Virtual Playtime with Anna
Join us for virtual ‘Playtime with Anna’ each fortnight!
Simply head over to our Youtube Channel to watch our ‘Playtime with Anna’ sessions fortnightly on Wednesdays from 10am. Each fortnight we will post an exciting and educational session featuring a craft activity, singing, healthy movement and story time!
You can tune into our playtime sessions on our Youtube Channel here. Happy watching!
Watch the animals at Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo are now live streaming their animal enclosures all day every day! Explore the Zoo online by heading to their website! Happy exploring!
White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark Recipe
Get creative in the kitchen with this sweet treat!
1 cup chopped white chocolate, white chocolate chips, or white chocolate melts
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground pistachios
1/4 pomegranate, arils removed, rinsed, and dried completely with a paper towel
Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment.
If using a high-quality white chocolate, temper your chocolate. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate over a double-boiler, to 110 degrees F. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/3 cup chocolate, and mix until the chocolate is melted and cooled to 80 degrees F. Return to the double boiler, stirring, until chocolate is 90 degrees F. (Link to full method provided in notes.)
If you are using a lower quality white chocolate, or using white chocolate candy melts, simply melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, stirring often.
Once the chocolate is melted, pour it onto the center of your lined baking sheet. Use a spatula or spoon to spread the chocolate to 1/8 inch thickness.
Sprinkle chia seeds over the white chocolate. Then, sprinkle the pistachio powder, being sure to leave some areas of chocolate uncovered for the pomegranate arils to adhere to.
Scatter the pomegranate arils over the chocolate, focusing on areas where the chocolate is exposed.
Gently press the pomegranate arils into place. You can also gently press in the chia seeds and pistacho powder in areas where it is heavily concentrated.
Chill bark, on baking tray, for 15-20 minutes, until the chocolate is completely set. Gently peel off the waxed paper, and snap the bark into smaller pieces. Store in a closed container or sealed bag. Bark will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Recipe provided by: KitchenInTheHills.com
Inspired at home
Handmade painted Mason Jars
Do you have left over jars lying around the house? Get creative with them, and turn them into painted jars to put flowers in, or hold your pens and pencils!
All you need is acrylic or enamel based paint, let your base coat dry before painting your creation onto the jar.
Craft activity provided by: MasonJarsCraftLove.com
Keeping kids busy
FunBox 2020 Time Capsule Workbook for Kids!
Thanks to our friends at FunBox, you can download their free Time Capsule Workbook for kids right here! Print off the 13 page workbook full of projects, recipes, interview ideas, letter templates and more!
Make your own Pineapple Notebook!
Create a beautiful hand made notebook at home, we have the easy steps here!
What you'll need:
- White poster board
- Printable Tattoo Paper
- Wet cloth
- White hardcover notebook
- Scraper (or the edge of a ruler)
How to make it:
Download a free picture of a pineapple online, or take a photo yourself
Send your image to print on your tattoo paper
Follow the directions on your tattoo paper package, and apply the clear adhesive sheet. Use your scraper or ruler to smooth the bubbles out
Cut closely around your pineapple image
Remove the clear adhesive paper, and apply the pineapple tattoo face down to your book cover with a wet towel
if you don't have tattoo paper print on normal paper and glue to the front of the notebook.
Craft activity provided by: JenWoodhouse.com
DIY Rose Milk Bath Bombs
Making your own bath bombs is super easy! These rose milk bath bombs will make a thoughtful gift or something to spoil yourself.
What you'll need:
1 cup of Baking Soda
1/2 cup of citric acid
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1/4 cup dry milk
3 tablespoons epsom salt
Handful dried rose petals
1 teaspoon of water
3-4 teaspoons Almond Oil
15-20 drops of rose oil
How to Make:
In a large bowl combine baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, milk powder, and Epsom salt. Add rose petals that have been cut into small pieces.
In a small cup or bowl stir together water, almond oil, and rose essential oil.
Combine wet ingredients with dry mixture. Test mixture by grabbing a handful and making a fist. If it holds it’s shaping it’s ready to be placed in the mold. If it’s too dry (the mixture crumbles once you open your fist) use a spray bottle to LIGHTLY spray water 1-2 times, until you can form a shape. Do not overspray or the mixture will begin to fizz and not form correctly.
Use plastic ornament molds to make the bath bombs. I like to overfill each half then press them together until the excess falls out. This way you’ll have a compact bath bomb that won’t fall apart when you open the mold. You can also use silicone molds to make small bath bombs. This recipe makes 3 medium bath bombs or 2 medium and 8 small bath bomb fizzies.
Leave bath bombs to dry overnight before removing from mold. Allow them to dry on a towel for a few hours before using or wrapping.
Craft activity provided by: APumpkinAndPrincess.com
Seriously Hand Made!
