Twixmas activities for the littles

so, as a follow on to my ‘relax its Twixmas’ post, I thought I would write a wee blog post about some little effort, fun and stimulating activities for you to enjoy with (or not with) your little.

Here’s what we have been getting up to this week (whilst i’ve been in pyjamas :D):

  1. Card Collages- Use your Christmas cards to create nice collage art or gift tags ready for next year. This is a great idea for letting your wee one practice cutting skills (its really tricky for them so this is create for cutting different shapes/ directions), glueing and getting creative. Skills– cutting, glueing, fine motor skills, design, shape and size. Language to use- remember to talk about the size and shape of cuttings, matching where possible and you could even order by shape or colour.
  2. Chocolate treasure hunt– this is a lovely one I seen on Instagram (@fiveminutemum) and involves getting the kids outside (although could be done indoors) using up all your left over chocolate coins. Dot them about and sit back as you let the kids explore their space, remember to tell them how many so they can count as they go. To up-level this you could add letters onto the back of the coins with a sharpie and then once all collected have the kids see how many words they can make (or sound out the letter sounds for the very littles). Skills- problem solving, outdoor play, team work, sounding out and letter recognition, counting. Language to use– up-level key words like find to search, discover, track and trace. talk about where the coins might have come from, who could have hidden them, what words could be made, are there any new words you could make together? OR sit back and enjoy the 10 minutes downtime during Twixmas??
  3. Play-doh monsters- this is a great activity to use some of the copious amounts of Play doh you probably got. Although it can be messy (if trampled into the carpet) its great for little fingers and lots of laughs. if you have one of those mini wipe clean white board then you can write out a mini success criteria. Obviously if the little is little they cant read it so this could be a nice opportunity to discuss and create this verbally together and even use pictures to draw your success criteria. It’s a great way for your little to remember what they need to be successful in the challenge and develops good habits for future learning. Cut up some pipe cleaners, crack out the bobbly eyes and get out the sequins, you’re creating a monster. See how many monsters you can make. An example- I can add three legs, I can add 4 eyes, I can add 8 stars. Skills– fine motor skills, cutting, counting, following instruction, manipulation, colour, shape, creativity. Language to use- squishy, soft, cold, moist, press, bend, leg, arm, eyes, mouth, push, pull and count.

4. Make some Cards baubles for next year (good gifts for the Grandparents 😉 )- use coloured card and draw around a small bowl to create your template. decant some coloured shapes (i just cut these small from card), sequins, tissues paper and any other left overs you have. Set these out with your glue sticks and scissors (left your wee one cut out some festive images from old Christmas Cards). This was a great one for allowing your self some relax time on the sofa whilst dipping in and out of the activity. Skills- glueing, fine motor skills, cutting, concentration and shape recognition. Language to use– small, large, little, big, left, right, opposite, triangle, square, circle, rectangle, round, flay, colour, sparkle, shiny, bright etc.

5. Toys- Last but not least let the kids crack out all their Christmas toys. I know this sounds obvious but, if you’re anything like me, you might have that extreme need to chase after them tidying as you go. The mass of toys and clutter seems so overwhelming sometimes but they are only young once, I need to remind myself of this constantly. I will always (hopefully) have a house but what I wont have is a home full of laughter, fun and enthusiastic little babes.

Enjoy the festivities and hope you enjoy these short but sweet activities. Feel free to share or sign up below for updates.

Find me on Instagram @mum_in_the_city for daily stories, mum chat, child chat, play to learn activities and general banter.

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Merry Twixmas (…and self care)

So i’ve researched the term Twixmas and I came up blank?

Apparently all I can find is that it means the period between Christmas and New Year. Bit disappointing really, thought i’d find an exciting background there. Maybe its based on the box of celebrations, all the good choices have been eaten by the 26th so all that’s left are the Twix? If you know please share in the comments.

Anyway, with the non wisdom shared, i’ve been using the last few days to really switch off. I’ve barely crossed the threshold, the washing was piled high and we were dining on chocolate and mince pies.

Today we decided to blow off the cobwebs and so, whilst Steven did a few jobs, I got on with gutting the house (Hinchmas style). I even started to tackle the HUGE washing load (2 x coloured washed, 3 x darks and 2 x whites). With that all in hand we all headed out on a bike ride.

Lewis got one of these Mini Rocker bikes. It is actually like a little clown bike. Huge oversized handle bars and a tiny tilted seat. Charlotte got a balance bike, really cheap from Groupon, but we opted for the old Micro Mini Scooter for ease. It was actually so, so nice to be out. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the air was crisp and we never even argued (well maybe a wee snipe here and there).

