At Home Astronomy

The Center for Science Education @ Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley has a neat website with experiments aimed for families to do together. MBS is too young for this now but I can’t wait until he’s old enough to do some of these experiments.

At Home Astronomy

Homemade Play Dough

Our Playdoh had gotten pretty gross and instead of buying more I decided to mix up some homemade stuff. I used the recipe from  First Art by MaryAnn Kohl.The same recipe can be found on Dinosaurs & Trains. Kneading the dough while it was still warm felt wonderful, and the oil in it really helped my dry hands. But, I had too much food coloring so I had lovely pink hands for awhile! (oh, and if your dough has enough excess dye to color your hands it will also color your table– just a warning!)

I made the homemade because I liked the idea of making different colors to fit the season/theme. I’m really, really glad I did because today I was reading an article about using Borax in making green cleaners and the danger of Borax/boric acid (Borax: Not the green alternative it’s cracked up to be) only to read that it is an ingredient in Playdoh! The stuff is used as a pesticide and it is in Playdoh! How does Playdoh get to say that it’s nontoxic? So that freaked me out a little and I was so glad I had already made homemade dough and knew how easy it was to do.

Homemade is the best!

Paint Brushes

Earlier in the month MBS painted using brushes for the first time. He was so excited! It was very messy, thankfully the shirt he was wearing was already stained. He painted the paper so much it was falling apart so I didn’t end up saving it but he had fun in the process. He actually got real chatty while painting, not much I could understand, but he sure was talking about what he was doing.

At first he was holding a paintbrush in each hand and then he switched to holding both in the same hand. Next time I think I will only give him one brush and one color paint.

(Yay me! I got the video to work!!!!)

Trying a New Thing

My office/craft room is open to our living room. It used to be closed off with a gate but MBS conquered the gate so we removed it. This meant he has access to all my office and craft supplies, all of which are kept in plastic rolling drawers— no locks. I did learn to lock my computer so that he didn’t post on Facebook as me or delete what I was working on, but I haven’t found a way to keep him out of the drawers. It’s not so much that he gets in them and grabs stuff it’s that he completely empties all of them. Paper, pens, cards, EVERYTHING, all over the office floor. Over and over again. It has made life frustrating to say the least.

So tonight I printed out labels, some with a Thomas the train and some with Hello Kitty. I’m going to laminate them and then use velcro dots to attach them to the drawers, Thomas means the drawer is for MBS, Hello Kitty drawers are Mom’s. I’m hoping that the visual symbol will help remind him to stay out of the drawers. Fingers crossed.

How do you keep toddlers from getting into stuff? Not necessarily office supplies but any stuff, pulling the dvd’s off the shelf, emptying the clothes out of the dresser, etc… What are your parenting tips for this frustrated Mom?

Let’s Count Goats!

I think it’s funny how you can really dislike a book on one reading and then come to like it later on. When Ryan first brought home Let’s Count Goats! by Men Fox & illustrated by Jan Thomas I did a quick read through and was not impressed. Then when I read it aloud to MBS it grew on me. I think when I was reading it to myself I wasn’t getting the right cadence to the words but when I read it aloud I got the rhythm right and the story was much better.

I really enjoyed Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. The story of a boy and the penguin he finds is charming and the illustrations are simple but just right.

I am probably one of the only people who doesn’t like the story The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. I do not like reading it aloud, repeating over and over “do you want to fight?” and “oh, you’re not big enough”. The only thing I like about the book is the whale.

Other books we’ve enjoyed lately:

  • Plaidypus Lost written by Janet Stevens and Susan Crummel & illustrated by Janet Stevens
  • Dr. Seuss’s ABC written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
  • The Cat in the Hat written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
  • Love is a Handful of Honey by Giles Andreae & illustrated by Vanessa Cabban
  • A Wish for Wings that Work written and illustrated by Berkeley Breathed
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault & illustrated by Lois Elhert
  • A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Linking up to There’s a Book for the Picture Book Challenge.


Ryan was reading some books to MBS and in one there was a picture of some bikes. He asked MBS if he wanted a bike? MBS nods head yes. Ryan said, “maybe when you’re a little bit older.” I added, “when you learn to listen when Mommy & Daddy say stop.” MBS got up and ran to the other room and brought back the little wooden Stop sign from his railroad!