Monthly Archives: August 2016


A Dollar General just opened up down the street from my house, and I could not be more excited.  For the last couple of months, every time I drove past, I would note the progress of the construction.  The store finally opened up, so I stopped by just to take a look around. While looking around I found a card game made by Crayola called Same or Different.  The game looked interesting so I bought it for Kora. As soon as we got home Kora wanted to play her new game.  She was so excited!

 

The game is very simple – pick a card and then find what is the same on the card and what is different.  Each card had 6 objects on one side and then either numbers or shapes on the other side.

For this first time playing, I only focused on having Kora find what was the same on the card she drew.  Each time she picked a new card I would ask her, “What is the same?”  She would study over the card for a brief second and then point out the objects that were the same.

 

There are a variety of ways that the pictures could be the same.  The pictures could be of the same object, color, size, number, direction, or type.  So it was interesting to me to watch what she picked as being the same. Most of the time the objects she picked as the same were the same color.  But sometimes she picked out objects with different colors.  On one card, there were three apples – one red and two yellow.  Kora picked the red and yellow as being the same.

 

One card had six number fours on it.  Kora picked it up and as she pointed to each 4 she said, “Dat a four.”


I think Kora picked up and looked at every card in the deck.  She liked looking at all the colorful pictures.

 

I’m so glad that I found this deck of cards! Not only are we practicing same and different, we are practicing numbers, shapes, and colors.  I can also use these cards to help Kora notice differences in the sizes of the objects.  I honestly wasn’t aware that Crayola made card games like this one, but I’m sure glad they do.  I may have to do some online searching to see what other games they make.

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There are so many fun experiments that can be done with baking soda, vinegar, or a combination of the two, but probably the most popular experiment is the model volcano. When I taught third grade I had my students do this experiment and they loved it! Some of my students were still talking about those volcanoes when they were in the 5th grade!

Making a volcano erupt is so simple it’s ridiculous! It’s also very cheap.  The two main ingredients are household products that can be found in most homes.  You can use play-doh (or make a salt dough) to form the actual volcano.  Like I said, easy!

I wasn’t sure if Kora even knew what a volcano was so I decided to use a small, plastic volcano toy to better illustrate the landform.

We filled a coke bottle cap with baking soda and then Kora placed the volcano over the cap.

The lava needs to be red so we added a little food coloring to the vinegar. Kora then used an eye dropper to squeeze the vinegar onto the baking soda.



Using the eye dropper was a bit of a challenge for Kora. Actually, it was quite a big challenge. She wanted to do it all by herself (shocking!), but for some reason the vinegar wasn’t being sucked into the eye dropper as Kora waved it around in the red liquid (another shocker!).  She followed my instructions as I walked her through the steps. I made the mistake of using the wrong wording in one of my steps – I wanted her to unsqueeze the bulb of the eye dropper, but I told her to “let go” instead.  She did what she was told – she let go of the entire eye dropper! Oops!

 

Kora enjoyed watching the volcano erupt, but she really had more fun just squeezing the red vinegar out of the eye dropper.  After several eruptions, there was no longer enough baking soda to create a big enough reaction for lava to flow out of the volcano. At this point I just removed the volcano and let Kora squeeze vinegar onto the remaining baking soda.  She liked watching and listening to the bubbles that formed.


Volcano Eruptions is a great experiment for kids of all ages. It’s a super simple activity with only a couple of household ingredients.  While it is not something that you would do on a regular basis, it is a fun occasional activity.  If you haven’t done so recently, bust out the baking soda and vinegar and build yourself a volcano!



I love the sound of dominoes being shuffled – it takes me back to my childhood.  Thinking back to when I was a kid, it seems like someone was always playing dominoes. Well, not the true game of dominoes, but the game of 42.  I fell in love with dominoes when I discovered the game Mexican Train.  I quickly invested in a set of Double Twelves and my friends and I played all the time.  Finding the time (and energy) to play Mexican Train now that I have kids is a little more difficult, so it’s been a while since I’ve played.  Not wanting Kora to miss out on the joy or sound of dominoes I decided to pull out my Double Twelves and let her do her thing.


Originally I thought it would be fun to show her how to set up the dominoes in a line and then knock them down.  It didn’t take me long to realize that this was just not going to happen.  She would set up a few dominoes and then just knock them all down with one big swipe of her hand!  I may have to set up all the dominoes one day when she’s taking a nap and let her watch them fall when she wakes up.  I think she’d really enjoy watching the domino effect!


We built towers and then she would knock the towers down. She loved knocking down the towers best.  She thought it was funny to knock them down with her feet.


Kora had so much fun playing with the dominoes that she felt the need to include her baby sister!  She kept trying to force Lila to hold one of the dominoes, but finally gave up and just left the domino on Lila’s tummy!

Then Kora discovered that she could make A LOT of noise by using two dominoes like cymbals!  She was so excited by the sound that she ran over to me so I could hear her music better! As if I couldn’t hear her from three feet away!

The dominoes kept Kora entertained forever!  I stopped and made lunch and Kora continued to play.  She pushed them around the floor.  She stood on them and skated around the room!  She used them as props while playing with her animals.  She played and played and played!

If you need your child to be easily entertained and don’t mind stepping on an occasional domino, you should have a Domino Day.  Get out the dominoes and let them play!



