Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The kids each get to hold one as we read, and when their character has a line, they hold him up high and bobble him around to make him "talk."
I'm always on the lookout for recreations of our favorite story characters. I find puppets, stuffed/plush dolls, and even china dolls (I have Anne of Green Gables, thanks to my mom's eBay addiction!). My kids love it! It really makes storytime come to life!
I do whatever works to make reading fun around here! For more great ideas and tips, check out Works-For-Me-Wednesday!
Cold weather is so unusual that my almost-5-year-old asked me excitedly this morning, "Mommy, do I have a neck tie?!!!"
Bleary-eyed and still rumpled from bed, I shuffled into the room and responded, "You don't like the clip-on ties you had, so we got rid of them."
"NOOooooo, I mean, warm neck ties...do I have warm neck ties?"
"Warm neck ties?"
I'm pretty sure he was asking if he owns a scarf...which he does not. I think I finally may have to learn to knit...something I've never felt necessary, since we barely get sweater weather here, never mind scarf-and-mitten weather. Or maybe I'll just wander over to Etsy and see what I can find over there!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My friend Rachel recently loaned me a great cookbook titled Toddler Cafe, by Jennifer Carden, and I have to tell you, it's been fun trying some of her recipes! She even shares some recipes on her blog. Her book has beautiful, full-color pictures of many of her recipes, so it's fun just to look through it...I love picture cookbooks!
One cool idea was to use your waffle iron at lunchtime to make your own paninis. The kids LOVED this! The cheese melted inside and the bread got all textured like a waffle! I even sauteed some sliced apples in butter to go in them with the cheese...mmmmmm, so good!
Yesterday, we made "Peanut Butter Globe Globs" for our afternoon snack. The kids loved rolling this squishy stuff into balls and then coating them in crushed cereal. And they were tasty!
Today I think we'll try the "Toddler Truffles," which look like real chocolate truffles, but are actually made with black beans (and some other stuff!). I've had a sweet treat like this in Asian restaurants and they are GOOD!
If you have an opportunity to pick up Jennifer's cookbook, you won't regret it! I think I need to get myself a copy!
Monday, October 27, 2008
KID 1 filled each section of a knee high with grass seeds and soil from our compost heap, layering them in and then tying each section off to form a caterpillar (I did the tying). He then soaked it in a bucket of water and set it on a clay tray filled with water. After just 4 days, we had grass shoots! He can't wait to give his caterpillar a trim! Here it is:
For KID 2, we tried filling the nylon with soil, tying each section off, soaking it in a bucket of water, and then rubbing the grass seeds on top. Hers is pictured below on the right.
Both ways worked, but I think putting them inside the nylon with the soil is safest. Some of her seeds blew off as they dried. We tried sticking them back on, but only the ones on top stayed put.
If and WHEN her little birthday bash happens, each guest will make a Very Hairy Caterpillar and then we'll slip it into a plastic goody bag for them to take home. They will soak it in water at home and find a plate or tray to set it on and watch it sprout!
I'm thrilled that my idea worked! This will be a great hands-on activity at the party!
- old pantihose, cut into 2 foot sections and tied at the bottom
- rye grass seed (a 5 lb. bag cost us $3.75)
- some colorful pipe cleaners for the legs and antennae
- A bucket of water
- As take-home party favors, we got 12 goody bags for $1
This was so much fun and cheap and EASY!!! See more of my Very Hungry Party ideas here.
For more frugal ideas, check out this site...
Sunday, October 26, 2008
TWICE we have had to postpone this party due to illness. And TWICE I have had to deal with our older son's wrath upon learning the party was cancelled. On Friday night, as I made the cancellation phone calls, several friends heard screaming and crying in the background of my home. That was not the 2-year-old girl whose party was cancelled AGAIN...no, no...it was her older, bitterly disappointed, social butterfly brother. First he screamed, then he cried, then he subjected us to stony silence (that part was kinda nice after the first two rounds).
The bright side: Saturday ended up being a rainy day, so we couldn't have had the party outside anyway.
We're pretty much all sick right now. Ugh! Maybe we should just put the starving little caterpillar out of its misery...
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I wash mine pretty often, but I never knew you could microwave it! I'm totally gonna start doing this from now on with all of our toothbrushes. The kids' toothbrushes are usually very questionable looking...even when they're new. Maybe microwaving them will help us fend off more germies!
Click here to read the entire article at FitSugar. The comments below the article question the safety of microwaving the plastic, so read and decide for yourself if this is something you think might help you and your family through this cold and flu season!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Anyway, two weeks ago when I wasn't posting, the kids and I spent the morning spontaneously preparing a "Tt" party luncheon to surprise Paul when he came home for lunch. I had recently acquired a train cake pan at a terrific yard sale, so the kids helped make pumpkin muffins shaped like a train (our table centerpiece).
I cut up some leftover seasoned chicken breasts, mixed in some chopped celery and mayo and voila! Chicken salad "Tt" sandwiches were born! I just cut off the crusts of the bread, cut the sandwiches into 4 sections, and arranged them in an Uppercase T on their plates.
The kids helped wash and set the table, and we were ready to go! Lunch never looked so good here!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday was her official day, and so in honor of her birthday and Letter Dd week, we walked to the park by the lake and read Make Way for Ducklings (a Caldecott classic). Then we loaded those little ducklings up with stale homemade bread.
This one was not my idea: I was inspired by the leader of our Children's Lit. forum who just loves book adventures, or turning a beloved book into an activity/adventure.
A few friends met us there, and afterwards we played......Duck, Duck, Goose! Of course!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Gretel was not cooperating for this photo shoot. Hansel's patience is running thin.
Hansel and Gretel find their path and they both make their escape.
See you little urchins at the Fall Festival!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I plan to make one for each month so the kids can help me put the banner of the month up on the first of every month...they love being involved in traditions!
I found some inexpensive fabric and cut it into diamonds with my pinking shears. I made it double-sided, but it didn't need to be for the mantle. I think I like it there. I sewed each one with a zig-zag stitch onto some thick hemp jewelry cording.
The letters are cut from a remnant of felt I picked up in the fabric department for less than a dollar. The black tulle is leftover from the birthday tutu I made for KID 2 last year. I think it's a bit reminiscent of black bats, don't you?
Birthdays are on my mind now as KID 2's birthday draws near (she'll be 2!). The theme this year is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which offers all sorts of possibilities. I'm thinking a pull-apart cupcake cake shaped like the butterfly, and maybe a small caterpillar cake for her made of mini muffins.
I'm not sure what I will do with it yet, but I found The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric at The Carle museum online. I got a yard of the food fabric and a yard of the dots, plus the panel with the caterpillar, the butterfly, and the leaf. So cute! The proceeds actually benefit The Carle.
Our activity for the party will be decorating butterfly crowns with colored tissue paper and glue. I can't wait!