Thursday, 17 April 2014

How to Have a Fun-Filled Easter Holiday

We are in to week two of the Easter holidays and while last week was a bit of a washout weather-wise, this week it has been glorious! I hope I haven't just jinxed it!

Here are some of the fun things we've been doing in the Easter Holidays:

We've been drawing and getting crafty. I love colouring as I find it very relaxing and you can spend a good hour with the kids just drawing pictures or making Easter inspired crafts.

We've been listening to music and getting up to dance. I have music on whenever I can as having a dance around the kitchen with the kids is great fun. We received the Go! Go! Go! album which is a CD filled with songs and a DVD with dance routines from the new Nick Jr show. The songs are really catchy and the kids loved learning the dance routines too. Our favourite song was "Wake up Smiling!"

We've been playing board games. Orchard Toys have featured heavily in our Easter fun. We love their jigsaws and board games. Perfect for rainy days which we have seen plenty of this holiday!

We've been watching movies. We received Walking With Dinosaurs The Movie which was released on DVD on 14th April. This is such a great movie and the kids were in awe of the dinosaurs. It's about a Pachyrhinosaurus called Patchi, who goes on a journey to find where he belongs. He makes friends along the way and encounters dangerous enemies too. The movie is just stunning to watch.

We've been playing with Playmobil. Miss C loves Playmobil and she will sit for ages and come up with all these stories for her Playmobil people. It's fun to watch her imagination running wild. In this photo, they've gone on holiday in their campervan to a pony ranch.

We've been enjoying the sunshine. We've managed to get to the park a few times. It's so nice to have the sun here. I always feel better for getting outside for some fresh air and I do believe it helps the kids sleep better and wake fresher in the mornings.

What activities have you been up to in the Easter holidays?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Favourite Place #TheGallery

My absolute favourite place to go to is the beach. That may seem like a crazy thing to say given that we live in Scotland where, for most of the year it's raining but having grown up abroad, I love being near the sea and feeling the sun on my skin.

There are the rare days here where the sun will be splitting the skies and everyone flocks to the beach. We tend to go later in the day when everyone has started to pack up and head home. It isn't as warm but it's still nice and it's quiet.

I love the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks and the glittering from the sun hitting the sea. We're lucky that we live near a few beaches and it's just a short drive to them. The kids love building sandcastles and splashing in the water.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Math Seeds - Review

After reviewing Reading Eggs in February, we were happy to be asked to review Math Seeds. Math Seeds is designed to help children aged 3-6 years become aware of numeracy and math skills. Children can work through the activities at their own level and are rewarded at the end of each section with Golden Acorns that can be used to add items to the child's online treehouse or to add to their avatar.

To start the Math Seeds journey, your child does a simple math test. As soon as your child gets three answers wrong, the test stops and this determines which level they start Math Seeds from. Miss C did well on hers and started on level 21.

Each activity is bright and engaging. Miss C had to order numbers, click on the numbers she was being asked to find and recognise amounts. It was fun to watch Miss C work herself through each activity. It made me realise she actually knows more than she lets on sometimes! She still has a bit to work through but, even with a few minutes on Math Seeds as and when, I've noticed a big improvement in her number recognition.

The activities are very responsive to your child's touch or click of the mouse which is good for stopping kids getting frustrated. If they haven't chosen an answer within a few seconds, the question is repeated for them.

As well as working through the levels on the map, there is also a playroom where your child can go in and play number games, learn about shapes, symmetry and quantities. These are great if you don't have a lot of time to work through a lesson with your child but have a few free minutes to play a quick game.

If you'd like your child to try out Math Seeds for a four week period instead of two, use the code UKB27MST to register on the Reading Eggs website.You can use Math Seeds on your desktop or laptop and it can also be accessed via a tablet or phone for easiness.

This is another fun programme that encourages children to learn through play and we've really enjoyed using Math Seeds. 

We received a free trial for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Woolly and Tig: Woolly at Nursery - Book Review

We received Woolly at Nursery to review from Random House. The book is about Woolly and Tig, who are characters in the popular TV show on Cbeebies. The book is written by Brian Jameson.

