Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Hi all as we reach day 2636526 in lock down we’ve been thinking of ways to keep our little one busy and thought why don’t we share those ideas with you. The lovely people at Hartley’s fruit gifted us lots of jelly to share with others what we get up to with jelly!

I know what your thinking jelly? That’s just for eating? Well yeah it’s for eating BUT you can also play with it. You can hide things in it and explore the texture as you try to fish bits out of it! SO if you’re looking for a cheep and easy activity then look no further!

All you need is jelly, you can buy Hartley’s jelly in most supermarkets and corner shops as well as online! Then you can get inventive. I like to set a theme today I used Elijahs little dinosaurs and we had a dinosaur theme. We have previously done jungle animals, the lion king theme and we’ve even used fruit too! If your child is still at age where everything is in the mouth I suggest bigger toys they can’t choke on or cut up fruit!

How to make: Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and when it’s starting to cool out the fruit or toys in. Then when it is completely cool put in the fridge to set for a few hours I suggest a minimum of three hours!

Now the fun part! Get it out and put some old clothes on and get ready to get messy! Get some tools out if you wish, I got a spoon but we’ve previously used whisks, chopsticks and lots more to squish into the jelly.

While your child plays talk to them while they explore. Talk to them about the texture and ask them questions. Ask if it’s squishy? Ask if it’s cold. Ask how it feels in their hands. Talk about how it is cold and how it is wobbly. Talk about what your using to get the toys/fruit out. Count how many objects you remove from the jelly and talk about if they’re sticky or not.

We enjoy getting bigger toys and splashing them in the jelly also! It’s a great play idea which you don’t have to worry about them eating the product!

We find this a super fun idea we play with other children when they come round and can’t wait to do more play with others after lockdown!

To clean up, once all the toys have been removed allow them to eat some jelly. If you’ve made to much save for later in the fridge. To finish just simply wash up as normal and add the toys and utensils to the washing up pile. Remove dirty clothes and wash hands it’s that simple.

Have fun and enjoy yourself! Let’s play with our food that little bit more! Thanks again to Hartley’s for supporting our play today! (The jelly used was gifted).

For more play ideas be sure to check my Instagram play idea highlights where I’ll be adding more as we play! Follow: @lifewiththehazelwoods and tag me and Hartley’s in any jelly play you do!

Thanks Charlie!

Why I love using my instagram!

Why I love using my instagram!

Hey it’s been a little while how are you all doing? I think for a while I’ve been a little lax on my blog and i’m sorry for that if you’re one of my subscribers! Anyway i wanted to update you all on where I’ve really been. I’ve been in the land of Instagram of course. I made a little Instagram for my blog a while back and i decided to use it a bit more and spend my time on there.It has been a absolute lifeline to me since this coronavirus pandemic because it’s enabled me to engage with so many lovely people.It’s been a really useful thing for me following new people such as other mums and getting to know them. Of course the element of comparison is there in the background but once you can get through that and see that everyone else is comparing aswell it gets so much better.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few other parents like me with my sense of humour and they have became friends, like my own online pen pals. We send gifs, support each other and laugh with each other everyday. While i am feeling stuck at home and alone i am able to sometimes escape to my little safe place and interact with my new little tribe. If i don’t feel that great there are loads of other mums feeling the same and we are all ready to build eachother up. i’ve found @hudsons_little_life and @mammabelle18 to be absolutely beautiful people who have brought thousands of mums together. It’s sometimes quite hard to meet other like minded people and these two have started weekly posts mums can take part in to meet other mums. I’ve found that the people i have engaged with from these have been really lovely people and it’s great to be able to follow other people and look into their lives.

I also enjoy looking at peoples play ideas, i’ve influenced so many of these ideas into elijahs play and at times where i have struggled with what to do it has been a lifesaver having whatever you need a hashtag away. It’s nice being able to shop with and support small businesses. To see the person on the other end of a business only makes me want to buy and promote their products that little bit more than perhaps using amazon or argos! Also i have been lucky enough to start collaborating with some businesses and it’s felt amazing to be believed in enough to promote a product. Who would of believed how social media can open so many fantastic doors!

It’s also great to find out what celebrities are doing and friends and family aswell. It’s become a place where mental health and health conditions can be normalised in a way where we don’t worry as much that friends and family see as it’s not on facebook where everyone you personally know is. It’s nice to explore others opinions and views and be supported by people that don’t know you so you feel more love than judgement!

So if you have instagram and would like to connect come find me and send me a dm!

my instagram of course is @lifewiththehazelwoods and you can also find my instagram in the menu!

Looking forward to connecting, Charlie….

Learning resources for toddlers.

Learning resources for toddlers.

Trying to expand your toddlers mind and teach them skills at the same time can be difficult, but there are resources out there you can use to help. Here are a few items i have used and found effective in teaching my son that might help other parents and toddlers stuck in a rut. If anyone else has anything they can recommend do please get in touch with a comment or check out my instagram @lifewiththehazelwoods and send me a dm there.

First up flash cards. I cannot rate flashcards enough because they are such a brilliant tool for learning. Remember revising for tests and you made flash cards? Well they work the same for toddlers. They’re brightly coloured and have pictures. They have the word under so you can teach your toddler the word for the photo which eventually they will learn with daily practice. Everyday we’ve used these since a little before his first birthday. Hes learnt a lot of animal names, foods, objects,weather and more. He can now basically say a whole pack of words now which makes us insanely proud. We have several packs which i have brought which Elijah loves doing you can get themed or basic first words, we have some ones that show counting objects for when hes older as well.

Puzzles are great too. We have quite a few types. We have some which are wooden boards where you take the shapes away and put them back in which are quite easy to do but teaches shape sorting. We also have vehicle, animal and letter ones to teach him words too. We have words to words to object animals. We have wooden puzzles also where we match the body parts. Puzzles are so good for making your child learn more, gain more skills and also strengthens their muscles using their motor skills. It also helps their memory including muscle memory.

Lacing beads. This teaches your child about colours and shapes. This also teaches how to thread through beads into the lace and counting as you do it. Teaches hand eye coordination and muscle memory again. This is also one of the things they access where children are too to see how they’re able to use their joints.

Arts and crafts products.Colouring books and crayons, Jumbo and thin crayons can be great for the wrists and finger development. We use it to teach colours and patterns and try to get him to copy us when we do shapes. We love painting and exploring patterns and objects and how we use things to paint. We do themed painting and use objects we find such as toys, objects from the outside or pasta. We love doing stickers which Elijah loves them and sticking them on the paper or on things.

Word books, i cannot stress how important reading is to children. They are sponges from when they are born. We have read to elijah since he was in my tummy and we make a effort to read atleast 4 books a day together. Word books with pictures and words are really good because they teach them the word for things. Elijah was so proud of himself when hes learn all the words in a book and would bring them to show us all day long.

Play dough. Teaching your child textures, making things and just using their hands and objects are a great tool to use. They come with good play sets too so as they get older you can make them explore more play. Like a dentist set, beach set, food making set. Playing together is lovely too.

Bricks, counting and balance all come into this. They have fun building towers and learning balance. You can also use them to count.

Magnetic fish teaches hand eye communication and team work.

Food is probably the best one! Teaching them too cook is such a fun experience and lots of messy play! Put food colouring in cooked spaghetti and let them go wild! Bake cakes and shape cookies! Colour pasta shells and rice for necklaces and arts and crafts activities!

The possibility’s are endless, just enjoy learning and having fun together!