Monday, 30 July 2012

Cleaning with toys with boys!

If your are anything like mine they love to dump things.  After a little of playing in any room everything gets scattered.  They often tell me it is part of their game.

making patterns with spools

Today we made some patterns with little wooden spools.  Then we became log loaders and delivery trucks. At clean up time no one really wanted to help, until... 
Mommy's truck starts the clean up
Mommy's flat bed ruck started down the road to deliver some important packages to the store.  "Oh my look at all the different buckets that we emptied.  Maybe we can sort them all into the right spots."

Some of our mess

Little bears bed of spools

Mj's truck pushes some blocks

Caterpillar gets into the action
The boys had a fun time cleaning with me and using their toys to help.  Some times it works so much better to work with where they are at rather than nag about cleaning.

How do you get your kids to clean up?

Monday, 23 July 2012

More summer activities for kids!

Wow I just realized that my last post with the giveaway was my 200th post!!!

Congratulations to Jessica Lynette Morris I'll be contacting you to choose your sock monster.

For those of you who haven't noticed my blog posts have been few and far between recently.  This is because I have been busy with house renos and living life with my kiddies.  I am making a focused effort to be more present and so I will be on the computer a little less.  But I will continue to share with you often.

Here are some more fun things we have been doing recently.

Rice sensory bin (the loader is helping to clean up spills)

Bubbles with friends

We made more fairies because you can never have enough

We went to the beach (Hamilton harbour)

A neighbour was moving and gave us a big roll of paper!  So much fun to colour on

Homemade playdough and craft bits (these are cake pops they made)

Homemade playdough 'desserts'

Mud bakery (so simple yet so fun)

Making muffins with mud

A fun lobster apple snack we made (I used a pear and apple)

TJ dressing up.  The amazing skirt we won from Beneath the Rowan Tree (amazing items there)

How is your summer going??

Monday, 16 July 2012

Boy Mom Blog Hop - Welcome & Giveaway

All About Me
Welcome to our little corner of the blogging world.  I am so happy you have come for a visit.  I have linked up to the Boy Mom Blog Hop  over at the MOB Society (Mothers of Boys).  My name is Meaghan and along with my wonderful husband we have two boys (ages 2 and 4).  I have a more detailed description about My Family here.

This blog is a place for me to share about our lives, activities for children, crafts I make, and anything else that comes along. Check our the labels on the right side for different categories.

In addition to being at home with the boys, I also work along side with my husband on our family business Integrity Fire and Control Systems Inc.  My husband is the field technician and I am our office manager.  If that doesn't keep me busy enough I am growing Meaghan's Home Daycare, and I sell my sewing projects at Me Again Creations.  Praise the Lord that all of our endeavours and businesses are growing to support our family.  Our plans sometimes change but we are trusting in the Lord's guidance. Our next family adventure will be homeschooling using a Waldorf curriculum!
TJ (4years) and MJ (2 years)
Popular Past Posts
I looked back over all my posts and discovered that these have had the most page views of all times.  Enjoy!
Calm Down Basket
Monster Shirt
Welcome to Our Fairy Garden
Labeled Toy Bins
Meet Our Fairies

Great Games for Boys
My boys love to play.  At the moment they are rather young so we don't play too many games per say. MJ is 2 years old 
He mostly likes puzzles and peek-a-boo.

TJ is 4 years old
He does play a few computer games from TVO kids and other similar websites on occasion.
He also likes those memory games where you flip 2 cards and try to find a match.
I just started to teach him Tic-Tac-Toe this week and he sort of understands it.
He loves this game called Eagle Eyes that we heard on at Sparkle Stories.  It is just like Hide-And-Seek but the person who is it stays in one spot to look around for the other kids.  Everyone else hides but has to be able to see the 'Eagle'.

Great Books for Boys
Last year the topic was books.  I had prepared this post last week and realized this morning that the new topic was games.  So I thought I'd include this anyways. My boys love to read.  There are so many wonderful that they enjoy.  Here are a few of our favourite authors and books. I'm not too sure on the appropriate ages so I'm guessing.

MJ's favs (good for 1-3years)
Heads by Matthew VanFleet
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb - board book
Put me in the Zoo - board book
My World - Good Night Moon companion book

TJ's favs (good for 3-6years)
Bernstein Bears - all of their books are great
Robert Munch - we love all the ones we have read
Elephant and Piggy books by Mo Willems - also great for young readers

I am so excited to offer a giveaway from Me Again Creations.  I hope to start an Etsy store this year (perhaps some encouragement from you all will move me along faster).  Please look at my store page on this blog for more details and come visit my Facebook page.  Please 'like' my page when you come to visit.

I am offering one lucky reader their very own boy Sock Monster!!!  The winner will be able to choose one of the two monsters below.  I will also personalize it with an embroidered name on the back if you would like.

To enter please leave a comment below letting me know what your favourite item is in the shop (new or sold) or what new items you think I should add.

