Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fine motor skills and number activity

Being on maternity leave, I have so much more time to organise and research activities. Lumpy asked for a "quiet time activity" so I set up a simple peg and pom pom activity to work on her fine motor skills. I thought this would be to simple to just move from one container to the next, so I made it into a math game. I was surprised that she actually had some trouble with the smaller pom poms, The large orange ones were fine - so I limited the number of those she would need to move .

We set out 4 different sized pom poms - one size to a container, mixed colours (except orange was the only colour we have for large). Used silicon bake moulds to transfer the pom pom to. Did a mix of "instructions"
All ready to start
Counting out the number of dots so she can put the right number of pom poms.
If the tongue is out, things are serious! she needed to use 2 hands a few times, often one hand would hold the pom pom while the other worked the peg.
working on her "math" instruction 4 blue + 3 pink = 7 pom poms.
After the number activity, we matched up the pom pom sizes. I will be doing this again, she really got frustrated with this activity when she started struggling to open and close the peg.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lumpy gets a special room mate!

FIRSTLY - happy 100th post!!!!! I have wanted to make a fairy garden for a while, however with a dog and chickens it would have been dug up in no time. The front yard is unfenced so not safe for any kid related fun. After much thought and planning I decided to make a fairy yard and door to attach to the wall in Lumpy's room.
We had some left over tiles from when the hour was built, It was a really cheap option and I think it looks pretty good.
She woke this morning and came and asked
                                                                        'Mum, did you make this?'
                                                       'What is it?, no I didn't make it'
                   'MUM it's FAIRYLAND and a fairy house in my bedroom and I love it! 
Aquarium bridge, toad stools (ebay) and some glass stones (cheap store)

the door (ebay) i painted pale purple (purple is sometimes Lumpy's fav colour)
I also added a dolls house chair (ebay). I added a little glitter (fairy dust) to the bridge.
Lumpy is absolutely in love with her fairy land, it is all we have heard about since she woke up and I am sure the Kindy teacher will hear all about it today.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Busy bags for 4-5 year olds

I finally figured out some preschooler (4-5yr age group) Busy Bags. So I made these ones up last night (except for the reused one with pom poms and egg carton). Lumpy was aware I made them. We decided to leave them in an old Lego container (all lego gets tipped into a draw under the lego table), she woke up this morning and decided to start using them!
Note to self - limit the amount of busy bags available at once!
This bag contained the items for making 2 chickens - paper plates , pre cut paper plates to make wings, feathers, goggly eyes, glue. Lumpy went to the craft supplies to get felt pens and items for beaks. She did need some adult supervision/help when she used a stapler (for the wings)
This is the reused one from friday, I have added buttons also - different shades of the colour and she can pick if she uses the pom poms or the buttons or a mix of both to count the number required.
This one we have actually had for a while - I attended a kindy program info night, where they discussed how previously we were "rope learning" so kids would know 1 2 3, however couldn't visualise understand 1 2 3 as things.
I have on small slips of paper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and the then words and then dots . .. ... and so on. The cups have 1-9 on them, She will sort out so in each cup will be 3 slips of paper 1, one, and . . She does need assistance with this one - i can set her up on the kitchen table and be cooking and she will spell the words out to me, she recognises 1 2 3 and is happy to count the dots however the words are still a little tricky. 
This one is beading, there is some leather and some elastic as the thread and beads of different sizes and shapes which all have different sized holes for threading.
Another threading one, this one with small wire (blunt) pieces (left overs from when i made beaded earrings) some bells and buttons - just working on fine motor skills still.
She can dress the lady on the stick - goggly eyes, fabric off cuts (she will need to get the PVA glue for wood) and she will get the felt pens for hair and mouth.
And this morning she worked on beading and making a bracelet and an anklet, it required going through my beads and getting more out!
Not how i imagined them turning out, however they are her own work and interpretation on the simple instruction i left.
I think busy bags will be a big success and source of entertainment for Lumpy while I'm preoccupied with Mcbaby2.0. I can sit in the play room and help when required. It also helps understand where her development, creativity and independence is up to. I will need to find some more easy things to make from paper plates that and beading/threading seem to hold her attention the longest.

