This product talk is bought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.
In this house, when the kids choose colouring as their activity of the moment, I think two things. What are they using to colour and what are they colouring on?? Because, you know, we are inundated with colouring books, and pencils, but somehow drawing on other things and with pens, textas or even crayon is a much more permanent way to display their artistic endeavor. I present you exhibit A:
Yes, the other day, Mr 2 was having a great time colouring the chalk board. He was very enthusiastic and when he called me over to see “look, Mum! Look!” I realised he was colouring with crayons. Not chalk. Sigh. So when Nuffnang offered me the opportunity to try the Crayola Color Wonder range, I was all for it. After all, it was offered as a “mess free” activity. Mess free? Hells yeah. Because frankly, this house doesn’t need more mess, for reasons best described by the forthright and awesome Janelle at Renegade Mothering.
And joyously, the review included TWO packs! Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (high school flash back anyone?). Both kids sorted. Basically, each pack comes with five textas and once colouring book. The textas are clear, and it’s not until you (or your child, whoever gets the texta first) draws on the Color Wonder paper that the colour starts to appear. When you’re a 2 year old kid, that’s hands down amazing. I give you exhibit B:
Yes, that’s one excited little man! And really, this stuff is cool. It’s non toxic, there are hidden patterns in the pictures, and I have not found texta colour anywhere else, not their clothes, their hands or the walls. Well, not from these textas anyway! Seriously, I just got interrupted by Ms 4 telling me Mr 2 was drawing on the wall. Gah! At least that was with chalk……
What activities do your kids love doing indoors? Is it mess free, or full of fun and educative messiness??? Let me know! And let me know if your kids love the Color Wonder range too 🙂
I’m linking up with Mama Raj Says’ Review Round Up!
And here’s a bonus video of Mr 2 and his speed colouring.
Monday night, Mr 2 decided that he was going to wake up at 3am and come into our bed. Now, to be fair to him, the whole previous week The Mister had been away and I was not going to do the ‘sleeping in your own bed’ battle by myself. So Mr 2 was used to just coming on in and sleeping on top of me. Because why sleep on the other 3/4‘s of the bed when you can make sure mum is sleeping on the edge?
Suffice to say, he got a rude shock when he was gently guided back to his own bed at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning. He did not handle it well. And for the next two and half hours, did his best to ensure no one else in the house slept either. He cried, he got out of bed continually, he kept heading up the hall to his sister’s room. Often, he would be put back into bed, appear to settle for 10 minutes, and somehow sensing that I was just about to return to sleep – bam! The pitter patter of little footsteps could be heard as he made his way to our door. To say that he was less gently guided back to bed at this point would probably be an understatement. I was not coping well with three hours sleep!
To add to the fun, Ms 4 had woken at roughly the same time due to a coughing fit that continued to annoy her for an hour or so. She wasn’t asleep either. In fact at one point, when Mr 2 was still in his room, yelling loudly, she suddenly appeared in our doorway, hands on hips and demanding “what’s all this racket about??” If I wasn’t so exhausted and irritated it would have been adorable. In fact I think it did manage to raise a small smile. She was promptly sent back to bed, and exhausted, we gave in and bought Mr 2 to our bed. Where he quickly fell into a deep and angelic slumber. Faaaaaark!!!
How do they always manage to have these terrible nights when you really need them to sleep early and well?! We have kinder at 8.30 for Ms 4 on Tuesday’s. We need to be up and at them in order for me to be only slightly late and disorganised. So of course, the two cherubs would have slept until about 9 if I’d let them on Tuesday. Any other day that would have been great!
Sleep and Mr 2 has been an ongoing battle for us. Recently, it had seemed to be a lot smoother. We put in some hard work (using the camping out method) and he was sleeping well in his cot, not crying for us to bring him to our bed. Then after a little while we decided to take the side off his cot, whilst he seemed settled with his sleep, so that he didn’t think he needed to come out. It was a theory. A theory that seemed ok until routine changed and it all went out the window. He had been going to bed and staying there, and only every now and again coming to our room. Now, he fights bedtime and, well, please see above! I know for some, kids in the bed are no big deal. And I didn’t mind when he was smaller, but now, it just doesn’t work. The Mister doesn’t sleep at all well and finds himself exhausted when doing the long drive to work. So for us, it’s not something that suits us.
