Friday, 27 September 2013

Autumn Sensory Tub

I've been getting so many updates on my FB page from all the early years people who have blogs, all with autumn themed sensory tubs. 

So this is our take on it.....

I used half a bag of lentils, a spoon and a couple of plastic shot glasses for scooping and filling.

Little one played with this quite happily for a while - and especially enjoyed tipping and scattering the lentils on the floor!

Then I added some other bits and pieces, mostly orange to keep the autumn feeling... these were:  
some leaves we collected at the park, some cinnamon sticks and pine cones, pom poms, wooden play arches and some ribbon and feathers - just lots of different textures to explore.  Easy to put together and will keep him busy for at least 5-10 minutes!!?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Woodland Puppets

We were reading The Gruffalo today and I suddenly remembered some puppets I made a while back for my class when we spent a few weeks working on a Gruffalo theme.

They loved playing with them at the time and put on little shows for each other from behind the puppet theatre I have in the class, reciting the very familiar lines from the story and retelling the story in their own way.

So I went searching for them today and here they are!  

Made up from scraps I had lying around the house.  I  should also to thank my (then) teaching partner for throwing a few bits and pieces my way.

They were easy enough to make and - if you can find suitable scraps - free!!

I took a picture of the paper patterns I drew so you can see how simple they are.  But for some strange reason I noticed that although I have four patterns and four puppets, I have a fox pattern but a mouse puppet.  

Can't remember quite how that happened but maybe I'll get around to making a fox soon!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pink Cushion

I've started making things for Christmas - there you go I said it!  

I know it's only September but it's taking so long to sew anything at the moment that it's better starting now. 

This is the same fabric I used for the teddy bedding:  the Sarah Jane bundle, and the cushion is trimmed with pink lace and creamy-white ric rac.

I especially love the dark pink fabric covered with tiny little flowers.


I wonder who will get this cute girly pink cushion for Christmas?

Hope they like it!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A bed for Ted

It's getting chilly now so why not make some dolly or teddy bedding?

I made this using the Sarah Jane bundle from Fabric Rehab and some plain white cotton.

To make it cosy I used 2oz wadding inside the blanket and pillow and edged it with some pretty lace and ric-rac.  

The bed is from Ikea.

Next....a more masculine set for Ted!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Felt Pictures

Remember Fuzzy Felts? 

I used to love creating my own pictures with the little cut out bits of felt.  The box used to
contain really simple shapes, with silhouettes of different animals and objects but as time went on the shapes became more complex with printed pictures on top of the felt.  

I thought this spoiled Fuzzy Felts and discouraged creativity and imagination a little bit.  Would you agree?

I notice there is a 60th anniversary box available at the moment and it has gone back to basics with simple shapes. 

The blurb says....

Fuzzy-Felt encourages co-ordination, recognition, counting, sorting and storytelling 

Sounds good to me!

Anyway, all this just to share with you my DIY felt board and shapes with an autumn theme. Have a go!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Autumn is on the way.....

Much as I love the colours associated with autumn, it marks the end of summer and a step toward winter with dark, chilly evenings and shorter days....not the best for a sun and light lover like me!

But it really is on the way, the trees are just beginning to change and a few leaves have already started to fall, so what better excuse do we need to start some autumn play?

So today I cut out some leaf shapes to make a garland and then cut some extra ones just to play with.  Monty loved when I threw them up in the air and they fluttered down on top of him.  We'll need to try this outdoors soon too with real fallen leaves.

He was really quite taken with the garland when I hung it up and kept looking up at it, so now I'm even starting to get a little excited about what Christmas might bring!  We talked about all the colours of the leaves and sang a little song I used to sing to the children at nursery and then blew the leaves to make them flutter. He loved this and every now and then when he's playing, he has a little look up at them again.  (I'll add the song at the bottom)

As we were talking about the colours we started to look for other things the same colours and soon had a basket full of red, yellow, brown and orange objects.  

He is still too young to sort, but you could try sorting into colour groups with older toddlers. You could also put numbers on the leaves and order them.

If you want to make an autumn garland you will just need some coloured paper, a hole punch and some string.  I punched two holes in each leaf as when the string is threaded through both holes it seems to secure the leaves in place and stops them from slipping down at an angle. 

I folded the paper too just to give the leaves a little dimension - it's also much easier and quicker to cut them out on the fold.

5 little leaves so bright and gay,
Were dancing about on a tree one day,
The wind came howling through the town,
And one little leaf came a-tumbling down.

Repeat for 4, 3, 2, 1 using your hand as a tree and fingers as branches

More autumn activities to come soon!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

First pair of wellies!

How cute are these?  I love them!

First pair of wellies but he can't actually walk in them yet, just stands rooted to the
lots of practice needed and lots of outdoor play!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Reversible play mat

Following on from the farm play mat, and Monty's new interest in cars, and also from a recent family lunch out (trying to keep him entertained), I decided to make a play mat that can fit in a bag, roughly the size of a large table mat, that can go everywhere with us. 

It's not easy to make a lot of roads with such a small mat so a figure eight shape seemed best. 

I had this fabric with colourful hills and houses and thought it might be nice to cut around the shapes in the fabric rather than cut straight lines across it.  Then I just stitched around the shapes.

To keep it all together I made a drawstring bag in similar colours - roughly A4 size including a 1cm seam allowance and enough for the fold to encase the drawstring.

And to make it even more fun, I made it reversible with a dinosaur side!  I made a little water hole for the dinosaurs and stitched some other dinosaurs around the edges. 

The bag holds the mat, a little car and helicopter and three pocket sized dinosaurs. 

I think we should lunch out again soon just to test it!