Posted on 1 Comment

Happy Explorers Activity Box

I’ve always been tempted by the lure of activity boxes for kids, so when  Julie and Lisa from Happy Explorers asked if they could send me one of their feelings boxes, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Happy Explorers is a brand new activity box and is aimed at children aged between 3-6. The whole design is based around the early years framework (Julie is an experienced prep teacher) so as parents, we can be rest assured that the activities are both fun and educational.

As a teacher mum myself, I could immediately see the benefits of buying the box. With my ‘teacher’ hat on, I knew that it would be carefully planned by experts. With my ‘mum’ hat on, I felt confident that I would be doing fun and engaging activities that would also help the kiddos learning.

The box was kindly gifted for the purposes of this review, however the post isn’t sponsored. 

Initial Impressions:

Our feelings box arrived just in time for the weekend – I don’t know about you, but weekends can sometimes leave me desperate for some structured activities! The box itself was beautifully presented and both kids were excited to open it. You can visit my YouTube channel to view the full unboxing.

happy explorers
Our Happy Explorers box arrived in a beautifully presented box on Friday afternoon.

The presentation was spot on: each activity was packaged separately with its own prompt card, but there also wasn’t an insane amount of plastics that needed recycling either – win! With the exception of glue, you don’t need any extra resources to complete the activities as everything is included. In total, there were 6 different activities to try under 3 main categories (explore, create and communicate), which we’ll go through in more detail below.

happy explorers box
Here’s a closer look at what is inside the Happy Explorers feelings box.

It was apparent right away that the resources included were of good quality and carefully selected, however the items that I was really drawn to were the prompt cards. I absolutely loved the fact that the guesswork was taken away and I didn’t have to think of questions or activities that related to the resources.  As you can see from the photo, the cards are beautifully designed without a complete overwhelm of information:

prompt cards

The Happy Explorers box is broken up into 3 main categories: Explore, Communicate and Create.

1. Playdough Faces:

faces 1
Who is fed up and who is shocked?

Whilst Harrison is a little older than the core demographic, we had a fun playdough session after school. First we chatted about different emotions using the prompts as a guide . I asked questions like: ‘How do you feel on your birthday,’ ‘How do you feel when you’re sick?’ ‘What makes you confused’ and ‘What makes you frustrated?’

It was actually really interesting because I tend to assume I know what makes Harrison happy/sad/angry/confused etc, but we’ve rarely really discussed it together. The activity prompted us to open up a dialogue about our feelings – something which is vital for a good relationship.

Materials included: 2 colours of playdough, mini wooden sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, create prompt card. 

 

2. Paper-plate Masks

faces 2
Which face is angry and which is confused?

We decided to use the paper-plates to make mini puppet faces so that we could act out our emotions. We chose different scenarios that might make our puppets feel happy, sad, confused, fed up and angry. This was a really safe way of talking about emotions that can sometimes seem confronting. Harrison isn’t one to share his feelings all that often, so the role play helped him to open up.

Depending on the age of your own child, you could also try putting the opposite feeling on the reverse of the plate. We used confused/ confident and angry/ joyful as our opposite feelings.

Materials included: 2 mini paper-plates, shape stickers, paddle pop sticks, googly eye stickers ( we also used some of the materials left from the playdough activity)

 

3. Hippo is Happy

hippo is happy
I love it when Harrison is able to share a story with Zoey – one of the benefits of a 7 year age gap! This kind of shared story benefits both children.

We read Hippo is Happy to Zoey for story-time several times! She loved the vibrant illustrations and the cute animals.  At the age of 20 months, she’s just starting to understand the concept of happy and sad. Whilst she’s a little too young to discuss the story, she can on a very basic level share when she is sad and the book helped her to explore those feelings further.

For older readers, I thought the prompt card was a brilliant way to discuss the story. Comprehension is such an important part of reading and the card definitely takes the guesswork out of the process.

