This is definitely an old post but thought I would still post about it.
We did a scavenger hunt for their Easter egg surprises this year. I bought plastic eggs and we put clues and sometimes a little chocolate easter egg in the egg and stashed them around the house.
We gave them the first egg and they followed the clues around the house. I had bought them some gum boots because we are coming into winter and wet season and they needed to get some so I thought I would include it as part of their Easter surprise. I wrote and drew the clues so both Emily and Alexander could try to solve it. The rule was they had to do it together holding hands.
It’s a bit hard to see but it is a picture of our mailbox with the words Go Here! Also a bad picture of a dog and a dog bowl with the words where Jacky eats (this is where we put their gumboots and the clue was inside one of the boots). A picture of our BBQ, just the words where our wii games are (wasn’t going to try and draw that one – though I suppose just a rectangle would have done with a slit). And the last clue was a picture of the fridge saying Time for Breakfast and this is where their Easter basket and eggs were.
I’ve been sitting on these photos for ages, just trying to find the time to upload them and write a blog post about them. I could be sweeping the floor (and it needs it!) but I am downloading the photos instead.
In the holidays we went to the Science Museum on a rainy day. We were going to go to the botanical gardens (we were dressed in raincoats and gumboots) but it got cancelled for being too wet so off we went in our gumboots to the science museum. It cost a bit of money because I added on the extras of the planetarium and laser show but that was the most interesting bits for me and we got to watch two science shows on dry ice and bubbles and balloons.
Anyway Alexander this year has been getting pocket money and he used it to buy a growing tree from the gift shop. This inspired me to do some colour experiments with the kids as we waited for this tree to “grow”
water in a container
We drew dots on a piece of kitchen towel and discussed which colour would be “faster” in a colour race. We dipped the kitchen towel in the water and watched the colours race up the towel. (no pictures)
4 clear cups with water
2 empty clear cups
dish to stop colour staining table
I let the kids choose their colours to add to their 2 clear cups. I set it up in the container with the colour on the outside and the empty cup in the middle. We then folded the kitchen towel and put part in the coloured water and bending it over the other end in the empty cup to watch the colours travel up the kitchen towel and then down to mix in the next cup.
We then picked a rose out of our garden and placed it in one of the cups so we could see how plants suck up water and it changed the colour of our rose.
You can see the tree in the background growing. Oh and Emily’s tasting plate for morning tea with a bit of this and that.
Also hanging over the edge of the red and blue container is the kitchen towel with the stripes of colour from the first experiment.
(I started this post on the 20th April, it is now end of May – oops)
It’s raining and we’re not venturing outside. We have watched tv, we’ve been painting and Alexander especially is full of energy so while the pair were having morning tea I built an obstacle course.
It worked fine for a while but I think the kids have got too excited when I relaxed the rules and Emily is having a mini breakdown because her bed is messed up because she included it in her obstacle course.
The kids wanted to build their own and I thought it might be good for their working together if they did but Emily built a silly one using her bed and told Alexander he was to sleep in it as part of the course and he messed up her quilt and she got demanding that we HAD to fix it or mummy had to.
When I do it again the bedrooms will be out if bounds so we can avoid this type of thing.
Anyway I started out simple with what I had to hand. We have a pop up tunnel so the kids had to crawl through that.
Them they had to step over a broom stick and step up and down on my wii board, circle around a marker and back over the board, over the stick, toss the beanbags back and back through the timer and I timed it all.
After a few goes of that, they requested longer do I added two dining room chairs which they had to crawl over and under.
This wax great fun trying to beat our PB.
The problem came when I let them design their own and being still young they started adding silly elements.
All is quiet now and I would do it again, just keep a tighter rein on the sillies.
I was 90% pleased with Emily’s cake. Of course I know and see the flaws.
Anyway I had a couple of websites where I got the inspiration. Garden of Delight Cake for the base idea, fairy toadstools and fairy topper were the inspiration for the outside and for the inside were from these sites – Australia Day Cake and this site which showed you how to make a checkered cake.
