Cutting and colours

Cutting and colours

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Today our house has been slowly, or not so slowly, filling up with teeny tiny bits of paper. Can’t just blame the kids though I have been merrily cutting things out too.

I recently subscribed to twinkl  (http://www.twinkl.co.uk/). It has some great resource on and because it is all in one place it’s easy to use and i don’t waste time googling and trawling through lots of resources that don’t fit the bill.

My favourite at the moment are the fine motor skills and learning colours as that is what we are doing lots of with Annie-Rose.

 

11203075_10153336010264525_5681766777416087999_nToday I printed out a colour sorting cut and stick activity(http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-t-8939-colour-sorting-activity).I cut out the colour groups and put them on the door,whichseconds as Annie-Roses display board. I then cut out half ofthe little pictures and popped them in a tub.We both sat by the door and Annie-Rose selected a picture,matched it to the right group, put some glue on it and stuck it on.I needed to be there with her to name the colours as she matched as she is still a little confused and often says everything is green!This activity is simple and could be home made but I just found it so easy to print off. Also as the pictures exactly match the group colours it is easier for learning colours.

It is easy to extend it too. You could look through a magazine or catalogue together cutting out coloured items and adding them to the groups too, or maybe find craft bits to add like pom poms  , sequins, pipe cleaners, foam stickers and buttons.

We didn’t finish all the pictures but we will do a few more later or tomorrow. Then maybe the same next week and the next to consolidate what she has learned. In fact she has just taken herself back to the door to do some more as I type, she must enjoy it!

So with my cutting those out and Isaac cutting out some more twinkl10891489_10153336007114525_2389337295695065719_n goodies for his Human Body project Annie Rose decided she’d like to play with scissors too. Hence the pile of cut up paper on the floor!

She really got the hang of scissors at Messy Church the other Sunday. I was helping supervise a paper weaving activity and she sat nearly the whole time next to me snipping up strips of paper until the table had a pile of confetti on!

So I am compiling a list of scissor practice idea to try out soon here are some:

Play dough– use scissor to cut up play dough can be easier than handling a floppy piece of paper so I start with this activity quite early too especially with those plastic toddler scissors you can get.

Strips of paper – a strip of paper is also easy to cut compared to a sheet of paper or magazine page so this is my choice for a tots first paper cutting activity.

Greetings cards – old Christmas cards and birthday cards etc make an interesting thing to cut and being card, but not too thick, is quite easy too.

Building control – to encourage greater accuracy you can then move onto following lines either ready made sheets from twinkl or other online printables, or drawing your own. You can use greeting cards and draw lines on them with a marker pen. Starting with straight lines then slight zigzag and waves. The depth of the waves and zigzags can be increased as they become more skilled with the scissor and are able to keep to the lines more accurately. Simple shapes like triangles and squares and circles are also good for improving accuracy.

Magazines – these can just be cut up into random pieces or you can look for picture together either as a sorting activity or as a fun picture making activity or simply to just cut out pictures of things you like.

Hairy caterpillar craft

Hairy caterpillar craft

We take part in a matchbox swop group on Facebook. Each month there is a new theme and those wishing to take part are partnered up. We then fill a matchbox with items fitting the theme and post it to our partners. This month the theme was spring so Annie Rose and I made our box and sent it off. Annie Rose was excited when she opened the one sent to her. They had made the box into a sheep and amongst lots of lovely stickers, activity sheets and even a cute sheep finger puppet was a packet of cress seeds. And so our next craft was born!
11188297_10153308404639525_2569034946834769675_nYou need:
cress seed
Long egg box
Googly eyes
Pipe cleaner
Scissors
Cotton wool
Water

 

11182034_10153308404729525_4742802111304399126_nI cut a strip off an egg box and an extra bit for the head. We stuck some googly eyes and two bits of pipe cleaner to make the head.

We then stuck it onto the strip of egg box.

 

 

 

Annie Rose put some cotton wool into each dip 1908198_10153308400784525_2630160479725269075_n

11188305_10153308402889525_4601682132332385379_nthen used her pipette to drip water onto them until they were damp.

 

 

 

She then took a pinch of cress seed from my hand and

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sprinkled the seed over the cotton wool.

 

We placed our little caterpillar on the window ledge.

