Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mummy madness!!

I thought given Halloween is around the corner, that some spooky themed activities seemed appropriate, so we had some Mummy madness.

Alyssa decided after lunch to have a little nap, which was a big shock seeing as she NEVER naps! Falls asleep in the most inappropriate and seemingly uncomfortable places occasionally, but never agrees to go to actual bed!!  So Arthur and I had some rare one and one time, and I decided to make the most of it and makes some cookies.  Using the gingerbread man cookie cutter, a tube of white icing, and some raisins, we ended up with Mummy biscuits.  It was so lovely having one on one time, much calmer than the normal trying to stop two of them hitting/arguing/fighting/eating the mix. (delete as appropriate)  In the end I was a bit disappointed with the white icing as it barely showed up, but they both enjoyed eating the biscuits after their tea. 

Once Alyssa was awake I cut out some black paper into man shapes and tore some toilet tissue to glue on for bandages.  It was great fun leaving them too it to see what they created, and Alyssa did attempt to do both sides, I think in future though I will give the tissue to them to rip up for added fun and a chance to work on their dexterity.  Arthur was so proud of himself bless that he insisted on taking his Mummy into nursery to show everyone.

Whilst they were all prepared to get messy I grabbed the paints and let them go creating a spooky picture, in hindsight maybe black wasn't the best option of paints to be available.  Baths were very much in need by the time they painted themselves and all the paper!

Concentrating hard with the glue

Dab dab dab

I think we need to buy more black paint!!

Spooky Mummies!! Although Alyssa's looks Ninja like!

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Friday, 3 October 2014

Leaf people!

With Autumnal breezes in the air, and fallen leaves all around, I was inspired by a picture I had seen somewhere (I'm sorry but I can't remember where!!) Of leaf people.  So on the way back from nursery from dropping of Arthur, I picked up various leaves.  Once home I gave Alyssa some glue, a few sequins and a few googly eyes and let her play.

To begin with she was quite happy painting the glue on one leaf lots and lots, then I showed her how to stick the eyes on and a sequin for a mouth, then she got stuck in (excuse the pun!) And started creating faces.  She occasionally needed a bit of help when the eyes would get stuck to her fingers, and put on far to much glue then was needed, but she seemed to really enjoy herself getting creative. Soon it was time to pack up for lunch, and she was not a happy bunny, the poor little lady started to scream as I tried to tidy up, so we had to delay lunch a little bit and make a couple more till we had a whole little family for her, she even started to get done from the table and walk over to the window to put finished ones out to dry in the sun where I had put other ones.

Such a simple and effective idea that really works on pincer grip, dexterity and creativity, something I will definitely be doing it again!

Playing with the spreader

Almost face like!

Loving the glue a bit too much!

Kiss me quick!

The little lady in action!

This one makes me laugh!

Alyssa's little leaf family!

Messy Monday Madness!

Today whilst Arthur was at pre-school I decided to let Alyssa get super messy and have some fun with gloop, a unique combination of water and corn flour, very unique indeed!  you can pick the substance up and almost mould it, the suddenly the substance looses its solidity and runs through your fingers.  I gave Alyssa a couple of small cup type things, a spoon, and a fork and just let her go.  She loved flicking it as it suddenly became liquid again, and soon covered herself and the kitchen floor, I have never been gladder to play in the kitchen.  It was lovely hearing her squeal with delight and say things like 'can't pick up!' Great for teaching her lots of different words also like 'drip' 'squidge' and 'scoop', as well getting her to work her hand muscles as it was more difficult for her little fingers to push through the gloop than mine.

She had great fun trying to mix and stir it and pretending to cook with it, so I decided to take it up a level and add some drops of food colouring.  Even I was surprised by the out come of this, as I was expecting, as with water, that the second I added the food dye, she would play and it would turn to a big brown mass of goo.  Instead the food colouring just sat there pretty much, until Alyssa started moving it.  She then started using on of the cup to pour the gloop in to and made "ho' tea" (hot tea!) for me to drink!

