Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mermaid's Treasure

Here's a little game that Rainbow and I whipped up. The board is so simple to put together. The drawings show what we saw down the river on Sunday. Can you spot the jellyfish with all of it's tentacles, the fish, the seagull with it's long legs and the man standing on the jetty?
The long line at the top is the sky. This is the first time Rainbow has included it in a drawing. Here is the link for the treasure chest it's filled with chocolate coins and a piece of sea glass.
This game is quite challenging for a three year old. She only recognises 1,2 and 3 and doesn't really have one to one correspondence - in other words she counts and moves the mermaid forward but not at the same rate. She also gets distracted by who's turn it is and also tries to move forward the number already showing on the dice. Despite this Rainbow loves playing and the accompanying dialogue between the mermaids about what they see on their journey!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blogging Glory

Way back in November I received the Kreative Krafter award from Zoe at Playing by the Books. I was delighted and surprised but also a little embarrassed so I didn't do the right thing with it. Then the other day I visited Emily from Notes from Emily and found she'd presented me with my second award - a sunshine award. What a wonderful surprise and still a little embarrassing. I'd like to acknowledge some brilliant blogs that I look forward to reading so I'm going to try and do both at once. The recipients can choose which they'd like to accept and forward on.

Firstly let me tell you about the rules

As a recipient of this award list 7 of your favourite things and then pass on the award to 7 other bloggers

•Put the Logo on your sidebar, or within a post.
•Pass the award onto 12 Bloggers.
•Link the nominees within your post.
•Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
•Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Now for those wonderful blogs:
  1. Coloured Buttons: I was genuinely excited when I discovered Trixi's little doll's houses since then I have regularly visited her and her style of writing - it's really creative. I also really appreciate Trixi's comments and suggestions on my blog.

  2. Playing by the Book : Zoe is another early friendship and I look forward to reading her blog. I discovered her blog through a link to the touch and feel book that her daughter created. Rainbow and I have been talking about this and hope to do something similar soon. You might also remember the nasturtium crown that inspired Rainbow's. I also love how she responds to most of the comments that people leave her and reading the conversations you feel a little community developing.

  3. 4 Crazy Kings: Over a period I kept following links from the Crafty Crow to Kim's blog. I soon wised up to the fact that Kim and her girls do a variety of interesting and easy craft. Remember the leafy baskets I made for Rainbow's party bags that were inspired by Kim's tulip baskets. I'm also quite excited as Kim is the only person I know of who has had a go at one of my ideas. That's pretty cool.

  4. Journey into Unschooling: This is another one that I kept following links to. This is how you should do homeschooling. I actually haven't had a go at any of Amida's activities as her kids are quite a bit older but I really hope I remember some of the cool things she does when my kids get to that age.

  5. The joy of my life and other things: Sheela's posts about books and crafts that her little one's are enjoying. She writes in a way that it's a bit like she's actually talking to you. We had a go at marbling the other day after being inspired by her post. She also writes comprehensive responses to comments which keep you coming back! I'm going to try a little harder at this as I do love reading the comments. I'm just not sure whether to respond as I don't know if you'll be back to read it.

  6. Camp creek Blog: I was genuinely excited when I discovered Lori's blog. Though it is essentially aimed at family's that are homeschooling this gives me such food for thought (hours and hours after reading each blog) as a parent. Project based learning was also my predominant pedagogy when I was a teacher so it makes me feel a little 'homesick'. It also shows me the in congruency that my strength in one area don't necessarily transfer easily to a new context.

  7. Katydiddys: Laura has so many great ideas and she completes such a wide range of types of craft. Awesome.

  8. Whimsy Love: I very rarely comment on this blog but boy she makes me smile.

  9. Science at Home: Deb's blog I've only just discovered. It's got lots of great science activities for little ones and she shares the theory behind her approach.

I know I'm meant to list 10 for the Sunshine award but these are my core blogs at the moment. I have a few others that I'm starting to read more and more and really enjoying so I'll tell you about them sometime soon.

I also follow a number of 'big' blogs but though they do beautiful things I haven't built (and don't feel inclined to) a relationship with the bloggers and therefore I don't enjoy them as much as i do the one's above.

Finally for the Kreative Krafter. Here are 7 things I love (today):

* exploring 'Scitech' with my little scientist Rainbow

* watching my little Moonshine dance at the show at Scitech

* sleeping in to 6.30 (wow thanks Moonshine)

* hot coffee in the morning

* the excitement of the future - we're thinking about a little holiday (it's been so long)

* both girls asleep together - time for me

* my bloggy friends.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Moonshine's party

We had a lovely picnic yesterday to celebrate Moonshine's birthday. I think everyone had a lovely day, except perhaps Moonshine herself - who like any sensible one year old would of been happier curled up with her Mama playing with toys. Moonshine did have a change of heart on seeing her birthday cake. She absolutely loves strawberries so spent the birthday song frantically gesturing and babbling at the chocolate dipped strawberries.

I kind of think 1st birthday parties are really a celebration for the family rather than the child so it was a little more restrained than Rainbow's party. We did though make some pretty cool party bags.

These strawberries were filled with heart shaped lollies, heart shaped chocolates, cherry coconut chocolates, bubbles and heart hair clips for the girls.

This really cool template can be found all over the place on the Internet but most people seem to credit it back to this site. This site is a bit of a gold mine full of great templates.

I ended up redrawing the template as I couldn't enlarge it to take full advantage of an A4 page. To give the strawberry more definition I went around the edges and the fold lines with red chalk and added white chalk seeds.

