If you have tried anything on this site please leave a comment and let me know.

The more I hear from you the better! I love hearing how these activities are working in your home/daycare or nursery!
I get lots of emails about what you are doing, just leave a comment so everyone can read it too!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pattern Power (1)

Here is a great quiet game for the kids.
First you need to print these...
HERE is the PRINTABLE!
Finally no more EMAILING!
Then cut and laminate.
I printed 3 - that made 9.

Then grab a few items to snack on.
I picked animal crackers, craisins and goldfish.
You could do fruit snacks, m&m's, and cheeze-its.
Really you could do anything that is small enough.

Then you make your own patterns and EAT!
We brought this project to a friends house.
Those cute blondies are moving away and it makes me so sad.


This is great for church, quiet time, snack time, traveling...ANYTHING!
Print a few and tell me what you think!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scheduling Toddlers/Toddler Tips/Potty Training

Potty Training Continued.


1- Make sure your child is ready.
2 - Have the right equipment for YOU and your KID.
3 - Decide what is going to work for your Child



4 - Day vs Night Training and When to do it!
If you have decided to start please don't start during a major change. Moving, a new sibling, switching a major routine change, etc. Doing this causes stress and will actually set your child back in potty training. Stress can make it harder for a child to demonstrate a skill that they have yet to master.  This is why most kids revert back or regress - it makes them remember a time when they were more comfortable.


Day vs. Night
I am an all or nothing girl.  When we potty train we never go back to underwear. But - having said that kids can go ALL day without an accident waaaay before they are actually ready to get through the night.  It is actually common and natural to wet the bed until a kid is 5 years old.  It can be so frustrating I'm sure when you can have a kid last ALL day and then at night it becomes a huge problem.


If you are all ready experiencing this it could be for many reasons. Does your child sleep so soundly that they don't wake up?  Does your child have nocturnal eneuresis?


Bed wetting is involuntary. It (from my research and training) is just a slight developmental delay, not anything emotional or physical, and only a small percentage of bed wetting cases are caused by specific medical problems.  Did you know bed wetting is often associated with a family history of said condition? It is. So feel free to blame your spouses side. Haha. Just Kidding.


If you are just starting to seriously train bed wetting is something you need to think about.  Most kids slowly stop wetting as part of their natural development.  If your child wakes up wet in a diaper - do night training slowly. Get them trained through the day and then talk with them about getting rid of it at night. Try it for two weeks and if the number of dry nights decrease you know they are golden. If they increase return to the diaper and gradually make your way back to trying to go at night diaper free.  


If you child is past 3.5 you could try intervening with the bed wetting alarm. I have never used it, but have heard great things about it. That is something you talk to the pedi about. You can also talk to the pedi about food allergies. Bed wetting can be linked to food allergies. Weird but sometimes true.  I have also heard in my training that sometimes, in larger families the child wetting just needs a little extra special time.  Take them to the bathroom 30 minutes before bed and then give them 20 minutes of undivided personal attention. Then take them again right before bed. Sometimes, that extra special time can reduce any stress or discomfort and relax them enough to let it all out.


In my own personal experiences I have just monitored when I notice my kid showing me the signs.  I make sure they don't drink an hour before bedtime...at the beginning. Then I make sure they go potty right before bed and haven't had a problem.  I have had one of my children who has been potty trained for awhile wet the bed, and it was their responsibility to take the sheets off and put them in the hamper. They had to change their jammies and be responsible about it.  It wasn't deliberate and therefore they weren't "punished" but they needed to take care of it.  In our house being in underwear is a big deal - it is when you start being held accountable and need to express what you want or need with your words.  Just like using the words "I need to go potty" and then actually doing it. It is an expectation we have set and so we let them know part of potty training/being in underwear means growing up. Its time to end the crying and the fits and start getting ready for the real world/school.


If I had a child that had nightime issues I would explain to them that their muscles inside are still learning how to hold it. Its okay and if it happens we need to learn how to take care of it.  No punishment is needed its just something that some kids have to deal with.


Ultimately you need to do what is going to work for you. You need to devote sometime to actually potty train and make sure you have what is going to work for you. For me the potty seat is better because I never have to transition to "big potties" and stores and other places are not scary since they only know how to use the "big ones."  

Good Luck and as always I hope this helps! This as always is a post to help give you ideas or help with situations. Not a post telling you WHAT to do...because every kid is different! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Noodle Building!

Cut the noodles in half, then in random lengths.  Grab a box of toothpicks and have at it...



