Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kindy Gym Fun

We went to our first kindy gym class today at the local PCYC and Gwen loved it. She's 2.3 now and technically meant to be in the "wonky walkers" class but we took a look at that room and both proclaimed it ok but boring with it's couple of soft gym mattresses, soft tunnel and three large car toys. There was music but there wouldn't be any "instruction" by the minder in the room. I've gotten to know lots of 2 year olds over the last few months and for  the majority of them this wouldn't have been much fun. They are bouncy and inquisitive and love creative play, epically when they are encouraged to pretend to be or do something.

So we went next door.

The Kindy gym class for 3+ year olds had trampolines, balancing beams, ladders, a big soft tunnel, trampolines, a "tower" to jump off onto big mattresses and did I mention the trampolines? For about 5 mins the kids were encouraged to be various animals, jump on a line of hoops and catch bubbles. I joined I on all of this. I did not feel even slightly silly to be the only adult getting into it. While the other mums sat passively around the room Gwen and I actively played together. I’d been ill for the last week and hadn’t been able to do much with her on our park trips and it was great to have the energy again to play.

When it all ended she really didn't want to leave so I made a point of asking the "Leader" if we could come back next week. It really made a difference to Gwen being ok with going, she knows that we'll come back some time soon.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How to Sparkle Shoes

Gwen has finally outgrown all of her old shoes and when we got a new pair it was a great opportunity to sparkle them. These are her old shoes, purple crocs that I originally sparkled with red glitter and sequins, then refreshed with gold glitter. She adores them and I'm often asked by other mums where I obtained her designer crocs.

So this time we got a pair of sandals with a big glitzy flower on them and another pair of pink crocs. The store next to the shoe shop was an art supply and it was a great opportunity to ask her to choose which glitter she'd like on her shoes. Initially she chose lime green, but quickly changed her mind as soon as she noticed the purple right beside it. While she had her afternoon nap I set about sparkling them for her.

You'll need:
Foam Glue (some glues will eat away at the foam rubber, especially PVA)
Paint Brush
A3 paper


Fold the A3 in half so that there is a crease in the middle. unfold and put it on top of your work area.

Liberally cover the shoes with the foam glue. If it starts to bead and pull away from the shoe surface wait a few moments until the glue starts to stiffen and brush it out again.

Sprinkle the glitter over the glue then tap the shoe gently to help remove lose glitter. Repeat for the other shoe. Don't forget to do the back and strap as well.

Let the shoes dry outside in the sun.

Fold the paper in half, pushing the glitter into the fold and gently shake it back into the jar.

 De-sparkle your hands and/or house.

Lillypad Bath

During a recent trip to Nadi and Buppa's place Gwen was fascinated by the lilly-pond and feeding the tiny mosquito eating fish that lived beneath the big green leaves.Yesterday was really hot and full of outside messy projects so a bath seemed like a good idea. I wanted to make it a special one. I scrounged amongst the mess that is my art supply pile and found two sheets of craft foam.

The lillypads looked great floating in the water, lots of toys got to sit on them, swim under them and splash about. It didn't take long before it was discovered that they could stick to the wall. Now I just have to work out how to make the beautiful flowers.

Dinners Ready!

Food is an important part of our daily routine, and the little one seems to need lots of it all of the time. It's amazing how much she can put away and still be ravenous just an hour later. So it's not surprising that one of the first things she did when we started to collect figurines from the markets and local op shop was to role play everyone sitting down to dinner.

More recently the roleplaying has been more centered around issues of hitting, shareing and hugging or kissing things better. For example a recent interaction in the bath between the "Daddy Knight" and the "Space Spaceman" started with the Space Spaceman being poked with a sword by Daddy Knight. The conversation went something like this:

Daddy Knight: (pokes space space man with sword several times)
Space Spaceman: No. stop. I don't like it!
Daddy Knight:(continues to poke, though less vigorously)
Space Spaceman:  Stop!
Daddy Knight: Oh, sorry. um.
Sapce Spaceman: We don't hit people!
Daddy night: (Hugs Space Spaceman) Sorry.
Space Spaceman: Hug! Awwwww. Space Spaceman happy now.
Biscuit Man: Would anyone like some biscuit?
Daddy Knight & Space Spaceman: Yes please! (they take turns to eat from Biscuit Mans little tin)
Space Space Man: lets go and get some soap!
Daddy Knight: Yay!
(All three stomp around the rim of the bath to get washed at the soap dispenser.)

editors note: I have just been corrected. Space Spaceman has now changed his name to Motorbike Man 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A New Song

Gwen has been singing her own compositions for a while now. Sometimes they are repetitions and adaptions of well known songs like Incy Wincy Spider and Twinkle, sometimes she simply sings with made up words and random tunes, asking if we know the words or if we like them. It's wonderful to listen to it all.

