How to Have an Easy Life With a Four Year Old

1960115_782662291779966_7162189727984966938_n

Raising kids can be very challenging. It’s pretty chaotic here at times from teething to tantrums and wrongly cut sandwiches. I’ve pretty much exhausted most bribes to make daily life run smoothly here. Here is a list of how I make life easy with my four-year-old. They works most days…

1. Bribe child with pancakes.

2. Always let child press the elevator button.

3. Allow child to sit in the awkward small part of the trolley that we put our fruits and vegetables in.

4. Put gravy on everything.

5. No matter how ridiculous child looks, let them wear what they want.

6. How you cut their sandwich is way more important than what’s actually in it.

7. Give them your phone on early mornings so they can watch stupid kinder surprise openings (you can easily get an extra half hour in bed).

8. Always allow your child to win the ‘race’ up the stairs and if for some reason they don’t, it’s the last person up the stairs who wins. It’s a win-win situation.

9. Allow as many toys as they can possibly fit in the bath.

10. Allow them to believe they are the boss at all times!

and there you have it an easily life… with my four year old anyways!

Win a 5 Week Messy Monkeys Course

messy monkeys giveaway

I recently reviewed Messy Monkeys with Frankie, he had a brilliant time exploring having the freedom to create in messy play.

 I now have a 5 week Messy Monkeys baby session valued at €58 to GIVEAWAY to one of my readers!! Suitable for babies aged 6-18 months, starting Friday 27th February, 11.30am – 12.15pm in Mounttown Community Facilities, Dun Laoghaire.

messy monkeys giveaway

To enter LIKE Messy Monkeys Facebook Page
and
COMMENT below what you babies favourite messy play is

GOODLUCK!!

T&C’s
Winner must claim prize within one week or alternative winner will be chosen. Open to R.O.I residents only. Giveaway closes Monday 2nd Febuary. I received a course of messy monkeys to review and giveaway, all opinions are my own. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

Messy Monkeys – Review

Did any one see Smurfette?

Last week Frankie and I attended Messy Monkeys in Mounttown Community Facilities, Dun Laoghaire, South Dublin. Messy Monkeys is a place for babies and toddlers to discover, investigate and explore their senses and imagination in messy play. Messy play is an important part of children’s early education. It helps promotes fine and gross motor skill development and best of all at Messy Monkey you don’t have to do any cleaning up, that’s Lucy’s job, the very first Messy Monkeys franchise owner in Ireland!

There were six messy play areas at our session. We started painting with the non-toxic and gluten free paints. May I remind you Frankie is nine months old so everything he gets in hands on is eaten, nibbled and/or chewed. The paint brush was no different. It was his first time to paint freely and he really enjoyed mushing the colours around.

IMG_20150109_141009

The next play that followed was a large tub of warm water with loads of toys including a watering can that Frankie loved. If Frankie could talk he’d tell you this was his favourite part of the session. He smiled, giggled and thoroughly enjoyed. He almost dived in at one point.

IMG_20150117_222120

We continued on to the sand bucket, something Frankie was very unsure of, the texture was new and he didn’t quite know what to do with it so we moved on swiftly to the tinsel box. He just loved pulling at the strings and making a huge mess. There was a little craft corner to create a crafty calendar but unfortunately time had run out so we never got to make one but we brought it home and Kayla decorated it for us that evening

IMG_20150118_000512

I loved watching Frankie experience different messy activities, he had so much freedom to create and explore the world around him. If you follow my blog you will know I’m a huge fan of sensory play and love nothing more than allowing him to explore in messy play but I hate the mess. The best part of the session was comfortable and relaxing atmosphere and appreciating I did not have to clean any of it up. There was paint, glue, sand, water and stringy tinsel EVERYWHERE!

DSC_1115

Lucy supplied large buckets of soapy warm water to wash down out tots after our forty-five minute play session. I genuinely thought the paint would be a nightmare to remove but it was fine and washed off with just a little rub.

If you are looking for something fun to do with your baby or toddler I would highly recommend Messy Monkeys. Your child will benefit from the social interaction, educationally and you will meet lots of mums and dads alike, which is always nice if you feel like your talking to the four walls daily.

Lucy runs term classes varying in length between 5 and 6 weeks. She also runs one-off ‘Splatterday‘ classes on a Saturdays for people who can’t make it during the week. A course will cost €58 for five weeks and the cost of a 6 week term is €70. There is also sibling discounts if you have more than one child. You can book directly on the Messy Monkey website or you can check out their Facebook page for more information.

*I was giving a session of Messy Monkeys play for reviewing purposes. All opinion are my own.

We're going on an adventure

Win Oisin the Brave books and €30 voucher

eirekids.com competition

I wrote a review a couple of months ago for Eire Kids‘ new book Oisin the Brave – Moon Adventure, with such a huge success authors Michelle Melville and Derek Mulveen went on to publish a second book. Oisin the Brave – Robot Island featured in the reviews section of one of the most viewed shows in Ireland, the Late Late Toy Show. It was a huge hit this Christmas here in Ireland and oversea’s, selling out almost everywhere. I have just got my hands on a copy to review with the big kid and it’s already going down a treat.

IMG_20141221_142652The lovely guys at Eire Kids have giving me a copy of Oisin the Brave, Moon Adventure and Robot Island along with a €30 voucher to spend on anything from their website to GIVEAWAY!

To enter:
Like Eire Kids Facebook page or Follow them on Twitter
Comment below
Share this competition on Facebook or Twitter.

GOODLUCK!!

Oisin the Brave – Moon Adventure and Robot Island is available to buy direct from Eire Kids, EasonsSmyths and all good bookstores.

