Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm Still Here

For those of you wondering where I have been (mom!), blogging has not been at the top of my priorities. But, I do have several posts started with some great ideas and more cute pictures. They will be coming soon, I promise.

This picture perfectly shows one reason I haven't posted. This is what happens to a perfectly neat and tidy area once a toddler decides to play (please note she was playing for less than 20 minutes) ...

Ahh, the joys of toddlerhood.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Two Book - Book Review

At the moment Star is entirely hooked on the book called "My Two Book"
This is actually just one book in the series. There is also a series for the alphabet. We haven't received them yet, but have ordered them from the inter-library loan. I was a bit skeptical, because I couldn't believe that there could be an entire book based on just one number. We found this book to be engaging and fun. It's definitely worth checking out from the library. I have been catching Star counting a lot more now that we've been reading these books.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tot School: Spring is here!

Tot School

The beginning of our week we spent in Connecticut with my family. We took Star to the Norwalk Maritime Center. We learned all about creatures of the water.

We even got to touch stingrays. Very cool!!

Here are a few things from the rest of our week...

We played with bubbles

We had a book picnic. (picture a blanket in the shade piled high with books)

We planted flowers.
I gave Star her very own garden pot with plants for her to take care of. I told her that they were entirely for her and she could do what ever she wants with them. I also explained how plants need soil sun and water to live. So far several of the plants have been planted and replanted several times. It will be interesting to see if they survive the summer.

We went exploring
I made an exploring backpack. It is currently filled with a magnifying glass, a bug container, children s field guides, oil pastels and a notebook. Soon it will also have a small fish net and a plant press.

And that was it! It was too nice to be inside, plus I am currently reorganizing tot school. I hope to have it finished for next week to share.

To see what others have been doing for tot school, click on the button below.
Tot School

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Do Dinosaurs.....

If your child likes dinosaurs as much as mine does, then they will love this book. We just checked this one out of our library after a neighbor suggested it. Star LOVES it. The first half of the book takes time to describe all the improper things to do at the dinner table and ends with showing how dinosaurs eat their food the proper way. The pictures are colorful, cute and funny. I have found this book very helpful with table manners training. The other night Star was blowing bubbles in her milk so I quietly asked her if dinosaurs blow bubbles in their milk and she answered "no". I then asked her if she wanted to be a good dinosaur. She said yes and stopped blowing bubbles! (score 1 for mom!)

This is only one in a whole series of books covering topics from manners to number and colors. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of another one from the series.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Little Bits

Well, it has been a while since I have posted. We have been away for Easter, we went to Connecticut to spend time with my family. We had a lovely time, although I could easily do without the 13 hour drive one way :( I have SO much to share, that I'm going to try to break it up over a few days. One thing I want to start doing is to take one day a week to share a wonderful book that we have had the joy of reading. I have found it to be such a great help when someone takes the time to share a great book that they have read with their kids which I would have never heard of before. I am slowly coming in to contact with such lovely books that I want to share them with anyone who wants to read them. So be on the lookout tomorrow for the introduction of Word Filled Wednesday where I share either a book or a way of accessing books that I have found to be truly great.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tot School - Easter Preperations

Tot School

Star is 28 months old.

We did a little of everything this week. Here were our tot tools we used:

Size practice with measuring spoons and cupcakes from file folder fun

Stringing beads from the dollar store

Pounding letters

Tonging eggs

Sound egg matching. She had to find a blue egg that matched a green egg. Fillings I used were breadcrumbs, rice, pasta, lentils, navy beans, and beads.

Here were our crafts:

We "glued" tissue paper to butterflies by spraying the paper with water then laying down the tissue

We did stamping with this stamp kit

We colored this great picture about Palm Sunday then I cut out palm leaves from green construction paper and let star cut all around the edges giving it a leafy look. We then danced around the living room waving our palms to the song Hosanna. I think that counts as Gross Motor skills

We also did this AWESOME project I saw it somewhere, but I can't remember where, so I'll do my best to describe it. You mix shaving cream and food coloring to make your desired colors. We were learning about secondary colors so we made green, orange and purple.

