Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Learning through play: Week 1

Monday 5th September
Today we were busy with lots of appointments and meetings. We did plenty of walking and explored the fields along our way, talking about the 'tunnel' made out of sticks and the cows in the field next to the cathedral. Myself and Kairi discussed the doctors and what was going to happen to her, so that she went in feeling positive.

Once home, Kairi got to helping me make a shopping list, we walked over to Tesco and Kairi helped to pick the correct items off the shelves and scan them. On our way home, we came across a new set of ducklings (it's the 3rd set of the summer)

Ducks of Ely

Luckily at Tesco we had grabbed a bag of frozen peas (rather than unhealthy bread), so we took it out and started feeding them. We discussed giving them space, how they're growing and what they eat.

After lunch I had a meeting to go to, while we were there Kairi and Naminé socialised with other children and played with new toys. Just before leaving Kairi helped to tidy up and continued this by helping to clean our house once home!

In the evening the girls both played with toys in the bath and we discussed how we wash ourselves and our hair.

Tuesday 6th September
We spent the morning naming animals and playing in the garden, we had strawberries for snack and then got ready to go out once we had eaten our lunch. Off to Costa we went, we sat and enjoyed our coffee (the girls had a babychino each) with our friends and then we went for a browse around Ely's charity shops, while there we found two new exciting puzzles!
Completing a jogsaw puzzle
Completing a jogsaw puzzleThe first puzzle was the seasons! We discussed Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and talked about all 12 months of the year. We mentioned what we can see and do in each season and what events usually happen in certain months. (Easter, Christmas, Haloween, Birthdays etc)

The puzzle also had 'touchy feely' bits too, which was extra fun!

Completing a jogsaw puzzleAfter we took a shot at the alphabet puzzle! We discussed the letters and what was on each picture, Kairi had such a great time finding the next pieces!
tracing jigsaw lettersAfter we used our fingers to trace the letters and talked about which letter was for which persons name.

Wednesday 7th September
playing with sandToday we got up and went go a new group, the girls explored new toys, games and socialised with a variety of children and adults. As it was a new group they decided to play together or stay relatively close to each other. At first they were just interested in the sand, it was outside and very quiet. They played together nicely and also joined in with another child when she came along. Kairi takes about filling up the kettle with sand and enjoyed poring it out again. Naminé loved exploring all the new toys in the pit.

Once it quieted down a bit inside they moved on to the big room, Kairi tried riding a trike and Naminé went straight for the car, they ran off some steam and decided they were ready to tackle the other room.

As soon as we walked into the other room Naminé found an instrument and picked it up (we were barely though the door!) Kairi went straight for the sensory/messy play, she talked about what she was holding and asked lots of questions about the foam packing peanuts.

Next we sat down together and played with the animals, we named them and tried to put them in their correct homes on the farm, we found a few dinosaurs and had a go at making their noises while pretending they were fighting.

At the end of the group, we had a story and walked home for lunch.

giant cardboard houseAfter lunch we were ready to go again! The girls are really into art at the moment so we decided to get the big cardboard box out and create a house! I cut out a window and a door, added the kitchen, threw a load of pens on the floor and they were away!

peaking out of the window
Naminé loves the window and kairi really enjoyed the drawing.

decourating the house
We talked about who lived at the house and where it was. We discussed addresses too.

giant cardboard houseKairi decided that the house address should be ours, but as I didn't want to share that with everyone on Facebook , we adapted it slightly.

seasonal houseWe drew Christmas trees, pumpkins and a palm tree, added a letter box, pathing slabs and some fine detail to 'holiday lane'  before the novelty of pens wore off!

Once the house was 'ready' the girls took to role play, Naminé spent her time cooking meals for me to eat and Kairi decided that she was the 'mum' and asked Naminé if she would like to 'go outside and play in the garden', the more they played the more the house adapted, it changed shape and position. Kairi made an instrument out of the pen tin and started a band while Naminé spent time trying out new words such as 'noisy' and 'fix'. ('Noisy' made me chuckle!)

In the late afternoon the girls had apple and cheese for a snack before venturing out into the garden and playing in their play house. During this time I left them to play without an adult, I was close enough I could hear them, but far enough about that they could try to resolve conflicts themselves.

