Saturday, February 27, 2010

MoYo's Frozen Yougurt


The other night  my family and I went for a walk to enjoy the short burst of nice weather. We ended up downtown in the theater district and decided to try out the new frozen yogurt at moyo's across from Powell's Candy shop.  The shop features several flavors of organic Straus yogurt and an island full of toppings.  The set-up is a lot of fun, you self serve both the yogurt and the toppings and then pay by weight.  My favorite was the cheesecake flavor with bits of real cheesecake on top. Yummy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Review Monday


Tuesday by David Wiesner

This is a beautifully illustrated story about the adventures of a group of frogs who suddenly find themselves capable of flightThe story is told with almost no words so it provides a great way for older preschoolers and early elementary students to "read" the story to themselves or elaborate together with a parent. Tuesday won the 1992 Caldecott Medal and, among other honors, was named as an ALA Notable Children's Book. 

Some other David Wiesner Favorites:
June 29, 1999The Three Pigs Flotsam (Caldecott Medal Book)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review Monday

Machines at Work

Machines at Work by Byron Barton

This had to be one of my two year-old's favorite books.  The pictures are simple, bold, and colorful.  The language is simple, but stretches a young child's vocabulary. A perfect fit for any child who is fascinated with construction or trucks!

Some other gems by Byron Barton:

Trucks. Lap EditionPlanes (Chunky Board Book)Boats (Chunky Board Book)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Glitter Art


I got this idea from my son's preschool and I love it!   It is a fun and simple art project that kids will enjoy.  All it requires is some cookie cutters, glue, glue and glitter. First you dip the cookie cutter down on a paper plate with some glue.  Then you press the cookie cutter down on a piece of paper.  Finally you spread on the glitter.  

Wilton 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set 
I bought a tub of cookie cutters on amazon, which I love because it includes cutters for all the holidays, plus some trucks, trains, and other goodies and all the letters and numbers. This way you can just have some art fun, or make it a little more educational, like our heart counting for Valentine's Day (see above). 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Starting Seeds

Every year we plant some tomatoes, basil, and a few other summer veggies in our backyard. Now, I have a truly black thumb, once I managed to kill a cactus, but with a toddler in the house I thought it would be worthwhile to try and start our veggies from seed this year. I was also inspired by the wonderful heirloom tomatoes at last year's farmer's market and the new seed store downtown ( to try some varieties that I wouldn't have been able to find at Osh.

Just like I hoped this turned out to be a great activity.  Thomas had fun both planting the seeds and being the photographer to document our planting session.  He loves to get to use the camera and I have been surprised at how well he can use it at 2! Below you will find our planting session through his eyes.



Possible Literature Connections

Growing Vegetable Soup: Lap-Sized Board Book

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cleaning Pennies


This has certainly proved to be a rainy winter!  Here is an activity I had come across several times and always thought it looked a little silly and passed it up.  On the recommendation of a friend I finally gave it a go, and boy was I glad I did!  Thomas LOVED it and insisted that he help Daddy clean his pennies when he got home. I loved it because it involved materials I already had and  some great learning opportunities!

  1. baking soda
  2. vinegar
  3. pennies
  4. eye dropper (or medicine dropper)
  5. measuring spoon
  6. small bowl 
  7. large bowl of water
  8. towel

First, I showed Thomas what a penny was and had him go through our coin jar and find all the pennies he could and pull them out.  

Next, he put one penny in the small bowl, measured out 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and dumped the soda on top of the penny.  

Then he filled a dropper full of vingear and carefully counted out drops on top.  Of course it then it erupted in bubbles which got Thomas VERY excited.

After all the bubbles died down he transferred the penny to the larger bowl of water to "rinse" the penny off and then on a kitchen towel to dry. Then it was time to do another one!

He was happily occupied for about 45 minutes! The whole time he was learning: what a penny is, visual discrimination, remembering and following steps, counting, and observing chemical reactions.  All in all a great activity!

Possible literature connections:

Benny's PenniesPennies (Welcome Books)

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Snow" Fun

We have been having a lot of rain lately and more rain is coming! Being trapped inside with two little ones, one of which is a 2 year-old boy who doesn't seem to stop, can cause the best of us to look for an exit! So over the next few days I am going to post some of the activities that we have been doing at our house recently, and hopefully your guys will enjoy them as much as mine did!

"Snow Fun"

  1. shaving cream
  2. small objects to find (we used Rub A Dub Abc & 123)
  3. large dish
  4. cup of water

First put down what you are going to have them search for in the "snow." We used some foam numbers.

Next have them bury the objects in the "snow," also known as shaving cream. Any shaving cream will do, though my son loved this activity so much and wanted to redo it over and over again, that I recommend buying some super cheap stuff at target rather than leaving daddy without shaving cream the next morning!

Then have them search for the objects in the snow. They can then clean them off in water and identify what they found. As you can see from the pictures I had my son complete this activity in the bathtub which helped keep the clean-up to a minimum!

All in all a very successful rainy day activity. My son wanted to repeat this game over and over again. I also really liked that not only did it keep him entertained for almost an hour, but all the time we were working on identifying numbers in a fun way!

Possible Literature connections:

The Snowy DaySnow