Sunday, March 31, 2013

Balloon Twisting

This Easter long weekend has turned out to be very enjoyable for everybody. We took Aaron and Adrian to to the Festival of Sails on Friday. This was a sort of carnival that coincides with the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. There were countless market stalls there and plenty of activities and rides for the children. On top of all that, it was held by the beach!

I thought the beach would have been the winner but surprisingly, it was this balloon twisting station that caught Aaron's attention. This man was incredible. He could make anything that the children asked for - ninja turtles, butterflies, something called 'Yoshi', anything. Best of all, the council must have paid this guy because we didn't need to pay for any of it. 

Aaron asked for a ninja. 

Three year olds are sometimes hard to please. Adrian asked for a knight's sword and the guy must have thought it was too easy so he decided he'd make this huge one. Size isn't everything and Adrian was not impressed with this huge sword. He couldn't wield it and there was no convincing him that it was easier to fight dragons from a distance. In the end, we had to dismantle it (out of sight of the balloon guy) and he waved the hilt around instead. 

 Aaron was more than happy with his ninja and wanted to participate in the 60 minute workshop on how to twist your own balloons.

Look what he made. The other little boy is one of Aaron's classmates. Richard (seen in the red cap above) was on hand to help the kids out but they did a lot of the work themselves. Aaron even made that yellow sword for Adrian - a very suitably sized one!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Night Time Break In By Two Year Old

Have you all seen this video yet? Its so funny! And, the parents picked a great piece of accompanying music too, In the Hall of the Mountain  King by Grieg.

Adrian has been a bit of a night time 'thief' too although nothing as skilled as that two year old in the video. There are no break ins at our house since we sleep with the doors open but we often wake up to some re-arrangements of pillows or soft toys from one bed to another and its all thanks to him.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I've Had Enough of Half Sized Finger Nails

Aaron has the horrible habit of chewing his nails. It all started when he got the hand, foot, mouth disease nearly three years ago. I have tried sticking bits of tape on his nails, gloves and also the bitter nail polish that is non toxic. In fact, he even chewed his toe nails. Can you imagine that?? That was thankfully short lived. Phew!

I remember that I chewed my nails when I was his age too. Each time that I saw the white bit growing, I had to bite, and tear. It hurt and often bled but I don't remember my mother nagging me to stop but I grew out of the habit by the time I was around ten. Unfortunately, I have no idea how I kicked that habit.

There is a two week break coming up and I think I need to take some drastic action here. I can't wait for Aaron to grow out of it on his own because he might not. There are many ideas out there but many are geared towards adults that have little more will power. So far, I have three new ideas.

1) I put some colored nail polish on his nails. Supposedly this works with girls because they want to keep it looking nice. BUT, he might end up eating a lot of toxic paint.

2) I file some fake nails down and stick them on him. These are completely new to me and I have no idea how it works so, I'd need to do some experimenting here.

3) This is my most drastic strategy. We grow chillis in the garden and maybe I should rub a bit on all his finger tips. It will feel hot for a long time and he'll definitely not want to taste it more than once. The big downside here is that he may rub his eyes. So, this is probably an idea the I shouldn't carry out....even if I think its the most effective. 

So, are there any nail biters out there with some useful tips for children?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Whats blogging again?

Yes, I have become a slack blogger. On the upside, I think I've been a more hard working mother this term. The blogging ideas always come when I'm driving but by the time I sit down at 9pm, they are either forgotten or I'm completely drained of all my will power to do anything more than passive internet surfing. If its going to be chore, then I might as well skip it right?

Adrian turned three in December so he has grown out of the little Montessori class that we both attended together previously. He is old enough to join the first of the pre-school classes but I don't think thats for us yet. I'd like another year with him before I lose him to all his little school friends.

Each morning, after we drop Aaron to school, I aim to make our house into a mini pre-school.

We do a practical life skills, like folding the laundry.

Practice with numbers and using a pencil. Here he is measuring his bugs and 'writing' down the measurement on some dotted numbers.

I sometimes do the counting with his Hot Wheels cars but he's here with the abacus.

He seems to like these alphabets that I've made and he's finally able to spell his own name and some three letter words. I found that having him practice the sounds this way has helped his reading quite a bit.

So, thats what my mornings are usually like. By the time he's ready for his nap, I am too!

After dinner, the evenings are similar to this except that I try to focus a little more on Aaron. There is no bribing or coersion here and we end up having an enjoyable time. Many of the activities I plan are like games so they think its fun.

All that 'educational' play, driving around for school and other stuff, cooking and cleaning has me drained (and lazy) by the end of each day.  Thats why blogging has suffered. However, after a relatively laid back day like today, I feel motivated to try to get into at least alternate day blogging this week. We'll see how I go...