How to… make easy Coasters & Learn to Work with Clay (Guest Post)

 

The very creative Jane at Fired4u is fabulous at making crafting easy for everyone – of all ages and abilities. Make pretty things in a wonderfully accessible way – if you ever feel you want to get carfty but “can’t” on your own, just visit her fabulous pottery store and get stuck in! Here she shows us how to make clever little coasters – out of anything like Fimo, Saltdough or Airdrying clay. There is lots about clay I did NOT know, so this is a really useful reference post on how to work with clay!!! I will definitely be making some with Red Ted as Christmas gifts from him to family (Pssst, family, stop reading now!). I also love that you can incorporate the seasons – e.g. leaf printing, which Red Ted adores… enough from me, more from Jane:

Hi, I follow Red Ted on twitter and love the crafts she does with her children. She asked me if I would write a project using clay. My normal work is with pottery if you click here – you’ll see what I do in my day job.

 So after weeks of thoughts and ideas here is one thought on what to do with clay – now when I mention clay I am talking about clay to be fired in a kiln as it’s what I work with. However this project can be done with air dry clay (make sure you get the good kind with plastic type fibres in it as it’s much stronger) or Salt dough or other craft ‘clays’ such as Fimo and Daz.

Items needed for 5 coasters

  • ½ kilo of firing earthen ware clay (or salt dough or air dry clay or Fimo etc)
  • Old pillow case or smooth cotton sheet / old T-towel
  • Wood board or baking tray covered with cling film
  • Wood planks about 1/2cm thick or similar – thin books etc – just cover with a bag to keep clean
  • Wooden rolling pin
  • Scone cutters/ other round shapes
  • Items to push into clay to make interesting patterns
  • Little tiles or 2p pieces (weights to prevent curling)

When working with any of these products the trick is to get it even in thickness, this is so it dries out at an even rate; this reduces the risk of cracking. [comment from Maggy: AND if these are to be Coasters, you want a lovely even surface so your glass of wine or mug of tea doesn’t topple!!!!]

1) So we need to roll the clay out flat, place it on cotton ideally (I use old pillow cases), or paper or some people use Hessian (gives a very textured effect on clay surface).

Place 2 pieces of wood (1/2cm) either side of the clay and a dry wooden rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to roll the clay; it’s important you roll all the way forward to the end of the clay then all the back towards you to the end of the clay each time you roll the rolling pin. 

While you do this keep turning the piece of clay over and turn it round – clay does not roll out smoothly – an overhang occurs (salt dough won’t do this). This stops the over hand at the edges.

Then take one piece of wood away from each side and continue to roll the clay and remember to turn it over until the pin rolls on the wood again.

2) I used a ‘scone’ cutter to cut my coasters; I chose the largest one so a mug will sit on it comfortably. You can cut random shapes out by hand or etch around a bowl or mug etc.

After cutting 2 coasters I squashed my clay up again – if you don’t squeeze all the air out or mould it to itself until its smooth again you will get joins showing in the clay. You can see the crazing on the coaster with sequins on it where I haven’t smoothed the clay.

3) Once the shapes are cut place them on a wood board to dry (or a baking tray with cling film over it ).

4) So to the fun creative part – you need to find interesting items with grooves or patterns on them to press into the coasters to add design. I used an old butter pat, real leaves, sequins, buttons, pasta and peppercorns. At this point you could have a fun hunt about the house if it’s a wet day or a garden hunt on a dry day. You could hunt all sorts out of the garden – bark, leaves, flowers, stones etc or materials with texture, lace or beads in doors etc

Press them firmly into the clay to make an impression a few millimeters into the surface. Do not leave the items you use to make the impressions in the clay as when the clay dries as it shrinks it will get stuck against the items and cause the clay to crack. Items such as leaves and sequins – place onto surface then gently roll the rolling pin over to push it into the clay without rolling the shape of the coaster away.

5) Now patience is required – if you have used firing clay these need to be left to dry out for 2-3 weeks before firing in my kiln. For the other clays mentioned at the beginning of this follow the drying instructions on the packets. I rest small tiles over the edges of the clay to stop them curling upwards when they dry out or 2p pieces do the same job.

6) Once my coasters have been fired I will paint them with under glaze paints, then glaze them and fire them. If you are using air dry clay poster paints or acrylic paints can be used.  A water based varnish can be used over the top once dry to seal the surface if you wish to use these coasters.

I hope you have fun doing this project and hope you send your results to Red Ted art.

If you live local to Fired 4 U in Preston Lancashire (Great Britain) you are welcome to join us for a clay session any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! Isn’t Jane clever?! I have to say, I didn’t know that clay was quite so tricky to work with… so there are some fabulous pointers here and a great way to learn about clay! Needless to say, everything is a little easier with Saltdough or Fimo, great mediums to with when getting crafty with children!

Adding this to Visit thecsiproject.com

This was featured on UndertheTableandDreaming How lovely!

Previous How Tos:

No Sew Tee Rescue, make a new Tee out of an old one (Guest Post)

Super Cute Flannel Cupcake (Guest Post) – stocking fillers, baby showers or new home gift!

Tactile Felt Donuts

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Felt Strawberries & Gingerbread Men (Guest Post)

How to make a No Sew Tea Towel Kid’s Apron

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to make a Paper Boat (vlog)  

How to make a Paper Cup (vlog)  

How to make Swedish Hearts (Paper Baskets) (Guest vlog)  

How to make No Sew Bunting   

How to make a Balloon Poodle (vlog)  

How to make Seedling Pots (out of newspapers) (vlog)  

Funky comic party bags   (Guest vlog)

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story + art = great stART – Drum Roll Please

 

Remember a couple of weeks ago we did some Loo Roll Watches  (these were hugely popular, so if you didn’t see them, do check them out!) after reading Piep Piep Piep? Well, the other day we were looking at that book again and came across this page – “The Drum goes…” (scroll down for another book on Drums!)

Red Ted JUMPED up and ran over to our dining room table (were we paint) asking for a drum! I was stumped. On the one hand I love, how he now associates books with crafts. Hurray for stART projects. On the other hand… expectations are begin to build… How to make?! 

I thought of a mini Loo Roll drum. But drums are for noise. So I parked that idea whilst I pondered… 

Until… I remembered our formula tins (yes, sorry, we are formula household from around 4-5mths old). But you can do these with an old paint can or anything tin shaped with or with out lid, so long as it has no serrated edges! 

The first one – I gave Red Ted completely free reign – result a little brown. 

The second one (spot the hair cut!) – I did a base colour (white), then added masking tape triangles. Then gave Red Ted free reign with TWO colours. Blue & Green (& some white).  We then pulled the masking tape off (some of the white paint underneath peeled a little, so we re-touched it).

I have learnt that with 2.5yrs olds, if you give them ALL the primary colours you usually end with brown. So, do give them freedom, but with max. 2 primary colours and then it usually works! 

Even the neighbours 8yrs old had a go, which of course made it much more interesting again for Red Ted. Pip Squeak also had fun. The 8 yrs old was very good and “discovered” the different sounds you could make by hitting the edges, drumming on the lid versus the bottom etc… so we have a proper little instrument!

Needless to say, you don’t need to get crafty to have drums at home – pots, pans, tupperware are all marvellous percussion instruments!

As this is a story + art project, I did want to explore other books on “Drums” with Red Ted.  So on searching a little we found this:

The Drum: A Folktale from India (Welcome to Story Cove) The Drum – A Folktale from India, produced by Welcome to the Story Cove.

