Monday, January 6, 2014

Family Projects and Various Other Things....

One of the things that has changed in the last six months is my sons interests. We still try and read daily, but it may be only one book, instead of twenty. Or we may read fifteen books in a day. Or we may not even crack a open a book. I always offer, but sometimes he declines. I am okay with that. I don't force it. I want him to enjoy reading, and to look at books as being magical, not a forced chore.

 I want him to grow up knowing that books can transport him to places he may never ever be able to see, or help him learn the things he needs to know to complete a project. I want him to know the information he needs can always be found in a book.

My son is really into building things and taking things apart with real tools. This Christmas, Santa brought him Lego's, which he totally loves. He doesn't really want to paint or do art projects like we used to do together. It makes me sad, but at the same time excited to see his emerging passions and interests. He wants to hang out with his dad a lot more than he wants to hang out with me. I guess I am not the builder his dad is.

Over Christmas break him and his dad were on vacation together. They built a train set, and are in the process of building a wooden model airplane. I love seeing them work together.

One thing that I have been brainstorming for 2014 is family projects. Projects that are inspired by books both fiction and non-fiction, adult and children's. Projects that are more hands on. Projects that take us beyond the four walls and out into the big wide world, both physically and virtually.

Most of these projects will be simple, no stress. Some of them will require hammers and glue guns, things that my son are really into right now.

I am still collecting some really cool vintage books, but am also buying books that foster my son's budding interests.

I hope to inspire you and your family to do some great projects together.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

It's been a while since I have been in this space. I am super excited about the new year. Lots of projects and books to share with you. Unfortunately my new computer has Windows 8 which doesn't work well with the blogger website. So this post used the computer, the cell phone and the I Pad to make it all work.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Inspired by Richard Scarry...

Happy Saturday! Just wanted to leave you with a silly picture I made of my son inspired by Richard Scarry's illustrations in I am a Bunny. This was one of my favorite books when I was a wee one, and fortunately my son loves it too! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pomegranate and Tangerine Play Dough

I don't remember where I saw the recipe for this, but I decided to make cornstarch and soap play dough.

What you'll need:

a bowl
soap (we used Dial brand Pomegranate & Tangerine 7.5 oz bottle)
a tray and toys of choice (this is how we choose to play)

After my son got tired of pumping the soap I took the top off so he could just pour it in the bowl.

We added about equal amount of cornstarch to soap. Maybe a little more cornstarch than soap as my son wanted to add the cornstarch himself.

At this point I took over mixing for my son. The mixture turned into a frosting like consistency, then my son added more cornstarch. It then turned into a dough. It was totally different than play dough. It felt silky like soft toffee without the stickiness. It smelled lovely.

We played for over an hour.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Exploring Seeds

Today we explored seeds...

Sunflower, Pumpkin, Avocado and various Beans

We used a lovely book by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long as reference...

A Seed Is Sleepy

We love this book, it is beautifully illustrated.

Things We Learned....

Seeds can be all different shapes and sizes.

Other Things We Experienced...

My son trying his first sunflower seed. (He loved it!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Books...The Other Medicine

I am home today... My son has been very sick. It started last Friday night. My son was at my Mom and Dad's house (she picks him up from school on Friday's so he can play with his cousins who are currently staying at my parents house). We had planned for a date night, and he was going to stay the night. My sister calls me about six o'clock in the evening and says I should probably come and get him because he had just woke up from a nap and was crying uncontrollably. She could not get him to calm down. So I grab my purse, jumped in the truck, and am there in about seven minutes.

On the way there I called my son's dad. He was on his way home from work. So instead of coming home, he headed to my parents house and beat me there by two minutes. He had calmed down once he saw his dad. My sister said he felt like he was running a fever and sure enough, I felt his forehead and he was burning up.

So we took him home. I checked his temperature once we got home, it was 101.5. Great, so home we stayed all weekend. I could never get his fever to break. At one point on Sunday, it was 103.5. So yesterday I called and made an appointment with the doctor. I went to work and his dad went on ahead and took him to see the doctor. Diagnosis....strep throat.

So I took today off so he can rest and I can administer his medicine. (His fever finally broke last night.)

Luckily I have a stack of new reads from the library on hand. Trust me, reading stories aloud is a great way to keep your sick child entertained. It's a great alternative to television, especially when resting is top priority! So we have been reading stories, and lots of them!

My son's most requested book has been Sally Sutton's Demolition. It's a book featuring machines and their role in building demolition, recycling materials and the building of a park. At the end of the story is a page listing facts about the machines that were featured in the story. My son now wants a mobile crusher. (Just thought you would like to know!) We have read it so much that my son can point to the machines throughout the book and give me a general synopsis of what each one does. Have you read this one?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Taking the Time for Fun and Messy Play

I know a mother who does not like for her son to get dirty. She doesn't like for her son to play outside because he might get dirty. She doesn't let her son paint at home because he might (or will) make a mess. She says that is what daycare is for.

I feel sad for her, though I respect her point of view. I just don't feel the same way she does.

I can't imagine not painting with my son, or playing in a big tub of shaving cream. I can't imagine not watching my son splash in the water and play in the mud. I'm the mom who has four boxes of cornstarch and two boxes of food coloring in her pantry waiting for the next play inspiration.

I did hours and hours of "research" when I found out I was expecting. After reading many wonderful articles and many wonderful blogs, there were two things that really stood out for me. One was reading aloud to my son and the other was the importance of play.

Life does get in the way. I work full time and sometimes I don't feel like coming home and making a mess.

Though I must remember that my son will be little for only a short time. These are the most important years. The years he may not remember, but I will.

I want to remember his little fingers swirling around in vibrant colors of paint.

I want to remember the delight on his face when he shows me his finished masterpiece.

I want to remember the squeals of laughter when jumping through puddles.

I want to remember cleaning tiny but dirty hand prints off the white walls in our living room.

I will never forget because I promise to provide my son with fun and messy play whenever possible.....