Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pumpkin Stamping

Today we tried stamping with the little gourd-type pumpkin we got at the orchard a few weeks ago. Landon dipped the bottom of the pumpkin into orange tempera paint, then stamped it on paper. It worked really well, plus the paint rinsed right off the pumpkin, so he can still play with it (he's quite attached to it). An older child could also try putting the side of the pumpkin in the paint, too, then rolling it along the paper.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Leaf Rubbing

Tonight on a walk, we picked up a fall leaf that had fallen to the ground. We took it home and made a leaf rubbing with it. (Place the leaf under a paper. Rub a peeled crayon--preferably in fall colors--over the paper so the leaf image appears. I found that it worked best to have both my hand and Landon's on the crayon when doing the rubbing.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pumpkin Apple Butter

Here's another toddler-friendly fall recipe that we tried today: Pumpkin Apple Butter, courtesy of Juicy Juice. Landon ate some on toast for an afternoon snack, and I'm sure he'll have more tomorrow. (Also, if you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can make 1 tsp. of it by mixing 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice or ground cloves, and 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Landon and I worked together to make applesauce in the crockpot yesterday with this recipe. His job was to put the ingredients into the pot. It cooked quickly and was pretty yummy. It was too tart, though. I'd definitely make it again, but I'd either use more apples or less lemon juice. Landon loved it, despite the tartness. I think he would have eaten the entire batch by himself if I'd let him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!

In celebration of the first day of autumn, I updated my list of recommended fall reading on Toddler Celebrations. We checked several of these books out of the library this weekend and have been enjoying them together. I requested several more fall books from the library tonight, so I hope to be updating the list again soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Has Arrived at Our House

According to the calendar, the first day of fall isn't until Monday, but at our house, it's already arrived, because we took our annual fall trip to the apple orchard today. Of course, we picked apples, and we checked out the pumpkins, too. Landon got to pick out a little pumpkin, and I also bought him a tiny one. I have art projects in mind to do with both of those pumpkins. Landon also enjoyed exploring the orchard's various play areas and visiting the goats. Our favorite thing about the orchard is their delicious apple donuts. We look forward to those all year long.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Quick Heads Up on the Finger Paint

I got out the leftover finger paint to use today. I noticed it looked a little bubbly and lumpy. And then I noticed the fermented odor. So I pitched it. If you make the Easy Finger Paint recipe I linked to yesterday, I don't recommend saving the leftover paint. If you really feel the need to save it, perhaps try the refrigerator instead of leaving it out on a shelf like I did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Leaves

Landon and I worked on a 2-day fall leaves project together.

1) Last night I mixed finger paint in red, yellow, and orange with the easy finger paint recipe from Creative Kids at Home. It's an okay recipe, but it's sort of like painting with pancake batter, and it's definitely watery. It dried fine, but next time I'll probably try one of the cooked recipe. Last night, though, it was close to bedtime, so I was in a hurry. I cut the recipe back to 3/4 c. each of water and flour, and I still had way more paint than we needed. I'm saving the leftovers in old baby food containers.

2) Landon used the paints to do finger painting on Melissa and Doug finger paint paper. We let the picture dry overnight.

3) Today I found leaf coloring pages online. I printed the Leaf Collage 2 picture, then cut out each leaf. I traced the leaves onto the back of Landon's painting and cut them out. (I'm saving the printed ones that I used as stencils for some future project. Maybe we'll color them or sprinkle glitter on them.)

4) Together we glued one leaf onto cardstock to make a card.

5) I taped ribbon to the other four to make a leaf chain that we hung up in the dining room. I happened to have cute leaf ribbon, but any ribbon, yarn, etc., would do the trick.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick Coloring Page Link

Landon's a big fan of Boz the Bear. The Boz website now has Fall coloring pages and activity sheets up. I printed one off for Landon today. (Of course, he's already moved on from the coloring sheet. He noticed that his box of art supplies was open, and it's become an art free-for-all. But that's okay.)

Football Season Has Arrived

We took Landon to his first Illini football game of the season on Saturday. Last year he loved the games. This year, he wasn't so sure.

This picture was taken before the game. He's finding watching the scoreboard much more interesting than getting his picture taken.

After that though, once the game (especially the touchdown fireworks) started, he spent the time with his face buried against us. It was all just a little much for him. We took him out for a little while, and that helped. When we went back in, though, he went right back to curling up against us. He wasn't poorly behaved or crying--just clingy.

Nonetheless, he says he wants to go back this week. After the game, I asked him if he wanted to go to the next one or stay home, and he said, "I want to stay home." But now he's changed his mind. For days, he's happily been saying, "The fireworks touch the sky," and, "The fireworks say, 'Boom!'" Also, he enjoyed seeing the band before they entered the stadium, and he's really hoping to see the tubas again this week. We'll see what happens.

Yum... Popsicle!

Popsicles (especially ones made from real fruit) are of course a great summer treat for kids, and an outdoor picnic table is the perfect place to eat them!


(And with that, I think I'm done with the pictures from our mini-vacation!)

Splash Park

The zoo had a splash park on their property, too, so we stopped there after visiting the animals. Whoever invented the splash park concept is a genius--free, fun toddler entertainment


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Picture from the Park

I just found another picture from our recent trip, and it made me smile, so I wanted to post it.


On our last day of our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's, we went to the zoo. I didn't take a lot of pictures, because we've been to a lot of zoos this year, and after a while, the animal pictures all start to look pretty similar. But for Landon, seeing the animals is still fun time after time. And of course, he enjoyed the carousel.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Grandpa's Prairie (More Pictures from Our Trip)

While we were on our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's a few weeks ago, we took a day to visit the prairie restoration project where Grandpa (and Grandma) volunteer. Landon got to pretend to drive tractors, explore the barn, visit with his great uncle and great grandpa, ride in the Gator and the truck, and ride on Daddy's back around the prairie.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Vacation Photos--Swimming

My parents have access to one of the coolest pools ever, so we went swimming last week. The pool was recently remodeled and is 100 times fancier than it was when I was a kid. Now, in addition to the diving boards and regular swimming area, there are fountains, waterslides, a lazy river, and more.

Watermelon Craft

It's rainy here tonight, so we finally worked on this watermelon craft that I've had in my head all summer. Landon had fun with it, and it's a perfect project for a toddler's attention span. Directions are here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rainy Day at the Children's Museum

If you have a children's museum nearby, it makes a great rainy day activity for toddlers. We spent last week at my parents on a mini-vacation, and that's where we spent our rainy morning. The children's museums we've been to have areas specifically for toddlers, but Landon likes both those areas, plus most of the regular exhibits.

Photos 8/28

Summery Spot

We spent last week at my parents'. Grandma checked out some Spot books from the library for Landon. He read both of them over and over.

This one's definitely summery, since it's all about the beach. Spot Goes to the Beach
This one could apply to any season, but Spot plays outside and helps in the garden, so it seems pretty summery to me, too. Spot Visits His Grandparents

Both of these are lift-the-flap books, which contributed to Landon's enjoyment of them. He's been quoting the books all week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Parade

Happy Labor Day! We took Landon to a parade this morning. It was certainly big, but I preferred the little Fourth of July parade we went to a few months ago. At today's parade, the crowds drove me a little nuts. It was hard to see anything, even though we were right on the curb. Everyone else stood about five feet out into the street, so they were very nearly getting run over by the vehicles in the parade.

Nonetheless, Landon got to see two marching bands and lots and lots of rescue vehicles. Also, he was hoping for a sucker. The ONE piece of candy that landed near us was thankfully a sucker (everything else went to the hordes of people standing in the middle of the road).