Preparing Patriotic Punch: A Knock-out with My Little Girl

“This is actually tasty,” my five year old exclaimed as she twiddled her straw slurping up some more of the beverage she helped to make.  With July 4th comes barbecues, spending time with family and friends, parades, fireworks, you name it! So I thought a fun project while celebrating America’s independence would be to prepare a patriotic drink (non-alcoholic of course) with my little girl.

After heading to my favorite go-to app, Pinterest, I came across several samples and decided to go with the drink containing, red punch, sprite, and a blue gatorade. Come to find out, it was actually like a science project because after filling the glass with ice, the different color beverages were able to sit on top of each other without blending because of the grams of sugar. Indeed, we would not regularly have a drink with that much sugar, but it was a nice treat and a great way to not only spend time with my daughter but to have her think critically questioning why the colors did not merge.

If you haven’t done anything like this, give it a try with your child(red). It’ll be a big hit, I’m sure!

All the best,

Tanya

Color Me Celery! Preschool Science Fun

“What’s your prediction? What do you think is going to happen?” I asked my five year old as she added the last piece of celery to the colored water. “Well,” she paused,”I think the celery might turn the same color as the water, but I’m not too sure about the yellow water though,” she informed me. About a year ago, I purchases a lab kit for my daughter, “Primary Science by Learning Resources. The first experiment we did was the volcano explosion. After that, she was hooked.

While she and I both love doing experiments and activities together, I wasn’t too sure about the celery one because it requires more patience in allowing the colored water to do its thing. To my surprise, Quinn was very patient. After leaving and returning to our project within a half hour, she even suggested to give it a day to see if the leaves change colors even more. Even though there were crumpled and a bit dried out on day two, my daughter was excited to find out that her prediction was correct, including the celery in the yellow water not having a noticeable change.

It was a great learning experience, and I love these projects because it requires her to follow instructions, sometimes count and use critical thinking, and I get to see the wheels turning as she takes the lead. However, celery has quite a distinct smell, and Quinn agreed that maybe next time we’ll use white flowers. Here’s to some summer time science fun!

All the best,

Tanya

The Most Colorful…Happiest…Kid-Friendly Bedroom Ever! Troll Style!!!

“You’re the best Mommy ever! My new bedroom is troll everything!” My daughter shrieked as she wrapped her arms around me with joy. Just a little over a month ago, Quinn turned five years old, and one of her wishes was for a big girl room. She bounced around some ideas for a while but eventually decided on a Trolls as her theme. When I asked her why to make sure it was what she really wanted, her response was that she loves the movie “Trolls” and wants a happy, colorful and fun space just like they have. I thought that was an awesome reason, and was eager to get to work.

We established the wall colors and accent items using Poppy as our inspiration: pink, aqua and sea green. After searching for the perfect twin bed to replace Quinn’s toddler bed, I found the perfect one fit for a princess at Target and was able to order the comforter and sheets through Target as well as a Bed Bath and Beyond. We were able to bring some of Quinn’s Troll toys into her bedroom to display, and I purchased a few more as a special surprise. While at Walmart, I stumbled upon a sea green bean bag that matches perfectly with her room and took the time to paint a night stand that was originally white to match the decor of her room.

To promote reading, I got some Trolls books that my daughter loves reading as part of her bedtime story or when she’s simply relaxing in her bed waiting for the day to start. Target, my main go-to store, had a lamp that doubles as a night light that Quinn uses every night and day as she reads at night.

I wanted some wall art with Troll characters, but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so with my graphic design background, I designed and had canvases printed up with the different characters.

When Quinn or anyone who has come to visit comes into her bedroom, they can’t help but feel happy because it’s such a colorful and inviting place. This truly was a fun project for me, and seeing how happy and appreciative Quinn was when her room was unveiled filled me with so much joy.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me, A Great Time Making Snowmen with Her Class

On the tenth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me, a great time making snowmen with her class. One of the benefits to teaching on the college level is having a winter break. An advantage to having a winter break is having the time to visit my daughter’s school.  I love crafting, so when I came across this cute sock snowman on Pinterest and saw that I already had most of the supplies, I know it was the perfect project for Quinn and her friends.

To streamline the process, I made sure to already have the snowmen (or snow women) ready for the children by purchasing white socks from the dollar tree and using Quinn’s clean socks that were way to small for her now. I filled the socks with rice down the bottom, tied them off with a rubber band and filled to stop with cotton stuffing. Then, I used sticker dots for the eyes and mouth and pom pom balls for the nose and little hat ball.

