Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity

Today is all about BIRTHDAYS! Have you got a little one with a Birthday coming up? Are you looking for something fun, but simple and BIRTHDAY RELATED To do? There are lots of Happy Birthday Activities out there.. but one that we love best is a simple Happy Birthday Play Dough activity – you can make your own play dough quickly and easily.. use your child’s birthday cake candles (or buy a special set to play with), add some “sprinkles” and you are off… lots of playdough birthday cake fun!Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity - is someone having a Birthday in your house Set up this easy peasy play dough activity in no time and let the kids have fun fun fun.

Check out our little video about Play Dough Birthday Cakes more here!

She is a Tom Boy, He is a Sissy. Why is that ok?!

Sissy vs tom boy - why is it ok for a girl to like boy things, but not ok for a boy to like girl things

Boy Girl Twins via Deposit Photo

The Tom Boy

We have a little girl in our school that LOVES to climb trees, chase the boys and play pirates. Everyone says how fun she is, what a great little Tom Boy. They indulge in her love for Spiderman and her want of cars.

The Sissy

We also have a little boy at our school who LOVES to dress up as Elsa, adores his baby doll and loves playing with the girls. He doesn’t like fighting the boys much. The other boys call him a sissy. They tell him he can’t use the boys’ toilets as he is a GIRL.

I ask you, why is that social acceptable behavior? Why is it ok (if not grand) for a girl to act in (supposedly) boy ish ways – to love trucks, and mud and fights? To prefer pirates over princesses and mermaids? Why is it NOT ok for a boy, to act in a girl ish way?

Where did these 4yrs old boys get the notion that it is wrong for another 4yrs old boy to have other interests? How does a 4 year old boy even know that “other boys” don’t dress up or play with dolls or have tea parties? How does a 4 year old boy even notice this difference, and worse still act on it in a negative way?

It appears that we live in a society, though outwardly equal, in that it is ok for a GIRL TO ASPIRE TO BE A MAN, but it is NOT OK for a BOY TO ASPIRE TO BE A GIRL. Why is our society still implying that the male gender is something better? Why do boys have to stay boys? And why is a kind, caring and nurturing boy not something to aspire to?

Who says that “girl ish things” are for girls only? Don’t father’s change the baby’s nappies these days? Don’t fathers help their children get dressed? Don’t fathers also go and do the shopping and cook the family meals? In my house they do. And in many of my friends’ houses they do.

I am saddened and dismayed about this.. and it is something that I hope to teach my children differently. We can all do anything we want. We can all do supposedly boy ish things and we can all do supposedly girl ish things. There is no “one activity” for one gender and another for another. They both enjoy both equally.

Yes,  there is a gender division as a rule.. Boys GENERALLY prefer cars and girls GENERALLY prefer dolls. But the thing to remember, is that when on or the other wants to do something that is GENERALLY speaking different, we let them and support them and accept the fact that we are different.

We live in a modern, tolerant society. My children’s school is brilliant at supporting different cultures, skin tones and social backgrounds. They are great at teaching understanding of disabilities. I really hope that they are able to embrace this difference too.

This boy in our school –

He is a child.

A child who is kind.

A child who is curious.

A child that likes to play.

A child that likes to imagine.

A child that likes to have fun.

A child that likes to learn.

He is a well behaved child.

He is a gorgeous child.

A child that eats and sleeps like every other child.

He is a child growing up.

Don’t take his childhood away, by making him feel bad about being (just a little bit) different.

Different is good. Different should be supported. Different is what makes the world exciting, unique and a wonderful place.

London for Kids: Kew Gardens

Soooo, we have literally just finished our two week Easter holidays and living in London, we have been busy busy busy with the kids. London has SO MUCH to offer for kids – with its many galleries, museums, fountains and parks. It really is an amazing city for green spaces in particular! As my kids go to a space tight local London school, it is important for us to go out and about in the holidays and enjoy nature – whatever the weather. Luckily for us, we were blessed with fine weather, which made it even more enjoyable.

One great destination for Kids in London is, Kew Gardens in Surrey. Yes, technically it isn’t London anymore, but it is certainly is part of the “Londoner’s to do list”. The great thing about Kew Gardens is, that kids go free! Also, like many London venues and destinations, Kew Gardens has been working hard over the last few years to make it a place to go with kids all year round. It is a wonderful place to visit as an adult interested in plants and fauna, but now it is also a great place to go with kids.

Over Easter, they had a fun Timmy Trail going…

Kew Gardens for Kids - Timmy TrailThe kids had maps and had to find Timmy Stations all around the gardens. It is a great way to keep them moving and exploring, as well as learn about the gardens themselves – each station not only provides the much coveted Shaun the Sheep stamp, but also information about plants in the immediate area. We particularly enjoyed discovering the “Snake Heads” flowers.

