Saturday, 3 April 2021

How to make Fairy Butterfly Wings with Pressed Flowers

My little girl absolutely loves to put on a pair of wings and dress up a fairy or a butterfly, but the wings we have which are made from the same material as nylon stockings have ripped in places and shed glitter like there's no tomorrow! I decided to make a custom pair of wings at home, using home pressed flowers (in the microwave!) and contact paper - which give more of a natural, iridescent 'flutter', look incredibly delicate and so beautiful and personalised....

(Blog originally published April 2020)
 

transparent fairy butterfly wings made with tacky back plastic and pressed flowers

The best thing is that the lead up to making these links into some special experiences - you can forage in your garden for leaves, flowers and petals...or whilst out on your walk. We included some tête-à-tête daffodils that the children picked for me whilst I was poorly in quarantine to cheer me up and make me feel better, some tulips we had before lockdown and some cherry blossom flowers collected from a daily walk (also my favourite tree!). This activity is perfect for learning and teaching symmetry, discussing differences and changes, noticing patterns and details, following instructions and role play....

Friday, 26 March 2021

What is child-led learning? | How can loose parts & playdough help?

What is child-led learning and child-led play? What does it mean to 'follow a child's interests'? How can we use specific resources within an environment to help create a child-led environment? Why are loose parts and playdough such a helpful resource to use?

what is child led learning nd child led play? how can loose parts and playdough help?

This blog post includes a link to a youtube video where I give an explanation and examples of what child-led means and why certain resources are so helpful...

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Guest Post | My son banged his head and now he's deaf | Living with EVA

Sudden hearing loss in a child can come as a huge shock. Not only does it change their perception of the world around them and put them in a potentially frightening and unfamiliar situation – it also changes the lives of those around them, who interact with them, who are used to dealing with and speaking to them in a certain way or a certain tone. It is a steep learning curve, not just for the one who has lost their sense of hearing, but those who now have to learn different ways of communicating. 

 boy with hearing aids drinking a drink - he has EVA - enlarged vestibular aqueducts

The year before last, my younger sister, Laura, called me to tell me that my young Nephew, Oliver had suffered sudden hearing loss due to a bang to the head and what we later discovered was EVA – Enlarged Vestibular Aqueducts.

I am going to hand over to Laura now to tell you their story….

Thursday, 11 March 2021

School readiness – preparing your child for Reception Class

School readiness…its something you’ll probably hear quite a lot if you have a child who is preparing to start Reception Class in September, but what does it actually mean??
school readiness - preparing your child for reception class

How can we, as parents, make sure that we are helping and not hindering when preparing our 4 year olds for big school?

Most of my Teaching career was spent teaching Reception, and so this is something I thought long and hard about when passing on information to Parents. What would I hope, as their Teacher, they could do already? What sort of things would I discuss in the Parents meetings for new starters? Where would my expectations be bearing in mind I don’t yet know the children or what level they are at?

Its not what you might expect….

Saturday, 13 February 2021

CMPA | Milk Allergy | What Can I Eat?

My youngest child, Charlotte, was diagnosed with CMPA – cows milk protein allergy – at 4 months old. In hindsight, I believe that my eldest child also suffered with the same allergy but back then I had NO idea it even existed! Even after countless trips to the GP for severe colic and reflux, and numerous calls to the health visitor – it was never even mentioned as a possible allergy. Only after searching through facebook groups and reading advice online did I come to realise, and eventually diagnose, Charlotte with a milk and soya allergy.

CMPA Milk allergy how to test what can you eat


AD: This post contains Paid Partnership links

I was breastfeeding at the time, so this meant I also had to cut out the allergens from my diet as they can be passed on through breastmilk. At first it was a very steep learning curve working out what I could and couldn’t eat! In this blog post I’m going to talk you through the process of testing for allergies, and how to adapt your diet to make sure you are eating safe foods which are allergen free.

