Monkey loves painting and given a choice it is often a go to activity for him. Most of the time I am happy to let his imagination take the lead but a few weeks ago I thought I would spice some things up and introduce him to the idea of painting with some new textures.
We had fun with bubble wrap..
cotton wool balls..
scrunched up tin foil..
It was great fun and such a simple activity. Monkey loved seeing the different results for each of the textures and we talked about what they felt like.
What small child doesn’t love playing with little fluffy pom pom balls eh? They are widely available, pretty cheap and, I have found, really quite versatile. Here are just a few of the simple fun activities we regularly get up to with the lovely fluffy things.
When we first started doing this colour sorting game, Monkey was a bit haphazard and certainly couldn’t name all of the colours. Now he knows all of the colours and will sit quite happily organising them into muffin tray holes without any involvement from me :).
The downside being that because he finds it quite easy it doesn’t keep him occupied for long… hence the creation of this list of activities!
Make a pom pom rainbow (sort of)
We don’t have all the colours of the rainbow but after sorting them into colours he likes lining them up, to make a ‘rainbow’
Roll them down a tube
As a fun way of putting them away I used a kitchen towel tube, otherwise known as “Monkey’s telescope” to roll them back into their container – which of course became a fun game all in itself.
Monkey still wasn’t done with the pom poms though and found that an empty tissue box made a great receptacle for them to be posted through. I am sure he is not alone but this little lad loves to post things!
Play Pom Pom Football
Running out of ideas for things to do with them, I cut the tissue box in half, stuck each side on the tuff spot and created a mini game of pom pom football. I wasn’t sure how effective it would be but Monkey absolutely loved this. His aim was rubbish, poor thing, but he had great fun knocking it about all over the place and I am sure that he will improve over time! The downside of this particular activity is the high probability of pom poms ending up all over the living room… but it could be worse, they are only pom poms after all
So there we have it, 5 fun ways to play with pom poms. You can of course always get crafty with them. So far the only crafty things we have done with them is stick them to a piece of paper (and they usually fall off) but I have seen some quite clever crafts with them too. But the best thing about the activities above, is that you can do them over and over without having to buy more. We all know how kids love repetition!
Do you have any other fun ways to play with pom poms?
My little Monkey turns 3 this week and I can’t quite believe it.
Three years since I became a Mummy! I look at him running around and chatting and singing and lolloping like a teenager and I wonder where he came from. Do you ever feel like that? My friends look at me like I am potty when I say that, but sometimes I find it hard to reconcile him with the baby that was created inside me.
Don’t worry I am not going to get all deep or profound, I just want to make a little record of everything that makes Monkey Monkey, as he turns three. The good and the bad. As he simultaneously amazes and frustrates me on a daily basis!
A lot has happened in the past year and he really has grown up so much, sometimes he seems so mature… but of course he is still a little tot really. Considering the fact that he was barely speaking at all this time last year, his speech is incredible now and improving all the time. We are suddenly realising that a lot of his babyish pronunciations are being replaced by the correct word. For example “cuityet,” became “biscuityet” and is now “Biscuit.”
He now questions everything ‘What you doing?’ ‘Where’s daddy?’ and my most recent favourite ‘What’s it all about guys?’ to hubs and I – not sure where he picked up that one! Like a sponge he is picking up words and phrases all the time and parroting them back, sometimes in the right context but not always! He is really trying to grasp the concept of time too, and sometimes he gets it right ‘we saw Uncle Simon yesterday’ and other times not ‘I went to play group tomorrow’ or ‘we going to the traypark (playpark) yesterday ‘
His imagination is amazing and just growing all of the time. He held up a piece of bread the other day and announced ‘look it’s a whale’ (and it was very whale shaped) then took a bite and said ‘now it’s a boat!’ In the same way that he saw a whale in his slice of bread, he sees letters everywhere too, in shapes that form in his bath bubbles, in the sand pit and in the lentils we play with. He loves letters but has retained his love of numbers too, randomly counting to 40 on a family walk, and reading the side of a measuring jug we are playing with, so he recognises numbers in the hundreds and thousands!
His imagination is helping at playtime too, playing with trains the other day he grabbed some cuddly toys and announced ‘tickets please’ and made them all give him pretend tickets, and he gives all his toys voices too which is just adorable. On another occasion, we had loads of fun playing with his motorbike outside where he wheeled up to my ‘petrol station’ (the swing) and paid me to fill up the tank (using a bubble wand) then I had to give him his keys, hehe. Almost everything has the potential to be a rocket ship too… with crayons, toy screws, cars and all sorts being vooshed around the house until I made him a very basic rocket which he loves!
He sings all the time and at the moment his favourites are the Postman Pat and Bob the Builder theme tunes, which he knows pretty much word perfectly (even if it does sound a little like ‘Postman Pat is a black and white cat’ sometimes).
He is such a caring little boy for the most part frequently giving us all (including LM) cuddles and saying ‘I love you so much’ which melts my heart everytime. He quite often asks us ‘are you ok?’ and when he is playing with cars now tells me to be careful so I don’t slip… potentially as a result of seeing me slip more than once!
He loves helping (which is great as it is often a good way to persuade him to do something) and particularly loves helping Daddy in the garden.
He also loves making his sister laugh, which is lovely.
