Monday, 26 August 2013

Playing Cars

Poppet requested that we "make a car", so using some odds and ends from the garden and from our box of recycling, we managed it. When she first asked, I was thinking out loud to myself "How am I going to make a car?" and she heard and replied with "Don't worry mum!". Nice to know she has such faith in me!

I found an old key (at least I think it's old, I have no idea what it is for) and gave it to her. She loved this key, loved finding little holes to stick it into, carrying it about everywhere, losing it then frantically asking "where's my car keys?!" (I think she must have learnt that from her daddy!).

Lunch was a drive-through that day, she did not want to leave her car. I was told to come in quite a lot, first of all squeezed into the passenger seat, later on I was relagated to the back seat after monkey took my place.

The car had to be quickly dismantled during a sudden rainy spell, but the bare bones of it were left out and continued to be used as a car for a few days. Poppet took Little to the shops a few times, even opening the car door for her, entreating her to "get out", and then telling her she had to "hold hands, busy road".

They are really beginning to play together now!

Poppet:2yrs 7mos
Little: 10mos

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Paper Dolls

I think I've found my favourite children's book.

We have quite a few Julia Donaldson books (she of Gruffalo Fame). One of Poppet's favourite books is Monkey Puzzle. So when I saw one that I hadn't heard of before at the library we checked it out straightaway and took it home.

It's a beautiful story with the message that even when precious things are no longer with us, they can live on in our memories. It's the kind of children's book that will put a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye (Guess How Much I Love You anyone?)

It is about a little girl who makes some paper dolls with her mum and then they go on some adventures, and I won't tell you anymore because I don't want to spoil the ending. And I have a bit of a habit for spoiling endings. I will just say that the last few pages are incredible. Because of the message of this book it would be really good for a child coming to terms with any kind of loss (be it a favourite toy or a grandparent) or at the stage of questioning the circle of life.

I will be buying our own copy to keep I love it so much and it would make a lovely present.

Inspired by the book, we sat down one morning to make some paper dolls. I am not very craft-minded so my first attempt didn't go too well! To make them you need to accordion fold a sheet of paper, draw a doll outline on the front then cut it out. Making sure the dolls arms go right to the edges of the paper on each side to make sure the dolls are 'holding hands'. I only did it on one side the first time which resulted in a couple of twosomes.

I finally got it right and let Poppet unfold it to find the dolls holding hands which she was pretty impressed with. 

Then I blu-tacked the dolls to her desk (to stop them moving around) and gave her some paint to decorate them with. She painted some 'dresses' on them all and we left them to dry till the next day (she used a lot of paint!).

The next day she coloured in one of the twosomes with her felt tips and then we taped them to the painted ones so we had a very pretty six-some. But I never got a chance to take a photo because while I was making dinner this happened. 

Poppet took it upon herself to reenact the book. Oh dear I might have just spoiled the ending.

Poppet: 2yrs 7mos
Little: 10 mos

*Update* 2/10/13  I'm not the only one who loves this book, as I discovered the other day that The Paper Dolls has won a Scottish Children's Book Club Award, and free copies are being given to P1 pupils as part of BookBug. It is a really lovely book.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Holiday Collage

Whenever we go for a walk, we help Poppet pick up 'special' things to take home; things like leaves and shells and flowers (and we ditch the 'treasures' that she hands us that aren't so special, mainly a lot of twigs).

Our local library is running a competition over the summer, asking children to create a collage on the theme of 'A Year Of Natural Scotland'. We had been collecting bits and pieces from our travels and holidays this year, so for Poppet's entry she created a collage from them.

The wild flowers were picked by Poppet and her Grandma on the last evening of our holiday at their island home. The weather was not great for our week's holiday there but on that last evening the sun came out and we had a lovely after dinner walk. My favourites are the orchids and cotton grass. Grandma pressed them for us and brought them to our house on her next visit. Poppet was also given the flower press so hopefully we can have a go at some flower pressing some time soon!

