Monday, May 30, 2011

A few little tips...

I found a wonderful book at the library called:
"Pretend Soup"(and this link has lots of pictures!) It's a cookbook you can use with your toddlers. I let Peter pick out a recipe to make and he picked "Carrot Pennies." We made them a couple of times and gobbled them up. He's not really interested in making them any more, but when they show up at dinner he's thrilled to eat them. Maybe knowing how they're made (with butter and brown sugar) makes him feel like he made them every singe time. James likes them too and I think he helped make them once. There's at least one more cook book compiled by the same lady called "Salad People." I just can't say enough about this wonderful book. Peter wanted to read it before bedtime. Every recipe, and all the children's comments that are sprinkled throughout the book. Each recipe has simple pictures that represent each step. Things like "stir", "flip", "pour in." He wanted me to read every step of every recipe!

Tip #1 If your toddlers need some buildings to rampage through, house lego men, or use as target practice here is an easy recipe for a house made from a cereal box.

Cut where I've indicated. I cut the top and one side together. Then you can use the top and that side (brown side up this time) to draw the other side. You won't have to worry about drawing or cutting perfectly because that way, they'll match.

You should have the sides (the part with all the vitamin info) sticking up. Those fold down toward the slanted roof sides. Use big old masking tape (or something) to tape down.

If you want a prettier house (that doesn't say, for example, Raisin Bran Crunch across the front). I suggest you dismantle the box. Turn it inside out, then follow the instructions. Then you can paint it!
Tip #2 The pot rack makes an excellent drumset.

Tip #3 Quesadillas made from colby jack and apples (I think these are pink ladies) are actually quite delicious.

Tip #4 If you need to measure how long you want a skirt or dress to be, and there's no one around to help you. Draw a mark on your leg with a washable marker. Line up your measuring tape with the mark (I lined mine up with the 5" spot so I had to subtract 5" at the end). Tape it on your leg. Roll the tape up to your desired waist and read the number! Voila!

Here is the weekly schedule that Peter and I are doing for fun together, almost every day. Stars are for "Today" and anything that we think is extra special, like the Library. Or you can see on Monday there is No School! It's Memorial Day and also Granny's birthday.

Here's a close-up. Peter takes a nap nearly every day. All the nap post-it's are different colors so they look pretty all lined up. I try not to have any colors that are the same next to each other. Sometimes we have to move something to a different day and it happens. We don't worry about it. We talk about what today is, what tomorrow is, and what yesterday was (what day of the week). Then we sing the days of the week song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

I think it helps Peter to know what to expect during the day. Sometimes there's a dinner menu post-it and sometimes there's not. I do think Mark and James like to know what dinner will be so I've tried to do it more often. The main thing is that there's something to look forward to almost every day, and that toddlers can learn that sometimes we have to be flexible and move something over to a different day. Peter quite likes moving things around actually. The fun of that helps him to be flexible. He really liked the lunch post-it (yellow, near right) and ended up moving it down several days and requesting pb&j and an apple for lunch so it could look like the picture (that's a fold-over sandwich). He was also much more excited about going to the Parcel Store to mail Granny's present because the post it showed it getting to her (light green next to the sandwich and apple). Peter likes to move the "Today is" star over to the next day (whenever we remember that is).

The whole thing is just a poster board and colorful Post-It notes. I drew a top "border", measured it, divided by 7 (roughly 4" a column), and divided it into seven sections. I wrote a day of the week in each section. I left the majority of the poster without any lines, and it helps us not worry if our post-its are crooked. I did spend the money on post-it's which went against the grain, but I decided to invest in it as a learning experience. Also the supplies are versatile and if it hadn't worked we could have used everything for something else!

A beautiful flower from mother's day. James pick them out - aren't they lovely?