Saturday, 20 July 2013

Do Not Feed The Toddler!

Do not look at me as if I'm a hard hearted anti Christ!
Yes I'm that mum the one who took the biscuit away from my child the other day you know the one that swooped in and almost grabbed it from him as he was about to ram the chocolaty goodness into his little hamster cheeks. Yes that's me cruel you think? Several of you saw me swoop in looking with judgemental eyes you  watched shamefully as my son sobbed. I'm sure you tutted as I dragged him away and tried to  calm him with some goodies from my bag. I can imagine the comments "its only a bit of chocolate" "wow loosen up".
I tried to be polite tried to keep him to the safe biscuits but there's always some kind stranger willing to pass him a "good" one. I dread their kind faces smiling at him and almost sneaking him the goodies like a nanny sneaks sweets or a grandad penny's. He smiles sweetly back, of course he wants the good stuff any two year old with a sweet tooth has learnt the look!
Now think to why I panicked as that sweet treat reached for his mouth. Am I an over the top health freak. Is he on a strict diet with only grilled meat and veg.....Or is that biscuit poison!?!
Yes lady's you were judging me for valuing my sons life. That biscuit was a high risk I have no clue what's in it and no idea if it could land him in hospital.  The poison I talk of is nuts and although you may think I'm overreacting I know full well that sweet chocolaty treat could land my son in hospital struggling to breath. And yet  I get the looks of disgust even when I look at the label people give me funny looks as if I'm a health freak. No people I'm a normal mum my lil dude is one of the 1 in 12 nowadays that has a food allergy. He's normal I'm normal we just have to be careful. Some people think its a fashionable condition something made up for attention they do not understand the seriousness of it. Until you have been there until you have seen your baby lying in a hospital bed struggling to breath, please don't judge.
I'm at a loss on what to do I don't want to make him feel different but the actions of strangers scare me I know in my heart they are being kind, what do I do get him not feed the toddler nuts"

As he gets older I'm sure he'll learn to ask or as I do stick to the safe stuff . Until then please don't judge me consider there may be a reason for my cruelty. I refuse to separate him from his friends at snack time because their "may" be a risk. I am not a drama queen about it but I do have to be careful and keep my boy safe.

Tar Pit

Today's idea was adapted from Fun At Home With Kids Dinosaurs and Sticky Mud Small World. To be honest it was one of those "the after noon is dragging its gonna be a long one need a distraction" ideas. I hadn't really planned on adding it to the blog as not very original but it turned out so different to the mud one that I just had to add its a great example of how you can chop and change messy play ideas to adapt to your lil dudes and dudettes. How easy would it be to change this to pink and have a fairy glitter pool or blue as a mermaids ocean (I so need a girl next lol). Oobleck is so full of potential and yet I have only ever used white and as plain gloop. I just had to add it to the page it was amazing messy sludgey gooey sticky I am already planning the volcano one as was such a hit!

One of lil dudes fav books at the moment is Jack's Mega Machines The Dinosaur Digger. In the book a bunch of baby Dino's have to be saved from a tar pit when a T-Rex is heading their way. The Mud just had to be replaced with tar to recreate the book.
We ripped up green paper to make grass, Dug out the fish tank ornament volcano which now resides in our Dino land. (don't think the resident spider was impressed at relocating but hwy ho needs must)! I used a sandwich box for the tar pit i wanted it to be shallow enough to almost blend in. The tar is obleck and black food colouring easy as that. Basically you add water to cornflour till it looks like tar.
This lasted ages as you can see from the pics I had almost as much fun as he did the tar was irresistible!  

I'd told him only the little Dino's were allowed in so the others came to watch :-)

All the baby dino's got trapped in the tar oh nooo!

Of course the paper had to get dunked!

"Mummy put your hand in!" This was the stage I got "very" messy lol!

Then the volcano erupted... this was cool as we pressed it together and as it started to drip it looked like runny lava. The picture was hard to get but the reality was soooo cool!

Once it dried a bit we had to excavate the baby Dino's.
T-Rex got stuck in the volcano and Apatasaurus had to pull him free this picture may be out of focus but it cracked me up so much I had to add it!

Although the mess looks horrendous I gave lil dude a bowl of water to give the Dino's a bath and after he spread that about a fair bit I wiped table over with a wet cloth and wiped round the floor the Oobleck just wipes off it's so easy to clean up!

