Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cool Camera

One of the gifts Aidan received for his birthday was this:

It is a pretty cool V-Tech Kidizoom camera. It has already been dropped a few times (little sister got her hands on it) and still works great - seems to be very tough. Aidan was super excited to have his very own camera and I think it is cool to see things from his perspective. It took a few tries (and pictures of people's feet or half their body) to understand how to line everything up to get a good shot, but he caught on pretty quick.

The weekend after he got the camera my mom and sister took him on an adventure to Kansas to the Sedgwick County Zoo. My aunt happens to work there and gave them a great tour with a few little extra special treats (like riding around in one of those fancy golf cart things, getting to hold a canvas while an elephant painted them a picture). Aidan was sure to take his camera so he would be able to take pictures for his new adventure scrapbook grandma gave him for the trip.

Here is Aidan taking a picture of the giraffes.

Here is that picture of the giraffes. Not the highest quality image, but it is certainly fun for a 4 year old!

It is also fun to see his pictures taken from his perspective on the world. Here is his picture of the tortoise:

And here is my sister's:

You can't even see those massive bars between her and the tortoise, but it takes up half of his picture! Not only is it fun to see Aidan enjoying something so much, but it is also a great reminder for me to take time to get down and see things from his perspective once in awhile. Sometimes I forget how hard it must be to be little and not be able to see things a certain way or get things your way. I know I am getting a little too philosophical over a picture, but I think it just serves (at least for me) as a reminder to get down on his level more to see things from his perspective.

Oh, and the camera also has different effects he can add like frames or funny hats and has a few games on it as well. We haven't experimented too much with that yet, just enjoying the camera aspect of it for now!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hat trick

My son had his birthday a couple of weeks ago and we brought along some treats to share at preschool. When it is your birthday at his preschool you get to wear a crown for the day. So here is my son in his crown - so handsome I know. :)

But the thing I wanted to share is how genius his teachers are in easily making the crown fit any child's head. They simply stapled a rubber band to the back! Maybe I am the only one that has never seen this before, but I thought it was so smart! It is so hard to make a paper crown/hat fit kids because the paper is usually a little too short and so it kind of sits on top of their head and falls off, aggravating the child to no end.

See - genius! A perfect fit!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

A supplement to the pay it forward challenge

I just came across this blog and it has a wonderful 52 week challenge.

Forever In Blue Jeans

I think this can go hand in hand with my pay it forward picture challenge. Just another way to make sure us moms are getting INTO the pictures! The challenge is to take a picture with one or more of your children once a week, and if you have a blog, post it on Thursdays. I think that sounds like a brilliant idea and plan to play along. Though I will probably post the picture on my family blog - don't want to bore you all with my family pictures. But I wanted to share the challenge with all of you!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jumpstart's Read for the Record

Everyone head on over to Read for the Record and pledge to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar on October 8!

Jumpstart's Read for the Record is a campaign we used to participate in at the center I worked at. It is a wonderful event that happens each fall with a different book. They try to break the record of having the most people reading the same book on the same day and in the process celebrating early literacy which will help lead to success in school.

You can simply pledge to read that day with your children, or you can sponsor a book to be given to a low-income child.

They had nearly 700,000 readers last year. Won't you join me in helping them break that record this year? :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little about Aidan

My friend Angee over at Dresses 'N Messes shared this activity last week and I wanted to do it with Aidan.

I just drew a simple person shape and had him decorate it to look like himself. At least those were the directions I gave him. He only wanted to use crayons (no yarn, construction paper, anything) and I was surprised that he didn't draw a face or any real details. Lately his drawings have been realistic enough that I can tell what they are without him telling me. I of course don't mind at all how he decided to decorate his little Aidan picture, it just surprised me is all.

My favorite part of the activity was the part where I asked him questions about himself. A few I could have guessed (like chicken nuggets are his favorite food and his favorite thing to do is play cars), but a few others were interesting to hear (he wants to be a semi driver when he grows up and the thing he dislikes is seeing sharks - no idea where that came from!). And one that just made my heart happy , "I like myself because God made me". :)

Head on over to Dresses 'N Messes to see all the questions Aidan and I talked about. It is a fun little keepsake for me and I am excited to do this activity again in a few months or maybe next year (I haven't decided how often I would like to do it yet) to see how his answers and his little person drawing change.
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Imagination is key!

While at the library the other day we came across these two fantastic books:

I love the simple yet very imaginative pictures and story line. The pig in "Not A Stick" comes up with many different things to pretend a simple stick can be besides just a stick. Same thing with the bunny and the box. So clever, so creative and so right up my child's ally right now with his imagination just exploding!

One example I can see my own children using, similar to the stick and the box in the stories is a wood chip. In our world, wood chips are tiny shovels for digging in the sand, a car, a dinosaur fossil he has just unearthed, chicken nuggets or ice cream, currency to buy said chicken nuggets or ice cream, and the list could go on and on. And that is just a simple wood chip. It is so neat to see how their imaginations work and what they can come up with.

I read an article in some parenting magazine recently (sorry I can't remember which one!) with a family that has a game night once a week. One of their games is to take a random object and they take turns imagining what it could be. I think this is so fun and really celebrates creativity.

