Cakes has been requesting to leave her hair out lately, using clips, Alice bands and head bands. We went out to Sizzler recently and even though more food made it into Cakes's mouth than usual meals it also made its way into her hair. Yuk! Needless to say I will be making sure she has her hair up next time we go to a restaurant.
Ever since Cakes played with the light table at the State Library of Queensland we have both wanted one of our own. With these things costing hundreds of dollars buying one was not an option. Making one however an option cost and time still came into it. I searched high and low for a small box with a flat lid that was see through for some time, until it occurred to me the acrylic on the real ones are slightly hazy and finally spent a whole $2.50 on a container at the Sams Wearhouse. I rushed home to try this with the christmas lights as I had already spent so much money I didn't want to spend any more (haha). Though this was extremely unsuccessful as the string holding it all together was too long and took up so much room there was nowhere for the light to reflect. So back off to the cheap shop we headed, in The Reject shop we found a set of three push lights (which I thought would be good for button games when Cakes is a little older) for $3.50 though I didn't like that they took AAA batteries so we travelled to the other two cheap shops in our shopping centre, Target and Kmart and nothing suited. Back home we went and left it again for another day. While at Soccer class (funded by the shopping centre) the following day back to The Reject shop we went.
Other posts you might like:More light box fun below!
With our tape shapes still on the floor from last month Cakes and Daddy started to have a shape stomp race. Cakes started firstly with "get the circle Daddy" and then Daddy would say a shape. After a while of this I felt left out and decided to be the caller. With only having the 5 basic shapes there was lots of opportunity for repetition of each shape and the odd colour to mix it up.
Every know and then Daddy would have a momentary brain freeze and take a little longer to get to the shape. Cakes thought it was hilarious when he was "too slow Daddy". Cakes has started to count so I might attempt playing this game calling the shape with x amount of sides (she might be too young to get it but there is nothing wrong with a little exposure).
I think this game will become a new favourite in our house over the next couple of weeks. I hope both Cakes and Daddy cope okay when I pull the tape shapes up off of the floor.
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ABC Reading Eggs is a website subscription that has games, songs, stories and activities for young children to interact with on the computer that makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids. Cakes is yet to buy herself a subscription as the target age group is four and up. However she has had two trials one when she was 18 months and again now that she 2 years old. Even though she is unable to utilise some of the functions due to impatience and misunderstanding instructions there are so many features of this online program that she enjoys and is learning from.
First of all the lessons are great! Cakes is able to competently use the first few sections of each lesson where letters (blends etc.) are introduced, their sounds and used in words. As she gets further through the lesson she struggles though with encouragement and support can get a little further. I usually go on and complete the last few sections of the lesson for her as she becomes bored of it once she finds it too difficult. As she is pretty tech savvy she can stop her lesson and click into the playroom. In the playroom there are many games she can play that introduce her to reading, counting, computer skills, allow creativity and role play. Her favourite parts of the playroom are the book shelf with simple rhymes such as Incy Wincy being sung with a video playing, the art shelf with painting, drawing and playdough and the kitchen with cooking dinner, dishing up ice cream and making pizza. Cakes has been playing Reading Eggs on Daddy's tablet computer (or Daddy's book as Cakes calls it) eliminating the need to use the mouse which can be a difficult skill. I think after this trial runs out she will purchase a subscription as she can independently use at least 50% of its functions and another 25% with support. So with only a lose of 25% of the functions I will just wait until I receive a special email with a 25% or more discount. Hopefully I still introduce her to the PC at some stage so she can extend her computer skills.
Cakes has been obsessed with colours well and truly before she could name them. She gave each of the primary colours it's own name using words already in her own vocabulary. With yellow being her favourite colour it was named "mine", red was given the name of "mummy" maybe because I always have a red can of coke and blue was named "Daddy" maybe because he has a blue drink bottle. To continue her exposure to colours and to allow constant access to paint it was necessary to contain it. Having seen paintless art on pinterest I thought it best to have this somewhere Cakes could always use it.
Finding a clear space in the games room I filled three sandwich bags with paint. One for each primary colour. Then I placed a small piece of white paper behind each one and using electrical tape I taped each one to the floor. The paper behind the bags allows the spaces created to show up in the paint much easier.
Cakes used her hand to smudge it, her finger, paddlepop sticks and cotton tips to make marks. We made squiggles, straight lines, shapes, letters, numbers and drew a few pictures also. This has now been set up on the floor for 6 months and is still used on a weekly basis. The only issues that have arisen is a small hole pierced in the yellow bag from overuse (nothing a little bit of sticky tape cannot fix).
With Cakes's obsession with colour at the moment we had some paint samples from the hardware she had collected during our last visit sitting on a shelf in her room. I have been collecting ideas for busy boxes for any possible teaching jobs I may get next year and thought the paint samples would be great for a matching game.