Thursday 8th September
This morning we got up early to get our train, Kairi walked well to the station, pressing the pelican crossing buttons aim the way and talking about crossing the roads and the 'green man'.

Once on the train Kairi got her pad time (kindle) she played with a range of educational apps and stopped occasionally to ask for help. Myself and Naminé stopped and read books together (which Kairi listened to also when they interested her). We read The Graffalo and That's not my baby (which is a touchy-feely book - Naminé's favourites!)

The journey seamed to go quick and we pointed out animals, cars, houses etc on the way.

letter writing practiceOnce we got there we met family in town and popped into a few shops before getting to nannys. At nannies the girls had a go at writing and practicing their letter.

We talked about going slowly and holding a pen correctly. We discussed the sounds the letters make and had fun rubbing out and re-trying.

bubbles and cousin timeOnce they had finished writing we went into the garden and had lots of fun blowing bubbles and practiced throwing and catching balls. I went off to work and while I was there the girls went to their cousins house with nanny to play on the trampoline. When I came home, they were asleep from their long day socialising.

Friday 9th September
yellow line train stationFriday morning we got up and rested, we had a long journey ahead of us so decided not to rush. We popped into ASDA on the was and Kairi helped with the shopping while I believe Naminé had 40 winks!

Once at the train station we discussed the yellow line and with the help of Kairi, I taught Naminé that is was dangerous. We discussed that you shouldn't go over the yellow line and what could happen if you do. Naminé now stands near the line points at it and says 'dangerous'.

On the train the girls made a 'friend' who they shared a table and their books/toys with. I love seeing how easy children make friends!

As soon as the girls got home they went straight to playing with their cardboard house, they just couldn't wait.
On and out of the door open and closing the windows and adding more 'artwork' to the inside and out. It was lovely to see how much they enjoyed such a simple to make activity!

Once we had finished our dinner we went up for an early night, we climbed into bed and put on 101 Dalmatians (which Kairi loved) before going to sleep. We spoke about the different animals in the film and what was happening, Kairi really seamed to follow the story well and Naminé has really improved on her concentration.

Saturday 10th September
reading storey booksSaturday morning Naminé read to her baby, she was holding the baby's hand and helping it to feel the touch areas just like we do with her. She was 'taking' and easing the storey aloud too.

As a family we went to Tesco and discussed he food that we eat and what we buy. Kairis favourite food to buy at Tesco is carrots so she an snack on the way home.

technology tim
In the afternoon the girls played together, they started off with technology time, turned the chair into a rocket and ended up moving toys around different parts of the house to gain new experiences.

Sunday 11th September
full happyland set uporganising happylandOn Sunday morning we continued with our free play theme. The girls spent time playing in their playroom before comming downstairs and Kairi having a go on her pad. After a while they were both ready to go and went outside to play in the garden, emptying the play house as hey went.
Later in the afternoon we got the happyland (small world play) out and set it up. Kairi enjoyed lining her people up in a row.
Naminé really took to the set and the girls both played happily along side and appart from each other.

trying on coats
We had a spot of lunch and got out all our cows, jackets, shoes boots, gloves, scaffs and hats. We discussed what we wear in what seasons and weather and seperated our stuff into 3 piles 'summer/warmer weather' 'winter/colder weather and 'charity shop' we tried lots on to make sure it actually fitted.
happyland adventureThe girls continued to play and enjoy happyland Ito the evening. Me and Kairi made a family consisting of myself, Kairi, Naminé, daddy and coco, we cisited different places around the town and role played our lives. We took a short break to have a go at the playstation where Kairi learnt how I use the controller, before getting straight back to the small world play until bed.

Monday, 27 June 2016

The Family Bed!

Occasionally it's midnight and I'm wide awake laying squished in our bed. The girls have fallen asleep and Ryan has been in his dreamland for a while. I'm just about to transfer Kairi to her 'bed' (which is really just an short extension to ours) and budge Naminé over a bit so she's sleeping next to her sister.

