Thursday, October 30, 2008

Juffuddy Day: a get-silly but not scary Halloween alternative

Well, although our family doesn't get much into the halloween scene or trick-or-treating (we aren't fans of its roots and what it celebrates), we made up our own dress-up holiday today so Little Biscuit could get in on some innocent costume fun, in advance...I like to call it Juffuddy Day (Just-for-Fun Dress-up Day). It's based on Prov. 8:7 so it's about honestly dressing up silly just for the fun of it, and not for any scary/evil, deceptive reasons, etc. Since this holiday has totally different origins than halloween we can celebrate guilt-free ;) It was also cost-free because I just let Little Biscuit parade around the store in the cute costumes he liked that were for sale and took pictures to remember it all by. The best part was, he didn't have to pick just one character!

Biscuit the Tank Engine...Choo! Choo!
Swashbucklin' Jack Sparrow, Jr...(Well, Captain Jack, Sr. can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by his onesies, savvy?")Sheriff Lil' Biscuit, fastest draw in the west (as long as he's got a crayon!)Sir Biscuit the Brave Knight meets...a tickle dragon!?Lightning McBiscuit (his personal favorite - "ca-CHOW!")

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flashlight Fun for Little Ones

A while back I "turned on the dark" for Little Biscuit to experiment with a flashlight for the first time (he's always liked flashlights, but he's never actually played with one with the lights out). Here are a few games we tried...

Shadow puppets...

Strobe light effects...

Who's light is it, anyway?Say, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!" (He's showing me his teeth!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Toddler-size random acts of kindness :)

The other night Big Biscuit and I were letting Little Biscuit burn off some energy just walking around at an arcade. Suddenly we heard someone squeal with excitement - a young woman (total stranger to us) with her boyfriend had just won a giant Clifford the Big Red Dog from one of those toy-crane machine games. The next thing we knew, she ran up to Little Biscuit smiling and shouting, "Hi there! Look what I just won for you!" She outright gave her cool prize to him just for fun! And boy did she ever make his day! This particular Clifford was even wearing a firefighter's hat!

Here are some around-the-house adventures Biscuit and his new buddy have had lately and the not-so-random acts they've inspired us to try to do together to serve God and keep sharing His love:

Donate baby toys and DVDs to someone in need, like a single mom or the Pregnancy Resource Center...
Visit someone who's sad or sick...

Love on a lonely dog (our local pet store might have just the pup...)
Biscuit says, "Thank you SO much!" to the generous, thoughtful person who gave him this sweet gift!! :) Oh, and don't worry, Emily Elizabeth...Clifford really likes his new home ... and you can come visit anytime!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easy, do-it-yourself toy train

Since Little Biscuit is so big into the train thing right now I made him a little steam engine of his own last week out of those Gerber plastic baby food containers. I turned three upside down, punched holes in the ends with a hole punch, strung them together with ribbon and added train stickers on the sides. It was super simple and Biscuit loved pulling it around and making it "choo choo!" Who knows, maybe when he's older and he starts losing his baby teeth I'll use this little train for keeping "track" of them. But if we do I guess we'll have to tell Biscuit to make it say, "Chew-chew!" ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

toddler x-treme games

Biscuit's morning adventure today was pretending to be at a toddler-style extreme sports competition. So hey...check out his way-cool tricks!

Arriving at the event...

Scoping out the competition...

BMX-ing (he's working on his wheelie stunts!)Skateboarding...(he knows his stuff! Just call him "Teeny Hawk!")
Moto X...(check out that over-the-handlebars big air action!)Aggressive in-line skating (practicing his moves, balance and coordination!)Great job! Now offf to visit with his fans!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Marker marbling: a toddler water coloring activity

Today we decided to hang out at home and do some playtime inside. I filled a tray on Biscuit's toddler table with about a half inch of water (it could also be done in a white mixing bowl or any container where the bottom is white so the colors show up well against it). After putting down a towel under the table and dressing Biscuit up in his Home Depot workshop apron, I showed him how to dip some non-toxic watercolor markers in the water to see the inky effect. He swirled and swished and smeared it all around and thought it was big fun. After a while we were left with a muddy-colored mess in the tray but starting over with new water every few minutes keeps things interesting :) It's fun to try to draw actual objects he's familiar with - dogs, trees, trains - and see how they end up. It's kind of like cloud scenes - there one minute, gone the next! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A train-tracking scavenger hunt for toddler railfans

1. Road #9293 diesel locomotive from the Norfolk Southern power fleet, model #GE Dash 9-40CW (D9-40CW), built in April '99, spotted at 8:27 am on Thursday 10-9-08.