You put these colors into a large tray large enough to fit a piece of paper. You then swirl the colors together. (not too much or else you get brown) You lay a piece of paper on top and tap it all around so that it comes in contact with the shaving cream.

When you remove the paper and wipe off the shaving cream, this is what it looks like.

The picture doesn't do any justice, these really are beautiful an you can't mess it up. You really have to try it. We're making Easter cards out of ours.

Are last craft actually hasn't completely dried yet, but you can see what the finished product should be as well as the directions here at the Family Fun website. We are making a paper mache Easter diorama.
It was messy, but well worth it.

Here is a list of ideas and links for what we will be doing next week just in case anyone can use the ideas for their Easter preparations.

1. Hide eggs filled with numbers that match an egg carton with the numbers in the bottom
2. The angel rolled the stone away craft
3. Easter Egg Board Game and Bunny memory match
4. Coloring The Last Supper and The Empty Tomb
5.Make handprint lilies
6. Make a nest for our dyed eggs
7. Bake resurrection cookies

To see what others are doing, just click the box below
Tot School
.Happy Easter Everyone!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I can do it myself update

Last week I wrote about some struggles we were having with Star and about a video I watched about letting children do more in their environment. (click here to go to that post) For the past week or so, I've conducted an experiment to see if letting Star have more freedom would lead to less tantrums and stress in the house. Simply put, it worked. This past week we did the following things,
1. Taught Star to go to the bathroom and wash her hands by herself
2. Let Star make her toast every morning
3. Give Star the ability to help, even in the littlest way, with every meal
4. Gave Star a drawing table.

The First two were very easy. I just had to rearrange the stools in the bathroom so that she could reach the light switch and put everything she needed in arms reach. Since doing this, we have had only two accidents in one week.

We relocated the toaster so that she could reach it using her "helper stool". This is a step stool I kept stored in the kitchen to reach things in high cupboards. Star now knows that she can only help if her helper stool is out. Here is her proud picture.

As far as helping with every meal, basically all it takes is remembering. She got the biggest thrill out of adding salt and pepper to the meal a few night ago. To my surprise she was also able to crack an egg into a bowl with out any eggshells falling in.

The last one was very big for me. Every time I would leave crayons out for Star she would draw on everything but the paper. It didn't matter how I explained it, or how many times I explained that crayons were for paper, she still insisted on sneaking off and coloring the walls. So, I now have decided to change tactics. While Star was spending the night with her grandparents, I set up a little table with washable crayons, pencils and different colored papers. I figured that since its all washable and erasable, if she draws on the walls, then I'll just teach her to clean it off, no rebuking, lecturing or harsh tones.

The next morning when Star came home, I left it all out for her to find on her own. It was wonderful to be in another room and eavesdrop on her. When she first saw it she let out a little gasp. She quickly started investigating. I could hear little murmurs as she was naming things as she drew them. I really didn't want to disturb her, but eventually my curiosity got the best of me. So I went to look, and this is what I found:

Here she is trying to trace her elbow. Now this was a definite moment of bliss. The best part, not a single mark on the wall in two days! Maybe the more we trust our children, the more they will work to live up to our expectations. All I know is that there has been a lot less stress, raised voices and time outs, which has led to more time for snuggling, dancing and laughing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Award!

I was delightfully surprised to receive an award last week. Val at Wiggleworm's First School presented me with this award:

It's amazing how such a little thing can brighten up a day. I wanted to pass this little joy onto a few other's out there who I have enjoyed reading their blogs, but haven't had a chance to tell them yet. So here is my list of wonderful sites that I would like to give this award to also:

1. Delightful Learning
2. The Wonder Years
3. Mommy Meals!
4. Four Little Penguins
5. Adventures of a Rainbow Mama
6. Spinner's End Nursery School

If you would like to pass this award on, here are some guidelines:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!