Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Booklist

I am trying to get back into reading more books this year.  I will also continue to listen to them while I exercise.  Here is what I have gotten through so far.
2 .A Stolen Life: A Memoir

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tot School - Getting back into the groove 25 months

Tot School

Now that we are finally starting to settle into our new house we have started getting back into tot school (or rather S found the box of tot school supplies and insist on getting into it each day).  I found by doing a little tot school each day he is much less likely to get into "2 year old trouble mode".

To our surprise we found out that he knew his whole alphabet and while we were moving we made sure to keep out his alphabet puzzle from Lauri Toys Primer Pack.   I also printed out the Tot Time Notebook, which he just LOVES.  At first he would just keep turning all the pages and saying the letters.  Then he started saying the names of the icons on each page.  Now he is starting to trace the letters while he says them.  I don't know if I can keep up with his kid sometimes.

Now onto numbers!  As usual I underestimated his knowledge.  I have always counted things with him but I didn't think he was actually picking it up.  Now he can count to twenty as I learned when he picked all the blueberries out of his cereal and laid them on the table and counted them as he fed them to the dog.

So anyway, not alot of pictures this week but we are going to try a little more structure in the coming weeks.  This week we did do a few Valentine's worksheets (the ones that have the dots on them).  But he also had to make some Valentines for this little friends at the Y.  So here is what we did.

Supplies: Finger paints, Ikea paint brush, vanilla paper, multi-colored construction paper, and of course an old t-shirt for painting.

I put some dabs of paints on a paper plate and let S go to town.  He had a blast and got to practice using his favorite word "More".  

After we let the sheet dry I folded the paper and cut it into 8 hearts.

Then I let S use his handy dandy glue stick to glue all the hearts onto the construction paper.

Finally I tapes on a little dove chocolate into the middle (this had to be repeated several times since S took the chocolates off and ate them the first time around and the second time around I saw that the cat had eaten half the chocolate heart).

It is nothing fancy but it was a fun project for S!

Next week we are going to celebrate Dental Health Month!  I have some fun handout that I made and will post them on next week's tot school blog.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Toddler YouTube Videos

Making dinner while trying to entertain a 3 month old and a 2 year old can sometimes be challenging.  Especially if your two year old wants to assist or has a trouble making ant in his pants.  One day I turned to YouTube to see if I could find some songs for him to sing and I found a few great videos I have saved:

The classic Dr. Seuss videos!  I was so excited since I haven't seen these videos in well over 20 years (jeez, I feel old).  But right now S is really into Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Cat in the Hat, Cat in the Hat (part 2)
Green Eggs and Ham

We also found a few videos for some of his currently favorite books:
The Hungry Caterpillar 
Pete the Cat (I always wondered how his song went, now I know!)

Of course we needed to find some nursery rhyme videos since I am horrible at remembering them (yes, my DH did have to reteach me Old Mac Donald).  Hoopla Kidz channel on YouTube had some cute versions of the nursery rhymes along with fables (which S isn't quite into yet).  His favorites are:

ABC song
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Old Mac Donald
Wheels on the Bus

I will add to this list as it grows.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ikea Inspired Playroom

We moved into our new house a little over a month ago and one of the first things on the agenda was to set up a playroom on the main floor to hopefully contain some of the toys.  To keep the remodeling budget reasonable we took the 2 hour drive to Ikea to pick up a few essentials.

Here is the room before we bought the house:
10 S Woodmont Cir, Madison, WI 53717

1. The room started out as this nasty salmon color and we (or rather my DH and FIL) painted the room a light taupe color to brighten the room.  They also had to change out all the outlets since the previous owners decided the outlets themselves would look nice in a salmon color.

2. We had intended to buy a kids craft table for the holidays but I just couldn't find the right one.  Then while surfing Target's website I happened upon a clearance table for $40 (down from $159.99) with free S/H when you spent $50 (like that was hard to do).  The box came in damaged and my DH had to repair it a little but hey, for $40 I am not complaining.

3.  Our big purchase was the Expedit shelving unit.  We decided to go with the 25 cubbie hole model and we purchased 10 matching bins for $4.99 each and fit perfectly.   The rest of the shelves we left open to display books, puzzles, etc.  I put all the art supplies on the top shelf and left the bottom 3 shelves fully stocked with toys that are played with everyday (like the puzzles).  I try to pull out a bin every couple of days since my toddler doesn't really go looking for things in there yet.  Its a way to keep toys fresh.  Oh and for those with kids that climb, this unit comes with hardware to attach to the wall.

4. Ikea hacks!
    a. Stools - we found these cute little stools at Ikea for $5.99 but they were just a little too tall and my son had a little trouble getting up on them.  So my DH took them downstairs and cut 2 inches off the legs of the stool.  Now they fit perfect with the table and my son can hop right on them.  They are surprisingly alot more stable then I thought they were going to be.
   b. Art display - Since my son has been attending a little class at the Y, he is producing lots of artwork and we needed somewhere to display it.  So we bought at curtain wire with little hooks and viola!

5.  When we moved into the house there was sadly no room for our precious white board, which keeps us all organized (don't worry we bought a new one that is slightly smaller).   But we didn't want to see this white board go to waste so we hung it in the playroom and now my son has a place to play with his letter.  FYI - white board cleaner takes off permanent marker, pen, and crayon.

6. We also bought these two little Lack side tables so that my son would have a place to play with his new Ikea train set and his legos.

Eventually I would like to add some carpet tiles under the craft table so the carpet doesn't get stained with paint/markers.  I would also like to add some touches of red to get some more color into the room.