Wednesday, 31 October 2012

An Impromptu Pumpkin Carving Session!

 These were the spooky results of our impromptu pumpkin carving session last week - courtesy of the fab offer that a certain supermarket had on! Dewi went all technical and made a spider on a web....
 I made an owl sitting on a branch with a cloud floating atmospherically past, although on reflection, it looks far more like a cat sitting on a branch, and by the time I took the pictures, it had flopped over backwards and was being propped up by an apple twig through the beak - painful!
 This is Eve's - she went to town with haunted houses, ghosts, bats etc etc - there wasn't a lot of pumpkin left really afterwards!!!!
 Faith did a special on witches hats - all carved free hand and a very impressive selection I thought!
 There were a few classic pumpkin faces just for good measure......
And they looked great all glowing away together in the gloom outside!
 This was the scene mid-carving........
 Faith wielding the pumpkin carving mini-saw like a seasoned pro!
 Eve realised that she needed a larger opening to get her pumpkin innards out of!
 Dewi being all technical about the process........
And guess who wanted a piece of the action - he was desperate to get his hands on a pumpkin saw but had to settle for a scooper instead!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Toddler Maths

Idris stunned me yesterday by easily building this huge tower!! He confidently placed one unit block on top of another, using his other hand to steady the tower when needed. I helped with a few balance adjustments as it got higher but he wasn't upset when it fell over, he laughed and rolled around on the blocks then built another. I digress....... about halfway up, I handed him a longer block and he put it on and turned for the next one - I handed him the original size and he turned to put it on........ then stopped, frowned, said 'na' and took the long one off, dropped it on the floor, did a happy wiggle then put the same sized one on top and turned for the next. It made me think back to some Penny Tassoni training I did recently where she had put a blue duck with yellow ones and noted that a toddler took it out of the bucket, showing that toddlers take notice of groupings - an early mathematical observation. It got me thinking what else I have seen Idris do that comes under the 'early maths' heading.

Here he is sitting with a metal teapot from his metallic treasure basket and he went straight for the tin that would fit inside it and popped it in and out, opening and shutting the lid - he seems to be very accurate when he chooses things to fir inside something else. He knows what will fit and what won't without using trial and error - showing that he can accurately judge size/capacity at a very young age!

This is him again exploring a similar concept to the one above with the teapot...... this is the treasure tub that came about after my post on him threading beads into plastic bottles - my parents put together a collection of plastic plumbing pipes and different threads of beads, a funnel, a few jars and bottles and a denture pot! This treasure tub is fab as it's in a round plastic bird seed tub and is easy to carry around - it has been to the bathroom many evenings at bath time! It was in the bath that I first noticed that Idris was selecting exactly the right tube to create a 'nest' of tubes with each one getting smaller. I was fascinated!

Idris finds plenty of opportunities to explore maths outdoors as well, as he carries all sorts of objects, heavy and light, and plays with his beloved collection of balls of all shapes and sizes! When you think about it, there are so many ways for toddlers to explore mathematical concepts, have a close look next time your toddlers are exploring things and see what maths they are applying without even knowing it!

Monday, 29 October 2012

All the things you can do with a slide......

Idris was being a tad grumpy and wanted to play on the slide outdoors but with the door open - and it was far too cold and gas is far too expensive to let that happen so while he was stamping his little feet and shouting about it, I took the slide inside and he was intrigued - and came along in to see what was happening! It wasn't long before he was having a brilliant time, testing out what would go down the slide and waiting while I said ready, steady........ go, then he pushed the cars down and laughed and laughed!!!
The bump balls went down it, the beads from the latest treasure tub went down it..... and of course, Idris went down it, in as many different configurations as he could conjure up.... forwards sitting, forwards lying, forwards stepping off it, sideways with one leg up, one leg down, backwards, headfirst - you name it, he did it, as well as practising going up and down the steps, each step with the next foot on it then turning around and climbing down again! Faith then joined in and got him to lie on his tummy and shouted, ready steady blast off and as she shouted blast off, she fired him down the slide with a good shove of his feet and he flew across the floor at the end.... he LOVED it!!!!