Reading age – 5yrs – 8yrs. Read together age: 2yrs – 5yrs

I thought that this was a great little book. I love folktales and if you think about it the Brother’s Grimm stories all started off as folktales. I also love books and stories from around the world. There is a reason why something becomes a folktale and it is usually that there is a wonderful lesson to be learnt and that the story itself is great. This the story of a little boy who is poor but wishes for a drum! All he is given is a “magic stick”, with the help of the “magic stick” and his own personal kindness and selflessness he indeed get’s his drum in the end. The story could have been written a little better and the drawings could be a little nicer too… but that is only, because we are spoilt by all those wonderful books available today. Red Ted likes the book and so do I. So look past the “non perfectness” and engross yourself in a folktale from India! The Story Cove has other stories from around the world, which we will be checking out as well as website with lesson plans and activities, as well as previews: http://www.storycove.com/. Becoming a “member” is free.

Older Kid’s Craft  & stART projects:

stART – Story Telling, Bunnies & Stars 

stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette 

stART: Chick – a Pop Up Card 

Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play 

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS! 

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)     

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards    

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!     

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery    

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO    

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help!

Books & iPhone Review – The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business

 

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business, Werner Holzwarth.

Ok, this one is for the Dad’s. Toilet humour through and through! But I mention it, as it is not often that a GERMAN author is translated into English AND does REALLY well. Did you know this is originally in German? There you go! I love buying books from different countries it really makes “our library” more interesting. Here we have a story of a little mole that wakes up one day, only to find that, erm, someone has done their business on his head. Off he goes to find out who it was… and seeks out revenge (maybe not such a good lesson). Surprisingly cute (?!). Maybe a good one to get when you start potty training – though nothing to do with potties, toddlers often get obsessed with Nr 2s at that stage at may really enjoy it. Go on… you know you want to! Available in German & English (and possibly other languages?).

(PS I bet you are gald I didn’t use this in a “Story + Art” project, eh?!)

iPhone App Review – First Words Sampler & My First Words “Animals” – LITE versions (both free)

First Words: Animals  and    I bringing you both of these, as they are pretty much the same. So, as these are Lite versions and therefore free, you may aswell download both and then decide which you like better!

In essence, this is a spelling game. But there is a lot “of help” so that even youngsters that don’t know their alphabet (i.e. Red Ted who is 2.5yrs) can have a go. Red Ted loves it and although I don’t want to force the alphabet on him, surely it is ok if he learns a litte bit about the alphabet whilst having fun? He learns about words and letters.

You have a picture and the letters to make up a word. Like with puzzles you have to put the letters in the right place to spell the words. The voice tells you the letters and when you have completed the letter puzzle, the letters (in one App) are spelt out again and the whole word (in both Apps) is read out! Then there is lots of clapping & cheering (in one App) or noises made by the word (e.g. Miaow in the other App). Both sweet. Both lovely. Both liked by Red Ted. My First Words also has “levels” – where there is less “help” with the letters. My First Words is also available in French!

There are the free Lite versions available – which contain about 4-6 words. This is more than plenty for a 2.5rs old!

Previous Apps: I Hear Ewe – animal sounds (Free) – All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

The Gallery – Memory & Kindness Club – Kind to Animals

2 for 1 Saturday is back. The Gallery and Kindness Club in one!  

The Gallery – Memory

This week’s prompt for the Gallery is “A Memory”. I have decided to stick to a shortened form of it “Memory – Full Stop”. For me memories are made up all sorts of different things. Above all the five senses – they are such an amazing way to recall a memory within split seconds. For me the smell of paint brings back primary school memories, the clicking of  a car door, long night time journeys to Austria.

Here are four photos to represent the five senses that I will hope will one day evoke lovely childhood memories for my children:

  1. Touch – the soft fur of our cats
  2. Taste – the tangy taste of gorgeous pick your own raspberries
  3. Smell – the smell of freshly popped popcorn
  4. Sound – the sounds of rain against the window pain, snuggly wrapped up on the sofa reading a book
  5. Sight – all of the above brought together in these photos (I did think of a lovely beach or wood photo we took this week, but 4 photos lend themselves for a nicer presentation -sorry! All photos taken on 13 August 2010 – and all photos formed part of our “Holiday @ Home” this past week):

 

 

Previous Galleries

Yellow (& a bit of water) – Playtime Green & Black (Nature)Broken MirrorZoom Holidays –  Pip Squeak learns about Emotions CreaturesMotherhood (Yacht) – Who needs the beach when you have a ball? (Up up and Away) – Still life: Life’s Lovely Laundry – Symbol of Friendship (Xenophile) – Self Portrait by Red Ted – (My) Men – Enchanted Woods (Violet Woods) – Portrait – 7 Sins – Pride – Joy – Spring – Ugly – These should be in a Tim Burton film – Outside my front door (Watering Can) – Me – Colour (Red Ted’s Bunny)  

Kindness Club – Kind to Animals

Susie once again came up a with a fabulous prompt for the Kindness Club – be kind to animals. I am a great believer in respecting all things – be it nature, “things” or animals. It frustrates me to see senseless waste (you should have seen the damage disrespectful people did at the Pick Your Own Fram early this week – I believe it is quite common). As part of this, kindness to animals and creatures plays a big part.

Our cats have been a great way to teach Red Ted to be gentle and respectful. If he is not, they run away. It also means that from very early on he understood the words “gentle” and “careful”, which we were able to apply in all sorts of other situations (particularly the word “careful”). So being kind to our cats helped us in other areas as well.

Look at the poor cat tolerating all that joyeus tugging:

Previous

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Being on Time – or Blogger Memes – Kindness to Neighbours -Open the Door – Values through Play- Military

How to.. make a No Sew new Tee out of an old favourite Tee! (Guest Post)

 

The lovely Helen from Ickle Babe makes a range GORGEOUS gifts, from baby quilts, to bunting, to Aprons and New Home gifts. You simply have to pop over and check it out! I knew that ANY Guest Post from her would be a winner and a winner it is! Ever had your child grow out of a favourite t-shirt that tearfully had to be packed away? Look no further, re-use key features and make a new one. Not only is it clever, cut and fun, it is NO SEW! Hurray!

Recycled Tee Project!

This make was inspired by the lovely Milly, at a year and a half her most favourite thing in the world is her Lola tee. She Loves “yoya” (lola) as she calls her , and wears this top constantly, patting her belly as she runs about, as if Lola is actually playing with her. Its very cute! But unfortunately, we all knew the day would come… it’s getting to small.

So I have decided to re-cycle it, it was super easy and Milly LOVES it, maybe even more now that she did before. I figure I can just keep doing this until “yoya” falls apart or when Milly gets bored of her and wants a boyfriend instead ;P So here goes…..

You will need…

  • A sharp pair of scissors Pinking shears (optional)
  • An old t-shirt
  • A plain new t-shirt
  • A sheet of BondaWeb (like big sheets of wonderweb, John Lewis or Ebay always has it )

1) First roughly cut around the pieces you want to feature . I used two old jumpers for this. One had Lola on it and as she looked like she was running away on the pic I cut a little bee and some flowers out of the other one to create a little scene. Find a background piece, this can be new fabric like mine or another recycled piece, you could even use the back of the old tee, as long as its in a co-ordinating colour from the new tee your putting it on to.

2) Using a hot iron, fuse the bondaweb to the pieces. All you have to remember here is to place the rough side on the wrong side of your fabric and iron for 4-5 secs using dry heat. Use the wrong side and you just end up with sticky bondaweb on your ironing board!

3) Cut around them carefully, I used pinking shears for an extra bit of texture, but you don’t have to if you don’t have any, normal scissors are fine.

4) Peel the back off the bonda webbing and arrange your “collage” on your new tee. Place a damp tea towel (make sure its a plain one, I did this with a red one once and dyed the t-shirt pink) over the piece and iron down. I find it easier to just put the iron on sections and leave for about ten seconds at a time and then move to the next. As if you just sweep your iron around you can disturb your pieces underneath.

5) Remove the wet tea towel, Give it a final good iron and leave fused pars flat to cool for about 20mins.

And there you have your new fully washable original *designer* tee!

 You could customise it further with buttons (I have some cherry red vintage ones to add to Milly’s) or ribbons. Very easy but very fun, you can let your imagination go wild. I have even saved some of the other jumper for customizing some jeans too, the possibilities are endless!