Our other collage bits included postcards from each of our Scottish holiday destinations, Poppet's ferry boarding card, some leaves, shells and wheat ears. We used the sturdy cardboard back to an old scrapbook as the base for the collage. I gave Poppet a pot of glue and a spreader and she was off!

She loved the gluing and was completely absorbed in the task in hand. She spent ages at this activity, covering the bits with glue and deciding where to put them. Some of the things didn't glue so well (the shells and big leaves) so I got out some glue dots and she loved using them. They gave her fine motor skills a really good workout! 

Once all the 'treasures' were glued on Poppet was still on a glueing roll and wasn't ready to stop, I had to take the collage away from her to cries of "little bit more!" as I didn't think the masterpiece would benefit greatly from the addition of some coloured foam shapes (it is a competition after all!).

She was pacified by the prospect of glueing shapes onto a ladybird picture (it has been given two star-shaped 'eyes').

The finished collage!

*Update* Poppet won her category and received a £10 book voucher as her prize!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Its Raining, It's Pouring

Take one torrential downpour, and in the words of Forrest Gump, I am talking big old fat rain here;

Bundle one toddler up in their newly-gifted rainsuit and wellies;

Hand toddler a cup to 'catch some rain for mummy',

Usher toddler out of the door and into the downpour.........

The novelty of being outside during such heavy rainfall transfixed Poppet, she mostly stood very still, staring & listening, enjoying the sensation of the rain landing on her.

The sound of her singing drifted up the garden- she sang "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring" and "Inchy winchy spider". Good choices.

Whenever her hood slipped down I was shouted to come and "put hood up!" but other than that she was happy to wander about in her own little world, singing to herself, knocking off any pools of rain she found on the leaves and jumping in puddles.

She dutifully returned with a rather pathetic amount of rain collected in her cup, and was inordinately proud of it. I felt a bit cruel at this point as her little hands were freezing so she got dried off with a warm towel and a mug of hot chocolate for her trouble.

She must have enjoyed it though as a couple of days later the heavens opened again and she responded with a "Rain jacket on?"

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Toddler Garden Update

She has been harvesting the fruits of her labour as things have come into bloom; it has grown into a lovely little spot for her to explore and play with her fairies in ( I finally got some on sale in ELC).

She loves finding her miniature strawberries but we have to keep telling her to wait till they turn red.....if she finds any especially small ones she takes them to Little.

Her greenhouse seedlings have mostly all died in assorted ways - the only five survivors are three pumpkin plants which are now flowering in the veg plot and two pea plants looking very pathetic in her garden that I doubt will come to much.

Her sunflower tunnel has grown loads. This was a couple of weeks ago and they are even bigger now and nearly flowering. One side is a lot higher than the other and I should probably have thinned the seedlings out a bit but it is getting there. Pretty soon they will be high enough to bend together and create a tunnel (it will probably be more of a crawl-through tunnel rather than a walk-through one).

Rain collects in the centre of the lupins and in little puddles in the folds of the broccoli leaves, and she loves finding these little reservoirs of water, using them as drinks and bathes for Fairy and Mr Rabbit.

The fuchsia flowers are 'princesses' apparently, and she likes picking off big, fat ones and tiny little ones and making little fuchsia flower families. Or pulling off the buds and picking the petals open to find the 'princess' inside. She has yet to discover the satisfying enjoyment that comes from popping the buds!

Her sweetcorn looks great, I think it may be ready to harvest but I am not sure, if anyone could tell me that would be good?! She seems quite curious about it and I'm not sure she entirely believes there is sweetcorn in there. Corn on the cob is one of her favourite foods so she is really going to love it when we can pick it.

The annual flowers we sowed a few weeks ago have shot up although are also a victim of overcrowding. They are now flowering and attracting bees and other insects to Poppet's garden. There are also loads of centipedes that live under them that she likes to look at as they scurry away. No insects have taken on our upturned flower pot as a home though!

Poppet: 2yrs 6mos
Little: 10 mos