Peep inside bug homes 

Book - Peep inside bug homes
Craft - Bubble wrap bee hive
Sensory - Bug rescue
Number game - How many animals in their homes
Baking - Bread bugs

Role play - Doctor
Play scene - Ned

First impressions

It was a strange one this morning. Like last week, it was Bear who wanted to check things out but both he and Buttercup were a bit reserved. They were asking lots of questions about what things were and looking at everything but they did not want to play, with both turning down the offer to be a doctor or a patient. Instead, Bear wanted to make a line on the floor with a bandage and Buttercup wanted to be a mermaid using the blow up bed as a tail.

However, suddenly it all clicked. Buttercup was in the bed saying "come on, doctor" while Bear assumed the responsibilities of Doctor. He washed his hands and used the stethoscope and the brain model on Buttercup. Then Button came over and showed them how to do it.

She gave Buttercup an eye test and showed her the brain model and told her she has an issue with her occipital lobe (which she pointed out) which is affecting her vision. She also decided that her frontal lobe was affecting her thinking. She gave her a full assessment and it was all so cute.

Bear watched her filling in the chart on the clipboard and wanted to do his own chart, but I didn't want to leave him with the pen. So he went and played with his Neds but was soon bringing the chart saying his car had gone too fast and he needed to fix it. So I gave him the pen and he started filling the chart in with what was wrong with the car. It was great to watch.

This week's book "Peep inside bug homes" from Usborne, is a great first book about bugs for toddlers. It's even good for older children, as Button and myself learnt some facts we didn't know. The Twins love the flaps and pictures and pointed out the different bugs to me as we read it together. I love learning and teaching about bugs, I think it's such a fun theme and it helps children to not be scared of them when out and about. So this week's activities were a lot of fun. 
   Our first activity was our sensory play, I used the lentils from a previous week as soil and hid some plastic bugs in and on top of it. I then wrapped string around the box to form a web or cage and gave the Twins tweezers to try and rescue the bugs. I also found the magnifying glass which was a huge hit with them. The tweezers were a little stiff and hard to use, then I remembered I had bought them easier ones to use so grabbed them. Buttercup got the hang of them quickly and used them a few times but Bear had already started using his hands so didn't want the tweezers. As they found the bugs, we spoke about each one, I named them the ones they didn't know and if I knew anything I about it I told them. They looked at each bug through the magnifying glass and Buttercup and I looked at the differences between the spider and the ant. I showed her that the spider had fur where the ant did not. They loved the lentils and after playing with the bugs they decided to bury their feet in the lentils. While Buttercup was obsessed with making it rain and told us so as she sprinkled the lentils onto the tray. It was a lot of fun and educational at the same time.
   Their second activity was their craft. A super simple one this week as we had mother's day gifts and cards to make for the grandmothers, so I didn't want them overwhelmed and becoming bored. I just grabbrf some of the bubble wrap we had and got them to paint it yellow and orange. They loved this and were trying to pop the bubbles as they painted. They commented on it being harder to paint than paper as it kept moving and in the end I had to hold them down for them. Once they were dry I cut them into bee hive shapes and showed them their finished hives explaining that they had made a bee home. They loved it. Of course I had extra bubble wrap for popping after.
   Our maths game this week was the most successful we have attempted as they both finished all ten before getting bored and managed to do it without help. Basically, I drew some bugs in their homes for them to match with a number. So for example "one caterpillar" on a leaf, "two spiders" on a web, "three ants" in their underground nest etc . I laid them in order and then gave them a number to place next to the right home. They loved shouting out the bugs to me as they found them and asked for the extra number which was amazing.
   Our baking this week was bread. Such an easy bake to do with little hands and so rewarding afterwards.
The recipe was:

  500g of bread flour (we used wholemeal),
  I pk of dry yeast,
  1 TSP  of sugar,
  1 TSP of salt,
  1 tbsp of oil,
  350ml of warm water.

Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl (I keep my salt and yeast at opposite ends of the bowl as direct contact of the salt will kill the yeast. Now add the water and mix, then after a while add the oil and start to kneed. You don't really need a spoon but I normally start with one. The Twins loved digging their hands in and feeling the dough, seeing it go from sticky to non sticky. They liked kneeding the dough- I showed them how to use their knuckles but also how to slap it on the table. They also squeezed and pulled at it. A great arm strength exercise and great for fine and gross motor skills. We then left it to prove for a hour before kneeding it again and shaping it. Snails were a great one to shape, Buttercup was intent on making a spider whilst Nanny was helping and wanted to try a ladybird. They all turned out amazing and tasted great. We baked ours for 20/30 mins on 180°C.
   There are so many bug related activities I can't wait to do this book again when they are a bit older and also look at some other bug related books.

This week's play scene didn't need much elaborating. I have done in the past and no doubt will do in the future but this week they were more than happy to just play with the Ned nook as it was. I sat and watched them several times playing with the Neds, observing as Buttercup put them to bed, fed them, got them to talk to one another and even put voices on for each Ned. She was so engrossed in her stories that she didn't even notice I was sitting there watching or wanting to play.
   Bear loved the car and would pile in the Neds and take them for drives, making all the noises along the way. I love watching them play and make up stories.

Their role play this week was 'doctors' which is one of Button's favourite games so I knew it would be well used. We set up a waiting area with their bench and some books and then set up a doctors surgery with their blow up bed and the kitchen as a medical counter with the sink and medicines. We also gave them one of their pebbles with a soap dish so they could pretend to wash their hands.
    The children loved it, taking turns being a patient in the bed or the Doctor. They watched Button really carefully and then would copy her which is great to encourage their imagination and communication skills. They loved the pretend soap as well and would stand at the sink washing their hands. I love watching them play so much.

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