Dinosaur Small World Play Dough

Do you have a toddler who is fascinated by play dough? Create a small world experience for your little one and watch as their imagination takes them away, there is really no end to what play dough can be used for . 

Every week we make a new batch of play dough (I use our simple play dough recipe) and I have often struggled to move the boys away from the idea of using it for rollers and cutters. This week was to be different, after raiding the house for materials I decided to add some stones and broccoli to create a scene and some new Schleich Mini Dinosaurs we had been sent this week to review. 
The boys first reaction was priceless I wish I had a video camera to hand. They could not wait to jump up to the table ans get stick in. They divided the play dough up  with a little help and instantly started adding the pebbles and broccoli. 
They had great fun pretending the dinosaur’s were eating the trees and making dino prints on the grass/play dough. 
Development links:
Playing and Exploring
• Showing curiosity about objects, events and people
• Engaging in open-ended activity
• Pretending objects are things from their experience
• Representing their experiences in play
• Seeking challenge
• Showing a ‘can do’ attitude

Active Learning
• Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
• Persisting with activity when challenges occur

Creating and Thinking Critically
• Thinking of ideas
• Testing their ideas
Do you have a favourite play dough small world idea?

Rainbow Sun Catcher

Today the children have been finding out more about Saint Patrick’s day and the traditions that surround it. 

One of the activities we did today was to make rainbow sum catchers. Our windows have looked bare since we moved house and had to take down the previous displays so I’ve been keen to fill them again.

You will need:
Paper plates 
Coloured cellophane 
Sellotape 
Scissors
Ribbon or string

Step 1- Cut a paper plate in half then use the scissors the create a clouds puffy effect around the edge. As pictured above.

Step 2- Use a piece of ribbon roughly 20 cm long, fold over to make a lop and fix onto the back using tape.

Step 3- Cut the cellophane into equal lengths, one inch thick. This is the perfect time to discuss the different colours of the rainbow and even sing the song as you stick down the rainbow colours onto your cloud.

That’s it, a lovely simple but very effective stain glass rainbow for your window. If you have any (we seem to have lost ours ) you could also add cotton wool balls to your cloud. The children loved seeing the end effect and putting them up against their window. 

Product Review Britax The King || ATS

Recently we were asked to review The King 11 ATS for Britax, This could not have come at a better time for us as Tinnie (now 2 years old) has just grown out of his car seat. The newly launched Group 1 belted seat the ‘KING II ATS’, is designed to help parents travel with greater confidence and keep their eyes on the road ahead. 

What’s new?

 an intelligent light and sound indicator that helps parents to find the correct harness tension before they set off in the car. 
 a unique Active Tensioning System (ATS), which automatically adjusts and retracts the slack in the child’s harness to keep tension just right throughout the journey.
features an intelligent warning system that alerts parents with a sound and light indicator if the harness is undone or no longer at the correct tension because the automatic retraction system might be at the end of its working range and cannot compensate any additional slack in the harness. 

Want to find out more? check out this you tube video:
When we first received the car seat I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this car seat. This is our first Britax product and I’m starting to think we have seriously missed out over the years. The car seat featured thick padding on the side wings to protect tinnies head and making for a great pillow during long car journeys. 
The shoulder straps feature great ribbed chest padding for comfort to stop little ones from wanting wriggle free and more importantly reducing movement during impact.  
The King 11 ATs also has features to make parents life a lot easier. The car seat cover can be removed with out removing the straps keeping them fixed in the right position and tension.  I would normally have to nag hubby to take the cover off and fit it back on for me but this idea has made it a whole lot easier. The car seat also has an easy adjustable headrest, no more taking the whole seat about to move the straps up a slot, nope the King 11 ATS has an easy single hand adjustment head rest.
Over all we love the new car seat and all of its new features. We have found it is important to ensure your child is sitting still and the straps are in the right position before tightening  otherwise it will remain loose. Tinnie loves the lights and sounds the car seat makes and this helps to stop the fuss of getting him in the car altogether. 
The KING II ATS is now available exclusively from Mothercare £180 in Black Thunder.

Mothers Day Gifts From Truprint

I am a very lucky mummy, Mothers day closely follows my birthday which is on the 5th so I get two days of breakfast in bed and lots of excuses for cuddles with the kiddies, now they are getting older I always need a reason to squeeze a cuddle out of them. For me Mothers Day is all about remembering how lucky I am to be a mummy and to have such a wonderful family unit. 

