Friday, December 11, 2009

Prize in the cereal box.

Max:  I want to make a firestation!
Mommy:  Ummmmmmm....... let's look through recycling!

I grabbed a few cereal boxes from the recycling bin and we recycled them ourselves.  And made fire stations from them.  great fun.  Just take all of the tabs up and lay it flat and inside out, have them color whatever they want to and then reassemble it inside out with tape.

And also, don't forget to put a box on your head while you eat your toast.

To see something else you can do with a cardboard box, check out what we found outside our house!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trick or Reading

Mid-afternoon is the hardest time of the day for me.  My 4 year old isn't napping anymore (well, on rare occasion) and my 2 year old is snoozing away.  It's quiet time and it's mom time (at least a few minutes if I can).  We came up with a fun idea one afternoon when Max was asking for treats and Mom wanted him to sit quietly and read books.  

1.  Lay out a handful of books and put a small treat on each one.  We normally use chocolate chips but these pictures were taken back in October so candy corn were aplenty. m&m's, grapes, blueberries, pretzels, goldfish, etc.  

2.  Child chooses book and eats corresponding treat.
3. Reads Book

4. Repeat until all treats are eaten and books are read.  

It's a great way to stretch a treat, stretch reading time 
and stretch a few mommy minutes.

I have made a little rule at first that Max must tell me when he finished before his next treat just to make sure he understood that he couldn't eat all the treats first.  Now he gets it and he doesn't have to tell me, although sometimes he still likes to tell me which one he is going to pick next. 

Variations:  You could switch it up and do a different little treat on each book or if you are daring, spread their lunch in bite-size pieces over all of the books.  Nothing that would stain books though.  or get pages messy --- well, maybe that wouldn't work.... but maybe it could?  hmmmm...  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It started with Max bringing me a penny he found and me reaching up on the shelf to put the penny in the change jar.  He asked if he could do it.  I said sure and took the jar down.  He clanked it in and smiled.  Then Oliver wanted to do it.

So, since Oliver is out of the put everything in the mouth stage I sat them at the table with the change jar.  I gave them all sorts of containers to put them in.  The smaller the opening and the taller the container the better.  Hence the bud vase and thermoses.

Max sorted coins by color and sizes.  I told him to put five in each colored bowl.  Oliver lined them in a long long choo choo train.  But mostly they just wanted to hear the clank clank into the containers.  Metal and glass were the best clanks. And they loved pouring the filled containers back into the change jar or into another vessel...

Of course you can't play this with younger kids.  PLEASE don't.  Make sure that all participants are out of that mouth-y stage.  Also, make rules.  No money on the ground and if a "money" falls, tell mom and she will pick it up.

This kept my boys busy for nearly a half hour while I made dinner.