Frozen flowers

During our flower themed scavenger hunt we collected some beautiful flowers, and so we have been putting them to good use.

For this activity you will need:

  • Small collection of flowers
  • Ice cube tray
  • Tupperware container
  • Calpol syringe
  • Paint brush
  • Tooth brush
  • Cup of warm water

All you need to do is place a flower or two in each compartment with water and freeze overnight. Carefully wash all of your flowers first to make sure you don’t have any hidden creepy crawlies.

I set this up at the breakfast table so that I could get five minutes peace but it kept Arlo occupied for quite a while. He enjoyed dipping the calpol syringe in the warm water and squirting it all over the place.

He also had some other tools to hand which he tried to used to tease the flowers out of the ice, great for problem solving and dexterity.

Such a simple little idea and very minimal effort to prep. We will definitely be doing this one again on a bigger scale when I have more freezer space.

Mum tip: use a variety of different coloured flowers to also reinforce learning about colours and talk about the differences between the flowers – big/little opposites etc.

Egg Box Caterpillar

You will need:

Egg boxes (the long ones which hold a dozen eggs)

Red, green and yellow Paint

A purple Pipe cleaner

In keeping with our Very Hungry Caterpillar theme because we are watching out insect Lore Caterpillars grow bigger – we tried some more craft activities today.

I’m hoping that Arlo is learning to understand the life cycle of a butterfly with all of these activities and they each present the opportunity to practice dexterity skills and inspire a love of literature too.

This is really simple – all you need to do is cut the egg boxes in to a long piece and then let them loose with a tray of green paint.

We used two shades of green and the yellow at first to try and imitate the beautiful illustrations from the book.

Add in red for the head towards the end to avoid the inevitable brown splodge effect and save some yellow to dab along the back too.

The antenna are made from one twisted pipe cleaner poked through a hole in the top of the head.

For the eyes I painted a piece of white card yellow and cut these out to stick on later.

It’s as simple as that. We chose to sit at the kitchen table with our pet caterpillars and the book, right next to the fruit bowl and we were talking about the book, and all the colours as we painted.

I was planning to save the butterfly craft activities for when ours emerge from their cocoons but Arlo decided he absolutely needed to make butterflies too and so we did a quick activity straight after this with our paints too.

Decorating cookies

You will need:

  • Writing icing
  • Sprinkles / sweets
  • Biscuits
  • Flat oven tray
  • Ice cube tray

This is a really quick and simple activity – especially if you don’t particularly like baking because you could use something as simple as a digestive – all of the things you need can be added to the supermarket food shop if you don’t have them in your cupboards already

I set this up with biscuits on a large flat oven tray to provide lots of space for spilling sprinkles.

Mum tip: Pour a small amount of sprinkles in to an ice cube tray rather than giving a toddler a whole tub (I learnt this the hard way)

Then simply let them get to work. The tubes of writing icing are easy to handle but this could easily be done with melted chocolate or mixed icing sugar.

Use whatever you have in the cupboards and then let it fit the theme – we’ve got chick shaped biscuits here for Easter – we decorated one for every person in the house, and Arlo was delighted to deliver these to everyone once finished.

Friendship bracelets

This is a super simple activity

You will need:

  • Pipe cleaners (Poundland)
  • Beads (eBay)
  • There’s lots of difference facets to this seemingly simple activity. First of all there’s colour sorting and counting. Arlo was very selective about which colours he wanted to use.
  • Then there’s the developing dexterity and making patterns. You can use pens and paper to plan your bracelet pattern ahead.
  • Then the best bit is the gifting of the finished bracelets. Arlo was extremely proud of his finished creations.
  • Then there’s the friendship part…. Arlo is too little to write his own letters but we packed up a little set of beads and pipe cleaners and sent them to our friends in the post last week.
  • Mum tip – I always make sure I supervise Arlo with beads, and count exactly how many we have before setting up and after an activity like this.
  • Chef Arlo

    Did you know that daddy is a chef! At 21 months it’s about time that Arlo started learning a trade and so daddy picked up a packet of Pastry and set up an invitation to play on the kitchen table (apparently this is also called “mise en place” and is quite a professional set up.

    Basically he chopped up lots of ingredients and set them up in little dishes ready for Arlo.

    First of all they spread the included tomato sauce all over the dough base which they rolled out onto an oven tray.

    Then they chucked on a mix of ingredients which work well together – leftover chicken, sliced red onion, peppers and cherry tomatoes along with chunks of mozzarella.

    There’s no set way to do this – everything just got chucked on and then daddy sprinkled on some herbs and popped them in the oven for just shy of 15 mins.

    These tasted delicious and the activity kept Arlo amused for quite a while. Lots of interaction with daddy and chatter about colours, vegetables and food items.

    Have you tried cooking with your little one yet? Share some of your ideas in the comments – we would love to try them out!