Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning the alphabet: The letter C

The letter C

Here is a list of activities we did this week involving the letter C:

- We watched some more alphabet videos. Ladybug has the song down pat now (well aside from the "elemenohpee" part, hehe) but she still enjoys watching the videos and singing along. There are so many out there on Youtube, we watch different ones every time.

- Big C stencil, which Ladybug actually tried tracing around in big circles. Big C and little C tracing along dotted lines.

- We learnt the Auslan finger spelling for C, which is all fingers of your left hand into a firm C shape (as if you were holding a cup. You can see a demonstration on the Auslan website, here

- The girls made cards for someon special. Ladybug made one for her Nan's birthday and Petal made one for her Opa's birthday 

- C stamping with the Kikki K alphabet stamps.

- We made some Pinterest inspired rainbow crayons. I broke up an assortment of coloured crayons and the girls piled them into a muffin tin. Bake in the oven for 10mins at 180 degrees. Easy peasy. 

- The girls made a paper plate clown.

- Ladybug painted some cats. We also spoke about and played with our own cat, Rufus (he really is as quirky as he looks) 

- The girls made some egg carton caterpillars by painting a segment of egg carton then attaching some pipe cleaner antennas and pom poms. We also had a look at the Case Moth cocoon which has taken up residence on our front steps. We talked about how caterpillars build cocoons and turn into butterflies or moths 

- Chalk drawings on the driveway.

- Ladybug and Petal took some spray bottles and washers outside and spent time cleaning the car together. 

- We went to the circus! This part wasn't actually planned. We were very kindly given some tickets by a friend and it just so happened to be during our C week 😜

Some other ideas for the letter C:

- Baking cupcakes or a cake
- Crowns (wearing or making)
- Cutting 
- Clay activities 
- Crackers, cheese, cucumber, celery
- Cooking 
- Camera 
- Chasing 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY 'soft serve ice cream'

It's summer here in Australia and its getting HOT! Being a sugar-free family means we are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives to our old favourites. Mr Ladybug always loved ice cream, so when I discovered this simple recipe, we were all smiles.  

DIY soft serve ice cream:

The website for a popular fast food chain lists the ingredients for their soft serve ice cream as: milk, milk solids, sugar, cream, glucose (contains preservative sulphur dioxide), emulsifiers (433, 471), vegetable gums (407, 407a, 412, 466), flavour.

How about one that has 2 ingredients and both of those ingredients are fresh, whole foods (no science experiment creations or freaky numbers!) AND it is healthy with NO added sugar, in fact it only has the naturally occurring sugar from fruit ...??? 

Ingredients: banana, strawberries 

...yes, that's it! 

Here's how: 

- Slice up some fresh banana's and strawberries (one large banana and a punnet of strawberries equals one serving each for Ladybug, Mr Ladybug and I) 

Here we used 4 banana's and a large tray of strawberries and this served 4 kids, myself and a small amount of leftovers to keep for another day) 

- Place into ziplock bags an freeze (containers or jars will work fine too, but I find it's best if the sliced fruit is spread out as much as possible - you don't want to end up with a frozen solid chunk!)

- Go outside and play for a few hours! Once the fruit has frozen, place it in a blender/food processor and whizz it up. First it will go grainy, keep whizzing and eventually it will turn into a creamy soft serve consistency 

- Scoop into ice cream bowls, ice cream cones, open mouths, whatever! If you have any leftovers they can be frozen in an airtight container for later use, however the fruit will continue to freeze more solidly and won't have the same creamy consistency. It's still yummy though and still passes the kid test! 

Easy and delicious!

For more flavour ideas, click here

If you're interested in some more alternatives to unhealthy food check out some of these posts by The Sustainable Living Bloggers Community:

Healthy Smoothies and Ice Cream from Just for Daisy 

Homemade Happy Meal from Down to Earth Mother

Healthy Homemade French Fries from All Done Monkey

Healthy Homemade Takeaway Chicken from Kids' Play Space

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Monday, January 6, 2014

14 things about Ladybug RIGHT NOW!

