Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY Nesting Eggs

This is so easy and inexpensive and if you have a child who loves to open and close things, and discover surprises, like my Boogie, it is the perfect Easter activity!

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All you need is a few different sized eggs, some pom poms, googly eyes, orange felt, and a glue gun and you have nesting eggs with cute little chicks inside!

One thing I love about this set is that the 3 different sized eggs are 3 different shades. I could have taken it a step further and put a colored chick in that went with the color of the egg, but I did that for one of Boogie's Easter trays, so I thought I would leave the chicks all yellow for these (which are going in his Easter sensory bin). If your child is old enough to differentiate between shades, you can have them line up the eggs from light to dark. Boogie is old enough for doing size order, but we haven't tried shades yet. I think he is too young but I will talk to him about it while we play with these.

The only tricky part with this set is that the biggest egg is not quite enough bigger than the middle egg to always close exactly right. I know there are larger sized eggs, but I worked with the ones I had. Walmart had the middle size, and the generic dollar store next to Walmart had the smallest ones. You could also put Easter egg erasers inside to keep the egg theme going if you have those on hand and aren't up to making chicks.

 If you are looking for more Easter ideas, check out our DIY Resurrection Eggs and extension activities, the Hungry Bunny toddler game from Boogie's trays, or the bunny muffin tin meal Boogie enjoyed.

Linking up to these great parties!
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Hungry Bunny Toddler Game

After being MIA most days recently, I am going to post a bunch of things in a row here, and then I probably won't have much new content again for a little while. I have been getting all of our Easter stuff together (the current plan is to switch things out with a monthly theme) and want to post it while it is relevant and useful.

Boogie is still in the dropping and dumping stage. He also is in a very nurturing stage where he loves on Bam Bam, loves on his cars and trucks, and especially loves on a few choice stuffed animals. Recently, it has been a tiny stuffed dog that he named after my BFF's dog. I thought that was so cute because usually his stuffed animals are just called "doggy" or "monkey" but this is the first one he has named himself. Yesterday, he brought it on to the couch, put the boppy on his lap, stuck the dog under his shirt, and told me he was feeding it! I managed to keep a straight face because he was so serious about it, and told him that was a good idea because the dog looked hungry. TOO CUTE!!

So, I decided to make him an Easter bunny to feed for one of his Easter trays. It is not cuddly, but I think we will have fun pretending it is hungry and feeding it "Easter kibble." It turned out so cute that I wanted to give it a post to itself, and tell you how to make it.

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* Parmesan cheese or sprinkles container (sprinkles containers tend to have white lids, which makes it easier)
* white foam
* pipe cleaner
* 2 white pom poms and 1 smaller pink pom pom
* 2 googly eyes
* white paper
* pink marker
* glue gun
* pastel poms poms for "Easter kibble"


Probably pretty self explanatory once you look at the materials, but just in case, here is what I did.

* Cut a piece of white paper to size and draw a pink oval for the tummy. Wrap it around the container and tape it
* Cut a semi-oval out of white foam based on the size of the lid you are using. I cut it slightly less wide. It should be an semi-oval and not a semi-circle because you want enough room for the face.
* Use the glue gun to attach the 2 white pom poms as the bunny cheeks, the pink pom pom as the nose in the center of the cheeks, and the googly eyes above.
* Cut out 2 white ears from the foam and draw pink ovals in the center. Use the glue fun to attach the ears behind the head. Foam is stiff enough that they should stand up fine.
* To get the head to stand up on top of the lid, I bent a pipe cleaner into a semi-oval shape and used hot glue to secure it standing up on the lid. I then spread hot glue all over the pipe cleaner semi-oval and stuck the bunny head on.

Easy peasy!

With Boogie, I put this on a tray and we will drop and dump the pom poms in the "mouth" to feed the bunny. I will probably try saying things like "The bunny really wants two pink kibbles" or "Let's count to five and give the bunny five blue kibbles." Grasping and counting the pom poms is good for his fine motor skills, as is opening and closing the different parts of the lid or taking the top off. And dropping and dumping is just fun :)

I adapted this idea from our "Feed the Frog" tray back when we did the letter F. That idea originally came from The Preschool Experiment.

