Friday, 29 June 2012


I've looked at the beautifully coloured playsilks available online for years now, never having enough money to buy them. They sound like something my kids would enjoy playing with as they're described as an 'open ended toy'.

Do you remember being a child and running free in a field with the wind all around you? Think about being on a swing and feeling the wind rush past your face as you pump to get as high as you can. The urge to run, skip, hop, and stand still in the breeze is inherent to a child. You might say it’s their job to be curious about the world and find joy in experiencing it. 

Our job’s as parents, educators, and care givers is to support that desire and to encourage it. It is our job to instill a sense of wonder so that further development can take place. Growth is then stimulated in terms of gross motor (physical), emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
Playsilks are a simple piece of cloth to adults. Something that at first glance is pretty but not as flashy as a video game or other electronic device. I would encourage every family with pre-school and/or young school age children to own a playsilk for their toy box/dress-up area. Playsilks are colorful, soft to the touch and are light as air as you float and soar like a butterfly or eagle. 

Stimulating a child’s visual and tactile senses is a positive and beneficial thing to do as a parent. Playsilks also offer a world of creative opportunity. The cape, wings, veil, skirt, shawl, or other object the silk transforms into is the basic activity you want to happen.

From this blog happyhousequilts.blogspot.co.nz

original ( beautiful I'm sure) playsilks available here http://sarahssilks.com/
One of my best friends gave us a gorgeous wide and 8m long piece of silk sari material yesterday. It's the perfect size to be used as a river, tent or shop awning : ). I realised that I don't really have to pay for 'proper' playsilks but instead decided find some more silk fabric to build up our collection. We went to an op shop today to look for fabric for M's 'super girl' super hero costume (a future post) and I found large square 100% silk scarves for $1.99 so I got some. At home I spread them out on the floor  and watched M and T decide what they were all about- lots of fun. Before long M was wearing some and draping one around the teddy before giving him a haircut. I'm looking forward to seeing what other play ideas they come up with. In Summer they can use them outside- they'll look beautiful in the sunlight.

the sari- such fun colours

the boy peek a booing

fun as a tent!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

pillowcase art

I sorted out our linen cupboard today and came across some unused pillowcases. They don't match any sheet sets we have so I thought we could paint them using fabric paint. I couldn't find my fabric paint stash so I improvised by using permanent markers. I put a piece of hardboard inside the pillowcases so that the markers only drew on one side. The pegs stopped the pillowcase moving around too. M drew some 'apartments' that have a family of ladybirds living in them and a garden of smiling sunflowers ( not sure where those ideas came from!). T decided on a dinosaur on one side and a series of roads with a car on the other. It's still flannelette sheet time at our house- it's freeeeeezing outside at night, so these may not be used until Summer- still, it kept them happy for 1/2 an hour- and gives me time to find the fabric paints so they can add to their designs. And yes I could've ironed them before they drew on them, but I hate ironing, so I didn't!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


If you haven't started 'pinning' yet- I think you're missing out! 

'Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes' ( from the pinterest website).

I use it to collect ideas for things to do with the children, gift ideas, photographs I love and I have a pinboard for painting inspiration. It's really easy to set up, everything you need to know is here:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

hobby horses

I made these for the children last Christmas but don't think I've shared them ( ?). I could try and explain how I made them but adding the YouTube tutorials I watched and based mine on is a much better idea :

the girl's
the boy's

the boy with the girl's : )

Friday, 22 June 2012

things I'm loving this week

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening
in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.   

my girl's first self portrait
kids taking off with my camera for sneaky photo shoots
milo and marsh mellows

a warm house

joining in with things I'm loving at MNMs

<center><a href="http://meghanandmark.blogspot.co.nz/search/label,

make a hovercraft

You'll need:

An old cd
a balloon
a bottle top that opens and closes- like the ones off water bottles
a glue gun.

