For the past few days we have been busy making a wand shop from cardboard boxes! Noah and Manni are big Harry Potter fans and are constantly using their wands or sticks in the park to cast spells on each other. We had a delivery from TTS (which is the best site for paints, paper, crafts etc) and it came in a huge box so we got our craft on...
We used air dry clay to make wands, we sped up the drying process by putting them in the oven on a low heat for 20 minutes..
Today we found a secluded spot for a picnic. It was good to have daddy with us and for a little while things felt like they normally would.
We walked our socks off afterwards and foraged for some wild flowers to take home with us.
Late afternoon Noah and I started to make his Grandad's birthday gift, he's a big Smiths fan so we had the idea of creating some abstract artwork that we would write some of the lyrics to his favourite song on.
I loved it so much that I asked him to make me one..
Today we read all about Andy Warhol and made Pop Art of our very own..
We used the inside of apples, peppers and then the inside of a potato carved into a flower..
Some new books arrived for Noah, today was a good day!
A few pictures from just before the weekend. Noah has been LOVING making Stop Motion movies, we've had such fun with them. We downloaded the app Stop Motion Studio, it requires a lot of patience and it would have been much easier if we had the right equipment, we balanced my phone on a stack of books and made a little slot for it with Lego which wasn't ideal as we knocked it over a few times. That being said, we managed it and Noah is so eager to make more.
We have got back into getting dressed and out of the house early, this definitely has a positive effect on our day and makes mid morning more productive for us. We don't go far, the boys just like to play with their scooters or a game of hide and seek / tag. When we get home, we have a snack and then get Manni off to sleep so that me and Noah can have a bit of time doing grown up bits.
* n e w p r i n t s *
Today we focussed on Pablo Picasso, we read about his life and work while Manni napped then got started on our self portraits in his cubism style. I loved Noah's efforts
Proud as punch!
We both had such fun with them, while we painted we listened to music, drank tea and ate biscuits. Manni you are the sweetest little human but we do enjoy the quiet house once you're napping!
The games I catch them playing!! 'Kings'
We had to get Manni in on the action. When he woke up he was full of praise for Noah's painting saying 'ooooh that's good' and 'WOW NOAH' he's such a happy little thing. I quickly painted a face for him to have a little play around with...
We found the right sized frame and hung it up in our living room. So proud!
Today was a GOOD day! Firstly my new prints arrived from Print Work Leeds and I love them. I've recently had some rebranding done for Wolfnoodle and I'm so pleased with it (post coming this weekend). The boys and I did a whole lot of making and even though we couldn't play outside much because of the bad weather, they were still in good spirits.
Yesterday I made an origami box for Manni to paint, my mum used to make us these as kids all the time and I loved to decorate them. The technique has always stuck with me. He was really careful with his paint brush and today Noah wanted to make one too so we had another go!
This afternoon we made flowers, birds and butterflies out of corrugated cardboard, we decorated them and then hung them up to brighten our hallway! I had seen this idea a few weeks back but only just got around to making them today...
They look so lovely! We might add some more to them tomorrow
Some bits and bobs that we were up to last week, my SD card decided to stop working on me so I snapped these quickly on my phone... Meet our leaf people!
Den making was a regular occurrence, we are off to a head start always with the football nets! We even had dinner under here a couple nights
VE day! Afternoon tea minus the clotted cream and scones that were completely sold out in Tesco! We settled for dinner alfresco with treats galore!
This little guy arrived today and Manni is being super sweet with him. He took him with us on our walk, has been kissing and cuddling him constantly, told him 'I love you' and gave him flowers to smell. Welcome to the family, Louis. CUTE!
Day 42. Another new week. At the beginning of this lockdown, I honestly wasn't sure how I'd cope trying to juggle everything without being able to meet up with friends and family or being able to pop to the park or for some lunch after a long walk, things that you rely on doing if your spirits are low or you've had a stressful few days. That being said, I can't believe that we're on day 42 already. The days and weeks have gone by quickly and I feel fortunate that we have had all this time together as a family. There have been days when I've felt anxious after reading too much of the news and days when the boys have really tested me or when everyone has been unable to break out of their funk but mostly, we have kept busy and plodded on through with a positive mindset, we've tried to stay creative without putting too much pressure on ourselves to homeschool and it has worked out ok for us so far. Of course we have been lucky, I appreciate that not everybody has had this privilege.