"I'm giving them a bath mummy!"

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pippette Art

So the other day I had a flashback to my school age comments please! And yes there were such things as schools back then and they even had computers....just! Well this flashback sent me running to amazon and looking up pipettes and amazingly they had them so I quickly ordered a bag of ten for 1.39 inc p + p. Wow the possibilities my reason for buying is mainly to use them in water play as using the squeegee end has to be good for motor skills. I then got to thinking I need an activity to introduce them and it just can't be clean! So I ran to the craft cupboard and dug out the lining paper and paints add some water and glitter and taaa daaaaa rainbow sparkle paint. Its messy its sparkly is a colour explosion yes its bloomin fab!!!

We laid out some lining paper on the patio I went over the top as wanted this to get seriously messy!
This was stuck down with masking tape but after a bit of wind sent it flying towards us I'd recommend a few big stones to weigh the edges down.

It already looks great fun there's nothing more exciting than a fresh canvas to destroy...I mean decorate.

Ahh the first few squirts of paint great fun!

Check out the impressive artwork. I may have to do this on a canvas for the house.

Ummm and then chaos reined and the pouring commenced!

Lil mister I don't do messy play almost getting his toes messy, one day I'll get him messy its my goal in life lol!

The end result taa daa. I think the best bit was lil dude "helping" me clean up with the hose and the all out hose war that it resulted in and just for the record the pipettes squirt water a massive distance!

What Fun!!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Killer Bee's...Apparently!!

The noise that gets every mother running, a high pitch I've hurt myself scream... You know the ones they save for the real cuts and grazes the one that usually means there's blood pouring from somewhere! I run to the garden to see my lil dude hands in the air screaming blue murder...Theres a bug there's a bug!
Yes folks that world is ending scream was the result of a bloody fly!!!!
Our newest two and a half year old drama is extreme creepycrawleyitus! You'd think well that's not so bad but when you add into the equation my lovely flower filled garden grass brimming with pretty white clover...theres our problem! It started with ants when he saw one we'd have to come inside. I pulled out my mummy magic book and after going on an ant hunt with a magic maglifline glass (what you have magnifying glasses how very dull ;-) we drew them some chalk houses on the patio and he now says they are his fwiends!
The next melt down was bees so back to the libary with a bee book in hand we discussed how they are making honey for our lunch....bee fear solved...i thought. Untill today warmest day of the year and we spent half of it avoiding bloomin bugs! Lil dude named a bee hairy the other day and since then every bee is hairy..  That's ok hairy is our friend. His brother lairy is apparently not! Lil dude has taken offence with him and refuses to compromise. Lairy is a bit rude he trys to get in the paddling pool and flys near heads buzzing with intent! Lairy is making me consider block paving. So my next challenge will be taming lairy and overcoming creepycrawleyitus!
Fellow mums some advice or the number of your therapists please :-)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Shaving Foam Paint/Chaos

This is part two of our Budget Play Time series part one was the Ricetastic Airport this is a great lazy day activity although it looks crazy messy the cleanup is a wet cloth.
Fen Tiger wanted in on this one!

You Will Need:
Shaving Foam,
Paint, We use crayola paints as they are currently the only ones I've found that don't stain hands or clothes (if washed quick).
A Tray (we used a baking tray)

All we did was squirt the foam in a baking tray and add a few squirts of paint then I left lil dude to it!
I had originally planned this as an art activity but we made a big mess on the paper and lil dude was more interested in sludging and spreading the foam so I let him take the lead.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I hate other peoples kids.....or is it just other people?!?

I hate other peoples kids!..... There I said it, shoot me down think I'm evil but its a fact. Maybe hate is a bit strong a word but damn it at times I mean it!

