Egg Head (as seen on Bing)

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My daughter is completely infatuated with a little bunny called Bing on Cbeebies. In one episode (which I’ve seen way too many times) Bing makes an eggy head – basically an empty egg with cress seeds inside. Husband is off college now so we thought a fun little family activity would be if we made eggy heads too. It’s so simple but a certain tiny lady found it so much fun. Plus as an extra bonus she put the seeds into an empty cup and took them out again for about half an hour after we were finished. And she didn’t try to eat them – widens eyes in disbelief!

If you want to give this a go here is how we did it.

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What we used:

3 hard boiled eggs (insides scooped out)
Cress seeds
Googly eyes
Black marker
Cotton wool

What we did:

There was much debate over how to prepare the eggs. I can be a bit clueless when it comes to these things so Husband too charge. Eggs were boiled about an hour or two in advance and left to cool. Hint: always buy more than you need in case of breakages!

After the eggs cooled Husband carefully removed the top of each one and scooped out the insides. Hint: this can be then used to make egg mayonnaise if you are so way inclined which I most definitely am!

We sat down at the table and took turns drawing faces on our eggs. Toddler needed some help with hers! Next were the Googly eyes – these can be tricky. The backs are often a nightmare to peel off if you don’t have long nails and they often get stuck to little fingers! You can use glue if the backs are too much of a hassle for you. Or better still use the sticker version!

Next we dampened the cotton wool. Husband rook charge of this which was a mistake as he ruined one batch with enthusiasm for too much water! Remember damp not sodden!

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Next we pushed the cotton wool into the eggs and sprinkled on the seeds. We then had to explain that the seeds would take some time to grow. Toddler didn’t care as she was too busy filling an empty cup with leftover seeds.

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Now we wait with bated breath to see if they actually grow!

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How instructions fail to instruct

Sweating and close to tears I almost decided to give up…yes the instructions for the assembly of a sandpit had truly floored me! Why do they have to be so complicated? Why are they always in black and white so that all the smaller parts look really alike? Am I the only one who finds it all just terribly confusing?

You start off feeling fairly confident. The picture on the box makes assembly look pretty straight-forward. Should be done in five minutes you think, making the mistake of bringing your toddler along to watch. Ten minutes later you are cursing (or parent cursing so lots of oh sh…sugars and fu…fudge-pops- not quite as satisfying as the real thing let me tell you)and contemplating just walking away. You glance at your toddler, she is playing with the cat…hmm would she really notice if it just disappeared?

But then you remember your child has somehow acquired the memory of an elephant and you will never have another moment’s peace if you give up now. So you solider on promising yourself a nice glass of wine this evening. Soon the thoughts of that glass is all that is keeping you going. The instructions have blurred into one giant muddle and step number 6 looks like it should have come before step number 3. You have to start again. Nooooo!!!! Who writes these instructions? There must be a space in hell reserved for such sadists, you think, wrenching and pulling wrongly placed pieces apart.

You start again. More time seems to fly by. Your toddler is beginning to lose it and so are you. Then…finally….yes this looks right! It’s done!! Wow you have never felt prouder even graduating from college pales in comparison to this! Now if only it would stay together and not look dangerously close to toppling over…I’ll be having some wine if anyone wants me.

Play – taking pleasure in the littlest of things

I love to watch my daughter play; those golden moments when she is just fully absorbed in her own world, fixing, sorting and chatting. Her latest obsession is Sylvanian Families and she can spend a long time just placing the characters in different positions and pulling boots on and off their feet. She combines this with her love of cars so quite often the Slyvanians are visited by a whole host of cars – I’m sure they are delighted to have their country abode invaded but they keep silent on it so I’m grateful. This morning a giant Makka Pakka came to play; they are still in recovery as can be seen from the picture above.

I would love to know what goes on in my daughter’s mind while she is so busy and she looks so focused; I wish I had half her levels of concentration when I sit down to write. Of course she is a toddler so can very easily be distracted but I have noticed if she chooses to play something by herself (rather than me choosing for her) she is less easy to disturb …and forget about asking her to come to the shop or go for a walk – recipe for a meltdown!

They say the work of childhood is to play and my daughter most definitely does her work well. I know she must be learning something from all her little tasks but I couldn’t say what it is. I do feel, however, that the times she is fully absorbed are the times she is learning best and those are the times I try to be as inconspicuous as possible! Though this doesn’t always happen. She quite often wants me to watch or help or play.

She is quite sociable in her play. By that I mean she loves nothing more than to fetch her cuddly toys and have them ‘play’ with her. This involves me putting on all manner of silly voices but my tiny lady takes it all very seriously as she shows Iggle Piggle around her farmhouse or invites Makka Pakka to play cars. They are her friends to all intents and purposes. Yet she still finds it hard to interact with real-lfe children. I believe this is mainly due to the fact that Iggle Piggle and co. do everything she asks and wouldn’t dare to snatch her favourite toy. But perhaps this love of her cuddly gang will help her with her friendships in the future.

There is something very peaceful about watching a small child play. For one thing it provides a lovely break from the screaming, temper tantrums and endless noise that is usually present in the house. It’s quiet, gentle play. But on another level it is very soothing to watch such a tiny being take such joy in the simplest of things.