OK this cake took a few nights work due to the colouring of the fondant. I buy my fondant and the first night I settled down to make the fairy topper. I decided to make her purple and I dyed the fondant and added the tylose powder. That was the first night.
The next night was my red and pink night for making flowers and butterflies. Then the next was green, yellow and black for making the leaves and flower stems and bees and lady bugs. Oops I must have done some more red. This site gave me some idea on how to make my ladybugs but I didn’t make them so miniature. I couldn’t make the second video on bees work but I got an idea.
I used a cake carrier to protect them and keep them sorted. So the day before the party I got my 3 cakes out of the freezer. I had made pink, yellow and green. I had used 8 inch pans but I had not used up all my basic butter mixture to fill them up, I made a couple of cupcakes with the left overs. SO my cakes were not quite the same height but near enough.
I use a biscuit cutter to cut out the middle and quickly learnt DON”T push it all the way through all it will get stuck half way. I used it to give me something to trace around for the other two cakes. I used a bowl to trace around for the middle circle.
I used icing to rejoin all the layers, so the icing was around the outside and also around each insert, very handy when an outside circle cracked and I “glued” it back together with icing. So around each circle I put icing around it before inserting it. Then I used what icing I had left over to cover the cake. I had many compliments for my icing. I am not a big fan of butter cream icing and I prefer cream cheese or what we use in my household where the kids don’t eat dairy, tofutti icing.
Tofutti is found with the cream cheese but it is actually tofu but it is lauded as being better than cream cheese. I find it awful but once you add sugar it is lovely!
I use a tub of tofutti, about 1/2 cup of nutalex (dairy free margarine), 2 cups of icing sugar, a squeeze of lemon and a1 tsp of vanilla essence.
It was a bit uneven since the cake layers weren’t even but with fondant over the top it looked fine!
Once this was done and the kids were in bed I got out the rest of the fondant and the blue icing colouring.
Unfortunately my butterflies were a little heavy for the florist wire I had them sitting on. I had made many more butterflies but decided four flying around was enough.
Then time to cut – to see if it worked!
For Christmas Emily received a make your own fairy snow globe. It actually was a late Christmas present and by the time she received it we were planning her fairy birthday so we thought it would be a good activity to do at the party.
It was sitting in a box and then I realised I should get onto making the models for the girls to paint at the party as they took a couple of days to make. I blithely followed the directions without starting at a clean OUTDOOR space. The liquid I had mixed promptly filled the model, dripped out the bottom and into the kitchen sink. Do did the second lot! I fear for my kitchen sink now (I sent down ALOT of HOT water).
After this I decided it was time to pack it in and try again another day after some research. This research showed me that it is about 2 parts powder to 1 part water. Further research decried the product, saying waste of money etc etc. Anyway heart in mouth I tried again, OUTSIDE, with a tablecloth (plastic) over the outdoor furniture. I then mixed with half the amount of water listed in the instructions and IT WORKED! Yay! So after a big mess involving plaster setting before I could pour it into the mould and just plaster everywhere I ended up with enough moulds for the party.
The kids had fun painting – some put more effort into it then others. Next time I think I will just buy a kit where the plaster is already made and the kids can just paint. Though now I have the moulds I am thinking I will make the bicarb dough and press them into the moulds and then bake.
1 c. cornstarch (cornflour)
1 1/4 c. cold water
Cake in the oven, trying to convince the kids that Quiet Time is QUIET time, lots of shouting going on between the two rooms and not always fun shouting.
Well tomorrow is the first day of Kindy for Alexander, a big day so on Friday I thought we would go to the Australian Museum because it is the last day we could do something on a weekday in a school term and I was hoping the museum wouldn’t be too crowded. They were showing an exhibition of Alexander the Great so we HAD to go. The day turned out cold and windy and rainy, completely unlike the day before. After a spot of bother trying to find where my husband had left the keys the day before we were off, after a detour to pick up my mum.
