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Toys Books Play

Have a read of our Hot Topics articles all about toys, books and play ideas for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
 
  • Find out how to make your own homemade kids paints, dough, slime and toys for them to play with.
  • Have a look at the book reviews and tips on reading and writing.
  • Discover some of the benefits of playing, songs and music.
Make your own kids paint brushes

Make your own kids paint brushes

Who said kids paint brushes had to be boring! There are so many things you can use to make your own kids paint brushes with things you already have at home, or from your local $2 shop or craft store. Homemade paint brushes using clothes pegs and other materials allow kids to experiment and the opportunity to discover different textures and fun designs.
Exploding paint bags

Exploding paint bags

Your toddler or preschooler will love making their own exploding paint bags! A fun science and outdoor messy play activity that’s easy to do at home. All you need to do is make your own chalk paints and then watch as the paint bags explode with a ‘pop’!
Fly swat painting for toddlers & preschoolers

Fly swat painting for toddlers & preschoolers

Toddlers and preschoolers will love this fly swat painting activity! Fly swat painting is a great outdoor messy play activity you can do at home with a cheap fly swat and homemade or shop-bought paints.It’s such a fun way to paint and will take your toddler’s or preschooler’s artwork to a whole new level!
Make your own sand foam

Make your own sand foam

Have a go at making your own sand foam! It’s very easy to do and uses just 2 ingredients! The sand foam has a smooth, slimy, grainy texture and is great for sensory play.
Benefits of messy play for preschoolers

Benefits of messy play for preschoolers

Messy play is so much fun and comes with numerous benefits for preschoolers. From playing with water in the bath to creating something with playdough, experimenting with paint and lots of other exciting activities. Messy play provides preschoolers with a great opportunity to learn through unstructured play. There are so many ways preschoolers can benefit and have fun with mess!
Make your own fizzing paints

Make your own fizzing paints

Have a go at making your own fizzing paints using baking soda and vinegar. The exploding fizzy eruptions are great fun and bring your kids' paintings to life. It’s a messy play activity and science experiment all in one.
Make your own gloop

Make your own gloop

Have a go at making your own gloop at home with this easy recipe and ingredients from your pantry. Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture that toddlers and preschoolers will love to explore and play with. It’s great for moulding and developing their fine motor skills too.
Make your own colourful clay

Make your own colourful clay

Have fun making your own colourful clay with this easy recipe. Kids love playing with clay and making their own creations. Follow these easy instructions and make your own clay at home. From pots and animals, to Christmas tree decorations, letters, numbers, fossils, ornaments and more.
How to make watercolour paints for kids

How to make watercolour paints for kids

Find out how to make your own non-toxic watercolour paints for your kids with this simple recipe using just 5 ingredients from your pantry. Quick and easy to do and safe for young kids to use.
Make your own snow play dough

Make your own snow play dough

Playing with snow play dough is great fun for kids all year round, not just in winter. All you need for this recipe is just 2 basic ingredients! Have a go at this super easy snow play dough recipe.
Make your own spice paints

Make your own spice paints

Find out how to make your own spice paints and arouse your kids senses as they take their paintings to a whole new level. Spice paints are easy to make using shop bought or homemade paints as the base. A fun sensory play activity and a good way to use up old herbs and spices from your pantry.
Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2016

Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2016

Need some inspiration for your kids Christmas presents? We take a look at what’s popular and on the must have list for Christmas 2016.
Make your own puffy paints

Make your own puffy paints

It’s easy to make your own puffy paints at home using this simple recipe, just 4 basic ingredients and a microwave! A fun messy play activity that will provide hours of fun for toddlers and preschoolers.
Scooter buying guide & safety tips for toddlers

Scooter buying guide & safety tips for toddlers

Our buying guide to kids scooters has some useful information on what to look for when you're out shopping for your toddler's first scooter, along with some important scooter safety tips for toddlers too.
Make your own sensory board

Make your own sensory board

A sensory board or busy board is a fun, hands-on activity for babies and toddlers to help them touch, explore and learn about different objects all in one place. They have lots of developmental benefits too and are really easy to make at home with things you have to hand.
What's all the fuss about heuristic play?

What's all the fuss about heuristic play?

Heuristic play is about playing with real-life, everyday objects and providing kids with an opportunity for open-ended discovery. When children are involved in heuristic play, they are using familiar objects in different ways. It is the process of exploring the different ways to use the objects that is important in the play.
Christmas present ideas for 0-5 year olds

Christmas present ideas for 0-5 year olds

Have you ever bought a gift for a child and realised that it was not suited to their age? Are you not sure what to buy? Do you want to buy something that is not only fun, but also encourages early childhood education too? Here are some gift ideas that will suit a child’s age, hold their interest and encourage learning through play.
Using natural resources for learning

Using natural resources for learning

Over the years as our living space has decreased and our use of smart phones, tablets and television has increased, children are now often missing out on connections to nature. In our hectic world, children need experiences that were such a big part of their parents’ childhood. Check out these natural resource activities to try with your little ones.
Why it’s ok for kids to be bored

Why it’s ok for kids to be bored

Try stepping back when your kids complain about feeling bored. This will empower them to think for themselves and learn to be resilient. It will also encourage them to find their own way out of the boredom, and the problem-solving process helps them feel good about themselves.
The power of books

The power of books

Reading to your child every day is a wonderful way to spend some time with them and support them in their learning. Snuggling up with your child and reading them stories helps them to develop a positive attitude towards books.
Benefits of reading to babies

Benefits of reading to babies

A book is a baby’s first theatre and now US paediatricians are urging parents to read to children from their earliest days. Even the smallest babies are ready and eager to engage and tune into what is being read to them.
8 Ways to make story time fun

8 Ways to make story time fun

Toddlers and preschoolers have an attention span of around 10 - 12 minutes, and once it’s exhausted, learning and listening are no longer fun for them. So when it comes to story time mix it up a bit. Use one or two of these ideas for each book you read and make story time as fun and as interactive as possible.
5 Ideas for playing with young babies

5 Ideas for playing with young babies

When babies are young it’s often hard to know what will keep them entertained. However, just a few simple games, where you spend time together and interact with them will keep them amused for hours.
13 Ideas for toys on a budget

13 Ideas for toys on a budget

Kids are happy to just play and really don’t need big, expensive, brand-name toys to keep them occupied. Here are some cheap and easy things you can make at home to keep them amused for hours.

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