New Look Website Coming Soon

New look website coming to Learning4kids
Yes, it is time for change and I am bursting with excitement to share our new look website with you!  The image above is a little sneak peek until the new website is finished……it is so close!
I have been running my little hobby Learning4kids now for nearly 3 years and thought it was time for a fresh new look.  Everything will stay the same and I will be continuing to share lots of fun activities for learning through play.
But with a new design will also bring a new online shop!!  Yep, that’s right; there will be a new online shop available to readers providing educational toys, resources, art and craft supplies.  Many of our readers have written in asking where I have got some of the items in my posts, these will now be available to our readers if they would like this option. The new online shop will only be a small part of the new website as I absolutely love what I currently do and will be continuing to do the same.
I apologise for not being present the last few weeks and the up coming next week as I am working hard on getting the new website up and running.  We have so many exciting things to share with you once the new website is finished so don’t go anywhere……I am still here and will be back shortly with a new look website!!  
If you would like to stay informed and up to date with what is happening, here are a few options for you:
Subscribe by email: <HERE>
Follow us on Facebook: <HERE>
Follow us on Pinterest: <HERE>
Before I click publish on this post, I would also like to thank every single one of you who comes to Learning4kids. Some of you have been here right from the beginning and still continue to support me.  Each and every one of you are amazing!   So a huge thankyou from the bottom of my heart and I look forward to sharing the new chapter of Learning4kids with you!  I have a dream and I can’t wait to share it with you!!
I would also like to acknowledge some very special people to me who have been a rock of support through this process.  I am forever grateful to these beautiful people who all have been so incredible in helping me bring this new look website and my long time dreams to life.  This was no simple process with other unnecessary complications but a  huge thank you to T’Anne, Ash, Pete, Sam and Rob.  Thank you to my beautiful friends and work colleagues.  My husband, wow, you are the reason this is coming to life, thank you!  And my three  beautiful blessings, my children, thank you for understanding why Mum has been a little busier lately than normal.  I love you all so much and I feel so blessed to have you in my world. 
Learning 4 kids

Busy Basket of Activities for Road Trips

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang and NRMA Insurance
Busy Basket of Activities for Road Trips
Road trips with the family are a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together and create long-lasting memories.  However, for children, sitting in a car for long periods of time can create boredom and irritability, leading to unwanted distractions for the driver.
Keeping children busy and entertained on long road trips reduces distractions for the driver and makes getting from A to B a lot safer. 
‘Busy Baskets’ full of activities for kids to do on family road trips is a great way to entertain them and reduce these distractions, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road when driving.
The Busy Basket and taking regular breaks is also a great way to take the kids mind off ‘are we there yet?’.
Busy Basket of Fun
Busy Basket of Activities for Kids on a Road Trip
When considering the items to place into our Busy Basket, I wanted to have games and activities that did not include lots of small parts that could get lost easily in the car.  I also wanted to include items that my children are interested in, including some of their favourite toys and books.
Plastic zip lock bags are great for storing and organising different items, games and toys separately and for easy access our Busy Basket sits on the middle seat between two booster seats.
What you will find in our Busy Basket:
  • Colouring in books.
  • Threading cardboard shapes with rope.
  • Card Games – Go Fish and Snap.
  • Tin of pencils, crayons and textures
  • Stickers – Make pictures out of stickers.
  • Blank Notebooks – writing, drawing, Noughts and Crosses, and placing stickers on.
  • Finger Puppets – make up stories.
  • Several favourite children’s books.
  • Kaleidoscope (favourite toy).
We also placed a homemade activity into our Busy Basket, Threading Felt Squares.  This is a fabulous quiet and educational activity that will entertain children and is super easy to make!
Threading Felt Squares
Threading Felt Squares
Threading Felt Squares is a fine motor activity that requires concentration as you thread the button on the end of a ribbon through the centre of a hole on felt squares.  Children can explore colours, make patterns and count as they thread the felt squares onto the ribbon.
Some More Busy Ideas for Kids
Road Trip Activities
  • Etcha-sketch or Magna Doodle for drawing.
  • Felt Board activities.
  • Magnets on a baking tray.
  • Play Simon Says or Eye Spy.
  • Play Spot – spotting objects such as cars a certain colour.
  • Sing Songs or listen to Adio Books
  • Puzzles
  • Take a map or atlas that your older kids can use and follow along the journey.
  • Take photos
An Important Message
Driving with little ones in the back seat can be distracting for drivers at times but one of the biggest distractions on our roads today are our mobile phones and texting while driving.  This video is a good reminder of how a few seconds of taking our eyes off the road to read a text message can quickly and easily end in an accident.  If we need to use our mobile phones, we should pull over in a safe place. If we’re about to drive, we place our mobile phone in the boot of the car or back seat where we cannot reach it while driving.
NRMA Insurance’s virtual Crashed Car Showroom is an online experience that people can enjoy and learn more about car safety.  There are some really interesting videos and features to try out.
Be sure to check out the Safety Hub on NRMA Insurance’s website where you can find lots of useful information such as finding out the safety rating of your car and what questions to ask when buying a car.
How do you keep distractions to a minimal when you’re driving?  I would love to hear your ideas!!
Learning 4 kids

