The children have been enjoying the lovely ‘Owl Babies’ by Author Martin Waddell recently. Owl babies is a lovely tale of three baby owls who wake up one morning to find that their mother has gone. They sit on a branch and wait wondering when their mother will return. It’s a charming, reassuring book for any child who has ever worried about Mummy leaving them alone and the beautiful illustration seems to really capture their imagination.
To extend their interest in Owls, we have made some fab Owls in our Arts and Crafts sessions and enjoyed sticking with some cute Owl stickers. We’ve read more Owl related books including “Wow! said the Owl”. I still have some lovely Owl drawings an older ex mindee did which I just love.
When we said goodbye to our chickens earlier this year I was determined to use the space for something the children could still all enjoy and benefit from. In their place we now have two raised beds, one for growing fruit and vegetables, and one which I am creating a sensory garden in.
I have made a start on this by planting the last of my sunflower seeds that I have used in previous years, I hope the bright colour and eye-catching flowers will be popular with this years mindees.
Along the front of the bed I have planted some mint taken from a cutting elsehwhere in the garden and also some basil and some rosemary which hopefully the children will enjoy using their sense of smell to enjoy.
Next up, I would like to plant something called ‘Lambs ears’. I loved this plant as a child, it has incredibly soft leaves which I hope the children will enjoy with their sense of touch.
I also plan to plant some lavender that we like to use our playdough for a more sensory experience.
I am pleased to report that the sunflowers have started to grow already and I will keep you posted as to how it all progresses.
This morning we enjoyed a cooking session and made these easy Chocolate Cornflake Cakes.
“Hand up who likes Cornflakes?” I asked them – their hands shot up in the air, “Hands up who likes Chocolate?” – Again, both hands shot up in the air!
The children (Aged 35 months) lined the cake tin with cases, helped me weigh out the cornflakes, broke up the chocolate into pieces, helped stir the cornflakes, golden syrup and butter on the hob and finally helped combine the mixture with the cornflakes and spoon out in to the individual cake cases.
We had to wait 5 minutes for the mixture to cool down before transferring to the cake cases so to make this wait more fun we turned the 5 minute sand timer over and I told them to watch until all the sand had passed through before we could move on to the next part. This proved a fantastic visual aid that really helped them to wait patiently for the required length of time.
They had great fun and really enjoyed the whole process.
Areas of Learning covered: Communication & Language, Mathematics, Physical Development, Understanding the World and Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Today’s lunch was Tomato Soup from Annabel Karmel’s ‘Feeding your Baby and Toddler’ recipe book. This recipe uses tinned rather than fresh tomatoes making it much quicker and easier to prepare than previous versions I have made that require skinning fresh tomatoes. It is so difficult to get my son to eat any vegetables so the fact that this contains carrots is great. He absolutely loves tomato soup and to hear him say “More soup Mummy” upon finishing is very satisfying! I served this up with wholemeal bread for my youngest mindee (21 month old) and with garlic bread for my son and other mindee who are both nearly 3.
Today’s lunch was once again from Annabel Karmel’s ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book. It was another pasta dish, this time Ham and Pea Pasta. This is another meal that I can cook fresh and serve in under ten minutes!
Here at Aston Childcare I serve up a lot of pasta based dishes at lunchtime. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. The body breaks them down to release glucose, thereby providing itself with energy. There are two main types of carbohydrates: slow burning and fast burning.
Pasta is an example of a slow burning carbohydrate and peas a slow burning vegetable.
Slow burning carbs are digested and absorbed — burned — more slowly than carbs with a high glycemic index. Eating slow-burning carbs also keeps hunger away and helps with blood sugar control.
Yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) I was keen for us to get out in the fresh air as a family and I was also hoping to spot some bluebells so after lunch we headed off to Shotover Country Park in Oxford for a family walk.
We last went here over New Year when the weather was considerably colder but yesterday we were lucky enough to enjoy a lovely walk in the sunshine and managed to miss the rain. My sons walking has come on considerably since then too so it was lovely that he was able to make it around on his own this time.
There is lots of parking and an information board when you arrive and free leaflets to help you with your chosen walk. We chose the red trail and armed with our map and directions we set off.
My son loved spotting the red triangles on the bridleway posts. The views are stunning and the woodland and trees are beautiful. We walked through some lovely bluebells, spotted lots of lovely birds, met some lovely dogs, saw runners, children playing and making dens, saw couples out walking and families picknicking. It is such a lovely place to go, walking is good for the heart and the soul and I highly recommend it!
Shotover Country Park offers everyone a chance to enjoy a place of beauty and history right on the edge of Oxford. Covering 117 hectares on the southern slopes of Shotover Hill there are spectacular views from the top across south Oxfordshire.
The park is an intimate mosaic of hidden valleys, varied landscapes and diverse habitats; a haven for wildlife and an ideal setting for peaceful enjoyment of the countryside.
Because Shotover is a nationally important wildlife site, most of the Country Park is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Shotover is open to everyone to enjoy throughout the year free of charge and is ideal for a summer picnic, leisurely strolls, a walk with the dog, jogging, riding or orienteering. Are you making the most of the countryside on your doorstep?
Discover how much Shotover Country Park has to offer!
Here at Aston Childcare both my son (34 months old) and one of my mindees (35 months old) are really enjoying learning their colours.
There are lots of chances throughout the day to talk about colours – “Please can you pass me the red one?”,“I want the pink cup” “What colour bib would you like, the pink one or the blue one?”“Which colour pen would you like?” “What colour paper would you like, yellow or green?” etc.
My mindee was quick to learn most colours. Until recently my son was only reliably recognising the colour purple but just this last week he is saying and correctly identifying many more.
We have some fantastic resources that aid colour recognition – Melissa and Dougs sort and snap game is currently very popular. They spent weeks enjoying some fab colour matching puzzles by Orchard Toys. We have lots of books that focus on colours such as “Wow said the owl” and a more simple “colours” book. These colour sorting number bugs are currently proving popular with mindees of all ages. We also make use of some laminated colour sorting cards which the mindees enjoy placing corresponding coloured objects on. I also like to make use of colour themed treasure baskets and colour themed invitations to play.
Finally, whenever we have had fun playing and learning about colours I always reward them with a “I know my colours sticker” which always go down well!