Usually for mothers day I will send our mums flowers but this year I thought it would be nicer to send them some thing to remember the whole family by. My mum doesn’t live close by so she does miss a lot of special memories with us so a photo book or a framed photo would make a fantastic gift. 
Truprint have a huge selection of canvas’, personalised coasters, photo magnets, photo books and much more which would be perfect for Mothers Day. 

Is your Mum a Mum in a Million?

Truprint want to make sure every mum feels special this mothers day. With 1 million personalised Mother’s Day cards to giveaway. All you need to do is enter the code MUMINAMILLION at the checkout to claim your card. Please see full T&C’s at the end of the post.
If you love their cards as much as we do pop offer for the chance to claim your personalised card now. While your there check out their beautiful book marks and phone cover ideas too! 
Mean while I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a lovely Truprint canvas for our wall this mothers day. 
Mum In A Million Card Offer Terms and Conditions

Awards one free 7×5 folded card
Standard P&P charges apply (99p)
Ship to recipient not available
Complete with envelope
Code is One time use only
Strictly one code use per household

Disclaimer: I was given a credit to spend on Truprint products and asked to share details of the MumInAMillion campaign for this Mothers day. All words and opinions are my own.

Product Review: Hope Education Fire Station

Small world play gives children an opportunity to really immersed in their imagination through  playing out experiences, narratives and sharing with others.  
My Little explorers are all entering the world of being a toddler and with this have started to enjoy role play, keen to explore a range of  different worlds and experiences. 
We were recently offered to review the beautiful wooden Toypin fire station from Hope Education. A great opportunity for the boys and I knew as soon as I saw this set it would be an instant hit.  

The fire station set comes with:
• Fire Station Size: 640 x 310 x 560mm,

• Fire Engine
• Fire Fighting Accessories- Pack of 15 accessories including road signs and cones
• 4 Fire Fighters and 7 accessories
This set is £127.02 inc VAT with a saving of £31.95. All parts of the set are also available to purchase separately from Hope Education. 
When the fire station arrived it took very little time to put it together and with some help from the Little Explorers we had it up and ready to play with in no time. The fire engine and accessories on the other hand are already built and ready to go. 

We’ve been playing with the fire station set for two weeks now and it has been played with almost daily. As soon as some one asks for it, all the boys are crowded around it wanting to join in. It’s certainly been an opportunity to teach them to share.
The set is excellent quality and the little accessories are great for older children, adding more opportunities for them to act out the role of fire fighters. With all the accessories easily packed away nicely in the fire engine and the fire engine then  placed in the ground floor of the station it fits beautifully together and is easy to store. 
This wonderful toy has opened so many opportunities for the boys to learn. We have discussed sharing toys and taking turns, fire safety, reasons why the fire fighters may be called and many more. They have worked wonders for encouraging communication and stretching the children’s imagination. Here are some example of how they link into the EYFS.


Links to the Development Matters:

Playing and Exploring
• Showing curiosity about objects, events and people
• Engaging in open-ended activity
• Pretending objects are things from their experience
• Representing their experiences in play
• Seeking challenge
• Showing a ‘can do’ attitude

Active Learning
• Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
• Persisting with activity when challenges occur

Creating and Thinking Critically
• Thinking of ideas
• Testing their ideas
Disclaimer: We were sent the fire station to review by Hope Education. How ever all opinion’s on the product are our own. If you are interested in finding out more you can find them here .

Product Review: TTS Time to Talk Number Rhymes Basket

If you were to walk into our setting at any time of day you would be sure to hear at least one of the boys singing a nursery rhyme whether it be a show for one of the adults or just while playing happily. Spotting these little spontaneous moments is some thing that really warms my heart. 
We have recently been playing with the Time to Talk Number Rhymes Basket  from TTS. It has been a great addition to our quiet area and the children have loved exploring the basket by them selves and with an adult during our circle time. 
Set includes:

a shoe
a fish
a speckled frog
a currant bun
a green bottle
a monkey
a sausage
a spaceship
a duck
a bed

The beautiful set are made from a set which are safe for children from birth and can all be put into the washing machine if needed. When I first introduced the set to the children we used them to help us select songs for circle time if the children had trouble thinking of one. This worked great in fact they all wanted to choose from the basket. With the boys all learning their numbers at the moment the basket was great for singing number songs and it has help a lot. 
The picture below was taken from a spontaneous child led activity we spotted through out the day. D would line up the ducks acting out the ‘5 Little Ducks’ song and bringing them back together to start again. 