Sorting & Matching Colours

Fine Motor and Colour Activity
This Sorting and Matching Activity involves matching the small coloured elastic bands (loom bands) and placing them over the matching coloured push pins that have been placed onto a cork board. 
It is a great activity to develop fine motor control, coordination, concentration and learning about colours. 
Sorting and Matching Colours is simple to set up and will arouse any child’s curiosity to play and have fun.
*Please remember safety when using push pins.  If your child is not ready to be putting the push pins into the cork board by themselves, complete this part first before giving your child the activity to complete.*
What you will need?
Invitation to play with push pins and elastics bands for fine motor
To set up this invitation to play, you will need a cork board, variety of coloured push pins and coloured elastic bands.  I have used loom bands for this activity because this is something that my older children love doing at the moment and we have lots of them in different colours.  I think large elastic bands would work just the same or could alternatively be placed handing on the cork board over the push pins.
If you do not have a cork board, play dough would make a great alternative for this activity.
Let’s Play
Matching Colours Activity Idea
We only had a limited number of coloured push pins for our activity and decided to add the clear coloured push pin.  We made the clear push pin for orange elastic bands which added an extra challenge.  
Some ideas:
  • Match the coloured elastic bands to the same coloured push pins.
  • Talk about the colours and spot items in the room that are the same colour.
  • With larger elastic bands you could stretch the bands to reach and match up all the coloured push pins together.
Let’s Learn
Simple to set up Fine Motor Activity Ideas
Learning Opportunities
  • Fine motor control
  • Hand and eye coordination
  • Concentration and problem solving
  • Determination and perseverance to accomplish a task
  • Colours and patterns
  • Matching, sorting and classifying
  • Language development – Colour names
  • Problem solve and overcome challenge
For more Colour Activities and Ideas <CLICK HERE>
Sorting Colours with Cardboard Rolls 1

Alphabet Activities – Letter ‘B’ Activities

5 Letter Bb Activities
 Bb is for Buttons, Brown Bear, Blue, and Bubble wrap!
The aim of these activities is to expose children to the letter Bb, identify what the letter Bb looks like and what sound it makes.  It is to provide an opportunity to talk about the letter, make connections with spoken language and real life experiences.
Learning the letter sound first and then the letter name are important for reading and writing development.
Play Dough Teddy Bears
Bb is for buttons, blue and bear
Roll, mould, press and create some fun characters with play dough and buttons using a teddy bear play dough mat.  Make a Play Dough Teddy Bear is an inviting activity for kids to explore their imagination and experiment with the tools provided and make some amazing creations.  It is an open-ended invitation to play that allows kids to explore freely with no expectations or right or wrong way of completing this activity.
Printable Teddy Bear Template
Button Match
Letter B Activities Button Match
Letter Puzzle and Match is a great activity for fine motor development, control and concentration.  It is also a great way to introduce the learning of the letter B.  This activity involves placing buttons (B for buttons) onto the circles inside the shape of the letter Bb. Children become familiar and begin recognise the shape of the letter Bb.  It is also a great opportunity to talk about how buttons start with Bb and the different letters, capital B or lower case b.
Printable Alphabet Letters A to Z Templates
Blue Bubble Wrap Printing Letter Bb
Learning the Letter Bb Activities
Bubble wrap painting with blue paint and gluing on buttons is a great activity to practice saying the ‘b’ sound out loud, say words that begin with that sound and also recognise what the letter Bb looks like.
To complete this activity, we printed off the Letter Bb Template, wrapped bubble wrap around the end of a soup spoon and placed a small blob of paint in a tray.  The bubble wrap on the soup spoon provided a handle to hold when printing with the bubble wrapped end of the spoon.  It doesn’t matter if the paint goes outside of the lines of the letter Bb because we later cut is out and glued it onto a sheet of card.  We then glued on a few colourful buttons.
Letter Bb Printable Template 
Mystery Bag Letter Sound Sort
Letter Bb Mystery Bag Sort
The Letter Bb Mystery Bag is a bag full of objects found around the home that begin with the letter Bb.  It also has a few objects that do not not begin with the letter Bb.  The aim of the activity is to sort the objects into groups that begin with the letter Bb sound and which objects do not.
It requires a lot of talking, repetition and modelling from the parent or educator for children to understand the concept that words begin with the letter Bb sound and hear the difference when it does not.
Printable Letter Bb Sound Sorting Labels
Brown Bear Bubble Wrap Painting
Bb is for Brown Bear with Buttons
Make a Brown Bear with Buttons is very similar to the Bubble Wrap Printing on the Letter Bb, where it provides an opportunity practice saying the ‘b’ sound out loud and say words that begin with that sound. 
Printable Teddy Bear Template
Learning Opportunities
  • Letter recognition
  • Oral language development – hearing the sound and saying it out loud.
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye & hand coordination – watching and doing and coordinating these actions.
  • Sensory- Development of the sense of touch. Feeling and manipulating objects.
  • Learning alphabet letter name and letter sounds.
  • Spatial awareness
  • Creativity
  • Identify and recognise Colours
  • Mathematical concepts: counting, sorting, matching, and patterns
Looking for more Alphabet Activities <CLICK HERE>