Knit a chunky knit blanket at home in just 45 minutes using your arms as the needles!
Approximately 36″ by 60″
– Cast on 18 stitches using the long tail cast on method
– Knit 34 rows (depending on tension) keeping your stitches as tight as you can
– Bind off
– Weave in the ends
Winter fun indoors
Make a pillow or Blanket Fort at home!
Get creative inside by making your own epic Pillow or Blanket fort!
Use whatever you can find around the house, from chairs, tables, blankets, bed sheets and rugs. Give your fort a cute finishing touch by adding twinkly lights from your Christmas tree! Hours of fun to be had, but make sure you ask Mum or Dad first!
DIY Marble Nail Polish Art Pieces
What you'll need:
-nail polish in several shades (don’t use quick-dry if possible).
-disposable stick to stir paint
-plastic gloves to protect your hands
1. Fill your tray with water, not too much, just enough to get a flat surface. Whatever you use will pretty much get covered in nail polish so I would suggest using something you plan to toss afterwards.
2. Pour in your nail polish and move it around with the stick to spread it a bit.
3. Place your paper right over the polish and leave for a few seconds. Then transfer on to you old newspaper to dry.
4. Get creative! Add a second color and combine using your stick.
Craft activity provided by: Cutoutandkeep.net
At home fitness for over 60's
Its important to stay active if you are self isolating right now. Try these movements before getting active:
Warm up, cool down and stretch
Before you start a workout it’s important to warm up. Just five minutes of light activity is all you need. Things like:
- Jogging on the spot
- Pumping your arms
- Shoulder rolls
- Controlled punches
- Circular ‘windmill’ arm movements in the air.
After your workout, cool down by following any of the above activities, again for five minutes. This is also a great time to stretch your muscles holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Make sure you hold at a point where you can feel the stretch but you shouldn’t feel discomfort or pain. Don’t bounce through these, just slow steady movements.
Active tips provided by: Healthier.gov.au
Become a Mocktail expert at home!
Here's a couple of our fave delicious and fun mocktails to make at home.
Virgin Pina Colada
Sit back and sip those cares away with a non-alcoholic piña colada that's basically a tropical milkshake. It's creamy, tart, and sweet and just what the doctor ordered. One drink and you'll be hooked!
1 Pineapple wedge, for serving
How to Make:
1. In a blender, blend together frozen pineapple, ice cream, coconut milk, and pineapple juice.
2. Divide between glasses and garnish with a pineapple wedge!
Grapefruit and Rosemary Mocktail
- Rosemary Simple Syrup:1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice
- ¼ cup of the rosemary simple syrup
- 4 cups sparkling water
How to Make:
Rosemary Simple Syrup: In a small sauce pan on the stove, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar over medium heat. Dissolve the sugar for about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil or crystals will form. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour the simple syrup into a heat safe container. Add 3 sprigs of rosemary and let steep for at least one hour. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for ten days.
Mocktail per glass: Add ½ cup fresh pink grapefruit into a serving glass. Add 1 Tablespoon (1/2 oz) of rosemary simple syrup. Stir. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling water (about 1 cup)
Garnish with rosemary sprig!
Recipes provided by: Delish.com
Virtual Book club
Missing your friends and reading up a storm while in iso?
Why not create or join a weekly virtual book club!
Ask your friends to join up on a video call to discuss your favorite reads and socialise at the same time!
Here's some free video call sites to get you started:
- Whats App
- Facebook Messenger
Fun for the fur-babies
Sweet and Simple Dog Tricks
We have collected a range of easy 'Do it Yourself' training tips for your dog!
The idea of this trick is to encourage calm self-control in your dog. By learning that they only gets a reward when he is calm and waits for permission then your dog will be focused to learn.
Dog trainers love this trick because it teaches a dog to focus and be controlled during training sessions and everyday life.
2. Shake Hands
Shaking hands is one of the more traditional dog tricks and remarkably easy to teach. Your dog will learn to offer a front paw in response to request and solemnly shake hands with first you and then visitors to the home. Shake is an old but impressive trick to teach any dog.
Dog trainers love this trick because the shake is a great alternative to teach that prevents a dog jumping up on greeting people.
3. Speak command
Teaching your dog to bark on command is easy and even more useful because you can then teach them quietness on command too.
Dog trainers love this trick and often teach it (and the next trick) in order to control a raucous barking canine.
Learning at home
Learn a language at home!
There is no better time than now to learn a new language and apply your self to upskilling your bilingual vocab!
Try using the following learning aids:
The Language Academy
Open Culture Online
Hygiene for kids
Hand washing for Kids
The next time you're cleaning up before meals remember these handy hints:
First, use warm or cold water when you wash your hands.
Work up some lathered soup on both sides of your hands (front and back!), your wrists, and between your fingers. Don't forget to wash around your nails. This is one place germs like to hide.
