Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a Colorific World!

I spent a few hours last week searching for some different homeschooling supplies. While I was out, I decided to collect a bunch of paint samples form the store to work on an upcoming project. I am going to work with AJ on his alphabet now that he is showing an interest and can verbalize more "real" words. I found these cool Aphabet paint sample cards on the Craft Bits blog and thought I would get started right away. It didn't take much time at all, but I need to get my new laminator out of the car before I hand the cards over the AJ.

Anywhooo. I will post that project soon. What I also came across while looking for paint samples were these cute paint sample cards. AJ loves Mickey Mouse, so, he was enthralled as soon as he saw them. A thought popped right into my head...We could play with matching colors!

I put them all out on the coffee table and tried to get AJ to match them up...

AJ had other plans. I am not sure if the concept of only pickup the 2 matching cards one at a time was too advanced or if AJ was just to much of a nut that day to stay focused. We will have to try it again. In the end, I would ask him to hand me a color card and then have him search through the pile to find its match. He was definitely struggling to slow down and focus, but it is something we will absolutely do again.

I also love this because we can use these cards to identify other things in the house that are the same colors and inevitable work on spelling once we get the colors down. There is a lot of potential! Plus, they are super cute! I am going to laminate them with a blank card on the back. I may right the color name on the back, I haven't decided yet!

Meanwhile, AJ decided to drag a chair over and explore our school stuff. (I have not found a great organized way to keep all our new stuff. We have a small house with only 2 bedrooms and it is really open. So, it seems like everything else AJ can get into and having to keep everything in the garage isn't ideal!) I am really rambling today...

AJ came around the corner with a bag of transportation beads I just bought. Mr. Unfocused suddenly slowed down and was completely captivated!

He was so proud of this transportation string on his pipe cleaner, which he strung all by himself. He even left the beads on it the rest of the day. He was so excited to show Daddy when he came home. He went running to the door to show his amazing creation!

After beads, AJ took a late nap. Just in time for Mama to clean up the days mess and get some work in. It was already time to start dinner. I had a baking project ready to go when AJ awoke....PITA Bread. I let AJ mix the ingredients and kned his own little pita. He had a blast and for some reason kept trying to eat the dough. It cannot have tasted good, but he continued to nibble.

And... while AJ played, Mama cooked! Chicken Souvlaki Dinner with homemade Pita and Tzatziki Sauce is served!!!!

(Notice: AJ had to bring his transportation beads to the dinner table. He even put them on his dinner about obsessed!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When you are handed Lemons...

You never realize how dependant you are on technology until it fails. This has been my experience for the last week. I started my week with my work/school website crashing. Actually, it was accidentally deleted by a co-worker trying to learn the program. This lead to a scramble to try to get something back upquickly for my kids. Then, in the process of my frustration, my work lifeline to the world also decided to crash. Note to matter how upset, do not hit will not run well after said smash!

So, I spent all weekend on the phone with tech support trying to see if they could fix it luck! In the mean time, I have spent every free second rebuilding my website, keeping up with students and trying to do all my work from my hubbies computer. This should have been a relatively easy transfer, but it actually much more complicated because I haven't backed up my computer in ages. This meant I lost MANY of my files, but hopefully tech support can salvage them. Oh, and I hope they don't notice the few missing letters that AJ pulled off during destruction time one day!

So, all this being said...I am backed up on posts. I have lots to share! Today, I will show you how I kept AJ busy during my meltdown. He had a blast! So, when life hands you lemons (and left over oranges from your trees)...

First, put some of the leftover lemons in a basket and drag inside. Encourage your child to pile all those oranges and lemons onto his/her dump truck...because you know he/she loves scooting around on it!

Then, have said child haul butt from one end of the kitchen to the other end pushing his/her dump truck. Careful not to fall!

Unload said lemons and oranges into the bucket...
Haul butt back to the other end of the kitchen to drop off more...

When completely out of energy from running back in forth in the kitchen, sit down and inspect the produce. Then, go take a nap! A nice LONG nap while mommy cries because she has to rebuild her entire website! :)

No lemons were hurt in the course of this activity, so all you produce lovers...HAVE NO FEAR!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last Week in the World of Sickey-ville

Well, last week flew by and I was so busy taking care of AJ who had a double ear infection and a nasty cough. I was also battling a little cold, along with taking care of my hubbie who had broncitis! It made for a fun week. Oh, and it was cold and windy outside so we were cooped up in Sickey-ville!

AJ was too sick to go out and with too much activity would start coughing really hard, but that didn't slow him down! So, here is our week in pictures:

Buttons and Beans were the words for today. AJ cannot get anough of the beans, so, I let him play with the beans this morning. He loves to drive his trains through them and hide his car in them. So, after bean time, we moved onto buttons his other new obsession.

He decided at first that he was going to spoon the buttons into the dish. He had a hard time scooping because it was on a flat surface, but was intent on using the spoon.

I bought some pipe cleaners and we started working on trying to lace the buttons onto the pipe cleaner. This was very difficult for AJ and he could not do it on his own, but he was captivated by the concept. We worked together to put the pipe cleaner though the whole and by the end he was able to do it by himself when using the big buttons. I was really proud of him and he had a blast. He wouldn't let me take the buttons off and carried around the pipe cleaner the rest of the day!

