|FUN|Childrens packing game


This weekend we spent the weekend in Liverpool on a little road trip. T gets incredibly excited when we stay in hotels and can't wait to pack his bag as soon as possible.

The begging to pack his bag for this started at least a week ago, so I thought I'd create a little list for him and really make it into a learning activity or game!

We are working on numbers with him at the moment so I added the relevant number of items with corresponding dots.
 

I got out all of T's clothes for the trip and placed them on his bedroom floor.  He then went through the list checking off everything that had been placed in his suitcase.
 

We talked about the numbers as we went along, and looked around the room for other occurrences. Each time he found an item of clothing he ticked it off the checklist.


When he was finished we placed the list back in his suitcase so he knew what too pack the other end!

You don't have to be going on a trip to enjoy this activity, you could just pretend like T wanted to do for a week!

If you'd like a copy of our lists to play this game yourselves you can download it here.

I hope you like this post, if you play this game I'd love you to share your pictures with us X
 
LarabeeUK

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 49 - 29 September



Well hello!  Hope everyone is well and settling into Autumn, I can't believe that it will be October this week which means that #toddlerapprovedtuesday's birthday is just round the corner!  Thanks to everyone who linked up again last week.  I hope you liked our new email, we had lots of positive feedback from it so thanks for that, its great to know that you like something we are trying to do to make things easier for you.

Remember you can post your weekly post to the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Facebook page too, I like every one which will mean you continue to show up in my feed when you post new posts! 

If you are not yet in the Facebook group send us a request and we'll add you. Feel free to post anything in there all through the week if it's relevant.
 
 
I created a little downloadable game for you for this week.  It's the packing list that we used when we went on a little trip last weekend, but can also be used as a game.  T loved it and it helps with number recognition.
 
 
This week Becky is sharing a lovely fruit crumble recipe with the help of the monsters it looks delicious, maybe you can go out and forage for some lovely fruit to make it?
My showcase this week
 

I know I've said it before, but I really want to create a weather chart for T, I had one in our classroom, when I did teacher training years ago and I'd love something similar.  I found this weather activities post from Let them be small really inspiringly 


I'm always looking for good healthy snacks for the whole family, these cheese and chive muffins from Handy Herbs look fab, I can't wait for our resident chef Hayden and T to make them next time we have The Teens.
 

Here are the rules:- 
1. Link as many posts as you like (well with in reason!) BUT please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up. No badge, no comment, no share, and your posts will be deleted sorry if this seems harsh but it's just not fair on others who do make the effort. We've yet to delete a post but you may have noticed that we have started to not comment if we see no badge! 

 
LarabeeUK

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can. 

3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk). Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets and Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase! We have changed the way we share your posts, it takes so much time to pin and tweet and comment etc, so heres what is going to happen: We are opening up the Toddler Approved Tuesday Pinterest board to you guys too. Just send myself or Becky an email with your Pinterest name and we will add you, there is no limit on how many you add, it doesn't just have to be the post you link up with. 

 4. We will now only be retweeting posts Tweeted to us, and our showcased posts will also be retweeting too. We also have a fab new Facebook group for the Toddler Approved Tuesday community. Pop over and join us, share your posts, share any photos from inspiration you have had from a Toddler Approved Tuesday link up, share anything you like ;) 

|FOOD|savvy shoppers - emma byrne



This week, my friend and super mum Emma is my 'savvy shopper' she's a single mum of 2 amazing meal planner and domestic goddess.  I really am in awe of her home management skills.

Emma and will also be seen soon pounding the streets of Milton Keynes with our 'old lady trolleys' when we start to visit the market for our fruit and veg.

So over to Em...

1. What is your weekly budget for groceries?
Between £20-30 for food, including packed lunches for 1 adult and 1 child (other child has free lunches as he is in Key Stage 1)

2. What's your meal plan this week?
M - egg and Chips (kids eating elsewhere)
T - fried rice and leftover pork (leftovers of this will do 2 lunches)
W - omelettes
T - spaghetti carbonara
F - baked fish and potatoes, with veg
S - homemade pizza (daughter having friends for a sleepover)
S - roast chicken and trimmings

3. Where do you shop the most?
Asda and Lidl, mid-week top-ups at sainsburys as its closest to work

4. Do you have any tips for spreading the cost of your weekly shop?
I meal plan, including lunches which are frequently based on leftovers. I check the freezer and cupboards to see what I already have in before shopping, and try to only buy "deals" if I know they will be used

5. Do you have a Pinterest board for family friendly meals? (If so please leave a link)
I've only recently started using Pinterest so not got a decent board going yet - I tend to get very distracted by what other people have pinned instead! 

6. What would you say is your biggest shopping weakness?
The bargain/reduced counter - I cannot resist cut price meats to stock the freezer with! 

