About our blogger: jenn0324
I'm a WAHM to a 7-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. Left the full-time work field in criminal justice and mental health to be at home with my children. Haven't lost my sanity yet! :-)
I’m always looking for ways to increase veggies into The Olders diet. Because of his sensory issues it’s hard, and before tonight the only vegetable he’d eat were canned peas. Nothing else. Ever. I knew he would, however, eat the heck out of pizza, so I figured rather than fight it, I’d just add to it.
The first night I tried it was a total fail. I pureed some zucchini and added it to the sauce. That’s it. Nothing fancy at all, and I think two things happened: I changed the type of crust, and the added vegetable wasn’t “smooth” enough. He declared it “pretty gross,” and he ate only one slice. Darn.
Well, after that I got wiser. I sauteed some mushrooms and zucchini, then pureed it with some extra garlic. I then pureed the veggies and sause together. That created a much smoother sauce, and the veggie taste was barely there.
Success! Tonight he had 2 slices, and he told me that this was “the best pizza yet” and to “keep them coming!” All right then, I will
I love playing with water balloons, and I love watching my kids play with them. There’s something so innocent and joyful about an afternoon playing with something so easy! I decided to share 10 of my most favorite activities we do with water balloons in the hopes that you enjoy these with your kids as well.
Baseball Water Balloon: You knew this was coming, right? I love this one, because it’s so easy and fun! Just fill up some water balloons, have a plastic bat for the kids, and there you go.
Water Balloon Bowling: Just like it sounds. Fill up empty 2-liter bottles about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way and arrange into the desired patters. Give each child a balloon and let them roll or throw the balloon at the bottles to try and knock them down.
Musical Hot Potato Water Balloon: Play music (or sing!), and when the music stops, the person left holding the balloon has to break it over their head.
Musical Water Balloon Stomp: Just like musical chairs! Make one balloon less than you have people playing the game and designate one person who will stand away from the group to play music (or sing!). Start the music and have the children go around the circle until the music stops. Each child must stomp on a balloon, and the one who doesn’t have a balloon is then ‘out’ for the next round. Read the rest of this entry »
The Younger and I are working on fine motor skills, and tracing cookie cutters is an activity she loves. It’s easy to prepare for this activity and easy to clean up, so it’s one of my favorites!
Sometimes we pick a theme to follow (summer, animals, letters, etc.), and sometimes we make a mural that tells a story. Usually, however, I just give her all the cookie cutters and let her imagination run free. I love watching her arrange things and listening to her tell me what each cookie cutter means to her and why she’s chosen to use it. It’s a different story every time, and it’s a fun glimpse into where her mind is
This weekend we went to Disney World again, but this time we began at Magic Kingdom before heading over to Epcot. Here are a few tips that I wanted to pass along that made our trip smoother. Note: These are things that work for my family when we get to the park first thing in the morning, NOT if we arrive in the afternoon.
- Park at Epcot and take the monorail over to Magic Kingdom. Yes, you will have to exit the monorail from Epcot and board another at the transportation area for Magic Kingdom, and yes, you’ll have to get your bags searched twice, but it’s so much easier than getting on the tram with a bunch of people and then moving like a herd of cattle to the monorail, especially with a stroller! You can open your stroller right after exiting the tram at Epcot (or if you’re as early as we usually are, we bypass the tram since we’ve always parked close enough to walk to the entrance of the park), get your bags checked, and then head up to the monorail. We were the only ones who took the monorail when we went on Saturday, and we had a nice leisurely trip to the transportation area that takes you to Magic Kingdom. The best part of doing this, in my opinion, is that exiting the park later is a breeze! Epcot is a much easier park to leave from, both in terms of the parking lot design and ability to get back to the major highways.
- On this day, it was so nice out, we ended up taking the ferry over to the entrance gates of Magic Kingdom, and the kids loved it! I highly suggest taking the ferry over because it’s usually less crowded than the monorail, and it takes the same amount of time. First thing in the morning they’re running a bunch of the boats, so waiting usually isn’t an issue. It’s a really pretty ride, and you can check out a few of the hotels along the way.
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I’ve had 4 Yankee Candle jar toppers sitting in my kitchen drawer for about 6 months. Every time I open the drawer, I think I need to throw them away, but you know me; I just couldn’t do it.
I finally found a use for them! Call me crazy, but it worked well
This was great for The Older! Since one of the aspects of his PDD includes the inability to eat foods that have touched each other, I was able to serve him grapes that were in their own little container. He loved how “different” this was, and he actually ate every single grape. I’m going to try this with all different fruits and see if I can get him to try other varieties than just apples and grapes
The Younger was getting frustrated when we would do activities with stamping or sponge painting. It was hard for her little fingers to grasp onto the stamps, and a lot times she would drop the sponges into the paints or wasn’t able to control them to paint how she wanted to on the paper. She was getting to the point of refusing to use sponges or stamps anymore, so I tried to come up with a way to decrease her frustration level and bring the joy back to our painting activities.
I took a few days and collected a bunch of plastic bottle tops from gallons of milk, soda, and water bottles.
Then I pulled out some of our sponges and a few foam cutouts.
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I’ve been doing this for a few years, but this is the first time I’ve done it in the pool, simply because this is the first season we’ve had a pool! It worked well, and the kids were entertained for a l-o-n-g time. All it took was an empty and rinsed out dish soap bottle and some water… Viola! Their very own water shooters!
Easiest handmade water toy ever
I decided today would be the day we made the barn to house the sheep we made the other day. I figured that we’re going to need a home for all the animals we’re going to make this month anyway, so it made sense to make the barn today rather than wait until the weekend.
We started with a standard cardboard box turned upside down:
Then I got the paint ready. (You could use whatever you want, such as markers, stickers, stamps, but paint is what The Younger wanted to use). I use an old veggie tray container from our grocery store to help keep the paints somewhat separated. It works great!
Then she got to work painting the side of her barn. Read the rest of this entry »
This month I’m focusing on mothers and farm animals. Strange combination, yes, but I have lots of opportunities to be around animals with The Younger in the next few weeks, so I wanted to create some leaning activities centered around the animals we are going to see. I also want a chance to talk about mommies and do a craft or two that we can give to the grandmothers on Mother’s Day this year.
Yesterday we made sheep! It was a lot of fun, and The Younger’s creativity really shone as we went through the steps. Supplies are easy to come by: cardboard or construction paper, cotton balls, glue, black marker. Optional supplies are googly eyes and ribbon.
First we traced her hand. (I love projects that trace body parts, because I enjoy having things that I can compare the kids growth to. I date all of these sorts of projects and store them so we can hang them on the Christmas tree later this year). Read the rest of this entry »
I have family in from out of town, so I thought I’d revisit some of my older posts this week. The weather is getting nice, so I’m going to focus on more outdoor activities you can do. Have a great week!
The afternoon of the water balloon day, we decided it was time to set up shop and work on an experiment. I wanted to teach The Older about how different substances create different things entirely, so we got some more balloons together and gathered up the rest of our supplies as well.
The first step was to add baking soda to a plastic bottle (about 2 tablespoons or so). For that, I had him use an ice cream scoop (for entertainment purposes, we used my pig one), and we used a funnel so he could get the baking soda easily into the bottle.
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