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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Color Cars!

Remember this? We often use it and Caden enjoys the cloths pins but this last time when I got it out he didn't even want to try:( I thought that was a bummer so I asked if he wanted to drive cars on it? He was very excited about that. We got out his cars and he went right to work. I didn't have to give him any direction at all! He would dig around in the bucket looking for certain colors and then drive them and park them, complete with sound effects {see video}! This was one of those experiences that reminds me of two things: 1-play to their interests and 2-find new ways to use materials you have so they don't go to waste:) P. S. We don't have a pink car:)


video

Fourth of July Hair Fun

I have no little girls but I wanted to pass on this Forth of July Hair Tip for any of you mommies who have girls. Last year I took bobby pins and tied red, white, and blue ribbons to the ends. After I put my hair up in a messy bun I just stuck the pins in all over! The picture doesn't do a very good job of showing it off but it looked really fun! I think a little girl would enjoy helping make them too! If anyone tries it, let me know cause I want to see a picture:)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bitty Busy Book Update!


Hoo-ray!!! The Bitty Busy Book kept Drake Happy for an HOUR of church! He cried again when I had to take it away! I wanted to show some pictures of Drake playing with his favorite pages at home. I've been saving for church only but he got it out of the diaper bag and I didn't have the heart to say no:) The magnet maze is a big hit. He mostly likes to feel the pull of the magnet and likes to try it out on other things (that's why I put it next to the lock and key page), however this Sunday he dragged the ball bearing to the red dot and then looked up at me with a proud smile:)
He has only gotten the key in the whole so far but he sure loves to try it over and over!

Last is his absolute favorite page! The Buckles! I probably unsnapped them a million times just so he could snap them back! If I wasn't paying attention he would say "elp mama" (Help:)

If anyone is thinking of making their own busy book, I have some ideas for older kids too! I'm in the process of designing the "Baby Busy Book" Jack is going to be needing one soon:) If anyone wants Ideas or help just leave a comment and I'll email you back:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blocks

I've been wondering why Caden hasn't been very interested in blocks. I'm writing this post in case there are any other Moms wondering why their kids aren't jumping right in to blocks. When I was a preschool teacher I was always amazed at how much the kids(mostly boys) would get so into their block play. However, when I get out blocks with Caden he looses interest after 3 seconds. I've bought him mega blocks, small wooden blocks, and big foam blocks. None of them seemed to hold his attention. So I have a plan...

The first step began yesterday, I started with the little wooden blocks. I removed all of the blocks from the basket leaving only the squares and rectangles. I did this in hopes that it would make things less complicated.


Second, I sat down with Caden and showed him how to line them up in a row. I then took one of his cars and drove it down the "road".


I stopped there.


This morning Caden got the blocks out on his own and made a "road" to drive his cars down. I was very pleased. I'm going to wait a couple of days to see if his play evolves on it own. If not I will sit down with him again and try to introduce some new ideas. Once he gets more involved with block play I will introduce more shapes.

(Caden at 15 months old)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drake's Idea of a Good Time

Drake loves these kind of activities. The first one is a little jam jar with a slit cut in the top with pennies to put in it.
This one is a Bacon Flavored Bits container with little pom pom balls. I've seen this one on line with a Parmesan Cheese container.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bath On the Front Lawn????



We were playing in the water out front and it was getting close to bed time. My husband jokingly said, "Hey, they've all ready had their bath!", then I joked "Yeah, I'll go get the soap" then Nate seriously said "OK!" The results were and out door bubble bath and the boys went NUTS! They loved it! Caden was running and then jumping in. When it was time to go in for bead we just hosed them down:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bad Mommy Confession!

My chores were piling up and I desperately needed to clean! Whenever I try to clean it takes me 3 times as long as it should because I am interrupted by the boys so much! I've tried to put a movie on so that I can clean but the create mayhem while they watch it! Today i had the extra playpen in the living room(along with a whole bunch of Junk) and I got this brain storm! I put the boys' little sofa chairs in it so that they had to stay in place for the whole movie:( I felt bad at first but by the end of the movie the whole down stairs was clean!!!!! That never happens!!! I'm going to save this little trick for when I am really desperate for some cleaning to get done. I feel better now that I have confessed:)
I love how they put their feet up:)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Addition to the Busy Book family: Bitty Busy Book

Two Sundays ago we were sitting in church and Caden had finished looking at his Big Busy Book! I put it on the seat next to me and Drake picked it up. I haven't really used it with him because I really made it with Caden in mind. I watched him fumble around with the big book and decided that he needed one that was more his size. I watched as he played and kept note of all of the things he liked and the things he passed by without a care. And so the Bitty Busy Book was born. I used it today in church and It kept Drake happy and engaged for the whole hour! He actually cried when I had to take it away so he could go to Nursery class.
P.S. I bought the lock and calculator from the dollar store but everything else was left overs and re-purposed old clothes. You would be surprised what you can make from left over scraps!