On the flipside he is going through a fearful phase and seems to have a little separation anxiety. He has been having ‘bad dreams’ and getting scared of things he isn’t usually afraid of, including episodes of Postman Pat that he was watched many many times before.He says he misses us when he goes to playgroup and gets upset about going even though he does have fun when he is there. He is increasingly jealous of LM now and wants our attention when we are looking after her. Again getting upset at times which is hard.
But then he is so contrary too and sometimes when we give him our attention he doesn’t want to know… but of course when we are busy he desperately wants our attention. He would swear black is white sometimes and if we say no we don’t have something, he will insist we do, which when we really don’t is incredibly frustrating! Though I suspect he is just being a normal three year old so try not to let it irk me too much.
Although we have times where he drives me a bit crazy, for the most part he is such a lovely little boy and I am so proud of him and I can’t quite believe he is my little boy.
About a year ago I tried some water bead play with Monkey as I had seen so many great examples from other bloggers, but he just wasn’t that interested in it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we tried again, and he had a whale of a time playing with them. Just goes to show that just because they aren’t ready or don’t enjoy something once, it is always worth trying again. I set up the Tuff Spot with the water beads and a few other bits and bobs from the kitchen.
So, what did Monkey get up to with them?
He started by scooping them and pouring them.
At which point we discovered they bounce! They are funny and plasticky but also wet and slippery feeling which makes it great as sensory play. He had great fun picking them up and dropping them to watch them bounce!
He then decided a car needed to drive through them (?)
Before having more fun bouncing them again!
Then Monkey decided it was great fun to squish them, first with his fingers, then using a rolling pin,
Then with his fingers again. Check out the glee on his face?!
I’m not sure how to describe what he did next, he poured the beads back into the muffin tray and started wiggling his fingers around to make the beads bounce around all over the place! Which he really enjoyed
Whatever makes you happy Monkey!
As you can see, Monkey absolutely loved our free play session with water beads in the good old Tuff Spot
Do your kids like playing with water beads?
I only wrote an update on what Monkey is up to at the moment last week, but then he went and did two things that made me so darn proud to be his Mummy that I just have to share them.
Standing up for himself
We went on a playdate to one of our fave soft play places last week with good friends. Monkey and his friend were having a lovely time going up the steps and down the slide while us Mums were having a natter and playing with LM. Then to my right I suddenly saw an altercation.
A little boy, younger than Monkey but walking and talking (so difficult to gauge age) hit Monkey. I’m not sure why but Monkey was half climbing the step and had turned back and the little boy was standing on the floor and had hit him. Instead of hitting back, Monkey loudly and clearly said “Stop it!” to the other little boy (I hung back, it is always good to see if things can be sorted between themselves). Unfortunately the other boy then spat in Monkey’s direction and actually slapped him in the face.
Of course I intervened and started to say “Excuse me, that is not nice” but the boy’s daddy ran over and told him off and made him apologise. The point though? My lovely Monkey didn’t hit back, didn’t retaliate, but he did stand up for himself, using words, not violence.
That made me HUGELY proud of him. So proud it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. His skin is like mine and turns red very easily so he had a bright red cheek for a while and the thought of him being hurt by another child also makes me quite protective!
I was also proud as he didn’t let it bother him. He didn’t get upset by it or stop playing. In the not too distant past an altercation like this would have really rattled Monkey. He would have been scared of the other child and of all other children for a while. This time last year he was terribly afraid of other children after being knocked over. So the fact that he was absolutely fine afterwards is just another sign of how grown up my little Monkey is getting. Definitely a proud mummy moment!
Naming his drawings
Slightly less dramatic but another proud moment was when Monkey was doing some painting at the weekend. He actually started to tell me what he was drawing. In the past when i have asked him what he is drawing or painting he has sort of looked blankly while he splodged paint around and said “I don’t know.”
This time though I didn’t even ask but he proudly announced that one painting was a plane, “Dusty Crophopper” from the film Planes to be precise, and that the blue splodges were footprints.
Then, my favourite, he painted a rocket ship with fire coming out of it!
His imagination is really growing lately and he is coming on leaps and bounds all the time and may be a daft one but again I was just so so proud of him for drawing actual things and telling me what they were.
Oh yes and here he is really proud of his “rainbow finger” too.
I love being his Mummy
My word of the week this week is, proud.
At the moment I am finding Monkey to be equal parts heart meltingly adorable, and massively irritating. He can be the sweetest, kindest, loveliest, happiest little boy ever… Or he can be mind-bogglingly irrational and stroppy. Typical toddler I suppose!
After the recent success of the Tuff Spot play with water, I was keen to see what other easy activity I could come up with for Monkey that didn’t involve much prep but would keep him entertained. Ages ago a post from Loving Life with Little Ones reminded me how much fun could be had with lentils and I had wanted to get some out for Monkey to play with for a while.
Much as I love doing more structured activities with Monkey, to make cards, or pictures or baking, some of my favourite activities are a lot more free play based. Activities I can set up pretty simply and then leave him to it. Watching where his imagination takes me always cracks me up and it’s also great to literally watch him learning as he plays.
Since LM was born and with all of the illness we have struggled with this year, I have gotten a bit lazy with regards to setting up activities, mainly out of fear. Fear of the mess I have to clean up. Fear of how stressed I am going to get dealing with him and the baby at the same time. I have pulled myself together a little though and one day decided to get a job done that has needed to be done for ages, and involve Monkey in a bit of free play at the same time.
I remember making chocolate easter nests year after year as a child and it is a tradition we have carried on with Monkey, and will with LM as she gets older. It is such a great fun, quick, and easy make that kids of any age can join in with.