Month: September 2015

Making Breakfast Sensory Play from Felt: Tracing Shapes

There is some very nice sensory play items on the commercial market. But, I prefer to make my own felt shapes versus purchasing manufactured products.

This multi-part post will show you how to get started making economical  felt shapes for pre-school children and younger grade school children.

Felt breakfast

Felt breakfast. Image copyright Malika Bourne


Making felt items for kids to experience texture and shapes is requires minimal artistic skills and few tools.

  1. Felt in different colors can be found at craft stores and fabric stores.
  2. Scissors
  3. Markers
  4. Paper. (i use tissue paper, paper sack, new paper, old envelope.)
  5. Variety of different shapes to trace. In this post we focus on circles.


Coins for small round templates to trace.

Coins for small round templates to trace. Image copyright Malika Bourne

Household items to trace for the shape

  • jar lids
  • note cards
  • small boxes
  • spools
  • coins
  • credit cards
Trace credit cards

Trace credit cards for rectangles. Image copyright Malika Bourne

In this last image I used empty roll of Duct Tape to make nice circles.

What could  a tan colored felt circle be in your child’s imagination?


Tape roll to trace large circle

Tape roll to trace large circle. Image copyright Malika Bourne.

I imagined a cookie to go along with the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at first.

Then I saw a pancake or a ball.

What is most important, tho’ , is what your child can imagine in play.

  • Understanding that need for freedom to imagine, I did not want that circle to be locked in to only being a chocolate chip cookie.
  • Chocolate chips made from scraps of darker brown felt can be added to or taken away as the child sees fit.
  • Save the  scraps in a zip-lock bag.. Some time in the near future you may need  tiny pieces of this or that. Why go buy a 9 X 12 piece for a 1 inch square? Using left-overs is almost like gettign them for free.


Fried Egg:

  • bigger white circle
  • smaller yellow circle

The amazing thing about using basic shapes is that a plain circle  can also be a beach ball , sun, a plate r anything else your child can image.

If you are reading Green Eggs and Ham you may want to substitute with  green circles used a a rug in play living room.


What do felt shapes do?

  • Felt shapes inspire imaginary play as children mimic adults and others at work, at hoe, at play as children learn about the world they live in.
  • The more senses we use the more we retain what we learned.
  • Match; count;sort;create and more…

Resources for parents to explore:


Update September 17, 2017: Wow! over 2 years have passed since I publisheed this post. Making felt shape turned into an on-line Shopify Store now known at No Non-cents Nanna’s Heart Felt Play Store. Click HERE to begin to Explore the Store collections.


Hits: 132

Pre-Schoolers Learning to Sew Dolls Clothes part 2

This post is a continuation of Pre-Schoolers Learning to Sew Dolls Clothes and can be adapted to other learning experiences.

This old No Non-cents Nanna knows when children are given the opportunity,along with the adults patience, they can do many things on the road to eventual independence.


sewing doll clothes 20150911_104845 (2)

4 year old proudly shows off doll clothes we sewed together.

What parts can a 4 year old ‘sew”?

  • Pick out the material and thread color.
  • Lay pieces of clothe on the doll to design the most beautiful dress in the whole world EVER!
  • Pick up the sewing machine bobbin off the floor when Nanna drops it.
  • Chose to make a skirt and top or a dress.
  • Choose to have the  doll wear  the leggings Nanna made from a sock even if Nanna  thinks- to her self – those legging  match the outfit too well.

Remember: this is the child’s project. It is NOT YOUR project to tell the child what to make… so, keep the choices to acceptable and safe limits.*


In image below you will see me stitching a running seam  The 4 year old decided we would sew a skirt with purple tulle. She wanted a “big fluffy skirt”.

Nanna showed how to gather on the sewing machine.

Nanna showed how to gather on the sewing machine.

Note the stitches then see the next image.

Note the stitches then see the next image.


How to make a Gather

Pull one thread to gather

  • When shown just a little a 4 year old can pull a thread to make the material “gather”.

I had ideas how to design this ball gown.

I expressed my opinion knowing it was good manners to ask, “Is that OK if we drape the material this way?”

It was a good thing I asked because the 4 year old envisioned the back being much much much longer…

..and that is OK because it is for her doll, not mine.

sewing doll clothes 20150911_161616 (2)

A 4 year old can help make sticky Velcro stick to a homemade doll dress.


  • When teaching any child a new skill keep the KISS method in mind: Keep It Simple Sam!

There were very few seams in this gown.

I left the seams raw.

In the image above the 4 year old had picked the color of sticky Velcro to use to fasten the beautiful ball gown.she even helped both sides stick by pressing down hard then counting to 6 or 7 or 8…in any order she chose.


The best-est Princess Ball Gown EVER.

The best-est Princess Ball Gown EVER.

Her Monster High doll with missing arms was now a fairy princess!

“I sewed her Ball Gown all by myself!’

