Tag Archives: craft

Inspirational mum Kerry from Discovery Bubbas

This months inspirational mum is Kerry from Discovery Bubbas.

Hi Kerri, could you tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mummy to one 2.5 year old girl and a wife to a musical and hard working man. I was a nursery nurse prior to having my little one, so I am qualified and experienced in childcare and early years education, I initially took up some nannying when my daughter was 11 months old which was lovely because I could take her with me and she became friends with the families own little girl, but I stopped the nannying because I was at the same time just developing my ideas and starting up my Discovery bubbas group- which is sensory, messy exploration and creative play sessions. I decided to set up and run these type of sessions because I love it, all of that kind of play was my favourite thing to plan for and watch the children enjoy during my nursery nurse career. It is so beneficial to their development as it links in with many areas in the EYFS- EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE. It is very well known and widely researched that creative play, art and the freedom to explore and express themselves is great for a child’s individual way of learning and their current play and learning patterns or ‘schemas’.

How did your business come about?
I had the idea of setting up a messy play type group quite a few years ago, whilst I was still a nursery nurse
But the time just was never ‘right’,but once I had my daughter I just knew I didn’t want to go back to a ‘normal job and my husband and I agreed that I should be there for her and not put her in someone else’s care, especially if it meant me returning to doing just that but for other people’s kids, that just did not make sense to us, me looking after other kids whilst our precious little one was being looked after by someone else? No sense in that! anyway, I started thinking about this messy play group idea again whilst on maternity leave and the more I thought about it and the more ideas I wrote down,I knew I had to just go for it and do it. I started to get resources and equipment in here and there whilst I did the bit nannying and with some help from my mother in law I set up and started running Discovery bubbas at the end of Feb 2016. What I love the most about running the sessions is not only can my daughter come along with me and get the benefits from the sessions herself too but I just LOVE it, from the planning of session activities and seeing all the ‘little Discovery bubbas’ enjoying it and reaping the benefits and learning whilst having fun. The sessions are suitable for and mainly aimed at little ones from approx 6 months to 5 years, it’s a stay and play session which means parents/carers are to stay and join in the discovery fun with their little ones.

I am currently just making plans for this new year to start running some separate sessions for older children 6+ during school breaks, these will be; Discovery kids- STEAM (science,tech,engineering,art, math) club, this is a hands on mixed activities workshop which incorporates the STEAM concept/education system.
I am also planning to put together a range of ‘little discoverers’ activity kits, including busy bags, Mini STEAM challenge kits, ‘create, make and do at home kits’, tinker/DISCOVERY boxes and more.

How do you market your group?
I mainly use Facebook to advertise and promote Discovery bubbas,I have given out flyers but Facebook is working fine for me at the moment, I am listed on some kids activity directories and bloggers sites like Sophia’s diary and I have noticed an increase in page likes since listing on there. I do find that word of mouth and people recommending and reviewing my sessions helps a great deal, I have had new people come to sessions after being told about them by a friend.

What is your biggest success so far?

My best moment or session so far just has to be the special ChristMESS session I did on 12th December, I raised £50 for Herts young homeless and put together a kindness care basket from donations I asked people to bring to put in it and as there was a lot donated I split it, half to Herts young homeless and half went to the St Albans and hertsmere women’s refuge. I also had Mickey and Minnie Mouse come visit near the end of the session which was great.

Who inspires you?
My dad has been my biggest inspiration when it comes to working hard and to try things out, to see the funny side of life and to be honest and kind, he did and still does work hard to provide for his family and that instilled in me the drive to always value whatever ‘work’ I did and do, it just so turns out that I followed a path which has now lead me to set up my own little venture doing something I enjoy and it makes a difference by enhancing and promoting children’s development. Of course my daughter, my little star, is also my biggest inspiration, do it all for her.

What advice would you give to anyone out there thinking of setting up their own business?
My advice to anyone thinking about setting up a similar class or any other type of class or little business, is to just ‘go for it’, do your research, talk to people and just do it!

Thanks Kerri, it’s been a joy to chat to you!

