Thursday, June 28, 2012


Theme: Clouds
Honey Pot is 2 years and 1 month old
Little M&M is 3 months old


We kicked off this week’s fun theme by gathering a few cloud books. We own one, and the other two we borrowed from the local library. These were left out in the living room and we read them often throughout the week.

Clouds, by Marion Dane Bauer
Little Cloud, by Eric Carle
It Looked Like Spilt Milk, by Charles D. Shaw

Blowing Clouds Across The Sky

I provided Honey Pot with a few cotton ball clouds, and we practiced blowing through straws, making them drift across the blue paper sky. I found the idea at a site I recently discovered called Preschool Express.

Cloud Crafts

I found these craft ideas from Blissfully Domestic. The blogger there used them in conjunction with It Looked Like Spilt Milk, as we did!

First, we used a clothespin to paint with clouds…

It was a lot of fun to turn it into a finger-painting. She dipped her hand in, fearlessly!

Then, I let Honey Pot squirt some glue onto another blue page.

We stuck cotton balls over the glue to make a cloud.

Then I asked her what she thought it looked like. She said a sheep, but I think it looks more like a reindeer! What do you think?

Cloud Gazing

Later we spread out a blanket outside and did some cloud gazing.

We spotted a dinosaur head…

A squirrel…

And a few others. But you know the attention span of a two-year-old. Honey Pot did about five minutes of cloud gazing…followed by about twenty minutes of crawling around on the deck saying, “I’m an ant!” and chasing one around. What a goofy goober.

Sky Jello

I discovered these on Pinterest, originating from a blog called Anastasia’s Palace. What a neat idea! First my little helper did some mixing…

Then I added the whipped cream clouds. Cute!

Honey Pot tasted her sky and cloud Jello. “Mmm, nummy!”

Cloud Dough

We also did a sensory bin this week, with a concoction called Cloud Dough. It is eight cups of flour plus 1 cup of baby oil. I halved the recipe, and I’m glad I did! Honey Pot had a BLAST with this mixture, but it all wound up out of the bin by the end of the afternoon! It feels much like plain flour, but is moldable! I don’t have too many fun gadgets, but I provided her with some old measuring spoons, cups and a small sifter.

Honey Pot had fun digging her hands into it.

“I need a bowl!” she insisted. So I ran inside and got a bowl too.

She poured, scooped and squished to her delight.

Then I helped her mold some of the dough. “Birthday cake!” she shouted.

And you know it’s a successful sensory bin when she puts her feet in it!

Even Little M&M got to experience the fun!

And then Honey Pot helped clean up the mess. Err, she ran across the deck with the broom in her hand. Whatever works!

Walking Across The Clouds

This is a last minute activity I wanted to add to this week’s theme. We had been using these stacks of printer paper to help Little M&M reach the floor while sitting in his Jumperoo. When he was done with them I spotted them on the floor and knew we had to make a game of it! So I printed out a few images of cloud clip-art, and numbered them from one to five to put a little educational spin on it.

Then we took turns walking across the clouds!

I spread them out a little bit for a challenge.

Scattered clouds...get it?

And here she is saying and pointing to the numbers as she walks across them.

It was a great balancing game!

And throughout the remainder of the day, every time I walked by them I would walk over them, saying the numbers as I stepped on them. We went from one to five and from five to one. It actually turned into quite a good number review - I wasn't expecting that!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Potty Training

Theme: Potty Training
Honey Pot is 2 Years and 1 Month Old

Honey Pot has been using the potty an average of 4-5 times for the past couple of weeks, so we decided to use this weekend to potty train her before she did it herself! And, of course, I had to make a tot school theme out of it…because that’s what I do!

Potty Book

About a month ago, we bought Honey Pot this book, by Leslie Patricelli. She has enjoyed it so much. The text is so simple and the pictures so cute. You watch the baby decide to use the potty instead of diapers, and then he/she sits for pages and pages trying to go. Finally the baby goes “tinkle tinkle toot” (which became a phrase we now often use). The last page just says “UNDIES!” and shows a whole bunch of colorful ones. So that inspired my first activity while gearing up for the big day.

Potty Coloring Pages

I created three coloring pages in Photoshop Elements for Honey Pot. I found the outline of undies through a Google search, then added different coloring pages within them: Mickey and Friends, Little Einsteins and Pooh and Friends.

Then, on the day before we began, she colored them in with markers.

She enjoyed playing with the caps too!

Good-Bye, Diapers

On Saturday morning we made a big deal out of putting the diapers away to Honey Pot’s pajama shelf. We had her carry them over herself, and explained that she would only wear them at bedtime (and naptime).