Now I could ask for your tips on sleeping, but really, I just want to know that I’m not the only one battling this!! Do you have a toddler fighting to get in your bed? I saw that Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided has some good tips for coming to terms with a kid who won’t go to sleep.
*Update* For this week, the cot has been turned so that he can’t get out. And we’ll be revisiting the camping out method 🙂
How do you go getting your toddlers to eat breakfast? Is it an easy task or one of those things that make you question how your children are ever going to get substantial nutrients into them? It’s quite often the latter here. In fact, Mr 2 spent a good ten months screaming at me no matter what I put in front of him. However, we have discovered a winner. Something that is rarely refused by the little man (knock on wood).
Oats. Good old-fashioned oats. He will usually try to eat two bowls of this. Which is fine, because of course, Ms 3 rarely finishes hers. Sigh. Anyway, a little while ago I wrote about using my Thermochef and some of the recipes I had used. There was a bit of interest in some more posts about cooking with the Thermochef, so I thought I would start a little series of them. And why not start with the basics.
Mr 2 loves my Thermochef Oats with a bit of maple syrup on top, as does Ms 3. I always add a good knob of butter, and use full cream milk. If I was cooking for me (I’m avoiding grains) I’d add cinnamon as well. And use the rolled oats, not the quick oats. When I cook oats this way, they always turn out thick and creamy, and are usually all eaten up.
What do you successfully feed your toddler for breakfast? Share your tips, please!!Thermochef Oats2015-04-13 15:53:00Serves 2Easy, filling oats in the ThermochefWrite a reviewCook Time8 minTotal Time10 minCook Time8 minTotal Time10 minIngredients
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 1 cup water
- A good knob of butter
- Place all ingredients in the bowl
- Cook for 8 minutes, 90 degrees, speed 1.
- Serve with toppings of your choice. We find maple syrup popular at the moment.
Tully & Mishka http://tullyandmishka.com.au/
- Once finished, I blend for roughly 10 seconds, speed 1 with a little cold milk.
- Serve immediately or it thickens and is harder to get out of the bowl.
Today the kids had their first Easter Egg Hunt of the season. They had a ball! A lovely friend organised it, and graciously invited 10 small and not so small kids into her home to find and devour chocolate. Did I mention she is brave? The house was decorated with lots of gorgeous Easter themed pretties, and the bigger kids even did some Easter craft. So Ms 3 managed to get her hit today, without me having to pull out the craft box – win win!
And then the kids were let loose on the backyard, and everyone managed to find sufficiently equal amounts of eggs to keep everyone happy.
And the big kids made sure the little kids had enough, which was lovely. With minimal prompting from the grown ups.
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Did you know, that in Australia each year 260 children die and 58,000 children are hospitalized from accidental injuries? These are big numbers! Would you know how to help a child who was unconscious and not breathing? That’s what the people at KidzAid want to know. I have vague memories of my first aid training, pre-children, and I keep putting a paediatric first aid course on my to-do list. I still haven’t completed one.
Here are some more stats for you. For every minute that CPR is not performed when needed, the chance of the child’s survival decreases by 10%. After 4 minutes without oxygen, your child can suffer irreversible brain damage. That’s scary stuff. So basically, what happens in the first five minutes holds the key to saving their life. Five minutes is not enough time to allow professional help to arrive.
We therefore need more people of all ages who are trained and willing to provide immediate CPR to our kids, while waiting for help to arrive. And that’s where KidZaid Paediatric First Aid Training comes in. And to highlight the issue, and raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, the KidZaid team will convert the Palladium at Crown Melbourne into a large training centre, and offer training to parents and families, and break a world record at the same time! There will family fun day activities; celebrity CPR challenges, jumping castles, roving princesses and superheroes, toddler playzone and more.
We’ll be there – it should be a great day! We’ve never gone into the city on Good Friday and with all the family oriented activities happening with the Good Friday Appeal, it should be a really fun day. And I’m so pleased this opportunity to learn paediatric first aid has arisen, and in a way that provides support to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital.
Details: Entry is free, with a $5 registration fee to complete the CPR training (all proceeds to the Good Friday Appeal). To make this even easier, there is a special $15 family CPR registration price, that allows parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have all the important adults in their child’s life trained for one low cost. Training sessions will run hourly throughout the day and to secure your spot, register today at www.cprchallenge.com.au. Check out the website for more information and follow along with the CPR Challenge on facebook, & twitter.