While Cakes was having one of her very rare day time sleeps I cut up one side of the paint sample into small pieces and glued them onto some pegs. This took me less than 10 minutes to make.
Initially cakes spread out the colour paper and laid the pegs on top, once shown she sent out to peg the colours. This was and still is a little difficult for her. She can open the peg though struggles to get it in the best position to peg it onto the paper. With practise she will develop the hand eye coordination needed to peg the peg onto the colour. To store the pegs and colours I simply place all of the colours together and peg the pegs around the edge. This allows cake to practise opening the pegs to take them off before she commences playing with them.
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Cakes is a bit of an all rounder, she loves to play quietly inside and read a book however loves being outside and can be rather noisy. To encourage some creativity outside we thought a music wall would be a way she could express herself, be noisy and be outside all at once. Our inspiration came from the many music walls pinned on Pinterest and Cakes's interest in kitchen items. My Mum is an avid op shopper (usually with no particular item in mind) so we we used her local knowledge to travel to thirteen different op shops in search of pots pans and kitchen items. This wasn't as successful as I had thought it would be as we only got two saucepan lids, a pan and a wine rack looking thing. Out of our own cupboard we had a strainer, wooden spoon, whisk metal ladle and a plastic ladle.
As my tradie skills are not the best we invested in a small amount of Grandad's time, tools and materials. Grandad strung up the chain with screws and we attached the various kitchen items to the fence (yet to find and attach a pot). Cakes immediately started to make music and invited Grandad to join her. She has now had this for quite some time and doesn't use it everyday but often if outside long enough there will be music heard with a clang clang clang and a bang bang. She has just started to create patterns with the instruments and sings along.
Cakes enjoys art and makes lots at home, school and at any outing that allows it. Anything made at an outing or in a class is hung at her level in her room to spark conversation about what she has been involved in. This works well for all of us as she has a good memory and is able to recall (with visual prompting) great experiences and moments. This meant very few of her masterpieces were displayed for visitors to see. My husband discussed doing this for sometime (he hates any new project I suggest as I have so many unfinished at the moment) and he said if it was cheap and looked good the end of the hallway would be a good place. Now our house has many large Pearljam posters displayed in the hallway and this meant removing it and placing away (people said this would happen once we had children but I didn't believe them) which isn't a problem but felt wasteful. So down it came and the planning started. We initally chose using wooden clipboards spray painted though after much research the cheapest I could get them was $3.18 from Office works and then I would still need to buy paint. My husband liked these the best as we could clip any art on there even if it was 3D or bulky, howevre he was concerned this would become another unfinished project. In the interim I found A4 sized frames at Ikea for $2.49. So not only was I saving money I was saving myself on extra tasks. The plan is to add an art line above the frames at some stage for bulky pieces of art however that is yet to occur. Here is the final product, we are pretty happy with it though I find it hard to demote the art to add new art, maybe I should just get more frames.
Our supermarket had small shopping trollies for the littlies for a while (they had been removed however I believe they are due to return). Cakes took a delight in going shopping and kept all her own items in her trolley. We would tell her what was on our shopping list that she was needing as we came near an item. She chose the flavour, type or amount of each item she was to buy. Though her trolley was much smaller it was often as full as ours. At the checkout she helps with paying by pushing the green button on the EFTPOS machine and always gives the checkout person her shopping card (the flybys card). The most improtant part of any shopping mission for Ckaes is getting the receipt (if it comes with money that is quickly returned to us as the piece of paper is much more important. She has understood that you must pay for an item before you can open it or leave the shop for a long time now which is very helpful in preventing tantrums for the much wanted Scooby lolly.
During a day of study I found myself becoming hungry around 11am. Too lazy to make a sandwich I checked out the cupboard and decide a can of spaghetti would not do (as it had no ring pull) though decided a can of tuna would be better (also with no ring pull). As I started to open the can with an ordinary can opener remembered we had an automatic one. Placed it on and away it whirred for about half a second and then it stopped. I didn't have time for its shananagians so I left it be. Almost a second after the can had been pierced I had the cat circling me, still no time, back to the computer I had to go. Eventually (about 5 minutes later) I was starving and thought I would try some things. After a few minutes of pulling, pushing, lifting and everything I could think of I got it open about 2.5 cms round. All that did was make the cat circle me more. I tipped out all the brine and feed it to the cat (great for a cat who has PH issues and needs medicated food). That got her off my back long enough for me to push, pull and give up all over again. I returned to this about twenty times throughout the day with a minute here and a minute there. In the end I let it get covered in ants (well two but I wasn't about to eat it even if I could) and left it for my husband to rescue the can opener. Well he couldn't get it off and it all went in the bin. Needless to say I was pretty hungry by dinner time.