Oooo a bit of cutting……LOVELY!!!! Strips, bits, circles and squares. Get those safety scissors out (Early Learning Centre do a cracking left handed and right handed set) and get to it! Learning to use scissors is a skill and is really fun for our ‘littlies’ too. My two love cutting paper just for the sake of it, but if you’re feeling fancy here’s an amazing blog to give you ideas galore.
Oh and I nearly forgot something I prepared earlier!
Sorry another recipe. There are just too many cute things to make at the moment. The kids LOVE these!!!!!!!! A friend of ours made these for the Christmas fair and we were inspired. Best of all you can let them help!!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/reindeer_christmas_10412
My son has ‘jigsaw mania’ at the moment and because he’s getting faster and faster at piecing his bits together, I’ve now devised an extension task to his ‘puzzling’. First of all I get my son to leave the room or cover his eyes, then I hide all his puzzle pieces. Once hidden, he has to find each piece and then bring them together to form his puzzle. Works a treat and can turn into an epic ‘slowie’ if the pieces are tricky to find. It’s great as it’s a bit of ‘BOGOF’ to be honest, combining two of his best-loved, hide and seek and puzzling. Let’s call it ‘hide and suzzle’ or would it be better as ‘huzzle and seek’!! The jury’s out!!
Have a go at these little fellas if you’ve got chance, they make a fantastic treat at this time of the year and look the biz too. TIP – as you’re busy shaping and rolling your icing, the little ones can have a wonderful play with a ball of their own. It’s just like play dough and what’s even better is that this stuff actually tastes nice!!! Happy ‘slow’ rolling fun!!
CHRISTMAS PUDDING BISCUITS
- 150g unsalted English butter, softened
- 175g Fairtrade caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon Taste the Difference Madagascan vanilla extract
- 175g British plain flour
- 30g cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Dr. Oetker bicarbonate of soda
- 200g white ready to roll icing
- 50g green ready to roll icing
- 1 tube red writing icing
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas mark 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together using an electric handheld whisk. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the butter and sugar. Mix until crumbly, then, with clean hands, gather the dough and knead until just smooth.
- Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a 27cm-long sausage shape. Slice into 18 rounds and place, spaced apart, on the baking sheets. Flatten each with your fingertips to a 5cm diameter. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To decorate, dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the white icing to a thin sheet. Use an 8cm-round cookie cutter to stamp out 9 circles. Cut each one to make two wavy-edged semicircles. Lightly brush with water and stick onto the cookies.
- Roll out the green icing and cut out 36 leaf shapes. Use the tip of a teaspoon to cut away the edges to resemble holly leaves. Attach two to each cookie with a dab of water. Use the writing icing to dot two ‘berries’ on each cookie.
Children love to create fold-over paintings (or mirror image paintings as they’re also known), my two especially. The classic of course is the butterfly but you can also try various other bugs and beasties, dragonfly, ladybirds, beetles. Then there’s shapes, faces, feet, hands, stars, hearts, all sorts and at this time of the year Christmas trees and half snowmen go down a treat too!! Once the children grasp the concept they just run with it. It’s ever so simple, you fold a piece of paper in half and then open it out again. You then draw your half image onto the paper and then decorate it with different coloured drops of paint. Press the two sides of paper together and unfold. Voila – a beautiful fold-over painting. With a little help and guidance your little ones will be producing the most wonderful images. Happy painting!
This is a fab activity. Basically you pick one word or a central theme and then start brainstorming around it to form a web of ideas.You can use pictures and words or a combination of the two and just ‘roll with it’ really. The older you get , the more complex they can become but with little ones it can be as basic as words to do with winter or words to do with school. Today’s mind mapping came about by accident really. One minute we were sticking coloured stars onto brown paper to make Christmas wrapping paper for daddy, the next my daughter was annotating her ideas down next to the stars. It came from her really and just spiraled from there. A great ‘slowie’ I’d say AND a fascinating insight into how little minds work! We’ll definitely be doing this one again!!
In this crazy fast paced world we live in, writing letters hardly features at all anymore. It’s lovely then, to find an opportunity to sit with my little writer every once and a while and write some proper hand written examples. There is something really special about putting letters into the post box and then thinking how the person on the receiving end will feel when they have their letter delivered by the postman. It’s great fun to be part of, being on the sending or receiving end. There are a couple of great letter writing opportunities at this time of the year to be sure, namely the letter to Santa and in a few weeks time all the thank you letters that will follow on . My daughter’s most recent letter was a little hand written note that went into our ‘Operation Christmas child’ shoebox that I blogged about last night. That was a delightful little note and my daughter took great joy in sending it. There are all sorts of opportunities to get writing from writing to friends, to letters of congratulation, letters saying sorry, letters to family members , letters of complaint or even a letter to the Queen. Writing letters is definitely up there as a great ‘slowie’ and when it practises those ever important reading and writing skills it’s even better still. As that famous CBeebies show likes to put it, ‘get squiggling’ everyone!!!! x