Someone had been surprised that I was taking the kids to see it, commenting they wouldn’t get much out of it. While I was at the museum I thought of this as I was dragging the kids back so they wouldn’t leave mouth and finger marks all over the glass. The exhibition was crowded and it did try my patience juggling the two kids. There was a great app for kids that we got about half way through and then the hints seem to disappear. The kids had to find specific items to “pack” for Alexander the Great.
After the exhibition mum headed to the museum shop and the cafe to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law but I took the children for a further exploration of the museum. Emily was pleased to find they did have a giraffe (skeleton) at the museum, that was what she was wanting to see. We didn’t see a woolly mammoth but they did have an elephant skeleton. They also had a skeleton of a person on a bike and you got to ride a bike next to it to see how the bones moved. We then headed upstairs and found minerals and futher upstairs we found dinosaur bones. Emily didn’t like this room too much, the dinosaurs were too big and the lights flashed and thunder rumbled (effects) and cast shadows she didn’t like so we went to look at the stuffed birds and mounted butterflies. We explored the kids exploration room where there is lots of things for them to touch (YAY!) and we visited the under-5′s museum as well. Because it wasn’t too busy I thought it didn’t matter if Alexander came in too. That is a great space where kids can touch, dress up, move things, read books.
Then we headed downstairs to the cafe. I think they loved this bit the best because their uncle and aunt gave them free play on their iphones.
When we got home (after a horribly way too long drive in the car due to congestion – I forgot about city traffic and back to school and the streets were already clogged at 3pm! – inclement weather and TWO broken down cars in one stretch) we chilled out. When their daddy got home, he asked them what they had learnt about Alexander the Great. Their response was coins! There had been lots of coins that we had looked at and next to the coins was a fun touch screen where you could get close ups on the coins and even rotate them to look at both sides! So I could see why this would stick in their memory.
Alexander’s teacher last week, after his Best Start Interview, had commented about his recall and we have noticed this at home, in that he needs prompts when recalling events or stories. So on Sunday I printed off the photos I had taken (none in the Alexander exhibition because no photos allowed). I hadn’t taken a heap due to that line of – being involved with them/stepping back and taking photos!
I had a photo book (one that takes 10 x 15cm photos) that I had bought on sale so I put the photos in there and wrote a story about their trip. I alternated the photo and the text. I based it on a book we had been reading – “Maisy Goes to the Museum”. I won’t write the whole book here, just a couple of pages.
“One rainy day Emily and Alexander went to the museum with their Mummy and Grendy.”
First they saw an exhibition about Alexander the Great. They saw coins, jewellery and statues that were over 2000 years old. They saw pictures of horses and elephants. They also saw breastplates and helmets. (Trying to help them recall what they saw)
They saw lots of skeletons. They even tried to make one ride a bike! There was a giraffe skeleton, an elephant skeleton and a snake skeleton. Look at the enormous bones on this dinosaur skeleton. Look how small Alexander looks!
My what big teeth!
And so on…
They loved it – it helps them remember and they love looking at photos of themselves. Their daddy also likes it because he can see what happened while he was hard at work!
I am hoping this will help Alexander’s recall and he can start writing one with me next time.
Here are some books we read to get us ready for our museum trip (or are still reading now)
There are some great ones out there, these are just the ones we currently have borrowed from the library.
Here is the original post about this organiser.
I put this under sewing but there was no sewing involved! There was material though!
I went to the hardware store and bought cup hooks in two different sizes. I debated how many hooks to put on and in the end decided every space between ribbons I would put a hook. I put the two larger at each end and the smaller ones in the middle. We ended up filling all the hooks with her bits and pieces. All I did was wiggle the hook to create a hole and then I just screwed it around and around (sorry no pics of this)
Here is the finished result hanging in her room. She has enjoyed taking the bits and pieces off and wearing them and then resorting them to different hooks!
I hung it on the wall with the Velcro strips that supposedly come off the wall when you are done.
Luckily I have an idea of something to make for Alexander’s room since he requested one but a boy one. I also wonder do we need more hair clips to go on it?