Messy Fun with Finger Painting

This is a sponsored post by Nuffnang and Radiant
Learning Benefits of Finger Painting
Recently I watched a hilarious video by Radiant called Radiant Returns Art Class where a group of Kindergarten students were involved in Finger Painting and this inspired me to get the paints out for some messy finger painting fun!  The Radiant Return videos prove that the mess is no big deal or excuse not to provide messy learning experiences for our kids!
In early childhood education Finger Painting is often the very first painting experience children will encounter.  As simple as it may be putting paint into trays for little fingers to play and paint with, there are numerous reasons why finger painting is beneficial for child development and learning.
Let’s Play
Finger Painting Ideas for Kids
All you need is a bit of paint and little hands and fingers! 
Some Ideas:
  • Place small blobs of paint onto a large tray (the lid of a plastic container is great for this).
  • Make a rainbow by placing small blobs of paint, each colour of the rainbow in a row onto paper. Then blend and mix the paints together using your fingers and hands.
  • Create patterns, drawings, numbers, words and shapes in the paint on a tray and place a piece of white paper over the top to create an imprint of the finger paint drawing.
  • Finger Painting is so much fun completed on an easel or a glass window.
Getting Messy is all Part of the Learning (and Fun)
Learning Benefits of Sensory Finger Painting
Although we would prefer that our kids completed mess free activities to avoid the paint on the walls, furniture and their clothes, the benefits of finger painting are numerous. 
1.  Finger painting is easier for little fingers that are not yet ready to manipulate a brush.
2.  Sensory experience of exploring paint, textures and prints.
3.  Fine Motor Development: Finger Painting strengthens the finger and small hand muscles developing pre-writing skills.
4.  Colour recognition and children can discover informally about mixing and exploring colours.
5.  All the senses are involved: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and (if you use edible paint) tasting!
6.  Hand-eye coordination and control.
7.  Experimentation and exploration of paint as a new tool for discovery.
Finger Painting for Toddlers
Once all the paint is mixed together it makes such a delightful colour of brown and purple but the learning benefits and fun outweigh the prettiness of this activity. 
8.  If you place the paper on the floor, large muscle control and balance could be improved.
9.  There is a focus on the process, not on the end result or the finished product.
10.  Finger Painting promotes self-expression, creativity and imagination.
11.  Language development: talking about the creative process of finger painting, what the child is painting and colours.
12.  Kids learn that they can manipulate and be in control of their surroundings.
13.   It is MESSY, which also means it is FUN!
Radiant Return Video – Finger Painting in a Kindergarten Class
This is just 1 of 13 videos from the Radiant Return series and they are so much fun to watch!  Be sure to visit the Radiant Return Website to view the rest of the videos.  The videos were all done completely for real with a real family (2 best mates and the girl is the girlfriend to one of the guys), real torture tests with the actual clothes bought from the shops, washed in real domestic conditions and returned to the unsuspecting retail assistants.  Radiant Return obtained approval from the owners of the shops but, to maximise the reactions of the assistants, the exercise was performed without their knowledge.
Radiant is available in 3 great variants, Brilliant Whites Sharper Colours, No-Sort and Sensitive. Each variant contains Colour Guard technology which is how Radiant keeps your colours newer for longer.
Giveaway – Giveaway – Giveaway
Giveaway Radiant Return
Today I am giving away 1 x one-year supply of Radiant (approx. $100) ‘Radiant Prize Pack’ 
For your chance to win, all you need to do is answer the following question:
“What is the biggest mess your child has ever made?”
Click here for Terms & Conditions
This giveaway has now closed!  Congratulations to Alison Ford on winning 1 year supply of radiant products!
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