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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A is for ....

We have finally started our focus on letters I'm aiming to focus on each letter for a week or two (depending on what else we have on) & to do all 26 by the time Joseph starts school in September!
We kicked things off with the letter A - 
A is for APPLE, ant, axe, & alien!

 We Started off with some pre-school work sheets from Erica at Confessions of a homeschooler as the boys loved her Christmas worksheets that we did. The boys first raced over the dotted lines, then used their safety scissors to try & cut along the lines, Joseph (4) enjoys putting the paper back together like a puzzle once he has cut along the lines.

We then did the upper & lowercase do-a-dot sheets also from Erica's pre-school curriculum.

Next the boys worked on these apple colouring & tracing pages. In one of the pictures Joseph is holding his pen in a fist, this is how he naturally colours, he will only hold a pen the correct way if I place it there for him & struggles to control it. If anyone has any tips to help him with this please feel free to comment or e-mail me. We really enjoyed doing these work sheets & are looking forward to the letter B, I have lots more ideas pinned on Pintrest, so will be able to vary each week.

Take a look at our apple printing (pictured above) which tied in nicely with this weeks theme.

 x Jo x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Apple Printing

As part of our focus on the letter A (yes we have finally started). We decided to to some apple printing. I cut an apple in half & put out 2 plates one with red & one with green paint on. The boys each chose a piece of coloured paper (thick paper works well) & dipped their apple half's in the paint & began to print. They did really want to sweep the apples across the paper but I tried to encourage them to lift the apple straight up to give an apple shape.

x Jo x

Friday, 25 January 2013

Finding Numbers ...

At the boys pre-school, they do a term focusing on numbers. Last year Joseph's homework was to find numbers on the journey to pre-school & we took pictures of our house number, number plate on the car, speed signs & shop signs.

They suggested the same again but said that we could do something different as we had already taken pictures the year before. Daniel has just started at pre-school this month so was able to join in with the homework. We decided to look for numbers in magazines & on food packaging, we turned it in to a collage that they could take to pre-school.

x Jo x

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow Panting

When pinning several snow ideas on Pintrest I didn't think we would get enough snow to try any of them out! So as we did all of the usual snow activity's on day one of our snow, I thought we would try something new when it stuck around for a second day! 

I used one plant spray bottle & one empty (non-toxic) cleaning spray bottle. The plant sprayer was best as it had an adjustable spray.I added approximately a teaspoon of food colouring to each spray bottle. I only had blue, red or yellow food colouring in after using up all of our green in the Christmas bath. I went with the blue & red as the yellow would have looked a bit like wee, but it could have been better than the red as it looked like we had killed something! Goodness knows what our neighbours will think we have been up to!

Both boys really enjoyed the spray painting as it gave them something to 'do' in the snow. Its the first time they have used spray bottles (bad mummy) Daniel (2.5) has quite small hands so struggled at first but got the hang of it. We discovered that if you spray far away from the snow you get a lighter colour over a large area, but if you go up close you get a dark colour over a smaller area.

They took turns with the colours & they sprayed lots of snow making pictures & trying to change the colour of the plants. We even made a small snow man & sprayed on eyes, mouth, buttons & hair.

I even managed to take this picture while the boys were playing, they would only come in when the spray had run out.

Please be careful when using food colouring, we didn't have any permanent staining however the boys did end up with pink fingers through their gloves!

x Jo x

Snow Day

Where we live in the UK (near Bristol) we are lucky if we even see a dusting of snow each year! I only remember having enough to go sledging 2 or 3 times in my childhood.We had a couple of inches a couple of years a go, but we were unable to enjoy it properly as Daniel was a baby.

Well yesterday lots of the UK saw snow & we had approx 6 inches!!! This is the most snow I have ever seen, so the boys stayed home from pre-school & Daddy decided to close our shop for the day & stay home with us. 

We live at the bottom of a steep hill that doesn't get gritted, so luckily the snow was forecast & Daddy parked his car at the top of the hill, as it meant that we could drive about a mile away to get to a safe place for sledging. Even though we live on a hill we don't really have a good area that is safe enough. So I ran around the house gathering hats, gloves, waterproof suits & wellies, It took us the best part of an hour to gather all our things & get dressed!

Daniel (2.5) really didn't seam that keen on the snow, he found it hard to walk in & didn't really enjoy sledging on our knee, it does sometimes take him time to come around to new things. Joseph (4) loved it, enjoyed the sledging, was running & jumping, making snow angels & crawling round in it. Unfortunately the crawling meant that his wellies ended up full of snow, so his feet were wet & cold on the way home.

When we got home we had some lovely hot chocolate, & the boys were so tired they took a nap before lunch ( this is unheard of, especially Joseph).

After lunch we went out again to play in our back garden & make a snowman. Daniel enjoyed this much more especially our snow covered slide.