The Potty Train

Although we had been giving Honey Pot M&Ms as rewards for her success on the potty so far, I wanted to take it to another level to emphasize how important this was. So I decided to give her stickers as well. Where would she put all these stickers? Why, on the Potty Train of course! I found a locomotive coloring page, and then created the box cars in Photoshop Elements of about the same size, where she could put the stickers. And she colored those in with crayons.

For each pee on the potty she got two stickers, and for each poopy she got three.

We hung the undies above the train for inspiration.


And of course, choosing which colored smiley face sticker you want is a big and exciting ordeal!

Other Strategies
There are just about as many methods to potty training as there are children to potty train. So we had to pick and choose which we would do. In addition to what is mentioned above, we did the following:

  • Honey Pot walked around in a shirt and undies all weekend.
  • We provided her with a nearly endless supply of juice and liquids on the first day.
  • We gave her water-based fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe, and salty snacks like pretzels to keep her drinking.
  • We never asked her, "Do you have to use the potty?" but instead reminded her occasionally where it was and that we would help her when she had to go.
  • We hung out at home all weekend, always with a potty in the room (or out on the deck!) with us.

Final Reward

On the second day of the weekend, Honey Pot was accident free! The Potty Train looked like this:


As you can see, she put those stickers all over...onto the undies, the locomotive, the box cars, the wheels...and, though you can't tell from this picture, in some places there are 3-4 stickers layered on top of one another. I guess she enjoyed the challenge of lining them up. (I see another tot school activity in her future!)

We celebrated her victory with ICE CREAM! Toppings included mini M&Ms, rainbow sprinkles, hot fudge and cherries. YUMMY!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day!

Theme: Father’s Day
Honey Pot is 2 years and 1 month old
Little M&M is 3 months old

Dad Photo Shoot

I had seen this idea all over Pinterest, and decided to give it a try. Instead of buying the wooden letters, however, I just cut them out of chipboard myself. Honey Pot identified the letters. Then I asked her what D-A-D spells, and she said “Daddy!” Eh, pretty close. Then I did a photo shoot of my children holding the letters…and it wasn’t easy! Here are a few of my favorite outtakes:

Honey Pot poked her face and arms through the letters, kept sliding off the couch, and made grumpy faces. But eventually…and with perhaps a little bribery…I was able to get some decent ones. I printed them out and placed them in a frame. On Father’s Day, it was out on our kitchen table waiting for him, along with a photo collage I put together in Picasa.

Daddy Books

The kids and I made a trip to the library at the beginning of the week, and picked up a couple books about Daddies. We kept them out in the living room, along with a couple that we owned, and read them often until Father’s Day. Here is what we read:

Daddy Is a Doodlebug, by Bruce Degen
Daddies Do It Different, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Daddy Kisses, by Anne Gutman
On My Daddy’s Shoulders, by Peter Lawson

Story Walk

The idea for this came from Green Acres Hobby Farm, which I discovered on Pinterest a while ago. I decided that instead of taking photos from a book, I would create my own pages, and make it personal to Daddy and our kids. I first collected pictures of them together in various settings (the beach, a hike, the snow, etc.), from the time Honey Pot was born until the present. Then I added some simple text to go along with it. I matted them onto cardstock and attached Popsicle sticks to each.

Then on Father’s Day, we took a trip to a local park. I placed each one into the ground in a path along the water. Daddy and Honey Pot walked along, and read each page together.

I think they really enjoyed looking back at some of the wonderful Daddy moments they’ve shared.

Letter Identification

We had a quick lesson on the chalkboard as well. I wrote down a few short words, and asked Honey Pot which one spells “Dad.” We reviewed how to spell it, and then she pointed to the correct one.

Then we had some drawing fun. I drew a circle, and asked if she could draw one too. She can do pretty well, but keeps going after completing one circle, lol. So it comes out as a big swirl.

Honey Pot and I also talked about other Daddies. I asked her if she knew who Mommy’s Daddy is, and who her cousin’s Daddy is, etc. I think she’s somewhat understanding the idea that we all have Daddies.

Dressing for the Occasion

We also dressed Little M&M in an outfit sure to flatter his Daddy!

Father’s Day Picture Search

I’m a huge fan of word searches, but obviously it is a little soon to create these for my daughter. (I did do a shape search during our Valentine’s Day theme, which worked out really well!) So for today I decided to make a picture search instead. To personalize it for Daddy, we had to search the box for some of Daddy’s favorite things—favorite sport, animal, game, etc.

Honey Pot did fairly well with it, but quickly lost interest. I’m sure the promise of our upcoming dessert had nothing to do with it…

“I’m going to have a cookie! And a piece of cake! Be a big pig!”

Well, that’s what holidays are all about, right?

Happy Father’s Day!