Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rainbow Colors

I have been trying to come up with some fun ways to teach Sidney colors.  The website, I Can Teach My Child, has some great ideas.  Since Sidney loves rainbows and glue sticks, we decided to start with the rainbow project.  

We used construction paper and cotton balls but you could also use tissue paper or paint chips or Dot Markers.  I used makers to make dots on the rainbow.

When I was teaching Ava colors she picked up on it quickly.  I showed her the colors a few times and then I could just hold up a red crayon and ask, "What color is this?" and she'd say "Red!".  With Sidney, I've found that she learns better when I hold up a red crayon and ask her, "Is this crayon red or blue?" or I hold up three crayons and ask her to find the blue one. She does better with choices.  She seems to know the answer but can't come up with the word each time.

The rainbow project was a fun way to quiz Sidney on her colors without burning her out quickly.  I was surprised at how quickly she picked up on the colors when I posed the questions in ways that suited her learning style.  It was also a good color matching project.  Here is her finished product (with a little help from big sister, Ava, who just couldn't resist)!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Lean in '13

When I was in college I worked out nearly every day and always found room for improvement.  Then I had my first child, Ava, and I thought to myself that I would have killed to look as good as I did in college.  Then I had my second child, Sidney, and I thought to myself that I would have killed to look as good as I did after I had Ava.  Three months ago I gave birth to my third child, Clara.  While I could afford to loose some LBS, I've finally learned my lesson.  I'm sure that in 10 years from now I will think to myself that I would kill to look as good as I did after I had Clara.  So I'm going to appreciate what I've got even if there's room for improvement.

Now, let me back-track a bit...

When I was pregnant with Ava, I worked out 5 days a week.  I gained 37 pounds while pregnant and REALLY expected that I would be wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes home from the hospital.  Boy was I disappointed.  And discouraged.  I planned to have more kids and the thought of having to work off the weight after each pregnancy was daunting.  I decided that I'd do the best I could to lose the weight and worry about "the big weight loss" when I was done having kids.

I'm done having kids now.  {knock on wood}  But now it's less about losing the weight and more about being healthy.  So I'm going to make a genuine effort to get down to a healthy weight.  I won't look  "college hot" but I'm hoping to look "30 something hot".

Everyone is recommending the Jillian Michael's DVDs, especially the "30 Day Shred" workout.  I'm going to give it a try and I'll report back.  If anyone has other recommendations, please let me know!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DIY Plastic Snow Globe for Kids

When my mom and I went to NYC last year, I bought Ava a small Statue of Liberty snow globe.  I thought it would be a nice keepsake since she was born there.  The snow globe lasted less than 24 hours when Ava dropped it on our ceramic tile kitchen floor and it shattered.  

Ava has been asking for a snow globe ever since.  I have been hesitant to buy another one for her because I'm pretty sure she'll drop it and I'll have another mess to clean up.  But she has not let up so I decided to try to make a plastic snow globe for her.  It's not nearly as cute, but she's not picky.

The supplies you need are:
- Plastic jar with screw-top lid
- Glycerin
- Glitter
- Plastic figurine 
- Glue gun
- Water

For some reason Ava really wanted a reindeer in the snow globe.  I found all of the supplies above at Hobby Lobby, expect for the Glycerin, which I found at Michael's.  The reindeer was an ornament.

To make the snow globe, I hot glue gunned the reindeer to the jar.  I know you're supposed to glue it to the lid, but Ava insisted I glue it to the bottom of the jar...and it is her snow globe.

Next, I added tap water to just below the top of the jar.  Then I added 0.8 mL of glycerin using a children's medicine syringe.  The glycerin will help slow down the glitter as it falls.  You don't want too much though or it will make the glitter clumpy.

Before I screwed the lid onto the jar, I put hot glue along the inside groves of the lid to secure the seal.

It may not be the cutest snow glow but it's child-proof and Ava loves it!

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Toy Fair 2013

The 110th Annual American International Toy Fair was last week!  I picked out a few of my favorites to put on our wish list:

Zing Zip Bak Bow - A kid-friendly toy for kids that loved Brave.

Razor Trikke E2 - The latest and greatest electric scooter.

Wearables - Kids can decorate them and then wear them.

Manhattan Toy Imagine I Can - Lots of great, affordable crafts for pretend-play.

Pulsar Powerballs - A science experiment for kids that glows in the dark. 

My Image Bracelet Maker - Make a bracelet featuring pictures of friends and family.

Shutter Huggers - Helps you get your little ones to look at the the same time!
This one's more for me - such a great idea!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paint Spinning Art

I found a cool, new painting toy for the girls at Hobby Lobby called Spin & Splash.

The girls are OBSESSED with this.  The box says that it's for ages 8 and up but with a bit of adult supervision any child could enjoy it.  Sidney, my almost 3 year old, asks to play with it every day.

It comes with paper, ceramic tiles, ceramic plates, paint, glitter glue and sand.  All you need is a size D battery and you're good to go.  Oh, and you get all that for only $16.99!  And if you have a 40% off coupon it only cost ~$10!!  I've seen these go for $40+ at Target and Walmart so I thought this was a pretty good deal.  The only thing I wish is that the spinner was larger so that we could put larger pieces of paper on it.

Here is how the paper turned out:

Then we turned them into Valentine's for the grandparents.  I cut them into hearts and the girls glued them onto larger hearts:

Then I used my new heart-shaped craft punch to punch out another heart that the girls glued on the back!

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

We {heart} Pasta

My girls love pasta!  We call it "noodles" or "noods".  Ava likes her cold and plain - no sauce or butter.  Sidney likes hers warmed with her dairy-free butter.  It's amazing to me how opposite they are.  I'm always looking for fun pasta that is dairy and egg free that Sidney can eat.  I found these cute Valentine noodles at World Market.

Sidney has tolerated it so far, even though it may contain lactose.

If your kids like pasta, they may enjoy some of the girls' other favorite noodles (They are all dairy and egg free and can be found at Whole Foods):

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wild Thing!

Ava's Valentine's Day party at preschool is coming up!  Her school allows the kids to exchange Valentine's but they are a peanut and tree nut free school so we have to be careful with the Valentine's day candy.

Last year, we did a candy-free pencil Valentine:

This year, I decided to use candy.  One of Ava's favorite books is Where the Wild Things Are.    After having read it to her 5 or so times, Ava nearly had it memorized page for page.  Here's what I came up with:

I found the .jpg image online and re-sized it.  Then I double stick taped it to red card stock and Ava signed the back.

I used Dove chocolate hearts for the candy (they are nut-free).  

Ava helped me double stick tape the hearts to the card stock.

Ava and I really liked how they turned out!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Valentine Box

Target's dollar section has the BEST Valentine crafts this year!  They have some cute DIY Valentine cards with envelopes.  I wish I had a picture to show you but I didn't buy them - we are maxed out on Valentine cards this year.

I did buy these cute stickers though.  We can never have enough stickers at our house!

Last year, Ava's preschool class made a Valentine bag to hold all the cards the receive from their school friends.  The girls have played with it year round.  Much to Ava's dismay, Sidney loves to take out all of Ava's cards and look through them.  I found this simple Valentine box in the dollar section at Target for the girls to make.  Hopefully this will help us avoid a few fights after Valentine's Day this year!

Perfect to store all the Valentines!

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