We learned how to use Tongs!

Then we played hide and seek with the cotton balls!

In preparation for Valentine's Day, we sorted chips.

We scooped a lot of Pasta...We even drew pictures in our pasta!

We spent the morning back at the doctors office. AJ was weezing a lot, so, we headed back to see why he was not getting better. After a change in medicine and what seemed like forever at the pharmacy, AJ took a steam bath in the shower to help clear the mucus build up. The water wasn't too hot, but we have one bath that is small and makes AWESOME STEAM! So, while the shower was running AJ made shaving cream pictures on the shower walls and then made a shaving cream train track on the floor. He was rather upset to get out!

AJ did a bit of coloring, which was a total surprise because he is not a huge fan. I think the markets were an inspiration.

After a 3 hour nap (I told you he was sick!), we played hide and seek with out new balls. AJ had a blast with this and kept peeking around the corner to see what I was doing. We played this 3 or 4 times and then he decided it was time to try his hand at the tongs again. (Excuse the runny nose!)

We made yogurt Popsicles.

We painted using different shapes...

Painting with shapes inevitable turned into painting car tracks with his various cars. We, of course, had to wash them when we were done! AJ was so please to wash all his cars!

Saturday...because learning never stops and AJ seems to have an endless supply of energy (even when sick!)

Back to buttons...AJ could play for hours with buttons! Today, he decided he would make music, so he spent time putting the buttons in this empty container and then running around shaking it! Someone forgot to tell him he was still sick!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bandits in action...

This is the face of my innocent little guy. He looks all cute and cuddly here! He is actually bored here, hence the silly lookon his face. So, being the good mommy I am... I let him go outside and play in the backyard while I was making lunch! I keep the doors and windows open so I can keep an eye on him. But, he is really pretty good out there and knows his limits.

While making lunch I hear the normal array of minute AJ is riding his tricycle around then knocking it over on the ground. Next, he is runny after our dog, Rusty, and trying to get Rusty to chase the ball...then it gets quiet! That's when Mommy sirens go off! I peek outside and what do I see...
My Caped Crusaders in Action...

Yes, this is what my little bandits have been up too...digging a whole in the backyard!

as I take a closer look I realize not only has AJ gone potty in the potty, but he has taken the time to re-dress himself. Shorts are inside out, one sock is on inside out the other missing and amazingly his shoes are on the right feet! Oh, he is good! Definitely takes after his father!

Buttons on the Loose...

AJ found my button tin when we were in the garage the other day. Do not ask why or how it found its way to the garage, but there it lay...So, we decided to bring it in and play for a bit.

*Safety Note: Although AJ is NOT none for sticking everything in his mouth, but even so, I did remove all the small buttons from the tin. I only left buttons that were about an 1" or bigger. There were plenty left.

I gave AJ the button tin and an empty egg carton. He went through and started sorting the buttons. He sorted many of the buttons by color, but had no idea what to do with clear, gold and multicolored buttons. So, we talked about what color they were and how to sort them. AJ was lucky that I had many of the same buttons, so, it made it easy to sort, but when he got confused on what to do with the light blue buttons because they were not the same as the navy buttons. This led to a discussion on shades, light and dark. I collected all of the blue buttons and we worked together to sort them.

I used a T chart for this activity. Here is a picture of a T-chart.

I printed it off my computer and laminated it. This way I can re-use it for many activities by writing any titles I need in the column headings. For this activity, I used Light and Dark as my headings and we sort, sort, sorted! I wanted to work on big and small, but AJ had other plans. When I went to get my bog and small bowls, he found the beans and drug them down...

At this point, you maybe asking yourself why there have been not been any pictures thus far. One, I forgot. Two, I have to get up the nerve to delete the pictures on my camera to make room. I have been deleting a few at a time when I run out of space, but it has gotten a bit ridiculous. There are over 900 pictures on the card and I have not been able to delete the pics from when AJ was first born until now. (Even though they have all been scrapbooked and copied onto disk) So, I finally went through with it and now am down to 212...I could delete everything! But, now, I have adequate space, so, I can take more than 3 pictures at a time with out having to delete yesterdays activities. OK deep breath...don't cry! I just keep telling myself...I have the pictures...I do not need to save them on the camera anymore. Can you tell I am a pack rat about AJ's stuff. I am the mom that that has kept virtually all of his clothes since newborn! My garage (and my hubbie) wishes find a new home for them, but the thrifty pat of me can't part with them! We want to have several kids, so, why would I want to have to buy clothes all over again when we have another boy...they are in god condition. This is how I justify it to myself.

When I couldn't convince him to come back to the buttons, I changed gears and decided on a game of hide and seek. I poured all the beans into the baby tub and hid some buttons in them. Then, I gave AJ a bowl and he went to town! He was so into the game of hide and seek, that once he found all of the buttons, he went to find things for he to hide. Surprise, surprise out came the trains and cars to be hidden.

