Friday, 18 August 2017

HOW TO MAKE - CHARCOAL PAINT

We are very lucky to have some very hands on and enthusiastic friends at our Forest School. One of these lovely parents came along with their own activity to share.

You will need: 
  • charcoal
  • Pestle and mortar
  • tin can
  • water
  • sticks
  • feathers


They collected cold charcoal from the fire pit and used a pestle and mortar to crush it in to a powder.
We then used an old tin can to mix the power with a bit of water in and used a stick to stir it in to a black paint/ink.


If you would like to make a quill to draw with then you can remove the lower bits of a feather to create a long pen and then cut the end of the feather off at an angle. 


We then dipped the quills in to the paint/ink and used it to make marks on a large strip of paper.

 



You can try using other items from nature to paint with. leaves, plants, sticks etc. See what marks they leave. 


We also used the lumps of charcoal to write and draw with. Some children drew pictures while others wrote letters from their names.



Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Understanding the world

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

OUTDOOR COOKING - BAKED BANANAS!

This week we have had nothing but rain. It ment that we had to cancel out forest school  session as the site is quite open and turns in to a mud bath if we use it in heavy rain.
My sister in law is a forest school leader so she came over and we had a garden session instead. The kids could come in and out as they pleased which suited them.
We hung up a tarp and my 15 year old helped light the chimnea.

To make the baked bananas you need:
* bananas
* chocolate buttons
* mini marshmallows
* tin foil

Cut a slit along the banana and push the chocolate between the skin and the flesh. Then sprinkle marshmallows over the top. Wrap the whole lot in tin foil and place in the embers of the fire to bake. It will take about 5 mins for the flesh to warm and soften. Once baked you can eat it out of the banana skin.

It is super yummy!!!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW - JAMBERRY NAIL WRAPS.



I Have recently been contacted by an independent consultant for Jamberry nail wraps and asked if I would give an honest and independent review of the product. As someone who loves to have pretty nails (it was the only way I stopped biting mine) and who is now a regular visitor at the local nail bar, I thought it would be great to try something new that I could use at home. There seem to be so many styles to choose from as well! I have been asked to review the wraps alongside nail varnish as an accent nail.
 

The info sent with my samples included this background to the how the product came about.
"Jamberry began with three sisters, each possessing an individual sense of fashion with a shared love of style. After an expensive afternoon at the nail salon, they were determined to find a simpler, more cost-effective way to keep their nails looking polished while spending time together. This is where they launched Jamberry Nail Wraps in 2010. They are new to the UK since 2016.
Fun and flirty, elegant and understated, bright and beautiful, whatever mood you’re in today your signature style is just a quick application away.
With over 300+ designs to choose from they:
– use no harsh chemicals that damage a healthy nail or chip and fade
– each sheet is enough for 2 manicures and 2 pedicures with a few accent wraps left over
– no drying time"
I checked out the you tube links to the application method and it all looked very simple.
You get everything you need in the pack except for a heat source. Hairdryers work really well for heating the wrap so that the glue becomes tacky and can be applied to the nail. Make sure you use the little wooden stick when doing this bit as oils from your fingers can effect the glue and ultimately effect how well your wraps stick and last.
I started off with prepping my nails. This involved removing the old shellac with acetone and filing the top of the nail. I am not sure if this effects the adhesive quality in any way. I made sure that I used the wipe supplied to clean off the nails surface to remove anything that might effect the wrap. I also gently pushed back the cuticles and filed the nails in to a nice shape. 

  

Once on, cut and shaped the wraps held really well. If anything doesn't look quite right then you can re-heat them while they are on your nails and push bubbles or creases out. 

As you can see, I have excema on my hands and the chemicals that are used in the nail bars can be painful and an irritant on my sore fingers. But I have tolerated this to have nice looking nails. These wraps take away the need for the harsh chemicals and therefore the pain and discomfort I feel each time I have gels put on. At £15 a set this is also cheaper that the £26 I pay every 2 weeks. 
I will be doing all my normal activities over the next week and will see how well they stand up to daily use. I will compare this to how my gels tend to be after a week. My concerns are how they will cope with hand washing and bath time! Working with children means my hands are in water quite a lot. 
1 WEEK LATER!
 So the results are in. The first lot came off in the bath. So I tried again after talking to a friend who said I needed to avoid heavy water contact for 24 hours after applying. She tends to use gloves for washing up and the like for the first day. She often has her wraps on for 2 weeks at a time. I put another accent nail on each hand and tried again taking in to account her advice. The result was much better. They have lasted me a week! They are not chipped or torn and would probably last a bit longer. I think these are great for jazzing up your hands for a night out or making them a bit fun for special times of the year such as Halloween or the like. I can not wait to see what they bring out for Christmas! 

