Thursday, March 7, 2013

Science is Real!

So we did an amazing science project on Tuesday which is "School Day" for us.  This project was simple to set up, simple to clean up, and AMAZINGLY fun to do.

If you enjoyed the baking soda volcano of your elementary school days, then this project is definitely for you. 


Dropper bottles or some other type of liquid transport device
Food coloring
Baking Soda
Baking pan

 Put the baking soda in the pan and use the liquid transport devices of choice to mix vinegar w/food coloring.  It doesn't take much food coloring, and the less you use the less likely you are to have an Easter colored child at the end of the project.  You should be able to easily tell what color each bottle is.

Unsure of how messy this was going to be I dressed my child sparsely, and put a kiddie placemat under the pan.  Then I let her loose with the bottles of color. 

Nothing better than lots of colors and fizzing!  As the colors got low we mixed them and had a bottle of green, and a bottle of purple.  This was so much fun and was so easy.  I think we all gave it 5 stars, because even Dad the photographer jumped in a few times to play.

We also discussed with her that this was part of science.  How we were causing a chemical reaction that went FIZZ FIZZ FIZZ.  I don't think that part mattered to her much, but she enjoyed saying fizz, fizz, fizz.

I will say that the bottles I chose were hard for her to squeeze.  It prevented her from spraying it everywhere, but she also got a little flustered at times.

This project was all over the internet, but I stole it from HERE.
This woman is way more open to mess then I think I am - but I appreciate seeing her toddler projects and how honest her posts are.  Good or bad they are there with an honest opinion on how she felt it went. 

How it goes

So our attempt at a routine has been successful in some aspects, and not a complete failure in others.   One of our successes is that Mandie is starting to have a better concept of days of the week, she can also use her chart to tell us what we are going to be doing that day.  It has also been a good way of giving her something to look forward to, because as we put her to bed we remind her of what the activity is for  the next day and she doesn't even fight going to sleep.

Where we haven't done as well is in pre-planning projects and following through with ideas.  I knew we would have a hard time with this part, but I don't thing we have done horrible.  Either way she has had fun and done something related to the activity for each day.  We can work on the rest. 

One way to help with the pre-planning projects, especially when you are super busy with a work project that is sucking all your time, is craft kits.  I feel like it's cheating in a way, but Mandie loves them just as much as the kits I take the time to make.  So in the end we still accomplish the same thing, and I can grab it from her craft box and she doesn't have to miss a day because I didn't have time to put something together.  (I do have a goal of setting up several projects so they are ready to go - but that is still a work in progress.)

This is a Crayola Kit I found on sale at the toy store and not only does it come with everything I need right in the box, but it was fun, easy and SUPER CUTE.

It said it was for ages 3+ but it was easy to modify the steps so that she could do it.  I traced her hand and cut out all of the pieces.  Then I let her glue things into place.  For the tissue paper spots on the giraffe I drew on the circles and put dabs of glue down and let her crinkle the paper and stick it in place.  She loved sticking the green tissue paper on to make the tree.  (I just noticed now that the piece we put down as grass looks a little like still turned out cute.)

This kit came with several handprint projects, so I look forward to doing more with her.  I'll make sure to pre-cut the shapes though, because she quickly grew tired of waiting as I cut around each bump of the giraffe's mane. 

Our science project was amazing so that will get a post of its own!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 1 - Cooking!

So as I stated in a post last week, we are starting a new thing with themed days this week.  Today was the first day, and Monday has been declared cooking day!  To introduce her to it, I put a chart up that shows two weeks and a simple image that shows what we are doing each day.  I went through each one describing what we would do, then I asked her what we are doing today and she looked, gave me a big smile and said "Cooking!".   She then went with her Dad to help make breakfast.  She also helped make English muffin pizza's for lunch.  (I forgot to take pictures - but there was a tiny apron involved.)   While it was cooking, she painted a picture of Curious George eating ice cream.

Then way later than I had meant to do it, we made a little pretend pizza out of cardboard and self stick foam.

I pre cut the pieces and put them into prep bowls.  The crust was just a scrap piece of cardboard, and the red marker was for the sauce.

Mandie was more than ready to get started.

We counted pieces as we stuck them down.

All done!
Nom Nom!

So at the end of the day I took her back to the chart and had her cross off the the cooking symbol under Monday.  I asked her what we were doing tomorrow and she exclaimed "COOKING!" either she doesn't get it yet, or she really enjoyed today. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Colors Project - Yellow!

I decided to do some color projects with Mandie.  When I yelled out to the living room to ask her what color she wanted to do, she responded with a bold and clear "Lello!".  So I prepped to do yellow.