If you want to see how we are celebrating the real meaning of Easter, check out the Resurrection Egg set I made Boogie, complete with extension activities to get him interested and moving.You could also read about Boogie's bunny muffin tin meal, or his Easter sensory bin with DIY nesting eggs.

Linking up to these great parties!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Resurrection Eggs and Toddler Extension Activities

True to my word, I have not been pushing Boogie to do any worksheets or activities lately. I have been planning an Easter sensory bin, and bought a few things, but, again, I am not obsessing or prioritizing it above the things that are more important.

I have been thinking a lot about how to make Easter special for Boogie this year, though, and have come across several different versions of DIY Resurrection Eggs that I love. Resurrection Eggs are a 12 day countdown to Easter, using symbols inside of plastic eggs to tell Jesus' story from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It is a beautiful, tangible idea, and we all know that our kids learn best when there is some hands on, sensory connection.

With that in mind, I took the Resurrection Eggs a step further, and also came up with an extension activity for Boogie to compliment the symbol in the egg each day. I also have been mulling around with short memory verses and songs that correlate but have not come up with 12 of each, so maybe I will figure that all out for next year. The verses that I did choose, I tried to keep short whenever possible. I want Boogie to be able to really listen and not be distracted or bored.

Without any more rambling, here is the Resurrection Egg set that I made my boys, and my ideas for activities for each day from today until Easter Sunday.

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I already had everything on hand that I needed, so this only cost me the time I took deciding what verses I wanted to use.

In case you want to duplicate what I am doing with Boogie,  I am going to explain what I did for each egg, and tell you the toddler extension activity I came up with. If you would like to use the same verses and translations, you can download the document I created here.

Egg 1 
Item- Leaves (from a garland I had). 
Verse- "So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13) 
Activity- Gather green blankets, pillowcases, towels, or scarves. Play parachute with them. Lay them on the floor and roll around on them. Sing songs while waving them around the room. This is great for gross motor fun and sensory fun if you have a bunch of different types of green linen. We are using fleece, satin, and towels.

Egg 2
Item- Small bottle of perfume
Verse- “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.” (Matthew 26:12)
Activity- Spray perfume or body spray on a number of different index cards. Smell them with your child and talk about the different scents. Which ones he/she likes or doesn't like. If they smell like something familiar. You could also go to the mall if you are feeling brave (or visiting the Easter Bunny) and collect samples from the department stores. Another fun sensory idea.

Egg 3
Item- Cracker
Verse- As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” (Mark 14:22)
Activity-  Have fun eating as many different types of crackers as you have in the pantry! You could also have fun breaking them into small pieces first (with your hands or a hammer/mallet like they did at Taming the Goblin) and make a bowl full of crushed crackers. 

Egg 4
Item- Small flowers
Verse- Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (Matthew 26: 36)
Activity- I have a couple different ideas for this one. Either to go out and find a place to pick wildflowers (or probably weeds like dandelions) or what we will probably end up doing is playing with pretend flowers at home, possibly like these pipe cleaner flowers from Cachey Mama's Classroom. We can stick them in Styrofoam and have some fine motor practice. 

Egg 5
Item- 3 dimes
Verse- Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse 
and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders (Matthew 27: 3)
Activity- Sort and wash coins. Boogie will LOVE this. He can get wet, we will probably color the water and add soap, and coins are fascinating to small children, probably because they don't get to play with them very often. This is fine motor practice, too. 

Egg 6
Item- Gold pipe cleaner crown
Verse- So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.” (Luke 23:3)
Activity- Make, decorate, and wear paper crowns. If I get to Burger King anytime soon, we might just turn theirs inside out instead of working from scratch. Boogie isn't big on art projects but I wanted to throw one in there. I think he will like wearing it. We won't do anything glue-y or goopy, I don't think, just crayons or markers, so he can put it on right away if he wants to. 

