Indoor fun for toddlers – A Christmas series 🎄

I’m back with another fun Christmas activity you can do indoors! Easy to make and so much fun for babies, toddlers and even the older kids!

This week I made a Christmas themed sensory tub for Izzy, with some coloured pasta and some Christmas props. It was so fun for him to play in and he loved all the different things he could feel and hear. This sensory tub is good for their sensory development, fine and gross motor skills and communication and language, as they learn about some colours, talk about what they feel, see and hear. It can also be used to discuss and explain the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it to older children, who are able to understand.

It’s so easy to make and really doesn’t take long at all, although mine did because I made a silly mistake, haha! I’ll explain as I go along…

What you need:

A small tub/messy play tray

Pasta

Green and red Tempera paint

A dash of PVA glue (so the paint sticks)

Carrier bags/ziplock bags

Christmas props

E.g.

bells

Christmas felt shapes

Tinsel

Snowflake confetti

Pine cones

(All these things can be bought from Poundland or you can even use decorations off your tree.)

The process:

Put pasta in two separate bags; now I’m all about inexpensive ways to entertain my kid so I used food bags that I had lying around in the house. Then, put green paint in one bag and red in the other, add a little pva glue in both and shake shake shake! Make sure all the paint is mixed in well with the pasta and all of the pasta is covered.

Let the pasta dry overnight by pouring and spreading it out onto a flat tray, put some foil paper on the tray first, again, another thing you can find lying around in your kitchen. It should be dry after leaving it overnight. However here’s the mistake I made, I laid all the pasta out on a tray but didn’t spread them out enough and it took three days to dry! Three days! I think I might have put too much red paint on the pasta too because it was the red pasta that took the longest. I usually use rice for sensory play and it dries in a few hours so this was highly annoying that it took so long to dry but we got there in the end!

When the pasta dries, pour it in your tub (I used a bowl I had at home) both colours on either side and throw in your Christmas props and, voila! You have a Christmas sensory play tub. I placed the props in and made the tub look pretty and inviting so Izzy would play in it, I also put in a cup for him to place the bits in.

Izzy wasn’t too sure of the tub at first, so I let him hold the pasta and I told him what colours they were, he repeated them after me, then obviously tried to eat them! I quickly told him they weren’t for eating and once he saw me playing with them, he didn’t try eating them again. **there is a baby friendly way of making the pasta with food colouring in case you have any little nibblers!**

The bells were his favourite, he loved putting them in the cup and shaking it, listening to the sound they made, he eventually added some of the pasta and continued shaking the cup, listening to the sounds. It is safe to say his favourite sensory experience were the sounds.

The good thing about this sensory tub is, you can keep it for as long as you want until your child gets the full play experience from it, after they’re done, you can still store the pasta away for the next time you want to play!

Have a go with this indoor fun idea this Christmas season and let me know how it goes!

Hannah xo

A mother’s love

In honour of Mother’s Day, I’ve got a few mother’s together to write an honest piece on what a mother’s love is/means to them. A mother’s love, in short, cannot be put in words because in all honesty, it’s indescribable. And no one will understand a mother’s love until they too become a mother, I know I didn’t. And even now, if you ask me what a mother’s love is, I’d struggle to put it in words. I reached out to some mothers on Twitter and these wonderful super humans (because that is what we are) have been able to describe what a mother’s love means to them in just a few words (I know how hard that must have been!)

A mother’s love. A mother’s love is out of this world, it’s unexplainable and it’s one you wont really come close to understanding until you become a mother yourself.

A mother’s love is your heart skipping a beat the moment you are handed your gift from God in your delivery room.

A mother’s love is when you are no longer the main focus in your life rather its your child’s, future, well-being, and happiness that is your top priority.

A mother’s love is that special and unconditional feeling you have for your child, to love and to protect your child.

A mothers love is being there for your child through thick and thin, being their security whilst teaching them to be the best people they can be.

A mothers love is putting your child before anything else in this world.

A mother’s love is sacrificing so much without any regrets.

A mother’s love is something I could talk about for hours but it will never end because a mothers love is like no other, it is endless.

Happy Mothers Day to each & every one of you.

Love, Itsmamaxo

(Check out it’s mama’s blog here)

…..

I’m laying here in bed and it’s 1.22am, I can’t fall asleep. My husband and baby, who is 9 months today are silently snoring but I can’t seem to drift off because tonight is the first night my son is sleeping in his cot since we took him out at 4 months and started co-sleeping (big mistake). I miss him sleeping next to me in his cradle pose and with my arm wrapped around him, we sleep facing each other. The crazy thing about it is that I never wanted to have kids. I was happy just being with my husband. Even when I was single, I was happy being alone, never saw a child in my future.