For the past couple weeks I've wanted to take Biscuit to a railroad crossing when a train was actually passing by so he could see life-size locomotives in action. The problem was, we don't have a station in town, just a crossing for mostly freight trains, so finding a schedule of when to expect to see anything was next to impossible. Instead, we spent some time just listening for the "choo-choos!" Anytime we heard one go by, we'd make a note of the time and day. So today we decided to check our improvised timetable for accuracy by driving to the crossing and waiting for 8:26 am, when we'd heard a train pass exactly one week before. Immediately we encountered an "uh-oh" when we heard a train going by just as we got in the car to leave, about 8:14 a.m.!! Hmmm...maybe it was early?? We were afraid we'd missed our chance for the day but we decided to go anyway just to be sure. Well, 8:26 rolled around, but the train didn't, so we were afraid our suspicions were correct and we'd have to try to catch a train another day. But then, about 8:27, DING DING DING! The lights started flashing, the crossing guards came down and whoo-whoo came the train barreling past, just a minute after we expected it! WOO-HOO!! Biscuit was very entertained to watch, but we were glad we were there in time to see it because it was a VERY short train, only taking about 10 seconds to pass...
Which leads me to an explanation of our game...maybe you've heard of the 43 Things website where you create a list of 43 things you want to accomplish in your lifetime? Well, we're going to create a list of 43 things too, but with a twist - we'll make a scavenger hunt game of it: our goal is to see if we can spot 43 different locomotives before Biscuit is 43 months old. Anytime we can document a new sighting, I'll add the photo and info above in this post - Biscuit will have fun watching for trains and maybe by the time he's old enough to understand it all, he'll have a fun collection of railroad facts and photos to keep! Next week we'll try for the earlier train on the same day and see if we can get a glimpse of another one that lasts even longer!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Toddler Art/Home Decor Project: Leafy Door or Window Clings

Little Biscuit loves any excuse to go for a walk outside, so today he got to put on his backpack and walk with Mommy down the street to pick up some colorful autumn leaves. It was just step 1 of our outdoor/indoor toddler boredom buster activity today...Then, when we had gathered enough leaves, we came home and unloaded our finds. Since Biscuit loves stickers, leaves and also any excuse to stand at the windows and doors (more specifically, to pound on them!), we made glass clings from the leaves by wrapping them in squares of plastic wrap. Once assembled, I showed Biscuit how to "stick" them all over our glass door (I put up the high ones and let him go at the bottom of the door).
He had fun, (equal parts sticking them on and pulling them back off!) but when he was done I had a lovely seasonal masterpiece on my door to show for all his hard work...and one that wouldn't leave hard-to-remove gooey marks like stickers either :D (He's pretty satisfied too, as you can see!)

Planes, trains, and automobiles - our toddler's day at the Museum of Transportation!

Biscuit, to put it mildly, loves I mentioned in the previous post, he is bonkers about train tables, as you can see from these pics...
So this weekend we went to a museum full of not only train tables, but REAL trains, and one you could ride as well. Old cars, boats and airplanes were on display too. We found coupons of course so it wasn't expensive at all, so although I don't usually post our adventures unless they're free or nearly free, I thought one one was too good not to share, if you don't know this museum exists...

(you can climb inside and ring this bell on the train!)

(or walk through a giant tanker, or sit on the side!)

(or ride on a scale-model train over a real retired turntable and wave as you leave the station!)

All Biscuit can think!! ;) Naturally he cried his eyes out when we had to get off!! We'll definitely have to go back sometime!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do-it-yourself toddler racetracks, ramps and railroads

Well, Little Biscuit has been dealing with some big pain at night the past few weeks from his molars and canines coming in - sometimes waking up every hour or two, so we are all pretty sleep-deprived. One thing that really distracts him in the daytime though and keeps him really happy for long stretches is table play. He is crazy about the free train tables set up at Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us and Lagoona Magoo. Since they're pretty pricey to buy ourselves, we improvised with some scrap wood slats I found at Home Depot for 1.27 apiece (I bought five and covered them with packing tape to avoid splinters and rough edges). Here's a look at just the tip of the iceburg of all the fun things we've been able to do with them so far...

Ramps...beep! beep!
(We used a basket and some of Biscuit's little bowls to make a ramp system. We also set a few ramps up against the couch, three in a row, and made a tunnel for his cars to drive through - he LOVED that, since he's a tunnel junkie!)

Racetracks...vroom! vroom!
Railroads...choo-choo! (We're still trying to decide if we want to draw railroad tracks on one side with markers, and street stripes on the other side...)