If you want to find out more about Kerri’s Discovery bubbas sessions check out.
Facebook.com/discoverybubbas and Discoverybubbas.webs.com

What is Little Lollapalooza?

debbieAs a mum in business I love to celebrate what other amazing business mummies are doing. This month we meet the amazing Debbie Denyer founder of Little Lollapalooza A chance for children to explore their curiosity and imagination through art and sensory holiday workshops, events and parties. So, without further ado, over to Debbie.

 

I’m Debbie Denyer. I live in Beaconsfield with my partner Lee and daughters Chloe, 5 yrs, Amelie, 2 yrs and our dog. Before launching Little Lollapalooza I worked in Business Improvement, but with a background in 3D Design and Product Design, time spent teaching art classes, painting murals in Nepalese orphanages, a stint teaching English as a Foreign language to children in Nepal and Greece and work as a Housing Officer it’s been a varied career!

 

Little Lollapalooza was launched because I had ‘mummy guilt.’ I worked long hours. I aspired to be a Business Improvement Director and eventually a CEO, but when I went on maternity leave my husband sadly passed away very suddenly from cancer. I had a 5 month old baby and my world had fallen apart.

 

Chloe’s dad was an amazing man, with a passion and love for life that was infectious. He believed that you should find something that you loved and do that for work. I returned to work, but battled with myself over the limited time I spent with my daughter. Time was the one thing that my husband didn’t have with her and it seemed like I owed it to all of us to try to do things differently. So four years down the line, with a new partner and another baby I decided to launch Little Lollapalooza.

 

debbie-workshop
I run Art & Sensory school holiday workshops, parties and events for children from 18 mths – 8 yrs old. You might find yourself painting with water pistols, pendulum painting, inventing junk model monsters, creating a giant collage, squelching slime or delving your hands into rainbow spaghetti.

 

My daughters love coming to the school holiday sessions and enjoy testing out my ideas at home. My job means that I can do the school run (which I’m not sure is always a good thing, particularly in winter!) and we can travel a lot during school holidays, which is a passion I gained whilst teaching English abroad.

 

It’s a challenge to juggle running a business with two small children. A lot of work is done during nap times and once the children are in bed! I’m keen to expand the business (so that we can afford the holidays) and because I really believe in encouraging children’s curiosity and imaginations. I’ve got some exciting plans for the future, if you want to know more, sign up to my e-newsletter on my website.

 

I’m running a Halloween Half Term Workshop on 27th October in Beaconsfield, Bucks.

Can you pass on a language without being a native speaker?

Today we have an interview with Rachel, who is teaching her daughter french, but she’s not a native speaker of french.
I’d been chatting to Rachel before. We met via the Speak to the Future LinkedIn group. I was really excited when I found out she’s teaching her own child French at home, although her mother tongue is English, like we’re doing at home.

Learning about le poisson d'Avril

Learning about le poisson d’Avril

We met Rachel in her hometown of Carlisle in the Easter holidays.

– The first question was from Emily: Why do you live in the north?

I’m from this area and my parents live here. There’s lots to do with little ones in Carlisle.

– What do you do for work?

I’m a freelance translator of French and German and private tutor of French. I also occasionally do some voluntary work in French classes in a local infant school.

– What made you want to introduce a foreign language to M?

I can see that it’s a massive advantage for her to be introduced to languages at a young age. Little ones are like sponges – they learn so quickly. She’s at an age where she’s not shy about using another language. I have the language skills so can pass them on to her. I know she won’t become bilingual through me – I’m not a native speaker and we don’t live in France – but I want her to have a good grounding in another language, to enjoy it and be confident in it. I was surprised from how early on she could distinguish between French and English and how much she has picked up.

– Do you do lessons with your little one?