Before I do I pause, I smile at my sleepy family and I say thank you for squishing me, for knowing that I'll be woken in what is probably only 3 hours away by a foot in my face or the words 'mummy milkies' (which I'm pretty sure is sleep talk for 'mummy milk please') while I'm tired and cramped it seams absolutely crZy that I would be thankful for these Hingis, but the thing is, I know the truth.

One day I won't have this anymore, time is moving way to fast and someday soon Kairi will take a big step as ask to sleep alone, all night long (not just for a few hours), Naminé is getting bigger too and it won't be long before she decides that she wants her own bed with her own *insert character here* covers!

So right now, I'm thankful, I'm thankful for not having space and being awoken at 3am because I know I'm lucky, I have my babies and for now I'm lucky to have them cuddling up next to me as they sleep.

Sleep well my beautiful family for tomorrow will be a new day, a day of adventure, memories, learning and growning up. It's happening so fast, but I promise I will savour as much of it as possible!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Making Key Lime Pie with Toddlers!

Making Key Lime Pie with Toddlers! This week we decided to take a shot at making a key lime pie. It tasted really good and was much easier than I expected it to be! _ Why not check us out in other places? Blog Facebook page Twitter Instagram

Monday, 20 June 2016

Sugru Review: A fix for everything!

Sugru. It's an amazing product who's name I have come across many times online. There are pages and pages of ideas and ways Sugru can be used, from turning an old digital camera into a kids camera, strengthening phone cables, protecting your sides from your straighteners to fixing the fridge, Sugru can do it all. Check the bottom of their site for some amazing ideas!

After emailing the people at Sugru, they sent me out the Home Hacks Stater Kit for free to review I was impressed as soon as I took it out of the box. This kit comes with a booklet (which is jam packed with amazing ideas for the home!) 5 different colors of Sugru and a very sturdy tin to keep them contained.
Sugru Home Hacks

Sugru is a Mold-able Glue that cures at room temperature in 24 hours. Once cured its waterproof, UV resistant, temperature resistant (-50 to +180 degrees), electrically insulating and dishwasher proof. Sugru bonds to steel, glass, wood, aluminium and some fabrics. After reading up on it I decided it sounded amazing and I had a few family ideas to put it to the test!

Being a busy family of 4 it seams like things break easy and are in constant need of replacement. Most recently the end of the toilet roll holder snapped off! Now although it sounds like a little thing, its been almost impossible to get a replacement that will actually fit and not mean replacing the whole unit! Sugru came at the right time!
Sugru Home Hacks

I grabbed the matching white pack of Sugru and pinched of a 3rd, setting to work I molded Sugru and left it to cure for 24 hours.
Sugru Home Hacks

 I was more than impressed when the following day the toilet rolls holder was working perfectly again! A simple and easy fix and it didn't cost me a fortune!

The second fix was Cinderella! Cinderella has been in our family for years, myself and my sister played with her when we were younger and now that we have children of our own, they play with her too.
Sugru Home Hacks
Unfortunately, between us we have a toddler with VERY sharp teeth who decided to decapitate Cinderella! This was no problem for Sugru though, I quickly grabbed another 3rd from the white pack and molded her a beautiful neck brace. 24 hours later and Cinderella was ready to take her rightful spot back on top of the TV. She wont be going near any toddlers again, but shes still up there with the other princesses watching them play!
Sugru Home Hacks

The 3rd fix was my mothers towel rail, every time you wash your hands it comes off the wall! The final 3rd of Sugru was placed on the towel rail fixings to attach it to the wall and left for 24 hours.Sugru Home Hacks
The next day the towel rail finally stayed on and my mother is very impressed!

I decided not to write this post up straight away as I wanted to give Sugru a real test. I can now report its been over a month since I used Sugru for the above products and they are stringer than ever! Water has not effected them, they haven't fell off the wall, haven't broken and I've not had to replace them. I am truly impressed with Sugru and can not wait to try out some of their ideas in the book and post to my channel. (I love the cable fix and the kitchen Ipad holder!)

I got 3 fixes out of 1 pack of Sugru, which means the tin I received has the possibility of fixing 15 items (Depending on your fix), that is less than £1 a fix, which in my opinion is amazing value for money!