Wash for about 10 to 15 seconds — about how long it takes to sing "Happy Birthday!" (Sing it quickly two times or just once if you go nice and slow.)
Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
Home fitness & wellbeing
Health and wellbeing is important, take the time to look after yourself with these great active tips!
1. Stretches in the living room
Whether you’d rather just have a bit of a stretch on your bedroom floor when you wake up or actually set aside half an hour or so every day to do a guided yoga routine. Free yoga and stretching apps you can download include:
2. Gentle lifting exercises
For your arms, why not use tins of tomatoes or fruit as dumbbells? It’s simple: with your arms outstretched, lift your hands to shoulder height or as high as you physically can, if your shoulder movement is limited, returning to by your sides when you’ve reached as high as you can go.
It can be useful to practice breath work or meditation to help manage your head space. The following apps can be downloaded from the app store which teach you how to meditate and complete relaxation exercises:
De-clutter your life
Imagine a wardrobe that’s neat and orderly, where everything has a place...
Well today’s the day? Out with the old, in with the same, but do it differently!
Sift between socks, underwear, shoes and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised bedroom.
Here’s our 5 rules of wardrobe organisation:
- Make your clothes visible
- Is it really sentimental?
- Store your holiday looks separately.
- Pack special occasion items away
- Protect your clothes
Fun & Games
Board Game Fun!
Or shall we say bored games? If you're lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, then why not Dust off the games and have some old school fun.
Family favourites may include Cluedo, Scrabble and Pictionary (Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk)
And don't forget about Virtual Games!
There are heaps of games available on the app store which allow you to play with your friends online! Try Words with Friends, ScrabbleGo and The UNO app!
Helping the environment at home
Here's an easy way to create your own at home compost:
1. Choose a place
The best place to out your compost tub or tumbler is a dry shady spot that is close to a tap or a hose.
2. Add compost ingredients
Add your organic food scraps. This includes fruit, vegetables, scraps, egg shells, teabags and coffee grounds. Don't add things like meat, cheese or bread scraps.
3. Add water as needed
Your compost pile should feel wet like a sponge, check it regularly and add water as needed.
4. Keep things moving
Turn your mixture every three days
5. Wait for it to 'cook'
You'll know your compost is ready to feed the garden when it no longer gives off heat and becomes dry and crumbly.
Beauty at home
Self-care tips in isolation
Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better so take some time for yourself and create your own body scrub to rejuvenate your skin and leave it with a healthy glow! The best part – you don’t need to go further than your pantry or fridge to create one!
Combine the below ingredients in a small bowl, mix, apply and gently scrub!
Brown Sugar Scrub
Brown sugar is a wonderful natural exfoliant that works for all skin types.
- - Brown Sugar
- - Honey
- - Coconut Oil
You'll enjoy a brilliant glow after using a coffee face scrub. Adding brightness to your skin and reducing puffiness.
- - Instant Coffee Grounds
- - Honey
- - Yogurt/Cream or Milk
Items around the house perfect for dress ups!
- - Lengths Of Fabric or coloured material
- - Hats, Gloves, Scarves for Imaginative Role Play
- - Assorted Bags And Baskets
- - Glasses Or Sun Glasses
- - Silly socks and funny shoes
- - Tablecloth or fabric used for capes or hero masks
- - Old wooden spoons can be used to make a fairy or wizard wand
DIY no fuss Play Dough Recipe!
What you'll need:
- 2 cups of corn flour / corn starch
- 1 cup of hair conditioner (cheap brand)
- assorted food colouring
Place hair conditioner into a medium bowl and add a few drops of food colouring.
With a spoon, mix the colouring through the conditioner.
Add 1 cup of cornflour and stir. Then add the last cup of cornflour to the mixture.
Constantly stir the mixture until it begins to form a thick blob.
Turn the play dough out onto a clean surface and knead into a smooth ball with your hands. Add more cornflour if the play dough is sticky.
Store in a plastic zip lock bag or air tight container.
If you don't have cheap hair conditioner try using moisturiser or hand cream.
recipe provided by: Learning4kids.com
Happy craft at home
How to create your own Happy Egg Head Growers!
- Empty Egg Shells
- Seeds (use a couple of different types of seeds to compare, peas and sunflowers or just seedlings from the garden)
- Spoon or small scoop
STEP 1: Set up your egg shells in the egg cartons and fill with soil. You can use a couple of different types of seeds, make sure to separate one set of eggs from another.
STEP 2: Push one seed gently into the soil of each eggshell, making sure the seed is covered with dirt.
STEP 3: Use a small spray bottle or similar to dampen the soil. Do not over water!
Leave the eggs for a few days to see how the seeds grow, leave in a warm place with a small area of sunlight.
Recipe provided by: Littlebinsforlittlehands.com
AT HOME INSPIRATION