Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dress-up Box

Zilla is 3 years old
Miss Mega is 11 months old

A couple of weeks ago Miss Mega came across some old head scarves while I was cleaning.  She took to them right away and started signing "hat".  About the same time Zilla got a new pair of shoes so "shoe" was her next sign.  She signs it so fast though that I have yet to catch it on video.
This in the kitchen.  I put magnets on the back of a plastic mirror and stuck it on the fridge at Miss Mega's height.  This way she can see what she looks like with the hat on.

 A couple of days later we got out the dress-up box from the closet.  It is filled with old items from our closet which the kids can use for play.  Most of the hats in the box come from Ikea.
Miss Mega the Native American Princess doctor 

Miss Mega the lost Viking Queen 

Here is our dress-up box.  I have about 14 boxes this size in the closet.  About half of them have labels so far.  The label is an index card with the name of the items which go in the box as well as a drawing or stickers showing what goes in the box.  This allows everyone to know where things go as well as promotes reading... and helps to keep the closet clean!

This boy is busy!  He has races to run, traffic to direct and shopping to do. 

With a plastic mirror set up on the toddler table we have the perfect space for all the costume changes.  It was so nice to see these two playing peacefully side-by-side!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kid-o-KID キドキド Part 2

When summer gets hot (or winter gets cold) there are some indoor places we go to when the kids are bursting with energy.  One of them is Kid-o-Kid.  I wrote about it before here.  This visit we went with 2 kids, a three year old and an almost 1 year old.  The variety in activities was once again a good fit.  Also, with the day passport we were able to play for a while, go out for lunch and return from some more play time before heading home at nap time.
The boys worked hard to create a car.

The ball pit and climbing implement is where we spent most of our time.  

Zilla had some fun rolling around.
Mega enjoyed the baby space but she really prefers to play near/with her big brother.

The roll play and fine work corner

Racing and jumping on the huge air mat - Mega actually moved about the easiest. We figure it is a combo of being light weight and generally used to be off balance.

Ideas and instructions on how to use the equipment.

This is the house that Zilla built. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Keeping Busy

Mega is 11 months old.
Zilla is 3 years 9 months old.

Recently I've had a few conversation about keeping the kids busy so they stay out of trouble.  It seems that once the heat/humidity hit we spend more time in a smaller space as we only cool one room in our home at a time.  The same thing happens in winter when only one room is heated.
Here are some of the things the kids have been doing in the kitchen/dining room recently:

 Mega has been working in her home office.  
The old keyboard and phone come out of the closet about once a month and the kids both love to role play using them.

We have had some early morning art sessions.   Since the sun is up by 5 AM and the kids are often up by 6 AM this early morning time can be put to good use - even if we, the parents, aren't very awake yet!

 Here is Mega's section of the kitchen activity shelf.  It has been tough for me to make space for her as we don't have much space to begin with.  Once her area was set up though it became much easier for me to get things done in the kitchen as she is now able to entertain herself.
The top shelf has a ring stacker, airplane, duck on wheels and a wobbly duck which makes a chime noise.  On the middle shelf has a ball basket, cloth basket and paper basket.  On the bottom shelf there are some books, a pot, an area rug and a basket with a stacking toy.

One of my recent discoveries is that clothes pins hooked to the curtain rail make a great place to dry painted pictures!

Zilla is loving his Kumon Workbook "My First Book of Cutting". 

The cutting book also creates the chance to use the tape which Zilla also loves to do!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crinkly Fun

Babes love noise, texture and challenges.  Here is an activity with plastic-like origami paper in an old tissue box.  This is something which Miss Mega essentially created on her own from items we have within her reach.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tables for 2

We have a kid sized table in the kitchen but once Miss Mega started sitting on at the table to work Zilla migrated to the dinning table.  He prefers not to be interrupted while working.  He still uses the kids table to play when he wants his sister to play along.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First Abacus

Since turning 3 Zilla has been very interested in numbers.  He counts most anything in every language he knows.  I came across this abacus from Gakken a while back but have hesitated to put it out for him.  To be honest I really don't know how to use the thing.  EEKS!  The guide is all in Japanese so I am only getting the gist of what it says but so far Zilla doesn't seem to notice.  
Behind the beads are a few cards which can be changed for various activities.  In this picture he is doing an adding exercise.  There is also a set of flashcards for practicing counting. 
I never really learned how to use an abacus properly so I'm looking forward to looking up things online when I have some time.  It will be interesting to learn a new thing along with Zilla for a change!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Need some help there?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Signing at 11 Months...

I can't believe she's already so old...
This is a post from my Signing Way blog which I want to share here too.  I hope it will inspire others to try signing with their little ones.  It makes our lives so much easier!

Today I had the chance to catch some of Miss Mega's signing. She has started to consistently sign to communicate. So far she uses:
☆wash hands手荒い☆brush teeth歯磨き☆all done終わり☆moreもっと☆dogいぬ☆ballボール☆point指差し☆bye-bye☆water水☆eat食べる☆crackerせんべい☆bananaバナナ☆night-nightねね☆babyベビー☆

The following are 3 short video clips which show how she is signing.
With daddy:

Signing Ball:

Signing at Home...