Tuesday 6th August

Today’s activity was a planned one. I’d had a e-mail back in June telling me of a play day at Woodrow High House organised by my local Pacey team. A few of the childminders from the village went and we all met up when we got there and between the four of us we had 13 children, which was lovely because they all knew each other. We signed in and walked towards the picnic area but then the boys noticed the “bbqs” which on closer inspection were fire pits heating up ready to cook the bread that the children were invited to make. After washing hands and rolling up sleeves they were ready to start mixing the simple ingredients, bread making flour, water and a few sultanas. There was lots of discussion on who did or didn’t like sultanas, how much flour to add to their bowl, how much water they needed and how many sultanas, how sticky it felt between their fingers and if they liked the feel of it or not. B started to mix his with his fingers but surprisingly didn’t like they feel of the sticky dough and asked me to mix it for him. He is normally the one found at the painting table covering his hands and arms in paint so I was surprised that he didn’t take to this activity. (Note to self-try more messy activities at home) He was eager to add it to the fire pit and watch it cook though! The children waited patiently as their bread cooked, but weren’t so patient when it came to trying it!  We found a spot to lay the rug and they sat down and tucked in. 🙂


Once they’d eaten their bread they were off playing as there was lots to do, stepping stones, skipping ropes, balls, painting, junk modelling, dirt play to name but a few!

B and j enjoying playing with the parachute.

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B found himself a large block of wood and then noticed the glue. “My need a brush Debbie, please” and he spent the next five minutes painting the glue carefully on the block. I did ask him if he’d like me to pass him something to stick on the glue but he said “No thanks, my painting at the moment” 🙂 I did select a few bits and place them closer to him (as the table was quite big and high and he wouldn’t have been able to reach them) but he was insistent that he just wanted to paint…fine with me…he was enjoying it which is what matters most 🙂 He did end up sticking a few plastic circles on top and when I asked him if he’d like to stick anything else on he said “No thanks, just the circles” So now I have a glue covered block of wood with a few circles on to carry around! (It did dry quite quickly in the sun)


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R and W then went to the table and decided to make something together. They worked well together choosing the bits they needed and helping each other stick it together.


B found the painting and had lots of fun choosing the large mops, rollers and dusters to paint on a large scale with. Chatting to another childminder, we realised that it was mostly the boys who stayed at the activity. The girls would have a go but lose interest quite quickly. I came to the conclusion that the girls seemed more interested in a finished product/piece of work, where as the boys just liked the activity itself and didn’t seem worried that they couldn’t take it away with them. They all just stood there adding to the painting with whatever tools they could put paint on.

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Washing hands…a favourite for B.


After a picnic lunch, the children played some more, some joining in with other’s games, some making up their own games, but generally getting on with what they are good at…just playing! 🙂

Even better when you’ve got trees to explore!





Monday again…so soon! I hadn’t made plans as I really didn’t know what the weather was going to do so I sent out my usual text to the rest of the childminders in the village to see if anyone wanted to get together or had plans. A couple of them were going to take a picnic to a park while one had an injured pigeon and was going to Tiggywinkles (http://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/ ), a wild animal hospital. I had never been and thought it would make a lovely day for the children so I arranged to go with Celia. I packed a picnic, packed the children into the car and off we went 🙂

I didn’t tell the children where we were going…just that it was a surprise! There was lots of speculation on the way though as they recognised certain places, which lead to discussions about other places they had or hadn’t been to 🙂 The final junction gave it away though… the “animal hospital” sign was spotted and one of the children said “I know…it’s Tiggywinkles!” Some had been before and some hadn’t, so the talk changed in the back of the car as those that had been were telling those that hadn’t what to expect.