No, we simply do it as part of our everyday life. She likes to watch “Pierre le lapin” (Peter Rabbit) and other English-language cartoons she knows on the tablet in French, as well as original French-language cartoons. We’ve also got some CDs of French songs – she in particular likes trying to sing along to songs on one called “Maxi Enfance”. We enjoy sharing French books and puzzles. I’ve got a French mummy friend we exchange books with, which is a great advantage.
I joke with friends that I teach her “French by torture” – we play a tickling game where I’ll stop tickling only when she says “arrête”. She often shouts “encore”!
We visit France together. Last time we were there, M bought herself a book. I explained the procedure/what to say, all in French, and she quite happily went to the counter and said all the right things at the right time, and was delighted to have “tricked” the lady into thinking she was French!
She’s just started French lessons at her preschool, so we’ll see if she lets on that she knows lots or is quiet and acts like she doesn’t know any!

"We love to share these magazines together"

“We love to share these magazines together”

Alongside learning the actual language, I also think it’s important to teach M about some of the traditions and culture of France. For example, we recently read an article together on Easter in France, from which M not only learned a couple of new Easter-related words but was also interested to find out about the “cloches volantes” that bring sweets to children in France. We also had fun making “poissons d’avril” as I taught her about this French 1st of April tradition. I was also able to use this activity to reinforce colour words with her.

– Finally, what would you say to other parents wishing to pass on their language skills to their little one?

Go for it! There’s no better time to learn than when they’re young – the younger the better! Especially if you’re a native speaker, but even if you aren’t but have the right background and skills in the foreign language. It’s fun for both of you and wonderful to see their progress.

Crafty Language fun at Lingotastic

BusThis term we have had lots of fun blasting off to Germany. We had lots of crafty language fun. The favourite song this term has been our easy to pronounce German translation of die Räder am Bus. I love to hear them shouting “Die Kinder im Bus sind Viel zu laut!” We made our own buses with wheels and windows. A great chance to talk about shapes and colours.

We looked at the book “Guess How Much I Love You?” in German, “Weißt du eigenlich, wie lieb ich dich hab?”

This book inspired the brilliant crafts you can see in the pictures. The hopping bunnies are from pre cut bunny shapes. We concertina folded strips of paper to make hopping legs. When doing this we sung our Häschen hüpf song and talked about colours. The bunny masks are pre cut from Hobbycraft with added pink shapes to finish off. We talked about our face in German whilst doing this. In Germany they love to make Fensterbilder (lit. window pictures) and this simple paper plate and tissue paper moon was a great way to practice the word der Mond and revise colours too. The children really enjoyed making paper plate suns with googly eyes This is another chance to name parts of the face.

Another well loved song this term was Summ, Summ Summ. We made our own bees to buzz around, yet another chance to practice colours.Bienchen

We had Father’s day early on this term which was a great opportunity to learn a few more German words and be creative too.Papi card

pic

The cards were a lot of fun to design and make. I cut out heart shapes from an old German road map and provided lots of materials for the children to design their own cards for their daddies. The mums were really excited to find places in Germany which were significant for their families and include them in the card. The daddies loved the cards they received.

This term was eight weeks long so by week six the children and carers had picked up most of the songs and other vocabulary so we introduced a new challenge.


The families loved dressing der Junge and das Mädchen. We chatted about colours and what the clothes are called in German. We gave the families a colouring sheet with clothes vocabulary to have a go at home too.

The final week of the term was an extravaganza. We gave certificates to four children moving on to school in September so no longer coming to weekly classes. Their progress, in the year they’ve been coming along, is astounding. I’m sure I’ll see them at our holiday classes.

We brought along our teddy bears. We decorated Lebkuchenmänner which was a great way to talk about colours and body parts. We ended the class playing with our teddies and a parachute; a great way to learn hoch und runter (up and down).
Hombre de Pan

As you can see we’ve had a brilliant term. I hope this blog has inspired your family language learning. Check out our pintrestfeed for simple children’s crafts. Let me know if you try some of these crafts for yourself.

Blasting off to Germany

We’ve had a really exciting week at Lingotastic.

The first week of German has been brilliant with children and grown ups quickly picking up the new songs. I think Die Räder am Bus is a favourite so far. We had some lovely makes this week too.

We’re really pleased to have a brilliant new venue for our Chorleywood class.
Christ Church

We’re excited to tell you about holiday classes coming up in French, German and Spanish. More details coming soon.

