Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kid Friendly iPhone/iPod Cases

The other day when I was in Walmart I saw a very cool case for your iPhone/iPod touch that is baby friendly. It's made by Fisher-Price and is not that expensive.
 
Here is a link to Amazon if you wanted to see reviews of this product: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Laugh-Learn-Apptivity-Case/dp/B004UU9W78  

The other case is more soft and cuddly. It's called The Woogie.
Woogie_09.jpg
Here is a link to a website, I've not seen these in stores: http://www.coolhunting.com/tech/woogie.php

My 5 yr old is a bit too old for the Fisher Price case, though when we manage to adopt another baby that may be a good purchase for us. However, she loves the idea of the Woogie so I see myself purchasing this in the near future.

~Erica

Thursday, December 1, 2011

101 Things To Do With Your Child

I found this list of 101 things you can do with your child. It was in one of the files I'm trying to clean out, I have no idea where it came from but there are some GREAT ideas on here.

  1. Color
  2. Blow Bubbles
  3. Play Hide-and-Seek
  4. Peek-a-Boo
  5. Play Chase
  6. Do Finger-plays
  7. Sing a song
  8. Collect rocks in a basket
  9. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and/or furniture
  10. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets
  11. Go for a Walk
  12. Make a Car out of a Box
  13. Read a book
  14. Go to the park
  15. Finger-paint
  16. Play with Play-Dough
  17. Toss Bean bags into a Bucket
  18. Play the shell and pea game
  19. Dance to music
  20. Download games for toddlers from the Internet
  21. Practice putting things in and taking things out of boxes and bags
  22. Make a temporary slide out of a table leaf and your couch
  23. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor
  24. Scoop dirt or sand into a child's bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  25. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other (only with adult supervision)
  26. Put on a puppet show
  27. Go fishing with a yard stick and yarn
  28. Make a Horseshoe game
  29. Make a Shape Puzzle
  30. Play paper basketball
  31. Run through a Sprinkler
  32. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge (PLEASE WATCH CHILD AT ALL TIMES!)
  33. Make a Drum out of an oatmeal box
  34. Play with a kazoo
  35. Wash windows together
  36. Bang on Pots and Pans with a spoon
  37. Brush each other's teeth
  38. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your child's clothes
  39. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other
  40. Let child stack mixing bowls inside each other
  41. Make a playhouse out of a large box
  42. Let child play with a sticker sheet (make sure your child doesn't eat them!)
  43. Put stickers on fingers for finger puppets
  44. Play a musical instrument together- i.e.recorder, piano, etc.
  45. Go on a Smelling Hunt
  46. Frost Cookies
  47. Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  48. Roll a tennis ball into an empty trash can or bucket
  49. Draw on a mirror with dry-erase markers
  50. Play hide and seek together- trying to find a stuffed animal or other object
  51. Have a splash party together in the bathtub
  52. Put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk around the house
  53. Record each other on a tape recorder (great for scrapbooks or journals!)
  54. Make and try on paper hats
  55. Give a piggy-back ride
  56. Play "Horsey"
  57. Talk into an electric fan (it distorts your voice)
  58. Play tug-of-war with a blanket
  59. Collect flowers (felt, artificial, real...)
  60. Make a camera and go on a Safari
  61. Play games with frozen juice lids
  62. Disconnect your phone and pretend to make phone calls to relatives
  63. Leave your phone connected and really make phone calls to relatives- let your child talk too
  64. String large beads onto or along a shoelace
  65. Squirt each other with squirt bottles
  66. Glue shapes onto paper
  67. Make sock puppets
  68. Make paper puppets
  69. Fill an old purse with toys
  70. Use a paper towel tube as a megaphone
  71. Make binoculars and go "Bird Watching" or "Stuffed Animal Watching"
  72. Put snacks in different fun containers (paper sacks, empty canisters, etc.)
  73. Act out a story from a book
  74. Walk on a balance beam- use a 2x4 placed on the ground
  75. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  76. Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  77. Paint child's palms with tempura paint and blot on paper. Makes a great card for loved ones!
  78. Put lipstick on child and kiss a mirror
  79. Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  80. Let child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich
  81. Make a toilet paper barricade for child to go under, over, or through
  82. Do the Hokey-Pokey
  83. Make a super-hero costume out of household items
  84. Do Knee-Bouncing Rhymes
  85. Play "Red Light, Green Light" saying "Go" and "Stop"
  86. Make a shoe-box train for stuffed animals
  87. Make a pillow pile to jump on (keep it clear from any hard surfaces, including walls!)
  88. Make an easy puzzle with felt and Velcro
  89. Make bracelets or collars for stuffed animals out of pipe cleaners and jingle bells
  90. Learn numbers from a deck of cards
  91. Play the matching game with a deck of cards
  92. Make a domino chain
  93. Have a picnic in the park, backyard, or living room!
  94. Play dress up in Mommy or Daddy's clothes
  95. Make a tin cup telephone and talk to each other in it
  96. Make a nature collage
  97. Mirror each other
  98. Make a "Mummy Mommy" with toilet paper
  99. Make a tape recording of short music selections and instructions to move in different ways
  100. Make and walk along a toilet paper trail
  101. TAKE A NAP!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spin Art