Egg 7
Item- Nail (ideally you should have 3, but I am using 1and seeing how things go.)
Verse- “Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross” (Mark 15:24)
Activity- Sort real nails by size and pound them in Styrofoam. We will obviously do this very well supervised and only when Bam Bam is sleeping. 

Egg 8
Item- Die/Dice (I just used one)

Verse- “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” (Psalm 22:18)
Activity- We are going to roll the dice, count the dots, and then put that number of clothes ON. I will have an assortment but probably mostly socks, mittens, and hats because Boogie can do those mostly by himself. I think he will find it really funny. And it is great practice in both counting and getting dressed/undressed.

Egg 9
Item- Sponge soaked in vinegar
Verse- Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
Activity- Water play with sponges. We will probably color it, add soap, and maybe add some kind of scent.

Egg 10
Item- Gauze
Verse- Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. (John 19:40)
Activity- We are going to do a mummy wrap with toilet paper. I used to love this! The most fun is busting out and throwing toilet paper all over the room :)

Egg 11
Item- Rock
Verse-[Joseph] laid [Jesus’ body] in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. (Mark 15:46)
Activity- Go outside and search for rocks. Boogie loves collecting rocks.

Egg 12
Item- Nothing! It's empty!
Verse- “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (Luke 24:6)
Activity- We are going to make and eat "Resurrection Rolls", go to church, hunt for eggs, and all kinds of other fun Easter-y things :)

Along with our Resurrection Eggs, we have an Easter sensory bin (with DIY nesting eggs), Easter tot trays (the Hungry Bunny Toddler Game turned out so well that it got a post to itself) and Boogie also enjoyed a bunny muffin tin meal

Linking up to these great parties!
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Guest Post at Cachey Mama's Classroom

Today I am over at Cachey Mama's Classroom, sharing the one thing that I want most for our homeschooling journey. Curious? Go to her site and see what it is :)
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Flowers Muffin Tin Meal

Since we have been having a lot of beautiful spring weather around here, I decided it was time for another muffin tin meal! And a blog post to let everyone know I am still here, even if it is not as often. Boogie has also been asking for a muffin tin meal, and Hubby Man asked if I was still going to do them even if I was cutting back from tot school. The answer is yes, so here is a very last minute flower-themed muffin tin meal to celebrate Spring. It is not my most inspired creation, but Boogie took at least two bites of everything and was happy to have a special lunch.

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I arranged apple slices in a kind of flowery shape. Boogie loves apples but only ate the required two.

Next to the apples there is apple sauce with a flower out of Craisins. Boogie ate most of this.

I used a banana for the center, then made a flower out of veggie straws. Boogie loves bananas and veggies straws, but surprisingly did not finish them. My mom, his cousin (Munch), and his friend "Nanna" (2 year old my mom watches) were here today so he was a bit distracted.

I made a flower out of bananas, which he ate all of, then finished the rest of the banana, too.

I added a weird Craisin flower (I did this one before the applesauce one, which I like better) to some blueberry Chobani. He used to LOVE blueberry Chobani. Not so much anymore. I don't understand his silly taste buds!

Last, I used one of our 101 Wilton cookie cutters to make him a flower peanut butter sandwich. He ate two petals. Stinker.

So our return to muffin tin meals this week was mostly successful, even if it looks kind of silly :) I am planning ahead for an Easter bunny themed meal next week. When I plan ahead, I usually have more new things for him to try and it generally looks nicer too. 

Linking up to these great parties!
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lesson Learned- Mama Mia's Heart2Heart

I have missed sharing other mamas' posts for Lesson Learned! I am so happy to be back and introducing a beautiful lesson from Mia over at Mama Mia's Heart2Heart. Mia started blogging in October of 2011 and I discovered her blog fairly early on. She has two beautiful little girls and loves the Lord and regularly shares great ideas for crafts and activities. It has been amazing to see the awesome ways her blog has grown in just a few short months! Mia cohosts Sharing Saturday each week and more recently has gotten involved in the weather blog hop with a huge number of other fantastic blogs. I also love seeing all the cool things Mia does with foam or felt, two materials I love using for crafting as well.

