Friday, 26 January 2018

Number Hop Activity

I've teamed up with to bring you another fun learning activity for your little ones.

This activity great for exercising growing muscles and will also help your child learn their numbers.  Balance and co-ordination will also be put to the test as they make their way from number to number.

As we currently have an Arctic theme in our home ed at the moment I used the idea of hopping from ice burg to ice burg, but you could do the leap from theme that suggested to me.

Here are their instructions for the activity, then I will share with you how I adapted this idea for my own children:

Preschool Math Activities:  Number Leap Frog
What you need:
  • 20 sheets of varying colour of construction paper or white sheets of paper for the ice burg hop.
  • 1 black marker.

What you do:

  1. Help your child set out the sheets of construction paper on a flat surface.
  2. Then, using the black marker, let your child draw a number on each card (the numbers 1-20, one per card).
  3. Next, help her place the cards on the ground in a line, about a foot apart. You could do variations such as placing the cards counting up, counting down, even numbers, or odd numbers.
  4. To play the game, your child should stand at one end of the number line.
  5. Call out, “HOP.”
  6. Encourage your child to hop onto the nearest lily pad and call out the number.
  7. She wins when she makes it to the end of the line, having successfully called out all of the numbers.
Number Leap Frog is a great way to build a strong math foundation for future learning. Not to mention it's a silly and fun way to get lots of exercise and keep those minds and bodies active! 
We adapted this idea to our Arctic theme by using white sheets of paper as "ice burgs".  We played by rolling a die and Boris had to identify the number on the die, then translate that to the written numbers on the "ice burgs".  He had to hop in random directions, sometimes far, sometimes near to get to the right number.  He then had a go at writing some random numbers of his own onto more sheets of paper then insisted that I do the ice burg hop!
It was a fun activity and great for helping to learn number identification.  I felt like I could have extended the idea by using two dice and getting Boris to add the numbers together.

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Let me know if you have a go at this idea, I would love to see how you make it work for your children. 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Distraction Vs Immersion

Well hello 2018, we didn't get off on the right foot did we.  Let's start again!

Let me explain; The house of mama began this year with a two night stay in the high dependency unit of our local hospital for our four year old, beginning on New Years eve 2017 (which I spent alone, cleaning the oven).  It was an incredibly worrying, upsetting and stressful time and I am unspeakably glad it's over.

It was most certainly not the start to the year I had in mind. My plans were for an evening of relaxing, drinking some rose with my husband, and watching Jools Holland.  Followed by a weeks of sorting and tidying the house, clearing out junk, planning our home ed year and filling in my shining life workbook (which is actually just a notebook where I am answering the questions from last years workbook because #onabudget).  The reality was quite different and something I'd sooner forget.  Therefore New Year has officially started this week for me and was precursed by a wonderful "Word of The Year" Workshop run by my lovely friend Vicki from

I've been choosing a word of the year for about five years now, but it's only really properly informed my year since I began the Shining Life programme by Leonie Dawson, because with her workbook I was able to delve deeper into the hows and whys or word-of-the-year.  This will be my third year. I have found it a really useful and inspiring tool to help me focus on how I want my year to unfold, how I want to feel and what I want my year to look like.

When I looked back over the past year I realised I felt like it had gone really really quickly and I had blinked one to many times and missed it.  I feel like the past year has been filled with distraction.  I have constantly distracted myself from real life by looking on social media, rading books or simply hiding away in the kitchen, at every possible moment.  And I don't want to look back over my year, over my life; and think that I wasted it all on Facebook.

I really felt like I wanted next year to be a year of being present, living more in the moment and really immersing myself in life.  Home ed life, home life, family life, spiritual life...  I wanted to feel like I am fully experiencing everything the year has to bring; to touch, taste, smell, hear and feel absolutely everything, so I end the year full of wonderful memories.

For these reasons and more that I won't bore you with I have chosen the word IMMERSE for my word of the year.

(My rather crinkles word-of-the-year art that I did at Vicki's workshop!)

I want to be fully immersed in life in 2018 not distracted from it.

It will be interesting to see how the year goes because right now it feels a bit like wading through mud.  I haven't shaken the feelings of sadness surrounding my little boy's awful hospital stay and I am struggling to find my rhythm. It's difficult as a full time, home educating mama to feel any sense of beginning and end, any sense of a task completed, of a job well done because everything is a constant cycle and I am almost always wanted and needed for the next task.  From laundry to cooking meals to ferrying children to different places and trying to squeeze in house work, my life is not my own at the moment and nothing feels like it's going my way.  Right now my immersion feels more like drowning than the involvement and engrossment I had in mind.

