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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Water Bead Small World Play

We have moved on from the letter A to letter B, so we decided that it would be fun to get our water Beads out in our sensory box. We 'grew' these beads back in October (before I started bogging) for some halloween sensory play & they have kept in an airtight container since then! If you haven't used water beads yet they are great fun & can be picked up cheaply from e-bay, being designed for flower arrangements. Please be careful with young children as they must not be eaten & could be a choking hazard.

On the first day we played with the beads, we used some things form our kitchen role play area, including Bowls, spoons & cups. I was served many cups of bead tea & bowls of bead soup!

When we got the box back out the next day we went for some small world Building fun, with Bob the Builder (UK TV character) & some other digger toys. This is the first time we have used our digger toys in a small word environment & it went down very well. The diggers were used to move the beads around & put them in & out of the bowls. Daniel (2.5) enjoyed the box so much we have had it out several times since!

Why not take a look at some other things we have played with in our box:

x Jo x

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Glowing Disco Fun Bath

Since the success of our Christmas Fun Bath, which we set up several times over the festive period, I have been meaning to set up another fun bath for the boys. 

I picked up a pack of 15 glow sticks from the £1 shop, after seeing them used in the bath over at Growing A Jewelled Rose. I started out by activating all the  glow sticks & using the connectors to make circles. We already had some colour changing light up cubes & we are lucky enough to have a blue light in our bath (something that was very important when I had time for long soaks in the bath - before kids!).

We turned off the main bathroom light & put on some music using a CD player in a nearby room.

The boys were so excited to see what there next fun bath was going to be & really enjoyed using the glow sticks in the water. We used them as mini hola hoops for our arms & the boys even took them all apart and made a big snake/worm. It turned out to be good fine motor practise connecting all the glow sticks together.

 It was another big hit and we will defiantly do this again once I've picked up some more glow sticks.

x Jo x

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Nuts & Bolts

On our way home from pre-school we like to pop in to a charity shop or 2! Joseph found this fab Quercetti Techno set:

It has nuts & bolts, different types of screws, flat plates, different screw drivers & a spanner. Best of all it even came with the instruction book, with ideas of how to make several pattens, models & even some scales. I'm not always overly keen on toys with lots of little bits, however as this packs up inside its self it tends to stay quite tidy.

It offers great fine motor skill practise & also helps with shape matching e.g. choosing the right screwdriver. The boys enjoy it now but they need help if they want to make anything specific, so think that they will get lots more use from it when they are older and able to follow the instructions themselves.

x Jo x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Sweet Treats

As we had some chocolate Santa's, left over from Christmas, we decided to do some kid friendly cooking. At my slimming world group Christmas party someone brought along chocolate covered grapes on cocktail sticks, they were delicious! As they boys have never been keen on grapes, i thought it would be a fun activity to encourage them to try some. 

They broke up there Santa's in to a bowl & I then melted it in the microwave. Be careful not to burn the chocolate, I find a plastic bowl works better than a ceramic one. Once melted we stuck a cocktail stick in each grape & then dipped it in to the chocolate. I gave the boys a piece of cucumber each to put the cocktail sticks in while the chocolate was hardening. Once they had finished we put them in the fridge to harden. Both Joseph (4) & Daniel (2.5) enjoyed eating the chocolate grapes at snack time. Daniel has since been enjoying grapes (without chocolate) however Joseph says that he only likes the chocolate ones! As Joseph isn't really a big fruit eater I might try giving him several fruits to try with a chocolate dip. I also found this recipe on Pintrest which looks good.

We still had 2 chocolate Santa's left! With these we decided to make the classic rice krispie cakes with a twist. To our melted chocolate we added a mix of rice krispies, cheerios, sultanas, & dried cranberries. We then spooned the mix in to cake cases. The boys love making these cakes as they can decorate them straight away, we used sprinkles, silver balls, red sugar sprinkles & cherries. Daddy very much enjoyed helping the boys eat up these cakes!

x Jo x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Valentines Toilet Roll Butterflys

Continuing with our letter B activity's, we decided to make some toilet roll butterfly's. We were inspired by several ideas that I had pinned, like this bee, this caterpillar, & this butterfly.

