The dinosaur ate an icecream…

No I haven’t gone crazy, just getting creative. Now I know story stones are not a new thing and they certainly are not my idea but I wanted to try them out. On holiday we visited the Ilfracombe Tunnel Beach, which can I say has one of the best cafes and soft play I have visited yet. But on the beach they have lovely flat stones which inspired me to make some story stones. 

I kinda wish I had bought a load more home because there are so many uses for stones in our lives. Who knew… 

  

I bought some permanent pens from the pound shop (I was worried drawing on stones would ruin my best pens – it didn’t by the way). Originally I thought about drawing it and then painting with acrylic paint, but the pens came out brilliantly. The above picture is side one and here is side two…

  
I left them out for J to see when he woke up and all I could hear was ‘wow’ coming from the front room. 

I was a little bit dubious as to whether it would work with a 2.5 year old, but when I showed him how to do it he was away. 

‘The dinosaur ate an icecream and then a storm came and the boat went swish then the sun came.’ 

I would definitely recommend making some story stones and leaving them around and then you can see what amazing worlds they create. 

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Octonauts and going shopping

We’ve just had a lovely Easter Holiday. We had a week away and a week at home, so we used our week at home to get sorting! J is growing up fast, so we have taken all things baby from his room!! 😢

I wanted to make his room a bit more of a fun place and not just a place where we store his toys. I’ve put away toys that have been out a while and have made more of a spectical of new toys and toys that he hasn’t played with for a while. 

Octonauts

I managed to pick up all of the Octonauts toys at a charity shop for £2! Massive bargain. So I wanted to make a bit of an under water world. Our holiday was in Devon so managed to pick up stones and shells which added to sea bed effect. I found some under the sea labels to add some more colour, but it’s been great for J to recognise letters and different animals. Speaking to a friend today, if I’d had some material I could have made a bit of a reading den with books about fish and the sea. But with no material and lack of space, that’s just a bit of a dream.

Going Shopping

We haven’t played with his till for ages. When we did play with it, I’m not really sure he knew what to do with it. So I made a little shop for him (you can see where I shop). He recognised the shop name straight away, which was great.

We had great fun playing today, we spotted different numbers and I told him what the different signs said, which he repeated this evening! His purse has money and cards in. I keep adding boxes as I use the contents in my kitchen. So he’s having fun recognising different food.

I had great fun making these little areas in his bedroom and have loads more ideas for when we swap them around with different toys. But it’s been lovely watching him play in such a different way and interact with pictures and words.

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Blog post update 

I noticed that the under water world and shop wasn’t being played with as much. So we’ve had a swap around. 

Farm


Our Farm has made an appearance. We bought this for his second birthday and it hasn’t really been played with. But placing out and leaving it out has meant that he’s found moments to go and build fences. He’s also enjoyed looking at the farm cards. 

Cafe

One of mine and J’s favourite things to do is to go to a cafe.  We don’t spend long in a cafe, but we do enjoy the idea. So we made J’s cafe. 

With open and close signs to help recognise numbers and a menu. 

J’s favourite food is chips, but I don’t have any play chips so I think I will have to make some from salt dough or something. 

Having these toys out is great, because he plays and can use his imagination in different play. But also today he realised he missed his octonauts so we started to play with that! Great! 

Cake Pops – yummy! 

For some reason, J has been asking for weeks to make cake pops. I’ve never been a fan of cake pops, if you’re gonna eat cake, eat a cake that’s bigger than a ping pong ball. But J loved it. I must say it was one of the best baking sessions we’ve had. 

I bought a cake pop mould, sticks and stand in poundland. Got to love a pound shop. 

Firstly we made a cake, which we cooked in the microwave, so that it was ready quicker. 

4oz baking marg

4oz sugar 

Mix together in an electric mixer. 

4oz flour

1oz coco powder

2 eggs

A dash of milk 

Mix together 

  
Put in a microwaveable dish and cook until you can put in a cake tester and it comes out clean. Prob about 6 mins. 

J had great fun measuring out the different ingredients. He was so good at not spiling, this is a definite improvement. He tried to read the numbers on the weighing scales which made me think I should get some electronic ones, so the numbers are clearer. 

Whilst this was cooking I melting some chocolate. Once the cake was out J had fun mashing up about a quarter of the cake into crumbs. 

Mix this with the melted chocolate and form into the moulds and pop into the fridge. 

Having tasted them, I should have mixed in more melted chocolate, probably the whole bag of giant chocolate buttons would have been better, but I wanted to eat some this evening! 

I think dipping in melted chocolate would have been nice too. 

  
But hey, we had fun! 

At the car wash, yeah!

I love how J experiences new things and then gets totally immersed in that thing until he feels like he understands it (to his level of course!).

This is part of my role to help this complete immersion. I want to help him enjoy the things he loves and I want to help him get access to those things as much as is physically possible. Sometimes this takes a bit of creative thinking on my part and normally involves some sticky tape. 

