Archive | April, 2012

Bottle top posting

30 Apr

My son’s current love is putting items inside things and taking them out again. Last week he decided to throw something down the toilet for the first time. Unfortunately that thing was my husbands mobile phone!

To encourage his new hobby (and save any more toilet dramas) I decided to make him his own posting box. I’ve been saving milk bottle tops for a while and thought they would be idea to post through small gaps. Small enough to develop fine motor skills but not so small as to be a choking risk.

I used a smallish box and cut a number of slits into it on both sides, some vertical and some horizontal. This took me about two minutes maximum.

The Gannet started posting his bottle tops without any instructions. When he managed to get the first one through he peered into the hole wondering where it had gone. I left the top of the box open so that he could easily find all the bottle tops again and empty them out.

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As usual, The Limpet also had to join in with the fun. She found the activity very easy until she got to the hole which I had accidentally cut smaller than the bottle top!

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Our 1st nature table

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I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about Waldorf ideas and one of the many things I love about it is the nature table. So here is my first ever nature table celebrating the arrival of spring.

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It doesn’t have much on it yet but I hope we can continually add to it as we find more treasures when out exploring.

I painting the spring tree picture myself yesterday. It’s been ages since I have done any painting but I quite enjoyed it.

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The blossom is from our own apple tree. The other flowers were also collected in our garden.

The twig came from our recent walk in the woods and is decorated with scrapbook paper in spring like colours. I got this great idea from this link on Pinterest (have I mentioned just how much I love that site?!)

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While I was painting my picture I thought I’d let The Limpet have a go at watercolour painting too. I mixed some paint in with small amounts of water. She enjoyed using this for a while but then decided that my small paint set looked like much more fun. Her picture actually turned out really well and she sat doing it for an extraordinary length of time.

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To go along with our nature table we have got a wonderful Shirley Hughes book out of the library called Out and About. It is a collection of poems and beautiful pictures celebrating the changes in each season. Shirley Hughes is my favorite children’s author, I love all her work and have done since I was a child.

 

 

Sunshine after the rain

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We’ve had a lot of rain recently and today even had thunder and lightening followed by a hailstorm. I wish I could be the sort of mum who was happy to take the kids outdoors regardless of the weather but I’m not. In fact I think I might be allergic to rain. Fortunately by the time the two monsters woke from their nap, the grey skies had cleared and the sun was shining brightly.

We decided to put on wellies and head to the woods. The Limpet loved jumping in all the puddles and squelching through the mud.

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We watched squirrels running up trees and spotted signs of spring.

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Can you spot the ladybird on the leaf?

Our local woods also have a great adventure area. Most of which is aimed at bigger kids but we were able to enjoy some bits.

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The joy of playdough

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I’ve read a number of blog post about how great playdough is and how children play with it endlessly. Up until recently I had not been at all convinced and neither had The Limpet.
I have always got the playdough out and then given her the usual tools – plastic knife, plastic scissors, plastic cookie cutters etc. She would play for a while, particularly if I also sat and made things with her, but she has never seemed that enthralled by it. That was until I gave her some natural items to use with the playdough. With the help of some pebbles, shells, sticks and pine cones she was entertained for ages.

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This brightly coloured shop bought playdough was a gift. Before we were given this I had started making my own and intend to do so again. The homemade version feels so much better.

I’ve also been reading a lot lately about the benefits of ‘loose parts’ in children’s play. This was a great example to me and I’m slowly beginning to realise that children play best when they are given materials (generally natural ones) that allow for open ended play.

Painting with a two year old

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I’m slowly starting to realise (and accept) that when painting with a two year old, no matter what activity you plan it will always result in hand prints.

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And another realisation – washing the paint off your hands in a bowl of warm bubbly water is even more fun than the painting activity.

1st birthday

8 Apr

My adorable gorgeous smiley boy turned one today. I can’t quite believe how quickly this year has flown by.

As his birthday fell on Easter day we decided to throw a party and an Easter egg hunt for all the kids. We had a tea and cake party and sticking with the Easter theme we included chocolate nests and simnel cake. As it was a childrens party we also had jelly and icecream. It was The Gannet’s first taste of jelly and icecream as he wasn’t too sure at first but true to his nickname he ended up finishing the lot.

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Our party decorations included my new ‘Happy birthday’ banner and a timeline of photos of my son throughout his first year.

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The dinosaur birthday cake was inspired by one I saw on pinterest. Unfortunately it was a bad link and didn’t go to the original source so I can’t give credit. It was quite tricky as it was cooked in a pudding bowl to create the shape but I was pleased with how it turned out.

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This is a picture of the birthday boy enjoying a slice of cake. You can just see his birthday t-shirt that I made for him. I bought a plain t-shirt (which it turns out is difficult to find, I got one from m&s in the end) and cut out a large number one to sew on to the front. I used one of his old babygrows for the material.

We all had a lovely day but I think it meant more to me than anyone else. I certainly had fun celebrating my son’s first year and reminiscing about his birth.

Messy play

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I haven’t written much lately about what we’ve been up to and since a lot of it has been making a mess of one kind or another, I thought I put it all in one post.


The first adventure we got up to was playing with ‘gloop’. This is just cornflour mixed with water and creates a bizarre and wonderful sensory experience. We had three bowls on the go and added a little bit of food colouring to make each one different. We both had such fun playing with it that I decided to keep it for the next day. It was actually a few days later that we went back to it, by which time it had completely dried out and was solid in the bowl. But strangely enough my daughter almost had more fun with it like this. She loved chipping away at it and crumbling it up.

  

We also tried muffin tin printing which I have seen on pinterest. Initially this didn’t seem to be going well as the paint didn’t go on very well to my non stick pan. But my daughter (who obviously didn’t know or care about how it was ‘meant to turn out) had great fun swirling the paint round with a cottonbud. The finished prints were also rather good.

Our next very messy activity was spray and splatter painting to create an Easter egg garland. Due to the lovely sunny weather last week we were able to do this outside. This was a good job due to the mess we made. I put very watered down paint into an old spray bottle and showed The Limpet how to use it. It took her a few goes but she eventually mastered it. We also used toothbrushes to splatter more colours on.

  


When we had finished we left them out in the sunshine to dry. I then sewed through them and they are now strung up in the dining room ready for our big Easter birthday party for The Gannett.