Yes, the 4 year old was learning to sew.


Check out this related link found at Kids Can Sew Official Website

Wiki-How also has a great resource to learn to sew.:

How to Teach a Child to Sew: 6 Steps (with Pictures …

I am Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna encouraging to to make good choices!


Now it is your turn: What do think?

How can you adapt this learning experience  to another project?


Note form No No-cents Nanna:

*Giving a few choices allows the child to they have some power and control over their environment. Allowing the child to make choices teaches not only skills for life but encourages good behavior.

There are times for safety sake we parents must firmly state, “This is NOT a choice,this time.”

There are valuable lessons to be learned from making choices as a child. Now, the adult may not chose to do things the same way because we already know the idea will fail. Let it fail with in safe boundaries. The child  will learn to make a different choice next time.

( I’m NOT saying to let the kids experience jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge or mixing ammonia and bleach. it would be stupid to not stop them.)

When my best friend from Junior High was quite grown up and a local judge we were confidentially discussing a situation concerning some one we both knew who blew an large inheritance on dumb stuff.

She said, ” Every one needs to make stupid choices with an allowance when they are 12. They will learn to manage theirs lives better than when the parents always tell then what to do.”


Hits: 212

Made a Difference in the Life of a Stranger with Random Act of Kindness

This last Sunday I walked to the store. I wasn’t feeling so good. I was unaware that I was coming down with pneumonia.

Unexpectedly 4 different strangers smiled and opened doors for me. I wondered if I looked as bad I felt.

These random  acts of kindness gave me the strength to walk home feeling a nice up lift in mood to walk home.


Big No Non-cents Nanna hugs go out to those 4 very kind people in Colorado Springs I want to say THANK YOU! You made my day brighter!


In an old post on Bubblews I had listed 10 things I do regularly-when my lungs aren’t full of fluid.

I quote my self.

My Favorite Ways to Give Back

January 27, 2014

1. Give a smile.

2. Let someone go ahead of you in a grocery line.

3. Hold the door open for stranger.

4. Take a meal to some on who has a new baby, got out of the hospital or has been ill.

5. Pick up trash in the neighborhood.

6. Help someone unload their groceries into or out of the car.

7. Give a compliment to the supervisor about an employee who did a great job.

8. Ask if you can give someone a hug.

9. Listen, Just listen.

10. Say thank you.

Now, I am curious what other people do to give back.


Did you know that is  a real organization about Random Acts of Kindness?

Check it out!

Welcome | Random Acts of Kindness

Quote: “Welcome to the Random Acts of Kindness Website. Our aim is to inspire others to practice kindness and pass it on.”


Note from Nanna: When my daughter learned I had pneumonia she came over to help out by helping care for her disabled brother. She cooked and cleaned for us.

I love you,daughter!

Hits: 100

Is it Time to Have The Talk About Diapers with Grandpa?

Recently my posts have been about talking to your children about sensitive matters .From time to time on my blog I write  about diapers and potty training.

Potty training oops is kind of cute in a socially acceptable way. But, what if Grand starts wetting his pants?

diapers chucks




Incontinence is a sensitive subject to talk about with a senior citizen.

  • All of us no matter our adult age want to maintain our independence and dignity.
  • I has come to may attention recently that older men living alone have no idea what to do when they started loosing control of their bladder and or bowels.I have seen it with elderly men in my apartment building. Neighbor ladies complain about urine stinking on their brothers or them soiling their Lazy-boy chairs.

You probably get the idea of an adult messing themselves is not nearly as pleasant as baby pee and pooh.

  • No adult man who has worked hard all of his life wants to feel like a baby in diapers if they become incontinent.

.A friend of mine shared with me that she took an aging man to the store to buy DEPENDS ( brand name of adult diapers) and diaper wipes.

The poor old guy had no idea what to do to keep clean after an accident in his underwear. He is not alone in being unprepared for when they can not make it to the bathroom.

  • What I am suggesting is is if you have an elderly father, as embarrassing for them as it is, find the time to have The Talk about staying independent by using an incontinent product.

I know this is weird. ( It is kind of like preparing a daughter for feminine hygiene products.)

  • Granddad is not going to want to go to the store to try to figure out how to tell the clerk that he pees his pants.
  • He is not going to want to do that.I would get a package of Depend undergarments for dear old Dad, “just in case he has a friend”.
  • Be sensitive even if he throws that package at you.

Most older women are familiar with dribbles and wear a sanitary pad. We get used it after decades of having periods.

  • But, for many men, the diaper thing is too humiliating. I would emphasize an undergarment can help Dad keep his Independence with dignity.


What do you think about having The Talk about incontinence with your aging parent? Or are you the aging one, like I am?

I re-purposed an old post of mine from bubblews because I think it about time to bring up the subject once a agina.

Copyright Malika Bourne November 13, 2013

Hits: 250