Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Trial with the Clock

What in the world is this?? Read below to find out!

Our son likes to wake us up way too early.  My sister has a friend who put a clock in her child's room.  They taped over the minutes and told their son that he could get up at eight.  It sounded like a good idea, and I was willing to try just about anything.  I am not a morning person! So, about three weeks ago, we gave the clock idea a try.  It's worked out brilliantly!  Our son is allowed to get up at seven each morning.  He might wake up at 6:30, but he'll play in his room until seven and then promptly come to our room and proudly announce, "The clock says seven!"  It's been absolutely wonderful to have that little clock in K's room.  He knows when his nap is, what time to get up from nap, what time dinner is, and when he's supposed to go to bed at night.  His understanding of our daily routine has expanded greatly thanks to our digital clock.  Plus, we noticed he feels much more at ease and a sense of trust has deepened as he was able to comprehend when things will happen.  It's sort of like he feels a bit of control or comfort in knowing what time things occur.  We also use the clock to tell him when he can watch his daily video, or have a snack.  That way he doesn't keep pestering but just waits till he sees the promised number show up on is clock.  Soon I think we'll peel the paper off the minutes and put an arrow over the hour, so he can see the incremental progression of each hour.  

It's eight, time to get ready for bed!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Super Sale at Kohl's: cute stuff for $1.00!

We stumbled onto an amazing sale at Kohl's on Sunday: up to 90% off summer clothes for kids!!  Seriously, I purchased shorts, skirts and tanks for one dollar each!  It was crazy fun.  I went back today and there are still lots of items available.  Every department in the store had clearance racks, but the infant and toddler section had the best selection.  This is a great opportunity to stock up on clothes for next summer, or to pick up adorable outfits for future baby shower gifts.  We are getting close to a referral for a baby girl, so I grabbed lots of cute skirts, tops, and shorts for our future daughter.  My mom, sister, & niece were with me, and we had a blast finding adorable outfits for our little girls.  I also got my son a few items too, but there wasn't a lot to chose from in size 4T for boys.

90% often do you find amazing deals like this??  

Adorable shorts, skirts, and tops for $1 at Kohl's

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Product Review: Parents Brand Toys

I really like the Parents brand toys; they are durable, clever, and entertaining.  We have a play cellphone, the Bee Bop Band, and the stacking buckets.  The cellphone can be a bit annoying because it makes sounds and plays music, "Please hit a different button!!".  But, it's so handy to have in the car, or at the store, or restaurant.  It keeps K entertained and is small enough to tote around.  You can also record your voice on it, and leave a message for your child.  That's K's favorite feature of his cell phone.

A great toy to keep kids busy when you're out and about.

The Bee Bop Band includes a clear plastic drum that holds the rest of the instruments.  It's so cute how everything is shaped to look like a bug of some sort.  They've also managed to incorporate the letters ABC into the toys.  This is a toy that I like to put away for a while and then reintroduce when we're in the mood to be goofy and musical.  We turn up the music and play along.  The drum tends to be the favorite, but also can be a trouble maker as the sticks are sometimes turned into mock weapons.  (Boys will be boys!)

Bee Bop Band, fun when you're in the mood to be loud and crazy.  Hide it if you want quiet!

I've saved the best for last; the stacking buckets are very cool.  Once the tower is built, it's about three feet tall.  Kids young and old enjoy playing with these.  Company always finds them fascinating and asks where we got them.  I purchased them, in January, for about $20 on Amazon.   Color sorting, identifying biggest to smallest, problem solving, cooperation, and sharing are some of the things K has learned from this toy.  Plus there are a number of ways you can build the tower or multiple towers.  Of the three Parents toys we have, I'd highly recommend the buckets.

A favorite toy at our house.  Worth buying.

