Thursday, 28 April 2011

Lentil Dinosaurs

Today we made these.

It was an extremely successful activity.  Both boys did really well, spreading the glue onto the dinosaurs and sprinkling on the lentils. 

I cut the dinosaurs out of old cereal packets in advance. 

As we did the gluing and sprinkling I added in labeling words like head, feet, body and tail.

Afterwards we had a good play with the lentils in the tray.  We mostly use red lentils for sensory play, but I will be getting some more of these brown ones because Charlie really enjoyed the sound (I think!) they made in the tray. 

With James the activity turned into a really great communication session because I started shaking the lentils in the tray which he thought was hilarious and so kept signing 'more please'.  This is great, he really is using these signs in lots of different situations now.

There was quite a bit of clearing up to do afterwards....

....but it was worth it!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Potato Progress

Well they've grown...

....and grown!

The 'bottled' one is coming along nicely too.  James has been great at watering this, but I have to be very careful as anything with a long stalk is a huge temptation for him!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Train Set

Writing about the boys' birthday reminded me about our train set.  We bought them this for, I think, their second birthday.  My friend was shutting down her toddler group and selling off all her toys and this was at least 2 sets of the ELC train set which I bought from her.  I think we bought a bit of extra track to go with it.  They never played with it other than to fiddle with the trains and tracks so its been packed away in the shed  for several years now.

As we were doing a transport theme last term, we gave it another try.....

I'd say it was pretty successful.  The reason that I have held onto it all these years is that it's actually a pretty good toy for the 'cause and effect' stage.  You have to put the driver in the train to get it to move.

Both James and Charlie got the hang of this really quickly and were quite interested in watching the train go around the track.  I also took out a few bits of track so they could do a bit of the construction part which they seem to get the hang of too. 

In the end despite definite progress, the temptation to take it apart for tapping was too great!

 'Footnote'.......Please excuse the dirty feet!! My sons are strangers to foot wear inside and outdoors!!!! 

Saturday, 23 April 2011


What on earth do you buy boys like ours for their birthday?! It seems to get harder every year to think of something 'new'.  I really didn't know what to do this year and then I came across this.....

....they both seemed quite pleased and intrigued with it which is a start.  It's very simple, they just have to put the marbles in the top and then they musically run down the tree.  I think it could also be quite good for communication if we withhold the marbles!

We were on holiday on the boys' actual birthday so I didn't go for full on cake baking and decorating this year. However, I do feel that it's my job to make them a birthday cake so I did this instead.  I got the idea from 'Great Healthy Food for Vegetarian Kids' by Nicola Graimes.  Charlie liked it but James clearly prefers bought cornflake cakes to mum's homemade ones!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Belated Christmas Card

My mum brought around some photos of us yesterday making these cards.  Bit late, or early depending on which way you look at it, but it was an activity that worked very well for us with a nice result so I am putting it up here anyway! They were very much a family effort - I stencilled loads of stars on coloured paper and laid them all out on the table, sprayed with glue.  We got James and Charlie to stand on the chairs and shake masses of glitter over them - I think they thought we'd lost the plot but went along with it!

I cut out the stars and Gaby stuck them onto the cards.  If you were one of the people who didn't get one due to my disorganisation, one of these probably has your name in it!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day Cards

I got sent out this week, so I knew something was occuring! Today I got these beautiful cards from the children.  I love them!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Homemade Escape-proof Sleepsuit - First Attempt

We've been buying some very expensive sleepsuits for the boys to wear at night.  I recently went to order some more and realised that as they have gone up a group of sizes, I was going to be paying nearly £75 for 2!  This has made me pull my finger out and have a go at making my own which someone did tell me how to do years ago!  I think I need to improve on this somewhat and ideally I would use the old fashioned type of button up PJs and just move the existing buttons but I couldn't find any of those.  Here's what I did...

1.  Cut a slit down to about half way down the front of the top. ( I hemmed this).

2.  Sewed the top into the bottom just underneath the elastic, with the slit now at the back.

3.  Sewed on 2 buttons at the back of the neck on the right hand side of the slit and made 2 button holes on the other side so it fits tight enough that it can't be pulled off but not so tight that it's uncomfortable.

James has kept it on so far, but I think it could be considerably improved upon.  All comments and suggestions greatly appreciated!

Counting Aid

I spotted this picture frame in Ikea a few months ago and had the idea to use it for counting activities.  I've put numbers 1-10 in each of the pockets so they can be turned over in sequence. This week, we went trainspotting!  (We've moved onto trains as part of our ongoing transport theme).  My mum's house backs onto the railway line so I had planned to sit in her garden for this, but after a very disturbed night and a wet day we parked up and watched from the car.  Every time a train went past we flipped the number over and I got them to press the corresponding number on the little number pad, which they got right more often than not.  We managed to see 10 trains during the hour or so we were there, over a cup of coffee and some of Granny's treats!