Monday 23 December 2013

Christmas wrapping sensory play

This fun sensory table is a great way to have fun with things that you'll have have lying around the house at this time of year. It's a great way to keep kids entertained before they get their presents!

I set up  a table with some Christmassy bits and bobs. I used a snack tray to separate the items out and make them look more inviting. I tried to include a range of textures (all in Christmas colours). You could include what ever you have and are happy for your child to play with. All our decorations are potentially breakable but if you had some sturdy ones you could add them too.

I covered the table in wrapping paper added some sticky back plastic (contact paper) to the table sticky side up to hold the items in place (this is an optional extra you could still play with the items without this).

The Frog then arranged and re arranged the items for ages. It was lovely to see him concentrate on an activity for a prolonged period because like most 2 year olds his attention span can be short.

He loved putting similar items (e.g. pom poms together) and then rearranging them.

** as the items in this activity are not toys please only let you child play with what you think is appropriate for their age, please also ensure they are appropriately supervised **

Language Links:
Vocabulary: names of items, soft, shiny, bumpy
Other skills: developing concentration span (EYFS links- Communication and Language: Listening and attention), categorising objects according to property (EYFS- Mathematics: Shape, space and measure)

Thursday 5 December 2013

Homemade fingerprint Christmas cards

Have you got your Christmas cards yet ? We've made some handmade cards based on the nativity story.

finger print nativity card

The base of the card is really simple - a fingerprint. We're quite big fans of hand print / finger print art (as you can see from our autumn tree, spring tree and handprint birthday card).

fingerprint card

After a finger print we added different details and embellishments to make the different characters in the story. 

fingerprint nativity scene

For Mary and Joseph I added a brown and blue body as well as head scarf. Baby Jesus had a bed of straw made from cutting a fringe into a piece of yellow a.d a crib made from corrugated card.

The angel had silver wings (drawn on with one of these markers - which I love and a body made of glittery card.

fingerprint angel

The shepherds had bodies similar to Joseph and a white finger print which I turned into a sheep.
fingerprint shepherds

Finally the wise men had brightly coloured bodies, hand drawn crowns and stick on sequins for gifts.
fingerprint three kings

If your after other ideas for homemade Christmas cards check out this rather cool hangout (see if you spot us!)

Monday 25 November 2013

Its Monday again which means its Parenting Pin it party day and this week I'm hosting. If it's your first week welcome! We hope you'll find lots ideas for activities and parenting tips. If your a blogger we hope you'll join in and link up.

Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21

As I'm hosting I get to choose some of my favourite posts from last weeks entries. 

I love this post from Discovering breadcrumbs, talking about the importance of doodling

Regular readers of The Fairy and the Frog will know how much we love messy and sensory play. No surprise then that this post from princess and the grapie caught my eye.

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How does it work?
1) Link up a blog post of yours below - we'll pin it
2) Make sure you follow The Monday Parenting Pin it Party pin board, it would be super lovely if you could follow The Fairy and The Frog on Pinterest too.
3) Try to visit two other people who have linked up (and maybe let them know)

Monday 18 November 2013

Observational drawing with children

Exploring art is one way to tap into how your child sees the world and to encourage them to make observations of the world around them. 

I love the sweet little things that children say. Things that make you realise they don't always see the world the same way as you. The Fairy calls INSET days (UK teacher training days) 'Insect days' (I like to imagine she thinking her teachers are learning about invertebrates!) Or the Frog shouting 'ball' when ever he sees anything round in the vegetable aisle at the supermarket.

Drawing at the same time as the kids draw is really fun (it's a tip I have picked up from one of favourite bloggers Rachelle at Tinkerlab). I really enjoy the shared experience of creating together. The kids seem more engaged and want to take part for longer. It's also a great way to model that art doesn't have to 'be' a certain way or to be perfect to have value.

Earlier on this week the Fairy and I got out some chalk pastels and drew some squashes.

Before we started I encouraged her to hold and feel the squash- talk about the shape and colour. We talked about what other things were the same colour - oranges, sweets and her friend's hair.

observational drawing with children
We then got drawing each with our own sheet of paper. She drew 3 (very orange) squashes.

using pastels with children
using pastels with children

She loved smudging the pastel to mix colours.

childrens art lesson
Unfortunately The Frog wanted to join in with the arty action when he got up from his nap and drew over all of our finished art work. I need to remember to put things on a higher shelf!

Language Links: colours, shape and size concepts. Developing comparative language (same as, different, like).

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Coffee filter leaves

These gorgeous leaves are super easy to make and make lovely homemade fall/ autumn decorations.  

