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Dinosaur Day

This week I had intended for us to do lots of dinosaur activities, to link in with Dino week on CBeebies. It didn’t quite go to plan. We’ve had a really busy and fun week going out and about so never got round to doing some of the activities I had planned. We read lots of dinosaur books though and watched a great programme on Netflix called ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ which Harrison loved!

We have done a few bits though, so I’ve put them all together to snow you!

Our first dinosaur activity started off on Sunday night where I found myself putting dinosaurs in my freezer! I found a few different shaped containers, half filled them with water and popped in a toy dinosaur, and managed to squeeze them in the freezer.
Obviously, when we took them out on Monday afternoon, the dinosaurs had frozen into the water.

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I then popped them into our big plastic tray that we use for messy/water play, and gave the kids a few tools – plastic knives, toy hammers and screwdrivers and sticks. Immediately Harrison told me that the dinosaurs were ‘stuck’ and started using the hammer to try and get it out. It was lovely watching them trying to get the dinosaurs out using the tools.

However, it was a LOT harder than I had anticipated. The ice started melting and we talked about it melting (Harrison immediately compared it to ice cream!) and becoming water, which they thought was magical. Harrison realised by dropping the ice from a height he could break some of the ice but I had to discourage this as shards of ice started flying everywhere – unless we were all wearing goggles (which they probably would have loved and it would have added an extra role play element to the activity!) It wasn’t very safe. It was a good discussion point as we talked about being sharp and Harrison straight away recalled an incident before Christmas where he saw me cut my finger with scissors. I was starting to think we would never get the dinosaurs out without leaving them to melt, when I thought about how we try to melt ice….I filled up a spray bottle with warm salt water. The kids loved squirting the ice with the water and watching it melt really quickly. This was also great for fine motor control as they had to squeeze the trigger on the bottle. This was a brilliant activity for introducing some scientific concepts.

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Then we did my favourite…handprints!! I’d found a lovely little dinosaur poem on Pinterest (there was no link so can’t credit it) which I thought would look really nice with the kids handprints.
On the corner of a4 sheets of paper (the kids chose their colours) we did a handprint, which I then added a head to the thumb bit and a tail to the other side, and popped on legs using felt tips. I then copied out the poem.

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We’ve used the poem a couple of times this week to get them moving about when we haven’t been able to get outside.

Our last activity was by far the messiest and ended up with the kids in the bath. Graham drew some dinosaurs on coloured paper (he’s much better at drawing than me!) and I let them loose with a tray of yellow, brown and green paint. They enjoyed mixing the colours up to make ‘mud’, and then using their fingers and paint dabbers to blob paint onto the dinosaurs.

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Once they had dried, we stuck them onto paper, and I used their dinosaur names and characteristics from their dino money jars.

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Obviously if you are more creative with words than I am you could write your own dinosaur characteristics!

**the winner of the ‘Let’s Potty’ competition was Kim Campbell**

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Valentines bits and pieces

Another beautiful day….or not! I don’t like moaning too much about the weather as living in central Birmingham we are fairly protected, especially compared to these poor people in Somerset and other areas that are pretty much underwater!

Anyway, we turned the radio on to try and block the sound of the wind and rain, cranked the heating up and made some lovely Valentines cards. We had been sent a box of craft goodies by Baker Ross, which was perfect timing for the Valentines cards I had planned.

I had originally planned to make some pop out Valentines cards, but in the box from Baker Ross was a pack of pre-cut pop up heart cards,very similar to the ones we were going to make! For a pack of 8 cards it costs £2.56 on their website, so not badly priced!

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Of course, I cheated and used these instead of making them, but if you want to have a go at making your own, here is what we were going to do:

1) Fold a piece of card in half
2) Draw a heart in the middle. Make sure the crease of the card goes through the middle of the heart.
3) Cut the heart out, leaving a small piece each side of the card intact
4) Make sure there is a crease in the middle of the heart.

The ones that I was sent came in a choice of red, white and pink.

We used a selection of the embellishments we were sent, as well as some of the materials I had already put in our Valentines Craft Box.

These included:
Felt tip pens*
Sticky gems*
Feathers
Felt Roses*
Bows
Sequins
Glitter
Pearlized gems*
Buttons
Tissue paper
Foam shapes

I put the embellishments in a serving tray and let them choose whatever they wanted and decorate however they liked. The items from Baker Ross were great as they were all self adhesive – usually with similar items we use a glue stick and they drop off, so I end up using glue guns but these had little sticky pads on the back. I wasn’t a massive fan of the little bows though, as they weren’t stuck together, so one gentle pull and they come undone. I really liked the felt rose stickers !

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The kids really enjoyed decorating their cards and they looked really cute. I joined in and made a Valentines Card for their daddy – I’m clearly not as artistic as my kids!

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When we had finished making these ( the other four cards have been out away for next year!) Harrison asked to do some more sewing, so I quickly made a heart with holes in to sew, which after the initial knot he did pretty well independently, and I sat with Alex to make a hanging heart.
I cut out a heart shape from red card and then cut out the centre. Using the bits and pieces left over from the cards he decorated it. I noticed doing this that his fine motor skills are really coming along. He’s coming up to sixteen months old – he took the lid off the rather small glue stick, managed to put glue on the back of quite small buttons and shapes and press them onto the heart without much help, which I don’t think is bad going for his age! His pen grip is almost spot on as well, which is amazing.

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We used lots of textures whilst doing this – soft foam, hard and smooth buttons, fluffy feathers which is perfect for a young toddler, especially Alex who loves using his thumb to explore texture.

We looped some red wool around the heart and hung it on the wall. Hopefully we will add some more hanging hearts the week!

Disclaimer
* denotes products that we were sent free of charge from Baker Ross for review purposes, and are available to buy on their website. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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