Big news in our house. After a four year break from air travel we're ready to give it another shot. When Quinn was four months old we flew to the Dominican Republic. It was a disastrous trip full of non-stop crying, explosive diarrhea all over my pants mid-flight and an abundance of chain-smoking resort guests. We're putting it all behind us and heading to sunny Jamaica. We are all excited to leave behind the freezing weather of New England for sunshine and bathing suits.
My children are especially excited for the airplane trip. I decided to focus our play on airplanes.
Children's literature is an important aspect of learning through play. Look no further than your local library. I am always the lady balancing the enormous pile of books on my stroller as I walk out with three kids. Here are some great airplane/airport themed books:
I know I am not the first parent in history to have a hellish week leading up to an event. Between my husband's crazy work schedule and two teething little birthday girls who were up at all hours of the night making one tired mama I was struggling to find the energy and time to create my daughters' Barney Birthday Party. I tried to take the easy way out and get Barney themed decorations at our local party store, but would you believe Barney was no where to be found? The teenager at checkout looked at me like I was the biggest loser and said "Is Barney even on the air anymore?" So, it was time to get creative! As I looked around my house the night before the party with 15 hours until guests were due to arrive this is what I saw. Admit it, it looks like we've been robbed and... you feel a little better about your own house!
After a good hour or so of cleaning it was time to start decorating. For the table I focused on a purple and green theme. A purple table cloth was topped with a green stripe down the middle, purple plates and utensils and green napkins.
It is no secret I love baking sweet treats with my son. When I was pregnant with my daughters Quinn was my favorite partner in crime for our daily chocolate chip cookies. While we still enjoy a lot of baking I am beginning to teach Quinn how to make simple dinners. At four years old I am finally feeling confident that he won't do something nuts like fling himself on the stove. This may seem like a ridiculous idea but when my crazy boy was 18 months old he looked straight into my eyes as we were sitting on my bed only to turn around and jump head first into my night table. That day ended with 7 stitches and a visit with a pediatric plastic surgeon.
Now with only a faint scar on his chin we are ready to master cooking dinner on the stove. Quinn was so excited when I mentioned the idea. He pulled one of the dining chairs into the kitchen and was eager to begin. A great starter recipe for children is bean burritos.
1 can red kidney beans (black and pinto beans would work too) (Eden Organic cans are BPA-free)
1/2 red pepper, cut into slices
1/2 green pepper, cut into slices
1/2 yellow onion, cut into slices
1 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
brown rice (cook according to package)
I am creating a Celebrating Moms Series. The focus will not be on "moms who can do it all", but rather on what being a mom means to you- your child's birth story, a funny story that still makes you smile, a memory that would be inspirational to other mothers, a series of photographs, etc. If you own a small business or blog I am happy to highlight that as well.
If you are interested in participating please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready for your kids to think you are the coolest parent ever? Painting on unique surfaces is a great project for children. We have painted on bubble wrap, sandpaper and popsicle sticks. Why not faces? After having face painting at my son's birthday party my children were desperate to try it out themselves. Giving my children the power to paint each other's faces (and their parents!) was such a fun Saturday afternoon. Ready to be brave?
YOU WILL NEED: face paints, q-tips, damp paper towels
Set up a painting station in an area of your house. I recommend using a a room that does not have a rug. Using q-tips will control the amount of paint your children can use at one time and, therefore, control the mess. Keep damp paper towels handy for quick clean ups. Despite giving complete painting control to my kids this was surprisingly not that messy. The giggles and huge grins made any post painting clean up completely worth it!
I am loving sharing my ideas with all of you! The hardest part is not putting all of my activities and recipes up on this blog in order to save some for my book. My hope is to create a book filled with activities and recipes that will be useful for parents, grandparents, homeschoolers and teachers.
As I continue my research I want to hear from you! What activities are you enjoying? What type of activities would you like to read about? My hope is that this blog will become more interactive.
Looking forward to hearing from you! I welcome all questions and comments!
Two years ago I entered a hospital unsure of what the future held for me and my baby girls. On January 14, 2011 my daughters entered the world 6 weeks early weighing 3 and 4 pounds. Luca and Charlotte changed my life.
With a two year old son at home and twin preemies in the hospital life was challenging, rewarding and exhausting. For three weeks I parented under two roofs. At night I would sleep in the NICU feeding my daughters every two hours as the amazing nurses at Hartford Hospital taught me how to take care of my miniature babies. Every day my dad or husband would pick me up at 6am, and I would rush home to be with my son only to return to my girls during his nap time and then back to Quinn until his bedtime. Day in and day out we survived this schedule. When faced with a challenge all you can do is collapse or survive. These tiny souls gave me strength.
My son declared the game, I Spy Playdough
, "the best ever". I think it's pretty fun too. I hope you enjoy! YOU WILL NEED:
large amount of playdough (my recipe here
), small items to hide in playdough (beads, buttons, tiny plastic animals, utensils, shapes, etc.), white paper, colored pencils/crayons/markers Before introducing the game create an I Spy
search sheet. Choose the items you want to hide and draw and label the items on a sheet of paper. Creating pictures with corresponding words is an effortless way to introduce pre-reading skills.
Hide the various items in the playdough making sure they are no longer visible. Place the playdough and I Spy search sheet in front of your child. Before beginning talk about each item your child will be searching for. At 4, my son is not reading but is beginning to grasp the concept that pictures can help decode words. I pointed to each picture and asked him what he thought the word might be. After reading the different items he was excited to get started.
Well, it's been 7 days since you declared your New Year's resolutions, time to break one! Personally, I'm not one to deprive myself of anything. These days I eat mostly vegan and feed my children their fair share of collard greens and lentil soup, but there is always room for a little indulgence. Celebrate your love of sweets with my Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies.
I love cooking with my son, Quinn, and he is growing into quite the little baker. Secretly I think he just wants to lick the batter. Shhh, don't let him know I know! We decided to forgo our normal chocolate chip cookie recipe and toss in a few more ingredients. The result? A completely blissful sugar rush. The best part of this recipe is that you can be creative and sub in whatever you have on hand. Time to bake!
Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, salted
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 all purpose flour (I like King Arthur's)
1 tsp baking soda
3 C total "extras" (chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, marshmallows, white chocolate chips, hershey's kisses, pecans, raisins, etc.)