7. Does everyone in your family eat the same meals?
Thankfully yes - no allergies or major dietary requirements

8. Do you coupon or use any of the shopping apps? Any advice, hints or preferences?
I use tesco vouchers and cashback apps such as Quidco, Topcashback and Shopitize to get money back, and my supermarket to find out where the best deals are. 

9. What's the most important factor in deciding your family meals?
I try to make sure we all get a good healthy balance of foods throughout the week, including seasonal veg and items that will stretch over a number of meals ie roast on a sunday, leftovers used in sandwiches/pies, bones and pickings for stock/soup. we all eat most foods (kids not too keen on curry though) and we have at least 2 non-meat meals per week

10. What's your go to storecupboard pudding?
Pancakes - I always have flour, eggs and milk in the house. 

11. Do you stockpile? Any advice or tips?
I stockpile items such as pasta and rice or tinned beans and tinned tomatoes - I get them when they are on deals with long dates as I used lots of them. I avoid jars of sauce or tinned soup as a rule (occasionally get cream of chicken or tomato as the kids like it when they are ill)

12. Would you please share a favourite family recipe with us (can be a link to your blog, someone else's or a website or just type it here, include a photo if you like!)
Our favourite is homemade meatballs - made by my 6 year old son!!!
Pack of mince, add tsp each of dried parmesan, garlic powder, onion salt, thyme and oregano. splash of worcestershire sauce, squeeze of tomato puree. get your hands in and mix mix mix!!! Then take small handfuls and roll into balls (golf-ball sized). arrange on a plate and chill for an hour
meanwhile - dice an onion and crush 2-3 cloves garlic. lightly soften in oil. add carton of passata and then half fill carton with water to get the rest out and add this. dash of worcestershire sauce & balsamic vinegar, tspn each sugar & dried basil. (if i have red wine open i sometime put half a glass in). mix together & simmer
fry the balls until browned & cooked through then add to the sauce. 
cook pasta and serve

13. Do you do any meal prep to save time/money during the week?
On a Sunday I often bake cakes/flapjacks for the kids lunches and batch cook soup, pasta or rice dishes if I am having them for lunch.   I also assemble and half cook pasta bake/shepherds pie/chicken pie/lasagne if they are on the meal plan - this means I can freeze until the morning they are needed then defrost during the day and bung in the oven when we get home from school/work around 6pm each day.

14. Does your family have any dietary considerations?
Thankfully not which does make things less complicated.

15. Do you batch cook and freeze meals?
Yes - if I make spag bol or chilli, or stews for example I will make a huge pot & freeze in portions. similarly if I do pies or bakes at the weekend I will make enough for at least 2 and freeze one fully assembled.  This saves time in the week and means that there are proper hearty and healthy dishes in the freezer for that last week of the month when funds are getting low! 

|FAMILY|my ten mummy commandments


I was reminded this week of an early post I wrote when T was just over a year old called '5 things you take for granted before having children' and decided that a list of 10 Mummy commandments was needed now!

1. Thou shalt always be on a mission to drink hot tea
2. Thou shalt not pee alone
3. Thou shalt share your food with your offspring
4. Thou shalt go to work with clothes covered in snot/poo/vomit
5. Thou shalt not ever sleep soundly again
6. Thou shalt never carry a small handbag
7. Thou shalt wonder what you used to do with your 'spare' time
8. Thou shalt never cuddle another's baby in front of own offspring
9. Thou shalt *love* early mornings
10. Thou shalt adore your offspring with all your heart

What would you add? Lx 

Can probably be exchanged for Daddy commandments too! Although maybe not the handbag ;)


Mums' Days

|FOOD|mexican quinoa


I love this recipe, it's simple, vegetarian (vegan*) great for serving as a family meal, its 'clean' so nice and healthy* very filling and contains lots of vegetables!
*without the yogurt or sour cream

You can add it to wraps or serve with tortilla chips, or have it on its own for a lovely filling lunch.

Ingredients
Serves 4 

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 onion, diced
1 cup dry quinoa
cans chopped tomatoes
1.5 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato puréed
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cups frozen sweetcorn 
Avocado, fresh tomatoes and yougurt (or sour cream!) to serve

Method 
1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat.  Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become soft, about 2-3 minutes.


3. Stir in cooked quinoa, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, coriander and 1 can of water, making sure to cover most of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste.


4. Reduce heat to low, simmer, covered until thickened, about 25 minutes.  Stir in beans and corn until heated through, about 5 minutes.


5. Serve!


Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
Cuddle Fairy

|CREATE|pillow case laundry bag


With us going on all these little road trips and with The Hubs working away a bit I remembered how useful it is to have a bag in your suitcase/overnight bag to put your dirty laundry in. 

For our trip to Clacton in July I decided to make one out of an old pillowcase. 

Here's the quick tutorial. 


You will need
An old pillowcase
Thick ribbon 
A needle and cotton
A ruler 
Scissors
A large paperclip


1. Turn your pillow case inside out.  You need to sew a line in the same place as the hem on the non-flap side so on the flap side mark a line with the ruler in the same place as the hem on the reverse side.  I hope this makes sense, it's really simple to do. Just really difficult to explain. 


