Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Salad Spinners

I've had to sacrifice many things as a mother and I have been more than happy to do so for most of those things.  The latest has been my salad spinner!  Bean has made it into her new favourite toy and figured out how to use it all by herself.  She thoroughly enjoys taking it apart and putting it together and spinning it, stepping in it (we no longer use it for salads) and it does not seem to get old.  Today I thought I would try to put a few items in it (she normally spins it with nothing inside) to show her what is actually happening in there.

I literally took the three items that were closest to where she was and put them inside for a spin.  She grinned from ear to ear when I spun them around in the salad spinner as she watched.  She of course wanted to try and then she attempted to put other items in.  When she is a bit older, I may do this again and put items that have very different masses, like a feather and cotton ball and some heavier blocks and she if she notices any difference. This could easily be a science experiment for preschool children.

What is the one kitchen gadget your child(ren) can't get enough of?  Do you remember your favourite?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Bowling Boxes


To help my daughter with the skills of rolling a ball to a specific place (Gross Motor) and problem solving (Cognitive) by helping to balance boxes on top of each other


  • cardboard boxes
  • plastic cups
  • take away containers

(basically anything from your recycling bin that is light enough to be toppled over by a rolling ball)

Today we had yet another extreme cold weather advisory so Bean and I stuck to playing indoors.  As mentioned in a previous post, she adores throwing and (attempting) to catch balls so I thought it would be good to use those same balls but for indoor bowling. We do not have one of those plastic bowling sets with the pins, but we do have tons and tons of cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes.  I stacked the boxes up into a tower and placed cups and smaller baskets near the top then asked Bean to roll the ball to the tower to knock it down.  I demonstrated first and she smiled and got excited and of course wanted to try her hand at it.  I began building again, but she was at my side, so I included her in building.  She did not really help, but it was my attempt to at least get her thinking about balancing all of these items to construct a tower. This activity is open ended as there is no right way to do it and there are so many possible configurations that could be built.

Have you tried this at home?  Do you have ideas for other material that could be used as stacking toys (blocks)?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Book Review, Llama Llama Wakey-Wake

My daughter really enjoys the Llama Llama series of books.  We first heard Llama Llama Red Pajama at a reading readiness (story time) program that she and I used to attend last year when she was about 5 months old.  It soon became a favourite bedtime story.  Bean has several bedtime stories and a few of them include bedtime routines which is great because she can identify with the characters in the book and (hopefully) do the same.
A few weeks ago I purchased Llama Llama Wakey-wake, because I knew Bean already liked the character Llama Llama.  This book is about the morning routine which was really nice for a change.  Brushing her teeth is not something that Bean does or lets us help her with most days so I find it helps a little bit when we can say that Llama Llama brushes his teeth in the morning (among other things).
After Bean became familiar with it, I would start the sentence and she would complete it with the actions she knew Llama Llama did in the book.
If you're looking for a book with a good morning routine to help your toddlers, this one is great!  Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Finger Painting


To allow my daughter to experiment with mixing colours


  • food colouring
  • yogurt
  • paper
  • a bib
I am surprised at myself for setting up this activity for my daughter since it makes me cringe even seeing her get her hands messy when she eats.  It makes me cringe  because inevitably those same hands end up in her hair- every. single. time. ( I know, I need to get over it!).  It may have been a messy one, but I am glad that I let Bean do it because I think she enjoyed it very much.   She did not want me to take away her palette of "paint" even when there was very little left on it.

I should add that my little girl must be growing up because she did not get any in her hair and did not attempt to eat any of the yogurt paint. :)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Basket and Balls


To encourage the gross motor skill of throwing which helps toddler's coordination


  • Basket
  • An assortment of balls
I really think that the outdoors is the best place for Bean to explore her physical abilities and develop her gross motor skills. The last couple of weeks have been really cold, so Bean and I have not been spending as much time outside as we would like.   I know that my daughter loves to throw a ball, she especially enjoys playing catch with her Uncle.  He says she has quite the arm already!  Since I already knew that she enjoyed throwing, I decided to add a basket the last time she wanted to play catch.  Instead of throwing the ball to me, I put a basket on its side and threw balls in it to see if Bean would do as I did.  My hope was that she would be able to increase her coordination skills by aiming the ball to go into the basket.  She did manage to, but only because she stood right beside it when she threw the balls! haha! It was a really fun activity for her and I am sure that we will try it again.   Maybe we will even move back a little bit the next time and learn to throw from a bit of a distance, or not!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Make and Shake

Hi there!  Happy Music Monday!  Bean and I have been dancing and playing our instruments to her favourite songs for a couple of months now.  She has a variety of instruments, but I thought it would be nice to have a homemade shaker for something new to use today.  I used a clean take away container with its lid and some beads from the dollar store that I had already.  Any container can be used for this, but I like using the beaded chains so that in the event my daughter opened the lid, it could be easily picked up and contained.

Here's what it looked like: