Discovery Basket Heuristic Play

Oliver is now 22 months old and spending more and more time playing independently, he likes to explore new things and loves to play with my tins of food from my kitchen cupboard, stacking them up and rolling them around the floor.

Heuristic Play is exploring the properties of real objects as opposed to toys.

I set up a box for Oliver to explore filled with natural manmade  objects:

  • A metal sieve
  • A wooden spoon
  • A whisk
  • A hairbrush
  • A cardboard tube
  • A glove
  • A rubber cup
  • A piece of felt

He sat and played on his won for ages, exploring the tube by looking through it, putting objects into his sieve and stirring it around with the spoon and brushing his hair with the hairbrush.

I observed him for 5 minutes and noted down the things that he did

  • Stirring objects around in the sieve with the spoon and then changing to the whisk
  • Shouting down the tube
  • Putting the fabric on his head
  • He put his hand inside the glove, then he put his foot inside it, then he wrapped it around his neck as if it was a scarf

I introduced some pasta twists and a paintbrush half way through

  • First He sat and tasted the pasta
  • He brushed his face with the paintbrush then started painting the fabric
  • He held the paintbrush in one hand and the spoon in the other making circular motions with them on the floor
  • He wipes his hands on the felt using it as a towel
  • He put everything back into the sieve and mixes them around

I have recently been playing Silly Soup with Oliver and his big brother Joseph, introducing names of things and sounds.

Observing Oliver during his treasure basket play showed me that he has remembered about the silly soup as he done the same actions with the sieve and other objects. He was silent throughout his 5 minutes play but normally he is really loud, talking and singing away to himself.

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Oliver has objects stored in a box and he chooses to pick them up and play with them now over his toys, i love watching him explore them. I add new items to the box to keep him interested and each time he plays with them he learns new things to do each time.



Spaghetti Sensory Play #365

We have been exploring with our senses lately and yesterday we made some spaghetti to play and explore with.

I added some dry spaghetti to a bowl of like warm water, added some food colouring and left it for about 10 minutes for the pasta to become all squidgy and malleable.

The spaghetti began to feel like rubber and looked like wriggly worms.


Joseph added some of his boats from the bathroom

“There is a big wriggly monster at the bottom of the sea and its attacking the boats!”

Oliver enjoyed picking the spaghetti up and moving it about in the water, mixing them and picking them up and dropping them back in the water.


Sensory Bath

Oliver hasn’t been feeling himself for the past couple of days so I thought that making bath time a little bit more fun than normal would place that smile back onto his little face.

I filled up the bath and added some :
– Bubble Bath
– Bubble wand from Lush
– Glow Sticks
– Colourful bath Boats

Oliver had fun searching for the sticks under all of the bubbles and he enjoyed waving the bubble wand in the water to create more bubbles.

He searched for the boats and we talked about what colour they were, which he repeated. I hid the boats under the many bubbles that he made and he searched through them looking for the boats, I did get a couple of smiles from him but they didn’t last long before he started to yawn and told me ‘enough! Me get out!’
Bless him he would normally cry if I tried to take him out of the bath, so he must be feeling rather icky!

We did get some lovely pictures though and I am quite sure that he enjoyed himself. Since getting out of the bath he has repeated the words that he learnt, wand, bubbles, stick, yellow and blue!




Oliver loved feeling the bubbles on his hands and kept trying to pick them up and he like swirling the sticks around in the water.

What do you add into your children’s baths to add some fun?


21 Month Milestones

Where has the time gone? In three months time i am going to have a 2 year old!


Oliver understands what the potty is for and whenever he isn’t wearing a nappy he will look for his potty and use it, then once he has finished he will applaud himself saying ‘Well done’ and then he will bring it to me to empty.

He has begun to take off his own clothes, undressing himself when he is feeling hot, the socks have always come off as soon as he has entered the house but now he takes off his cardigan or coat himself. He knows how to pull down his trousers as well but needs help with his tops, he will put his arms up into the air if he wants a t-shirt or jumper to be taken off.

He loves to play football and is actually showing good ball skills, he walks/runs along with the ball dribbling it and keeping it under control. He knows what direction to kick it, if asked to bring the ball back he will turn with it and kick it back towards me. We have many footballs in the garden due to his big brother playing football so Oliver will often line all the balls up in a row and run along kicking one at a time shouting ‘Goal Goal’

Oliver knows where most of his body parts are, he can name them and point to them. Face, teeth, mouth, tongue, eyes, ears, nose, head , hair, feet, toes, hands, belly, bottom, back, knees and legs. he loves doing this with his big brothers but can often poke them in the eye when pointing to their eyes oops!

Oliver knows where his high chair is and when he is hungry he will climb into it and say ‘Eat!’

He understands what tidy up time is and knows where most of his toys are kept, I tell him that he can only play with another toy if the previous one is put away so he will place the toy back into the box that he comes in.

He likes to try new foods and is always intrigued by what i am eating. He eats olives and loves pasta bake, his favourite fruit is blueberries and really enjoys eating houmous on breadsticks.

He enjoys drawing and will spend ages scribbling away creating a masterpiece, If i draw a picture he will scribble over it showing signs of following lines ready to colour in.

Oliver is a sorter and is always sorting cars and blocks into colours and sizes. He will line up his cars going from big to small.

He has begun to show signs of counting, moving the fruit from the bowl onto the table saying 1 2 3 and 5, he also counts backwards from 3 when going down a slide or when he is ready to run in a race with his big brothers.

He is always shouting for his eldest brother Jak, most of the time it’s because he wants him to play with him and he will often shout for both of his brothers if i ask him to shout them downstairs for dinner.

