Friday, 23 January 2015

Water play

After the ladybird's lack of interest in edible finger paint I decided to go with an old favourite the next time I set up an activity for her.

 She loves going swimming, baths and water play in general. The only thing she doesn't like is showers!

We bought her a sand & water table for her first birthday & she spent lots of time happily splashing about in it last summer.

Since the summer ended we've not done much water play (except bath time) so I decided it was time to restart.

I set it up a plastic under bed storage box that I bought for messy play (I dream of owning a tough spot one day though) on the kitchen floor. I added some blue food colouring to the water and some ice cubes and a couple of scoops/tea cups. Then I stripped her down to just her vest, as I knew from previous experience she would try and climb in to the box!

She surprised me by not being bothered by the coldness of the ice cubes at all. She happily played with them in her hands and added them to a scoop before pouring them back in to the water.

Once the ice cubes melted I added a squirt of washing up liquid and a whisk (inspired by this post from The Natural Momma in me).

She loved it as I expected and spent almost an hour whisking, splashing and pouring the bubbly water.
 As predicted she climbed in to the box but to be honest I am surprised at just how long she played before she climbed in.

An activity that will definitely be repeated.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Getting ready for Christmas

This past week has been one of the hardest in a long time. The ladybird has been ill for 8 days now. We've had lots of broken nights, high temperatures, rashes, tears (mine & her's), days of feeling guilty for not being at work, days feeling guilty for being at work whilst she is sick (being looked after by her daddy or grandma) and two trips to the out of hours GP. We are also in the process of buying and selling a house. In amongst though I have been trying to get in to the festive spirit. Here's hoping the rest of December is a bit easier.

The ladybird will be 20 months at Christmas. Too young to understand what it is all about but even so I have started festive activities with her.

She has her first advent calender this year, just a basic chocolate one.

I've started making her a fabric one which I hope will be ready for next year. I dream of filling it with treats and also invitations to do festive activities (similar to this and this).

We took her to Tatton park on Friday evening to see Father Christmas arrive. She wasn't especially impressed but on Saturday she came down with a virus so probably wasn't feeling her best Friday either. We plan to take her back next year and hope that it might become a family tradition of ours. It includes a lantern parade as well as seeing father Christmas and his reindeer.

The Christmas books are out and being read. She got a selection of 5 or 6 last year but I can only find one of them but we have bought a few more this year anyway. I suspect the missing ones are packed up in a box in my parents garage, as our house is currently on the market and we are hoping to move early in the new year. I love the idea of a book advent calendar and I'm hoping that next year we could do one too.

We watched the snowman on Friday and the ladybird sat through all 30 minutes of it appearing to enjoy it. She even found the energy to do a little dancing during the snowman's party scene. I look forward to watching more Christmas films during December, even if they will mainly just be on in the back ground while she plays (she rarely sits still when she is well).

I have a few ideas for Christmas play & crafts that I hope we have time to do & share with you once the ladybird is well again. I bought her this lovely Christmas happyland set which I plan to include in some sensory play and I'd love to make hand print Christmas tree decorations.

There is also the tree to find room for & decorate and we've got a few festive days out planned that hopefully we will fit in soon. Right now though I'm going back to snuggling with the ladybird, perhaps I'll find a Christmas film to watch (or more likely just more Ben & Holly!).

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Edible finger paint

The ladybird is still at the stage where she puts everything in her mouth but I want to start doing more creative activities with her so I decided to give edible finger paint a try.
One nap time I followed the directions on The imagination tree for edible finger paint and allowed the paint time to cool. I found that I had to make the paint in a pan over a low heat in order for it to become the correct consistency. I divided the paint between 4 Tupperware boxes and add a different food colouring to each.

