christmas · craft · diy · toddler

Deer oh deer, some deer-lightful Christmas crafts. {Toddler Craft}

Hello fellow Christmas lovers,
How are you? Are you waving your festive freak flags proudly? Crafting up a storm? Or did you just finish your Christmas shopping yesterday, like I did? (Yes, Christmas is next week and my unorganised self just finished Christmas shopping!)
Now, it’s no secret I love deers, we all love deer. I like them just as animals, their antlers, their tasty meat (sorry) and as ornaments…
And of course we love the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. 
So here are some adorable little Rudolph crafts…


To make these adorable little fellas you will need some basic things you probably have laying around your house;

  • Paper plates
  • egg carton 
  • Brown paint (or crayon, or pencil) 
  • Brown cardboard
  • Red embellishments for a nose
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors/stapler for parent to use
  • Pen/pencils
Now the simple steps;
1. Cut your paper plate in half and then cut 1 half in a triangle.
2. Staple together.
3. Cut out 1 section of egg carton. 
4. Draw around your child’s hand for antlers on the brown cardboard, cut out 2 copies of a hand print per paper plate reindeer you are making.
5. Also cut out 4 legs for each reindeer.
6. For egg carton reindeer, draw antlers (mine are not very good) and ears and cut out.
7. Paint your reindeers.
8. Let dry.
9. Attach googly eyes, red noses, antlers and ears.
10. Ta-da you have the most adorable little sweet reindeers.
I also made a few other “reindeer” things this week.
I whipped up a stocking for Trent with some lovely fabric from Spotlight. This is the first stocking I have ever made and I was impressed that my basic sewing skills created this…
And yesterday LuLu and I baked some gingerbread cookies, I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it is really nice. If you use this recipe keep in mind it does make a lot of dough. I decorated the gingerbread men like deer, please excuse my basic icing ability. Trent & LuLu think they are tasty and cute though!
  To end this deer-lightful post I will leave you with some photos of the “reindeer” (red deer) that were at a shopping centre in town the other week, LuLu loved them and wore her sweet little “deer” print top. She loves deers and says “doe” & “buck”.
Comet is death staring me down because he knows I have a relative of his in the freezer, Blitzen is in the back oblivious, singing Christmas carols. 
Have a beautiful week before Christmas friends.
If you make these sweet reindeers, I would love to see them so tag me in them on social media!

2015 · activities · christmas · decorations · diy · toddler

Paper plate Christmas trees, 2 ways. {Toddler Craft}

Hello lovelies!
Yesterday we had a day that was so terrific it deserves a blog post. 
I recently wrote a very honest blog post about feeling like I lost some of the sparkle out my life, I was trying to get it back – it was almost there… But not just yet. 
But yesterday, that day sparkled and it sparkled hard. Maybe it was the fact LuLu used most of the contents of a huge gold glitter shaker or maybe it was because yesterday was just really, really lovely.
Now, the day didn’t start off super splendid. My day had started at 5am when Trent got up for work and then we were all up. Thankfully I was able to persuade LuLu to have snuggles for an extra hour, but she was pretty insistent that I get up and make her some breakfast.
Now at the time I often do not enjoy dragging myself out of bed, but I do actually love getting up early, especially in the warmer months. I can get lots of jobs done when it’s nice and cool (before the Summer heat kicks in) and I just feel very productive which in turn makes me feel great.
Anyway, we had an early start on the day, not by choice – but I am glad we did…
I got my jobs for the day out of the way early and then I decided LuLu and I would attempt a Christmas craft. Our first Christmas craft.
We made paper plate Christmas trees in 2 styles. We made 1 of each for our house, my parents and for my Nin. These sweet little crafts make lovely little gifts to Grandparents from your child, we delivered the finished product to my Mum yesterday afternoon and it was hung straight away on the fridge. 

Our sparkly Christmas trees. 

I just used items I had laying around the house so you could do this too with your littlies. 

