Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Two ways to make a rainmaker

This week the theme is weather and today we have made two different rainmakers. I decided to make this two different ways so that there is a way that is suitable to share with younger children.

The first method involves using panel pins.  To make this you need

  • Panel pins
  • A strong cardboard tube I used the one from our cling film
  • Strong paper 
  • Items to decorate such as stickers, papers, feathers, tissue paper, paints
  • Glue
  • Something to fill it with such as rice, lentils. 
To start with we hammered a lot of panel pins into the cardboard tube. The idea behind using the panel pins is that is slows down the filling making it sound more like rain.   I was a bit worried about doing this with Little Boo but she really enjoyed this bit as she thought she was Bob the builder.  I was really careful and held the hammer with her all the time (hence no photographs, sorry).  If you are concerned about using the hammer and pins (or do not have them in the house) please look at the second option.   Once we finished putting in our panel pins we placed paper one end then placed some lentils inside.  Then secured the other side

After adding the pins. 
Little Boo helping to put the lentils in.

 After this we stuck paper around the tube.  We used thick paper with one of Little Boos paintings on. When this dried I placed out loads of different items for Little Boo to use to decorate.

She loved this bit 

The second method you need 

  • Kitchen foil 
  • Two toilet rolls
  • Tape
  • Items to decorate such as stickers, papers, feathers, tissue paper, paints
  • Glue
  • Anything to fill it with such as rice or lentils

For this second method we taped two toilet rolls together (you could use more).  Little Boo then scrunched up the foil and I twisted into a coil shape. This was then inserted into the toilet roll.

Place the foil inside the toilet roll

You then repeat the steps as before by sealing the one end, placing in your filling then sealing the other end.  All that is left is to decorate!  We then ended up with two beautiful rainmakers Little Boo keeps calling them her magic wands.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Review of Wolverhampton art gallery- The Tiger who came to tea.

When I was younger the thought of going to an art gallery or Museum was met with little enthusiasm, however Saturday when I asked Little Boo " would you like to go and have tea with the Tiger" she was thrilled! We love the Tiger who came to tea book and have been eagerly awaiting the exhibition that is currently being held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery all about Judith Kerr and her stories. Last time we were there it was actually Little Boo herself that spotted the poster advertising this.

We arrived at the art gallery which is open 10-5 Monday-Saturday and is FREE we found a Buggy park and lockers which were £1 that is returnable. Both these features make for a more pleasant day as I did not need to carry everything around with us.

To get to the exhibit we followed the tiger footprints on the floor that marked out the way.  Little Boo enjoyed following these. 

 The exhibit is two large rooms which have a fantastic mix of both what would appeal to adults and children.  Little Boo ran straight towards the massive Tiger that was sitting at the table.

There is a play kitchen by the Tiger and Little Boo had great fun pretending to make the Tiger some tea.  To be honest we were probably here for an hour on and off. There was plenty of pretend cutting up then cooking on the hob and in the cooker.

In this room is also props that would be great to do a role play of the dad in the story.  There was a hat and briefcase and his chair.  There was also an old fashioned telephone which played the music from the tiger who came to tea CD.

In the other room was where Mog was.  There was a massive cat basket and a huge supply of Judith Kerr books we helped ourselves (As the gallery encourage) and sat down for a read of one of the books. Around the basket are also dressing up clothes so the children can pretend to be Mog.

In this room are two magnetic games where Little Boo made up some animals and could change the expression of Mog.

