Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Elfwatch- The magic begins

A special guest arrived at our house this morning. Her name is Sunshine and she is an elf, all the way from Santa's workshop, come to spend the summer with us. We are very lucky to have been chosen to have an elf, as summer elves are much less common than the Christmas elves that come to stay in December. In fact, you may have never even heard of them before!

The elf has set both Princess and Grapie a summer challenge and she will be providing them with plenty of opportunities to practice. Princess has been set the challenge of learning to write her name,, which will involve lots of fun alphabet and letter games, like these from ready-set-read.

Grapie's challenge is to learn to walk which will involve, well being a baby and learning in her own sweet time, she is almost there (and maybe her first pair of shoes!)

Sunshine the elf also has plans for some themed days, piate day, olympics day and of course princess day, and some fun experiments and crafts. Princess was ever so excited this morning when an elf was discovered on the trampoline with a letter from the big man himself, Father Christmas and hopefully this will be the start of a magical summer- watch this space for regular updates.

Monday, 22 July 2013

I just need some sleep

I have a confession. Grapie sleeps in my bed with me for most of the night. She starts off in her cot (after being breastfed to sleep, which is also a secret) but the first time she wakes up in the night, usually just after we have gone to bed, I bring her into bed with me and feed her to sleep.

 And I'm getting the most sleep I've had since she was born. Still not great but better, so I am enjoying sharing my bed with my baby.

What I'm not enjoying is the comments and 'advice' I keep getting whenever I tell anyone about our sleeping arrangements. If I had a pound for every  person who told me I was making a rod for my own back I would have, well, enough money to buy a bigger bed!

Maybe I am, maybe I'm not but at the moment it's lovely and cuddly and I just need some sleep!  I'm done with walking her around for hours on end, only for her to wake up again ten minutes later. So don't judge me, because I know that one day my little Grapie will sleep all night in her own bed, and when that day comes, I will miss her!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Bottle top pictures

A fun and simple way to make a picture, which is also great for developing creativity and fine motor skills.

We have been collecting plastic bottle tops so that princess could use them for making pictures, we had a variety of sizes and colours. Princess tipped them out onto the table and first she sorted them into colour groups. Then she chose a piece of card to stick them to.

 I showed her that she could use the different tops to make a picture (this my attempt at boat sailing in the sea and a palm tree, in case you didn't guess!) But she preferred a more more feestyle approach and laid them out in her own pattern patternand glued each one down carefully.  The thing that impressed me during this activity was to concentration she used in remembering which were glued and which weren't.

I think the end result looks pretty cool, what do you think?

Monday, 15 July 2013

Name This Elf!

Last December we had one of Santa's elves to stay in the run up to Christmas, and Princess enjoyed it so much that I thought thought why wait until Christmas to do it again! So this summer we are going to have a summer elf to stay! But I can't decide what to call her
Here she is, what do you think her name is?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Salt Dough Handprints

 Salt Dough Handprints

I have been wanting to have a go at making some salt dough to capture princess and the grapie's handprints for while and Grandma's birthday was the perfect excuse!

What we used:
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup water
The size of the cup doesn't matter too much as long as the ratio is the same.
We actually also weighed our ingredients (as princess was learning about weighing things at preschool and I wanted to show her that some things may look the same but weigh different amounts) although I think the cups method is actually easiest in this case!
125g salt
75g flour
(we didn't measure the water)

Mix all the ingredients together. This took a little while and princess got a bit bored and handed over mixing responsibility to me after a bit, but eventually it all comes together. Try not to be too quick to add more water as ours looked dry for a while but was fine after a bit.
Then for the good bit- kneading with your hands. This was lots of fun and was like playing with play-doh
I also had a 'turn', and gave it a good knead until it was no longer grainy. Then I split the dough into 2 and pushed the first lot of dough into the bottom a bowl to get a flat edge and turned it out.
I had to repeat this step several times as Princess found that drumming the dough with a spoon and poking it was much more fun than making the perfect handprint, and Grapie just wanted to grab it and squeeze the dough! 
We eventually got the prints perfectly, then it was into the oven on a baking sheet lined tin, for 3 hours at around 100 degrees. I turned them over after 2 hours so the back could cook too.

When they were dry, we painted them pink and sprinkled glitter on them an  let them dry in a sunny spot.

Princess was very proud to give them to her grandma for her birthday and they now have pride of place on grandma's shelf as a reminder of how much joy two tiny pairs of hands bring to her life