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Showing posts from November, 2014

Poolzies pool shoes for children (product review)

With the summer season descending upon us here in the land down under, we’ve been looking forward to cooling off with lots of water play and swimming to cool ourselves off. So it was perfect timing when the lovely Pia of Poolzies contacted me to ask if I’d like to have little Grace try out their special anti-slip pool shoes.Poolzies is the brainchild of Steve and Pia, an expat couple based in Singapore. The idea for Poolzies first came about one day while on holiday when they were searching for a solution for their own child to be able to play safely and comfortably in a water park. Upon discovering that pool shoes were not easily available in Singapore and Asia, they decided to turn this idea into a unique business venture of their own.The shoes are fitted with a Toughtek non-slip and abrasion-resistant sole, while the lightweight material is aimed at providing comfort and flexibility in movement. The fabric also provides UPF-50+ protection from the sun.We tried them out for the firs…

What do you really mean by ‘sharing’?

What do you think of the term ‘sharing’?More specifically in relation to children ‘sharing’ things with one another.I personally think we adults use the term ‘sharing’ a little to flippantly. I have been guilty of it myself at one point or another, although I am practising to be more conscious about when and why I decide to use that term.Sometimes I think parents use that term with children, simply to get a child to give up a toy or object to another child, without much regard for their rights and feelings.Strictly speaking, if you were asking a child to ‘share’ something, it should either mean:#1. Playing with the toy or object together, or collaborating in some way to use it jointly as a team;OR#2. Finding a way to divide the item(s) fairly so each person can have a share of it (such as with food or a pile of blocks).However from personal experience, whenever I had a ‘sharing’ encounter with another parent, their desired outcome often had nothing to do with any of the above options.…

Big Brother a.k.a. Superhero

Sometimes I envy this little girl of mine. Just a teeny weeny bit. Simply because she gets to be baby sister to this awesome big brother. They adore each other to bits, it’s hard to stand it sometimes because I feel I could just burst with such incredible joy every time I see them together. Like this… Or this…
I am so glad they have each other. And that little Gracie has her own little knight in shining armour and superhero for life. It must be awesome to be a little sister to a big brother like this guy.

Quick and easy mini apple pies

We go through a LOT of food in our household every week. With four kids to care for five days a week, it can sometimes be challenging to come up with a variety of snacks and meals to keep them fuelled up for play all day long.For morning and afternoon tea, I usually serve fruit or yoghurt and sometimes crackers with cheese. But each week I like to come up with a little special treat for the kids, just for a nice change from our usual tea time fare.Here is one of my favourite tea time treats which I like to keep up my sleeve. It’s really quick and easy enough to even get the kids involved in the cooking process…Mini apple piesIngredients
2 tbsp sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
2 sheets shortcrust/pie pastry
3 tbsp melted butter
2 medium tart apples, each cut into 8 wedgesDirections
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Unroll the pastry sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut each sheet into 8 one inch strips, about 8 in. long. Wrap one strip around each…

DIY magnet shapes from old magnetic calendars

A couple of weeks ago, I had posted this snapshot of these set of magnetic shapes I made on my Instagram.  I received a few curious questions on how I made them. My new DIY magnet shapes a big hit with the kids: old magnetic calendars/business cards + coloured paper + modge-podge #diytoys #diy #magnets #magnetboard #toddleractivities #kidsactivitiesA post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Oct 16, 2014 at 8:54am PDT In a nutshell, they were made from recycling some old magnetic calendars and business cards --the kind you often receive from  real estate agents and local businesses promoting their services. So I thought I post up a simple tutorial for you to show you how I made them.Materials
Magnetic calendars and business cards*
Modge podge or decoupage glue**
Coloured paper
Brush or sponge*If you do not have any magnetic calendars or business cards around, you can always buy magnetic paper sheets from office supplies or stationery shops
**If you do not have modge podge, you ca…

Mama Bear instinct

If you know me, I’m a pretty easy going person with most things. And that goes with looking after kids as well. I generally don’t mind most of the little accidents and messes and mischievous things the kids get up to. I’m pretty good at staying calm, dealing with the situation and just getting on with what needs to be done.But there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s deliberate mean-ness and unkindness against another.Whether it’s yelling, hitting, kicking, pushing, snatching toys away. It’s all the same to me. Because it’s the intention behind the act that matters. And I will respond very swiftly* to any acts of violence or unkindness I see.I am thankful that all the kids under my care have great parents who practice great values at home. And it is evident in the behaviour of their children. So most days pass quite pleasantly and peacefully, with the occasional flare up that naturally happens from rubbing shoulders with one another other and learning how to interact and socialise with …

DIY Rainbow coloured play muslins

One of the key things on my wish list of play resources for my family day care was a full set of coloured play silks.They are essentially a fancy version of basic coloured scarves in the dress up box. But there was something nice about having a uniform set of bright solid coloured fabrics for the children to explore and play with.I had shopped around online for various options, and also checked out the option of buying some plain white silk squares and dyeing them myself.Then one day as I was clearing out Grace’s closet, I came across my stash of flat cotton muslins which I had used some time back on her when she was a little baby. The size was perfect was perfect for a lot of versatile play. The drape and flowiness was not quite the same as silk, but not too bad.So after some research and chatting with a few DIY-savvy friends, I picked up three packs of Dylon fabric dye, one in each of the primary colours. And on one bright, sunny morning, I gave the muslins a good, thorough wash and…

My funny girl

So at just under 16 months old, our Grace is most definitely in the toddler stage. We still often fall back on calling her ‘baby’ out of habit. And being my second baby, I still see more of the baby in her. But her toddler side is emerging through very determinedly.We’re having such a blast with her at this age. Her gross motor skills are advancing very rapidly, so she can poke her nose into everyone’s business all day long. Even though she is the littlest person in the house, she is most certainly not one to be ignored.She is just the funniest little girl. Pretty much every single thing she does is so comical to watch. Even crying. Toddlers can be so dramatic, that you just can’t help laughing through all the drama.Some of her funny quirks…She is an expert mimic of almost everything her big brother does--Such as plonking this ice-cream tub on her head (which Nathan uses as a builder’s hard hat when he’s pretending to be Bob the Builder). It’s too large for her, but she insists on kee…

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