Week 5

Colour - blue (display)
               Cotton bud painting
Shape - rectangle
Book - under the sea
Fine motor skills -  folding paper    
Gross motor skills -  catching 
Life skill -  clamping with pegs
Tuff tray - blue water beads with fish
Sensory basket - wooden objects
Small World - fish 
Playlist 5
Finger song - fish alive

This is left out all week for them to explore and play with it. Therefore, it needs to be items that are safe for your child so if you are not playing with them they can still explore. 

This week we used:
Mega blocks and wooden blocks,
A police puzzle car,
Some cups,
A book,
A wallet.

Today the Twins went straight for the colour display but as usual were attracted to different things. Buttercup was first to charge and was drawn to the fish and the material. She then explored the two in relation to each other. Button was also interested in the blue wallet and the board book on Blue. Bear as is becoming the norm, made a beeline for a blue car, after a few moments of just observing the display. After a few drives, he moved on to the building blocks. A little while later, Bear had moved on to the wallet while Buttercup was dressing herself in material. It was only about twenty minutes later that Buttercup discovered the wooden open ended play basket and the rectangles.


Blue craft - cotton bud painting 
(Simple set up) 

You will need:
Cotton buds,
blue paint,

This was a lot of fun and wasn't as messy as I expected. Both Twins really went for it and I didn't even need to explain what to do at all. I laid it all out and before I could even say go, they had picked up the cotton buds and gone for it. Mostly dabbing with the cotton buds which was great and then a few swipes making long lines of paint. I loved the finished pictures and they asked for more paper to do more. Buttercup even started putting one finger in and doing finger painting, it was lovely to see her exploring the paint and expressing herself. 


Shapes -rectangle 

This tray is left out all week for them to explore. I used a lot of their wooden packet food as they were rectangles. We spent a lot of time piling them up and Buttercup enjoyed banging them together. I also got their blocks out and encouraged them to pass me rectangle blocks. It took them a while and I'm not totally sure they got it but we will continue to reinforce. By the end of the week Bear could say rectangle.


Story basket

This week we picked a simple board book called "Under the sea". We really want to do more actualstories as we feel it's important to have story time with the children, but at this age they can get so much from a picture book with few words. I sat with them to explore the fish and at first I left them with the book as well, Buttercup spotted that some of her toys matched the pictures and put them together, I was amazed and Bear soon copied. I loved watching them splashing in the material sea with the fish and Bear hide the fish under the see-through blue material as if they were under the water then scooped them up like in a big net. 
   After a while of just sitting and watching them they soon asked me to read the book so I did and I didn't realise how much it would help Buttercup's speech. Bear is our little parrot and copies everything, he has done from day one, mimicking every noise we made, but Buttercup is slower to talk and since getting some one on one time with the Twins I've seen a huge change in her speech. It could be an age thing or it could be the fact we are encouraging every noise or word she makes. Either way this was another chance to encourage and listen to her. 
   As I pointed and said the word I then repeated it and asked if she could say it. To my suprise she tried all except one and some were perfect. She was praised for any attempt and noise she made and she spent the whole book looking very pleased and proud of herself, as did I. 


Tuff tray
Under water scene

We used:
Blue and white water beads,
Toy fish.

They also had their normal box of spoons, scoops, cups etc. 
 I laid everything out nicely with the shells piled and the animals hiding among the water beads but you guys can do whatever you like. Then I let the Twins explore and destroy it lol. Buttercup loved the animals and of course putting the water beads in the cups. Bear was much more interested in destroying the water beads. He would squeeze them till they either popped out of his hand or broke. 
   Buttercup decided to see how her feet felt in the tub so we took all the shells out and let them explore with their feet. It's lovely to see how they like to explore things without prompting. 


Gross motor - catching 

For this we used sports cones to help them with the catching motion. We threw a ball gently to them and they caught it with the cone. Bear loved this activity, he was so excited when he caught it. Buttercup perfered to use the cone as a shoe lol. She had a few goes of catching it first though and was so pleased when she did that she would run away with the ball. It was definitely a good start and a great way to show them how to catch at such a young age, without the frustration of not being able to do it. 


Fine motor skill - pegs

This is a hard skill to master, they need strength in their fingers and hand eye coordination. We just started slow for this activity and skill. I gave them some pegs and just showed them how to squeeze one end. They held them and said squeeze but didn't fully grasp what to do. They knew what to do but couldn't actually do it. I was impressed with how much Buttercup watched and tried to copy. She even said squeeze as she tried and you could see her fingers trying but she was holding the other side so it wasn't ever going to open. Bear had a few goes and watched as Buttercup tried pegging it to the paper I had laid out but as I decided to do it the same time as the folding paper he was much more interested in that. 


Life skills - folding paper

 Folding paper is a underrated skill I feel, you don't see many activities in just folding paper but surely it's something simple and fun that can teach a child fine motor skills and hand eye Coordination as well as increase their manual dexterity. It can also encourage creativity and once they have mastered simple folding you could move on to simple origami and really become creative, but that's for future folding weeks. For now we stuck to just simply trying to fold it in half. Bear found it really fascinating that I could make this paper stand up with just one fold and really tried hard to stand his up next to me after he screwed it into a ball lol. He then studied mine for a good five minutes, opening it and closing it and adding some new dents and folding marks as he twisted and turned the paper. 
   Buttercup tried a few times, she did the same screwing it up into a ball technique which they were both proud of but because I decided to do this at the same time as the pegs she found the pegs much more interesting. 


Sensory basket - wooden objects 

The wooden objects we use are left out for the Twins to explore so they need to be safe to use. As well as a wooden toy rattle and some wooden finger puppets we also have wooden paint brushes, a wooden hairbrush, wooden spoons, wooden boxes and wooden pegs. 
   They both love this basket, it used to be one they could get to all the time but we wanted to toy rotate and this was one I thought they would benefit from not having all the time. 
    It was so lovely to see them go straight to it when I first put it out but even nicer to see them keep going back. Today, I got to sit and play with them and interact with them about the wooden toys. Bear loved a small box with a little catch on it to keep it shut. He kept hiding a small wooden figure in it. He also loved the spoons and used them to hit the floor with as if drumming. Buttercup loved the finger puppets and I heard her making noises as she moved one finger then the next, as if the puppets were talking to each other. She also loved the small little Japanese inspired box we have that is a puzzle, you can hide something in and no-one else knows how to open it. She was loving it because I had put a penny in it so it became a rattle. 
    The best bit iswhen we come back to basket tomorrow no doubt they will be fascinated by something completely different. 


Playlist 5 and Fish alive 

  This weeks playlist had two colour songs in it which the twins love, Buttercup signed the ones she knew, even though I sung the colour and Bear shouted all the colours he knew. It also had London bridge which they found mesmerising. 
   Our finger song this week was 'once I caught a fish alive.' Bear really enjoyed this one, which is nice as normally he isn't interested in these songs. Today he sat watching me and then asked me to do it again. He counted a little with me and pointed to my fingers. Buttercup as ever loved me singing to her and watching my fingers. She tried copying straight away and loved it when I went to bite her finger with my fingers. 

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