First of all, I must apologise for being utterly absent for absolutely ages. It’s been an interesting couple of months here, with some big decisions made and some very sleepless nights.
We’ve had disturbed sleep for some time now. Amelie has been waking in the night ever since March, when she decided that being dry in the night must come with being dry in the day. And then Max decided to join in, too.
As a result I was getting up multiple times a night almost every night. They made it very clear the daddy was not required at 3 in the morning, just mummy. To keep the noise down and reduce the possibility of them waking each other, we went with it. I was exhausted and could only just function each day and on top of that I had the children’s birthday to plan and prepare for. I felt under a lot of pressure to keep taking photos; at least if I could do my Project 52 post I felt like I was keeping my blog going. But in the end I couldn’t do it. I stopped enjoying taking photos, I stopped enjoying blogging. And that made me sad.
I decided to take a break from it for a while, to reconsider, regroup and decide what I wanted to do. I began to miss blogging and connecting with the online world and when the children finally started to sleep better and I began to feel normal again, I realised that I definitely wanted to carry on, but with a change to my approach.
I want to use the skills and knowledge I have as a specialist Early Years teacher and I want to share good practice. So I’ve decided to relaunch and really focus in on how to help your child learn and develop through play and real-life, first hand experiences. I’m giving the blog a new name, so it will be really clear that it is a place to find great play and learning activities for young children.
It will be going live very soon and I really hope you’ll join me on the next leg of my journey. Keep your eyes peeled for the new address!
We went on a wet and windy welly walk the other day, hunting for Autumn leaves. Autumn is so late this year it was actually quite difficult to find many on the ground – but we found enough to make this Autumn Leaf Suncatcher when we got home. We left the soggy leaves to dry off a little, then I set up this activity for the children to explore.
We made our Suncatcher on the light table but you could use a large mirror instead, or even just do it on the table top. All you will need for this is some sticky contact paper – the kind you may have used to cover your school exercise books, back in the day!! Just tack a large sheet of it to your surface, at each corner, with tape.
I sorted the leaves into two baskets; one for the large leaves and one for the small ones, which meant we could talk about the sizes of the leaves as well as the colours and shapes. As we did this on the light table it was really easy to see the veins in the leaves too, which you can also see clearly when you fix your suncatcher to the window at the end.
The children stuck their leaves carefully to the contact paper.
I was interested to see how Max started by making a line of the same leaves; he often lines things up in his play.
Max decided he needed a bit of extra height!
When all the leaves were gone, I stuck another piece of contact paper over the top and we smoothed it down, feeling and listening to the leaves crackle underneath as we ran our hands over them. I stuck the finished masterpiece on the playroom window with some tape and it looks fantastic!
This is a really quick and easy activity to set up and a great way to bring the outside, inside – helping children to connect with the world around them.
You could also check out this lovely idea at Nurturestore which uses a ‘Sticky Picture Frame’ to make leaf art.
Have you discovered the delights of Pinterest yet? If you have, are you following our boards?
I had a secret present list board which I’ve been adding to for some time. It was, for a while, a place where I could keep track of toys I saw and liked – so when I was asked what the children would like for Christmas or their birthday I actually had a chance of remembering! I thought you might like to have a sneaky peek, so I’ve made the board public – it might be useful with Christmas coming up!