Where does it stem from you may ask...well about two years of protecting my child from the savage waifs and strays at the local toddler groups and soft plays. Its enough to drive any mother to insanity!
Now I'm not talking about the kids that have the odd tantrum maybe snatch or throw a toy (usually at a fellow playmates head). That's part of the joys of toddlerdom they are entitled to a few bops and whinges, that's how they learn. I'm talking about the unaccompanied wild kids you know those ones with foam at the mouth a wicked glint in their eye. The kids that the regulars steer their kids away from and give newbies warning glances.
You'll find their parents sitting far away from the play area coffee in one  hand either gossipping with an accomplice or engrossed in a funny cat clip on their iphone/pad. They seem to have no cares as to what their beloved little people are doing and even when informed their little angel had been sinking their canines into some poor defenceless child's thigh there is little cause for concern. These parents astound me how any one can show that little interest in their child is beyond me. I wonder what sort of upbringing that poor kid has. You have to wonder if this is how they behave in public what is home life like!
I wonder if these parents saw their "little angels" wandering aimlessly around the soft play frame, looking for some child to bash obviously bored senseless. Would that paternal guilt kick in, would they see the errors of their ways. I sadly doubt it! These parents in a few years time will be asking where they went wrong why wont they listen to me!
 There's a part of me that wants to take them home teach them how to behave play with them. It brings a tear to my eye at times. I hope for their sake as soon as they hit three they get dumped in nursery as at least they would have some company and maybe communication.

I admit I feel like a bit of a sanctimummy as I'm sitting here judging others but hey if this post makes one of those parents think twice and jump in there with their kiddiewinks see their faces light up as they show the slightest bit of interest then the risk is worth it.

I'm no supermum and yes I probably check my phone too often and lil dude is certainly no angel at times but I'd like to think that the time I spend with my little dude is precious and I am damned if I'm wasting it looking at cats falling behind sofas!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Salt Dough Aliens

Well today is UFO Day....But of course you knew that ;-) and what better way to celebrate those visitors from afar than making our very own Salt Dough Aliens!

You Will Need:
1 Cup Plain Flour,
1/2 Cup Salt,
1 Cup Water,
Few Drops Food Colouring
Random pieces of foam, sequins, pom pom's... whatever's in the craft cupboard.

To make a basic salt dough mix a cup of plain flour with half a cup of salt, a few drops of green food colouring then add water until it blends nicely I usually chuck in half a cup then add till its a good play dough texture. Knead for a while until mixes nicely.

I set out a tray with a bundle of exciting little pieces and let lil dude take the lead.

Shockingly the diggers got in on the action that's when he started to bore slightly so mummy jumped in and suggested we make aliens!
That idea was a hit we were soon rolling and making little faces and curling hair....what you don think aliens have hair weeeell this one does!

This one was lil dudes own creation.

I wish this were a video as during this picture he was squeezing his mouth making the alien say "hello I'm an alien" very cute moment!

This was such a low budget easy activity and was great fun once we got into it. I love the activity's that are left a bit open as its great to see lil dudes imagination run with it!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Looking past the Martyr Mum Title!

Last year of my twenty's! A great day to reminisce and appreciate what I have in life. I've spent the day with my bestie her lil lady and my little dude we went to a theme park and had a fantastic time... If you'd have told me ten years ago I'd have entered a theme park not even stepped on one thrill ride but had an amazing day I'd have laughed in your face. Yes that's right me the adrenaline junkie had a fantastic time on the teacups!!
The highlight of our day watching sea lions and parrots little dudes face lit up and I realise that life's not about me anymore his happiness leads to mine and if I can make him laugh just once it makes my day!

I read a piece on netmums the other day on Martyr mums. It was based on an article written by The Times Daisy Waugh. It makes you wonder why working mums and stay at home mums cant just agree to disagree. Martyr ...One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle. So by that definition I have given up my life for lil dude and am suffering?!?
I love being at home with my lil dude my day evolves around him and his mood reflects my mood. Some women may think that's sad that my life lacks purpose but who are they to judge me I am happy and is that not what all life is about.
Would I work days if I had to would I put him in childcare well yes I would have no choice. I know I'm blessed to be able to chose my hours and to have a very hard working husband who who has made our lifestyle possible. On the other hand how can I blame others who want or have to work who am I to tell them how to live their lives. If you need or want to work then surely a happy mummy leads to a happy family. What good would it do staying at home with the kids because you feel duty bound to be there and being miserable as sin, who's that helping. Surely in this day and age we can understand that women have the choice to work or need to as a generation we are having to work more to sustain a decent lifestyle.
Cant we have a nice mix of  stay at home mummy's and career mums without feeling the need to downgrade each others parenting styles.
Do our insecurities effect our judgement of others? I worry lil dude will think I lack ambition hence the blog and I'm sure working mums worry about leaving their kids. Lets face it motherhood is one huge worry however your tackling it so lets try and concentrate on our own family whichever way it works best for us.

