I made this family tree as a birthday present for my mum. I had found a few ideas on Pinterest but most just featured names and I really wanted to include photos.
It was a great way to use up some of the large amounts of scrapbook paper that I own. The picture is displayed in a shadow box so that some of the elements can stand out. All the photos and text were attached with sticky foam pads so that they are slightly raised from the background.
This branch shows me and my brood.
I added the year as obviously using photos (particularly of children) will mean that it dates quickly but I like the fact that it represents this moment in time.
After many miserable days we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a bit of sunshine so we’ve been in the garden making the most of it.
Surprisingly the garden is looking quite good. I rarely get time to do any work to it but happily it takes care of itself and year after year the flowers appear.
Here are just a few of my favourites that are in bloom at the moment.
The last shot is of a dragonfly taking a rest on our miniature pond.
We’ve been having great fun discovering all sorts of bugs and The Limpet seems particularly keen on them (even spiders). I found an old piece of drift wood that I had left in one of the boarders and brought it out to investigate. She discovered loads of woodlice, spiders, greenfly and a centipede.
It’s birthday season in our house at the moment so The Limpet is currently obsessed with listing who has already had their birthday.
Her little brother (The Gannet) starts the celebrations off in April, then my birthday was in May and Mr Monster’s is in July shortly followed by The Limpet so unfortunately for her, she has to wait the longest.
In order to help her understand about the months of the year and when her birthday will be, I devised a birthday wheel. I had intended to add some other details about events that happen throughout the year but it didn’t really have enough space after we’d stuck on the photos.
We did add a season wheel to the centre and she decorated it with appropriate colours and collage items. We discussed the different season as she was doing this.
The larger circle was divided into 12 sections, one for each month. We stuck photos of family members onto their birthday months. The wheel was then put together and attached to a piece of card with a split pin so that it could spin round. I added an arrow to the top which is stuck on one end to the backing card so that it always points to the correct month.
At 14 months my son’s favourite activity is putting stuff into things and taking it out again. I was reading him his favourite story this morning Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell and I realised how much he would love reenacting it.
Whilst he was taking a nap I got The Limpet to help me find a variety of boxes, bags and baskets to hide our animals in. I raided the toy box and fortunately found all the animals we needed. We set it all up in the lounge and when he woke up he got straight to work exploring the contents and working out how to get each animal out.
It turned out to be a great activity for both children and it was lovely to see how well they interacted with each other while playing.
I started to read the story while they opened the appropriate box but The Limpet quickly took over as she knows it off by heart.
I’m thinking of doing a few more activities based on this book such as writing letters, making animal masks, animal role play and maybe even a visit to the zoo.
I often think my children aren’t that good at playing but when I look in their toy box I can see why. It’s a complete jumble of mixed up toys which all look very uninviting. I’ve realised that at their young age they often need a prompt or some kind of encouragement.
When I worked in nurseries we would always set out the toys before the children arrived and make the activities look as inviting as possible. This is now something I intend to do at home a lot more.
I set up our first play scene today based on one of our favourite places – the beach.
I put large and small pebbles and shells at one end and a pile of sand with a ‘bucket and spade’. I filled a tray with water for the sea and added some blue glass pebbles. I included some small figures to play on the beach. Unfortunately we don’t have many little people but Mr Tumble seemed to enjoy his trip to the seaside!
Both the monsters enjoyed playing with this especially once The Limpet decided to mix the sea in with the sand.
I will definitely be setting up more imaginative play scenes for them to explore in the future.