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🦁🐯S M A L L W O R L D🐯🦁 . . This is a wildlife reserve.πŸ…πŸ† It was very simple to set up because I already had the rocks and green rice from previous activities. As usual I left this on her table before I left for work this morning.😁 . . Summer LOOOVES wild animals, well all animals really, and even without a small world set up for her she can last hours pretending to feed, put to sleep and take care of them. πŸ’š . . Happy Monday!😍 . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #smallworld #smallworldplay #wildlifesmallworld #wildlifereserve #smallworldsafari #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

🀠P R E T E N D P L A Y🀠 . . Today we are making French toast.πŸ˜‹πŸžπŸ³ . . Whenever Im tired or busy and cannot give much attention to Summer, Id ask her to prepare something for me in her kitchen. Her automatic response is to make tea or cook eggs! πŸ˜ƒ That will then keep her busy until she demands that I participate in her pretend play. πŸ˜… . . I left this on her kitchen counter this morning. Im sure shell be on it the moment she wakes up.😊 . . . #invitationtoplay #pretendplay #letthemplay #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #ikeaduktig #ikea #duktig #ikeakitchen #toddlerkitchen #woodentoys #woodentoysph #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

🌈C O L O R S O R T I N G🌈 . . This activity is pretty simple for most kids over 2 years old if its only a sorting activity, πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ however, using tongs to pick up the rocks makes it much more challenging. πŸ›  But this helps develop their pincer grip which is a very important fine motor skill. πŸ‘Œ . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #colorsorting #colormatching #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #finemotorskills #finemotoractivities #finemotor

🌈R O C K P A I N T I N G🌈 . . When Summer & my husband went for swimming yesterday afternoon, I painted some of the rocks from the other day to use for a color sorting activity.πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . This is the 2nd activity we are doing using these white rocks. I hope to come up with more.πŸ€” Any other ideas?πŸ’‘ . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #colorsorting #colormatching #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playideas #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #mydubailife #dubailife #momlife

πŸ–S E N S O R Y B O T T L EπŸ– . . Focus and patience - 2 things I saw in Summer when we did this today.😍 She painstakingly filled the bottle with the items I asked her to without breaking focus and attention. She stopped only when she was done.πŸ€— Im quite sure these are qualities she didnt get from my side of the family! πŸ˜‚ . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #sensorybottles #sensoryactivities #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #sensoryplay #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #mydubailife #mydubailifestyle #dubailife

πŸ‘‹S E N S O R Y B O T T L EπŸ‘‹ . . If you checked out my stories youll know that my husband brought home a bag of white rocks last night that got me really excited.😁 Rocks are versatile and the ways to use them in playtime activities are endless. Ive already come up with a couple of ideas just today and this was the first.πŸ’‘ . . Ive made 3 sensory bottles a few weeks ago however, they didnt seem very appealing to Summer.😏 She barely touched them after the night I gave them to her. πŸ€”Today I decided to let HER make one using the rocks and some more materials I already have in my craft kit.πŸ›  Ill share a clip of how it went in my next post (as usual).πŸŽ₯ . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #sensorybottle #simpleactivities #sensoryactivities #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #sensory

πŸ’šC O L O R S E N S O R YπŸ’š . . Heres a clip of how Summer played with the sensory bin I prepared for her yesterday. 😊 I usually post videos after sharing a photo of an invitation to play set up just to show that children do get engaged in the activities we set up for them no matter how simple we think these activities are. Kids are naturally curious and creative and their imagination can go wild. πŸ’­ . . I love how Summer gets so excited whenever I ask her to go sit on her chair and wait for an activity. πŸ’š I noticed that she would also eagerly wait for instructions if I give her something new to play with. 😊 She would first follow what I say but when she gets so into what shes doing, shed come up with her own way to play.😍 . . I dont have the luxury of spending time with my daughter 24/7, but I know that through the daily effort I put into coming up with something we can do together (yes, we do them together though its always only her in the videosπŸ™ˆ) makes the time spent with her even more special.πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #sensorybins #sensoryactivities #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #momsofinstagram #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #busymoms #ideasforbusymoms