Today we have made little shoe box houses for our Maileg mice with whatever we could find around the house..
This kept Manni occupied on and off throughout the day today, such a simple idea!
Also, our t-shirts arrived from Annual store - HOMES'COOL , you got that right :-)
Day 37. Today we made window mosaics! We used clear pieces of cellophane which we stuck down to our window designs and then added in colourful squares of tissue paper to create the mosaic pattern - simple and fun!
Manni got in on the action though he was more interested in colouring with felt tip pens - a battle I lost tremendously.
Noah's creation was a waterfall beneath the night sky. I loved the colours he used for the flowers! Noah is red / green colourblind and often gets his colours mixed up, he can be sensitive about it sometimes but I find it so interesting that he sees the world differently to me. I always wonder what it looks like to him.
We had a toy change around downstairs meaning that the kitchen now resides in Manni's room. It's the perfect height for playing so sometimes I throw a sheet over it and we use it as a surface to play on. Today we played with all of Noah's old Maileg. I have loved this brand for so long! I bought Noah his first bunny when he was two, we were in The Lake District and came across the sweetest gift shop called Armstrong Ward, it was a treasure trove filled with unique toys and gifts. Since then I have visited Copenhagen where there is Maileg on every corner but it NEVER gets old and still makes my heart skip a beat!
Day 36. Today we had a go at making books using what we already had in the cupboards. A friend of mine had inspired us by making the most beautiful books with stitched in pages. Dreamy! I love seeing everybody getting their craft on recently. There are so many inspiring projects going around.
We didn't have the right sized paper to make our pages so we stuck some of Noah's music sheets in the one that he made.
Yesterday we updated the tuff tray by throwing in Noah's old farm set, of course the train set wasn't far behind! You'll find a train kicking around in every play space of the house. Train mad!
We started on some Harry Potter origami which I had way too much fun with. When I was younger, my mum and I would make origami boxes and decorate them. Those were the days!
This weekend I managed to get a heap of work done for Wolfnoodle which I can't wait to show! We also enjoyed lots of family time in the garden. A friend of ours dropped some yummy homemade banana loaf and some other goodies on our doorstep including a card game called Dobble, it's completely genius and we haven't stopped playing! We also had some fun with our world map wall hanging, it seems my ten year old knows more than I do when it comes to geography, although that's not hard..
This delightful creation was a lucky eBay score but can be found new at The Conran Shop. I underestimated it's size and we don't have a spare wall big enough to hang it permanently. Shame because it's awesome.
Our tuff tray was home to the dinosaurs for a few days, we collected some bits and bobs from around the garden to create a jungle! These little set ups always go down well with Manni and they're easy enough to change from day to day...
We are NO gardeners, though I'm actually looking forward to giving ours a face lift once this lockdown is over. I will never complain about it again, I can't imagine what this past six weeks have been like for the folk without outdoor space. It's something we have took for granted before now though it has been nice to see it looking so full of life, if a little rough around the edges. We planted some sunflower seeds in a patch of old soil, the boys have been watering them for a good couple of days so fingers crossed they eventually bloom!
I had come across this on Pinterest over the weekend and thought I'd give it a go with my car/train mad two year old. It was super easy to make and has made a real difference with his number recognition.
Day 31.Today we made kites, we had to improvise with things we had around the house like skewer sticks stuck together with washi tape rather than the wooden sticks you would usually use...
We used an old postage bag for the sail and decorated it with tissue paper..
The skewer sticks came in handy because the cotton was easily wrapped through them and around each corner..
We used kitchen roll tubes to wrap the twine around and took them on our walk with us though there was barely any wind today after such a windy week! Typical!
We're going to try again tomorrow! Fingers crossed for a bit if wind
Day 30. Yesterday we started to paint our old puppet theatre that I made for Noah one Christmas. Started and then got sidetracked for the rest of the day. Noah wanted to play Lego and football so I managed to get some new work done for Wolfnoodle (post coming this weekend) Manni was happy enough to play in the garden and join in with a bit of painting, the car wash set up is still going strong - he loves it!
