Monday, 26 September 2011

5-A-Day Books: Bears

This week our books are all about bears.

An absolute classic, such a fun book and very popular in our house.  You can't really do bears without including this one!

This series of fairytales by Nick Sharratt and Stephen Tucker are great.  They are a really fun take on the traditional tales.  I love that Goldilocks has dreadlocks!.  They have bright colourful illustrations, lovely rhyming text and lots of flaps for fiddly fingers.  I've found them great books for reading to the girls together, enough going on to keep a three year old enthralled whilst great rhyming text to keep the interest of a one year old.

One of the Usborne 'That's not my' series.  Really nice books.  A Shoeshine favourite.

A magical snowy sparkly tale about honey bear and his friends trying to walk along the moon path to meet the smiley moon and have a tea of mooncakes and moonjuice.

A lovely touchy feely board book about a little bear going on an adventure through the woods. meeting the scary spider and finally finding his friends for a picnic.  Lots for little fingers to touch.

What are your favourite bear books?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bath Time Play: Numbers

Bath time is great for play.  Most of the time in the bath we play with boats, empty shampoo bottles, cups and watering cans, but I've had my eye on those buckets of  bath toy foam numbers and letters.  I just haven't been able to bring myself to spend the money on them.  So whilst in a thrifty mood  I thought I would having a go at making them with some spare sheets of craft foam.  I basically drew out a set of numbers on different coloured sheets and cut them out.

Bath time is always popular in our house.  When you've run out of ideas and it's not quite bedtime what better than to stick them in the bath for a bit.  The water seems to open up a whole new world of exciting play adventures.  I love it too because with Shoeshine crawling around very fast and the house being a DIY work in progress, having them both contained in the bath is somewhat relaxing.  Although I should probably point out that neither of my girls are into huge splashing, violent storms and giant wave style play at the moment so thankfully all our water stays in the bath.  Part of me can't wait for the girls to explore some of these exciting games but I'm not sure I'd think bath time was quite so relaxing then!   

It's Bathtime
(you gotta love the coloured bathroom suites - I say bring them back into fashion!  We love our yellow one.)

Add the numbers

And have some fun.  

It was lovely watching her explore with the positioning of the numbers and at first I didn't intervene to correct and it was great watching her little mind working and sometimes realising that one number didn't look quite right and so she would turn it round.

Although she was not to be persuaded that 4 went the other way, so we left it backwards! (I'm not sure what the teachers out there would say to that!)

Shoeshine also enjoyed the numbers because as they stretched out and came closer to her end of the bath she could take them off, which wasn't as popular with big sis, hence why we don't have any pictures with 10 stuck on.

Since making them Little Chick has requested them a number of times at bath time and it's great to see her just having fun with numbers.  Learning without realising and learning through play.

I originally thought that if they proved popular I could go and buy some proper ones, but as kids often show you they don't care if its 'proper' or not and Little Chick and Shoeshine are more than happy with their own tub of numbers (although they probably wouldn't stand up to rough play).  I might even stretch to making them the alphabet if I can find the time, as Little Chick has just started asking what are letters, what are they called and what are they for.

What do you enjoy playing in the bath?

Monday, 19 September 2011

5-A-Day Books: Starting Preschool

With Little Chick starting preschool this week our 5-a-day books are also around this theme.

This is a lovely collection of stories all about new experiences.  The illustrations, like all Stephen Cartwright's, are brilliantly funny with lots of things going on to keep adults and children alike entertained.  We're reading the going to school story this week.  We're also reading the going to the doctor story as Little Chick really wanted this one too.

Another lovely Spot story, with simple text, lovely pictures and flaps for little fingers.  Little chick particularly likes that Spot enjoys 'hand printing' like her.

Charlie and Lola book; these books are lovely with a really different style of graphics, images and text.  They add lovely variety to the books we read and are great stories too.  In this one Lola's not sure she's big enough to go to school.

Here is another Shirley Hughes book. We love the Alfie stories, so thought we'd try this one from the library, seeing as it linked with our theme. It's more about going to 'proper school' but a lovely story nonetheless.

There are lots of books out there about starting preschool/school and I'd love to know which ones you recommend.