If that’s not exciting enough for you then …

The biggest news of this week is the launch of the NEW exclusive 1 to 1 language classes- Book now while there’s space.
Your choice of language. Bespoke class and consultancy on your ongoing family language learning journey.
In the comfort of your own home.
Give your children the advantage bilingual families already have and sign up today!

We’ve got some other exciting developments too but keeping them under wraps for now!

Countdown to Blast Off to Spain. ¡VAMOS!

I hope you’ve had a lovely Easter break!

We’ve just finished a term of French. Each time we finish a block I’m astounded at how much the mums and little ones have picked up. By the end of the term almost everyone was singing along, knowing all the words!

This term, only two weeks in two mummies messaged me excitedly to say their little ones were saying the “Toc Toc Toc” rhyme word perfect. (They are only just two years old!)
We’ve recorded our version of this over the holidays. I hope you enjoy it!

We made some lovely Easter crafts and learned some French along the way.
rabbitsJoyeuses paques cardoeuf de paques

We enjoyed the Bébés Chouettes story this term. We had a few little ones worried that Maman Chouette had gone, but she always came back safely!

bebe chouettes

It’s been great to have a few more families join us this term and we are expecting more next term.

We had a lovely surprise on the final Chesham class where two mummies brought cake to share after the class. Yum!
easter cake

This week we’re starting with a Spanish holiday class at Little Beans and Co then blasting off to Spain to meet “la Oruga Muy Hambrienta!” It’s going to be an exciting term. We’ve some favourite songs like “la Vaca Lola” and new translations like “Cinco Patitos” Here’s a sneek preview.

Make your own Rocket!

finished_rockets

Hi there! We’ve a very different blog this week. These beautiful rockets have been custom designed, printed and made for Lingotastic by the very talented Emily Kane at Make Play Do She wrote a brilliant step by step guide of how to do it on her blog, and here it is…

I was recently asked by the lovely Sarah at Lingotastic if I could make some custom rocket cushions for her super toddler foreign language classes. The little ones ‘blast off’ with these rocket cushions to a different country each term, and are exposed to foreign language learning through music, puppets, stories and crafts. I am really impressed by Sarah’s venture and was delighted to be asked, and made 10 of these smart little cushions, here’s how:

I began by recreating the Lingotastic rocket logo in Illustrator to reshape it suitably for a 3Dimensional use (as the shape of the flat rocket changes significantly once it is stuffed), adjust the colours to make suitable for digital fabric printing, and added some ‘bleed colour’ for the seams. I ordered a colour swatch from Woven Monkey and was sure to match their RGB values – you can get some nasty surprises with fabric printing if you don’t prepare properly! I uploaded the digital file and waited with anticipation for the fabric to arrive in the post! The fabric cost around £25 for a 1000mm x 1500mm on cotton drill, and I was really happy with the final result. (If you want to make your own plain rocket cushions you can just cut the rocket shapes from your own fabric)

stitch2

I cut out the rockets and carefully laid a pair together, facing sides in to each other. I stitched around the rocket with a 10mm seam allowance, leaving a gap at the bottom for turning right side out. I then trimmed the seam, firstly by shortening it all over to 3-5mm and then cutting diagonal darts every 15mm or so, in order to allow a good shape when turned inside out. This stage is VERY IMPORTANT! Your cushion shape will look puckered and rough if you skip this.

iron-6

I carefully pulled the rocket inside out (the right way out!) and ironed out the creases, ironing gently into the corners to give a nice shape. I stuffed the fins first, by pushing stuffing into the fin and then stitching it up down the edge. This part is fiddly, and it may help to do a loose running stitch by hand first to hold the sides in place if you have the time.
*TIP: When stuffing, try to always use a continuous handful of stuffing, rather than tear off bits to push in. This will avoid unnecessary lumpiness!

making

Once the fins were both suitably stuffed and stitched, I stuffed the main section and sewed up along the bottom, leaving the flames area at the bottom. I found this excellent crinkle paper on ebay, it was about a fiver for a half metre. This is regulation grade crinkle paper suitable for toys, and I thought it would make an excellent ‘blast-off’ detail! I cut 2 pieces, the shape of the flamed area, and inserted them carefully through the opening. I folded the last open piece of seam in on itself and stitched on the top to finish off and secure the crinkle paper in one go.

