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 :)

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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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Paper Plate Lion Face

Monkey is a bit in love with The Lion king at the moment and actually that may be a bit of an understatement. He watched it so many times on holiday (usually on car journeys) that he is now parroting whole scenes at us.

“I stuffed, I ate like a pig – you are a pig” and “Look! Stamede! in the norge!” (Stampede in the gorge) His favourite is Scar (should we be worried?)”oh come on uncle scarf” “oh no no no no” “oh you are a naughty boy” and of course, he likes to roar, a lot! Another really funny phrase he has picked up on is where Timoon says a bug tastes like a pecan. He now randomly tells us his food tastes like “peacorn” lol. Not sure what that is supposed to taste like!

I do love The Lion King and we did encourage him to watch it (who doesn’t like singing along with Hakuna Matata??) but there is a limit to how many times I can watch it. What I did feel we could do instead though was make some Paper Plate Lions. I’ve never made any paper plate animals before and thought this was a good place to start, and capitalise on his current love of lions. (I know from previous loves that they never last long – in fact I think he may already be moving on to Monsters Inc!)

WP_20150713_005The paper plates we were using were pretty shiny, so I mixed some PVA glue in with the paint and thought that would help it stick. Sadly it didn’t and I assume I didn’t get the quantities right? I have never tried to paint on plasticky surfaces before and think I would try it with more glue next time! Anyway because that really wasn’t working I thought we should paint the back of one of the paper plates too – which worked much better.

While the paint was drying a little Monkey helped me cut some strips of orange card out for the main – he adores practising with his scissors and it is good for him to learn how to do it properly. We did have some that ended up being interesting shapes – but I have long ago learned that my perfectionist self has no real place with toddler/pre-school crafts! I then curled the strips of card a little with the scissors (think curling ribbon) which I think worked quite well.

snipping

I did try and stick some strips onto the plasticky plates too but they really refused to stick – but on the papery side it worked much better.

gluing

We had to leave them for a day to dry. I debated cutting out holes for eyes to make it a mask but Monkey said no when I suggested it. I asked if he wanted to draw eyes but he asked to stick some on. As we had run out of googly eyes I said I would draw them – at which point Monkey insisted I draw grumpy eyes and a grumpy face – not a smily face! (I said he likes Scar the best!!). He helped glue those on, made sure I made some ears, and drew on some cheeks (:)) and ouila! One Paper Plate Lion :)

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Monkey adores it and loves running around making it roar at everyone! Just great fun :)

Do your kids like being lions? Do they come out with any funny phrases from films/tv?

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Kidz ActivitiesLittle Hearts, Big Love
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Textured Painting, 35 mths

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..

Bubble wrap painting

cotton wool balls..

cotton wool painting

scrunched up tin foil..

tin foil painting

pipe cleaners..

pipe cleaner painting

and feathers.

feather painting

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.

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Mini CreationsMy Bored Toddler

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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Playing Pirates

I’m not sure where it comes from but Monkey has a little love of Pirates. It could be from a pirate episode of Postman Pat or that pirate programme on cbeebies Swashbuckle (does that do anyone else’s head in?) or it could just be because he has loved looking through cardboard tubes for a long time. We call them telescopes and his Nanny and Pops say things like “I don’t see no ships” in a piratey voice whenever he has one. Maybe it is a combination of these things but wherever he has got it from Monkey likes all things pirate.

So for a while we have it in mind that we would like to do some pirate themed fun and on one weekend recently we had some spare time and Hubs decided he and Monkey would make a treasure chest and some treasure.

They had great fun painting the chest and making treasure out of tin foil and painting those.

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Then another day in the week Monkey and I drew a treasure map. Monkey told me where to put the cross and he drew some ponds… then I had to go get LM and came back to discover there was some lakes added on too and the X is now at the bottom of a lake ;) whatever you say Monkey! I drew on some trees and then was instructed to draw peppa pig and her house – so that is what the red and pink bits in the top corner are supposed to be lol! Hmm maybe Peppa Pig has something to do with his interest in pirates?

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To continue the piratey fun we then made Monkey his own pirate hat.

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He loved running around with his hat and telescope, but the treasure map held very little interest for him. The real winner with this activity is the treasure chest and treasure. He absolutely adores his treasure chest and can spend ages in the conservatory (excuse the mess, this is the messy play room/laundry drying area) putting the treasure in and taking it out, posting his treasure through the telescope, and collecting it all in one of his treasure cups.

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The hat and telescope often end up in the treasure chest too bless him! It has been great fun doing all of the pirate activities and best of all it is an activity that lasts as he loves playing with his treasure!!

It’s the first time we have really done a themed week of activities, but I think we will again.

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RaisingEmily

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Mini Creations

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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