Pumpkin Carvathon 2014 – Pumpkin No 1

October 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mum brought home a big pumpkin the other day, and the following day I took the boys pumpkin hunting as well and came back with 3 medium pumpkins and a teeny one. So today was the start of the carvathon.

I started with Bean’s pumpkin.

Of course he wanted both Spiderman AND Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I figured with a challenge this big I’d need to draw the things out first – I hardly ever draw on my ‘kins first, I whittle away where the mood takes me usually! But, it had to be Right.

So I drew.

Big challenge to me: I am not very experienced in drawing the negative spaces! I guess it’ll come in handy next time I find my lino and cutters but still… nerves! I have no shame in saying I copied the designs from free stencils I found on pinterest, if I’d tried drawing them myself I’d still be at the drawing stage now….

And then I started cutting.

I hate pumpkin guts. The boys stayed away. They were free to help if they wished but they were more interested in lego today.

But I have two pumpkin carving tricks I will share to anyone who’s interested in that kind of thing: don’t cut the top of your pumpkin out. Cut around the BASE. Trust me it makes lighting a tealight in there a whole lot easier and the top of the pumpkin remains pretty 🙂 and secondly, use a metal scoop to scoop out the innards. I used a metal tablespoon measure, it had a short handle and a scoop shape and was perfect! And I guess there’s a third but only if you’re doing the cutting yourself, not letting the children carve – use a small sharp knife, not one of the blunt serrated plastic handled things you get in pumpkin carving sets.

So here y’go. Today’s effort.

I’m pleased – and so was Bean!

spidey drawing ninja turtle drawing pumpkin guts seeds and scoop unexpected alien invasion Spidey pumpkin with ninja shadow Ninja pumpkin with spidey shadow

But it’s not ending there. The seeds are drying ready to be roasted tomorrow; and ALL the flesh has been cooked and sieved ready for pumpkin pie – I’m definitely not wasting it all! Even the water from cooking the flesh in is being used, we cooked rice in some of it this evening, and I’ll reduce the rest down tomorrow or use it as a base for a soup 🙂

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A Rainy Day Creative Explosion

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

The weather was WILD today.

Seriously wild.

Each time I thought I’d see about making a run to the shops for groceries, before I’d even finished the thought the rain would come lashing down again.

wild weather

So I was actually really grateful that the boys asked (asked! of their own accord!) to do some making. They wanted to make clay hands to go on top of jars, like they’d just seen Mister Maker make. I couldn’t get that set up for them unfortunately as we didn’t quite have enough time, but we DID have their clay dragons to paint, plus a few other bits. So we got the paints out, the dried models, brushes and water, and started painting. I had fun. I got to paint some of my bits!

clay painting

It wasn’t long before all the bits were painted but they wanted to keep painting. So I brought out some big pieces of paper (thank goodness I’d thought to cut several pieces last time we did some painting!) and set them out. Bean’s painting has really changed over the past year. He asked to do foot painting but we can’t really do that at Grandma and Grandad’s house just before lunch!

Painting Painting By Bean, Oct 2014

Once they’d had enough of painting it was lunchtime but the creativity didn’t stop there. Bear wanted playdough, and Bean wanted to make something with eggboxes so out came the eggboxes and scissors and glue.

Eggbox crafting Eggbox Craft

Pompoms were required and the tin that holds the pompoms is full of little cut squares of coloured tissue paper – perfect for some colourful sensory craft!

Eggbox crafting Tissue Confetti

I had fun decoupaging a jar and a vase, Bean decoupaged the Turtle he’d made out of pieces of eggbox, and Bear had a tissue paper confetti explosion when he dropped a cupcake case full of tissue squares.

Eggbox crafting Diggers Required By Bean, for Bear Diggers and Tissue Explosions

Diggers were requisitioned to come and scoop up all the tissue paper which brought a whole different avenue of play to explore! All in all, a messy explosion of colourful creativity.

Tidy up time...

Thankyou, Rain.

Even the tidy up operation gave great pleasure to the boys – they found toys they thought they’d lost!

Olbas Sensory Outdoors Rice

April 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

I made some olbas scented purple sensory rice the other week when we all had colds, thinking it would be a nice calm activity for us.

Honestly I didn’t dare get it out, knowing my two’s love of spreading this everywhere!

Today, the sun shone so I took it outside. That was a Good Plan! The Bear was interested in it for a while, preferring hands to pick it up with rather than the scoop, but enjoyed tranferring it between a few of the different containers.
Purple Green Sensory Rice
Bear and the Purple Rice
Bear and the Purple Rice
Then I found a digger and a baking tray (which lives in the garden for some reason) and he had a go at scooping with the digger. (Still preferred his fists!)
Bear and the Purple Rice
This was too much for the Bean who wanted a go too! He’d been digging in the digging patch, making soil castles.
Bean and Bear and the Purple Green Rice
Bean and the Tractor and the Rice
Bean making a happy Purple Rice mess
He played happily, scattering the rice everywhere, and then learnt how to use the dustpan and brush when he realised that keeping the rice on the sheet meant he could play longer.
Bean and the Dustpan and Brush
I’m thinking I need a sand tray or something for the rice playtime, something they can sit in, and I can line it with a sheet to collect all the rice up with afterwards…!

Good fun though, and even more so because they were outdoors getting fresh air as well. Do your children play with sensory rice? What kind of things do you get up to?

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