Friday, January 31, 2014

Strange Folks: Head in the Oven

On a weekly basis, I keep track of the funny things that come out of O's mouth (read: Toddler Tales).
Recently, I came across posters produced and sold on Etsy by a father who finds himself saying strange things to his kids

Now, we're noticing that O's quotes are usually more profound then some of the things coming out of our mouths (read: "Just because your head is in the oven, doesn't mean I can't see you eating playdough."..."I don't think that's a rocking horse. It's actually a safety device!")

Thursday, January 30, 2014

For the Love of Cardboard: Ball Drop

 Cardboard Ball Drop

For all Pinterest fans, this is a no-brainer.
Using only two objects; a cardboard box & a ball (or two), you can create hours of free-play.

 Expanding on Creativity

Notoriously, O (and most kids I am guessing) had her own twist on the game, when left to her own devices.
She collected the carboard circles that I cut out to make holes, and re-inserted them.
She then used the balls to push them through. She liked this version far better than the original idea.

 Ice Skates

Putting another spin on the game, she took the circle cut-out's and started to 'skate' on them.
When this was ineffective (they kept sliding out from beneath her), she ran to get a pair of socks and slipped the circles in the socks.
Then she proceeded to 'skate' around the living room, leaving the cardboard box and balls in the dust!

I love this kid!

Happy Year of the Horse


'Tis the season when the red lanterns are hanging, shops are closed and fireworks stands open on every corner in the city of Shanghai!
It is an understatement to say, my husband likes fireworks.

Junior Fire Fan

Seems it's genetic.
When watching the midnight display, O exclaimed,
"I'm like a firecracker! I'm loud and I jump high!"
Note how she nurses the box of gunpowder!
She burnt her fingers several times on sparklers, exclaiming "OUCH! Gimme more!"

Mini Sparkler

Since this was Baby C's intro to CNY, we didn't know how she would take to the cracks and booms.
There are fireworks and firecrackers...the latter of which just make a load of noise!
If you were unaware of the holiday, you might hit the deck!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Image: Raising Healthy Girls


Back in school, teachers often gave us early-year assignments that involved describing who we are.
The exercises were meant for the teacher to get to know us better, but in the process we were also learning about ourselves.
O is intent on growing and like most kids her age, it's a job that they dutifully attend to!
Height is a huge deal and she compares the heights of each of us, bottles, pencils and anything else that can turn into a mommy, daddy, baby and big sister!
She was intrigued to learn I was about to help her create something on a massive sheet of paper and a big smile appeared when she saw her own 'reflection'.


I avoided offering hints, tips or instructions about her image.
The point was for her to delve into her personal image of herself and not how I perceive her.
She conversed with her image and referred to her as 'Olivia'.
There was a little alter ego festival emerging!

Little Sister
Then she suggested we trace her wee sis!
Baby C is all smiles whenever she is included, so that was a good call.
Her hands are too wiggly to trace, so O asked why she was "wearing mittens" and then drew in proper fingers!

Finally she decided that I should just cut out the face...and she inserted her own;)


A Mighty Girl. Raising girls aware of their powers is more than modeling. Recently, a fellow Sarah (and all-round sweetie) brought to my attention the amazing site A Mighty Girl
A million types of media that can aid discussions about girl power.

Heroines. For Christmas, Santa brought a book I've been eyeing Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters
It's stories from around the world, with heroines as the main characters. O loves stories of all kinds. so we've already begun reading these. Reading her books with no pictures is an exercise of the imagination (and a lesson in interpretation!)

Sister Blogs. The same sweet Sarah as mentioned above, also brought to my attention, the blog of a woman I happened to go to school with. She writes articles on how she raises her son to be a feminist. Good, raw and well-written reads!
Her main page today features the quote,
"All mothers are working mothers."
Though I refrain from referring to Motherhood as a 'job' definitely is a piece of work with masterpieces to show for it! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine "Cookies"

Felt Cookies

Do what you love and your kids will be learning too.
The teachings of John Holt recognize that children naturally love learning from people who are passionate about their work and hobbies. 
Get involved with your passions.
They don't have to be your child's interests, but children are always interested in adult's work.
Loads of lessons and learning opportunities come from 'apprenticeship'.
Even if the apprenticeship only lasts five minutes and all the child learned was, they never want to take up that hobby!