Here is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to paint with little to no mess. I use a salad spinner I found at IKEA for about $4. We have some tempera paint and I cut templates to fit in the bottom of the basket.
salad spinner with template inside
Pour in paint, I wouldn't do more than 3 colors at a time

Make some scribbles with your paints

Put the lid on, make sure it is fitting correctly
Now....SPIN.....kids may need help, many spinners are hard to start
Ta Da!!!!
We've used these circles as turkey feathers. I've trimmed the circles into apple and pumpkin shapes. We've done brown in the middle and yellow on the edge to make sunflowers, if you do blue paper with white paint they make really cool snowflakes. Ive used these for "Go Away Big Green Monster" we put the colors in the approximate places and then give it a spin, they turn out pretty neat. Use your imagniation and see what you can make these in to.

Why Messy Play is Important

Why Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers

The above article (follow the link) really does a good job of explaining why we need to let our children get messy, and not just in structured settings but spontaneously as well.

My daughter is very much a tom-boy. She has no sense of fear when it comes to climbing on things and jumping off things. I try not to watch to closely. However, she loves to wear her frilliest dresses while digging holes in my backyard looking for dinosaur fossils! So I went to Goodwill and Savers and found some frilly dresses for next to nothing and those were her paleontologist clothes. She was happy and I wasn't cringing everytime I looked in the backyard. They lasted the summer with many washings and now that winter is rearing it's head they have been tossed in the rag bag or garbage can. They really aren't good for much else. :)

Here's how I let my daughter explore and create and imagine and learn while also keeping the mess from getting out of control. First we bought a nicely sized tote with locking lid. Sometimes I ask her what she wants to play with, sometimes I just make something and then leave it out for her to discover. Some things we've put in our tubs:
  • dried beans
  • colored rice
  • colored noodles
  • plain noodles
  • silk leaves
  • real leaves
  • candy corn
  • coffee grounds
  • cloud dough
  • water beads
  • water
  • sand
  • cedar chips
  • whole corn
  • fish tank gravel
  • birdseed
  • silk flour petals
  • acorns
  • feathers
  • flour or cornstarch or flax seed (and then add some spices, ooooohhhh smells good)
  • oatmeal
  • dirt with worms and seeds to plant
  • shredded paper
Ok you get the idea, the possibilities are endless. They become even more so when you add things to your tub. We've added toy dinosaur fossils and paint brushes, Halloween spider rings and eyeball ping pong balls, underwater lights (especially cool in the water beads), pine cones, minnows (to the water), spoons, shovels, scoops, sifters, magnets, shells, anything related to a favorite topic or the weather or holidays. I have as much fun putting these together as my daughter has playing with them. I only put one or two tubs out ata a time. When I'm not using materials I store then in gallon ziplock bags in a large Rubbermaid type tote. They are nicely accessible that way

Want more ideas? Do a google search for "sensory bins" or if you are on pinterest do the search there, you'll find lots and lots of cool ideas.

Cloud Dough and Messy Play

I'd never heard of this stuff before then I found about 10 or more posts on it in a week. So I thought I'd give it a try. Oooooohhhhh this stuff feels soooooo good!

How many of you don't get out the playdoh or paints because they are messy? How many of you have never made ooblek for your kids because it's messy? Well, I'll tell you, YEP it's messy. But part of being a toddler and preschooler is getting messy. I found an article that describes perfectly why this play is so important for children. I'll put that in another post.

