Water colours

Water colours

Doing our caterpillar craft Annie Rose enjoyed using the pipette so much we carried on playing with it. It is great for fine motor skills.

But I had another  idea too. We had been using water colours to paint earlier that day so I took a brush and used the paint to tint two tubs of water one yellow and one blue.


I put them on the table for Annie Rose with an empty tub in between.

She enjoyed transferring the blue water to the tub in the middle.19522_10153308403709525_2368446677166776839_n

She tipped it back into the first tub, then transferred the yellow water to the tub in the middle.

She then decided to put both yellow and blue in.11156228_10153308402139525_5460543498143726154_nIt turned green and she noticed. “Look, green” she said.

(Although I am not convinced she knows her colours quite yet,

most things are green if you ask her!).


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
Cotton wool


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


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 🙂

Painting with toddlers

Painting with toddlers

After the failure of the first attempt, Annie Rose screamed when she touched the paint and was even concerned when we painted with our hands and feet to show her, I was reluctant to try again.

So second time I squirted some paint into a ziplock folder. I sealed it and stuck it to the table which has a white top so is perfect for this activity. IMG_20140821_101024I showed how dragging a finger across the folder made a white line, the table beneath, appear. She soon got bored with this though and just wanted to pull the folder off the table. So i peeled off the tape and let her explore the folder eventually we ended up with it on the floor and found it made pretty good footprints. I did reinforce the zipper with more tape though!

Third time round I was brave, I got out the big plastic mat and lay it on the floor. I had a large piece of paper (a section of lining paper which is an art supply must have!) and I splodged some paint directly onto it. Annie Rose was totally happy with it this time and you should see the mess … well actually you can!2014-08-26

Piles of Pasta!!!

Piles of Pasta!!!

Food_Differring_meal_Pasta_033585_We get through lots of pasta in our house. The boys love pasta and eat tons of it! But the reason I’m posting my pasta usage is because it provides lots of fun activities for my little tot too.


So I thought I would share my pasta plans with you all … some achieved others still in the planning stage!

Fine motor skills threading. Today we did pasta threading. We used the large tube type pasta.10534169_10152629236159525_4809658305560626734_n I curled the end of some big pipe cleaners into a ring and twisted it then showed Annie Rose how to thread a pasta tube onto it (the ring stopped them slipping off the other end.

She enjoyed tipping it up to slide them all off again too!


Cooked Pasta sensory play 

11281_10152629236469525_1253541675727285104_nThen of course there is playing with cooked pasta. We chose spaghetti! But decided to compare textures by having a bowl of raw oats and a bowl of uncooked pasta twists too. She loved mixing them up and plenty of the spaghetti got munched too!




Fine motor skills using spoons and other utensils

We  have often got various tubs and spoons out with a bowl of pasta to practice using a spoon and being able to move it from one bowl to another. She spends ages doing this with her tea sets cups plates and saucepans.

Next we want to try large tweezers and kids chopsticks to further this activity to hone her fine motor skills.

Other Pasta play we intend to try…

Stacking/threading…Cheerios stacked onto a piece of uncooked spaghetti (poked into play dough to stand up)

Poking … Spaghetti (uncooked) can be poked into holes on a colander or cocoa /flour/icing sugar dusting pot.

Pasta necklaces… Two ideas here. One uses uncooked pasta threaded onto wool or a lace. The other is cooked pasta threaded onto strawberry sweet laces (or fruit strings). (can also do with cheerios!)

Pasta pictures… Easy and fun, squidge lots of glue onto card or thick paper and cover in different pasta shapes!

Sorting..Of course you can colour pasta and use it for colour sorting games and mix up a few different types and sort it by shape or size too.

I think we will also repeat the cooked spaghetti activity but I will add food colouring whilst cooking to make it more interesting.

So much fun to be had with Pasta before we’ve even got to the let’s learn to cook stage!!

Trays and Tents

Trays and Tents


Another quick make of an activity for Annie Rose! First I wanted a sensory, mark making activity. So I went to the cupboard rejected the flour as we’ve done it many times before, rejected soapy suds for the same reason then I spotted a pack of bulgar wheat sat all lonely in the cupboard and decided it was about time it was used! I took a tray and poured in the wheat, rummaged in the draw for plastic spoons and forks. Then I just popped it on the floor in front of Annie Rose. First I let her explore it alone, then i fetched a cupcake tin and spooned some wheat from the tray into it. We drew circles and squiggles in the wheat with our fingers and transferred it back and forth from tray to tray. Before the mess got too wide-spread (easy to clear up though!) we tidied up and tried another game.


I got out my clothes dryer and spread a sheet over it, put a chair behind and we had a tent/tunnel! In she went and we piled in cushions and teddies, then books. Then she played for ages going through from back to the front, or pulling the door closed and played peek a boo!

All in all too very easy fun effective games and learning tools.

Colour Sorting

Colour Sorting

Why go to great lengths to buy or make activities to teach colours when there are plenty of opportunities around you and in the simplest of toys. It doesn’t need to be complicated educating children at home, especially the young ones, and 16 months isn’t too young!
Annie Rose loves putting things in and out of pots, boxes and bags. So as we sat doing just that together the other day I set out her stacking cups and began to fill each one with the matching coloured toys around us.colour sorting using stacking cups

I’m not expecting her to know the colour names and match them just yet but as we do this she will begin to notice what I am doing and repeat the colours as she repeats many other words I use. Understanding will follow as I expand this as her knowledge increases to saying things like “look at this yellow flower!” or “where is Mummies Blue car?”
We’ll do colour hunts taking a coloured cup or tub and wandering off round the house and garden filling it with items we find the same colour.
All done playing the games she enjoys anyway and no formal learning in sight!

It’s exciting knowing all this playing of games and fun playing are to come!


Mummeee, don’t forget me!!

Mummeee, don’t forget me!!


Well, sometimes i feel so busy sorting the boys out with lessons,

both sit down and write/study type and the activity based ones,

that I often feel Annie Rose is a little neglected!


So this morning I made a special activity just for her. It took all of 2 minutes to prepare but is great for developing hand eye co-ordinations and fine motor skills. It was a bit Blue Peter … although I didn’t have any sticky backed plastic!Image

I just took a large egg box (empty I might add!) turned it upside down and put holes in all the “peaks”. Then I cut a handful of straws a little shorter to make them easier to handle. We then sat together and put straws in the holes, took them out again, tried to fit two in one hole and put lots of straws in the dipped parts too.

She loves putting things in and out of boxes and bags. In Fact last time we were at the cinema she emptied my entire bag all over the floor, but at least we managed to watch the film … well most of it!

All that being said I think the time left to her own devices is important too. She loves pootling around by herself and is often engaged in many different types of play, such as looking at books, pressing buttons on everything she can (including the x-box!), and kissing, feeding and rocking her baby doll, emptying bricks out, building towers and generally making a big mess! I love to watch her playing so happily chattering away so happily! Image