Oliver has a little piano that plays nursery rhymes, tunes and says numbers and letters, he loves to listen to Pop goes the Weasel and dances around the floor to the tunes. He loves to swing his hips away to the eastenders tune too.

He has always been happy to play by himself with a ball but now he likes to throw the ball and play catch, he has a very strong powerful throw on him! Which he is using to not only throw balls but also toys, not good!

He is beginning to throw a lot more tantrums mostly because he doesn’t get his own way, he doesn’t like to have anything with him when he is in his buggy so everything will get thrown out. I have been trying to ignore him when he does throw himself on the floor and scream but it is very hard to do but i know it is the best way to deal with it, also taking him away from the problem helps too.

Oliver loves to help with the household chores, often helping me emptying the washing machine or filling it up, he likes to follow me with his little hoover when i am vacuuming and he will also dust the sides down when he picks up a duster.

I have so many more things to look forward to with Oliver, see you all next month with his 22 month old milestones 🙂



A break through or just a one off!

Last night was the first night in just over three weeks where i got a decent night sleep.

For the past few weeks Oliver has been torturing us through out the night with his screaming because he wants to get in bed and be close to me. It all started when i got his hair cut and although it needed i was in two minds to do it as he uses his hair as comfort. Well i certainly paid for my decision as from that day he has woke up in the night, climbed out of his cot and into my bed, crawled up straight the middle of his Dad and i, put his hand out to find my hair, once his fingers were entwined around the strands of my hair he drifted off to sleep. A few days ago i blogged about wanting some sleep and what we was going through read about it  here.

I have had a few bad nights since where i have laid in my bed and listened to him scream and cry, watched him kick and punch his cot in temper but it’s looking like my perseverance and persistence has played off as last night he pretty much slept through waking once to have a little cry but he laid back down and fell asleep after five minutes.

 This is how i found him this morning



What has worked for me?

I have had to put my dressing gown into his cot so he had something of me to cuddle up to and smell

I removed his cot bumper so he had nothing to use to lever himself up on

I put one of his favourite blankets into his cot

I pushed his cot away from the bottom of my bed so it wasn’t touching it

I slept at the bottom of the bed so i could be close to him and so if he did manage to climb out i was there to catch him

I made sure that he fell asleep in his cot of the evening

Everytime he attempted to climb out of the cot i placed him back in and laid him down

I didn’t speak to him

Persevered but suffered hours of missed sleep

I didn’t give in!

Is this the first of many nights of good sleep or just a one off!

I hope so…..



Is your toddler ready for the Marathon?




With the London marathon looming, taking place this sunday (21st April), adult runners are preparing for a major feat. However, what mums and dads may not realise is that on a daily basis, the nutrition our little ones require to achieve every day milestones, like crawling, walking and running, is comparable to the power grown-ups need to complete major achievements.

The First Steps Research, commissioned by, highlights how a toddler’s daily antics, which might include: tottering from one end of the sofa to the other, playing in their sandpit or even their afternoon nap, uses the same energy, when compared ‘pound for pound’ to an adult running 30 miles. That’s more than a marathon.

This is also equivalent to:

  • Eight hours of straight singles tennis – just three hours shy of the record breaking 11 hour, five minute match set at Wimbledon, by Nicolas Mahut and John Isner in 2010
  • Rowing for six hours – plenty of time to row the 21 miles of the English Channel
  • 250 minutes boxing – that’s 83 rounds in the ring, which is over 27 individual fights

Leading dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton explains the science behind these findings. She comments: “To illustrate the difference between a toddler’s and an adult’s diet, the First Steps Research worked out the average calories required to support a toddler on a daily basis. We took into consideration their weight, resting metabolic rate, and energy necessary for growth, development and activity. Each of these factors, when compared with an average 70kg (154lb) adult, equated ‘pound for pound’ to a 3,600 calorie daily diet for an adult. That’s enough to run marathons, climb Ben Nevis twice, or box more than seven fights consecutively.

My 20 month old is always on the go, from the moment he is awake to the minute he falls asleep he spends his time running around, climbing, playing with the ball either throwing or kicking it and riding his bike. I don’t have enough energy in me to keep up with him, there’s one thing for sure is that i sleep very well at night (when he isn’t waking me up) as he tires me out! His favorite activity is going to our local gymnastics club where he spends an hour and a half  bouncing on the trampoline, walking on the beams, jumping into the pit and generally running around.



“I hope the findings of the First Steps Research go some way to help parents understand why it is so important for our toddlers to get the right healthy balanced diet, designed to meet their special nutritional needs, including the right amount of vitamins – for this amazing period of growth and development.”

Visit to find out more about the amazing growth and development that one toddlers experience from the age of one to three. The website offers nutritional advice from experts, as well hints and tips on ways to top-up your toddler’s daily vitamin D intake, and the role Growing Up Milk can play to help support little ones.

This post is a part of my role being a Growing Up Milk Mumtor. I have received no payment i  doing so!



Pencil mad! 83/365

Oliver is now 20 months old and a favourite activity of his is drawing, the boy loves it that much he draws on anything including, my kitchen cupboards, floor and walls!

He tags everywhere he goes! recently we had been to Nannys for a visit and after we left I for a text from Nan telling me she loved the picture that Oliver had left her on her computer, no he didn’t use a drawing programme on the computer he actually found a pen and drew all over the screen with it, leaving Nanny to find his masterpiece!

I try my best to keep all pens, felts and paints away from him, locked away high up in a cupboard where only the older ones can reach.

If one of Oliver’s brothers are doing there homework then he asks for ‘Paper’ and ‘Pencil’ so he can join in with some drawing.

Today the boys coloured in some Easter Cards and of coarse Oliver joined in with the activity