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.
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.
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.
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.
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’ve been thinking a lot lately about how rubbish toys are. I have a particular dislike of plastic toys that require batteries. We have a toy keyboard and a couple of other music / game toys that are ok but every toy these days seems to light up or play an ear-piercing tune. From observing my own children I’ve found that initially these toys attract their attention but after a very short time they are put to one side and rarely used.
I have read about the benefits of using loose parts in outdoor play but it can also be used on all aspects of play as I discovered when we were using playdough.
So one day after the monsters woke from their naps, this is what they discovered.
I think most things look nicer displayed in little baskets and bowls but on closer inspection this is what they found:
A wooden bowl of twigs, pine cones and conkers. A basket of silk scarves. A basket of shiny pebbles. A basket of fabric scraps and ribbons.
A basket full of bead necklaces.
And my favourite – a tin of buttons. This is something I always loved playing with as a child.
I had intended to take the smaller items away as soon as The Gannet woke up as I knew they would go straight in his mouth but they both sat playing so nicely with everything that I left it all out and just supervised him very closely.
At the moment he loves to take things out and put them back in again, so he sat doing this with the scarves for ages.
They both played in a variety of ways and without any intervention from myself. The Limpet particularly liked the pebbles and was initially wrapping them all up in material as birthday presents. Then she decided to line them up (she seems to do this with everything) and see if she could make them balance on top of each other.
They both sat together filling and emptying a basket of all the buttons. It was lovely to see them co-operate with each other as often they struggle to play together.
We now use these baskets of “treasures” a lot and it’s great to see the different ways they can be used and how they spark imaginative play.
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.
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!
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.
Our party decorations included my new ‘Happy birthday’ banner and a timeline of photos of my son throughout his first year.
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.
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.
I’ve been wanting to make my son some kind of texture activity for a while. I’ve seen texture boards, books and cards on Pinterest but I decided to combine mine with a family photo album. When my daughter was a baby I made her a photo album of special faces and she still loves looking through it.
For this craft I just used items I had around the house. Even the book itself was something I had bought a number of years ago but never got around to using. I selected my photos of family and friends and stuck them in. Then I chose a variety of items all with different textures to surround the photos. I used my glue gun to secure them into place. The items I used include pom poms, buttons, bubble wrap, wool, pipe cleaners, sandpaper, velcro, foam stickers, corrugated card and scouring pad. I finished it off by attaching riddons on to the rings. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out and both the monsters are enjoying looking through it.