Post Script: Wouldn't you know it, Amazon is out of stock!  I checked also with no luck.  My Google searches were fruitless.  I'm sorry that they don't seem to be available anymore.  However, if you find them at a garage sale or on Ebay, get them!  I found three alternatives on Amazon that you may like since the Parents stacking buckets are mysteriously not available: Nest & Stack Buckets by iPlay for about $15, or Toysmith Battat Sort & Stack Toy  for under $13.  An almost identical set to the Battat one is Megco's Carry Along Stacking Cups and Sorter Bucket for around $20.   We don't own any of these, but they look similar to our buckets and also have an added feature of a lid for the biggest bucket with cut outs to slip shapes, like stars and squares, into.  So they are stacking and sorting toys all in one.  The main attraction though is being able to build a tall tower, and all three brands seem to stack up to about three feet.  That's what makes them so much fun for kids, I think, and therefore worth purchasing.  If you own any of these brands, please give me some feed back.  Thanks!

Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Make Kool-Aid Playdough

We've been indoors for days.  Summer has been cruelly ripped away since the start of the month, and replaced by gloom and rain.   Today it was time to do something different and unexpected to ward off cabin fever.  So we made playdough.  It's easy, fun, quick and inexpensive.

Here are the ingredients you'll need.  Super easy! 

Kool-Aid Playdough

1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
3 tbsp. oil
1 sm. pkg. Kool-Aid (any color)

Combine flour, salt, oil and Kool-Aid. (It will be lumpy) Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir together. Knead mixture (careful, it’s hot!) until it forms a soft dough. This play dough will keep indefinitely if kept sealed when not in use.

K helping to mix the dry ingredients together.

K picked lemonade Kool-Aid for our playdough.  It didn't give the dough enough color, so I added three or four drops of yellow food coloring before I kneaded the dough.  I've made this recipe before with grape Kool-Aid and it turned out just fine, and smelled so yummy.  The dough is completely edible, but doesn't taste good.

The finished product was an instant success!

We had so much fun with this activity.  An hour flew by as we cut out shapes, made worms, formed letters, and spelled his favorite words all with our new playdough.  After nap, he begged to get the playdough back out.  

Mommy & K having a blast.  I love moments like these.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Product Review: Little Tikes Shopping Cart

K loves his Little Tikes shopping cart.
Last year, K's grandparents got him a Little Tikes shopping cart for his 2nd birthday.  Next month we'll be celebrating his 3rd birthday.  So we've had the cart for almost a year, and he still plays with it almost daily.  He'll pile his favorite toys of the day in it and haul them around.  Lately, he's taken to flipping it over and using the red sloping part as a slide for his little trains.  However, the best entertainment with the shopping cart is playing chase.  One person pushes the cart, usually K.  The other person, most likely Mommy or Daddy, chases him and tries to throw a ball into the cart while running behind him.  It's very entertaining for everybody.  The cart is in great condition, nothing broken or falling apart.  It comes in a few different colors, but we went with gender neutral colors since K will eventually have a little sister.  It sells for around $27 on Amazon.  In my opinion, it's a toy worth buying.  

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A great read: Bubble Trouble

Our favorite book this week: Bubble Trouble 
Thursday we made another (desperate) trip to the library.  I was so tired of the same three books we'd found last week.   They were great, by the way: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.,  Larabee and Flying  both by Kevin Luthardt.  Those books deserve their own post, but I'm running low on time today.  Anyway, we found a whole pile of new books to check out.  This one is our family favorite... Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy.  It is a crazy tongue twisting story that entertains almost all ages.  The story begins, "Little Mabel blew a bubble, and it caused a lot of trouble... Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way."  There are some fantastic words in the story that college bound seniors should know for the SAT like: cavil, grovel, grapple, nefarious, and divested.  Even with all the fancy vocabulary, K loves this book and requests it morning, noon, and night.  If you have a favorite children's book please share it in the comments as we are always in need of a new book to read.  Thanks!

Our son is going to have an amazing vocabulary thanks to Ms. Mahy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Easy Thank You Card

 School is back in session and for some reason that makes me feel like making crafts.  So, I decided to post an easy project idea today.  K helped me make thank you cards before Christmas last year.   It was fun to send a handmade thanks to family from K.  He loved being involved in a craft project and getting his hand painted.  I sponged white acrylic craft paint onto his hand and had wet wipes nearby so we didn't make a huge mess afterwards. (Note: I did not let go of his wrist the entire time or else we would have had paint everywhere!) The sentiment is stamped with StazOn jet black ink.  The stamp set is called Doodle Alphabet from Stampin Up!, and the cardstock is also from Stampin Up!.