Monday, 7 July 2014

Dinosaurs and caterpillars

Today was one of those mornings where everything seemed to go well!  Arthur had spent yesterday with Daddy watching dinosaur movies as he was very tired from a busy day of swimming and taking part in a local carnival the day before.  So he was very keen to play with dinosaurs, so I got the old washing up bowl, filled it with a bit of mud and the toy dinosaurs and a couple of weeds to act as trees etc, and left them to play in the garden whilst I pottered around digging weeds.

Alyssa soon got bored and decided to try and help me for a little bit, before running in to get the chalks and drawing on our recycled slate chalk boards.  I have been thinking of setting up a grab and go garden box to keep by the back door filled with garden fun such as bubbles and chalk, as well as this I also have some old baking trays and spoons already in the garden for 'mud kitchen' style play.  Which Arthur ended up using with his dinosaurs and a bun tray to make cakes and eat them.

Soon it was snack time, with fresh peas in the garden, the AJ's found them hard to resist with cries of more please over and over until we had run out of ready ones.  Then, whilst looking at our other vegetables growing, including the lovely orange/yellow flowers of our courgette plants, Alyssa made a small noise and when I looked she was holding a green caterpillar in her hands.  I managed to save it from her, as she was very enthusiastic with it, and wanted to keep holding it, and let Arthur have a quick hold, before popping it in a jar with some leaves and putting it in a safe place, hoping for a chrysalis to appear as we 'grow' our own butterfly.  Apparently, according to Grandad,  it's a cabbage white caterpillar, we did have a white butterfly hovering around our vegetable patch, I wonder if that was its mummy.

Dinosaur small world

Cooking with dinosaurs

Fun with chalk

Time for peas!

Arthur holds a caterpillar

Cosy in his new home


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Frontroom Festival!!!

So it's festival season here, with Glastonbury just finished, and highlights all over the television, so I decided to give the AJ's a mini taste of festival fun. I put the pop up play tents into the front room, and Arthur's camping chair, put the highlights on the telly, and set up our little bubble machine.  I dressed the AJ's in some festival style clothes, mainly shorts, t-shirts and wellies, adding some funky flower lays and some face paints from the dress up box, and then let the music and bubbles flow.

It was great fun chasing the bubbles around and watching Arthur practice his dance moves and awesome air guitar to the music, they also both enjoyed waving hello and goodbye and going back and forth to the tent.  Soon though the bubbles ran dry, the music ended and Alyssa grew tired.  Whilst she was napping in bed I let Arthur outside to experience the other thing festivals are famous for, especially Glastonbury....MUD!!!

We don't really have a proper mud patch for him to play in, so I used some oil cloth, sprayed it with water and put some mud on it, then let Arthur go wild, stamping, squelching squerching.  Whilst using some of these words he sudeenly said "we're going on a bear hunt!" It's amazing how literature can just creep in anywhere.  Once he had finished playing, he decided he wanted to clean the mat, which he thoroughly enjoyed as well as soaking mummy at the same time!  Good job it was a freezing cold day.

Playing with the tents!

Festival outfit!

Dancing in the bubbles!!

Getting stuck in!

A bit muddy!

Cleaning up!

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

'Arthur' the Scarecrow!

Every year the village holds a Scarecrow competition, and weird and wonderful creations pop up all over the village, so this year I decided we would take part for the first time with the help of the  AJ's.
They are usually open to any idea, but to celebrate the Centenary of the First World War this year they are asking for a scarecrow along that theme. 

I decided the easiest thing to do is create a small scarecrow, so I thought the idea of an evacuee would be a good one, esp as I happened to have some small brown clothes and a suitcase easy to hand.  So once they returned from nursery, we started recycling all the shredded paper that we keep for the fire, and stuffing it into carrier bags for waterproofing, before stuffing these inside the clothes.  Alyssa wasn't really interested in helping, but was interested in throwing the paper all over the room!!  We then turned a small old t-shirt of Alyssa's inside out, and used some fabric pens to draw a face, before using some brown wool on the top to create hair. 

Arthur loved 'Arthur' and kept trying to make him dance and play with him, and talking to him, and was very excited to see him put up outside.  I used two bits of wood to create a cross shape and attached ' this to him before hammering it into the ground, then it was time for Arthur to see him all finished and in place, and he was very happy, now to see what the other villagers come up with!

Stuffed body!

Preparing more stuffing!

"He's got legs" (Rubbish ZZ top ref sorry!)

Trying on 'Arthur's' hair

The two Arthur's

Final adustments waterproofed and added!