It will be interesting seeing the cress grow and Annie Rose reaction to it.

Then we can eat it in our sandwiches 🙂

Nature Sun catchers

Nature Sun catchers

11150291_10153301780919525_3151990141009459977_nInspired by something on Facebook Annie Rose and I went off on a petal, leaf and flower hunt. We took a little bowl and went round the garden looking for interesting shaped leaves and petals which had dropped, we did pinch a few flowers too(but made sure there was plenty to still brighten the garden).11016816_10153301780989525_77535446753399171_n

 

 

 

 

I took a piece of card, an amazon packet which was perfect as it was already folded like a book, and I cut out a rectangle from one side then use it as a template to draw and cut out a matching template on the other side. I took some good old sticky back plastic blue Peter style and tapped it to the inside of one of the frames so it was like a sticky window. We then place leaves, petals and flowers all over it. I took another piece of sticky back plastic and stuck it to the other side so the sticky side was up,on the inside, again. I then closed the “book”frame up so the sticky sides met each other enclosing our flowery picture. I taped it shut.11150286_10153301780719525_7729638061028365520_n

It looks so pretty especially when held up to the window. So we hung it from the window handle in Annie Rose’s room.11133838_10153301780834525_4552202146044618573_n

 

Spring has begun ….I hope!

Spring has begun ….I hope!

 

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Yesterday was a lovely sunny day here. Felt like spring had finally arrived. Looks as warm  today so I thought I would share some of the spring like activities we have been enjoying.

A few weeks ago we decided to plant some little plug plants out in tubs. We tidied up a little and got two flower pots full of soil. Annie Rose was happily digging away with a trowel in the pots when with a sequel she said ” tared me tared nake!” (Which translated means I’m scared there’s a snake!) So I peered round to where she had backed away from and as she clung to me I burst into laughter. There wrigglyling around on the path was a worm, not even a big worm, but then she’d not really seen worms before. We had been sorting the back garden out and  only a small portion was child proof and last summer she’d spent most time in the garden in her sandpit or paddling pool.  Anyway she got over her fright and we held a few wiggly worms and by the end if the day every mini beast she saw she said “my ave it” with cupped hands held out in front of her. She did get the little fuchsia plants into the pots in the end too, with the help of big brother Jacob.

IMG_20150402_102453-COLLAGEIn the run up to Easter we decided to make Easter nests to give out as Easter gifts. Such a simple task I let Annie Rose do all of it on her own (except melt the chocolate!).She did a great job she tipped the rice crispies into the melted chocolate, stirred them, spooned them mixture into the cases and added the mini eggs. She even managed not to sample any of it, or lick her fingers. You should have seen her face when I handed her the chocolately spoon to lick!

Annie Rose is much more aware of the outdoors now. She spent a lot of yesterday beheading/picking daisies. A few days ago we went for a little walk around the village which is a slow process when a toddler stops to look at everything! We began to notice the different leaves around us. So we picked a selection chatting about size shape and colour as we did.

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Sunday saw us strolling in a park where we found lots of feathers so we collected them and brought them home. Annie Rose and I decided to use them to make a bird collage. I drew a bird shape and cut it out. Annie Rose covered it in glue and we stuck on the feathers and a googly eye, it looked really effective.

 

 

Today we are inspired by the bees we have seen more often buzzing round our Muscari. So I cut a kitchen roll tube IMG_20150407_092902-COLLAGEinto 3 prices and we painted them yellow. When they are dry we will stick strips of black paper round them, bubble wrap circles on for wings and of course a couple of googly eyes.

Then as we played outside this afternoon we wandered down the street and looked at the flowers. This reminded me of a craft activity i had all prepped and ready which was perfect for today. So we sat on the door step armed with paper plates, paper cutouts and a glue stick. She needed a little more help with this one but enjoyed it all the same.

 

 

I have so many ideas I want to try based on spring but never the IMG_20150407_155544time to do them all!

Of course with all this activity came amply learning opportunities. We reinforced the understanding of 2 items by putting 2 eggs in each nest. We touched on more and less when we put 1 or 3 by mistake. We spoke of colours with painting the bees, making the flower and looking at the flowers growing around us. There was lots of fine motor skills in the painting, sticking, stirring and transferring by spoon. Also much dancing, jumping, skipping and running took place as we went outside to explore.