After nap time, I put the ladybird in her highchair, in a wipe clean bib. I put a bit of each colour paint in front of her and tried to encourage her to play including playing with it myself. She was very reluctant to touch it so I added in her paint brushes but still she showed very little interest.
 I stored the paint in the fridge for a few days and tried again a couple of time but she never showed any interest. When I mentioned it at nursery they said she loves doing hand printing with poster paint. They also mentioned that she doesn't seem very interested in their sensory play sessions when they use toothpaste or shaving foam.

I would definitely recommend this edible paint recipe to other parents but I won't be trying it with the ladybird again for a while! I'm already thinking up different ways to create and play with the ladybird that suit her preferences. Play should be fun and at just 18 months she obviously isn't ready for anything too messy.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Halloween jelly sensory play

For Halloween this year I decided to set up a very simple sensory play for the ladybird.

The night before I made an orange jelly as directed on the packet and set it in the fridge overnight. I lined the container with cling film so it came out of the container easily. Then on Friday I simply tipped it out in to a bowl, added some Halloween cookie cutters (plastic & with no sharp edges), a spoon, a second smaller container & a large spider sweet.

The ladybird enjoyed exploring the cookie cutters at first but she seemed reluctant to touch the jelly. We talked about the different shapes (cat, witches hat, pumpkin etc) and sang incy wincy spider using the spider jelly sweet.

Next I transferred some of the jelly to the smaller container and we sang wibble, wobble jelly on a plate. Having the jelly in a smaller tub seemed to catch the ladybird's attention. She explored the jelly cautiously with her fingers and soon decided to eat a few pieces. At this point she started to get more interested in the jelly and also the jelly spider. Once the ladybird is past the put everything in your mouth stage I would like to set items in the jelly for her to dig out such as plastic spiders for halloween.

The ladybird sat and played with this for a good ten minutes before getting up and walking off. During the day we also enjoyed reading Julia Donaldson's room on the broom, various Mog and Meg books & dancing around to Halloween songs on youtube.


Monday, 27 October 2014

The ladybird at 18 months

You are a very independent little girl. You have a cheeky little personality and an adorable giggle. You are also very active and a confident climber. You love pushing your walker or dolls pram around and have just mastered how to make ride ons move. You love being outdoors especially at the park (you love slides and tunnels but have also mastered climbing rope ladders).

You babble a lot, so far your "real" words include - dada, mama, tickle, ta (thanks), bye, hi, naana (banana), gandad (grandad), car, boo, moo, quack, shoe, one, two, three and baby. You are a very friendly and happy baby. You give lovely kisses & cuddles and run your fingers through hair for comfort.

You love music and will dance around and "sing" along sometimes too. I love watching you bob a long and move your arms to the radio whilst in your high chair or spin round the room. You know all the actions to wind the bobbin up and this or row, row, row your boat never fails to cheer you up. You love to play peek a boo and have a lot of patience waiting for someone to discover your hiding place. You frequently climb in our wardrobe shutting the door behind you and wait for me or daddy to find you. You love water play and bath time too.

You sleep from 8pm until at least 8am most days (I have to wake you on nursery days which you dislike). After lunch you will sleep for at least 2 and half hours (more if i let you). Although on your 2 days at nursery, despite me waking you at least an hour earlier than usual, you only have 40 minutes.

you are a fairly good eater, eating a wide range of foods. Favourites include cheese, scrabbled eggs, pasta, peas, yogurt and banana. You don't really seem to like meat though so that's where we struggle a little. You prefer to feed yourself and are starting to get the hang of using a spoon but you definitely prefer to use your fingers.

you are between clothes size at the moment, 9-12 are getting too small but 12-18 months still drown you! You have 16 teeth and have handled teething like a dream.

This is your last week in the baby room at nursery. You've loved nursery since day one, no tears at all. I have no worries about you transitioning between rooms as on your first visit you ran off from your key worker, waved her off & happily played their for 2 hours (it was meant to be 10 minutes accompanied!). I expect you are going to change a lot over the next few months and I'm really looking forward to watching and helping you do so.

Love Mummy xxx