I got pregnant exactly a week after my husband asked me to marry him and for me I had to have this child even if it was never my plan. Now when I look at him, I can’t believe I was willing to pass on this feeling. This intense gut wrenching feeling that makes you feel like you’re going to burst, a feeling that is so magical and truly indescribable until you have looked into your baby’s eyes and he looks right back at you and you feel it deep down in your soul, “I can’t live without you, I don’t want to live without you. I have only had you for a few months but I can no longer do this life without you.”

I look at my mother differently now, so this is what she felt/feels for me… we are a chain of unconditional love, generation to generation. I get it now, a child is a gift from God. My life now truly has meaning.

– By Clytie Tammy (@thatgirltammy)

You see when I say mother’s are super humans, I mean it, Ms Tammy has got her own natural and organic skincare brand, be sure to check out her brand BQLONDON

…..

A mother’s love is the ability to love your tiny human/s unconditionally. It’s waking up every two hours when you become a mother, doing a night feed and changing smelly nappies on the hard shoulder of the M25. A mother’s love is the heart of the family. Being a mother comes with different obstacles daily, however I strongly believe mother’s are built to be strong, nurturing superwomen. Mums’ shower their families with love, time, care and attention always. In a nutshell homes thrive best with mother’s holding things together. Being a loving mother and being loved by your mother are two very special things.

– By Katrina (@mummydiaries16)

(Be sure to check out Katrina’s blog here)

…..

When I decided to do this Mother’s Day special, I didn’t have a specific target for mum bloggers or mumpreneurs but here are three wonderful ladies who are mothers, career women, nurturers, writers… which are all 24/7 jobs. And they are doing the damn thing! I mean, mothers deserve this day for how hard they work in every area of their lives. A mother’s love? A mother’s love is sacrifice. We sacrifice everything and more to make sure our children and our families get the BEST of us. That is a mother’s love.

Thank you to the ladies who contributed to this piece, may all your future walks in life continue to prosper ?

Now let’s go out and celebrate ourselves, happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Hannah xoxo

Mum life

It’s 5am and I can’t sleep. So here I am deciding to write a piece about having gone back to work full time in January.

So in January I decided to venture back into work life, not as a free, single young woman but now as a full time single mum. First of all, I was meant to have a year off for maternity leave but decided to go back just after 7 months. Why would you do that?! You ask. Well, I’ll give you my reasons. Truth be told,

1. I actually thought I was missing my super busy, fast paced lifestyle at that point

2. I needed money

3. I missed work. I missed work?!

Yeah, sounds insane but I did… until I actually went back.

So for those who don’t know, I’m an early years teacher and currently teach 2-year-olds, and I love what I do, always have. But going back to work after being at home for 7 months with my precious boy was a whole new ball game, totally unexpected. Firstly, I literally couldn’t remember anything, call it baby brain or whatever but I could not remember how to do anything, I forgot my computer login, forgot how to do the register, forgot the code to the front door of my classroom LOL. Believe me, I struggled. Even though I had a settling in period I still struggled for a long time. I’ve been back a full term now (which was 5 weeks this term) and I’m pretty sure I only JUST got my head round (most) things.

Before I became a mum, I loved (okay, no. I didn’t mind) getting up for work in the mornings and spending a day with a bunch of 2-year-olds, and I loved those kids like they were my own but since having my own child, after the first week back, I missed him SO much, my heart would literally ache when I thought about being at work with other children while mine was at home. Obviously every parent would miss their baby after coming off maternity leave but this pain I felt was like no other and I think it hurt more because I’m surrounded by children, playing learning, doing all the things I should be watching Israel do. And it did throw me off my game at work to be honest, it took a long, long time for me to just suck it up and understand that I need to be where I am for both of our futures. To be honest I’m not totally over it, I just sound content because I’m on half-term holiday at the moment lol.

Although I did miss my fast paced life, going back made me realise what the most important thing in my life is right now, and that’s being a mum. I’ve read so many blogs and other things about oh you know, a woman not forgetting herself when she becomes a mum and I totally get it, I definitely haven’t forgotten myself but I actually just want to be a mum at this present moment. As stressful as it is being a mum, it’s even more stressful being a full-time working mum, and what’s stressful about it is, being tired when you wake up, being at work all day missing your baby but then coming home and being too tired to do things with your baby! It’s a vicious cycle! Yes I missed work life but now I miss (on maternity) mum life, I guess there’s a balance and I’m currently on a journey to find that, then that becomes the new mum life.

This is the beginning of another journey for us, Israel’s in great hands while I’m at work so at least I don’t have to worry about that, and going back was really the perfect timing because we just got a new flat and it needed a whole lot of work, so the money was definitely needed.

I think as parents we will miss our babies every time we’re away from them and I just have to keep reminding myself that what I do is for both our benefits and he will appreciate what I do in the future. Also unlike some, I get all the school holidays to spend loads of time with him <<< this is me giving myself a pep talk lol.

Until next time guys, all my love,

Hannah xoxo