Resources

Have a look at some of our favourite resources to inspire learning, creativity and play! Glean from our tips and tricks on a variety of topics – learn a new skill, find out something new, and have some fun with your little ones!

Thinking outside the box: fun and resource free activities to enjoy!

Staying fresh with new and exciting activities can be difficult on your weekly visits. In order to nurture a creative spirit within your child, simple educational yet fun games are often the way to go. Utilising minimal, if any, resources is the best way to get our little ones thinking. These allow to have an enjoyable and entertaining experience that works in any environment with as little or as many players as possible.

We believe these are the best go-to games if you’re ever feeling stuck for ideas or equipment, but still looking for a fun time!

  • I Spy

A tremendously easy yet addictive detective game that involves guessing an object in the vicinity chosen by another player. Provide an adjective about what you see and watch as the other player attempts to find it.

  • Story together

Start with an intriguing first sentence, then have fun with the plot as you take turns narrating each sentence of the story, making it up as you go!

  • Charades

Only requiring a pen and paper, Charades is the perfect game to act out an idea or concept without making a sound. Once an idea has been selected, you or your team have three minutes to guess what charade you are acting out. If your team is able to guess your charade, your team receives a point. The other team then gets a chance to score a point. This continues until you run out of ideas, where, at this point, the team with the most points wins.

  • Remember what you see

We LOVE this one. Challenge your child’s observation skills in this quick memory game! Choose a direction that should be stared in for 30 seconds, then have the child turn around and write a list of the names of everything they remember seeing in that direction, the more detailed the better! The player with the longest list wins.

  • Scattegories

Scattegories is the ultimate simplistic yet challenging game that demands quick thinking and speedy fingers. Played using a pen and paper, this search for words requires players to provide an answer for each category. The game starts from a specific letter, and within a predetermined time limit (e.g. a minute). Possible categories include girl name, boy name, animal, movie, country, food, etc. The child will score a point if no other player matches their answers. So yes, the most unique and creative responses merit the most points. Continue with different letters for as long as you like and to win the game, score the most points!

  • The Uhm game

Test their conversational ability. The Uhm game requires the child to be given a topic, object, idea or thing to describe. Players must speak about this ‘thing’ for as long as they can without saying the word “um”. The longer the child can go without accidentally slipping it in, the better! Warning: it is very tricky!

 

For more hands-on activities to try out with your kids, check out our arts & crafts, science and fun food blog posts!

Healthy & Fun Food Activities for Kids!

Critter Crudites

We’ve found some super fun ways to use healthy food in creative ways for your next weekly visit. These easy and fun healthy food activities are a great way to use food with your child. Not to worry, these ideas use things you most likely already have lying around.

We believe these fun food ideas are a great way to spend quality time together where the little ones can prepare healthy food in a fun and creative way.

 

Vegetable Train 

This fun activity is great for little ones that love trains.

Fruit Animals

Does you little one have a love for animals? Try these fun food activities. Watch the strawberries and bananas transform into a lizard and an apple into an owl.

Creative Food Art

For those who want more of a challenge these food activities are for you. Let the kiddies creative flare shine with over 40 creations, from strawberry roses to fruit peacock.

Owl Veggie Tray

As we always say sharing is caring. Creating this healthy veggie tray with your little one is a great way to make snacks the rest of the home can also enjoy.

Critter Crudités

Take ants on a log to the next level with these adorable and healthy snacks.

Food Face Plate

Get creative with these fun food face plates. Your little ones could even create a food face self portrait.

Veggie Building

This is a great food activity for kiddies who love to build things. With a variety of food options to use the sky is the limit.

Food Art

There are so many different ways to create with food. These activities include simple shapes and patterns and can be created with healthy fruits and veggies!

 

If you give these a go with your little people, please let us know! We love hearing all about our wonderful Pyjama Angels’ activities on their visits. For more activity ideas, check out our blog posts for craft and science activities for all ages!

 

Letting creative flare thrive! Arts & crafts for every age

Nurturing your special little ones’ creative spirit is especially important. We’ve found some super fun craft ideas that you can do on your next weekly visit to spark imagination and creative play. Don’t worry, we’ve made sure these ideas use things you probably have lying around at home. This means no special tools are required.

We feel these super fun craft sessions are a great way to spend quality time together where the little ones can explore their creative passions.

Rock painting (Ages 3-7)

This arts and craft activity means you and your little one might have to explore the great outdoors for a while. The kiddies can let their imagination run wild and create ANY type of rock pet. Create anything from lions to lady bugs to even fish!

Microwave puffy paint (Ages 4-9)

Microwave puffy paint is a fantastic way to combine art and science! Watch the artwork puff up and grow in a matter of seconds.

Fire breathing dragon craft (Ages 4-7)

Bring a fire breathing dragon to life with this adorable little craft! This simple project only needs some old toilet paper role, tissue paper, poms poms, and most importantly, googly eyes.

Bubble painting (Ages 5-9)

There’s something so magical about making bubbles. This is the perfect outdoor arts and craft activity that the kids will love when you come over for your visit.

Water colour salt painting (Ages 5-14)

This one is sure to be a hit with the younger creative geniuses. Panting with the salt is like magic – it creates intriguing and interesting textures and patterns.

Paper plate sewing craft (Ages 7-12)

These cute little insect sewing projects are a great way to begin teaching children how to sew. The best part of this project is that the craft is adaptable for kids of all ages so everyone can get involved in this one.