Once we’d all got out of the car and loaded up the buggy, we made our way to the entrance. As I approached the desk to pay, I saw that animals could be adopted…so I asked the children if they would like to adopt one of the animals shown on the wall…perhaps I should have just told them! A long discussion look place on which animal and why. “The snake…because I like snakes!” “Not the hedgehog, it’s too prickly!” (quick explanation that we don’t get to take the animal home!) After a little more chat we decided on Charlie http://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/adoption/charlie.html a black and white duck. We were told that we could find him out on the pond so off we went to look for him. We did get a little side tracked, as we walked into the grounds, by the animals: but just as it started to rain we went into the craft hall to make a roly poly hedgehog. The children all sat and watched a short information film while a table was set up for them and when it was ready, sat and coloured and cut and stuck and made a hedgehog. B was happy to colour his in and did very well keeping inside the lines, although I don’t think you’ll ever see such a lovely red hedgehog as his!! I did have to cut the pieces out for him but he glued it all together(with a little help as it was awkward to hold and glue) and he was very pleased with it. “Please can my take it home Debbie?”

The rain had stopped almost as soon as it had started so when we got back outside the sun was out and it was quite warm. The children wanted to have a play on the cars and climbing frame as they’d been sitting down for far too long!! 😉 Once they’d run off some of that energy we sat down for lunch.

20130806-201101.jpgWe looked for the deer but didn’t see any…until we’d walked off and then I saw one and called the children back.

20130806-201117.jpg We looked at the Red Kites and talked about how big they were up close. We have seen them flying over the garden quite a lot this year as their numbers are increasing.

20130806-201124.jpg B spots a “turtle” that is actually a tortoise and is mesmerised by it doing a poo! (Kindly pointed out by one of the older children! 😉 ) He ignores the ducklings and just focuses on the tortoise, telling the rest of the children what he’d seen!

20130806-201131.jpg Now they all watch the tortoise…waiting for it to poo again!!

20130806-201140.jpg M chatting away to B.


20130806-201216.jpg The children listening to a hedgehog talking about road safety in the Hedgehog Museum.



We had a lovely day at Tiggywinkles. The children got to see some animals up close, skeletons and x-rays (they produced some “wows”!), some baby birds being fed in the hospital, a tortoise pooing!! and a three legged hedgehog.

Hot, hot, hot!!

What a contrast to yesterday! When I looked out of the window this morning all I could see was the bluest sky and the sun shining! Just as well that I’d made arrangements to go to my friend Betty’s house 🙂 . Betty had her pool out so just having J is ideal…I had just 1 to keep an eye on!

He had lots of fun jumping on the trampoline with H (Betty’s son) and the best thing was that the trampoline was next to the pool, so more fun was had jumping from the trampoline into the pool! At first, J was a little apprehensive, he’d watch H do it and try himself but stop short at the edge of the trampoline…then he had a go…and he did it! 🙂 He was pleased with himself 🙂 Well…after that there was no stopping him!

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It was quite difficult getting a photo as I had to time it just right…but here are a couple of J jumping into the pool 🙂 He did laugh when he saw the one with just his feet sticking up! 🙂








Last day of July

Well…woke up to rain, again, and a generally unsettled morning, so we spent it inside. I pulled the table out and the children sat around it and did their summer diaries. I was lucky enough to receive a pogo printer as a gift from my NCMA(now Pacey) coordinator for my service as a Bucks Buddy (I buddy up with newly registering childminders and offer help during their first year of minding) and it gets a LOT of use! It’s great for photographic observations and brilliant for the summer diaries that we do every year. 🙂 So the children sat around the table chatting about their photos and what they were going to write, some helping each other with spellings, suggestions of which stickers to use and generally getting on with it with little help from me needed, which meant that I could play with S as at 14months, she didn’t have a diary to do. We explored the sensory bottles, treasure basket, kitchen stair gate…she loves to stand and bang it against the fridge!…and climb up and down and up and down the small chairs, as climbing is her favourite thing to do!

Once the boys had finished their diaries they turned their attention on making a boat with the chairs, cushions and rugs and then introduced the giant pipe builder set and made swords and guns…something I don’t usually allow as it can get quite frantic in my small playroom…but they played nicely and were very involved with their game so I left them to it.

Thankfully the weather stared to clear and so after lunch we went to the park. The children wanted to go back to Westwood park again…so off we went. S stayed in the buggy for a little bit as I thought she might go off to sleep as she’d not had one yet…but she wasn’t having any of that, so out she got. I thought she might go off and explore the park…but she spent her time playing with the pushchair! Even when we walked over to the trampoline she just crawled back to the pushchair! But she did have fun climbing in and out of it! 🙂





As forecast, woke up to rain! Not just any rain but pouring rain! Luckily, I had spoken to the parents and agreed that I could take them to the cinema…again! They had all expressed an interest in seeing Despicable Me 2 when we saw the trailer last week so when I asked them if they’d like to go I got a “Yes!” from all of them!