🐒C O L O R S E N S O R Y B I N🐒 . . Summer was so engaged in her insect activity the last couple of days that I didnt want to introduce a new one yesterday. Last night I think she started to get bored so I decided its time for a new bin. 😁 . . Since we already had the green colored rice, I thought to just throw in objects of the same shade. πŸ’πŸ’šπŸ›πŸŒ³ I noticed we used green in most of our activities this week - the caterpillar, the playdough monster and the insect bin, so why not end the week with a green sensory activity? πŸ˜‰ This was probably the quickest set up Ive done the whole week.😍 . . I hope you all have a great weekend ahead! πŸ’š . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #sensorybins #sensoryactivities #openendedplay #openendedtoys #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #toddlerplay #toddlerplaytime #everydayplayhacks #greensensory #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #mydubai #playideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ•·I N S E C T S E N S O R Y B I NπŸ•· . . Im trying to introduce more types of insects to Summers vocabulary. πŸπŸ› Im excited for her to see this set up I prepared this morning before leaving. 😊 This will also be a great opportunity to teach her how to use a magnifier πŸ” and a good way for her to practice using the kitchen tongs. πŸ‘Œ . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #sensorybins #sensoryactivities #insectsensorybins #bugbins #playtrays #bugsensorybins #openendedplay #openendedtoys #toddlersensory #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #learningthroughplay #wherelearningmeetsplay #kidactivities

😱M O N S T E R S😱 . . Summer really enjoyed making these monsters. πŸ’š At first she just followed my instructions but by her 2nd monster, she didnt need or WANT my help. πŸ˜… This is such a great activity to encourage imagination and creativity.πŸ’‘ . . I went home from work after lunch because I felt sick.πŸ€’ Im now resting while finishing off a bit of work. The little one is still making monsters! 😁 . . . . . . . . #kidscrafts #toddlercrafts #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #craftytoddler #artsandcrafts #creativeplay #imaginativeplay #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #playdoughmonsters #halloweencrafts #playdoughideas #diycrafts #openendedplay

☻D O U G H M O N S T E R S☻ . . I made a new batch of play dough last night to leave for Summers activity today. I set it up this morning before I left for work, but she woke up early and found me preparing.😴 Whenever she sees me putting things together she knows its for an activity and gets really excited. 😍 She didnt want to go back to bed so I decided to go ahead and let her play. πŸ˜“ . . Check out story highlight to see how easy it is to make play dough.⬆️ . . . . . . #kidscrafts #toddlercrafts #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #craftytoddler #artsandcrafts #halloweencrafts #playdough #playdoughcrafts #diyplaydough #everydayplayhacks #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #playdoughideas #playathome #openendedplay

πŸ₯›G H O S T C U P SπŸ₯› . . Stacking cups isnt as easy as it looks, especially if the cups are in different sizes. This is a great fine motor and hand-eye coordination activity for Summer. I left this on her play table this morning and Im quite sure this was the first thing that caught her attention when she woke up. 😁 Will find out when I get home. πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ . . Thank you @wonder_of_play for the idea. 😘 . . . . . . . . #toddlercrafts #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #craftytoddler #artsandcrafts #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #halloweencrafts #mydubai #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #everydayplayhacks #diytoys

🎨E G G C A R T O N C R A F T🎨 . . Summer loved making her caterpillar. πŸ’š She was very focused on painting the egg carton to look like the caterpillar on the book cover. πŸ˜„ . . Notice how she keeps wiping off the paint on the table. πŸ€” I never had a problem with writings on walls and tables. She doesnt like to paint or write on anything other than the materials I ask her to use.πŸ– . . . . . #toddlerbooks #childrensbooks #theveryhungrycaterpillar #ericcarle #kidsbooks #kidscrafts #toddlercrafts #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #craftytoddler #artsandcrafts #eggtraycrafts #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas #eggcartoncrafts