I'm sure lots of parents would be cringing at what I let him do, but he's a tough little cookie and laughs when he takes a tumble, as well as being very well co-ordinated and well developed with his physical and motor skills, so within reason, I let him explore his physical limits and satisfy his very obvious need to climb, roll, slide, jump, push, pull etc etc etc!!!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Idris at 15 months...... NEVER still!!!!

 He walks everywhere that he can, last week he discovered that he walk on his toes and spent the day walking on his toes everywhere! At the pool one day he learnt to 'jump' (that is he says 'du' and steps out from the edge with a big grin and tightly shut eyes!)..... so now he climbs onto things, says 'du' and steps off the edge with his eyes shut!!!! There is no physical challenge that this boy won't take on! He still loves to be outdoors in all weathers - I love it!
 He had his first fair ground ride at Wonderland last week - and loved it! He especially liked the Alice in Wonderland rabbit cars with steering wheels - so much so that he howled when he had to come out and let someone else have a go! He's just stopped crying when it was his turn again and yes, you guessed it, he howled again when he had to come out!!!
 He loves shoes now!! He will wear anyones shoes as you can see and is very adept at getting around in even the largest of pairs - he pinched my wedding shoes from the wardrobe too (red kitten heels) and clomped around in those! He found a pair of bumper shoes in our shoe box and brings them to us, thrusts them in our hands and lifts a foot with an expectant expression on his earnest little face! He wears socks with shoes, and they have to go on in a certain order thank you very much!!!! When his shoes come off, so do his socks! We need to get him some properly fitted shoes really as I don't think the bumpers are the best fit, but considering that I thought he'd never want to wear shoes, at least he has warm toes on chilly days now! He climbs on lots of things, liking to just be off the floor!
 This is a slightly blurry photo (I told you he was never still!) of Idris with a micro-bead cushion on his head - I have no idea how this started but he thinks it is really funny to run around with this on his head!
He is fascinated with play dough as well but eats a fair amount of it so we have to be careful - a reputable source told me that blue play dough puts children off from eating it so I'll have to test that theory next time I make some!! He is going through the stages that the girls did with play dough - pushing things into it, pulling pieces off when we roll a big sausage of it.... Eve discovered he likes the dough whilst trying to distract him one day!
And he is ADORED by his big sisters!!!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A New Toddler Posting Activity!

 I watched Idris playing with the bath plug chain in his treasure basket and dropping it in and out of a milk jug..... It gave me an idea and I fetched out the bead strings from my Christmas box and chopped them up into smaller lengths..... some about 10cm and some up to 30cm long. I then simply clamped an empty bottle between my knees, demonstrated once and he was off!
 He quickly worked out that using two hands with one very near to the end of the string was the best way to get them in. He was very steady handed, making very small adjustments to his hand position as he wavered over the neck of the bottle trying to thread them in. I used quite a narrow necked bottle but you could make it easier with a wider necked one, or even a jug as he had used originally!
 He discovered that the bottle made a great sound when shaken......
 But that you had to pull most of them out, they didn't just fall out!
 Then he threw them on the floor (doesn't he always?!) and danced on them for a bit - they made a great clacking sound as they hit the floor!
Then he went to the recycling box and helped himself to another bottle and tried again, all by himself! He took them in the bath that night too and spent ages draping them over his arms and shoulders, deep in concentration! Draping is something that he likes to do anyway, with socks or small pieces of cloth so it was interesting to see him trying his theories out on a new medium!

This would make a great discovery box with  a collection of different receptacles to put the chains in and a variety of different chains to explore - hardware shops and garden centres often stock rolls of different sizes of chains - tubes would be fun too, and funnels to explore which chains went through them and which didn't - I think I feel a new treasure basket coming on!!!!!