September 17, 2014


I'm on Instagram now, if you would like to follow. I've been there for a short while, so there's a bit to look at. Sometimes I share a Love and Lollipops post, but I also share other ideas that I haven't blogged about. 

You can find me here:

If you do follow me over there, please say "hi". I'll "hi" back!

Till next time.

September 13, 2014

14 of the best Shaving Cream activities ever!

I cream, You cream, We all love Shaving cream! 
(sorry, couldn't help myself) :)

What can you get up to with Shaving cream? Well, it's definitely more than just for shaving. Before writing this post,  I had not let my kids play enough with this stuff , so after finding two big cans for under R35 at Discem Pharmacy, I grabbed them (with a smile) and came home ready for some shaving cream fun. And you get the benefit of me having scoured the web for the best ideas and sharing some of them here.

But first off, here's a couple of quick and easy activities we got up to.

1. Shaving cream and paint play. I gave Little One a brush and water and told him to wet the water colours and to mix it into the shaving cream. He loved it! You could use tempera or acrylic paints too.

2. Shaving cream, toy cars and a spray bottle of water to wash them off. The full post is here. We did this back in 2012. (If I had a little girl, I'd still do this, but substitute the cars for small plastic bath toys or dolls perhaps?)

3. Earlier this year we made shaving cream puffy paint to create a lunar landscape. The full post is here.

4. Ocean in a bag. I saw this neat idea over at Pink and Green Mama and adapted it a bit. Take a big zip lock bag, fill it with shaving cream, some blue food colouring and add some sea-themed stickers. Seal the bag and let your kiddo explore. I loved how the shaving cream in the bag felt... I couldn't help but play with it too. I think this is a great activity for a younger child and if you added different colours, you would get a lovely rainbow effect. We'll try that next time.

5. Shaving cream in the bath is a blast. I purchased a nice old-fashioned razor (no blade) from Checkers and Little One shaved just like Dad - I loved his expressions.

We are lucky enough to have a mirror running the length of the bath, so Little One can smear shaving cream all over and use it as a canvas to draw and do letter practice. If you don't have a mirror, smearing it onto the bath sides can work just as well.

6. Shaving Cream Desert. Another great bath activity, although no bath required. Provide silicone cup cake holders, shaving cream and sparkly beads and some spoons. Let the fun begin. (Honestly, not a hit with my Little One, but I think that little girls would love this.)

Here are some other wonderful ideas I haven't tried - yet!

Shaving Cream Painting (Mom it Forward)
Shaving Cream Balloons - you read right! (Aluminum Foiled)
Erupting Sensory Shaving Cream Snow (Growing a Jeweled Rose)
Shimmery Shaving Cream Paint Recipe (Growing a Jeweled Rose)
Shaving Cream Dough (Growing a Jeweled Rose)

And last, but not least, Shaving Cream Bath Paint (Meet the Dubiens). This last idea looks fantastic and I'm dying to try it, BUT I'm not brave enough to use food colours in the bath. What if it stains? Those who've tried it, claim it doesn't and perhaps it depends on what type of food colouring you use. Of course you can purchase coloured shaving foam, so that's perhaps the "safer" alternative.

And if after all this, you are actually really worried about letting your kiddos play with shaving cream, here's the infamous shaving cream article (a lengthy read). 

I know this goes without saying, but Shaving Cream should not be eaten, so please don't leave your very little person alone with it. 

Till next time, have some super shaving cream fun! 
Please come back and tell me what you got up to.

August 16, 2014

Army Party

My little man is SIX! Six. I wanted him to be five for just a bit longer. Birthdays sure are happy-sad events for me. 

We celebrated with an Army party.  It was bound to happen - we almost had one last year. But I'm so pleased Little One changed his mind about it, because this year we could be outdoors (Pretoria has a summer rainfall) and the landscape was perfect for all the outdoor activities.

At 14h00 on Saturday afternoon, 13 little soldiers descended upon our home, all dressed up with their firearms. :)

The afternoon looked something like this...

"Report for Duty" followed by an "Obstacle course/Basic training". A simple course where the boys were divided into two teams. They had to carry certain items through the course, which involved climbing, crawling and hopping over rocks. The teams were timed and the fastest team won the challenge. The items carried were half-filled water bottles (the big ones), a rope and a cardboard box with pretend supplies. 

Then we had "Search and Rescue", where the soldiers had to look for army guys that were missing in action - small plastic army men that I hid in the field.

Then it was "Mess Hall", when we sang to the birthday boy and also handed out party packets. The awesome tank cake was baked by Little One's very special teacher.

The last activity of the day was "Target Practice". We purchased a very inexpensive BB gun and my husband, who played Sergeant Major for the afternoon, oversaw this one closely. We printed out sufficient targets so that each soldier could take home his target with him. A nice keepsake of how well he shot on the day.

A great target to print out can be found here

After that it was free play! 

Another fun idea was to make and fly paper aeroplanes, 
but we just didn't get around to it.