I am impressed by the amount of time she is starting to give to our little activities, her concentration level are really improving.  I'm a little bit put out that I didn't at the time try and print some of the patterns that emerged onto paper some how, but that just means I'll have to do it again, and make sure I have a bath ready!!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Jewish New Year!

Yesterday was Jewish New year, well part of it, apparently the festival continues for three days. We are not Jewish, but I like to try and show the AJ's as many different things from different cultures as I can, as well as giving me a chance to learn something new still in my old age. I also find special occasions/ religious festivals help give me idea for an activity based on the day itself as well.  So today was the New year, when it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, not a favourite of mine honey, but I thought it would make an interesting snack time idea for Alyssa whilst Arthur was at nursery. and keeping with apple theme I decided on some easy stick apple craft.  Then whilst looking up traditions for the festival, I came upon a recipe for Challah,  and thought we could have a go at making some bread for our lunch.

We started off making the Challah dough, Alyssa was ever so delighted with the idea of mixing, and I even bravely managed to let her help me crack the eggs, she promptly tried to eat the mixture, as they both do every time I attempt to cook things with them, and feasted the honey covered spoon ( I sometimes wonder if i feed them enough?!?) Then we had to knead the dough which resulted in a lot of dough squelching and flinging about, I think she actually redecorated my kitchen with some of it actually.

Whilst that was rising in the sun of the bedroom window (our kitchen is practically a cool box as it is below street level so virtually no sunlight!) I am guilty of plonking her in front of the telly for a bit whilst I did some damage limitation for a little bit, its not easy cleaning a kitchen with the little darlings opening drawers emptying things left, right and center!  I made up for it with the honey and apple snack time though, which upon reflection should have been eaten at the dinner table, honey can drip quite a lot, especially when a 20 month old is involved.

Whilst she was eating that, I quickly cut out some apple shaped with glittery card and sticky back plastic, my intention being to just create a little sun catcher with a sparkly surround, then I had a brainwave and thought I would take it up a level and create a sun catcher mobile.  Alyssa really enjoyed sticking the old sweet wrappers to the sticky surface, saying things like "Dat dere!" and showing me the pieces and repeating the colours back to me.  She soon got upset when pieces started not to stick, and even more upset when I told her she had finished it and moved it away from her to create the mobile. I may have to do some more of these types of activities as she likes them so much.  I am very impressed with the final outcome,  but I should have double sided the glitter apples (and maybe drawn better apples!)

Soon it was time for the dough to turn magically into yummy bread, Alyssa really enjoyed prodding it and pulling and stretching it for a little bit, before I helped her plait the pieces together, I did this about three times with here getting over excited and just grabbing and squidging!!! Then I gave up and plaited it quickly out of her reach, but she was very good at the egg wash finger painting! We then snuggled down for a bit of girly cuddle time whilst we waited for it to cook, I was very suprised how big it grew in the oven actually, and it tasted scrummy fresh from the oven with a little butter.


Painting with flour




Such mess!! EEEEKKK!!

Contently sticking

Apple sun catcher mobile

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Piratey Play!

On Friday it was International talk like a Pirate day, but I was working and we were busy on the Saturday, so I made it the Monday morning theme for Alyssa and I whilst Arthur was at pre-school.  Once we returned home from dropping Arthur off, I let Alyssa play with Arthur's Pirate ship in the kitchen, whilst I quickly washed some dishes, telling her things like 'Sail' and 'crows nest'.  She took great delight in the trap door and kept saying making them all fall in, she also enjoyed the little cannon that fired boulders at the ship. 

Once she started to get bored of that, and my dishes were sparkling, I cut some paper into little Pirate hat shapes for her to colour in how she wanted, she seems to really enjoy colouring, and regularly asks me to "coyour in!" So I knew she would really enjoy this.  Soon it was time to pick Arthur up again, three hours always sounds a lot longer than it is on a Monday morning now, I seem to blink and the morning has gone.  so we took Arthur his hat, and on seeing it he got all excited saying "have you made me a pirate ship too?"  I had actually made him a pirate ship lunch, but not an actually ship so he was insistent that I changed the sofa into a ship for him, he even made suggestions, like the blue blanket for the sea, and that we needed another blanket for a sail, it's great to see his imagination working away.   Once built I used a little plastic plank that we have and some doll to make walk the plank, and refilled the treasure in an old chest Arthur made last year, then let the two of them go treasure hunting and other piratey things.  It was lovely to see Arthur leading Alyssa in play saying things like "C'mon! Back on the ship, we have to find the treasure!"

