Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rainy Day

I had no idea it was going to rain today.  Panic set in when I was in the bathroom and heard the drops on the window.  We have spent most of our waking minutes outside the past few weeks and I am usually dragged in the direction of the door by 8am at the latest.  

The morning started off relatively smooth, O heard the garbage trucking coming and ran to the door to wait for them.

He waited and waited

After they left, I quickly set up this Rainy Day Reading Nook so he could read and watch the rain and buy myself a few minutes to prep for the morning.  

He read to himself for a while and then wanted me to join him.  While we were reading the Fed Ex truck pulled into our cul de sac and stopped right in front of our house.  Our replacement juicer had finally arrived!

We tore open the box and I pulled out carrots, apples and strawberries.
Secretly, I was just so happy to have another activity to add to our list.

Next up was to bake brownies (yes, from the box) for the secretaries as our school to celebrate Administrative Assistants Day.

Cooking with kids tip: The process of scooping dry ingredients from one bowl to another is completely unnecessary but the scooping itself it a great developmental activity.  But, more importantly, it allows time to turn the oven and prep wet ingredients.

Then it was snack time - cereal.  Owen dropped his bowl and spilled all over the floor. 

Yes, he cried over spilled milk.

But, he tried again and was successful.

Moving on, it was time for our first collaging project.  Got out some glue, cut up pieces from an old calendar the featured art work, and cardboard from juicer box.

First step, dip dip dip in the glue.
(I was not fast enough with the camera to catch the actual dipping)

Second, spread glue on paper.

Third, flip paper over.

Last, push push push.

Final result.

Then, a true miracle.  It stopped raining and we could go outside.  Which couldn't have happened at a better time because even with the added, unplanned juicing activity, my plans did not get us all the way to nap time.

We had fun watching this guy for a while.  

For the record, I am EXHAUSTED.  
I have no idea what I'm going to do or if I'm going to survive this afternoon.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Naturally Curious Activity Bags

Inspired by a gift idea for my nephew, I came up with an idea for a set of travel activity bags.  My sister in law and her family are taking a plane trip in a few months and for my nephew these bags are meant to entertain him on the 6 hour flight.  O takes a backpack in with him whenever we go to a restaurant or a place that we know there won't be any toys or many child friendly things to engage with and now his it's filled with his own set of activity bags that he plays with until our food arrives.   

After receiving some positive feedback about the idea, I decided to go ahead with plans of selling the activity bags to fellow parents who are looking for new and fun ways of keeping their little ones entertained while outside their home.  These bags can be tossed individually into a diaper bag or kept together as a set in a toddler sized backpack.  

Below are some examples of the bags that are already completed.  

1. Chalkboard and chalk - the board was made by me and the chalk is Crayola

2. Blocks - 1 inch square all natural building blocks, 10 in this bag.

3. Cars - 3 different wooden cars

4. Beading - This bag can contain large round beads or small square beads, for now.  Also included is 3 pipe cleaners which is a great tool for learning how to bead.

The following are action shots of O with his bags at breakfast one morning.

Beading with the large circle beads and a pipe cleaner.

Drawing furiously with chalk.

Building with blocks.

Stacking with spools.

Putting the spools away.

He loves putting things back into the bags.

Driving his cars.

Right now, I'm looking for testers for these bags.  Kids like different things and not all parents want their kids driving cars across the table in a restaurant so I need some help on what people are looking for, what works and what doesn't.  I will most likely be setting up listings in an Etsy shop for the tester sets but if you're interested upon reading this post just let me know.  I'm still unsure of the price but it will be affordable.  There will be an additional $5 charge that I will refund when I receive a completed questionnaire from you based on your experiences with the bags.

Currently, I have supplies to make more Build, Drive, Draw (crayons and notepad), Chalk, Beads, and Stack (spools) bags with some possible others.  The sets will be best suited for 18 months to 2.5 years but there may be some exceptions in either direction based on your child's fine motor skills and their experiences in places like restaurants.  We can certainly chat about it and decide if it's right for you.

The bags will always contain activities that will encourage development in areas such as fine motor and cognitive skills.  I will also include ideas on ways to use the items in different ways and to enhance the skill level or to focus on a certain developmental domain.  

I am currently researching wholesale websites where I can order all natural art materials like Clementine products, eco friendly and/or natural toys and other items.  I'd love to hear ideas and requests.  

So, again, if you are interested in being a tester keep an eye out for the Etsy shop OR get in touch with me now by commenting on this post with your email address, commenting or messaging me through Facebook, or sending an email to naturallycuriousblog@gmail.com