Origami faces (Ages 9-16)

Get really crafty with this cool and quirky project! The creative little ones can try and make an origami version of all their favourite people, book characters or super heroes.

Origami corner bookmarks craft (Ages 9-17)

Here at The Pyjama Foundation, we absolutely love our books and love reading them even more. This clever and cute little DIY craft activity means you can always pick up exactly where you left off and never lose your place.

Stomp rocket (Ages 12-17)

This rocket uses the power of compressed to launch high into the sky – future engineers, take note: this is called pneumatics. After you’ve launched your rocket, just blow into the tubes to inflate the bottle once again and have another turn. So much fun!

 

For more activities to try out with your kids, check out our science and healthy food activity posts. Don’t forget to tell us all about it!

 

Inspiring your little scientists: experiments for every age group

We all know our special little ones are creative little geniuses. They’re always experimenting with something so we’ve found some pretty mind-blowing and hands-on science experiments that you can do on your weekly visit with them. Best of all, they all use things you probably have lying around at home.

We feel these super-easy science activities are a great way to spend quality time together where the little ones are exposed to a wide variety of scientific concepts.

Rainbow milk experiment (Ages 4–16)

Learn about surface tension with this fun experiment. This is possibly the easiest and most beautiful science experiment out there!

Elephants toothpaste (Ages 4–16)

What happens when you mix peroxide, food colouring, water, dish soap and yeast and wait for two minutes? You get elephants toothpaste!

DIY lava lamps (Ages 4-9)

Talk about a groovy project! This fun science experiment is sure to impress – make a lava lamp by pouring vegetable oil into water, then sprinkling salt on it to make the blob of oil move.

Instant cloud science experiment (Ages 7-16)

Learn how to make a cloud in a bottle, instantly! If you’ve ever wondered how real clouds work, try this experiment.

Use lemon juice to make invisible ink (Ages 5-16)

Who doesn’t like to pretend like they’re a secret agent? Write secret messages to your friends and try to get them to decode them. The trick? Holding it close to any source of heat – like a candle or incandescent light bulb.

Mixing primary colours to make secondary colours (Ages 2-7)

This is a super fun way to show the kids how primary colours mix to form secondary colours. Because water and oil don’t mix, the kids can see how the primary colours separate back after they’ve been mixed around. For this fun project, we use water which is coloured by regular food colouring and baby oil which is coloured by oil-based food colouring.

Crystal rock candy on string

Making rock candy means the little ones can actually see the shape of tiny little sugar crystals on a magnified scale. Giving them lots of time to grow means they’ll form much bigger! you can eat these pretty little things once they done or you can keep them. What a yummy and beautiful experiment!

Electromagnetic train (Ages 9–16)

We had no idea that electricity and magnetism were so closely linked! You can build your very own miniature electromagnetic train by experimenting with the two materials.

Forced perspective photos (Ages 5-8)

Thought you could never stand on top of The Big Banana or ride The Big Cassowary? Well, you can make anything look possible with forced perspective photos!

Sink or float? (Ages 2-7)

Gather some of the kids favourite toys, plus things from around the house and garden and have the kids guess whether they object will float or sink.

Egg heads (Ages 2-9)

How cute are these eggheads? Plant grass seeds in an empty eggshell and watch their hair grow! You should see sprouts in a few days that you can style any way you want.

 

For more ideas on how to incorporate fun in your visits, check out our arts & crafts and fun food blog posts!

 

Helping Foster Children Stay On Task

“Concentration is like a muscle that requires regular exercise to strengthen. Some kids are born “stronger” in this area than others, but all kids can learn strategies and engage in practices that help improve their ability to focus and sustain their attention”

– Dr. Jamie Howard

Children in out of home care often lack interest in learning and find difficulty in concentrating and staying on task. With 92% of children in care below average reading skills by the time they are seven years of age and struggle to catch up, it is important as mentors to help our children build and train their ‘concentration muscle’.

Here are some tips for our Pyjama Angels to implement in visits to help their children stay on task.

1. Set A Plan

It can be a good idea to create a plan for your visits. At the beginning of your visit you can work with your child to write out a set plan for the visit. This gives both you and your child the opportunity to decide what you will aim to achieve within your visit.

2. Set Time Lengths For Tasks

When setting a plan or just completing tasks, it is important to set appropriate time lengths for specific tasks. As a Pyjama Angel, you will get to know the typical time length your child will concentrate and focus on a task. Use your understanding to set appropriate time lengths on tasks you aim to complete.

3. Use Timers

When aiming to complete a task for a specific time, it can be helpful to utilise timers or stopwatches. Clocks or stopwatches can provide a visual aid for children, and help them understand when a task will finish.

4. Planned Breaks

It is also important to ensure that you build in planned breaks. After spending some time concentrating, it is useful to take a break whether that be a small physical break such as throwing a ball around or trying a Brain Gym exercise.

Brain Gym

These exercises can be utilised if child become distracted or simply as a planned break. These small physical activities will re-engage the brain and can help a child re-focus on a set task.

* Brain Gym exercises adapted from margdteachingposters.weebly.com/thinking-processes

 

Incorporating these tips will hopefully see your visits become more productive and time efficient, though it it important to remember that every child is unique and requires different techniques. Be patient and kind and see what works best for you and your child during your visits.

If you ever feel stuck and need any assistance or tips, our team is available for a chat at 07 3256 8802 between 9-5pm Monday-Friday.