Monday, December 9, 2013

'Tis The Season!

I know it has been forever since I have updated here. I apologize for that!
With the wedding over with and the holidays in full swing I have still been feeling rather lazy. I haven't felt up to setting up our activities like I should be. It makes me feel like a bit of a failure, but such is life I suppose. I choose to call it an end of the year break. Once the new year begins it will be back to business though!
Anyway, we started The Elf on The Shelf tradition this year. I was so excited when our Elfie came in the mail! After reading Gage the story and taking extra care to explain to him that the elf could lose his magic if touched, I asked him if he would be excited if an elf were to show up at our house. He was definitely excited by the thought of an elf visiting.
Our elf first made his appearance a week ago today, I went through the process of asking Gage what he wanted to name him. He wanted to call him Elf I was able to talk him into Elfie instead. For his first appearance it was nothing special, he arrived on our dining room table with a little note for Gage about naming him and reminding him that he tells Santa about how his days go and to remember to be a nice boy.
At the end of the day on day one I had set up our train around the tree for the boys. This was of course extremely exciting for them. So for day 2 of Elfie being with us he showed up on the train I had set up the night before. Let me just say Gage got such a kick out of this!

 (Elfie's train ride)

Day 3 we woke up to find Elfie was playing Lego chess with Yoda.
Day 4 Elfie had managed to zip line across the entrance to our bedroom.
"Wrecking Ball" is a little joke between our roommate and myself so I of course couldn't resist recreating the meme circulating Facebook right now!
This morning when we woke up we found Elfie was tucked nicely away in Gage's stocking.

These are what our elf has gotten into so far and I am looking forward to continuing this on until Christmas Eve.
Gage turns four tomorrow so I have quite the exciting idea planned for Elfie. I really hope he gets excited!
This is our first year with this tradition, how long have you been doing Elf on the Shelf? What idea suggestions do you have for our Elfie? How old is/was your LO when you first started it and do they get excited by it?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Favorite App Friday

It's finally here! FRIDAY!
Friday means it is time for Favorite App Friday. This is something that I will be making a weekly thing and I am even going to try to get some other mommy blogger's in on the fun. Fingers crossed that goes well!
As much as I hate to admit it, technology plays a HUGE roll in our lives around here. We have smart phones, iPods, iPads and game systems. We limit how much time Gage is allowed to be on the devices of course and he is limited to educational games and apps only. He doesn't fight us on that because he LOVES learning. Favorite App Friday is all about our electronic educational journeys!
The majority of the apps that I will discuss will be free. There are a few that I have paid for though and I will try and showcase the ones that are on the cheaper end. I am not a huge fan of paying outrageous amounts of money for learning apps that may or may not catch Gage's attention.
For our very first post I will be going over the app:
Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers

This app cost us $2.99 and let me tell you it is worth every penny. Gage loves watching Team UmiZoomi on TV and getting to interact with Millie, Geo, and Bot on this app gets him excited to learn math!
With my absolute hatred of math I am extremely open to anything that gets him excited to learn it! There are so many games to play dealing with different sorts of math. You can also buy an expansion pack to add more games if you'd like. I don't remember how much the add on is because we haven't yet purchased it but I plan to in the near future.
Now you'll have to excuse my terrible photos! I did my best.
This app deals with so many aspects of learning numbers and math. It deals in number recognition:

 You have to pop ONLY the bubbles with the number matching the one on Bot's tummy.
At first Gage didn't quite understand this and just wanted to pop every bubble on the screen but as he gradually picked up number recognition he has gotten much better. This is definitely an early stage recognition game.

(Sorry these pictures are upside down)
The race through Umi City game is a harder number recognition game. Bot will tell you which number you have to go under and you have to swipe UmiCar to the right lane.
Another game on the app, Toy Parade, deals with numerical order. You have to place the toys in the correct order before the parade can begin. This is one of Gage's favorite games on the app.

 On the more advance end, there is a game that deals in addition and subtraction. This is definitely my favorite game on the app because it is pushing Gage to go farther than what he has learned so far. I have slowly but surely been weaning him into addition and subtraction, he now walks around the house saying "OK mommy how many are left" or "If we take away this many what's left?"

As far as learning apps that we have tried go, this one is by far our favorite. Gage and I both love it and have an awesome time playing it together.
Does your little one have a favorite learning app? If so leave it in the comments below and if we haven't already we will give it a try.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I love October!

We had quite the week around here!
On Monday, Dennis came over to join the boys in play! Since fall, well mostly October is my favorite time of year I decided we would paint some pumpkins.
As you can tell, I couldn't find my masking tape so I used duct tape to make the boys' initials.
 I am extremely new to using paints other than finger paints with the boys so I made a bit of an uh oh here. I used tempera paint to have them paint there pumpkins. While they all had an absolute blast painting there pumpkins, as they were drying, the paint was flaking. I did however use a purple acrylic paint as well and the purple held without flaking so only parts of them flaked off. 

 These were our end results.

 Sticking with our pumpkin theme I printed up some Pp sheets and the boys used stickers to decorate the P's.

 Even our snack was pumpkin related! They decorated there own cookies and of course gobbled them up as fast as possible.

 We also made masking tape mummy's this week! Everyone got in on this one even K.

Since it has been a while since I've done a DIY like this one I tried my hand at making some wonder dough. You can see this one in full here:
I have to say that Growing A Jeweled Rose is my favorite as far as activity ideas for the littles! She is always posting so many awesome ideas!

 The boys loved it. They rolled it and squished it and described what they felt. The only downside to this is that I probably used way to much paint as it dyed all of our hands. Luckily it washed right out though!

 On Thursday night we had a pumpkin carving party!
 The boys are not really fans of strange feeling things. Gage reluctantly helped gut his pumpkin.
 X and R each stuck their hands in once but were instantly over it.

 Needless to say our pumpkin party turned into adults doing all the work while the kids ran wild in the backyard!
Check out our end results though! Not bad in my opinion!
This Friday I will be starting something new on my blog. I will be posting one of our favorite apps a week. Favorite App Friday! I will go over why we love each app as well as what benefits it has.
Does your child have a favorite app on the iPad/iPhone etc.? Let me know what it is below so I can check it out!