For this craft you will need;

  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Stapler/tape
  • Green paint
  • Glitter, embellishments, pom poms – anything you have laying around.
  • Optional – magnet. (Attach to back with glue or tape after child has finished decorating, for easy display on a fridge)
Directions;
For the flat layered Christmas tree I just cut 3 triangle shapes out of a plate and stapled them together. After cutting out 3 of the same shaped triangle you are left with 1 very small triangle, I used this as the trunk and just stapled it all together.
For the cone shaped Christmas tree, I cut a section of the plate out and then just formed a cone shape and stapled it together. You could also cut the plate in half and then shape a cone out of the half. 
Sorry I didn’t really use a pattern, I just free handed everything. So it was all trial and error and they are by no means cut out perfectly. I actually didn’t plan to blog about them either which is why I didn’t take photos of all the steps. And just a note, when buying paper plates, find the cheapest ones possible. The more expensive ones tend to have a clear coating over them, you want proper paper plates to do crafts with.
Step 1; Do not squeeze your paint tubes so hard the nozzle end shots off and into the cup of paint. Great start to the project Bindy, good job Pinterest Mum… 
Next I just gave LuLu a pot of green paint (I mixed some craft paint I had with a green glitter paint) and let her paint all the trees. She did incredibly well, this was her first ever Christmas craft.
The paint needed to be applied very thickly in LuLu’s opinion. 
While we let the trees dry we went outside for a play, to hang out the laundry and to check out our tomato bushes. We picked the little tomatoes and sat in the sun and ate them… Yum!
Yummy home grown tomatoes – the perfect snack for in the back yard.
After the trees were dry (“I had distracted LuLu long enough to let them dry as much as they could”) I set LuLu up to decorate her trees. I gave her a pot of craft glue and a paint brush, a box of embellishments like old ribbon, cut up pipe cleaners, pom poms, sequins and her favourite decorative touch – the gold glitter shaker.
Now I warn you, if you do this and want to use glitter – be prepared it will get messy. Ours did – there was glitter everywhere. And that is ok. LuLu was having fun and in my opinion glitter is the prettiest mess you can have.
I personally think the glitter adds a nice festive touch to the floor and this maybe a new favourite photo of mine.
I sat there in awe watching her dip her brush into the glue and paint the tree, carefully picking out sequins to push into the glob of white glue and then grabbing the shaker and covering the tree, the table and the floor in gold glitter. Moments like this are what I dreamed of being a Mumma. Just having fun, doing crafts, making memories and a mess and just being together. 
LuLu took decorating her trees very,very seriously. Every tree (& the table & floor) needed a good healthy dose of gold glitter.
Our craft table afterwards. Clean up was pretty easy. I picked up the pieces I wanted to save/reuse, cleared the table, rolled up and tossed away the drawing paper that covers the table and did a quick vacuum. Easy! We then went and jumped in the pool to clean and cool ourselves. 
One of LuLu’s masterpiece proudly displayed on Ninna and Poppa’s fridge.
That sparkle, I love it and it’s coming back, in full force. We take our sparkle very seriously.

I encourage you to have a go at this super simple craft and let me know how you go. I would love to see the photos of your little ones masterpieces. 
If you don’t have any green paint at home, making home made paint is super easy, check out my recipe HERE.
I also have a Pinterest board full of Toddler Christmas craft ideas that you can check out HERE.
Also, I have a give away running on THIS post, so make sure you check it out and ENTER! (2 days left to enter!)
Have a lovely weekend and if you do this craft, share your trees with me on my social media.
Facebook; Modern Wife Life 31
Instagram; @Modernwifelife31
Twitter; @Modernwifelife3

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

diy · toddler

Easy DIY colour book for your toddler.

