Wednesday 17 December 2014

Fun Things to do With Toddlers - Candy Cane slime (Ooblek)

Last time we played with corn flour and water it was a big hit, so it was no surprise when this festive version went down a storm. Boris played with it for ages and was totally engaged, just feeling the mixture with his fingers and mixing up the colour.

I filled the bottom of the dish to a few mm thick with corn flour, then added enough water to make the right consistency and some peppermint flavoring for an added sensory experience, then Boris added the food colouring with a little dropper. Such a great activity for my little man, he obviously responds well to this sort of sensory experience so I am going to have a go at making some more types of slime in the future. 

Sunday 7 December 2014

Counting down to Christmas

I love counting down to Christmas and this year added a new calender to aid in our festive proem. It's  a little Christmas tree made with matchboxes.  I decorated the draw of each box and the sides of the tree with a pieces Yuletide themed scrapbooking paper, and had wrote the numbers on,  I then put some chocs or sweets into each one for Boris to enjoy every day till Christmas. 

We still have our usual calender up with new activities to do each day:

 Here are our activities for this year:

Monday 1st – Sensory activity, blue ice stars in salt
Tuesday 2nd – Make and play with Christmas play dough
Wednesday 3rd – Make special Christmas cards
Thursday 4th – Write Christmas cards
Friday 5th –Visit Christmas common and buy a new ornament,
Saturday 6th – Bring in Christmas tree and decorate, 
Sunday 7th –  Do Christmas puzzle,
Monday 8th – Send Christmas cards
Tuesday 9th – Make a Christmas wreath,
Wednesday 10th – Make Christmas tree ornament
Thursday 11th – Make Christmas biscuits
Friday 12th – ,Make a snowman of Boris’ name.
Saturday 13th – Make mince pies
Sunday 14th – Christmas discovery baskets,
Monday 15th – Play with peppermint ooblek
Tuesday 16th – Make ginger bread house
Wednesday 17th – Watch the Nativity service
Thursday 18th – Play with play snow,
Friday 19th – Wrap Christmas presents
Saturday 20th – Watch it’s a wonderful life
Sunday 21st – Drink hot chocolate with candy cane stirrer
Monday 22nd – Make peppermint creams,
Tuesday 23rd – Play with peppermint sensory rice.

Wednesday 24th – Make Christmas cake, attend Crib Service. 

Are you doing anything different for your Christmas countdown?

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Autumn Activities Roundup

So Autumn is officially over and it seems no sooner has the calendar ticked over from November to December than the weather suddenly turns chilly.  But we are fully embracing the change of the seasons and joys of Christmas that come with it.  This year is just that bit more exciting with a toddler who is very excited about anything Christmas related and another who likes anything shiny!
But before I move on to our Christmas activities and challenges I wanted to share some of the Autumnal ones which missed out from having a post all to themselves. 
So here is my Autumn Roundup, starting with a little look at a small learning space I set up which includes a couple of discovery baskets, some autumn books and a few other bits and pieces. 

Cork Painting:
I painted a basic outline of a tree and Boris filled in the leaves by stamping the end of a cork into the paint then onto the paper. He learned about colour mixing and he used fine motor skills. I learnt that I need to explain activities really well for him to understand what I have in mind.  He began the activity by smearing a big red blob across the bottom of the trunk!

Autumn Discovery Baskets:
These were for Biscuit and I left them out on the shelves for him to use periodically throughout the season.  These included pom poms, some bought and some made from some yarn I had lying around in seasonal colours. 
Faux Autumn leaves (I bought a pack of 400 like some crazy fool, from ebay, I am not sad to have packed these away), pine cones, conkers and some scented string balls from a potpourri set.
Wooden pegs.  Biscuit used his fine motor skills, improved his understanding of the world, textures, shapes, weights etc and stimulated his senses.

Sponge Leaf Printing:
I bought some leaf shaped sponges for Boris to paint with.  He created a lovely falling leaf scene which I put up in the kitchen.  Again he learnt about colour mixing and he improved his fine motor skills. This activity also helped him (along with lots of walks outdoors pointing out the falling leaves and that they had changed colour) understand that leaves change colour and fall from the tree in Autumn.  At one point he was getting very excited about any tree with coloured leaves and shouting "that tree is Autumn Mummy".  So cute.

Pasta threading:
Boris threaded Autumnal coloured pasta onto Autumnal coloured pipe cleaners. Improving fine motor skills and had eye co-ordination.  And learning about colours.

Pumpkin carving:
This was for halloween, I cut leaf shapes into the pumpkin using leaf shaped cookie cutters and a mallett. I liked the effect, it was easy and quick to do, (took a bit of muscle though)  I put the inners of the pumpkin into a ziplock bag for Biscuit to explore. 

Corn sorting:
Boris picked corn kernels off the cob and put them into little pots. Improving fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and counting skills.

Clay Leaf Cutting:
We rolled out some air dry clay, cut leaf shapes out with the leaf cookie cutters, poked holes in them then let them dry. We then painted them and varnished them with PVA glue and threaded them onto embroidery thread with some beads and buttons.  He had a lot of help with this activity, in some ways it was more for me than him, but he enjoyed manipulating the clay and painting them, helping develop his fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and understanding of colour.

So there you have it, a very quick run down of our Autumn activities. I hope you find them useful for doing with your toddler, either now of next year. And here's to the next season and all it brings!