Make ‘Bread People’

Bread people.

Fantastic sensory fun for a rainy day!

Mix 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water and 1 cup of salt.

Mix and knead until you have a good dough.

Add tools.

(The garlic press, a tooth pick and the imprint from a cheese grater proved favourites)

Give a lump of dough to each person.

All ages can take part (even if they only eat it in the end!)

And play…

(Use a dab of water to ‘glue’ body parts on if necessary)

Put them on a baking tray in the oven on a low heat (around 150 C) , for a long Β time (around 2 hours)…

And when out of the oven and cooled down, paint!

(I failed to have photographed it, but Maya made the above person not only a bed, but a table and chairs, a fridge, food, a cup and plate, knife and fork, and a pet dog…)

And Alfie painted each and every one of his little gingerbread men a beautiful beautiful colour…

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Beautiful Rainbow Rice

I’ve seen this before here and it always looked so pretty.

Rainbow rice.

Buy a packet of cheap rice, help the kids mix a little in a bowl, with a separate colour for each bowl.

Mix the primary colours to make the secondary colours.

Easy.

Set it out on a tray to dry…

…before it’s ready to play with…

Beautiful!

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Blueberries & Summer Loaf

We went blueberry picking – and found LOTS!

So with all those fresh blueberries – and not to forget the fresh raspberries from our garden,

we made ‘Summer Berry Loaf’…

Ingredients:

250g self raising flour

150g castor sugar (plus 1 tbsp for the topping)

2 medium eggs

140 ml natural yoghurt

125g melted butter

zest of 1 lemon

100g blueberries

125g raspberries

1. Set oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4

2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

3. Sift flour in to a mixing bowl and stir in sugar.

4. Whisk the eggs and yoghurt together. Pour in butter and lemon zest.

5. Fold mixture into flour, together with berries and combine.

6. Tip into loaf tin, sprinkle over last tablespoon of sugar and pop in oven for 45 – 50 minutes.

7. When cool – eat…

Delicious!

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We’ve Discovered Stick Insects!

This summer we’ve discovered stick insects!

We were given the eggs in April.

They hatched a couple of months later, and the insects were just a few millimetres long.

Now these guys are REALLY long!

We keep them in a little fish tank, with kitchen roll on the bottom, and a few sticks to climb…

We give them fresh dandelion and lettuce leaves every day…

…and a spray of water…

Sometimes they like to go for a walk…

…and if we’re really careful, WE can take THEM for a walk…

Can stick insects become members of the family?

Yes. I do believe they can!

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Discovering Sand And A Rainbow Castle

Having experimented with the building properties of a tray of really wet sand, and a tray of dry sand…

….we decided to read this fantastic book…

We read all about sand coming from different rocks, minerals and crystals, shells and coral –

and we decided to look for some ourselves in our own play sand.

We lay a handful of dry sand on a black piece of paper, and looked at it through a magnifying glass…

In the book was an experiment to try to make sand by shaking small stones in a jar with a lid, showing how the sea and the wind crash pebbles against each other on a beach to make sand.

Alfie decided to give it a go…

Hmmmmm.

We possibly got a few grains of sand, but it was hard work!

We decided to see if we could make a perfect consistency of sand and water, to build a sandcastle…

Could you really live in a castle made of sand?

What would happen if it rained?

We decided to find out…

Evidently a castle, or a house, made out of sand, would collapse when it rained….

Would it get stronger if we added grass?

A little bit perhaps – but not strong enough to live in!

Maya then decided she would try to make some coloured sand.

She mixed water and coloured chalk, and then kneaded it into the sand…

Alfie then decided to decorate the sand castle with the coloured sand…

…which in turn led to Maya decorating the castle with flower petals from around the garden…

…which helped turn a normal sand castle, into a rainbow castle…

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On Finding Swedish Wildflowers

Maya and I took a bike ride…

…to a fairytale forest…

..where we found a meadow full of wildflowers…

We set ourselves a mission to collect seven different kinds…

Maya decided we needed to include grasses.

She found a rather nice piece of birch bark too…

And when we came home we decided to set them out on paper to press them…

Now they’re sitting between paper in some large books being pressed.

We’ll have a look at them in a few weeks…

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Maya’s Upside-Down Cake!

A deliciously yummy cake to use up all those summer fruits!

We had a huge amount of strawberries, and quite a few raspberries, growing in our garden, and ready to be picked.

Maya decided to try something new, and make an upside-down cake!

Ingredients:

1 tsp baking powder

125g self raising flour

125g butter

125g castor sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

‘Hidden’ fruits – choose what you like – we added raisins to our strawberries and raspberries.

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1. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until creamy.

2. Grease tin & set oven to 190C / 375 F / Gas mark 5

3. Arrange the fruit on the bottom of the tin

4. Spoon the mixture over the top and smooth it out.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.

6. When out of oven, cover with a plate and flip over.

7. Slide off tin (carefully as it’ll be hot!)

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Tastes absolutely wonderful – especially when eaten hot with cream.

Mmmmmm!

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Ducks, Guttering & Running Water!

In the summer months Alfie and his little friend Lilly are inseparable.

They have a lot of fun, and they laugh and laugh.

But sometimes, just sometimes, they need to have a structured activity!

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Which is where the ducks came in!

Out came our cut up pieces of guttering, the hose, and items to balance them on….

…and those little ducks of course!

We made a simple track with the guttering, attached a hose to one end, and turned it on….

With a tub at the end to catch the water…and the ducks…

And of course we added the ducks!

And the kids laughed and laughed and laughed!

Oh how they LOVED this activity!

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Teddy’s Car Wash

Now that Teddy is a little older, it’s fun to set up activities for him.

But they have to be something quick and open ended!

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He loves his push along car (and the neighbour’s too!), and he loves water.

Just right for a car wash!

A bucket of warm soapy water…

A brush…

A sponge…

And a flannel…

Each ‘tool’ to be used and explored in a different way.

The flannel appeared to be the favourite.

It could be squeezed….

And water drip, drip, dripped from it in an interesting way…

And of course, as often happens in our house, there’s always someone else who wants to join in…

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A Garden ‘Roller Coaster’

Often, when we decide to mow the lawn, we end up with a ‘roller coaster’.

Sometimes the adult will make up their own, and sometimes one of the kids will lead the way…

And when a ‘bana’ (or track as we say in english) has been made, it’s time to run…

…run…

and run…

Sometimes you can mow just one long winding track.

Sometimes a more complicated one which crosses over itself and makes a ‘motorway’

Sometimes the kids will play for ages and even have car parking spaces, petrol stations and houses.

Some times they’ll just run around quickly before going on to something else.

But it’s always exciting, and always fun!

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