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Book Review – The Colour Book

the_colour_book

As long time BTCS readers know all too well, LTD is, in his words, a great artist. The Mommy and I are always looking to encourage his growing talent without pressuring him. Sophie Benini Pietromarchi’s The Colour Book features a clear easy to read approach to explain how to mix shades and use color effectively to create striking images. She deals with topics including primary and complementary colors, how to create your own color and shading all through collages and story telling. She also goes deeper into how color can convey feelings and mood. LTD especially enjoys making up his own names for colors and I think it is pretty cool that he is moving beyond using red, green, yellow and blue all the time.

He…Slimed Me

snotBB has been enjoying off and on colds ever since he picked up more days at school. One leaky side effect of his perma-cold is the amount of fluid pouring from his nose on a 24 hour basis. You wanna guess where his nose goes if you pick him up. That’s right, all over my shoulder. Of course that is better than when I’m on the floor of his room which results in him make a snot-dye shirt out of my clothes. Oh, least we forget if you are sitting in a chair and he walks over, you can bet good money that your pants are gonna take a hit. Besides keeping tissues handy or re-enacting the Boy in the Bubble, there isn’t much you can do to keep the mucous from landing on you and over you and sometimes in you. As gross as it is, I can’t help but chuckle because at the end of the day it means only one thing, they can’t take a way my license, I truly am a parent.  

Book Review – Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

9781440570773_300dpiLTD has been watching a lot of shows featuring volcanoes (I would like to be able to tell you that they were on the NOVA or Reading Rainbow apps, but truthfully a lot of Justice League, Young Justice and Ben 10 sport crazy volcano action). So in the interest of steering him towards some science instead of secret lairs, it was time for make our own volcano action. Mike Adamick’s new book, Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments features 30 cool experiments that were right up our alley. Among the DIY family friendly experiments you’ll find clear easy to follow instructions and even clearer pictures. The experiments are grouped by subjects including Biology, Physics and the Human Body. The banana balloon may be a little gross but it is a lot cool. However, I caution you not to try the Mentos and Coke Rocket indoors. Also some of the experiments can be medically helpful like the Marshmallow that measures your pulse (if you can manage to keep LTD from eating the lab materials). Oh and before I forget, yes the book includes instructions on how to make a volcano, that childhood right of passage that LTD is now old enough to enjoy.

I Think There Might be a Bed in The Room

cluttered bedSure, LTD has what seems like a large twin bed with high end boards and he is barely over three feet tall, but I think he has over done it with the amount of items in his bed. Frankly, I’m surprised the mattress has the strength to hold everything. I will grant him that he has a lot in there in an attempt to keep things away from BB, however, all this clutter has created a mountain on one end of his sleep slab. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, why should I care? Because I’m not three feet tall and I no longer fit on the bed and it is cramping my ability to read him bedtime stories. Oh, and it is giving me actual cramps trying to twist and contort my body to fit. The truth is I have no idea nor does he what is actually in the bed and one can only hope that the pile doesn’t contain any life forms. Good thing it is Spring because when I get around to telling him we might actually make his bed soon.

Product Review – Think Fun

MoveA-1830-LoResSpill LTD received Zingo as a gift a few years ago and I have seen it in many homes. LTD recently rediscovered it in our house as our BB baby proofing resulted in a few things being put not only out of reach, but out of our memories. LTD’s continued screaming of Zingo got me thinking about other Think Fun items we have enjoyed. BB has been crushing on in his Move & Groove, while LTD has been taking his new 5 year old status out for a spin with Square By Square. BB has been learning to dance with Move & Groove or should I say The Mommy has been re-learning to dance with the bright plush cube. You roll the cube like dice and whatever color it lands on, you pick one of the matching dance move cards. The cards have categories including Workout, Body Parts & Silliness. Truthfully, he isn’t going to win Dance Fever any time soon, but he seems to enjoy watching us make fools of ourselves demonstrating the cards. Of course, LTD has fixated on the card instructing him to Dance like a Robot.

Speaking of LTD, heSquar-5952-LoResSpill has long enjoyed tan-grams and puzzles and so the Square By Square is challenging him pretty good these days. The game has 60 different puzzle cards to try and make on the square using 8 blue pieces and 6 green ones. The cards include hints so you do have to monitor him to prevent taking the easy way out. Okay, yes, I too have occasionally had to resort to using the hint to help him, but rarely. I also like that the game comes with a bag for easy travel.