According the the antonym to Immersion is Surrender.  This feels particularly poignant at the moment.  Surrendering to life as I know it is all I can do right now.  I have the choice to either surrender to the messy, chaotic majesty of this wonderful life or I can try to fight it and end up drowning, because no amount of fighting or running away is going to change things.  I can only surrender and get on with it. But one thing is for sure, I won't be distracting myself from it any longer because I don't want to miss it.  As hard as it is someday (everyday at the moment) this is my one glorious, cluttered, manic life and I'm diving right in.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mamas, love your body (A letter to myself and other mothers)

Image result for mother body quotes

There is little I find sadder on social media than reading a request for information on cosmetic surgery from mamas who want to "fix" their post-natal bodies. I am not talking about mums with serious issues as a result of pregnancy and childbirth that are causing pain or restricting movement, I am talking about normal cosmetic things that happen during pregnancy that society, the media, magazines, advertising, have deemed not normal, attractive or acceptable. Don't get me wrong I'm not judging, I get it, I really do, I have those feelings too, and this letter it to myself as much as it is to you a reminder of what is important, what is true and what is real.

Sometimes what we really need is not a new face cream but rather some fresh perspective.

Mama, I am talking to you now, crying out to you to show your body some love.  Look at the amazing things your body has done for you.  It has grown a new life and carried it for nine whole months, that amazing body of yours grew another human, a miracle! Thank your bodies for giving you your daughter or son, thank it for it's strength, it's resilience, it's ability to endure one of the most powerful forces on earth; bringing forth new life. Your body will never be the same as it was before your carried life, those rounded hips, your strong thighs, that ocean tummy, those milky breasts, but why should it be?  Different isn't bad, changed isn't wrong.   Why should we have to try to hide that we made a life?

Image result for mother body quotes

We've all seen pictures of women in the media, air brushed to perfection, bodies of young women, un-worked, flawless.  We're bombarded by these pictures on almost a daily basis, but these images are not reality. Of course the women in these images exist and I am no way shaming them for the bodies they have, but they are only showing one kind of beautiful, and not only that but a beauty that has been refined beyond the point of reality.  What about the beauty of an empty nest?  That tummy of yours is exquisite mama. It stretched and grew to accommodate your baby, that skin you grab and fret over is a testament to your body's greatest achievement, and it is a beautiful thing.  Your baby no longer resides there but the echo of that second heart beat remains with you as a reminder of your strength and power. Those breasts that grew and fed your infants are a marvel my love! Of course they don't look like they did when you were a teen, nor do they resemble the huge round orbs that we're confronted with on billboards and magazine pages, shiny and rounded, pumped up and plastic and full of lies.  But those breasts on your body are yours, doing their job, wear them with pride for they are real, love them, for they are truth.


We are shamed, as mothers for not having our teenage bodies any more.  We are fed a steady stream of shame, cartoon pictures of mothers with breasts dragging on the floor, photos of mummy tummies with felt tip lines marking where hard earned skin will be cut away, Magazine pictures of celebrity mothers shamed for their post-natal bodies.  Mama, don't believe these pictures, don't let them draw you in, don't believe their lies.  Your body is perfect, exactly how it should be, it doesn't need to be fixed because it isn't broken.

What are we teaching our daughters, or nieces, our younger sisters, when we seek cosmetic surgery on bodies that have simply done their job? Do we want to send them the message that when they have children, that very process that brought them into the world, is something to be ashamed of, something to mend, hide, cover up, disguise, pretend never happened?  We should be celebrating our extra skin, our stretch marks.  Wouldn't it be amazing if we longed for these in the same way our childish minds longer for the beginning of breasts and our periods, as a mark of womanhood, of womanliness?  The only way we can change the world, change the way the world sees the bodies of mothers is to change the way we see ourselves.

Gustav Klimt, Mother & Child

I am calling out to you mama to be proud of your body, say positive words about it, honour your body by sending out words of love about your it into the world, tell the world that you're not going to be shamed for the scars and marks of your body's ultimate achievement.  Reject the lies you've been fed, let's change the future, for ourselves and our children.  Let us tell the world what is normal and what is true, and stop accepting the negative world view of a mother's body; because you my love are truth, you are normal, more than normal, you are consummate work of art, you are perfection.

Image result for jenny saville stretch marks