Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Colorful Day!


Happy Wednesday!
For more W.W., be sure to stop on over at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Jen

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Baby Times! 10th Edition: First Feedings

Thinking about transitioning your baby from breast milk or formula to food?  What foods should you give your baby first? How do you know that your baby is ready for food?  Most articles that  I have read suggest that you start your baby anywhere between 4 and 6 months of age.  My pediatrician recommended that I start as close to 6 months as possible due to a history of food allergies in my family.  Well, little man almost made it to 6 months. 

When he started to grab at my food and stare at me while I was eating, I realized that it was time.  Also, it seemed as though he wanted his bottle more often than usual.  Luckily, Little Man's first feeding went extremely well.  He even grabbed the spoon off of me to shove his second bite into his mouth. So glad that I had the camera near by to capture the moment on film!




What a little piggy!  He looks like such a big boy, doesn't he? (sob, sob)

Another clue as to whether your child is ready to start solid foods is if his tongue reflex is gone. Observe your babies tongue during the first feeding.  Is your baby able to use their tongue to swallow the food or are they pushing the food out of their mouth?  My little guy was doing this a little bit at first, but now he is getting used to eating.  I used a plastic tipped spoon right away.  Dr. Sears suggests putting a little food on your finger at first. Do you have any feeding tips or insights that you'd like to share?

Here's little man's menu thus far-

Organic Rice Cereal (mixed w/ formula)
Fresh smashed bananas (first mixed with formula- now just bananas)
Sweet Potatoes

I'm thinking about starting peas next or maybe avocado!  Pediatricians have often recommended starting veges first so that they can get used to the blander tastes before starting sweets. Look at me- giving little man bananas and sweet potatoes!  So we'll see how it goes.  If he's anything like my husband, he'll eat just about anything!

What are you feeding your little one?  Do you purchase or make your own baby food?

Here's a great article from Dr. Sears: STARTING SOLID FOODS

Take Care and enjoy feeding baby!

Jen

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giveaway Reminder!

My CSN Stores giveaway will be ending soon! (6/30)  I'm giving away one Bazoongi Play Hut to one lucky reader. 

Be sure to enter here!



Enjoy your Monday! I'm recovering from a week at Kidz Kamp and waiting tables this weekend.  Let's just say I need a massage bad!!  or a chiropractor, maybe.

Jen :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Creative Summer Games!













Last week at Kidz Kamp was challenging, but sooo much fun. I helped with games for our "rookie" campers- ages 6-8. I had the pleasure to work with around 150 kids. (not all at the same time!) If you are working at a camp this summer or will be helping out with games for a family picnic, etc., I thought it would be fun to share a couple of the games that we played this week.

Water balloon Tarp Toss
Materials:two tarps and a large bin of water balloons

You can use a volleyball net or just tape a line between the two teams. The object of the game is to work as a team and toss the water balloon with the tarp across the net or line and have it land in the other teams tarp. The kids love this, especially if the balloon doesn't land in the tarp, but on them! Start with one balloon and then add a couple more and see how they do. Lots of fun- one of my favorite games. I actually learned this game teaching at Camp Invention.

Sponge Races
Materials- Sponges, 4 buckets, water

You need two or more teams (just get more buckets)for this wet and wacky relay.

The kids take turns filling up the sponge with water and racing down to the other bucket and squeezing as much water as they can into the other bucket and then racing back with the sponge for the next child in line. They want to be the first to win the race, but the object of the game is to have the most water in the bucket as well. Be prepared for the kids to go crazy with the sponges after racing. I got hit with a number of wet sponges last week!! Crazy fun for sure.

We also had helmets with buckets attached to the top and the kids tried to throw wet sponges into the buckets.

Beach Ball Fun
Beach Ball Relay: The kids had fun racing with the beach ball between their legs. Hard to do, but fun. Some of the kids would jump instead of run.

Partner Beach Ball Relay: You need two beach balls for this game-one for each team. Pair up the children. Put the beach ball between their backs. They must race with the beach ball trying to keep it from falling. If it does fall they need to reposition it and continue with the race.

Keep it Up: Very simple. You've probably played this with balloons. How many times can we hit the ball without it touching the ground. Can't touch the ball two times in a row!

Beach Ball Tarp Throw: Same as the water balloon toss game above, but you use a beach ball. Sheets work well for this game, also.

Marshmallow Dodge Ball
This was so much fun, but oh so sticky once the marshmallows started melting in the sun. I actually got stung by a bee later in the day as I was cleaning them up- just a word of caution. The kids just loved this, though. You'll only need one marshmallow per child, because they will just keep tossing all of the marshmallows back and forth at each other. I spray painted two lines far apart that they kids couldn't wail the marshmallows at each other. They had to stand between the lines to throw the marshmallows. What a fun battle to watch! I got hit with quite a few marshmallows myself!

