Saturday, 26 July 2014

Summer of Fun

As a mum of as two littlies there isn't really a 'holiday' as such, we didn't have school or nursery, we just go about our own little routine and continue to do so when everyone else is on holiday from school etc.  The only difference for us is how much busier things are during the week, especially the parks!  We've been having fab weather here in Scotland, so have been going for lots of walks and visiting the various parks in our town.  Ollie, almost 3, is loving it as each day he gets to meet new 'friends', he's a confident boy and will often ask other children to play, Normally it's quiet and we're the only ones at the park, unless we plan to meet friends, but now there is always a new friend for O.  Great for building his social skills.


We've also managed to spend lots of time in the garden with Ollie's favourite activities, painting with cars (with addition of his choice of materials, sometimes glitter, sometimes soil and stones) and playing with water.

Water games are generally; taking things in and out of the water; pretending they're lost and finding them; cleaning cars/trains; driving through floods on the black tray; watering the garden and just splashing!

Of course we've managed to get out as well, a visit to our local sea life centre went down well.

As did a trip to the Riverside museum in Glasgow (train mad toddler!).

Our local agricultural show.

And a special military show in Stirling.

Considering going to the Commonwealth Games Road Cycling Race so Ollie can see something of that too, as it's our country that's actually hosting this year!  I didn't apply for any tickets, as there no way he would sit still to watch anything, but standing a short time to watch cyclists shooting by might be ok.  Plus we could have a train journey there too, that always goes down well!

The Queen's baton in our town.

What do you do with your toddlers in the summer time?

J x

Monday, 9 June 2014

Incy Wincy and Friends

We have dedicated areas for toys downstairs and upstairs in our house, but it seems that although Ollie has a lot of toys he only ever play with a few of them (mainly of the wheeled variety!).  I thought I would re-organise and set out different toys each week to encourage him to explore some of the other toys and subjects.  Of course I've left out his favourite cars and trains as I know he would be very upset if they disappeared!

This week I've gone with an insect theme;

We have recently found Minibeast Adventure with Jess on BBC Iplayer, a great kids programme about different insects, aimed at preschoolers (probably also on You Tube now).  O loves this programme and so we've been looking for insects whilst out on our walks and I bought Ollie his own magnifying glass, which he loves using.

The toys this week include toy insects and magnifying glass, lacing cards, bug shadow match from Busy little Bugs, lacing apple and caterpillar, insect counters and tweezers, a coin sorting box and the usual box of cars and trains.

The magnifying glass has been used a lot and he's attempted to use the tweezers, but hasn't quite got the hang of it. 

The bug match by Busy Little Bugs was a bit simple for him, but he seemed quite pleased when he completed it and the coin box was played with several times and then requested more real coins (actually he called them old coins, compared to the shiny plastic pirate treasure ones he usually plays with!).

We've also had fun painting ladybirds and spider webs...

 Reading insect books...

Including The Very Greedy Bee:     

The Very Busy Spider:                    

and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar:  

And of course lots of insect hunt walks, chasing butterflies, finding beetles, spiders and woodlouse and digging up worms for our own wormery!

Photo: Day 57: Minibeast adventure! #100HAPPYDAYSEAVES

All in all a fun week, next week is musical instruments I think.

J x

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Christmas Advent Tree

I've been rather busy recently making Christmas presents, got a few more to do, then I can relax a little.  But only a little as baby muddy toes number 2 is arriving early January, so I have a variety of things I want to make for it's arrival (loving all the cute woodland things around at the moment!).

This is my favourite thing I've made in the last month:

A felt advent calendar for my son (and the new baby when it's bigger).  I love the idea of having a different activity in each pocket, rather than chocolate or another sweetie, my boy is only 2 and I don't want him having too much chocolate quite yet.  When they're older I'll probably put in little treats too, but for now we have activities like making mince pies, visiting santa,  making/playing with Xmas play dough and making nature ice sculptures.

Are you making gifts this year?

J x

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Train Time!

