A snail and a whale 

Book - whale and the snail 
Craft - onion printing 
Sensory - paper and rocks, shells 

Role play - Tool shed
Play scene - Fire Station

Number game - match the whale and snail numbers 

Extra - snail trail patterns

First impressions

Buttercup noticed the new playscene and roleplay and said "what's that?" So I explained. I told them that we are back to having new toys out each week and Button will be starting her schoolwork again. They were straight over and Buttercup wanted to put on the workman's outfit. Bear, meanwhile, started playing with the fire engines and fire station. Bear took a fireman down the pole and played with the fire engines. Buttercup also took a fireman down the pole and then put him to bed. She then moved on to the tools and Bear soon joined her. They were also both very happy to see a rotated selection of books. They soon had me reading to them.

Book play 
This weeks book was the amazing "The snail and the whale". The Twins really enjoyed this story: Bear spoke about it with Daddy one morning over breakfast, they made Nanny read it when she was round and they really brought it into their play. It's lovely when a book really comes alive for them. 
   We did a few bits with this book and really only scratched the surface, I think when they get older we will revisit this book a lot. 
  For this week we decided to do the normal craft and sensory/small world tie in but also a number game, big and small practice and making snail trails with loose parts. It was a lot of fun! 
  The craft was making snail pictures with onions- using the onion as a stamp then drawing the snail in after. Daddy did this craft with them as I can't be around onions without my eyes running and becoming very tired. So I set the area up and left them to it. It was lovely for Daddy to get some craft time with them as he's normally working when we do these activities. 
  He decided painting the onion would give it a better effect so he showed them how to paint the onion before stamping it onto the paper. They Twins picked this up well. Buttercup understood faster than Bear but they both got there and made some great prints. Bear was super excited to see the snail all finished. Bear then sat there and painted alone for nearly 45 minutes. He was loving it. 
 I decided to do small world this week and it worked out perfectly because we had cousin Cupcake for the day so it meant they could really explore and have fun but not get overly messy. 
    I used some of our emergency blankets with a blue juggling scarf over the top for the sea, then around the edge I put shells and stones, using our wooden sea animals to complete the scene. The three children loved it, getting straight in and exploring the different textures and patterns of the shells. Buttercup collected all her favourites and laid them out for us to see. Bear was obsessed with trying to hear the sea and was trying every shell he found. At one stage he had one at each ear. It was lovely and calm and we spoke about the different colours and shapes of the shells. We also talked about sea creatures you would find on the beach and in the sea. It was a lovely hour. 
   For our number game I made up two packs of numbers cards one with snails on them and one with whales. Button wanted to help me colour them in, so I asked her to colour both number ones the same, both number twos the same etc. It was lovely that she wants to help and take a role in the Twins learning, I always encourage her in this.
    I then laid out our number cards from minnieprints and asked them to match the numbers together. Bear loves numbers but on this particular day Buttercup was faster than him and telling me some of the right numbers. If they placed it by the wrong number I would say and point at the number they had and then point and say the one they had put it by. They soon tried a different one. You could see Buttercup looking at each number to see if they looked the same. They both really enjoyed this number game. 
    Two quick activities I thought of on the hop were playdough snails to show the  big and small concept and snail trails using loose parts. 
    I used our Scarlett senses playdough and made three different size snails. The Twins could easily identify the smaller and larger of the snails and then began unrolling the snails and lining the playdough up next to each other. Bear then began feeding his back into the jar. 
    The snail trail was a quick set up and really grabbed the Twins imagination. I drew two snails on a piece of paper each and then drew wiggly lines as if the snails had left a trail. I then gave them our Grapat loose parts to place on the lines. Bear placed his pieces rather randomly, some not even on the lines- he seemed to just want to make a picture. Buttercup on the other hand really enjoyed following the lines, she spent quite a while til one line was completely full. It's great seeing how the two do things differently and I'm definitely doing this activity again. 

We also set up their fire station which was played with every day. I loved sitting and just watching as Bear raced the engine around the living room putting pretend fire outs. On Daddy's day off, we decided to have a little bit of a competition but there was no winner. We decided to see who out of myself, Daddy and Button could make the best fire out of open ended toys. We could use whatever we wanted from the living room, then once they were set up the Twins could put them out with their fire trucks. 
   Button loved this idea and it was really nice seeing Daddy have a chance to be creative. With the new routine in place it gives us a lot more family time to actually be together and play. 
   So Button did amazing with this task, she started with a base of orange, using one of the Twins' builder jackets, then filled it with all shades of red and orange she could get her hands on, like rainbows, blocks, mushrooms etc. She then placed our Mummy, Nanny and Button peg doll inside. We was really proud of her imagination and creativity. I decided to go for a forest fire and used trees and Grapat loose parts to make flames and tall grass. I had the Twins' peg dolls hidden in my fire. Daddy went for the bush fire and used lots of wooden trees and coral to create the bush area and then our Grimm's flames for the fire.  Daddy had his pegdoll and our Grad peg doll fighting to get out of his fire.
   The Twins acted fast. Having a truck each they started putting the fires out. Button helped by removing the flames and replacing them with our blue Grapat drops so everything looked wet. Buttercup did a great job of getting everyone out the fires as Bear hosed everything down. It was a brilliant game and a lot of fun.
   Our role play this week was builders. We set up their tools, hard hat and safety vests for them to explore and play with. Buttercup loved the hard hat and the safety jacket. She thought she was a super hero in them and ran around the house pretending to rescue cracked eggs on more than one occasion this week. Bear loved to use the hammer and would sit and pretend to fix his track or the floor or the tool box. They both once or twice also used the screws and wood pieces which was great to watch. 


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