Wednesday, 27 June 2012

BUBBLES, BEANS AND MAGNETS!

Today was another dry and warm day. Back outside we went! Our outdoor play area is getting lots of use this week and there is free flow from the house to the garden all the time. Just how we like it. 

The chickens have been escaping a lot this week so I feel some clipping of flight feathers might be in order, but it has given the children some hands on fun trying to stroke them and catch them to put them  back which is very sweet!

Today my cousin came over. She too is a childminder. A real family career it would seem! She brought her 3 mindees over with her. Little "E" loved having a boy his age to play with and they enjoyed some Super Hero play and then asked for the Pooh Bear figures to be brought out. I thought it a funny mix but if that's what they want! Who am I to stand between a boy and his imagination!

Brendan has been off school today with tummy ache again. Poor love seems to be getting rather a lot of these this year. He was all set to go but was doubled over this morning in pain. He has had moments of being just fine today and moments of pain. Mostly after he eats so I am starting to wonder if he has an intolerance to something?

Little "L" and Little "R" have been playing very nicely together this week. I think the time apart recently has done them both some good. Broken a cycle of frustration with each other and they are now enjoying each others company far more!

The "Big Machines" sensory tray took a battering today. All the children including my cousins mindees, enjoyed playing with it and soon it became a Bee hive of activity for all the toddlers, who turned it in to a "transporting" activity. They moved the beans around the garden, placing some in pots, some on the patio, some in flower beds. Some got poured down the lengths of drain pipe I had layed out, others were mixed together in pots with wooden spoons. There was a lot of filling and pouring going on. Old milk cartons were being filled with beans by using spoons and funnels. These were then carried off to another part of the garden and poured out in to something else. One child carried handfuls of beans away from the tray and left little "Bean piles" all over the garden!



I would have liked to share more photos but I do not have permission to share photos of the other children on here.

The bubbles came out again and the bubble machine went through another set of batteries and a good glug or two of bubble mixture! Brendan and Little "E" went off to find ingredients for their own bubble mixture. My bathroom was raided as was the washing up liquid in the kitchen. They appeared with a big metal pan of mixture and took it to the end of the garden to test out! All the children pilled round it with bubble wands to see if it was "a good mixture!"  And you know what?.... it wasn't bad at all! Brendan soon found some empty bubble pots and filled each one up and dished them out to all the children! You can just see and child sat in a bubble puddle at the top of this photo underneath.  She has the rest of the big pot of bubble mixture to herself and is getting very messy! But having lots of fun!


Brendan was so sweet with all the little ones. He shared his pot of mixture and blew bubbles for everyone.


It took a lot of cleaning up before lunch but it was worth it all for the fun and exploring that took place. I even had to hoover the patio as there were too many beans to pick up by hand!

This afternoon we took our magnets outside and sat together looking at the words, letters and magnetic people and animals which I had put in to baskets on the table. We made simple words together like "mum" and "dad". We recognised the first letters of our names! We matched words with pictures! Practiced animal sounds and colour recognition!




This is Little "L"'s picture!


This is little "R"'s picture!


I do hope summer brings us lots more dry and warm days. Life is so much better when we can be more connected with mother nature and enjoy being outside. Everyone is happy and full of positive energy!




Tuesday, 26 June 2012

BUBBLES AND WATER!

Oh the sun has come back for a few days!! So we have made the most of it today before it vanishes again.

I took the "Big Machines" sensory tray outside. I thought the children might find some other items from the garden to add to their play!


I turned on the Bubble machine and we ran about popping bubbles! Little "R" stood right under it and laughed at each bubble that popped on her. It encouraged some great chatter!

"popped on my shoes!"
"popped on my ear!"
"popped on my head"
"popped on my nose!"




I also set up a bucket of water. I didn't set it up with any great plan, but rather to see what the children would decide to do with it. Little "R" found pine cones to add to the water and liked to try and make them sink. She also enjoyed putting them all in and then catching them and taking them all out again!



She found an old milk carton from the recycling box and started to scoop water up in it. I brought out a small dish of bottle tops as well. I thought they would make nice things to float!


I was very surprised to see Little "R" screwing and un-screwing the lid. She spent a good 10 minutes on this and managed to tighten the lid and then take it off again! Once she had mastered this new skill, she practiced it over and over!




