Archive | August, 2012

Farm play mat

25 Aug

Now that I’ve finally learnt to sew, I thought I should put my new skills to use.

We bought The Limpet for her birthday some farm animals but she doesn’t have a farm house or barn or anything like that. So after searching through Pinterest, I decided to make a farm play mat.

I’d like to say that I used lots of scraps of fabric that I had lying around but as I’m new to this sewing malarkey I don’t have many scraps. So off I went to my local haberdashery to buy lots of fabric in various textures, colours and patterns.

I planned out a rough design and then got to work cutting bits up and sewing the whole thing together.

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I wanted to make it as appealing as possible so I added lots of different textures. I used mainly cotton fabric but also included a heavy wool, corduroy, felt, ribbon and wool.

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I wanted to inspire the monsters imagination and creativity so I didn’t make anything too obvious apart from the pond.

It was only finished last night but so far it has gone down very well. Here is a picture of The Limpet enjoying playing with it.

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Nature treasure shelf

24 Aug

We have a new addition to our nature table.

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This box originally contained a gorgeous little wooden cake set that The Limpet got for her birthday. When I looked inside the box I realised that it would be a perfect storage container for found treasures.

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It also has the added bonus of being able to be pushed back against the wall and out of the reach of The Gannet who still likes to eat everything he finds.

Baby led posting creation

23 Aug

This creation was devised entirely by The Gannet (aged 16 months). We recently made a cardboard castle and he has spent ages posting a variety of objects through the turrets. One day he sat for about 20 minutes doing this.

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So based on this, I went around the house gathering tubes of different heights and widths. I glue gunned them together and then The Limpet and I painted them while The Gannet slept.

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I always think its good to involve her in making things for her brother. And she seemed to take a lot of joy in it and told him all about it the instant he woke up.

He’s posted through a variety of small toys since we gave it to him but when I first showed it to him I handed it over with our tub of pompoms.

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Both monsters have enjoyed playing with this and have sat together engrossed in posting things and seeing them fall through.
Activities which are led by a child’s own interests are certainly the best, and the ones most likely to succeed.

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Cardboard castle

12 Aug

This week we’ve been discovering all about ourselves, our country and its history. As part of this we created a castle from a cardboard box, some kitchen paper rolls and toilet paper rolls.

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Here in Britain we have many great castles and when we went on holiday last month we were lucky enough to visit a couple of Welsh castles which the monsters loved exploring. This was their first experience of castles so I thought it would be an ideal time to do a castle craft.

We began by googling castle images to look at their main features. We then found the cardboard items that we needed and I decided to use my glue gun to attach it all together as I knew this would make it more durable.

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The Limpet and I then got to work painting it all over. You can see on the next picture, a secret door we created at the back which I thought would make it more fun for playing with.

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This was a fun activity to do and has the added bonus of now being able to be played with.

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Learning about where we are from

10 Aug

We currently have the Olympics taking place in our own country so I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce the monsters to some other countries and cultures.

We’ve signed up to take part in a cultural exchange which I’m very excited about and will be posting more details soon. As part of this we have to put together a variety of items from the UK. This has made me realise that the monsters probably don’t know much about where they are from and our own history. So this week we’ve been to the library to get a book about England and its traditions and we took a trip to our local museum.

I was so impressed with the museum that I purchased a season ticket so we can make regular trips there. It’s not huge as we only live in a small town but it contains so much for young children. They have lots of items to touch and explore and feely bags to stick your hands in if your brave enough.

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The Limpet enjoyed trying out some old toys. And The Gannet loved dressing up in some traditional clothes. He only learned to walk last week but he had great fun walking through the whole place with his hat on. And yes – most of the time it was covering his eyes.

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When we got home we put together a map of the world jigsaw puzzle that The Limpet got for her birthday.

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Hopefully these early geography and history discoveries will be a good foundation for future learning.

Birthday T-shirt

6 Aug

My first born baby recently turned three, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?!

We were actually on holiday over her birthday so it was a bit different to normal birthday celebrations. But before we left I was determined to make her a birthday T-shirt with my new sewing skills. Unfortunately this was my first attempt at doing sewing in anything but a straight line. It turns out that a number 3 is incredibly curvy and was a bit of a challenge!

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I first made one for my son’s birthday and love this new little birthday tradition.

I was inspired by these wonderful creations that are made by loving siblings on itstwoam. I’m too controlling to let the kids take over this activity just yet! But when they are older I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

More cardboard box fun

5 Aug

We’ve had great fun playing with the London bus, so much so that it was starting to fall apart. It was also taking up rather a lot of space in the house so sadly it had to go out with the recycling. But before it went we had a bit more fun with it.

I led it down on its side and turned it into a crawling den. I enlarged the front window to make a hole for crawling through. The Limpet was a little unsure to begin with until I found a small torch for her to shine into it.

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It’s amazing how long a torch can keep a child entertained for!

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It was very dark in there and therefore quite difficult to take pictures.

After a while I made holes in the top and pushed through some silk scarves to add a bit more interest.

With some of the spare cardboard I also decided to try and make an easel. I used pegs to secure it together. I could have stuck it down but thought that by using pegs it means I can take it apart again very quickly to be able to store it flat.

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I often moan that The Limpet is yet to find her creative side. But surprisingly she loved painting on her easel and sat there for about half an hour creating her masterpiece.