kids

Make a Healthier Playground

Make a Healthier Playground

Many old playgrounds might be hiding some toxic hazards, the likes of lead paint and arsenic need to not be in children’s playgrounds and one way to ensure this is to get creative and build your own. Yes you can build some play equipment for the kids. This way you can be sure that it is safe and it is exactly what you want in the space you need it.

My kids love playing outside and creating areas for them to explore and have adventures is ideal. Unstructured outdoor time is helpful for children.

Here are some of the great benefits of unstructured play:

  • Makes kids resilient. If they hurt a foot or scrap a knee they work it out
  • Helps children cooperate with others
  • Learn to do things themselves without parents getting involved
  • Creative and role playing happens more
  • Helps brain development
  • Make friends
  • Allows children to learn. “Until at least 9 years old, a child’s learning occurs best when the whole self is involved” (http://www.stonybrook.edu/heartlinks/unstructuredplay.pdf)
  • Creates the space to allow children to be more independent
  • It is time away from parents and school – a de-stresser

 

DIY Playgrounds

DIY Playgrounds
Infographic by CustomMade

 

How to create a healthier playground?

Make sure you follow these steps to ensure a great happy and healthy play area:

  • Choose safe products. Make sure before you purchase that they are the safest and best product to use for what you are creating. If you are in doubt you can visit the Product Safety Australia Website  and for playground safety guidelines in Australia Kidsafe NSW Inc , or if in America Consumer Product Safety Commission website
  • Test the soil if you are worried about lead levels
  • Steer clear of ployvinyl chloride (PVC) and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) both of these can be harmful to humans
  • Choose manufacturers that are certified by The International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IIPEMA).
  • Pick better wood or wood alternatives. Safer alternatives to CCA treated wood are: plastic, rubber lumber and composite lumber
  • Recycle your materials and be creative
  • Make sure if kids fall over the area will be soft. Aim to have soft grass if you can.
  • If your playground attracts kids from the area, make sure you have rules so it eliminates or cuas4es less accidents.
  • Before you build the structure you need to know how many kids will be using this playground. More kids might need more engineering or it might determine what types of things go in this new play area. If the kids are all the same age then something for one age group. If some are older and some are younger you will need to figure out what will make them all happy.
Create your own playground in your yard

Create your own playground in your yard

Get some Playground Plans for Free!

Need some inspiration on what to create. Here are some plans from Total Playgrounds that will give you a helping hand. Creating something unique for your family and children is a wonderful thing. Remember that something like this cannot be built in one day, well unless you have hired a team of builders that is. So be realistic it might take a month or two but it will get done and you will have something fun and amazing the kids will love.

How about these fabulous ideas from Homedit, get creating today and turn your yard into a fun place to be. Your children will never want to come inside.

Here is another great link to Playground Equipment in New Zealand and they have some great plans that you can create in your very own backyard.

Happy building and happy playing in your new and personal playground. Have fun!

Create Your Own Greenhouse

Create Your Own Greenhouse

Have you wanted to create your own greenhouse? Not sure how? Well these tips and ideas from Custom Made will help you make your greenhouse a reality.

A couple of good reasons to have greenhouse are:

  • It might get too cold to grow certain types of plants. If you have a greenhouse it will allow temperature control to allow you to grow plants that would die if it got frost or too cold.
  • Allow you to grow seeds and young plants. It is always sad and annoying when you try and establish a plant and it dies for a number of reasons, the temperatures outside were too much for it, or you went on holiday and it got neglected. Having a greenhouse will let the young seedlings and plants thrive to then relocate in the garden or you can keep in your greenhouse.
  • Having a controlled environment helps kids learn more about gardening. As said in point two, if your seedlings die it might discourage the kids. Seeing the plants grow from strength to strength will help foster the love of gardening and children will want to do more and more.

What do you need to create your own greenhouse?

  • Flat head shovel, rake
  • Pressure-treated boards for base frame
  • Landscape fabric
  • Landscape staples
  • Heavy duty staples
  • Pea gravel

The great infographic from Custom Made shows you the steps to create your own greenhouse. Don’t forget to have the right garden tools for the kids. Once the your greenhouse is up and running the kids will want to get busy planting. Our Little Green Fingers Gardening Tool Set is just right for little hands and will be the perfect addition to your brand new greenhouse!

Greenhouse Dreams
Infographic by CustomMade

We hope you have fun creating your own greenhouse and your plants love it too! Let us know how it goes and what you plant in your greenhouse.

