Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!

It was a just because kinda bubble playing day! I’ve been wanting to get some materials together for some fun with bubbles all summer and finally pushed myself to do it before the season was officially over. It was a great tribute to a fantastic summer!

There are so many recipes out there on the internet for homemade bubble solution and being that this was my first attempt I was pretty nervous about it. Many recipes called for Glycerin which would have required a special trip to a drug store or cake supply store and with my 3 lil ones I really just didn't have the time. So I crossed my fingers and went with the recipe that called for light corn syrup. It was so easy for me to just grab when grocery shopping and it turned out PERFECT! Here’s what we did:

You’ll need:

  • 5 gallons of water (I used regular ol’ tap water)
  • 8 cups of dish detergent (I used a mix of dawn and dollar store brand)
  • 2 cups of light corn syrup

That’s it!!! How easy right?!?! I combined the solution outside since it was going straight into the small play pool. I went with the water first and then added the 8 cups of dish detergent and 2 cups light corn syrup. I used my hands to gently rub the bottom of the pool in efforts to incorporate the ingredients without creating suds. Many sites suggested letting the solution sit overnight for the best results. I wasn't able to do so and put the solution together about 2 hours before we begun our play and I have to say, after playing with it all day, for three days straight, it was perfect from the start! Thank God!

I purchased the majority of our bubble tools the dollar store; pipe cleaners, large bubble wands, individual bubbles, and nets (for butterfly catching). Some of the things we already had were the small play pool, hula-hoop, step stool, drinking straws, yarn, water bottles, rubber bands and an old pillow case.

Before we ventured outside I let the kids use the pipe cleaners to make different shaped bubble wands. They really enjoyed that! Even though there were an abundance of tools to choose from they still enjoyed using the small pipe cleaner wands they created. <3

The nets were TONS of fun! I’m so glad I decided to grab them. They initially used them to run around chasing and catching bubbles of all shapes and sizes until day 2 of playing with the solution when they discovered suds! They used their nets to scoop up the suds from the pool and swing them around and around…it was love at first sight…tiny suds floating through the air and landing everywhere. It looked like snow! Really, it was beautiful!

If I had to choose my favorite experience with the bubbles it would have to be watching the kiddos use the most inexpensive tool of them all…the yarn and straw tool.

Using the hula-hoop to create large wonky looking bubbles and trapping each other in them comes as a very close second! I saw these bubble tools with straw and yarn at One Charming Party. These things made the most incredible bubbles! Four out of five of the kids playing were five and under and these tools were super easy to manipulate and created jaw-dropping bubble results!

We also made some sudsy snake makers by cutting a water bottle in half and wrapping it with parts of a cut up pillow case. I gathered the fabric at the mouth of the water bottle and secured it by wrapping a rubber band around it. With everything else to choose from, these weren't such a hit but did come in handy when the kiddos needed more suds to scoop up with the nets. Beware, they more than likely will get suds very close if not in their mouths.

Check out brother and sister enclosing each other in HUGE bubbles! It was SO awesome!

I really enjoyed watching them explore and learn through play. It was more fun than I could have ever hoped for! All in all it was an absolutely perfect bubbly play-day and I can't wait to make it an annual event!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rainbow Rice

We finally took the time to dye our sensory rice and make “new” rainbow rice! We have been experimenting lately with color mixing (which has been TONS of fun) so this fell right in line. I Googled and searched for the easiest way to accomplish this and I am so glad I came across the hand sanitizer version opposed to using stinky vinegar, it was super simple! I prepped everything and experimented with the first batch (red) after the kiddos were in bed. I have to say, it was SO hard for me to practice restraint and not finish ALL of the colors! I just knew how beautiful they would all turn out and REALLY wanted to see the final result. I'm glad I didn't give in because upon waking, the kiddos were very excited to see what was in store for them! 

Here’s what we did and what you’ll need:

  • Food coloring (We used the gel food coloring. I also have the neon liquid food coloring and I was curious to find out how vibrant those colors turned out. Next time we’ll try those. I’m sure any liquid food coloring would work. I couldn't tell you exactly how much gel coloring I used, I just squirted a bit till I felt it was enough. If I had to guess I’d say it was about a teaspoon. I do think I could have used more.)
  • Hand Sanitizer (2 pumps per batch/color)
  • Jars (We used an old plastic peanut butter jar and a plastic tuberware container. Glass jars or even bowls, if you prefer stirring over shaking, would work as well. I’m glad we went with plastic because there was a bit of banging on the counters that was needed to get everything mixed together)
  • Rice (I used about 2 cups of rice for each color)
  • Foil, wax, parchment, or even just paper towels for laying out the rice to dry.

I chose to keeping the food coloring and hand sanitizer squirting to myself and let the kiddos use a measuring cup to scoop one cup of rice at a time into a funnel sitting in the jar. The rice poured right on top of the sanitizer and coloring then we popped the lid on and did lots of shaking and banging. It did take quite some work to make sure the color was dispersed but it was well worth it. Once the kids decided the color was perfect they poured it into sheets of foil to dry. That was it! It was a super easy, kid friendly project that will provide for HOURS of fun!

They were so excited about playing with the colored rice THEY made. Did we get rice everywhere?? Absolutely!! But its not any different than our normal everyday messes and to see the pride they took in their work was all worth it! :)

A few notes:
It doesn't take long at all to dry, especially if you spread it out well. Ours dried within 30 minutes.
I did find 1-2 small clumps of gooey rice and food coloring clusters that I just tossed.

