Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kid's Hallway

I rearranged our hallway today to fit all of Gracie's fun activities on the walls. She now has a drawing wall...


Her clothesline, AquaDoodle Mat, and her paintings all in one play area!



Paint Palette


Just a quick tip for painting with a toddler. If you use an ice cube tray as your palette, you can let it dry for easy cleanup. Once the paint is all dry, simply twist the tray like you would to get the ice cubes out and most of the dried paint will fall right out!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I thought this was a wonderful idea for a baby activity for Bee. My first thought was that it would be a lot of fun to put a floor length mirror on it's side so that when she starts crawling she can watch herself. I don't have a floor length mirror, but I did pull the mirror off of the wall for her to play with for a while. She loved it!



Of course, Gracie had to join in the fun. Her presence just made the activity much more fun for Brianna. They interacted with each other in person and in reflection!




Wipes Container Game

My girls had a lot of fun using this idea to create a new toy out of an empty wipes container. . . until Daddy unknowingly threw it away. Not to fear~we will have another empty one in no time!






They started with baby links, and I also got out Gracie's clothespins. I think Gracie had more fun than Bee~not that it's surprising, it's hard to have fun with a toy when your big sister keeps taking it away!

Redecorating

I blogged in the past about Gracie painting with "Shiny Paint." Her paintings have been taped to our wall since they dried. . . a month ago! I have been considering how to preserve them. I didn't want to use EnviroTex like her other art projects because that would cover up how cool the paint is, with it's shiny texture and I figured that a regular frame would do the same. When I found this post on Dollar Store Crafts, I had my answer! I had never considered using a frame without the glass. What a simple solution to my conundrum! I had a bunch of frames laying around, with no home so I put them to good use! Now Gracie's paintings are framed and hung around the apartment, and she is a proud little artist! When I hung the first one up she puffed out her little chest and exclaimed "Mine! My painting!" in the most excited voice I have heard.




Shower!

You may be wondering why I haven't really blogged in a while. Well, my best friend is having a baby! I was lucky enough to get to be one of the hosts for her baby shower this past weekend. We are all so excited and happy for thier growing family, and I have been focusing my "extra" energy into preparing what I hope was a wonderful party for her. Guests left some words of wisdom for the new parents-to-be, decorated a shirt for baby Jolynn, and played a couple of games. We ate TONS of great food, enjoyed much laughter, and of course gifts! Congrats, Carrie!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Matching

I go to the dollar store a lot. I have so many ideas and things that I want to do with the kids, it's the only way I can afford to do even a fraction of them. As I was perusing the store the other day, I came across their display of flashcards. I thought to myself that Gracie is not ready for flashcards, but maybe I'd get them for the future and try to develop an interest.

She completely amazed me. One set is Winnie the Pooh, and there is a picture of a character cut in half. The kid is supposed to match the top and bottom of the picture. I thought it would be way out of Gracie's range right now, but she jumped right in!


On a side note, is anyone else having trouble loading video? I've been having trouble with Blogger for a couple weeks now. They all load fine to Facebook, but not here...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Textural Bowls

I've been thinking about Bee a lot lately. More specifically, ways to enhance her sensory experiences. While perusing around Wal-Mart I came across suction cup bowls, and thought they would be perfect for introducing a few different textures for her to play with in a more hands-on approach than the bottles we've been playing with.
FAILURE?
It was fun at first. Gracie was very interested in what her little sister had coming, and insisted on helping with our project. Unfortunately these bowls have less suction than is desired, and Bee was able to pick them right up! I was very frustrated at first, and almost threw in the towel (literally, it got pretty messy!).


Then I noticed Bee's face. . .

While it wasn't what I was envisioning when I bought the bowls, Bee did experience texture in a more tactile way than she had previously experienced. She felt sugar, cornstarch, and minute rice. She enjoyed mixing them up and feeling how different they are-just in a slightly (ok, extremely) messier way.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sisters


Grandma & Bee


HOG PILE ON GRANDMA!!

Bee started imitating Grandma the other day. Grandma tilted her head from side to side and Bee copied her. Bee got such a great reaction to it that she now does it a lot! It is sooo cute. In the vid she does it at about 14 & 27 seconds.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Fine Motor Activity

I believe it was Tot School that blogged about using empty parmesan cheese shakers and uncooked spaghetti noodles to work on fine motor skills. Gracie has LOVED this activity. I broke the noodles in half so they would fit all the way in the containers, as she like to open and close the top of the shaker. She's a little tough on the fragile noodles, so I'm thinking I'll transfer the rest of our parm into this shaker, wash out the Sam's Club (i.e. HUGE!) shaker that is in the fridge, and use pick up sticks instead of noodles. The idea's the same, though and I'm sure it'll be a hit.




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Kitty Bee

Some of my favorite pictures of Gracie when she was littler were of her in her kitty outfit. I found the outfit while going through the girls' clothes a few weeks ago, and Bee wore it to bed the other day. She is just as cute as Gracie was in it, that is for sure!



Pom Poms & Tweezers

I found this adorable bug collection kit at the dollar store. It came with the cute plastic container, with a lid that opens on one side and has a magifying glass on the other side. It also has plastic tweezers and a small bug net. I showed Gracie how to pick things up with the tweezers, and we have been working those small motor skills ever since! In addition to filling the bug container, she poors it into other containers, like her stacking cups and I also showed her how to sort them in an ice cube tray too. She has had more than a dollar's worth of fun and learning already!



Sometimes when she missed with the tweezers, she'd get a little frustrated and use her fingers to put it back into the container, but she did great overall.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Brianna's Art

Brianna tried fingerpainting today! She needed a bath, and while we were waiting for Gracie to finish painting in the tub I thought "Why not?" She loved the texture, and was all smiles the whole time she was painting. Unfortunately, my good camera was in the diaper bag. In the car. With Daddy at work. I used the backup camera, hence the blurry pics. At least it was captured!




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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meeting Baby Evan

Daddy's sister, Jenni is in town from Portland so we FINALLY get to meet Baby Evan! Brianna got a three month head start on Evan, and it's a good thing she did!



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Of course, Gracie couldn't let the babies have ALL the fun!

Balloon

Our cousin, Michelle also graduated last weekend. After attending Josey's graduation we headed up to Sheboygan to go to Michelle's party. Brianna and Gracie had a LOT of fun. Especially when they figured out the balloons didn't have to stay on the tables!




We tied balloons to Gracie's dress straps. It made her much easier to find in the semi-crowed room!

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Graduation


One of our dear friends from Milwaukee (and Gracie's "big sis") graduated last weekend! We drove out to see her take her big walk across the stage and had a lot of fun celebrating with her and her family. The weekend was definitely way too quick!




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This pic is kind of dark, but it's still pretty cool. All the new graduates gathered in the entryway to toss their caps. It usually happens outside, but it was sprinkling.