Tuesday, 18 December 2012





We have been making our Prezzies for our parents. I have only been doing this with the children who are with me all day, so I thought of something that the toddlers could manage with out too much help and that would provide us with a lovely gift at the end. I am not keen on making too many "end product" crafts as I often feel they are more for us than they are the child. 

Last year we made Christmas tree decorations, and as they were just babies a year ago, I did do most of the creating. A hand print on a Bauble. They were very cute though. 
This year I continued with the Christmas Tree decoration idea but wanted the little ones to own the project a bit. 

I worked some clay in to a softer ball and gave each child a piece. They spent time moulding it with their hands. Strengthening their finger muscles and enjoying the feel of it.

 Once they had lost interest in exploring the clay, I offered them a rolling pin and watched as they worked to flatten the ball. Some of them needed help, but they all gave it a really good go!

I placed a selection of Christmas cookie cutters on to the table and let them push their chosen one in to the clay. We practised placing the cutter and then pushing down hard to cut the shape.

 We had a few half snow men or trees with tops missing but after a while I selected the best cut shapes and placed them to one side.

Some of the children took the clay off cuts and carried on pushing their fingers in to it or making holes using the sticks that we used to make the hanging holes in each decoration.

 I rounded some of the left over dough and then placed a little bowl of cloves on to the table and watched as they pushed them in to the clay. This added a nice smelly, sensory element to the crafting!

We even wore the cutters as bangles!

After a few day, the clay had dried. I then let them each loose with the porcelain paint pens! 

These paints dry all shiny! I will write and date each one, then we will thread some pretty ribbon on them and wrap them up as Christmas gifts for the Mums and Dads! I think they did a lovely job!

Thursday, 13 December 2012


This weekend we got our tree!! The boys and I popped on the Christmas CD and set about making it all twinkly and shiny!

I set up a few activities for this weeks childminding. I like to get things ready on a Sunday when introducing new topics or activities. It's lovely to watch the children walk in and find lovely new things to try out.

We enjoyed a Christmas card writing and posting box. This appealed to all the children. All ages. The younger ones made marks in the cards and then asked me to pop them in to envelopes so they could post them. The older ones asked how to spell each others names. They wrote and posted cards to one another and then emptied the post box and handed them all out!

I set up a basket of Christmas tree decorations. I thought it would help the younger ones to have some decorations that they could play with and explore. I do ask them not to play with the Christmas tree and I find this takes away some of the urge to pull off all the glittery and tempting baubles! Having their own ones to explore! Lots of sensory fun!

Some of our Knitted friends!

We played with our Nativity set, looked at the Christmas story and had lots of conversations about baby Jesus!

Explored the Winter sensory tray!

It has been lovely to revisit some of the Christmas story books that have been put away since last year.


Last week we enjoyed the Winter sensory box. I used some maize packing pellets as fake snow and found some animals that live in cold climates, a winter tree and gathered up different winter thememd items from around the house.

Little "R" liked to put her head in the box....

..... so that Little "L" could throw snow over her!

When the older children came home we lay out a white sheet on the floor and they walked buddy Bear around on it in his winter coat, hat and scarf and welly boots! We made indoor snowballs from white tissue paper and had a snowball fight!

We covered the bean bag in the white sheet and made a snowy mountain!

The animals had a nice climb on the mountain. The penguin was getting a lot of attention and soon everyone wanted a penguin. They all wanted eggs for their penguins to hatch. This teddy penguin can turn inside out and then become an egg. The children had me performing this piece of magic for them over and over.

We talked about how Daddy Penguins look after the eggs and hatch them. We watched a you tube clip about baby penguins sitting on their Daddies feet! We walked like Penguins!

The younger 2 made a little world for their Penguins on their muslin rags. They went to the sensory box and gathered "snow" to put on it!

I do love how a child's interest can carry a hole afternoon or days play! They are so much more involved in the learning when it stems from their own interest and desire to learn about something. They ask questions and become fully engaged!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


We were very lucky this week at one of the toddler groups that we occasionally visit. They had a playdough activity set up and Little "X" just loves his play dough! I would say it is almost up there with cars!

This was no ordinary playdough... it was scented and came with everything needed to make little birthday cupcakes!

He practised his rolling skills!

And using the cutters!

Look at his little face! He made a mark in the dough and was so happy with his hard work!

I love how he sticks his tongue out when he concentrates on something. He was checking each candle to make sure it was not broken. Some of them had been snapped in half and these broken ones were not allowed on his cakes!

He even worked on transporting little bits of dough off the table and in to a bot using a spoon and a fork!

I can see the play dough coming out at ours this week!


To be honest she has been able to cut well for a while now but the interest in this skill has really bloomed in the past week or so. I have actually set up some cutting activities this week for her to further this and provide her with more opportunities to strengthen this.

She shows great control over the scissors, which are quite tricky things to get the hang of. She will sit for a good 15 minutes or more and work on cutting and sticking activities. She is very careful to mind her fingers. We are still very much at the first cutting stage, and will make lots of cuts along the edge of the paper. She can cut much further in to her paper now and if she gets stuck she will rip the last bit to separate the two halves of the sheet she is working with. She can not yet cut around a picture with purpose but this does not seem to worry her at all. She seems to quite like sticking the two halves back together again on another sheet of paper!

Well done Little "R"! Super star for you this week!


I just wanted to share some Autumn images with you all. We have all been battling this awful sick bug for the past couple of weeks and so my blogging has not been as regular as I like! I am hoping a few catch up posts will give you an idea of what has been going on. Especially for the parents of the children that I look after and their families that visit this blog.

My boys have been very much involved in playing and designing Minecraft worlds. They are even role playing this game around the house and in the school playground. This is Kenzie apparently riding a Minecraft Pig (I know it's a horse) and training it with a carrot!

We dug up the last of the potatoes from our allotment and then added chicken waste from our birds on to the plots. I will leave it to brake down over the winter and then dig it in for the spring!

The boys gathered leaves and piled them up high.......before riding down the hill on scooters and driving in to the pile!

We have enjoyed many Autumnal walks. Sadly we have not foraged very much this year due to the poor crops and bad weather :-( We have very much enjoyed watching the carpet of leaves grow deeper at the park and watched the trees change almost daily!

Lots of running, jumping, rolling and throwing of these golden wonders!

Kenzie enjoyed chatting to some animals at a local garden centre that we visited with my parents whilst on a hunt for some winter colour for the garden!

Brendan enjoyed the tea and biscuits at his Grandparents house after the garden centre trip!

The boys helped me to plant the new additions in to the beds before the rain started! The Chickens have had a little scratch at them but I surrounded the bases with large stones and this seems to have deterred them a bit!

I weather proofed the chicken run a bit to provide them with a bit of shelter over the winter. Not the prettiest of set ups but it seems to work!

It is so nice to see some colour outside again especially after all the summer flowers have died back.

We have enjoyed lots of indoor play together, staying warm and dry from the high wind and heavy rain that the UK has suffered the past few weeks. Thankfully due to our location, flooding was not an issue, but a few miles down the road and it was quite a different story!

The boys enjoyed some fun new puddings that I found in Marks and Spencer's food court!


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