πŸ“šS T O R Y B A S K E TπŸ“š . . THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - an addition to our list of favorite books. πŸ’š Summer picks the books we read for bedtime stories and this is what shes been choosing every night since last weekend when we got this for her. This inspired todays craft activity - caterpillar out of egg cartons. 😁 . . We made a couple of caterpillars and Summer made one herself, too. Spot which one is hers! πŸ˜‚ Obviously the cutest one in the middle with pink googly eyes! 😍 . . Swipe left to see the materials we used. πŸ›  Ill share a video of Summer making her caterpillar in my next post. 😊 . . . . #readingtime #toddlerbooks #childrensbooks #theveryhungrycaterpillar #ericcarle #storytime #bedtimestories #kidsbooks #storybasket #kidscrafts #toddlercrafts #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #craftytoddler #artsandcrafts #eggtraycrafts #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #momsofinstagram #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #playtimeideas

🌈R A I N B O W R I C E🌈 . . Still a busy weekend for me as I take home some more work πŸ’» so just had to rummage through the kitchen to find stuff to set up todays play time.πŸ” My husband kept some of the rainbow rice from a few weeks ago so this took less than 5 minutes to prepare.πŸ‘ Summer hasnt done this activity with funnels yet and it was a good opportunity to introduce one. She absolutely loved it! 😍 I also made use of some more water bottles I collected from the office to recycle. πŸ’™ . . . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #rainbowrice #playbasedlearning #everydayplayhacks #sensoryplay #sensoryactivity #playtimeideas #playtimeactivities #toddleractivities #letthemplay #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #workingmoms #uaemoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #uaekids #uaebabies #momsofinstagram #mydubai

πŸ–F I N E M O T O RπŸ– . . I said I wont do much activities for Summer this week as I have a ton of deadlines to meet in the office for quarter close. πŸ˜“ As I was cooking pasta for her dinner, I saw this empty salt container ready to be thrown into the trash. I pondered ways to recycle it and this was the best I could come up with.πŸ’‘ . This is a very simple fine motor activity but it took off some of the guilt I felt about not spending enough time with my daughter this last couple of days. πŸ˜” . . Swipe left to see how focused she was on the task! 😊 . . . . . . #finemotoractivities #finemotor #everydayplayhacks #invitationtoplay #learningthroughplay #toddleractivities #finemotorskills #playbasedlearning #letthemplay #workingmoms #dubai #dubaimoms #uae #uaemoms #dubaikids #uaekids #mydubai #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #playtime #playtimeideas #finemotorideas

πŸ” L E T T E R B O A R DπŸ”  . . We use A LOT of water bottles in the office despite having water dispensers and glasses. ☹ I thought this was a great way to reuse them (or at least the part of the bottles). I asked our office assistant to help me collect the empty discarded bottles yesterday. He gave me a lot but I had to sort them by the size and color of the caps and decided to use this type for the alphabet board I was planning to build for Summer. πŸ’‘ She hasnt seen this yet but Im sure shell enjoy replacing the cap with the matching letter. 😁 Ill share a video when we get to do it tonight or tomorrow. For now, Im off to work to close the financial quarter. πŸ˜­πŸ• . . . And I obviously havent collected enough to finish the alphabet.πŸ™ˆ Trash collector duty again at the office today. πŸ˜… . . . #everydayplayhacks #playtimeideas #playbasedlearning #invitationtoplay #diytoys #diyactivities #kidsactivities #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #playtolearn #playtime #learningtime #dubai #dubaimoms #uae #uaemoms #dubaikids #uaekids #mydubai #playtimeinthesandbox #diymoms #raisingSummer #alphabetactivities #playmatters

