Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Fingerpaint For Your Baby

Most finger paints are not meant for little ones, but they want to explore textures too!  So next time you need an art activity for your baby try these ideas.  Babies can do this directly on their highchair tray, the table in front of them, a cafeteria style tray, freezer paper or paper grocery bags work (you might need to tape it down for it to stay put).

For this recipe, all you need is flour, water and preferably a natural food coloring (Have you seen these?  Blue from blueberries, red from beets, etc.  Check them out at your local grocery store).  Pour one cup of flour into a bowl, slowly stir water into the flour until you have a mixture that feels like fingerpaint.  Add several drops of the coloring (as many as you'd like the color to be).  You can always separate into smaller bowls to make multiple colors.

Voila!  Safe finger paint for your baby.  Also, try an array of messy, spreadable foods!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Children's Playground Designs in England

Through my travels I always take pictures of interesting playgrounds and other kid friendly places.   Here are some highlights from our last trip to England.  I will have to also recommend the Princess Diana Playground in Hyde Park, London.   Although I didn't post all the pictures of my family enjoying themselves!

I am always amazed how other countries will offer what the US feels is unsafe.  Look at the kiddie splash pool in the one shot, no fence, just an wide open puddle!  Also, this trip, I found that a lot of playgrounds have added zip lines!  Imagine kids 'flying' through the air and jolted to a stop at the end.   Although we live in California, rarely have I seen sunshades at parks...and this is England where they don't get as much sun!  And finally, ah, every one of these playgrounds has a cafe.  A cafe!  Think, cup of tea, snacks for kids, right there where you are playing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What about Daddy?

It's so nice when dads can join the tum e time class, either by themselves or with their family.  Dad resources are growing, here are a couple recommended groups in the East Bay.

Jon Sarlin:  There are two groups, both free and informal.  One is for expecting dads and newborns, the other for 10 months and up.  Information can be found on Craigslist or you can call Jon at 510.595.4662.

Fathers Forum:  Bruce Linton, leads an on going Men's Group for Fathers group in Berkeley and a 2.5 hour "Becoming a Father Class" at Alta Bates.  For more information on these and other resources, you can go to or call Bruce at 510.644.0300.