I think Helen came up with a fabulous way of recycling AND keeping little people happy! Fabulous!

Previous How Tos:

Super Cute Flannel Cupcake (Guest Post)

 

Tactile Felt Donuts

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

story + art = great stART – Lost & Found, Oliver Jeffers

  

Reading

 I am on a mission to read this book as often and regularly as possible over the next few months, as our local children’s theatre (Polka in Wimbledon) is doing a special under 3s productions of this come Christmas. Tickets have been purchased and I can’t wait to take Red Ted! And I want to make the experience “easier” for him by making sure he knows the story well! 

Lost and found 

Lost and Found Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers. 

Reading age – 5yrs – 8yrs. Read together age: 2yrs – 8yrs 

In the UK Oliver Jeffers has quickly established himself as a modern day “children’s classic author”. I don’t know anyone, who does not adore his books. His stories are simply too cute and quirky and his drawings and paintings gorgeous. Some of you may have noticed that I did a VERY short review of this book a while back – sorry for the duplication! 

Anyway… what is the book about? The books is a lovely story of friendship. One day a little boy finds a penguin on his doorstep. The little boy is concerned that the penguin is not happy and needs to go home, so sets off on a journey to find its home. They end up going on a marvellous adventure on the open sea to get the penguin to the South Pole… only to find… well, I wouldn’t want to give the end away. If you haven’t already read this book, you simply must! 

The Craft project – More Recycling

You know me and loo rolls… well, not only loo rolls make great craft material. I decided to do some more recycling, by using some of my old deoderant roll ons and acryclic paints (poster paint would crumble off). They are marvellously PENGUIN SHAPED! 

We made one each, so that Red Ted could copy. Well, I painted the blue and white on mine and let Red Ted stick the googley eyes on them. I restrained myself from touching up his “white tummy” and I let him do some extra painting – you will see a third little friend appear in the final photo (Red Ted refers to him alternatingly as “Boy” and “Monster” – probably thanks to the Monster Cards a few weeks ago). 

It was a great lesson in patience for Red Ted as we had to let things dry at each step! 

 

Isn’t the pleasure on his face on seeing the final product priceless? He was SOOOO chuffed to have his penguins and just wanted to cuddle them. But we had to wait for the eyes and beak to dry… and at bedtime we had to revisit the penguins and the book! 

Another fabulously crafty penguin project is this one by Zoe over at Playing By The Book. I adore it! And one day we will make one of these too!  

 
 

Some Arty Stuff for you

 And if you haven’t had enough of penguins yet, let me introduce you to some of my artwork for children – I paint pop art inspired art for children’s nurseries and bedrooms. I use bright vibrant colours that shine and shimmer as you walk past. So far I am yet to meet a toddler or baby that cannot help to smile or want to touch these paintings (and touch they do, as I want them to enjoy and interact with them!). Here is a set of 3 Penguins that waddled their way into our lives just before Pip Squeak was born. I made them for her “box room” nursery and they look fabulous on her wall! I hope you like too!!
P-p-p-p-p-pick up a Penguin
For mor info on my Artwork visit my Artwork & Paintings Tab. Will ship internationally. 

Previous craft projects: 

stART: Matthews Dream, Leo Lionni & Painting with children 

 stART: Things That Roll & Monster Cards 

stART – Story Telling, Bunnies & Stars  

stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette  

stART: Chick – a Pop Up Card  

Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play  

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS!  

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)      

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards     

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!      

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery     

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO     

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help! 

 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

    

Finished!Friends

Friends

Finished!

Friends

And if you haven’t had enough of penguins yet, let me introduce you to some of my artwork for children – I paint pop art inspired art for children’s nurseries and bedrooms. I use bright vibrant colours that shine and shimmer as you walk past. So far I am yet to meet a toddler or baby that cannot help to smile or want to touch these paintings (and touch they do, as I want them to enjoy and interact with them!). Here is a set of 3 Penguins that waddled their way into our life before Pip Squeak was born. I made them for her “box room” nursery and they look fabulous on her wall! I hope you like too!! 

