Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ethan's Busy Box

I have a beautiful son who, at his very moment, is smacking my laptop with his bottle. A hint, perhaps? He may look a lot like his sister but they are very unique children. Ethan crawls and crawls fast, Hannah never crawls and never crawled. Ethan is very persistent when he wants something, either an object or your attention. Hannah frustrates very quickly. Hannah is a bit hardier than Ethan who is bothered easily by nosies and stimulation. Hannah is our interdependent child who yells "I can do it" even when it doesn't apply and was never a cuddly baby, except when she was asleep or sick. Ethan would be happier than a clam if I were to walk around holding him all day long.

Since Ethan would love all day cuddle sessions and I do need to take occasional breaks, I thought it was about time I made something for my beautiful boy to entertain himself. When I came across this idea on The Imagination Tree for a Baby Treasure Basket, I thought it was perfect.

Its a basket or in our case a tub of objects from around the house that Ethan can touch, explore and look.  Everything in the basket is safe for him to put in his month and because the items are unusual he was fascinated and occupied.

I love the look on his face is this picture, an "oooh can I touch  it" look.
Took him no time at all to dig in.

I snuck in a favorite to see if he would notice, and sure enough he did.

Success = Happy Baby

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bird Feeder

Hannah looking for Birds

We made a super simple bird feeder to go in our backyard.  Hannah happily helped me make it.  I wondered the  entire time if she knew what we were doing.  We made it using things we had at home, except for the bird seed.   My feeder is a modified version of this one.  It rains a lot here so I didn't want a lot of wasted bird seed due to damp and rainy weather.  This way I can dump out any bad seed and replace it easily with good seed.

You need:
An empty pop bottle with the cap (to keep the rain out).
craft sticks/wooden spoons/or sticks from the backyard would work too
bird seed

First cut a hole in the side, a little larger than your fist.  Next cut two slots below your hole.  One on either side, and insert your craft sticks or wooden spoons.  Those will become the ledges for your birds to perch on.

Then ask your toddler to fill he cavity with bird seed.

 Finally, attach a string and hang it in a tree.  I think I hung mine too low.  But I didn't wan't to drag the ladder out while the kids were playing in the backyard.

 Then all you need to do is keep you eyes open for some birds.

abc button

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Letter B activities

Hannah and I have been chugging along in our B activities. We took a bit of a break for Easter but then got right back into it. When I showed her the new box I thought she would take to the new letter as easily as she did with the Letter A. When I point to the letter B, either in a book, a magnet, or something I have drawn, she automatically calls it an A until I remind her that it’s a B. I guess it will just take some time for her to realize that each letter has its own individual name.Here are some of the B activities we have been working on:
Bean Bag sorting.

Sorting A and B Magnets

B is for Ball.

Finding the balls.
She always points when she dots them.

Coloring things that start with B: Ball, Butterfly, Bicycle, and Bird.

All Done.

Finding the colored balls in the rice.  I asked her to find a blue ball and she would try and find it.

Trying to decide if its pink or red.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hannah's Shelves

 On Hannah's bookshelf I rotate in different activities and things for her to play with and try.  It is in her bedroom and, since Ethan also plays in there, he too grabs things off the shelf to explore.  This is both good and bad.  Good, because I really enjoy watching the two play together. Bad, because now that he crawls and puts everything in his mouth I need to be very selective about what goes on the shelf.

Hannah's Shelf
You can see on the shelf that there are different trays and baskets for each of the different activities.  This works really well because Hannah usually knows that she can do one activity at a time and know exactly where to put it back.

Usually not always.

Hannah does her activities on a blanket to give her a defined workspace.  It is funny, we have been doing this for awhile, so if daddy or I forget she insists that the blanket be spread out.  Ethan's favorite activities are wooden toys and the musical instruments.

Ethan and his noisy tambourine.
Here are some of Hannah's favorites at the moment:

Shape/Shadow matching game.
We usually play it as activity where each person takes a shape on their turn.  She also does  it independently.

Marbles with a ice cube tray.

I think she would do this all day long.

I am very careful with the marbles ever since we had a bit of a scare; Hannah decided to share her marbles with Ethan.  He was very close to putting them in his mouth.  I was just glad I pre-counted the marbles.  Since then, the marbles are kept in an old vitamin bottle, that has a child safe lid.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Washing Dishes

Hannah loves to do chores.  What 2 year old doesn't.  They don't even know what work is yet.  Its all play time.  Some of Hannah's favorite chores include washing bottles with Daddy, folding laundry, dusting and sweeping.  She LOVES sweeping.  In fact, she cries when its time to stop and I need to hide the broom.

Last week, I gave her a bowl of warm soapy water, a brush, and some plastic containers to play with on her little table.  At the last minute I stripped off her clothes and let her go.  She really liked the activity and didn't stop at washing the dishes.  She washed the table, the floor, the chair, and even her own legs.

Scooping and pouring the water.

One happy girl.

Washing the floor.

I don't know how she can sit like that without falling over.

I just told her we were finished and that it was time for lunch.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend

We have had a great weekend so far, and it is not even over yet. On Friday, my sister and I took the kids to the zoo.  We got there just after it opened, so the lines were short.  By the time we left, a couple of hours later, the lines were quite long.  Hannah loved the zoo, and I did too.  Ethan slept almost the entire time.  The weather was beautiful so it was nice to walk around.  Hannah walked the whole time and had a blast not being confined to the stroller.  Here are some pictures:

Hannah and a crocodile.

Inside the lizard bubble.

Hannah loved the fake pigs because she could touch them.



Duck of some kind.

On Saturday, Andrew and I took the kids to the Surrey Nature Center to their annual easter egg hunt.  Unfortunately, by the time we parked we had just missed the hunt for Hannah's age.  But she had fun anyway.  She made some bunny ears, and enjoyed just walking around looking at everything.  When we got home I hid some eggs in the backyard for her to find.

Hannah standing inside a nest.

Looking for Eggs

Today, we gave Hannah and Ethan their easter baskets.  Hannah got her Easter things that I made.  Even though we didn't have much time to look through it before we needed to leave for church. I think she liked it.  Ethan's had the animals from the book "Brown Bear Brown Bear, What do you see?"  I wanted to put something in his basket even though he is really little.  The were very colorful and I thought he would like the pictures.  We also hid the resurrection eggs and than Andrew showed Hannah what was inside.

Easter Baskets

Finding eggs.

Daddy explaining what was inside each egg.

After church, we had the cool opportunity to meet and see our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

Ethan and I waiting.

Stephen Harper -PM

Shaking Hannah's hand.

Security Detail.

Finally, we capped off the weekend with dinner at my parents house.  Hannah stayed to have a sleepover with Gamma Gamma and Papa.

Happy Easter

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