Friday, 25 June 2010

Going on a break for week

Look what came in the post this morning!

WOW! Grandma Seed knitted some vegetables!
They are gorgeous and so so cute!
She got the pattern from a Jean Greenhowe book from the wool shop.

This food has come at a perfect time because we are going on holiday for a week.
The gnomes have plenty of food to eat now while we are away...
they can make a nice vegetable soup.

If you like the look of the gnomes and their toadstools:
come and visit us when we get back for a cute giveaway!

See you soon xx

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Chamomile Bath Bundle

Chamomile is the children's herb.
It's the first homeopathy remedy for babies and teething.
Organic Chamomile tea really chills me out and helps Baby Seed sleep better.

It's perfect for a bath before bed!

It's easy to grow from seed.
This little clump self-seeded in a pot.
Here is Big Seed cutting it with scissors on a sunny dry day.

People normally use muslin but Grandma Seed gave us some old net curtains this week. Perfect!
Draw around a pot and cut out a circle.
Big Seed sewed running stitch around the edge.
 Leave the needle in with plenty of cotton to pull later.
Cut off the flower heads and leaves and place in the centre.

Add a scoop of organic oats.
This is good for softening the water and great for eczema.

Pull both ends of the cotton to tighten up the circle and tie in a knot. Chamomile Bath Bundle.

Start running the taps and have fun squeezing out milky white clouds in the bath.
Mmmm, smells good too!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

After Jam Comes Scrumptious Strawberry Muffins

Grandma Seed nade some delicious strawberry jam,
but those strawberries just keep on coming.

Short of eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner there just had to be something else...

I have even eaten these over the choc-chip muffins.
These are as delicious as they are simple to make.
Big Seed made these with Daddy Seed...that's how simple!

10 oz plain flour ( we substitute a 1/3 with wheat free flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz  sugar
1 egg
8 fl oz (240ml) milk
3fl oz vegetable oil or 3oz melted butter
5-6 oz strawberries cut up 

1. Prepare muffin tins and heat to 375 -400  o F
2. In a bowl sift the dry ingredients
3. In another bowl mix all the wet ingredients
4. Stir just to combine and add the strawberries
5. Put into muffin cases and cook for 20- 25 mins until springy.

Cool and eat and say, " Wow these are actually really good!"

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Wooden Spoon Puppet Gnome

Everyday this week when I have asked Big Seed what he wants to do, 
he replies, "do sewing from your making box."
Sewing? I have been totally out of ideas...
so I looked in my box and found some wooden spoons waiting for this day.
And the baby was asleep...get the needles out!

Never underestimate a 3 year old!
Yes he really did some great sewing...

First we stuck some felt around the handle.
Use craft glue or it won't stick.

We put a felt rectangle around the body and he sewed this up.
I held the spoon and directed him.
I was so proud...good skills!

Then he chose some buttons,
and he helped to pull the needle through.

Look at this beautiful hand dyed yarn...yummy!

He cut this up for hair...yes I know ... but it's his choice!

Then he drew a face on the front with a huge smile.

Check out the hair..whoa!

Tee hee...look at that face : so proud.

Fuel for my fire.

To see more great handmade goodness check out Marie's wonderful
creations and a giveaway here. Beautiful.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Our Sun Cake

Big Seed was feeling a bit better today
so we did manage to finish a few things...

We made a sun banner for the dining room.
Big Seed used yellow and red watercolour paint following the pipette technique.
We let this dry and then he cut out circles for suns, taped to string, hung under the door.

Taa Daaa! We finished the Sun Cake.
Ok so we didn't get round to doing the icing...but it still looks great,
Big Seed was very proud.

We made a lemon sponge and I cut the cake in half horizontally instead of using 2 cakes.
To see one iced up go here to Twig and Toadstool.

Then spontaneously Big Seed wanted to play with the wooden shapes.
So we made some suns on the fireplace tiles.
Makes a great background.

Little Seed is sorting the equilateral triangles from the isosceles.
Only kidding. It's the first time he has sat up on his own doing an activity with us.
It deserves a mention!

Finally King Summer/ The Sun King is having some of his birthday cake.
I don't know how this birthday idea started...but we rolled with it.
As Big Seed has been ill, he has lost his appetite and this is a last attempt to coerce him to eat.

2 candles on a Sun Cake will do it every time!

Happy Birthday King Summer!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Look Who's Here : It's The Rainbow Gnomes!

To celebrate Summer Solstice and King Summer's birthday
the Rainbow Gnomes have arrived!

These have taken an age to complete.
They all have completely different hats and individual stitching with gold thread
made from the rays of the golden sun.

I will be posting a gnome tutorial at a later date.

Here they all are sitting on their toadstools,
eating strawberries for their party feast
in the felt garden.

Can you spot the seedlings growing,
and the lettuces and cauliflowers in the patches?
There is a blueberry bush in the corner which now comes with removable berries
as Big Seed likes to harvest things literally!

We did plan to make more things inspired by
but Big Seed has been ill.
Have a look at their amazing sun themed ideas...especially the Sun Cake!

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Watercolours # 2 : Mixing Colours With Pipettes

I love watching Big Seed use watercolours...and this was so fun I just had to have a go...

We wet the paper both sides with water and a sponge.
We concentrated on blue and yellow making green.
I put these 2 colours in the palette and used 2 separate pipettes.

Once the paper is ready just let the drops explode...
I love the way the edges fray.

I did this first to demonstrate how to drop the paint and commentated on how the drops blurred into each other.
We talked about how green is formed, and how the colours overlapped.
I then left this to dry and it all blurred together so there were no white areas of paper showing.
I used it for my Father's Day card.