🐷P I G F A M I L Y🐽 . . Heres a clip of Summers playtime using her Peppa Pig toys. Notice the seating arrangement! 😊 Kids are naturally intuitive and it manifests in the way they play. πŸ’› . . . . . . . . . #peppapig #pigfamily #openendedplaytime #openendedtoys #playtime #playtimeideas #legotrain #trains #playtrains #letthemplay #playbasedlearning #toddleractivities #playideas #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #dubaikids #uae #uaemoms #uaebabies #uaekids #mydubai #toddlertoys #toddlerplay #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

πŸš‚C H O O C H O OπŸš‚ . . Combining 3 of Summers favorite things - bricks, trains and the Pig family. πŸ’œ Her fascination with trains started when we moved to a more central location this year and the Dubai metro train can now be seen from our bedroom window. 🚝 We want to get her an actual train set but I love that she can use her imagination in creating one out of these bricks instead. πŸ’‘ Right after this she wanted to make an airplane but thats a bit above my paygrade πŸ˜‚ so I had to call her papa to take over. πŸ™ˆ . . . . . . . . . . #peppapig #pigfamily #choochoo #trains #playtime #letthemplay #toddleractivities #legotrains #kidsactivities #pretendplay #openendedplay #openendedtoys #openendedplaytime #playtimetoys #playtimeideas #dubaimoms #dubai #dubaikids #dubaibabies #dubaitoddlers #uae #uaemoms #uaebabies #uaekids #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

❄I C E S M A S H I N G❄ . . Here is the video of how we excavated and freed the dinosaurs! πŸ› β„πŸ˜‰ You should really try this! Even I enjoyed smashing the ice! πŸ˜‚ . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #playtime #summeractivities #toddleractivities #kidsactivities #playtimeideas #playideas #letthemplay #learningthroughplay #iceactivities #waterplay #wateractivities #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #dubaikids #uae #uaemoms #uaekids #dubaikidsactivities #mydubai #dinosaurs #dinoactivities #dinosaurlover #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

❄I C E S M A S H I N G❄ . . This is a really fun activity that I enjoyed doing with Summer. πŸ’™ What I love most is that its very simple to prepare and you dont need to head over to the grocery to get the materials. πŸ›  Its a great summer activity for kids! πŸ– . . I would have preferred using sea animals to freeze, but my daughter is a HUUUGE dinosaur fan so she would obviously do anything to excavate and save her favorite animals. πŸ˜… . . Idea from @whatsupmoms πŸ’™πŸ˜Šβ„ Thank you! 😚 . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #letthemplay #waterplay #toddleractivities #kidsactivities #learningthroughplay #playbasedlearning #iceactivities #icesmashing #dubaimoms #dubaikids #dubaibabies #dubai #uaemoms #uaekids #uaebabies #uae #playideas #playtime #raisingSummer #busytoddler #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈS A N D B O XπŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . When we saw how much Summer enjoyed thi DIY sandbox, we decided to turn it into a complete sand & water play set up. So we got her a tiny inflatable pool (water was added eventually but not in photo πŸ˜ƒ) to complement the sandbox. We did this many times during the summer last year. πŸ–πŸœ (And this is what inspired the IG handle πŸ˜‰) . . . . . . . . #diysandbox #sandbox #toddlerplay #toddleractivities #playtime #summertime #dubai #dubaisummer #uae #uaesummer #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #dubaitoddlers #diy #diyideas #uaemoms #dubaikids #uaekids #uaebabies #dubsiplaytime #summeractivities #summertoys #ikea #ikeahacks #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

