Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Fun with dough

The nice thing now is that the girls ask for things they would like to do from the activities that are kept in cupboards (items that are not regular toys and that I keep out of the way for play that needs a watchful eye - Chops is still putting things in her mouth on a daily basis - ARRRGGGHHH!).

Today stones were demanded, so we pulled out the dough, stones and lolly sticks to make some creative shapes.

I love home made dough I find it much softer and I am not so precious about it too (I feel myself twitching if they start shoving things into bought play dough - whats that about???)

There is a recipe here on The Imagination Tree but this is the one I use below and I always like to add a bit of glitter!

Glitter dough – infinitely better than normal dough, basically add a small pot of glitter when mixing the flour and salt together!  

2 cups of plain flour

4 tablespoons of 'cream of tartar'

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

1 cup of salt

2 cups of boiling water with the 
food colouring added to it

Might not come together but gather and knead for a bit and its great.  Allow it to cool in a bag as I find this better and it keeps for ages.

Sand play

Well I have finally given in and bought a sand tray - I was reluctant as I didn't want a sandy house but sand is such a hit when we head down to the sandpit at the park that I just had to and £20 from Argos seemed cheap enough for lots of fun.

Its already a big hit, Chops has played with it loads and 5 of them were having great fun today - just got to crack the concept of keeping the sand on the decking!

I got my trusty tough tray out too so they could dig and make castles as well.  Adding in other objects such as shells and lolly sticks to make it more interesting (and not all about plastic).  Lots of birthday cakes were made!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Travelling with Chops

So we have experienced our first flight with a 22 month old and it went very well. Top items for entertainment were sticker books and magazines with stickers, mini cars to ride around the seat, rainbow slinky, books, pen and sketch book, travel aqua doodle, treading beads (we had a farm set) and of course the iPad! I downloaded some BBC programmes that Chops loves. Top tip of all - make a friend. We had a lovely chat with 4 year old Bella!!! Great fun.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Book author stalking

I am a massive fan of the Lulu books by Camilla Reid and so have been stalking her on google tonight only to discover she established her own publishers Nosy Crow who publish Pip and Posy books! Love them too!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Modern Art with a Toddler

 Who Knew that viewing modern art with a toddler could be so much fun.  We 'accidently' went to Tate modern on Easter Sunday and had such a lovely time.  We just went around the public bits as we didn't have loads of time to get around but Chops loved it.  We spent a good 30 mins just charging around the turbine hall, rolling on the floor and generally enjoying space! It really is the most amazing gallery.

The Dan Flavin rooms were the best bits as far as Chops was concerned as they made rainbows on the walls and Chops just danced around with Nanny making different shapes and patterns.

We then went around the Energy and Process rooms where Tree of 12 metres was where squirrels and the Gruffalo lived, Terracotta Circle is where our cat Bean would sleep and Remade 2008 needed 'tidying up' as there were a lot of dust bunnies around it!!!

It was hilarious and actually made much more sense than some of the descriptions that were in the galleries! We will be going again very soon.

Easter Fun Sensory Bin

Well we didn't manage much Easter fun last week due to the 'house of sickness' but we have been doing lots of things this week to make up for it and my favourite so far has been the sensory bin that we made for playgroup that we whipped out again on tuesday.  I love playing with it as the texture of the rice is so relaxing.

I bought really cheap white rice and dyed it with food colouring. I found the best way to do this was to use the liquid food colouring (I used some out of date colour I had). Place the rice into a food bag and massage the colour into the rice - once all covered pour it onto a tray and let it dry out.

 I had two deep bins and then my trusty tuff tray and placed rubber measuring spoons, plastic eggs with things hidden in then (stars, chicks and rice), plastic shot glasses, coloured lolly sticks, flowers, egg cartons and a little basket that acted like a sieve (got to love the freebies on the front of Cbeebies Magazine).  Chops and her friend also delved into the plastics cupboard (a cupboard that I let them play in with pots and cups).  This meant lots of filling and pouring.  They also turned the eggs into shakers and Chops had fun making 'drinks' by putting rice in the little cups with the lolly sticks as straws.

It did get very messy but so easy to sweep up and the they helped do that too with their 'mini me' broom and brush set. A great activity.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sick but still having fun!

So we have been a house a sickness! But still have a toddler to entertain so luckily we had help from neighbours and a bit of nursery time to fall back on and in between we set up a few activities.  

Luckily we had some 'cloud dough' made up already (thanks to The Imagination Tree for the inspiration for this).

7 cups of any type of flour (we used plain flour), 1 cup of vegetable oil or baby oil (we used vegetable), powder paint to colour the dough and as much glitter as you wish!!! (We also had fun making it together - Chops loves to stir)!

I put some stones, cutters and pots on a large play tray and we just had lots of fun and some how dinosaurs joined us - always a bonus.  Its such lovely stuff with a silky texture and makes solid forms and then crumbles back to a soft loose texture - could play with it for hours myself but Chops can manage about 15 - 20 mins at a time these days!  Best thing is its easier to clean up than sand and safe if a bit ends up in the mouth (which it invariably does with Chops).  It has kept really well in a sandwich box too, so great to whip out when needed.