2. Sew along the line.  I used running stitch because I didn't want to get the machine out but you could use a sewing machine. 


3. Make a slit at both ends of the hem as shown above. 


4. Use the paperclip to thread the ribbon through the hem and tie into a knot. 


 5. And that really is it!

You can go on to add some appliqué of embroidery but I've left ours plain. 

When it's full, just throw it into the wash to keep it clean and fresh. 

Your suitcase will be nice and fresh now!

|FUN|mad science day


Last week I had to swap one of T's nursery days as I had to work on Friday, unfortunately I had to swap his jeans for genes science day which meant that he missed out on the experiments he was so looking forward to.  Spurred on even more after watching an alvin and the chipmunk episode wherethey conduct experiments he asked for a 'mad science day'.  As I'd changed his plans due to my job, I couldn't resist.

I came up with a few simple 'experiments' as we had made bicarbonate of soda eruptions at our valentines play date I avoided anything with bicarb.

WARNING! This post is photo heavy!


First T insisted on putting on his 'science coat' which a basically a white shirt which is a little too big!  He also found his 3D cinema glasses in his dressing up box and put them on.

I set everything out on the table for 4 experiments.


First we used Cola to clean some copper coins.  I set out the 3 things T would need for this experiment  and asked T what he thought we were doing.


We talked about how dirty the coins were and how clean we thought they'd get after being soaked in the cola.


T poured the cola into the glass and dropped in the coins.  We set the timer to check them in 4 hours.


When we checked on them, they were so much cleaner.


Our second experiment was the dancing raisin experiment.  


T poured in the lemonade and then added the raisins.


We watched them dance up and down and talked about why the raisins were lifting up and then going down, T correctly identified the cause as the bubbles making them rise and when they pop the raisins falling, I was really proud he actually lptook the time to observe long enough to understand what was happening.


Our next experiment was colour mixing, we first mixed food colouring in some old plastic test tubes I had sprinkles in.  We mixed red, blue and yellow.



T then mixed the colours in the large glasses red and blue, red and yellow and blue and yellow.


T couldn't resist swirling round the glasses like a real scientist!  We discussed what colour we thought would be created and T came up with the idea to pour all the colours in one glass which he called 'his cola' because it was the same colour as the cola that we used for the penny experiment.




Our last experiment was the swirling colours experiment with milk, food colouring and washing up liquid.


The pictures just don't do it justice, after adding the food colouring, T added a tiny drop of washing up liquid and the coloured swirled around in lovely patterns, he really loved this one!


I hope you enjoyed our impromptu mad scientist day as much as we did.


LarabeeUK

Mummascribbles
Binky Linky

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 48 - 22 September



Hello! Welcome to another week of #toddlerapprovedtuesday, we had a super busy week last week with practically everyone linking up straight away so thanks so much for that, we had some great posts too! And saw some new linkers, welcome everyone!  This week we have a very exciting new newletter for all linkers!  Look out in your inbox for that.

Remember you can post your weekly post to the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Facebook page too, I like every one which will mean you continue to show up in my feed when you post new posts! 

If you are not yet in the Facebook group send us a request and we'll add you. Feel free to post anything in there all through the week if it's relevant.



This week we have some simple science experiments for toddlers and preschoolers from our mad science day, we had so much fun we hope you enjoy reading about it.

 
Becky has a really interesting post about process art over at 3princessesand1dude this week, do pop over if you haven't seen it, it's really worth a read.

My showcase this week

One of my all time favourite blog posts was linked up to #toddlerapprovedtuesday this week, I adored this Autumn in the meadows post from Domesstique it reminded me so much of weekends spent with my grandparents as a child.  And the photos are just stunning.

 

I'm a sucker for a tuff tray/spot activity, I guess because it contains mess to be honest but I think the possibilities are amazing.  I was really inspired by this fantastic Harvest tuff spot sensory activity from Adventures of adam such a great idea to use real veg!
Here are the rules:- 
1. Link as many posts as you like (well with in reason!) BUT please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up. No badge, no comment, no share, and your posts will be deleted sorry if this seems harsh but it's just not fair on others who do make the effort. We've yet to delete a post but you may have noticed that we have started to not comment if we see no badge! 


LarabeeUK



OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk). Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets and Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase! We have changed the way we share your posts, it takes so much time to pin and tweet and comment etc, so heres what is going to happen: We are opening up the #toddlerapprovedtuesday Pinterest board to you guys too. Just send myself or Becky an email with your Pinterest name and we will add you, there is no limit on how many you add, it doesn't just have to be the post you link up with. 

 4. We will retweet posts tweeted to us, and our showcased posts will also be retweeting too. We also have a fab new Facebook group for the #Toddlerapprovedtuesday community. Pop over and join us, share your posts, share any photos from inspiration you have had from a #toddlerapprovedtuesday link up, share anything you like ;)