Tuesday 28 January 2014

Valentine's ice play

Ice play is a huge hit in our house. The gap after school pick up and before tea can sometimes be a bit tricky to fill. We often crash in front of the TV but I found these silicon ice moulds a the back of my cupboard and they inspired me to  prepare some ice hearts to make a valentine's sensory box.

I added a little food colouring to colour the water when making the hearts (I was worried this might stain so put sheets down - check your food colouring first to make sure).

As both children (5 and 2) could join in at the same time it made for a calm afternoon!

We had fun touching and taking about the ice, filing a bucket and thinking about what might happen next to the hearts (melting). Dirt and boogers has done a similar activity and used jelly/ jello you can find it here.

As with all activities make sure you supervise your child adequately. Ice cubes can be a choking hazard for small children. 

Language  used: cold, shivery, melt, drip, red.

If you like ice play you might like our polar ice sensory tub / pretend play scene or our ice decorations.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Glue

This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to 50 Craft Materials; 50 different posts featuring 50 different craft materials. Glue is an essential craft material but often falls in the shadow of many other items (usually the items it is sticking) So today we are putting the spotlight on glue.

The most common use of glue is to stick two items together. Collages are great for children young and old. They can be as simple or complex as the child wants them to be. We especially like our Gaudi inspired snails.

Craftulate has a great post describing introducing glue to little ones and different methods/ tools for using when sticking

Sticking needn't stop at paper. You can transform an old glass jar into a lantern by sticking tissue paper on the outside. 

Glue not only acts as an adhesive but it can be decorative in it's self. We loved making our glitter glue firework pictures earlier this month. These 'spider webs' canvases from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots are very cool. 

Glue resist painting can produce absolutely gorgeous results - especially when combined with watercolours and salt as in this post from Frugal fun for boys. Happy Hooligans also combined salt, glue and water colour (using a different method) and used it to teach name reconnection

Teach Me Mommy used glue pictures to create some crayon resist pictures. You can also make amazing glue prints using the resit technique as shown by Artespirit.

Modge Podge/ watered down PVA glue can act as a cheap varnish. We use it when were are making salt dough decorations and when we made our pressed flower pebble you can see below.

Glue can also be useful to strengthen materials and make them rigid like in this sweet yarn and birds nest from The Imagination Tree.

My Little 3 and Me used glue to stiffen a leaf when doing leaf threading.

Regular readers will know that I am a massive playdough fan. Unsurprisingly I love this glue and corn starch (corn flour for UK readers) playdough recipe from  Inspiration Laboratories. If you're a fan of sensory play then you will also love this recipe for jelly slime (containing glue) from Mama OT. 

No post about glue would be complete without a mention to glue window clings. These ones from The connection we share are gorgeous (I've never been able to make them this neatly!)

How about making your own glue. 
If like me you're not always sure which glue should be used when I refer to this infographic. 

If you are a blogger and have any posts that prominently feature glue please link up below.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Snowy sight word discovery bottle

How do you reinforce sight words with your child? In the UK (as in other parts of the world) children are taught a 'bank' of sight words to support reading along side learning synthetic phonetic (how to break down/ blend sounds to make words). Learning new words can take lots of exposure. 

The Fairy isn't always keen to just look at the words (and frankly neither am I - it is a bit boring) . So after asking for advice on 'The Fairy and The Frog' Facebook page I decided to shake things up (literally) by making a discovery bottle. By the way if you've not liked us over at Facebook please stop by and say hello we love having new followers just click here to find us.

We made a sight word discovery bottle with an winter theme (chosen by the Fairy- I was surprised because I thought she'd automatically go for something pink related but obviously not). Discovery bottles are not a new idea (we've made lots before including our autumn discovery bottle) there are lots of examples on pinterest of people using them to support sight word learning including this one.
sight word bottle

We made the discovery by adding some sight words (which I laminated to make stronger - this is optional) to a clean plastic bottle with some rice. The Fairy then selected 'cold' sequins from our 'sparkle jar'. Make sure you close the bottle tightly so little fingers can't open it (you may like to seal with glue to make extra sure). Juice/ smoothie bottles tend to have wider necks so they can be easier to add bits to.
discovery bottle

The words get hidden in the rice and sequins (as demonstrated here by The Frog who has temporally 'borrowed' the bottle whilst his big sis is at school). When you shake the bottle the words come to the surface. To help her use the bottle I designed a sheet on picmonkey adding some cold looking snowflakes (if you haven't already found it s a great photo editing website). The Fairy uses a felt tip to tick the words she can find and can read, She also circles the ones she's not sure about (I've laminated the sheet to make it reusable) so she can ask us to help her. This promotes independence and willingness to practice.

learning sight words

Big Cup Little Cup coffee review.

