Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Fun Things to do With Toddlers on Bonfire Night

Ok so it's probably a bit late for you to actually do these activities with your toddler tonight, but we did them today so thought I would share.  Maybe you can do them tomorrow as a way of reflecting, or Pin them for next year.

I wanted to do some Bonfire night activities today because we were staying in. (We had terrified both our children sufficiently with fireworks on Saturday)  And I wanted to reflect on their firework experiences thus far. (i.e. try to help them  not to be terrified.)  I hadn't made any decisions about what I would do, but was thinking about something along the lines of flicking paint at black paper and fireworks made of toilet tubes.  But then Pinterest saved the day!

Sometimes activities I do take weeks of planning, ordering items off Amazon, preparing, making parts etc.  and other times they just seems to come together.  I saw this activity on Pinterest literally yesterday, HERE it is, its a great activity, I thought, "yes, I will pop to the shops and get some rice and black food colouring tomorrow and do this activity, BOSH!" 

Then, when I was in ASDA (I went a bit mad I think) and it became abundantly clear that not only could I replicate this marvelous activity I could also enhance it!  With...wait for it....FLASHING BALLS my friends! Oh yes, what could be better for a firework sensory tub than actual flashing spikey balls (in the party section, meant for party-bag gifts I think and on offer 8 balls for £5)!  I also bought parcel bows, tinsel, twirly gift wrap ribbon, and some shiny card. (Did I mention I went a bit mad?!)
This was the awesome result - Fireworks baby!

I made little "Fireworks" by sticking two parcel bows together with two bits of twirly ribbon and some tinsel stuck between them.

And I cut some stars out of the shiney card and glued them together so they were shiny on both sides.

I began the activity with just the balls, then added the rice, then the fireworks, and then the stars.  This seemed to engage Boris more than putting everything in at once. I talked to Boris about fireworks and made firework noises with the little fireworks I made and he mimicked this.

He was very mesmerised by the rice more than anything else and spent a long time running it through his fingers (and pouring it on the floor) and swirling his hands in it. 
If I were to do this activity again I would use a big, low sided tub and put it on the table so that Biscuit (age 1) couldn't get into it (he tried to eat the rice).  I used our water table that we used in the summer for THIS activity. 

In the evening I did this quick activity with chalk that had been soaked in water (it makes the colour brighter!) I said to Boris that we would draw a firework and he did a lovely big circular scribble which I added to with some sparkly type bits round the edge.

Did you do any bonfire related activities with your toddlers?  I have a ton of Autumn related posts to write but they will have to wait for another day.
Hope you are enjoying this (mostly) lovely warm and sunny Autumn.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fun Things to do With Toddlers - Autumn scents Playdough

Playdough is always fun, adding colour livens it up and adding a scent adds a further sensory element. I decided to create an Autumn themed playdough invitation to play by adding some spices to the playdough and teaming them with some leaf shaped cutters and some pine cones, feathers, twigs and conkers to press into the dough.

I fragranced the dough with ground cinnamon, all spice, ginger and coco powder.  I just kneaded the spices into the dough. It smelt amazing (especially the chocolate)

I didn't need to add any colour to the chocolate scented one because the brown of the coco also added colour.

I bought some leaf shaped cutters from Amazon, I am hoping to get lots of use out of them by using them to make biscuits and with clay.

Fathers from Hobbycraft 9I bought these years ago when I was at uni, not sure how ethical they are or if I would buy them now)

Pine cones gathered from one of our many walks.

Boris stuck twigs into the playdough to begin with, he needed quite a bit of encouragement initially, I am not sure he knew what to do, maybe he was a little overwhelmed by all the different bits and didn't know where to begin. 

 To start with he used to cutters with the playdough balls, but I demonstrated rolling out the dough and using the cutters that way and he imitated me.

 I stuck some of the cut out shapes to the balls of remaining clay which Boris seemed to enjoy, he also stuck some of the cutout shapes on.  He then had a good time mashing it all up into a big doughy mess.

This is the playdough recipe I used:
  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
  • Poster paint for colour.
  • Several teaspoons of spices till desired amount of fragrance is achieved, some scents require more spice than others.
I am hoping to do a few more Autumn themes activities as the season goes on.  Are you doing any seasonal activities?  Add a link in the comments. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Mindbomb Monday

In the 1970's the founders of Greenpeace came up with the idea of using electronic media to communicate revolutionary ideas, they came up with the tactic "mindbomb" whereby they would use simple images, delivered by the media, that would "explode in people's minds" and create a new understanding of the world.
On some Mondays I hope to share an image that might be considered a "mindbomb" that could get people thinking throughout the week ahead.  I won't include any words with the image as I hope the image alone will speak for itself.  Sometimes I will use images found online, other times it will be my own photographs and they will reflect something that has spoken to me from the past week.  It might be shocking, inspiring, confrontational or uplifting.
If you would like to join in please share your "mindbomb" in a comment.