Thursday, 23 February 2012

crochet project 2

I'm rather proud of my second crochet project...

I got the pattern from this blog. Once I got into a bit of a flow it was really quite easy. This took me 3 nights.
It was also my first attempt at making a pompom. Here is how I set about making it...

1. Cut out different sized circles from some old card board. Make sure there are two circles of each size

2. Cut a 1/2 inch circle inside both and place on top of each other. 

3. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard until it is completely covered.

4. When the circle is filled, use scissors to cut between both pieces of cardboard. Carefully hold both together and use another piece of yarn to wrap around the inside of the circle and tie tightly together.

5. remove the cardboard and then trim any bits that are too long. Hey presto... a pompom!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Water balloon fun

Aniah discovered a packet of water balloons in our room the other day and I realised that they had great scope for a bit of fun and learning (more fun than learning).

I let her play with the balloons before I filled them up with water so she could see the shape and explore and experiment with the stretchiness of the latex. She really enjoyed stretching them out and letting them ping back again.

After lunch, I filled a few of the balloons to different capacities so that some would bounce when she threw them and others would pop. The whole activity went down a storm!! She loved it! It was great seeing her try and squeeze the balloons to make them change shape then watch her shock when a balloon popped on the ground and water gushed everywhere. I think this will be a great summer activity in the paddling pool!

Love her shocked face!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Ducks and a bumble bee

One of the things I really love about where we live is the lovely walk we can go on 5 minutes away. There is a small woodland with ponds, ducks then a little further on a field with shetland ponies and horses. It's great living so close to somewhere that is so full of pure nature. I'm such a country bumkin at heart having grown up in rural pembrokeshire, where all there was for miles around was farmland.

Mamgu decided to come yesterday to take Aniah and Zak on a walk, but we all ended up going so we could get some fresh air and exercise!

Saturday, 18 February 2012


I (for the most part) loved being part of such a large family (7th of 8 children). I have so many cherished memories of life with my brothers and sisters. For example, the crazy yet laughter filled christmases, sitting around the large oak table at meal times, never feeling alone, playing board games (risk, monopoly,scoop, etc), loud and squabble filled family nights, making dens dressed as indians... oh I could go on and on. There are also the not so rose tinted memories such as the daily squabbles with sisters over who borrowed what item of clothing and didn't return it, the competitive side to all of us which would sometimes end games in tears, older brothers who'd make you do menial tasks just because they were older and scarier (and would probably thump you if you didnt do it), the day my younger brother threw a large heavy old key directly at my head (very painful).

When I see Zak and Aniah together it makes me so excited to see how their relationship will develop and what they'll be like as brother and sister. Aniah has started to give Zak kisses and cuddles, and also thumps. I hope they look after and protect each other. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

Home made matching game

I've had the elements of a shape matching game for Aniah in my office for weeks. Yesterday I decided it was time to finally finish it at see what she made of it. Essentially it was a few shapes printed from the computer, cut out and laminated twice. I then used some sticky back velcro to stick them on to each other with. I also had the name of the shape on the bottom sheet of shapes so that as she gets older she can guess the name of the shape and reveal it to see it she had the right answer.
At the moment she just enjoys the sound of the ripping velcro. I was pleasantly surprised to see her matching the shapes to the right partner too. I took the photos on my phone, hence the angelic exposure!

I can see myself making some more of these as time goes by. You could use the basic idea to do all sorts of things. For example, multiplication questions and answers. Bla bla bla, I know she's not going to be abl to do that kind of stuff for years. But who knows, maybe I'll see this in a few years time and remember to do it again!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Crotchet project 1 - complete!

I am so chuffed to announce my first crotchet project is finished! I decided to try out a baby beanie. I actually did it a few nights ago at about 11pm at night. It took me around and hour and a half after restarting it a couple of times. I must say I'm rather proud. I've been working with yarn and crotchet hooks my mother gave me. I now need to go and buy some more!!


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Our valentines day themed activity today was good old (home-made) play dough with plenty of glitter and heart cookie cutters!

Then for the meal this evening, I made a rather tasty (even if I do say so myself) lemon crust chicken with mixed balsamic vegetables, followed by chocolate souffle (shamefully, not home made).

We had a lovely evening filled with chocolate, movies and mushiness :) Love you Gareth!

Monday, 13 February 2012

More creative play

Creative play is something I definitely advocate and encourage all parents to do. I just love the way Aniah's (and hopefully Zak soon) eyes light up when she sees something new and fascinating. The way she tentatively puts her little fingers into new textures or the way she screws up her face when she tastes something that isn't supposed to be eaten (paint, play dough etc etc), I love watching her experiment with objects - stacking, sorting. The world is a place to be explored for her. Everyday objects can be used for all kinds of different uses.

Ice cube painting...

I had heard about using food colouring in water then freezing them and using them to paint with. So one day I remembered I'd frozen some raspberry juice and decided to see what she'd do with it when she saw it skating across the tray and leaving such a bright trail behind it. She liked tasting as she went too!

On the same day we played with pipe cleaners, a colander and cheese grater. A great activity to help her with her fine motor skills, trial and error etc.

Recently I decided that we should papermache a balloon that we had floating around the house. When I was younger I once made a papermache piggy bank. But this time I decided that we should try making a cat instead due to the fact that we'd been focusing on the letter 'C'. It ended up looking very demented, but still resembles a cat-like creature!!

 I mixed a home-made glue from flour and water, then we used ripped newspaper to cover a balloon.

I then glued some tubes for legs and made a tail from newspaper and pipe cleaners...

Mamgu came over the day we painted the cat...

The eyes were cut out from egg boxes and the whiskers were more pipe cleaners. The finished article was... well like I said, very demented looking. But I think she enjoyed the painting and sticking. 

Other literacy based activities included colouring in pictures of a cow and cat, then matching her puzzles of the animals to the pictures...