Earth Day 2014

 

Hands on a globeEarth Day 2014 will be here soon and with two kids in preschool I think about the amount of stuff I have to pack in their lunches everyday. True, LTD has a sweet R2-D2 lunch box and so we aren’t wasting brown bags like back in my day, but The Mommy and I are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of packaging we use. I have started making BB’s yogurt from a big container of yogurt and mixing it with fruit instead of burning throw those little yogurt cups at the rate of three or four a day.

 

U•Konserve cites the following: “The U.S. uses a staggering amount of the world’s resources even though we are a fraction of the world’s population. As a result, we are creating most of the global pollution problem. Every day we generate 200 million tons of trash, or 4.3 lbs. per person. Most of this trash is from our disposable lifestyle, and this convenience comes with a high cost.”

 

Their reusable food containers and commitment to cut down on waste in schools makes LTD’s approaching Kindergarten year a positive thing on a subject that makes me sad that he is growing up so fast.

April Fools Day is Soon

pity-the-foolKiddie Academy has listed was to enjoy April Fools Day with your little ones. Five Ways to Add Humor to Your Child’s Day

Although the historical origins of April Fools’ Day are uncertain, one thing is clear – children love this annual day of silly pranks and jokes. In addition to the pure fun of telling jokes, the experts at Kiddie Academy point out the educational benefits of exercising your family’s funny bone year-round.

“When children tell jokes, they are actually playing with language and vocabulary, making associations between words and concepts. This is an important component of literacy education,” says Richard Peterson, vice president of education, KiddieAcademy. “Sharing funny stories and jokes also offers a safe format for children to showcase their attempts with language — not only is it OK if people laugh at them, it’s a bonus. Making someone laugh also helps to build a child’s self-esteem.”

Here are five fun ideas for adding humor to your family’s life:

1. Host a Family “Open Mike” night. Invite your children to tell their favorite jokes. Join in the fun by also sharing your own kid-friendly humor. Use an empty paper towel roll covered in aluminum foil to serve as your microphone. Laughing together creates wonderful memories.

2. Share tall tales, whether they are classics such as Paul Bunyan or John Henry, or your own creations. A tall tale usually involves solving a problem in a big and funny way. Talk about why a giant griddle for Paul Bunyan’s pancakes would or wouldn’t work.

3. Ask your family members – “Who is the funniest person you know?” Follow up with questions about why he or she is funny, and tell a few funny stories starring that person.

4. Play with Words. Challenge your family to see how many related puns you can string together in a conversation. A pun-marathon is great fun for car rides, or even over dinner. Puns help children exercise comprehension skills such as reasoning, inference, and context clues.

5. Tell Knock Knock jokes. Many are kid-friendly, and the web offers a huge selection. They’re classics, and fun to share.

Article: The Overprotected Kid

The Atlantic has an interesitng article about risk vs. danger when it comes to kids. Here.

Happily Ever After…I Guess

SnowWhiteCloseLeftIt happens very rarely and maybe that is the case because we have two boys, but whenever we come across any mention of the classic fairy tales I am taken a back. I guess it has more to do with the huge amount of media choices available to today’s kids rather than a conscience choice by The Mommy and me. When I was a young lad I feel like I knew the Grimms really well. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, the Princess and the Pea. Sure LTD has a passing familiarly with the main big ones, Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks, but we don’t dwell on them. I guess if I had Star Wars and Superman at my finger tips when I was little I too wouldn’t care about Billy Goats. However, it does feel weird almost as if tales like Snow White are required and we are some how failing some parenting test. On the other hand, I doubt the boys are really waiting for Prince Charming so maybe this is all in my head.

Product Review – Trader Joes Pancakes

pancakesI never thought little pancakes would be a thing that I would ever care about, but becoming a parent has changed my feelings about many things. In the past five years sure my priorities changed, but so has the places I go and the food I buy. Obviously, Trader Joes has unbeatable prices and certainly is a great place to take the little ones. Of all their products the Little Pancakes that come frozen and heat in less than a microwave minute are the best. Why because you can not beat the simplicity. In short they are a game changer. LTD dips them in real maple syrup (I’m from Maine so our house is exclusively real syrup) and pops them in his mouth. Why is so amazing, because it normally takes him forever to finish a meal as he is easily distracted and has zero time management skills. However, five small pancakes in a circle on a plate with syrup in the middle streamline his breakfast like no other meal. I know what you’re thinking, why is he going on about pancakes? Anyone who has ever tried to get a child out of the house in the morning know all too well that you can’t do it alone. The Fates have to be on your side. And Trader Joes Pancakes may arrive frozen but they heat up our son’s slow morning routine.