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Baby #2 | Finding out we’re pregnant & the first trimester so far

Baby #2 | Finding out we’re pregnant & the first trimester so far

If you’re reading this, then we must have just announced our little secret to the world. If you didn’t see it, and you haven’t gathered from the title of this post (really?), we are expecting baby number 2 in February. How exciting! Anyway, I thought […]

I’m Pregnant  – Our Pregnancy Announcement Video

I’m Pregnant – Our Pregnancy Announcement Video

So if you didn’t already see, we announced that I am pregnant with baby number two yesterday!  Here’s our little video announcement if you missed it. I will be documenting this pregnancy both here and on my YouTube channel along with all of our usual […]

Calming Lavender Rice Sensory Play

Calming Lavender Rice Sensory Play

With the weather outside so incredibly hot at the moment (I’m not complaining, love the sunshine!), we’ve been taking refuge indoors during the warmest times of the day and so I’ve been looking for ways to keep Florence entertained and calm at the same time. Over the past couple of weeks I have put together a few different sensory bins that have really worked a treat at stimulating Florence’s imagination and honing in on those fine motor skills. Today I wanted to share with you our Lavender Rice Sensory Play. This is just the perfect play invitation to relax your little one’s and keep them busy out of the heat of the day. I love the way were able to bring a little bit of summer indoors too by using fresh lavender from our garden.

The Recipe

Food Colouring – I used a mix of blue & red gel food colouring

500g Rice

Fresh Lavender

It really couldn’t be simpler.. just pour your rice into a zip lock bag and add in the food colouring. Leave to dry for two hours and then add fresh Lavender sprigs and some crushed lavender. Pour into a box and add some scoops and tools to enhance play.

Ways to Play

Pouring & Scooping

Florence spent a good 20 minutes just exploring the texture of the rice with the scoops and pouring the contents of the cups and scoops onto her other hand / feet. Pouring from one container to another is one of her latest skills and so it was really lovely to watch her really concentrate on filling one cup up with the contents of the scoop. The rice made a lovely rain like sound as it fell. Each time she did it, I would say ‘Scoop it up, pour it into the cup’ giving particular emphasis on ‘Scoop’ and ‘Cup’. By the time we were done, she was very close to mastering the word ‘cup’ herself! 

Flower Play

She soon noticed the flower stems and spent some time feeling them with her fingers. She enjoyed picking off the petals and sprinkling them into the rice. I invited her to smell them and we stood the remaining stems up in the rice to create a garden.

Small World Play

Later on I added some Happy Land Fairies to the box and began to act out a little scene with them for Florence. She soon joined in by making it ‘rain’ by pouring the rice on them, putting them to bed under a blanket of rice and then offering the lavender sprigs to them to smell too – very cute! She really seems to have found a love for roleplay already. 

This is definitely a sensory bin we will revisit over and over and luckily, the box we used has a lid so I can just store it away until we want to pull it out again. I really love the way that this play involves four of the five senses while at the same time being completely calming. At one point, Florence actually got in the box herself which makes me wonder if perhaps this would be a good mix to add to our tuff spot?  It is a perfect activity to pull out between bath & bedtime to wind down or first thing in the morning when everyone is just not quite awake just yet. I would advise putting a blanket or mat down underneath the box as the rice goes EVERYWHERE and is so easily trodden around the house. Having said that though, it’s super easy to vaccuum up so it’s not that big of a deal really.

Now that I have had my first attempt at dying rice for play, I am going to give some other colours & smells a go – I’m thinking maybe citrus fruits next by adding the zest of the fruits to the rice? What do you think?

I’d love to know if you give this a go, so please do pop me a little comment below if and when you do!

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What Florence got for her birthday – The Ultimate First Birthday Gift Guide

What Florence got for her birthday – The Ultimate First Birthday Gift Guide

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but have only just got around to do it. A few of you have asked to see what Florence got for her birthday and so I’ve put together a little (actually incredibly long) list of […]

A step back to move forward: A Little Life Update

A step back to move forward: A Little Life Update

Things are about to look a lot different around here as we prepare to make some pretty big life changes. We are swiftly outgrowing our little house. I honestly underestimated just how much room little people take up and with our plans to expand our […]

5 ways to celebrate baby’s first birthday

5 ways to celebrate baby’s first birthday

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two weeks since we were celebrating Florence’s first birthday. We made memories that will be treasured forever over her birthday week and I think it is safe to say that she celebrated in style! I thought I would share a little bit about the different ways we marked this special milestone as it might give you some inspiration as to ways to celebrate baby’s first birthday too!

Start a Tradition

What better time to start a birthday tradition than a first birthday? We headed to Build-a-Bear on the morning of Florence’s special day to pick out a furry friend and it’s something I hope we will do every year. You could do something similar or visit the same place each year.

Cake Smash / Photo Shoot

This is a lovely way to mark your baby turning one and I am so happy with how our photographs came out. I took these myself, and there’s a little guide to how I did it here, but if you’re not that comfortable behind the lens you could always hire a professional photographer to take them for you. That way you could even get in on the photographs too if you wanted to. We’re using the photos from Florence’s photo shoot for thank you cards. 

Have a Special Birthday Breakfast

We headed to a local family friendly café for a birthday breakfast. The ladies were just wonderful and so accommodating to our needs. You don’t have to go out though, you could always cook up your little one’s favourite breakfast foods at home and serve it up on party plates and wear party hats!

Go on a Day Trip

A trip to the zoo, a visit to the seaside or a day at a toddler friendly theme park are all great ways to spend your little one’s special day. I had hoped to head to the farm the day before Florence’s birthday with some of her little friends but the weather was just awful so we skipped it and went the following week instead. Some people, like my friend Hannah at Budding Smiles, prefer to gift a day out to their little one’s rather than an actual present which I think is a really lovely idea. 

Throw a Party

Whether you want to keep it small or go all out, a birthday party is the perfect way to get your family & friends in on the celebrations! On her actual birthday we invited Grandparents & Aunties & Uncles over for a little birthday tea which was just a lovely way to quietly celebrate and then at the weekend we threw a big rainbow themed party that we invited all of the rest of our family  & friends to.

Here are some other first birthday themes from some of our blogging friends that you might like!

Helen threw her daughters a joint 1st & 3rd birthday party with an ice cream theme and it looked absolutely beautiful.

Lyndsey chose a unicorn theme for Violet’s 1st birthday

Edie celebrated turning one in style with a Royal Wedding Garden Party

Alfie & Abi invited Teddy’s too to their Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Laura took inspiration from her daughter’s  favourite cBeebies characters for Autumn’s Twirly Woo Birthday Party

How did you / are you planning to celebrate your little one’s first birthday?

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Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike Review

Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike Review

Florence was bought a trike for her birthday by her Grandparents & and Great Grandma and I really wanted to tell you all about it, because it makes such a great gift for little one’s and Florence absolutely loves it. The Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike […]

We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

Not so long ago, I told you all about our plans to transform our garden from a drab and swampy mess into a toddler friendly play space for Florence to take advantage of through the summer. While I have planters across the middle of the […]