The children enjoyed using the props to carry out the songs and passed them along the circle giving every one ago.  This meant that children who were less able to join in with singing the words still had the opportunity to join in through the actions instead. 

You could keep this basket away in the cupboard for special occasions, this is what we originally thought but they have remained in a cosy area and we often discover the children starting their own group sing along or the different objects being taken out for a cuddle or as a story prompt. 
The TTS Time to Talk Number Rhymes Basket  is available from TTS for £47.94inc VAT

Disclaimer: We were sent this set by TTS Group the review. The opinions we have shared on this set are however non biased. 

How To Make A Rain Maker Stick

Whether it’s raining out side or the children need an activity to keep their focus and engaged making rain makers is a lovely activity where they can be completely hands on.

To make these rain makers you need:
Kitchen roll tubes,
Colours paper,
Collage materials,
Glue,
Tin foil,
Masking tape, 
Card
Step 1. Spread glue around the kitchen tube and then stick coloured paper around the tube and tuck it in if it’s too long. 
Step 2. Place a large piece of card over the bottom hole and tape it on using masking table ensuring there are no holes for the rice to escape. 
Step 3. Loosely fold up a piece of tin foil and then gently twist it before sticking it in the tube.

Step 4. Followed by 1 cup of rice. I got the children to help be holding the funnel or scooping in the rice.

Step 5. Repeat step 2 by sealing up the tube using card and masking tape.

Step 6. Decorate the tube using  range of collage materials, glitter, paints or felt tips.

Our finished rain makers were beautiful when finished and made for a great musical instrument to try at song time. 

Staying Ahead of the Christmas Count Down

Every  year on the lead up to Christmas I find myself in the same position waiting until the end of November and rushing around trying to find every thing the children want at the best price (usually through on line shopping, I don’t do high street shopping!) This year I have turned it around and already brought half of my shopping by making sure I saved through out the year, Look for little bargains and saved up my Tesco points which I plan to Boost!
The easiest part of Christmas shopping of course has been choosing the children’s Christmas presents. There has been a bit of a theme going on with the boys Christmas presents as they both added Fisher Price toys to their Christmas lists. Little Man has been desperately wanting the Batman Imaginex range and Tinnie wanted the Phone and doctors set. 
P is now getting older so I’ve been trying
to find ideas for Christmas that is not just toys. I will probably squeeze a few
toys in there as she desperately wants Fur Real pets.  One item on her list was a tablet so this is
where I made the most of using my points and I went for the old version of the
Hudl. I’m not a big fan on children having technology but I need to move with
the times a little.

Then there’s only my new little niece to
think about. Due very soon I still wanted to buy her something in case she
arrived before Christmas. I do love any excuse to buy a baby gift especially
little dresses and a toy or two. I have my eye on a few Baby Einstein toys
which will fit this bill nicely.
So that only leaves the adult to buy for
now and the new Christmas colour scheme decorations. Have you started your
Christmas Shopping yet? Who do you find the hardest person to buy for?

Written for Tesco

Win a Bumper Christmas Crafts Hamper from TTS

Christmas is a season that inspires
creativity in children of all ages. From wrapping paper, nativity costumes to
the fun of making festive cards, there are endless ways that children can get
messy, whilst keeping little hands busy. TTS,
leading supplier of award-winning educational and teaching resources to Primary
and Early Years settings is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a
bumper Christmas Crafts Hamper.
Worth over £45, the bundle of Christmas
goodies includes a range of festive resources that will keep little one’s busy
during the festive period.

Priced at £4.99, the PapierMache Angel (AR01885) is a blank canvas upon which to create your own
unique angel, which can be placed on top of the Christmas tree or on another
festive display, or simply a special Christmas gift.
Even the youngest of children can make
colourful decorations using the PrimaryTree Hangers (AR01811), £19.95. Decorate using finger paint, collage or crayons,
these large Christmas shapes can be used to create individual decorations or
bunting for the classroom.
Create a host of heavenly 3D angel
decorations with the MakeAn Angel Pack (AR02006). Priced at £9.99, this pack of 30 pre-cut,
pre-printed shapes can be personalised with colour and collage before constructing
the 3D shape.
A variety of different shaped Christmas cards
can be personalised and decorated just as you please. The RobinCards (AR02005, £10.99) and StockingCards (AR02009, £9.99) are ideal to glitz and shimmer up. A set of 30 in
each pack, means there are lots to decorate and each child can make their own
unique design, using glitter, sequins or metallic pens.

To enter simply complete the form below. 

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