I started by cutting out all kinds of pictures from magazines - any picture I could find that was primarily one color I went ahead and cut it out.  Then I gathered up 5 or 6 pom poms in different colors, and a few different foam shapes.   I have a love hate relationship with the bucket of pre-sticky foam letters.  I can never find the letter and or color that I need.  2 hours later I have finally found all of the letters to spell yellow in yellow.

Without sticking them on I traced the letters then brought everything and some glue over to the craft table.

Mandie, with her listening ears on, came over and started by placing each of the letters into the right spot.  (She is good at this because of the Endless ABC's app. which is great for teaching letters and letter sounds.) Then she had to go through the magazine clippings and pick out all the yellow pictures.  (There were about 12 clippings and 3 were yellow.)   The same with the foam shapes and the pom poms - there were a few colors and she had to pick the yellow from that group.  As she picked each out she got to glue or stick them down.

Here is the final product...

She is very proud of her yellow page and I am looking forward to doing more colors.  The project is easy to set up, and fits right in with her attention span.  A follow up project I would like to do this spring is to take a walk and have her point out items that are different colors.  We'll bring her camera and she can take pictures of them - then we will do a collage. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Mandie has gotten very into planning and scheduling.  It actually helps get her to go to sleep faster.  Every night after I tuck her in I tell her, "You are going to sleep in your bed, I am going to sleep in my bed, because tomorrow we are going to do _____."

Really Mandie is just like most kids and likes routine.  She likes having an idea of how/when things are going to happen.  Taking her lead I have decided to start small and give each day a theme, with a goal of doing at least one big activity based on that theme.  (I hope to do more than one thing each day, but I am admittedly easily distracted.)

So here is our chart for the first two weeks..
Cooking, school type learning, swim, crafts and sports

 Now if I was the Mom that I am in my head,  Monday would go something like this.....

She would help a little with breakfast - maybe stir her eggs or something.

At some point after breakfast we would have a pretend meal that she would prepare in her toy wok.

Then in the afternoon we would make pizzas out of construction paper, including little paper mushrooms and pepperoni - the works!

 At dinner time she would completely help with making 3 or so mini pizzas with different toppings.  Some with new things that she hasn't really tried - and of course her favorite pepperoni and cheese.

What I know will happen is the pizza making.  At least one pizza.

Let's hope that I can make at least some of the other stuff happen....and I'm hoping to get through the entire week. 

Well I'll post what the outcome is next week...I'm really hoping that this will be a good plan.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I love crafts, and apparently so does my two year old.  She is even willing to clean up her play area, and eat vegetables to earn craft time.  I have decided to take advantage of this and make craft time also learning time.

Our routine goes as follows:

With her safely gated in the living room, I set everything up so that there is not too much running around for miscellaneous items.  This is because I know that if I step away from the craft table my daughter will manage to glue herself, or one of our pets to something or each other.

Then I have her step just into the room and put on her "listening ears".  To test the functionality of her listening ears, we do a toddler version of Simon Says - which is basically where I just tell her to point at parts of her body to see if she is listening.  (BTW she has phalanges and sternum down.)  If she passes this test she gets to go to her craft table.

Last week we did shapes, so for circles I had a circle cut out of a nice colorful piece of paper.   Then on a white sheet of paper I drew a larger circle and wrote the word circle at the top.

Armed with a glue stick, she glued the pretty circle onto the page inside the circle I had drawn.  We talked about the shape, and things that were shaped like circles.  Then came her favorite part.  Using a toilet paper tube and a plate of different colored paint, she got to "stamp" circles onto the sheet.  She loved it so much I gave her a second plain sheet to do more.  

Stamping circles is serious work!
 We did the "okay, two more then we are done" and there was no fussing when the project was over.  We followed it up with squares, triangles and rectangles on other days that week - and I made sure to review her previous projects before starting the new ones. 

She loved the projects, but I  was worried that it had been too simple - then the other day she was playing a game and she pointed to the O and said "Circle Mama!".  So now I am happy with the results.  It has made her a better listener, given her a creative outlet, and she is learning.  Happy Mama and happy kid.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's a new year...

So after the drama of last year and some rather sad posts, we are moving on.  We have decided that we are content with our family, and we are opting to not do anymore rounds of IVF.  This was not an easy decision, but we think it is the right one for us.  It definitely wasn't our plan to have an only child, but "the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry".

So now this blog will not be about IVF, but will be about life and my family.  So if you are one of the many people who bitch about constantly hearing about someone else's kids (and at times what they do in the bathroom)....then this blog will probably not be for you.  However if you enjoy hearing about my two year old, who is currently wearing mittens and using her drumsticks like chopsticks to pick up Legos, then you might enjoy my future posts.