Sunday, 24 July 2011

A Colourful Birthday

Phew!  Why are children's birthdays always so crazy?  The last few days have been a bit mad around here...and it's not like we even had a big party to celebrate Niamh's 2nd birthday.

First, a recapitulation of the last few day's activities for Niamh.

Cheerio chicken feeder:

 Someone told me about this fun little activity, so we decided to give it a go - especially since we've had a few rainy days, and the younger chickens had to stay in their little house to keep dry.  I thought these little feeders would be a good distraction for them.  Basically, it's a threading job - you knot the end of a piece of string, and feed a row of Cheerios on.  All went well, for the first one.  Then Niamh ate the rest of the Cheerios herself!  Oh well.  She did enjoy the activity, and I'm sure we'll tackle it again...though next time I will wait until she has already eaten.  (For those of you worried about our poor chickens being neglected, be assured I made them a little feeder and they loved it!)

Then, birthday morning!  Happy birthday to my sweet, TWO year old girl!  How those years have flown by...and I wouldn't have missed a second of them.  Here is the birthday morning carnage:

As you can see, she was rather spoiled.  That's her Daddy, putting together her balance bike, which we found HERE at Hip Kids.  We chose it because it has the option to put the pedal crank on once they have mastered steering and balancing.  Unfortunately, the bike is too tall for her!  Her little feet hang several inches off the ground, which makes the whole point of balancing either a) pointless, or b) really, really relevant.  But she loves sitting on it while we push her around (and that's not going to get old at all...right?).

She received the stacking puzzle she requested, which I found HERE at Modern Teaching Aids.  And she also received a fairy game card pack, which lucky Mama found at a one-off sale.  Included are some lacing cards, a memory game, a picture matching game, a number match game, a game of rainbow "go-fish" and a 50 piece jigsaw which I will put away for when she is older.  The pictures on the cards are beautiful, and she already loves looking at all the fairies and asking what their names are.

Now for the things I made for her.  I have been wanting to make her a sensory tub for AGES since I first saw them HERE at the wonderful Counting Coconuts blog.  I couldn't decide, however, whether to make her a rainbow sensory tub (since it is Colour Month), or a number "2" sensory tub.  Then I thought, why not combine the two?  So here it is, my first ever sensory tub in a colourful number "2" theme:

Inside are:
- 2 glittery green 2's
- 2 purple frogs
- 2 large green sparkly pompoms
- 2 pegs
- 2 large wooden buttons
- 2 small red beads
- 2 medium blue pompoms
- 2 small red pompoms
- 2 large white pompoms
- 2 small white pompoms
- 2 iron-on flowers (which I can no doubt use later in sewing!)
- 2 magnifying glasses
- 2 small yellow pompoms
- 2 long yellow beads
- 2 small pine beads
- 2 small dark wooden beads
...and a whole heap of rainbow rice.

She LOVES it.  She has a blast burying everything, then using the magnifying glasses to find them hiding in the rice.  She has spent hours sitting there so far, just running her hands through the rice.  She is also doing very well with the tub rule - the tub and its contents must not leave her play area.  I can't wait to plan the next tub.  They are seriously addictive!

I also made her an "eye-spy" bottle (the idea of which I also discovered on COUNTING COCONUTS (did I mention what a great blog it is??).  Again, in a rainbow theme:

For this one, I didn't take photos of what went inside - I was too busy getting other things ready for Niamh's birthday.  But I think, for the next ones, I will.  I like the idea of using them to play "eye-spy bingo."

And some more story sticks (or rhythm sticks, if you feel like tapping out a tune):

I chose a wintery, snow theme - not that it snows here - but it is winter, and Niamh is really into snow at the moment, after reading the very sweet WINTER STORY book by author Jill Barklem.

I also made a pair of story sticks, and another eye-spy bottle for Niamh's cousin, which I put into her party bag rather than stuffing them full of lollies:

And now for the all-important birthday party!  We had a rainbow party at the park (thank you, weather gods, for holding back the rain!).  For food, we had red strawberries and cherry tomatoes, orange carrot sticks and mandarines, fresh yellow pineapple, green avocado dip and fresh snow peas from the garden, blueberry muffins, indigo/violet cherries...and a few other yummies like home-made sausage rolls, meatballs, garlic hommus, and rainbow cupcakes.  The cake was a rainbow cake (of course!).

Here are a few photos.   Enjoying a sweet, orange mandarine:

Blowing out the candles ( you will note there are more than 2, but she wanted ALL the candles):

She is now running around the house, waving the pretty rainbow ribbon stick given to her by her Aunty E-K, and yelling, "I'm two!  I'm two!"  So I think she had a good weekend ;-)

Thanks for sharing, and a special thanks to everyone who made Niamh's birthday weekend so special.

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