Halloween Crafts for Kids

Halloween Crafts for Kids

Pumpkin ready to paint for Halloween. Image courtesy of Michael Elliott at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pumpkin ready to paint for Halloween. Image courtesy of Michael Elliott at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many kids love Halloween. There are parties, costumes, and every kid’s favorite – candy. Trying to keep kids entertained until Halloween night can require the patience of Gandhi himself. Here are some easy Halloween crafts that you can use to keep the kids entertained.

Puppets

Ghost puppets are easy to make and can inspire hours of creative play. Get a white handkerchief, black marker, and a rubber band. Drape the handkerchief over your child’s middle three fingers, secure with a rubber band, and draw on eyes and a mouth with the marker. You can also put the cardboard from a paper towel roll and stuff the head with cotton balls if you want a more permanent puppet.

Lollipops

If you are planning on handing out lollipops as part of your treats for trick-or-treating, you kids can help you decorate them. Cover the lollipop with a tissue, tying securely with a rubber band or piece of ribbon. Use a marker to draw eyes and mouth on your ghosts and they are ready for giving.

Spider webs

Take 3 craft sticks and glue them together so that they make a star shape. Taking white or black yarn, weave it over one craft stick and under the next, working your way outwards from the center. When it is finished, glue down the end and attach a plastic spider. Your creation is now ready for hanging.

Candy Cauldrons

Find an empty plastic container and paint it black. You will also need to paint three small wooden balls black as well. Once everything is completely dry, glue the balls to the bottom of the cauldron. Add a wire handle if you would like, and fill your cauldron with your favorite Halloween candies.

Paint a pumpkin

Pumpkin carving is a bit messy and difficult, and can be dangerous if you do not want small children handling the knife. Instead, get some permanent markers or acrylic paint your pumpkin to look like a monster, clown, or other Halloween character. For kids, the smaller “pie pumpkins” or even the mini-pumpkins will work perfectly for this craft.

Paper plate masks

While your child may not be able to dress up in their costume until the day or evening of Halloween, you can easily create your own masks. Help your child cut eyes and breathing holes out of a paper plate. Punch a hole on either side to attach a ribbon or string to tie the mask on. Then you can allow your child to decorate the mask with crayons, marker, paint, or by gluing items to it.

Family celebrating Halloween. Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Family celebrating Halloween. Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Reusable treat bags

Purchase some reusable cloth totes or shopping bags as well as some Halloween-colored fabric paint. You can also look for iron-on transfers and stencils to make decorating easier. Allow your kids to decorate their own bag. If you do this a few days before Halloween, it will be dry and ready to go along when trick-or-treating.

A little creativity and you can come up with your own Halloween crafts for kids as you wait to celebrate.

EXCITING NEWS: Amazon Now Ships to Australia

Happy Caterpillar are pleased and excited to announce that Amazon is now shipping our “Little Green Fingers Gardening Tool Sets for Kids” to Australia!

HCP_buyinAustralia

The weather here is getting hotter. Flowers are blooming and summer is nearly here. Our garden tool set for kids is an excellent gift for Christmas, birthdays or just because.  Gardening teaches kids confidence and allows them to have an area that is their own. Getting dirty, messy and having fun are just part of exploring the environment and of course this helps teach kids about the outdoors. Happy Caterpillar helps with this journey.

Kids love to help and what better way than giving them tools that is just right for their little hands.

You can find out more by watching our video here.

Get your child a Little Green Fingers Gardening Tool Set today!

Plant a tree or flowers to celebrate The World Cup!

Plant a tree or flowers to celebrate The World Cup!

Plant a tree or lovely flowers to celebrate The World Cup!

Mark the occasion by adding a special plant to your garden.

Start this tradition and your garden will be full of wonderful memories.

 

Plant a tree/flowers to celebrate the World Cup

Plant a tree/flowers to celebrate the World Cup

 

Once you plant your tree/plant. Take a picture. Tweet about it. Add it to your Facebook or Google + pages. Make sure to add this hashtag below:

#PlantATree4WorldCup2014

Need some garden tools for the kids. We have you sorted! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D4JV9NQ

25% OFF Kids Garden Tools

25% OFF Kids Garden Tools

CELEBRATING HOME IMPROVEMENT MONTH


May is national home improvement month. To celebrate we have discounted our “Little Green Fingers Garden Tool Set” so that your kids can help get involved and improve the home.