While Joseph (4) was out on an errand with Daddy, Daniel (2.5) painted 2 toilet roll tubes with our red glitter paint. With the first one he left several bits unpainted so I touched these up for him, then on the second one he spent ages making sure it was all covered. Next I cut out 2 sets of heart shaped wings from pink card, I used some scrap paper to make a template, so I could fold it & get a symmetrical shape.

Daniel then used our heart shaped pastry/cookie cutters that we used with our valentines play dough last week, to print heart shapes on to the wings. He was enjoying the painting so much that he also ended up making 2 cards!

The next day we all assembled the butterfly's, we used double sided tape to stick the wings on & made some antennae with a silver pipe cleaner then added some eyes (always a favourite). To decorate, I put out some shiny valentines confetti, and we also added some buttons from my stash to continue the B theme.

Both boys enjoyed making there butterfly's, which (once dry) did several laps around the kitchen before landing among our heart display wall.

x Jo x

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Arctic Sensory & Small World Box

Since we haven't had any more real snow, we decided to turn our sensory box in to an Arctic zone for some small world & sensory play. We used shaving foam to make our snow, this is the first time we have played with this at home, all though both boys have experienced it at nursery.  We gathered all or snow loving animals, we had several polar bears, a killer whale, penguin, wolf & a seal. The animals are from several places including Lego Duplo, Fisher Price Little People, Schelich, & one was even from a kinder egg! We used 2 white containers as caves & 2 old CD's as icy water.

 The boys enjoyed playing with the animals but after a couple of minutes decided that the shaving foam was to sticky & covered the animals too much. I left the box out all day but neither Joseph (4) or Daniel (2.5), wanted to play again. We have got this DK Fliptastic Animals board book out from the library at the moment (not really sure why as we don't often get board books now they are older) and it has this page about animals that live in the snow. Joseph was disappointed that we didn't have a reindeer to add to our box, but they are in the loft with the Christmas bits.

The next day after washing out the box we made up this magic snow that I bought before Christmas but never got around to using... I was hoping for fine powdery snow, however it was more of a fine gel consistency.

 The boys enjoyed adding the water & watching it grow however once again didn't like the texture (neither did I) it was very sticky & didn't brush off our hands easily. So again after a few minutes the boys were done.

On our list of things to try next is shredded paper, cotton wool balls, & ice also if we get any more real snow I will bring some in.

x Jo x

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bubble Wrap Hearts & Valentines Playdough

We decided to have a go at the bubble wrap printing that we saw over at Learning 4 Kids, to incorporate B for Bubble (our next letter, for letter A activity's see here), and an activity for Valentines Day.

 They both enjoyed using heart shaped bubble wrap to print, we used red glitter paint & plain red paint & 2 different shaped hearts. We wouldn't use coloured paper again as the boys printing didn't really stand out however the couple I did as an example on white paper looked much more effective.

As our bubble wrap looked nice painted I placed it on a piece of paper (bubble side out) to dry, I would do this again as it stuck to the paper & looked very effective being 3D. Once the paint was dry I cut out the heart shapes to use as a display on our kitchen/diner wall.
Daniel was enjoying the paining so much he used up the last of the paint with a brush, this made a nice dry brush effect. I used this painting along with several other random drawings & paintings sent home from nursery to add to our heart display.

Later the same day we decided to continue the Valentines theme & cut some hearts out of play dough. We love play dough & I did used to make a lot of our own however for Josephs 3rd birthday he was given a huge set & we have still only opened half of the pots that came with it & they are still going strong over a year later. For his 4th birthday he asked for the Play-Doh Candy Cyclone (which they both love) It came with a pot of white & a pot of bright pink, which over time has become this cool pink marbled play dough. It was perfect to use our heart cutters with.

 Valentines day isn't as big in here in the UK as it is over in the US. It tends to be just for couples & those looking for love, rather than to show love and appreciation to people you know. However its still nice to do some activity's with the boys, even though they wont be giving gifts & cards to friends etc. I mentioned to daddy about making some cards for Nanny & Grandma & he thought this was very weird! How do you celebrate where you live?

x Jo x