Tell me, have you completed a paediatric first aid training? Is it up-to-date? Are you going to attend the CPR Challenge?
Victoria had a long weekend recently, so we took advantage and headed up the mountain for a picnic lunch. We live a stones throw from Mount Dandenong, and it is such a beautiful place to live. We decided to head to the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, in Sassafras. I have never been there before, which is amazing, given I grew up in the area!
So we drove up the mountain, winding our way past the huge line of cars and people who had decided to visit the Dandenong Ranges National Park and, I’m assuming, the 1000 steps Kokoda Memorial Trail. Yep, you heard right, the 1000 steps. Have you been there? It is a three km 1.5 hour return walk, that was created in the early 1900’s and was adopted by Victoria Veterans of the Kokoda campaign (WW2). Apparently, the walk is very similar to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. People were parked for miles up the road!
We kept going though, and found ourselves at the lovely Alfred Nicholas Gardens. They’re amazing, and we didn’t even get to see the majority of them. Because, you know, small children. We took a picnic and a pram, but the next time we go, I would not take the pram and I would pack the picnic in a back pack. The paths are great, and if you need a pram, they are definitely suitable, but it would have been easier without I think. Unfortunately they were draining the lake for maintenance when we visited, but there was still a lot to see. Ms 3 insisted we would find fairies, and took along her wings to help the search.
The paths lead down to the lake, and to a boat house, and to a fabulous large space, where the kids just wanted to run and run. They found a ‘fairy’ tree, they were amazed by the size of the trees and it was just so wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Just gorgeous.
If you’re in Melbourne, and haven’t been, I recommend making the drive up the mountain. Especially now, as we head into Autumn. The colours are always amazing this time of year, and I think we’ll be taking another trip soon. Plus, all that walking tuckered out the little ones!
Do you like to take breaks in your own backyard? Tell me about it!
*This is a sponsored post. I received product for myself and for the kindergarten my little one attends for use in fundraising. All opinions are my own.*
Do your kids love juice? Mine do, and I am reticent to let them have too much. So much sugar! But I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to drink coconut water. I drink coconut water, and find it refreshing when I want something other than plain water. It’s not sweet, and love it after some exercise. Mr 2 doesn’t mind plain coconut water, but Ms 3.5 – no way. Scrunches her nose up, and I receive a resounding ‘yuck!’ whenever I try to get her to taste it!
So when I was presented with an opportunity to test the Cocobella Kids Coconut Water on my little ones at the recent Kids Business Bloggers BBQ, I gave it a go. And was pleasantly surprised! Ms 3.5 loved it – especially the Apple Berry Breeze flavour. And Mr 2, well of course he drank it down as quick as a flash.
So I was very happy to do a review of the coconut water, as were the kids – there was much excitement when the box arrived! And it was perfect timing – with kinder starting, these little packs are the perfect size for lunch boxes. Now, let me tell you some of the nitty gritty. Cocobella Kids is a lunch-box-friendly and healthy coconut water drink for kids made from 70% coconut water, 30% fruit juice and nothing else. No added sugar, no added colours or flavours and no additives or preservatives. This is why I am happy for the kids to have this drink. The majority of it being coconut water, massively reduces the amount of sugar they are taking in when they drink it, compared to average fruit juice drinks (see table below for some comparisons). I really love the size of these packs – they fit in the lunch boxes, they’re easy to hold for my toddler and they can even slip into a bag easily. They freeze, so are great for keeping snacks cool and fresh as well. I’ve been a fan of coconut water for a while now – it’s naturally rich in minerals, particularly potassium, so I have no issues with giving it to the kids.
And the most important opinion, being the kids? They have loved having these in the house! They get 10 out of 10 from the kids. I will buy these again for the kids, and I think they would be great for kids parties too. I really do like having this option available, and I’m sure the kids do to – because I wont buy straight juice for them and this is the only way they will get ‘juice boxes’!! And yes, to any family members reading this, I am well aware that I have now become my mother!! Hehehehe.
Tell me – do you buy juice for your kids? Do they like coconut water?
If you want further information about the Cocobella Kids range, you can check out their website here www.cocobellakids.com.au or search #cocobellakids on your favourite social media site. Cocobella Kids is available in 200ml Tetra-Pak (BPA free) and in two yummy fruit flavours (apple berry breeze, tropical island) Cocobella Kids retails for $3.49 per 3-pack in Woolworths supermarkets nationally.