Hello!
Today for “Toddler Tip Thursday” I am bringing you a super easy and cute DIY for you to do for your toddler or young child, this project will help them learn colours. This little DIY is basically free if you have a collection of stickers and coloured markers laying around the house like I do. 
This project takes maybe an hour at the most, way less than that if you are uninterrupted. You could probably complete it while your little one naps.
This is how to make a paint chip colour book;

You will need;

  • Paint chip cards of a variety of colours, get 2 slightly different cards of each colour you wish to use. (Bunnings and Masters don’t seem to mind when I take a few colour chips home, when I say a few I mean like a handful. I guess if someone gives your grief or you need to explain yourself, either say you are making a colour book or your painting a rainbow in your kids room and want to get a rainbow of colour chips to pick the shades) You could also just use white coloured card and paint or colour it in… But the paint chip cards make it very easy. 
  • Stickers to match the colours.
  • Colourful pens/Sharpie/Markers to write with.
  • Glue.
  • Clear contact or a laminating machine.
  • Hole punch.
  • Ribbon or split ring.
Step 1;
Raid your local hardware store for paint chips in a variety of colours. I went for every bright colour I could find and also brown and grey. Remember to only get paint chips from the same brand so they match up together well, as they’ll be the same size. I forgot this and only got 1 yellow one, so luckily I had spare ones at home but the spare was from a different brand so I had 2 from 2 different brands, it still works but it doesn’t look totally perfect. 
Step 2; 
Lay out how you want your book to flow. 
Then put the book together to see which cards need to be glued to the back of each other. 
Step 3; 
Glue the cards together. I found it easiest to have the book set up/stacked together how I wanted and then I just worked through it gluing the backs to each other until I was done.
Step 4;
You could let your child help with this step… Decorate with stickers and write the colour name on the card. 

Step 5;
Cover with clear contact or laminate. I laminated mine and just a word of warning, I stupidly didn’t think when decorating mine and used little jewels and 3D stickers, they don’t go through the laminator well. My red page is a bit ruined! 
Step 6;
Hole punch the sides of the pages and secure with ribbon or hole punch in the top corner and secure with a split ring.
Step 7;
Enjoy!

LuLu likes her little book and we go through the colours and point at all the different stickers. I really like this project, using the paint chips with different shades and tones of the colours shows children that colours come in a variety of shades. 

I hope you give this project a try, it is super easy and can be as detailed or as simple as you like. If you do try this DIY please tag me in it on social media! 

flowers · spring · TCOF · toddler · toowoomba

A lovely Spring week… {TCOF 2015}

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hear to beat” – Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

The weather is warming up and to celebrate we are having such a perfect “Spring” week. I don’t regularly write about our adventures anymore, but I’ve had such a wonderful past few days I wanted to share them!
We’ve Spring cleaned the house, worn pretty Spring time outfits and been to visit one of the lovely parks in our town. This week in Toowoomba our town is celebrating The Carnival of Flowers. I  absolutely love this time of year, Toowoomba is full of beautiful flowers, our parks & gardens are even more stunning than normal and there are so many activities on. 
This weekend we have lots of plans to attend some community events & I am so excited!
We are planning on heading to Bites & Brews Lane on Friday evening, The Toowoomba Farmers Market on Saturday morning & then on Sunday we are hoping to take LuLu to the Kids Day Out. So we have a busy, busy schedule for this upcoming weekend, but it is full of lovely plans and I am so excited about it! I love having things to look forward to.   
This past few days have been flat out busy, but really great days. I love days like that!
On Sunday, Monday & Tuesday I Spring cleaned our home, using THIS list. I’ve pretty much completed everything inside, we just have to focus on the outside now. I am so proud that LuLu & I got so much done while Trent was working. She is such a good little helper. 

I told her that Mumma needed to mop and vacuum on Tuesday so she ran & got hers! 

Also this week I finished off her birthday invites and delivered them, less than 1 month until her birthday party!
Yesterday Trent started days off, so we headed to town to check out Queens Park. LuLu loved sniffing the flowers & patting them (she may have picked 1 or 2, sorry TRC & TCOF). She was also very excited to see a few “pups” & “bubbas” out enjoying the the beautiful blooms & sunshine. 
I apologise in advance for the amount of flower photos which you are about to see, I am kind of obsessed with taking photos of my sweet little girl & flowers!

All photos are taken in Queens Park – Toowomba, QLD. Please do not reuse these images in anyway without my permission. 

