Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sensory Bottles: Discovery Bottle

Gather together any toys or charms that are small enough to fit into your chosen bottle and hide them inside something like rice or sand. This one kept B occupied longer than any of the others so far (whereas the older kids like the other bottles better). He was particularly interested in the figure of a snowman which we hid in there and kept saying "Man in rice" and shaking it about until he found it again.
We have just started off with a general assortment of objects but you could do all things to fit a theme; for example all beginning with the same letter, or a set number of things or the same colour or all the same kind of object (e.g. all dinosaurs).
You could have a list of objects to find and check off (either words or pictures for pre-readers)or have them write a list of all the things they find (have a round number so you know when they have got them all).
We didn't seal the lid on this one (hope I don't regret that :) ) as I want to be able to vary it by changing the objects from time to time.

Letter B: B is for bus:Magnet Page

Once again we went to the make learning fun site and used their magnet pages for a do-a-dot activity. We did both dot painting and putting coins in the dots using this page although there are other letter B magnet pages on the site.
Then we had a pretend bus ride with B as the driver. We used a shelving unit that we happened to be building (B's idea I just grabbed the opportunity)and the steering wheel from MarioKart WII. We also made fake tickets and took the bus to the beach talking about what we might see out of the windows along the way. It turned out to be lots of animals so that we could all join in with the animal sounds. The song of the day was of course "The Wheels on the Bus" - what else! Finally we played with a toy bus that you can take the passengers in and out of. Of course if we had wanted to we could have added a field trip taking the bus somewhere as well.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sensory Bottles: Static Electricity Bottle

Remember the old party trick where you get someones hair to stand up on their head by rubbing it with a balloon? This bottle works in the same way.
Take a totally clean and dry bottle (we dried our on the radiator just to make sure). Fill with a few shreds of tissue paper, or polystyrene balls. Charge up by rubbing (hard!) on the carpet, or your jumper or hair.

Junk Modelling: My Town

A good way to spend a rainy afternoon. You can make your own town, your dream town, somewhere you have visited, somewhere you dream of visiting, and even any time you dream of visiting.
All you need are assorted cardboard boxes, paper, glue sticks and pens plus any other decorative items you can think of and it can take you to anytime, anywhere.

Kids costumes: superhero

A's favourite dressing up costume of the moment.
The basic cape is made the same way as R's flower cape but left plain.
The next thing we did was to create a "zorro" style mask with eye holes that tied round A's head. (Basically one long strip.) This worked OK but kept rolling up so I decided we needed a cap bit for the top.
First I took a paper plate and drew round it onto the fabric.
I then cut this out and then folded it half and cut to give 2 semi-circles.
I then measured the curved edge of the semi-circles and cut a strip that was this long and a couple of inches wide.
I then sewed one long edge of the strip to the curved edge of first semi-circle. The other long edge of the strip gets sewn to the second semi-circle and you are left with a basic cap.
We then took the "zorro mask" and sewed it along the bottom edge of the cap (leaving the long tails to knot at the back so it fits your superheros properly).
Add extra decoration to the costume if you can get your superhero to stop saving the world long enough!

Sensory Bottles: Bubble Bottle

In preparation for the letter B this week here is another bottle. Easiest of the lot. Fill one third full of water and add a squirt of washing up liquid (dish soap). The more space you leave the more bubbles you can make, but the more bubbles you make the smaller each bubble will be ;)


Wow, I miss a week because of the school holidays and just cut and paste "one I prepared earlier" and when I get back to my Blog in earnest I have two followers! Welcome to Michelle and Shelby. We don't know where we are going on this journey but we plan to enjoy getting there and hope that you have fun coming along with us.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Kids costumes: flower cape

With the Easter holidays upon us and the older children at home for the week I have decided to post how we made some costumes for them to play with last half term holiday. The first one was for R. It is an easy peasy flower cape/wings from my fabric stash.
Making a cape is dead simple. It is a rectangle or semi-circle of fabric with a smaller semi-circle cut out for the neck and something to fasten it round the kids neck with.
This one is a semi-circle.
First measure your child armspan. (I'll call this A)
Half measurement A (call this measurement B)
You want to start with a rectangle of fabric that is B wide by A long. I made my life easier by using a nylon fabric that won't fray so no hems!
Fold this in half along its length to give a square.
Using a push-pin and some string make a "compass". Place the push pin on the fold at the top and draw a quarter circle with a radius A. Cut this out (when you open your fabric back out you should have a semi-circle).
Keep the fabric folded for now as you mark out the semi-circle for the neck. You can use the same compass method but I used a small paper plate folded into quarters to give me the outline for the neck hole. Be careful less is more here the semi-circle has a smaller diameter than you think; remember you can always make it bigger later.
Take a length of ribbon that will go round the neck hole with about 10 inches to spare at either end of the neck. Sew this to the neck using a zigzag stitch so that the "tails" hang down evenly either side.
You now have a basic cape (ready for your basic superhero :) ) R wanted something more so having extra ribbon in our stash, we embellished.
First I used a paper plate to mark and cut some scallops along the bottom edge (we did six even curves).
I sewed ribbon on to define each "petal" as you can see in the photo.
We then added loops of ribbon so they came halfway down her lower arm so that when she moves the cape acts more like wings.
Add the tiara and tah-dah one flower fairy and one happy girly.

More Fine Motor Skills: Posting Money

One activity B loves doing! and it keeps him busy whilst I write Blog posts at 5 a.m.!

Threading Activity for Toddlers

B isn't really into "traditional" toddler level activities - probably because he is too busy getting "ideas above his station" as my husband would say and trying to join in with his bigger brother and sister. We made him this activity to help develop fine motor skills and it is one that we would have done earlier with the other two.
The idea came to me when I saw toilet roll necklaces on Mozi Esme
First we took 3 toilet roll tubes and cut them into 3 to make rings. A decorated them for me whilst B was asleep. Then we took some gift ribbon (about half inch wide and nice and stiff) and stapled it to one of the tubes. Finished. The inside of the tubes are wide enough to get his fingers into to help pull the ribbon through...Of course he only wanted to play with it after he saw A playing it with ;) Thanks A!