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Posts from the ‘Making and doing’ Category

International Day of the . (dot)

Yesterday, September 15th was International Day of the Dot apparently. Who knew? I certainly didn’t and I think it was Twitter that told me (probably, most likely, yes). The idea behind the day, influenced by Peter H Reynold’s book The Dot, is to encourage educators to get creative with their students.

Well, I obviously don’t have any students… and I’ve never come across this book (have any of you? Is it any good, it looks pretty good?), but I did have Milo home all day yesterday and we were at a bit of a loose end. So we celebrated the dot. In our own little way.

We made a small Victoria Sponge dot cake – half the quantity of the usual 7-8inch cake. It looks a bit messy, but Milo had a great time as he put the filling (cream and jam) in all by himself and went a bit crazy with the icing and dots (different flavoured chocolate buttons), which in turn pushed all the cream and jam out the sides of the cake!

Milo’s verdict: “What does it taste like Milo?” “It tastes of nice cake.”

We then painted our own large dots to put down on the floor for a jumping game.

This would have worked a bit better had I managed to find the blu-tack to keep the dots stuck down in one place, but was fun all the same. Some of our dots didn’t quite dry in time either (I had them hanging outside for at least two hours, but there was a huge volume of paint on a red and green one!).

Anyway, here’s how we played our game: Milo would stand on a dot and I would say, “jump like a rabbit to the purple dot.” and off he’d go. Then Milo’s turn to give me a coloured dot to jump too and an animal to copy – snake is hard! Good for burning a bit of last minute energy at the end of the day! And for learning colours and imitating how animals jump of course!


Bookish Bites : Harry and the Robots cake and crafting

I could have posted this one yonks ago as it was a bit of father’s day Bookish Bites. It actually started with a bit of reading and a bit of crafting with Milo’s dad the week earlier.

My other half is obsessed with robots. Obsessed. So we’re not short at all on books about them. Milo’s favourite at the moment is probably Harry and the Robots by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds.”Blaaaast!” as the robot likes to say in the book is something Milo is often heard saying. Loudly usually. The book features an older Harry than the Harry from the Harry and the Dinosaurs series and he’s swapped his dinosaurs for robots. Nan who features heavily in the dinosaur books as a sprightly, active and involved grandparent gets poorly in this book ad needs a visit to hospital. She’s visibly older and this books is great for a general introduction to ideas about illness and mortality.

So to the first part of this post, the craft. Milo and his dad had a spare afternoon, a cardboard box, some toilet rolls, paint and straws. And a measuring tape. Not sure why exactly – clearly a boy thing!

They started by reading the book together.

Then they set to work, building, sticking and most importantly, measuring.

Criss-cross slits on the sides and bottoms of the box to insert the toilet roll robot arms and legs into worked really well.

Just needs a lick of paint then. We don’t appear to have pics of that part of the process, I have a feeling that Milo’s dad may have had his hands full limiting the brush strokes to the robot and not our walls. The finished robot can be seen at the end of the post.

We don’t normally do very much to celebrate father and mother’s day. We always get a little gift (something that Milo can share with his dad – last year it was stacking robots, this year a robot to build together) and a make. For father’s day Milo thought it would be nice to make some cake for his dad, so we sent his dad out swimming in the morning so Milo and I had a little free time together.

I’d baked a victoria sponge tray bake a few days ahead to save us some time in the morning and cut it into different sized square shapes for robot bodies and heads. Milo and I whipped up some buttercream icing to cover the robots. And of course there was some decorating to be done.

And so when Milo’s dad returned from his swim, there were robot cakes alongside the robot he’d made with Milo the weekend before. It put a little smile on his face!

And eating the cake put a little smile on Milo’s. His verdict.. “nom, nom.” We had such a lot of fun making these and especially decorating them, good, sweet tasting, messy fun! And they kind of looked like robots in the end!

Where’s Tumpty? bright yellow house (part 2)

Now I should say straight away that we haven’t made a Tilly and Friends bright, yellow house in cake form. Sorry if that’s disappointing but I’m not sure if it’s in mine or Milo’s capabilities! Instead we made a bright, yellow house for some cardboard cut-outs of the characters to play around in. It all felt a little Playing by the Book… and we really enjoyed it!

Milo often plays with a doll’s house at nursery (with his cars… they sleep in there and drive down the stairs and re-fuel) and while I do have the most fantastic doll’s house to pass on to him that my Granddad made when I was little, it needs a little re-decoration first and he really needs to be old enough to use the battery operated lights. In the meantime though, we thought that it might be fun to make the little yellow house that Tilly and her friends live in.

It really is so very lovely. We started with a box and a tub of yellow paint.

It took a while and a little help from me, but eventually the box was yellow.

After a quick dry out in the sunshine, we then headed over to Milo’s Nana and Granddad’s house to finish our little house off. I drew some windows, a door and most importantly a letterbox on the door and cut them out with a craft knife. Not a job for a little one.

Milo then wanted to make some tiny letters to post to Tilly through her letterbox. Lots and lots of letters.

Meanwhile, Nana and I painted round the window edges to match (well, fairly closely), with the book.

The reason I’m including this photo despite the fact that it has me with no makeup on in it, is because it’s one that I love of me and my boy! I am enjoying myself, honestly. This is just how I look when concentrating on something I am not particularly good at / that requires eyesight better than mine!

We then made the curtains. Not out of material which would have been nice, but drawing on a sheet of paper. Originally with the rightish colours… then some artistic license from Milo! All while eating a peanut butter sandwich.

I’d made some cardboard cut outs of Tilly and friends for Milo to move about inside his little house, with props on the back to keep them up. This delighted him! so much he squashed them all hugging them!

And here’s Tilly in her house. Can you spot her?

We haven’t worked on the inside yet. There’s a lot to do… a pot plant to make for Tumpty to hide behind for one thing! I’ll post on our progress, but needless to say, Milo loves his Tumpty / Tilly house!

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