If you are local to Toowoomba or live close by I really encourage you to make an effort to come check out at least one of our beautiful parks or one of the prize winning gardens, they really are spectacular. 
I dream of having beautiful gardens full of flowers, one day! I love going through the gardens pointing out to Trent what flowers I want in our “dream flower bed”. He just nods. I may get to plant some flowers shortly though for LuLu, as yesterday Trent also started construction on her cubby house and I would love to plant some flowers near there so she has her own little garden. So let me know any suggestions for easy to grow bright & beautiful flowers! 
I hope you are all having a lovely week and if you are out & about in Toowoomba this weekend, I might see you around!




“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” – Audrey Hepburn. 
activities · craft · diy · toddler

DIY Toddler Father’s Day cards.

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” – Unknown

So, we are in September – SEPTEMBER! When did that happen, I feel like I was just taking down the Christmas tree last week… But now being in September, that means I am just months away from setting it up again!! CHRISTMAS… Ok, calm down – wrong holiday for this post… 
September also means – Father’s Day. It is this Sunday! Like in 3 days.
I’ve been pretty organised this year, I have got a gift for Trent & my Dad organised and I have planned a family lunch for Sunday. But sometimes these events just sneak up on us, one day you are thinking “right, Father’s/Mother’s/Valentine’s Day is almost here, I must pick up a card” and then BAM it’s the next day! And you are a left without a sweet card to give to the special person you are celebrating.
Today I am here to share 2 super easy card designs that toddlers can do. So simple that you can do them the night before at bath time, let dry over night and then you have an adorable & unique card! I do suggest either doing them outside or at bath time for easy clean up as both designs use paint.
To start both cards, get an A4 piece of paper (or card stock if you have it) and fold it in half to create a card shape. You can have the card in any style you like, but I found having them horizontal was best for both of these designs.

I’m hooked on Daddy!

Fish card;
1. Coat toddlers hand in an even layer of paint.
2. Do a hand print sideways.
3. Help toddler finger paint some seaweed along the bottom of the card.
4. You can either help your child paint the blue water in or do it later yourself.
5. Once card is dry, draw details on. (Fish eyes & lips, fishing line, hook and message) 
6. I get LuLu to sign the inside of all cards we give by giving her a pencil and letting her do a little “scribble” on the blank side of the card.

Dad card;
1. Get some masking tape.
2. Tape out the word you wish to spell. (Dad, Pop, Mum, Nin etc)
3. Sit your toddler down with an assortment of paints (try to stick to 2 or at the most 3 basic colours, as all the colours will eventually be mixed together during the painting process!)
4. Let them paint all over the page (fingers & hands work great for this project)
5. Let the paint dry.
6. Carefully peel the masking tape away revealing your word.
7. Write a message inside!

We made the fishy card this year for Valentine’s Day (LuLu’s Poppa got one too!) and the “Dad” card was for Trent’s birthday. Both of these designs would be very sweet for Father’s Day cards. 
Cute message ideas for inside the card can be a nice quote (Pinterest has tons! Check out my Father’s Day board HERE) or a sweet acrostic poem is fun and shows creativity!
Some ideas are;
Father;
  Funny
hAppy
sTrong
  Handsome
clEver
 pRotector

Dad;
Daring
Adventurous
Devoted 

Father; 
  Fun
pAtient 
sTrong
  Hero
 rEliable
 pRovider

If your child is school aged this would be an excellent english activity for them to do!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for a sweet project to do with your toddler or child. 
I hope you have you have a lovely Sunday spoiling the special men in your life. I am looking forward to our family lunch celebrating my wonderful husband Trent & my Dad (LuLu’s Poppa – she loves him so much). 
I am extremely fortunate to have married a man who is such a brilliant & hands on Dad, he works incredibly hard at his job and comes home and helps me in anyway he can with LuLu, something that I know is sometimes rare with Dads. Trent is such a smart, kind, adventurous, generous, hard working, handsome and amazing man, I am so lucky to be his wife!
I am also very blessed to have the greatest man in this world (in my opinion) for my Dad, he has worked tirelessly for my whole life to give us 4 kids & Mum an amazing & easy life. He is so intelligent, hilarious, witty, honest & kind. I couldn’t ask for a better Dad. 
And our little LuLu just adores her Daddy & Poppa!