Tig goes to nursery and loves to take along her cuddly toy spider, Woolly. He really enjoys going to nursery with Tig. They have lots of fun and enjoy playing with the other children at the nursery. Tig really likes her nursery teacher, Miss Claire. She is very friendly and helpful.

Tig is playing at nursery when she bumps heads with one of the other children. He blames Tig and Tig blames him. Neither of them were very happy. Tig is so unhappy, that the next day she tells her Daddy she has a sore tummy and that she doesn't want to go to nursery. With help from Woolly, Tig eventually tells Daddy and Miss Claire what happened. They explain that accidents happen and the children say sorry to each other.

Miss C really liked Woolly. He's really colourful and he looks very cuddly...for a spider! I don't think your child would have had to watch the TV show to enjoy the books; Miss C hasn't seen the show before and she really enjoyed this book and its characters.

The book isn't illustrated; it has photos on each page of what's happening in the story. What I love about the pages though, is the bright colours that create a border on each page. Miss C loved looking for Woolly.

Woolly at Nursery is a great book to read with children who are at nursery so you can talk to them about what they do at nursery, who they play with, what to do if something happens at nursery that makes them sad and encouraging them to share their worries. 

Woolly at Nursery is available to buy from Amazon.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Week That Was #14

Last Sunday, we woke up at 10am. Luckily we didn't have anything on so we lazed about, had breakfast, cleaned the house and then lazed about some more. I took the kids to swimming lessons and Husband went to the gym. After dinner, the kids watched a movie as they didn't have to get up early for school or nursery. Holidays rock!

On Monday, it was a horrible day. It rained right up until after tea time. We spent the day indoors, tidying up Wee Z's room. It was recently decorated but it still isn't finished. That's just the way decorating goes when you're doing it yourself though. Wee Z practised his magic tricks whilst Miss C watched. After tea, I had to go to work but the kids were able to get outside to play on the trampoline until bedtime.

On Tuesday, it was another miserable day although there were a few breaks from the rain and the kids managed to get outside to play on the trampoline. After lunch, we cuddled up in my bed to watch Masterchef. The kids love watching Masterchef and other shows involving food and cakes. Miss C decided she wanted to be a chef and told me she'd make me some yummy dinner!

On Wednesday, it was a very windy day but the rain held off and we decided to walk in to town and back. The kids took their scooters. I thought this would make them faster but it just meant we had to stop more often to fix handlebars or to carry them across the road. It was good to get out and get some fresh air though. We got a doughnut from Greggs as a treat. They were yummy but not nearly as good as Krispy Kremes!

On Thursday, the weather hadn't done much improving. We nipped to Tesco to pick up some goodies for a gathering we are going to on Saturday. When we came home, we decided to watch some more Masterchef. The kids really get in to the show and already have their favourites!

On Friday, we went food shopping. Normally the kids are in school and nursery when I do my food shop so it doesn't take long at all. With the kids in tow, it definitely takes longer. They have to stop and look at things and pick things of the shelf that they want to buy. Usually I avoid this happening by getting them to help with the shopping list. After lunch, we met up with Wee Z's best friend and his Mum at soft play. The kids had a great time running around whilst us Mums had a good catch up.

On Saturday, we went to a friend's house to watch the Scottish Grand National. When that finished, we ate lots of food and most of the house got drunk. Not the kids, of course, and I was designated driver so I was on the water. The kids watched movies and had great fun playing together and tormenting each other too. The adults had a great time chatting and laughing a lot. It was a great day!

Silent Sunday #15

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Project 365 2014 Days 96 - 102

Day 96 - Masterchef in bed with breakfast
Day 97 - A day for playing with toys
Day 98 - Wee Z is learning tricks to be a magician
Day 99 - Felix didn't want to get up!
Day 100 - Wee Z enjoying runny boiled eggs with soldiers
Day 101 - A walk to soft play
Day 102 - Making some lovely pictures

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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