Whether you love a Hack, a Quick Fix or have a crazy new Idea, then Sugru is defiantly the product for you. If you'd like more information then you can check out their site here or hop on over to Amazon to buy the kit that I was sent for free.

What would you use +Sugru for?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Wecipe Wednesday: Making Sweetshop Cupcakes with Toddlers!

Wecipe Wednesday: Making Sweetshop Cupcakes with Toddlers! This week we took a shot at making sweetshop cupcakes, with sherbert on them! They tasted so good!! _ Why not check us out in other places? Blog Facebook page Twitter Instagram

Monday, 13 June 2016

My top 8 tips for train rides with toddlers!!

8 tips for traveling with toddlers]
We are regulars to the train, 3 days a week and 6 trains the girls and I know exactly what we are doing now! Keeping them occupied on the longer journeys can be a nightmare though. At 3 years old Kairi is pretty good at staying still, but at 1, Naminé is not and don't even ask them to sit next to each other! Below I'm sharing my top 8 tips to make riding the train a smoother process!

1. pack food! (and lots of it!)
Fruit, train mix, a sweat treat, lunch and a drink. These are all great tools to keeps toddlers busy, you can pack their lunch (if travelling over meal time) and use this to keep them occupied. A wide varity of smaller sized snacks works a lot better than bigger snacks and less of them. Trail mix and crisps seam to work especially well with younger children.

2. Technology!
Whether you ban it at home or limit it to certain times, there is no denying that technology has a hold over toddlers! An app on the iPad, a kids kindle or watch Disney life on my phone can usually get me at least 30 mins of relaxing train time! Split it up at different points over the journey and you can soon rack up the hours!

3. Animal spotting.
Trains are great fun, especially if you are traveling through the countryside. Make up plenty of games such as spot the sheep (for younger children just start with birds because they're everywhere and easy is best!) If you are traveling through a rural area, try to find a garden with a slide, a house that's painted a slightly different colour to the rest (pink/green) or airplanes! Windmills, tractors, strange shape buildings and rivers are also fun to spot!

4. Pack comfy!
Depending on your journey and your child, nap time could be coming your way, make sure you leave familiar items such as blankets, teddys and dummy's towards the top of your bag so you can quickly grab them when needed. Also wear layers (trains get hot!) and something thats easy to sleep in will be helpfull too!

5. Pack extra!
Always pack extra, you never know how long you are going to be! (I have a delay every other week usually ranging between 2 minuites and 2 hours!) Grab an an extra nappy (for toilet training toddlers an extra pair of underware and tight/trousers). If your child is particulaly messy, an extra set of clothes for mum/dad too if you can. Don't forget your portable potty either!

6. Wipes!!
Pack wipes (even if you no longer use them) and then make sure they're at the very top of your bag! They're great for unhygienic serfaces in toilets, wiping train tables down and of course cleaning sticky hands and faces (which you'll need after point 1!)
When you're hot you'll love having a wipe handy and they're great for cleaning up spills and stains too!

7. Drinks Cups
Too many times have I decided to grab a drink on the way and not had enough time. Fill a drinks bottle (Flip top/Spill Free) the night before your journey and stick it in the fridge to grab in the morning before you leave. Remember to make sure the lid is closed and don't get distracted! I gave Naminé a fruit shoot on the Eurostar and when I turned to look at her she had poured the whole bottle all over her clothes... big mistake!!

8. Toys and Books
Let your children pack something of their own a toy that they'd like to play with, a colouring pack and a book all work really well and can really help pass the time. Wrap little toys (like cheap cars) in wrapping paper and pass on every 30 minutes for something new and exciting. We did this on our first trip to Disneyland Paris and it worked so well!

Do you have a top travelling tip? If you need packing ideas, then check out my packing post or How I stay organised or head on over to our youtube channel where you can find plenty more ideas! Also head on over to The Parenting Trials to see her top 7 tips!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Wecpie Wednessday: Making Glittery Flan with Toddlers!

Wecpie Wednessday: Making Glittery Flan with Toddlers! today we made glittery flan!_ Why not check us out in other places? Blog Facebook page Twitter Instagram