Glue the lid onto the the cd over the hole in its middle. When the glue is dry inflate a balloon ( make it nice and big) and put it over the end of the bottle lid shutting off the lid so that the balloon stays inflated. Sit the 'hovercraft' on a flat surface and carefully open the bottle lid. As the air comes out of the balloon the cd will slide all over the place- heaps of fun!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

an animation effort

We made our first little home movie. I'll wait by the phone for the call from Weta workshops, hahaha. Still, even with mum's hand appearing in the movie and our focus issues, the kids loved it- especially my attempt at getting the dinosaur to 'wink' at the end. I set up a 'stage' using a piece of card background and one of M's kindy paintings as the floor. I then took lots of photos of the dinosaur, moving it a tiny bit before each shot. I have a handy mini tripod I used for this as it helps keep the camera still. Then I exported the photos from iPhoto to Quicktime, changing the settings to the fastest available and adding some music.

iMovie would do a much better job of this but I don't have it and my OS is too old to download the version I found in the App store. I'll nut it out and teach the kids how to do this for themselves when they're older. They'll have access to very whizzy macs and ipads at the school they're going to, I can already see them making wee Barbie, toy car and lego movies, fun!

oil pastels on black paper

Simple but satisfying.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I found this at the 123 mart for $2.50 a pack, I was drawn to the fluorescent colours. I remember the smell and feel of plasticine so it brought back some childhood memories. It must've done the same for hubby who when just home from work sat and made a little pink pig with them. I gave the kids some plastic eyes, cut up pipe cleaners, toothpicks and cotton buds too. I like that it's firmer than playdough and that the things they made are on a smaller scale- less mess to clean up too!

T's elephant
an alien in the making
a bird eating a worm and sitting on its nest
he,he elephant
a giraffe and a camel

toilet talk

What does your loo say about you? Ours says that a certain little boy sometimes has trouble with his aim. I've heard about putting a ping pong ball in the loo to give him something to 'hit'- so I'm giving it a try. I drew a smiley face on it because I think it needs to look friendly, he he. Seriously though, since I'm the only person who cleans the bathroom, I really hope it works! 

Monday, 18 June 2012

a winter project

This looks like a reading chair to me. Two of these ( the other is a little shabbier) were left at our rental house when the tenant left after the quakes. I'm sure he won't mind that I rescued them last weekend from the hubby's enthusiastic demolition efforts. I'm going to recover them- one for each of the children's bedrooms. I'd like to make covers that can be taken off ( zips? buttons? velcro?) and washed. I'll start by making a newspaper template, then I'll make up a pattern up in calico. I'd like to buy nice heavyweight material and don't want to waste it.

If the cover idea doesn't work I'll be recovering the cushions and getting out the trusty staple gun- and as I type my mind is changing. I like the button detail and that would be lost if I covered them............I could recover the buttons too.........hmmmmmmmm : )

nice and wide and soft with a high back

perfect for snuggling up in

Saturday, 16 June 2012

chalk on walls

This afternoon I drew on the kid's bedroom walls, in chalk so it will easily wipe off. Earthquakes have made me far less fussy about our paint finish so they may as well enjoy this kind of thing before they're repaired.

a paper dart trail


a fairy on a flower

Thursday, 14 June 2012

home made learning games

I made this number wheel today, I used the length of red and black sample tape that came with my dymo label maker ( I LOVE that thing!). Both children enjoyed matching the numbered pegs to the corresponding 'dots' on the circle. I'll make more learning games like this, I got the idea from Pinterest and have a board set up for collecting Montessori inspired activities and another for School activities. I particularly like the idea of making more Montessori inspired resources. The kids respond really well to them because they're 'hands on, inspired by practical life and lots are self correcting. They're also made with natural materials and are brightly coloured- win win! If you'd like to, you can read more about Montesori here: About Montessori.

"I work with my hands and learn by doing. What I hear I forget, what I do I remember."
-Maria Montessori