Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tying Shoes Aid

I found this product called Loopeez.  I thought it was great because it would make it so easy for my 5 year old to tie her own shoes, but I wasn't willing to shell out $8 plus shipping because I know how easy it is to lose little things like this.  Believe me, we lose a lot of ribbons, clips, and headbands!  We've tried multiple times with no aids and she just fumbles....too much for her little hands to hold so I tried to make a mock Loopeez.  It was very simple and she tied them herself the first try!  (She already had the prerequisite skill of tying simple overhand knots).

From a large piece of felt, I cut two pieces, each about 1 inch by 2 inches (not exact measurements, but something like that).  Then I cut two vertical slits about an inch apart so it looks like the ones on the website.  Then it was time to test it out!

The first step is for the child to knot their laces.


Next, they put the felt piece over their laces.  Make a loop with the first lace, then thread it through the hole.


Repeat with the second lace.


Tie both laces in a knot.  Leave the felt there.  If we had pink, we would have used pink, but at the time we only had black, brown, and yellow felt in the house.  We're going to purchase a really cute color for our little Fancy Nancy!


Pull the loops to the appropriate length.


Finished product!  She was so proud she tied her shoes and it only took one try for her to get it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tofu Challenge

As I was prepping dinner this morning, I realized I like tofu.  It's not that I crave it, really enjoy it, or am opposed to eating meat.  I like it for the same reason I like frozen vegetables.  It's a cheap, healthy convenience food.  Here are some reasons to friend tofu:
1. It's inexpensive, around $1 per pound.
2. A sealed package will keep in the fridge for a month.
3. Unlike meat, it doesn't have to be defrosted, just open and eat or cook.
4.  It's low calorie, high protien.
5.  Tofu is versatile.  It takes on the flavor of what it is cooked with.  Marinated, it can taste like cheese.  Cooked, it can be crispy.  Crumbled it can replace meat.  Scrambled it can replace eggs.  Soft tofu blended with a jar of spaghetti sauce makes a great creamy tomato soup.

So this morning as a stared at two zucchini, a tub of ricotta cheese, and some spinach pondering what to make, I called on the unopened package of firm tofu in the fridge and some frozen pepper stir fry (remember I said I like frozen veggies too!).  Layer that with couple of jars of spaghetti sauce, oven ready lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, and a few spices, we now have a nice vegetarian lasagna to throw in the oven later tonight.  Using the tofu saved me from spending the time defrosting and cooking the meat.  I just crumbled it and threw it in with the cold sauce.  Done!

Are you up for the challenge?  Ready to try some tofu?













Saturday, March 17, 2012

We tried Market on the Move this weekend. It's a pretty sweet deal! We paid $10 to receive all this produce! I would have liked some fruit, but for the savings I can't complain. We arrived at the site at 7:50. By 8:45 we were done. We'd paid our money, filled our box, and headed for the car. There is a membership program which is $100 annually which allows you to go to one site per weekend to pick up produce for the year...I'm pondering this idea.

When we got home, we went right to prepping the veggies. We sliced and several of the peppers. We blanched and froze the green beans. The girls even helped! They were very enthusiastic at first, but their enthusiasm dwindled after the first bowl...ha ha ha! When they were all blanched and bagged, there were two full gallon ziplocks which is great because the girls love green beans! As for the chiles, we will likely be sharing them after we freeze a few bags full.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rice Sensory Bin

When we went to a training a few weeks ago, I was so impressed with their multi-colored rice sensory bin so we made one at home. It's much simpler to make than one would expect. You only need three ingredients: white distilled vinegar or rubbing alcohol, food coloring, and rice. You'll also need one ziplock bag for every color you want to make. First, put the vinegar and food coloring in a ziplock. It should be about 2-3 tbsp vinegar. The amount of color will depend on the intensity of color you want. Mix those well, then add the rice and shake. We originally made pastel colors, but wanted more rice so I added some naturally black rice from the pantry.


The rice is naturally appealing to the kids. They cannot wait to get their hands in it! Hello Kitty went surfing in it. Other animal toys can hide in it. I also gave the kids a funnel and some "shakers" (old spice containers) which they used to pretend they were cooking.


See how quiet they were...okay for the first 5 minutes! ; )

video

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cloud Dough

I found this recipe for "cloud dough" on Play Create Explore. Having never played with Moon Dough, I don't know how similar it is, but the girls certainly enjoyed playing with it. It is dry, yet builds like wet sand. It is simply made by mixing 8 parts white flour with 1 part baby oil and it smells great! I have no idea how long it will keep...I guess we will find out! I stored it in a large tupperware bin, but I have mind to make a larger batch one day for a sensory bin.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Collage

With almost 30 kids in my girls' preschool class, they came home with a lot of Valentines! To consolidate the mess, we made a collage. We glued the valentine cards onto old school printer paper, but you could use any large paper surface (boxes, packing paper, etc). They love their new work of art and now they can enjoy their Valentines without the paper mess!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tater Tots

Theme of the day: Potatoes!

Activity #1: Who doesn't love a good game of hot potato?!

Activity #2: Potato Stamps!


Activity #3: Growing our own potato plants in water so we can see the root system.



Activity #4: Make oven fries for dinner!

Other potato activities:

1. Potato Maze (This looks really cool! I just don't know if my kids will leave the box alone long enough for it to work!)

2. Potato Beads

3. Potato Battery

4. Visit the official home of the Idaho Potato.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inexpensive Jello play

We played with Jello today instead of playdough. The basic qualities of Jello are a different than playdough, but the kids still enjoyed it. To do Jello play less expensively, purchase plain gelatin. It takes 4 packets to make a FULL batch (9 by 13 pan) of cubes. The cubes can be stacked, looked through, and eventually mushed up. Various themes could be ocean (blue), slime (green), etc. We used yellow today because it's the color we had left of the 4 pack of food coloring. To color it, I just put food coloring in the cold water. The basic recipe is 1 cup cold water sprinkled with 4 gelatin packets, then mix in 3 cups boiling water, pour into a container and refrigerate for a few hours. Happy playing!