Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tot Tray Activity Center Revealed!

So here are some photos of the new tot tray activity center and Holden enjoying some of the trays this morning.I put it right underneath the window in our school room.

Holden's initial reaction showed that he really liked what he saw!

The first activity he chose was this counting and fine motor skill tray called "Feed the Froggy" that was posted on my friend Stef's blog. He really likes this one! He first chooses a number card from the bowl and then he counts out that many flies and feeds them to the froggy (which is glued onto a cereal box and has a slit in its mouth for inserting the flies.

He especially likes it when I make gobbling sounds as he feeds the froggy the flies! LOL

Then when he saw me add his new Just Hammer Away activity, he chose that one next. He's had that one out a couple of times already today! It seems to be a big hit, even with his big sister.

His first creation was a house with a moon in the sky. He was still working on it here.

All in all, I'd call the new activity center a total success!

Oriental Trading Goodies

Our order from Oriental Trading should arrive today. I can't wait! Aside from the colorful trays I mentioned the other day, I also ordered this cool construction kit called Just Hammer Away for Holden to do as a tot tray activity. I think it will be a big hit 'cause he doesn't really have any good hammering activities right now. I think the older kids are going to like it, too, to be honest! I think I might reinforce the back of the cork board before I give it to him, as many of the reviewers suggested.

I was thrilled to see that Oriental Trading carried the bigger pack of Crayola Twistables Slick Stix with 12 colors. I've only been able to find the 5-pack of primary colors at Target here locally. They are awesome crayons for little ones, as they don't require a lot of pressure to color and really have rich, vibrant color. Holden isn't big on coloring in the first place, but he seems to enjoy these more than regular crayons, so we use them only for school. They have a lipstick consistency, much like the Colorix Silky Crayons, but more affordable.

Haylee could use some more practice with counting money, so I ordered these cool Double-Sided Math Money Cards for her.

And for Steve, I ordered this cool Scrap-Your-Own Flip Desk Calendar (which is on clearance) to make him for Christmas ('cause he's so hard to buy for). It's a perpetual calendar, so I thought he'd enjoy having some photos of the kids on it for his desk at work. I'm gonna use a spray adhesive to adhere background paper to it that goes with each month. I have a bunch of month-themed patterned paper that I got from a friend who designs for Karen Foster, and that will be perfect for this project.

I threw in an 80-cent box of crayons to get my order over $49 so I could use a free shipping +10% off coupon, so that made it an even better deal. The trays were $20 for 12, so that was the bulk of my order right there.

So I can't wait for our box to come! I'm anxious to get his tot activity center ready and post some pictures. What fun!

Steve cut both of the boys' hair last night...with clippers! Holden's mega-long bubble curls are all gone! Sniff, sniff. He looks so different this morning. I told Steve I'm so used to having my eyes drawn to his gorgeous hair that now I'm suddenly noticing his handsome face more!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Preparing a Tot School Activity Center

I've got so many cool tot school activities now for Holden, but they are all stored in drawers. That means they get used far less than they should be! I scored an awesome deal on the 9-cube organizer shelves by Martha Stewart Living at Home Depot over the weekend. Somebody posted on that they were on clearance at their store for $12 (reg. $46 each), and I called all over locally trying to find them on clearance at one of this area's 12 HD stores. I was told that markdowns are regional, and that it is not marked down in this region. Bummer. But the same store that took the time to explain that to me said that the manager took pity on me and was willing to sell me the shelves at that price if I would only pick them up that day! Yay! So I got two sets for $12 each! What a savings! I had to drive all the way out to the last exit before the toll that takes you to NC, but it was worth it. I was thrilled!

So Steve put a set together for me, and I got out some of Holden's cool activities. I ordered 2 sets of colorful plastic trays from Oriental Trading Company. They should arrive tomorrow. I'll be setting up the activities on the trays, which will fit perfectly to slide into the cubes of the shelves. Then Holden will be able to choose some fun tot tray activities to do from the shelves during his school time. Yay! I think he's going to love it. After the trays arrive tomorrow, I'll post pics of his activity center. I'm so excited to finally get this set up! I had the perfect spot to put them in our school room, too, and it's right next to a small table and chairs where he can sit to work on the activities.