Weekend Activity – Nursery Rhymes

Studies have shown children that can recite 8 nursery rhymes by the age of 4 are much better readers by 4th grade than children that cannot.

Practice nursery rhymes with your children this weekend!  Children of any age can enjoy them.  Even babies should hear them over and over.

Sing them, act  them out, make up hand motions for them, leave out words and see if your child can fill it in, draw a picture of one, or read a book full of them.

Try finding more activities including computer games and printable coloring pages at http://www.mothergoose.com

Some of the favorites in our house are:

Hey Diddle Diddle

The Grand Ol’ Duke of York

Round and Round the Garden

Old Mother Hubbard

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Little Miss Muffett

Banbury Cross

Twinkle Twinkle

Little Boy Blue

Rain, Rain Go Away

Jack Sprat


Weekend Activity – Water Colors

Color on some coffee filters with washable marker…

Add water…either a paintbrush and a cup of water to paint on filters, or a spray bottle with water in it, like we used…let dry, and…

I’m sure you could think of much better ideas than just hanging the finished project on the wall, but that’s all we got to after a crazy couple of days!

Weekend Activity – Easter Eggs

We played with plastic Easter eggs this weekend.  We’ve played with them over the past few weeks, but I finally got some pictures.

Some eggs were put in cartons for the boys to open and play with.  I wish we had the cardboard cartons too, but right now, this is all we have.  It just gave them a chance to explore, sort, and rearrange them.  I think their favorite part was spilling them out and pretending they broke.

I also filled some eggs with different items, and had Joe sort them by what he thought was inside.  We’ve done this a few times with a few different materials, and I think the sounds from the oatmeal, marble, and dried black beans are the most fun and the most distinctive.  You don’t need to tape the eggs, we didn’t every time, to allow the boys to look inside, but we did this time because they were particularly cheap eggs.

I left the actual materials that filled the eggs out so they could be explored as  well.  When he sorted, Joe placed the egg next to the material he thought was inside each time.  When we were done sorting, we all sang and used the eggs as shakers for our songs.  The favorite was:

Shake it baby, shake it

Shake it if you can.

Shake it like a milkshake,

And drink it if you can.

Rumble to the bottom,

Rumble tot he top,

Then turn around and turn around

Until you make a STOP!

Weekend Activity – Have you seen these things?

Ok, I typically don’t like to do posts that encourage you to go out and buy things.  We’re living on a budget here, and I like to use things we’d typically have on hand.  However, have you seen these things?  I’m not big into decorations, and I don’t like kiddie looking things, but my boys love these window clings.  We got some for Christmas at the dollar spot at Target, and now those are put away in a plastic container (we’ll see if they last), and we have these up (I think I got these at the dollar store – not positive).  Each boy chose their own set, and they each were able to decorate the window behind their chair in the dining room.  They love removing the little pieces and setting them up in different ways and making stories of what they made.  They even love just feeling them.  My 16 month old has actually spent much more time with his window, arranging, rearranging, feeling, pulling; he just loves it and over signs to play there.

I have found it really useful when they’re in that hungry state when the meal just isn’t ready, but its driving them crazy to watch me finish making it.  I just tell them to go to their seats and play with their window clings, and it keeps them quiet until its ready.

They’re great for fine motor development, imagination, sensory play, counting, and language.

I’ve seen them at Target and the dollar store, and for less than $3 per package.  Have you seen them anywhere?

Weekend Activity – Colored Pasta

I’m away for the next week and a half so my p0stings will be short, and mostly picture filled.  You may have noticed the past weeks were slim with postings as we celebrated Joe’s birthday and prepared for a trip while dealing with some family issues.  However, I have been snapping pictures for future posts.

A few weeks ago, colored pasta was on sale, so I stocked up for play and craft time.  You can also dye pasta.  I have done it before (but buying it like this was easier this time).  For information on dying pasta, here’s a great site:


The boys mostly enjoyed sorting and pouring the pasta.  I left the ideas up to them, just set the area up and commented.  It kept them both occupied for quite a while.

Weekend Activity – Listen to your spouse!

My husband is great at many things.  He is very smart and very compassionate.  I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else.  We work at our marriage, and we think about ways to make our marriage and home life run smoothly.  One of the things we have always done is divide responsibility.  There are many things that he is better at than I am, and I am glad that I have him to take on those areas of living.  I also have responsibilities that just make more sense for me to shoulder.  Two things that I am responsible for are gift buying and planning activities with the kids.  However, Mike broke into my areas recently when he came shopping with me.  We just had to stop to pick up a few things on the way home, and Mike spotted a GO FISH game on sale for $1 (Mike loves good deals – which I think is one of the reasons I am in charge of shopping).

I told him we don’t need any more toys, we are full, and that Joe probably wouldn’t understand how to play the game anyhow.  Mike stuck the game in the cart anyhow, and I decided not to make a big deal of it, but secretly thought in my head, “he’ll see…I’m right.”

Before I knew it, Mike had taught Joe how to play the game, and the two of them were having a blast.  I couldn’t believe it.  With a little tweaking of the rules, Mike managed to play several rounds with Joe, and they both were enjoying themselves.  It’s hard to not always be right, but letting go a little really was worth the smiles on these faces.

So….maybe listen to your spouse this week and do something you wouldn’t have thought would work out.  You married them for a reason after all!



Weekend Activity – Birthday edition

Today my baby boy is one year old!  I cannot believe it!  Where does the time go?

I am pooped from a lovely family party, but I thought I’d just post two quick balloon games….

….disclaimer…I know you’re not supposed to let young children play with balloons.  I guess they could pop and the kid could choke on the balloon.  These are games I am planning on playing WITH my children.  Hopefully, if a balloon pops, I will be able to pick up the pieces of it before anyone chokes.  If my little one is too fast for me and sticks it in his mouth, I will take it out.  If he actually chokes on it, I will do the Heimlich maneuver.  I suggest you plan accordingly….

the activities:

1.  Throw the balloons in a laundry basket.  It’s harder than you think.  My kids have a hard time standing behind a throwing line.  You could have them sit in a seat and throw if you also have this problem.

2.  Blow on the balloon to make it go.  Have crawling balloon races from one end of the room to the other.