Adventures in Mommyhood

It is that time once again to present the tot trays we’ll be using this week. I thought we would switch up our focus and begin to work more with sorting. Our letter this week is the letter I, so I also incorporated a little bit of that in our theme for our trays.

Here we go with week five.

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This tray was designed to work on number value when counting. I cut up an egg tray to make the base to transfer blue gems into. And then printed out the 1,2,3 from 1+1+1=1

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Working with clothespins, for this tray the object is to color match and attach the clothespins to the colored craft sticks. We're working with fine motor skills here.

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This tray involves color sorting different objects intro different compartments.


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Here we have Bumblebees discovery bottles for this week. In the first one we have blue gems with water. The second one has colored craft sticks. This is going to be a fun way for Bumblebee to explore objects in a safe way.

So, we have some newer challenges to work through with Ladybug, and some fun discovery bottles with Bumblebee. I am lucky to have my husband home this week to help out a bit with tot school. Yay!

Wondering where I got the printout for tray #1? Checkout here for tons of resources for schooling your kiddo. In fact many of the concepts we use in our trays are inspired by using the principles of this page.

This week we will be getting out and about a lot as a family, it is our three year wedding anniversary on Thursday. Double yay for family time. Hope everyone else is having a good week.

Check out here to see how this week went in tot school.

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Blueberry Amazingness

I have been going a little crazy with my food dehydrator lately.

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But you know what I love… dessert. My selection of desserts I can actually eat has dramatically decreased without getting super savvy in the kitchen. So, like any girl with a sweet tooth I decided to get my sweet on. Except, I decided to do it a little healthier. So, I give you my super easy, three ingredient blueberry masterpiece.

Blueberry Amazingness
Ingredients
โ˜† As many blueberries as your heart desires.
โ˜† Enough unsalted butter to lightly coat your blueberries.
โ˜† Pumpkin pie spice seasoning.

I put my blueberries in the dehydrator.

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About a pint of bluberries shown here, spaced out nicely.

I then turned the dehydrator on, and let it do its thing for about three hours. I would say they were about halfway done when I pulled off the first tray and put them in my bowl. I then put a bit of unsalted butter on top of the berries. Next I took my remaining berries and placed them on top. Melt butter, melt. Once butter was melted, I sprinkled the top with pumpkin pie seasoning. Mix that with a spoon and you have a deliciously tart and sweet combination. image

Enjoy.

*I know I could have heated the blueberries another way, but I liked the convenience of putting them in my dehydrator so I could finish them after the kids were asleep.

I was inspired by Jayne at The Naptown Organizer to introduce discovery bottles into playtime with Bumblebee. She has also been doing tot school with her Little Man (Ladybug’s age) and recently started baby school with her Little Lady (Bumblebee’s age.) She is an inspiring lady that I met, online, on a parenting forum. You should definitely check out her blog if you are looking for some tips and tricks for around the house and in life in general.

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What is a “discovery bottle?” Basically, it is a water bottle, or sealed container, used to discover elements in a contained zone. The great part about discovery bottles is that they are safe for baby hands. For our discovery bottle we used a water bottle with masking tape around the lid. Jayne recommended this,ย  just in case those little hands were able to twist the top.

For now I think I will try to theme the discovery bottles with what we are doing in tot school with Ladybug. For example; we are working water beads this week, so into the discover bottle went some of the water beads.

It has been a hit so far today, and both kiddos have enjoyed this bottle. I will probably end up featuring our weekly discovery bottle with our weekly tot tray showcase post.

Have you used discovery bottles with your little ones? What was a favorite element you added to a bottle?

Edit: Bumblebee was able to chew off a piece of the masking tape, and I had to do a finger swoop. I will be using either duct tape or gluing the lids from now on.

Wordless Wednesday

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Babies and boxes. Cats and boxes. Taking time to appreciate the little things in life. Like boxes ๐Ÿ™‚

Dear Uncle C,
It’s your laugh, your completely unique and perfect laugh haunts me. It haunts me in a good way, though. It is a sound I will never hear again, it is a stamp in my memory that can evoke a large range ofย  emotions. It is something that has kept you with me these two years.

We visited your place on Sunday, it was a beautiful day. Your presence was clearly with us. A neighbor stopped by with his dog and asked us if we were your family, we said yes in reply. He expressed happiness that you still had people remembering and thinking of you. It was a very nice thing to come and talk to us. And it should be known we will always remember and care for you.

In short I still miss you, in short you left this world too soon, in short I love you.

With Love,
Meagan

It’s that time again, to check out what is on the menu for this week’s tot trays. Ladybug has been very intrigued in our tot trays including water. So I thought I would finally invest in some water beads to incorporate into one of our trays. It is my first time using them at all and I think the Little Miss will love them. I mean, I loved playing with them Monday night getting them ready. ๐Ÿ˜›

So without further hesitation, here are the trays we are working with this week.

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A twist on spoon transfer, I used the spoon attachment we used to use for toddler pouches. Then I used an upcycled baby food jar to hold blue gems, and then I used an apple shaped ice tray from Target.


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Working with small spaces here. I chose kabob skewers, and a sugar shaker I got from the Dollar Tree


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Big spoon transfer using a slatted spoon, with water beads being the object to transfer.

I can’t wait to introduce these tomorrow. It is going to a fun week, I just can feel it.

What are some fun things you are doing with the kiddos this week? What is your favorite way to use water beads?

Tot Tray Review: Week #2

This previous week in tot school was great! She was interested in all of the trays in additon to doing some printouts. It is always a joy when I can provide her with activities that are both stimulating and engaging while we both have a good time.

The following were are trays for week number two in our tot tray series.

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1. A stamping craft using tp rolls cut into different shapes.

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2. A water transfer activity using a measuring spoon into an egg plate.

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3. A color sorting activity using clothes onto pipe cleaners in the shapes of circles.

Tray #1: I originally got the idea for this week here, however, once we tried them with the stamp pad we realized it just wasn’t going to work out. It was very faded and not so interesting for Miss Ladybug.

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So I quickly pulled out some washable paints and it was a huge success. We did two colors at a time on the plate, and she got to experiment a bit with color mixing. Overall it was a good craft tray after a minor adjustment.

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Some of our finshed products.

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Such concentration.

Tray #2: Since water transfer was such a hit last week, we decided to continue on with water play for a tray this week. And as you might imagine Ladybug was intrigued, once again. We had so much fun with this one. The only problem was that once she transferred all of the water into the egg shapes, the only way to continue play was to dumo the water in the sink and then add more. Not a big problem, of course, but I would prefer it to be a completely toddler led activity. So next time, we definitely won’t have that problem.

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Kitty caught in action helping clean up, lol. Also if you were wondering about the wall hangings, they were from our Harry Potter Party from that weekend.

Tray #3: I knew going into this one that it not might not work out so well. I’ve read that clothespins can be difficult for small hands, and that sometimes they pinch. Talk about the ultimate discouragement to a kiddo…ย  pain. So I took a tentative approach to this tray.

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First we had help doing this activity, thanks Auntie K!

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Which built confidence.

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Then we loved it so much, we used them as accessories.

She started out frustrated with this tray,ย  but once we started explaining you have to “squeeze the legs” she caught on fast.

Conclusion: That was a great week in Tot school, I aspire to have all weeks go that great. With a couple of small adjustments it made for a great learning experience for both of us.

How did your week in tot school go?ย  What struggles did you and your tot meet?ย  How did they succeed?