Materials included: book, communicate prompt card.

 

4. Finger Puppets 

This is such a great resource! Not only for exploring feelings, but to take a look at family members too ( grandma, grandpa, mum, dad, brother and sister are included). As mentioned above, drama and role play are really important ways of conveying feelings and big emotions in a non-confronting way.

Harrison and Zoey both made a beeline for the finger puppets.With this activity, I just sat back and watched them play rather than get involved too heavily. However a prompt card is included if your mini one needs a little nod in the right direction.

Materials included: 6 finger puppets, explore prompt card. 

 

5. Feelings Hunt 

feelings hunt
A big thumbs up for this resource – you could even try a ‘guess the emotions’ game by covering up the words first.

Do you ever struggle for cafe friendly activities? I thought the Feelings Hunt card would be good entertainment whilst out and about. Although I guess a conversation would need to be had about being discreet first! With the school holidays fast approaching, we intend to take the feelings card out with us so that we can continue our conversations about emotions.

Materials included: laminated feelings hunt card. 

 

6. Happiness Notebook 

happiness notebook

Last up is the mini happiness notebook. I’ve seen a lot of posts about ‘100 Days of Happiness’ recently, so this little book would be perfect for noting down or drawing feelings. Harrison is actually pretty obsessed with writing journals (thanks in part to Diary of a Wimpy Kid!) so he will make good use of the notebook.

Materials included: communicate prompt card, small notebook. 

 

In Summary…

What we loved about the Happy Explorers Feelings Box was the nudge towards having some quality together time whilst being creative. As Harrison’s sister is almost 7 years younger than him, it often gets difficult to spend real time as ‘just us’ so the activities we did together felt special.

The box meant we both learnt new things about one another – like what makes the other person fed up, shocked, happy or sad. It made me realise that I don’t always know exactly what triggers Harrison’s emotions and as he grows older, it becomes increasingly more important to have that open dialogue.

I would wholeheartedly recommend ordering a Happy Explorers box – even if your child is slightly outside the suggested age group. It’s a brilliant way to have some side by side creative bonding time with some core early years skills thrown in!

 

Ways to use the Happy Explorers box: 

When I started to really think about it, there are just so many ways to use the Happy Explorers box. Here’s just a few that would get me ordering:

  •  We travel a lot and I thought the box would be ideal for road trips. Even if your days are busy, chances are you’ll have afternoons/ evenings where you’ll want to entertain the kids. The fact that everything is included takes the stress out of packing.
  • We tend to do so many crafts during the school holidays – the box would be a great way of exploring a particular theme without having to come up with activities.
  • The box would be fantastic for rainy days (whether that be actual rain or a sick day!) when leaving the house is difficult.
  • If you’re in part-time work and need ideas or themes to explore on the days you have the kids at home.
  • If you’re a grandparent and the kids are coming to stay for the weekend!

 

The Happy Explorers box retails at $39.95 and postage is free Australia-wide. You can buy a box here 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Kids activities for when you don’t feel like adulting…

Here’s a quick guide to how we cope on sick days. This was a post I was going to write last week, but ironically I was feeling too ill to write it! It’s been a pretty rubbish few weeks in the Thomas household: first I was hit by a yucky virus, then the boy ended up in hospital with breathing difficulties. All of this meant that our usual schedule of days packed with process art, long walks, trips to the zoo and detailed play set ups went by the wayside.

Admittedly, it’s not been an easy few weeks. All I’ve honestly wanted to do is veg on the sofa whilst binge watching season 7 of Game of Thrones, but that just isn’t possible with a busy toddler by my side. As for the 8 year old, all he’s really wanted to do is watch Stampy Cat and iBallistic Squid videos on repeat which is enough to drive anyone insane. So whilst most of these activities are targeted at toddlers and preschoolers (who are more likely to be with you when you’re sick, a lot will work for big kids too!)

