Fun With ‘Corduroy’…

Since our friends left for England, we’ve all been fighting terrible colds – but despite this, we’ve still had some time to play!

My eldest son has always had a fascination for buttons, and not long ago I managed to find a large packet of mixed coloured ones, and a large packet of mixed gold and shiny ones.

No end of fun!

Sorting them..

Threading them…

And although we haven’t yet had time to do them, I just LOVE the collage button project here, and the sewing button project here! They’re on our LONG list of things to do! 🙂

All this button play reminds me of a book that Alfie and I have been reading lately…

‘Corduroy’ by Don Freeman.

A lovely story about the tale of a little bear living in a toy shop, desperate for a home…

Leon and I decided to make some….

…button cookies!

The Recipe

1 cup graham flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 banana sliced

2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F

2. Mix flours, baking powder and cinnamon

3. Mix juice, vanilla, oil and banana in a blender.

4. Pour wet ingredients in to dry and mix in to a dough.

5. Roll out dough on floured surface.

6. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out ‘buttons’.

7. Add chocolate chips to make the ‘holes’.

8. Bake for around 6 minutes.

It was Leon’s idea to use chocolate chips as ‘holes’ (I was going to make holes with a tooth pick), and I was a little worried they would melt and not resemble buttons, but they didn’t – and they actually gave it the perfect final taste to a very healthy, bread like ‘cookie’. Delicious!

Based on the book, ‘Corduroy’, we also decided to make a…

…Toy Shop!

Maya practiced her English writing skills by making a…

…poster…

…using pictures cut from old toy catalogues…

I love it that this became a culmination of activities for each child, at a different level! 🙂

Hanging Out At Crocodile Rock!

It’s been in the minus 20s here, and we’ve got friends from England to stay – so I thought it best we got them bundled up in thermals, and outside to experience that Arctic cold!

We headed down to our local lake…

No, it doesn’t look much like a lake right now. With snow a metre thick on top of the ice.

Maya sits and muses the situation…

All that snow makes for difficult walking.

And suddenly the kids had other ideas, and ran – yes, RAN – to ‘crocodile rock’…

‘Crocodile rock’ is literally just that. A rock in the shape of a crocodile’s head.

Can you see?

If you look closely, you can see someone has painted an eye on the croc – and even some teeth, to the bottom left..

Yep – that’s Maya – on top of the eye…

And there’s Leon…

Hello!!!!!

And ultimately the rock becomes a ‘slide’…

And a place to hang out!


A Work In Progress…

If you find a broken wooden clothes peg, and extract the spring, what do you make?

A ‘cable car’ of course…

Maya’s sense of invention never ceases to amaze me.

When I left her, she was attempting to invent a way to pull the cable car back and forth by cutting long handles of the same length, finding her present cable car a little too high to reach…..

(And for your information – the spring is slipped on to the horizontal rope, and the strings of the cable car are tied on to it, thus hanging from it – this is what makes it glide).

It’s a work in progress!

Snow Fun For Everyone!

I would love to say that Spring is on its way here – but lets be honest – that’s really not true.

We’ve just had a few days of new fresh snow, and days of nearly minus 20 degrees C – winter is still very much making its mark!

But it doesn’t have to stop you from having fun… making ‘snow cakes’!

Just bring in a GIANT tub of snow…

Provide containers, spoons, glasses of coloured water and pipettes…

And let the kids loose!

(Even the Teletubbies joined in) 🙂


We Hope You Had A…

…  Happy Valentines!

We celebrated with lots of edible treats…

Pink cream cheese and red jam heart shaped sandwiches,fresh strawberry slices and ‘love potion’ for an after school treat…

… and homemade heart shaped pizza in the evening…

… decorated with salami heart shapes…

In my husband’s words, “can we have these theme dinners every night?”!

Hearty Animals

Maya and her friend spent a lovely afternoon making animals…. with hearts!

Just use those post-it heart shapes…

… to make elephants…

… or butterflies…

… cats …

….or fish ….

…just by adding stickers, googly eyes, small match sticks, etc!

Or why not add some fur and make a 3D mouse instead….?

(This HAD to be the eternally inventive Maya!)

Heart Fun With Little Ones

In our house, Valentines Day has always been known as “I love you heart shape day”, named by Leon when he was just 2 1/2 years old. It was the first Valentines Day we celebrated with Leon, and I remember that time well – at 8 months pregnant with Maya, living in London, Leon and I took the bus on our search for’ ‘red things’ as gifts. I remember his enthusiasm for this ‘activity’, pointing out the heart shapes and red items in the shop windows – and filling the days before with pink, red and white painting and collage.

Those celebrations are so special with little ones – their enthusiasm for such days and activities is infectious – and I want to give Alfie the same memories of these times as I gave to Leon and Maya when they were little…

Activity 1

Red, pink and purple play dough in different shades of colour…

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Heart shaped cookie cutters of different sizes…

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Pink mini cupcake papers and pink and red straw ‘candles’…

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Activity 2

An empty heart shaped chocolate box, filled with cut out paper heart shapes…

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An assortment of different heart shaped beads…

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Sort them by colour or material, count them, or just see what your child comes up with…

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Activity 3

Fill a tub with rice and heart shaped sequins…

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Perhaps dye some rice red and purple with food colouring..

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Add a see through bottle and a funnel…

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And don’t forget the pots for collecting…

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Have fun with your little ones on Valentines Day!