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Having felt absolutely awful all day today, I happily passed off my parenting duties when Brad walked in the door this afternoon and crawled into bed for some quiet.  Gracen’s big thing right now is playing hairdresser and I listened intently from the next room while she talked her Papa through several hairstyles just as a master stylist teaching new hairdressing students would.  About 20 minutes or so in, she announced that she would be right back as she needed to retrieve some water, but not to worry – doing so was something she could handle on her own.  Then I heard the pitter patter of little feet make their way to the washroom, retrieve some water, and head back to their eagerly waiting client.  Only, the client wasn’t waiting eagerly at all.  In fact, this client was fast asleep {and had been for the entire duration of his appointment!!}  Needless to say, he was no longer asleep when the cold water started pouring on his head – bahaha!  {Definitely worth the effort of dragging my sorry self out of bed to snap a quick iPhone photo!} 

But my favourite thing about the whole situation?  Those red scissors carefully placed on the hairdresser’s tray…  Seems like she may have had more than a little wash in mind.  ☺

 

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S vs SH Sound Sorting Game | Mama Papa Bubba

While Gracen really enjoyed yesterday’s beginning sound sorting game, she played and finished it in less time than it took me to set it up.  After the initial completion, we played several more times adapting it and adding new elements, but decided that we’d try some trickier sounds just for fun the following day.

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Let me tell you one thing… If you tell Miss G that you’re going to do something tomorrow, she will not forget.  In fact, by 6:30 a.m., you’ll have probably have already received two reminders. {‘Remember you said we’d make a new sound game, right Mama?’}  So up and at it it was. We talked about which sounds we wanted to focus on, and Grae picked the ’s’ sound and the ‘sh’ sound – both of which she usually pronounces as ‘sss’. While I of course think the mispronunciation is adorable {and very developmentally appropriate for a just turned 4 year old}, she’s expressed some frustration recently when we’ve misunderstood her verbally or when she’s written words that we then read differently than she was expecting, so the combination of sounds was perfect.

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To start off, we went around the house searching for items that began with an ’s’ and ‘sh’ sound.  I think Gracen enjoyed this part as much as she enjoyed playing the game afterwards.  Here’s what we came up with…  Stickers, soap, stamp, sunscreen, sunglasses, salt, spoon, spider, scissors, snake, shampoo, shot, shorts, shell (or seashell!), shoe, and shirt.

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Then, because our items were so big this time around, we took two of our favourite Ikea trays and added our sounds to the top using star-shaped Post-It Notes.

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The game begun and a lot of this started happening as a result of talking about what your mouth does in order to make each sound.

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Grae took her time going through each item, pronouncing them aloud, and making sure she said her ‘sh’ sounds just right.

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She also took her time carefully arranging {and rearranging} the items as they were added to  the trays.

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Somewhat surprisingly, she was able to properly distinguish every item’s beginning sound when she was as focused on the pronunciations as she was.  For a brief moment, I thought that the shell was going to trip her up, but when I gently inquired she said, ‘Ya, it’s an s word.  Sssss-eashell!’  Haha!  What can I say?  She was right.

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Beginning Sounds Sorting Game | Mama Papa Bubba

Miss G and I had all sorts of fun this morning!  After an early morning coffee shop date and creating our family portrait embroidery hoop, we put together a little beginning sounds sorting game that was both fun and simple.

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To get started, we rounded up a plastic Ikea tray {Canada | US | Kuwait – we use these for everything}, a few small styrofoam trays {that our fruit and veggies unfortunately come packed on here in Kuwait}, and a magenta Sharpie {Miss G’s choice}.

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Then, as I sent Gracen off to do a couple of jobs around the house, I quickly collected a bunch of small items that began with three letters – f, n, and r.

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After I’d collected 5 or 6 items for each beginning sound, I placed all of the items on our plastic tray and wrote our three focus letters on the lips of the styrofoam trays using our Sharpie.

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Then I presented the tray to Grae.