Finished!

 

Book, kid’s iphone App & Music Review – When we were very young, I Hear Ewe & Beautiful Creatures

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne

Reading Age: 6yrs+ Read Together Age: our house from 0 yrs – 6yrs

When We Were Very Young (Winnie the Pooh)“When We Were Very Young” – A.A. Milne.  As a key “Reader to Red Ted”, I asked The Englishman for “their” favourite read… The Englishman didn’t quite get that this was about the books that Red Ted “demanded”, however, he did have a very good point: “I grew up with A. A. Milne, particularly “When We Were Very Young”. I am now immersing Red Ted in the same. Most people know A. A. Milne for Winnie-the-Pooh – however these forty-four poems – first published in 1924 – are a cracking read. Red Ted loves them – as much as I do. For Winnie-the-Pooh fans, he makes one of his first appearances in this book (thirty-eighth poem in the book, Teddy Bear)”. The point I want pick up on, is the fact that he reads some things with Red Ted that he grew up on and tha9 he loves. This brings passion and pleasure to reading and helps the little ones get into it too!

Children like rhythm and rhme, so a book of poems for children really should feature in all children’s libraries. There are many wonderful nursery rhyme books to choose from, but why not get something more “classic”?!

When  I try and pick this book up to read it to Red Ted, I get a VERY CLEAR “No Mummy Read the book! Daddy read!” – this is one for Daddy and Red Ted only. No mummies allowed! And I am sure it will form part of Red Ted’s treasured childhood memories of his bedtime stories with Daddy.

I think that that is lovely!

iPhone App Review – I Hear Ewe

  

Ok, a little bit of a funny one to review, as I don’t much like it. There, I have said it. But these are reviews about things for our children, and not everything Red Ted likes, I like and vice versa.

So I decided to bring it to you anyway, especially since it is another FREE App. And so long as they are free, what is the harm in trying them out?

So what is the App and what does it do? Basically, it is  a whole range of pictures – predominately animals, but a page of vehicles too. Press on the image and a voice says “This is the sound a xxx makes” followed by the pretty realistic sound. Red Ted is able to spend AGES playing with this.

What I do like about it, is that you can change the language to English, Spanish, German (ha! There you have it) and Chinese! You know I am keen for the English/ German bilingualism, however, I am also keen for Red Ted to get an understanding that there are other languages too (he loves saying “Au Revoir” and “Ciao Ciao”). So, we sometimes play with the languages on this App.

It has languages. It teaches a bit of vocabulary and it is free. So give it a go and see what your toddler thinks!

Previous iPhone Apps:

All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Music

With all these “rhyme time” and “music” classes available for our toddlers, parents often forget that they can enjoy music together at home. I have sought out nice music for us to listen to together from the beginning and am always keen to try out new things, as well as expose my children to classical music.

So I was very pleased when the lovely people at Beautiful Creatures asked me to review their children’s music album.

Beautiful Creatures is fab new music production from South Africa. I was chuffed to download their original Beautiful Creatures album. We have always enjoyed eclectic music and have all sorts from the very traditional nursery rhymes to American vintage songs to alternative music such as Putumayo. What Putumayo is to “to the world”, Beautiful Creatures is to Africa. Catchy tunes with an African twist (lots of African animals of course). One song reminds me a little of the Rocky Horror Picture show (Lucas the Lazy Lion), whilst others are wonderfully mellow (Down comes the rain). When we put it on for Red Ted, he started jumping up and down and twisting and turning. He particularly like the Mafutha song (“More Tut Tut Tut more!” – Tut tut tut = Elephant in Red Ted speak).

You have adults singing the lead with chidlren in the chorus. No annoying high pitched or patronizing adult voices. Proper singing! What says it all for me, is that The Englishman will put on this album! He isn’t very good with  the normal children’s music…

If you are uncertain about buying you can preview it on the Beautiful Creatures blog, but I do think this is worth adding to your music library!