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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Silent Sunday


x Jo x

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Hungry Caterpillar Week @ Messy Play

Oops... just realised that I haven't finished posting about the group messy play sessions I ran in the summer. The next theme I chose was The Very Hungry Caterpillar so that we could cover food, leaves, caterpillars & butterfly's. In the sensory box I popped lots of popcorn, we do have a popcorn maker which made this quite easy, I think I ended up using approx 300g of corn. I then raided our toy kitchen to find all the plastic food that is mentioned in the book & added some scoops & spoons. 

This box was very popular with all the kids, we kept it made up at home the popcorn kept well & still smelt delicious 2  weeks later (though I wouldn't recommend eating any that old, it was OK to play with). 

This week instead painting on the floor I moved it up on to a table so that they could create individual paintings. I was aiming for symmetry butterfly's & sponge circles to make caterpillars. Well the kids had their own ideas and were happy to paint freely, the glitter went down well :-) Joseph (4.5) wanted to make a butterfly so I drew out the shape on half the paper to help him (bottom left pic).

For some floor art I taped some black paper down for chalking. I did have more paper to hand in case they filled it up, but the chalk rubbed away by hand so their was no need. I must remember to do this in the kitchen for the boys on a rainy day!

Using left over coloured pasta from the previous week we made some caterpillars, with pipe cleaners & eyes. This is great for little ones that struggle to thread on to string.

 For the other areas we had:
  • Ball pool
  • Leaf pool - Selection of leaves and pine cones. I used lots of different leaves including bay & mint to add some scent.
  • Button & cotton real threading - which created some nice caterpillars

As usual we had a baby / quiet area, which included the book & a butterfly toy.

At the end of the session I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

x Jo x

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Top 20 Halloween Messy Play & Craft Ideas..

Joseph has always liked Halloween & as his birthday is just a few days later, he has asked for a Halloween party. He will be 5 this year & as he has enjoyed our group messy play sessions so much over the summer we will be having a messy Halloween party! I don't want anything that will stain as I don't want to ruin anyone's costumes! I'm also running another group messy play session in October half term so will be using lots of the same ideas. 

Shaving Foam - The Iowa Farmers's Wife
Spider Play Dough -Taming The Goblin
Halloween Coloured Rice - Play Through The Day
Green Spaghetti - Growing A Jewelled Rose
Pumpkin Gloop - Growing A Jewelled Rose
Spooky Jelly Play - Nurture Store
Lentil Sensory Box - Creative Playhouse

Orange & Black Water Beads - Le Baby Bakery
Spider Web Threading - There's Just One Mommy
Cotton Wool Ghost Bottles - No Time For Flash Cards
Lentil Pumpkin Craft - Crack Of Dawn Crafts
Paper Bag Ghost Puppets - Fab Mums
Loo Roll Bats - La-Dee-Da Creations
Loo Roll Monsters - Happy Hooligans
Tissue Paper Window Decoration - Jennifer's little World
Pine Cone Owls - Lady Sandra
Bottle Top Spider - Craft Town
Paper Plate Witch - Ziggity Zoom
Cotton Wool Ghost - 366 Days Of Pintrest
Cotton Bud (Q-Tip) Skeleton - Pilish The Stars
If you are looking for more Halloween ideas take a look at my Halloween Pintrest board. I have still got to gather some ideas for food & decorations so keep a look out for another post soon...

x Jo x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Ashton Court Minature Railway

On the August bank holiday weekend we discovered the railway that we must have driven past hundreds of times & hadn't discovered it on our previous visits to Ashton Court. Ashton Court Miniature Railway has 2 tracks, one raised & the other at ground level, both offering a choice of trains steam, electric & diesel. Each track is approximately 1/3 of a mile long giving a lovely journey including a trip through a tunnel. Tickets cost 70p each with discounts of 5 or more tickets bought. We ended up having to rides each once on each track. The remaining opening dates for 2013 are 22/9, 29/9, 13/10 & 20/10 (all Sundays), unfortunately the Santa special has sold out but I will be looking to get tickets for next year. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Free Museums

Whilst on the Gromit Unleashed trail this summer we got to experience many parts of Bristol we hadn't ventured to before. One of the highlights for me was the museums. The M-Shed is a museum for the history of Bristol, entry is FREE but they do ask for a donation. Unlike the museums I remember as a kid everything is so hands on with anything not to be touched being well protected, so I was able to let the boys explore freely. They have a real (old) double decker bus, pelican crossing with traffic lights, air raid shelter, old fashioned toys & street games. As we were on the Gromit trail we only had an hour but will be visiting again to discover more. We also plan to time it so that we can take a trip on Bristol's Harbour Railway, as the boys would love to go on a real (steam) train!

We also visited Bristol City Museum in Clifton. Its more of a traditional Museum however it was still family friendly, with a dedicated (play) area for children to explore. The boys loved the dinosaur & sea life areas. Its also worth noting a that as well as a cafe, they also have a picnic room that is available all year around (its tucked away so ask if you can't find it). Entry to Bristol Museum is also FREE, again asking for a donation.

Whilst we were staying at my Mums in Devon, we took the chance to visit Barnstaple Museum. I visited several times as a child & remembered admiring their insect wall. Again everything was family friendly with exhibits designed for children. In the world war area they did have sound effects of bombs, which scared Joseph (4.5) a little, even though it wasn't loud. Barnstaple Museum is also FREE to enter.

During the summer we also took the boys to @Bristol, Bristol's science museum. All though its not free & to be honest a little expensive, I would say its worth it. At their current age (4.5 & 3) it was great fun with lots to play with & lots of buttons etc to test. It will also be great in a couple of years when they can really get the educational benefit from it. Its a full day out, be aware that parking can be expensive. If you want to skip the cafe at lunch time, they have a great picnic room or if its nice lunch in millennium square (just outside) is lovely, but pack a towel as the fountains are a favourite for the kids to play in!

If you would like to find a free museum in your part of the UK check out this listing over on Money Saving Expert.

x Jo x

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Singing in the rain....

The boys are both Peppa Pig fans, so when we had a rainy afternoon they wanted to go out & jump in puddles! As its not too cold yet it was great to let them out without having to waterproof them from head to toe. Joseph (4.5) opted to wear his croc's but Daniel (3) wanted to wear his George Pig wellies. 

They had great fun finding (&jumping in) all our local puddles. It was really nice to be able to let them get as wet as they liked, as I'm always telling them not to walk through puddles etc. In the end Daniel splashed so much his wellies were full when we got home!

I also managed to get a little video of the boys singing & dancing. 

Hopefully we will get the chance to do this again before the colder weather sets in.

x Jo x

P.S. this is the first time I've added a video to the blog so please let me know if it doesn't work.

Monday, 9 September 2013

J is for JOSEPH

We have sort of taken a break from letter of the week over the summer but have also been focusing (on & off) on the letter J. To be honest I don't know where this summer has gone! So as J is for Joseph & he has started school today, I'm dedicating this post to him, my wonderful tall slightly rebellious & very crazy not so little man....

After the success of the Haribo H's we practised our J's with Jelly Beans!

Daniel (3) helped make some Jelly
Joseph (4.5) coloured a J...

to add to our letters on the kitchen wall.

I really hope he loves school, I know hes going to have no trouble making friends...

x Jo x