As I read Mia's post below, I kept nodding my head. The conclusions she has come to are ones that I have come to recently as well. A large reason I am taking a step back from blogging is because Boogie just wants to play with his trains or kitchen all day. I don't want to dictate how and what he plays. He just needs to play! Our little ones are only little for such a short time. So, if it is quiet here at H is for Homeschooling, it is because we aren't doing much besides getting our CHOO CHOOOOO on at the train table allllll day every day lately :)

Without any further babbling on my part (can you tell I miss you guys?!), here is Mia!


Hello H is for Homeschooling readers, I am Mia and I blog over at Mama Mia's Heart2Heart and I am so honored and thrilled to be here on Sierra's blog today. I love her idea of a series of posts about being honest and being transparent about our journey as moms with our little ones.  Sooooooo, I have to be honest...yes we start with the honesty part right away...I had a hard time deciding on what to post.  I thought...well I could post on some of the times that lele and I did some activities that didn't go according to plan, I have a few of those. Or I could share some failures and struggles that I have as a mom. But, I finally decided on sharing with you a lesson that I have been learning lately...patience.

I think many of you can relate to the daily frustrations of parenting. Sometimes, children test our patience just a little bit and push our buttons.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a me being a mom is the greatest job in the world.  My girls bring me so much joy and the love that I have for them is unexplainable...nothing that I have ever felt before.

Yet, there are those moments when my children act out in a way that is not becoming.  Let me give you an example of a time when I had a plan and my child did not cooperate with that said plan...therefore testing my patience.

She had this white dress that I thought just looked so adorable on her and I wanted to take pictures of her so I can use my new fancy-schmancy camera. We had bought her a decorative yellow umbrella and in my mind, this ensemble was perfect for a photography session... Well... Don't you just love it when your child ruins your expectations and dashes away any hopes of that great result that you wanted so my case, adorable pictures to put on display.   She would not cooperate for the life of her.  She wouldn't look at the camera let alone smile. She just wanted to hold on to my mom who was helping me. And then...the whining and the crying began.  

And I have to be honest, I was getting a little frustrated and my patience was wearing thin...I did not understand why she couldn't just sit there, smile and look cute. I mean...come hard can that be, right?? I give her a few stern words...well...more than a few stern words... And then...the guilt sets in and my conscience is nagging patient.  She is just a child...and remember, you love her. 

Big sigh...It reminds me of how God is patient with each and everyone of us and that His love for us is so strong that He is long-suffering towards us. I know that patience is something that I need to work on and I have to rely on the Lord for strength...daily. Because it is difficult when my kids act out but with God's help, I know that I can learn to be the mom that I need to be for my kids.
Another lesson that I learned through this experience is that I need to cherish each moment with my children and make the best out of the times that I have with them.  Because spending quality time with my kids is more important than the outcome that I want. Someone once wisely said to me..."time goes by so quickly and in a blink of an eye, your children will grow up. Will you be able to say that you have done your cherish each moment that you have with them." 


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Friday, March 16, 2012

Family Photos Clank Can

This is one of the posts I mentioned that I wanted to share. I think I might see how coming on once a week to post updates might work, but we will see how it goes. Thanks for the lovely comments I got on my previous post! I will respond to them as I get the chance :)

I got this wonderful idea from Lori at Cachey Mama's Classroom and my boys are LOVING it!

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To do this for your family, all you need is a large can, a bunch of lids, and some family photos. I used a few more supplies, but you certainly don't need to. Here is how I did it.

