Ten Apples Up On Top Math Game | Mama Papa Bubba

Not going to lie, this week’s preschool book club was a bit of a tough one…  Tough because firstly, we couldn’t find the book anywhere.  We visited bookshops, we visited grocery stores with book sections, we visited our school’s library, and we asked pretty much all of our friends.  No book!  Brad eventually scrounged up a digital version for us to see on the iPad, but after a friend suggested it this morning, I’m guessing that one of Kuwait’s many Instagram shops would have had it!  I hadn’t thought of that.  {Is this an around the world thing, or a Kuwait specific thing?  Here you can order almost anything via Instagram and Whatsapp and have the items delivered to your door.}  The second thing that made this week’s PBC challenging was that without the book physically in my hands, I had no inspiration.  For the life of me, I couldn’t think of a fun activity to go with it.  It was frustrating.  Eventually though, I thought of something {a very simple math game focused on addition and subtraction} and it’s pretty awesome.  Not awesome because it was crazy cool or unique, but awesome because Gracen did not want to stop playing.  In fact, we played from about 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. yesterday morning.  One round after the next – non-stop!  I love when something that was initially challenging turns out so well. {click to read more…}

Today was one of those days were you roll out of bed, do nothing all morning, and then when lunchtime rolls around, realize you’ve done nothing all morning and kick it into high gear for the rest of the day.  Despite a very emotional couple of hours in the afternoon, it was exactly what we needed.  Our morning was filled with books, cuddles, manicures, pretend play, and Miss G’s first ever taste of {dark} chocolate chip pancakes, while the afternoon took us into tear-apart-the-house-and-clean-and-reorganize-everything mode.  Gracen was the best little helper and kept saying, ‘Sure! Of course I’ll do that for you, Mama.  I’ll always help you.’  It pretty much melted my heart.  Then there were a couple very emotional hours that were soothed by a candlelit lavender bath, followed by a comfort food dinner and bedtime.  Ahhh…

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manicure station // mama’s turn

surprise pancakes  //  chocolate chip!

organized  //  clean, finally

lavender bath  //  deconstructed lasagna (more…)

5 Cute Non Candy Halloween Treats | Mama Papa Bubba

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, Miss G and I have been talking a lot about what kinds of treats she wants to handout to her friends this year…  Of course since she’s a sugar-free kid, we stick to sugar-free treats, which means we have to be a little more creative.  This week, we’ve been having fun coming up with all sorts of cute non-candy Halloween treats and we figure that these five snacks would be perfect to share with classmates or friends.  They’re all simple to make, they’re all healthy {or at least relatively healthy}, and in the words of Grae, they’re all ‘SOOO CUTE!’   {click to read more…}

Simple LEGO Addition Tray | Mama Papa BubbaEarly this morning Miss G asked me if we could play an adding game {the girl loves addition currently}.  Not having anything prepared, I quickly scanned the room for something that could be turned into a math game without much fuss.  Our ever-growing LEGO collection caught my attention first and I knew it had potential.  I grabbed several bricks as well as a couple of just-purchased wooden dice {in coordinating colours, obviously ☺}.  I figured we could use the dice to generate our addition questions and the LEGO bricks as counters, then added in the plastic serving tray just to give the game a defined playing area and surface. {click to read more…}

Cloud Dough Ice Cream Shop | Mama Papa Bubba

The fact that it’s fall doesn’t rule out ice cream shop pretend play, does it?  Because today when Miss G realized that it had been a looong time since we last played with cloud dough {the last time probably would have been when we had our indoor beach kicking around}, ice cream play is what came to mind.    (more…)

Play Dough Turkeys | Mama Papa Bubba

Gosh, I love setting out fun play invitations for my girl.  This one, set out today for our Thanksgiving celebration is nothing new, but the classics are classics for a reason, right?  My kindergarten students used to love creating colourful feathered play dough turkeys at our play dough station and Miss G loved it just as much too! (more…)

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Today, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our Kuwait family.  We hosted a traditional turkey dinner for 30+ people which meant our apartment was loud and busting at the seams, but in the very best way possible.  I’m beyond grateful to have so many wonderful people in our lives.  People that make being away from home on a typically very family-filled weekend less hard and more fun.   I didn’t manage to take all that many photos throughout the day as I was kept fairly busy with my hosting duties, but here’s a little peek at what this year’s Thanksgiving in Kuwait looked like… (more…)

LEGO Patterns Busy Box | Mama Papa Bubba

Truth be told, I’ve never loved the name ‘busy box’.  Or ‘busy bag’ for that matter.  It’s ridiculous, I know, but I think I associate both with the term ‘busy work’ from my teaching days, which to me, is basically work {often of very little value} that keeps kids busy and out of the teacher’s hair.  Not my cup of tea.  I figure that if a teacher is going to expect her students to engage in some sort of activity or work, it shouldn’t simply keep them busy {that’s a waste of time} – it should engage them, challenge them, and teach them something worthwhile along the way – right??  Well, after looking at many, many activities labeled as busy boxes or bags, I learned that most of them do all of those things.  Most of them are fun, playful, and help little ones build on some sort of skill {or multiple skills at once}.  And yes, they are easy to pull out during times when you’d like your little one to play quietly and/or independently {while you shower, during restaurant and doctor’s office waits, during quiet time, etc.}, but that’s only because you’ve taken the time to prep the fun in advance – not because they’re anything like boring busy work.  And so, because I’ve finally made peace with the term, here’s our first busy box – a LEGO patterns busy box. ☺ (more…)