Saturday, December 17, 2016

These 4D Magnetic Blocks encouraged a new level of creativity #review

I have many types of blocks in my home for the daycare children, from Mega blocks and Duplo, to the cardboard brick type, wooden blocks, bristle blocks, and even foam blocks. But recently we tried out a set of 4D magnetic blocks that look like tiles and come in different geometrical shapes. I gave each child a turn alone with the blocks so that I could see their reaction, and individual ideas.                                                                                                                              

I was happy to see each child really delve into creating something unique, not just the basic towers, vehicles, or weapons they normally build. Each child paid a lot of attention to the many different shapes included, and they also noticed that the colors looked like jewels, which gave them the ideas to make snowflakes, stars and crowns also. 

As a group, the children really got creative, because they had to build upon each others ideas, and work together.  The magnetic aspect is my favorite part. We work with magnets during our science explorations so the kiddos are used to how they work, and the many ways you can manipulate things differently when they are magnetic. 

You can get your own set of 4D Magnetic Blocks HERE 

I was provided the set of blocks to try out, but my opinions here are my own.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Estate Sale finds: Bamboo poles equal extreme backyard fun

We have gotten some amazing things at estate sales. Recently my Jeff picked up a pile of bamboo poles, with the intention of using them decoratively once we purchase and move to our forever home.
Well a week ago, we had 2 of the granddaughters, and right before we were taking them to meet up with their mom and dad, I sent them to the backyard with their Grandpa so that I could finish getting their belongings together. When I was finished, I grabbed my phone to go get some pictures of them playing, as I could hear them squealing and yelling back and forth.

Here is the scene:

Now, let me just make one thing very clear...this is not okay with me. I am the one that will say, don't run with whatever, you could hurt yourself or someone else.  And all of the many other overprotective, cautious things a person says to children to hopefully prevent them from getting hurt. Everyone that knows me, KNOWS I am overly, and irritatingly, safe when it comes to children.  That being said, my Jeff and the girls were having a blast. I was a wreck, but as I took pictures, I continuously spouted out my words of caution, to no avail. They were in their own world. A world where they had to plan every move, to get to him, or to keep away from him. The playsets became castles where they could run and hide and attack from behind them. 

Then Grandpa decided to take it up a notch while I was inside getting the girls some water...

And though I felt the need to say over and over again, "please watch out, run girls run, be careful, you better not get that too close to them, anyone want a snack, Grandma has candy" they were all careful, they kept good distances, used common sense AND the bamboo poles were heavier than I thought, so all of their moves were actually in slow motion, including when he literally shot one as if it were an arrow, and though it did fly, it promptly dropped to the ground. So no need to call Social Services, the granddaughters have a memory they will never forget, their Grandpa got to be completely silly and evil at the same time, and this Grandma is very happy that I took the pictures that will forever remind them of their little adventure. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Organic Baby Body Wash by Era Organics #review

There are so many baby products out there, but you always worry that it might not be safe for your precious little one. My now adult children, both had contact dermatitis, so I could not try new things at all with them. Once we found something that did not cause a rash or irritation, we stuck with that. Thank God they both outgrew it. But now I see my daughter go through the struggle of what is or is not okay for her children. I sent her the link to the era organics honeybuns baby body wash on Amazon and showed her the ingredient list as well as the list of what it DOES NOT have:

She liked what she saw and wanted to try it with our fifteen month old granddaughter, Dallyse.  Apparently it worked great, did not cause any type of rash, or irritation. My daughter was happy with it and felt comfortable using it again and again. Here you can see how happy our Dallyse is after having it used on her...

And you can purchase yours here: era organics honeybuns baby body wash

Disclosure: I was provided a discount to purchase and use this, but all opinions are my own. 

Making memories with the Grandchildren

I definitely try to make it a priority to have special time with the grandchildren. Though it is difficult sometimes with the oldest two having every other weekend visitation with their mom, and the youngest two are not ready for overnight stays. So that leaves Audryna and Lexcyee, the 6 and 1/2 year old and the almost 5 year old. I honestly cannot believe they are that old. So with the Thanksgiving holiday, and me having a super long weekend, I asked the girls to come stay for the weekend. They immediately started in with "let's play this" and "let's get this out" based on other sleepovers we have had. I always make sure to have them help me, to talk with them about memories of their Mommy and their Uncle Chachi when they were their age. I remind them of things we did together when they were younger, and I show them pictures and videos from other visits.

Our newest "thing" is journaling. I started it for my in home childcare kiddos, and wanted to include the grandchildren as well. So each time they stay, or even if they are just visiting with their family, I ask if they want to pull out their journals and draw or write something in them. They use markers, colored pencils, crayons, stampers and stickers to express themselves. I put the date on the pages they did, and we put them back in the writing center.

Something that has become a staple for them is eating oatmeal before its time to get ready to lay down. Mainly because I worry that they have not eaten enough healthy food while we have played, so I know the oatmeal will cover them. Then it is time for brushing teeth, washing hands and faces, and pulling out and setting up their cots so we can choose something to watch together before they go to sleep.

The next morning they have both noticed different things they have not seen before. Because I run an in home childcare, I have manipulatives, toys, games, and everything in between stuck in every nook and cranny. So we start pulling things out...this goes on all day.




These are just a few of the things they did, and I can tell you, by the time we dropped them off with their parents on Sunday afternoon...I was beyond tired.  But I would not trade this time for anything in the world.