Using the earth as our own sensory wonderland

Using the earth as our own sensory wonderland

As Elijah has gotten older we have tried to incorporate sensory play into our day to day lives. We have started using the outdoors as our play ground more and using natural supplies for both learning and fun. We enjoy going for walks and collecting plants and pebbles for arts and crafts or play.

We enjoy going to the beach and playing with the rocks. We like to build towers with the pebbles, we like to practise writing in the sand with our fingers or sticks. We like to build sandcastles and to dig holes. We like to throw rocks as far as we can in the water. This is Elijah’s favourite activity. We do this all year long even in the winter. We like to collect pebbles to take home with us to paint and then hide on future walks.

On walks we like to gather flowers, we like to gather sticks and leafs. We use the leafs and flowers for arts and craft activities such as sticking them to paper and painting. We often collect pine cones and conkers and use them for sensory play or counting. We also use the conkers to paint with as well sometimes. I like to fill a bowl or tray with flowers and natural things and incorporate Elijah’s toys to them. For example i have often put flowers in water in a tray and filled with some paint so its coloured and got Elijah to explore it. I like to use elijahs tuff tray and pick a theme and add natural items to compliment the play. I.e if i was choosing woodland animals id find all his toys that relate to that so id choose bears, squirrels and deer toys and add sticks, leaves and pine cones.

I like to use water in play. I like to set up a car wash or animal washing stations where i fill bowl with washing up liquid and water and Elijah sits there with a cloth cleaning his toys for ages! We also have a water table which he adores and a sandpit in the garden. He also uses his water and sand table which i often replace the filling to sensory items instead. We like to freeze toys in water and i love to watch Elijah’s mind working trying to get toys out with spoons or by smashing on the ground. You can also freeze flowers also!

We like using sand pits to hide toys or practice scooping or playing with his diggers in. We like using a brush and looking for bigger dinosaurs in the sand. We like hiding toys like a easter egg hunt around the house or in the garden and looking for them and collecting them all up.

You can also give your child a patch of dirt to garden in where they can dig, water and rake. Get them to help watering plants with a watering can. Get them to help plant their plants and seeds. Artificial plants are great for the child who loves to over watering and it teaches them to care for their planet at the same time.

I sometimes use flashcards and books to teach at the same time. I like hiding things in the trays to and instructing him to look for them. He likes digging for dinosaurs in his sandpit and fishing for fish in water with his net. We also hide flowers amongst leaves and fake insects to find.

I really want to get a mud kitchen for the garden for Elijah as i know he’d love it! But i think i’ll wait till hes bored of his kitchen being indoors. Until then we like to use plastic bowls to make mud cakes using dirt and water or we make potions with flowers and water and a little bit of glitter. When hes older i will make perfumes with him like i did with my nan. We used to pick flowers grind them up and place in water to make perfumes. We also look for bugs with our magnifying glass.

I hope you enjoyed my little using nature for sensory play blog post. Comment if you would like more! stay safe, Charlie x

Hello spring…

Hello spring…

Good morning all, i type this as i sit with the sun peeking through clouds into my living room while listening to the radio. I have a hot chocolate in my hand having the odd warm chocolatey sip before typing and escaping for a moment. I really love the seasons change. I adore looking out my windows at cherry blossom tress and the green leafs coming back in the trees. Seeing new flowers budding through and their heads coming out to say hello for a few months brings me a odd sense of happiness. There is something oddly relaxing about the sunshine peeking through, it warms my heart when there is a blue sky with the whitest of clouds and the sun is shinning.

As the music fills the room i see things more brightly in the sunshine.My living room is grey, i love the grey because its cooling and warming all at once. Normally at this time in the winter i’d still need a light on because the sun would still be stuck behind all the dark clouds struggling to peak through. Now i can open my blinds and enjoy the sunshine lighting my room. The natural light is so much more calming then artificial light having to cause a week glow.

We really enjoy trips outside. It’s that perfect time of year when you can get away with a light jacket then sweating in a thick parka. The sun feels warm on your skin and if it rains it is not absolutely freezing and you feel more willing to stay outside then seek shelter all day. This time of the year as a lot of seasonal affective disorder suffers start to feel a bit better as the weather picks up. Like plants we all need a little bit of sun and warmth. Also the heating bills go down a lot and i can get on board without having to layer up and put the heating on. The sun stays out later and comes out earlier so it feels like the days are longer and i feel like being a bit more of a morning person again. I look at my picnic blanket a bit more and plan picnics for warmer days on the park behind our house. It’s so much nicer being warmed by the sun instead of feeling as though you’re being baked like a potato and sweating it out.

This spring we are planning to take a few days for a weekend away to escape the world for a little bit. To leave our phones off and just enjoy being the three of us. We’re also expecting to have our new carpet fitted tomorrow and i have been waiting forever to have it replaced. When we moved in it was the first thing i wanted gone as its been marked by a previous owners dog chewing on it… We’re also planning to sort the garden out in the late spring and sort out more of a play area for Elijah. It is a bit annoying how big our garden and how much work has been needed over the last few summers but its so much better than the wasteland full of broken glass,dirt and tree trunks it was before . It’s going to be so much fun this year having lots of messy play in the garden and playing with Elijah’s sand pit and his water table(that is if the storms haven’t got to them)! We will of course be taking just as many trips to the zoo and going out with friends a lot more than staying inside with them. It might mean my house may stay a little cleaner then it gets after a play date or 2.

What are you all looking forward too about spring and have you got any plans?

What we get up to at the weekend

What we get up to at the weekend

It’s no secret that my favourite time of the week is Friday evening when the weekend starts. It means James has finished for the weekend and we get two whole days together as a family. There’s nothing I enjoy more. We’re always trying to make memories while also remembering resting and spending time together is important too.