Our new love is car washes. We took him in one over the Christmas holidays and now he is hooked. The good thing about them is they involve water, things spinning and if you go to certain car washes they even have dryers!!!! O the joy. 

So since our last trip, we have been able to imaginary play car washes in all sorts of places including parks and the soft play. 

But also we’ve had a few attempts at making them. 

I made one out of Lego, which I’m convinced launched me to the ranks of master builder. 

I then added felt wipers to his IKEA garage. 

  
I then bought some hair curlers from Primark and due to my lack of boxes, we made one from a mushroom box but that wasn’t accepted because the curlers didn’t spin. 

 So after sending my husband on a box hunt, I managed to make the ultimate car wash (I think anyway). 

   

 The rollers on the front can go up and down and can be put in a lock position. There are then spinning things in the middle (he wasn’t impressed with these because they slipped – so they went through a minor adjustment). Then there are the dryers at the end. 

This final car wash met all expectations – although there was mention as to why it didn’t have water in it. 

It’s amazing what you can put your mind to when your child inspires you. 

Painting in a jar

For those who follow my blog, you might know that I like to do fun activities with my son but at the same time I hate mess! 

So when I saw on this blog about painting in a jar, this was the painting way for me. 

So we’ve painted using brushes and we’ve painted in a bag but this is great, so you have to try. 

All you need is a jar, some paper, some lentils or beans and some paint and off you go. 

  
Put some paper round the side of the jar and squirt some paint on the bottom of the jar. Two or three blobs of different colours will be enough. 

  
Then cover the paint with some lentils or dry beans (just enough to cover the bottom). 

  
Then put the lid on the jar and shake away. You can roll and even throw (if it’s a plastic jar and the lid stays on). 

  
The result is amazing!   

  
We are going to use our creation to make Christmas cards. 

Now the reason for writing this blog, is I learnt a few lessons….

1. Use a jar where the lid screws on and stays on. Ours didn’t stay on, so when it got thrown, I had painted beans all over my carpet and J. 

2. Don’t use acrylic paint. This is the only paint I have in, so thought I would give it a go. But it’s too thick so the split peas all stuck together to make one big clump. I’m going out this afternoon to buy poster paint! 

3. Try using a mix of beans and lentils etc. Different sizes and shapes will create different effects. 

I will try again and let you know how it goes. 

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Trying with poster paint. 

  
I bought the crayola washable kids paint and it works so much better. I think it’s because it’s a little thinner than acrylic. 

Also it really does what it says on the tin. I managed to get paint on the wall and it washed off amazingly! Well done crayola. 

Looking forward to using our creations. 

Wall-e

J is finally coming out of his handryers obsession. But as with the Hoover obsession and now handryers, we move swiftly onto something else. And we get completely submerged in it. This is one of the things I love about J is how he wants to completely (within the realms of a 2 year old) understand something and then once he knows all he can, he finds something new. 

Well now it’s robots (and slightly x-Ray’s – but they are similar I think). Everything becomes a robot and he’s watched Wall-e a million times. 

Now making a fully functioning robot is beyond me. I just don’t have the skills. We’ve done a bit of junk modelling to make robots and that was such great fun (for both of us). 

But last night I made a felt version of Wall-e and Eve (yes it’s Eve not Eva) which he can build and demolish to his hearts content. 

  
The good thing about these characters are they are very basic shapes to handle. J had great fun. Here’s his version….

  
I was so impressed at how he was able to put it together. I promise this was all him. 

It’s now sparked many more ideas and gifts for friends. I’m just trying to think of a way to package it so I can take it out and about. 

Potty training! 

We’ve finally done it!!

I’m very aware that I have been the one that is the most resistant. J has been ready for nearly 5 months. But I have put it off and put it off until now. I had no more excuses. My husband was on holiday so he was around to help and I couldn’t think of any more excuses apart from wouldn’t it just be easier to have him in nappies for ever.

It’s been a 5 month process of talking about it, trying it out and then yesterday we woke up, put the nappies away and told him that we would only wear nappies when he went to sleep and bless him, he’s done amazingly. Day 1 – one accident and 9 successes. We’ve still got a way to go but he’s done sooo well. I must admit we did have the help of chocolate buttons, but he’s gradually forgetting about them.

Today we are going to try and leave the flat as we all have a case of cabin fever. But to prepare for this we’ve made some car seat and buggy protectors. You can buy seat protectors that can be used in the buggy and car seat, but you’re looking at buying at least 3; one each for each seat and one spare (or is that just me). So we made our own.

I took one of his old cot mattress protectors (it’s plastic on the bottom and flannel on the top) and cut off the excess material that fitted it to the mattress. We managed to get 8 protectors out of one sheet.


We then measured it in our buggy and then cut a slit into the middle of the square (nearer the edge). So that the strap can come through.


And ta-da you have 8 seat protectors. I’m going to keep some under the buggy and some in the car. I’m imagining these won’t be used forever, but it gives me the freedom now and that is good for us.


We are also going to test out our new portable potty too. I got a pack of liners for the potty but I’m gonna test out homemade versions for that too. I’ll let you know.