We've linked up at:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Play Dough Happy Birthday Cake

It's Daddy's birthday this week so we're all about wrapping presents and making birthday cakes.  Little Chick loves helping out with the real thing but after we've been busy together she loves going off and recreating things in her own imaginative play.  This is her Play dough Happy Birthday Cake.

So what do you need for a proper birthday cake?

 Some 'cake mixture'

some 'candles' 

and some 'cake decorations'

Play Dough is such a fantastic thing to play with, there are just so many ideas, lots of creativity and skills development.  Hands on: as we grow has a fabulous post with loads and loads of playdough ideas.
Lots of squishing and squeezing

 Lots of rolling

 Lots of careful placing of the birthday candles

 Now time to decorate the cake

Little Chick's finished Happy Birthday Cake

And for those of you who are interested here is Daddy's edible Birthday Cake (this is where I got to have lots of creative fun and play!).  It's the Lorax from the Dr Suess books one of his favourite stories to read with Little Chick.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Monday, 12 September 2011

5-A-Day Books: Daddy's Birthday

Over the last couple of months we've been doing the 5-a-day Book Challenge  from The Imagination Tree.  We love books in our house and love reading stories together and I love looking for stories to do activities around, so we started doing the 5-a-day most weeks.  We don't always manage every day or every week, but it 's great to have it there when we do have time.  If you haven't tried it before I would highly recommend it.  It is such a simple idea but so fantastic, you basically read the same 5 books each day for 5 days.  It's a great way to keep reading through lots of different books and building in reading and stories into every day.  We usually go for a mix of my choice and Little chick's choice, some library books and some of our own and I like them to be linked around a theme (just personal preference).  

I just love seeing Little Chick (nearly 3 and a half) 'reading' (from memory) books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Shoeshine (just turned one) - they look so cute together,  Shoeshine is an avid listener and Little Chick is so proud of herself for 'reading' to her little sis!   

So as it's Daddy's birthday this week the books we're reading are all about Daddy and Birthday's.

Simple text with lovely illustrations all about what you get up to with Daddy.  Very popular with a little Daddy's girl!

 We love Spot, both the girls love this one with it's lift the flap and it's all about making a cake for Daddy's birthday.

Alfie goes to his best friend Bernard's birthday party.   It's such a fab story beautifully written with some very funny characters, we just love Bernard!

Simple and funny, another great book from Nick Sharratt.

This one is a book I had as a kid and Little Chick loves it.  Primrose Yellow is invited to Royal Blue's Birthday Party and the story is all about what she get him for a present.  I really like it because most of things she thinks about getting him are things she makes.

We've shared at:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Creativity with Cardboard Boxes - House

We just love cardboard boxes!  It's always said that kids would rather play with the cardboard box than the present that came inside it, so we've been busy having fun with some of our empty boxes.  There are so many great ideas around for cardboard box play, I'm hoping to try a few over the coming months and this is our first attempt at creativity with cardboard boxes.

This is our cardboard house.  It was very simple to make, I used a Stanley knife to cut out the doors and windows and parcel tape to secure the pitch roof.  For the windows I used some plastic wrapping I'd saved from a bunch of flowers, one blue and one yellow, and secured them with pva glue.  I also used pipe cleaners to make some door handles, but these didn't last very long.

I have to say this has been an absolute hit, with Little Chick, Shoeshine and their friends, it seems the play possibilities with a cardboard box are endless.  Shoeshine just loves going in and out, in fact everyone seems to like going in and out and sometimes in and out all together which is a bit of a squeeze!

Little Chick also likes playing 'hide and seek', where she hides in the box and I have to go looking all round the house for her, then I finally find her in the box.  With great squeals of delight "again, again!" the game starts all over again, exactly the same!

Who's hiding here?

I can see you!

I've found you!

Other things we've played with it:
  • A house for her bear and his friends
  • Car garage
  • Quiet reading corner
There are loads of other things we could have played and I'd love to hear your ideas of what you play with cardboard boxes.  And the beauty of the cardboard house is that when it's been played with enough, it will just get taken apart and put in the recycling.  No need to find somewhere to store it.  And then there will be excitement from the girlies when the next cardboard creation arrives to be played with.

We've shared at:

Classified: Mom

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