First draw a leaf on a coffee filter paper

Then colour the leaf. We used autumnal (fall) colours to fit in with the season but you could use what ever colour you like.

The Fairy colouring.
The Frog colouring.

Next you spray (we used a well cleaned out bottle to hold the water). Using the spray is great for encouraging motor control in little hands. It helps if the leaf is on backing paper at this point as the link spreads(not kitchen roll as that will absorb all the colour).

The Fairy observed the leaf looked more like a leaf (and less like a blob of colour!) if she used less water.

The Fairy was fascinated to watch the colours blend and merge.

This activity was great fun as well as being a great learning opportunity. Not only could both the children (aged 2 and 5 years) do something together at the same time, they were developing fine motor control and making observations.

Language Links: wet, dry, spread, colours (red, yellow orange brown), autumn (fall)

Monday 14 October 2013

Monday Parenting Pin it Party

It's my turn to host the wonderful parenting Pin it Party today. 

Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21

For my 'Pin of the week' I have chosen this rather messy, but rather fun post from 'Single Mother Ahoy!
Peppermint Spaghetti play. 

I love the bit where she describes how her daughter decides to rub the spaghetti on her feet. Children learn through their senses. Sensory play is a great way to have fun, develop the sense of touch and thinking skills, as well as creating loads of opportunities for communication and interaction.

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Want to join in?
1) Link up a blog post of yours below - we'll pin it
2) Make sure you follow The Monday Parenting Pin it Party pin board, it would be super lovely if you could follow The Fairy and The Frog on Pinterest too.
3) Try to visit two other people who have linked up (and maybe let them know)

Monday 30 September 2013

Each week a group of lovely bloggers get together to host the parenting pin it party. You can link up favourite posts and we pin them.
The Fairy and the Frog
It's a great way to find lots of lovely ideas for kids activities and parenting posts. This week were hosted by the rather fabulous Mamasaurus. Pay her a visit to see what favourite posts from last week are.

Monday 23 September 2013

Monday Parenting Pin It Party - 23rd September

It's Monday again , which means it is time to share your fabulous parenting posts. Anything parenting related is welcome from crafts, play ideas, posts on parenting any recipes. This week it's Mum of One's turn to host and choose her favourite posts from last week.
The Fairy and the Frog
If you have a suitable post please join in (full rules on Mum of One's page) 

Monday 9 September 2013

How to make an Owl babies story sack

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Using objects as you tell a story can help a child to focus and pay attention. Having the same objects available for the child to play with can act as a prompt to help them retell the story and develop imaginative play scenarios. All great ways to develop language skills and have fun at the same time.

Here's how we made some pom pom owls to use a 'story sack' for one of our favourite autumn books : Owl babies                                                        

I made some pom poms out of wool (my top tip if you are going to 'try this at home' would be to use smaller pom poms - I was a bit enthusiastic and they take ages to make!). I made 3 'owl babies' and one wool mother. If you have an older child you might like to make the pom pom with them. I modified them to look like owls by sticking on some felt eyes and a beak (made from folding a square in half).

I then told The Fairy the story (borrowing Grandma's apple trees for a nest). Moving the props as appropriate during the story.

Afterwards we used a fallen branch and The Fairy retold the story. Later I over heard her playing 'Owl schools' - The eldest Owl had just started school like her! 

NB as these are pom poms not toys it is important not leave your child alone with them.

We talked about our pom pom Owl's over at Red Ted Art's Autumn craft hang out. There are lots of other lovely autumn ideas to check out. 

Here are some other ideas for 'story sacks': Nativity Story Box
Today is Monday, which means its time for another Parenting Pin it Party. This week its the turn of Romanian Mum to host.
The Fairy and the Frog
Don't forget to join in!

Monday 2 September 2013

Monday Parenting Pin it Party 2nd September

Today is my turn to host the parenting pin it party. As a host we get to choose our favourite of the post from last week.

Regular readers of The fairy and the frog will know how much we love pretend play (keep your eyes pleased for an upcoming post we have on why pretend play is important for developing language skills).

Considering our love of pretend play it's no surprise, then that this post from Here come the girls caught our eye.

Another favourite of ours is incorporating nature and natural materials into learning. We loved this idea for making patterns on sticks from Tutus and Tea Parties.

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If you love Pinterest why not follow on us there too? Click on the name to find the Monday Parenting Pin it Party hosts on Pinterest :

The Fairy and The Frog, Mum of One, Yellow Days, Kiddy Charts, Romanian Mum, Mamasaurus

What have you been up to ? Don't forget to link up below. Please 'share the love' and visit other people's posts and leave a message or pin it.