I am so thankful to have 2 amazing men in not only my life, but especially LuLu’s. She loves them with all her heart.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, Step-Dads, Poppa’s & also the Mumma’s who do the job of 2 parents, have the most lovely weekend!

A Father is someone you look up to, no matter how tall you get.” 
sponsored · toddler

Disney Junior’s The Book Of Once Upon A Time. {Review}

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang & Disney Junior. 

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” – Walt Disney. 

Before I was pregnant there was one thing I knew I would want to teach my children more than anything else, to love books and love to read. Growing up I always had a book with me, I loved to read and still do, this was a trait I wanted to pass onto LuLu, and I feel I am.
Trent & I both love reading to LuLu and she has so many books I feel we could almost open a library! We are always looking for new ways to introduce more reading & storytelling into her life. I have recently been introduced to a wonderful program by Disney Junior, Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time”. 

As a parent, I am very critical with what I expose my daughter too. I want good honest content for her. Content that just isn’t educational but also touches on moral values, social skills, creative thinking, good basic habits and motor skills.
Disney Junior’s animated and live action specials, combine Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early language and maths skills, as well as healthy lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.
This is a locally produced interactive story telling series that is hosted by Kate Mulvany. Kate is a well-known Australian actor, screen writer and playwright. You may recognise her from her role on “All Saints” and from appearing in feature films & other television series such as “The Great Gatsby”, “My Place” and “Griff the Invisible”. 
Kate is perfect for bringing Disney stories to life, she tells stories with such great passion and enthusiasm, that comes from a deep & personal fondness for storytelling and igniting the imaginations of young people.

When Kate was a young girl she became extremely ill and spent some time in hospital. During one visit her godmother gifted her a Kit Williams’ picture book, “Masquerade”. Reading this book allowed Kate to imagine a magical and glorious new world where she could escape from reality and was the start of a life-long passion for storytelling. 
Every night at 7:10pm on the Disney Junior channel (709 on Foxtel) Kate delivers a captivating story for young children. Or you can tune in anytime on the website
To coincide with book week starting in Australia on the 24th August, 2015 – this is when the second season of The Book of Once Upon A Time” will begin. The first story will be “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Later episodes will include new Disney stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Frozen”. All characters that children of all ages are familiar with and are fond of!
This wonderful series brings classic stories and characters we and our children know and love to life. “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” keeps the tradition of story telling alive, with turning pages, exciting voices for the characters & re-enactments and includes the trademark magic of Disney with touches of animation to ignite the imagination of your little one! 
Reading and storytelling is such an important part of a child’s day and can really make a bedtime ritual a little more special! Disney Junior encourages parents to sit down with their children and share a magical & special moment with their little love every evening before bed. After every “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” episode the “Land of Once Upon A Time” lullaby follows, encouraging children to get ready for bedtime!
Make sure you tune in on Disney Junior The Channel to enjoy this wonderful & calming episode with your child before bed time. This channel is available on all Foxtel subscribing homes on channel 709 or online
On the Disney Story Central app, “The Book of Once Upon A Time” features Disney stories that are available as eBooks. 


Please let me know your thoughts on this wonderful new season of “The Book of Once Upon A Time” and also let me know what your child’s favourite bedtime story is?

activities · diy · LuLu · toddler

3 fun & easy activities to keep your toddler busy!

Hello!
Today I am back with a “Toddler Tip Thursday.”
Do you ever have those moments when you are preoccupied with something fairly important but your little love wants all your attention? 
Normally LuLu wants me to play with her when I am trying to do some cooking or I am mopping, any other time I normally just stop what I am doing and play with her, but sometimes you cannot leave what you are doing. So, how do I get around this problem?
Besides praying for patience, I try to find activities for her to do while I am busy, I try to avoid just turning the TV on as she isn’t overly interested in it and I prefer for her to be playing than watching television.
Sometimes I will simply ask for her help, by help I mean asking for her to look for spoons in the kitchen utensil drawer (she is allowed to play in that drawer) or we bring out her pretend food, I tie an apron around her and she pretends to cook as well.