I figured out the size of the lids (spaghetti and applesauce jar lids because I wanted them to be Bam Bam safe) and made a template in Publisher to crop my photos. I chose 22 photos (2 great-grandparents, 2 grandmas, 1 grandpa, 1 great-aunt, 4 uncles, 2 aunts and 1 aunt-to-be, 5 cousins, and the 4 of us) of the family members that Boogie and Bam Bam see on the most regular basis and that Boogie would recognize and ask for. I do plan on adding more, but since I am cutting back on the time I am spending on this kind of thing, 22 was plenty. And soon, there will be 4 more cousins, but more on that later.

After printing the photos, I cut them to size, laminated them, and cut them to size again. I did the cutting twice to save on laminating pockets.  I laminated them to protect them from Bam Bam's constant flood of drool.

Next, I used velcro to put the photos into the lids. I used velcro rather than glue so I can change the photos as my children and their cousins grow.

I covered the coffee can with paper and labeled it "My Family" and I cut a slit in the lid of the coffee can, so the boys can have fun dropping the lids in.

Here are some ways that I plan on using this with my boys, especially Boogie at this point:

* Identifying family members (Just say the names to Bam Bam. For Boogie, I can spread them all out and ask him to find so-and-so and drop the lid in the can to practice direction following.)
* Discussing family relationships (you could do a family tree, like Lori did)
* Sorting (I am thinking by gender or family relationship, ie- cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Or separate them by household families. We also have 3 different colored lids so Boogie could sort by lid color, too.)
* Playing with the lids- stacking, dropping, dumping, lining up like a train :P

I had considered putting names on the other side of the lid so that when Boogie is a bit older we can practice sight words with them, but with the way Bam Bam chews on them right now, I think we will skip that. With an older child that would be fun, though. They could flip them over and it is self-correcting. You could also have your child line them up in age order or alphabetical order or things like that.

I may or may not be linking up to these great parties at some point :)

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blogging Break

As I am sure many of you have noticed, I have been taking some big steps back from this blog recently, starting with cutting WOTT down to once a month, and more recently rethinking how to handle tot school.

After an insightful email from my future-sister-in-law and, most importantly, after a long talk with my Hubby-Man, I have decided that I need to put blogging on the back burner and get some other things balanced better during my free time instead.

I also think we are going to put a pause on tot schooling because the planning/prep is taking up so much of my free time as well. And Boogie isn't enjoying it enough to justify the time I am putting into it. We will still do planned things if I find something he will really love, but I am not going to do any one thing on a regular basis. Except play at the train table, apparently :)

I hope I will be able to bounce on from time to time and share what the boys are doing, but I am not going to commit to link parties, weekly wrap up posts, or regular features at the moment. If I scheduled you for Lesson Learned, I would still love to publish your post! I just wont be scheduling any additional posts for awhile.

I will still be pinning, since I do that from my phone when Boogie is asleep while Bam Bam nurses, so please feel free to follow me on Pinterest. And, I will still be available through email if you would like to say hi :)

There are a couple other ideas I was going to post so I might get those up in the next couple days. If not, I will see you when I post the next Lesson Learned on Sunday!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tot School- Mittens

** Boogie is 29 months old**

While Boogie did have some fun with this theme, I have to confess that I am beginning to rethink how we are doing tot school. He enjoys the trays from time to time, but today I asked him if he wanted to sit and play with his trays with Mama and he said "No. Play with trains." And that is how most days go. I think if I want to be child-led, I need to spend more time fully engaged at the train table, and less time mentally preparing tot school activities that he is not as interested in. The things that I plan that he does enjoy for an extended length of time are the random sensory activities, like water play and, very recently, messy play. So, I think I should focus on planning and preparing those kinds of things for now. I don't have a plan for next week yet, so maybe I will leave the same trays out for more than one week and continue to think and pray about it. When we play with the play dough or the sensory bin, if I am sitting with him and fully engaged, he is likely to be as well, but he does not often pull those out on his own either. I love planning and preparing the trays, bins, and play dough, but maybe I need to put it on hold until he is a little bit older and more interested. Like I realized with the worksheets and crafts. He really has to be in the mood to do that kind of activity. Or maybe I need to come up with a million train, car, and truck trays. Maybe that should be my next step. I will keep y'all posted, and you will see here how things are going as well. I am sharing all this because of my resolve to be more transparent. If you read all that, thanks for caring :)

Reminder: Please do not pin pictures of my children!