I saw this on my friends blog and thought it fitting to do the same, being the start of the New Year and all. Here are 14 things about Ladybug right now:

1. We have just had a very busy 2 weeks at home for Xmas break - You have not seen Petal since before Christmas and have been talking about her lots lately. Tomorrow I am back at work so you will get to play with her again, but only for a few weeks until I go on maternity leave. 

2. Your language skills are amazing for your age, every day you say something that impresses me. Lately you have also began using some Farsi words (much to your Baba's pride!) your most common Farsi words at the moment are "Sag" (dog) and "kofta" (fall over) which you use in the correct context - apologies for any Farsi spelling errors! 

3. You have 3 months left of being an only child, at the end of March your baby brother or sister is due and we will become a family of 4! You are very excited about this and seem to understand that there is a baby growing inside me and when it's big and strong enough it will be born. Yesterday you chose some bedding for the bed in the baby's room and love snuggling up in it. Throughout the whole pregnancy you have insisted that you will be getting a baby brother but lately have began saying you're getting a baby brother AND baby sister! 

4. Your favourite food is meat. You so confidently announced at a BBQ the other day "Mummy I don't like vegetables, I only like meat, just give me meat!" Which made everyone laugh. Your favourites would have to be lamb, pork and duck and your least favourite being chicken. You do eat veggies, but only after you've cleaned up all the meat! You also love your fruit, which you now climb up onto the kitchen table and help yourself too! Your favourite meal would have to be salmon sushi.

5. You love animals, especially our cat, Rufus. You love playing with him and are intrigued by most other animals you spot. You love asking Dad to watch "funny cat videos" or "dinosaurs eating each other" 

6. Your favourite toys at the moment are your dinosaurs, which you have a whole basket full of. There is usually a dinosaur with you wherever you go and all of them with you when you have a bath! Other favourites would be your play kitchen and your inflatable dinosaur pool, both of which you got for your 2nd birthday.

7. You still love books, always have and I hope you always will. Everyday you go through your book collection and there is always some point during the day I will find you in your room reading your books  out loud. Your favourite at the moment is Roald Dhal's The Twits which Dad reads with you at night, you love telling me about it during the day. We go to the library every week to get new books for you to read but haven't been over the Xmas break.

8. You are now a few months in to toilet training and finally have begun doing all your poo's on the toilet. You are very proud of yourself and so are me and Dad.

9. You love the water: going to the beach, playing in your inflatable pool, swimming lessons, even having a bath and playing with the hose. This year you are going up to the next level swimming class and will be going in the pool without Mum or Dad! I'm a little nervous about this and Dad is a bit disappointed he won't get to swim with you anymore, he loved spending that time with you, but we are both happy to see you progress. 

10. You love learning new things and currently you're part way through learning the alphabet. You can sing the song and recognise most letters by sight and sound. You also love learning about the moon, animals, dinosaurs and your body.

11. Recently you have began telling us about your dreams when you wake up in the morning. Two that really stood out for you were the one when you touched a black Tawny Owl (we've tried explaining to you that it's called a Tawny Frogmouth but you won't believe us!) and another about a jungle. You spoke a lot about those dreams. 

12. With the New Year we started a 'family piggy bank' in hopes that we can make it to the snow mid year for your 3rd birthday/mine and Dad's wedding anniversary. We were married in the snow and would love to take you for a visit, you've never seen snow before. You are all over the task of emptying out the change from our wallets each night to add to the piggy bank.  

13. This month we are going to see the Hairy Maclarey show at the Sydney Opera House with one of your good friends Lucas. You love reading Hairy Maclarey books so I think you will really enjoy the show too. 

14. This year you will become a big sister and will be getting two new cousins! I can't wait to see you take on this role and how you deal with the triumphs and challenges that come with it. Lots is going to change for you but I think you are ready for it. 

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