Hula Hoop Fun
Hula Hoops are great for games and obstacles courses. One game that the kids have enjoyed at different camps that I have helped with is the hula hoop race. You can have two or more teams. One hula hoop for each team. Line the kids up in a straight line and have them hold hands. The object of this race is to get the hula hoop from one end of the team to the other without unclasping hands!




I hope that I gave you some fresh ideas for your summer fun picnics or camps. Please share your creative game ideas!

Take Care!

Jen

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Camp!


The kids are at summer camp this week and I'm volunteering, so you probably won't see much blogging around here this week.

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. Have a great week!

Jen

Friday, June 18, 2010

May I Take Your Order?


Yesterday, we had fun making menus and playing restaurant. Peanut did a great job with her menu and loved acting as the owner of her restaurant. She even served us on a tray (cookie sheet). Sunshine wasn't as enthusiastic about creating a menu and rushed through the process, but she enjoyed the imaginary play. She is quite the drama queen!



Peanut's menu

I got a little chuckle out of how she spelled ham sandwich. So cute- love beginning writing. As you can see she is still working on some reversals- not bad for 6, though.

Sunshine's menu

Sunshine, age 8, didn't put as much detail as little sissy. Just not into this activity. Meat Lover's Dream- cute!

Momma's menu

Like reading in front of our children, I think it is important to model creative thinking and writing. This was fun!

Why make a menu and play restaurant with your kiddos?
-writing skills
-creative thinking
-imaginary play
-fun
-fine motor skills (cutting)

Materials needed:
Advertisements
glue
scissors
markers
paper
props(optional)

Directions:
Fold a large sheet of paper in half.
Have your child name their restaurant and decorate the cover of their menu.
Brainstorm the types of foods your child will serve.
Use ads from grocery stores or restaurants to cut out pictures of food or draw foods.
Guide your child with the different categories- breakfast, sides, drinks, etc.
Have fun acting out restaurant with your kiddos!

Enjoy your day being creative!

Jen

Don't forget to enter my CSN stores: Bazoongi Play Hut Giveaway! (ends 6/30)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CSN Stores Review and Giveaway! Bazoongi Kids Play Structure

After being contacted by CSN to explore their online stores, I was excited to pick out the Bazoongi Choo Choo Tent to review for Creative and Curious Kids! When the above box arrived on my doorstep, I was excited to get building right away. The directions were easy to follow, but assembling it by myself was a little bit more challenging. I should have waited for hubby to come home to give me a hand. The quality of the tent is great- very sturdy. Also, the image on the tent is eye-appealing and colorful.

Some of the features include the following:

•Train images for each side of the tent
•2007 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice award winner
•Swinging screen flap for easy entering and exiting
•Multiple screen windows
•100% spun bonded UV / Water resistant fabric
•Patented fiberglass poles with protective plastic coating
•Reusable vinyl carry bag


After getting it set up, I let little man try it out. Keep in mind, this isn't a tent for infants. It is suggested for three years old and up, but I just couldn't help myself! Take a peek at little man in his new choo choo tent.





















Now for the good news! CSN is giving me the opportunity to give one of my readers a tent of your own. Woo Hoo!

To Enter, visit the links below. Choose one of the tents listed that you would like to win. Be sure to have your contact info. in your comment.(email or blog address)

Choo Choo Tent

Bug House

Circus Tent

Garden House


Extra entries:

Blog about the giveaway (2 extra)
Tweet (1)
Share on Facebook(1)
Follow Me! (1)
Blog Roll (1)
Subscribe (1)

That's 8 chances to win!!
Good Luck!

Jen

Giveaway begins on 6/16/2010 and ends on 6/30/2010- 12:00am east. Open to USA
and CAN.


Disclosure: I was provided with a CSN Stores product for the purposes of this review and one for a giveaway. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

RandomResult.com Numbers

8
Pick numbers beetween and . Distinct:
Sequence=1
Draw stat: sum=8, avg=8.00
Draw date: 2010-07-02 15:53:40

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

June 10th, 1995



Fifteen years ago today, I married my life-time love and best friend.
Oh, it was such a beautiful day! Doesn't my hubby look handsome?

Enjoy your day with those you love!
Jen

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Yes, I Married Him! Part 2

Being my husband was so popular in one of my recent posts (wearing the froggy headphones), I thought I'd share another pic with you!

See what I have to put up with? lol Almost 15 years of this!

Still love him- he's my goofy guy. If you missed the earphone pic and you'd like to laugh along with us who made fun of him- visit Yes, I Married Him!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
For More WW- be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Jen

ps. Hubby- if you'd like me to post nice photos of you, please act normal for once. he, he

Once Upon a Baby Brother Giveaway






I'm hoping to win this book to share with my girls, but would be excited if one of my reader's won it!




