Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simple Drawings

Miss Daisy really like to draw. Usually she'll sit with her textas, pencils or crayons and scrawl happily on her own. However, she also has a real passion for instructing others! Quite often I'll set her up with paper and pencils and she'll almost immediately request "cat" "cow" or sometimes "house".

"Cat" is her primary request so I decided to attempt to make my terrible drawings into something a little stimulating for Miss Daisy.

Now if she requests a cat I ask her to tell me what to draw. First come the 'biskers' then the 'face' then he usually gets a 'tail' followed by all the other important bits!

We've extended this more lately to include Miss Daisy coloring certain areas of a picture as instructed and using particular colours. ie. "Colour the door red" "Colour the roof blue" etc

Note the grass on the ground in front of the cow as instructed. Then she added the green to his mouth and said, "eat grass".

Have you turned something simple into a lesson?

It's nice to create fun learning experiences without our children even knowing!

On a side note:
This is how Miss Daisy has been spending her days at 'the farm'

And at home while Mummy packs and stacks boxes!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Handmade Bean Bag Toss Game

I've packed up most of my fabrics safe and snug in tubs ready to head to our new home. (We move in 13 days!)

Whilst I was packing I found some fabrics I'd set aside to make an I Spy lap quilt that hadn't eventuated yet! I couldn't resist using them for something (knowing the lap quilt was still a way off) so I decided to make a little bean bag game for Miss Daisy.

These were really simple to make and you could probably hand sew them if you didn't have a machine.

Here's what I did:

1. Cut out your desired amount of squares and iron flat. (I did 13 because that was the amount of fabrics I had in the I Spy pile!) :)

2. Fold in half to create a triangle with right sides facing each other. Sew around with a 1/4 inch seam leaving approximately a 1 inch opening.

3. Turn inside out and tuck in any excess fabric from opening. Iron flat.
4. Using a funnel fill the pouch 3/4 full of rice (we used up some we had from our Rice Play)

5. Sew your opening closed. I would usually hand stitch to create a neat and 'invisible' finish but wanted this to be strong (and quick to finish) so I top stitched with my machine.

6. Voila. You have yourself a set of bright fun filled bean bags.

7. The ideas for these are endless. Enjoy!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

My brother and father suffer from Meniers Disease, a disorder of the inner ear that affects balance and hearing to varying degrees. One thing that is reported to help is a low salt-intake diet, which both of them aim to adhere to. And their loving families with them!

It would benefit all of us to reduce our salt intake substantially from what it is with so many additives in pre-packaged foods. 

On Monday I made nachos as a bit of a treat! Yum! It's one of those comfort foods that I convince myself is good because I eat it with mountains of salad! (And sour cream!)

I decided to make my own taco seasoning to flavour the mince for nachos. Unfortunately I didn't have a few of the ingredients listed on recipes I found around the web so I made a little concoction of my own!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tsp chili powder (add or subtract according to your taste)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (optional - I didn't add any as my Dad was here for dinner)

Mix all spices/ingredients together in a bowl. Ensure it is well combined. Makes approximately 3 Tbs of Taco Seasoning powder.

I browned an onion and 500g premium mince. I added 1 can of drained/washed low salt red kidney beans. Then I added the Homemade Taco Seasoning, 3 Tbs reduced salt tomato paste and 3/4 cup water and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.

It thickened up nicely and tasted delicious. I will be using this from now on for tacos, nachos etc as it was tasty without any of the nasty additives!

What sort of staples do you make yourself? 
I'd love to put some more in my recipe book! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Move It And It Becomes New!

We're moving in 19 days!! Less actually, as 20 days is settlement date. We actually will move in 16 days! Argh!

So many exciting things happening for us this year and March will be a very busy month that's for sure!!

Whilst boxing up some of our 'unused' items ready for the move I decided to stack boxes in Miss Daisy's room and move her play table and chairs into the lounge room! Well, it has become a whole new world of fun! She's spending a few hours a day independently playing at her desk. Yes, I did just say independently!

She colours, plays shops, cooks, has picnics. It's adorable. And it's without me! I find it so hard not to go in and disturb her as I peak at the door and listen to her games and quiet chatter!

She has always liked the table but it seems having added it to 'her mat' which she's played on since she was a newborn has changed it's appeal, she knows that it's part of her space!

Have you thought about changing your child's room? Maybe you already do it regularly.
Do you rotate toys? Open birthday presents gradually throughout the year?

I'd love to know your ideas for keeping play new and interesting.