Whether you’ve got winter blues, flu or even morning sickness, here’s a few activities that have worked for us over the last few weeks. Although as a big fat disclaimer here, we do watch our fair share of Disney Pixar movies on sick days – I would hate to pretend otherwise!

Here are 10 activities you can try with the kiddos whilst you (or they) are sick, along with some sneaky educational skills that will take minimal effort on your part. That’s what I call a parenting win!

 

Small World Play

farm
Our old trusty favourite!

On a weekly basis, we change up our small world scenarios but on sick days we like to keep it simple. There’s probably nothing better than getting out the trusty Fisher Price Little People play sets. Zoey’s had hers for almost a year now and it’s still a firm favourite whenever we play with it.

This beautiful fairy grass from Little Sprout is another big winner: all you really need to do is add in fairies or woodland creatures and you’ve got a gorgeous play set up all ready to go.

fairy grass.jpg
Not everything we do is made from scratch. This fairy grass came ready made with flowers and toadstools. Just perfect for minimal fuss days!

 

Sneaky skills: 

Small world play is an important part of the early years curriculum. Here are some of the skills your little one will learn whilst playing: language development, fine motor skills, development of imagination, problem solving, independent play and cause & effect.

Tea Party

picnic
Who would’ve though pouring tea would be so interesting?

We absolutely love a good tea party in our house – the best thing about them is the fact you can sit down too! The dollies and stuffed animals join in for a picnic on the rug – Zoey pours the tea using her super cheap Fisher Price talking teapot and we all have a merry time pretending to eat cake. Although i’m all for real cake too, particularly on sick days!

Sneaky Skills: 

However twee a tea party might sound, this type of role play is again hugely beneficial for toddlers. It’s a way of learning early mathematical skills (learning to share out food and count); language skills also make a reappearance here – I swear Zoey says please and thank you in the right context because of all the tea parties we have! Again, this is also another way of boosting imaginative skills, fine motor skills and cause & effect too.

 

Stickers

Pre-toddler, I never particularly saw the point in stickers but now I see their endless entertainment value. They’ve proven their worth in cafes, on long plane journeys and on sick days too. Zoey loves nothing better than peeling them off and sticking them (repeat x100) With older kids, try something cool like a sticker scene or even a mandala.

Sneaky Skills:

Occupational therapists swear by stickers – in fact,The OT Toolbox  love them!Benefits include: boosting fine motor skills and hand strength, developing creativity and coordination.

 

Crayoning

If your toddler is anything like Zoey, then you’re gonna need an art option: the girl cannot go through a day without using crayons or paints! In this instance, we use Micador wax crayons along with a huge pad of paper. We just set up on a mat in the lounge room and have fun doodling away. For the big kid, colouring books always go down a storm.

Sneaky Skills:

Fine motor skills (which will eventually lead to pencil grip), concentration, colour recognition and hand/eye coordination.

 

Felt

The inhabitants of Thomas Towers absolutely LOVE felt. Preferably, we make up our own activity, but on the days where we just cannot face creating  something new, we turn to our Tiger Tribe safari set. This is a really neat little box that is also ideal for travel and cafes too.

Sneaky skills:

In a similar vein to stickers, felt is great for boosting hand strength, fine motor skills, creative thinking and coordination. The feel of felt also adds a nice sensory element too and if you’re making your own from scratch, you can include scissor skills into the mix.

 

Blanket Forte

blanket forte

Our little homemade tent went down an absolute storm with both kids. All I did was gather together some wooden poles with string and attach a bed-sheet with pegs – okay it didn’t last as long as  the store bought versions, but it was fun to make and provided a nice excuse to snuggle!

Sneaky Skills: 

Problem solving is a certainty here! We took quite a while figuring out how to keep the tent stable. It’s also a great way to work on team building skills too.