Today we carried on with painting our theatre and just about finished it. I made it originally for Christmas in 2015, my first and last time with a saw. It hasn't been played with for well over a year but we gave it a new lease of life and had a blast with it this afternoon!
This was it before..
Manni even helped with the painting but soon got bored and wanted to play PEEPO through the curtain because that's much more fun!
Noah in his parka coat and snow boots because there was a mild breeze this morning. Definitely my child!
Our Kitpas crayons came in handy again, these are the ones we used for our window rainbow! Find them at Scout & Co Kids : https://scoutandcokids.com/collections/kitpas/products/kitpas-set-of-16-medium-markers
There are still a few bits I want to add but here it is, mostly finished and ready for the show!
Roll up, roll up!
These puppets are an eBay find years ago, they're vintage and actually quite creepy but I'm fond of an oddity or two. These old tokens were also found on eBay years ago.
Day 28 - I think. I've lost count. Today we planned on using our pressed flowers to make some flower folk though upon reading Manni's new favourite book 'Frida Kahlo' from the Little People, Big Dreams collection for the millionth time this morning I thought we could make flower crowns on Frida portraits.
Manni just wasn't playing ball, it's hard trying to find fun for both boys at once. He stole our felt pens and was determined to draw on his hands and clothes, then wanted us to play trains. After a little while we admitted defeat and waited to finish them once our little wild thing napped. Music, tea and biscuits and peace for two hours! Bliss.
I love how they turned out!
This afternoon I swapped some toys around and set up the new bits on the tuff tray. These were Noah's old wooden toys.. 10 years ago I used to search and search the internet for this type of thing, there is so much choice now. I love seeing them being enjoyed for the second time. If you buy well, you only have to buy once!
This weekend we finished off our Book Bingo game that we started on Friday evening. We LOVE the Laurence King bingo games, we have five versions and they each get played with tons. We drew and coloured 192 books, it took forever but it kept us busy and was well worth the time and effort...
I sneaked a couple of my own favourites in too!
We collected some flowers during our daily stretch and pressed them, we're going to make some pictures with them this week..
This press is one of my all time favourite charity shop finds, so sweet!
Day 24. Today was spent mostly in the garden, Manni loved the car wash station that I set up for him, (idea pinched from @leahlittlejolanandrudi) he went through three t-shirts!
I also gathered our vintage Playmobil Space station toys (found on eBay) and added them to the tuff tray which we have used near enough every day of isolation. We collected rocks from around the garden and added tin foil, much fun!
The afternoon was spent playing Monopoly and colouring in Pingus activity sheets from our favourite Manchester store Oklahoma! Find these free printables here https://www.okla.co.uk/pages/activity-sheets Noah added a glitter background to his and I think it suits Pingus to a T.
There's a little Okla X Wolfnoodle collaboration coming soon, it's all very exciting! More about that later though :-)
Day 23. We started the morning with some music to lift our spirits which worked in spectacular fashion. There was lots of dancing and jumping around. Sorry neighbours!
Forget the hairbrush, I hear that a piece of train track is the new microphone. 'Look for the bare necessities...'
Over the weekend, we made some papier mache masks. We mixed two cups of water along with one cup of flour and microwaved for thirty seconds at a time until we had the right consistency..
We cheated a little when it came to the sculpture side of things and started with two broken masks that we already had. We just added more paper to change the shapes. We then left them to dry for 24 hours then painted them this afternoon in the garden while the sun was out.
Noah and I started to make a Mr Men Monopoly board over the weekend while Manni napped. We finished it fully this afternoon. Noah made his very own rules sheet and drew all the characters himself. I helped make hotel pieces and a pouch to hold all the bits and pieces. He is so proud of it, we're planning on sending it round to his cousins house so they can enjoy it too.
Easter weekend! We made some fun Easter cards using potato stamps carved in a Miffy shape and added some gold polka dots for decoration! These were really quick and easy. While Noah made his, we spoke a little bit about the Easter story and where the tradition of giving chocolate first started.
Aside from Christmas, I think Easter might be our favourite day of the year. Noah's excitement level is always through the roof when it's time for the egg hunt! This year was the first year that Manni was super excited to join in, though he kept stopping to snack on the goods!! We would usually have a second round of egg hunting at Grandma's with the boys and their cousins who they are incredibly close with, we've missed them but know that it won't be long before we can get together once again. It's a small price to pay considering what others are going through during this difficult time.