Pro's
  • no chemicals
  • kind to your nails and skin
  • cheaper than gels
  • can be done at home
  • SOOOOO many styles to choose from!
Con's
  • Can take a bit of practice to apply them but gets easier with practice
  • air bubbles are a bit of a pain
If you would like to try Jamberry Wraps then give Laila a message on her Facebook page or at take a look at her online shop.


Monday, 31 July 2017

GIVEAWAY! "At The Bottom Of My Garden" rhyme and sign book


ABOUT THE BOOK!

** This beautiful book is supported by BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE (BSL) ** 

"Come and see my new friends" my littlest daughter says as she takes my hand and leads me into the woods to meet a new bug or worm that has caught her eye. Her adventures inspired this story, her love of nature and her questions about the world around her. She loves to give the creatures she sees a personality.

 At the Bottom of My Garden is the second in the series of 'Rhyme and Sign' Adventures. We've been sure to include all the things you loved so much when reading Our Farmyard Friends. A rhyming a repetitive story line (enabling little ones to join in easily), beautiful illustrations (we invite you to spot the surprise additions!) and the enjoyment you will get from signing alongside your baby, toddler or pre-schooler. 
At the Bottom of My Garden captures the awe and wonder of childhood explorations whilst supporting emerging literacy and language skills with the addition of key BSL signs to enable little ones to retain and recall information more easily. Developed in conjunction with Little Signers Club.

WHAT DO WE THINK?

We have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book. We very much enjoyed the first in the series "Our farmyard friends" and many of my mindees can now sign the names of farm animals as well as other key words in the story. So being asked to review the second book was very exciting! It timed nicely with our "Minibeast" topic too!

The great thing about this book is that before you read to your child there are a whole heap of useful tips on how to get the most from the story and signing. This makes it suitable for any stage in your signing journey with your little one. There is a section on helpful tips and hand shapes which will make the signing much easier. 

The story has a fantastic repetitive feel to it that will engage children. Mine picked it up very quickly and joined in each time. They loved seeing a new bug on every page! The descriptions of each are so cute and all written with a rhyming flow. 




EYFS LINKS!

The links to the EYFS with this book are endless. Not only does it increase language and vocabulary but by including signs it makes this inclusive of all ages and abilities. The introduction to new descriptive words support children's language development and ability to describe the world around them. The Bugs in this story and the bright pictures of their homes and appearance help children to build an understanding of our native minibeasts. How they live, the habitats they are likely to be found in their unique qualities. Spiders making webs, snails in their shell. Each one is different! 

  • Communication and language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the world

You can expand on the learning potential of this book by offering extra play experiences.
My little ones enjoyed the pictures and soon sat to draw their own bugs. This book inspired their creativity and before long we had paints, pens and playdough out. drawing, modeling and painting their own bugs! They even created new ones!!
We have also counted the different coloured flowers on the page, spots on the ladybird, legs on the caterpillar. Talked about which is the bigger fly, recognised colours. 
  • Mathematics
  • Expressive Art and Design


Here is your chance to win one of 3 copies in this fantastic Giveaway! 

All you have to do is follow the links bellow and comment on this post to enter. The more options you select the more chances you have of winning!

Should you not be lucky enough to win on this occasion or just can't wait to get your copy, then I am offering you all a chance to purchase the book at a 20% discount! 
Just pop along to Little Signers shop and include the discount code at checkout! 

Coupon code:  WORMSEYE (valid until 31/08/17)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 30 July 2017

5 FOODS I HATE GIVING BABIES....... BECAUSE I HATE CLEARING IT UP!

There are some foods that I just hate to dish up at meal times. It was bad enough when my boys were little, but I had a dog to help with the clean up. Now my dog is sadly no longer with us and I have many children at my table every day! Childminding is a great job!

BUT....... some food is just down right yucky to clear up! I have had it all. Spaghetti stuck to the walls and ketchup on my ceiling! But here are my top"5 MOST HATED FOODS TO DISH UP". Especially to babies!

Number 1
The aforementioned Spaghetti! Not only is it a food that no one can eat politely but it seems to migrate around the kitchen as if by magic! If there happens to be a piece that has avoided the sauce coating you can guarantee it will be found sticking to something it shouldn't. Walls, chairs, the back of another child! It seems intent on avoiding being eaten at all costs. I have even witnessed it escaping from a child's nose after a poorly timed sneeze!


Number 2
Peas! They look harmless enough. What could they possibly do to wind me up so much? I will tell you what they do. They avoid being eaten too! They jump off plates and role under my appliances. It's like an AGM for Peas under my fridge. They are all dried up and hard by now, but there they sit.... just out of reach of my hoover nozzle. Taunting me! And should one of them not make it to safety under my fridge then I inevitably end up stepping on it and then I end up with a green mush on my floor and my sock! Unlike the Spaghetti which likes to exit the nose.... This little bugger likes to go up noses! What is it with kids and the need to stick small items in small holes!?

