Valentine's Day Activities 2018


I love looking through Pinterest for themed activities so that we can celebrate fun days like Valentine's Day!

The first craft we had fun with was a pasting craft - I cut lots of little hearts out of yellow, pink, purple and red paper, and then the girl's stuck these to a white piece of paper and I extended Miss M (3 years old) by having her stick some hearts onto drawn on 'stems' to create a bunch of heart-flowers or heart-balloons. 




They turned out really well!


Then I cut out a bigger red heart, and Miss M helped me create bouncy legs and arms by folding paper into a concertina pattern, then we stapled them to the body, added some googly eyes and a face, and some hearts for the hands and feet. So cute!  


The girl's made some cute Valentine's Day cards at playgroup, creating a bee with their feet in yellow paint, some texta and googly eyes. So sweet! 


This is our Valentine's themed artwork wall in our playroom using Masonite clip boards!


Miss O (16 months old) made these cute heart people at daycare today!


We also enjoyed reading lots of books about love! 


For afternoon tea we made pink milk with marshmallows & sprinkles, and melted some milk and white chocolate into heart-shaped silicone moulds to create sweet little heart-shaped chocolates! 


Miss M definitely enjoyed her afternoon treat! (How cute is my love heart bunting in the background?!) 


We bagged up some of the chocolates for Brendan to give to him with one of the cards - how good are homemade gifts! 


I hope you've enjoyed our Valentine's Day Fun this year - for last year's activities, click here

Daily Activity Tubs - Guest Blog from celebrateplay



//DAILY ACTIVITY TUBS// - a guest blog by Erin at celebrateplay.  

...so one of the best known organisational strategies at celebrateplay HQ, is the Daily Activity Tubs (DAT's). Why? Because they are a sanity saver. Bold statement, right? Let me explain why I can say this with such confidence.


Daily Activity Tubs are a concept I created and have used here at celebrateplay HQ with what I feel has been a success. They came about as a solution for creating meaningful play experiences for my eldest whilst I was feeding my newborn. As time has passed and my newborn has grown, the tubs have been introduced and used during evening meal prep time. That time of day is quite commonly referred to as 'witching hour', where children seem to be tired, whingy, restless, difficult, clingy and a time where parents begin the evening routine in the hope for a restful night ahead. So, as I said-a sanity saver.   

Now that I have got your attention, let's dig deeper and talk more about the nitty gritty of these Daily Activity Tubs and then the ways you can implement them in your home, because that is what we are about - supporting and empowering parents, like you, with ideas and inspiration to create meaningful play experiences with your early learners. 

...so our Daily Activity Tubs are a series of ten (5 per child), light weight flexi-tubs purchased from Big W. Each tub is labelled with the days of the week using custom made vinyl labels from Pretty Paper Label. They contain approximately two to three developmentally appropriate and high interest based activities. The trick to keeping these activities interesting and of value is to only use them when you really need to eg. entertaining an older child whilst feeding a newborn, during meal preparation, while hustling if you are a bizMum. 






Each Sunday the activities are rotated ready to start the new week. Activities are chosen based on each child's interests and skills. They are also determined by size so that they fit in the tub neatly. 

Some examples of activities are:

• magnetic tiles
• mini small world scenes
• wooden handheld toys 
• school readiness games (number wheels, peg games, first readers, tracing sets, threading sets, alphabet fishing, sightwords, pre writing tasks)
• puzzles
• colouring in
• paper and crayons/pencils
• ten frames (mathematical activity)
• maps
• books
• playdough 

Sound like a concept that would work or you want to try in your home with your early learners? Fabulous, here are some ideas to help you get started: There are two ways to begin - either immediately with five/seven tubs per child (one for each day) or with one tub with a few activities in it, to test the waters before going all out for the five/seven tubs per child.

Once you have determined which way you will start, the next steps to consider are:

· Logisitics - Where you will store these tubs so children can access them easily, will you need to move them out of their reach when not in use so they hold their high interest value, will your learners benefit from different coloured baskets specific to them, and what type of daily labels will work best. 

· We recommend batch collecting your activities in a scheduled time each week/fortnight, where you can focus on selecting developmentally appropriate activities. These are activities, your learners can complete independently whilst still enjoying a challenge. 

· A place to document your DAT's ideas (such as our Daily Play Planner - available as a celebrateplay subscriber) so that you are planning based on the interests of your early learners. 

· Introduce the concept with some basic instructions eg. including the place you wish them to complete the activity, only using one tub per day, the activity is designed to be completed at a particular time/s of day and why that is important. 

· Monitor how your children are interacting with their activity tub and each other, have the activities been engaging, will you need additional resources, will changes need to be made to meet the user's needs. 


Does anyone have daily activity tubs in their home? 
How and when do your early learners use them? Do you find them handy? 

To learn more about our DAT's, and be inspired by our other early learning ideas, you can find us at:  
Website - www.celebrateplay.com.au
Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/celebrateplay
Facebook Online Support Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/celebrateplay/?ref=group_header
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/celebrate_play/




Erin is a Mum, wife, Early Childhood and Primary School teacher and the Founder of celebrateplay - an online learning space where she supports and empowers mums to create fun, engaging and intentional play experiences, by sharing early learning ideas and inspiration through education and community. When she is not working in the classroom, playing with her early learners, making lunchboxes, organising playspaces or folding laundry, she is teaching and learning at celebrateplay.

