How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about a group activity that our daughter enjoys and has helped to build her confidence.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

Expressing themselves

Our daughter’s 7 and typically, she loves to dance and sing.  Very soon I’m sure she’ll be singing into a hairbrush.

For now, she loves to express herself by dancing and singing.  And so when she got a place in the cheerleading club at her school, I was really pleased.  She’d been asking to go, to join in with her friend.  And she loves it!

I even found some cheerleading pompoms in Poundland.  Of course, her eyes lit up when she saw them and off she went.

Age range

What I love about her little cheerleading group is that not everyone’s her age.  The group of around 15 range from 6-11 years old I think.

There’s a boy from her class who joins in just as eagerly as the rest, and she’s always shattered afterwards so the teacher is clearly getting  a lot from them!

And it’s turned into a family affair.  Oh yes, one rainy Saturday, we were all up on our feet waving pom-poms around and strutting our stuff to the cheerleading moves!  I was shattered, I can tell you…

Seeing their confidence grow

A few weeks ago, they did a little performance for us which was lovely to see.  As with anything, we’ve been building her confidence by using encouraging words, by telling her well done and by playing music in the house which she generally sings and dances to.  Her confidence has been growing and growing.  It was great to see her performing to the songs with her friends.

Whichever way you look at it, this group activity is good for our daughter and though it doesn’t need to be cheerleading, an activity like this could be good for your child too…

And #IfShesHappyImHappy

  What group activities does/did your child do that helped their confidence grow?   Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks.

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Creating with a mosaic jewellery making kit ~ #BoredomBuster

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Show a little girl a jewellery-making kit and I’ll bet they’ll happily ‘make’ for hours.  (and little boys too, come to that!)  Our daughter loves making and using her imagination, like when she made pencil toppers and a Hello Kitty picture.  She gets absorbed into craft activities and it’s lovely to see.
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Predictably, that’s what happened with this mosaic jewellery-making kit that our little girl was given as a present.
She was making her own mosaic patterns for ages.
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First, she started off copying the patterns from the box, then her creative side kicked in!
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It’s a great little kit, as long as you organise yourself by:
  • preparing the mixture and allowing a good 2 days for it to set within the jewellery mould.  (although atmosphere and environment have a lot to do with this!)
  • preparing yourself to break off what seems like millions of tiny little mosaic squares from the frames.  It’s not millions at all I’m sure, but just be prepared because it feels like it!
Once you’ve got the prep out of the way, you can kick back and watch your little one creating to their heart’s content!  You really can, because (depending on their age), minimal supervision is required, just appropriate encouraging comments through out the  process!  Which, of course, I gave without hesitation!
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And here’s the (rather blurry) mosaic creation that she was very proud of… 🙂
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Have you ever made jewellery or something similar to this?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Why lego is good for imaginative play

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Our daughter loves lego!

And I can see why because I used to love lego too.  I never had any ‘fancy’ construction kits.  Just the standard pieces.  You know, in a variety of sizes and colours.

My favourite thing to do was to build schools and out of the remaining pieces, I would make families!  Our girl likes to role play schools too, not to mention when she got into the lego trading card craze!  I’ve got seriously happy memories of playing schools though, and whiled away many a happy hour in my lego world!

Our daughter does the same and it’s wonderful to see her imagination at work.  Lego is such an interesting concept isn’t it?  It can literally grow with your child:- from the chunky lego babies use to hone their fine motor skills, to the ‘themed’ packs which come with a picture of a princess castle or a car garage on the front.  To the packs which are literally just the bricks and basically tell our children to ‘get on with it’.  And they do!

They construct stairs and towers and robots and houses.

And gardens…

Here’s a short vlog to show what she thinks you could put in a garden…

Obvious really! 😉

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The imagination knows no bounds and lego is a great way to feed this.

It never seems to fail to encourage me as an adult to ‘let it go’ either; there are still occasions when our little girl will ask me to play lego with her.  I get down on the floor with her and let my imagination take me where it chooses to go.  Whether that’s back to school by way of role play or simply by building a tower.

Lego can be very relaxing and therapeutic… until you stand on a piece!

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Have you got fond lego memories?  Do you play lego with your child?  What’s the best thing you’ve made?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Our Jam Packed movie adventure ~ #BoredomBuster Review

 

When this box came through the letterbox, I was very excited…

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I had been expecting my Jam Packed Craft movie adventure box… well strictly speaking it was for our little girl but I was looking forward to joining in too.

I immediately loved the colourful outer layer and it caught our daughter’s eye too.  She wanted to know what was inside and so did I!

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Containing everything we needed to make a home-made movie adventure, the box really and truly was jam packed with craft supplies!  That said, as the activity went on, I was really impressed with how little waste there was and that we had to use the box itself.  What a great idea!

