Saturday, 28 February 2015

Farm sensory small world!

At the children's nursery they are looking at the subject of Farms, so I decided to support this at home by creating a little small world Farm using some toys we had already, along with some lentils, popcorn kernels and some clean wood shavings borrowed from hamster.

Alyssa was very excited and soon set about playing with all the toys, and making up little voices for them.  She must have picked up a few things from Arthur, as her play mainly revolved around 'Poo!'  For some reason a favourite subject of many a young boy, "Poopy pants! Poopy bum! Poopy head!"  Alyssa decided that the horses were the main characters in her play, and that they were pooping lots, saying things like, "Pooey smelly!!" "Look at this mess! Poop on the floor!"  I also found it very impressive that she practiced job sharing and delegation in her play, pretending to be the voice of one of the farmers I heard her say "You sweep up this poo, and I'll sweep up this poo!" 

It was also an unexpected way of her practicing her counting as she picked up the popcorn kernals one by one, using some great fine motor skills, and placed them into the back of the little quad bike counting all the way to 8!  Then after a bit of chicken feeding, and a nap in the sawdust for the cat, Alyssa soon just enjoyed playing with all the corn etc by tipping it onto the table, then sweeping it all onto the floor.  So I let her play with the broom and try and sweep it all up, which inevitably spread it around the floor even more, but she enjoyed it and we weren't in a rush!

All set up ready for fun!

Picking up 'poo!'

Making sure the farmer is working hard

Delegating jobs!

Having fun making a mess

Cleaning up!


Egg box dragons!

We were suppose to do this activity last week for Chinese New Year, but when you children aren't in the mood for painting what can you do!! So this week once they returned from nursery, seeing as they were in their messy clothes anyway, I suggested we make some egg box dragons.

Arthur insisted on making a blue and green dragon as they are his favourite colours, whilst Alyssa chose green and Yellow as those are her, not one to mess with their creative intentions I got their paints ready then set about cutting their flames and eyes.

They thoroughly enjoyed painting the boxes all over, making "roar" noises as they went, then Arthur decided he needed to paint his arm so he too would be a fearsome dragon, which of course Alyssa copied, however on her face!

I then gave them the flames, and was about to give them red and orange paint to use, but before I had a chance, they cleverly used all the paint on their hands and hand print painted them the colours they were using, talk about being resourceful!

In the original dragon picture that I got the idea from, the base of and egg box is cut to make the eyes, and the box is used length ways to create the dragon, but Arthur decided it would be best if the opening of the box was it's mouth, and we didn't have any extra egg boxes, so card was used for the eyes.

Then Alyssa had her favourite part of the day, playing with a bowl of soapy water whilst 'washing herself!' I wasn't allowed to help as she is getting fiercely independent!

Alyssa's yellow dragon coming along nicely!

Arthur and his blue and green 'fearsome dragon!'

Arthur turns himself into a fearsome dragon too..

I don't know why I ever let them near paint lol!!
"I can wash my face myself mummy!"

Fearsome dragons! :D
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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Chocolate Lollipop making

At the weekend we saw some family that we had not seen for a while, as they live so far away, and they gave Alyssa a belated birthday present of chocolate lollipop molds and some chocolate to make them with. 

Once we had taken Arthur to school we set to work, first Alyssa put all the lollipop sticks into the molds, which was some great problem solving skills as they had to go in a certain way, then using a rolling pin, she bashed the chocolate into small pieces,  I think this part was her favourite part as she seemed to enjoy the noise.  Once it was all broken up, she used her fine motor skills picking up the pieces to put it into a jug, so that I could put it in the microwave to melt ( I think I over did the first batch as a burning smell appeared!! EEK!) 

Next with a bit of help from me she poured the chocolate into the molds, I was very impressed actually as she didn't keep trying to eat the chocolate as she was too busy making the lollipops, so of course I rewarded her with the tiresome job of licking the spoon and the jug whilst they set in the fridge!! :D

Bash bash bash!


Filling the jug for mummy!


Adding the sticks

Ready for the fridge...must resist...

Oh well the spoon will have to do!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Quick dry salt dough hearts!!

For day two of our week of Valentines activities I decided some heart shaped ornament gifts were on the cards, plus I had recently seen an amazing recipe for The quickest ever salt dough from Rainy Day Mum.  The recipe allows you to cook the dough in the microwave rather than the usual three hours in the oven, so you are able to make the ornaments and paint them in the same sitting!!

So on the way home from nursery, I asked Arthur who he would like to make these special hearts for, and he listed the mum's of all his friends, and some relatives.....but not his mummy (sniff!!) I was actually suprised he chose the mummies of his friends rather than his actual friends!

Once home I made the dough up as instructed, then let then cut out the hearts, I introduced numbers into the fun, by writing a list of the people he wanted to make them for then counting the names to know how many we needed, I also did the same for Alyssa.  Then once they had cut the hearts out, I microwaved them in 10 second sets, I think I over cooked one or two as they bubbled a bit, but still looked ok, whilst I did this I let them play with the left overs making whatever they felt like. 

Once cooked we started painting, Arthur insisted on blue as that is his favourite colour, whilst Alyssa was more than with red,  it was lovely to see them painting what they had made so quickly, but next time I need to put them on a drying rack rather than kitchen paper as they got a bit stuck, but other than that definitely something I will try again, salt dough jewelery next maybe!

