Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Egg-tivities

I had great plans for Easter this year as far as toddler activities go. Then my newborn started sleeping (or rather NOT sleeping) even more horribly, and my husband needed to go out of town for work for the third time in four weeks. So basically most of this past week leading up to the Easter Bunny's visit is now a bit of a blur.

Somewhere in there I managed to put together two brain cells on occasion to find some activities for Bugga to do that were Easter-related. I found some great printable activities online that were both Easter-relevant as well as educational, but not too old for her as a lot of Preschool printables tend to be.

Here's Bugga working on the Egg Matching Activity, which she shocked me by immediately being a whiz at. This explains why her strongest skill with folding laundry is matching her socks!

Here's the Carrot Activity that involves Bugga trying to figure out which big letter matches which little letter. This was a new way of thinking about the letters, as we have not really introduced "little" letters yet. This was our introduction.

These printable activities can be found here.

And of course, I planned to get in some egg decorating. We had a great time last year when Bugga was 15 months old so of course I was optimistic. I saw an adorable idea online that involved rolling the eggs in polenta - I had planned on using colored coconut - but that was a massive fail. The "egg wash glue" was not at all a glue so it was just a big mess. Apparently I forgot the sugar, which, logically is the sticky part. Oops.

While we were waiting for the eggs to dry to see if the coconut would stick, my toddler got impatient with the waiting, so I improvised with some plastic eggs and a glue gun.

Once I knew that the textured eggs weren't happening this year, I washed off the remaining coconut, and just went with the infamous drop-in-the-colored-water coloring. Then I just used my glue gun to attach the googly eyes and bunny/chick appendages. What I learned: If you use a glue gun on an egg that just came out of the refrigerator, the glue will be chilled and dry before you attach whatever it is you're trying to glue to the egg. Another oops. So here is the motley crew of eggs that we ended up with.

Let's just say I am looking forward to making egg salad tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Toddler Learning: The Alphabet

Bugga is currently just shy of 2.5 years old (that's 30 months, for those of you who do the months thing) and right now she is a sponge for just about any information we give her. At this point she "reads" all her books to us because she has them memorized, so it has been obvious to us for awhile that we need to help her get to the point where she can truly read. So we started with the alphabet.

We have given her exposure to the alphabet in many ways:

  1. Alphabet decals on Bugga's bedroom wall over her changing table that is the object of discussion any time she lies underneath them.
  2. Fabric alphabet magnets that she plays with almost every day.
  3. Her own personalized Alphabet Book.
  4. We have sung the Alphabet song three times while we brush her teeth since we started brushing teeth (I brush for two rounds, she brushes herself for the last round).
  5. This great book called AlphaBlock
  6. Alphabet puzzles - we have a great one from Melissa & Doug which I think is an earlier version of this.
At this point, she is building Lego "microphones", setting up her stuffed animals as an "audience" and singing her "A B Cs" to the crowd. I guess it's working. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Toddler Project: Spring Tissue Paper Duck

I've been scrounging Pinterest for toddler-appropriate Easter and Spring crafts. Have I mentioned my apprehension with glue and my 2-year-old? I think she's not quite ready for that responsibility yet. But I still want her to get in on the crafting fun as much as she can. She has already had enough experience that she is quick to eagerly ask me, "Are you making me a project?" every time I go near my craft shelves. Yep, no question she is my kid.

Incidentally, here was some dialog during our project:
Me: "What does a duck say?"
Bugga: "Quack! What does a duckie say?"
Me: "I don't know, what does a duckie say?"
Bugga: "SQUEAK!"
Can't argue with that.

Tissue Paper Duck for Spring

Our first easy project required the following items:

  • thick craft paper
  • scissors
  • yellow, orange and black tissue paper
  • contact paper
  1. Draw a duck shape on the craft paper. You can find images online, but I just eye-balled it. Cut out the duck. 
  2. Cut your tissue paper into small pieces. Ask your toddler to help crumple each piece into a teeny, tiny ball.
  3. Add contact paper behind your duck cut-out, sticky side up.
  4. Start sticking the tissue paper to the contact paper.
  5. Show off your finished product!

It's Not About Gwyneth

This is a repost from something I shared with my friends on Facebook. Hopefully my blog readers also know what I'm trying to say.

So this Gwyneth Paltrow working mom thing is all over Facebook. Yes, she said her job is harder than other working moms. And then a gajillion people responded that, no, their jobs are harder than that of a celebrity. 

On other days I see people post links to blogs about someone trying to attempt to equalize the struggles of working moms versus stay-at-home moms, and it just results in a Battle of the Miserable (seriously, read the comments on any of these posts). 

Am I the only person who is tired of hearing everyone try to tear each other down by one-upping others about how hard their life is? 

Of course the grass is often much greener on the other side, but everyone has their struggles, whether it be 9 months on a movie set away from your family, or working 2 daily jobs away from your kids to make ends meet, or struggling to find professional success. 

Yes, celebrities have a lot of money and freedoms that regular people might not have, but they are also people too, with families they can't be with all the time and marriages that fail no matter how many nannies they hire. Stay at home moms and working moms all have their own reasons to be jealous of each other's lives. 

I guess the bottom line I get from all this is stop spending so much time tearing down the Joneses and find your own happiness.