It was a quick yet fun project that all of the children enjoyed, as did I. Quinn and I even made some snowmen envelopes for their Christmas cards with snowmen stickers. I quickly printed out the pictures of  the class holding up their finished snow people, and enclosed them in the cards as well. We put them in a snowman bag containing holiday lollipops as a special treat for their hard work. I gave my daughter a bag with the same contents inside too. She and many of her friends were happily surprised thanked me for coming in to make snowmen with them.

Something I love about this time of the year is sharing joy and happiness with others. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children in Quinn’s class and knowing that being there really made my daughter’s day is such an amazing feeling. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

All the best,

Tanya

Thankful for Precious Moments in Disguise: Turkey Day with My Little Girl!

My four year old smiled saying, “I want to disguise my turkey as Princess Poppy!” Last week, my daughter’s preschool teacher assigned a special Thanksgiving project to the class: disguise the turkey who fears being eaten for Thanksgiving.  The instructions encouraged family involvement, which was fine by me, especially since I love doing crafts. We discussed exactly how Quinn wanted her turkey to look, rounded up the supplies, most that we already had since I am a crafter, and got to work!

It brought back memories of before Quinn was in preschool and was home with her father and me. We would do fun projects all the time. Though we still do them now, it is not as frequent as it once was. When we finished the project, Quinn said, “Thank you so much for helping me, Mommy!” Our turkey looks just like Poppy! She was so excited to show Princess Poppy, the turkey, to her teacher and friends and even asked me to take her picture once all of the disguised turkeys were on display.

Since I teach college courses, the last couple of months in the semester get hectic, and it is difficult to carve out the extra time to just do a fun activity and enjoy each other’s company. Even knowing that this is my first blog entry for this month is a reminder that time gets away from us all, so it’s moments like this that are so precious to me.  I am grateful to have Quinn in my life and am glad for this memorable moment in disguise.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

All the best,

Tanya

 

A Beautiful “Hairy” Situation: The Bond Between Mother & Daughter

My daughter smiled and said, “That’s the one I want, Mommy!” as we scrolled through my hairstyles for little girls board through Pinterest. It was an intricate one, somewhat new for me, but I was up for the challenge. What a difference a few years makes! I recall when Quinn would squirm and fuss about getting her hair done. There were times when we had to complete it in two, sometimes three separate segments so that we both could have a break. I even wrote a blog post when she was a little over one year’s old about our hair battles. I even did one when she was three on little girl hairstyles. Now, my four year old is far more patient, even when we may be going into the second or third hour of completing her hairstyle because she knows she’ll have a carefree hairstyle requiring little maintenance.

While it can be time-consuming at times, especially when Quinn squirms a little as I detangle or part her hair, I enjoy bonding with her. It warms my heart to see that big smile on her face as she looks in the mirror and says, “I love my new hairstyle, Mommy!” She’s then ask, “Can you take a picture so I can see how the back looks?” This most recent time she insisted, “Mommy, may I please wear a beautiful dress to match my beautiful hairstyle!” “Sure,” I told her as I smiled to myself knowing that my four year old approved of her new hairstyle courtesy of her mommy, and Pinterest too.

All the best,

Tanya

You’ve Been Slimed! Stem Fun Preschooler Style!

“I don’t know what the fascination is with slime!” I overheard a lady saying to her kids as she shook her head unwilling to budge on purchasing the kit. My four year old had been asking to make slime for the past few months, and I was avoiding it because well it’s gooey, sticky, messy and gets all over, which is the very reason she wanted to make it.

Upon arranging a play date with our cousins, I figured why not when the suggestion was offered. I was able to get a kit at AC Moore for just under $5, actually half price because I had a 50 percent off  one item coupon. There were so many from which to choose: ones with glitter, ones that glow in the dark, ones that have a scent, etc. I decided to go with the kit that had scents, pink strawberry and blue raspberry.

It actually was a fun project and a great way to teach children how to follow directions, take measurements, hypothesize what will happen and even utilize a few of the five senses by explaining how it feels, smells and looks.

I’m a big kid at heart and did enjoy helping Quinn and her cousin make slime, but I would certainly suggest keeping the slime making contained to an area where there is no carpet, just a plain table or island with no table cloth. Definitely wear old clothes, a smock or apron when making or playing with the slime because it doesn’t seem to come out of fabric as easily as it rolls off of one’s hands.

I’m not too sure of the next time we’ll make gooey, sticky messy slime that gets all over, but I loved seeing the smile of Quinn and her cousin’s face and look forward to the next STEM project.

All the best,

Tanya