While the trays are often hit or miss, Boogie did really enjoy a couple of the mitten trays in ways I didn't think of.

He tried the mittens on, like I thought he would. But he also dusted while wearing them, smelled them, and checked himself out wearing them.

He did not think the little felt mittens and mini-clothespins were nearly as adorable as I thought he should.

He enjoyed spreading the letter mittens out all over the floor and looking for the lowercase O because it is a circle and he is still obsessed with circles. He wasn't into matching them at all. But we did sing our ABCs and the Leap Frog letter phonics song.

He did the mitten lacing once, and was much more interested in the string hanging down and making it flick and wiggle than he was in practicing fine motor skills.

He did really enjoy the sensory bin when I pulled it out for him after making it. He thought the hats were the tops of the shot glasses, which was very cute. And he loved the necklaces and put them on both of us. He stacked the shot glasses, like I thought he would. He did a lot of pea dumping. And he dumped out all the pots of gold. He liked the finger puppets if I was wearing them but wasn't really interested in wearing them himself. 

We had some fun with our play dough, hiding and finding jewels and gems. 

Boogie actually did want to color one day, but not the mitten pages I had for him. He wanted to color trains. So I printed off some sheets for him. I am actually not sure from where, but I got to them from a Google image search.

Here is some of that messy play I was telling you about.  I got this idea from Play Create Explore.

I got a bunch of things that were either stale, expired, or that we have in excess out of various places and gave him small samples in a muffin tin to cook with along with some cooking utensils. At first, when I was getting the ingredients together, he thought I wanted him to use his play dishes. He was so excited to get to use mine! And he kept trying to steal food before I was ready to give it to him. He loved this and would have done it for ages longer but my timing was all off, as it has been several times lately, and we had to stop. He did do some tasting (expired whole wheat flour and lime jello are gross, he discovered much to his chagrin) and made a huge mess but he really enjoyed it.

Nothing keeps Boogie happy while I am washing dishes or making food for Bam Bam like a tub of water. This time, I added blue food coloring when he was already playing. He loved watching it swirl and making it dissolve with his bulldozer. As soon as it was all mixed he asked for green then yellow. He played until there was not much water left. I try to have a balance between reminding him that the water stays in the bin and letting him do what he wants as long as he is sitting. I let him dump it outside the bin, but tell him when it is gone, it is gone, and then stick to that.

We also had some nice weather and played with chalk outside. Circles, of course.

When I needed a break from his trains and wanted to make his cars more interesting again, I made him a parking lot. Each place I have seen the idea traced it back to a post that no longer exists because the blog name changed. The woman who first did it now blogs on Love and Lollipops so I will link to her there, though I got the idea from Parenting in the Moment. I am ashamed to say that I snapped at him during the process because he was undoing each step as I was doing it. Every time I stuck a parking space to the black paper, he pulled it up. I snapped at him a couple times before I remembered that this was supposed to be fun. And it isn't about whether his trains are boring to me after a hundred thousand hours. If he is happy, I need to remember that spending time with him is the most important thing. I told him I was sorry and he told me to sit in time out. So I did. I needed it!

Random gross motor fun- Boogie was being a nut and having fun balancing between the couch and storage ottoman. Silly boy. Probably really good exercise though! Maybe I should try it! 

And, because they are so stinking adorable, my boys. Boogie being loving, and Bam Bam looking resigned. 

 Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Muffin Tin Meal

I love thinking up themed lunches for Boogie! I had a whole huge list of green foods, or foods I could dye green, and finally settled on six. I try to always have a few familiar foods and a few new foods. And I also try presenting familiar foods in new ways. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it goes badly. Today, it went badly. Boogie is really off and has had a low fever for a couple days and he didn't want to eat anything. He had at least one bite of everything but he just wasn't on board in general. Poor guy has had a rough winter.

