Tuesday, May 24, 2016

|FUN|René Magritte inspired art activity

I've been a fan of René Magrittes work ever since I first saw it featured in the film Thomas Crown Affair, so it was only right that when I was given the opportunity to join the exploring famous artists blog hop I chose an activity based on Magrittes work. 

I chose the 'Son of Man' as our inspiration, to set the scene for this activity I showed T a copy of the painting we were basing our activity on.  And we also looked at various other Margitte works of art - warning, some are not really appropriate for small children so I googled first and saved the ones I wanted to show him! 

There's no special equipment needed for this and it's super quick to set up. 

I printed off various fruits and T stuck them to a piece of paper. 

He then draw a 'person' (this is me!) to go with the fruit face. 

T then created one of him with a banana for his face 'because he loves bananas!'

We kept this simple as T is 4 1/2 however, it could easily be extended to include self portraits or discussing why each fruit is chosen. 

Have you studied any of the great artists with your little ones?  I'd love some suggestions for my next activity! 

We've joined Messy little monsters for this post.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

|FUN|Elmer the elephant patchwork by numbers

Ok, I have a confession!   Until about 3 weeks ago I had never really heard of Elmer the elephant, I know, I know it's a bit of a travesty but it just wasn't a book that has hit our radar.

When I saw an opportunity to join in with the fabulous Elmer blog hop from adventuresofadam.com I jumped at the chance as it gave me the perfect opportunity to get the book and make an accompanying craft for it. 

For my craft I decided to try a 'collage by numbers' T is heavily into his numbers at the moment so this seemed perfect. 

I started by searching for a decent a4 picture of Elmer to print out, You can download it here too if you like. 

I then printed it onto a full sticker sheet.

Next came a slightly trickier bit!  I traced the Elmer from the printed version onto a plain sheet of paper, I found doing this against the patio window was easiest. 

Once that was done it was time to number the colours and apply them to the drawing is made. We then cut the printed version up and added the numbers there too. 

We started off by sorting the patchwork stickers into little piles by colour, T then read out each number, checked against the numbers on the back of the stickers and worked out which he needed.  He needed help in getting the back off the sticker but had no problem in doing the rest of this little activity by himself.  

It was a perfect before bed, quiet time activity. 

I hope you liked our little collage by numbers activity. 

Elmer is now one of T's favourite books and I'm so glad we found it!  Did you know that it is Elmer Day on 28th May, check out some other great posts from other bloggers or link up your own Elmer post to the linky. 

Here are the other blog posts joining in with this blog hop! 
Elmer The Elephant Paper Plate Craft // Play & Learn Every Day
DIY Clay Elmer The Elephant // Adventures of Adam
Elmer Tissue Paper Painting // 3 Princesses and 1 Dude!  
Pom Pom Elmer The Elephant // Adventures of Adam
Elmer Day Craft // Crafty Kids at Home


Friday, May 20, 2016

|FUN|simple introduction to graphs for preschoolers

I love a graph or chart to display information and use all the time in my day job, for me they are one of the most important maths elements after the basics, it's only natural therefore, that I like to introduce this simple method of charting whilst T is young, as long as it's not enforced and it's fun.

He really enjoyed this activity although there were so many he did need geeing up a bit to keep him interested towards the end.

For this activity you will need:
1 wooden jigsaw board
Paper and pen or a printed chart
A dabber pen

To set up this activity, I worked out the values myself first so I knew the size of the chart, you don't have to do this but you could have a lot of blank space if you don't.  I had a bit of time on my hands so I made the chart in word, but you could draw it yourself.

Using the marbles, T filled up each of the gaps on the jigsaw board, as soon as one was full he counted the number of marbles needed, identified the number of marbles along the 'X axis' (vertical) and identified the number occurance along the 'y axis' (horizontal) and used his dabber to plot the position on the graph.

T liked the dabber element I think that made this a little more fun and helped keep him engaged.

He soon realised that there were a high number of 6's & 7's and started to predict if the next letter would be higher, lower or the same, he actually liked this part best which is great to get his little mind thinking.

Within about 20 minutes we had finished and T was very proud of this chart.

This would be a good activity for older children too.

To extend this Maths element of STEM for older children you could:
1. Guess the number of occurances and work out your accuracy percentage.
2. Work out the mean average.
3. Talk about probability and predicting the next outcome.


|#letslearn|Lets Learn Linky - #4 20/05/16

Another incredibly quick week has passed, I really don't know where the time is going before I know it, it will be September and T will be off to school!

