allow you to crop your image, but we can do that for you if needed. 

 

Step 6: Select your product and upload your work.

Choose a custom art tea towel or cushion (or both!) on our website

Make sure you include any basic editing requirements you might need, you can also include a date and a name in the right corner.  

 

 

Step 7: You're done! Await for happy mail to arrive.