 

Lego/ Duplo

duplo

We are major Lego fans here. We always buy sets as birthday/ Christmas presents and on special occasions too. I don’t mind saying that after Harrison had his stay in hospital, I felt he deserved a little bit of Lego as a pick-me-up. Not only is Lego just brilliant as an educational toy (fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, following instructions), we love that it can be played with in so many ways too.

Sneaky Skills:

Lego and Duplo are undoubtedly great for working that hand strength and fine motor skills. It also helps boost problem solving and mathematical skills too. Moreover, it’s a great way of learning to follow instructions along with a lot of creativity too!

 

Outside Time

beach rescue.jpg

Depending on the weather, getting outside might be the last thing you feel like doing on a sick day, but I’ve always found that it makes me feel much happier afterwards – even if it does just end up being a 5 minute respite.

The sandpit seems to have a certain appeal to both kiddos. Whilst the traditional bucket and spade option are always fun, we do like to mix it up with small world scenarios. Both kids worked in harmony (no easy feat with a 7 year age gap) to create this beach rescue scene recently. It took Harrison’s mind off being poorly and meant he got some fresh air without really realizing it!

Sneaky Skills 

This is basically another addition to the small world play options, but you can also add the benefits of being outside in the fresh air which will give your wellbeing a boost!

 

Magnets

I promise you this is not an advert for Tiger Tribe, but my goodness they do make some awesome occupiers! All of our sets were predominately bought for travel purposes, however they are also brilliant on sick days too. The compact nature of the sets means minimal mess for you – so big thumbs up for when you’re not at your parenting best! Much in the same vein as stickers, there’s something super appealing about the on/ off aspect for toddlers.

Don’t have a Tiger Tribe set? Traditional fridge magnets and a metal baking tray will work just as well.

Sneaky Skills:

Again, really similar to stickers and felt with regards to fine motor skills and hand strength development. Depending on which activity you choose, you might also be helping to boost language and numerical skills. The animal set we’re just in the picture below, is pretty much a compact version of small world play too!

 

Reading

birds

If your voice feels up to it, snuggling up on a comfy bed with a stash of your favourite books always works a treat – especially if you can team it up with the nap-time schedule. It makes a nice welcome break from the wackiness of kids television (personally the noise and colours drive me a little cray-cray, especially if i’m the one who is sick!)

Sneaky Skills:

Reading is without a doubt one of the best ways to boost language skills. Just the very act of reading and pointing out pictures is one of the best ways of helping your mini one to learn.

 

So that concludes our activity guide of things to do when you’re feeling like absolute rubbish. Don’t by any means feel guilty if you only want to watch films all day (we definitely do that too). This is just here for those times when you are slowly being driven insane by the mundanity of being sick. Got any other suggestions? Feel free to comment below!

 

 

Posted on 1 Comment

Travel with Kids

When you tell people you travel often with your children, it tends to provoke strong reactions. From the journey itself to fighting siblings and just the general amount of STUFF you have to pack, it can be a pretty daunting experience.

I can’t say that I’m a travel expert by any means, but as a family, we take a lot of flights. Through trial and error we have figured out what works best for us. So along with the help of some lovely Instagram friends, here is the Teach Investigate Play guide to travelling with kids. From the initial planning stages to the holiday itself, here’s everything  you need to know:

Do your research:

For now, unfortunately, your days of lounging poolside are well and truly over! Use Trip Advisor and pick locations based on how kid friendly they are. Trust me when I say, a luxury resort in the middle of nowhere just doesn’t work (for now!)

Our recent trip to Uluru and Alice Springs was the perfect family mix of adventure, discovery, learning and relaxation – we even got to ride Milo the camel, which was a memorable experience for sure!


Air BnB it:

Now it’s fair to say that some Air BnB properties are better than others, but 95% of the time, we’ve had a great experience. One of the major benefits of course is having a home away from home. Washing machines mean less packing and having a kitchen means avoiding stressful restaurant experiences.

On our latest trip to Alice Springs, we chose a property with a pool so we could cool off after hot mornings​ doing touristy things.


