I’ve not been blogging much later due to a number of things. Firstly we went away for a week and since returning I’ve had a lot of other projects on the go (I’ll go into more details about this soon…)
But I’ve still been busy trying to keep my little monsters entertained. Last weekend we all visited a local scarecrow festival. It is an annual event and this years theme was heroes and villains.
Some people had gone to great lengths with their scarecrows and props. It’s apparently all just for fun and isn’t judged but I think the whole village is pretty competitive about it.
There were a number of Olympic themed heroes.
This garden was getting the biggest crowd for obvious reasons.
Another of my favourite ones was the child catcher complete with working cage – unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that one.
When we returned I thought it would be good to make a scarecrow picture with The Limpet. I decided to cut up different shapes for her to build her own scarecrow.
I didn’t want to tell her how to create it, however, I did think that the large pink circle I had cut out was a very obvious face. My independent daughter had her own ideas though and this was her finished creation.
I had never heard of an eye spy bottle before seeing them on pinterest. At first I wasn’t too sure about how well they would work, the majority seemed to come with a list of items that needed to be found. This obviously wouldn’t work with pre-readers.
Then I discovered this brilliant rainbow eye spy bottle on Pink and Green Mamas site. It looked so pretty and inviting that I decided to give it a go.
After finding two tiny dolls shoes I had a sudden brainwave to put two of every item into the bottle. This way there’s no need to mess about with written or visual lists. It’s a bit like a mix between eye spy and pairs.
I found about 30 pairs of tiny items such as buttons, pasta animals, beads, tiny pegs etc. And used some multicoloured dyed rice which we had previously used for sensory play. I got The Limpet to help me fill the bottle. I thought that it would be good for her to see all the items that were going into it and it also gives her a feeling of ownership over of it.
The bottle is also proving very popular with The Gannet (aged 17 months). He seems to like turning it over and over seeing what he can find but he also just loves the noise it makes when he shakes it.
Our first parcel has arrived as part of the worldwide culture swap that we’ve taken part in. It has come all the way across the world from the Australian family.
The monsters got very excited, although I have to admit they found the bubble wrap the most exciting part of the contents!
Inside the box was a jar of vegemite, a money tin with a picture of an Aussie dollar on it, an Australia boomerang magnet and lots of details about the items and the country.
The magnet was decorated with an aboriginal style dot pattern. I thought this would be an interesting craft activity for The Limpet so we started researching aboriginal artwork on Google. I thought it would be interesting to do our artwork on some rocks we had collected from the beach. I set some paints out with a cotton wool bub in each and The Limpet got to work.
Her dots soon developed into swirls and squiggles so I thought I’d try my hand at some dot painting too.
Whilst reading through other patenting blogs I discovered a link to the worldwide culture swap. I immediately signed up for it.
After signing up you get linked up with 4 families from around the world. We got families from Australia, South Africa, Ohio USA and California USA.
It’s a fabulous way to learn about other countries and their traditions directly from the families themselves. And let’s face it – everyone loves receiving parcels in the post. But actually, its just as fun to give as to receive.
As the monsters are quite young they couldn’t really help me with ideas but I used the experience to teach them about our own culture and history.
I had great fun putting together our 4 packages. I included postcards and leaflets from our town and county; a colouring in book of native animals; a Paddington Bear visits Buckingham Palace book; London stickers; a toy London bus and a stick of rock. I also put in some maps and facts about our country and details about traditional food and famous people. And finally some family photos and details about ourselves and our house.
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.
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.
When we got home we put together a map of the world jigsaw puzzle that The Limpet got for her birthday.
Hopefully these early geography and history discoveries will be a good foundation for future learning.