I followed ROY G BIV when laying them in the large bin. 

Whether we play inside or out with our sensory rice (or any other sensory material) I always lay a large sheet down to catch the run-a-ways. I’ve learned the hard way that sensory play is much more fun when we’re (ok I'll admit…when I am) not worried about the huge mess it’s going to leave behind. :)

My favorite thing about this beautiful sensory rice is that it's a keeper! I can use it for future discover bottles, I spy bottles, Carisa's ABC Find It!, art work and what ever else our little hearts see fit for it. I promise you too, will find it well worth your time. Have fun! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

YIKES! My Very First Post!!

Its a bit nerve racking not knowing where to start when you decide to begin so I finally just decided to start here…with a day in our life. Here’s what we learned today in pursuit of becoming life long learners.

Let’s start with me…
I learned that a little mocha ice cream, wellllll…ok it wasn’t a little, it was actually a large... can have quite an effect on a nursing momma who barely has any caffeine! I thoroughly enjoyed my large mocha ice cream around 7:30pm and I’m still on my “high” at 11pm. I have to say I’m really enjoying it though :)

I learned or rather was reminded today as I am everyday, that I make mistakes. I’m learning that the more I pray and talk to my Jesus throughout my day the better my day gets. And really, what better way to be an example to my precious little ones than to show them what to do when we make mistakes…PRAY, pray through those hard times and show them that we are all human. Show them that we all make mistakes and that we can’t do this without Jesus’s help. Show them how to ask for forgiveness and then try not to make the same mistakes again. I want to be an example to them. I want them to see Jesus in me. I want to be better today than I was yesterday and better tomorrow than I was today. Jesus is helping me with that.

The scripture that stood out to me in my study today was…
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in ME, giving ME the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

This scripture spoke volumes to me! I am reminded that I am a work in progress.. I know God has great plans for my life and although I may plan for our day’s activities I pray that HE orders my steps and that HIS PURPOSE prevails! (Proverbs 16:9 and Proverbs 19:21)

What my kiddos learned today…
We worked on our letter K activities that we should have finished last week. Here it is FRIDAY of the following week and we are still trying to finish it up!! That is what having a 3 year old, 2 year old and 4 month old will do to plans...oh geese! But I’m learning that’s OK and would love to share more about that soon. Anyway, I’d say that we were pretty successful today most importantly because we were having FUN learning!

The kids traced letter K’s with their choice of paint and q-tips. We cut, glued and made a mess! In my opinion making a mess is always considered success when you have little ones! We also played in a rice sensory bin while looking for items that begin with the letter Kk.

While I worked with lil man on the vocabulary “big” and “little” big sister cut up number cards 1-20. We took those number cards to our glass coffee table and placed them on the tiles beneath the glass. This intrigued them as they could look through the glass to find and pick the number that came next. We placed the numbers in the correct sequence on the top of the glass surface. It was a pretty neat activity and I’m most positive I’ll use this strategy again for other activities! They enjoyed it and so did I! I told them it felt like we were shopping for numbers!
The printable you see here is from Carisa’s amazing website  1plus1plus1equals1. I encourage you to take a look at all of her amazing FREE material. She has really blessed my life.

Lastly I hope the kiddos learned a bit more about how immensely I love them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Little About Me...

I am honored to be the mother of three amazingly beautiful children and the wife of an incredible man. I am on a journey to be the very best mother and wife that I can be for my family. It is my passion to foster a love for learning in my children. I want learning to ALWAYS be an experience for them. I pray that God uses and equips me to help create those experiences for them. I want them to touch learning, feel learning, smell learning...I want them to experience learning, to become passionate about it and to fall in love with it. I want them to be hungry for knowledge, to crave it.  I pray through these learning experiences they are driven to become lifelong learners. I pray that their desire to learn never ceases. We are in pursuit. 

You will probably hear me say many times that I am such a work in progress. I consider myself perfectly imperfect and flawed in every way. Without my Jesus I'd be nothing short of a huge mess! I do NOT have it all together although it may seem so on the outside. I try hard to keep things but crumble quickly realizing I need to give that job up to my Jesus. He can handle me and my worries, anxieties, fears, mess, much better than I can. 

I wanted to start a blog for a few reasons. 

  • Although I have three precious little ones I am fairly new to being a SAHM (stay at home mom). I am SO blessed to have this opportunity and give God all the honor and glory for making it possible! He has provided my husband with a wonderful job and an incredible drive to provide for his family. My husband amazes me. He wants nothing more than the best for us and will stop at nothing less to provide it. He is such a hard worker. God has blessed him with great talent and he is exactly where he should be, using his God given gift everyday! The scripture 1 Peter 4:10-11 reminds me of him…”Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen” (NIV) 
  • I don't want to loose a millisecond of the memories God has given me with my babies! I know this blog will be a place where I can, not only share our experiences with others but help me document this monumental time in our lives . 
  • I want to be real. I want God to use me. I want this blog to be a place where his presence flows. A place where, although my fingers do the typing, HE does the speaking. It is my prayer that through my sharing God can speak, touch, heal, restore, revive, refresh, and encourage other moms. 
I have to be quite honest, I have no idea where God will take this or exactly how He plans to use me but what I do know is that's all I want, to be Him. Whatever talent he gives me, whatever job he assigns me, I want to do it with every fiber of my being and for His glory. So here we go! I'm on a journey. I'm so ready to be taught and to learn. I am in pursuit.