I can’t believe that Pebble has been at school for five weeks now. She’s really enjoying it, especially learning to read. She’s flying along, as these new Reception kiddos do. Their progress is so quick! That’s one of the reasons that I love teaching Reception (five year olds). That, and they’re so much fun! Continue reading “Magic Reading Sticks”
Yo, this is how I do Christmas! Whatever is easy and fun, that’s my gig. Like these GLITTERY white chocolate Christmas trees. Pebble only eats white chocolate (personal preference, strange child), so she thought these were fabulous. The kids had fun stirring and pouring and licking and sprinkling. Here’s how to make these cute glittery trees (though they barely need instructions!).
Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees
You will need:
250g good quality white chocolate (I buy it in blocks and break it up, but it’s up to you, melts are good too)
edible gold glitter
Christmas tree chocolate mould
Melt your chocolate using your chosen method. I am a bit old school and put the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. I’ve had mixed results with the microwave!
Pour the chocolate into the chocolate molds* and leave in the fridge to set. Or if you’re super impatient, like me, put them in the freezer.
Pop the set chocolates out of their molds and onto a plate then sprinkle them with the edible gold glitter.
* I totes confused myself about the correct spelling of ‘molds’ and I hate getting spelling wrong. The internet says ‘mould’ and ‘mold’. Who knows? Help a girl out, please!
Note: if you’re thinking of colouring the trees green, like I was, be careful with water based food colourings. I used the squeezy bottle kind and we had to throw away a whole block of chocolate because it seized. Boo hoo! I hear that gels work well but I haven’t tried it. Good luck!
Don’t you think these would make a super sweet Christmas gift?
This morning Pebble woke up and we had our usual morning chat as she lay in bed. She asked the same question she asks every day: “What are we doing today?”. I told her what we had planned (not much!) and mentioned that it’s Halloween today. “HALLOWEEN!?”. She was up in a flash and asking for help to make her Halloween costume. She wanted to be a witch and chose a ‘witchy’ dress from her wardrobe and had some (a lot!) of help to make a hat and a broomstick. The result was one happy kid!
Rocky loves to draw. He will physically climb onto the table to reach Pebble’s drawing materials and then happily wander around the house looking for things to draw on. As long as it’s NOT paper. I’m adding that particular behaviour to the very long list of things that Pebble didn’t do. Or did once then listened when I told her not to. I guess it’s a boy thing? A second child thing? Or just a Rocky thing. It’s who he is and I will embrace that (sometimes through gritted teeth as he throws his toys, climbs on the furniture and smashes …. everything).
I wanted to make the concept of drawing on paper more appealing to my little bruiser and had an idea to do some large scale drawing. Here’s how it went.
Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers
You will need:
an extra large piece of paper (we used a roll of paper that I got from Ikea)
Stick the large piece of paper to the floor using sticky tape. I suggest sticking it along the entire perimeter of the paper to make sure it stays in place.
Get out the drawing materials and have a go with them together.
Sit nearby, give them lots of time and space to explore, chat about their marks.
These oil pastels are awesome, the colours are bright and they mark the paper really easily. I love how Rocky grasped three in one hand while working with another. The tongue poking out is pretty cute too.
Rocky drew happily for about 10 minutes or so, which is a pretty good chunk of time for a 19 month old to stick at anything. Then he started to experiment with drawing on the wood floors. I redirected him to the paper. He threw a crayon at me. Activity over. #keepingitreal
The best thing about these oil pastels is that they wiped up with a baby wipe with no problems at all.
Disclaimer: Micador sent us these oil pastels to try about a couple of years ago now, and they’re still going strong. They did not pay me to mention their products or ask me to endorse them in any way. I’m giving you my honest opinion on them because I love sharing products that I genuinely love and use.
I’m pretty open about the fact that these days, I rarely set up paint play for the kids. It was much more common occurrence before Rocky came along. These days it’s watercolours all the way! They’re so easy to set up and clean up, I just can’t resist. But Pebble misses her REAL paint, her sloppy, slide-across-the-page paint. Last week she asked if we could get the paints out I said ‘yes’. She almost did a double take!
Rocky hasn’t had much chance to explore these paints before, so we set up tray of paints, some paint brushes, some paper and I left them to it stood nearby to make sure Rocky didn’t eat it or tip it on his head. The paper was very quickly abandoned in favour of smearing the paint across the old coffee table that we use for outdoor art and play. Finger painting, hand painting, belly, elbow and feet painting!
At times it got a little crazy. Rocky decided halfway through that he’d like to play with the space hopper… while still covered in wet paint. Then he stumbled around the backyard and landed hands first on the BBQ, leaving his sticky wet paint mark on it’s cover. But apart from that we did ok – we got messy without getting MESSY!
After some fun with smearing, Pebble turned back to her paper and starting printing. She also made some paint resist art work on the coffee table by splodging, smearing and slopping paint on top of a piece of paper on the table, then pulling the paper back to reveal a perfectly rectangle space beneath.
Once the kids were getting tired of the painting we added a big squirt (and then another and then another) of dish washing liquid and turned the hose onto the table. Their excitement was renewed as the paint frothed and soaped and bubbled. They played together until the table was all clean, then played in the suds as they gurgled in the grass. Then I threw both kids in the bath and scrubbed them clean! Here are my tips for happy paint play with toddlers and preschoolers:
Tips for Paint Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers
dress in old clothes (that includes you too!)
distract the kids with something else and set up all the equipment before you invite them to play
have a bucket of water and an old towel ready for clean up (or play near a hose)
remove anything from the area that you don’t want to get covered in paint (including space hoppers!)
breathe! Relax! Let it go! Mess is good!
make cleaning up part of the play and get the kids to help
go straight in to the bath after play and get scrubbed up
distract the kids some more while you clean up yourself and the rest of the mess if needed (a snack and a pile of books or a favourite TV show work for me).
Do you embrace messy play? Or do you avoid it like the plague?