This evening I'm excited because at dinner she made up her own composition, a mash up of Fly Away Peter, 5 Fat Sausages and some counting. She held up both hands, all fingers showing and sang:

"Two Five Pumpkins on a plate
One went pop one went yum!"
(puts all fingers down)
no more pumpkins in the garden!"

There where a couple more variations to follow but each started with "two five pumpkins." It was pretty amazing to see her do that sort of maths by herself, and I loved the song.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Real World Tools

I've just started using tools with my 2 year old. We found an old set of shelves during the annual kerbside collection for large items. We've put it on it's side and have been converting it inot a long shelf for all of her things.

We started of with sanding down some edges. Traditional sanding blocks are too big for her hands, instead we wrapped a bit of sand paper around a branch block, or what some call a tree chip.

Then we pried off some of the extra moldings around the bottom with a hammer and chisel (I hold the chisel as it's razor sharp) while Gwen hits with the hammer.Then we salvaged a few extra screws and de-nailed the moldings.

Yesterday we bought the wood to add extra shelves and together we chose some paint to colour the shelves before we screw them in.

I love seeing her become so involved in something so real world, using skills that I too am only really learning for the first time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Ideas

I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of creative collaboration, how traditionally it has happened wherever people have congregated; sewing circles, coffee houses, common interest clubs etc and how the net is changing the nature of it.

 I search the web for my current interests be it making glass beads, how to make a bike trailer, veg patch growing, writing, 2 year old entertaining, all without going out to large meeting places with said two year old in tow. It's done in snatches between picking stuff up, playdates, cooking and play. I collaborate with people I've never met, often from the other side of the world.

I've come to the conclusion that the best ideas, and often the most innovative, are the ones that are shared, modified and played with.

Thank you everyone who has shared their thoughts with me these last few years!

 oh, and it's nice to know other people feel the same way about the net, thus the vid link

Monday, December 20, 2010

Alphabet Turtle

Stickers are not a precious commodity in this house. I know some households who only allow the kids to have stickers for special deeds or occasions, but not us. I've always seen them as a fun way to develop fine motor skills, and creativity, and keep Gwen occupied by something that is completely hers, with no mummy interference unless specifically asked.

Shiny gold dot stickers often make their way onto unsuspecting feet, faces and clothing. Pink stars, or their lesser cousins the gold stars, might be played with for almost 40 minutes straight, being expertly arranged on some card then scribbled on with deliberation. Silver and black foam stickers sourced at reverse garbage get similar treatment and have recently found their way onto old packing tape cylinders and become armbands.

Yesterday we broke out the alphabet stickers and Gwen rummaged amoungst her things until she found a shiny rock wheich she dubed her "ABC Turtle." For the next hour he was expertly covered with all manner of ABC's, as was the mirror and her toes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Market days are a delight

It's all rainy, the mud squelches under my bare feet as we move toward the jumping castle, mango, plum and watermelon juices staining Gwens hands and top. Eagerly she climbs from the stroller and rushes into the bouncing throng of kids. We've just filled up the pram with fresh, cheep market fruit and vege and indulged in a  cheesy pancake and a curry puff. I adore market days, and so does Gwen.

We got home to unpack try out some fresh macadamia nuts which we opened with the macca cracker. Nuts where sorted, bounced, eaten and generally enjoyed. It's still raining outside and for the first time in a week it's nice and cool, but the washing isn't really drying. We played among the cool damp sheets, driving toy cars down a hastily drawn road, painting trees next to it with chalk paint (cornflour, water, food coloring), drawing bicycles (me) and smoke coming from them (Gwen).

We admired the resilience of our garden Hay-man withstanding such cold rain and then back up stairs to read a few books, play in the cave (a big box with blanket over it) and snuggle into sleep.

Rainy days and market days always seem so much busier.