You can store them in a trash bag and put the toothpicks back in the box for another building day.
Everyone loved this project!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Noodle Racing!

I saw this in Family Fun and thought we would give it a try.  Except instead of racing marbles we raced - Whoppers. I love food and I am terrified that someone will swallow one, or forget to put them away and I will slip on one so we raced Whoppers and then ate them. There is no way they would forget to eat them or leave them around! Haha.

First you cut a pool noodle. I did this with a bread slicer - gasp - I know, I know.


Then you use toothpicks to stick them together.

Then you get a box to "catch" the precious Whopper Candies. And then races are go for launch.
You can make checkered flags and other decorations etc. We didn't but you totally could. 
Instead we tried different inclines.

After that we tried to see if they would race at a diagonal, or straight. We tried all sorts of things which just meant MORE Whoppers! It was very scientific! Haha.

Try it! Noodles are cheap and Whoppers are too. Its hours of fun and tasty too!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scheduling Toddlers/Toddler Tips/Potty Training

Potty Training Continued.


1- Make sure your child is ready.
Adding to what I wrote last week - make sure you are following the right cues. Push it and you will have to start all over.  If they are showing interest - then go ahead and start.

2 - Have the right equipment for YOU and your KID.

Potty Seat vs Potty Chair and Underwear.


3. Decide what is going to work for your Child. Most kids love hugs, kisses and high fives for praise and motivation. But for some they need a little more.  Potty Chart and Rewards worked for 2 of the 3 kids in my house.  My youngest just wasn't interested in charts. So I skipped them. For my oldest - we used Jelly Beans. For my second I used M&Ms and my third I used Gummi Bears. 


Print one of THESE potty charts and take your child to the store.  My kids got to pick a special Potty Reward. I bought it then and took it home. Once they filled up the chart they got the toy. If the accidents started to come again, they lost the toy and had to start again with a new chart. The consequence for not going potty is losing the potty reward.


Remember to emphasize the pottying NOT the reward.


Every child got 1 candy reward for EVERY urination and 2 candy rewards for EVERY bowel movement.
Slowly I stopped giving rewards for urine but kept up the bowel rewards until they slowly forgot about them. (the reward)
March 2009 - Kid #2
Please remember that Potty Training is a process of development, it happens at different times in children's lives. For some its at 2 and some its right after 3. There is not a specific "perfect time" to potty train. Just because YOU want your child potty trained doesn't mean THEY are ready. If you do it before they are ready the only person you are training is yourself.  Children feed off of your frustration, and trust me having accidents is frustrating and hard. Wait and your life and potty training period will be soooooo much easier!


Ultimately you need to do what is going to work for you. You need to devote sometime to actually potty train and make sure you have what is going to work for you. For me the potty seat is better because I never have to transition to "big potties" and stores and other places are not scary since they only know how to use the "big ones."  

Good Luck and as always I hope this helps! This as always is a post to help give you ideas or help with situations. Not a post telling you WHAT to do...because every kid is different! :)


Friday, June 17, 2011

Pop Rocks

My son picked "try a new candy" for one of our summer fun things this summer.

So Pop Rocks was it! I had never had them, and the kids had never had them either.





 After we had them we put them in water and then in a small amount of soda.  The kids went wild!
Just a fun weird activity to do in the afternoon. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Math Ring Toss

We had some friends over for some fun.  First we painted paper plates...

I asked them to paint the bumpy outer rim, but they ended up painting the whole plate...oh well.
Once I blowdried them dry I cut the centers out.
While the popcorn was popping I made the stands.
I cut a wrapping paper tube into 3 unequal sizes so there would be a challenge. You could cut them all the same size, or use paper towel tubes...there is no right or wrong way here.
Then you cut them and tape them on a unpainted plate.

Then I grabbed the popcorn and headed out to the jungle. I mean the front yard. 
I chose to do math problems. If it landed on 5-2 they got 3 pieces of popcorn.
If they landed on 2+2 they got 4 pieces of popcorn.

If you are going to do this with younger kids just write the number or draw the number with shapes like 4 squares to determine how many pieces of popcorn they get.
The kids had a blast and then went crazy and took over the popcorn bowl.
Something fun for the summer that still requires some brains to do! Hahaha.

Try it! Its cheap and fun but most importantly educational!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scheduling Toddlers/Toddler Tips/Potty Training

Potty Training Continued.


1- Make sure your child is ready.
Adding to what I wrote last week - make sure you are following the right cues. Push it and you will have to start all over.  If they are showing interest - then go ahead and start.


