|FUN|Feed The Bird Sensory Bin - guest post from Adventures of Adam


  

Today I have a fab guest post for you from the fab Emma at Adventures of Adam, it's great to work with Emma on this post, which I love!  I really like the nurturing involved in this activity and I'm sure that T would love to do this too! 

Over to Emma...

Spring is all around us here in the UK. From the early hours in the morning, we can clearly hear the birds singing in the garden. This has u to a discussion about what birds eat. So we went digging in our garden to find some worms and left them in the garden to see if any birds would take up the opportunity. Despite having a child shouting with excitement through the window, the birds took the worms. As my son was so excited about the process, I decided to make him a Feed The Birds Sensory Bin.

Instead of using real worms in our sensory bin, I opted to use jell worms. The worms were slightly bigger than I had expected and looked more like snakes compared to the size of our birds but my son didn't seem to notice. I placed the jelly worms in our green sensory bin and covered them with brown painted rice.


We had made the brown coloured rice some time ago for another activity. To make it, I simply poured rice and brown poster paint into a bowl and stirred the two ingredients together until the rice was completely covered. I placed the painted rice on a tray lined with baking paper and left it to dry over night.


Finally, I added two owl puppets and a toy bird along with a variety of tweezer fine motor tools. These included a CleverstiX Chopstick, a Gator Grabber from our Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool set, Piggy Wiggy Serving Tongs and a purple Jumbo Tweezer.


My son had a wonderful time using the fine motor tools to hunt around the sensory bin for the jelly worms. Once he located a worm, he had to attempt to pick it up using the fine motor tool and then feed the worm to the bird. He loved making noises that he thought each bird made when they ate.

The Piggy Wiggy Serving Tongs proved to be too big to pick up the worms easily but my son persisted for some time.


I love how sensory bins can initiate conversations. Throughout our Feed The Birds Sensory Bin, we discussed where birds live, how they find food and how they make their nests.



|LEARN|interplay pocket microscope review


We recently recieved a pocket microscope from Interplay to review.  The microscope is designed for children aged 6 and above, but at age 4 with supervision, T managed to use it with great success and loved it!


The pocket microscope comes with a selection of accessories, specimen bottles, slides and tweezers. T really enjoyed collecting his specimens from the garden and pond.  The design of the microscope also means that you can look at bugs and larger items within the clear little chamber at the bottom without harming them.  We looked at some bugs and flowers this way which was really successful.


The microscope needs 2 AA batteries to make it work and it has a really clever design in that when you open the scope the light automatically turns on and switches off when you close it.


I thought T would struggle more with looking through the scope, but he didn't, I did have to set the focus for him but once that was done he was fine to look himself, and really enjoyed looking at the slides that were including with the kit.


The pocket microscope has an RRP of £9.99, in my opinion a really good price for such a great little tool, I'm sure that this will be something much used in coming years.

Disclaimer: we were sent this item in return for our honest review.



I'm givingaway one pocket microscope, enter below until 21 June. a Rafflecopter giveaway


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|FUN|The Nickelodeon store turns one!


Exciting times! The Nickelodeon store celebrates its first birthday on Monday and are marking the occasion with lots of special activities! 

To celebrate the anniversary of the Leicester Square Store, customers are invited to enjoy special birthday-themed activities taking place at the Nickelodeon Store on Saturday 28th May from 10am



If you're free this weekend, why not pop in and help celebrate?

Activities planned for the birthday celebrations include a balloon artist for visitors, colouring competition as well as an appearance from SpongeBob SquarePants. 


The Nickelodeon Store features over 4000 square feet of Nickelodeon merchandise and memorabilia showcasing beloved brands such as SpongeBob SquarepantsTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesPAW Patrol and Rugrats. In addition to the extensive line of merchandise, the Nickelodeon Store also features the Dora the Explorer colouring tree and SpongeBob Pineapple I-Pad bar. The Nickelodeon Store is open every day with fans also able to purchase Nickelodeon items online at nickelodeonstore.co.uk.


Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post.

|#letslearn|Lets Learn Linky #5 - 27 May



Happy Friday!  Here we are with another #letslearn for you, what have you been learning this week? I went back to work this week so we've not really been doing much, we hope to change that this weekend though as we have lots of trips and activities planned for the bank holiday.

Thanks for linking up last week I've pinned all relevant posts to my #letslearn pinterest board pop over and take a look of you missed them.



My post this week is our Elmer collage by numbers

My favourite post from last week was...
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.

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 you are 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}


LarabeeUK


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!


|FOOD|lemon & garlic creamy tagliatelle with courgetti


I know what you're thinking... Pasta and courgetti????? ;)

As much as I adore courgetti, sometimes I do feel as though I need something a little more and so I added a little multigrain tagliatelle and you know what?  Is was blooming delicious!   I really can't get enough of this meal, it's great for a weeknight as its so quick and easy or it's great for a nice romantic date night too, you could add some chicken for meat eaters too if you so wish. 

Ingredients - serves 4
300g tagliatelle 
3 courgettes, spiralised (if making for 1 or 2 I'd use 1 courgette each)
100g mushrooms, sliced
200ml single cream or vegan alternative
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lemons
Freshly ground pepper
Parmesan, grated

Method
1. Cook pasta according to instructions. 

2. Meanwhile, gently sweat courgettes and mushrooms in oil along with garlic, and juice and zest from lemons.

3. Remove courgettes and mushrooms from heat and stir in the cream/quark (you may need a little heat and water from your pasta if using quark) add pepper to taste.

4. When pasta is cooked, add to the sauce pot, stir round and serve with a sprinkling of cheese. 

|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.

 http://www.messylittlemonster.com/2016/05/water-lilies-monet-inspired-kids-art.html


|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

|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
Marbles
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.




LarabeeUK

|#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}


LarabeeUK
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!