Living arrows 8/52

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IMG_8266 IMG_8270A few photos from bath time at grandma and grandad’s house.

living arrows
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Friday finds 21/2/14

It’s been a while since I put togther a Friday finds post but this week there were a couple of blog posts that I just had to share with you all. I hope that you enjoy reading this collection as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. I hope you all have a great weekend.

friday-finds-211. I added a few instruments to our collection yesterday. Music madness set, ELC, was £20, now £10

2. We’re very excited about the opening of CBeebies land at Alton Towers this summer (Poppet adores in the night garden and all the characters).

3. Nurture store has teamed up with her favorite kids’ writers and produced a fantastic looking ebook of activities for babies from 0-2 years, Zero to two, $8.99.

4. I picked up a few bits and pieces for sensory play from The Works, these embellishments are also great for arts and crafts (prices start at 99p and they were on 3 for 2 the other day).

5. This Easter, Little Fun fest sounds like the perfect day out for under 5s.

We are just starting out with sensory play in my house but Edspire has a lot more experience and has put together this really useful messy and sensory play shopping list.

Talking of messy play, I love this messy tea party from Ghostwriter mummy.

I heart snapping shared 5 tips for beautiful portraits.

Have you discovered this fab crafty site – Let’s do something crafty? I love it, my favorite so far is the egg carton toy camera.

Looking for ideas for getting your kids in the kitchen? why not try getting them to help make macaroni cheese. Or if your more interested in baking then these easy oat biscuits might be the recipe to try this weekend. I’ve added this recipe for cheesy bean and mushroom crumble to my list of things to make for my baby, it looks delicious.

I had to share with you this very brave and honest post from Emily at The startup wife, it’s so inspirational. Motherhood and body image.

In case you missed it here’s what I’ve published this week:

Dear baby.. a letter to my baby at 9 months

Living arrows 7/52

I like fruit – what we’re reading

Musical play

Musical play

musical playMuch has been written about the importance of music for babies and children’s development and apart from that, they all seem to love music. My baby is no different; she responds instantly to singing or music and has done for many months.

There are certain songs that seem to calm her and allow her to drift off to sleep. Her current favorite seems to be The Seekers, Morningtown ride that my mother-in-law sang to my husband as a baby and now we all sing it to her. Within seconds she smiles and relaxes with the familiar tune and words. Sometimes she will even start to drift off to sleep.

Whenever there is music playing (no matter whether it is nursery rhymes or any type of music playing on the radio) she will either be clapping along, kicking one or both legs, bouncing her whole body or if she is in a crawling position, rocking backwards and forwards.

music play 2Since September, when she was around 4 months old, I have been taking her to our local library’s rhyme time session when ever I can and we also went to a weekly music class until just before Christmas. Through the music class, I learnt the importance of babies and children learning to tap a steady beat and also that under supervision they can play with real instruments. I’ve also learnt a few different music activities that we still do at home along with building upon them myself.

As well as a plastic shaker and toy drum which are aimed at her age range, I have bought her a wooded shaker and a set of bells. Both these toys are supposed to be for children over three, so she only plays with them under my supervision. These are just the start and I plan to add to her collection of instruments. I think I’d like to add a xylophone or similar for her first birthday. I’ve also made her a couple of noisy sensory bottles. These are simply small water bottles that I have put dried beans in one and quinoa in the other (but you could use anything that makes a noise, rice would be another nice option). I used quinoa and dried beans as we had them in the kitchen and they made very different sounds to each other.IMG_8041One wet and windy day when we were staying home since we are both recovering from chesty coughs and colds. I decided to get all our instruments out, as well as a few household items and our homemade sensory bottles. I included a wooden spoon and metal colander, a plastic box.

I sat Poppet down with this collection of noisy items and let her explore them. I showed her how she could use some of them to make noise and talked to her about what she was doing/hearing. She is very good at shaking things such as her bells and shakers so she didn’t need much help. I sat back and watched her explore the different noises she could make with these items and talked her through some of the differences between them.

Once she had explored all the items and seemed to be resorting to only chewing them I decided to add in some of the activities we do at music classes/rhyme time. I sang ‘play your music really loud’ and then ‘play your music really soft’ whilst using the bells or shakers loudly or quietly. I also found a selection of nice nursery rhyme videos on you tube (Super simple songs, our favorites so far are row row row your boat and old McDonald) that we watched whilst playing our instruments along with them and/or singing along. Where possible I encouraged her to shake an instrument or helped her to hold an instrument and tap out a steady beat to the music.

We have been repeating this activity and she always loves it. Edspire is currently featuring a series on musical play if you want further ideas and I have started a pinterest board of musical play ideas which I will be adding to. I’d love to hear if any of you have any more ideas or resources (e.g. websites/you tube channels) to share with me, please leave me a comment.

I like fruit – What we’re reading

IMG_8223Last week I mentioned winning a Book buggy pack. Well this was one of the books in the pack and we love it. We didn’t have a colour primer or many touch and feel books in our collection, so I was thrilled to receive this book as it fits both categories well.