Time your flights:

OK so on long haul flights, this goes out of the window, but where you can, try and coordinate flights with naps or sleeps. In theory, this will make your life on board the plane a million times easier. This is very much an ‘IN THEORY’ piece of advice – a Qantas air hostess once told us that babies often fall asleep during landing!

Soon we will embark on Zoey’s first long haul flight. We have booked the first flight for 11pm, so we are hoping for a peaceful journey. I will report back with how that goes!

zoey plane
Wide awake on our flight to Sydney!


Prep first time travellers:

Flying for the first time is a huge deal, especially for little ones. There are plenty of ways that you can prepare for air travel, from reading books to creating an airport role play.

Whether you have a mini or junior traveller, one of the best things I think you can do is prepare them for journeys by reading. Now the type of book will depend on the age of the child in question: for Zoey who is 18 months, we have used one of the Usborne classics ‘That’s Not my Plane.’

plane thats not my.jpg

For pre-schoolers or those just learning to read, you can’t really go wrong with ‘Going on a Plane’ which is part of the Biff, Chip and Kipper Oxford Reading Tree series. In fact, we read this with Harrison when he was 5, ahead of our big trip over to Australia (and incidentally, the first time he’d ever been on a plane!)

An amazing book selection from @mygirlsmake on Instagram

The airport small world shown below helps mini travellers understand the airport processes. I’ve seen some great examples of role play online too. Both of these types of play will make the whole travel situation less daunting, especially if they already know what to expect at check in, security and even take off and landing (aeroplane seat belts are one of Zoey’s least favourite things!)

airport play
This airport small world was just drawn with chalk and took minutes to set up! 

 

Turn travel into a learning point:

Now that Harrison is 8 and a complete pro at flying, we have moved onto atlases and maps to study where we are going. We will look at the destination city or country to find out facts. We also like to calculate how long the journey will be so that he is prepared.

atlas.jpg

‘Lots’ is fast becoming one of our favourite travel books, so many interesting facts and the illustrations are just gorgeous! Others to look out for are: The Atlas of  Animal Adventures, Wonder Garden, The Map Colouring Book and Mini Adventures. In fact, I feel inspired to write a whole new blog post! 

Lots by Marc Martin is a great read for little explorers


Prepare Activities in advance:

Whether you create handmade resources, or take a range of activity books, the key is variety at an age-appropriate level. In the past, we have bought travel activity pads only to find that they are far too difficult. The result, complete disengagement!

Jacinth from Our Little Playnest  makes fantastic resources for her kids. Here’s a sample from her travel bag:

prepare.jpg

 

Pack Together:

The family that packs together, stays together… or something like that! I would never pack Harrison’s carry- on bag myself, nor would I allow him to pack entirely on his own (I tried that once and he came out with the entire contents of his room!)

Pictured is what we have packed for our latest trip. Note we’ve succumbed to the fidget cube trend. We have a good mix of games, toys, books and activities. Not pictured is his Nintendo 3DS which is a complete lifesaver on long haul flights or the spare clothes – ALWAYS pack spare clothes!

harrisons bag
We have a bit of a Pokemon fan!

Now Zoey is a lot harder to pack with, mainly because she can’t talk properly yet, but we give it a good go. Everything goes in, then gets flung out again but eventually we come to an understanding. In most cases, no matter how much I actually pack for Zoey, she is invariably more interested​ in the flight safety manual so let’s hope i’ve got this all right for our long haul!

zoey suitcase
Small World play on the go!


Take snacks: 

If you’re able, pack some food for the journey. My nutritionist friend Liz from Well Nourished Club, swears by organic pouches for pure ease. Also top of her list are homemade flapjacks and the humble banana – see it doesn’t need to be complicated! You can find more information on her recipes here.

