Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sharks, manta rays, giant squids, mud skippers... (Project I)

For weeks Mr A has been carrying around a handful of magazine cut-outs of ocean animals and all the nature books that have anything to do with Sea Life (Project I). We even borrowed a book about sharks from the library, which he refuses to return back.

                                       'This is MY shark book!' 

Some of our favourite books:
- Maurice Pledger: Sounds of the Wild, Ocean (Miss R loves this one too)

Since then, we have been pretend playing sea animals on a daily basis. Daddy is really god at that - it gets a bit loud at times, but Mr A  and Miss R absolutely love it. 

We also watched several episodes of Blue World by Jonathan Bird. These are great for children; each episode is only 10 min long, discusses one animal and does not seem to be too scary for my boy.

We visited the local pet shop, National Salife Birmingham and then built a sealife centre at home.


Mr A painted a whale shark and a manta ray (I should probably mention that painting activities only last for about 5 min and then he is off), while his little sister was happily munching on her art...


We made the Atlantic Ocean in a glass bowl... This process took so much patience and focus; he was trying to stack all the large stones into some sort of tower and it kept collapsing over and over again.


We sculpted numerous manta rays, lionfish, hammerhead sharks and squids... And ate some playdough...


I love how we are learning together. For example, I have never heard of a wobegong shark before.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Map reading

It all started on an afternoon trip to an arboretum. I was struggling to keep Mr A motivated, so I asked him to lead the way using a very simple map of the arboretum. He was adorable, as he was trying to act as an adult using very mature voice.  And he loved it...

'Mummy, we need to follow this yellow path. Then we will see a pond. And this is our street.'


Since then, I have been using very simple sketch maps when we go out and about. Sometimes we make the map together, so Mr A can help to decide either about what we will be doing together on a certain day or about trivial things such as the colour of symbols. For obvious reasons, I try to include a choice of different options on the map; for example a trip to the park or to the pond. 

I am trying to create a literacy rich environment at home and map reading just seems to be an hands-on extension to this. Mr A is able to recognise more or less all the letters of the alphabet now and actually loves spelling out the words or reading the numbers on the map.

Thursday, 7 November 2013


My children love music, especially Miss R. She moves to virtually any noise. 

We attend the Nick Cope's music sessions every now and then. The guy does a brilliant job keeping children entertained and parents sane. The atmosphere is so chilled out, children are allowed to jump around, babies crawl and nobody really minds if the little ones have a bite to eat. This sort of set up suits Mr A very well, as he would probably struggle to sit still. As for Miss R, she can remain attached to the guitar case for the entire hour. Shall I be worried :)

I am always testing which music makes them move, giggle, relax, sing,... We have been playing a lot of Putumayo music lately with our favourite probably being Putumayo Afro Latin Party and Putumayo World Playground. Putumayo have an amazing selection of music from all around the world.


I also tried some aboriginal Australian didgeridoo music the other day. Yet I didn't expect that both of my children would find didgeridoo music absolutely hilarious.  So, be it didgeridoo... and blowing into cardboard rolls...

Monday, 4 November 2013

My little girl...

My little girl doesn't wear white tights, glittery shoes and fluffy coats...

Her hair is rarely neat and tidy, and her fingernails aren't clean...

My little girl crawls in mud, eats sand, kisses puddles of water, paints her face and kneads playdough...

Her clothes are usually stained, her hair is tangled up and her fingernails reveal evidence of the most recent exploration...

But she is a happy little girl