🏜S A N D B O X 🏜 . . This idea was a product of my unwillingness to spend on an actual sandbox. Its one of those toys that I dont really think is necessary to get for my daughter since Jumeirah Beach πŸ– is just 10 minutes away from our flat. But during the summer the heat can get really bad that we try to stay indoors as much as possible. πŸ˜“ . . This is an Ikea samla box and its just the right size for a DIY sandbox. The lid is a plus for easy clean up and storage. We got the sterilized sand from mumzworld.com. . . . . . . . #sandbox #diysandbox #invitationtoplay #toddleractivities #diytoys #kidsactivities #learningthroughplay #playbasedlearning #finemotoractivities #finemotor #toddlertoys #kidstoys #diyideas #diy #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #dubaitoddlers #dubailife #mydubai #uae #uaelife #uaemoms #uaebabies #summerplay #summeractivities #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈP O T A T O H E A DπŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . We love the Mr. Potato Head toy. It helps develop fine and gross motor skills and early scanning skills for toddlers. And its obviously great for teaching body parts. πŸ‘€πŸ‘ƒπŸ‘‚πŸ‘„πŸ‘ . . Two of these we got from Toys for Less (the one in Al Barsha) and one a gift from family. 😁 . . . . . . #mrpotatohead #potatohead #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #developmentaltoys #toddlertoys #toddleractivities #toysforless #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #uaemoms #dubaibabies #mydubai #invitationtoplay #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #playtime #toddlerplaytime

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈL E G OπŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . Got the idea from @mombricks . You can find downloadable templates on her website, but I opted to make my own because I didnt have some of the Duplo colors in her templates. . . Set up a pattern, took a photo of it, printed and filed in this plastic file folder. 😁 . . . . . . . . . #lego #legoactivities #legoduplo #duplo #duploideas #legoplay #duploplay #toddleractivities #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #legodubai #dubai #uae #dubaitoddlers #dubaimoms #uaemoms #diyideas #diyactivities #playtime #legoplaytime #uaemoms #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ S I M P L E A C T I V I T I E S πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . Very simple but great for developing fine motor. I used tongue depressors instead of the usual straws because I like setting up activities with materials I already have. . I colored the tongue depressors and added stickers to my expired ID and membership cards to make them look more interesting. Swipe left to see the materials I used. πŸ–βœ‚οΈπŸ›  . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #toddleractivities #toddlerlife #simpleactivities #diytoys #diyactivities #simpletoddleractivities #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #uaemoms #dubai #dubailife #mommylife #uae #learningthroughplay #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #playtime #finemotoractivities

πŸ“š B O O K S πŸ“š . . Everything is Mama by @jimmyfallon . . Oh I love this book! πŸ’• We read it everyday. Its thoughtful and very true! 😍❀ . . . . . . . . . #books #toddlerbooks #babybooks #readingtime #reading #booktime #jimmyfallon #everythingismama #mama #storytime #bookswelove #myfavoritebook #dubaibooks #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #dubaimama #dubaimom #uaemoms #dubaibaby #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

🦁 Z O O 🦁 . . Sharing a few clips from our time at the zoo for Summers 2nd birthday last March. πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆ . We chose to go to @emiratesparkzoo because 1) they had a hotel right inside the zoo 2) the whole area is not too big 3) they agreed to accommodate our small gathering with friends by the pool. . . It was a good idea that we spent the whole weekend there because on our first day my daughter was terrified of the animals and didnt quite enjoy as much as the adults (lol) did. She got settled in the next day and wasnt afraid to come close to the animals anymore. We were also able to come early to the zoo when there wasnt a big crowd yet. We had the most amazing time! πŸ˜πŸ’• . . . . . . . #emiratesparkzoo #emiratespark #emiratesparkresort #emiratesparkhotel #emiratesparkzooabudhabi #abudhabi #dubai #uae #uaelife #abudhabilife #dubailife #mydubai #2ndbirthdayideas #2ndbirthday #dubaibabies #dubaimoms #uaemoms #zoo #animals #zoovisit #birthdayideas #birthdayatthezoo #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸŽ‚ T H E 2 N D B I R T H D A YπŸŽ‚ . . When we celebrated Summers 2nd birthday this year, we knew exactly what we wanted to do - keep it simple (for us) and fun (for her). . At this age I guess every child is crazy about animals. Summer is no different. We decided to just buy a cake, pick out some nice balloons and head over to the zoo and have her blow out her candles there. BEST. DECISION. EVER. 😍 Ill share some videos of our time at the zoo on my next post. . I got the idea for the cake from Pinterest and I totally fell in love with it the first time I saw it. Its simple and just what I really wanted for my daughter. πŸ’› . . If you live in Dubai, the cake was made by @katie_makes_cakes and the balloons were from @littlebucket_uae . πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ‚πŸŽˆ . . . . #2ndbirthday #2ndbirthdayideas #birthdaycake #birthdaycakeideas #balloons #animalthemedcake #animalbirthdaycake #birthdaypartyideas #dubaibirthday #partyideas #dubaibirthdays #dubaicakes #dubaiballoons #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #uaemoms #dubaibaby #dubaipartysuppliers #mydubai #littlebucketuae #littlebucket #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

