Sunday, 30 November 2014

Crafty Christmas learning

I firmly believe as a person who worked with children and in the art sector, that children (and adults) can be taught so much via Art and crafts. My sons decided to Christmas crafts where the order of the day so we decided to spend a few hours making and playing. One set is from Usbornes big book of Christmas crafts, we have had for a few years now, and make some every year. We also purchased some kits from our local Spar as I really loved them, and they where inexpensive, but we also made one from recycled cardboard.  Some videos and activitys to learn about snowflakes  interesting facts about Christmas trees with beautiful pictures! 

Have fun making !

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Safa ..really is Safer , beauty review

I was recently approached to trial a new product on the market, You see I have very sensitive skin . Because of this I'm a tester for a medical company that uses human testers rather than animals, I'm allergic to lanolin, liquid soaps and latex . They burn my skin off! Whilst this company isn't part of the cosmetic testing company, I was impressed enough to join in with the chance to review the products. Vegan (meaning no animal derived products) Therefore no lanolin! Containing certified organically grown ingredients, wheat and gluten free too. I was sent Safa Facial Tonic and Cleansing milk to try From Linco care.

The cleansing milk contains Rosehip, Sweet almond and Calendula oil," Rich in anti-oxidants and perfect for mild instant anti-wrinkle effect, lightweight for people who suffer acne as it doesn't block pores."I found this just perfect not to thick or runny , very gentle and soft, very creamy and soothing, I used it after a shower and was surprised how much it cleaned my skin further, I't felt delightfully soft and smooth.

The Facial toner contains, cucumber, Aloe and green tea extracts. "It helps enable skin repair, increases collegen content of damaged skin tissue. A powerful anti-oxidant with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects" I admit I was very nervous, I dislike facial toners, because of the burning effect they have , but really impressed this had no burning sensation just a mild tightening effect.

About an hour afterwards I decided to wash my face to see if the cream was still there, and Was delighted to feel my skin still felt very creamy and not at all dry (normally I would have put another coat of moisturiser  on mid day, there was no need!)

Please keep an eye out for their products They are delightful They are soon to be running monthly giveaways too!  Twitter Facebook Their website.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


The boys seem to have a current obsession with Junk modelling, Which is fab as it keeps all of them happy, (plus I enjoy it to having spent most of my adult life in the Art sector of retail) They wanted to make something Christmassy (Already?) . We decided on toilet roll models . We picked The fun Reindeer project from this lovely tutorial .

A cute old black and white You tube vid about children and life in lapland

And a huge stack of Reindeer lesson plans and activities

Colouring pens are from this lovely company one end thick the other thin.Great coverage, nice tight fit lids great for children or professionals alike...perfect!

Have fun!

CleanTrash sorting deciding what to make.

Lovely colouring pens sent by Smiggle

We have 9 reindeer and Santa on a sleigh

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Paper play

What to do when your stuck indoors all week and under the weather? We decided to investigate the strength of Newpaper! Firstly we attempted to push a car over a "Bridge" The challenge was it had to be done with one sheet of newspaper. They figured out by folding the paper they could strengthen the bridge enough to allow the car to pass over. Then some gravity play (What falls faster the ball of paper of the sheet?) , and some Origami Boats, which we later floated and sank down Rochester river lol! All in an hours entertainment for nothing! I think we will be exploring more types of boats we can see which floats better!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Halloween , And Bonfire night, Before you know it Christmas!

Cue learning of Guy Fawkes, how fireworks are made, Gun powder, Guy making. Cue learning about various Religions and styles of celebrating Halloween. This week has gone so quickly, Had a great week :D
Some of the resources we used.  Horrible historys gunpowder plot Fantastic site for educational resources  Ks1 and Ks2 Worksheets as well as other pages.

Pumpkin worksheets

Painting and gluing

Bonfires and fireworks

Burning an effigy

There she blows, do not worry chickens are no longer present :(

Friday, 31 October 2014

Sorting through piles of Carp!

I have a dear T.A friend who gave me some excess things she had collected. When I received them they looked like bags of junk, until I sorted through them. Why Had I as a qualified E.Y.F.S person never seen this, so simple! Basically one bag of shapes various including 3d/2d and another bag of all sorts of junk in different materials, essentially bags of stuff you sort into piles matching the correct labels. You could also do colour matching rainbow boxes. After we sorted the types of materials we also then decided to sort them into piles of combustible and non, Then also biodegradable and not.  Lastly magnetic or not (my just turned 3  is obsessed with magnetic force) So if you have a 3-7 year old,  Next time you have some junk laying about collect it into little packs even if you only use it once, you have had fun for free and learned new things !