This exhibit was great fun! We are definitely going to be making a return visit. Going here has got me looking for activities for the Tiger who came to tea. Here are a few I have found

Colouring sheet where child draws a picture of themselves having tea with the tiger.
Colouring sheet of Sophie and the Tiger
Visual aids for the story
 role play masks
role play masks to colour
you tube -reading book
Make your own tiger food jar
make a shopping list for after the tiger has been

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Search for the Olympic rings-learning colours the fun way

Yesterday we went to a local teddy bears picnic. It was great some really nice crafts and fun for the children. I was really impressed how Little Boo completed the free trail that was at the museum. The idea was that you had to find all the hidden teddy bears.  The bears were all wearing different coloured scarves so to win you had to get the correct number next to each colour.  We were provided with a sheet which we had to tally up the colours we found.  I have never done an activity like this before with Little Boo so thought the tally idea may be a little bit too difficult and thought that we would just enjoy looking for the bears.  I was wrong! she loved it, before I knew it she was in charge of the clipboard and pen telling me to "come on, there are more bears to find" it really got her thinking and I could tell that she actually enjoyed doing this.  I took the idea on board and considered how I would differentiate it to make it easier for preschoolers (the one at the museum was a bit too heavy on text). 

For today's post I have devised 2 Olympic themed games the idea is search for the Olympic rings.  This game is perfect for learning position words as I started giving clues like,  "you need to look higher".  It encourages learning colours as when we found one I would ask Little Boo what colour is it? After this she placed a tally on the sheet next to the colour.

Find the Olympic Rings

I have done two games as I considered that there could be an alternative whereby the tally is not needed.  For this one all we did was hide one of each colour then Little Boo matched the colour rings with the sheet.  This will help to learn colours and the concept of things that are the "same" or "matching".
Find and Match Up

I hope that you enjoy the games as much as we did.  At first I only hid a few circles just to get Little Boo used to doing the activity.  If you have older children you may wish to have more than three of each ring.  What I loved about it was how quick it was to set up I have since laminated the tally sheet as then it can be reused.  Little Boo also loves using whiteboard markers!  

Hope that you all enjoyed the opening ceremony we did! 

Friday, 27 July 2012

A treat for Little Boo and Daddy too- review of CBeebies art magazine

Occasionally I like to treat Little Boo to a magazine. I realise that many are over priced and rubbish therefore made the decision that magazines would not be a regular occurrence.

However, when I saw the CBeebies art magazine (I have not brought this before) it looked really good and had loads of sports inspired activities. Little Boo then looked at me with those eyes and said "mommy we could make these" she looked so excited and I could not say no (as I liked the look of them as well ) I could see the potential of using them as small world play and to be honest I was intrigued to see how they were made so I could "borrow" the idea to do a DIY of it next time.

I really wanted to do some small world play using either the new Lego Olympics figures or the Playmobil then considered the costs! This magazine cost £2.99 which is expensive but less than a whole set of new figures I thought.

The activity was completed by Little Boo and Daddy. Me and Little Boo had been out all day so she wanted to do something with Daddy and presented him with the magazine. My husband is a wonderful Dad but does not usually do much creative work with Little Boo so I was intrigued to see how this would go.

They loved it, it was nice to listen to them enjoying themselves and the best bit seemed to be that all the things were there and ready. This helped a lot to keep Little Boo focused. I must admit that I found it difficult to stay away I felt like I was missing out!
All the things were in the packet including easy instructions. 

They set to work and created some wonderful people. Think I need to point out that the boat man lost his head somewhere whoops! We improvised.

Then it was time to make the boat, audience, podium and jumping pole for the horse.
Stickers were provided to decorate the boat. 

colouring the audience with Daddy as well

 Then it was time to play with them

The audience cheered 

The horse did loads of jumping

and plenty of people won medals

I realise that this magazine was expensive but we have only just done one activity and this we spent most the evening enjoying.  It really encouraged fine motor skills through all the peeling of stickers, communication- as Little Boo talked about what the people did for example the difference between a basket baller and a footballer.   We now have the rest of the magazine which this week features shapes.

The magazine I later found is aimed at 4-7 year olds.  It states inside the magazine that it aims to look at 6 areas of learning 

  • Being creative
  • Feeling good
  • Physical development
  • Maths
  • Communication 
  • Finding out
The aim of the magazine is to "make art fun, accessible and exciting for young children".  The idea is that activities are provided which the child can either do independently or with an adult. Each month the magazine is dedicated to a different art skill this month was shapes.  This is perfect for Little Boo. What do you think are there any good art/crafts magazines that you enjoy together?  

