Sensory Box | Coffee Beans

sensory box - coffee beans -

Almost every morning Edith helps Neil make our coffee. She has come to love it so much that we got her a little pour over style coffee maker of her own. The thing is I am not always up for the mess that comes with water play in the house so that’s where this coffee sensory box comes in. The box is simply filled with old coffee beans, some scoops and little bowls. Simple right? This box has provided hours and hours of fun and thankfully the PNW has been sunny and warm so Edith is able to play with it out on our deck which means less mess for me to pick up! Now I think our next sensory box will be kinetic sand – anyone have a good DIY for that?

sensory box - coffee beans - play sensory box - coffee beans - cup sensory box - coffee beans - sensory box - coffee beans - hand sensory box - coffee beans - hands sensory box - coffee beans - alder

Disclaimer: This activity is meant for children who won’t put things in their mouth…..I’m looking at you Alder-sorry buddy.

They Should Revoke My Library Card

Throwback to baby Edith and her books.

Throwback to baby Edith and her books.

I tell you this I have always been horrible when it comes to borrowing books from the library. I can’t even begin to tell you how much debt I have racked up in library fees but it’s not pretty. For a long time I just stopped taking books out from the library altogether but once Edith reached the age where she wanted to read books non-stop I thought let’s try this whole library thing again. Now I’m going to tell you that this was a terrible idea. I just returned three books today that were about 2 months overdue and I had received a restocking notice. I know that there are people reading this right now who are cursing me because they wanted to read Brownie & Pearl Go For Spin and we’ve been storing it the backseat of the car for months now. Side note who names their daughter Brownie and their cat Pearl? I mean seriously what’s next a book about a boy named Cookie and his dog named Frank? Anyways I finally returned the books today and I’ve decided to self-revoke my own library card.

That all being said I am trying to think of new ideas that doesn’t involve me going out to buy new to us books all the time because honestly I can only read about Sam and Pam going for ice cream* so many times before I’m ready to hide the book behind a cupboard we won’t move until the next time we move house. One idea I had is maybe doing a book swap. My idea would be to sign up to do the swap and then each person fills a medium or large flat rate box with books and mails it out and each person receives a new box of books. Thoughts? I also was thinking about participating in one of those book exchanges but honestly I find them to be super confusing so if someone can explain that whole thing to me maybe I’ll do that if no one else is interested in doing a swap. If you are interested in doing a book exchange let me know in the comments below.

Also please tell me that I’m not the only one who is terrible at returning library books. 

*Amazon affiliate link to books.

TOT IN THE KITCHEN | Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Edith loves to be in the kitchen. Seriously the Learning Tower (similar/similar) is one of the best purchases ever and gets use multiple times per day. Today we headed to the kitchen to make kale chips. This is one of our favorite snacks and they are so much fun to make at home.

I usually like to make them in the dehydrator but we had a “must have now” hankering for them so we turned the oven on and went the quicker route.

You can find the full recipe right here.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips spinner

Edith was my little helper for this recipe. She helped me de-stem the kale and the she spun in it in the salad spinner for me (seriously awesome kitchen tool for kids). After I added the seasoning and kale to the zip bag I zipped it and let her get down to massaging the kale. You could just do this in a bowl but this method cuts down on mess as the kale is flung around the room due to enthusiastic massaging and mixing. It also means no oily hands that you just can’t seem to get fully clean. Plus it’s just more fun!

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

tots in the kitchen kale chips action shot

Here’s an action shot for you. Looks like someone is having a blast despite being sick, not sleeping and being cranky.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips muncher

 

The best part for tots about making their own food is eating it. While Edith loves kale chips anyways I do think she enjoys them even more when she helped make them.

Does your child like kale chips? What’s your/their favorite flavor?

Reading Wednesday // From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

I really dropped the ball the past two weeks when it comes to reading Wednesday. Here we are though another Wednesday and another book to share with all of you. Let me tell you this is a good one.

Lately we have been going to the library bi-weekly due to Neil’s work schedule and while there a few weeks back I found a list of recommended books for toddlers. Since finding this list I have been attempting to check 5-10 of them out per week for Edith to read and for me to evaluate their toddler friendliness.From Head to Toe cover

This week From Head to Toe by Eric Carle was available to check out and on the list so into our library bag it went. I actually didn’t read this book with Edith until this past weekend after Neil came out from bedtime books and was raving about how much he loved it. He was explaining to me how when he and Edith read it together they go through and do all the different movements and how interactive it is for her and how much fun she has so of course I had to read it with her.
From Head to Toe insideWe have been reading it at least once per day and most days twice now because Edith just loves it and well I really enjoy going through the book as well. I am also impressed by how quickly Edith picked up on all the movements and all the body parts as well. I didn’t even know that she knew where he shoulders were until we read this book together.

This is a great book for you and your toddler to read together and to learn various parts of the body as well as movements. This is on my top list of books for toddlers now. Have you read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle what do you think? 

*Amazon Affiliate links. 