Cover:
I used Steam to Seam to put the letters on the cover and then hand sewed the buttons to add some texture. When Drake first saw it he stared at it and touched each of the buttons.

Lock and Key:
In the Big Book Drake loved the keys in the pocket so I made this activity. I built the pages with the intent for them to be interesting but still present a challenge. Drake loves to try to put the key in the lock but that is as far as he goes. As he becomes more skilled he will unlock it and try to lock it onto the middle ring.

Magnet Maze:
I used some mesh material from my dad's old scrubs pocket and slipped a ball bearing behind it. I sewed two lines so that it was like a very simple maze. I sewed a very strong little magnet into the pouch and attached it to a rope. I used fabric markers to draw the blue and red dots. Caden really enjoyed the maze aspect but Drake was more interested in trying the magnet out on different things. I anticipated that which is why I put it adjacent to the Lock and Key page, so that there would be some metal to try it out on.

Buckles:
Drake is very in to buckles! He can't undo them yet but he loves to buckle them! Half an hour was spent buckling them and then looking at me to unbuckle them again.

Shapes and Color Matching:
Drake played with this for about a minute but it wasn't to big of a hit. I mostly put it in because of the educational value.
Wallet:
This was Drake other favorite. The flap has to snaps holding it shut and the green fabric at the bottom holds a click pen with the ink removed.

When opened there are pockets for laminated play money and credit cards. A zipper pocket with play coins and a little flip calculator that I got at the dollar store

Letter Pockets:
These are four little pockets with a letter on the front of each one and the beads attached to rope are for sorting into the pockets.

Leave a comment if you have any specific questions about how to do something.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby Shower

I didn't really Co-host, I was more of an assistant:) I thought I would show some of the Crafty ideas from the party!


Misty Put the Drinks in the sink full of ice:)

this is a mobile that Misty made to hang above the crib


The Mommy to Be

The Cake that The Mommy to Be made

Z for Zoey, the baby

This picture does not do these wooden letters justice!! Misty used Martha Stewart Glitter and it looked so beautiful! The was a decoration for the party and for the babys room

Me:)

This is the game I came up with for the party. We split in to three teams and took turns picking which category and which point value. I had questions on the back of each card but instead of the team answering we had The Mommy to Be answer them! It was so much Fun!! If she got it right then the team got the points and if she got it wrong then the team had a chance to answer it right for half points! Everyone seemed to really like it:)

Misty made these adorable pens and everyone wrote a wish for Zoey and we put them in an album

This center piece was bead flowers made by Misty



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Paper Clip Bottle

I made this for Drake but Caden really liked it too. I used a lighter to heat up a butter knife so that I could make a slit in the cap of the bottle (Nate did it, really). I made it just big enough so that jumbo paper clips would fit in. Drake Loved it and did it about 10 times over.


This activity is good for building fine motor skills and problem solving skills.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sensory Pool!

I got this baby pool at Target for five bucks and it is so tiny! Today we were playing with our beans in the sensory tub and Drake kept wanting to climb in it. I couldn't blame him so I decided to dump them into the pool (dried it out first). He loved it! He was having a ball dumping, pouring, kicking, squishing his toes and rolling towards the end:) I think I expect to much from him sometimes so this was a great way to let him let loose and still keep my beans from going every where. A Tip: I made cloth draw string bags to store my sensory items in so that they don't go to waste (Rice, Beans, River Stones etc.). This way I can reuse them and not feel like I'm waisting food.

This activity is great for sensory development, developing pouring skills, and just having a good time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Baby Sister is Having a Baby!

As one of her presents I reupholster this chair for her. I did everything without a pattern (I like doing things that way). When I took her fabric shopping she picked this one before we were in the store for 2 seconds!
I love it! It's so girly but not too girly:) It was such a fun project and it has inspired me to do more like it:) I love taking something that would have ended up in a landfill and giving it new life:)

Monday, June 8, 2009

My favorite time of day!

So sweet when they are all asleep! This was nap time today. In the first picture Drake is wearing his new cloth diapers that Grandpa Drake (He's named after him) bought him! They are bumpkins brand but he got them for a great deal on costco.com! They are so good it's like I'm using disposables! Love it!



New Homemade Toy

My sister was cutting down the trees in her back yard and I asked if she could cut off a couple of rounds for me. When she asked why I explained what I wanted to do. To my surprise she gave me these today! She took my idea and just completed the whole project for me! Aren't they cool!First she sanded them to make them smooth and then she sprayed them with some kind of varnish and hammered nails in them. She found a huge bag of rubber bands at the dollar store and portioned out some for me:) Caden really liked the activity. He had trouble at first but once he got the hang of it he really went to town. I wanted to get a picture of his work but I was nursing while he was working on it and he took it apart before I finished:)

This is a great activity for building fine motor skills and for talking about shapes and patterns.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Fun Tip

Most families have these little fold out slides and it works great as a water slide for the pool! I hung the hose over a tree limb so it would splash on them as they slid down. So Fun!