Some new bits and pieces along with our favourite Lindt chocs, hope they're up for sharing!!
Our tin / papier mache eggs have been collected over many years, along with our vintage Polish peg dolls they are my favourite things to collect.
Day 17. Today we made the most of the warm weather and painted in the garden, we had saved up a few tin cans and had a go at making wind chimes from them.
We added some ribbon to the inside of each can, then I knocked a nail in either side to pierce the holes for the string...
We love how they brighten up our garden!
Noah dug out his camera that he got a few birthday's ago.. He's become a mini me with his picture taking, he loves to capture his family just like I do. (I just need to stop him taking those early morning shots of me, wowsa!)
One of Manni's favourite books, My Brother. '..I'M COOL TOO!' we must have read it a dozen times today, it never gets old. For him anyway.
This Lundby basement extension has been at the back of my wardrobe for years so today we decided to renovate it! The boys have both loved playing with it over the past few days, Noah arranges all the furniture after Manni has turned it upside down with his crazy Playmobil parties!!
Voila! We used black vinyl and white card to quickly spruce up the walls and cut out some pictures from our old Bobo Choses magazines for the wall prints.
Day 16. We're going to spend the rest of the week doing Easter themed activities, today we made salt dough decorations which are super easy: 1 cup of plain flour, half a cup of water and half a cup of salt then bake on low heat for 3 hours.
While we waited for them to bake, we decorated some eggs. Noah opted for Pokemon creations and Manni, well I'm not quite sure what he was going for.. it all got very messy!!
Three hours later...
Time to decorate!
Hard at work :-)
We gathered some branches from the garden to make our Easter tree!
Day 15. We made an aquarium out of used cereal boxes today, our theme was the ocean. I've started to save bits and bobs instead of popping them into the recycling bin, we have a bunch of tins that we're going to turn into garden decorations this week. Noah has been getting stuck in with the crafts, something he hadn't been so crazy about pre pandemic which is partly down to me and family life being so hectic with school, work, football, piano, homework and fitting in family and friends. it's rare that we have all of this time together. If one good thing has come from this nightmare we are living, it's the slowing down and living in the moment. For us anyway, I realise that not all have been given that.
Manni wanted a 'Baby Shark' in his creation. He recently discovered the song after his cousins introduced it to him, he can't get enough. He knows all the actions and sings it really loudly. Very cute!
Ocean Bingo! We have a whole bunch of these games, they're our family favourite! Of course we have to wait for Manni to go to sleep as he constantly moves the counters, MUCH to Noah's annoyance. This one was found at Acorn & Pip.
I managed to do a quick change around today. I thought we'd swap the home corner for all the space toys and also brought the Lundby dolls house down from Manni's room! It's like they're brand new again, I always recommend alternating toys around, we have a 'Toy Bank' where things get store for a few months at a time.
It wasn't long before the trains were back though!
Day 12. THE NOISE! Goodness me. We had to have a long sit in front of Hey Dugee this afternoon while I regrettably fell down a rabbit hole of Covid-19 horror stories and stats. WHY do I do it to myself. I will be ready for some quiet this evening and to switch off from the outside world. On a happier note, we had great fun drawing our rainbow this morning using our new Kiptas crayons from Scout & Co Kids!
Thank you to our wonderful NHS!
Cool rainbow Manni!
Future Artist T-shirt from Young Double who sell the coolest screen printed clothing and accessories!
Plotting his next move, he won't stay still for long!
Our theme today was Lego so we made some wind racers! Finished with their handmade paper sails..
Manni's went under in 0.1 seconds, mine needed a lot of help from the straw blowing. Noah won!
Some more of today's play!
Plan for this weekend : Paint lots, read lots, make the most of dad not having to work!
Day 11. Today we were inspired by a beautiful idea from @freyahartas on Instagram. The phases of the moon. I had a little too much fun getting stuck in, I love anything moon themed! Noah was a little downbeat this afternoon, I think the sudden separation from his friends and family is getting to him. Good job Grandma saved the day by dropping some chocolate on our doorstep!
Since digging our our Mr Men and Little Miss books, Noah has set himself a target of re-reading them all! Just 14352577 more to go then
working hard painting his phases of the moon!