🎨C O L O R M I X I N G🎨 . . When you live in an apartment building and don’t have a backyard (not even a balcony), it becomes a challenge to keep your little one busy without resorting to TV. That’s why I love that there are so many moms here who generously share their wonderful ideas and creative playtime activities. I usually pick out the simple ones that need materials that I already have at home. This is one of them. πŸ’› . . This is a very simple activity. Takes 5 minutes to set up. I got this idea from @handsonaswegrow and went ahead with it when Summer was a little over a year old. It’s a fun fine motor activity which I still use now to teach her colors. . . πŸ–2 food coloring (primary colors) πŸ–3 buckets (2 with water and a few drops of food coloring in each; 1 empty to mix the other 2 colors) πŸ–Measuring scoops . . . . . . . . . #invitiationtoplay #playbasedlearning #toddleractivities #learningthroughplay #dubaimoms #dubaibabies #dubai #uae #colormixing #wateractivities #mydubai #simpleactivities #uaemoms #summeractivities #dubaisummeractivities #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ“šS T O R Y T I M EπŸ“š . This is the first book that Summer picked out on her own. On the day we got it I feel like we read it one billion times. She is a HUGE dinosaur fan. πŸ˜„ . . We read this again yesterday and learned about the unique parts of these beautiful creatures. 😍 . . . . . . . . . . . #dinosaurs #stegosaurus #triceratops #dinosaurlover #dinosaurfan #storytime #booktime #books #toddlerbooks #toddleractivities #dubaibabies #dubaibaby #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #uaemoms #readingtime #reading #playtime #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

πŸ’­ I M A G I N E πŸ’­ . . The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. . - Albert Einstein . . . . . . . . . . #openendedplay #imagination #burjplaza #dubai #uae #dubaibabies #dubaibaby #dubaimoms #mydubai #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #babygap #alberteinsteinquotes #alberteinstein #creativeplay #fosterimagination

🌈R A I N B O W R I C E🌈 . . Summer and I made rainbow rice a few weeks ago after seeing it for the first time in our favorite Instagram page, @where_learning_meets_play .😍❀😊 . . I added some Plus Plus into the mix for her to sift through the rice and collect. She spent the entire afternoon scooping, mixing, sifting! 😁 She was absolutely engrossed with it for A.LONG.TIME. β€πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™ Im convincing my husband that we definitely need an Ikea Flisat table now so we can have a more permanent spot for the rainbow rice in our play space. . Quick question though, is it just me or is this really tough to clean up afterwards? How do you keep the rice contained? πŸ€” . . . . . . . . #wherelearningmeetsplay #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #toddleractivities #rainbowrice #dubaimoms #dubaimums #uaemoms #dubai #mydubai #uae #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #toddlerplaytime #playtime #playtimeideas #dubaibaby #dubaibabies