We brought out the felt.
I am aching to do a project and my eyes wander in the direction of my fabrics and paints all day;)
So I turned on some mellow music (very helpful when including small people in projects!) and we got to it.

I mentioned to Olivia that I was going to make Valentine cookies and she disappeared.
A minute later she returned with food colouring.
She assumed there would be icing involved!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dad's Day Off: Sharks & Shots


Shanghai has an amazing Aquarium, that is definitely boast-worthy.
They educate in accordance with the organization Wild Aid which recognizes China's effect on endangered animal species.

"China is the largest consumer of endangered wildlife parts and products. The already unsustainable Chinese market for many wildlife species is growing. Current projections suggest that around 250 million new Chinese “middle class” consumers will enter the market over the next decade.  The combination of old customs and traditions (culinary, medicinal, etc.) with new money, conspicuous consumption and powerful new aspirations are driving a massive expansion in the use of wildlife parts and products in China." ~Wild Aid China

Penguin Exhibit

Baby Nemo's

Jelly Fish

Chinese Dragon

One of the best features of the Aquarium is their Underwater Walkway, which includes an escalator ride, under the 'sea'. This was undoubtedly a huge hit with O who wanted to repeat the escalator adventure and was evidently crushed, when there was no way back up!

Escalator Trip

Psychedelic Sidewalk

Not so sure she noticed the giant stingray, sharks and schools of fish overhead, she was so content to be on the moving sidewalk!

Cyber visit the Aquarium!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014



When the light is right, shoot.

We woke up to a sunny mid-week morning. 
Daddy announced he took the day off. Yeah!
The light was just right, so we decided to shoot a few candids.
The above shot sums up a typical morning pretty accurately!

 Black (striped) Sheep

O was not up for skin shots.
Actually, the striped sweater look was a sweet pop of individuality!


Baby C was busy with her favourite hobby's; chewing fingers and cooing.


Sister Love

Baby C gets tons of photo's as she is not so mobile and hasn't learned the art (read: game) of avoiding the camera, as has her big sis!

Small World Activity: Three Bears (Kinda)

Two Bears & GoldiPig

Yesterdays Small World Activity was such a hit, we went for round two today, with a twist.
Nurture Store also suggested a Three Bear's theme with raw oats as the sensory component.
When it comes to O, you cannot go wrong with oats!

Instead of Three Bears, we had a brown bear and a panda.
Olivia the Pig served as Goldilocks.

Then O replaced the panda with another pig, a la modern family-style.

A kangaroo then joined the part-tay.

Goldi got her gorge on.

It wasn't long after this peaceful story-telling scene that oatmeal was in every nook and cranny of the room:)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Small World Activity:Ice Rink

 Small World Ice Rink

Nurture Store this week features Small World Activities
We opted for a miniature ice rink. We cut cardboard and covered it in foil. I added some cotton balls, wooden blocks and animals.
As with most activities, O had her own spin on the materials provided within minutes!

 Sleeping in the Snow

M: "Can I play with the ice rink?"
O: "No sorry. There's snow on it."
She covered the rink with 'snowballs' so her animals could have a soft space to sleep.

Then she presented me with a box filled with cotton balls.
O: "Here's popcorn."
M: "Can I have some?"
O: "No it's for your daughter."
I'm guessing she did not mean Baby C.

 Pig Meets Snowgirl

Baby C was quite happy to get her hands on a big white pom pom.

 Steady now...
 ...what the what! How did it get up there!?
Ahh! Good stuff! 

Felting. A while back, we attempted making felt balls, meant for garland necklaces.
They were trickier than I anticipated, but I think I need another go to get the hang of them.
They are a great sensory activity involving all the things kids will love working with: water, soap and fuzzy coloured felt.
You can expand the lesson further, by stringing with needle and thread, for a funky, chunky necklace or garland for over the headboard etc.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Baby Godzilla

 Music Box Olivia

It's happened.
Baby C has her hands on O's stuff!