Monday, 1 February 2021

A Homeschooling Poem

As we start 2021 in another lockdown, most of us faced with homeschooling our children whilst also trying to work/run a business/ stay healthy, it goes without saying that this is an incredibly tricky time for a lot of us. I think we all know how difficult the current situation is for us all, and although I toyed with the idea of writing a poem in solidarity with the feelings of many of us, I decided to step back at look at things from a totally different angle. I thought about the silver lining of homeschooling...the little things that will make the biggest difference, and the way we might look back on it for the moments we gained, rather than the moments we lost... It has helped me to take a more positive view on our days of homeschool and to remind me that I now have the ability to change our days and find the fun when our children need a breather too. x

As always, please remember that this poem is subject to copyright and must not be copied, pasted or republished anywhere. If you would like to share this you may use the URL of this website to share, or use the social media share buttons here or on my social channels. Thank you. 


a homeschooling poem - benefits of homeschool

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Valentine's Day Tuff Tray | Sensory Play | Playdough Recipe

Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, this sensory tuff tray is sure to provoke some language and discussions around love and kindness whilst offering lots of learning opportunities in a very child-led and open ended exploration...

Valentine's Day sensory rose playdough tuff tray activity

This sensory play opportunity actually starts before the tuff tray activity, in making the Valentine's Day playdough together with your child/children! This post explains and demonstrates how to make this together, and then moves on to the resources and the learning opportunities this provides....

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas Eve Poem for Parents

When Arthur was still 2 yrs old - I spent almost my entire Christmas Eve sat on his bedroom floor trying to help him get to sleep as he was afraid of Father Xmas visiting our house!! I had a bit of time to kill, so I wrote this poem... I'm hoping that we don't have a repeat of  it this year, but I am absolutely certain I wont be the only one if so....

A christmas Eve poem image with the first few lines: 'Twas the night before Xmas and all through the house,   not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse....  Toddlers don't count though, especially mine - he's frightened of Santa...  Lordy bring me the wine!


Christmas Eve Poem for Parents


'Twas the night before Xmas and all through the house, 
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse....

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

The importance of Positive Language in the Early Years | Guest Post

 Why is positive language so important in the early years and how can you adjust your own language to be more positive?  Create a more positive behaviour management system and learn how to rephrase your responses to some common scenarios...

Today, I have Lucy from @home_ed_at_the_weekend writing a guest post for us all about the importance of positive language in the Early Years. You can find more information about Lucy and how to contact her at the end of this post...


positive-language-in-the-early-years

Positive language plays an important role in the Early Years – both at home and within a childcare setting. Avoiding the use of negative or authoritarian language is an excellent tool for positive behaviour management. It also allows children to feel equal; part of a two-way, respectful relationship with their care givers - as opposed to being under the control of certain adults. 
Rather than always dealing with negative behaviour and picking up the broken pieces, using positive language allows us to prevent some negative behaviour and thus prevent the pieces becoming broken in the first place – at least some of the time, anyway. This is because it empowers children to believe in themselves & their choices and it fosters independence and self-confidence...

Monday, 16 November 2020

11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Whether you’re a yoga devotee, a part-time ‘sometimes’ partaker or you simply bought a yoga mat once with the intention of breathing better, but you’ve done nothing but sigh at the sight of it…fear not! I have just the info you need to re-imagine your yoga mat, fall back in love with it, or even make you want to purchase more!
 
11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

If you follow me on social media you will know that I have recently fallen in love with a form of exercise called Gyrotonic. Although different, its not TOO dissimilar to the underlying principles of yoga and pilates and certainly benefits the body in the same way. When living in London, I used to do yoga and pilates every single day at home – in between my nursery practitioner job and my Nanny job. Working with small people (or even just having small people!) can really take its toll on your body. Every lunchtime I’d go back to my Balham flat, unroll my yoga mat and (usually) stick on my Darcy Bussell DVD and make way for a few stretches and poses before heading off to start round 2 of my day. Fast forward a few years, and add in a couple of children and I’m lucky to find a ‘lego free’ area of floor space to pop down my yoga mat! However, you know how much I love to re-use every day items and incorporate them into play as well, so here are a few ideas for you of different ways to use your yoga mat… some for the kids, some for the adults….


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