Sunday, May 29, 2011

Look Who's One!

Yesterday was Baby B's first birthday. I cannot believe my little man is already one year old. It seems like just yesterday we brought him home.

We had a family & friends barbecue to celebrate. It was giraffe themed, and we had the cutest cake made!

This was his first time eating cake and he loved it. (That is his godmother with him in the photo.)

My mother is visiting, and she and the kids helped decorate.

The only downside to the day was that it turned out to be 101 degrees outside (yes, in May).

Happy Birthday Baby Boy, we love you!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simply Swinging

We recently added a swing for Baby B in our back yard.

He loves to spend the day hanging out in his swing, and he never has trouble finding someone to push him!

Miss M has been known to sneak in a few swings, too, whenever it's empty!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moses Bible Story Craft

Last week we were reading the story of Moses, and made a simple craft to go along with it.

First Miss M painted the paper blue to represent the water. (This is more fun than simply using blue paper!)

Next we colored and cut out a printable of baby Moses in the basket. (And added more blue paint.) I got this one at Little Blots of Faith.

Finally, we cut her handprints out of green and brown paper to be the reeds.

We glued only the palms down so you can see the baby in the basket still.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teeny Tot School

Tot School
~11.5 months old~

Baby B is a budding percussionist. Lately he has been turning everything around him into a drum. He discovered this pot at the bottom of my pantry (it's only use is for making playdough) and started banging away on it. He even found the plastic fork to use as a drumstick. It was so cute (and loud)! (He is blowing a kiss in the picture, thus the funny face.)

He also discovered the sand box for the first time this week, and was very big into pouring and scooping. Surprisingly, no sand was eaten!

I bought this Melissa & Doug Puzzle at the consignment store figuring he would be able to use it when he was older. He surprised me by being able to open all the little doors and remove the magnetic pieces behind them. This has become one of our favorite toys to play with.

That was our simple week in Teeny Tiny Tot School. Baby B turns 1 next week and will officially be a Tot!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Taking Art Outside

Since the weather is so nice here, the kids have been wanting to spend every minute outside that they can. We have been doing quite a bit of work on the yard this year, including building a safe place for Baby B to play. As part of that, we made an outdoor chalkboard. We simply bought a piece of 4x4 birch, painted it with several layers of chalkboard paint and hung it on the fence.

The kids are loving it. It's big enough they both can use it, and whether it is enjoyment in the act of writing vertically or the act of writing outside, Miss M is getting great writing practice!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flower Suncatcher

Making window suncatchers out of contact paper and tissue paper has become a favorite activity of Miss M. This time around, she made a flower.

I drew the outline on the contact paper first with a marker, and she added the tissue paper. After the two layers were sandwiched we cut it out and hung it in the kitchen window. A simple craft, but one we all get to enjoy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nature Drawing at the Arboretum

Last weekend we took a day trip to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. We have been there before, and enjoy the walks as well as picnicking in a sunny glade.

This time around, we also did a little nature sketching.

Even Baby B wanted to get in on the act.

It was a fun way to spend a little family time and enjoy the great outdoors.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Treasure Basket: Shiny

I gave Baby B a new treasure basket filled with shiny, reflective, and metal objects. To say he loves it is an understatement!

I put everything inside a wire basket and it includes:

-baby safe mirror
-old CD
-serving spoon
-metal baby spoon
-mini colander
-gold metal jar with lid
-a large bunch of keys and metal rings
-three baby food jars filled with bells, coins and a bouncy ball (the lids of these are hot-glued on so he cannot open them)
-aluminum foil ball
-white wooden triangle
-small metal pail
-silver ball (not shown)
-napkin ring (not shown)

I think it goes without saying that he only does this under CLOSE supervision as some of these objects could be choking hazards and he tends to put things in his mouth.

I love just sitting nearby and watching him explore each item one at a time and figuring out how to combine them in new ways.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Splat Painting

If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that 1) My kids love to paint and 2) We are NOT afraid of messes in our house. This newest painting technique definitely needs to be done outside, but it is SO fun!

J and I filled balloons with a few tablespoons of couscous and then blew them the rest of the way up. Then we put puddles of paint on paper plates. Our canvas was a recycled cardboard box.

You just dip the balloon onto the paint and toss it into the box.

The kids experimented with different amounts of paint and dropping their balloons from varying heights.

It was fun for both kids (and me too) and I think the results were very pretty!

(This idea came from MaryAnn Kohl's The Big Messy Art Book: But Easy to Clean Up book.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Freddy the Frog Craft

What do a paper lunch sack, paper plate and two parts of an egg carton make?

Freddy the Frog, of course!

Miss M loved this craft, and has been hopping her frog puppet all over the house.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Backyard Friend

How perfect that the week we are studying frogs we find one in our own backyard! (Okay, he was really a toad but Miss M was ecstatic either way). We decided his safest spot was NOT in our garden with the dog on the loose, so we gathered him up and took him to the park to return him to the wild.

Of course, we took 5 minutes to study and observe him before we set him free.

You just can't beat that kind of hands-on nature experience.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Frog Lifecycle Craft

The pond behind our house is teeming with new babies - turtles, frog, and ducks - so of course, we are studying pond life this month. Miss M has been learning the lifecycle of a frog, and when I saw this craft I knew she'd love it.

The cover is a lily-pad made from green construction paper, a muffin cup and tissue paper.

The eggs were made using a q-tip dipped in white paint. We later added the black dots with a marker.

The tadpoles are Miss M's fingerprints dipped in brown paint and the frog printout came from Kidssoup (this is a membership site). When they were dry, they all stapled together to make a little book.

She was so excited to show J and Daddy her project when they got home.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Fingerpaint

Baby B had his first "finger painting" experience yesterday. I used some baby yogurt I had purchased which he did NOT care to eat. At first he was hesitant . . .

then he seemed to get into the spirit of it.

And yes, he was very messy by the time he was done.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Teeny Tiny Tot School ~ Week Two

Tot School
~11 months old~

Baby B had some fun new explorations this week.

We played with water one day:

and with Easter eggs all week long:

he explored his shape sorter:

and practiced throwing his farm animal balls into a basket. Throwing any sort of object into a basket is favorite new activity of his.

Overall, a fun week for our littlest one.