What I like about Once Upon a Baby Brother is the unique spin the author takes to share how the main character deals with having a baby brother. The illustrations are just adorable. You'll have to visit Brimful Curiosities to read her wonderful review and to enter the giveaway!

Happy Reading and Good Luck!

Jen

The Baby Times! 9th Edition: I Love You Songs


I must admit, I have shared the I Love You Barney song with my children quite a few times. I've had to stop singing it once the girls became way too cool for Barney, but now my little man enjoys it. Besides this love song, I like to sing a song about love that my mother sang to me when I was a tot. I'm not sure of the title, but it starts like this- I love you a bushel and a peck... All of my kids enjoyed this song and my girls will even let me still sing this one to them. Please excuse my singing, it's not the best, but I do have a cute video of me sharing this song with little man.

video

Do you have a special LOVE song that you like to sing to your little ones? And please admit if you sing Barney, too.

Enjoy your day!

Jen

Monday, June 7, 2010

Creative Chalk Games

Sidewalk Chalk- fun for learning numbers and letters and for playing simple outdoor games.  Besides the traditional hopscotch, I thought that it would be fun to play a couple of different games with the kids.  The girls enjoyed trying something different and it tied in a little bit of math, too! Try out some of the fun games below with your kiddos.

Bulls eye- Directions: Using your chalk,draw a bulls eye.  Put a 10 in middle, a 5 in the next ring, and 1 in the last ring. Using a small stone (or bean bag), toss 3 times to get the highest score.  Add the total of the 3 throws.  The person with the highest score wins.  Sunshine enjoyed creating her own version of the game. She added a spot for 100 and one for 1,000.  Practice other math facts by having different numbers in the rings- 2, 4, and 6 for example. For younger children have 1, 2, and 3.

Positive/Negative Bulls Eye: For older children, you can make a bullseye, but have 1 and -1, etc. to practice adding positive and negative numbers. Draw a number line to show positive and negative before playing the game.

House- Directions: Using your chalk, draw a house with a door, two windows, a roof, and a chimney.  Write numbers one to 5 on each shape.  Toss the stone trying to get each part of the house in the least number of throws as possible.  Also can play like the game above- add the numbers to get the highest score. 

Awesome ideas from Family Fun! (Can't wait to try out some of these!)
Beyond Hopscotch
Chalk It Up!

Make your own sidewalk chalk:About.com-sidewalk chalk

Other ideas:
-chalk and water painting using spray bottle or large paint brush
-new 3D chalk available with glasses
-share abstract art and create own abstract creation with chalk

Do you have any fun ideas to do with sidewalk chalk?  Be sure to comment and share your creative ideas.

Jen

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: We Love Camp!

Investigating Pond Life
We love our pond!
Meet Mr. Newt

Little Man Loves Camp, Too

Momma Relaxing
Mmmm! Watermelon

Relaxing at the Lake

Little Man and Momma

My First Time at the Beach

Looking for Elk

Beautiful Dragonfly

Sweet Peanut

Toad!

A Tadpole, Mom.

Gotta love a Daisy.

Sad to Leave!

Camp is Fun, but Exhausting!


Even for Little Man

Can't Wait to go back to camp! It's so peaceful and always a good time!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
For More W.W., be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Enjoy your Day!!
Jen

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Baby Times! 8th Edition: Black and White

When little man was born, my girls were very curious about what he could see or how far away, etc.  I had mentioned once that babies like black and white, so my daughters picked up on this and would start looking for toys that had black and white patterns on it. Patterns having 100% contrast are the easiest for baby to see, so at first baby does prefer to look at black and white images according to research.  Below are a couple of books that my little man has been enjoying.  The first one, my six year old picked out for her baby brother!

I Kissed the Baby!
"An ideal book for little eyes and ears." -School Library Journal

Black & White
Accordian style fold out book -can stand by itself.

Resources for Free Black and White printables:

http://baby.zorger.com/

http://www.fun-baby-games-online.com/free-printable-bw.html
Need to sign up for free enzine to get access to free printables.

http://sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/mobile.html
Directions and printables for making a mobile.

New research also shows that babies can see color starting around 2 weeks, so black and white isn't the only items that we should share with baby. Colorful toys can be used as well to stimulate babies eye development. I have a set of large colorful blocks that my son seems to enjoy- they are cloth with different pictures or activities on each side. He's figured out how to pick them up with his little hands because he'll pull on one of the activities. Isn't fun to watch our babies grow and change?

Enjoy your day!
Jen

Resource:
WHAT CAN MY BABY SEE?

By Russell D. Hamer, Ph.D.* Revised by Giuseppe Mirabella, Ph.D.

 The Baby Times! - Past editions

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