Thursday, March 29, 2012

E Week- Treasure Eggs

I saw these cool treasure eggs at Play Create Explore.

The dough for these eggs is made with coffee grounds, flour, salt, sand, and water (which I cut down to 1/2 cup instead of 3/4). Once the mix was ready, I started sandwiching some little treasures between layers of dough and shaping the eggs. I was able to make eight eggs with one recipe.

I placed the eggs on a cookie sheet and baked them at 200* for about 45 minutes.

Trip had a hard time getting the first egg open, so he asked for a knife.

The knife didn't do any good, so I helped him crack it open.

It's a lizard!

He was excited to find a bouncy ball in the next egg.

 It then bounced off of the table and he said, "touchdown!"

Then, he decided that the eggs were dinosaur food and proceeded to feed the dinosaur that we hatched earlier in the week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

E Week- Letter E Matching Game

I saw the idea for this great matching game in eggs from Playing House and set out to make one of my own. I found some images of Elmo, an ear, an egg, an eagle, an eye, and an elephant online, printed them out, and cut them in half.

They fit nicely in large plastic eggs.

Trip actually had a great time opening all of the eggs, finding the matches, and putting together the puzzles.

If you would like to make a set of these puzzles for your own personal use, the PDF is available here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

E Week- Eating Eggs

We went through lots of eggs during E week and enjoyed them several different ways.

Trip thought these deviled egg chicks were pretty cute.

He didn't want to eat them, but enjoyed the bed of puffed millet they were sitting on. He liked eating it as well as "feeding" it to the chicks. (And he finally decided to wear the crown that he wouldn't have anything to do with when I made it for him months ago during K week!)

We also had a German pancake/Dutch baby which was delicious with a little jam on it. Trip wasn't too crazy about it, but I loved it.

If found this recipe in a Family Circle magazine from April 2002 and have had it in my recipe binder for years. If I'm just feeding myself and maybe Trip, I make a half or a third of a batch, both of which work well. If I make a smaller batch, I just cook it on the stove and put a lid on the pan.

German Pancake

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
confectioner's sugar, for dusting, optional

Heat oven to 400*. Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Melt butter in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Pour mixture into hot skillet. Carefully transfer hot skillet to 400* oven and bake for 20 minutes or until pancake is golden and puffed. Sift confectioner's sugar over top of pancake, if desired, and serve immediately. (It's also great served with jam or maple syrup.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

E Week

We had lots of fun activities to do during E week, most of them centering around eggs. This is extra fun since Easter is coming up, but these activities could be done at any time of year. Check back all week for more details about these projects.

We ate eggs almost each day. We had them scrambled, in a German pancake/Dutch baby, in egg salad, and as these cute deviled egg chicks.

Trip had fun with this letter E matching game/puzzle.

We hatched a dinosaur egg from the dollar store, which was a lot of fun.

I made Trip some treasure eggs, which were a big hit.

 Finally, Trip enjoyed covering an E with elk stickers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

U Week- Coloring Under the Table

The idea of coloring under the table came to me not long ago and was perfect for a day when nothing could please my little boy. It was something different, something we had never done before, and it captured his attention for a few minutes. He saw me under the table and was very curious as to what I was doing under there. At first he wasn't too sure about my idea, but once the paper was taped to the underside of the table and the crayons were out, he quickly decided to give it a try.

He had fun drawing under the table and attempted to write some letters. They aren't recognizable yet, but it's fun to see him try. 

Switching up a normal activity made it more fun and much less mundane, which is always a win.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

U Week- Umbrella Snack

Trip was happy to find this umbrella snack waiting for him when he woke up from his nap one afternoon. I was inspired by this apple umbrella and this Babybel umbrella. A few M&Ms and raisins finished it off nicely.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

U Week- Umbrella craft

I found the idea of this great muffin paper umbrella craft from No Time for Flashcards.

After I folded our muffin papers in half, Trip helped me glue them to the paper. He used a q-tip to make paint raindrops. We started with just blue paint, but he insisted on adding the other three colors as well.

