It’s birthday time again

Not mine, that was a couple of days ago but that means it’s time for Miss K’s party planning to go into full swing.

She had her heart set on an afternoon at the local bike and road safety centre but that was fully booked so we settled on her second choice – a pool party! And not just any pool party, this Mum’s turning it into a mermaid pool party.

So keep an eye out over the next few weeks for my Mermaid party planning.

You can check out previous party posts here.

App for fun and learning

Dislaimer: I was provided with a subscription to Kidloland. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

It’s no big news that we’re a tech savy family. Both Miss K & Miss A have their own iPads and when it comes to apps for both girls I really like to try and mix educational and fun.

Obviously we have the usual young children favourites – Peppa Pig, ABC 4 Kids, YouTube for Kids (and endless loops of Hobby Kids TV *sigh*) but one we have been using a lot for the last few months has been KidloLand. It’s an app aimed at children 0-5 but slightly older kids might enjoy it too. Miss K (who is 6) enjoys helping Miss A (who is now 2) to play some of the games when she gets stuck so there is a wide skill range. At the time of writing there are over 800+ nursery rhymes, songs, stories, games and activities!

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The app is free and comes with a sample of each section and is enough to keep younger kids amused but as they age the subscription is really worth it as it gives you access to everything at once and all updates during your subscription. Each song contains fun graphics and interactive elements so they kids can interact with the songs instead of just staring at their screen. Everything is downloaded to the device so they can still use the app with no internet – an awesome bonus for travel! The downloads are small so you don’t have to worry about it filling up your device either. Have a kid who gets bored with apps easily? There are new updates monthly so there is always new content. We’re still finding new things each time we play.

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Miss A is a keen learner and is picking up things so quickly (especially from her big sister). By playing the games in Kidloland she has now started counting along and is often singing nursery rhymes to us. She prefers the games and puzzles but will often go back to the nursery rhymes when she wants to just listen to some music. It’s a great all round app that does offer a variety of learning in a fun environment.

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It’s available on iOS (KidloLand); Google Play Store (Nursery Rhymes For Kids) and Amazon Appstore (KidloLand)

The maker’s of Kidloland have kindly offered me 3 x 3 month subscriptions. If you’d be interested in checking it out, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A little ladybird who liked to eat

Food is a pretty big thing when it comes to kids’ parties, am I right? You have to do fairy bread, well in our family anyway – it’s no party unless there is fairy bread!

If you do a search for ladybird themed food on pinterest, there is a LOT of cupcakes. I found a cute little Wilton cupcake kit at Spotlight so used that but here is some cupcake inspiration…

Jen Fisher this just might be my desire for Sophia's 1st bday. A ladybug cake & a few cupcakes for the small ones :):  ladybugs:  Lady Bug Cupcakes:  Ladybug cupcakes.:  Cute Garden Critters bee ladybird spider caterpillar snail cupcakes:  Ladybug cupcakes on red velvet -- or red velvet chocolate chip for the spots?:

If you are feeling creative there are cake pops, dipped pretzels, dipped marshmallows, creative fruits and lots more….And how cute are the cheese!

Ladybird Cake Pops.: Ladybug Marshmallows.  The source includes lots of decorating ideas for a ladybug theme.:  Chocolate Strawberry Ladybugs!  For best results, use dark, milk or white Chocoley Drizzle & Design Chocolate. http://www.chocoley.com/list/drizzle-design-chocolate #strawberry #chocolate: Sweet & Simple Valentine’s Day Treats: Lovebugs on a Log #Hallmark #HallmarkIdeas:   Ladybug m's...use a food writer pen! (see link for blog for other ideas - cake pop instructions!): These cute little ladie bugs were made using apple slices and chocolate frosting.:  Ladybug Jello Fruit Cup. This is too cute.:  FOOD - idea for kids party:  Lady Bug Cheese made with those red wax covered mini cheeses and olives!!:

It’s all in the decorations

You can go as big or as simple as you like with decorations for any party. This year since we are having a small afternoon tea gathering we’re keeping it simple – balloons, some dangling things and lady bird themed table decorations. We found Discount Party Supplies to be our one stop shop for decorations and will use them for future decorating needs.

That’s not why you are here though, is it? You’re here to see what ideas I had looked at and ideas you could use for your own lady bird themed event…..

There’s banners & bunting

Hey, I found this really awesome Etsy listing at https://www.etsy.com/pt/listing/228441084/ladybug-garlandnursery-tassel:  Fabric Ladybug pennant banner bunting, ladybug birthday party, bedroom, playroom decor, photo prop:

and painted rocks (or golf balls!)

ladybird pebbles - cute idea to place a couple on the soil inside a flower pot!: 12 Cute Garden Ideas and Garden Decorations 2:

and even a balloon weight

Great idea for 1st birthday party https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/290289163/ladybird-party-decoration-balloon-weight:

or just go with a simple red and black theme.

Next time I’ll be back and sharing some food ideas.