I love coffee. Fact. So when I heard that Big Cup Little Cup were asking for volunteers to review their new Nespresso compatible coffee pods I wasn't shy at saying 'Yes please!'

I was sent a pack of Millers Yard (described as 'full bodied, bitter chocolate , red fruit, clove and pepper spice) and a pack of Thompson #9 (described as medium - full bodied, coco forest fruits, plum and almond). I don't claim to be a coffee connoisseur, but I am rather fond of an espresso at breakfast. I really enjoyed both of the types of coffee. I found the creme (the frothy bit on the top of the coffee) wasn't as consistent as with Nespresso brand capsules. The price is comparable to Nespresso capsules. A big plus for me is that Big Cup Little Cup capsules contain fairly traded coffee.

Disclaimer: I was sent two boxes of capsules to review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Glitter glue fireworks

Have you tried making glitter glue fireworks?

Ever since New Years Eve The Frog has been firework obsessed. This has included running around making 'whizz' and 'bang' noises. So I thought he might like a to experiment with a craft version.

The shiny glue looks really effective on black card.

This activity can be done with a wide age range of children, each learning at their level.

The Fairy wanted to add a 'firework' label using our favourite metallic pen. I've included an affiliate link for the pens in Amazon just in case you want to try them too (for those of you who are new to affiliate links it just means if you buy the product after clicking on the image I get paid a small percentage at no extra cost to you).

Language links: shiny, colour, sound words e.g bang, pop, whizz (links to 'letters and sounds' phase 1, aspect 6 'voice sounds).

Monday 6 January 2014

Parenting Pin it Party Jan 6th

If like me, today is the start of a new school term for your little one congratulations on surviving the school run! Put on the kettle, sit back and relax and enjoy the Monday Parenting Pin it Party.
Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21
My fav pick from last week is this yummy papier mache pizza. Recycling and imaginative play in one.

Fancy joining us at our party?
How does it work
  • You link up you pins below
  • We'd really love if if you could follow us on Pinterest. 
  • It would be really nice if you visit a few other people who have linked up and leave a comment (it makes my day when I get blog comments - it shows someone's reading!)
We will
  • Visit your post and pin it
  • Choose our favourite post to feature next week (hosted over at Romanian Mum). If you are featured , you might want to 'grab a badge' 
    The Fairy and The Frog
    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.thefairyandthefrog.com/" title="The Fairy and The Frog" target="_blank"><img src="http://jbmumofone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/featured-pinner.jpg" alt="The Fairy and The Frog" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
  • You may also like to sign up for our Parenting Pin it Party news letters (we'll only mail you with relevant stuff *promise* )

The Parenting Pin it Party is brought to you by Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of One and Mamasaurus.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Best of 2013

As its New Year we thought we'd like to start the year by re sharing our favourite post from 2013. We've chosen our owl babies story sack. We love the owls as they so sweet and they get played with alot!

Below you'll find over 50 Kid Blogger Network members coming together for The KBN Best Of 2013 Blog Hop. We know you'll find tons of wonderful ideas to browse, pin and share. We'd love for you to join the blog hop and share your favorite activity of 2013 too, and make sure you're following the Kid Blogger Network on Pinterest


Happy New Year from the KBN Best of 2013 Blog Hop Co-Hosts! 

Powerful MotheringThe Good Long RoadAll Done MonkeyAfterschool for Smarty Pants,B-Inspired MamaBabble Dabble DoBits of PositivityBoy Mama Teacher MamaCaution! Twins at PlayChild Central StationCreative Family FunCreative World of VaryaCute and PeculiarDirt and BoogersEdventures with KidsThe European MamaThe Eyes of a BoyThe Fairy and the FrogFrogs and Snails and Puppy Dog TailsFun-A-Day!,  Glittering Muffins, Growing Book by BookHands on: as we growHere Come The GirlsiGame MomI Heart Crafty ThingsInspiration LaboratoriesKid World CitizenKiddie FoodiesKids Yoga StoriesKitchen Counter ChroniclesLalymomLemon Lime AdventuresLet's Play MusicLiving Montessori NowMakeovers & MotherhoodMama SmilesMulticultural Kids BlogMy Little 3 and MeP is for PreschoolerPeakle PiePennies of TimePlaydough to PlatoPlayDrMomPreschool Powol PacketsRacheous - Lovable LearningStill Playing SchoolSmiling Like SunshineStir the WonderTeach Me Mommy,Teach PreschoolThere's Just One MommyToddler ApprovedTrue Aim EducationTutus and Tea PartiesWhere Imagination Grows, and Wildflower Ramblings.