Thursday, 28 February 2013

Visiting the Fish

Today we decided to go and see the fish at the aquarium again as one of the boys is very interested in sea horses at the moment. 
We met up with some friends and had a lovely time looking at all the fish, particularly the sharks. We also had to wait for several of the big boats to pass before we could cross the revolving bridge much to the fascination of the boys. 

 When we got home the boys wanted to do some drawings of fish. After some debating they decided that they wanted to colour in some sea horses and then chose to add their own sparkles!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wind Chimes

We had a go at making our own wind chimes so that the children could use their creativity as well as seeing the effect of the wind outdoors. We found some old tin cans and then had great fun painting them using acrylic paints. Some were messier than others and the boys enjoyed having a good bashing session to see what noise the cans made!

The end results were very different but all colourful. We hung them up in the garden and waited for some wind. Unfortunately it was not a windy day and the cans needed some help to move but they made some noise and that was enough to make the children smile. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Half Term Fun

Exploring the sand
Gaining the courage to cross the bridge

As it has been half term this week all of our regular groups are not running and we have taken the opportunity to be outdoors lots in spite of the absolutely freezing weather!

Experimenting with the wobbly bridge
Some of the children enjoyed challenging themselves with new play equipment such as this lovely rope bridge shown above. Younger ones enjoyed exploring new textures and simply watching the older ones play. Most importantly, it gave everyone opportunity to  enjoy playing with each other!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Cloud Dough

After the boys had been partying hard at their little friend's birthday party, I thought we needed something a bit calming for an afternoon activity. We opted for cloud dough messy play. Cloud dough is a combination of baby oil and flour and has a lovely soft but mouldable texture. 
 We used the dough in several ways, first exploring the texture - pressing it together and running it through fingers. We then added some animals to increase the imaginative play. The animals walked through the dough, ate it and even got buried in it!

Finally, I resorted to the old favourite of adding spoons and silicone cupcake cases - a winner every time for making pretend cupcakes (while increasing fine motor skills!). 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentines Day

Rather than make cards we decided to make stained glass hearts, an easy and popular activity that proved ideally suited to the two and three year olds. 
I laid out a sheet of sticky backed plastic and the boys had a lovely time sticking different shapes of coloured tissue paper all over the sticky plastic surface. They talked about the sticky texture and really loved the popping noise it made when they pushed it!
When they had covered the entire surface, something that they were very meticulous about, we covered the tissue paper with another layer of sticky backed plastic. I then cut the layer into a variety of different sized hearts that looked lovely and colourful when placed against the window. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Comb painted rainbows

I thought we could introduce some more of our weather theme into our paintings and rainbows seemed like the perfect way to do this. Rather than using paint brushes we decided to experiment with combs. Having poured some paints into a dish we talked about all the colours of the rainbow. 
After a quick demonstration the children soon cottoned onto the plan of painting with the comb. They had great fun experimenting with the colourful patterns whilst exploring the textures of the comb. 

This short activity resulted in some pretty colourful and rather fun artwork!  

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancake Day

We started the day with our regular toddler group trip, the first time for our new mindee. He had a lovely time and was absolutely shattered after!

We then made the most of Shrove Tuesday and made pancakes! My two-year-old mindee enjoyed mixing and pouring the ingredients and we talked about the numbers on the measuring jug and what they are used for. Even more  fascinating was the fact that he was constantly using his imagination - pretending that the flour was a snowman and that the egg yolk was a spiders web!

Most importantly we all enjoyed eating them (even though one had to be thrown away after I dropped it during a rather poor pancake tossing attempt!). 

The whole process was summed up beautifully by the children:

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Chinese New Year

I always like to try and educate the children about the world around them as much as possible.  We often look at other cultures and, in celebration of the Chinese New Year this weekend, we have had a Chinese theme to our play today. 
We made some Chinese paper lanterns. The children had great fun making marks on the paper in some traditional Chinese colours. They loved the fact that they could carry the finished product around with them!

The boys then had great fun exploring a chinese themed messy play with noodles and chopsticks. They really enjoyed, and were pretty successful, at picking up the noodles with the chopsticks and moving them into bowls. 

Finally we read Lanterns and Firecrackers, a story about the Chinese New Year with some lovely pictures of the new year celebrations. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A New Arrival

Today was an exciting day for us as we had a new arrival starting with us to join in our fun and games!

The boys were very excited to have a baby coming to play and shared all of their toys very nicely with him. To keep everyone amused we spent lots of time watching (and chasing) bubbles blowing around the garden!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Toddler Group

We had a lovely time this morning at our regular toddler group. There are so many fun activities on offer I thought we would share some of this morning's pictures. 

In celebration of the Chinese New Year (The Year of the Snake) the boys made a colourful snake using glued tissue paper. 

They played with play dough, investigated water, did lots of colouring, ate a lovely big snack, drove around on the ride on toys and then sang songs. 

The children also had the chance to admire the lovely large hail storm that arrived just in time for us to have to go home in it. At least it gave us some more experiences for our weather topic this month! 

Monday, 4 February 2013

February Topic

Given the very changeable outdoor environment at the moment we are going to be looking at things related to WEATHER in February. 

We have a few exciting activities planned ranging from looking at weather pictures and books through to sorting clothes for appropriate weather. As ever, we will be doing several weather themed craft activities and, most importantly, going outdoors in all weathers to explore!