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Corn husk dolls

Ive always wanted to make oneof these but never managed to gather enough husks. Luckily later our recent pumpkin trip the owner kindly let us have a load that he had peeled off the corn he had been showing is.Keon was feeling poorly today so wasn't really up to much and just wanted to sit and watch tv and do some gentle crafting , poor lamb had a temperature and a headache that was upsetting him a lot. Crafting took his mind off of it for a while. We plan on using these to retell the story of the corn husk doll on video

From Wikipedia
A corn husk doll is a Native American toy, a doll made out of the dried leaves or "husk" of a corn cob. Making corn husk dolls was adopted by early European settlers in the United States of America.[2] Corn husk doll making is now practiced in the United States as a link to Native American culture and the arts and crafts of the settlers.
Corn husk dolls do not have faces, and there are a number of traditional explanations for this. One legend is that the Spirit of Corn, one of theThree Sisters, made a doll out of her husks to entertain children. The doll had a beautiful face, and began to spend less time with children and more time contemplating her own loveliness. As a result of her vanity, the doll's face was taken away.
Making husk-dolls is also a tradition of Transylvania. The dolls symbolise the fertility of the land and their inhabitants in the TransylvanianHungarian culture. The tradition is still enjoying popularity in Transylvania as well as the whole area of Hungary. Children are shown how to make husk dolls on craft programmes. Professional dolls are sold in tourist shops and farmer's markets. Corn husk weaving is also thought as a profession; a diploma is available for adults who want to make a living of it.
A couple of different methods of making them
The boys think they are adorable dollys but personally I think they look like something out of Blair witch.

Monday, 20 October 2014

From design to product realisation.

We had decided we wanted to explore inventions briefly, so we came up with a may to make it fun for the boys. Firstly the challenge was to design something and write about it's features what it did etc. They drew a picture and wrote a short story about what they had invented. Next we collected junk to make the item they wanted to, then lastly we made the item . Fun had by all. Covering Art, Design, Crafts, Writing practice, spelling practice ,story writing and construction methods. Later we will be studying a little of Victorian designs . Perhaps using Isambard Kingdom Brunel as a marker point ? Keons was "Rainbot" A Housework Robot that is powered only by the magic of rainbows (of course the flaw being you have to wait for a rainbow before it works :P) Bens, was a rocket pack to help you get to places faster powered by rubbish fuel (That composts apparently) .

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Pumpkin picking at Beluncle Farm

Fantastic Home ed group meet up today, We learned a lot about  the life cycle of pumpkins, various types of Pumkins, Gourds, Butternut squash and Sweetcorn varietys loads of fun and mud! Definatly worth a visit if anyones over that way  and the owners are such passionate, kind hearted souls and where really happy to answer any questions we had. Eldest son has decided to become a Farmer now :D
Some lovely worksheets

And lastly a youtube on Growing!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Journey stick progression

We where introduced to the wonderful concept of a journey stick at Red tent camp in June this year, My middle son Keon decided to make one, As he had just left to become home tutored it seemed perfectly fitting.

Journey sticks.
When Australian Aboriginals went on their journeys they collected things and tied them to a stick in chronological order.After a long time they finally returned to their people. Referring to the objects attached to their stick, they were able to remember their journey and recount the stories.his formed a verbal map which described the journey to someone who wasn’t there. It was a very personal way of recording their journey and unlike a map, there was no right or wrong way.

Talking sticks
Australian Aboriginals used talking sticks as a means of ensuring just and impartial council meetings.According to tradition, he who holds the Talking Stick has the power of words. Only that person can speak whilst others remain silent and listen. Usually a speech was prepared before the meeting so as not to take up too much time and
bore the spirits!

They are also a great way to recall days out and memories and practice writing skills
So far we have added the Red tent camp fun things, a summers day beach collection, and a woodland walk to Leeds castle complete with a huge brown peacocks under-feather which he plucked out right in front of us (a gift perhaps?) and a Canadian goose feather with in turn led to a small discussion and documentary watch on Migration.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Badgells wood Campout

Lovely last camp of the year, proper old traditional woodland camp site, off grid, solar powered (hot!!) showers even though it was dark . Needed lots of blankets for warmth, only rained once. We all had a great time, simply doing nothing. No tv, just books and some good old fashioned fun. We plan on going again next year in May for the bluebells.