The sun has been shining this week where we are and at last we have a lovely garden that we can use. It's still a work in progress and I'll be doing an update really soon so you can see where we are.
This is the first year we've celebrated the Summer Solstice in our house and you can find out some of the toddler friendly crafts we got up to here. They're crafts you could do right through the summer.
Our minibeasts theme shelf has been getting some heavy toddler traffic this week and Floss is fascinated by the caterpillars who are getting fatter and fatter. We'll be making some little changes to the shelf this week. Even if we keep a theme going for a period of time I think it's really important to make little changes to spark further interest and deepen exploration into a topic.
This week Floss has started to look at books more independently. I'll often find that she's climbed up onto the sofa with a book and snuggled into a cushion to leaf through the pages. Hence, this week the Rainbow Shelfie has a more book based theme with a couple of favourite books and a couple of unfamiliar texts.
I don't think we can have a week without the Grimms Rainbow out. It's been joined by the Grimms Semi Circles which really extend the play opportunities of the rainbow. Floss has been enjoying making little homes for her toys in between the spaces. The sun on the top is a Grimms Casa Sole; the middle orange piece gets used as a telephone predominately!
Sometimes it's a lovely idea to use just a page from a book and base activities around that page. We've enjoyed lots of activities related to this page from Walking Through the Jungle by Julie Lacome including (I've added a couple for older children too):
- Noises related to characters
- I spy on the page
- Make up your own story
- What happened before this page? Say, draw or write
- What might happen next? Say, draw or write
- Craft projects based on the page
- Make music to go with the scene
I'm so pleased with the discovery of the Sahara Stacker and Crocodile. They were from yesbebe.co.uk and are handmade by a lovely little company called Eric & Albert. Do check them out; the picture doesn't do them justice they are stunningly beautiful.
We're a couple of pigs short for the Three Little pigs - we'll just have to make a couple this week. Now I know I don't have the exact things that the original story have, but hopefully they'll do for our role play. If you did want bricks then you can buy some really cool mini bricks now. They're definitely on my wish list.
There are so many different versions of this traditional tale. I particularly like the version where the wolf is a friendly character who just wants some sugar from his piggie neighbours, but has a terrible cold. It's very beneficial for children to have exposure to these different versions as it helps them to make their own adaptations and not feel they have to keep rigidly to an original.
I've always been naturally drawn to blues, greens, pinks and purples and have never been too keen on the colour orange. However, after the Summer Solstice activities this week I've gained a real appreciation for reds, oranges and yellows, so here is our Summer themed shelf. The book Summer by Gerda Muller is such a beautiful book. It doesn't have any words, just delicate illustrations that you can use to tell your own stories, spot things you can find and discuss your own summer adventures. We've got Grapat Nins, Grapat balls, Grimms pebbles and Ocamora gems. Aren't these brands a match made in heaven?
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson is a firm favourite right now. Sorry, you can hardly see the white cat with the sun shining. It's OK to not have all the characters for a story, just one or two will do to help bring the text alive and give your little one a more active role and encourage language.
I find it really helpful to have a wish list of things that would be lovely to have join our other toys. Making this little story set up has made me realise we don't have a mini cat puppet or a witch. Floss loves cats so I'm definitely going to add a cat puppet to the wish list. I then find it really helpful when it's Floss's birthday or Christmas and family are asking for ideas to be able to show them the list and see if there is anything they might like to get from the wish list. We'll be making a witches hat this week! Have a lovely week.