Big Seed found the pipette a bit tricky at first.
He sucked up a lot of paint and made lots of dramatic splats.
He said they were "his pancakes!"

I love the bottom right hand side. Its gorgeous.
And just like with a brush, like it says in the book we are using,
young children feel the need to cover the entire paper and use up all the paint.

I had to fill the palette up again he was enjoying so much!

If you cut out a huge circle, wouldn't this make a great planet?
Or a sea background?

It's really pretty on our wall just as it is...

abc button

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Welcome To Our Launderette Role Play Area

Yes, Big Seed is still obsessed with washing lines...
so what better than his own Launderette?

He played in it for an hour! WOW!

This is how we made it:

First of all I have to say that his play area is made of 2 cheap bookshelves from Argos.
You can change the height of the shelves.
The key is to have one of them away from the wall so that he can go behind it
like a shop keeper...or hide in there, etc

I would really like the Steiner playshelves for the playscape to drape
over...but the purse dictates that we use these.

1. Tie string across both bookshelves for a washing line.
Or use two chairs.

2. Use an old fruit basket/ wooden bowl for a peg container

3. Make a washing machine and washing powder box. (See further below.)

4. Make a shop sign together

5. Use a toy till or just use a wooden box for holding money

6. Use a basket or box as an ironing basket.

7. Get some small bags for customers' laundry.
I bought some small cloth ones off Ebay ages ago ready for the right situation.

8. Find a secondhand ironing board.
I bought his from an NCT sale.

9. Clothes: use paper drawn ones, scraps of cloth or ordinary clothes.
We used: baby bibs, napkins to fold, baby socks to sort and pair, 
baby cloth wipes, baby hats, paper clothes and playsilks.

All these were ironed, sorted, folded and put into piles.
Have at least 3 of everything.

OK now how to make the Washing Machine...

Take a cereal box and open it up.
Get a plate/bowl and draw a circle 3/4 of the way round and cut that line out.
Tape the box back up with parcel tape inside out.

Get 2 lids from your growing lid collection ready for moments like this!
Cut circles slightly smaller than the lids, 
so that when you push the lids in they are secure and can turn.

Draw water sloshing around or clothes spinning around.
The washing powder box is made by any small box turned inside out, or with a label stuck on.

Ready for his first customer of the day...

He had a lot of fun this morning!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Energy Slices

We decided to cook as Big Seed keeps asking for Fig Roll biscuits while he is
gardening all the time so I saw this recipe for Energy Slices.
We can all do with some of those!

Recipe comes from  We Love Food book
which has quick and simple seasonal ideas for us gardeners.

Big Seed weighed everything into bowls.
He then investigated each bowl for texture...which is why there are handprints on everything!
The recipe is measured in cups which is great for Big Seed.

150g butter
1 tbs honey
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sultanas ( we didn't have these, used raisins)
1/2 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1/2 cup raw or soft brown sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut

If we are in the mood for cooking and we don't have the exact ingredients,
we just go with what we do have. 

Put the oven to 180 oC.
Grease a 16x26 cm slice tin.

Big Seed put the butter and honey in the saucepan and I stirred it.
This took 2-3 minutes.

Big Seed emptied all the ingredients from the bowls into a mixing bowl and stirred it up.

I added the butter and honey mixture and Big Seed mixed this in.

Spread evenly over the base of the tin.
We don't have a tin the required size so we put our mixture in half a tin.

Now the recipe says bake for 30 mins or until golden brown. 
which I think is way too long.
Bake for 15 mins then keep a close eye on it.
I had to deal with my baby so I couldn't keep watching it, so I put the timer on for 30 mins and checked it at 25. This was too long for perfection.

Cool in the tin and cut into slices.
The book says they will keep in an airtight container for a week
but they won't last that long in our house!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Glass Bead Activities

This morning's activity was inspired by this at Tot School.
I have just bought some glass beads so this was perfect.

I gave him some lolly sticks and some beads and he had to balance them on the sticks.
He managed five sticks.

He was still interested in doing more activities.
I made this up on the spot:
I placed a stick in the middle of the tray as a divider -
Whatever I put at the bottom he had to copy at the top

We tried different numbers of beads, shapes, letters and numerals.
He really enjoyed this... his squealing is a good monitor of enjoyment.

I think I may make this out of felt and velcro for a travel game.

I made omelettes for supper and was left with this big egg tray.
I asked Big Seed if he wanted to play a game whereby he had to put each glass bead
in a section with the tongs.

Still wanting enrichment, he then tried it with shells.
Looks pretty in real life.

Sand Sensory Box and Extension Ideas

When I used to work with Pre-schoolers I used large plastic Builders' Trays as
sensory tubs. How great to see mothers using minature versions with small plastic boxes!

As it's tricky getting to the beach with a baby I brought the beach to Big Seed.
This is great when it rains.

This is what I used inside:
Pebble from beach
Shells and driftwood sticks
Dried seaweed
Red and green glass beads
 Round and square shaped baby food tubs as miniature sand moulds

To keep his interest and expand this I have a box of things ready
to swap or add things in:

Mini sieve
Large sieve
Large shell
Plastic crab
Small funnel
Salt scoop
1/2 cup sized scoop
Cookie cutter - great in wet sand
Wooden cup
Selection of miniature diggers

When these are used up, the imagination and creativity can really get going when you add things that you normally would not associate with sand:

Cars to show different tracks in the sand
Little plastic dolls
Jungle animals; especially camels, tigers etc
Balls, marbles, 
Jewellery from Charity Shops to hide for treasure
Cake moulds, cooking equipment
...and the list goes on.

Add two types of things that wouldn't normally go together:
i.e. marbles and cake moulds... and you might get pretty decorated sand cakes,
or this lends to games being made up.

Have lots of fun together!

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