Little Miss’s First Paintings – 17 mths old

I wrote recently about how I felt like I babied my Little Miss a little. I seem to forget that she is growing all of the time and I realised that I have held back from doing certain activities as I have felt she is “too young” when she isn’t really. So I have been doing what I can to remedy that and trying to be more creative and braver with what I do with her – including, dun dun dun, letting her loose with the paints. We did some water painting in the garden a few days previously and she was great with the brush so I knew she was ready to have a go with the real thing too.

We started off simple, just one or two colours – I went for blue and purple as I thought the least food-like colours would be the best idea to prevent any paint from ending up in her mouth! It was so cute seeing her dabbing the paintbrush in the paint and on the paper, she really is growing up!PhotoGrid_1460986196257

She started to explore the paint with her fingers, obviously, and I added a few more colours. There was a moment where a pink paint covered finger started to make its way towards her mouth but A quick but stern “no” thankfully stopped it in it’s tracks!PhotoGrid_1460986287817

She soon ended up with full on hand prints but she was loving every minute and I have to admit I loved watching her, despite the inevitable mess!PhotoGrid_1460986377973

She kept wanting more and more paint and seemed to be getting overwhelmed and frustrated so unfortunately we had to call time and head to the kitchen for the clean up operation so it didn’t end amazingly happily, but I know it was a good learning experience for her and lets face it, the first of many, many, many painting sessions to come!PhotoGrid_1460986437184

Just because I think she is incredibly cute, here is a little clip of her enjoying her painting session :)

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
Ethans EscapadesBest of Worst

Bubble Painting – 3yrs 10mths

This is an activity I have wanted to do with Monkey for a long time but have wanted to make sure he was ready for it. I remember doing it as a kid and thinking it was brilliant, and we’ll let’s face it what kid doesn’t like blowing bubbles in their drink when using a straw?

I wanted to make sure Monkey fully understood the difference between sucking and blowing though so that he didn’t swallow a shed load of paint… As I’m sure that would not be good for him! After a bit of practice blowing into a cup of water it was clear he was ready and we set to it.

You don’t need much in the cup, just a couple of squirts of paint, a squirt of washing up liquid and a splash of water and you’re off. Bubble blowing time!PhotoGrid_1459933958055

I had the feeling this activity was going to get a bit messy so we moved onto a waterproof mat. Normally this would be a tuff spot activity but ahem I may have been a lazy mummy and the tuff spot may be in the garden full of sand and um rain water. Ahem. So thank goodness for a waterproof mat. It is safe to say that Monkey absolutely loved this activity. He thought the bubble blowing was brilliant.PhotoGrid_1459934009852

I love the effect you get when you print the bubbles onto the paper.PhotoGrid_1460122103905

In truth though it was mainly me which liked actually making pictures with the bubbles… Monkey was content just blowing bubbles and then rubbing his hands in the bubbles haha. He looks so happy though don’t you think?PhotoGrid_1460376305705

We did have one sucking incident which was my fault, I was trying to explain that he should take a deep breath and then do a big blow, but didn’t quite understand and ended up with a bit of a yellow mouth! Bless him we got it out straight away but he said it didn’t taste very nice!

Other than that though it was very successful and the most fun Monkey and I have had the two of us in ages. Lovely to see him so happy.

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Shape Printing with toilet Rolls, 3 3/4yrs

Someone recently shared a great idea on social media for using toilet rolls to do some shape printing. I was having a look thinking what a great idea it was, when Monkey appeared over my shoulder and was dead impressed. He was so excited at the prospect of having a go so how could I resist? As luck would have it we always have a pile of old toilet rolls available so the next Mummy & Monkey time we got cracking.

He started off wanting to recreate exactly what he had seen in the picture, blue and pink hearts and he absolutely loved it.PhotoGrid_1454595105486

I experimented to see what other shapes I could get from a toilet roll, obviously circle, square and a sort of odd bow shape and again he enjoyed printing the shapes.PhotoGrid_1454595213694

Then, imaginative little monkey that he is he decided that the bow shape looked a bit like monster eyes… and the heart a bit like a smily mouth, so together we created some monsters. Most of this came from him and I just made the odd suggestion here and there…the hair was mine though hehe.PhotoGrid_1454595321678

As with any painting though it soon descended into chaos with mixing of all the paint,and Monkey making gorgeous comments like “I’m good at making brown” and “That looks like indigo.”PhotoGrid_1454595380440

Then the inevitable “Let’s do hand painting!”PhotoGrid_1454595469484

He had so much fun I can’t exactly mind. Lovehow happy he is squishing paint in his hands! I also love his imagination.”Look it’s a bird now with wings!” What a cutie.20160126_100003

I do love crafting and painting with him at this age as he is so imaginative and full of fun it’s just lovely.

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Proud of my Monkey

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!

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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.

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Then, my favourite, he painted a rocket ship with fire coming out of it!

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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.

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I love being his Mummy :)

My word of the week this week is, proud.

