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Friday, 30 March 2012

China Night...

A few years ago (before our kids were born) Ian and I brought back some cute wee outfits for our neice and nephew from China Town. Ok, it was a bit of a random gift! Fortunately the kids loved them and we turned these wee outfits into a spur of the moment theme night (as you do).

And so China Night was born!!!

Ian and I ran home to find something that looked remotely Chinese and my Sister and Brother-in-law did the same.

Well, it wasn't an easy task and, to be fair, neither of our outfits were actually Chinese but what a laugh we had. Ian only had a pair of PJs from Muji so he paired that with his socks and flip flops for a Japanese look... I had a dress that looked vaugely Oriental.

When we arrived at my big sister's house, we were not let down at all. In fact we were very impressed with Lesley's dress as it was actually Chinese and from China! However, as Gordon came down the stairs in his outfit, Ian and I nearly wet ourselves on the door step! He was wearing my Nana's dress teamed with some sports socks and flip-flops, oh yeh, he also had a painted on moustach!!!

Everyone looked absolutely brilliant and so funny! I just hoped somewhere in China that night, there was a group of similar nutters dressed as Scottish people wearing a mixture of tartan things teamed with Moris Dancing scarves and bells!!!!

So what should we eat on our China Night...? Chinese of course! So, which of us was going to the Takeaway restaurant? Unfortunately, after quickly realising that Les, Gordon and Ian would probably get chucked out the restaurant, it fell to me to get the take away.

We had so much fun that night, we did it again the next year.



Bring on China Night 2!

  • Les came a Japanese Geisha Girl!
  • I had a jacket from China and some baggy trousers
  • Ian brought out his trusty Muji PJs
  • C had taken up Ti Kwon Do and so wore his unoform and passed his original outfit to J.
  • J passed her old outfit to H!
  • Gordon...well, he struggled a bit this time - I think he was feeling the pressure to out do his outfit from last year. He eventually decided to wear his football kit and scarf...we had no idea what he was thinking or what he was meant to be!

It turns out he came as a 'Fan'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We made Chinese hats! I copied some chinese writing from the takeaway menu and put it on my hat. I have no idea what it siad...probably something like Kung Po chicken and special fried rice!

Again, I was sent for the Takeaway.

So, we had really exhauseted the idea of China night and so last year we changed the theme to:
 International Night

To ensure I wasn't again sent to the takeaway, I decided that I would buy some International foods and heat them at home!

I can't find the photos from International Night at the moment but I'll add them when I have a better look.

Yellow week

I didn't do as many activities for yellow week because H was back at nursery. There was also a bit of a break between Red week and Yellow week  - this meant I could use some of the same activities from Red week. We did mostly 'craft-daft' stuff!

I found a great website called www. They have some great printables and other bits and bobs to download. I dowlloaded the little Yellow bookfor H to colour in. Unfortunately this activity didn't last long and she was quickly asking for more things to colour.

Glueing & StickingI punched out some circles and flowers from yellow paper and got H to glue and stick them onto a flower stem (that I drew on the paper) . H loves sticking and so got a bit carried away - you can barely see the stem!

Paper Suns
Paper plates are one of my favourite items to make things with. I have a huge pile of them in one of our many craft crates. In prepearation for our colour weeks I started to buy lots of multi coloured things...paper, card, tissue paper, pompoms etc. I got H to tear up the yellow tissue and scrunch them up a little bit - I have to admit she had more fun blowing the hundreds of little tissue paper all over the floor and laughing hysterically when I tried to catch them before they went everywhere...After lots of laughing and picking up tissue, H eventually stated sticking the tiddue to the paper plates. We hung them from our Play Room washing line at the window. They looked very pretty!

Icing cakes
One of my loves is baking and icing cakes and biscuits - I think it's safe to say that it has passed on to H. So one afternoon, H and her wee friend  B popped on their pinnys for some 'culinary-creativity'. With a new baby and a toddler in the house, there is NO time to bake (much to my disappointment) so, for this activity, I was forced to buy some ready-to-ice cupcakes.  I made up 2 bowls of yellow glace icing and put out lots of sprinkles then we left them to it. They both really enjoyed decorating their cakes and had loads of fun with the runny icing and the coloured sprinkles. However after they had decorated 2 cakes each their focus changed slightly; H started eating all the icing and her friend B was working his way through handfulls of is safe to say they had loads of fun!

