When my husband ordered a new gigantic top box (despite already owning a perfectly good one) I was a bit annoyed. However when it arrived in a huge blank cardboard box I got very excited!
The monsters were quite happy playing in it as it was but I was desperate to turn it into something more and the shape of it seemed perfect for a double decker bus.
I first cut out a door and left it so it could be opened and closed (rather than just a large gap) this proved quite popular. Then I started the task of cutting out the windows. Whilst I was busy doing this The Limpet occupied herself by making tickets for all her passengers.
We then got to work on the very important red paint. We applied it with sponges and it covered it quite quickly but did use a lot of paint.
We added some finishing touches including the bus number and its important destination, and put some small chairs inside and it was ready for its passengers.
We’ve had great fun going on trips to London to see the Olympics, singing the wheels on the bus and organising soft toy passengers.
Aren’t cardboard boxes amazing?!
I have a habit of cooking too much spaghetti and a very bad habit at then eating it all. Last night after once again cooking too much I decided to not dish it all up but leave some aside. The spare spaghetti made an ideal sensory painting experience.
The Limpet enjoyed the messy sensation and did put some of the paint covered spaghetti onto a sheet of paper. But I think for her, it was more about sensory play then creating a masterpiece.
This is her work of art.
And I wanted to join in the fun too, so here’s what I produced.
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.
To get us into the celebratory mood for the jubilee weekend we have been making our own bunting.
Union Jack bunting is for sale everywhere at the moment (although the Sainsburys I went into this morning had sold out – possibly a national disaster) but I thought it would be more fun to make our own.
Now I admit that this isn’t an exact replica of our flag but it contains all the right colours and kind of has crosses in it so I think it just about counts!
I painted my daughters hand with red and then blue paint as shown and then pressed them down onto A4 white paper making two prints on each sheet.
In hindsight A3 paper might have been better (depends on the size of the hands) and cutting the triangles out beforehand would have been easier for positioning.
We created about 20 prints and then hung them to dry on the curtain rail. Don’t they look pretty?
I then cut each sheet in half and folded over the top and then trimed into a triangular shape. I then glued on to some red wool. I’d originally planned to use plain string but didn’t have any. I haven’t decided yet whether the red wool looks good!
So there’s our ‘Union Jack’ bunting all hung up and ready for our jubilee party at the weekend. Fingers crossed the sun will still be shining and we’ll be able to hang it in the garden.
With all this glorious sunshine we’ve been lucky enough to spend most of our days out in the garden. The monsters are generally very good at entertaining themselves out there but The Gannet’s idea of entertaining himself generally involves eating daisies, grass, stones etc etc.
I thought that for a change I would set up some ingredients for them to play with and explore. I’d been busy potting up plants and playing with compost so I decided to let them in on the fun!
I filled a large tray with compost and put it next to the paddling pool. The Limpet played for quite a while creating shapes and molding it. The Gannet was very interested in the new texture and began exploring it very slowly. Fortunately he didn’t try exploring it with his mouth.
After a while my daughter suddenly realised she could add water and then it became a whole lot more exciting.
The Gannet particularly enjoyed this and sat playing for ages, a lot longer than his older sister.
Yes it was messy but it was a fun sensory experience which allowed me a bit of time to complete my gardening.