Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yummy Guacamole

I can't begin to count how many people have been turned into
"guacamole-lovers" after trying this guacamole recipe. (I think the secret is to be generous on the amount of lemon and lime juice.)

Now that summer grilling season is upon us, we've been making a ton of guacamole. It's so refreshing in the summer heat and awesome on hamburgers. Of course, avocado is full of heath benefits for the whole family-babies and toddlers included! 

Special Kitchen Helper
If you have a "Special Kitchen Helper," this is the time to recruit them. Smashing avocado with a potato masher is a great job for a toddler!

Yummy Guacamole
3 ripe avocados
1/4 c. red onion
2 T cilantro, finely chopped
Approx 1 T lime juice
Approx 1 T lemon juice
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Grated black pepper
½ ripe tomato, remove seeds and pulp

Mash avocado in bowl.  Add onion, cilantro, lime, lemon, salt, and pepper.  Mix.  Add lime and lemon juice to taste.  If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the guacamole to keep air from reaching it.  Refrigerate.  Add tomatoes just before serving.

The guacamole is pretty forgiving. We often omit the cilantro when we don't have any on hand. Sometimes we leave out the pepper or reduce the amount of salt.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More Rock Painting

Our rock painting project last month has quickly my most popular blog post. I was also so excited to have the craft featured at The Imagination Tree!

But the best tell of a good project? When you're little person specifically asks to do it again.

Can't wait to move these to our new house later this summer!
Thanks for reading! :)

Pouring Practice

"Ethan do it."  

Yup, we're in the thick of the "I do it" stage. In most cases, I welcome the desire for independence. With a little patience, it can actually be very helpful. One independent task I don't always embrace is pouring liquids. Practice is important, but practicing with the gallon of milk is not my favorite idea!

Here's the situation: We recently had one of those days where the little guy was so excited to put out the pool that he could hardly wait for us to inflate it and lug the water out of the house a gallon jug at a time (No hose! Ugh!) Don't get me wrong- I really don't mind getting out the pool, but this was one of those days where all excitement was lost after two glorious minutes of water time. Bummer!

Thinking quick, I ran into the house and grabbed two plastic cups and suggested that we have pouring practice. It was an absolute hit. We started with me holding the empty cup and Ethan pouring the water. Then we would trade cups-- I'd give him the full cup and he'd give me his now empty cup. It was also a good opportunity to practice the opposites "empty" and "full," and also learn the word "trade." The pool made such a great place to practice...but of course, the bathtub would be great too!

The end result was fun and great practice. I'm still not ready to let him pour the milk, but we'll work on it. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Learning Colors- Color Match and Sort

The way that we learn is absolutely fascinating to me; the way we learn colors is no exception.
There are 3 steps to learning colors:
  • Color matching"This ball is red. Can you find me a red ball?"
  • Color identifying- "Which ball is red?"
  • Color naming"What color is that ball?"

Cool, right?!?

The ability to color match usually begins around 2 years old, but there is no reason that you can't start practicing could be surprised!

SEE! This is serious FUN!!!

Enter Goldfish crackers. Our little guy loves Goldfish, and he's recently taken to the Space Adventures crackers (although this works real well with the Goldfish Colors too). 

All you have to do is take one, for example, a purple cracker, and ask your little one to find you another purple cracker. Continue until all your crackers are sorted (or eaten)! After Ethan was done, he directed "Mommy eat the orange ones." (See how the orange crackers are way off to the side like that--clearly those are the boring "regular" Goldfish). Priceless.

I admit- it'd be better to sort on a table or plate,
but sometimes learning activities magically happen
 in the moment, and goldfish on the carpet is the happy result.

Not only is this great for learning colors, but any type of sorting is a developmental milestone and gives toddlers a great sense of accomplishment.

This particular day we were playing by the seat of our pants, but I've seen on Pinterest where some crafty folks have made color matching boards that correspond with the Goldfish colors, and that's a great idea too!

So what are you waiting for?? Time to play with your food!


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