For additional entries
'like' MeAgain Creations - come back and leave a comment
Share about this giveaway on Facebook - leave a separate comment letting me know
Pin something from anywhere on my blog - let me know what you pinned

******Contest ends Sunday July 22 at midnight.  I will randomly choose a winner and announce it on Monday.*******

Thank you again for visiting and happy hopping!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fun Summer activities

I finally down loaded photos off my phone.  In going through them I realized we have a lot of fun!  I thought I'd share some photos and activities for the kids:

What started off with painting wooden bird houses, turned into painting each other!

Find a splash park, or a big puddle!

Let them play in a huge pile of dirt (this one was next to the garden plot)

Sensor bins with beans and pasta

Washing the car and their toys

Build a fort (this is just the beginning of our teepee in the forrest)

Make a nature stick.  Put some tape on a stick and add objects as you go for a hike!

Let them play with flour and baking items!
Have fun with ice cubes.  It was fun to rescue the toys and cars from the ice, then 'paint' on the sidewalk with them.
What else are you doing with your kids?  I'd love some new ideas!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Rainy Day Jar

My boys have been outside so much this summer that the playroom has hardly been touched.  We have had a few very rainy days in the past and it is always good to have a few mom tricks up your sleeve.  Since there have also been some particularly muggy and hot days coming up, and I have a home daycare, I thought I might bring out our rainy day / Magic Jar again!

Basically I found an empty jar and some scrap paper.  I wrote down as many simple activities as I could think of, on the paper and put the individual papers in the jar.  Now you could go all out and decorate the jar too if you'd like.

Throughout the day each child had a chance to pull an activity out of the jar.  It helps to have all the supplies ready to keep your day running smoothly.  I used old gift bags to prepare for each activity.  They were all lined up in my bedroom ready to go so we wouldn't have trouble with transitions.  Once it looked like an activity was winding down we moved on.

Here are some ideas:
play dough
Make a fort
balloon tennis (we made cardboard paddles)
sensory bins
bath/water play
hair stylist
story time with stuffed friends

Play Dough Aliens - we were given some fun green sparkly play dough.  We added some small craft supplies to make these great aliens.  

Build a Fort - this was simply a large bed sheet that we attached to the curtain rod and draped over the couch.  The kids ran and gathered pillows, blankets and toys to play with.  Later we had a rest and stories in the fort.
Balloon Tennis - we made some simple paddles out of cardboard and popsicle sticks.  Add in a few balloons and you've got a lot of fun!

Painting - we unrolled some paper on the kitchen floor and used paint in tubes and some washable paint along with a variety of interesting object.  We used whisks, grass, feathers, hands, cookie cutters, etc. to paint with.

I'd love to hear you ideas for some more activities to add to the jar.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Our Family Rhythm (Part 2)

Last week I posted about our family rhythm - Our Family Rhythm Part 1 Today I'd like to share with you a few things I am learning along the way while trying to keep this rhythm.

One of the biggest changes as been around my sleeping.  Melissa suggests that going to bed early and rising early will allow us all to be more rested and get a head start on the day.  I have seen the positive difference it has made for me.  I am still working very hard at going to bed early, there always seems to be one more thing to do on my list.

Getting up early is great because I have time to pray and read my bible.  This consistency gives me strength and encouragement before my day even begins. I am also able to do some work for our company, Integrity Fire and Control Systems Inc., and get prepared for my day with the kids.  This has become essential as our home daycare has plans to grow. I find even if I wake up just a few min earlier than MJ or take some time while he watches a show, it does make a big difference in my over all attitude.

Another big change that I am working on is how much we are home.  When I looked at our week I realized that we were out for play dates at least twice a week, then there was groceries, errands, family evenings out, church, etc.  How could I work on a strong rhythm when we weren't even home?  I also noticed that my boys behaviour has been a challenge too so being at home allows me to work on that.  Tj is a highly sensitive child and I am HS myself, being at home more allows for some peace, order, and consistency, which helps a lot.  So if you notice that I am not getting together with you as often, please don't be offended.  Our visits with you will be more engaging and rewarding!  We don't seem to get bored being at home, in fact given the options, the boys would rather play here and explore our yard.

If you have children that nap I strongly suggest that you respect rest time!  We have had one too many disastrous afternoons this past week, including a rather embarrassing mommy tantrum.  I am learning through experience that it may be better to reschedule an activity if possible, than to drag some tired children around.  If I had rescheduled then we may have had a more enjoyable time and better memories. So with that in mind I will be saying no more often to afternoon activities over the summer.

Finally I am learning that with all new things I need to be patient, and keep trying.  We may slip now and then.  This week has had a minimal rhythm as we have been completely focused on major house renos.  Things will come up, but each new day is an opportunity to try again!  Here is a great blog post about how rhythm really is tied to you! Rhythm With a Crazy Life