Our weekend starts with a coffee from the other person made as we roll out of bed. On a Saturday I or James will have a lay in and on a Sunday we swap and the other person does. I say lay in but we always wake for about 9 am now. The other gets up with Elijah to give him breakfast and play with him. We normally then decide what we’ll do for the day if we haven’t already. We’ll decide somewhere family friendly to go and almost always will eat lunch out. If we go for a walk we have lunch after or before or if we go for a trip to town we will wind up at food at some point too. We quite often go for walks though and decide where on the day. For a treat we will often take Elijah for a day at soft play, to a museum or to the zoo. We normally do this on a Saturday.

After we’ve done our day plans we will normally come home for the evening shove on some pjs and watch something then have a small meal together before putting Elijah to bed and watching a film or series. Or we go too see family for tea and relax round there’s before returning to put Elijah to bed. On a Sunday we like to normally keep this as our chill day. Sometimes we’ll go for a walk or to the shops for something but mainly we like to relax. We get the housework deep cleaning done while Elijahs asleep for a nap. Things like washing, mopping, dusting, polishing, de scaling and scrubbing of rooms if I haven’t done it already. We spend the rest of the day cuddling up watching films, Playing with Elijah and doing some sort of arts or craft. We’ll do painting or do play dough or sometimes baking. We try to do a family activity as much as we can so we have real family time. Sometimes we will invite family or friends over but we normally like to cuddle up just the three of us.

We do like to try and do different things as much as possible so we go to different places for lunch, walks and more. We like to look out for events near us and look for different things in the area. We like to go to museums and to themed days and fates too. We often take strolls on the beach and end up on the amusements. We do love spending time together but also appreciate sometimes it’s nice to have our own time too. So sometimes I’ll go out with a friend or James will. Sometimes I’ll take Elijah out with me so James can have some time to himself. This happens very rarely though as we both agree we like to spend our weekends together and often go out weekdays instead with friends.

Looking forward to our next weekend where we are hoping to take Elijah to his favourite place the zoo! James has had too work the last two Saturdays so we’ve had to put of plans and relax more on sundays. What do you get up to at the weekend and have you got a set relaxation day too? What’s your favourite thing to do?!

Looking for a free activity for young children this half term?

Looking for a free activity for young children this half term?

I have never met a child who doesn’t enjoy activity sheets, be it colouring, painting or learning to spell. A important resource for all children of all ages, worksheets are so helpful to teach while engaging and learning with your children. Young children will love colouring and looking at pictures. Whereas older children enjoy more sophisticated activity sheets like word searches, spelling and maths sheets. We love orchard toys puzzles and games and always find them both fun and educational. Looking on their website for more toys ideas for Christmas i noticed they have a things to do section. Under this section there are lots of craft ideas such as using household products to make a rocket and even tasty recipes. There is also a out and about section with ideas on things you can use for arts and crafts too. You can print your very own activity sheets and print them for your children to do. There is lots and lots for all ages and interests and only will cost you your ink and paper. So go check them out. This is not a ad i just love this little freebie and all caregivers should be able to save money when they can!

Rainy day activities.

Rainy day activities.

The rain hit hard over the weekend causing floods in some places so we decided to stay in. We recently brought a tuff tray so I decided let’s use it to make mess!

Today we used paper and paint. We got out our dinosaurs, trains and cars to make tracks and prints. We set up the washable paint and cellotaped three bits of paper (A3) together. We got our sponge and normal paintbrushes out and set them up nicely. We put glitter and sequins ready to be scattered on too. We did it while Elijah napped so he saw something was new and got excited to play with it. He kept saying wow!

We talked through the colours and what the items were, letting him choose what he used and showing him how to make foot prints and track prints on the paper. His favourite thing was the large sponge paintbrush which he enjoyed the texture off. He loved soaking it with paint and saying ew and giggling as he brushed it over the paper. We painted his hands and he used his hands to paint and enjoyed doing so! He learnt how to do it himself and grabbed the paintbrushes and dipped the paint on and then painted his hands. He enjoyed the play session lots and lasted atleat twenty minutes.

Normally on rainy days inside we have some sort of themed play. We will normally get the colouring books out and colour. We will get a pack of stickers out and stick to some scrap paper of previous squiggled drawings and make new pictures.

We also get out play dough to shape and mould new things. We get his play dough sets out like his dentist kit and minions hairdressers salon and have themed play. We’ll pretend to make food and make animals and balls and just smash them.

We get out a set of toys at a time like a happy land set and play with them. Normally we get the train track out and pretend to be boarding trains. We will also get the house out and make pretend with the house. We play with the zoo and make pretend there too. We love playing with animals and dinosaurs and have hi speed races across the livingroom with his cars.

The toy kitchen and food is a good thing to do together too. We pretend to cook and stir in our saucepans and serve each other food. We do cutting and seasoning and lots of wash up up too. We talk through the food and what we’re doing too learn what things are and the words for a action.

We play with our puzzles, we work together to do these and he enjoys helping. We play snap and learning games. We always read flash cards together to learn words and colours and shapes. We play wooden magnetic fishing games and try to work the motor reflexes at the same time as spending quality time together.

We set up picnic blankets and have tea party’s and picnics indoors for lunch and sometimes we bring our teddy’s along.

We bake food together. Elijah sometimes helps with making lunch and whenever is bake he loves to help decorate and stir the bowl for me!

Anything can be an indoor activity if you let it be. Don’t let the rain stop the fun! A day in-front of a film with some supper yummy snacks is always fun too and it is important to unwind and relax.