Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crafting with the kids!

Since I started doing Family Day Care I have had lots of fun finding new crafts do to with the children. Here are a couple of my favourites.

Where possible I try and tie in the craft with the story that I have read to the children that day. Recently I read a lovely story to the children called The littlest lighthouse keeper and then afterwards I showed the children how to make their own lighthouse.


The kids really enjoyed this craft and it was also a way for me to teach the kids about shapes as the lighthouse is made from rectangles, circles, a square and a triangle.

To make this you need
1 white rectangle, 22cm by 8cm (lighthouse base)
3 red rectangles, 2.5cm  by 8cm (lighthouse stripes)
1 blue rectangle, 2.5cm by 10cm (walkway at top)
1 red square, 8cm by 8cm (top of lighthouse where windows will go)
1 red triangle, 8cm, you can cut a small section of the top off so it’s flat instead of a point (roof of lighthouse)
1 blue rectangle, 2.5cm by 5cm (lighthouse door at base)
4 small circles, about 1cm each (one for the door and one for three of the stripes)
3 small yellow rectangles, 1cm by 2.5cm

Have the children glue the red stripes to the lighthouse at equal intervals. The red stripes will each have one yellow circle glued in the middle.

Center the small blue rectangle at the bottom of the lighthouse base and attach it with glue. Place a yellow circle toward the top of the door and glue it in place.

Place the blue rectangle at the top of the lighthouse base and glue it in place. Glue the small red rectangle to underside of the top of the blue oval. The three small rectangles will be glued to this rectangle. Add the triangle shape and glue it at the top. This completes the lighthouse craft!

I found the idea for this craft here

The other craft that has been a big hit with the kids is hand and footprint art.

These are our handprint octopus


Handprint jellyfish


Footprint butterfly

Here are the instructions for the footprint butterfly

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sultana Tea Loaf Recipe

I can't remember where or when I came across this recipe but it's one I've had for a long time. What I like about it is that it has no butter or eggs in it so it's great to make when supplies are running low. I also like that you can change what fruit you put in it so it doesn't always have to taste the same, and it's great in the lunch box if you cut it in slices and add a little butter.


Sultana Tea Loaf

Ingredients
1 cup cold tea
1 cup sultanas or other dried fruit (I recently used apricots and cranberries which were nice)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a 19 x 9 x 6cm loaf tin with butter.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine tea, sultanas and the vanilla essence and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

3. Sift flour, stir through sugar and cold tea mixture. Mix well.

4. Spoon into tin and bake for 45 minutes.

5. While still warm rub a little butter on top and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Serve warm,in slices, with butter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making mud pies

Annabelle and Evelyn were given a water table toy for Christmas that had the line 'just add dirt' written on the box- needless to say I wasn't very keen on that idea!

Seeing as the girls don't know what a mud pie is anyway they were happy enough to use the toy with water, until they had a play date with their cousin!

We were all playing outside when I noticed the water in the water table had turned a murky brown colour.



Of course no one admitted they were responsible for the muddy mess until I spotted my nephew Mason nicking dirt from my strawberry patch:

Look at that cheeky grin!


Annabelle and Mason having some not so clean fun



They also snuck some balls onto the trampoline - they didn't last long though as I was worried they'd sprain an ankle if they landed on one of them!

Annabelle loves playing with her cousins and gets very excited when she sees them.

While all the mischief was being made Evie played with the bikes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Changes

This has been a week of big changes for all of us.

I have been on unpaid maternity leave since July last year and financially it has been really difficult trying to survive on one income, especially when Aaron's wage is unpredictable as he can't work in rain or windy weather.

Initially I had planned on returning to work when Evie was 6 months old, when my paid maternity leave had come to an end, but I found it impossible to find suitable day care as my girls would need to be in care from 6.30am to 6.30pm due to my long commute to work.

As time went on I realised I didn't want to leave them for that length of time anyway so I have been applying for jobs locally with little success.

I enquired last December about becoming a Family Day Care Educator and they happened to be recruiting at the time so within a matter of weeks I was undergoing Educator training, doing a first aid course and making amendments to our back yard to make it more secure.

In mid January I received my Certificate of Registration and last week I commenced work as an Educator.

I have 2 after school children who come to me for 2 hours each afternoon and they are both lovely. Being brother and sister some of their antics remind me of growing up with my older brothers. I also care for a 3 year old boy and a 3 year old girl two days a week each and thankfully they are lovely too.

I think the first week was hardest on Annabelle as she is used to being home with me and Evie and it was difficult for her having other children in the house. She is a typical 2 year old so sharing isn't one of her strengths just yet, hopefully she will adjust quickly.

Last week it rained for 3 days straight so going outside was out of the question, which made me thankful I had a lots of craft planned - so many things you can make from an egg carton!

It's early days yet but I am enjoying working on lesson plans and coming up with games and interesting craft ideas for the kids.

Fingers crossed I don't lose my enthusiasm.