Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Well hello there

I'm alive! 
I took a short break from this blog in order to catch up on my family blog, which was almost a year behind and needed some attention. I apologize if you checked in throughout the holidays for some new ideas, only to see my last Halloween post over and over again! I'm excited to make some changes to this blog and really dive in with my new ideas for this year. 

We finished our letter of the week activities right before Christmas, so I'll catch up on those. 
I'm excited to share our activity time adventures again with all of you dear people 
who check in every once in a while. Please stick around.

Here's an update:
Hazel is 5, and in Kindergarten. She is still a crafty lady, and often asks when we pick her up 
from school, "What did you do for activity time today?"

Charlotte just turned four and is in her second year of Joy School, which is two mornings a week.
We have activity time together on the other days, centered around our letter of the week.

Eloise is two and I try at least once a week to do a one-on-one activity just for her, since she is a sponge. This age of 18 to 24 months is, in my opinion, the perfect time to start activity time. 
It's my favorite.
 And my boy, Edison, is ten months old and tries to crawl over and destroy anything that Eloise is building or putting together. We love him and his red hair.

 This is the newest member of our family, a seven foot trampoline.
And yes it is inside our living room.
Best decision we ever made in the thick of winter with four small bouncy wiggly children.

And here's an activity time to do with a wee one: 

 Materials: masking or painting tape and (possibly) a treat.
 This idea was inspired by an activity found in Trish Kuffner's The Toddler's Busy Book
That book is my #1 go to for activity ideas for these younger ages.
 I used painting tape because my five year old has hidden my masking tape somewhere in her room. 
I swear she has clepto tendencies. She has to possess things.
 I made basic shapes with the tape on my floor: 
a circle, triangle, square, rectangle, diamond, and a star.
 The ultimate goal of course is to help your toddler recognize these shapes, but we tried to do it in fun and entertaining ways. I would say, "Eloise! Can you hop over to the circle?" or "Can you spin to the square?" I would do it with her if she was struggling and whenever she chose the wrong shape, I would say, "No, that's a diamond. Where's the square?"
 When she wasn't cooperating very well, I decided to whip out a handy bag of mini marshmallows. Some of you moms may be against this, but the bribe worked like a charm.
Turns out she did know her shapes! 
"Oh, you mean this square? Sure, mom. More marshmallows please?"

Good to be back! 
And for my own inner-blogger-I-hope-people-actually-read-this-blog desire, 
please do drop me a line in comments with any feedback or questions. 
I love hearing from you people.
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  1. Mini Marshmallows and M&Ms are my go-to bribe... I mean reward... candies! :-D A friend (much wiser older mom in my ward in Germany) told me that it's not bribery, it is rewarding good behavior. Positive reinforcement. Miss you, girlie!

  2. I'm excited for your activities since I feel like I can do some of these with Claire now! Good work on your family blog!

  3. Bumped into your blog and looooove your ideas.I have a girl of 19 months and I am not sure what to do with her. My husband and I work all day and get to see our little darling only for a few hours a night before putting her to bed. I feel that some of these ideas can work but Ihave a question how many minutes do you spend on these activities with your girl?

  4. Karla: I'll be posting on this soon because I've had this question a lot. Most of my activities don't take much preparation at all. I choose activities that require materials I already have on hand, so it does help to have a nice little "activity supplies" cubby with the basics to help you be prepared. If you look up my activities for ages 18-24 months, they are simple and quick with almost no prep needed.