Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Hide and Seek Positional Game

One of my best friends has a little girl named Lily, that is about six months older than Archer.  I love watching her grow and learn and feel so blessed that she and Archer will grow up being friends. Anyway, Lily is at the age where she really enjoys looking for and hiding toys.  After talking to her mom, I decided to make a game for them to play where they could work on some positional words. Since Lily has this little stuffed kitty she loves, I made the game with a kitty cat.
The game has 20 cards that have different cards that each have a place to hide the kitty cat.  If you don't have a stuffed cat, I included a picture of one to print and laminate to play with. I also made a bluish/purplish version of the cat for the young Pete the Cat fans. Otherwise, you could use a plush Pete.
I'm imaging different ways to play depending on the age and ability of the child.  At first, you could draw a card and put the kitty there together.  Then you could start taking turns.  Eventually, you could have one person close their eyes or go in a different room, while the other hides the kitty.  Then they could use just the card to find it.

Download the game HERE

If you end up playing the game, I'd love for you to share pictures!

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Books on the Shelf: Week One

While we do not officially homeschool, we are fortunate enough to have what I consider to be an amazing home school library.  While I am happy with the system I have for organizing it , I feel like a lot of our great books get overlooked.  I've been brainstorming ways to pull more out for rotation, and for now, this is what I have come up with.
We have a little IKEA floating shelf next to Archer desk (where I used to put books and materials during Xander's tot school and preschool weeks).  Since Archer is still a little young for themed weeks, I think I'm going to use the shelf to pull out some books each week.  We have 35 categories of just nonfiction, some of which can be subdivided into many categories.  Many of these will not be appropriate for Archer, but seeing them will make Xander more likely to read them.  I'll just read what I can to Archer.  My goal is to rotate them and update on Mondays with what books we had the week before.
As you can see, I decided to start with "spring" books.   If you're working on spring activities, you might like my Free Spring Printables or a Spring Tot School post from when Xander was younger.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Baby Sensory Jars

Lately I've been making an effort to do more sensory play with Archer.  It is hard because he eats EVERYTHING.  These baby sensory jars were one of my solutions.
On the left is a glass baby food jar that has water and a couple sizes of glitter.  The lid is glued down tightly.  The middle is a jar I got for $1 in the checkout line at Michaels with water and waterbeads.  The jar on the right is a random little plastic jar I had with different sized jewelry beads left over from a project.  Once again, the lid is glued down tightly on that one.
They only took a few minutes to make and allow him to practice shaking and manipulating the jars to see what happens.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Little Climber

Archer is 11 Months

It's been a while since I posted any updates on Archer's use of the Pikler's Triangle.  While he is not walking yet (he isn't all that interested in trying when he can crawl so quickly), he is getting pretty good at climbing. He is also getting much braver.  For a long time he'd only go up to having his feet on the first rung.  Now he climbing pretty high.  
One day last week, he climbed up and then kept doing squats on the rungs.  It was goofy, but he enjoyed it.  Wish I could have gotten a video! 

My husband made our triangle but Amazon has this one that looks cute. I'm hoping he can eventually  make us a ramp to go with it!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Early Readers - Kids Things

I've been working on making early readers for Archer. I wanted books that have big clear text on its own page. I have also been making them in Spanish to try to reinforce the vocabulary from our Little Reader lessons. This one was all about kids things.

I printed on cardstock and laminated the pages . Then, I used a 3 hold punch to make the holes and used 3/4" binder rings to "bind" the books. I'm still working to figure out the format I like best.  For this book, I tried setting it so I could print double sided and make it seem like an actual book, but in a landscape format.  I like it better than the portrait format, I think?  I just wish I had done the words on the right hand side of the page.  I'm sure I will eventually come up with a format I am 100% happy with!

You're free to download the files to use with your little one.

Kids Things Book - English
Kids Things Book - Spanish
Kids Things Book - English and Spanish

You can see my other Early Readers here.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Egg Chemistry

Last summer, Xander and I did some Simple Science with Acids and Bases by boiling purple cabbage and using it as a pH indicator.  I thought it might be fun to try out a similar concept with our Easter Eggs.
I started out by chopping up most of a head of lettuce and adding water until it was not quite covered.  Then I boiled it for about 15 minutes.  At the store, I tried to pick the head that was the deepest purple, figuring it probably had the most pigment.
After boiling, I strained out the cabbage and was left with this deep purple water (and a somewhat smelly kitchen). I returned the water to the pot and added some eggs.  I boiled the eggs for about 15 minutes and then let the sit in the water until we were ready to use them (a few hours). I learned that you have to stir occasionally or one side gets darker than the other.
Here is what they looked like after boiling.  Definitely not bright like regular dye, but a noticeable color.
I gave Xander one dish with lemon juice, one with a baking soda and water mixture, and some cotton swabs. 
He did some painting and some dipping. 
For us, the lemon juice seemed to have a stronger effect.  It turned pinkish.  The baking soda turned greenish. 
The effects were subtle, although stronger than what the pictures show. 
Then we decided to crack them open and see how the eggs looked.  Xander thought that was almost cooler than the outsides. 
Both boys tried some.  They pretty much tasted like hard boiled eggs, however, I thought they were a little softer/less rubbery than most eggs cooked for that long.

Happy Easter! If you decide to try it, I'd love to see pictures of your results!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Baby Easter Activities

It makes me so happy that Archer is finally getting to the age where I can start themed activities.  Granted, they're still pretty limited, but it is still an exciting milestone for me. We ended up doing just a couple simple ones for Easter.
First, I stuck some decorative eggs on sticks into a cheese container.  Both were from the dollar store, so very cheap and easy!
Archer was very interested in taking them out (and trying so hard to eat them).  However, he is not quite ready to put them back in.  That will be something to work towards as his fine motor skills improve.

Next I got out some eggs and put some large jingle bells in them.  He had fun shaking them to hear the sound.
He also had great fun putting them in and out of his chai container (I swear, that is one of his favorite toys).
Eventually, he figured out he could open them to get the bells out.  After that, I put some Toob animals in them for him to practice getting out.
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