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.  (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!

It's Counting Week on Sesame Street

It's Counting Week on Sesame Street.
This page has quite a few fun counting videos to watch with your toddler or preschooler.

Here are a couple of my favorite video clips from the classic episodes. I remember watching John John as a kid and I still love watching him now that I'm the mommy instead of the kid.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Help Navigating the Medical Field

A couple of websites have been brought to my attention that are resources for families with children with many medical needs. I'll put the sites on the link list but thought I'd also highlight them here.

Family Voices 

Our Mission

Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities.
Through our national network, we provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care.


Every child and youth with special needs receives family-centered care.


  • Family-centered care. Because families are at the center of a child's life, they must be equal partners in decision-making and all aspects of the child's care. Family-centered care is community-based, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, and guided by what is best for each child and family.
  • Partnerships. Family-centered care is based upon strong and effective family-professional relationships built within the context of families' and professionals' cultural values and practices to improve decision-making, enhance outcomes, and assure quality.
  • Quality, access, affordability and acceptability. Children with special needs deserve primary and specialty health care that is of high quality, affordable, within geographic reach and respectful of family and community culture.
  • Health systems that work for families and children. Health policies and systems built on a foundation of family-centered, culturally and linguistically competent care must be the standard for all children.
  • Informed families/strong communities. Like their peers, children with special needs deserve every opportunity to enjoy a happy and healthy childhood at home in their communities. Families equipped with reliable, accurate information about ways to support their child's health, education and social development will help them grow into productive adults as defined by their personal, family and community cultural beliefs and values.
  • Self-advocacy/empowerment. When informed and supported, young people with disabilities can make choices and advocate for themselves.
National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships

What is family-centered care?

Health care visits for children youth and their families can be more than getting shots, having ears examined or getting treatment for the physical symptoms of an illness.  During visits and in all forms of communication, families, youth and health care providers who build effective and trusting partnerships based on an understanding and respect for the needs of the family and child/youth create family-centered care. Such strong partnerships ensure that a child/youth receives the highest quality of health care. See a definition of family-centered care, below.

Definition of Family-Centered Care

Family-Centered Care assures the health and well-being of children and their families through a respectful family-professional partnership. It honors the strengths, cultures, traditions and expertise that everyone brings to this relationship. Family-Centered Care is the standard of practice which results in high quality services.

Principles of Family-Centered Care for Children

The foundation of family-centered care is the partnership between families and professionals. Key to this partnership are the following principles:
  • Families and professionals work together in the best interest of the child and the family. As the child grows, s/he assumes a partnership role.
  • Everyone respects the skills and expertise brought to the relationship.
  • Trust is acknowledged as fundamental.
  • Communication and information sharing are open and objective.
  • Participants make decisions together.
  • There is a willingness to negotiate.
Based on this partnership, family-centered care:
  1. Acknowledges the family as the constant in a child’s life.
  2.  Builds on family strengths.
  3. Supports the child in learning about and participating in his/her care and decision-making.
  4. Honors cultural diversity and family traditions.
  5. Recognizes the importance of community-based services.
  6.  Promotes an individual and developmental approach.
  7.  Encourages family-to-family and peer support.
  8. Supports youth as they transition to adulthood.
  9. Develops policies, practices, and systems that are family-friendly and family-centered in all settings.
  10. Celebrates successes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cede Control

Consider ceding some control.

Surrender some power.

Follow instead of lead.

One way children learn confident decision making, thoughtful leadership, and wise problem solving is through their play.

Another way they learn these things is through real-life practice.

When you willingly hand over some of your power, cede control, and surrender to their decision making, you give them the chance to practice.

You can let two year olds pick the toys they want to play with or the books they want to hear.

You can let three year olds direct lunch preparation--deciding how to make sandwiches and what to pour in cups.

You can give first graders control over the course of their day.

Giving up control is hard for some of us adults, but it is a valuable way to promote self-management skills.

Activity for 1-2+ years

This says for age 1 year but my 4 1/2 year old daughter still loves this activity!
Interesting Image

Activity for 6-12 months

Container Discoveries