Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Oreo Turkeys

Ok so being in England, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving! Now it seems we've acquired all your other holiday's and customs (halloween, fathers day etc.) I'm surprised we haven't stollen this one and made it our own! Obviously we couldn't celebrate the for the reasons you guys do, but certainly the essence of thankfulness is never wasted! Anyway we celebrate Thanksgiving (American in law) and this year made these cute turkey lollies inpiration obtained by googling "oreo turkeys" but I settled on these being the most easy to emulate in large numbers (we had fifty + for dinner). I obviously used white chocolate buttons for feathers because candy corn is too expensive in England (glued in with chocolate icing), liquorice laces for legs (pretzels too fat for my oreos) and half a smartie for beak (oh an a small piece of liquorice for that nose thing). I iced the eyes.
These were last year's turkeys, again inspired by bloggers via google, but using crispy cakes (English twist again) and pretzels for feathers- but these were way toooooo fragile to make a lot of!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Star Button Match

Selection of pairs of felt cut out stars, with buttons sewn to one pair and a slit big enough (but not too big) to accommodate a button. Children find matching stars and button them together. I also made a matching bag but a pretty box would be just as nice. This will supplements; christmas, twinkle twinkle and space themes/ interests, whilst the children develop fine motor skills, matching and explore connecting scheamas.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Journey to Bethlehem

This post was supposed to be on "all play on sunday" but accidently wrote on here, I was going to delte but thought it may be of interest to some of you (check out "all play on sunday" for similar ideas)So todays session was called "Journey to Bethlehem" inspiration given from Tidily Winks Red Book. However only limited aspects of session were used.

For play session we had :

King's Town playmat, (inspired by Filth Wizardry) complete with "The Kings Inn" and stable next door, a farm with sheep fields... get the idea modern day applications of what was around when Jesus was born.

Journey to Bethlehem matching cards (images obtained via google, I will add a link for all the printables at alljoinin.net in week)

Transport sorting, this proved way more popular than I anticipated. We were to use these later in one of the stories.

Nativity desert box (really popular, had some great conversations)

Another activity at the free play time was colouring "tiny" Mary on a donkey pictures. To first of all use in the story and then to complete an journey advent calendar. The donkey and Mary were an edited image available from Activity Village
The children coloured the advent calendar and drew Mary and Joseph in the stable.

After play we sat down in a circle like usual and discussed what we had been playing with as an intro to the story, which went in the direction of we have that story at home (nativity, its baby Jesus), we played with sand and trains... we played with all of it etc. and we focussed in on, on the table with the nativity we were playing with a place in the sand and on the mat we were playing with a place with concrete roads. We talked about the story we were going to think about was about a journey on a road, a sandy road.
I then told our special story from the Bible, from before Jesus was born using the nativity props, sand tray and wooden blocks to create shelters.

I then read this story I created for this week, to tie in the transport theme I was focussing on. (I will post more details of this in the week)

We said the prayer (minor edits) from the tiddlywinks book.
The other craft option was decorating this donkey with fabric and sand (for dust). My crafts this week were rather prescriptive, this was for several 1. lacked inspiration for a simple yet purposeful craft 2. I wanted the children to take something home that showed a real link to session so parents could discuss it further 3. I realised that the children would likely be so engaged in the play they wouldn't want to spend ages engaging in craft (I was correct for some children)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Five Little Monkeys

I have had these resources for some time, and related resources have been available at www.alljoinin.net for sometime, I just thought I'd take this opportunity to show you (need a quick post, been too busy making something/ watching Children in Need). The resources are things I have available for singing the song, but are also what I used to make the resources. There is a printable book, and an interactive powerpoint. Some example power point slides are below:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Wee Wedgits Brilliant buy

Look! What I purchased today from the second hand baby/ child store!!! Wee Wedgits 30 piece set for £10 - Bargain, the cheapest I have found the set new is £33! And they have washed up perfect. I'm sure there will be more posts on these!

In out

About a year ago I posted a similar post on 3d object fitting. I have now added two additional objects and containers, I had lost the box and the cube (but found today)
I will keep them in this box, in keeping with theme although initially not with lid on.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Coaster Baby Toy

Babies love putting things in and out of containers, when I purchased these wooden coasters and container I thought they would make a great infant/ toddler activity. Will finally try them out this week, will post how well it goes!