But first....the Cloud Dough
8 cups flour
1 cup baby oil (can also use cooking oil)

or

4 cups flour
1/2 cup baby oil

Mix it all together, kids love this part. When it's all mixed you get a very soft feeling "sand" to play with. It molds easily and crumbles easily. Is it messy? You Bet! Is it fun? Oh yes!

Making a pie for Thanksgiving "you haf a wait mommy"

I think this cutter will work but not the other one

mellon baller, pizza cutter, footed muffin cups

Its a cake for your birfday

See your spiderman candle mommy?

in true Montessori fashion, when done playing she cleans up by herself


this broom is the perfect size for her to be able to clean up herself.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Montessory At Home

This teacher/mom explains so well what I try to do in my classroom and at home with my daughter. I don't always succeed but trying is the biggest step in getting there (unless you are a student of Yoda then you either do it or you don't - we've been watching Star Wars a LOT in my house lately)

http://spiralmontessorimama.blogspot.com/2008/03/bringing-montessori-home-from-school.html

I'm not going to try to re-create her post or even paste it here as it's a little long, but very worth the reading!

Teach Before You Ask

I found this post that I'm going to copy here (and give the link as well). It really brought home the lesson to me. After the article I'll give you a personal story that goes along with this.


Care of Self: Nose Blowing


Providing a mirror for young children to admire themselves is a good way to buy yourself 5 to 10 minutes of time :)
Seriously, there is nothing my Little One enjoys more than checking himself out in the mirror!

When I brought this mirror out yesterday, my little guy had a bit of a runny nose. Upon noticing this in the mirror he got himself a tissue and wiped his nose, he then checked his reflection in the mirror to make sure his nose was clean. As I observed him I was reminded of a story:

One day, when Montessori came to see how the children where getting on, she decided to give them what was at that time a rather unusual lesson--on how to blow one's nose. After explaining first of all how it should not be done she showed them how to do it as politely as possible, with as little noise as one could, and taking out the handkerchief unobtrusively so that the action remains more or less unnoticed. The children followed her demonstration with silent interest. When the lesson was quite finished they all together broke into a burst of genuine and heartfelt applause, clapping their hands "as when in a theatre a great actress evokes an ovation repressed with difficulty." she later said.
Montessori was completely amazed at this sudden demonstration of emotion, until all at once its true significance dawned on her. The question she had touched upon--keeping one's nose clean--was one which children too often associate with discipline and humiliation. People are perpetually complaining to children about their noses being dirty. Making remarks, such as "Blow your nose, Billy." "Why don't you use your handkerchief, you dirty boy," etc. But no one had ever quietly and calmly taught them how to do it, without attacking them or criticizing them at the same time.
Okay,
I have a confession, when I ran my child care center in Massachusetts I kept the box of tissues on a high shelf in the bathroom. I did this without giving it much thought. I expect I just thought it was my job to recognize when the children needed a tissue and to care for them when they did. I would provide the older child with a tissue, and assist the younger child with their nose, by wiping it for them. I really don't recall giving this much thought at all. I will say when I began working at a Montessori School the fact that each room had its very own tissue box on a low shelf, was one of the very first things I noticed when looking around the classroom.
I remember noticing this and mentioning it to the Director; she went on to explain the story I have just shared with you. I left that day full of so much new and exciting information about Montessori and this new school I had found myself teaching art at. My head was spinning and I was so happy to be part of a place that valued children so much. But, a three year old blowing his own nose impressed me most of all!
Later, during my formal Montessori training when the instructor began sharing the "Nose Blowing Lesson Story" with all of us, I smiled to myself already knowing what she would say.
Now my not yet two year old can blow his own nose! I've come a long way in my own learning, as a mother and as a teacher. As Montessori would say, children are the true teachers.
In PEACE
~~MM
So here is my story:
The other day I read an interesting post on Montessori Mama . It brought home the thought that we do tend to ask kids to do things without showing them how: putting books away, picking up toys, blowing noses, putting clothes in the dresser......