We spend our days teaching our kids to be honest and non judgemental so why arn't we listening to our own lessons??

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Dino World

So as you may have seen we have already done digger land in the garden and as it got closer to summer those little plants at the edges kinda overtook so we turned it to dinoland but lil dude is going through a daft stage with bugs and those flowers attracted sooo many bugs. A rethink was in order!
Then I saw fun at home with kids dinosaur garden and inspiration hit she used blue gravel for a "water feature" and it looked so so amazing. I have to say have some serious green eyed monster of Asia's garden and home she has play areas that I could only dream of. If you get a chance take a look at her blog (but allow a couple of hours!) I loved the idea of adding a whole new level.
Well I'd already seen this volcano aquarium decoration and was itching to buy it but hadnt made up a reason yet (lil dude loves volcanoes almost as much as dinos) So here was the reason and also went to pick up the stones....they were nooooot cheap the blue ones came in a tiny bag and were expensive so rethink! I had brought some sea coloured marbles a while ago and not got round to using them as anything more than loose parts so improvised and used them instead and it looked pretty cool!

We have a gravelled edge to our patio which went perfect with the prehistoric theme also it is in clear vision to my kitchen window so I can wash up/make lunch while he plays and keep an eye on him.

Mr Pteranodon loves to perch on the old fence which adds a cool upper level to the area.

A few bigger rocks placed around the "lake" for the dinos to sunbathe on.

And the centre piece... a real volcano. Although it goes a bit against the natural play ideas I am leaning towards it adds a great dimension and lil dude loves filling it with stones and dinosaurs.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Ricetastic Airport...Budget Play Time Week One

This is Week One in our budget play time using toys around the house or cheap to source to create fun play concepts. This post cost me nothing as had the bits all round the house if you want to backdate the rice cost 40p and the play tray £1 but I must use the rice on average once a week and the tray more often than that!

You will need-
  • Some Cardboard from the recycling bin
  • Rainbow Rice- We made this a while ago using happy hooligans recipe.
  • Tray
  • Toy Planes (or if your feeling creative some laminated pictures of planes)
  • Sharpie
  • Few cones/barriers if you have any from other digger or race car sets etc

Lil dude got some little plastic planes free with a magazine recently and they are flavour of the month apparently they are a red and green arrow :-) twinned with a very well timed fly over by the real red arrows recently on route to an airshow lil dude is in plane mode soo what better than making an airport for him to play with.
Construction consisted of cutting a long strip of cardboard and drawing the lines then cutting to size. I made a small hanger to fit the plane in by folding the same cardboard and sticking down the edges with tape. A couple of squares with H's drawn on the and we were set.
Lil dude had been playing with his rainbow rice that day so I just stuck the bits in the rice added some random cones we have in the toy box and popped the planes and helicopter in. The box we use is a pound land kitty litter box as advised by Happy Hooligans and it gets used "a lot."

This may not be the most glam small world but I wanted this blog to be more about affordable play ideas than ones that look stunning but are currently out of my price range. One day I dream of owning every type of toob (yep that's the dream!) but until then budget play ideas is as far as we can get.

The Airport needed some work done apparenty so the diggers had to be brought in. I'm yet to create a small world that the dinos or diggers dont get involved in!

If you liked this take a look at Hidden Art Station for another budget crafting session.

Time to Cut Costs

So part of this blog was about saving money and saving my lil dude from iwant'titus (yes its a condition of course it is would i lie to you!) We haven't got as far as the cut backs yet so that's the next stage!
I'm gonna stick to two paid activities a week. Lil dude is not an active kiddywink he is much happier doing puzzles or sitting with his dinos. He is quite happy to follow the lead and run riot when with other kiddys so I am sticking with the gymnastics and soft play toddler group once a week. They shut these in the summer hols anyway and me and my bestie usually go to farms, parks or just chill in the garden with the kiddies so that should cut some costs there. We have no holiday booked this year except for a long weekend away which is so far unplanned but will be travel lodge or premier inn so low cost.
Shopping.... oh shopping a few months back I only shopped online and saved money soo gonna revert back to that and will avoid supermarkets like the plague. I have a problem I cannot walk into a supermarket and buy a carton of milk I enter one supermarket and spend £50 its bad and i don't know how i do it its like a trip out and freedom of walking the aisles goes to my head. What can I say I need help!
So mission avoid supermarket is in order!
Also I'm gonna start giving lil dude £5 pocket money a week. This may seem a lot but I spend so much on random bits of junk for him and even more on even more plastic dinosaurs. So he will be getting £5 if he wants to get a magazine, toy, car boot goodies etc that's his lot. I want him to start seeing that these things cost money and that he has a limit.
So that's it the life plan for now it may not seem much but if I try too much at once I will run out of enthusiasm a week in!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Poorly Toddler