Playing Doctors! I LOVE the Instagram feed of @leahlittlejolanandrudi she is always setting up the best play scenes for her little ones and forever inspiring our play time!
We collected a selection of twigs and leaves on our quick walk to make a scrumptious leafy stew in the mud kitchen! YUM
The clapping for the NHS staff was so emotional. What an incredible job they do, risking their own health every day, working tirelessly to protect us. We're frightened in our own home, shut away from the public so I can't imagine the fear they take with them to work. Real life superheroes!
Day 10. I need treats. Food treats. The bad kind. Today's theme was Wildlife! We enjoyed making mosaic pictures while we listened to Nigel Nit Boy, today's David Walliams instalment. Noah made a penguin and I made a panda, we both found it really relaxing. Or maybe that was the calm that washes over the house once our little Wild Thing naps!!
A quick stretch of the legs early this morning. Manni insists that his scooter is more fun this way. I don't like to challenge him these days, mostly because I lose!
Cool penguin Noah!
BUBBLES = hours of fun! Well, until they get spilt which is definitely NOT fun.
This afternoon I dug out Noah's old farm set! I love seeing Manni enjoy these old treasures all over again.
Much of the falling out between the boys which still happens, even given their large age gap is because of the keyboard. Neither of them can bare the other touching it! I often feel sorry for our neighbours!!
Day 9. Noah was bursting to make another Mr Men book today, our theme was WWII. Here is a little snippet of his latest novel.. Just call him Noah Hargreaves
I particularly liked this page, poor Mr. Brave!
You can't beat vintage Playmobil, I think Manni agrees. Good job because who else could I *pretend* to buy it for. The colours are so dreamy!
While Noah worked hard on his second novel, Manni cooked up a storm in the mud kitchen!
After lunch I made a WWII timeline for Noah, his job was to sort each event into time order!
A visual representation of Manni's day 9 mood.
Day 8. Today we managed to do lots of playing/creating and the day has flown by. Our theme for the day was Mr Men & Little Miss.. We haven't read these books in forever! Noah used to adore these stories and would often make little versions of his own when he was smaller. This morning, we introduced them to Manni for the first time.
Noah got straight off to work on his own creation!
Spoiler alert : There is a happy ending with a big party to celebrate. Mr. Clever cooked up a new vaccine in his basement.
Did you know that wax crayons don't come off newly painted chalkboards? Manni didn't!
We found the perfect use for our colourful and equally wonderful little cuties. Counting! (found at @oklahomamcr)
After a quick dash to the post office to send some Wolfnoodle orders, we dug out the Kinetic sand. Our tuff tray saves us from making too much mess, after a good old play this space can be back to its usual look in less than 2 minutes. Because who's got more time than that?
While Noah watched a little TV and Manni played with his trains, I quickly updated our Ikea table and chairs. I bought them in November and always planned to upcycle them, nothing gives you more time than a countrywide lockdown.
Thought I would do a little post about one of our favourite Instagram accounts @leahlittlejolanandrudi Leah always inspires us with her creative play ideas for her two boys. Some of my recent favourites are pictured below. Not only are their ideas heaps of fun, they're a feast for the eyes captured in a nostalgic mix of pillar box reds, neutrals and vintage treasures!
Follow Leah and her boys here : https://www.instagram.com/leahlittlejolanandrudi/
Our weekend was spent watching movies, playing in the garden, trying and failing not to look at the news and Face-timing family (thank the technology gods for this wonderful creation) I even managed to sit still and paint for a few hours, consume a shit load of tea and listen to all my favourite music. Bliss. This almost never happens, I usually stay up late to paint and end up paying for it the next day with a strong eye-bag game, or even worse at 3am if Manni wakes for boobs. MUM LIFE.
Anyway, here are the first few of a series that I'm going to be working on over the next few weeks... NEW YORK and ROME. More to follow!
This boy got a haircut today! Although it's not very clear from this picture, it's actually quite a bit shorter. I'm feeling glad that his curly locks are able to hide my terrible attempts at hairdressing.