I have been guilty of this and now try to think ahead a bit. After reading this and seeing the mom's story about putting books away I went home and tried it with my daughter. We spent 10 minutes taking the books off, I explained about the spine and how the spine needs to look out of the shelf so that it is easier to find the book you want then we worked together and put the books back. Now, when she has to put books away she mutters to herself "the spine looks at my room". Sometimes she needs a reminder and I usually say "where is the book's spine?" and she flips it right around before putting it in the shelves.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Sugar Plum Fairy - a Halloween Tradition

One of the other teachers sent me a link to this article. I really like the idea, may have to try it at home because my daughter came home with a FULL bucket and my husband had his pockets stuffed with candy. I was going to put most of it in the freezer but I like this idea:



  Apparently there is also a pumpkin fairy who does pretty much the same thing.

http://themagiconions.blogspot.com/2010/10/ledgend-of-pumpkin-fairy.html

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby Brain Map

Welcome to the Baby Brain Map, a ZERO TO THREE Web exclusive The Brain Map was adapted in 2006 by ZERO TO THREE from BrainWonders, a collaborative project (1998-2001) between Boston University School of Medicine, Erikson Institute and ZERO TO THREE.


this is an example of what you might see on the page when you follow the link:



The link is also posted under Development on the right side of the page.

Are You Dreading the Piles of Candy?

I found this article called 25 things to do with leftover Halloween candy. There are some good ideas in here, maybe not all 25 are right for you but there might be one or two you can use.

Happy Trick or Treating!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Child Development and the Delayed Child


Many of us have and or work with children who are developmentally delayed. And as parents, many of you give up reading child development books and looking at the charts. The thing to remember is that the books and charts still apply. Your child may not walk between 12-15 months or sit up around 6 months, or crawl 9-11 months. But that doesn't mean your child won't do these things. The steps on the developmental path are the same for every child, some are just a bit slower than others. So instead of looking at the ages that children should reach certain milestones, just look at the next couple of skills they need to master. That way you can help them move along the developmental path and not get quite so discouraged at how "behind" they are. And yep, here it comes: try not to compare your child to other children their age or how their older siblings used to be. I totally get that it is hard, I have to stop myself with my own daughter all the time. Actually I still struggle with it. She is almost 5 and my nephew is almost 4. They are 13 months apart but he was talking very intelligibly LONG before my daughter was and I admit I got a bit freaked out by that. But then I started comparing other aspects of their development: her motor skills were WAY beyond his, her ability to problem solve was a bit scary if you ask me. Her sense of rhythm is amazing (and that's not just the proud mommy talking, that is also an observation from a few different musicians we know). She is oh so very much more social than he is......so if you are going to compare (and you will) remember to compare all aspects of the children, not just the one that you see as a failing. You might be surprised at how much your child CAN do. As a society we are conditioned to look at all the negative things in life and we forget to see the whole picture, see your child as a whole picture and don't fret, they'll get where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. (Wow, how's that for a deep philosophical thought way to early in the morning?) And don't forget that even typical children develop at different speeds, don't fret about when your child hits certain milestones just help them work to achieve them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fantastic Baby/Toddler Toy!!!

Does you child LOVE to pull all the Kleenex or wipes out of their boxes and make a huge pile around them? Mine has, thankfully, grown out of that stage (mostly). But I made this for one of the kids in my classroom and it was such a huge hit that I thought I'd share it. I found the idea on one of the many web sites I peruse through. http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/reusable-tissue-box-toy/

I used an empty wipes box because I thought it was a bit sturdier and would hold up to the use I was hoping I'd get out of it. Cut some fabric into squares (size doesn't really matter but I measured the width of the box and cut my square that big). Cut with Pinking shears so that you don't have to worry about fraying. You can stuff them all inside, you can tie corners together to make one long string of them. I opted to fold mine like wipes so that when one was pulled out another would pop up. I have to tell you that my 5 year old loved this toy. :) Who knew? I made one to keep at home and she came to me and said "Mommy, they're like little kleenex, just my size." So now we have a box of reusable "kleenex". I just toss them in the hamper and wash them with the laundry. I put them in a sock bag just so I wouldn't lose them all.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Multi-Sensory Bath Time

Ok, this is just so cool and fun I had to share it. I found this through a facebook post from www.theimaginationtree.com 

Add a little food coloring to your bath (it won't stain your tub or you child's skin! yay!) The gal on Imagination Tree also added scents, head on over to her site and see this in action (she has pictures).

