Only 3 more weeks of winter to go Funky Fans and when the days start getting brighter and a little warmer hopefully everything will start feeling a bit better!
Here are some of the things we have been up to this week.
There are lots of ways to make bird feeders. In oranges or coconut shells, in pine cones or using toilet rolls. We decided to do the toilet roll version and the orange verson!
I poked holls at the top and popped some string through and then let toddler G spread peanut butter all over the roll. You can get special salt free peanut butter which is best for wildlife. He then rolled it in a plate of sunflower seeds. You can use any seeds for birds.
For the oranges, I chopped them in half and scooped out the inside. I cut a little hole on both sides and strung some string through. Toddler G then filled it up with a mixture of the seeds and peanut butter.
Then head out in to your garden and find a good place to hang the feeder and watch the birds enjoy. If you have older children you can combine this activity with the RSPB bird watch that is happening at the moment and log what birds you see coming in to your garden or outside your window.
The Gruffalo has become a staple of childhood now I think. We see it everywhere because it is beautifully written and illustrated and really captures children’s and adults imagination.
We are reading a lot of books in lockdown and I decided to do a tuff tray activity based on the Gruffalo’s child.
Toddler G has some beautiful Gruffalo characters knitted for him by a relative so I used these too to tell the story.
I placed some water in jugs and teabags and cups for Toddler G to make ‘Gruffalo tea’, we also had cupcake cases and a pie dish and various ingredients to make ‘Gruffalo pie’ and ‘Gruffalo cake’.
We used raisins for the black tongue, apricots chopped up for the orange eyes, cut up bits of purple card for the purple prickles and cut up bits of green pipe cleaner for the poisonous wart.
Toddler G had a great time making all these, especially the tea! It was lovely to expand on the books too.
This expands on previous tuff trays I have done with Toddler G but I knew it would be a hit as anything involving water play is always popular!
I popped water in small containers and then added things with different smells to each. We had lemon extract, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, almond extract and vanilla.
I popped a range of different containers on to the tuff tray along with the pipettes and let toddler G mix the smells together.
This was so much fun and my kitchen smelt lovely too! He was very careful to begin with and it is great for those fine motor skill to carefully squeeze a few drops of liquid in to each pot to mix the smells together.
After a while it became a bit of a free for all and everything got poured together but he is only 2 so I was impressed!
This is great for young children as it is a lovely sensory experience and can be adapted for a more taste safe experience too using orange and apple juice or lemon slices.
Older childen really enjoy this too as I don’t think anyone ever really grows out of enjoying making potions!
Free the animals
Such a simple idea and so much fun. Toddler G loves scissors and cutting so he really enjoyed this.
I popped a load of little toy animals on the tuff tray and then did a criss cross pattern with washi tape.
Don’t use ordinary sellotape for this as it’s too hard to cut. You will need more than one reel of washi tape, especially if you have a large tuff tray!
Arm your toddler with a pair of safe scissors and let them chop away and rescue the animals.
Toddler G loves his dinosaurs so this was a dinosaur themed tray although can be adapted to anything your little one likes.
I stuck a load of dinosaur stickers on the tuff tray and covered it with sand.
I coloured the sand earlier to make it look more interesting. Colouring sand is easy, you just need food colouring and a squeeze of alcogel. Pop it all in to a bag and shake it all up and leave it to dry somewhere.
I popped the sand all over the stickers and just for good measure put a few dinos over the top too.
Toddler G swept the sand away with some paint brushes to find the stickers which he really enjoyed.
Afterwards he really enjoyed mixing up the sand colours with various trucks and cars so this was a great activity that kept him amused for a while.
Who doesn’t love Julia Donaldson? I have been reading to Toddler G since he was a few hours old and we really love all the Julia Donaldson books.
He is getting a little grown up for some of the stories now so I decided to make them in to an activity and this worked really well.
We read Postman bear and had a chat about cakes and birthdays and then I laid out this tray for him to make bears birthday cake.
I used playdough, candles and some little glass beads to decorate but you can use anything you have. Coloured rice makes great sprinkles.
Toddler G enjoyed squishing the dough in the cake cases and he really enjoyed poking the candles in and making the bear blow them out.
Sort the shapes
Toddler G has been learning about shapes so I thought this was a great idea to expand on that.
Very simple to set up. I used our coloured rice but sand would work too.
I hid as many shapes as I could find in the sand and then drew the shapes on to card which I popped in containers.
Toddler G is really enjoying using tongs and tweezers currently and this is fantastic for his fine motor skills.
He used the tweezers to find the shapes in the rice and then put them in the correct box, he really enjoyed this activity and then when he was finished he still really enjoyed playing with the rice in the tray.
I hope these have inspired you a bit Funky Fans.
I hope you like the knitted characters too as I will be having a competition to win your own set which I will be holding on Instagram in the future so make sure you follow us on our IG page so you can enter!!
Keep warm in this icy weather and stay safe!!