If you use Pampers products I recommend using their online Rewards Program. You enter the codes found on the products and earn points. Then you can use your points and pick your reward. I have been entering my codes and finally decided to cash them in. I browsed through the rewards and chose an alphabet peg puzzle by Melissa and Doug (I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love their products!)
This is one of those things that Kora and I both love but for different reasons. Sometimes I think she likes Kora likes it just because there are a lot of pieces she can spread all over the place! I love it because it is really helping her learn her letters. 
Once she has dumped all the letters out onto the table, Kora starts trying to put all the letters back in their place.


As she identifies and places the peg letters, I’m making mental notes. Some letters she knows better than others, like the letter S. I think that’s one of her favorite letters. 


Some letters she correctly identifies if I orient it for her. She picked up a sideways letter I and called it an H until I turned the correct way. 


There are letters, like the letter Y, that Kora knows where it belongs on the board, but can’t verbally name. 
Today she actually surprised me when placing the letter X. She first tried to place it in the letter B’s spot but she was just being silly! When she placed it in the correct spot she said “x-ray,”. I knew she knew the letter, but it just kinda shocked me that she remembered “x-ray,” as its not the most common picture in the puzzle. It just amazes me how her brain is a little sponge absorbing everything around her! 


Kora struggled with the letters L and J today. She kept trying to put the J where the letter L belongs. We’ll have to keep practicing these letters. 


Our Alphabet Puzzle is a fun way to practice the letters and sounds of the alphabet as well as identifying words that start with each letter. It’s also a great fine motor exercise – using fingers to pick up the peg pieces and manipulate them into the correct position. Now I just need to find one with lowercase letters. 



Today has been one of those days when it rains on and off all day. After being cooped up most of the day, Kora had a lot of energy and needed to get outside and run around! We waited for a break in the rain and then we went outside to blow bubbles.
Who doesn’t love bubbles?!? I’ve never met a kid who didn’t absolutely love blowing/popping bubbles. My sweet and fiercely independent child would much rather be in control and blow the bubbles than pop them.

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Kora loves dipping and waving her bubble wand around so much that it really doesn’t matter if it produces any bubbles!


When she actually makes a bubble, she gets super excited.

Most of the time she just waved her wand around but occasionally she actually tried to blow the bubbles.

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Unfortunately, it started raining again and forced us inside again. Blowing Bubbles is one of those activities that can keep Kora occupied for a while and today we didn’t get to play as long as we wanted. Fortunately, bubbles never go out of style and we can (and will) play another day!


Kora loves playing with her animal toys and she also loves playing in the water. I decided to combine the two activities today and let her give her animals a bubble bath!
We gathered up some of her animal toys, the bubble bath, some sponges, and a rectangular storage tub and headed outside. I filled the tub with soapy water and let Kora have at it. 

The cow was the first to get a bath. Kora was really going to town scrubbing the cow trying to get it clean. Then I realized that she wasn’t using the sponge to get dirt off, she was just trying to get all the bubbles off!



Once an animal was bubble free, Kora would set the toy on the ground beside her. Several animals got a bath before she realized that the water from the sponge was dripping on her. That’s when she decided she wanted to get in and take a bath too. Kora took off her shoes, threw the cleaned toys back in, and crawled in the tub!


 She had more fun sitting in that little tub than I would have imagined. Animal Bubble Bath turned into Swimming with Dolphins!  

 At one point while Kora was playing, she hopped out to come show me the cow. As she was walking over to me she realized that she was making footprints on the concrete. Here she is trying to check out her prints!

Lila wasn’t very interested in watching Big Sister today, but it won’t be too long before she’s ready to be in on the action!

Animal Bubble Bath turned out to be practically the same thing as bath time except in a smaller tub and outside with clothes on! And Kora loved every second of it! An activity that my child loves that leaves her clean instead of dirty? I’ll take it!!! 

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It’s official. We jumped on the Pokemon bandwagon! I’ve always enjoyed geocaching, and it seems like playing Pokemon Go is similar so we gave it a try. 
My parents and I took my girls over to my brother’s house for dinner one night. As we waited for dinner, my nephew Kaden asked Nannie to take him to find Pokemon. This boy is all into it and knows way more than any four year old should ever know about Pokemon. If Kaden was going hunting, you could bet his little brother Finn would be right behind him. 
Kora didn’t know anything about what we were going to do but she wanted to go with her cousins! My mom and I and three little ones set out in search of Pokemon. Kaden had his dad’s phone, Kora had mine, and Finn had Nannie’s. We had to borrow Papa’s phone (who was staying back with a sleeping Lila) so we could take a few pictures!
With our Pokemon app open and detecting a nearby Pokemon we were off!  

Kaden’s boots must be made for walking because he was much faster than the other two kids. He stopped to let the younger kids catch up but that made Kora stop too!

When Finn caught up to Kora (she let him catch all the way up!), she started walking again to catch up to Kaden.  

We had almost made the block before siting a Pokemon! I managed to get a picture of it before Kora caught it but I failed to capture Kora’s celebratory dance!

Although Kora doesn’t understand what we’re doing, she had a great time with her cousins. Hunting Pokemon with the Pokemon Go app is really a lot of fun and is not just for Pokemon fans. You don’t have to know anything about Pokemon to enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of the find! Kora and I sure had fun and I bet you will too!