Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Outdoor Activities: Big Bubbles!

We got a couple big bubble wands at the Target $pot a while back and I put them in the 'outdoor activity bucket' while we waited for a sunny day. Well, the sunny days finally came last week, while Ellie's grandparents were in town to visit!

I have to admit, these big bubbles are SO MUCH MORE FUN than blowing regular bubbles! Easy for toddlers to reload and run around with themselves. No constant fear that they're going to dump all the bubble solution all over themselves or try to drink it... No fights because you insist on holding the container while they dip the wand in... Just independence and running around in the back yard! It's great!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Activity Review: White Mud

Do you remember when I said I found that list of toddler activities from the Family Fun website? Well, we tried one of them, so I figure I should let you know how it went! One day last week, while I was sick, I needed an activity that would keep Ellie busy, but wasn't TV. So we made "White Mud."It was fun, really. We sat on the bed and she had fun tearing up a roll of toilet paper and putting it in the bowl. She really likes destroying things right now, so it was fun for her to be ALLOWED to tear something up for once.

Once we had the right amount of toilet paper torn into bits and put in a bowl, I shaved a bar of ivory soap into the tp. If you're not familiar with Ivory soap, it's really soft, so you can just shave it with a regular old table knife, like I did. Easy peasy. Then I added the right amount of water, as per the directions, and mixed away. I didn't really have Ellie help with the mixing part, which was just as well since she was still having so much fun tearing up the rest of a roll of toilet paper.

Even after I mixed everything up, I still felt like it was too soggy, so I squeezed the excess water out of the mixture into the sink. When I got done, this is what our "White Mud" looked like:

It sort of reminds me of cauliflower. Yuck. But it smells like Ivory soap, so that's okay. Now for the real test...

I gave some to Ellie at the kitchen table, though the article recommends using it outside. Since I was sick and wanted to be in bed, outside wasn't really an option for us. At first Ellie wasn't sure what to think of it.

She sort of poked at it a bit before she finally picked some up and started squishing it about. Then it was fun.

She has since asked to play with it a couple times and I am happy to let her. It doesn't require much cleanup, it doesn't stain her clothes, it doesn't get ground into the carpet... really, as far as dough goes, it's great! You can't really make anything with it, other than little snowmen, but she doesn't really care about that right now, so it's great for sensory play!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sidewalk Chalk

With the nice weather we've been having, Ellie and I have been spending more time outside together. On one such day last week, (Tuesday, I think) we raided the "outside activity bucket" and decided to play with the sidewalk chalk from Ellie's Easter basket. (That's why the chalk is shaped like eggs instead of, well, chalk.)

At first Ellie was more interested in the packaging than the chalk itself, even after I'd shown her what to do with it.

After a while, though, she got into it and drew lots of little lines all over the driveway. Though all she really drew was lines, she told me what each thing "was". She'd draw blue lines and say, "Heart." and draw pink lines and say, "Butterfly." It was precious. She loves to draw and color, so this is a great way for us to get outside and still do the drawing and coloring.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Note To Self...

... Start teaching Ellie to clean up her toys OUTSIDE the same way we clean up our toys INSIDE.

I don't want to be one of those people with kiddy toys scattered all over the yard someday.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I hate being sick.

Mostly I hate it because I don't have any energy and I'm letting my daughter is watching TV. Ugh.

Reward System

Ellie is not old enough for a reward system yet, at least not one as complicated as this one. But this is the first reward system that I have really really liked, so I want to remember it. It's basically a point system, and the points are earned each day for doing various things. Points are set for each task (like brushing teeth, getting dressed by self, doing chores, etc.) and they can be redeemed for different things, from a cup of juice or chocolate milk, to an extra 15 minutes at bedtime, to a tv show, or whatever the parent sets. Not only do I like the idea behind this particular reward system, but I really like the cute way this mom implemented it. When Ellie is old enough, I'd like to do this, too.