2 - Have the right equipment for YOU and your KID.
I am not a pull up person.  I don't suggest them either.  If they work for you that is great - but - I don't find them useful AT ALL. This isn't a debate or a forum for you to bash my thoughts or opinions.  In my experiences a pull up is no different that a diaper to most kids.  If a kid has an accident it is contained in the pull up. For me and the kids I have trained they need to feel it like you would if wearing underwear.

Potty Chair vs Potty Seat.
  


I don't use a potty chair, because I have had experiences where the kid will ONLY use the little chair and the transition to the "big toilets" is scary.  Plus cleaning it out grosses me out. :)  I buy a potty seat and a stool and teach them how to get up and get on all by themselves BEFORE I even get into doing their "business" in the toilet. 


I also have them practice over and over pulling down and getting up and getting on, pulling everything back up and closing the lid and flushing the toilet and washing their hands too. (Think Karate Kid and the water drip thing)


To me going through the motions is better because when the time is right - they know what to do. Having them sit on a potty in front of a TV or something else is not potty training. They need to know what to do when the urge comes - which is RUN(jk) to the bathroom pull down your pants, get on the potty and go.  *Wipe* and then pull everything up, lid down, flush and wash those hands.


Ultimately you need to do what is going to work for you. You need to devote sometime to actually potty train and make sure you have what is going to work for you. For me the potty seat is better because I never have to transition to "big potties" and stores and other places are not scary since they only know how to use the "big ones."  


Good Luck and as always I hope this helps! This as always is a post to help give you ideas or help with situations. Not a post telling you WHAT to do...because every kid is different! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

We had some friends over while their parents were closing on their new house.

Something on our summer TO-Do list is have a watermelon seed spitting contest!

So first you need WATERMELON!
 Then you eat some! We talked about the seeds and how some are white and some are black and what each kind means.
 Then we tried them with salt.
 Mmmm.
 Now the 2 lonely seeds at the bottom are the only ACTUAL seeds in the seedless watermelon, so I used raisins to simulate "seeds"
Then we got technical.
 Then we spit!
 go go go!
 You can do it!
 Then we measured and recorded on our chart.
 Eat some more and do it again!
 here is how we marked too.
It was a fun morning and the kids used math to figure out who went the farthest!

Try it on a hot summer day. It totally beats sitting in front of the TV!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3D Chalk!

We used these awhile ago and they are still a summer staple around here...
The kids got this for Christmas, and we love them.
 There are different things you can do with them. There is an info packet inside like how to layer colors etc..
 Then you put the glasses on!
 I tried it and it really WORKS!
They are hard to break since they are big which is nice.  Everyone asks to pull them out and play with them!

Love this for the summer!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Scheduling Toddlers/Toddler Tips

I am hesitant to post about this but my facebook friends have asked me to post about this so I will. Please remember only nice and helpful comments will be allowed.

Potty Training.  I am certified through the state of Colorado in Toilet Training. I used to teach and speak at parenting conferences about potty training and at my old job (before I became a mommy) I would go to daycares and train the teachers how to help potty train the 2.5 -3 year olds.

So here are the top 5 things you need to know BEFORE you even think about potty training.

1- Make sure your child is ready.  There is no certain age or time when a toddler should be potty trained. If you do it on your own you will not have success.  Every kid is different too.  My oldest potty trained at 2.6 years, my middle at 2.4 and my youngest at 2.2.  Their process and motivations were all different and I waited until they were ready.

How do I know if my child is ready?
----Can he stay dry for several hours?
----Does he have regular predictable bowel movements?
----Does he know when he NEEDS a diaper change?
----Does he say pee or poo or know what he is doing when he is doing it?
----Does he understand logic and reasoning...cause and effect?

I will post more next week about the next thing you need to know. If you are at this stage with your toddler now, keep talking about it, keep sitting on the potty and talking about what is happening.

Hope that helps!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Community Helpers - 8

What do they do, what to they use, what to they drive, where do they work game.
Game Printouts found HERE

Here is another game we played.
Mailman, Mailman where's the mail?
This is a fun game that my 4 and 5 yr olds love. Get an envelope and write on it to make it look like a letter. Choose one child to be the mailman..he or she must figure out which child has the "mail". The mailman must face away from the others and close his eyes while you hand off the mail. Line the children against the wall and quietly give the envelope to one child who must hide it behind his back. All of the children must keep their hands behind their back as well. The children say "mailman mailman where's the mail?" The mailman turns around ands gets three chances to pick which child is hiding the mail.

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