Top Tips


Substitute cold water in playdough recipes for freshly boiled, it will "cook" the playdough immediately. No lengthy stirring/ burning problem

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scented Playdough

So on a mission tonight to make scented playdough with what I had! Ended up with, coconut and ginger spice, vanilla, peppermint, and in the process came up with what may be a serious time saving new recipe!
I made Coconut playdough using body shop coconut body butter, and this is how I came up with a way of making playdough that I can't believe I hadn't realised before (There are plenty of examples of this method over the internet now I have searched). I simply followed the recipe that I posted a few days ago, but substituted the oil for body butter. In order to ensure I didn't have clumps of butter I boiled the water and added the body butter to that and then added each of the ingredients to that, in order to avert any potential chemical reactions (you never know). When I finally added the flour to my shock it simply got thick very, very quickly and hey presto playdough, no cooking at all. I hope it will keep the same as the cooking, but whatever I will defiantly be using boiling water again.
The coconut dough has turned out a VERY different consistency/ texture, rather crumbly and almost like short crust pastry, I am wondering if the body butter acted like shortening? Who knows?
In order to check that the crumbliness wasn't due to the boiling water method, I made vanilla playdough using the same method but adding the boiling water last (this way children can join in the making and adults simply add water). This time the consistency was not crumbly at all, so must be due to body butter?
The ginger spice one was the basic playdough recipe (on a pan- pre coconut revelation!) and simply adding copious amounts of dried spices, the ginger seemed to turn it the best colour so it has more ginger in!

Lastly pepermint, as above but adding pepermint and blue colouring to preferred strength after cooking, more flour was added to deal with the extra liquid.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Looking after Books

This is going to be the quickest post in history, nearly asleep!! Since I had such a short time I thought I'd share this wonderful idea from kindergarten, kindergarten about how to care for books. Would strongly advocate this within the room if damaging equipment is a problem. To download the book and more info to the blog (minus the "deccoration") go the Kindergarten, Kindergarten

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Peg Posting

I have used this activity with both babies (dolly pegs), toddlers and with children on the autistic spectrum. It's a fairly popular activity and ties in a popular schemas that manifest in posting, starting off with the dolly pegs and eventually moving on to pinch pegs. You can obviously make the hole cut into the tin much smaller for individual needs, in fact I have a range of lids cut out so this can be used for various children with out the need of taking up storage space of more tins.

It is a particularly good activity in a TEACCH workstation format, as it so clearly shows the the activity is finished and is quite motivating with the loud bang as the peg drops into the tin. When I have used it in the workstation format I have usually velcroed the tin and box together, to make it one unit. I have also progressed to a lipped circular food storage container necessitating the need for the child to actually opening the peg to remove the peg (with the box it can can just be pulled off.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Baby Star Toy

I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of a very wonderful friend's baby, so in excited anticipation I have made this black and white early toy thing. Simply made from two pieces of fabric (black and white felt and fleece) Sewn together, a very small curtain ring placed in centre and a hole cut out in middle. I stuffed the points with the cellophane windows of letters, the make a nice crunchy sound when touched. Sweet or crisp packets would also work (Candy or Chips, for American's)

Song Words for Song Box

A few days ago I added a post about my song box, I have now seen that it has quite a few pins and repins on Pinterest. I have noted a few people say they don't know the words to all the songs/ rhymes, so here are all the lyrics!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story Props

Such a simple way to create a story telling prop to accompany The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. Simply cover a Pringles tin with some plain paper, stick and cut out (or print out of the caterpillar on to the tin- if you want the caterpillar on pdf message me) and cut out a slot for the mouth big enough that you can post milk bottle caps in.

Stick pictures of each of the food items onto the milk caps (I drew mine but you could print out the ones below from TES you need to join but that's free)
It's not possible to see from the photos above, but I added a brown cocoon shape to back. When the caterpillar had ate all his food and slept for a while I opened the lid and pulled out a butterfly finger puppet I'd put in earlier.

Let me know if you make this I'd love to hear how it goes.
Post Edit: Due to several requests you can now DOWNLOAD the caterpillar and Cocoon