Paniyiri Greek festival 2014

Every year I intend to go to the Paniyiri Greek festival.... Every year I am working that weekend, however this year it is on during my first weekend of maternity leave!!! So we went and got our Greek festival on!

So much delicious food, activities and rides for the kids, cooking demos, dancing demos, food, sand sculpture and of course food.

We were there for about 2.3-3 hours, would have lobes to stayed longer, however almost 37 weeks pregnant and a 4 year old who had also had swimming lessons this morning meant it was safer to leave with 3 smiling people!
Daddy and Lumpy went on the big wheel, lets face it - my pregnant belly was not going to fit through that gate!
The sand sculptor, Lumpy wanted to watch this for ages!
Dancing, enjoying the sun and the music.
She won this monkey doing the fishing net game! so proud of herself!
Chilling in the ball! she only attempted to stand and run once, right at the end, other wise she was happy to hang out and watch the world go by.

I really enjoyed the day out, I may have over indulged in food... but hey, I have wanted to go for soooo long :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Too old for busy bags?!

Oh dear, it would seem I managed to delete the words from this post when I uploaded more photos!! So, Basically I was worried Lumpy at 4 is too old for Busy Bags. However I made her three to take to an appointment I had today, Last week they ran 1 hour 45 late, that is way too much tablet time for my likings! I googled busy bags and a lot were aimed at younger kids. I found a few for older kids though. Lumpy has a well stocked craft supply area, SO I grabbed some bags and made 3 simple basic activities 1) I cut an egg carton and wrote a number in a colour - the idea to use the pom poms of said colour and count out that many- i made sure to include a few extra for each colour so she had to count. I guess I could make this more difficult by having higher numbers?
2) pipe cleaner and beads to thread, works fine motor skills,
3) felt pens and a flower paddle pop stick to make a wand.
This was the first activity she wanted to do at the appointment, she loved it and did it again in the car on the way to a play date after the appointment!
Threading as of course a success, she loves making bracelets. When we got home this afternoon she actually went u to the craft area and dded more beads to that one and then got her coloured buttons and a new pipe cleaner and spent ages threading through smaller holes.
Please share any bust bag activities/ideas you have for the 4yr + range. especially that will fit in a snack or sandwich sized zip lock bag. I need ideas for a 14 hour plane flight later this year!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Play cafe

Lumpy has been sick the last week. She has not been at day care as a result she was getting cabin fever. She loves imaginary play. So when she went outside and played in her cubby house with a kitchen, I decided to give her a few IKEA plates/bowls/cups and an old lidless water jug. That along with her play food she happily played cafe for ages! the old picnic table was in another location as she was walking to the table with her food, having a chat with her customers.

She really enjoys this, i have let her keep those bowls/plates/cups out there for a few days now, at the end of each day she packs them down in her kitchen and keeps it tidy!
setting up shop.
Some soup tea?
The tomato plant in the back was seeded by our hens, and is growing nuts. I moved the house to fit the picnic table, the pavers need a decent sweep!
Joining the customers!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Paper plate name caterpillar

Lumpy enjoys craft (as I'm sure you have figured out), she also enjoys writing.
I had stocked up on 25 cent packs of small paper plates after Christmas/new year period, so I wanted to do am activity to use some of those up.
I decided on a paper plate name caterpillar. She could paint the plates, write her name, glue on the face and have some help with the legs and stapling the plates together.
This activity was completed over 2 days - waiting for the plates to dry and Lumps got sick and sleepy (and slept 14 hours).
Another easy and cheap craft idea. Which will be getting hung on her wall. She is very proud of her 'perfect caterpillar'!.
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE having craft supplies in old coffee jars?! The opening is perfect for little hands, it keeps the supplies tidy and easily visible, making then enticing for a creative mind.

We did 7 plates - one for each letter of her name and one for the head.
Painting the plates for the body of the caterpillar. 
good thing we use a craft apron...
Writing her name - one letter on each plate
trying to get the goooogly eyes
Perfect yellow eyes.
Helping mummy stick down the legs
The finished product. One very proud Lumpy!  (yes I am aware that some letters are written back to front)