So off we went.

There were lots of discussions in the car as to who was going to sit where and next to whom, if they were going to have popcorn again, B asked if it was going to be dark and if we were going to McDonalds after! (and with parent’s permission, we did!)

We did get to go to the park in the afternoon. It was a little wet but the boys needed to get out and have a run around!

And so the summer holidays begin!

Well, here we are, on the first Monday of the school holiday and the weather is somewhat iffy! Not sure if it’s going to rain or not as it has been forecast but the sun is shining as children arrive; so I send a text round to the other childminders to see what their plans are, as it’s nice to meet up, and it’s decided that a couple of us will meet at Westwood Park and stay for a picnic if the rain holds off. The children are at the door having just got their shoes on and as I open the door the heavens open and it pours with rain! Aaarrghh! A quick call to check if the other minder is still going and we all get in the car as the rain stops!

We arrive at the park and the children run in excitedly, discussing what they are going to play on first and who they are going to play with. B is the youngest as the other children are 6, 7, 9 and 10, but he does try and keep up with them, and today was frustrated because he couldn’t get to the top of the rope frame that the rest of them had climbed. W, the 9yo, offered to lift him up and hold him as he climbed but I had to explain to him that I didn’t want him to help B, as B had to try and do it himself. B needs to learn how to get up and down things by himself. I explained that if he was helped to get up he would never learn how to do it himself and suggested to W that he tries to show B how to climb up. A challenge he accepted! W patiently showed B how to put his foot on the rope and how to hold on with each hand and how to move his hands higher as he goes up. B didn’t get very far, but de did listen to W and do what he said, and was pleased with himself “Look Debbie, my climb up!”

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Uh oh…a spot of rain! The children all came running over…”it’s raining, it’s raining!” and decided to all try and cram themselves into the little wooden train!


The rain didn’t last for long and soon the children were all running around choosing what to go on next. B asked Jo (my daughter) if she would push him on the “green thing”. He sat there demanding “faster, faster!”


The top of the rope frame was a popular place to sit and chat and chill out.


B, couldn’t climb up so decided to run up and down the hill and then he suddenly announced “Watch me Debbie, my jump” and then just jumped off the side! He did it too! Clever boy 🙂 Took me by surprise though!


I followed B over to a different climbing net and watched as he tried to climb up. He turned to me and said “my can’t do it” and started to walk away. I told him to have another go and remember what W had told him about what to put his feet and where to hold on. He did have another try but it was a little to high for him.


Lunch time, and the children settled under the willow tree to eat their picnic.


Having spent the morning running around in the playground, the boys were refuelled after lunch and couldn’t wait to get onto the field next to the park.


B was having a little trouble keeping up!!


The children wanted to explore the woods next to the field, so we went for a walk in the woods…just as it started to rain! At first, the pitter patter of rain on the trees above us was just a lovely sound, B and I listened to the rain, but then it got heavier and was coming through the trees!! We got soaked making our way back to the car! Although the older children quite liked it I was surprised that my little puddle jumper didn’t! “My not like it Debbie. My getting wet”

“Look my feet Debbie. My feet silthy” (trouble with “F”, he means filthy!)


We got home and settled down at the table and started our holiday diaries. It’s something that I started a good few years ago now but the children love doing them. I make/prepare them using paper and card from my craft stuff and then the children get to decorate them. They started with the title page and then those that came to the cinema last week got to stick the photos in and write a few words and decorate with stickers while those that didn’t were asked to write about something they enjoyed doing over the weekend. The pictures I took today will be printed tonight ready for tomorrows diary session. and when the children go on holiday, they take them with them. It’s never made a chore, the children choose what they’d like to include in their diary and parents are told the same, but the children I have all love doing them and they are full at the end of the holiday 🙂 They make a wonderful keepsake and are often looked at, in fact one of the boys said today that he loves looking at his and seeing all the great things he did last summer! 🙂


All the children hard a t work on their summer diaries, writing, drawing and choosing stickers.