Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning to Ride a Bike - Part 2

Last week I posted how we took the pedals off the girls bikes to help them learn how to ride.  They have not practiced at all this past week since we were away on an extended weekend trip to Canada to visit with family.  They took their bikes out this afternoon and started cruising and gliding around.  They looked so comfortable and confident that I suggested we put the pedals back on.

Once their pedals were back on they literally just took off!

This method worked so well for us!  Rather than the girls depending on Chris or I to hold onto the bike, they were independent in the whole process.  Added bonus:  no sore backs from running along behind them!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mini-Marshmallow Shooters

 With all the rain we have been having, the kids were in need of a fun activity.  So I thought we would try this quick and cool idea from Real Simple. 

Just cut the bottom off some plastic or paper cups, cut the tops off some regular sized balloons and stretch the balloon over the bottom of the cup.

Then pop a mini marshmallow into the cup, pull back on the balloon, and release!
Our marshmallows were shooting out like bullets!!!
In fact, this is probably a better out door activity!

The kids thought this was a great!  Poor 'Tickle me Elmo' that you see in the background of this pic ended up becoming target practice until the temptation of playing with mini marshmallows was just too much and the kids gobbled them up!  Yes, they ate up the ones that had been flying off the walls and floors!  Yuck.

This would be great to play outside to see whose marshmallow flies the farthest.  We will be re-visiting this activity on a sunny day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Learning to Ride a Bike

Chris and I thought it was time to take the training wheels off the girls bikes.  If it was up to Sarah she would have continued with training wheels until she was a teenager.  She has not been interested in learning to ride her bike and would much rather skip along, pick up bits of nature, and build a little fairy house.  Jillian on the other hand has been showing interest.

So, the other weekend we took off the trainers, loaded up the bikes and the kids, and went to a park that was relatively flat.  After an hour of biking Chris and I had sore backs and all of us were frustrated!

Once home I searched the internet for some ideas on how to teach children to ride.  I came across the brilliant idea of lowering the seat and removing the pedals!  Here is a youtube video from REI.  Now, this may be common knowledge but since this is our first time trying to teach one of our kids how to ride a bike we thought it was marvelous!  Check out the video for all the details.

This is Jillian today.  She has probably had a total of 45 minutes of practice time without the pedals.  She can now easily balance her bike and can manage turns too!

Sarah has not had as much practice time as Jillian, but I can already tell that she is starting to get the hang of it!   

Most importantly they are so excited about learning and love the feel of cruising around on their bikes!

Once they are super confident gliding around we will put the pedals back on and {hopefully} watch them take off! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy Boy

Things look different around here.......
Nathan no longer sleeps for hours on end in the swing and he no longer bounces happily {safe and contained} in the bouncy chair.

Now, he pulls himself up to standing on almost everything he can.....

.....crawls around the entire house

.....gets into mischief

.....and charms us and warms our hearts everyday. 

Our sweet little Nathan is such a blessing!

BUT because Nathan has become so busy I have not been able to craft or organize activities with the kiddos like I once did!
PLUS the weather is turning beautiful which means playing outdoors and going to the park....it means running, climbing, blowing bubbles, riding bikes, scooting, swinging, and jumping rope!

I still have lots of activities and crafts that I plan on doing with the littles, but it will not be at the same frequency as when the weather was cold and we had a sleeping baby that kept us indoors!

{now.....off to clean up the cheerios, smooshed blueberries and smashed banana from the highchair and kitchen floor!} 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paper Flowers

Last week was such a busy week with Mother's Day parties and school events.  I made it to Matthew and Jillian's special events without issue but somehow.....somehow.....I mixed up the times in my head for Sarah's Mother's Day Tea in her Grade 1 class.

I arrived 1/2 hour late and was met by a crying daughter who had been missing her Mommy.  Ohhhhh the guilt that I felt - I can not even tell you!  I'm tearing up again just writing this!

Despite the very rough start we were still able to enjoy ourselves and our time together.

She is growing up so fast!

After I left her class I went back home, wallowed in my Mother's guilt, and shed many tears over my silly mistake.  I wanted to make her a special card and remembered this pretty paper flower tutorial.  Here is the flower I made to adorn Sarah's card.  She loved it!

On a more positive note, Sarah's top front tooth FINALLY fell out this morning.
She is looking forward to a visit from the tooth fairy tonight!
{the tooth fairy will NOT mess this one up}

Monday, May 9, 2011


I can't remember where I saw this cute little snack.  It was perfect for Sarah - our book worm.  Simply a few gummi worms in a bag with a cute little note attached that encourages reading.

It doesn't get more simple than that - and lets your little one know that you are proud of all their reading!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

Look like waffles......taste like cookies!!!
Delicious fun!

The kids thought these were the coolest little cookies!
I used a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe {with way too much sugar and way too much butter} and baked them in a waffle iron!  It takes a little longer since you have to make smaller batches but totally worth it for the novelty of WAFFLE COOKIES!

Sarah was thrilled to snack on these when she came home from school.

I had the waffle iron turned up a little too high and I baked them a little too long but they still turned out great.  Next time, I will try our usual healthier cookie recipe in the waffle iron and see how that turns out.

Idea from FineCooking

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rainbow in a Jar

I came across this book while browsing through the library and thought it would be a great little activity to try!
Here is what you will need......

.....plus a spoon, measuring cup, and a large mason jar or glass cylinder that can accommodate 2 1/2 cups of liquid.

Purple - mix 1/2 cup corn syrup with 1 drop blue and 1 drop red food coloring.  Pour into jar.

Blue - slowly pour 1/2 cup of blue dish soap down the side of your jar.

Green - mix 1/2 cup water with 2 drops green food coloring.  Tip your jar and slowly pour the water down the side of the jar.

Yellow - slowly pour 1/2 cup olive oil down the side of the jar.

Red - mix 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol with 2 drops red food coloring.  Tip your jar and slowly pour the alcohol down the side of the jar.

Here is the finished product!!!

This is a great little science lesson on the density of different liquids and on how some liquids don't mix (water and oil layers).  This book has easy, kid-friendly pictures, instructions, and explanations.

Have fun making your own liquid RAINBOW!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Eater

Ever since Sarah got to the point where she could read chapter books silently, she has not put them down!  She loves reading!

Reading rather than eating.....

Finding little nooks around the house to curl up and read in ......

And my favorite.....the moment our early morning Easter egg hunt was done she plopped down on the couch to read some more : )

Since she has been devouring books I thought I would surprise her with this monster page corner bookmark! 

All you need is some cardstock, scissors, a ruler, a pencil and some glue.  This was a quick and easy little craft.   Just head on over to I Could Make That for great step by step pictures and instructions.

Happy Reading!

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