πŸ₯šE G G T R A YπŸ₯š . . When we went for our grocery shopping this week and I picked up a tray of 6 eggs instead of our usual dozen or two, my husband knew right away what I was thinking. πŸ˜„ Dont the toy eggs look more real in an actual egg tray rather than in a wooden box? πŸ˜πŸ’› . . . . . . . . . #pretendplaytoys #pretendplay #toddlertoys #toddleractivities #woodentoys #woodentoysph #melissaanddoug #melissaanddougtoys #woodeneggs #woodtoys #dubai #uae #dubaimoms #dubaimums #uaemoms #dubaibaby #mydubai #toyideas #pretendplayideas #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ“šS T O R Y T I M EπŸ“š . . For todays story we read about the Tower of Babel. I mentioned a few posts back that Summer is not always keen on playing with her wooden blocks so I thought this was a great opportunity to use them for illustration. . The title of the story was The Tall Tower. She was more than happy to build one and was on the task for quite a while. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’• . . . . . . . . #storytime #readingtime #playtime #woodenblocks #playbasedlearning #toddleractivities #toddlerstories #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaimums #uaemoms #uae #dubaibaby #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #readingideas #books

πŸ” F L A S H C A R D SπŸ”  . . I printed these animal pictures then had them laminated. I attached a magnet tape at the back so my daughter could easily stick them on her board. . . πŸ– animal pics I downloaded from mrprintables.com. πŸ– magnetic tape from Daiso πŸ– magnet board from Ikea . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #flashcards #animals #animalflashcards #ikeauae #ikea #daiso #dubai #dubaimoms #uaemoms #dubai #uae #toddleractivities #toddlerresources #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ›  B U S Y B O A R D πŸ›  . . Our very first DIY project for Summer just shortly after she turned one. This not only came with lights but also with music. The orange thing on the upper left side was from a musical teddy bear. The small remote control beside it is for the lights. She enjoyed pressing the buttons because the lights change according to the color she presses. 😁 . . . . . . . . . . #busyboard #toddlerbusyboard #playtime #toddlertoys #diytoddlertoys #toddleractivities #invitationtoplay #dubaimoms #dubaimom #uae #uaemoms #dubaibaby #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ“š S T O R Y T I M E πŸ“š . . Today we read about Noah. We enjoyed the part where he had to take two of every animal into the ark. Summer had fun looking for all her animals that had a pair. 🦁🦁🐯🐯🐷🐷🐡🐡🐴🐴 . . . . . . . . . . . . #playbasedlearning #readingtime #toddlerstories #toddleractivities #invitationtoplay #raisingSummer #booktime #biblestories #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #dubaimom #dubaimoms

πŸŽ‚ T H E 1 S T B I R T H D A Y πŸŽ‚ . . Sharing a throwback of Summers first birthday party. πŸ’• . . We live far away from our family.Β  We only get to see them once a year so throwing a party to celebrate with all our loved ones back home was just something we really wanted to do at least for her first birthday. πŸ’› . . . . . . . . . #firstbirthday #paperdollbirthday #paperdollbirthdaytheme #dubai #dubaimoms #dubaibaby #uaemoms #uae #partyexpress #1stbirthday #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox #partyideas #partyplanning #partythemes #dubai #uae

🍳 P L A Y K I T C H E N 🍳 . . This is our version of the Duktig facelift. 🌝 . . My husband is in construction so he got his friends from work to help us pimp up the Ikea play kitchen.Β  They painted the counter and most of the body and fixed the white tile board to make it look more realistic.Β  My husband also installed some lights.Β  Swipe left to see it with the lights on. πŸ’› . The fridge is DIY - made with 2 stacked Ikea Hallans and a couple of Ace Hardware closet handles.Β  My husband did all the work for this one. πŸ’ͺ . This was our Christmas present for Summer last year. πŸŽ…πŸŽ„ I still cant forget her face when she found it next to the tree. 😍❀ This year we are planning to get what would be our first ever Grimms toy - the rainbow stacker. πŸ™ . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #duktig #ikeaatmyplace #ikeauae #ikea #ikeaduktig #ikeaduktighack #ikeaduktigmakeover #woodentoysdxb #woodentoys #dubailife #dubaimoms #dubai #uae #toddlertoys #toddleractivities #playtimeinthesandbox #raisingSummer