Whilst walking I just felt so appreciative of all we have. Its so easy to just focus on the negative and towards the end of the year here I have been feeling burnt out, disconnected from Steven and irritable with the kids. I realised that this Twixmas period has honestly been food for the soul. A real chance to just completely chill out. No deadlines, no stress, no schedules and no hassle. Im not usually one for staying in my PJs until 10am but when things are always so full on why not just be good to yourself?

Being a mum is a hard job; looking after the kids (sometimes the OH), keeping on top of the house, working, looking after pets and trying to scrape any time to yourself. Today made me realise the importance of taking the foot off the gas and remember that self care is so important for a happy and healthy life. Remember the saying ‘happy mummy, happy baby’.

I am now going to give a new meaning to Twixmas- the time in between Christmas and New Year where you make no plans, stay in pjs until 10 and put everything to one side and completely relax.

Enjoy xx

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Instagood

With so much pressure on life through the means of social media and the relentless posts about the best 2% of everyones life I was all set to leave social media for good. I felt it was actually negatively impacting on my mental health. The pressure to stay perfect, be the perfect parent, go the the right events, like the right photos- who has the time for this in a normal world?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of celebrating the genuine (non boasty) successes of my friends and family and hearing about what they have been up to but when every post is talking about how amazing their gifted and gorgeous child is it actually gives me the boak.

We all love our children but lets be honest- none of us/them are perfect. To portray this to other parents is just BS. Its not only BS but puts a silent pressure on others to conform to what may be perceived as perfect parenting- putting you child down for every club know to man, signing them up for 3 instruments, reading them Peace and War and generally indulging them in every past time known to man and beast with the view to flaunting your childs fabulousness over FB. All of our children are unique and amazing in their own way and as a parent its for you to know that. If you child is a spelling wizard and your sons friend has severe dyslexia how do you think that will make her feel? She certainly isn’t going to ‘buzzing’ that your child aced his test, she’s more than likely going to worried sick about whether her child felt shit at getting 2/10 (again).

We have probably all been guilty of it (me included) so I’m making a conscious effort to not become intoxicated in my own exuberance.

With this being said I was on a mission to dig deep into the cleaning cupboard and give social media one last chance, in the form of Instagram. I was on the hunt for cleaning tips and the elusive @theorganisedmum.

When last I wrote I was taking up the cleaning mantle. Following in the sparking footprints of the greats such as @Mrshinch and @littlemissmops. The thought of relishing in minke’d surfaces and Zoflora would have been laughable to me, even as little as 3 weeks ago.

I have a cleaner who comes fortnightly and until 2 weeks ago this always seemed enough- to keep my floors and bathroom clean was good enough for me.  I could cope with the rest of the minor cleaning aspects and happily cleaned with distain.

Well, since my introduction to the fabulous world of Instagram and the cleaning sensations sweeping my feeds I have never felt so enthused and motivated to clean. Not to sound like a complete saddow but I’m actually loving life.

I know this sounds crazy but keeping my house clean has given me a new purpose. I feel like when the house is clean, the drawers organised and dinner in the slow cooker I am winning at life. I honestly love it! I never thought the sound of a new Zoflora scent or finding Bar Keepers Friend in liquid form would give me so much joy but little by little its taking over my life. The negative connotations about perfectionism from Social Media has disappeared. I know, I know… an oxymoron I hear you cry? How could cleaning my house, organising and learning with my child make me feel less pressure to oblige to these societal demands? I HAVE NO CLUE. I feel no pressure I just do as I see! Its not fake its just fulfilling for some really strange reason.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some downsides. I now feel OBSESSED with disinfecting everything, I had an allergic reaction to a product (still unknown) which caused an elephant man effect on my face and I am sacrificing some of my free time (but to be honest I would most likely have been napping/ eating my way through a packet of biscuits so prob a good thing that!).

Not only has this Intagram inspired cleaning craze impacted on the cleanliness of my home but its also given me a lease for life in different things. Im following fellow mummy bloggers (who talk real life and shitty nappies as opposed to superstar kids), teachers and craft minded individuals. Im taking part in learning through play related activities with Charlotte and its meaning I’m spending far more quality time with her. I feel like Instagram has not only inspired me to clean but also to be a better Mum and teacher.

So, to sum it all up… Instagood: bloggers, pics, ideas and no BS. Facebook not so good: to many free characters to post and talk absolute BS.

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Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com