Paper Plate Ring Toss

I think this will be a great game for the garden, if we ever get any sunshine!

I cut the insides from a few paper plates and coloured them in. Well actually Hannah did the bulk of the colouring in, and I just filled in the gaps. I love perfectionist threenagers.

I stuck some rolled up paper to a bit of old cardboard using sellotape. I suppose you could use loo rolls, but I have issues using things that live in the bathroom for playthings! *shudder*

The idea was they get a point for going over 1, two points for going over 2 etc, but to date, George has managed zilch hoops, and Hannah 1. So we are just practising getting the hoop anywhere now!

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St George’s Day

As it was St George’s Day yesterday, we had to do something. So inspired by Mike The Knight, we made some cardboard shields. I cut out a basic shape, and then divided it in to four sections.

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The plan was to draw special things in each section, but George just wanted to flick colour everywhere, and Hannah kindly drew a picture of me on the front of hers. Adding a handle to the back with a scrap of card and sellotape, our shields are complete. All we need now are sone cardboard swords…

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Busy Bags

People often comment on how well behaved my children are at places like restaurants. It’s usually because I have a busy bag or two with me, to keep them entertained during the long wait for their food. They are a godsend on rainy days too, when I am all out of ideas.

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The first one is 5 Megabloks. You could use wooden blocks or Lego really, anything that you can build with. I drew 6 different designs, and they can either recreate the picture, or use it like a template, laying the blocks on the card. As they get older, I can make the designs harder, or add more/different blocks.

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Next up is sheets of stickers. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s basically a couple of sheets of plain white stickers and some felt tips. We can design our own badges, name tags, or even try and convince them to play Wac-A-Day.

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Next up is George’s favourite, the felt butterflies. As long as there are two of everything, he is happy. I tend to make one side, and he likes to match it. Hannah refers free reign and likes mixing and matching the shapes and colours.

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Along a similar theme is our ice cream cone shop. A couple of brown felt triangles, and lots of different coloured circles. We even have some cherries on the top and some Flakes.

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I have recently taken up sewing, and they are desperate to join in! So I punched some holes in foam circles, and they each sew with a shoelace. I always knew that having new spare shoelaces in my junk drawer would come in handy!

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These didn’t turn out as neat as I wanted, as my Stanley knife wasn’t very sharp. But these two love anything Disney related and don’t care. So it’s just a load of popsicle sticks with a picture on, and then sliced in to a jigsaw. Perfect for the millions of popsicle sticks that come in craft packs that I have no idea what to do with!

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La Redoute posted a sale brochure through my door, so I spotted an opportunity to make this. Cut out a few full sized models, and loads of clothes to fit. Hannah likes creating the different outfits, George not so much. I am waiting for another kind company to post me more junk so I can create another one.

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Two of my favourite things are pegs and paper plates. I was going to make a clock, but the pegs ad to get involved. So she counts the dots, and pegs the approprate peg to it’s section. George can’t count, so he just likes pegging the pegs to his face. We will probably see him on Britain’s Got Talent in 20 years.

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More pegs and a trip to B & Q for some paint charts. They both enjoy matching the pegs to the correct colour.

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Another of the boys favourites, and one I always notice people giving a closer look to when he has a road over the restaurant table. I cut some black card strips, 5cm wide, and stuck little white markings on. I would have used Tippex if I had it too. The cars in the busy bag get rotated, as he is the proud owner of about 350 small cars. I plan to add roundabouts and T junctions one day, but as I don’t drive, I don’t actually know the technicalities of these, so I will probably never get round to it!

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My personal favourite, the felt make your own pizza bag. We have sauce, cheese, pickles, ham and chicken, and I like to place my order with Chef Hannah. I actually made the one in the picture, she would never get a job in Pizza Hut with her creations!

Aquarium Baggie

Mummy, can I have a dog?
Mummy, can I have a rabbit?
Mummy, can I have a pig?

I don’t do pets, but Hannah is always banging on about them. So I thought I would make her an Aquarium Baggie. I actually think she likes this more than a real animal. I would go as far to say that she loves these fish more than me!

So I started with water beads. These tiny little dots from ebay are only 99p. Leave overnight in a jug of water and they transform in to these wonderful squidgy balls. I added some blue food dye to some cheap 15p hair gel, and together I had my watery background. Dropping in a few fish made it complete.

Now George just loves water beads on their own, so his aquarium doesn’t have any hair gel. Plus, I don’t quite trust him not to open the bag and dump poor Bubbles and Finny on my carpet. Water beads on carpet I can cope with, but not bright blue hair gel!

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We love our fish, and I love that I can leave them for a fortnight to go on holiday! And I challenge the adults not to be squidging these bags themselves!

Dens

It doesn’t have to be all about the sticky back plastic and painting egg cartons. Actually, have you tried cutting up an egg carton? Never goes right for me.

Sometimes you just want something simple to do whilst you put your feet up and have a cup of tea. I will bring every sheet/duvet/pillow downstairs, and we drape them over the furniture. Ta-da – a den!

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Song Bag

We first discovered the song bag at our local Surestart centre. This is one of the few activities that they don’t have free access to, and I find it makes it more exciting when we pull out the song bag!

So, the concept is a bag of toys that each represent a nursery rhyme, preferably an action song. The bag is passed around the group sitting in a circle, and each child takes a turn when it stops on them. We tend to just keep going back and forth, with me taking an occasional turn to break it up.

We sing this song as we pass the bag around:

“Pass the song bag round and round
Round and round,
Round and round,
Pass the song bag round and round,
Where will it stop?”

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Some of our toys are:

Spider – Incy Wincy Spider
Teapot – I’m a little Teapot
Fish – 1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a fish alive
Star – Twinkle Twinkle
Rubber Duck – Five little ducks
Wooden Worm – There’s a worm at the bottom of the garden
Wooden Bus – Wheels on the Bus
Frog – Five little speckled frogs

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Our rabbit has two song choices – Little Peter Rabbit or Sleeping Bunnies

“See the little bunnies sleeping till it’s nearly noon
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune
Oh how still, are they ill, wake up soon
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
Hop hop, hop
Hop hop, hop
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
Hop and STOP! ”

“Little Peter rabbit got a fly upon his nose
Little Peter rabbit got a fly upon his nose
Little Peter rabbit got a fly upon his nose
So he flicked and it flew away buzz buzz
Powder puffs and curly whiskers
Powder puffs and curly whiskers
Powder puffs and curly whiskers
So he flicked and it flew away buzz buzz
Clever clever Peter rabbit
Clever clever Peter rabbit
Clever clever Peter rabbit
So he flicked and it flew away buzz buzz”

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My absolute favourite is Dingle Dangle Scarecrow, really gets me moving after a 6am start to the day!

“When all the cows were sleeping and the sun had gone to bed
Up jumped the scarecrow and this is what he said!
I’m a dingle, dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that
When all the hens were roosting and the moon behind the cloud
Up jumped the scarecrow and shouted very loud
I’m a dingle, dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that
When the dogs were in the kennels and the doves were in the loft
Up jumped the scarecrow and whispered very soft
I’m a dingle, dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that”

Racing Cars

My two LOVE racing cars. Brum, brum, is all I hear all day long. So using my roll of paper (I promise I won’t make every post based on a roll of paper), I drew a zigzag race track. The goal was simple, to be the first past the finish line.

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George usually wins, but only because he doesn’t care about being neat. He just wants the glory. Hannah is just so precise, carefully taking the bends. The paper was soon ripped, it couldn’t take Georges speeds, but this is a firm favourite!

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