She also explored using a brush. I painted an "R" on the patio and she sat down next to me making marks with her wet brush, then dipping it in to her carton of water and painting again!



I am really hoping that tomorrow will be nice as well, so that we can enjoy more of this! It was a real hit with all the children today and I think it is so important to be able to re visit things a second or third time to cement the new concepts and skills.


Monday, 25 June 2012

SIMPLE SUNDAYS!

I do love the odd day of doing nothing in particular. Not all the time, but every now and then.

This Sunday was one of those days. It was my Birthday on Saturday so we had gone out for lunch and had family over for tea and cake in the afternoon. I then spent the evening snuggled on the sofa bed with my boys till we all woke on Sunday morning.




We stayed in our PJ's, watched a bit too much TV and played a bit too much Wii. But by lunch time we decided to something a bit more social. The boys are quite interested in Greek Mythology and they have a book which comes with a board game and little characters. So we gave it a go... and had a lot of fun playing it together. We also played pass the bomb which is a favorite in this house.

We worked on our jigsaw puzzle, which has been rather neglected for a while now. we managed to get quite a bit completed!


Then we noticed that the wind and rain had stopped and the sun was shinning. So off we went. Out in to the garden in our PJ's! I set up the bubble machine and got out the boy of bubble blowing toys! This simple activity kept my boys busy and happy for a good hour or more!







After a while they got to trying to make their own bubble mixture using our bathroom soap! This soon descended in to a foam fight!


So much fun from a couple of bottles of bubbles from the £1 shop and a bunch of bubble wands!

On a side note we finally managed to get our veg plots tended and the pumpkin plants put in!

Hope you all had a fabby weekend too!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

SEEING IN THE SUMMER!

With the Solstice arriving today, it has been wonderful to have the good weather return. We have been able to really enjoy the bright warm days and we have been enjoying some lovely long walks!

I have also been treated to a lovely new camera by my wonderful man! An early Birthday pressie which I got to try out on one of our walks this past weekend.











Sadly the weather is due to turn again tomorrow and the rain is returning. I know we need the rain but I do wish would would get a bit more of the sun as well. Maybe sun during the day and rain at night? That seems like a fair request!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

BIG MACHINE SENSORY TRAY!

With last weeks unexpected chance to watch some very BIG machines re surfacing the road outside, I have been thinking about how I can extend this experience and bring it in to our play.

I have seen a few sensory trays along this theme before and pinned a few on my pintrest board. Now seemed like a good time to try one out. I used some black eye and black beans which I had in the cupboard to line the tray. I found our "Happy Land" builders and popped them in there, added some signs from our car set and brought out a few books that I have on trucks and big machines!




This is also keying in nicely with our walks up to school. The school are having a new entrance made and we have had several weeks of watching diggers pulling up the old steps, cranes delivering building supplies and now we are watching the men building the old stone wall. The entrance is "Listed" so it has to be built within the style of the original entrance. It is looking lovely now that the old style wall is going up! We have had a great time watching their progress!


COLOURS SIGNING SESSION!

This week we were lucky enough to be invited to another childminders house to join in with a signing session on colours. One of the mums of the children she looks after is a baby signing teacher and ran a fun session for us all.
We learnt signs for all the colours and incorporated them in to songs and a story called "What colour are your knickers" It was very funny and all about different animals wearing different colour knickers!

Little "R" was the only child with me as the other 2 are visiting family this week. But we are looking forward to sharing what we have learnt with them, when they come back.






I was so amazed at how much little "R" has picked up. While doing her sensory puzzle this evening, she was signing the colours and taking my hands and Kenzies hands, and making us sign them too!!


Monday, 18 June 2012

TEXTURE SENSORY PUZZLE

I rotated some of the toys this week. I though maybe little "R" would like some more challenging puzzles  as she is finding the slot puzzles really easy now.  I thought we would start with a 4 piece puzzle and a texture sensory puzzle.

The 4 piece puzzle was discarded and despite my encouragement she is just not interested in trying it out.
The texture sensory puzzle however...... is a new firm favorite toy! She plays with it at every given opportunity and gets it right every time!

She now plays a little game where she puts a piece in the wrong hole and then looks at me and says "No!" with a big smile on her face. When she puts it in the right hole, I have to clap!





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