Archive for the 'games' Category

End of Summer Story Stones

Sorry about the long delay here between posts.  We got busy living the end of summer.  In the last two weeks we did roller coasters, three different fountains, started ballet lessons, played in the baby pool every afternoon, spent a lot of time on the merry-go-round, and just generally lived it up in the (FINALLY!) hot weather.  And, well, I kinda forgot about posting here for a bit.

One afternoon, when both girls were blissfully asleep napping at the same time, which at this point happens, well, never, I got busy making a little story stone project.  I fell in love with the idea when I saw it here and just knew that Clara would love them. They are really simple. You just gather some flat-ish stones, draw stick figures on them with permanent marker, and place them in a bowl.

When Clara woke up, we spent probably forty-five minutes sitting on the floor making up stories together and picking rocks out of the bowl to add details to the story. Its fun for me because I can come up with whatever moral I want to that day (i.e. picking up your toys so that mommy doesn’t trip on them is really good and will earn you great points with the toy fairy). Clara’s stories seem to follow a similar pattern every time (A princess was walking through the forest and found a fairy, and a flower, and a house, and a dragon…), but there has been some slight branching out since the beginning.

I really like the story stones at breakfast where I can tell a story now without having to hold a book. This is especially important since Nancy has decided that if I help her at all with her spoon, she will fling the bowl of oatmeal across the floor. Its hard to read a story when having a battle of wills, but easier if you can just pick up the story at any point while wiping oatmeal off of the piano.

But Nancy loves the story stones, too, and when she finally finishes breakfast, she gets very interested in them as well.

The last few days they have disappeared at quiet time and I have found Clara making up her own stories with them on the spare bed. She is totally engrossed in it and while I do have a hard time following those stories, just the creativity and plot making that are happening are incredible.  I am really enjoying these and I think that our collection of stones will definitely be growing.


Super Heroes!!


When I saw this post on The Craft Crow, I knew that I had to make a super hero cape.  Or five.  Whatever.  I chose this pattern due to the sheer simplicity of it and then fact that I love fleece and hate to hem.  I pretty much followed the pattern, but I did not add the collar, instead opting to just put the velcro right on the cape itself.  The only sewing I actually did was to reinforce the velcro and to sew on the name letters that my lovely sister cut out for each kid.  Other than that, it was all just cutting.

I made five capes total: one yellow big kid cape from 1/2 a yard of fleece, one blue big kid cape from 1/2 a yard of fleece, and three pink toddler capes from 1/2 a yard of fleece.  Then we added the letters cut out of felt.  I have a little blue and a little yellow left for another undetermined project.  The big kid capes are about 36 inches long, and each toddler cape is about 20 inches long.

But, most importantly, here they are in action!

Outdoor time: Collecting!

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One of the things that I would love to see Clara do more of is just exploring on her own outdoors.  She always wants my help and comments about everything she sees.  I know that some of that is just age related, but I also feel like she is a little less aware of what’s around her than some other preschoolers.  She just doesn’t notice the little things around her very much.  To try to help, I invented a “collecting” game like Don in Dinosaur Train likes (“La, la, loooo!”).  Anyway, it involves an egg carton and our backyard.  The game?  Collect items to place in the carton.  That’s it.  Away she went.
Meanwhile, little sister sat in the Bumbo very suspicious of the whole activity (and drooling):
Then decided to get in on the game and collect some grass of her own:
Here’s what the big girl collected in our time outside: sticks, pinecones (Douglas Fir, as we learned playing scavenger hunt), chicken feathers, leaves, and (I just learned the name for these) Maple keys.  I have plans for later for the sticks and Maple keys.  Stay tuned!  Also, I think we may have to start a separate egg carton for all the rocks that Clara brings home in her pockets!

Toddler Ailment

I hate for my first blog entry to be a complaint. I really do, but this has been my week. One of the longest of my life. It has long been my contention that men (and specifically husbands) are horrible, whining messes when they are sick. For an illustration of this phenomenon, see “Man Cold.”  But this week, I learned that there are worse things than a man with a cold.  There is the toddler with a cold. 

Clara has been horrendous!  Yes, she has had a fever, hacking cough, and snotty nose.  But for the love of God, please stop whining, crying, and being completely unpredictable.  I’m done with it, thank you very much.  She has also been bored.  Very, very bored.  Mostly because I generally fill every day with activities, friends, and activities with friends.  There has been none of that this week.  We can’t give our friends this awful affliction.  So, we have been at home.  By ourselves.  

Monday was okay because she was very tired and we had to go grocery shopping.  It was actually the best grocery shopping ever because she was content to sit in the cart and shake things like macaroni boxes.  In the afternoon, we made valentines.  Tuesday was semi-okay because in the morning we had a dance party, then built a tent out of sheets, and then Daddy came home to entertain us.  Plus it snowed, so that was exciting.  

Wednesday, it all started to go downhill.  The boredom had reached a fever pitch.  Let me illustrate.  Clara learned a new game on Wednesday.  She only gets time outs for a) biting or b) hitting.  She knows this.  When she was not getting her way this week she started hitting me in the face.  Time out.  She learned quickly.  Soon, for entertainment she was hitting me, then running, giggling to the time out step.  No amount of explaining to her that hitting hurts Mommy would change this.  

Thursday.  Oh, Thursday.  Clara wanted things her way, or no way.  Screaming for no reason seemed to work.  Screaming, screaming, and screaming.  That was my Thursday morning.  We went to the mall to run and play.  We bought new shoes.  No, there was still screaming.  Yikes.  Then there was nap time.  A beautiful three hour nap time.  And it got sunny out.  And when she awoke, everything seemed better.  We went for a lovely walk (thank you, Lesley) and everything turned glorious.  Thank God that’s over.