Oh the joys of being a mummy. My lil dude is currently asleep (I am fully aware I'm on borrowed time) his temp is up and he's flinching in his sleep after a rough night and a high maintenance day I've come to the realisation that this wont get any easier. The worry never relaxes the stress of watching listening and praying wont cease. I guess this is the long haul! Funny thing is they warn you of these times when you fall pregnant (bit late then hey!) and there's no way then you can ever imagine the worry the connection the all consuming love that you feel. We've had a couple of horrible nights in the hospital in the past and they haunt me every time hes so much as got a cold. I almost have a bag packed and shoes at the ready for the hospital run. Its crazy isn't it really. But hey I've realised ever since motherhood hit me that life will always be crazy from the crazy fun to the crazy worry. But in all reality would I change a thing....Nope.
From the happy tears to the sad I've never been happier!

Hidden Art Station

You will need-

Lining Paper,
Masking Tape &

This one is especially good if you have laminate or tiled floor as can just be left and pulled out when required. As you can see I have the perfect setting for it, I could just pull the sofa back then replace over the top but this can be done anywhere and is easily removed so dosn't have to be left out.

All you need to do is lay some lining paper down and use masking tape to secure the edges and let their imagination run riot. On its first day this was hand... and head prints. Lil dude had us all lying on our backs drawing round our heads.
I then pulled the sofa back over it and forgot it was there.
Untill today when lil dude was climbing the walls a bit so it turned into a train track with a road beside it.
I wont win any points for artistic talent but we had fun and its a great one to work together as he tells mummy what to draw while he gets the trains and helps colour.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Icy Dino Dig

Well a big thankyou to for todays activity it was fab and we had loads of fun recreating this one!!

A while back I filled an ice cream tub with water, mini dinos, fossils and stones and left it to freeze. It then stayed in my freezer for aaaaages as the temperature was certainly not ice play recently.

Looks cool doesn't it!

Well today the weather was strange humid warm but chilly winds. So we cooled of in the house with this. I put some normal salt, some garden salt, and warm water in containers mixing in a lil food colouring as I went. Poured a bit of warm water over the icecream tub and the block of ice just tipped out.

 I explained that we were going to have a Dino excavation and be paleontologist's. Well lil dude was sold as soon as he saw a Dino spike peaking out and after a quick explanation of how salt and warm water will melt the ice and free the trapped dino's he promptly started scooping salt on. Well he soon realised a spoon full wasn't cutting it so on went the entire cup of salt.
I really have to remind myself of his age sometimes my inner perfectionist wants it all to be done carefully while watching each reaction the realist part knows lil dudes limits and to enjoy it thoroughly I have to step back and embrace the chaos! Do you ever find yourself going to correct your kids and having to check yourself because in reality that's how they learn and why should they do it like that anyway because we say so?!? I try to give lil dude the freedom to do things his way to learn from chaos but like I said it goes against my upbringing and includes a fair bit of tongue biting!
So the poured on salt made some wicked cracking sounds and made a great mess to mix and get lil dudes hands into.

He then used the lil tools I provided to hammer saw and jab (In little hooligans she uses better tools to free but I could see younger lil dude loosing a finger or worse so we limited it to plastic toy tools and teaspoons) he realised the hot water was the best Dino freeing device and sent me running back and forth to the tap. He almost forgot about the poor trapped souls as pouring the water became priority number one!

Then back to the digging for a final burst and the were all free!!! This was a fab activity and will be recreated again I may do a smaller ice block next time as without the proper tools the mass of ice was a challenge to say the least! Minimal clean up and cheap as chips to create! Lil bit of advice if doing inside the garden salt is sharp on lil feet we learnt this the hard way after spilling a bunch on the laminate and as soon as lil dude walked he yelped at they spiked the souls of his little bare feet. There was no injury's but next time I'll keep this one for the garden or at least pop some shoes on him.