Ps you may have noticed we've been a bit slow with new posts lately- we're just enjoying some calmer quiet time before The Fairy starts school this week. Normal service will be resumed shortly!

Monday 26 August 2013

Mondays Parenting Pin it Party 26th August

SO in the UK its a Bank Holiday -perfect for relaxing with friends and family AND checking out some new posts on Pinterest. This weeks party is hosted by Yellow Days. Check out what she has chosen as her favourite pins of the week.

The Fairy and the Frog

Monday 19 August 2013

This weeks fabulous Parenting Pin it party is hosted by none other than Mamasaurus. Hop on over to see what she has chosen for her fav pins from last week (The Papa is honoured that he has been chosen for one).

Monday 12 August 2013

Monday's Parenting Pin it Party 12th August

Welcome to this weeks Parenting Pin it Party. This week its hosted by Mum of One. Why not check out what she has chosen as her fav posts form last week. If you blog why not to add one of your kid friendly/ parenting posts so we can pin it.
The Fairy and the Frog

Saturday 10 August 2013


Welcome to a guest post by the Fairy and the Frog's Papa.

This week the family has been on a 'glamping' holiday. We weren't sure what the weather would be like so we wanted to take a range of actives just in case we couldn't play outside (fortunately the weather was good, but still it's good to be prepared!) So I set myself the task of finding an activity that I could run. Enter the “Mailiens” by an ebay based company called Seaside Sauce.

I've always been fascinated by papercraft. For those of you not familiar with this hobby it ranges from sticking paper figures to lollipops all the way up to airfix with paper. If you have a moment to spare I recommend inspecting the wonderful automata designed by Rob Ives over at flying-pig. However I needed something simple and aimed at children. In the end I opted for Mailiens. Each of these fun monsters comes on a postcard hence the name. They make a cube with stubby legs which can be assembled with a minimum of cutting and sticking. The thing I really loved about them though was the comic style art and the cheeky sense of humour e.g. the safety warnings.

Little hands got to work after picking their favourite Mailien. I cut around the tricky tabs and then gave the Fairy free reign to cut out the rest.

So popular were the Mailiens that by the time we had completed the first one we found ourselves surrounded by other campers children volunteering their services to create more! In the end we carefully cut and made three between us.

I have one more reason for loving these odd little creations. These Mailiens are produced and sold by an ebay company called Seaside Sauce run by a very helpful fellow called Gary Worsnop. I contacted him beacuse the first batch of postcards I received were mat (as opposed to glossy). This made them easier to cut out but I was concerned as to how well they would survive if actually used as post cards. Gary immediately replied to my message. He thanked me for the feedback, sent me a free set of Mailiens printed on glossy and included a new design they were planing on selling. So there you have it. Great fun and good customer service. Who could ask for more!

FYI. This isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just not skilled enough to design my own aliens and I just love good customer service

Monday 5 August 2013

Kandinsky for Kids: Exploring Kandinsky with craft foam

Did you know that when wet craft foam sticks to windows and bath tiles? Its a tip I picked up from reading this great blog. It's great to use to make pictures a kind of giant 'fuzzy felt' - without the fuzz. Both the Fairy and the Frog like to use it and will concentrate for a long time making creations.

We have previously explored Kandinsky (check out our posts here and here) and I thought some craft foam art might be a fun way to continue this exploration.

I showed the Fairy a pictures of Kandinsky's 'Farbstudie Quadrate' (circles) and then we talked about the shapes she could see in the picture. I then cut out lots of squares and circles. The Fairy then got to work making the picture (with a bit of help to get the squares straight). We chatted about which colours looked good together, she certainly knew what she thought there was lots of swapping of shapes just to check! She discovered if you put circles of the same size on top of each other you couldn't see the bottom circle, but if you put a smaller one on top you could.

When the Frog woke up from his nap he wanted to join in too - a fantastic family art lesson. Were arranged the shapes, talking about them as we did to make 'a person with curly hair'

Language Learning
Concepts: size, same/ different, place (on/under), shape and colour names
Other: expressing preferences ('I like the red circle when it's on pink', 'this one is better')
Vocabulary: stick (when using the water)

Monday Parenting Pin it Party 5th August

Soo it's Monday again. This week its KiddyCharts' turn to host the wonderful Monday Parenting Pin it Party.
The Fairy and the Frog

Don't forget to link up (and to visit KiddyCharts to see which posts Helen has chosen).