Hand Painting
H isn't keen on being dirty!! I think she might have OCD. In an attempt to get her used to being dirty/ different substances on her hands, I got her to do some hand painting in yellow paint. She was happy enough painting her hand and then did a couple of prints but then quickly started shouting "clean, clean!". I managed to get little E's hands painted (not an easy task when he is only 4 months old and a bit wriggly) so I got his wee hand prints done too. They look so tiny! We proudly displayed our crafts and yellow stuff on the wall of the playroom.

Paper Sunflowers
I cut little flower shapes out of card and got H and her cousin to make little sunflowers. They covered them in yellow tissue and then attached a lollipop stick to the back of them. The girls were so pleased with their wee flowers!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Red week

I taught H the colour Red just before Christmas - it was a stroke of genius because there was lots of red things everywhere, especially pictures of Santa Clause!

I did a bit of research to get some colourideas. I found some great ideas on one of my favourite blogs - Toddler Boredom Busters. I came up with a little list of things to do.

Fun in the house - Treasure Hunt
I laminated a bunch of little red clipart pictures and put a blob of bluetac on the back of each. I hid them around the downstairs of the house whilst H hid in the playroom. I then sent her off to find all the red pictures. I really didn't expect her to have so much fun! We must have played it about 10 times in a row. It has also been a great game to play when we've not got any plans.

Walk - Treasure Hunt - outside
I took H and E out for a walk in the pram and we looked for red things - cars, traffic lights, front doors, vans, post boxes, signs etc.

Story - Little Red Riding Hood, Library for red themed stories/ picture books
We went to the library and looked for red themed stories. We obviuosly had to get Little Red Riding Hood! H loves books and the library so she had lots of fun picking up the books and shouting "Mummy read it, read it". I'm not syre the other Library users enjoyed it as much...

Craft - Red tissue flower
I have a tonne of craft bits and bobs that I've acquired over the years (it's all part of the stationary obsession) and so gathered together: red tissue paper, red card,  glue and a lolly-pop stick. .I cut out a flower shape and ripped up the tissue paper then let H spread the glue all over the flower. I then showed her how to scrunch up the paper and and push it into the glue. H absolutely loves craft stuff, so this was right up her street. Once it was dry, we then taped a big lolly-pop stick to the back. She was very proud of her flower. She enjoyed it so much she made one for Granny too.

Santa Picture
We did a tissue paper Santa. I used the same technique as above.

Hand Painting & stamping
I mad some stamps out of potato and let H get messy with red paint. She's not that keen on getting messy so this was a challenge for her!!

Game/ Role Play - Post Box
I took an old Aptamil box and painted it red - I tried painting the lid too...after about 4 coats it finally was covered, only to peel off when H started playing with it. I then cut a slit in the front - just the right size for mini letters - the lid lifts up so you can get the letters back out. H and I made letters and envelopes together. H loved it. She played herself (she usually wnats me to play everything too) for over an hour.
Red Clothes
We wore red things!

Red Food
I pinched some ideas from Toddler Boredom Busters
I also looked at Muffin Tin Mum

Colours of the rainbow

Unfortunately when your Mum is a Teacher, everyday is a school day!

 I have been teaching H colours over the last 3 months (she is also learning at nursery too). I started with blue and green - only because on most journeys to nursery, I told her that the trees are green and the sky is blue. I soon relaised that if this was my main teaching staretgy we would soon run into trouble quite quickly as we don't pass many pink, orange or purple things! So, I thought it might be a better idea to teach her the colours of the rainbow.

I am a lover of mindmaps (I am a complete saddo; I actually bought and read the Tony Buzan Mindmapping book) and used this to come up with little ideas to help me teach colours. It involved books, songs, rhymes, pictures, clothes, food and crafts all relating to the colours of the rainbow. I think I was a bit adventurous though, so will come back to some of the ideas when she is bigger. I decided to have colour weeks.

My first task was to paint a rainbow to hang in the playroom. I then found loads of little clipart pictures in all the rainbow colours.The next day I then taught her the 'rainbow song'. I began teaching her the colours in the order that they come in the rainbow. We started with Red Week.