βšƒ B L O C K S βš‚ . . My little one is not a big fan of wooden blocks. 😒 This is why Im putting our set of Melissa & Doug blocks on her shelf this week to encourage her to play with them a little more. Its the only set of building blocks we have aside from Duplo. . What other types of blocks do you think we should get? . . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #woodentoysdxb #woodentoys #woodentoysph #playtimeinthesandbox #dubaimom #dubaimoms

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ P U Z Z L E S πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . Summer loves this activity. We first form the puzzles then look for the animals on the shelf to match them with. . The tiger is her favorite puzzle to do but unfortunately we lost the toy that we usually sort it with. Today I suggested that we replace the tiger with the cheetah. When I handed her the toy, she looked at it closely then glanced at the tiger puzzle on the floor to compare. After a moment of careful thought, she stood up and placed the cheetah in the box and covered it, a sure sign that she didnt like the suggestion one bit. Spots and stripes are NOT the same, mama! πŸ˜‚ . . . . . . . . #invitationtoplay #playbasedlearning #toddleractivities #melissaanddoug #dubai #uae #playandlearn #raisingSummer #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ—„ S H E L F I E πŸ—„ . Over the last couple of weeks I sold many of my daughters plastic, electronic and soft toys. The intention was to declutter and keep whats on the shelf minimal. I dont have a big budget to spend on toys so most of these are from 2nd hand Facebook pages in Dubai - the Ikea Kallax shelf, Ikea Flisat shelf and the barnyard play set. I also take a monthly trip to Brands for Less to look for wooden boxes or trays and to Miniso for puzzles to add to our collection. . . . . . . #playbasedlearning #invitationtoplay #shelfie #shelfielicious #ikeaatmyplace #ikeauae #ikeamiddleeast #ikea #dubailife #dubai #melissaanddoug #woodentoys #woodentoysdubai #woodentoysdxb #thriftymom #playspace #playtime #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈP L A Y S P A C EπŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ . . This is our current set up.Β  It changes very often.Β  Since we moved from a bigger flat 5 months ago, we have rearranged this area at least 8-10 times because we cant quite figure out how to organize it in a way that makes it easy to tidy up.Β  Plus it is a challenge to fit all the stuff we have hoarded into the much smaller space we have now. We realized though that no parent can really escape a messy room with a toddler around, so I guess well keep the play space this way for a while. . . . . . . . . . #playbasedlearning #invitationtoplay #ikeaatmyplace #shelfielicious #shelfie #woodentoys #motherhoodunplugged #playspaceshowcase #playtimeinthesandbox

πŸ“ C O N T E N T πŸ“ Right off the bat I want to say I am no expert. I have no degree in education, never taught a class (well except for Sunday school) hence my opinion does not carry that much weight. Take everything with a grain of salt. 😊 I love making activities for my daughter. I follow many play based learning accounts and many of them are truly amazing. ❀️ I get great ideas from these very creative moms and I try my best to recreate them at home. But I’m a busy mom. 😞 I work full time and only have the evenings and weekends to play with my daughter. πŸ˜”I’m also an average income earner so I don’t have that much resources to buy expensive toys. The good quality toys, especially wooden ones that are durable (and very pretty πŸ’•) are pricey, and most of them are not even available in my location 😒 so I would need to spend extra on shipping cost. You get the picture. What I want to share are the things that I do to make do. They are not original ideas, many I take from Instagram & Pinterest because unlike other moms, I wasn’t blessed with a natural sense of creativity πŸ˜’. I also want to share things that I discover in my daughter’s playtime - what she builds, how she imagines. ❀️ These are all thoughts, ideas and learnings of a first time mom figuring it out one day at a time. And this little beach bum is my daughter Summer. β˜€οΈβ›±πŸŒ . . . . . . #dubai #uae #dxb #personalblog #playtimeinthesandbox #playbasedlearning #invitationtoplay #dubailife #raisingSummer #dubaimoms #uaemoms #dubaibaby

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