Inside we found:

chalks for the clapper board (I think that’s what it’s called…!)

crayons for decorating the stage, curtains and audience

paint for the ‘stage’ (though our little girl preferred to colour it in and decorate it with the glittery star stickers supplied)

glue, a template for the ‘screen’, a film strip and even… get this

POPCORN!  Yes, really!

So there really was everything we needed.

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First she coloured in the curtain surround

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Then she created the film strip and couldn’t decide on Sleeping Beauty or Jack and the Beanstalk…

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There was the popcorn preparation

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…which intrigued our daughter because she had never heard popcorn popping in a microwave before.  We all tucked in to what was delicious popcorn!  Seriously, it’s one of the best I’ve ever tasted (5 stars here!).  And left a handful for the audience!

Next came the all important audience and setting the scene

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Before the show itself… (see below for the vlog!) #Exciting!

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This activity took the best part of an afternoon to create, which was just the right amount of time.  There were full instructions which were a little tricky to follow at the beginning with cutting the template out.  But really, our daughter had little input from me.  Then she was off creating!

Jam Packed Craft boxes are  ‘little boxes bursting with big ideas’ and this was certainly bursting – full to the brim!  I loved that this was a fresh idea for an activity.  There are adventure boxes and mini kits available.  I love the Fairy Door and bracelet mini kits – I know our daughter would too!

I for one have never seen anything quite like it before and that makes the adventure boxes worth the retail price of £12 (if this box is anything to go by) because you don’t have to add anything to the box at all.  Just imagination and perhaps a nice cuppa to go with the popcorn! 🙂

We had so much fun and it was great for bonding.  Although our daughter was quite happy to be left to her own devices for the colouring and sticking parts.

The creation is currently on her desk because she’s so proud of it and she even cut her first very short vlog (possibly the shortest vlog in the history of vlogs!… but it’s a good one!)

She’s clearly a star in the making because when she had cut that one, she vlogged another (including an alternative version of ‘Fe Fi Fo Fum’.  And we’ll just skirt around me forgetting the storyline!.. 🙂

From our experience, I’d highly recommend Jam Packed Craft boxes for those boredom buster moments, or any moment in fact!

You can follow Jam Packed Craft on social media to keep up to date with their products and to get some inspiration:

Visit their website and follow them on instagram, facebook and twitter.

 

*This is a review post but all opinions are my own.

 

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How to adapt learning to the changing seasons ~ #BoredomBuster

As the seasons change, it can be quite difficult to get our daughter outside.  The lure of the kitchen table to do seasonal crafts, the lure of the screens, the lure of the snuggles on the sofa!  And why not?  All of these are great ways to spend your time.

But here at VirtuallyAllSorts, we’ve been adapting our learning to the seasons!

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At the present time, our daughter loves role playing (among other things), particularly schools.

Since moving house, we haven’t had the chance to do much to pretty up our garden.  It’s quite a small garden but it has potential.

Potential for exploring, for using imagination, for building insect hotels!

Due to its size, we do have to think outside the box.

It’s all concrete and there’s no room for a swing.  Despite this, we have prettied part of it up successfully by painting a wall all different colours.

When our girl says she wants to play in the garden, she often says she’s bored out there.  So despite the obvious change of seasons, we recently popped her easel outside.  She can think outside of the box and so can we!

It’s perfect for her to role play her schools, as you can see.  All she needed was her coat and she was happy as anything for ages 🙂

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And a happy little girl makes for happy parents!

 

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What do you do to think outside of the box when it comes to space – inside and out?  Have you got any other suggestions for a boredom buster?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to make pencil toppers ~ #BoredomBuster activity

When our little girl was given a ‘Go Create’ animal puppets craft activity pack, she couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The picture on the outside was for puppet but imagination knows no bounds with our daughter and she often thinks outside the box.

She set-to, asking for gloopy glue (eeek!).  When I offered to help with the glue, I was shunned!

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I don’t mind mess, in fact I love when we get the crafting paraphernalia out but ‘gloopy’ glue…  Would pritt stick do? NO, it had to be the messy version.  The one that always dries round the nozzle between sessions, is a nightmare to declog before a new session can start and takes ages to dry!

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Despite my trepidation, I did as I was told and kept out of the way.

The end result were ‘pencil toppers’ and they’re not too shabby!

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So, readers, that is how you come to make pencil toppers! 🙂
What do you think?  Do you fancy having a go yourself?  Have you made anything similar?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

All that glitters ~ a boredom buster activity

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As with the average household with children, it’s not uncommon to come across a creation by our little girl, you might call it a boredom buster activity.  But the twist here is that she hadn’t actually uttered the words, “I’m boooored!”…

The creation can be anything from a Hello Kitty collage, to a present for Father Christmas or an insect hotel!