3, 2, 1 Blast Off! Why not have a go at some custom rocket cushions yourself?

“With a degree in Animation and a subsequent MA in Graphic Design, Emily has had her hand in all sorts of creative work over the last decade, areas of specific interest being puppet-making and identity design. In 2013 she became a mum, and started the blog as a way to keep her hand in creative work and document her projects and ideas.”

Follow Emily Kane on her blog at Make Play Do

Welcome to Lingotastic. Language learning fun.

The PuppetsHeinz, Manuel and Pascal – just three of the friends you will meet at Lingotastic

NEW CD out now!

Our Mostly German CD is a brilliant way for your family to sing in different languages (and learn whilst they do so)

Available in our shop Listen to audio samples in our shop.

Lingo_web_CD

Hi, thanks for visiting our page! If you’re in Bucks and Herts we’d love to see you at our classes. If you’re a bit further away, check out our blogs for easy to apply language learning tips and encouragement. We’ve some brilliant language learning resources for families and little ones over on the resources page. We’d love to chat to you on Twitter and Facebook and have a look at our Pinterest page for brilliant children’s crafts, tips on bringing up bilingual children and much, much more. Anyway, more about our classes…

 

 

Spanish lunchtime classes at Goldfield School, Tring in January

For Reception year one and year two. In the classes we’ll make a simple craft (and talk about it in Spanish), blast off to Spain in our rockets, meet Manuel, our Spanish speaking puppet and go on an exciting adventure with him.

In our younger class we’ll be starting basic Spanish, learning about food and our hands and feet with the “Diez deditos de las manos” story and we’ve got some brilliant Spanish songs to sing together.

In our older class we’ll be looking at the “¡Mira donde vivo!” book and learning about countries, homes and numbers as well as singing together.

For ten weeks, starting on January 16th. Final class on March 13th

Book in with the office

 

Blasting off to France 

I’m sorry to say that due to unforseen circumstances the Berkhamstead class will not be running this term.

Classes are in English and German, French or Spanish.
Exclusive 1 to 1 language classes- Book now while there’s space
Your choice of language. Bespoke class and consultancy on your ongoing family language learning journey.
In the comfort of your own home.
Give your children the advantage bilingual families already have and sign up today!

German speaking families looking for a spielgruppe?
I can come to your home with all my props, stories and a craft linked to the theme so providing a space in the week for your little ones to interact with others in German, so strengthening their confidence and language skills.

 

 

Our research based classes use puppets, music, stories and craft to make language learning child’s play.

Children are most receptive to learning a second language from birth to four years old, so the earlier they start the better. Young children have fewer inhibitions and don’t mind speaking. It’s important to harness a love of languages from an early age and Lingotastic does this in a fun and engaging environment.

Lingotastic RocketClasses follow the same format each week with crafts, singing and lots of activity and props. We run six week blocks of French, German and Spanish. There’s also a chance to have a coffee and a natter at the end whilst the little ones play.

“It’s amazing to watch mummies remembering the language skills they may not have used since school and encouraging other mummies to do the same. By the end of the six week block (in whichever language) mummies and little ones have all picked up new words and a few songs too. I’ve seen that many mummies have increased in confidence with their own language skills and went on to use them more with their little ones.”
Sarah Barrett (founder)

 

Ask about booking your free trial class so you can see what the excitement is all about.

We’re happy to work with home school groups, pre-schools or even come to your home if that suits you best.

Check out our blogs page for language learning tips and encouragement, wherever in the world you are.

For more information please contact us.

Invest in your Child’s future and sign up for Lingotastic today!

NEW CD out now!

Our Mostly German CD is a brilliant way for your family to sing in different languages (and learn whilst they do so)

Available in our shop Listen to audio samples in our shop.

Lingo_web_CD