Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Butterfly Lifecycle

He wanted to hold it, but changed his mind once it was on his arm!

We were able to watch the lifecycle of a butterfly from caterpillar to butterfly! Much better than just reading a book, we watched the process from start to finish.

Skiing in Tahoe

Levi learned to ski! I was expecting to just get him used to the equipment and ski with him between my knees, but he got the idea very quickly! He was riding the lift, getting off on his own! And he was able to stop and turn and do blue runs (green is easy, blue is medium). It is VERY easy to teach such a young child to ski (he is 2.5 here), because he is so low to the ground. My first job when I was 16 was teaching kid's skiing, and I learned how to ski at this resort when I was little.
The weather was beautiful and we had a great time!

The Letter 'M'

The letter M!

Words that start with M
magnifying glass

If You Give a Moose a Muffin
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
Moon Cake (little bear book)

Covering the Letter M with marbles. This can be done with other letters, and other objects - stickers are great too!

Moon muffins! These were made with the basic muffin recipie from a previous post, and chocolate chips added! We used a 'muffie topper' pan to make the moon shape. We also ate them trying to make the different shapes of the moon (half moon, 'toenail' etc.) MMMMM moon!

Here is the finished moon painting project

Playing with magnets (do NOT use magnets if your child might eat them!). I tried to get him to make an 'M' with them, but he just made lines.

Moon Paint
Shaving cream
white glue
Mix in equal portions. Paint all over paper and let dry overnight. Then cut out a moon shape and an 'm' and glue onto darker paper. This 'paint' is a really strange texture and fun to play with. It cleans up easily (wet or dry) as well. You can also add color for variation (mix it with the glue before adding to the shaving cream)

Some other activites:
Saw some real manatees in the river
Made a monkey puppet (folding paper accordian style for limbs)
Played with moon sand
Played a matching game
read books with the letter M
Looked at stuff with the magifying glass (see 'adventure walk' post for more on this)
Played music with instruments

Baked Onion Rings

Chef No Pants

Baked Onion Rings
mojave seasoning (or whatever seasoning you'd like)
1 egg
milk (we use almond)
1 sweet onion

Cut the onion into rings. Mix the egg with a little milk. Mix the panko with seasoning, to taste.
Dip in the egg, 'shake shake shake' to get the drip off. Dip in panko mixture and pat more on as needed. Put on cookie sheet.
Bake 400 degrees, about 10min, flip and 10min more.
Levi could do every step of this process, I just had to remind him to shake the egg off! These were yummy and healthier than the fried kind!

Snow mess!

This was a GIANT mess but Levi had fun!
We got something in the mail packed in peanuts (the foam kind, unfortunatly), and Levi broke them into bits and spread them around the kitchen. This kept him entertained for a while!
We used it as a life skill practice though, clean up after yourself! It was a challange for him to use his brush and pan to sweep all this up, but it was his mess, so his clean up (yes, I did help some!)

Finger Paint

Finger Paint
3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
your choice of coloring (small amount of kid paint, food coloring, koolaid packet)

Mix in a saucpan and cook over medium heat until thick. Add more water if you want to. Add color and allow to cool

Guy's Day Out

Happy Birthday Shawn! (Shawn and her friend Tyler)
For my sister's birthday we had a 'girls day out' and went to the spa. So Levi stayed with my dad, whom he calls 'Buddy'. It was 'big truck day' so he had the oppertunity to check out some big trucks! He even got to pull the horn on one.
Afterwards, Buddy took him to a baseball game. He got really into it and actually wanted to sit and watch the game. Buddy wanted to take him over to 'the hill' over by the out feild where the kids play around, but Levi insisted on 'seeing if the guy can hit the ball' first.
I don't know who had more fun, Levi or my dad!