Number 3
Banana. Babies and bananas are like tea and cake are they not? Perfectly matched? NO!! 
You hand a banana to a baby and it is turned in to a squashed lump of half sucked mucus! As if that is not gross enough it dries like cement if you are not quick to remove it! It is the stealth fruit in the fruit bowl. The Ninja fruit for ruining clothes. You think you got away with it..... you think you got the top in the wash quick enough..... you can see nothing when you fold up that top and pop it in the draw. But in a weeks time it seems to have "developed" slowly like an old Polaroid picture. The picture in this case is a big browny grey stain that will never come off ever again! I recon it is what they make permanent marker pens out of!


Number 4
Weetabix. This is not only a messy food going in but gives me merry hell on the way out! Another food that seems to set like cement in minutes. Miss the slightest bit during clean up and you will need a hammer and chisel to remove that stray blob! NEVER forget to put the bowl and spoon in soak. Actually sod it. Just serve it up in a paper bowl and bin the lot!
Just when you think the horror is over.... taken a sigh of relief and relaxed.... you see the "Poopy face" being made on your beloved child. Here comes round two! Return of the Weetabix! No amount of water and cotton wool, baby wipes, baby lotion, Scouring pads and Ajax will get those little flakes of wheat off your child's delicate little tooshie! That butt is never going to be clean again!


Number 5
My all time pet hate..... The biggest of all "Most hated food to give to babies" is RICE!
Like Spaghetti it sticks...... to everything. I have seen children leave my table looking like they have an infestation of head lice! Little white blobs embedded in their hair. Not only this, but everyone steps in it because no one can eat without spreading it around the kitchen floor. This creates little areas of starchy sticky goo that drives me crazy with every step till I take my sock off and go bare foot. I could make non slip socks by standing on rice! In fact that is probably how the idea for those came about. Some poor bugger trying to maneuver around their kitchen after feeding their kids rice! It falls between the gaps in my chairs and gaps in floor boards but as soon as you try to scrape it out it disintegrates and spreads itself around a bit more for good measure! RICE........ My arch rival.


So if you ever feed these foods to your children..... remember..... you have been warned! 
Do you have any you would add to this list? I would love to hear your most hated food to feed to kids!

EXPLORING THE BUG SENSORY TRAY

The "Bug sensory tray" has been a big hit. Everyone (including the adults) have had a rummage around in it. There have been grouping of bugs, counting of bugs, moving of bugs around the house and in to the garden (I am sure I have lost a few), The addition of bugs (real live ones) and learning about bug life cycles. 


Have you ever tried to count the legs on a centipede? It's not easy.
Have you ever looked at how a Bee grows from a tiny egg in to a fully grown Bee?


Why do ants like to walk in straight lines when they are gathering food?


We have asked so many questions and looked for the answers using books and the internet. We also like to look at David Attenborough DVD's during these topics because he has such amazing ftage of things we would never get to see in real life!


We are now moving on to Seeds! How do they grow? We have talked a lot about how bugs like to eat plants and we have planted some veg in the garden and talked about keeping them safe from the slugs and snails. So really this is more of a recap on things we looked at a few months ago. It is always good to go back when topics link like this. It shows everything in a "bigger picture" kind of way rather than as separate events. It will also bring us back to the birds that we looked at during nesting season.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Mathematical
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Understanding the world

DUPLO - ENCLOSURES AND DESIGNATED AREAS.

Following on with the love of Duplo and the learning experiences that are being created through our play, I thought this post was a must for sharing. 

One little child making a long fence. Happily adding new bits to it and talking about how long the fence is. "It's getting longer look!"
Then she runs out of fence and you see her pause for a moment. What now? 
The fence is not very stable in a long line. It wobbles and falls over.
Then she curls the edges round and brings them to meet. Linking them together to make an enclosure.


"Look! I made a field!"
"Wow! What a big field" I say. "What are you going to put in your field?"


"My ponies!"
(I think some of these are sheep..... but she LOVES Ponies so we are going with it....)


Her friend has been making a big house with Duplo and offered for her Ponies to live there. I love the look on her face in this pic..... not totally sure she is pleased about the offer but going to give it a try.



Another friend joins and asks if the ponies want to go in the house. But she declines. Horses go in fields! She puts the people in the house and they talk about where each thing belongs. The add furniture to the house and more animals to the field.
There is a clear understanding here of designated areas. Each thing has it's own place. It is a simple grouping activity happening through play. Learning that some things are the same and some are different.
Being able to sort and catagorise items is important for other daily life skills that children will need to function well as adults. Being able to tidy up your belongings, complete chores such as putting clothes or dishes away. This is the start of some more complex mathematical thinking and Analysing.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Mathematical
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development





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