The Reading Residence
Mini CreationsEthans EscapadesNot My Year Off

Easter Egg Potato Stamping.. or not! (34 mths)

A while ago I saw another Mummy Blogger (sorry I can’t remember where!) using potatoes to stamp easter egg shapes and I thought it was genius. I am always on the look out for activities to do with Monkey and while I had been meaning to do potato stamping with him at some point this was the push I needed to do it and thought they would make lovely easter cards.

Easter cards

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Autumn Walk and Leaf Painting

Friday morning, to give me a bit of a break, Daddy took Little Miss to the office with him for a couple of hours in between feeds. At that time of day she is happiest snoozing in the baby carrier so Daddy has become quite the baby wearer! It felt a little weird for her to be away from me for so long but what was really lovely was that I got to have some good quality time one on one with Monkey. Daddy has spent most of his paternity leave focussing on Monkey and they have got even closer lately and while Monkey has seemed ok with me being with the baby most of the time, I have wanted to get back to doing some nice things with him.
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Masking Tape Picture

It was Daddy’s birthday last week and for a while I had it in my head that it would be nice for Monkey to make him a special picture that he can take into his office. Monkey loves painting and there are lots of pictures around but I wanted to make one a bit special for his Daddy.

Then I saw a post from Iona at Redpeffer who used masking tape to make a masterpiece with paint, and an idea was struck.

I bought some masking tape and then set about taping a message onto a piece of paper with the idea that I could remove the tape after Monkey had had his fun with the paint. ( We tried something similar with wax crayons and watercolour paints a while back which wasn’t particularly successful!)

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Conker Crafts and Activities for Toddlers

After our lovely walk a couple of weeks ago I said I would let you know what we had got up to with our massive conker haul, and well here it is! We have been conker crazy in our house lately! Some activities have been more successful than others but we’ve had fun trying lots of things.

conker crafts and activities for toddlers

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Magic Watercolour painting – 28 months

I always like to look out for new activities with Monkey and a couple of weeks ago I saw a post (I’m really sorry I can’t remember where) of an activity I remember as a kid. Magic Watercolour Painting. The premise is simple you draw a picture on a white piece of paper, using a white wax crayon. When you paint over the picture using the watercolour paints, the wax repels the paint and your picture appears.

I thought this sounded simple and fun for Monkey. I thought I could draw something and I imagined him loving the images revealing themselves underneath. We haven’t really done watercolour painting before, sticking to poster paints generally, so I thought this would be nice to try.

I bought some uber cheap watercolour paints, found a white wax crayon and drew somethings on some paper. I kept it simple, drawing numbers (because he loves them) and I also wrote out a Happy Birthday message to his Great Grandpa, thinking it would be a nice picture to give him.

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Sadly we didn’t ever give him that picture, because, well it didn’t exactly work out. It’s not that it was a total disatser, because it wasn’t. Monkey very much enoyed the watercolour painting, although he did for some reason decide everything had to be black (cheerful colour) and sometimes randomly spent some time going from paint to water to paint to water without getting anything on paper, but it was a learning experience and he had fun.

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What was unfortunate though, is that the ‘magic’ side of the activity didn’t really happen. The images just didn’t really appear. Not in the way I remembered or thought they would. Occasionally you could see a bit of a number or letter, but then they seemed to disappear :(

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I wondered if maybe the crayon was a washable one or something, so I found a different brand of white crayon (a more basic one) and tried that, by drawing a clock. Not much of an improvement.

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I then drew some numbers in really thick crayon, going over and over the image so get as much wax on the paper as possible. This gave the best result of the day, in that you can at least see the numbers… but it’s still not really the way I am remembering it!

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Has anyone got any tips? Am I missing some crucial step? I would love to know where I am going wrong with what I thought would be such a simple and fun activity! Monkey enjoyed himself so I’m not too despondent about it but I was a bit gutted it didn’t go quite the way I had planned!

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Family Friday

An Autumnal Painting Attempt – 27 mths

Well now we are in September I guess it is officially autumn. The mornings are definitely cooler though I have been enjoying the sunny days. With my pregnancy progressing (and the joys of SPD) it is getting harder for me to get out and about with Monkey. We manage but there isn’t quite the amount of walks and time outside that there used to be. Meaning I have to find ways to entertain him at home.

On the whole he is a lot more easier these days but it is nice to try a new activity sometimes so I thought we would try some autumnal painting this week. My attempts to guide Monkey down a crafting route rarely succeed so I usually let him have completely free reign to create what he likes. But he is growing up all of the time and you don;t know how they will get on with something if you don’t try, and as he has been loving colouring in some of my amazing drawings when we draw a road, I thought he may like to do something similar with painting.

So when I was setting up the painting stuff I quickly drew a couple of trees, in the hope that he would like to either fingerprint or paint some leaves onto the trees.

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He was dead excited when he saw the trees and I painted a few dots on to give him an idea of what he could do….

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Then he dove straight in and painted all over the paper. Lol, was worth a try but after that I very much sat back and let him create as he wished. Clearly not bothered yet about making a picture that resembles anything and he had fun so that was all that mattered. They are nice autumnal colours too hehe.

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He was very proud of his pictures too as he insisted on showing them to his Aunt & Uncle when they popped round later that day.

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