Setting Boundries - Bike riding

Levi loves to ride his bike, but I don't always want to chase him up and down the sidewalk while he does it. He already knows not to go in the road, but he was heading all the way down the sidewalk, where I couldn't see him. So I drew a STOP sign and a 'U-turn' arrow at the point where I wanted him to turn around. It took a few times of reminding him to stop there, but he got the idea, so now I can actually sit down and read a book for a while while he goes back and forth to his stop sign!
Other ideas for setting boundries:
Play 'red light, green light'. We play when walking around the block, and take turns calling out the 'lights' (but everyone stops when red light is called!). The idea being once the child understands what 'red light' means, you can yell that when they start running off in the mall,, crowd or by the street, and hopefully they will stop! With enough practice, it becomes an automatic reaction for them to stop, and saves you from running after them yelling 'stop stop stop'.
Visual boundries are a big help, in locations like parks and the zoo, I tell Levi 'don't go past the ____" (fence, Rhino's, edge of the mulch, etc.). That way he can SEE when he has gone too far (vs. telling him something like 'stay where I can see you')
Establish rules for crossing the street. Our rule is you stop, look both ways, listen, and wait for an adult to say 'OK'. Now he does this EVERY time we get anywhere near a road, even when I forget he will stop me!

County Fair

First of all, I won FIRST PLACE for my muffins! I randomly decided to enter, and won! I also won 2nd place for my brownies, and 3rd for my pasta sauce. Next year I want to enter the sewing competition as well, I KNOW I could beat the items I saw on display! Here is the recipe for you to enjoy!

Blueberry lemon muffins with Crumble Topping

Makes 12 regular muffins


Lemon Curd (you can also just buy a jar kind)

• 3 large eggs
• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 TBS lemon zest
• ¾ Cup white sugar
• 4 TBS butter (we use earth’s balance)
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Muffins (this is a great base recipe, you can add whatever you want to it, berries, cut up apple and cinnamon, raisins, etc)
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup almond milk (or whatever kind of milk you like)
• 1 cup fresh organic blueberries

• 1/4 cup white sugar + ¼ cup organic brown sugar
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup butter, cubed (again, we use earth’s balance)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Lemon curd: In double boiler wisk eggs sugar and lemon juice and zest until thick, cool slightly and strain. Allow to cool to room temperature. Can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 3months

Muffins: Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups ½ way, add a teaspoon of lemon curd and top with more batter, fill nearly to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes in preheated oven until done.

At the County Fair, Levi got to meet some animals! 4-H was there, and he got to pet a chicken, goats (including cute babies!), and milk a pretend cow (which had water in it, not real milk!). They also had eggs there that were just hatching. Levi loves animals so it was great to be able to see them up close and ask questions to the 4-H club kids.

Community Service

Levi, my mom and I volunteered at Space Coast Early Intervention Center.
It's never too early to stary helping your community! Levi loves gardening so this was a fun activity for us too. We planted a ton of flowers, trimmed and removed some plants, cleared debris (Levi dragged huge palm branches!), watered, and some people even extended a sandbox area.
It was dirty and hard work, but lots of fun!

Feeding the Baby

I had moon sand in our sensory box. Levi decided to make his own meal, which he was trying to feed to me while I was sewing! I suggested he find someone else who was 'hungry' and he chose baby Jenny. He found the bumbo seat and used it as a booster (please don't do this with a real baby!), and even found a bib for her.
He made all sorts of different meals, from oranges to pasta to 'zert' (desert).
He got quite a few dishes and most of the floor covered in moon sand, but it kept him entertained independantly for a very long time!

Paint Chip Cutting

Here is another cutting activity, which you can also extend into color learning!
Levi picked out some paint strips, they have white lines, and the stiff paper makes it easy to handle to cut. Levi cut the paint chips out, and then we tried to put them back in the right order from light to dark.
It helps to have 2 of the same paint strip for this, to act as a control of error to check that you got them in the right order!


I just wanted to say sorry for not updating in so long!!! I'll have a bunch of posts to make up for it!