 An easy to make sweet for the party were these Marshmallow Treats. 

30 grams - butter or margarine
60 grams - marshmallows  
70 grams - Rice Crispies (I used Coco Pops)

Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Add the marshmallows and stir over a low heat until melted. 
Remove from the heat, add the Rice Crispies and mix together until well coated.
Press into a tray and cut when cool OR put the mixture into cupcake holders.
That's it!

Another birthday and party over. Big One has had eleven parties (he didn't have one this year) and Little One six - seventeen parties! - wonder if that makes me a party pro?
Think it makes me a good Mommy ;). 

Till next time.

July 20, 2014

Back to School Giveaway and Shaving Cream Fun

I don't often do product endorsements on the blog, but when I recommend something, do know that it's a great product. Today I want to share an alphabet product with you that I'm using to help Little One learn how to read and write. 

Created by none other than my Mom, there are in my opinion, no other local alphabet products on the market that can compare to the quality and versatility of this one. Why is it so great? Oooh many reasons... for starters the letters are made from a very durable material; they don't easily bend and cannot break and I must add they have a nice feel to them. The fonts used are correct for the South African Curriculum and the alphabet comes in black or white (not multicoloured as many others do). One of the best things about the alphabet is that a child can touch and feel each letter, giving them a three-dimensional experience of what each letter is about. Needless to say, the letters can be used in a variety of games that make letter recognition and word building fun both in the classroom and at home. And that's not all (hehe, I sound like one of those infomercials), there is a magnetic and non-magnetic version available, as well as a variety of different sets, including a numeracy set, and alphabet "bottle top" stickers.

There are so many ways to incorporate this product into alphabet teaching, but today I'm sharing a shaving cream activity Little One and I did about a month ago. If you haven't given your little person shaving cream to play with yet, do give it a go. My little guy lights up when he knows shaving cream is involved!

To play, I placed the letters in a random order on our bricks outside. I gave Little One the shaving cream and I called out letters one at a time. He had to correctly identify them and when he had, he was allowed to cream them... his favourite part. After he had creamed all the letters, I gave him a squirt bottle with water in and once again called out the letters and he could squirt them clean. This activity took much longer than expected and in the end I got quite tired (not him) before all the cleaning up was done. :)

An additional idea is to ask your child to think of a word starting with the letter, when they correctly identify the letter.   



So now the best part, would you like to win a 26 piece Learners Alphabet (non-magnetic)? The set used above is an 83 piece and is perfect for word building, but with a 26 piece many games can be played. The prize will also include two sheets of alphabet "bottle top" stickers.

Here's how you can win: Visit the  Little People's Products website and come back here and tell me what your favourite product is in the comments section OR pop on over to my Love and Lollipops Facebook Page and share the competition via the link there. Leave a comment there saying that you shared it. If you do both, you will get two entries.

The competition is open to all South African residents. (Apologies to my other readers.) Entries will close on Sunday the 27th of July and a winner will be announced on Monday the 28th. Good luck!

Till next time.  

(And the winner is... Loandi Kok. Congratulations! I will be in touch with you via the Love and Lollipops Facebook Page.)

July 18, 2014

Fun with Dinosaurs {A Dinosaur Tea Party}

(Source: Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedia, Volume 3) 

(Whoops! In the last post I shared a lot of photographs of the Small Dinosaur World we made, but forgot to put in the most important photo - the one showing the whole small world, in it's entirety. I've gone back and added it in, if you want to go and check it out.) 

To bring this awesome theme to a close, what could be better than a dinosaur tea party with real yummy fossil dinosaur cookies.

The recipe I used is for roll-into-balls-and-squash-down-with-a-fork-cookies. The original recipe called for brown sugar, but as I didn't have any, I  used white sugar instead.

Basic recipe
225 grams / 1/2 lb. butter
125ml. / 1/2 a cup of sugar (white or brown)
1 egg yolk
500ml. / 2 cups of flour (I used cake flour)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and beat further. Fold in the flour and then using your hands knead into a dough. The texture is quite crumbly, but keep kneading until you have a nice dough. Roll the dough into small balls about 1.5/2cm across in size. Use a fork to flatten them or invite in a friendly dinosaur to stomp on them for you. :)

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 8 to 10 minutes.

These cookies are better the day after I think. They become more crunchy.

Adapted Gluten free/Casein free Cookies
225 grams / 1/2 lb.dairy free margarine (I used Blossom Light)
125ml. / 1/2 a cup of sugar (white or brown)
1 egg yolk
625ml. / 2 and a half cups of flour (I used Glutagon GF Cake flour)

The texture of this dough is very different to the basic recipe. It is not crumbly at all; rather quite sticky, which is why I added the extra flour. My oldest, the eater of these, gave them a big thumbs up. This is definitely one of the better GF/CF  biscuits I've made over the years. 

We needed a special serving plate for our dinosaur cookies, so using this amazing inspiration from Three Little Monkey's Studio blog, I made this T-Rex dish from a paper plate. It's an easy alternative to the melamine plate that Gretchen used.

