mamafrog.co.uk- start here

This is where I blog about our lives with baby frog, flirting with waldorf education, solid in attachment parenting, sewing, knitting, crafting, raising chickens, growing vegetables and living in our country pub. It's a different world from my past life as fashion marketing pro in the city, but I love it.

mamafrog-blogs:

His talk on education (and how the current system is failing our kids) is the highest ranking Ted talk ever. I shared it back in February and so I’m thrilled I can hear more through radio 4’s new show the educators

Why bother with play dough? We made bread together for the first time today. One of our kitchen chairs made for a perfect height work station.
This “work” held his attention for a long time for a toddler. I was able to even clean up during his play
Creating educational play can be such a time consuming task. It’s far better to combine it, where possible with housework.

mamafrog-blogs:

Welcome to the shop in a trolley.

I find it really funny that people part with good money to buy shopping baskets with mini cardboard boxes in them for kids to play with. Mostly because, before I had Edwin I was one of those people.

Like most kids toys, pretend kitchens, shops and food are made up of stuff you can create for free, with no skill at home.

Heuristic play baskets are the best toy for babies. I have them for my son. They are filled with real world objects. I’ve been collecting boxes and tubs for a while for this purpose.
I enjoy setting up themed play areas. We have done farms, beaches and gardens. This tho is much more suited to a toddler exploring imaginary play, or thrilled with the empty and fill stage (Edwin raises hand here - he’s all about the empty ).

So this shop in a trolley was a fun welcome diversion. It’s so cute to watch him play with and even better still it’s so cheap it’s free.

Okay. Not free. I had to buy things in containers which could be repurposed - no easy task in a supermarket free life. Oh. And the trolley. Mock gold doesn’t come cheap at my local charity shop. This classy number set me back £3.

I wished I bought more as I can see older versions of Edwin making this into a car/ plane/ carriage so it’s play value is infinite. As you can see from the photo set he has already purposed it into a climbing frame/ pretend shop.

I added pinecones (why don’t shops sell these) which offer a new texture to contrast with all of that cardboard. I figure some stones and dolly pegs would make for an awesome Montessori style sorting activity in the hot chocolate tubs. Maybe finally knit some fruit

So much play. For free. Why would you buy when you could recycle, and give young children to explore authentic objects

mamafrog-blogs:

mamafrog-blogs:

Uses for dolly pegs in creative or sensory play
1. Teething relief
2. Treasue for a sensory discovery basket
3. ‘Body’ for handmade dolls
4. Floating bath toy or for use in water play
5. Play doh tensil
5. Painting utensil
7. Teach Sorting colours
8. Give a toddler a bottle or a tub to put all the pegs into and then out of and then into again (best game ever)
9. To peg up indoor teepee
10. Put back in the bottle again and add lid for percussion instruments
11. Threading on to pipe cleaner to create jewellery and practice fine motor skills
12. Parachute weight for gravity lesson
13. Construction tool
14. Sand play digger, marker
15. Item inside touchy feely bag/ box
16. Drumsticks
17. Stock for play shop
18. Seed marker for garden
19. Pretend food for imaginative play
20. Aid for teaching counting
21. Missiles, arrows, darts
22. Flag pole for mini flag
23. Logs for mini raft
24. Base for making decorations
25. Baton for relay
26. Junk modelling aid
27. Markers for teaching scale
28. Artwork display
29. Collecting and storing leaves, flowers, feathers etc on nature walks
30. Cuttlery for pretend tea party
31. Troops
32. Throwing tool for learning about projectory
33. Dancing aid
34. Goop/ mud pies/ cake batter mixer
35. Ice pop stick
36. Log cabin logs
37. Farm animals
38. Pretend hair brush or styling utensil for imaginary play
39. Label for sensory baskets
40. Handles of homemade skipping ropes

Add yours if I missed any

Have you ever thought about how awesome the humble dolly peg is as a play, art and educational tool? I have .

mamafrog-blogs:

New ebay offer- search seller: mamafrogshop #waldorf #montesorri #handmade #wahm

New offer on my eBay store

mamafrog-blogs:

Tonight’s dispatches probably didn’t come as a shock to those savier shoppers we’ve become, however it does serve as a reminder that our way of consuming, producing and sourcing groceries is hideously unsustainable.

We’ve been living without supermarkets for four months now. A…

Time for #dispatches again. Wonder if they will discuss the obvious alternative to #supermarketwars

mamafrog-makes:

It’s about time we stopped yanking these simply yellow flowers out of are gardens and disposing of them. This week I found they have so much more to offer than fodder for the compost heap.

Dandelions are making a come back. Not that they ever went away. These fabulous “weeds” flower nearly 10…

Did you know you can use dandelions to make bump balm, lip salve and hand cream. See my easy tutorial post to find out how

mamafrog-learningplay:

Toys? Where were going we don’t need toys.

If what I’m learning on my child psychology course is true, and that optimum learning takes place when a baby has a strong ‘back catalogue’ of experiences to make cognitive connections to new learning and ideas, then today’s outdoor adventures have definitely made a good start.

After a trip to the allotment (to plant Christmas maris peer potatoes) we went for a river walk.
There’s a steep beach like bank which provided a perfect activity area for Edwin. It was all of his favourite things- water play, climbing, cruising, eating stones and bella dog.

Even Bella discovered that the best toys aren’t toys, finding a shoe to play with. After the river we stopped in a nature reserve to look at the horses and pick some blackberries. Recently I tried making my own Blackberry cordial (really nice) and these ones I used to make some hedgerow jam. Whilst I made the jam, Edwin and malc made bread. Gotta love family days like that

Keeping my incredibly curious and fast boy out of trouble with a new kind of nature walk. I’m convinced the river bank was built for purpose.
It became a fantastic climbing frame and water activity.

mamafrog-blogs:

What to do with all of our Marrows? It’s been fun experimenting with these types.
I’m loving that for some reason (magic) our bargain bin seed, late sown courgette plants are fruiting for us.
So when we go up to the allotment now we don’t come back empty handed. But I’m not a huge fan of roasted marrow.
I put my culinary grey matter to work and decided to try to new recipes for family pot luck tea yesterday.

Recipe one- marrow and basil salad

1. I grated the marrow (saving the seeds for our chickens who think they are delicious) into a bowl
2. Then added basil leaves and sultanas
3. Finally I sliced some ripe tumbling Tom tomatoes in and added

I was suprised how flavoursome this simple salad was. It made for great finger food for froggy too.

Recipe two- Courgette and apricot cake

I can’t take all the credit for thinking this up. I saw swanky courgette and strawberry cupcakes at the farmers market. It inspired this

1. I grated the courgette into a mixing bowl
2. I cracked and added to of our chickens eggs
3. I whisked the courgette/egg mix
4. Next I added 1/2 cup of bran, milk, water and apricot jam and a whole cup of self raising flour which I mixed thoroughly.
5. I baked the mix in a loaf tin at 180c for 35 minutes.

The again was surprisingly good and also popular with froggy.

Do you have any unusual courgette or marrow recipes I could try. We will have a fair amount on our hands soon and I’d love your suggestions.

Here’s a recap from earlier in the week on some yummy alternative courgette and marrow recipes

mamafrog-learningplay:

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I hope you’ve been enjoying my blog series on how to set up heuristic play activities.
Today’s blog post is all about providing heuristic activities easily whilst enjoying the great outdoors this summer, so it seemed an appropriate opportunity to link up with the fabulous Country kids…