Dough all ready to go

squidging and stretching

Cutting out shapes
baked and ready to paint
Painting the heart, not his hand....honest lol

There is a heart in there somewhere...
Drying nicely!!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Valentine's sensory play

So to start off my week of Valentine's, seeing as I woke up suffering from a migraine type headache bug thing (hubby had the same thing the previous week!!) I was not really able to partake in anything involving too much noise, movement, energy at all really.  So I decided some sensory play was just the thing, I bought some scented petals and heart confetti last year at a reduced price, so mixed them together and added some other red things, ribbons and scarves etc then put them on the floor next to the sofa for Alyssa to look at.  She loved the little hearts and held them up to her chest saying 'heart', which impressed me as I didn't realise she knew where the heart was!  I then told her to smell the petals, and then we made some patterns with the petals. 

I then ended up having to pick Arthur up from Pre-school early and take him to the doctor's as he had conjunctivitis, so when he got back he joined in as well.  He decided he was an evil witch making a potion, and by this time I was starting to feel a bit better too, so I was pretending that he had mixed the potion wrong and added to many hearts, making it a love potion, then I covered them in kisses whilst they giggled, we also did some counting with the pieces, laying then out in rows and counting how many we had. 

It's great how they themselves can change something so simple into a grand game, I love seeing them do things like this, their imagination is endless!!

"OOOH What's this?"

These tiny hearts are fiddly to pick up and hold!

Rows and counting

I'm sure I dropped a petal here! (hiding behind his foot hehe!)

Mummy making flowers!

Preparing the potion ingredients

Adding flare by sprinkling from a height!


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Sunday, 25 January 2015

A change of scenery, a change of mood!

A busy morning of food shopping, hyper children who had already eating the toast for breakfast that was meant to distract them and occupy them, and wanted to pick up EVERYTHING on the shelves!! Followed by the dreaded unpacking once home, two loads of washing that needed to be caught up on as we had run out of washing liquid during the week, and the previous days dishes still sitting by the sink, I was not in the best of moods for small children that were not listening and constantly squabbling. 

 So in an attempt to change the mood a bit, I used the power of Youtube to show the children some bagpipes and Scottish music, as in Scotland this weekend celebrations for Burn's night were occuring, so I thought it would be a fun topic.  Whilst they watched this I found a way to make a Bagpipe using a rubber glove, then we attempted to have a go, but I only had a toilet roll tube, so it didn't actually work very well, so then I used balloons and let the air out very slowly so they squeeked to show the basic idea of how bagpipes work.

they were fairly amused by this for all of five minutes, so it was time for lunch, (and squabbles, and stress) "mummy Alyssa is touching me!!" from Arthur and constant pleas from me to just sit down and eat, meant yet again my bad mood was elevating, add to this a husband desperately trying to get some work done, whilst constantly being interupted, who was also getting annoyed!

SO I CHANGED THE SCENERY!!!

I decided that was it, time to get out and give daddy some peace, and time to let the two of them run free and wild and burn off some energy!  One I had fought with them to actually get wellies and coats on that is!!

When we arrived on the hill I took a football into the large flat grassy area at the summit, and we chased around a football and kicked it to each other, and immediately my mood lifted.  The children started to listen again and we were all smiling and laughing, and then Arthur decided it was time to explore.  It was a great chance to try and get Arthur to listen and stay close in order to stay safe, as there were huge dips and drops here and there all over so I explained this to him, and once or twice when he did run a bit to far ahead, I explained that we needed to be together as a group and look after each other, and wait for Alyssa who was smaller and slower.  It worked well giving him that bit of responsibility and he enjoyed going back and helping Alyssa up tricky parts of the trail. 

When we reached the mine part of the trail, there was a small dip, which they both enjoyed climbing up and sliding down, and we were care free and stayed there for a good ten minutes whilst they did this.  That and their style climbing fun, just goes to show that you don't need a soft play area for kids to use different muscles and climb.  We finally made our way back to the top and played with the ball a bit more, feeling like the wide open space made the stresses and strains of the day seem insignificant, the view reaches far from where we were so it made everything seem so small! We waved to Nanna in one direction, and to other landmark ares shown on the stones at the top, then after our two hour adventure headed back for hot chocolate and snuggles during our weekly saturday night movie night!

It just goes to show a change of scenery really does mean a change of mood!! :D

Our failed bagpies

Admiring the view

Cheeky monkeys!!

Off on an adventure

Stunning!

Trusting Arthur to climb unaided!!

Then Alyssa!! EEEK!!

Hill sliding

Helping his little sister! 


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Bird food fun!

This weekend is the RSPB big garden bird watch so in preparation for this we made sure the birds have plenty of food to eat by making some yummy treats for them. 

First we did the usual 'lard cakes' by getting the AJ's to squidge and smoosh half a packet of lard each into bowls, then we mixed in, with hands and spoons, some bird seed that I managed to get at a pound store, and some chopped up dried apple.  We then shaped them, Arthur made a rectangle shape to go in the feeder, whilst I got Alyssa to create a simple sausage shape, that I then pushed some string through so we had a way of hanging it, then both were popped in the fridge to set.

After that, using some paintbrushes, they painted some pine cones with some warmed up peanut butter, making sure to gt down deep as much as the could.  Then they rolled, shook and sprinkled some more of the seeds all over.

Because they had been at nursery all day, I didn't want them to have an activity that was too complicated or involved as they are usually a bit tired, so this one seemed perfect.  The only downside was the amount of seeds on the floor and lard smeared in the table, but they had fun.  The textures must have been great fun to experiment with as they both really enjoyed manipulating the lard in their hands, and even more so when mixing the seeds and fruit in.

It was getting quite dark by the time we had finished and the lard ones were not completly set, so this morning I popped outside quickly and hung all the food, and the AJ's excitedly looked out the window waiting for the birds to taste, we have already had a few Robins!!

Mixing away

Squidging and moulding

Painting the pine cones

Rolling the cone in the seeds

Looking Yummy! (if your a bird that is!!)

   
Watching for birds



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