There are no limits to our daughter’s imagination it seems.  So when I was politely summonsed to see her latest Tate Modern-inspired offering, this is what I saw.

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This is the cushion on top of a footstool, in case you were wondering…

 

I was reluctant to clear it up to be honest.  When the light caught the sequins, it was so pretty (the picture really doesn’t do it justice!)

I feel sure that very soon our daughter will be able to open her own art gallery.  And when she does, entry is bound to be by donation to her choice of animal charity and/or to give a seagull a bed!

Joking aside, hubby and I are both passionate about giving our little girl the space (physically and mentally) that she needs to express herself.  Be it by writing or art creations 🙂

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How about your child?  Do they like creating?  Perhaps they could collaborate with our little girl?! 😉  I’d love to hear about it!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to make the ‘purrfect’ Hello Kitty creation!

 How to make hello kitty kids activities crafts imagination create boredom buster

 

When we moved house, our little girl personalised her new bedroom which included putting her own special touch to her bedroom door.

We encouraged it at our old house and are doing the same at our new house.

It all helped to settle her into her new surroundings and made the transition of a house move smoother.

As is often the case, she busied herself one day with her crafts.  They are all stashed under her desk for ease of access.

She has always had ready access to all things pens, pencils, paper, craftiness and this has shown in her phonics and literacy.

So she busied herself one day and the end result was this lovely Hello Kitty picture.  I love how she’s included texture for the whiskers.

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Just purrfect! 😉

What do you think?  How do you encourage your child to be crafty and use their imagination?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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The World of Sylvanian Families Toys

Like most little girls, our 6 year old loves to play with princesses, dolls, ponies, castles and to dress-up.  But she has found a new love…  Alongside her other go-to toys, she is now enjoying collecting various Sylvanian Familes toys.

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Having never really come across them in real-life before, it was nice to see how well made they are.  Right down to the tiny little accessories in the Campervan for example. They are a good quality toy; one that our little girl really enjoys interacting with.

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Whenever she plays with her ‘Famililes’, within minutes she is always chatting to them, role-playing with them, stepping into their quaint little world.  She loves them and is also a member of the fan club which sends her regular updates by email as well as post, and also a birthday card 🙂

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It’s lovely to see and even nicer to know that these toys will stand the test of time; both in terms of wear and tear and also in terms of being treasured.  When the latest fad is over with, she always turns to her Sylvanian Familes.

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*This is not a sponsored post ~ I simply wanted to share how impressed I am with these toys.  However, please note that this post contains an affiliate link which means that if you happen to purchase something from the link you click, I get to have a little happiness too! 🙂

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What’s your child’s favourite go-to toy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂 

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Blue Planet Tales interactive stories app for children ~ giveaway

Hello and welcome to an interactive giveaway!  Yes, you can win 1 of 20 promo codes to use at Blue Planet Tales app store on ‘The Secret of the Pyramid’.  How exciting is that?!

So, who are Blue Planet Tales? Well, they’ve created an educational app for tablets with stories based in history and real life events for 3-9 year olds. With 17 stories to choose from, including ‘The Secret of the Pyramid’, it may be difficult to choose just 1!  But with the affordable prices, your choice is that much easier.

The range includes the following titles and as you can see, there is something there for children of all ages:

-The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

-The Boy Who Wanted to be a King (about the footballer Leo Messi’s life)

-The Secret of the Pyramid

-Davy Crockett

-The Bird Migration

-Laika the Little Astronaut Dog

-The Race to the South Pole

-The Discovery of America

With ‘The Secret of the Pyramid’ I found that I learnt a thing or 2, along with Our Little Bear.

giveaway Blue Planet Tales interactive stories for children education learning app history parenting The secret of the Pyramids 6There are 3 options for the re-telling of the story: The ‘read it to me’ and ‘autoplay’ options moved at just the right pace for our bear, with the accompanying simple illustrations helping to bring the story to life.

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The interactive questions peppered throughout the story were a little difficult for our bear at 5 years old and she needed prompting (and it tested my grey matter!) but she still engaged with the stories.  The score-keeper on the home-page is a nice touch and is good for ‘keeping tabs’ on your progress.

Another good feature is the ‘category’ drop down menu on the homepage, enabling you to browse stories by genre.

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I can see this interactive library being an app that we dip in and out of with our little bear on rainy days.  It’s a great little tool to explore topics that we wouldn’t perhaps have considered without the app.

You can find Blue Planet Tales at: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, You Tube and also take a lot at their website
Go and say hello! 🙂
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Now, onto how you can win 1 of 20 promo vouchers for The Secret of the Pyramid!  Just enter by using the rafflecopter (below).  The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 23rd June 2015. Good luck to you 😉

Disclaimer: I received these promotional codes to give away on my blog but all opinions are my own.

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