I think I am going to go pick a random thing and see how many things Aidan and I can dream it to be!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sticker Fun

This morning Ella found some stickers. She wanted one on her shirt, but then quickly took it off and put it on her hand, then I put it on her nose. It soon turned into a game of "name the body part the sticker is on" or "put the sticker where mommy says".

Like, put the sticker on your CHIN!

It's is also fun to play, "put the sticker on your sister's knee"

Or "put the sticker on your toe"

We had a lot of fun finding our elbows, fingers, ears, and learning the names of some parts she didn't know before (eyebrows, cheeks, wrist). And of course, everything is more fun when there are stickers involved!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinosaur shadow

My son has been loving the new show on PBS called Dinosaur Train. He now talks about carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. It is awesome. (Except for the exponential increase in roaring that has taken place, but I digress.)

Tonight he made up some little song about dinosaurs and was pretending to be a T-Rex. He noticed his shadow on the ground and walked around trying to figure out how to make it bigger so he could really be a BIG T-Rex. I thought that was an excellent use of shadow and had to share it with you all!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Color Sorting

Sorry for my absence lately. We have been busy celebrating Aidan turning 4 and dealing with him starting preschool. (BTW - first day drop-off at preschool was AWESOME! The last two days have been a fight from the house to the van, van to preschool, and finally having the teachers drag a screaming Aidan away from me as I try to carry a car seat and take a screaming Ella out the door because she doesn't want to be away from Aidan! SERENITY NOW! Obviously since I have been on the teacher side of this scenario I know that he is fine a few minutes after I leave, but it is little consolation to a mommy trying to encourage and get her son to enjoy going to preschool in the morning!)

Okay, anyway, thanks for listening to my preschool drama. While Aidan has been at preschool, and Olivia (who is almost 4 months old) is napping, Ella (22 months) and I have been having lots of fun together. I hope Aidan being in preschool will be good not only for him, but allow me to focus more quality time with Ella who sadly gets overshadowed sometimes when big brother is around.

Today we worked on colors. She has a set of stacking cups and buckets that she LOVES! She plays with them all the time. I remembered I had picked up some little pom poms awhile back for use in crafting with the kids. I thought before we glue them into an art project, maybe Ella and I could use them to learn about colors and sorting by color.

These poms are also different sizes so we could use them to sort by size or line them up small, medium, big. Ella played along with me for a little bit and was trying to say all the colors and sort them into the same color bucket, but then she just wanted to put them all into one and kept filling and pouring them into each other. Which has nothing to do with learning colors of course, but pouring is a great skill itself!
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A pay it forward challenge

So today my little boy turned 4 years old. We celebrated in part by going to the zoo, one of his favorite places. While we were watching the sea lions and I was taking pictures of the kids, a very nice fellow mom asked me if I would like her to take our picture. I said of course! She told me that when her mom passed away and they were looking through family photos, her mom was not in very many. And I bet you mommy's out there can guess why! We are ALWAYS the ones taking the pictures. She said she now makes it a point when she sees mom's with their kids out and about, she always offers to take a picture for them.

I am so grateful to this woman for taking this picture for me. I am also grateful that she opened my eyes to how simple it is to help another mom out and take a quick picture for them. I know this seems like such a silly, simply little thing, but it truly made my day that I have a picture of me WITH my kids to remember this special day we had together.

Now I am a shy person by nature, but I am going to challenge myself and I would also like to challenge all of you to do what this woman did for me. If I see a mom and her kids and she has a camera, I will offer to take a picture of her with her kids. It is only going to take about 30 seconds of my time, but she will have that picture forever.

See, there is me, with my kids, at the zoo, celebrating my little boy turning 4 years old. LOVE IT!
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Finds

Sorry I have been absent this past week. A lot going on around here and just not enough energy left to blog this week! Here are some fun things I saw this week though!

Fun ways to practice writing the alphabet - I tried this with Aidan this week and he LOVED it!

Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations is a new fav website of mine. I have been having fun looking through all the ideas and some printable activities on there. The first I printed off was the Fruit and Vegetable Matching Cards. It works on so many levels. My 21 month old can match the two like fruits or vegetables. They both can work on sorting them by fruits and vegetables, or maybe colors for my 21 month old as well. Or use the cards to play memory. Or, as my almost 4 year old is really interested in learning to read right now he can try to sound out the words and match it up with the picture of the fruit/vegetable. I just start him off with a couple at a time so it is not too overwhelming for him to look at ALL the produce while he is trying to figure out the word!

Also at the Preschool Corner there is the Days of the Week song. Aidan (my almost 4 year old) has really been wanted to learn his days and figure out today/tomorrow/yesterday lately, so I started singing this song with him. Another song we used to sing at my old center is sung to the Adams Family theme song. It goes:

Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)

There's Sunday and there's Monday,
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
There's Thursday and there's Friday,
and then there's Saturday

Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)

And how cute is this little kitchen set for you do it yourselfers out there! We already have a kitchen set for the kids that my dad built for me when I was little, but after seeing this (through This Little Project today), I sure was eyeing our old entertainment center that looks pretty similar to the one they used.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your three day weekend!


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