Sometimes Nick and Sally fight like cats and dogs.  Most of the time, they truly enjoy each other.  The other day at breakfast, they decided to share a chair.  I don’t even remember why.  I remember Nick saying, “It’s better than getting kicked!”  Apparently when Sally sits next to him, he gets kicked a lot.


Yesterday, they asked us to come in and see their TV.  They were sitting on the couch watching their crazy looking, creative TV.


They had a toy tool box lid up on a box.  The blue thing is a music player that was on.  There were test tubes in the container next to the box.  The creativity the kids display is amazing.


On a typical day, our living room is filled with cardboard, boxes, craft sticks, tape and much more.  It’s so much better for them than TV.

 Posted by at 10:29 PM

I’ve read about using shaving cream and paint together several times.  Several weeks ago, I bought some shaving cream and we never got around to using it.  Well, this week after my trip, we spent some extra time at home, so I got it out.

Originally, I thought the kids would make rainbows or something.  I added some paint to shaving cream and loaded up a muffin tin.  They each received a baking sheet to use as their canvas.


Using cotton balls, toothpicks, spoons and their hands, they had a blast.


I think they were surprised that they could do whatever they wanted.


When they were done, I tossed the “brushes” and washed the dishes.  Clean up was a breeze.  I’m sure we’ll be doing this activity again.


Somewhere along the way, I figured out that Nick and Sally needed to learn skills like sorting and tonging.  Many activities that involve life skills as well as dexterity are good for the kids.  Since Nick isn’t going to preschool until September, I’ve been trying to spend more time on various activities and projects to help him learn skills.

My husband, Stephen is very much into electronics.  He writes a blog at  Since circuits and radios have been a hobby of his for many years, we have quite the collection of pieces and parts in our basement.  Lately, he’s been working on sorting, purging, and inventorying them.

Stephen came up from the basement yesterday and asked me if Nick could sort this box of capacitors for him.  I knew this was a perfect exercise.  I was also glad that I could tell Nick that he had a job to do for daddy.  We used a muffin tin for sorting.  It worked like a charm.


I don’t know much about capacitors, but they sure come in many shapes and sizes.  Soon almost every spot in the tin had at least one type.


Meanwhile, we also had a bag of misc. capacitors that were destined for the trash.  I decided that these would make a good tweezing activity for Sally and Nick.  Sally didn’t quite grasp the concept of the tweezers at first, but she ended up understanding it by the end.  It will take her some practice to actually use them.


Nick was anxious to try the tweezers.  After a few minutes of sorting capacitors, he was having a blast picking up the little pieces parts with the tweezers.


I think I’m going to start a running list of activities that I can do with the kids to help them practice skills.  It’s hard to think of them on the spot when they are needed.  This tweezers activity is definitely a keeper.


When we were having breakfast this morning it was snowing.  We decided to take advantage of the weather and bundled up for a walk.  I love walks when it is snowing!


We didn’t get a ton of snow.  The roads were clear, but the sidewalks were snowy.  Some had a nice layer of ice underneath.


Before long, everything was snowy, especially our scarves.  Nick and Sally decided that they liked catching snowflakes on their tongues and eating snow.  Nick was carrying a stick and using it to pick up chunks of snow to eat.  It looked kind of like eating a marshmallow from a campfire off the stick.


We ended up walking just over a half mile.  Nick was doing just fine, but started to get really cold when we turned into the wind.  He was having fun walking ahead.  Sally was really tired and wanted to be carried.  She started falling down.  Her ploy didn’t work as we made her walk the whole way.


It was so nice to have some family time outside before there was too much hustle and bustle on the roads.  I’m glad we made sure to enjoy it snowing out, since it’s supposed to be 46 degrees by Tuesday.  This had been the craziest winter!


A few days ago, I told you about Bendables.  Since then, they have acquired a new name.  Nick calls them Sticky Sticks.  Apparently, the gluey type of substance that helps them stick together is sticky.  He always calls them Sticky Sticks and always wants to wash his hands without being prompted after each use.