T&C’s – Competition closes Monday 26th of January and winner will be chosen at random and announced on both My Little Babog’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Giveaway is open worldwide. Winner must claim prize with one week or alternative winner will be chosen.

Rainbow Spaghetti – Sensory Play

rainbow spaghetti

This a super fun indoor and outdoor sensory activity for baby and toddler. I assumed it would be super messy and it suprisingly wasn’t. The food colouring didn’t stain his hand or clothes as the oil helped soak up the food colouring. Frankie really enjoyed exploring a whole new texture.

Why rainbow spaghetti sensory play?
It provides an opportunity to explore using senses and to teach colours. It can help develop fine motor skills by squishing, grabbing, mashing and pinching individual spaghetti strings. It also helps to teach descriptive words such as wet and slimy. Babies and children can explore using their senses too.

You will need:
Food colouring of choice (I used liquid food colouring)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1/2 bag of spaghetti
Bowl

How to make rainbow spaghetti:
Once you have cooked the spaghetti, drain and separate into bowls.
Add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl and mix.
Add a drop of cooking oil to the coloured spaghetti to stop it from becoming too sticky.
Then leave for an hour to dry out. The drying prevents kids hands from getting stained from the wet food coloring.

rainbow spaghetti

And then it’s messy rainbowy sensory playtime for baby or toddler

rainbow spaghetti

Exploring the new texture

rainbow spaghetti

Colourful Squishy Fun!!

rainbow spaghetti

Frankie loved mushing his hands through the spaghetti, it was a whole new texture and of course he had a little taste too.

DSC_1283

We had so much fun today I have some spaghetti boiling to make some more tomorrow.

If you like this you may also like SQUISHY SENSORY BAG play.

Squishy Bags – Sensory Play

sensory play for baby

Today I decided to get creative with little man. I made a sensory bag filled with gels, glitters, buttons and paint. I then taped it to his high chair and it surprisingly entertained him for over thirty minutes.

To make a sensory bag you will need a zip lock freezer bag, some paints (optional), glitters, buttons and gel. In the first bag I added some different coloured paints along with some sparkly glitter. I sealed the bag and then taped it to his tray. I used white tape so he wouldn’t try pull at it.

DSC_1153

Next I used some of daddies hair gel adding some glitter and button. He played with this one for ages. He loved the air bubbles that formed and moving the little button around.

sensory bag play

You can add anything you like to the sensory bags and get more creative each time you make one. I am going to add some beads next time.

As baby gets bigger you could also duck tape the edges of the bag and allow baby to play with it on the floor fully supervised of course. Also keep babies nails trimmed little fingernails could puncture the bag.

Thoughts on the Play-Doh Extruder Tool

IMG_20150108_232258

So over the past couple of months Hasbro, the creators of Play-Doh have been under fire over an extruder tool from the Cake Mountain set on sale this Christmas. I’ve read comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and one woman even claimed her Christmas was ruined. Yes, it actually RUINED her Christmas. Seriously where has peoples sense of humour gone?

IMG_20150109_182324

So I put Kayla to the test this morning and asked her what it was. You will not believe what my four-year-old daughter revealed. She told me it was ‘the best icing maker ever’. She didn’t mention penis, willy or anything sexual because she is a child. She does not look at play toys and sexualize them. If she did I would be very concerned. My Christmas was not ruined. Her Christmas was not ruined. Nobody’s Christmas was ruined. It’s a bloody toy! If a child looks at this and sees it as anything more than a toy, parents have more issues to address than the toy itself.

IMG_20150108_232258

Play-Doh have announced they will replace the extruder tool for anyone who is offended. I for one will not be exchanging the icing dispenser even if the swirl pattern screams ‘ribbed for her pleasure’.

Mami 2 Five

Homemade Playdough – Sensory Play

IMG_20150105_153258

There is hundreds of homemade playdough recipes out there and of all recipes we have used in the My Little Babog house this is by far Kayla’s favourite. It is the perfect non toxic recipe for babies and toddlers who are inclined to put the dough in their mouths so Frankie can squish, squeeze and chew and it’s completely safe.

IMG_20150105_153258

You Will Need

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of water

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

2 tablespoons of vinegar

Food colouring of your choice

How to make your dough

Mix all your ingredients in a pot stirring constantly on a medium head.DSC_0962Within a couple of minutes your dough will look sticky and gooey, continue until it all clumps together. DSC_0964 Remove the dough from the pot and knead with a sprinkle of flour and you will get a soft, fluffy texture almost like the PlayDoh you buy in shops.
IMG_20150105_160739and let the fun begin!!

IMG_20150105_175804 (1)

In twenty minutes we made a blue, pink and green dough. You can add some glitter to add a bit of  sparkle especially for those Frozen fans. Store your playdough in an airtight container and it will last months.

New Years Resolution

Untitled

Each year I form a list of unrealistic goals and resolutions in the lead up to the New Year, and usually by day three my pledges are non existent. This year I rounded up the family and we created the Alphabet of Adventures.

The Alphabet of Adventure shows twenty-four places we would all like to visit next year. Starting with a trip to the National Aquatic Centre, we will head off and complete our journey around Ireland finishing off with a trip to Dublin Zoo.

Untitled

We as a family pledge to try eat healthier and get active. Kayla and I have agreed to walk to school with exception to the weather. We have also decided to cut down on our sweet treats, we will drink more water and read more books.

Kayla and I have also decided we are going to teach Daddy to cook. Scrambled egg, beans,  toast and cheerios just wont cut it any more. Tips, cookbooks, frilly aprons welcome!

I will blog our way through our a-z of adventures and keep you all updated on how we get on.

Happy New Year Guys!!!