Even though it wasn't a smashing success, here is the St. Patrick's Day green-themed muffin tin meal Boogie ate (some of) today.

Boogie usually really likes edamame, but apparently only if he shells it himself. I got the shelled kind and he fought me through the whole one bite he took.

I used my clover cookie cutter on a spinach green tortilla to make him a little cheese sandwich. I only used a little tiny bit of shredded cheddar because he doesn't generally like cheese, and he was excited when he saw it, but he got it close to his mouth and changed his mind. Again, he fought me. Personally, I thought the tortilla was really good! I was pleasantly surprised.

Of course, he demolished the green veggie straws. The only thing he finished. Stinker.

I dyed applesauce green and added green sprinkles...aaaaaand I tried to sneak in a little pureed yellow squash. But somehow he knew and only took 2 bites.

He ate a few grapes.

I made zucchini muffins with green dye and green sprinkles, but I tried a new recipe and they were a disaster. He ate 1.5 but they were just weird. I'm going back to my old recipe.

I am not sure what our theme will be next week or if we will be muffin tin mealing, but hopefully if we do, it will go better!

Linking up to these great parties!
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St. Patrick's Day Trays

We went with very simple and green-colored for the trays this week. Boogie really focuses on some trays and never even interacts with the activities on others, so I tried to pick skills that he enjoys practicing. Mostly, these are fine motor rather than academic, which is very appropriate to his age. I get carried away sometimes with letters and numbers. He's not even two and a half yet for crying out loud!

This tray has a lot of fun features and is something new for us even though I have seen it on many blogs and all over Pinterest. Boogie can take out the golf tees (plain natural wooden ones dyed green with alcohol and food coloring! Who knew?!), hammer them into the Styrofoam, then balance green marbles on top. There is a lot of fine motor work and coordination going on here. We can also count the golf tees and marbles. He will probably dump and pour from the little plastic shamrock shot glasses, too.

This tray is for dumping, pouring, and spooning. I dyed rice green for Boogie. I wanted to use different materials for him. He has split peas in his sensory bin, pasta in his new pasta bin, and rice on his trays.

This tray was inspired by We Can Do All Things. I went with the number 4 because of four-leaf clovers, even though these only have 3 leaves. Boogie can use the tweezers to pick up the pom poms and put them on the dots. This tray is for counting, number recognition, and 1:1 correspondence. We can also count the total number of pom poms and put the shamrocks in numerical order.

This tray is for lacing or stringing green pasta onto sparkly green pipe cleaners. Very straight-forward but we haven't used pasta for this kind of work before. We can also count the pasta and the pipe cleaners.

This tray is the good old tried and true drop and dump. Boogie can put the green and green-striped straws into the Parmesan cheese container. We can also sort the straws by plain or striped. We can make patterns. We can count them by plain, striped, or total. He can also open and close the parts of the lid or take it off. He can put the straws one by one into the holes, or put them in several at a time into the larger opening or with the top off.

And, of course, our play dough tray is out, and you can check out how we are using our green play dough by reading this post.

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Pasta Play for Toddlers or Babies

I saw this post on Playing House and immediately thought about how I could adapt it for my younger baby, as well as my older one. My solution was to make two bins- one with larger pasta and one with smaller pasta. Voila!

Boogie helped me mix some of the pasta in the bags. He really wanted to open them and thought I was a huge spoil sport for saying no.

If you do this at home, it will take a little while for the colors to really soak in. My Hubby-Man talked me out of adding more food coloring and I am glad he did because the colors turned out to be beautiful. 

I let it soak for a little over an hour, like Stephanie suggested, than put it in four separate pans to dry. 

Some of the manicotti in Bam Bam's bin cracked, and the colors are not entirely uniform in either bin but they are bright and the boys have been enjoying them so far today.  I think it is a great activity for just before St. Patrick's Day because you can tie it in with rainbows.

Linking up to these great parties!

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