IMG_8225 It’s a very simple board book with bright, colourful illustrations of fruit and each page has a textural component for young readers to feel. Obviously at 9 months Poppet is still too young to fully appreciate this book but she is drawn to the bright images and I hope in future she will fully appreciate it as we learn about colours and fruits.IMG_8234I’m linking up again this week with Carie at Space for the butterflies. If you’ve been reading head over there and link up or look for more inspiration.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading
300 picture book challenge
This week we have only read 5 new books, our lowest number of new books in a week yet. Poppet has learnt to crawl properly this week and to pull herself up to standing using the furniture. As such she really does not want to sit still, at all! I’ve managed to read with her briefly most days still, often just after a nap when she is happy to sit and cuddle for a short while.
These are the new books we have read this week. You can find the full list of what we have read so far (and a brief review of each) on my pinterest board.
books
Number of new books read this week – 5
Total number of books read so far this year – 78/300

300in2014

Dear baby…

Dear baby…

IMG_7847aI can’t believe you are now nine months. You’ve been in our lives now longer than you were growing in my tummy. I know I say this every time but I can’t believe how quickly time is passing. I do wish it would slow down. You are changing so fast at the moment as well. Another 4 teeth came through this month so now you have 6 all together (2 at the bottom and these new 4 are at the top). Again you handled it really well. You were perhaps a bit of a mummy’s girl at times but not very often, usually when you were tired towards tea time. You were weighed the week before you turned 9 months and you are now 18lbs 4oz (still on the 50th percentile). You have only just started wearing 6-9 month clothes though as you are not that tall/long.

IMG_7754In the middle of this month you started to be able to pull yourself up on to your knees from sitting when you are in your cot. You even pulled yourself to standing a couple of times whilst we were at our friends house. Around the same time you started crawling too. I say crawling it’s more pulling yourself round on your belly but you are fast and can get where ever you want to. You also started clapping this month and saying Dadda. Despite all these milestones and 4 teeth coming through at the same time, you are still sleeping fantastically. I think you woke up once or twice in the night this past month (but it is so rare I can’t remember). You still fight going to bed at night and some of your naps but it is a small price to play. You are generally asleep between 8-8:30pm and wake between 7:30 & 8:30am. You still have two naps in the day (occasionally just the one).

IMG_7796I still love hearing you giggle and most of the time I can get you to giggle by blowing raspberries on your belly. The more tired you are, the more likely you are to giggle. You still get the hiccups after giggling too much which is very cute. We still go swimming every friday afternoon which you adore. Last week you smiled, the biggest smile, from the minute we entered the pool until we got out (perhaps only stopping briefly after an underwater swim). You also enjoy listening to the singing of nursery rhymes at the library and play group. You are really interacting with toys and books now too (you’re very good at turning the pages of board books, not always in the right direction).

IMG_7720You love your food and there is not much that you won’t eat. We no longer have to mash your food, we just chop it up very well and you manage lumps with ease. I have been so surprised by how well you have taken to weaning. I still nurse you and not much has changed this last month. You still have milk first thing, in the evening and usually just an afternoon feed.

I am loving watching your little personality develop (you are still the happiest baby I know) and seeing you gain new skills. I can’t wait to see what this next month has in store for us.

All my love mummy xx

Valentine’s day for babies

I know it’s a bit late but I thought I would share some ideas for valentine’s day with a baby.

IMG_8202Yesterday at play group we made these super sweet but most importantly super simple valentines cards. We used paint pads to do hand and foot prints on to white paper hearts (which had been cut before the session). We then used glue sticks to stick the hearts to pink or red card and decorated them further with felt tip pens and foam hearts. I really enjoyed making these and I hope my husband will love it when he sees them tonight. We’ve been going to this particular toddler group for about a month now and the crafts are usually unsuitable for the babies so it was lovely to be able to join in this week. I’ve been meaning to do hand and foot prints for some time now as well. This would work well for babies of any age, just make sure you have a supply of baby wipes handy. A second person to help you is also beneficial especially for feet.

red treasure basketThis morning I set up a simple red treasure basket using lots of red toys and some red items I could find around the house. I have a lot of red in my kitchen so I included a whisk, spatula, measuring spoons and my keys are on a red ribbon so I included these. There were also toys such as a red ball, red piece of fabric from a toy, stacking cup, fabric stacking cube with a red textured side, a red lid from a set of foam bath letters and finally her happy apple toy which makes a lovely noise.

IMG_7927She sat for some time, happily taking items out of the basket and examining them before moving on to another item. Of course some of them went straight to her mouth. I used my judgement and removed the ones I was not happy with her chewing (keys fo example). Treasure baskets are lovely for babies to explore and themed ones can be so much fun. They are really simple to put together so you can put one together when you have time. As with all activities that use items that are not toys or not designed to be played with by babies, use your judgement and supervise your baby at all times.

IMG_7937Of course we have been reading some valentines related books as well. We’ve been enjoying guess how much I love you, (read what we thought of it here) a kiss like this and Babylit’s Romeo and Juliet this week.

IMG_8207Not strictly speaking an activity for babies but this morning I used her nap time to make some chocolates for my husband. These were really simple to make and older children could be involved with decorating them.

IMG_8194IMG_8200I started by melting some dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. I then poured the chocolate in to this heart shaped silicone mold (the round ones are silicone cupcake cases as I had too much chocolate for the mold) and finally decorated them with dried fruits and pistachio nuts. There are many options for decorating your chocolates other than dried fruit and nuts. You could use any number of the cake decorating sprinkles that you can pick up in all supermarkets or perhaps add a different type of chocolate on top of the first layer once it is set.IMG_8212The Diary of a Frugal Family