There was also a big “attraction” tent with activities (such as wellie throwing and cabbage rolling), which looked great fun and were busy indeed, BUT we were actually so busy with the rest of the park, that we did not end up having a go.

London for Kids -  Kew Gardens in Spring

We spent a total of 5 hours at the park and visited the Tree Top walk way (be sure to go to the little “bug tunnel” at the foot of the stairs, for info on creepy crawlies.

We went to the glass houses and searched for cocoa beans and unusual flowers. We LOVED all the beautiful Spring tulips on display, as well as the stunning blossom trees. Aaaaah Spring. A truly wonderful time to visit Kew Gardens.

Having said that, there is always something to see and do at Kew Gardens – there is a play ground and soft play area if you need some “classic” child distractions. There are plenty of grassy little verges for the children to do some rolly pollies down (nothing better than rolling down a grassy hills). There are always some flowers in bloom and of course the glass houses to explore.

I am looking forward to Winter, when they have a special magical light trail on too (new last year and we missed it!!! But it looked amazing).

And whilst we enjoyed a “day out in the park”, the kids did actually get to appreciate and discover some beautiful plants too.

Disclaimer: Kew Gardens invites us to spend the day with them and write about our experiences… BUT as it happened, we had already planned to visit these holidays already! It just meant that I took more photos than usual!! 😉

 

3D Shape Hunt – Photo Activities for Preschoolers

Pip Squeak aged 5, is now learning about 3D shapes. Well actually, she is learning about 2D shapes AND 3D shapes at school. As part of this maths learning activity, the children were asked to review the different 3D shapes with their parents and then go on a shape hunt around the house.

With the advent of smart phones, taking photos is a really easy activity for kids and a great way to get them “into photography”. Not only, are they learning about recognising and identifying basic shapes, but they also get to use modern equipment and think about their photo compositions (and whether or not their pictures are in focus in the first place!).

3D Shapes for Reception

We looked at these 3D Shapes frm JustTeachIt.co.uk and talked about the properties of each. Pip Squeak then grabbed my smart phone (quite happily) and went off to find some shapes.

3D Shape HuntWe found plenty of circles:

  • Marbles
  • Juggling Ball

Some cuboids

  • lunch box
  • lego brick (we discussed whether or not this was in fact a cube, but decided that not)

And some cylinders

We didn’t get too much further than this on THIS occassion. What I should have done, I should have printed out the above sheet and got Pip Squeak to tick off the shapes as she found them. That would have encouraged her to do more I think.

Regardless, I think she did a great job – discussing and looking for 3D shapes, as well as practicing her photo skills!

 

P is for Pirate – Dress Up Pirate Craft

The Girl has been “doing” Pirates at school – they have a big ocean and under the sea theme going over the coming weeks and all the children seem to be really enjoying it! Next week they get to dress up as Pirates, Mermaids or underwater creatures and they are all looking forward to it very much! We have been exploring lovely pirates books and had a fun little pirate craft to do (as part of their homework) – the kids got to dres up their own pirates using a basking “gingerbread man template”. A simple activity, that looks wonderful. You could make a set of these and string them up as pirate bunting, or stick them onto the front of cards a pirate party invites.

Pirate Books and Crafts for Girls and Boys

We also read some lovely pirate books.. here are some of our favourite:

pirate books for girls

US Readers 

UK Readers (affiliate links)

A great book all about a little Pirate girl Molly. The meany pirates capture Molly and try and hold her for ransom.. but little do they know who her mum and her auntie and her cousin and her granny and and and.. are… they are the fiercesome pirate ladies.  A great story for aspiring pirate girls. You see, you don’t have to be a boy to be a pirate.

This book went down VERY well when I read it to The Girls reception class.

pirate books for girls and boys

US Readers

UK Readers

(affiliate links)

A book written in prose, this tells the story of a little girl who is the only one in town to befriend the new temporary neighbours. The rest of the town are filled with prejudices and dislike for the neighbours, only to find that they are hardworking, kind and generous. A great moral to the story.

Both really great stories!

More Pirate books to check out

10 Little Pirates (US Readers, UK Readers)

The Night Pirates (US Readers, UK Readers) – girl pirates steal the front of the house!

Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs (US Readers, UK Readers)

And here our Pirate Craft

This is super easy to set up – you will simply need some crafty bits and bobs – fabrics or coloured card, some glue (glue stick should work fine too), some gems if you have them, some foil for sorts… feathers would be great for hats or parrots…. wool for beards… see what you have and let your imagination run wild as you create your very own PIRATE! Harhar.

pirate crafts

pirate crafts for kidsAfter all our pirate girl books, The Girl, still decided on a big bearded boy pirate.. but that is just fine! Have a great piratey day!

LOTS more Pirate Crafts ideas here: