Thursday, 28 July 2011

Fermyn Woods Outing

We had a lovely time at Fermyn woods yesterday.  Even though it was a little busy due to the summer holidays.  We didn't have long there as we had to get back for a child who was due to be dropped off at 2pm.  But the hour we had was great fun!

The wooden castle was great fun for the older children, and even some of the 2-3 year olds tried it out!  They loved it!

The bouncy car was great fun and the children took it in turns to be the driver.

The tots area was great fun and we were lucky to have it all to ourselves.  I think the children would have quite happily spent all day in there.  It was good that it it is fenced off to they can't wander off.

It was a shame we didn't have more time here as it is a fantastic country park.  We hope to have many more visits here and will explore the area more next time we go!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Messy Play: Spaghetti

We have been using spaghetti  in our craft activities this week.  Yesterday I tried making Rainbow spaghetti after I saw a great post on the Imagination Tree.  Unfortunately it didn't turn out quite as well as theirs.  My spaghetti didn't go as bright and once mixed together, it all went the same orangey colour and stained our hands.  Maybe I will try draining it and leaving it to dry a bit longer next time.

The kids enjoyed playing with it nethertheless and got stuck in feeling the squidgey, slippery texture.

Today we did some spaghetti painting.  I filled some old takeaway tubs with long cooked spaghetti and mixed each one with a big blob of paint.  Then the children put it onto their card and carefully removed it leaving curly patterns behind.  As with all toddlers, they got carried away with slapping it on and got lovely and messy! In the end the colours all got mixed together and looked like "chocolate noodles"! Don't you just love the things children come out with?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pepper Printing

Today's planned activity was pepper printing. I thought it would be nice for the children to do it in the garden this afternoon as the sun started to come out.  I got everything set up outside, the children got their shoes on and got stuck in, printing peppers onto card, getting very messy hands in the process. Then all of a sudden it started spitting with rain, but the sun was still out, so we stayed outside.  Then the sun went in and the rain began to get heavier and heavier!  I grabbed a garden umbrella and held it over the children and their paintings which were starting to get wet while Paul ran to get a bowl of soapy water to wash their hands.  We must have looked a picture!  I just hope none of the neighbours were looking at us out of their windows! Unfortunately I didn't catch the rainy moment on camera, but here are some of the children's master pieces!

Dinosaur Small World Play

A number of children have showed an interest in dinosaurs this week, so I set up a small world tray with some sand and rocks that we borrowed from the sensory garden.  We added some trees and dinosaurs and had our own little prehistoric small world activity.  Even the little ones as young as 15 months were growling like dinosaurs!

Seashell Shortbread

The children we care for just love baking and shortbread is a lovely pliable dough that can easily be moulded into different shapes.

To follow on from our Seaside theme, we are making seashell shortbread this week using a cutter I bought recently.  Here is the recipe I have used for years and is very popular with my friends and family. 

100g (4oz) butter, softened
50g (2oz) caster sugar
150g (5oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) semolina
extra caster sugar for dusting

1. Cream butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Using a fork, gradually stir in flour and semolina.
3. Draw mixture together with fingertips.
4. Roll out dough to 1-2cm thickness and cut out using a shaped cutter of your choice.
5. Place on a greased baking sheet or parchment and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the colour of pale straw.

We made the dough using a fork 

The mixture smelt delicious!

Our Seashell Shortbread

I bake shortbread a lot at Christmas time.  Cut into rounds with a hole in the centre, tie ribbon around them and hang them on the Christmas tree.  They never last longer than an hour in our house though!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Last week of School!

I can't believe it's that time of year again!  This term has gone so quickly.

As you know it is the last week of school this week and many children will be finishing school for summer in the next few days.  If you're stuck for childcare during the holidays, I am offering half price sibling discount until September and also Pay as you go Childminding sessions for parents who just need the odd day here and there.  Lots of fun and games planned over the next few weeks for children of all ages.

If you would like to place your child with us during the holidays please contact me for more details.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Row Row Row Your Boat...

This month our theme is the Seaside.  I couldn't resist this little boat sand pit when I saw it in Clearance Bargains yesterday.  It really was a bargain too at just £13!  Paul assembled it and I filled it with 8 bags of sand.  We had trouble getting the children out of it at dinner time!

They enjoyed hunting for shells which I hid in the sand.  They collected them all up in a bucket.  Then we had fun burying each other's feet and making sandcastles before the toddlers knocked them down!

I am hoping to get a large piece of wood and attach it to the back of the boat and the children can help to paint a seaside scenery on it.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Birthday Tea Party

It was E's 3rd Birthday today, so we had a little tea party to celebrate.  She was very excited and was happy to spend her birthday with her friends. 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sunflower Painting

It has been a lovely day today and we have spent most of it in the garden.  We went to the shops this morning and bought some more sand for the activity table as it seems to disappear every week!

This afternoon's activity was hand painting.  We all painted our hands yellow and the children squidged and splatted  their hands in the paint tray before printing them onto paper.  Later this week we will be cutting them out and  making a big sunflower display.

When we had finished painting our hands were very messy!  Amelia even had paint in her hair!  So we washed our hands in a bowl of warm soapy water. 

The children loved the bubble water, so I got out a big bottle of bubble mixture.  The children got plenty of excerise, stretching and jumping to catch the bubbles and developing problem solving, reasoning and numeracy by looking at the varying shapes and sizes of them.

We Won!

I was so pleased to hear that we have won the Orchard Toys giveaway over at the Nurture Store Blog yesterday.  We can't wait until our prize arrives!  Thank you to Orchard Toys and Nurture Store :-)

wild world lotto orchard toys

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Planting Out

Just a quick blog to say we have now taken our Sunflowers out of their pots and planted them in the ground today with the children's help.  We will continue to water and measure them and watch them grow week by week.  We can't wait to see how tall they get!


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