Birthday gifts for the under 3s

This post originally appeared on From the Wolf’s Den. I’ve updated it to include gift ideas for children under 3.
Disclaimer – I’m not receiving anything for the products I link to. They are just ideas or products I personally own or sites I have bought from before.

My goodness, that has snuck up fast! Miss A will be one in a couple of months. I’m so not ready.

We’ll be doing lots of birthday prep sharing soon but today I wanted to share a list I’m working on that I thought might be useful for other mums of littlies – what to get a 1 year old

We’ll be asking guests to Miss A’s party to not buy toys this year. Now don’t get me wrong – toys are awesome but we have heaps. Boxes of toys that belonged to Miss K, most of which are still in great condition. Miss K and I will be sorting them soon into toys to keep for Miss A, toys that have sentimental value, teddy bears (cause you never get rid of teddy bears lol), toys to give to the needy (cause I really want to instil this in my girls each year before birthdays and Christmas but more on that another time) and stuff that can just get chucked out.

So what does one buy for a 1 year old that isn’t toys? With the help of the internet, mums in my birth group, friends and family, I’ve compiled this list of handy non toy suggestions for you.

  • Books. Kids can never have too many books. Write a little note inside to the recipient with the month & date.
  • Clothing. Check with the parents for size/season recommendations or if they have any preferences
  • Vouchers. Grab a voucher parents can use to buy baby goods – things like nappies & wipes. Boring but useful.
  • Memberships. If you have a zoo nearby grab a membership.
  • put some money in their saving account
  • A coin set (My mum has done this for Miss K – a set each year since she was born)
  • A dish/cup/spoon/fork set
  • a little something special for the mum & dad
  • Music CDs designed for little kids
  • DVDs for kids
  • Something my godmother did was to buy me a charm bracelet then a charm each year
  • Something personalised – towels, bowls, cups
  • An IOU for babysitting/day out with the little person
  • Adopt an animal on behalf of a child (eg. through WWF – yeah I know it comes with a toy but it’s sooo cute AND a good cause)
  • Have a toy made out of a special piece of baby clothing – like the onesie they came home in. Check out Beary Special Memories
  • Something knitted or crocheted. I can recommend the Beanie Bunch
  • Pram liners or car seat liners. I can recommend Max & I
  • Handmade bibs

Over to you. What non-toy gift would you give a 1 year old?

From the Wolf’s Den

As you may know I created another blog, From the Wolf’s Den, when we found out I was pregnant with Miss K. I used it blog while pregnant ad share baby news and share some reviews.

Anywho, I’ve decided to move it all over here and just concentrate on Nightwolf’s Den 🙂 So expect a little more parenting type stuff. I’m still keeping Nightwolf Scraps for my craft stuff and my YIAH blog

Just a head’s up. Now back to your regular programing :).

Sharing a magical moment with your little ones every evening

Disclaimer: The following post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior The Channel

Story time can bring horror to some parents or, if you are like my husband and I, it’s something you love doing. Reading to children from a young age is such a great way to introduce a love of books and reading and it’s also a wonderful bonding experience.

For both our girls, story time has been an important part of their bedtime ritual. Now Disney Junior is inviting parents and carers to settle down and share a magical moment with their little one every evening on Disney Junior around bedtime with Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time.

The Book of Once Upon A Time

Series two of this a locally-produced, interactive story-telling series hosted by Australian actor and playwright Kate Mulvany launched during Book Week (seriously one of my favourite weeks – I mean a WHOLE week. Dedicated to books. What’s not to love?) on Monday 24th August with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Later episodes will include new Disney stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Frozen”. I know the latter will be a popular inclusion in our household, especially for a young Frozen obsessed 5-year-old. The “Land of Once Upon A Time” lullaby follows each episode, encouraging children to prepare for bedtime. Children, Parents or carers can tune in for a story every day at 7:10pm on Disney Junior The Channel, or anytime on the website.

Kate Mulvany hosts The Book of Once Upon A Time

Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time brings classic storytelling to life, with traditional elements of story time – turning pages, character voices and re-enactment, and classic touches of animation that ignites the imagination. As a parent I aim to seek TV and online content that stimulates our children’s imagination. Parental expectations around ‘educational’ content have broadened from a focus on academic learning to also include social skills, moral values, motor skills, good basic habits and creative thinking. Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming, blends Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early language and maths skills, as well as healthy lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.

So what does our 5 year old think?
“I love it and it’s the best story ever.” Then asked if we could watch more and if we could download the Disney Story Central app so I’ll take that as it’s pretty good.

Disney Junior The Channel is where magical storytelling comes to life! Available in all Foxtel subscribing homes; channel 709. If you don’t have Foxtel, you can access Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time online on your laptop, PC, tablet or mobile at any time.
The Book of Once Upon A Time features Disney stories that are available as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available to download from iTunes

and she turned into a beautiful butterfly

Like that our baby is one!

We had an awesome day and Miss A was totally spoiled.

Mum & Dad decorated their house

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and there was loads of food

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and cake

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and of course our gorgeous little caterpillar

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who was spoiled and got lots of new goodies including this

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Now onto planning the next birthday (which is February for Miss K’s 6th!)