We had more lovely posts last week, I've pinned them all to my #letslearn pinterest board pop over and take a look of you missed them.

This week I'm linking a simple introduction to graphs for preschoolers.

My favourite post from last week was...

This super cute 3 little pigs tuff spot from Let them be small we are mad about our new tuff spot and I really love the idea of linking a story to play.

Anyway, welcome to #LetsLearn, my weekly linky for all your learning blog posts, from early motor skills with babies and STEM activities to reading and writing for early years to GCSEs and beyond with your older children.  You are welcome here at #LetsLearn.  

We all know that kids learn more through play and whilst they are playing they learn far more than sitting at a desk, so learning with lots of fun is very encouraged here.

Please link up to 2 posts, old or new, got more?  Never mind, more to link up in the future ;)

The rules are pretty basic stick to 2 posts and comment on a couple of posts please.

I'd really appreciate you grabbing my badge please too, or at least pop a link back to here to say your joining in as it helps to spread the word for me.

{I'll only comment and share on posts that have linked back to me}

I'd also really appreciate any social sharing or spreading the word about this new linky please, I really want it to be a success!  
The Linky is open right through until Sunday night.   By linking up you agree to be reminded by twitter or newsletter, if you'd like to be removed, please email me.

Here's the linky!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

|FOOD|pepperoni gnocchi

This recipe is a massive hit in our home, the boys love pepperoni and loading it with some extra peppers means that it gets a few more veggies in them!  You can also serve with pasta.

I cook it specifically this way, so that I can cook just 1 meal and serve my veggie/vegan version you can add the pepperoni as the sauce is cooking if you prefer :)

Ingredients - serves 4
2 packs of gnocchi
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 peppers chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp paprika 
100ml cream or vegan substitute eg quark
Grated cheese to serve
Olive/coconut oil

1. In a pan gently soften onions and peppers in a little olive oil, once starting to soften, add tomatoes, tomato purée and paprika and bring to the boil.  

2. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid has reduced.  Meanwhile cook the gnocchi or pasta according to the instructions.

3. When the sauce has reduced, blend into a smooth sauce, add the cream and stir to mix well.

4. Mix in the pasta or gnocchi and serve for vegetarians at this point.

5. Either stir in the pepperoni or place on top and serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Enjoy! Lx


Monday, May 16, 2016

|FUN|8 fun activities - in the garden

I don't know about your little ones, but with all this lovely weather all T wants to do is spend time outside.  We are making lots of new memories with new games and activities this month for our 'In the garden' month but here are a few of our favourite activities and games from the archives.

petal paint was a really big hit with T, from collecting the leaves to pounding them up to make paint, he loved this activity.

I love fishy foil painting it's one of my favourite ever activities.

Encourage birds into your garden with these simple loo roll bird feeders.

Pretty for any time of the year not just for mother's day these flower pots are simple and cheap to make.

welly boot painting is so much fun and cleaning up after is just as fun, who doesn't like splashing in puddles?

if you are looking for a simple memory game I went to the windy woods game is perfect to stimulate little minds.

Encourage children to eat their veggies by letting them grow their own lizard garden box 

There's still time to make seed papers and give them out as RAK's for people to plant in their gardens!

If you've tried any of these I'd love to hear from you!

Enjoy the lovely weather and enjoy making memories :)


Saturday, May 14, 2016

|FUN|knights jousting stick

Today I have a super simple kids recycle craft for you. 

T has a massive 'thing' for Knights, he absolutely loves playing knights and is fascinated by it. I must admit I'm sure I've encouraged this a little. 

Anyway from time to time he hits me with requests for handmade toys and costumes and that's how this one started out, 'Mummy can I have a jousting pole like a real knight?' Well I suppose it could have been worse, he could have asked for a real horse! 

We came up with this simple craft which needs just a little assistance from an adult. 

You will need:

A long wrapping paper tube
Roll of kitchen foil

1. Start off by cutting out an oval shape from the card {do all kids like cutting with scissors or is it just mine?}  stand the roll on the cardboard and draw round it with a pen. 

2. Make a cross in the middle of the circle and cut along the lines.

3. On the paper roll cut a long(ish) slit either side.

4. Form a point and tape together.

5. Wrap in silver foil, also wrap the hand plate oval shape in foil, then push the pointed end through the cross you made.

That's it! Ok not quite as long as it should be but great for jousting the cushions and balloons hanging from the ceiling!  I also recommend a Knights costume and not Spider-Man but hey-ho! 

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