Gift Idea - A "Just Add Ice-Cream Kit!"

Here's a gift idea for Christmas, birthdays, daycare or teacher gifts or just because - a "Just Add Ice-Cream Kit!" I saw this idea on My Lovely Little Nest's facebook page (and have since noticed similar ideas on Pinterest too). I made 3 of these for Christmas gifts last year. 


One day when the girl's were both in daycare, I wandered around town to find everything I needed. I purchased some foil trays, cute little jars with a red gingham pattern on top, some cardboard ice-cream cups (with spoons) and cellophane from a cheap shop, and then the mini marshmallows, crushed peanuts, hundreds & thousands, a scoop, chocolate topping, candy canes and waffle cones from Woolworths, the choc malt balls from The Reject Shop, and the ice-cream serviettes from Big W. 


I bought enough for 3 hampers (each family had 4, 4 and 5 people), and placed it all in the foil container. You could use a basket as well. In the little jars I put hundreds & thousands, and crushed nuts. In mini self-sealing bags I put the mini marshmallows and choc balls. I think it came together well! 



Altogether it cost $44.85, so less than $15 each which I was happy with! Wrap the hamper in cellophane, a ribbon and a gift tag, and you are done! It's the perfect gift for a family to create a yummy dessert, or as part of a family night - I love that it involves everyone in the family, and all they have to do is add ice-cream and enjoy! 

Our Forever Home - Master Bedroom



The last space for my 'Forever Home' series is one of my favourite rooms - the Master Bedroom!


Our beautiful bedroom suite was generously given to us and I still love it after 5 years. The sticker above the bed was already here when we moved in and says 'Always Kiss Me Goodnight.' I plan to put some wedding photos and canvases up later on.  


This room is very, very large - I don't think the photos do the space justice! 


The two doors in the background are the ensuite on the left and the walk-in robe on the right. 


This big beautiful window lets in so much light!


In the corner closest to the ensuite, I have a blanket box (which was given to me) and my bamboo ladder which holds my scarves (which I bought from Myer about 8 years ago on clearance). The blanket box has our sheets, spare quilt and spare quilt covers inside, and even though I don't need this as we have plenty of space for linen now, I still really like it and we have the room. 


Click here to read all about our ensuite. 


The black mirror was bought from Kmart about 8 years ago, and it's actually our only full length mirror in the house! 


Our walk-in robe is mainly for Brendan's clothes because he used to have the chest of drawers you'll see a few photos down, but it really wasn't enough space for him (he has work clothes, renovating clothes, running clothes, cycling clothes etc.) and it works better now for him to have this room and for us to be able to close the door if it gets a bit disorganised. 


It has one wall of hanging with 3 cubbies above, and then 3 rows of 5 shelves on the other side. I have my jeans, tops, cardigans and some dresses hanging here, as well as the shelf above with my flannelette pyjamas, tanning clothes, old clothes for painting, and some random items in a basket. The rest of my clothes (big jackets, winter jumpers and more dresses are in the guest room). 





Our beautiful quilt was a birthday gift a few years ago from my Mum and is from Adairs. The European cushion covers were from Target, and the cushions at the front are from Target and Big W. 


The rug on the floor is from Kmart, as is the vase, and the artificial flowers were from Pillow Talk. 


This is Brendan's side of the room, and in his drawers are random cords, items he needs for cycling, spare watches, things for work etc. 



My side table - in the top drawer I used to have my basket of random items that is now in the walk-in (as the girl's used to enjoy going through it!) so I know just have some earphones, my iPod charger, tissues and some pens in the revlon case at the back. 


The next drawer is my summer pyjamas (a few tops are in the wash).


The bottom drawer has autumn/spring pyjamas in case it is oddly cold one night. I've tried to fold these using the 'Konmari method' but these drawers aren't really deep enough to do it properly. 





This is our chest of drawers (which also has a mirror I was storing at my Mum's while we had moved away last year). I've had the same items on top since we were married - a small bird card with a candle, a frame with our first wedding dance, a wooden bowl, a willow tree figure we were given for our wedding, a little wooden boat, and our marriage certificate. The cane basket beside the chest of drawers I was given, and it has fairy lights in it. 


The chest of drawers has most of my clothes - in the bottom two drawers are my shorts on the left, and my house clothes on the right. 


The next two drawers up are my singlets, and long-sleeve tops on the left (that go under clothes in winter - it gets very cold where I live), and on the right is my active wear (tops and tights). 

The top three drawers are my socks and underwear. 

This is looking from the doorway into the room. 


My dressing gowns are on the back of the door to our room. 


And that's it! It's a lovely space and quite easy to keep tidy, especially as it's up the other end of the house than the living rooms and kitchen. 


Last but not least, this is the beautiful view at night from our master bedroom! 


I hope you've enjoyed the 'Our Forever Home' series! 

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