Toddler activities: colours and fine motor skills

I found this idea on Pinterest. You colour in pairs of lolly sticks and wooden clothes pegs, then get the child to match the colours by clipping the clothes peg onto the lolly stick.

It was very cheap to set up – the lolly sticks were from Poundland and the clothes pegs from the supermarket. img_5028.jpg

Then, you colour in one end of each peg and one end of each lolly stick in the same colour. And, well, that’s it. I did two in each colour I had available (I had found a selection pack of Sharpies on special offer in Ryman’s).

It kept LO occupied for quite a while, although she initially struggled with the movement needed to open the clothes peg. She also liked lining all the colours up. Oh and putting them all back in the yogurt pot container!

It was originally intended to be a game we could use as a travel game, and take some of them with us on the train in a pencil case or similar, but I think there may be too much potential for bits being dropped on the floor (accidentally or otherwise!) for this to work well.


More wool and a lot of knitting

My Mum has been helping to clear out an old friend of the family’s house. A few knitting items emerged, which have been handed on to me. I have no idea how old the wool is (it is 100% wool). The balls are 1oz size so must be quite old! I’m planning to knit something for LO with them, whilst she’s still reasonably small, but I’m not adding to stash as I have no idea what the yardage is.

And I did some shopping by proxy at Edinburgh Yarn Festival, as Mostly Knitting was going and offered to shop on my behalf. I asked for some sock yarn from the Knitting Goddess and gave some suggested colours I’d like, and this is what arrived in the post!

So, yarn totals so far this year (first quarter):

In 1930 metres. Out 500 metres.

I’ve acquired 1430 metres than I’ve used so far but I’m still working on this blanket which will be a lot of metres used once it’s finished. 😉

Have you done any knitting with vintage yarn?

Week of gardening

I had a few days off work before Easter and took advantage of LO not being around to get the garden sorted for spring. I aimed to do two hours a day, so I didn’t finish myself off in the process, but it seemed a reasonable amount of time in which to make some real progress. It did kind of work, although the weather forecast meant I did more hours some days, and spent more time indoors on the rainy days 😉

Here are the containers full of daffodils and pansies, with the sedums in front.

This is the garden showing the lawn and raised bed edging. I redid the lawn edgings which really helped tidy it up a bit.

This section I actually took the edge of the lawn back a bit. The convolvulus had sprawled over the edge of the grass, leaving an uneven patch of dead grass, so I took the edge back to encompass the whole of the dead bit, leaving a straight edge. Once the cowslips have finished flowering I’m going to dig them up, divide them and then spread them through the borders – the plants below self-seeded from just two originals.

These are the dead bits of sedum I cut back to make way for the new growth.

I also did lots of mulching around all the borders. These are the raspberry canes which were cut down to the ground in the autumn.

And finally the camellia has flowered! Everything has been so late this year because of the bad weather.

What changes are you making in your garden this year?

Toddler activity: Easter cards

LO and I made a card like this at Messy Church. I really liked the idea as they are so easy to make (what toddler doesn’t like having a good scribble?!) so we made some more.

This one was the prototype.

And these were the ones we made at home. You use two strips of masking tape to mark out a cross on a blank card, then get the toddler to scribble all over it.

Then carefully tear the masking tape away – leaving the shape of a cross amidst the scribble!

Depending on how much mess you want to create, you could also try it with paint! 😉



So, we did actually get some snow this year. Snow doesn’t happen that often in this part of the world, and when it does, there isn’t much of it. But the Beast from the East was on the way. And, well, this was it:

Yep, it didn’t even totally cover the grass.

You can see how it’s really deep here

Still, in many areas not that far from us, there was a lot more snow, so it did cause transport problems as trains run to and from those areas, points froze etc. My journeys to work were fine – I stuck to main roads and everything was gritted and clear – and LO’s nursery remained open, although the local schools ended up closing.

How much snow did you get?

Toddler activities: matching colours

I’ve been scouring Pinterest looking for ideas for activities to keep two year olds occupied, especially when it’s hard to get outside, as in the current snowy weather. This colour matching activity caught my eye and we tried it out a couple of days ago.

I drew some circles on card and used LO’s felt tips to colour them in with solid colour.

Then I put a circle of colour in the bottom of each section of a muffin tin and placed an assortment of pom-poms into containers next to them.

The idea was that LO could match up the colours with the pom-poms – and she did!

She enjoyed matching the colours, and also liked emptying the pom-poms onto the floor and putting them back into the containers. The pom-poms vary in size so sometimes she was picking up quite tiny ones, which was good for her fine motor skills too.

Time to set up activity: 15 minutes, although now I’ve made the coloured circles it would take about two minutes to get out.

Cost: I bought a bag of pom-poms (£4 in Hobbycraft, can probably be bought cheaper elsewhere) but everything else we already had – felt tips and muffin tin. The containers are old yogurt pots and the card was packaging I’d hung onto. The pom-poms could also be used for other activities.

Time it took: about an hour of activity in total as she went away for a bit and then came back to it.

Other comments: it would have worked better to have purchased a bag of pom-poms in primary colours. I didn’t have the right colour felt tip pens to match all the pom-pom colours so ended up removing those colours first.

Garden February 2018

It’s been a cold and windy February so far so, unsurprisingly, I haven’t been tempted outside to do any gardening! Just to keep the bird feeders topped up.

There are a few flowers appearing to brighten things up but I can’t wait until spring!

The snowdrops are over but some of the early daffodils are flowering.

The hellebores have looked amazing this year, although the flowers are quite hidden away so you only see them if you know they’re there!

A couple of camellia flowers have opened, although it’s mostly still just buds. This will be covered in flowers in a couple of weeks.

The cyclamen flowers are just about visible and the hyacinth leaves have appeared next to them. The hyacinths should flower just as the cyclamen are dying down.

Pansies in one of the hanging baskets. The daffodil leaves are beginning to appear alongside them.

Rhubarb beginning to emerge! Can’t wait until it’s big enough to pick and eat!

What’s your garden looking like at this time of year?