I'm hoping that as Alyssa starts to talk a bit more, her imagination will lead to many hours of fun between the two of them, for when they actually play nicely together, they get on really well!

Preparing the pirate for battle!!

Making pirate hats

Aaarrrggg! A feast fit for a ships mate!

Arthur's hat ready for him


A glittering treasure chest

Rummaging through the loot

Another victim of the plank!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Painting with nature

Yesterday whilst walking through a park to meet Nana, we stopped and collected lots of conkers that had fallen on the ground, so today I decided to use these along with some fir and pine cones, and create a little sensory box for Alyssa.  We took them with us to a local craft cafe that we go to occasionally, which was a little bit calmer than usual for me with just the one, but I still was unable to sit down for longer than five minutes as Alyssa is potty training, and found the toilets fascinating compared to her potty, especially when I flushed it.  I very rarely get to do any of my own crafts at these cafe events, as I am usually wit the children, but I do find just being by creative people can be very inspirational.  The venue had lots of Autumnal things on display, beautiful browns and golds, from bunting to wreaths created from Autumn leaves, and whilst playing with Alyssa and the sensory box, the cafe members started to discuss painting with the fir cones and things which I thought was a great idea.

I found it wonderful watching Alyssa play with the conkers, counting them "1,2,3,4,8" which was amazing to me, as having to always fight for attention with her brother always talking over her, or saying "mummy mummy" all the time, I had never previously realised she could count at all!! I feel like such a bad mum sometimes that she hasn't had as much attention as Arthur had as a first born, but then moments like these tell me she is doing just fine as she is.  Her favourite game was definitely turning it all out then putting it back in the tub again, occasionally counting as she did.

Once we got home I got out some brown, yellow and orange paints, and thinking of marble painting, decided to let Alyssa roll a conker through paint to great a painting.  She didn't quite understand tipping the tub, and did try a few times to just pick the conker up and paint with it instead, but she seemed to enjoy the noise that it made when she did shake it.  Next we tried painting with the fir cone, by rolling the cone in paint then rolling along somer paper, and also a bit of leaf printing with some leaves we found on the way home, the effect was pretty hit and miss but I think she enjoyed getting her hands covered in paint, it seemed such a shame to stop her to have dinner!!



Conker painting

Fir cone rolling

Pretty patterns keep appearing 

Leaf printing

RAAAA! Paint, handprints, smoosh MEEEEESSSSS!!

Mixed texture, leaf hand and fir cone

Conker rolling/painting

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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Roald Dahl Day 2014!

Today is Roald Dahl day,  and also this year is the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, so what better way to celebrate than with CHOCOLATE!!! 

I invited a friend over for each of the AJ's and we had a chocolate themed day, we started with some homemade sparkly play dough to make our own lollys and chocolates with, which was lovely to see the different things they made, including Sully from Monsters Inc and the way they used the lollipop sticks, bun cases and empty chocolate boxes I supplied to use the dough differently.  I also enjoyed watching Alyssa mimic licking a lolly making a slurping sound, copying my actions I did once I made one, it didn't stop her from actually eating some of it though.

Then we headed to the kitchen, where I had some sweets laid out and we melted some chocolate, once melted we poured onto greaseproof paper on lollipop sticks, and let the children go wild sweet decorating (and eating!) before putting in the fridge to set.   

Next was the chocolate fountain, which the other Mummy and I enjoyed more than the children.  They did eat the odd bit of chocolate covered fruit or marshmallow, but mainly, especially Alyssa, they stuck to the fruit on it's own, which meant more for the adults!

"Lollipop, Lollipop oh lolly lolly lolly..."

Ball pool gobstoppers ( sign lasted 5 seconds!!)

Sparkly play dough

Making chocolates

Finished Lollys

MMMMMMM Heaven....


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