Jul 5, 2008

More Frugal Toddler Activities

I'm considering changing this blog's name to "How to Be a Grandmother" -- there's not much housewife stuff going on around here lately! I'm waiting to hear if I am babysitting for Brayden again for the upcoming week. Anyone who reads my blog knows I adore my 2 yr old grandson, but honestly, I'm hoping is other babysitter is back from New York and we can get back to our regular schedule (two days a week)! He and I were both tired and cranky at the end of our week last week. But just in case (and because life rarely happens as you'd like it to), I've been looking for some new activities to do with Brayden this week. He's becoming fascinated with my vegetable garden -- last week we bought a watermelon plant at the garden store and came home and planted it, along with some cucumber seeds, so he could get the idea of "put something in the ground and create your own food" concept. We'll get out in the garden again this week and do a bit of weeding and talk about how the tomatoes are getting bigger, how the grapes and green peppers are progressing, etc. Because he loves all things nature-related, I'm planning on doing two activities with him. First, I'm going to create a "Weather Calender". It will be just a piece of posterboard that I'll make into a calendar for the month of July, and then we will put on a sticker/picture of what the weather is like today. You can print off stickers here: Free printable weather stickers . I'm going to be a bit frugal, and rather than buy special printing paper that is made to print stickers, I'm going to print the stickers off and just use a glue stick to place the appropriate sticker on the calender. . The other thing I'd like to do is "Sun Painting" -- an idea I found on VickyandJen.com . Here are the instructions. I plan on using leaves, sticks and other things Brayden can find outside. Sun Painting Take a dark color of construction paper outside with 4-5 distinct objects - blocks, letters, shapes, scissors, etc. Place the paper on the ground in direct sunlight (sidewalk works best), scatter the objects on the paper and let the sun work its wonders. After 2-3 hours of baking, the paper will fade around the objects. Take the objects off the paper and you'll see where the objects were. Kids are fascinated by this! And for a rainy day activity (which we've been having a lot of), I really like this idea of homemade lace up cards. Again, from the VickyandJen.com web site. Lace Cards Busy little hands are sometimes too eager to turn pages in a favorite storybook. You can recycle those torn picture books into lace cards. You will need: Cereal boxes or cardboard, a torn picture book page with a large, simple picture, glue, scissors, shoestring for lacing, and a hole punch. Cut the cereal box front or back out. Select a page from an old picture book and glue it onto the cardboard. Smooth out any air bubbles. Allow plenty of time for the card to completely dry. After the card is dry, trim around the edges. Punch holes to outline pictures on the card, approximately one inch to two inches apart. Children will practice their fine motor skills by weaving the shoestring in and out of the holes. In addition to these activities, I also need to plan ways to get us out of the house. Last week we did the Cincinnati Zoo and had a wonderful time, but this week is going to be much hotter and more humid, and I have no desire to walk around in bright sunshine during weather like that! So our big activity for the week will be the Newport Aquarium or the Cincinnati Fire Museum (a very small museum that my kids absolutely loved when they were little). Other activities (I like to get us out of the house every day from 10am to 11:30) will include going to the playground, another hike in the woods at a local park, going to the local library for family story hour (and so Brayden can say hello to his friend, "Miss Cheryl", the children's librarian, who he really seems to enjoy seeing!), going grocery shopping, and meeting "Umpa" for a picnic at Sharon Woods ! Sharon Woods has a wonderful toddler's play area and wading pool, as well as nice trails in the shaded woods. It will be a busy week and, hopefully, a fun one for both of us. Today (Saturday) and tomorrow will be spent doing all the housework and laundry I didn't get done last week -- so I can be prepared to have it all messed up again! LOL A FEW OTHER FRUGAL THINGS Some good printable coupons: $1.00 off Chex Mix - Coupon in bottom left-hand corner. Once you print it, hit your BACK button twice and print it again :) $2.00 off V8 V-Fusion 46 oz. - I was only able to print this once, but you may have better luck! $2.00 off Post Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches Cereal $2.00 off Kashi VIVE cereal FREE Bundino's -- Kind of like Hot Pockets, made by Michelina's. This is a rebate form good until 08/30/08. You can print a coupon HERE for this product and make money on the deal! $3.00 off any Planters Product when you buy 3 Kraft, Nabisco or Oscar Meyer products And here's a frugal web site that's new to me, but interesting! It's called SalesCircular.com. Click on your state and it will give you a list of sale circular specials for your area! If you're in the market for major purchases, this would be a good place to start. Enough frugalness for today -- I need to go do laundry!

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