Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2016

the summer of 1,000 Uno games

Both kids are really into playing games right now. I'm actually surprised with the games they can play and how they're willing to try games far above their comprehension. Anisleigh is 2.5 and she is quite the Uno player.

When I was growing up games were king entertainment-wise. I've carried that love into adulthood and now I want to pass it on to the kids. There are so many fun, smart games being created right now, and there are a lot of classics the kids love as well. Here's a few beyond Go Fish, Crazy 8 and other typical kid games.

We discovered this game at an independent toy shop in Ocean Shores. It's really simple, and can be boring for adults, but it is great for kids because it teaches basic patterning. Ainsleigh can play this one on her own as long as I repeat the pattern as she's playing. All kids have to recognize is the colors red and green and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 so they can play from an early age even though the box recommends the game for children 5 and up.

We all love this cooperative game from Peaceable Kingdom. Once kids know their colors they can play Hoot Owl Hoot. Ainsleigh and Bennett both love it.

And speaking of cooperative games I think Richard Scarry's Busytown Game is our top game. We play it often, and we've enjoyed it for years.

The Airport Game is great as well, but you have to brace yourself for the set-up process and tiny cards that are nearly impossible to keep track of.

Thinkfun Roll and Play Game

I bought this game for Ainsleigh, but both kids love it. I like that it can be played with one child, or a large group. It would even work in a classroom setting. I think Ainsleigh will be getting the Move and Groove version for her next birthday.

And of course, Uno. It's a classic, right?

The kids also enjoy the timeless games: Memory, Go Fish, Candyland, Old Maid, Crazy 8's (we've played 12,000 times this morning alone).

Bennett is enjoying family game time so much he's been choosing games with Jon and I after Ainsleigh is in bed over stories. It means making sure we read during the day, but I don't mind because it's fun to spend that special time with him.

What are your favorite games? What games do your kids love playing?

Friday, June 24, 2016

lucky find: the no-biggie bunch

I was helping B find books on army tanks at the library, and prying random titles out of Ainsleigh's hands as she tried to shove them in her book bag, when I noticed a book out of the corner of my eye on the bottom shelf. I crouched down and pulled it from the stack.

It was like finding gold.

I don't know why I haven't tried to find books on food allergies before. I guess it hadn't occurred to me .... ? We currently have three no-biggie bunch books checked out from the library. I think we'll eventually own the series. It's so nice for Bennett to read books about kids who have food allergies and need to bring special food with them everywhere.

Now in the book each child has one food allergy, and Bennett has many, but he can still relate! The books have provided many jumping off points for conversations about his allergies and how he feels about them.


To buy directly go HERE

I'm not being asked to promote these books, I just really like them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

monkey moon and other picture book favorites

When we walk in the library everyone at the front desk cringes. I have to bring the stroller just to get all of our selves and books in the door. I bring two huge bags my mom found on clearance at Target when B was in the NICU and we were desperate for clothes and something to store them in. Blue for me, white for the kids. Then we stuff them full of as many books as they can hold, and sometimes more. I've been known to leave the library with two bags full, the stroller top stacked high, and the kids arms full of precarious stacks.

I had to open up a library account for B because we kept maxing out my card. With a 100 book limit we haven't had any problems, but Ainsleigh doesn't have a card yet, so there's the option to stretch our limit to 150 titles if we really get crazy. I'm already trying to figure out how we'll manage when it no longer makes sense to bring a stroller. Everyone brings their own rolling suitcase? Or wagon? Or laundry basket?

On our last library trip I managed to navigate the two bags, two children, two library cards circus without completely embarrassing myself or exasperating the staff, which was a nice change from the usual disastrous check out routine. I've asked the staff to build a corral area with lockable gate around each checkout station, but they haven't complied yet. Perhaps they could just create a small children check out booth that locks. That would be VERY helpful. I'll take carry out service as well. That would greatly improve my library experience. Imagine the possibilities if I was allowed a staff member and rolling cart on every library trip!

Out of the heaps and piles of books we own and borrow here are the ones the kids love/can't get enough of/return to again and again (this week):

We have all five bear and mouse books. I love them, Jon loves them, the kids love them. They're funny, heartwarming, and have a gentle lesson about friendship included in each one. They're great for read aloud, especially with one person reading Bear's lines while another tackles Mouse's. I relate to Bear in many ways. Read the books and you'll see why.

We discovered this treasure at the library last week. We are all besotted. I love that the story focuses on a father and son going on an after dark adventure to find a beloved stuffed animal. There's some tension and a little bit of worry as Michael searches and searches for his Monkey Moon, but the book isn't scary. And the author presents the search as an adventurous journey which makes the finding of Monkey Moon all the more exciting. I think a big part of my love for this book is how sweet my daughter sounds when she says, "Monkey Moon?" as we read the book.

The content in this book is excellent. Most of it is beyond the kids, but reading through it and solving the math myself exposes them to numbers and math in a fun way. It covers everything from basic counting to division with some shapes thrown in at the end. I love the illustrations as well.

I need to buy a copy of this book. We check it out from the library regularly. I love the story, the illustrations, and the sweetness of this book.

I just discovered the Crinkleroot series. I love it! Easy for kids to understand, with solid facts and interesting information. The kids are really into identifying birds and trees right now so these are great to have on hand. The bird guide is currently overdue at the library. We need to give it back and buy a copy!

What picture books are you enjoying with your little ones right now?

Friday, June 10, 2016

so your toddler is obsessed with construction vehicles

While Bennett has moved from construction vehicle love to army tanks and war weapons love (seriously) I remember those days well.

I was reading one of our books on construction to Ainsleigh the other night before bed. Shortly after settling her in for the night I saw an advertisement for our city's public works day. And I immediately wanted to tell all moms of toddlers to check if their city has a public works day because it's a great hands on learning experience for kids.

Back when Bennett was obsessed with construction trucks I took him to the public works day. He hated it and refused to go on any of the trucks and was generally miserable, but the rest of the kids looked like they were having a good time! Perhaps we'll attempt it again this year.

If going to a local public works day, sitting in the vehicles, and honking the horn isn't enough for your kiddo here's a list of our favorite construction books. I scoured the library for books on the subject when Bennett was 2 so I feel like an expert. (If you need recommendations for books about battle tanks I am now well versed on that subject as well - just ask!).

We play this a lot. When B received the game as a gift for his second birthday we played with a handful of cards. He can now handle playing with the full set of cards. His memory is way better than mine!

Our copies of these books are WORN out

Forklifts: Machines at Work

We checked this book out from the library so many times I hoped they would give it to us. Wouldn't it be fun if that's how the library worked! If you check out an item ten times it's yours! I guess that's not a very good business model ...

Tip Tip Dig Dig 

I'll never forget Bennett listening to this book during story time at the library. His eyes widened, he sat forward, and when the reading was over he said, "let's get that one!" He LOVED this title.

Ainsleigh enjoys the Dig Dog Digs set we have, mostly because she likes looking at the kitty on every page, but her main love right now is Sesame Street. Next week I'm going to take her to the big city all by myself to see Sesame Street Live. Just thinking about doing that by myself is giving me an anxiety attack so I'm choosing not to think about it. As for Bennett and his tank love I'm doing my best to get us access to an Army base in Washington so we can visit the tank museum there. WHY put the museum on the base?! It makes access nearly impossible! So what I have to look forward to in the next few weeks is a terrifying solo parent trip into the city with my girl and a background check from Homeland Security. The things I do for my babies! 


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