Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday "cake"

For daddy's upcoming 40th birthday, we crafted an alternative to the popular diaper cakes you see at baby showers. Using consumable drinks, snacks, and toiletries, we created a 40th birthday "cake" using  40 items on a round tray base and tied with ribbons.  Bath poofs created a fun and colorful cake topper.
We recycled ribbons from a diaper cake we received at my 3 year old's baby shower.  Both kids had fun laying out the items in rows and counting them before we arranged them on the tray.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are


Read or listen to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are then retell the story using yoga poses.

Tree pose (forest in bedroom)
Boat pose
Dolphin pose (water/waves)
Lion pose (wild things)
Chair pose (King Max on his throne)

With four and five year olds, ask them to draw the different parts of the story they acted out.

Fun vocabulary to learn: rumpus and scepter

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic playdate

Friday July 27 we invited a neighbor friend to help us celebrate the Olympic opening ceremonies. We ate Olympic fruit ring snacks and baby ice cream cones filled with vanilla yogurt and fruit, printed Olympic circles using the ends of paper tube rolls, and made our own torches with paper tubes, foil, and red and orange tissue paper. Then we marched around outside. Simple and super fun!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ice Painting

There are so many great ideas on so many early childhood blogs it boggles the mind. I would love to give credit to the blog where I first saw this idea but I honestly don't remember what it was. First, we gathered out materials: ice cube trays (we chose stars for easy gripping in tiny hands, especially as they would be cold and slippery), water, watercolors, a baster, and small paintbrushes
First, three year old Owen filled the stars using a baster
Then, he added color by dipping a small brush in a watercolor tray and then into the star several times. (Since the stars are mostly water, the colors will be diluted somewhat.)
The kids had some sensory surprise when they first gripped their colorful ice!
Perfect for a hot summer afternoon!
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Raising bilingual children- Where we're at

We have been trying the OPOL (one person one language) approach with Owen since his birth in June 2009. Dad speaks English and the goal was for me to speak to him only in Spanish. This has proven difficult not only because Spanish is my second language and there are holes in my vocabulary but also because there are many words, phrases, songs, and books I wish to share with him in English. Over the past few months he is hitting a peak language development time and about a month ago my husband and family said, "Now's the time." If I really wanted my son to learn both English and Spanish I needed to buckle down.
That day I started and for a solid week I spoke only in Spanish 100% of the time when speaking directly to Owen. He already has a lot of vocabulary in Spanish, using some words exclusively like "agua", "jugo" and "venga". He identifies body parts in Spanish and seems to understand me when I speak to him. From Monday to Friday I went strong, ignoring the uncomfortable feeling when on playdates with non-Spanish speakers. Friday at five o'clock, like a laborer going off the Friday shift, I stopped and switched to English. I want Owen to know spanish. The question is, do I want him to be fluent or would I be happy if he has a solid vocabulary background and some conversational skills?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Berry Smoothies (with kryptonite)

the ingredients

adding the ingredients



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Monday, December 27, 2010

A December Tradition

Our family celebrates Christmas and it has been fun keeping up some old traditions and starting new ones with our 18 month old this year. One new one is the "Book-A-Day" Advent calendar. Basically you wrap up 24 books and one is unwrapped each night. We plan to use the same collection of holiday books each year. This year we only had 21 books, so we started Dec. 4. We plan to add a book every year or two until we get to 24. Another option would be to wrap up library holiday books instead of buying them, since most library systems check out for 2-3 weeks and can be renewed online. I kept the book for Christmas Eve out of the basket; it was my husband's copy of The Night Before Christmas from his childhood. We let Owen pick any book from a basket after dinner each night. We missed a night or two due to scheduling so we ended up not opening all the books anyway. Next year we plan on numbering the first 10 and then letting the kids (!) pick the rest. Yes, I said kids! We are due in a month with our second child, a little girl. Hence the lack of posts this year. I've been a busy working pregnant momma to a toddler. It was funny how Owen ended up picking most of the board books toward the beginning of the month, and the longer picture books toward the end. The first few days he was more into the unwrapping the the reading, but by the end he would sit through the whole book. My hope was that he would go back and reread the books during the month, but that didn't happen this year. Here are some of the books from our collection.

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