Hope that everyone enjoys the opening ceremony this evening, I can not wait! 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Chocolate medals

In celebration for the Olympics starting tomorrow we decided to make some sweet treats to enjoy ourselves and to give others as presents. These chocolate medals have been great fun to make and so simple. All you need is 

  • Two blocks of cooking chocolate or one depending on how many you want to make 
  • Decorations
  • Mould 
  • Laces

Break up the chocolate trying not to eat any

Melt the chocolate in the microwave.  Little Boo enjoyed putting the time in.

Place chocolate into moulds we just used the cupcake ones.

Place decorations onto the chocolate (we were able to sprinkle these above the cases as the chocolate is still quite warm so be careful)

Place into the fridge to set

I put holes into the chocolates using a skewer.  

Thread the medals with strawberry laces

Decorate the medals with squeeze icing (add numbers 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Little Boo enjoyed this bit we did some with
numbers then the others we just made pretty.

Store in the fridge and eat and enjoy!  Sorry about the unhealthy nature of the post.  I just thought they would make great gifts for people to enjoy during the opening ceremony.  Get us thinking about all those medals! 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Our pom pom Olympics

Today we have done a really simple activity and made some pom poms they are so cute! I got the idea from a website and just changed it a bit to suit what we wanted to do. To make this activity easy I prepared all the cut outs such as the feet and the cone for the torch and placed double sided sticky tape on all the items.  
All the items needed were in my craft cupboard which is even better! 
What is needed for each one 

  • 2 googly eyes
  • one big pom pom 
  • piece of card to make a cone or pipe cleaner and own choice of flag printed.
  • piece of card in shape of feet (as shown in picture)
  • tissue paper -red, orange and yellow. (if doing Olympic torch)
  • double sided sticky tape
  • PVA glue

The double sided sticky tape just means that Little Boo can create this more independently and she also loves to peel the backing off, which is all good for improving fine motor skills! 

ripping the tissue paper for the torch 

Place PVA glue into the torch then add the tissue paper

Sticking on googly eyes 
Peeling off the sticky tape back for the feet

We just stuck the torch on again using double sided tape then one was completed but  "he needed a friend" 

So we set about making a "friend" exactly the same way but printed off a flag instead for him to hold. 
It was really good to show Little Boo what the different flags looked like.

The flag was printed twice on a long strip then just folded over  the pipe cleaner. This was taped onto the bottom of the pom pom.

Then there were two. With a little bit of blue tac these are going to proudly sit on my computer!  

These would make wonderful Olympic themed gifts for people. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Toddler Olympics (part 2)

Glad that people enjoyed yesterdays post on the Toddler Olympics here are the other games that we played enjoy!

Who can get the biggest bubble?

This was a fantastic activity and one that was done with items around the house.  I have wanted to make big bubbles and our own solution.  Something that I have wanted to do for ages but needed the weather! This website has loads of recipes for bubble mixture I looked in the cupboard and made the one with

1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid
2 cups water
2 teaspoons of sugar

This is only because I had all the items in the house.

We made the bubble stick in a really easy way just broke a garden cane in half taped the end so to avoid splinters. Wool was then taped on the top of the sticks into a loop.  This was probably the most unsophisticated way of making this but it worked! 

It then got quite competitive as  Mommy, Daddy and Little Boo (with help of Mommy) were trying to get the biggest bubbles. 

Pushchair Race 

We all then had a pushchair race.  All of us had to do a lap around the garden. Little Boo found it very funny watching Mommy and Daddy doing this. 

Fish for colours

 We then played fishing for colours where we all had a go at fishing for different coloured balls. This was also great to teach Little Boo her colours.

Its a Goal! 

More water play with the squeezy bottle! We had to get the ball in the chalked out goal by using the squeezy bottles.  Again Little Boo loved filling up the bottles.

Hope that you enjoyed some of today's ideas as well.