Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fun Box

A few weeks ago it was half term so I decided to use an idea I got from the Wonderful Chasing cherioes blog and put together a 'Fun Box' which I pretended had been deleivered to the house while they were at school.

It contains;
Water colour paints and A3 sheets of paper for painting
Print outs to creat a vet surgery (we already have a vet kit to use)
Mashmallows and cocktail sticks for buliding sculptures (this proved very messy and sticky)
Materials to create a valentines collage
A copy of the hungry Caterpillar book and a workbook to go with it

Well it didn't last the full half term but it meant they had some activities which they could do planned in advance. I think I will do the same for the Easter Holiday too.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Valentine sensory tub...

I am not a big fan of valentine's day in the slightest but as with last year, I thought a valentine themed sensory bin would be fun for the kids. It was easy to create with bits and bobs from the pound shops and not too messy since we now have a carpet not laminate like in the old house.
It contains fake rose petals, valentine confetti, heart shape ice trays, organza bags, gliettery hearts and the only non red item-wooden heart shaped beeds and string for threading!
I was really suprised by how excited the kids were by this sensory bin, thinking they were a bit old for them now. They played with it for a long while so sensory bins will definitely be a regular thing again!

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Both kids are always asking what day it is, what month it is, when will we be doing uch and such a thing etc... so I tried to find a few activities to help explore this.

The first, I found on
This involves, firstly a circle of 12 sections, one for each month. I did this activity with Melissa and tried to think of a picture to represent a key event of each month (some were hard so we ended up with things like 'the cat's borthday!). The middle bit contains a smaller circle of four sections to represent each season.

Secondly, using resources from, I attempted to make a calender chart for the kids.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas 2011

So it is December 28th. Christmas has passed by in a blur as usual and here I am, most likely 10lbs heavier (haven't dared get weighed) waiting now to start the New Year diet and take down the tree, pack the Christmas toys away in their bedrooms and reclaim my living room as soon as school starts again!

Anyway Christmas was nice while it lasted. We had a little party on 20th December for some school friends of Melissas. My husband dressed up as Father Christmas and gave out selection boxes and we played some party games. The kids all had a great time but its not going to be an annual thing!

On Christmas eve, we did a buffet for my family in the evening and once again my husband dressed as Father Christmas and gave out presents. Not sure if he had the kids fooled or not!

Christmas day passed in a blur. Melissa openned her presents at record speed. Her favourite was a cheap make up set I bought in B&M. I am starting to regret this already as every morning she smothers her fake in glitter and blue eye shadow and then does the same to Louis. She is not allowed out in it though as it looks extremely chavtastic in my opinion-5 year old girls in make up.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our Christmas:

Christmas preparations

Well last year in December, we seemed to do a million and one imaginative Christmas themed crafts and the like. However, this year with school and pre school there doesn't seem to have been as much time. Plus we no longer live a five minute walk to town or big supermarkets so its not as easy to stock up on crafty supplies.

We did manage a few activities though;

Christmas sensory tub
This was the same as last years theme; a couple of cheap mini christmas trees and some tree decorations.

Gingerbread shapes

I made up the dough myself for quickness and then with the kids, cut out gingerbread men and house shapes. These were then decoarted with white icing (snow) and sweets.

I cut out the snowflake shapes before hand and then gave the children a mix of PVA glue and glitter paint to pain them with. This was quite a messy, sticky activity and if I did it again I would probably use card instead of paper for the snowfales as they kept ripping when they got wet.

Day out
Not really christmas themed, but we have had some nice mild weather so one day we made a picnic and took a trip to two national trust parks and had a walk though the woods there.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Center Parcs

Well I never heard anything back from my begging letter about whether the children's holidays were authrosied by the school; its too late now as we are back from a fabulous 5 days in Center Parcs.

Center Parcs is excellent for children-though extremely expensive if you don't go in term time! This year we spent most of our time in the swimming pool; absolutely fantastic! Last year when we went, neither child would go down any of the kid's slides and Louis wouldn't even leave our side in the children's pool. However this year, they were much braver, going down the slides and exploring the shallow children's area by themselves (obviously eatched by us but it was nice to be able to relax a bit in the warm water, without following them round!).

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the pool as I didn't want to risk dropping my phone in the water!

When we weren't swimming, there was plenty more for the kids to do. In past years we have always booked art and craft activities but now the kids are at school I thought this would not any longer be any kind of novelty to them. Instead they did, Tot's movie mooves-which involved dancing to lots of Disney songs, Canope capers-involving parachute games and on the last day a Christmas teddy bear's picnic.

In the evenings the kids played in the bar play area while my husband and I could enjoy a drink (very expensive-over a fiver for a gllass of wine eeeek-I normally get 3 bottles for a tenner in Asda!).

Schools may moan about taking the kids out during term time and harp on about missing out on education, but in my opinion, a holiday like this has as much of a wider educational and enrichment value as a week spent in school would. Obviously I won't make a habbit of taking them out of school for holidays ALL the time but I cannot see the harm in once or twice a year!!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures:
Beautiful Christmas Swan on the lake

Taking part in Canope Capers

Melissa in the play area

In the outdoor wooden play area

Looking for red squirrels

Teddy Bear's picnic

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Begging letter...

So nextr week we are off to Center Parcs. Just one thing though; we need to get the school to authorise the holidays-eek. I thought it was a simple matter of the teacher using their discretion and signing the form but Oh no!. I was made to feel like a naughty fourteen year old by the school receptionist when trying to fill in the form (she wouldn't even lend me a pen to do this). Was told to write a letter to the head to support my request-with evidence if possible why I must take the holidays now! So here is my best attempt:
Dear Mr Smith

Please would you authorise my children, xx and xx (Reception and Nursery PM) to go on a family holiday (7th-11th November).
As a parent, I obviously do not wish my children to miss any of their valuable education, however at this time it was very difficult for us to book a holiday in school holidays.
Firstly, my husband works predominantly with women with young children who take their holidays in school holiday time for childcare. As his job allows only two staff off at a time, it is very hard for him to get time off in school half terms as the priority is given to those needing it for childcare.
Secondly, we booked the holiday, a year ago when I was unaware of the school policy surrounding leave of absence for holidays.
I would be very grateful if you could authorise these holidays. I can also assure you that I feel this holiday (Centre Parks) will be of educational value to the children since they will be taking part in activities such as art and craft, drama and sports.

The end bit about the educational value of Center Parcs was such a brainwave-surely he will go with this! I was going to really tug at his heart strings and talk about what a stressful year we have had with the house move but throught that might have been taking it to far!

Obviously we are still going even if it doesn't get authorised but my poor kids will start their school life with five days 'unauthorised absense' in the first term!. Needless to say I think starring roles in the school play are also out of the question now seeing as they most likely start practising the nativity next week.