CAT in the HAT photo

This is pretty self explanatory!  It was lots of fun-
First we read the cat in the hat and then we spread out a large white sheet & collected things that resembled the cats first trick.
it's fun to have fun, you just have to know how.
I can hold up a cup & the milk and the cake and the fish on a rake, I can hold the toy ship and a little toy man and look i can fan with the fan as i hop on the ball"  Dr. Seuss (the cat in the Hat).

OK so its a little different, but you make do with what you have. I wasn't going to give him a huge dirty garden rake so instead his little broom and I wasn't going to make him a cake so a cup cake with a paper candle will do, and I drew the fish in the bowl. I didn't trust giving him milk so a empty sippy cup worked well enough & well the hat is simply red paper strips glued on an A4 paper that dimples glued together himself- It was so funny.
I did have a toy ship. a ball& a toy (lego) man on hand.
After I showed him the pictures he declared "That was FUN, lets do it again!"

Outdoor Obstacle Course

Out door Obstacle Course.

After a couple days of rain we needed to get outside and do something physical.  At our house, we love obstacle courses and I have been hanging to do a large scale outdoor one for Dimples, this was my chance.

Dimples waited up by the fence for the count down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Goooo.
He ran down to the wheelbarrow, used the wheelbarrow (which is great for stability & balance) until he got to the skipping rope.
I had tied the skipping rope up across from the trampoline to a box so it was almost his knee height off the ground. All in the aim to trip him over, MwahaHAHa.  So that he could jump over it & onto the next task, the bouncing jack!

He bounced down the hill on the jumping jack until he got to the traffic cones, then jogging along he weaved in & out, around the traffic cones.
To my Amusement, if he knocked one over he would say "Oops-a-daisy" stop turn around & perfectly place it back in the line...

Next was to step up on to the balance beam and walk the plank then jump off the end.

The next obstacle was to jump through a line of sticks, in between the sticks without touching any.  Dimples did this really well and I personally love it - It brings back memories of playing "fly"or "sticks" at the bus stop of a morning, the local kids all used to line the sticks up taking turns and the last person had to replace one stick, if you touched you were out. I used to love it and I was normally one of the last ones left.

After the sticks Dimples crawled through the tunnel, an outdoor table with a black sheet over it.
At the end was a shopping basket (literally! I happened to have a super market basket in the shed, dont ask me how it got there).
He had to grab the basket and collect ten balls that were scrambled through the grass, shot them/throw them into the basket before he could run with his basket to the finish line.

At the finish line he had to dump the balls in the hoop and cross the finsh line, which was a traffic stop line.  His favourite obsticle was the balance beam, jumping over the sticks and through the tunnel. 

Dimples did the course a few times til he perfected it, of course I had to do it a few times as well which our Siberian Husky, Demon thought was hillarious! He came running up thinking I was playing around as I do with him and started chasing us. We managed to get him (he is a very large & lazy dog) to walk the balance beam with us and go through the tunnel but for the most of the time he sat ontop of the table peering under at us as we raced through...
Dimples then just went around and around on his favourites - the balance beam, the sticks and the tunnel!

Learning Shapes through Art & craft

Our Shape Collection: Using small collage shapes & Marble Art.

Our first shapes were done by collage,
First I cut out our large shapes as the background (cut a large square, triangle, circle & what ever other shape you wish large enough to glue smaller shapes on) and using paintings left over from Rolling Pin Art & Home made wrapping paper I cut out lots & lots, I mean lots. Of teeny tiny matching shapes.  You could use any coloured paper or any old painting, you could even using magazine or news papers if you felt like a different effect.

Then, we played a shape matching game. I laid out the large square, covered it with glue and we had to pick out small squares  to stick on it - So in a sense it is a shape matching collage.
Then the triangle, cover it with glue and pick out all the teeny tiny triangles to stick on it & so forth.
After the glue on the large shapes had finished, I wrote their name & laminated them so they could go on the wall.

The most recent shape learning art process we did was using marble art.
You can see a previous post of ours using a similar process, but with cherry tomatoes, stones & other circular objects - tomato-marble-art.
Basically, you need a tray large enough to put in your shapes. A plastic storage box or an aluminium BBQ tray would work well.
You put your shape in the bottom, a few marbles or circular objects on top & your choice of paint blobs. Have your little one swirl & shake the box.
Dimples loves this part & we sing a little song made up song to jig to "side to side - side to side- now back & forth back & forth, round & round, can you go round and round."

Remember its the process, not the product when it comes to little ones & this process was lots of fun - do what ever makes it fun for you!  After the shapes are dry & laminated they went up on the wall for display. I ask Dimples to label them & match them etc and to find objects that are the same shape.

Coloured Rice Play

Developing fine motor skills through play & learning about colours using RICE.

Dimples knows his colours very well, with the exception of green (its always blue) so I made some blue & green rice in the hope that he would be able to differentiate green from blue by the end of the activity. Using 2 large saucepans I soaked uncooked rice in a small amount of water & blue/green food dye, I only put it in for half an hour and then poured it into the drainer & onto paper towl to dry.
Blue into one dish, green into the other & for the fun of it, another dish with unpopped corn.  You can usually buy a bulk no-name pack of this at the supermarket for a dollar, the same goes with rice it is possible to get cheap non-brand bulk packs for a couple of dollars and this can provide lots of fun so its worth it.

I gave Dimples a range of items to play with that would help him with fine motor, eye hand coordination and manipulation of objects -
 Including a measuring cup, a funnel, a cup a bowl, a plastic container & lid, tongs, 3 different sized spoons, a bucket, a spade & A home made funnel made from a half a plastic bottle & some pipe.
This home made funnel was a favourite and it worked well.

He experimented with each object and filled the bowls and cups up, he experimented with the funnels and found that the corn wouldn't flow through the smaller one without being shaken about. 
Then he found out he could unscrew the lid off the plastic container, fill it up and shake it to make a maraca musical instrument. It was lots of fun.
It wasn't long before all the colours were mixed around and he was telling me that the green is the same colour as the tongs, the grass and the tree's and the blue was the colour of the bowls.
He did well using the smallest of spoons and scooping up corn from the furthest bowl and carefully, steadily bring it over to his cup so he didn't spill any.

By the end of the play he had used every utensil in every way and then decided to feel around, letting the rice fall through his fingers. We were out in the yard so I let him go & before too long he was throwing it around!
We will definitely do it again with some different colours and different tools.


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