 

Reading Wednesday | Preparing for Baby’s Arrival

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

Now that we’re getting closer and closer to baby number two’s due date, I’m starting to think it’s time that I refresh myself on what exactly I can expect and how I can best prepare myself for their arrival. Of the different expectant father books that I’ve read, there’s one that stands out as the most beneficial and that’s The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. It was really a great supplement to the birthing and parenting classes we took when we were pregnant with Edith. It also helped me to understand how I could best support Lindsay in the process. I recommend it as a must read for any body who will be supporting a mother-to-be in the birth process. I know I’ll be reading it again to help me prepare. And please, check out my review I wrote after I read it the first time.

*Amazon affiliate link included in the post. 

Reading Wednesday | Books For The Big Sibiling-To-Be

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer: I recently picked this book up at our local library. I honestly didn’t even open the book up before getting it home so I didn’t know what to expect but Edith has loved it! It is easy to follow and talks about the things an older sibling can do with their new baby.

 

 

 

 

I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole: We bought this book for Edith around 27 weeks pregnant with baby #2. This book goes through what life is like with a new baby in the house and how that while there is a new baby that the big sister is still important. One of the things that I love about this book is how they call the baby “our baby” rather than mom or dad’s baby it just makes everything feel more inclusive. This book also has suggestions at the end on how to help your toddler/child transition to becoming a big sister. Also don’t worry there is a I’m a Big Brother version too!

 

 

Waiting for Baby by Rachel Fuller: This book is a little different than the others I mentioned above. It is more focused on the pictures in the book and really provides for more of an opportunity to talk about the pending arrival of your baby. While Edith doesn’t totally grasp that we are having a baby this book has really allowed us to talk more with her about our pregnancy and the baby who will be arriving soon.

 

 

 

My New Baby by Rachel Fuller: This book is similar to Waiting for Baby in it’s style. It provides an opportunity to discuss what to expect when baby is born and home. I love that this book features the mother nursing her baby since I will be nursing our new baby. Again this book is a little over Edith’s head but it has allowed us to talk with her about what to expect when the baby arrives.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links.

Reading Wednesday | Patient for Pumpkins

Happy Reading Wednesday!

I don’t know about you but in our house we spend hours everyday reading books and 90% of the time they are children’s books. That being said we have decided to start a new weekly feature that allows us to share what we are currently reading. Some weeks we will feature one book, other weeks a selection of our favorites and occasionally Neil and I will also share the books we are reading.

This week I wanted to feature a book we read at least once per day and all three of us really love it.

This Week’s Featured Book: Patient for Pumpkins – Story and Illustrations by Linda L. Knoll

patientforpumpkinscover

Photo Credit*

Mini description of this book via North Atlantic Books:

Seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other produce from local farms play an important part of a healthy, ethical diet. Encouraging children to eat local food in harmony with the seasons, Patient for Pumpkins tells the story of T.J., a boy who accompanies his father to the farmers’ market and enjoys the changes in fruits and vegetables as the year progresses. Families looking to introduce the concept of seasonal availability of produce to young children will be delighted by this children’s book by Linda L. Knoll, a lifelong resident of Northern California who is a professionally trained artist with a teaching credential.

Read the full description here.

Why we love this book: We are avid farmers market goers and this book seems to have really helped Edith to get excited about our market trips. The book is also filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables that are based on the season and while at this point Edith doesn’t quite understand seasonal produce she is constantly being re-introduced to produce that we buy and/or see at the farmers market or grocery store. I love that she can point out fruits and vegetables as we go through the book.

Photo Credit*

Photo Credit*

While this book is geared towards a little bit older child it is still fun for us to read with Edith has the beautiful photos keep her interested. It is also a book that we will continue to read for years and as she grows older the way in which we read and utilize the book will change. For example as you read the book there is a column on the side that describes the stage of growth of the pumpkin at that specific month and right now we pass over this because it’s a little above Edith’s understanding but when she gets a little older we can draw her attention more to this and the steps it takes for a pumpkin to grow from May to October.

Photo Credit*

Photo Credit*

Another feature we will take advantage of when she is a bit older is the list of fruits, veggies and local products that one might find at their local farmers market. When she is able to communicate verbally a little more with us I plan to take the list with us and do a little scavenger hunt at the farmers market to find the items on our list. We will then purchase a few of the items and bring them home to try.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years (although Edith is in LOVE with this book and she is 22 months)
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: North Atlantic Books (April 22, 2014)

Photo Credit: Linda Knoll via this site.

Disclaimer: We received this book for review from North Atlantic Books.  As always all opinions are our own and we genuinely LOVE this book. Also this post includes Amazon Affiliates link.

Toddlers In The Kitchen: Strawberry Snack

ToddlerKitchenStrawberryGetting your kids in the kitchen doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort. It is just about helping them to participate in any way they can. Some days for us that is just simple having Edith prepare her own snack. On this day post-nap snack was a big bowl of strawberries – who else is excited that Strawberry season is starting?

What you’ll need:
Strawberries
A colander
A Bowl
A kids knife
A mini cutting board

I start off my having Edith help me wash the strawberries and then I set her up somewhere either the table, her high chair or at the counter with me. I provide her with a mini cutting board and toddler knife and sit with her as she cuts up her strawberry snack. I try not to intervene except for safety reasons or unless she she requests help.

ToddlerStrawberryConcentrate ToddlerStrawberryHelp ToddlerStrawberryCutting toddlerstrawberryeatWhile it is quick and easy for us as adults to just chop up the strawberries it is a fun learning experience for our littles to do it on their own.