After tea we had our first ever movie night. We watched UP & had popcorn & chocolates left over from Christmas. Usually when we watch a film at home they will loose interest after 30 mins or so. But labelling it as 'Movie Night' with treats & turning the lights off seamed to work. I'm sure that telling them that as it was bedtime if they didn't sit nicely that they could go straight to bed also helped. We hoe to make this a bit of a tradition & have a movie night every month or so.

We had a lovely family day that I will remember for years to come...

x Jo x

Monday, 14 January 2013

Lego Wash

We were lucky enough to pick up 2 big boxes of mixed Lego from the charity shop for just £10! It was well played with and had obviously been sat in the box for some time gathering dust, so it needed a good clean. The boys were only too happy to help.

I filled our currently empty sensory/small world box with warm water & antibacterial washing up liquid. I placed it on lots of towels & gave the boys aprons (not sure why I bothered as they were totally soaked when we finished).They each had a cloth & had great fun fishing for Lego & washing it, then placing it on the towel to dry.

x Jo x

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Cardboard Box Storage

So I'm on a bit of a tidying & organising kick this year, I've not started let alone completed much yet however I thought I would share one small project that I have managed to do!

All of my Le Baby Bakery stock has had to live in our under stairs cupboard since we had Daniel, hes now 2.5 years old and I've never got round to organising this cupboard! Every time I need to choose the things to go in a nappy cake I end up taking nearly everything out spreading it all over the stairs & then having to put it all back! 


As I use a lot of nappies for my cakes & previously for the boys, I use a lot of Huggies boxes for storage. As I was taking these boxes in & out of the cupboard & searching for the contents, it occurred to me that it would be easier if i stood these boxes in their sides so that i could get things out & see things more easily. As I sorted through my large collection of Huggies boxes I had an idea to make something more permanent than a stack of boxes, a stack of boxes duck taped together!

Luckily I had several boxes that were the same width, I arranged these from tallest to shortest. And standing them on the floor (so the back would be flat) stuck them together using duck tape all the way round & back again. Once at the back & once towards the front. I then taped down the flaps of each box, which made this even more sturdy.

I then had the big task of taking everything out of the cupboard (hopefully for the last time) & then organising it in to the boxes. The top box has all my baby blankets, ready to use in nappy cakes, the next 2 hold all my fleece fabric for sewing. The second box up has several bags each containing all the things I need to make a cake, just add nappies, which are in the last box!

I'm really pleased how this quick & easy DIY project has transformed my cupboard, I even have floor space to walk in! I just need to find the time & motivation to organise the shelves on the left had side, which includes the rest of my fabric stash!

If you are looking for some organising tips & inspiration check out I Heart Organising, which is an amazing blog & they are focusing on home offices this month.

x Jo x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cotton Reel Threading

We have had our cotton reel set for a little while now. I picked it up from a local charity shop after nursery said that Joseph (4) liked playing with theirs, about 18 months ago. It only came with a piece of string that had tape on the end so I bought some new colour boot laces from a market for 50p a pair & tied a knot in one end.

 I keep these in the kitchen as an activity to keep them busy while I'm cooking dinner. More recently Daniel (2.5) has shown an interest in the cotton reels, and before he could manage to use the lace I gave him a long pipe cleaner, as we used with our pasta threading. The cotton reels are nice & chunky for little hands it is an excellent activity for improving fine motor skills. They can also be used for stacking & colour sorting.

Once Daniel had strung several together he started to pull them along the floor, pretending it was first a caterpillar & then a snake.

You can buy a new Galt Cotton Reel set from Amazon US & Amazon UK, they also make a giant button set which, I think the boys would enjoy so I might get one for Daniels birthday in May.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Fabric Addiction

I think I might have mentioned before that I have a bit of a fabric addiction! I would show you a pic of my stash but at the moment it is all in bags so you wouldn't see much LOL. I do however have most of it photographed in the albums on my Facebook page, if you fancy a look.

One of my favourite shops is Prints To Polka Dots, as they have a great range & do a good range of sizes inc fat quarters & 5" square. Their postage is also reasonable & is calculated by weight.

One of my new years resolutions is to organise my fabric so that i can see what I have (without looking on facebook), I'm not allowing myself to buy anymore fabric until I've done so! 

I thought i would share with you what I would have bought in the sale had I allowed myself...

Alpine Fabrics Green Cars and Automobiles FLANNEL
 This would make some super cute bandanna bibs or baby trousers.
Michael Miller Bunting Stripe

I would have made a lovely summer dress with this.

Robert Kaufman Dress Up in Rose Pink by Fabrice De Villeneuve

I love this fabric but I don't know what I could make with it, maybe a bag or apron.
David Walker for Free Spirit Animals Silhouette Blue
I already have this cute fabric & have made it in to some bandanna bibs which are for sale on my facebook page.

I really could spend all day looking at fabric online...

x Jo x

Links to Prints To Polka Dots are affiliate links, however all opinions expressed are my own.