Saying cheese :)

I added a couple of U's, then once the paint was dry, I glued on the straw handles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

U Week

Last week was an unusually rainy one, which was perfect for the letter U and umbrellas. Click on the links to see the full post about each of these activities.

Trip enjoyed his umbrella snack.

 We did a fun umbrella craft with muffin papers.

Trip had lots of fun coloring under the table while wearing his Broncos uniform.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Z Week- Zs for Lunch

Trip has become accustomed to having a special lunch at least once a week, so he often wakes up from his nap and asks me what what I made. Some days, I have something for him and sometimes I don't. During Z week, I came up with this simple Z lunch that he loved. He was especially happy with the pickles and they were the first to go.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Z Week- Zebra-Striped Banana Cake

In looking for some Z-related food ideas, I came upon this tutorial for a zebra cake. I had some bananas that were past their eating prime, so I decided to make zebra-striped banana cake. I used the Chocolate-Bottom Banana Squares recipe to make the batter and added a little milk to thin it out so that it would pour better. Zebra stripes are super easy to make. Just pour some white batter in the pan, then some chocolate on top of that, then more white, more chocolate, and so on. No swirling needed. The recipe calls for chocolate chips on the top, which makes it fantastic!

Looking good!

Trip liked the zebra stripes and we took care of this cake in no time!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Z Week- Zoo Sensory Tub

There are many great zoo sensory tubs out there in the blogosphere, giving me the idea to make one for Trip. My mom found us a set of alphabet animals at a yard sale last year which has been perfect for many letter of the week activities, but especially this one. I used a few containers from around the house to make cages and reused some materials from other sensory tubs to fill them.

Some cut-up tissue paper made good grass.

The materials from our nest of numbers a few weeks ago came in handy again as did the plastic fences from Trip's farm set.

Some batting and decorative glass beads made nice snow and icy water.

Our beans from B week made a good home for the hippo and also double as food when Trip wants to feed the animals.

Trip has had a great time feeding the animals, making them stand on the edges of the tub, and having them play football.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Z Week

Z was another tough letter on the inspiration front, but we had a good time with it nonetheless. Follow the links to see more about each activity.

Trip has been enjoying his zoo sensory tub.

It didn't take long for us to decimate this zebra-striped banana cake.

Trip loved his simple Z lunch.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Q Week- Q-tip Magic

This experiment is a common one, but never ceases to amaze. I poured a little milk in a pie plate, then added one drop of each of four colors of food coloring. I also put some dish soap in another small container. Trip then got to dip a q-tip in the dish soap, then touch it to the food coloring in the milk. The result is a great explosion of color that brought about lots of smiles and giggles.

He loved touching each successive color and watching it spread out across the milk.

Once the colors got muddled, we dumped them out and started all over again. 

We repeated this process several times and Trip found each time just as exciting as the first. This was a great way to spend ten minutes and a good use for some spoiled milk!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Q Week- Queen Lunch

I found a great Queen of Hearts lunch at Meet the Dubiens and set out to make my own version. I fussed over it a lot and wasn't totally happy with the final product, but Trip loved it, so it was a win.

Our queen had a yogurt face, dried mango and sting cheese hair, a chip collar, a bread and M&M crown, and a fruit twist and cheese scepter.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Q Week

It's been a busy few weeks, so we've been taking it easy with our letters. We've had a little fun with the letter Q where we can fit it in. Not much of it is blog-worthy, but it's fun to incorporate our letter into our normal activities.

Trip enjoyed this queen lunch.

He liked his lunch of quesadilla quarters and spontaneously started putting a grape in the middle of each one.

We had lots of fun using dish soap on a q-tip to make art in milk.

One afternoon after I picked Trip up from his babysitter's house, we made a special trip to a local restaurant called Burger Queen for some ice cream. Trip did not complain about this extra stop on the way home!

With all of our running around, we have practiced being quick but have also had some nice times to snuggle and be quiet. We have even enjoyed a couple of walks around our little town to see the hundreds of quails that wander our streets. They are fascinating creatures to watch.