The kids are helping improve our lovely home.

The kids are helping improve our lovely home.

NEED A GIFT?


Get your kids, friends or grandkids a garden tool set! Yes now is the best time to purchase as Happy Caterpillar is giving you 25% off till the end of May 2014.

Get 25% off Little Green Fingers Garden Set for Children. Offer only available till the end of May 2014.

Get 25% off Little Green Fingers Garden Set for Children. Offer only available till the end of May 2014.

HOW TO USE THE COUPON CODE


1. Go the Amazon page to purchase the Little Green Fingers Gardening Set
2. Add the garden tool set to the cart.
3. Follow the prompts to purchase the Little Green Fingers Gardening Set.
4. Your coupon code can be found in the picture above.
Here is it so you can copy it for the Amazon page:

Discount Coupon Code: FFFJ3EYB


4. When you get to payment options you will see an area that you can enter a coupon/promotional code (see screen grab below)

Add your coupon code here on Amazon payment page

Add your coupon code here on Amazon payment page

5. Once you have entered the coupon code 25% should come off of the original price. Once that is done, follow the prompts to finish your order.
6. We hope you have great fun with our Little Green Fingers Tool Set.

Tell your friends, family and anyone who loves to garden, has kids or loves to do home improvement. Get your 25% discount now before May ends.

8 Steps To Decorate A Planter For Mother’s Day

8 Steps To Decorate A Planter For Mother’s Day

Need a gift for Mother’s Day? Or a birthday? Well we have the perfect thing for you. It is cheap, the kids can help and Mom will love it! (Read the rest of this post and download our PDF guide) Yes I think I had you at cheap and getting the kids to help is a bonus as well. Now what am I on a about?

Busy painting the pots for Mother's Day

Busy painting the pots for Mother’s Day

Decorating terracotta pots with paint and you can also add things like decorations if you like. Glitter if the kids fancy it, glitter glue might be a better option since the pot plant most likely will be outside.

What Will You need?

  • Terracotta pots and saucers for the pots
  • Paint to decorate the pots. Look for ayriclic craft paint or external paint that you would paint the house. If you choose standard craft paint you will most likely have to paint it again. I am sure the kids would love to add to their design so no issue there. If you do want to make sure your design is kept and does not wash away keep indoors or seal the paint work on the pot to make sure.
  • Brushes, newspaper to make sure you don’t make a huge mess, container to clean out brushes, and old clothes or an apron for the kids or yourself so you don’t get good clothes dirty.
  • Soil to plant the plants – Our kids used The Little Green Fingers Gardening Kit to help with this project. It is just right for their hands and makes gardening fun.
  • The kids being creative in their design

    The kids being creative in their design

    Download our guide 8 Tips to Decorate A Planter for Mother’s Day

    8 Steps to Create A Painted Planter For Mom

      1. Set up area for painting. Make sure you have newspaper or some sort of cover to prevent mess and spills. Get it all organized before you get the kids invloved. If you are not ready kids get to eager and start painting. You have been warned!
      2. Make sure the kids paint everything. Saucers and all things that go with the pot.
      3. Our kids used leaves and pressed them into paint to create interesting patterns. This would look amazing if you had different colour paint for different leaf shapes. Then press them onto different areas of the pot and then you have an amazing design.
    Using leaves as patterns for the design.

    Using leaves as patterns for the design.

      4. Allow kids to get very messy and have fun with this activity. They can be free to create what ever design and outcome they want.
      5. Get plants ready to be added to the finished pot plant. Before you can do this you will need to wait for the paint to dry. We waited a day and then it was ready to go. It could be an hour or so depending on how hot and if the pot is in the sun to dry.
      6. Add dirt and make sure the plants are in the right spot and in just the right amount. You don’t want to have the plants roots out of the planter and not in the soil. If the kids are helping you this is best to check.
      7. Once all in the new planter, it is now time to water the plants. Get them settled and a drink is a good idea.
      8. Check out the finished product. Don’t they look amazing with color on them. Adding paint to terracotta pots does make a difference. The pots jump out at you now and it is a lovely burst of color, just right for spring and the garden.

    Watering the finished potted product. All done and looking amazing. Make one for Mom today!

    Watering the finished potted product. All done and looking amazing. Make one for Mom today!

    Have fun and I’m sure the kids and Mom will love this. It will not break the bank. Get cracking on creating this great Mother’s Day gift.