If you’re looking for lunch box ideas for the journey, please follow Nourish and Move over on Instagram. If you’re a parent just follow her anyway as I’m in complete awe of her kids lunches on a daily basis!

plane food


At the Airport:

Many airports have tuned into the fact that waiting around for hours can be a little dull. Changi airport has a butterfly garden and Sydney has a Qantas museum – I’m sure there’s more that we haven’t discovered yet!

It’s worth finding out what the airports offer beforehand (along with the opening times​) so you can occupy the kids during longer waits. We’ll be heading straight to the Butterfly Garden in Changi airport when we reach Singapore! 

Harrison loved seeing the old planes in Sydney


Airport Safety:

Now, I swore I would never buy what is essentially a dog lead for my child but here we are! Zoey is at that rather difficult stage where she wants to walk most of the time, but absolutely does not want to hold hands. I relented and bought one of the Little Life backpacks which has been a real game changer at airports.

safety zoey

I’m pretty sure that older kids would not appreciate being on a lead rein, so here’s a nifty idea from @hmklambert over on Instagram. These genuis duct tape safety wristbands contain key contact information. Even better was the fact the kids helped to make them so we’re completely aware of what they were for.


Invest in a baby carrier:

Whilst most airports do provide complimentary strollers, we just find carriers heaps easier. Our sporty ergo baby carrier has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion, especially if Zoey ends up fast asleep as we’re due to leave the plane (which is most of the time!) What’s more, they’re also fabulous for exploring new places – we couldn’t have done most of our Uluru trip with a stroller.

If you don’t have one already and are now thinking of buying a carrier, it pays to do your research first. I’ve got a fair few slings, wraps and carriers, but we only tend to get on well with the Ergo Baby.  A good place to start is at your local ‘Sling Library’ where you can loan out different types of carriers to try.

Fast asleep at Alice Springs airport!

 

Pack homework for school aged learners:

Whilst I am a huge believer in learning through experiences, when we’re missing a lot of school, Harrison will complete daily homework tasks.

Every evening, we get Harrison to write in his journal – this is literally just a sentence or two along with a picture! This task is really so he can look back in years to come at his own experiences.

travel homework

In terms of classwork missed, we have a discussion with the class teacher and then i’ll plan out what to take with us. If you aren’t a teacher and don’t feel confident, most class teachers would be happy to photocopy worksheets for you, providing you give them enough notice!

We usually work on a skill whilst we’re away – this is normally something that doesn’t require many resources. For example, learning to tell the time. Whilst I much prefer to use a ‘hands on’ approach to learning, these workbooks are just so much easier when we’re on the go.

harrison homework

 

On the plane:

This is where all the preparation and packing comes into its own.  Rotate the games, books and activities you have packed – whilst Harrison has his 3DS, he’s not allowed to play it for an entire flight.

What to do with a cranky toddler? I find that distraction techniques work best. Again, constantly rotate the toys/ games you have and even go for a walk. Get out a few key items before take-off so you’re not constantly reaching for the overhead locker!

What I have found from experience though, is to try and stay calm even during meltdowns. Toddlers are like predators: they sense your fear and meltdown even further if you get anxious. On Pinterest I’ve seen parents make little party favours for fellow passengers, but it’s not something we’ve  personally tried.

Distraction in the form of fuzzy felt!

 On the holiday:

We tend to find that you need to balance tourist attractions and down time. Don’t go expecting to pack everything in as you will all invariably end up cranky and miserable. This is where the research comes in again: what is on your must see list? How much time do people typically spend at a particular museum, place or attraction? 

We split up our days so that we’re busy in the morning visiting museums, parks or going on long walks, then we’ll chill at the pool after lunch. It’s a formula that works well for our family, but you need to go with whatever is best for yours. 

Exploring K Space at the Australian National Museum

Finally, have fun! 

Travel is an amazing experience and personally, I think it’s even better with kids. The journeys we’ve been on create memories to last a lifetime. So don’t worry about your toddler melting down on the plane or your 8 year old having car sickness, because in the end, they won’t be the defining moments of your trip!