Nick hasn’t been napping much lately.  Instead, he comes down and asks for the container with the sticks.  He takes it up to his room and plays.  If he’s not going to nap, the next best thing is for him to play quietly.

Today, he wanted to play with them.  He was so excited to show me what he made.


It’s a bowling ball and a stick for bowling.  He puts the ball on the table and hits it with the stick.  He was not happy with his first prototype since the ball roll crookedly.


He kept adding pieces to the sides and was so excited when the ball rolled straight.  By the way, I’m sure the way the ball rolls is mostly due to the player of the game and not the engineering of the ball.  But, it was so fun to watch him at work designing!


It worked!


Sally was feeling left out on the photo opportunity.  She wanted a photo of her pretzels so everyone could see her snack.


I’m having a super productive day and with an hour left until bed, I’m off to work on my list.


I’ve debated sending Nick to preschool for some time.  Most schools won’t accept him yet because he’s not 100% potty trained.  I also don’t think it’s necessary for him to have 2+ years of preschool.  I think we have decided to send him for one year prior to starting elementary school.

I think that it’s good for him to go to the child care at the gym on a regular basis.  He gets to be with other kids (and adults) and I get to exercise.  The problem with babysitting is that they aren’t there to teach.

I think that Nick and Sally both learn tons from all of the activities that we do, but I also felt like I needed a list of things I was supposed to be teaching them.  Many times, I’m looking for activities to keep them busy (and away from the TV) and having a list is helpful to give me ideas.

One skill that is important to learn is cutting.  Nick received this activity set for Christmas.


The scissors that came with the kid are not very good at all.  I picked up a regular pair of kid’s scissors that I thought would be good for Nick.

Normally, we wouldn’t spend money on this type of kit since it’s very disposable, but this on sale at a good price.  Sometimes, I need to have something easy and handy for the kids.  This serves that purpose.


It’s also nice that Nick thinks it’s a cutting game and loves to get it out to play.


He’s just learning how to cut, so we started with the easy project, cutting straight lines to separate the strips.  Eventually, he’ll glue them together for a paper chain and move on to more difficult projects.

Now, how long will it be before he cuts Sally’s hair?


Here’s another idea for keeping Nick and Sally occupied away from the TV.  I saw a version of this on another blog a few weeks ago.  It’s basically a pick up game.

All you need is pom poms, paper clips and a container.  I bought a bag of pom-poms at Michael’s craft store.  I had some fun paper clips that were shaped like treble clefs from Stephen.  Nick had the test tube apparatus from a Lowe’s Build and Grow project.

Sally loved it.  Most of the time she just used her hands.  It was nice because we could talk about numbers and colors while she played with the pom poms.  She was quite proud of herself.



Nick had a blast too!  It was fun to watch his concentration at work.  Sometimes he just jams them into the test tube and then wonders why they won’t come out.  That’s how I know when it’s time to quit the game.


My craft supply shelf is building along with my arsenal of crafty projects and activities.  I’m happy with our progress.


I’ve decided that my kids watch too much TV.  It wasn’t on purpose, but over the last few months the amount of TV used to occupy them while I get ready in the morning, make dinner or take a break has been on the rise.

Last week, I decided that enough was enough and I have been making a conscious effort to have Nick and Sally do other things.  Crafty projects and games don’t come naturally to me and it’s extra challenging since Sally is two and Nick is almost 4.  They have very different abilities.

When I was making dish water (read: we don’t have a dishwasher),  the soap was extra sudsy and created a mound of bubbles.  Both Nick and Sally thought it was a hoot.  We had fun playing with it together.  Later, I gave Sally a spoonful of the suds.  She giggled and concentrated and had a blast.



Sometimes, it really is the little things.  With winter upon us, it’s good for me to figure out indoor activities that I can do with the kids.  It’s also good to have some table activities they can do on their own while I make dinner.  I hope to share about many of our activities to help remind or suggest things to other moms along the way.

 Posted by at 8:06 PM  Tagged with: