Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fun with Pom Poms


We had some fun with craft pom poms today - some plain ones and some sparkly ones in lots of different sizes.


Monty is getting very good at picking up the little pom poms and transferring them to the bottle, great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination.


He also enjoyed loading them into the egg box and back out again.

An older child might like to use the egg box to sort the pom poms for size, colour or texture.



Friday, 28 June 2013

Number Pebbles

For my new class after summer.....now I just have to make a little bag to put them in.

A pack of Sharpie Markers, some pebbles and a little gloss coat of PVA.  

Job done!


Oatmeal Playdough



Following on from our first go at playdough when Monty was more keen to eat it than play with it I decided
to have a go at this oatmeal playdough recipe as it contains no salt and if he insists on eating it then this has to be the more preferable option!


All you need is:

  • half a cup of flour
  • half a cup of warm water 
  • one cup of oatmeal

Mix it all together - that easy!!



You can also add food colouring if you like, but I used red and it came out looking like raw sausagemeat so I would recommend a different colour (still lots of fun though)!


This time I gave him a few large buttons and a couple of pegs to push into the playdough.  




Little objects like this are good for developing fine motor skills and also building strength in fingers and hands.










We tried rolling it into a sausage shape to make a caterpillar, then we divided it into balls and made cup cakes in paper cases.  


He liked scrunching up the paper cases best! 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Fabric Fabric Fabric.....

Just had a quick tidy up of all the bits of fabric in my little work space and  have tried to balance things as best I can on the shelf.  
I was surprised with how little pink there is now compared to everything else.  I used to buy loads of pink and I'm still very tempted when I see it....but who am I buying it for - I don't have any girls and my niece has grown out of the pink stage!


I'm finding it really difficult to get nice fabrics for boys, most of it has robots, dinosaurs or vehicles, which I'm not that keen on, whereas the girly prints are full of beautiful flowers and butterflies.  

So as a result I seem to have been buying plain coloured rainbow brights and trying to get creative with them instead.  I bought some a while back with the intention of making a quilt.  

I haven't actually started it yet so that could be the next project.  




Here's one I made for my nephew last Christmas.  The quality of the pic isn't that great but you get the idea.  
I think it'll be roughly the same but white instead of blue.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Quiet Book is complete!

I managed to get the book all finished tonight and thought I would share it.   
Although I've been calling it a 'quiet book', in the end I thought a 'busy book' was more appropriate as I hope it'll keep Monty busy, not necessarily quiet!


 I tied the pages together loosely with ribbon as I had planned at first but it was just going to come apart really easily so I put in a few stitches down the spine to hold it all together which works better.....and if I make more pages in the future, which I probably will, they will need to be in a whole new book. 

The book is for a 1 year old so it's mainly a mixture of colour, pattern and texture - nice things for him to look at and touch.  
When he's a bit bigger I will try to dream up more challenging pages!


Bunting flags, lots of buttons, felt circles and flowers
Velcro rip tape in bright colours and a mixture of feathers, ribbons and pom poms
Beads on strings - abacus style and a shiny page with lots of silver textures

I decided not to include the 'I Spy' page as once the objects and rice were in the pocket it was way too heavy so I'll finish that off on it's own and post it soon.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Play House

I just bought this cute play house on Gumtree!  It needs a total makeover and I'm looking to Megan at Mousehouse for inspiration.  


It's got sand and water trays, a cooking area, a curtained window space for a shop or puppet theatre, a little seat out front and a basketball hoop ...of all things??!



Some paint and new curtains will make a good start.  Can't wait to get going!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Book Nook


A book nook should be an inviting place where little ones would like to go to look at books.

You can foster early literacy skills and a love of books by providing resources which are linked to books and stories such as puppets, soft toys and pictures - as well as some appropriate and favourite books!

Some cushions and a cosy quilt will also tempt them in.

I created this nook from a big cardboard box in less than five minutes.  Cardboard boxes are sooooo useful!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Quiet Book

Beads on strings

I'm in the middle of making a quiet book or busy book as they are sometimes called.  

These are a sort of activity book for babies and toddlers that you can make yourself and fill with a whole host of interactive activities that you think might excite them.

It's been fun searching for ideas as there seem to be so many different types of pages that can be created, from decorating Christmas trees to matching coloured socks but it's so difficult trying to decide what to do, especially for one so young!


Feather trim, pom pom trim, pipe cleaners and ribbons
Velcro from computer ties

I decided I should make my first book mainly about textures as this is what appeals to him the most at the moment.  He loves touching the feely bits in books especially the 'That's not my...' series. 


Bead trim, ribbons, mirror trim, sparkly fabrics

Miniature bunting with patterned fabrics

So far, I have used buttons, ribbons, beads, feathers, shiny and patterned fabrics and any other useful scraps that I had lying around.  

I still have to sew it all together and maybe even make a front cover...or should I leave the pages loose and just tie them together with ribbon so they can be mixed up and changed for new ones....oh I don't know! 


I will post pics when complete and when I've tried it out - I hope he likes it!



Tuesday 18th June....

A wee update on the quiet book as I've managed to get a little bit done while the little one is sleeping this morning.  I think I'm going to call him Monty as I can's keep calling him the little one!
Four pages stitched together
I decided to stitch four pages together to make a book that can be tied together loosely with ribbon so that more pages can be added or removed in the future.  

A photograph of these items with names will
become the checklist for finding the items in the I Spy game
I've also seen 'I Spy' pages around and thought I would have a go at this too. 

I've still got a few things to collect and then I'll write the names of the objects under the pictures and laminate the 'search' card.

All the real items will go into a plastic pocket which I'll fill with rice and stitch closed. 

Hope to get it all finished soon but need to think of a front cover picture or title....'My Quiet/Busy Book' seems a bit dull!

Update: 20 June...all finished!!

I managed to get the book all finished tonight and thought I would share it.   
Although I've been calling it a 'quiet book', in the end I thought a 'busy book' was more appropriate as I hope it'll keep Monty busy, not necessarily quiet!


 I tied the pages together loosely with ribbon as I had planned at first but it was just going to come apart really easily so I put in a few stitches down the spine to hold it all together which works better.....and if I make more pages in the future, which I probably will, they will need to be in a whole new book. 

The book is for a 1 year old so it's mainly a mixture of colour, pattern and texture - nice things for him to look at and touch.  
When he's a bit bigger I will try to dream up more challenging pages!


Bunting flags, lots of buttons, felt circles and flowers
Velcro rip tape in bright colours and a mixture of feathers, ribbons and pom poms
Beads on strings - abacus style and a shiny page with lots of silver textures

I decided not to include the 'I Spy' page as once the objects and rice were in the pocket it was way too heavy so I'll finish that off on it's own and post it soon.


Friday, 7 June 2013

First go at playdough!


Today was our first go at play dough, well is was for the little one anyway, I've been making it for years at work with glitter, fragrances and all sorts of colours.  
But today we kept it super simple - plain playdough with the tiniest bit of colour and some lolly sticks.




At first he was keen to push his fingers into it and dig and scratch little bits out, rolling it between his finger and thumb.  

He was also determined to have a sneaky taste and kept popping little bits in his mouth...yuck!

One at a time






I put the lolly sticks into the playdough and he had great fun pulling them out, first one at a time.....





Pulling lots out at a time





......and then lots together as I was quickly putting them back in. 

He found this hilarious!









Playdough is easy to make and is good for building up the strength in little fingers, not to mention great fun!

If you want to have a go at making it, there are loads of recipes online to choose from.  Most include flour, salt and water with a little vegetable oil.  Food colouring is optional.

Store it in an airtight container and it should keep for a few days.