Day 5. Today wasn't great. Just one of those days where nothing ran smoothly and of course, by not being able to see your friends and family or even having a carefree chat with a neighbour or fellow school mum (yep, I even miss the school run) there wasn't much I could do to break out of the funk. Manni wouldn't go down for a nap so spent the day tired and grumpy meaning he was intent on spoiling anything that Noah and I had planned to do resulting in Noah getting frustrated and downbeat. Not to mention the food shop. Today was the first time that it really hit me, standing in a LONG queue 2 meters apart from every other human, that this situation isn't going to change anytime quickly and the best thing we can do is think positive, it could always be worse.
Today's theme was Dinosaurs! Noah and I managed to make a memory game with facts about some of his favourite dinosaurs which was fun! We really wanted to play Dino Bingo but Manni kept on moving the counters - little brothers hey.
Manni loves playing with his mud kitchen! We found this beauty on eBay last summer. The pots and pans were a lucky charity shop find.
This book by Okido is awesome! We got our copy from Oklahoma in Manchester's Northern Quarter (Instagram : @oklahomamcr)
The face of our sweet little wild thing who is now fast asleep.
Our plan for the weekend: Read, watch a couple of movies and eat ALL the good food!! Chill mode : ON
Day 4. Today's theme was Climate Change. We had great fun painting our feet while we spoke about our carbon footprint and what we can do to reduce it.
I can't believe how nice the weather has been since we officially went into 'lockdown'. It's ALWAYS rainy or dull (mostly both) where we live. Today we painted in the garden and the boys managed a quick run around near our home with their dad who is WFH. We're lucky to have a large area of unused green space around the corner from us. Our garden is very small so this will be our saviour over the coming months. I managed to play around with cushion covers while they were out, our Ikea PS chair got a whole new look.
Our afternoon was spent painting and listening to David Walliams. Noah made some Climate Change posters and Manni painted a picture for Grandma, it's her 65th birthday today and we missed being able to have a birthday dinner with her to celebrate.
Oil cloth from Oklahoma Mcr : https://www.okla.co.uk/search?q=Oilcloth
On a brighter note, I got Noah to help with the window cleaning. Teach em young!
Day 3. Noah bounced out of bed this morning and continued making football Top Trumps, there are now 50 cards making it THE LONGEST GAME EVER. We tuned into David Walliams' free daily audio story https://soundcloud.com/harpercollinspublishers/the-worlds-worst-children-by/s-dqoZWNyMFFq which we would definitely recommend, Noah has read most of his books and like most kids, he can't get enough!
While Manni slept, Noah and I managed to make a crossword for each other surrounding today's little theme, Pokemon! It can be pretty hard to please both boys at once due to their eight year age gap so Noah and I sneak some of the grown up bits in when it's Manni's nap time.
I decided we needed somewhere to hang up some of the boys recent artwork so I decorated a wall with some mint green cord and then customised some wooden pegs with Washi Tape.
Today I had to work from home so the afternoon was spent in the garden which is in such a mess. I tried to persuade the boys to help with the gardening but they played with the ball instead. I don't blame them.
Day 2. Football theme! Today we tried a little exercise with The Body Coach, I had seen plenty of folks sharing his You Tube channel and decided to give it a go. Noah loved it! (Manni had a little go and enjoyed high fiving us after a few star jumps. Very cute.) We'll definitely be tuning in again!
Going off government guidelines, our outdoor exercise consisted of a quick walk to the playing fields around the corner from our house. There was nobody around and it was nice to get a quick 20 minutes of fresh air.
Once Manni was asleep, Noah and I made some Top Trumps! Football themed of course. This went on well into the afternoon and kept him very busy!
Not pictured : The ten cups of tea with sugar *must cut down* and the immense fallout over a small green bouncy ball that took a good five minutes to blow over.
Day 1. Hey! I thought we would document our time indoors here, mostly as a creative outlet but also to share any ideas that I come across that might help fill the days with little ones. We don't have any grand plans, I just hope to get through each day with our sanity intact!! We have a list of themes that Noah chose and each day we'll use this theme to inspire a little play, maybe a little learning, a little creativity and hopefully have some fun along the way. Today's theme was SPACE! Bonus : Noah watched a documentary on Netflix called The Universe while Manni slept which meant that I could tick a job off the 'Things That Never Get Done' list, today's little job was to tidy the hallway. We also painted a chalkboard wall! Yay! Not pictured : Noah's meltdown at 7.30am. Manni kicking me numerous times.