We did this at home over the weekend and Autumn had a blast. We did green (and I did add the eucalyptus that she did due to colds in our house) and she decided it made a great swamp for her dinosaurs and alligators.

Now she wants to try a blue bath for her sharks and fish and rays. Unfortunately she only gets a bath once a week so she'll have to wait till Saturday. :)

We did discover that the coloring also tints the bubbles if you do a bubble bath.

http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2011/05/multi-sensory-bath-times.html

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pool Noodle Fun on Dry Land

Wish you hadn't bought quite so many pool noodles (to replace the ones you put away last fall and couldn't find until you bought new ones)? Here are some fun ways to use those noodles all winter long (now I wish I'd bought a few this summer!)

1.  Tunnel Fun: Line up a few chairs facing each other, a few feet apart. Lay pool noodles across the chairs to make a tunnel. Children can crawl underneath the noodles or through the tunnel. Children develop upper body strength and spatial concepts while having fun!

 
2.  Tug of War: A great partner activity for parent and child.  Each person holds onto an end of the noodle and tries to pull it from the other.  Vary positions to increase the fun and benefit. Try sitting, kneeling, and then standing.  Try kneeling while your child stands. Challenge him/her to pull you over—you will both have fun when you fall over! This activity increases muscular strength and endurance.

 
3. Rocket Ships: Cut a pool noodles in half or into thirds. Count 1,2,3 Blast Off! And then throw the pool noodle high in the air. Try to catch it. Or, throw the noodle high in the air and call out an action to do before it lands (i.e.  jump, touch the ground, turn around).

 
4. Ride’em Cowboy! Put on your imaginary cowboy hat and spurs. Pretend the noodle is a horse and gallop.  Add some fun by giving signals to go fast/slow or start/stop.  Get creative. What other animals might you like to ride and how do they move—walk, crawl, run, waddle, etc. Children can experience a variety of locomotor patterns such as sliding from side to side; twisting back and forth; and walking in straight, curved or zig-zag paths.

 
5. Let’s Go Bowling: Tape 2 pool noodles parallel to each other approximately 1 to 2 feet apart from each other as bumpers in a bowling alley. Line empty water bottles at the end of the two noodles. At the opposite end, encourage children to roll a ball down the “bowling alley” to knock down the pins. To vary the activity, provide different size balls and bottles weighted with water to encourage children to use a variety of speeds and force when rolling the ball.


6. Threading and Patterning: Cut your noodle into 1-2" width rings, provide a string with a taped end (tie the other end around one of the rings to provide a stopper) and let your child go to town. You can show them how to make patterns or just let them play and have fun.

7. Counting Caterpillar:  You could also write numbers 1-10 on the noodles and help your child string them in order, make a cute face on one and it will be a fun counting caterpillar.



8. Pool Noodle Printing: This one I've done with my daughter and she loves it. I took some noodles that were cut into 1" rings and we printed with them using tempera paint and paper. We also did it with mud and the side of our house (and then hosed it off later).



9. Marble Run:  This is an easy take on a classic game. Cut a pool noodle in half and race your marbles! One of my cousins sent me this picture thinking I'd get a kick out of it. How fun is this?!



So, don’t put those pool noodles away until next summer. It’s time to play! I'd love to know your ideas, so please share them in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Online Story Time

Ok, this is cool! I just found this while doing a little link hopping (bad habit of mine, but sometimes I find some real gems) This is a free read-a-loud story time on the Barnes and Noble website. Each month an author or celebrity reads a book that your child can watch and listen to on-line.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/storytime/

This month is Llama, Llama, Home with Mama by Anna
Dewdney
Cover Image

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Target Children's Book Festival

  I stopped to get coffee this morning so I could make it through church and there was an advertisement on the cup insulator for Target's Children's Book Festival. This is at the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. Ok, I'm curious, what is a book festival. How handy that there was also a website for me to go find out more about it. First thing I noticed: FREE! Well, it can't get much better than that.
http://sites.target.com/site/en/company/page.jsp?contentId=WCMP04-054912 


Free: musical performances
Free: story readings


Activities for kids age 2-10, did I mention it's free?