To end off all the dinosaur fun, here are three really nice dinosaur links:
Some more DIY dinosaur eggs (these are so cool)
A girl's dino birthday party (with free printables)

If you are a South African reader, I do hope you enjoy these last few days of Winter holidays.

Till next time.

PS. Sharing this at The Weekly Kids Co-Op

July 14, 2014

Fun with Dinosaurs {Make a Small Dinosaur World and Salt Dough Fossils}


Dinosaur week(s) has been lots of fun and the best part for me was the day Little One spent in the garden playing with a friend  - ALL DAY - digging for dino fossils. The fossils were some white shells we found on a walk on the beach a long time ago. I hid them in the ground, gave them each a spade and a paint brush, and I demonstrated how to be a Paleontologist (well best I could). After they got tired of looking for the seashell "fossils", they turned to the interesting bits of rock in the garden and then requested hammers, so that some hammering could happen too.

Perhaps it's too wet or cold where you are though to play outside, so I thought it would be fun to share and create a small indoor dinosaur world... for the indoor Paleontologists ;). 

I actually made this scene on my patio table, so technically it's still outdoors, but you can easily duplicate this indoors of course. 

(I must apologise for the very distracting table cloth.)

I used two cardboard boxes and connected them with a long piece of brown felt. I thought the sides of the boxes kept the scene fairly contained, which is helpful for tidying up purposes, and the sides also created a barrier for the dinosaurs to climb over. 

The following things were used to create the scene:

Pebbles/River stones collected from beach walks
White stones (can be purchased at a garden centre)
Small river stones (purchased from The Crazy Store for R20)
Shells that looked like fossils found at the beach
Blue felt to make a dam 
Home-made salt dough fossils (recipe below)
Egg boxes
Home-made volcano
Waterfall made from bubble wrap
Cave made from a tissue box

 I forgot to add greenery, but that's pretty simple, as all the greenery you need can be found in your garden. I added the big egg boxes, which Little One painted, to be the scary volcanic rocks around the erupting volcano. The dinosaurs had to tread rather carefully when crossing the perilous volcanic rock. :) The egg boxes also allowed me to create some height, as they are nice to stack on top of each other. 

The volcano was made from a foam cup, which I covered with brown felt as best I could. I then cut a red square and folded it over the top and glued it on. It took me a few minutes to make it. (A glue gun does come in very handy here.) 

The cave was created from a tissue box. I added some recycled biscuit box cardboard to the outside of it.

The recipe for our salt dough fossils is as follows:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
Mix it together and then roll it out to make a nice smooth dough.

Once you have made the fossils (or anything else for that matter), put it on a baking tray and bake for a few hours at 180 degrees Celsius.

Even though the children are very ready to move on to a new theme, I have decided to share one more dinosaur post, so hold on's a goodie.

July 9, 2014

Fun with Dinosaurs {The South African Museum Visit}


If you are a Cape Townian and you haven't visited The South African Museum, you are definitely missing out. This post is not about the museum though; rather to share some pictures of the very cool dinosaur exhibit. These photos are from two separate visits, in 2011 and 2013.

Don't these baby dinosaurs look so realistic? These are Massospondylus eggs hatching in central South Africa. This reconstruction is based on dinosaur egg fossils found in The Golden Gate Highlands National Park, South Africa.

Absolutely a fantastic outing for the family. After your visit, take a stroll through the Company's Garden and feed the squirrels and pigeons. 

Till next time, happy exploring.

July 7, 2014

Fun with Dinosaurs {Dinosaur Diorama}

I'm having so much fun with this theme that I'm stretching the activities into week two of our holidays. I cannot believe the first week is over... it went way too fast :(

I decided that we definitely needed to make a dinosaur diorama. I saw this really great idea over at Made by Joel (a great Dad Blogger) and knew it would be perfect for our project. 

So we got a shoebox and Big One was put in charge of colouring the scenery. He did this on paper first, which we cut to fit perfectly inside the box. Little One drew some additions to the diorama that we placed inside and around the box. This included an "active volcano" (as he put it) and some palm trees with coconuts on. My job was to stick the dinosaur stickers onto light cardstock and then cut them out. I used the paper clips to make them stand (as you can see in the picture below). This is actually a great cutting activity for the kiddos, except I can rarely get Little One to cut anything out. 

The book we used for all our stickers is called Let's Decorate Dinosaur Stickers. There are plenty of stickers in this book and I highly recommend getting it or something similar if you like this project. It's certainly easier than finding and printing pictures from the internet.

Some more dinosaur fun is still coming up. I do hope that you have enjoyed the activities we have done so far.

Just by the way... are there any themes you would love to see explored here at Love and Lollipops? I'm always open to suggestions. Drop me an email at  gsetzer(at)mweb(dot)co(dot)za or leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Till next time. 

PS. Sharing this at the wonderful Weekly Kids Co-Op.
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