Thank you from a grateful mum.

Thank you to the check out lady at the super market who noticed my distress and asked if she could help. Thank you for not making me feel like an idiot for forgetting my purse, for being understanding. Thank you for getting someone who could help me.

Thank you wonderful lady who listened to my problem, comforted me while I cried and didn’t dismiss me as an emotional twit. Thank you for looking after me and thinking practically, which I had lost the ability to do after a crappy morning. Thank you for looking after my shopping for me, for telling me it’s all ok, for sorting it all out. Thank you for going above and beyond.

Thank you to my little daughter for not making a big fuss when we had to leave your pretty pants and shiny potty at the shop, even though I had let you pick them out and carry them round. Thank you for being a really good girl while mummy was being silly.

Thank you to my marvelous husband who didn’t get cross that I had gone to the shop even though we’re low on cash this month. Thank you that you let us disturb your lunch hour and gave me a big hug. Thank you for lending us your card so we could go back to the shop sooner rather than later.

Thank you to to the kindly stranger who had overheard my upset over my mistake and worry about disappointing my little girl. Thank you for paying for my shopping for me so that when I came back I would have a nice surprise to cheer up my day. Thank you for reminding me that there are some really special people out there who show God’s love and generosity perfectly. Thank you for this act of kindness which not only cheered up my day but my week, my month, my life. Thank you, I’ll never forget it.

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Activi-tot!

I have finally, finally stopped procrastinating on Pinterest for long enough to write this post about some of the fun activities Junebug and I have been doing since Christmas. It’s not an extensive list, just a few of the stand out things we’ve made together or I’ve made for us to play with. Really, one of our favourite things is to go outside. We go to the park or the botanical gardens to explore, collect sticks or have a picnic. Now the weather is improving I am excitedly searching for inspiration for awesome things to do in our back garden.
The reason I am wanting to celebrate all the fun we’re having is that I am surprised by how much I love having a toddler! I knew I loved babies and I’ve worked with school-age children a lot but the toddler years were more of an unknown. I was aprehensive… but I love it!

So here we go:

Giant Threading Beads

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I cut up old kitchen and toilet paper tubes to make the beads and Junebug helped me paint them. Once they were dry they are great for threading onto pipe cleaners. This is good fine motor practise and a fun way to talk about colours and introduce patterns. Junebug enjoyed wearing it as a necklace too.

Lightbox with transparent shapes

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This was super easy to make and Junebug loves playing with it. It’s just an opaque box which I think I found at the supermarket with a battery powered led light string stuck inside. Then I found these cool coloured shapes on amazon which glow really nicely and make good patterns. We also use cut out pictures on here or magnetic letters, lots of fun! It’s best in the evening with the curtains drawn.

Butterfly Garland

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For Thanksgiving we made and autumn leaf garland to decorate the house so I thought it would be nice to have something for spring. This was a very simple craft. I cut out some butterfly shapes and covered them in glue then helped Junebug stick scrunched up tissue paper and coloured cellophane to the wings (more fine motor practise). I doubled a small pipe cleaner around the middle, twisted it  and shaped the ends to look like antennae. June bug helped me thread them onto a ribbon which now hangs in our front room.

Photo Jigsaws

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This is still a bit beyond Junebug to do herself but she enjoys making the pictures with me and talking about who is on them. It’s a good sorting activity too to mix them up and get her to help me find all the red sticks etc. Easy to make it’s just 5 large craft sticks, one colour for each photo, glued to the back of a photo, then cut with a craft knife.

Playdoh

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This is one of Junebug’s absolute favourite activities, I love it too as she can sit for ages playing with it independently. She gets the box out of the drawer and asks me for the little table and then sits on the kitchen stool, bless her. More fine motor skills practise, we like to poke things into our playdoh; large wooden beads, craft sticks or little coloured matchsticks.

Rabbit Tails

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Junebug loves ‘rab rabs’  so this seemed like a fun idea which also incorporated her love of pom poms and learning colours. I printed bunny shapes in all the colours of the pom poms we have then cut out and laminated them. To attach the tails I used self adhesive velcro on the tail of the bunny and the pom poms. Junebug loves counting (starting at 3) and talking about colours (especially pink and orange) so this game works well. We also make them go to sleep and sing ‘hop little bunnies’ with them.

Drawing in the big lightbox

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Self explanatory really, we put a length of lining paper in the bottom of her big lightbox and she sat inside to draw. Junebug loves it when we draw with her and requests endless cars, I’ve got quite good at drawing cars now. The lightbox itself I made nearly a year ago, it’s just a large box on its side with holes poked in to put battery powered light strings through. Then I covered up the wires on the outside with wrapping paper.

Large scale painting

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A happy recycling day opportunity arose and after speaking to some kind neighbours we scored a couple of massive boxes to play with. One I will save to make games for Junebug’s birthday party. This one we are in the middle of turning into a fold-a-way playhouse for outside. This was such a great time together getting covered in paint and creating something really fun. We used sponges to make the brick ‘house’ side, into which we will cut a window and door. then we used our hands to print flowers and butterflies on the ‘garden’ side. I have never seen a child get paint all over herself quite so much but her huge smile and giggles made it worth the mess. When it’s done we’ll be able to stand it up on the deck and play house, I’m so excited!

Other things Junebug enjoys are baking, reading, playing with her soft toys, collecting things in bags (especially my things), musical instruments and singing, jigsaws and dressing up. I love that she’s often quite happy to entertain herself while I try to keep up with the never-ending piles of washing up and laundry!

Remember: toddlers aren’t scary!

Pastel

Another month, another fun topic for the I Heart Faces challenge. I took this photo of Junebug last month and just love it, definitely one to print! I was doing some work on the computer and she brought her teddy in to look out of the window, it was such a sweet moment I just picked the camera up and snapped, this is just as she noticed me. I love the natural light through the window, matched with the colours it gives a beautiful airy feel.
Little Junebug has such a cute way with her dollies and soft toys, or ‘friends’ as she called them. She is always sitting with them reading or carrying them around to look at things. It makes me think she’ll enjoy being a big sister one day.

Darling girl and her teddy - both in pastels.

Darling girl and her teddy – both in pastels.

So this is my submission to the challenge this month, see other fantastic images at http://www.iheartfaces.com/2015/04/i-heart-faces-photo-challenge-pastel/.

Thanks for looking xx