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I asked her if she knew how to play the game or if she wanted me to explain it, and her response was, ‘I think you say the name of the things and then match the sounds to the magenta letters…  Am I right?’  {Yup, you’re right, sweet girl.}

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And with that, she got started.

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And as quickly as she started, she was done. Hah – my fault!  I really should have thought about my beginning sound choices a little more carefully given the fact that Miss G mastered most of her letter sounds long ago. {Next time I’d pair ‘w’ with ‘r’ since she often pronounces them quite similarly, or focus on ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ since she’s been interested in those sounds more recently – lesson learned}.

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In order to extend the activity just a little bit, I sent her on a little hunt to find something to add to each of the trays.  She came back with this hazelnut in hand and very matter of factly stated, ‘Well, this is actually a h-h-hazelnut, but since you didn’t make an ‘h’ tray, we’ll just call it a nut!’  Sounded fair enough to me!  ☺

 

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Family Portrait Embroidery Hoop | Mama Papa Bubba

As simple and quick as this project was, Gracen and I had so much fun with it today!  It only required 5 materials and took us around 20 minutes from start to finish, but gosh I love our new family portrait embroidery hoop.  I may be a little bit biased, but I think it’s just adorable and it makes for a fun way to display some of Miss G’s never-ending artwork, which I love.

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Here’s what we used for the project… A pencil, a pair of sharp scissors, a Crayola fabric marker, a 10-inch embroidery hoop, and a TEA TOWEL!  Of course you could just use a small piece of white fabric, but I didn’t have anything suitable on hand and we found really inexpensive all-cotton tea towels on sale at Ikea this weekend, which saved us from having to buy a metre of fabric. ☺

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To start with, I cut a square of fabric that was slightly larger than our embroidery hoop.  Then I positioned the hoop in the centre of the fabric and lightly traced around the outside of the hoop {tracing on the inside may make your lines visible in the final product}.

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Then I used some washi tape to hold down the corners of the fabric and Miss G got started on her drawing of our family.

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While I do think the tape helped keep everything in place, I also placed a hand on each side of the tea towel piece in order to help keep the fabric taut while she drew.

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It’s a little bit hard to see on our wrinkly tea towel, but here’s what her drawing looked like when done.

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Next, she agreed to let me trace her drawing using a black fabric marker.  While I’m sure she could have done this part on her own, I find that drawing on light, loose-woven fabric with marker can be tricky as it requires just the right about of pressure, so I offered to help out.

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In order to set most fabric markers, heat is required.  You can check your markers’ package for specific instructions, but ours call for ironing, so that’s what we did {well, as you can see, what Gracen did – the girl LOVES being able to use the iron and because she’s cautious by nature, I’ve never had an issue with letting her – even at 3 years old }.

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Here’s how we looked when she was done with us…  Pretty cute, right?

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Next, I loosened the embroidery hoop’s screw just a little bit and took the two rings apart.  With the smaller ring on the table, I placed Miss G’s family portrait on top {making sure that the circle I’d drawn in the beginning wouldn’t be visible} and then pressed the larger ring down on top before re-tightening the screw.

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Then I simply flipped the hoop over and trimmed off the excess fabric while Grae held the loose end up and out of the way.

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The edges won’t look perfect when you’re done, but no one will seem them once the piece is hung on the wall, so it really doesn’t matter.

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Though w could easily hang Miss G’s family portrait embroidery hoop up without, we added a small loop of black and white baker’s twine just for fun.

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And that was it!  Our family portrait is ready to be hung!

 

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Life Sized Self Portrait | Mama Papa Bubba

With Brad leaving the house as the sun comes up each morning and me leaving for tutoring the moment he walks in the door 4 days a week, sometimes it feels as though we don’t get enough time as a family.  Luckily, this weekend we’ve done a pretty good job of making the most of our time together.  After yesterday’s movie afternoon and family sleepover, this afternoon we decided to crafty with a simple life-sized self-portrait project.

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Gracen and I have done this project before, so she knew exactly what to do!  After carefully tracing her little body on a length of drawing paper, we added some details with pencil.

