Archives for January 2013

Ribbon

As another one of our sick day activities, we recently pulled out some curly ribbon left over from the girls 1st birthday. We keep this ribbon in the same container as our pom poms so I’ll admit this isn’t something out of the ordinary for the girls, but they do love playing with it.

Not only is it fun to move around in your hands, but it’s also fun to touch with your toes! The girls think it’s hilarious when I put a strand of ribbon in between their toes. They kick their legs up and try to shake it off. When they see it move as they shake, there’s usually some giggles.

We have ribbon in multiple colors so I talk about them as we play. E is pretty good about identifying colors, in particular yellow and blue, although recently everything has become yellow. Who knows, maybe that will become her favorite color! We also talked about the sound the ribbon makes as they move it around and squish it in their hands. You can also discuss the texture of the ribbon, how it’s short when it’s curled and when you pull it, it straightens out and gets longer, etc.

As always, this is something you need to closely monitor your child with!


Aly

Aluminum Foil

As another sick day activity, I decided to pull out some good old aluminum foil. It’s a nice sensory toy. It makes a strange noise when you crumple it, it can be bumpy (when you crumple it), smooth (when you flatten it), and so on. First, I have the girls a piece or two to explore.

They loved touching it and scrunching it up in their hands.
After this they began ripping it. Once a few prices were ripped, I rolled them into balls. It was like magic effort their eyes. As soon as I showed them, they quickly both excitedly said “ball!!” And took them from my hands. They played with these for a few minutes just in their hands. Then I gave them some stacking cups and they began putting the balls inside and then dumping them back out. Overall, this activity lasted about 20 to 30 minutes from the time I first handed them the tin foil to the time where they put the balls down, crawled away, and lost interest. Pretty successful in the world of young 1 year olds, I’d say.

 


Aly

Glitter!

The girls have come down with { another } cold. Luckily they’ve still stayed in fantastic moods up until this afternoon when M developed a fever. Even then she wasn’t too grumpy. This has kept us trapped in the house all week. Well, that and the freezing cold. It’s been in the single digits here with the wind chill. So, I wanted to find things we could do in the house that were things they hadn’t done before. The next few posts will be about the different things we’ve done.

What kid doesn’t like glitter? It’s sparkly and bright and catches their eye easily. The first time I brought the glitter out, I gave the girls the bottles of it and let them play with them as they wished. These particular bottles had paper covering the top so unless the girls unscrewed the lids, I knew we weren’t at risk of them being spilled. They played with these for what felt like forever. In a good way of course. They’d carry them around the room, hit them together, drop them just to pick them up and drop them again, etc. Eventually, after they tired of them I pulled out some paper. One at a time I let them help me squeeze out glue.

I then put out all the colors of glitter (I had purchased a pack of 6) and let them choose which they wanted. Then they helped me shake the glitter onto the glue.
I had an opened and flattened cereal box underneath the paper each time but I’d recommend something more like newspaper. We just didn’t have any at the time. Here’s the final projects.
The girls had fun doing this project and they still look at their artwork each time we pass by.

 


Aly

Visiting The Bounce House

One place the girls and I visited recently was a local bounce house. The place we went to had several (at least 6) different inflatable bounce structures within it, designed for kids of various ages. Plus a large wooden ship complete with tunnels and slides. Basically a little slice of heaven for a child.
We called ahead and found the “open bounce” times and asked if they were appropriate for babies who were my girls’ age (they were just shy of 1 year old). The woman I spoke to said that they had age 6 and under time slots as well as age 10 and under time slots, so it would be better (clearly) to bring them to the 6 and under one. She also assured me that if the girls hated it or it was too much to handle they’d refund my money. So it was a win win situation. It was a decent price too, $5 per child under 2 (for 2 solid hours of play) and $7 per child 2 and up. Plus, if you paid for a child 2 and up (which we did, I went with a friend who nannies a 2 year old) you got a child under 2 in for free. Obviously, I’m sure prices will vary depending on locations. 
Initially the girls were a little hesitant and preferred watching L (the 2 year old we went with) from the comfort and safety of my lap. L, was having a blast and wanted to go from one bounce structure to the next after just a few minutes. We followed her lead, and then in the third one, we encouraged her to try out all that structure had to offer. After spending about 10 minutes in that bounce structure, M was the first to venture off my lap and explore while checking in with me occasionally. After another 5 or 10 minutes, E joined M.
From then on out, the girls didn’t care about me anymore and were happily crawling around, climbing through the inflated tunnels, grabbing onto the walls and “jumping” – their feet never leaving the ground but nonetheless they were bouncing up and down and loving it! The especially loved the big open bounce structure where there were a ton of balls to play with. We will definitely be going back!
I would like to point out that we went during school hours (something we will always try to do) so there weren’t that many people to start with, and even though children 6 and under could have been there based on the rules of the company, the oldest was probably around 4. This allowed the girls freedom to explore without their safety being in jeopardy. There were so many structures and so few people, we only had one time where we had to share the structure. I was great.
I’ve found that the easiest way to find a bounce house near you is to simply google it! I typed in “bounce houses in MD” skimmed through the results and then called the one closest to me. BOUNCE U is one of the more popular places, having at least one location in 18 different states. It should be noted however that this is NOT where we went so I can’t say if it’s a good place or not a good place to go based on personal experience.
Overall, our experience at a bounce house was wonderful, and I can’t wait to take the girls back!


Aly

Santa Handprints (plus a salt dough recipe!)

The gift from the girls to their parents were adorable salt dough handprint ornaments, but with a little twist. The twist being the handprints were turned into Santa!

I couldn’t decide if I liked the black outline or not. In the end I gave the girls’ parents one from each girl without the outline.

To begin, make the salt dough recipe. This is a great activity to do with the children if they’re old enough. My girls (barely 12 months at the time) loved helping me stir the ingredients and were engrossed in watching me knead the dough. Here’s the a recipe for salt dough (which can be used for so many projects!:

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup plain flour (a friend made this with whole wheat flour and it didn’t turn out for her)
1/4 cup water give or take

Mix all together, and when done your project, bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours. Be sure to use a straw to make a hole (before you bake) if you’re using the dough to make an ornament!

For the Santa handprint project, after making the dough (we doubled the recipe just in case and had enough for 4 handprints, with some dough leftover), I rolled it out to about the thickness of the crust of a pizza, maybe a tad bit thinner. Basically, you need enough to make a deep impression so that it stands out even better when painted. Stamp the child’s hand into the dough, making sure to press all fingers down along with their palm.

Next we cut out the handprint leaving about a quarter of an inch around the edge. We then used a straw to make a hole at the top of the palm. Then into the oven they go.

I took them home to paint them with regular acrylic paint. Red for the palm and thumb, white for a pom pom at the end of the thumb, pom poms at the bottom of the hat, and also for the fingers for the beard. Be sure to leave an unpainted area between the beard (fingers) and palm for Santa’s face. Add eyes and Santa’s red cherry nose. I did two coats of paint for each color. Once everything is completely dry, I sprayed it with a sealer to keep the paint from peeling for years to come. I’m not sure if it would actually peel, but like I’ve said before, I’m overly cautious like that. I added a red ribbon through the hole, and it was ready to be wrapped and given to mom and dad!


Aly