The wee fun things we did are in the next posts

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Christmas Fun

Christmas is my absolutely favourite time of the year. I only have happy memories of Christmases thanks to my wonderful Mum and Nana and Papa.

The funny thing about Christmas, is that you only know one kind of  Christmas: the way it is done in your house. I have to admit, I assumed everyone did the same as we did. We always had Christmas at home and my Nana and Papa were always there. We would get up as early as we could and Mum would go into the living room to check if Santa had been. We would then go in and open all our parcels at breakneck speed! Mum would work her way round the room with a black bag picking up all the wrapping paper and ribbon. We would then have breakfast (still in our PJs) and eventually we would get dressed.

It turns out, everyone does it differently. One of my friends never used to get her parcels wrapped - she would go into her living room and all parcels were lying out on the sofa. My husband grew up on a farm and I discovered (about 6 years ago when I stayed over) that their Christmas was quite different from mine. They all got showered, dressed, breakfast and then, once the cows were milked, the presents could be opened! What is that all about...?

I does explain why Ian has lots of pateints and I have none!!!

Anyhoo, I am obsessed with all things Christmasy and I love hearing about other people's Christmas traditions. I am keen to start some traditions with my wee ones and so search the web for ideas and ask people what fun stuff they remember about their Christmases.

Since H is only 2, we've not had long to establish many traditions but we managed to start a couple last year. A friend of mine told me that her Dad used to cover the door to her living room with wrapping paper and they used to burst through the door on Christmas morning. I thought that sounded so cool! We tried it...H was more scared than excited by it. Eventually Ian had to burst through the paper. Oh yeh, by the time we remembered that we were going to do this, we didn't have enough paper left. We had what resembled a patchwork quilt!

The other traditions/ fun things we started include:

1. writing letters to santa and getting photos taken with them. I laugh out loud everytime I look at H - she looks so special!
2. Making cookies for Santa and then put them on a plate (printable from Tipjunkie)
3. I made a felt tree with felt baubles (saw it on Pinterest)

4. We do a different theme in the dining room every year

5. We made reindeer dust and H and Ian put it out for Rudolf.

My colleague had a great tradition - he used to have a treasure hunt on Christmas morning. He would write out clues for his daughters to find their parcels...I love this idea and might try it out when H and E get bigger.

DIY Shop

I was searching for things to do with H and found a fantastic idea on It was 32 ideas of things to do with a cardboard box. Honestly, some people are so creative and clearly have more time on their hands than most! Anyway, the ideas are amazing - have a look!

As usual, I suggest to my hubby that we make one. He looked so excited (not) at the prospect of spending his Sunday morning cutting, painting and building a shop for our wee girl...! I should maybe mention that it was about 7am when I dragged the huge box out the dining room and suggested this!

Fortunately, Ian is an absolute super-star husband and Daddy and therefore promptly (well, after a cuppa and a bit of encouragement) went out to the garage to get all the bits and bobs we would need.

I am so pleased how it turned out. We have added some cheery wallpaper to the back wall and counter since this photo was taken. H has been playing with it everyday.  So far it has been a shop, a ticket booth, a cafe and a post office. I am thinking it might also make a good puppet theatre too.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Just starting out

I am always looking for things to do. It seems I can't switch my I am always coming up with creative ideas, projects and fun things to - be it at home or at work.  I have to admit though, I am the idea generator but not always a finsher (that's my husband's job...his words, not mine)...I am too busy coming up with my next idea! I love to organise things and am utterly obsessed with stationary.Oh, I am also a perpetual list maker. Most of all, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a Mummy.

This was my latest idea. I thought it would be a great idea to start a blog. I have tried this before but didn't find the time to actually blog. Somehow, in my infinite wisdom, I thought that I could do it this time. I am doing this as a way of saving all my fun memories with my wee ones. I thought, when they were bigger, it would be lovely for them to have a look at what we got up to when they were little.

I have a few things to add to my blog already and will try to get them on as soon as possible. I  hope that I find the time between looking after a toddler, a baby and husband to add my memories. Oh yeh, I also go back to work soon too...

Me and my Little People
I am just starting out...wish me luck!