Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lacing Cards & Learning the Hole Punch

 Confetti Babe

This morning I tuned into Pinterest for pre-nap activity idea's. Mama "Lilla A" created simple lacing cards with a few pictures, shoelace and hole punch

New Tool

We started by learning how to use a hold punch. 
O was amply impressed by how quickly confetti could scatter across the living room & into hair etc;)

Lazy Photo

I took the lazy route to find a stiff card that would work for lacing. My sister-in-law made us a calendar of our neice 5 years ago. We cut out all the pictures and have them in a big photo box. 
This card paper worked well for weaving.

O has no idea it is not actually her in the picture, napping with Dabby!

Straw Beads

 Colourful Straw Beads

Last weekend I snuck out for an hour and braved Yu Gardens craft building.
If you are in Shanghai and have a crafting obsession, do not miss this chaotic building!

Thanks to Nurture Store's weekly activities, I found a less-than-a-dollar craft for O and I to try out this week. All it requires is a colourful bag of straws and a shoelace.

Shoelaces are key for little fingers.
The firm, taped end allows for a sure fit for stringing and avoids the frustration a regular piece of string might cause.
A while back, we started with pipe cleaners, which stay put while your child tries to string things through and our recent upgrade to shoelaces was good timing. O could manage.

I scored with a box of wooden alphabet beads that came with colourful laces.

And O took apart her necklaces before I could get a picture! So we strung her name on a purple lace!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oversized Valentine's

 Big Felt Pocket of Love
Wake-Up Surprise
Thanks to Pinterest, some thick, wool felt and a sewing machine this became a two-minute project before my Valentine's came downstairs this morning.
Inspired by Pottery Barn, there are several versions of this oversized envelope on Pinterest and a few parents who have committed to writing notes every day to their wee.

 Arthur's Kisses
Daddy's Kisses

We took a hint from Arthur's Valentine, to create a little chocolate station for Daddy!
And subbed in the If You Give a Mouse A Cookie treasury set, for chocolate in O's case!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vegan Bites: Chocolate & Hearts

 Prepping for V Day
Heart Bunting

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day smack in the middle of Chinese New Year.
No stores are open here in Shanghai, so we had to get creative with stuff already stashed away.
We took out the Heart Bunting made last year (easy felt cut-outs sewn on the machine in one line. How I love Pinterest!!)
O was camera-ready and waiting!

Then came the REAL good Valentine's tradition; Chocolate!
Pinterest saved the day again with a lovely little vegan chocolate zucchini cake recipe.
We changed a few bits, turned them into cupcakes and had ourselves breakfast dessert!
Tweaking Tips
~reduce sugar by 1/2 cup
~sub in carob instead of cocoa powder
~halve oil with apple sauce
~20 minutes bake time for cupcakes

 Despite a little tweaking, they did not disappoint!

 Have your Cake!

 Yummy sans icing!

We topped off the morning with a little Arthur.

Happy Heart Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vegan Nibbles: Pancake Tuesday

Little Vegan Breakfast

Toddler Tales: Imaginary Family

Mommy, Baby & Daddy, respectively

The imagination of a toddler is not to be messed with.
Toddler's always have a unique way to lighten up your day.

Last night in the bath, she set up "Mommy, Baby & Daddy", as she called them.
I only knew about this when I took "Daddy" by accident and was scolded.
"MAAAAM! What you do with Daddy?"

When returned to his rightful place, O helped Baby 'jump' on Daddy's back!

Baby on Daddy's back!

At this point I stopped whatever mundane thing I was doing and paid attention.
Before O decided it was time to get dried off, she told them "Be safe!"

Seriously, why buy toys?

Montessori-Inspired Pom Pom Play

Pom Pom Play

An easy, peasy activity for little hands is a bowl transfer using a spoon and some pom poms.
We used extra large pom poms in this case, but smaller might have actually been easier.
O spent a good ten minutes transferring back and forth (with the occasional help of her hands;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

Room with a View 
(7pm, no early birds but us!)

It's that time of year in China again; "fire frackers" time.
We set out before heading to bed, in order to make a few small 'fracker' purchases, but we knew there would be no need. The residents of Shanghai do not disappoint and the whole city is ablaze by 11:30pm.
As soon as O hears a bang, she sits right up in bed, throws her arms in the air and screams "I'm happy!"

Daddy lighting off our meager purchase...

...blasting outside our bedroom window!

And at exactly 11:30, the city was showing us up with their amazing display's; giant stacks of 'boom' boxes and long trails of loud crackers, welcoming the Year of the Snake.
O slept right through it for the third year in a row!

Toddler Tales: Popdorn


Daddy brought O a giant bowl of popcorn and they settled up on the window seat.
O, placing the bowl in her lap, asked: "Where Daddy's popdorn?"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Toddler Stress Balls

Rice-filled Stress Ball

Our weekly activity options came via email from the amazing Nurture Store
In the mix, was an activity for creating tactile balloons, filled with different objects.

We only had two, decent quality balloons on hand, so we filled one with rice and the other with cornstarch.
They have since become Stress Balls for our ever emotion-filled toddler!

Pictured above, O's Cabbage Patch 'Darmand' is getting in his squeeze;)

Snowy Day: Good Old Cardboard

Snow in Shanghai

Shanghai tends to have a very, gray winter.
Since there is a lack of snow, it makes the days seem even more dull.
But just days ahead of the Year of the Snake celebrations, it snowed!!
Even though she is Canadian, O is not accustomed to seeing snow, other than in books.
She recited lines from Toad and Frog All Year (the snow stories) and we read a few other snowy tales.

 House Number 4

We had to wait for a delivery and the delivery happened to come in a box!
Due to the fact that there was not enough snow to play in, we opted to make soup and a cardboard house.
Ahhhh...memories of childhood!

O loves her "peek" window...
...and waiting for mail!


Read: Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Create: Snow Playdough
Make: Slushies (my sister and I used to fill a glass with snow and top with juice!)

Something New

 Mandarin Rings

Dabby went to the store for guava and came home with Cherimoya.
So, we had a "Try Something New" afternoon.


Compared to a Custard Apple, Cherimoya has a delicate taste. O tried. Did not like;)

 King of the Fruit

It has been ages since I indulged in durian, but I thought it would be a good day.
Everyone that knows me, knows durian is my weakness.
In Thailand, O loved up the durian with me, however toddler tastebuds are changing.
Did not like this either.
She happily stuck to Shanghai's mini mandarins that she cannot get enough of.

We examined the difference in the seeds, post sampling.
O is very aware of fruits containing pits and seeds.
When she bites into a fruit, she always asks "Pit?!"

Have you tried something new today?

Beach Bums: Vietnam

O takes Ho Chi Minh City

To get a head start to the coming Year of the Snake, we were able to head to Vietnam for 10 days of sunshine, fresh air and fun.

 Lift from Dabby

 Midday Retreat


 New Hat

Beach Bum

O is definitely in her element by the ocean.
She asked Dabby daily, if he would bury her legs in the sand!

 Flower Giddy

Of all the hundreds of pictures we took over the week, the above two are my favourite.
Perhaps it is that toddler smile of mischief that I so love!


And for the Beach Bum bit, a few lovelies of the baby's behind, because they always seem to be headed in the opposite direction!