Hello party people! Got your whistles and horns? Wearing short shorts and waving your flags? Then join the line, it’s carnival time! Rum punch in the bowl on your left, fill up your water bottle (What? That’s not water? Oh Ok, mixers on the right) and turn up the stereo ’cause it’s party time!

New here? Wondering what’s going on? No, we’re not serving alcohol to the kids – today I am hosting the Babyhuddle Play Carnival. Here’s where you can get some great ideas on how to entertain the kids, come rain or shine. I am very happy to be hosting this carnival, as I blogged recently about how outdoor play always trumps indoor activity for Mushroom and I. This is still true today, however, I now have some great ideas for the next time we’re stuck indoors – we’ll never be bored again.

So, let me introduce the real hosts of this party:

Filling up at the punch bowl we have Rachel McClary over at Right from the start. Rachel asks  Do children need toys? Her experience when she first arrived in the US reminded her of the importance of not only using household objects for play but also trusting children to use real things around the home rather than ‘child friendly’ versions. Rachel also blogs about messy play both indoors and out, explaining Why playing with mud is good for children and how she disovered that Making muddy footprints isn’t always easy. Indoor ideas include playing with shaving foam – an idea from her daughter! and playing with ice – a great idea, especially in the summer months when it can also cool down overheated toddlers (I will be trying this out if the weather ever improves!)

Over there on the danecfloor is Tami Anderson from Mummy of two who asks whether playing with your kids is boring or fun? If you’re leaning towards boring, perhaps a session of messy play with Rainbow spaghetti could change your mind…

To her left is Leyla Brooke from This day I love. Leyla has some great examples of proper messy messy play (be prepared for a big clean up but it’s worth it for the fun you’ll have!)… We’re loving play with  Sand (yes, indoors!), home-made strawberry scented Play dough (watch they don’t eat it) and she shows us how to make snow any time of year for Indoor snow fun. Less messy play includes a special Jewellery box (I have copied this idea already as Mushroom is always in my jewellery box – now he has his own!) and Playing outside before lunch.

Standing in the far corner waving at you (yes, you!) is Jessica McGlynn from Catch a single thought. Jessica shares some ideas for Spring play – water and bubbles are always winners in our house – and as for the ribbon, I want one of those! I’m sure there’s a Poundland near me… Jessica also writes about not so messy messy play (so suits me perfectly) with tissue paper. Simple but so much fun!

Behind Jessica is Emma Louise Garrett from The Mini Mes and Me. Emma talks about the importance of making time to play to help our children’s development and links up with some great ideas including rock pets, cellophane window decorations and more shaving foam – this time with colour! Also talking about making time to play is Eileen Teo from ET Speaks From Home, who shows us how to make some cute masks with a video starring her lovely kids.

Finally, if you head to the kitchen you’ll find Louise Fairweather brewing A Strong Coffee… Louise gives us an another alternative to snow that’s available all year round snow – crazy (foaming) soap!

So… Now that you’ve met everyone, why not join us? Fill that bottle with rum punch and hit the dancefloor, or head into the kitchen for tea/coffee and a chat? If you have any more ideas for keeping the little ones entertained when we all get home, do share them below! As we all know, it’s the guests who make the party so let’s keep this carnival going all week!