After that is became a bean festival! He took out everything he could find and jammed up it into the beans...plowing through and making new tracks for his trains, cars, even the baby bath sling became a ramp!

When he tired of the baby sling off, he decided it was time to try out his new spoons. I found these for $1 at JoAnn Fabrics. He thought they were super cool and had a ball filling up his little bowl. He is getting a lot better at scooping and being able to transfer the beans from the scoop into the bowl. Before the majority of the beans would simply fall off the spoon and he would just get frustrated.

Water, Water...EVERYWHERE!

It was cold and rainy outside, so, I thought why not bring the water inside? So, I brought the baby tub inside and we worked with water today. AJ loves water so I thought we would be adventurous. AJ was so excited, he crawled right in and started to play. He could barely wait for me to collect and fill the containers. The funny thing was ...he jumped right in...fully clothed. I didn't even think to take his long sleeve shirt off until we were about half way done!

So the first thing I did was pull out an old dish soap container and filled it with water. AJ spent several minutes just opening and closing the lid on the contained. So, we talked about opening and closing and I helped him to name what he was doing. Once he had that down, we worked on filling a bottle with the soap bottle. This was a hard task for AJ because the soap bottle was not a bottle he could just dump in. He had to squeeze the bottle to get the water to come out. He tried just dumping it over, then shaking it, but it didn't work. Finally he figured out how to squeeze the bottle to get the water out!

He had a blast filling up different bottles with water, then dumping them out. He would then scoop up the water using the measuring cups and pour then back into the soap bottle. He needed help getting the soap bottle lid off, but he had fun filling up the bottle. We tried using the funnel, but because there was water in the bottom of the tub, the bottle would just fall over, so, we ditched the funnel. He did really well keeping the water in the tub for the most part and surprisingly didn't splash the water everywhere like he does in the real bath tub. So, I let him play with the bottles for about 30 minutes. Then, we ventured into Jello!

I made jello a few days ago and put them in various molds. One of the mold I tried was a star Ice cube mold. I thought it would make cute stars, but the problem was I couldn't get the stars out because the plastic was so thick. I had read in the Busy Toddler Book about letting your toddler play with Jello in water, so, I thought this would be a great use for these stars. So, I handed AJ one set of Jello stars and let him go to town. He started by trying to eat through the plastic to get the jello out! It was hysterical to watch him twist and turn trying to get the jello out of the molds.

I started to feel bad, so I helped him to get the jello out and we squished it in the water. We started to talk about texture and how it felt, but, after a few seconds he realized what was in the tub and started to inhale the jello by all means necessary!

Finally, I gave him the second mold to work on removing the jello from. He was indignant that he was going to get all the jello out by any means necessary.

After, he had his fill of jello, it was off to the real tub to get all the stickies off! What a great day though!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Rainy Day, but a Busy One!

It is cold and wet outside. From the moment AJ popped out of his room, he continuously repeated (and eventually whined) "bye bye". I tried to explain to him that it was cold outside and raining. I finally had to open the door, so he could feel for himself. It was adorable because he popped his head out the door said "cold" and slammed it shut. That was the end of that conversation! He quickly moved on...

First stop...Time to build!

He had a blast building the structures and then knocking them down. We spent 15 minutes building. He loves trying to see how tall me can make a structure and then loves watching it crash down. Definitely a boy thing!

Second stop...Puzzle Time!

I saw these on another blog and had to make them. I have to credit Mer Mag for sharing her Geometrics. I do plan on having my hubbie making these out of hardboard, but I couldn't wait. So, last night I carved up a white cardboard box last night so AJ could play today. He had as much fun building these rectangles as he did diving on the finish product and send the tiles sailing across out tile floor!

Third stop...Collage Time!
After a nice nap and a lunch of cheese crackers (I was just happy he ate!), we moved on to crafts. Today, I decided to venture into gluing. I found a glue stick in my craft box and thought it just might work...assuming AJ didn't eat the glue! So, I cut up some newspaper and let him go to town. He Had a blast putting the glue on the paper and I had to keep reinforcing that the point was to glue the squares onto the paper, not to simply put the glue on the paper and stick your hands to it. He enjoyed gluing his finger together and I enjoyed watching him try to get the newspaper squared of his sticky gluey fingers. It was like a battle of the wills.

After he had glued all the squares down, he then started gluing his face which led to his tongue. That didn't take long. I explained to him that we do not eat glue and that if he continued to glue his tongue I would have to take it away. I could almost see the gears turning and a sudden mischievous look quickly creep across is face. Then, in a split second he flipped the stick over, dove his little fingers in the glue and scooped a nice glue ball up. He was in full motion of putting the ball of glue into his mouth when I snatched the glue from his hands...instant stop! He realized I wasn't going to give on eating glue and then began to whine because he couldn't get the cap off the stick. Mama don't play!

Final Stop...Train time!

Since I do not own kids scissors yet, I took AJ's paint tracks picture the other day and cut it into the shape of a train. I had him work on coloring on a separate paper for the wheels while I worked. It made for a cute finished project! He had a great time moving it from place to place around the house and made a beeline to show daddy when he came home. It was a nice end to the day and what beats a train!