LuLu loves to pretend the whisk is a bubba and my jar opening thing from Tupperware is a blanket, she wraps the “bubba” and sshhs it to sleep! 
Giant bowls, a spoon and some plastic food (from KMart) & this activity is always a simple winner! She loves wearing an apron when I wear one & LuLu will often bring me an apron because she wants us to “bake”. 


Other times I set up a simple activity or craft, one that takes only a moment to throw together and is simple enough she can do it without constant supervision. 
I have 3 of those activities to share with you today. 

  • Contact Paper collage;

This is exactly what it sounds like. 
You take some contact paper, cut a section off, tape it to the table/window/floor/any flat surface sticky side up, give your child a box of shapes/scrap paper/craft supplies = simple craft that will keep them entertained for awhile. 
(A tip for sticking it down, slowly peel back one edge at a time and tape down)

This activity is suitable from young toddlers right up to young primary school age. Just adjust the supplies, an older child could actually cut out there own images from a magazine or make a picture from craft supplies. If you did this on a window with cellophane it can create a stained glass look & is a whole different craft!
LuLu liked sticking the bits of cut up wrapping paper & felt shapes down and then pulling them off and also experimenting with the stickiness by pushing and pulling her hands on the contact. 

Sticky hands! 
LuLu’s master piece. 

  • Recycled Chute for Pom Poms; 

This activity does require that you keep a few cardboard rolls from the paper towel or toilet paper, but that’s the hardest part. 

Basic supplies, a large bowl (ice cream container would be fine), cardboard tubes, masking tape & pom poms ($1-$2 from the cheap shop!)

It is as simple as taping some tubes to a flat vertical surface (wall or a side of a bench), placing a bowl or bucket underneath and giving your toddler some pom poms.

A super basic, but fun activity. 

Pom poms work the best instead of small balls, as the balls could bounce and become lost. But a word of warning, if you have cats putting a bowl of pom poms in your house is asking for trouble – trust me I know. This activity stayed up in our house for about a week because LuLu really enjoyed it, but my cat enjoyed diving into the bowl of pom poms and scattering them all over the house. 
Once again, a young toddler will enjoy this activity, but it can be adjusted for an older child. You could give a box of cardboard rolls & masking tape to an older child and ask them to make their own chute set up.

  • Flower/pipe cleaner sieve threading;

This is a Montessori style activity. It works on hand & eye co-ordination and their fine motor skills and takes next to no prep time to organise.
Grab a sieve (or basket with holes, whatever it is make sure the holes are a decent size) and a handful or pipe cleaners, drinking straws or some fake flowers – activity prep done.

I got these cheap fake flowers from IKEA last time I was there. I just grabbed them as a supply to keep in the craft box as they can be used for a few different activities and crafts!

Show your toddler how to thread the stems of the flowers/pipe cleaners into the holes & then leave them be. 
(Flowers actually work the best or even straws, because they are firmer, pipe cleaners can be a little hard for younger toddlers to thread as they bend so easily, but as they get older it’s easier for them to problem solve & work around that issue) 

LuLu enjoyed this activity when she was around 18 months and still enjoys it now at almost 22 months.

These activities are quiet & simple. Perfect if you need to make an important phone call or cook in the kitchen when it isn’t appropriate for your child to “help”. When I am cooking dinner I don’t like LuLu being in there as it’s normally a mix of a fry pan, boiling water & possibly the oven going. If I am baking I am more likely to let her help, but dinner is the time I like her playing on her own. 
I hope these activities have inspired you and help you distract your little love if you have something important to tackle when they just can’t seem to happily go play on their own!
If you have any suggestions for other activities I would love to know, please comment below or leave me a Facebook comment! 
Have a lovely week.