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Then it was time for the fun part!  Last time we did the project we used crayons, stickers, and wool to decorate, so this time we went with straight up watercolour paints.

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And while painting a life-sized drawing might seem a little overwhelming to Miss G on her own, painting it as a whole family was fun!  We each sort of concentrated on one area first, then helped each other out afterwards…

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{Looks just like her, right?}

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Before long, we were done.

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Grae would still like to cut her paper self out in the near future, but at the moment she’s hung on her bedroom door and looking fine. ;)

 

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Magnetic Polka Dot Sensory Bag | Mama Papa Bubba{this post contains affiliate links}

This week of our preschool book club was a much anticipated one.  Our book, Press Here  by Hervé Tullet, has been a favourite of ours for a very long time due to its interactive nature, so we couldn’t wait to explore it further.  If you’ve not read it before, each page requires the reader to complete an action of some sort before moving on to the next page to see what has happened to the dots {for example, ‘five quick taps on the yellow dot’ or ‘try shaking the book…just a little bit’}.  Definitely a fun and unique book! (more…)

5 Fun Toastimals With Bananas Berries Bread  Spread | Mama Papa Bubba

So though I haven’t mentioned it yet, Miss G and I have been pretty much stuck in the house for the last week and a bit…  We’re not sure what’s going on, but she’s dealing with some sort of bladder issue that is causing her to have to go every few minutes, the poor thing.  Needless to say, our usual routine of being out of the house every morning on fun adventures and meet-ups with friends is not happening right now. It’s just too hard.

In the meantime, we’re getting things done around the house {like painting a chalkboard wall finally and adding new pictures to our photo wall} and trying out some fun new activities.  This morning, we decided that we’d have some fun with our breakfast!  Instead of toast and fruit {a regular morning meal in our house}, we used our ingredients to create adorable little toast animals {or TOASTIMALS thanks to our friend Tairalyn} and admittedly, we had waaaay too much fun doing it.

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The best part is that all of our toastimals can be made with these four ingredients – bread, your favourite spread, bananas, and berries (strawberries and blueberries to be specific).  For ours, we used delicious walnut bread from Paul and almond butter, though cream cheese did make an appearance part way through. {Honey or any other nut butter would be good too!}

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Before starting, we sketched out some of our ideas…  First, I was the drawer, and then Gracen added to our idea sheet afterwards.  Her illustrations include monkey toast {my drawing wasn’t doing it for her I guess}, FRUIT FLY toast {bahahahaha!}, and lizard toast {plus a cloud and some rain of course}.

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Then it was time to get to work.  Here are the 5 fun toastimals we came up with…

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A bear {a favourite though not a new idea – we’ve been making this one since Miss G was wee}…

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A kitty…

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An owl…

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A monkey…

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And a chicken!

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This poor guy did not get Miss G’s stamp of approval, sadly.  He was supposed to be a pig, but kind of turned out looking like a dog or a bull or something else, and she declared him ‘very mix-upded’.  Perhaps we’ll have to rework him and try again next time…

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For now, however, I have to say that our little zoo of approved toast animals is pretty cute.  ☺

 

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Oh my goodness….  This little lady is all about writing books right now.  It started one day near the end of summer just after I had made a little book for her.  After making one for me in return, she and Brad teamed up to create several books for family members, he as the scribe and she as the illustrator and storyteller.  Since then, the fascination has continued…  We have all sorts of books by Gracen around the house, ‘The Magical Keychain’ and ‘Life in Kuwait’ included.  Until the just a couple of days ago, all of her stories had been of the freeform variety, but when I saw this little I Am Special printable book, I knew that she’d love it. (more…)

Cupcake Liner Flower Crown | Mama Papa Bubba

I absolutely love all of the gorgeous flower crowns I’ve seen floating around the internet lately, but thought it would be fun to come up with a kid-friendly version that Miss G could pretty much create on her own.  That’s when I remembered the pretty poppy wreath we made last year for Remembrance Day.  The flowers we created out of cupcake liners turned out  beautifully and Grae loved putting them together, so a cupcake liner flower crown it was. (more…)