The boys are into collage big time lately. Lots of images cut from old books I've found while thrifting have been pasted on paper, boxes, you name it. I love seeing what they gravitate toward. Felix likes all the strange unknown creatures (is it a mouse with a reeeealllly long tail or is it some kind of super small flying squirrel?) and Roman is keen on butterflies and bugs.
I stumbled across some good parenting advice recently. Good for me anyway. Thought I'd share.
"Be the last to know. Refrain from making judgments and foregone conclusions about your children. Watch their lives unfold, and be surprised. The show is marvelous, and yours is the best seat in the house."
-Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood
We go through phases. Sometimes we play more games or do dramatic play, but lately we've been doing lots more craft projects. And guess who's starting to fully participate? Roman, that's who. It's the cutest thing to see him blossom from a delightful little baby into a delightful little boy, and a crafty little guy at that. He really loved filling a seltzer bottle with "bits" (he repeated that word the entire time) and glitter. It was just as fun for Felix as well. And Felix liked using the finished product as a "calm down bottle". Sometimes we can use a little help when it comes to mellowing out. ;-)
If you have little ones who are new to crafting (R is 19 months old), I highly recommend giving this project a try.
Plastic bottle (the smaller the better) Various items to go inside -- we used cut up pieces of foam sheets, goggly eyes, plastic spider rings, sequins, cut up pipe cleaners, cut up straws. Glitter Water
Romy is definitely a toddler now. And boy does he enjoy a good sensory activity -- the unstructured version is probably better known as "making a mess". After a giant mess was made with a bag of oats he snuck out of the refrigerator the other day, I concluded that I had better fetch the long tub stored down in the basement and fill it with something. And quick! Today I chose a bag of puffballs (starting out slow and easy) and he was pleased as punch. So fun to see him beginning to find activities that hold his attention for longer than a few minutes. Fun for him and very fun for me. Phew.
First of all, if you are a family member or a close friend of mine and you happen to have a small child, please STOP READING NOW. Yes, I'm yelling at you. STOP.
The rest of you are fine to continue reading. Sorry about the yelling. ;-)
When it came to gift ideas this year I found myself fairly stumped. Especially for the youngest people in my life. Giving books came to mind as an option or maybe giving a game of some kind, but those ideas didn't excite me very much. Then my sweet husband sat down with me one afternoon when the boys were napping, and without skipping a beat, he suggested I come up with a crafty kit based on a successful project I have done with Felix. His idea was brillant and I knew then and there that a little embroidery kit suited for 3 to 5 year olds was the solution. Woot!
So...I gathered the following items and my kits came together very quickly
A small wooden box (I decorated each box top with paper I had on hand) A small embroidery hoop Two kid-safe embroidery "needles" A large piece of burlap (great for first-time stitchers) Four skeins of embroidery floss A printed instruction sheet with words as well as simple illustrations
I'm super happy with how this project turned out. Can't wait to hear how these embroidery kits go over with my favorite soon-to-be four year olds.
How's the gift making/buying/giving going for you this year? I'm almost done. Almost.
Our advent calendar includes little daily items (stickers, tattoos, matchbox cars, etc) or activities. Some of the activities are for us and others involve doing something for other people or animals. Yesterday's advent surprise was to make a gingerbread house together. It was a huge hit and a great thing to do on a cold and rainy Sunday. I got a pretty big kick out of watching Felix as he tried to sneak candy, but like most three year olds I know, he's not very good at being sneaky, so there was lots of, "Mama, I'm being sneaky right now" as he chomped away on some crunchy, sugary confection. He was quite proud of the completed project. Just like his mama, he LOVES a good project.
I made an apple pie last night. It needed more apple filling-- I scrimped because Felix really wanted an apple for himself and I caved -- and it was a little heavy on the nutmeg (too nutmegy?) but we had apple pie on a rainy Wednesday night, so I'm going to pat myself on the back any old way.
My neighbor keeps finding black widow spiders and her stories are freaking me out. She found one in a shoe her three year old left outside overnight. Yep. Terrifying. I will be checking all my shoes twice from now on.
Speaking of terrifying. Roman is pretty much terrified of dogs. He cries and jumps for me when he sees one several feet away. Must work on this...not only because we hope to get a dog someday when the boys are older, but I feel for my boy. Seeing him fearful hurts my heart. I've done some research on ways to help children have a respectful and anxiety-free relationship with dogs. Of course I don't want him to run up to a dog without fear, but the flipside is just as hard. Any tips from parents out there who've experienced this are greatly appreciated.
Felix has been learning all about fire safety at preschool. I have been told to stop, drop and roll countless times since Monday. It's hard to stop, drop and roll while holding a cup of coffee. ;-) He also learned a new phrase I don't remember from back when I learned about fire safety. STAY LOW AND GO!
Good friends are passing through tonight on their way back up to Philadelphia. We're ordering take-out. Can't wait to see them and catch up.
Roman is napping. The house is quiet. It's nice. I'm going to tip toe toward the laundry to move the diapers along. Then I think I'll have a slice of that mediocre apple pie.
Have a good day,
p.s. we finished the tee pee we were working on. we used the bamboo I mentioned a while back. this was its temporary location until we got it set up in the book nook. I posted a photo of its new location on Instagram this morning. Are you on Instagram? I'm finding it to be pretty dang fun over there.
I am happy to report that I have kept up with my goal of actually doing one or two projects a week from my collection of pins over on Pinterest. Just like the clay magnet activity a few weeks ago, last week's project was a hit. We made our own stamps from supplies we already had on hand, and then stamped our hearts out. Here's my original pin from Pinterest. And here are a few photos showing Felix having fun with our new stamps on our back deck one sunny afternoon. Such a simple activity and so perfect for the preschool set. In addition to having fun with stamping, I'm also thinking these stamps will be used the next time we need some funky wrapping paper. Because, you know as well as I do, there will come a day when we need some funky wrapping paper. ;-)
Another fun and kid-friendly project complete. Again, take that, Pinterest!