Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cooking Time ~ Banana Bread


Christy’s Basic Banana Bread Recipe

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of self rising flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of wheat germ
  • 1 Tablespoon of Flaxseed
  • 1/8 cup of milk

Cream together the butter and sugar, mix in the rest of the ingredients. Bake at 325°F for one hour. 


And of course JJ love it.

Banana Bread

Here is the video of JJ and I making banana bread. It is very difficult to hold a camera and do any kind of baking and cooking with a toddler. Please note that this was a 15 minute video condensed into 3 minutes, and I really don’t say “Good JOB!” that much.   

Just for fun…. How many times do you think JJ tried to eat the batter? You can count them.

Screen Captures

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sensory Fun ~ Cooked Spaghetti


I first saw this fantastic sensory idea over at The Imagination Tree. It was amazingly simple but the results are stunning. I cooked spaghetti then drained and rinsed it. I tossed in a little olive oil and separated into containers. Then I just added in a few drops of food dye, mixed and let it sit. By the time JJ had woken from his nap the colors were brilliant. He was a little wary to touch the spaghetti at first then he dug his hands right on in. Eventually, much to my dismay, he discovered that he loved the resounding SPHLATT is made as he threw it on the floor in big clumps. I am glad he had fun!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crafting Time ~ 20 months


I am saddened when people assume that arts and crafts aren’t ‘educational’ enough for children. I find that the most educational moments in a tot’s life at the ones that are filled with the most fun. There is so much more to educating tots than letters, counting, colors and shapes, I am equally saddened when I hear that people think that their tots are too young to participate in crafts. There are plenty of simple crafts that they are able to do with just a little assistance. For JJ and I doing arts and crafts are a fun learning time and even more importantly a great bonding time.
This week our craft project was a fish. JJ loves fish, he does the sign for fish, he points them out in books, he makes fish noises with his mouth and he loves to watch them in an aquarium. Most importantly for mummy, fish are easy to draw – even if I did forget the fins.
Here are the skills and concepts that we worked on while doing our fish craft
  • Tracing the outline of the fish with a finger
  • Cutting paper with scissors
  • Tearing paper
  • Applying glue with a glue stick
  • Pasting small pieces of paper vertically for seaweed and within the outline of the fish.
  • Squeezing paint into a container
  • Pouring water from a pitcher into a container
  • Stirring paint and water with a brush until it is mixed
  • Painting
  • Following directions
  • Colors
  • We also talked about fish, made their onomatopoeia and did the sign for fish over and over again.
First we gathered our supplies:
He was excited to be pouring water and to be using a big paintbrush.

Then mummy drew the fish. I didn’t even realize that it was missing fins. It is evident that I am no artist. It is a happy fish though.
“Uh mum… there is something fishy about this fish”

JJ then cut and tore pieces of paper to make the seaweed and scales for the fish.
As you can see it is a learning process.

JJ was a little overzealous with the glue stick. He pretty much covered the paper in glue. With guidance he was able to paste the seaweed vertically and paste the scales within the outline of the fish.
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Perhaps I am a little crazy, I did let JJ squeeze the paint into the container, then I let him pour the water into it too.

Lastly, paint, paint, paint.
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Sites I am linking up to.Go see what other tots are doing.

Tot School

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sensory Fun ~ Flour and Water

Items needed

Food dye

James loves this sensory activity. Usually I put him in the bathtub naked with a cup of flour and a cup of colored water. He loves it. He will spend at least 30 minutes splattering the glue like mess all over the tub. The easy clean up is a bonus.
This time I decided to be a little more adventurous and sit James at the table and include more colors. This is stimulating visually and there is a little color mixing bonus. 
I started with a cookie sheet of flour, then I added red (which really becomes pink), yellow, green and blue water with a dropper.  

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Colors and Shapes ~ 19 months

JJ is now becoming quite proficient at recognizing two dimensional shapes such as circle, square, rectangle and triangle. He is able to match shapes. He is doing well with the colors blue, green, yellow and red. However if I throw in an orange option JJ struggles to distinguish red from orange and yellow from orange.

Below are videos of JJ matching colors and shapes. Initially he has no interest in doing this. So I set it up on the table and  talk aloud while modelling the matching tasks. Eventually JJ comes over and watches what I am doing. Then I leave the table set up or several hours  and JJ will go to it on his own and practice matching shapes or colors. Sometimes I am shocked to see the things I have been teaching him is register because he will never show off his knowledge on cue.

Color Matching


Shape Matching

Monday, August 22, 2011

The start of a new tot school year ~ 19 months

Summer seems to be coming to a end; in the northern states at least. I have even started seeing the trees start to turn. The cooler nights and the end of summer means back to school time for many of the children and teachers across the United States. I figure it is as good a time as any to start introducing a little more structure to JJs learning time. We have had some amazing progress over the summer.

JJ still has his speech delay and has started speech therapy once a week and he also attends an early intervention class.  JJ has had a communication explosion with sign language. Even without speech JJ gets a lot of his meaning across and has even started to use signs to make rudimentary word couplings and sentences. For example; each night after I sign *Thank you for being mummy’s baby. I love you* JJ signs back, *Thank you, I love you, mummy, sleep, baby*

JJ is now able to recognize many pictures in books. He completely skipped the second step in the identification~recognition~recall 3 step learning process.  JJ was never able to point out pictures in books when I asked him, however one day he just randomly started telling my what the pictures were using his newly acquired signs. So that was a huge learning step for us. He is now able to point out a few things and even find their matches.

This tot school year I wish to continue exposing JJ to lots of vocabulary. I will continue teaching him signs so that he can communicate with me and I hope that along the way we get a break through with his speech.