Monday, 25 March 2013

Easter Fun

I have gathered all my spring and Easter related books and toys for Hartley to play with. I have also made up a few Easter treasure baskets. 

 Easter Treasure Baskets

 I used a basket to make this nest. I just added shredded tissue paper, eggs and chicks. 

 Hartley had fun exploring the nest. He then put his cuddly chick in it.

Easter Basket

In this basket I put a few Easter items;
Humptey Dumptey
Plastic Eggs
Chicks of different sizes
Wooden egg cup

Cute Footprint Easter Cards

I found this lovely idea for Easter cards. They are very simple and even the smallest of babies can help you make them!In this Easter basket I have put in a variety of Easter items.

Just paint your little ones foot in yellow paint, cut out and then add an eye, beak, wing and legs.

Funky Paper Plate Chicks

First you paint a paper plate yellow.
Then paint your child's hands. You need 3 yellow and 2 orange hands for each chick. 
Add eyes and a beak and you will end up with a very cute chick.

Older children will enjoy making their own, you could add feather, sequins, glitter etc 

Egg Play

Hartley has always enjoyed playing with the simplest of objects rather than plastic toys with lots of sounds and lights. These plastic eggs are brilliant! You can pick them up from most discount shops. I placed them in an old egg box  and put little chicks inside.

Hartley had so much fun opening and closing the eggs. Putting the chicks in and out of the egg. Emptying and filling the egg box. He has concentrated on this activity for long periods of time and goes back to the egg box lots of times during the day.

This activity is great for his fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.

Giant Nest
I made this nest out of coloured shredded paper. I hid chicks and eggs filled with chocolate for Hartley and his friend to find.
 He enjoyed exploring the nest and finding all the eggs and chicks.

Easter Printing
Hartley's friend Esme brought these fab Easter Stampers for us to play with.

 I was impressed that Hartley seemed to know what to do straight away. He was able to paint on the stamper and stamp it himself.

Here is his finished work.

Here is Esme creating her brilliant artwork as you can see this activity works for all ages and even much older children will enjoy it.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cloud Dough Fun

Cloud Dough is an amazing sensory experience that only requires 2 ingredients. We have used it before but thought it was time to explore it again.

All you need is flour (2 cups) and vegetable oil. (1/4 cup)
For older children you can use baby oil instead, however this should not be ingested. As Hartley is still at an age where he likes to explore with his mouth I try to use edible ingredients where ever possible.

Cloud dough is great because it feels really smooth but can be molded when pressed together.

 Hartley started exploring straight away.

 He then decided to sit in the cloud dough. Next time I will make up more in a bigger pool so he can explore with his whole body.

I took his socks off so he could explore with his feet. He loved the feel of the cloud dough in between his toes!

This activity can also be very calming and you could add scents (lavender, rose oil, tangerine)
This would be the perfect activity for calming down time or before bedtime.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Painting with cars

Today I thought I would combine two of Hartley's favourite things: painting and toy cars.

I covered our playroom with paper and set out trays of paint and a few of Hartley's cars.

Hartley got involved straight away with making tracks with the cars.

 He then explored the paint with his hands and started to paint using a brush.

I then added some balls. We had lots of fun rolling the ball to each other.

This was a lot of fun and Hartley seemed to really enjoy playing with paint in a new way.
I am sure older children would love this activity too. They could even make their own roads using the cars. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Story and Sensory Farm Fun

Hartley loves animals at the moment. We went to a farm a few weeks ago and he enjoyed looking at and touching all the animals. 

As it was World Book Day today I gave Hartley a new book all about the farm.

We shared the book together. Hartley pointed to the animals in turn and made sounds of some of the animals he knew. He does a good Moo!

 I then set up Hartley's farm set. I added some lentils for an extra sensory element.

Sensory Play  

Sensory Play is so important for babies and children. This is how they learn and explore the world around them. It also encourages children to be creative, improve their fine and gross motor skills, increase their vocabulary and begin to investigate, question and draw conclusions.

Hartley loved playing with the farm and I talked to him about the different animals.

Hartley liked exploring the lentils. He enjoyed scooping them, piling them and filling the trailer with them.

He then looked at the book again himself. I left the farm set up with this book and other farm related books so he can play whenever he wants.

This is the first of many sensory small worlds I plan to do with Hartley.

Dear Zoo Story Sack

Even though Hartley is only 12 months I decided we should do something fun for World Book Day. He has always loved sharing books with me, his favourites are the ones with bits to touch and feel.
 Just recently he has started to enjoy proper story books and will sit with me for the whole story.

I have used story sacks a lot in schools but thought Hartley would really enjoy his very own story sack to bring the story to life.

What is a story sack?
A story sack is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children's
book with supporting materials to stimulate language activities and
make reading a memorable and enjoyable experience.

 You can include;
 soft toys or puppets 
items from the story
 audio tapes
games or puzzles related to the story
masks or dressing up items
information books related to the story

I decided to use the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell as Hartley loves anything animal related at the moment. He has never heard this story before so this made it even more special but of course you can make a story sack for your child's favourite story.

As Hartley is only one I decided to keep the story sack simple. I collected all the animals from the story. We had most of them already, the ones we didn't have I picked up from charity shops.
To make the story even more fun I put each animal in their own parcel or container. I added labels and tags which were the same as the book. Even though Hartley cannot read, it helped me know which animal was in which container.

I read the story to Hartley and then gave him the parcel that contained the animal on that page. He really enjoyed opening the parcels and finding the animals.

 Hartley recognised the elpehant and made an 'elephant' sound!

 Hartley was so excited as I gave him each parcel.

 He loved looking at the pictures. Dear Zoo is a lift the flap book, which he really enjoyed too.

We spent all afternoon playing with the animals and the boxes. Hartley loved putting the different animals into the different containers. This book was absolutely perfect for him at the moment as he loves 'posting' items at the moment.
I was amazed how long he concentrated on this activity and re read the story many times throughout the day. 

What did Hartley learn?
- Enjoying looking at and handling books with interest.
- shape and space - enjoying filling and emptying containers
- using sounds in play (making animal noises)
- recognising animals
- fine motor skills - opening the different parcels

My friend makes story sacks ready for you to fill yourself.  Please Check out her facebook page
Story Sacks by Little Miss Butterfly

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Painting in the bath

Daddy usually does bath times but as he was away I had to do it. I decided to add a bit of paint!

I just made up a couple of pots of paint using;
food colouring

I also added a little bit of baby bubble bath

I put the paint in little tubs, they even floated which was great.

 Hartley loved painting on the side of bath. I was really impressed how much he concentrated.

After he had created his master piece, I washed him and the bath. The paint came of easily and did not leave any stains.