Wish us luck in the competition!!!! :D

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Carnival fever for Brazil!

With the world cup being in Brazil, I thought it would be fun to bring a bit of Carnival fun to the AJ's.  So I decided that we would have a bit of fun painting and creating fun masks using egg boxes, and then host our own teddy version of Rio carnival complete with some samba and salsa music to dance to.

As the weather is beautifully sunny at the moment, I decided to take advantage of it and paint outside, you also get the added bonus of topping up your vitamin D and having painting that dries super quick!

So I set up some paper and some paints representing the colours of the Brazillian flag, and let them run riot, litterally, at one point they were running over the paper to create footprints!!! Then I let them loose with the egg cartons pre-cut and some glitter!

After that I quickly set up all the teddies, and brought out some beads and outfits to make our carnival, although by this time Alyssa was quite tired and wanted lots of cuddles and Arthur just enjoyed listening to the music and running around doing whatever he wanted.  He did enjoy playing with the masks that were made though!

Painting in the sun!

Decorating the Carnival mask

Drying nicely in the sun!

Brazilian inspired art!

All ready to party!

Teddy Rio Carnival ready!

Getting in the festival spirit!

Looking good!

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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

D-Day Landings

This Friday marks 70 years since the D-day landings, so I thought I would take this on board as our theme for today, as Friday the AJ's are with Granny and Grandad.  For Christmas from Santa, Arthur received a set of little toy soldiers, which were perfect for today.  Using these and a brown and blue board, I set up a D-day landing small world play. 

Alyssa had great fun mimicking Arthur's movements with the toys and making the same sound effects as him.  They are far to young to go into the ins and outs of the event, so I basically said the set on land were baddies who did naughty things and the people in the water storming the beach, were goodies. 

Whilst they were playing and doing their own little version of events, I put some wartime music on such as Glen Miller and Vera Lynn (however Arthur preferred Glen Miller!) I also found an air raid siren and got them to sit under the table whilst it played, telling them that I told people when to hide and stay safe.  I then made the AJ's a good old corned beef sandwich for lunch, Alyssa did not like it at all and immediately spat it out.  We then made little toy parachutes using old hankies that I use for dusting now, I tied one around a Monkey for Alyssa and one around one of Arthur's knights.  They had great fun thowing them around over and over and watching the chutes fill up with air.

Playing together


"Their coming!!"

Toy parachute

Parachuting knight!

Making monkey fly!
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Rock Band!!

At the weekend we went to a friends house for a gathering/party and they had live music, Arthur was thrilled by this and loved the opportunity to watch, dance, clap and hog a spare microphone and imitate them. 

So I thought a bit of role play and music fun was in order, after watching a couple of music videos whilst I got some dress up accessories and musical instruments together, I set up a mini stage area using an old red curtain as a back drop, put on some music and let them go!  There were a few scuffles over the drum kit for a while (daddy would be proud as an ex drummer!!) Before Alyssa settled for the guitar and keyboard.

It was great fun letting them mess around, and do what they wanted with the accessories and instruments, there were some pretty interesting outfits, but I didn't manage to get them all on camera as I was having to much fun dancing and playing with them!!  I hope that they are interested in learning an instrument when they are a bit older, I never did, but there is still time,  family project maybe??

The Bailey's band getting groovy
Jazzy album cover photo??

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Homemade butter!!

After a busy Bank Holiday Monday morning taking the AJ's swimming, usually a very stressful event as Arthur has not been water confident before today, we decided to celebrate the good weather and positive swimming session in typical Bank Holiday style, with a BBQ!!

Once home daddy and Arthur started making bread rolls together, whilst Alyssa all tired out settled down in her cot for a three hour nap!!  We also decided to make our own butter to go with the rolls, as our supermarket at the moment is giving away free cream when you buy strawberries, which we buy for daddy's breakfast, so we thought making butter would be a great fun way to use it!

First we found an empty glass jar and lid to put the cream in, then we worked out muscles even more and shake, shake, shaked!!  After a while the cream thickens up, looking almost like whipped cream, then you shake, shake, shake some more until you here a sloshing sound again as the butter and the buttermilk separate, and that is it!!  We did however add a tiny bit of salt and yellow food colouring to ours before shaking to make it look more butter like.

After that it was time to hit the garden and tidy and prep for the BBQ, before a quick shop for last minute essentials, in the end a very, very busy day for everyone, except Alyssa who slept through most of it!!

SHIMMY SHAKE!! (Excuse the post swim mess im in!!)

Mini shake!

Separating the butter and buttermilk!

Personalised butter

Daddy showing off their risen dough!

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