This is the schedule of events
http://sites.target.com/images/company/our_company/community_outreach/book-festivals/resources/bookfest_lineup_Minneapolis.pdf 


Here is the link to the map for parking
http://sites.target.com/images/company/our_company/community_outreach/book-festivals/resources/bookfest_Parking_Map_Minneapolis.pdf 


I have to plug one of the musical groups. My daughter is SOOOOO excited to see Choo-Choo Soul. This is seen on Disney channel or on their website. Autumn LOVES Geneveive and is always be-bopping around the house singing bits of these songs. 
Want a sneek peek? 
http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior/choo-choo-soul/choo-choo-soul-videos-episodes/abc-1167470

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oobleck (under construction, working on the picture issue)

I've been trying to get these pictures rotated correctly and the things that usually work aren't this time. So bear with me, I have a fun video clip too but it's also sideways and my brain can't take it today. :)




Yep, it's as messy and as fun as the name sounds. Ooblek is a non-newtonian liquid. That is, it acts like a liquid when being poured but like a solid when a force is acting on it. You can grab it and then it will ooze out of your hands. Make enough and you can even walk on it (Mythbusters did this on one episode). Scientists haven't decided yet what makes oobleck behave like this. Of course none of this will make sense to your kids. But for the science geeks out there.....(my husband is one so of course we had to look up the properties).




Oobleck is a classic science experiment that's perfect for entertaining little kids and big kids (that includes adults). If you haven't seen it in action it's fascinating stuff and before long you'll have your hands covered with it, happily making a mess that can be washed away with water.


Oobleck gets it's name form the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck where a gooey green substance, Oobleck, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom.


I pre-measured all the ingredients and then let my daughter pour them together and mix them up. We decided to play with mixing colors at the same time so she picked two colors and we played till we got a new color. My daughter is at an age where body functions are funny so when our blue and yellow turned green.....yep, boogers! Think ahead on this one :)


2 parts corn starch
1 part water
food coloring of your choice (will stain, may want to use newspapers and an apron)


(we ended up adding a little more water as we went along because it got too hard to play with)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Microwave Popcorn



Yep ~ it can be done!
What You’ll Need:
Fold end of bag over, and tape shut.
  • Place in microwave, and lay bag flat.   Stop once there is approximately 5 seconds between pops. {you’ll just have to experiment with this part, and see what works best with your microwave}.
  • Transfer to a bowl and eat as is or sprinkle with salt. Now, if you’re really living it up, go ahead and top this with some drizzled butter… mmm…
  • Enjoy!!


  • 1/3 cup Popping Corn
  • 1 brown Paper Bag {lunch sack size}
  • 1 piece of Tape
  • Salt {optional}
  • Melted Butter {optional… and delicious!}
What You’ll Do:
Pour popping corn into brown paper bag…

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Family Tree

This is a project we did a couple of years ago and finally got out and put up in our new house. I saw this in the Disney Family Fun magazine. We had everyone in the family send us a tracing of their hand and then attached a picture to their hand print (that I had traced onto construction paper). On the fingers of each hand I wrote the person's name, their relationship to our daughter, and their birth date. Then we got all of them laminated as well as laminating the tree. It's been a great way to learn all the people in our family. We need to add a couple more kiddos and update the ones that have been growing, so that makes it a fun on-going project. :) 
The first time I made this I just put it all up on the wall myself. So I had it arranged according to each side of our family. This time Autumn got to choose each person that was going up and where to put them. So our tree is rather mixed up but she got to make all the decisions so she's thrilled!


So let your kids decide who goes where. As you are putting them on you can talk about "first" "second" "third" "next", etc. We also work on colors (the leaves), family member's names, counting (fingers on each hand and the hands themselves), gender recognition (counting works here too, how many girls/boys?), some of the hands are right side up and some upside down so we can work on orientation as well. (I can work learning into just about anything, it took me a while to learn how to do that). Heck you can even sort these before they get taped up on the tree (same concepts as above).





Monday, August 8, 2011

Kid Safe "you tube" type sites


My daughter loves watching the video clips I find on you tube, but the links to "similar videos" aren't always appropriate for her to click on. I found a couple of sites that we LOVE and are now bookmarked so she can go straight to them herself. She loves being independent and I love keeping her safe.

www.zui.com  (on this site type in paper ripping in the search bar and watch the little girl and then Ethan, i've watched these about 100 times and I still crack up, Autumn adores Ethan) "baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper" and "laughing baby ripping paper" (the second one is my favorite!)


Check them out!