The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs is our most memorable travel experience to date

Please comment below if you have any other words of wisdom for fellow parents. If you want to share to Pinterest, please link back to this website 🙂 

Posted on 1 Comment

May the Fourth Be With You! 

If you’re reading this on May 4th, Happy Star Wars Day! We simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate, especially since the seven year old is Star Wars crazy – so much so that I went completely overboard with his party theme last year!

Anyway, for those embracing the day with full abandon, here are 5 Star Wars activities to try with the kids.

1. Sith Slime 

Wicked fun and easy to make, this quick activity with a science element is perfect for a post- school activity.

All you need is:

  • 250g cornflour
  • 60ml shampoo
  • Purple or black food colouring
  • Glitter or stars
  • Star Wars characters
  • A plastic container or tray.

Method:

1. Measure out 250g cornflour

2. Add 60ml of shampoo and mix together

3. Slowly add some water

4. Mix again, lift the spoon out of the bowl to check. You will want it to be runny.

5. Finally add droplets of food colouring.

The science bit: 

The molecules of the starch react when mixed with water to give the slime its viscosity. So when you (gently) lift the slime, it will be runny like liquid. However, if you press the slime more firmly, it should feel solid.

Essentially, the experiment assists with learning around solids and liquids. Depending on the age of your child, you can introduce this scientific vocabulary to them.

2. Ice Escape! 

Getting fully involved with the latest experiment

Ok so remember with Darth Vader freezes Luke Skywalker in Carbonite? This experiment is losely based on that.

We froze several of our Lego Star Wars characters in an ice-cube tray (alas our Luke was nowhere to be seen!) and left overnight.

We then set about planning our experiment. We wanted to find out which Star Wars character could escape the quickest.

We placed them in 4 locations around the house and garden (heater, fridge, outside and window) then made predictions.

We monitored the characters over 10 minute intervals to find out their progress. Which location do you think proved the quickest for escape?

If you wanted to, you could get your child to put the final results into an ‘er’ sentence. For example, “The warmer the location, the quicker the escape.”

We placed the characters in small plastic containers around the house

3. Design your own spaceship

Make life easier with a Lego activity!

If you have more Lego than you know what to do with like us, challenge the kids to build a Star Wars spaceship.

We first did this activity at Harrison’s 7th birthday party and even made prizes for the winners. This is fantastic if you have some Master Builders in your midst. What’s more, it’s so simple – even if you’ve totally forgotten about Star Wars day, it’s an easy one to quickly set up.

4. Star Wars Small World 

We used red lentils for Jakku

This sensory experience is great for a range of ages- even Zoey joined in on this one!

Which planet you choose will determine the base of the sensory tray. We used flour, water and cornflour for the snowy habitat of Hoth. A few weeks later, we repurposed our ‘Red Centre’ small world to become Jakku.

To make this more educational, you could ask a range of questions:

Which countries/ habitats are the Star Wars planets similar too? 

Which Earth animals do you think could survive here? 

Alternatively, just let the kids play. Small world activities are brilliant for language development!

Flour, cornflour and water was used to form Hoth.

5. Read a Book!

So many Star Wars books to read!

There’s a plethora of Star Wars books out there – trust me, I think we have them all! From the brilliant Jedi Academy series to Lego Star Wars encylopedias, there’s certainly going to be something that will appeal.
On a more serious note, it was the DK Star Wars books that first got Harrison really passionate about reading. Tapping into interests is just so important in the early years and we embraced his enthusiasm wholeheartedly. In the first instance we read to him but now he has moved on to the more advanced Jedi Academy.

I hope you will try some of the activities I’ve suggested. Please comment below if you do, or share any alternatives you may have! Below are some photographs from our Star Wars party last year: 

The incredible BB8 cake!
Jedi Academy
Guess who?
Bubble wands make great lightsabers