The best part of an activity when you are two? … the washing up!

The best part of an activity when you are two? … the washing up!

So today we got our pretend snow out again today, (see http://www.athomewithjames.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/let-it-snow-in-the-kitchen/ for our first cloud dough activity). But this time we used some new tools.10953955_10153035377489525_6496105933473103121_n Firstly we made a snow teddy with a sand mould we unearthed in the loft yesterday. we even hid the mini compare bears in the big teddy mould then had fun excavating to find them again. There was again much talk about how soft and silky the “snow” felt. We even spent some time throwing it up in the air which left Annie Rose with a generous sprinkling all over her hair!

10629778_10153035377904525_4735475434382492462_nI went to a local shop full of learning toys last week and couldn’t resist this pack of fine motor skills tools. There is cute little tweezers shaped like a crocodile; a pipette just the right size for a toddlers little chubby hands; a scoop which uses a tweezer action to open and close and a scoop which uses a scissor action.

We explored our play snow with the scoops. Annie-Rose wasn’t able to use them all that well but she really enjoyed trying. Especially using the scissor scoop with both hands.

But the best part of the activity was when we cleared away the snow and put a bowl of very bubbly washing up water on the floor for her to clean the scoops, moulds and compare bears. 10647172_10153035377669525_2785873006621031808_nI used her bubble bath in shallow warm water and whisked it up with my hand whisk to make extra suds that are kind to her skin. Definitely her favourite part of the morning and gave two sensory/fine motor skill activities rolled into one!

Can you feel it? Art

Can you feel it? Art

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This week I went out for a well earned treat of coffee (and cream tea) with a dear friend. Just us girlies for a change. But I wanted to leave the boys some work to do, but something a bit different to the usual reading and maths practice they do.

I had picked up a book from the library about art so I looked through it for inspiration. The book is The Usbourne book of Famous paintings. It has 35 famous paintings with a page full of information and ideas about the painting and the artist. I’d recommend it as an introduction to a range of artists and their work.

I came to The Scream by Edvard Munch. The writer spoke about how the painting portrays intense feelings. So i set the boys a challenge. To look at The Scream and it’s description then produce their own piece of artwork to portray a feeling.10943925_10153010661359525_8036422239502982511_n

I returned from my tea shop visit (Ditchling tearooms by the way, well worth a visit!) to 3 boys eager to show me their pictures. But each had misunderstood my challenge. They had all drawn pictures of something that would cause them to feel a certain way. A house on fire, or someone separated from a colourful football match, and a sweet cottage sandwiched between a busy city and a smoky factory. So the pictures didn’t quite portray a feeling but rather a situation that would cause you to feel sad, lonely or scared etc.

After Lunch we got out the pencils and felt pens and set about drawing. This time we explored together how we could use different colours, lines and shading techniques to help show different feelings. 10455120_10153010661309525_6154087324687620159_nWe split a page into 4 and wrote one feeling in each quarter then imagine we felt that way and filled in that quarter of the page in lines, colours and shading we felt portrayed that feeling. The emotions we chose were anger, confusion, fear and joy. Once we’d created these keys to our way of presenting the emotions we created an A4 piece of art to portray one of the emotions. Then we created a display with them all.

It made us think beyond the creation of a picture of1526094_10153010661394525_559278814388354883_n an object or place instead thinking about how the lines shading and colour effected the way they appeared and the feelings they represent through the picture.

Do you want to build a snow man?

Do you want to build a snow man?

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So Disney’s Frozen is really popular … but not in our house. The boys watched it but really weren’t impressed and Annie-Rose is just too little.

But we want to build a snowman!!!!

Problem 1 … no snow

Problem 2 … still no snow

and i could go on! We didn’t have snow last year, in fact we often don’t get snow. So we searched through the craft cupboard again.

Meet ‘noman, as Annie Rose calls him.

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Yes we got the paint and glue out again! She loved pulling the cotton wool apart and spreading the glue out with a chunky paint brush. Her skill at holding the paintbrush and controlling in it is really improving.

So now I am planning more snowy, wintry themed activities and praying for a little (well quite a lot) of snow for my baby girl to have fun in! Hope to post more activity ideas and pictures of us playing in the snow soon!