My just turned two year old absolutely adores trains, we threw him a train themed second birthday party and will be taking him along to Thomas' Big Day Out at a local railway this weekend.  As I've been so busy with his birthday I thought I would share some of the train themed fun we've been having in the last few weeks.

I've been trying to help O learn colours recently as he often attempts to name a colour, but seems to get mixed up.  What better way to help a train obsessed child learn colours than using coloured magnetic trains!

I simply cut out train shapes from white card and gave them to O with the specific coloured crayons to colour in.  Once he had finished colouring I wrote the colour on the train, laminated them and stuck a magnet on the back.  Now we can play with the trains on the fridge and I can help him recognise the colours.  As a bonus he's also exposed to the word of each colour.  Admittedly they don't stay on the fridge very much, instead they are being driven around the house!

Another favourite activity of O's is to draw chalk train tracks outside on the slabs, he then collects his toy trains and drives them around the tracks.

I also tend to add trees, birds, a station, people etc. and he will practice counting the trees, people and name the colours too.

For Ollie's 2nd birthday party I made several train themed activities;

Cardboard Train, probably the most popular attraction at the party (after the food)...

A cardboard arch with kiddy tunnel attached...

Electrical tape train tracks on the floor...

There was also a train shaped cake, using a cake mould, train shaped sandwiches and biscuits using a train shaped cookie cutter.  All in all it was a pretty good day!

J x

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Summer Fun 2013

Summer here in Scotland has been great weather wise, lots of sunny warm days and really quite dry, which has meant a lot of outdoor fun for O!

The collage above shows some of things that we've been doing this summer.  From top left:  Picking fresh veg from the garden (I now have competition for my my delicious peas); Painting with flowers;  Making cardboard crowns; Collecting and painting sticks; Going for lots of walks; Playing with water beads; Pirate treasure hunts in the mud; Making collected nature leaf suncatchers and washing rocks.

Hope you've all had a fab summer too and looking forward to the autumn fun.

J x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sock and Cup Toddler Maths

Well O is going through a phase of not sleeping well at the moment, 4.20 am starts for the last 2 weeks!  This would be fine if he wasn't so tired and grumpy.  So I've been trying to keep him occupied with simple little activities, which won't cause too much frustration on his part and aren't too much effort on my behalf!

Yesterday late afternoon when the inevitable tiredness started setting in and books were getting thrown all over the room I made a little colour and shape recognition game for O.

I found the coloured foam sheets I had bought a short while ago and cut out a triangle, square and circle of each colour I had, placed them in a small plastic Ikea cup and then pulled a sock up over the cup.  It looks very simple, but entertained O for over an hour and he's taken it out several times since.

He will pull out a shape or two and place it on the surface in front of him, then if he doesn't offer any colour or shape names then I tell him the colour and shape.  He already seemed to know triangle, but only said the word for the first time when we were at the doctors the other day (I had shown him a few times when we were playing outside with chalk), but is now attempting circle and square since we started this game.  He's also starting to understand the different colours, although they aren't always correct.

This game would also be great for either colour or shape sorting, but O doesn't seem to be ready for that yet.  I'm sure that will come with time though.

Let me know if you try it out!

Linking up to:

J x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Water Bead Cooking

We recently bought water beads from here, really cheap to buy, just takes a bit longer to arrive in the post.  If you haven't used water beads before then I highly recommend buying some to try them out.  They turn up in tiny packets of 'seeds' and when you add them to a bowl of water they 'magically' grow to marble sized beads.  The original purpose of the beads are to use in vases of flowers, partly for the flowers to absorb the water from the beads, but also for decoration - they come in many, many colours.

There are so many ideas floating around Pinterest, from painting with water beads to role play.  For younger toddlers the simple emptying of beads from one container to another is great fun, the feeling of running your hands through the wet beads is also a delightful sensory experience for kids of all ages.  Anyone passing by our bowl of water beads has to dip their hands in!

O loves pretending to cook with his play kitchen pots, pans and utensils.  Stirring a big bowl of beads with a large spoon is also apparently quite mesmerising!

Disclaimer, the beads are not edible, please keep an eye on small children who still mouth items.

J x