Monday, 11 June 2012

More reviews

I mentioned in a recent post that a parent had left a review of myself and my childcare setting on another website.  Since then two other parents have written reviews:

Everything you could want in a childminder
I was really pleased when Michelle looked after my daughter.  I wanted somebody that I felt she was safe with, had the same approach to looking after my child as I did , somewhere that my daughter would be played with and taken out doing different activities and given healthy food.  I found all this at Michelle's.  The house is a clean/safe environment for the kids and you can tell by Michelle's own children how polite and well behaved they are and how happy.  That environment is what your own child will be around therefore felt at ease leaving my child with Michelle. I also found Michelle to be very thorough and professional taking pride in her job and making sure all her standards are to the highest so what more could you want for your child :).

Highly recommended!
Michelle looked after my son for over a year and a half until he went to nursery. Finding a childminder I was happy with took time, Michelle was the 7th person I'd seen, something just felt right. She has a lovely family and will welcome your child into it easily. She was always out and about doing fun things with the children, thinking up new craft / baking ideas. Shift work meant we needed flexibility which was not a problem. Michelle cooks really good healthy meals too that my son would enjoy eating with the other children and rest of the family, I was always jealous! I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Corby Childminder

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Rhubarb and Custard Muffins

Our garden is nearing completion.  It just needs the shed, fences and play house painted and lots more plants put it.  We have a new border which we've decided to keep for growing fruit, herbs and vegetables.

Last week we planted chives, a bay tree, thyme, rhubarb, courgettes, and tomato plants.  I'd also planted French bean seeds but I think they've probably rotted as they were outside in pots in all that rain.  The plan is to plant a fruit tree.  However, I'm not quite sure how to get one in the car to bring it home from the garden centre!

I do hope the rhubarb is successful.  I was given the recipe for rhubarb and custard muffins so we made them today (rhubarb donated by my parents while we wait for ours to grow).  The cakes were delicious.  Even my son, who isn't a lover of fruit, ate them.

Recipe for Rhubarb and Custard Muffins
225g rhubarb
125g caster sugar
25g custard powder
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
100ml of milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
125g of butter, melted and cooled (I used Stork rather than butter)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  Line a 12 hole muffin tin with deep muffin cases.  I didn't have this type of tray so used a fairy cake tray/cases, the mixture made 17.

Chop the rhubarb into 1cm long pieces.

Sift the flour, custard powder and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients,  Add the melted butter.  Beat together with a fork until just combined.  Use a fork to stir in the rhubarb.

Spoon into the tin/cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden/risen/firm in the centre.

Leave in the tray to firm up for five minutes, then transfer to cool on a rack.

Serve warm, dusted with golden caster sugar.  I didn't do this and they tasted fine without.  According to the recipe they are best eaten on the day they are baked.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Father's Day Crafts

It is half term this week but the weather has been awful.  We had a trip to Irchester Country Park on Wednesday.  We managed to have a long walk through the woods and have a picnic before the rain started.  Unfortunately, the rain got very heavy and the thunder started when we were in the play area.  We had to make a speedy exit.  We missed having an ice cream so stopped at Kettering McDonalds for McFlurrys.

We'd wanted to go out today for a walk with the older children riding their bikes.  I've spent the day looking out the window and hoping to see some sunshine but it hasn't happened.  Thank goodness for lots of arts and crafts materials as they always keep the children entertained.

I'd been searching Pinterest (very addictive website) for Father's Day craft ideas.  I showed these to the children and they chose want they wanted to make. 

This one was rather approriate as Dad keeps tropical fish.  The children commented that this  looks like a clown fish (Nemo).
On the front hand it says, 'I love you.....' and the folded card opens up to say, '......this much'.

Friday, 18 May 2012


 I advertise on a website which gives parents the chance to add a review about childminders/nannies/babysitters and Au Pairs.  Here is the one that I recieved recently:

'My son has been going to Michelle since he was 6 months old and he absolutely loves going.  He has learnt so many things being with Michelle and really enjoys all the groups she takes him to. If you are looking for a childminder who keeps your child entertained with different groups and activities then look no further because Michelle does it all! I would highly recommend Michelle'.

Thank you Stacey for posting such nice comments!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

New Babysitting Service

I am now available to babysit at a child's own home in the evenings.  Prices start at £8.00 per hour for a minimum of three hours per session.  Email me for more details, or telephone 07554 196711.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Our Little Chicks

Every week we attend a toddler group at one of the local schools.  The reception class had several eggs before Easter in an incubator.  Only one of them hatched.  The children have had a weekly visit to the classroom and have watched Charlie the chick growing.

We used paper plates to make chicks, drawing round our hands to make their wings. One of the children decided that she didn't want any help to draw round her hands, looking at her chick (the bottom one), it appears she only has four fingers!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Easter Bunnies

I found a template for some cute little bunny finger puppets on Secret Agent Josephine’s blog.   It can be printed  either ready coloured like the picture or in black and white.  I have some printed and cut out ready for tomorrow.  The children can colour them then we’ll laminate them to make them stronger.  I’ve got some double sided sticky pads that we can use to attach a cotton wool tail to the back of the puppet.

We often attend the Rhyme Time sessions at a local library.  They’ve recently introduced some new songs, one being, ‘hop little bunnies’.  The children all lie down and pretend to be sleeping bunnies.  When promoted, they wake up and hop like bunnies.  I’ve searched for the lyrics so we can sing while making our puppets:

See the little bunnies sleeping till it's nearly noon,
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune,
Oh how still, are they ill ....
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop,

The weather has been unseasonably warm for March.  Each day this week we’ve played outside.  Our pet bunny, Sherwood (named after the rabbits at Center Parcs) has come out into his run to play too.  I keep trying to get a photo of him but he appears to be camera shy!

Update: The cotton wool tails didn't work.  They kind of fell part and became loose.  Might be better to try pom poms next time.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Planning Ahead

We moved here last October, we had outgrown our old house.  Our new garden is much larger (and flatter) than the one we had before but it needs some work.  Last night we had someone round to give us a quote for a new patio.  I am so excited, by mid April we should have a nine metre by four metre patio for the children to play on.  We like to play outside all year round but sometimes the grass just gets far too soggy.

Last weekend I cleared the flower bed in the front garden.  On Wednesday we visited the garden centre in Burton Latimer to buy plants.  The children each chose a Primrose which they planted today.

Our free seed potatoes from the British Potato Council have arrived, we'll plant those in March.  We're going to have a go at growing tomatoes in a planter on the patio.  I fancy trying to grow pumpkins, has anyone tried?  I've read they take up a lot of ground space.  The children would love to be able to carve home grown pumpkins at Halloween.  I'm not sure my green fingers are up to the challenge!

 Long term I would love to have a sheltered/undercover area outside too. I'll have to start saving!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Hearts and Crafts

I've been very slack at posting on here.  I  put little snippets of information on my Facebook page often so perhaps I can be excused.

This week is half term and was of course, Valentine's Day.  Our activities have been based around heart shapes and red/pink colours.

We made some heart shaped decorations. The older children were able to do their own while the younger ones needed help to cut out shapes. These were then arranged inside a laminator pouch.  The one above was made by a fourteen month old.  He had great fun playing peek-a-boo with it afterwards! 

Jammy biscuits, the recipe for these was posted earlier in the blog.  Rather than roll the dough into a sausage/slice into biscuits, we rolled it out and used a heart shaped cutter.  They were delicious.