Each curved portion is then punched and a piece of green twine is weaved through. Both ends are then threaded through the leaf to form the stalk.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kersplat - experimenting with splatter painting

We've been experimenting with splatter painting recently. I say experimenting as we had some success and some failures. For these activities we used watered down poster paint.
We tried
1. Rubbing paint through a sieve. We just ended up with a dirty sieve!

2. Flicking the bristles of an old children's toothbrush but found we only got an occasional drop not really a splatter. I think this may be due to the short bristles.
3. Dripping paint from a small squeezy bottle. This created lots of drops and you could move the bottle to draw with the drops. Rainbow found that she didn't have the hand strength to do this for long.
4. Dripping paint off the paint brush.
4. Flicking a paintbrush over our finger and created a variety of different sized droplets.

5. Making relief pictures. Here Rainbow cut out hearts and placed them on the paper. It would also look great as a night sky with skyscrapers in relief or raindrops with white clouds. It's also great after a walk using collected leaves.
Then peel off the hearts.

The hearts can then be used for another purpose.

6. Using a whole arm movement to flick the paint loaded paint brush onto the paper. This was definitely Rainbow's favourite.
It made a humongous mess but we had interesting chats about how the paint dots formed lines and how the dots got further apart as we cleaned the table, floor, window...

This picture is 'fireworks' and includes a variety of different methods. The white whole arm splatting has made the colours mix.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eyesaurus Land - foldable playmat

Our museum currently has a visiting exhibit of robotic dinosaurs. Rainbow has wanted to go since she saw the adverts outside the museum. They were really exciting. Some roared, others stomped or swung their tail. Rainbow's favourite were the triceratops eggs - that were shaking. You could sometimes see a little baby poking out. She stood there for a long time waiting for them to hatch. She also enjoyed roaring (along with a dozen other kids) back at the t-rex. Moonshine was a little concerned about the whole thing. She looked on with wide open eyes and clung to me. On returning we've 'read' (looked at pictures and talked a lot) about dinosaurs and created this dinosaur world.
It's created on a poster size sheet of card that folds to form a box which holds all of the pieces. On typing this I've realised I need to add a photo showing the whole playmat and perhaps a drawing showing the measurements. I'll try to add that later.

The dinosaurs were made from Rainbow's artworks using the templates from "Playing by the Book". You may recognise the apatasaurus from a larger one we made into a birthday card.

It was amazing watching Rainbow apply her growing knowledge of the animal world. First we made the apatasaurus. Then they needed something to eat so we made the palm trees. Then we made the stegosauruses and Rainbow decided that we needed 'smaller trees' as they couldn't reach the palm trees.Then we needed something for the dinosaurs to drink and on and on we went.

You're very lucky to meet the t-rex. I had to go searching for him to take his photos. He's not allowed on the playmat because he scares the other animals. It's a very civilised world - lots of introducing themselves and inviting others to share their tree.
How to make a mini-palm tree:
The leaves are great for little ones who like to snip though Rainbow got fatigued after one tree.

The old drink lid gives the tree a flat base so that you can glue (PVA) it onto the playmat.
A dress making pin holds the foliage on.
How to make a spiky bush:

Fold paper into quarters.
Cut into points as if you were making a paper snowflake.

Unfold and cut int from one edge to the middle.

Roll into a cone shape and tape. Then glue onto playmat. I used a pencil in the middle to push it down.

How to make a cave:

Then papier mache with brown paper.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Moonshine

This time one year ago I was about 15 minutes away from having little Moonshine. In a bathtub having a major "I can't do this" kind of moment.
Tonight both girls are in bed and my little Moonshine has just had her first birthday.

So what have I learnt in the past year about this little girl.
We call her our little lover. She is affectionate, full of smiles, cuddles and kisses.
She's determined - she concentrates so intently on what ever she does. She is very hard to distract from what she wants and not the slightest bit intimidated by other kids.

Happy Birthday my little one.

Her cupcakes are topped with butter cream and little homemade white chocolate hearts. (some has been tinted with red powdered food colouring)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rainbow's Love Letters

In Australia Valentine's day is a heavily merchandised occasion focused purely on romantic love.
We don't tend to do the writing of valentines for friends and family.

Yet at the moment Rainbow is really interested in writing. She talks about sounds all the time. Then one day I asked her if she wanted me to show her how to write her name. She was excited and before I could do it wrote the first half of her name herself. It absolutely blew me away. I take the view that if they show interest you go along with them - match their interest. Motivation is the most important factor, you want to encourage that. There's plenty of time to learn their letters and it will come a lot quicker when they are developmentally ready.
But it gave me an idea for a lovely little valentine gift for my lovely little Rainbow. A writing folio.

Inside their is a space for envelopes and cards.
The folio is made of 2 squares of scrapbooking paper but could easily be adapted for any size or shape of paper. I used pieces Rainbow had painted.
The first paper is folded into quarters, creased then opened up.
The second paper is used to form the two pockets. They are triangles. The two shorter sides have flaps that tuck around. Here's how I cut mine.

Actually I made a mistake there should be a diagonal line.
Once the edges are folded under . The pockets then slide onto the bottom corners of the first sheet of paper. This is the view from behind. The pocket flaps are glued on.
Fold the top of the page down and glue. This will enclose the pocket flaps between the outside and the inside of the folio.
Then decorate. I've got for the title and hearts.
I kept the cards really simple so that Rainbow can decorate. They are simply folded pieces of card in pink, red and white. I used this very simple template to make the envelopes. I must admit I was very tempted to download some of the cute stationery that's available on-line.
Here is her first card.
Her message inside reads "Lauren loves ----(Rainbow). I love playing with Lauren." She says it really slowly and her zigzags emphasise the syllables. It's the cutest thing!