Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

PBS KIDS is the best thing that’s happened to tv for young kids. That’s pretty much the only tv the boys watch. I don’t have to worry about what they are seeing, there are no commercials during the show, and they can usually learn a little something.

We recently discovered Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The boys are hooked and I am all about it! Daniel Tiger is one of the puppets from Mister Rogers. The show is about Daniel and his life from the preschool perspective. Every show has a theme and a catchy tune to teach a lesson on social skills for preschoolers.

Each show tends to address something we are currently dealing with. We end up with the episode’s tune stuck in our head for the rest of the day. The good part about that is that P remembers them too and we can use them when we are going through a challenge.

Here are some of the recurring lessons going on around the Luckett House:

“Use your words.”

When P gets upset lately, he screams. It’s really not a pleasant sound and clearly not effective in getting what you want. We are constantly saying, “use your words”. In the episode,  “Daniel Uses His Words”, Daniel gets upset while playing with a friend and learns to “use his words” to deal with his problem.

“See what it is. You might feel better.”

In the past few months, P has gotten very afraid of the dark (along with pretty much everything else). I’m sure it’s partly a stall tactic to stay up late, but he will cry out in the middle of the night with some scary thing in his room. Namely, the airplanes that his dad painted on the walls of his big boy room. In the episode, “Daniel’s Sleepover“, Daniel and Prince Wednesday are scared of a lump they see on the bed which ends up being a stuffed animal under the covers. They learn, “see what it is, you might feel better”.

“Close your eyes and think of something happy!”

In the episode, “Daniel Gets a Shot“, Daniel learned to “close your eyes and think of something happy”. We haven’t had shots lately, but this was another one that helped with the nighttime fears. We talked to P about things that make him happy. When he is scared and trying to go to sleep he can “close his eyes and think of something happy”.

Those are probably the most helpful lessons for what we have struggled with lately, but every show we have seen has been something we have dealt with at one time or another. I definitely recommend this show!

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Cure for the Monday Blues

We have recently had a couple of trips out of town. After a missed nap, and other fun, out of routine activities, we have had 2 cranky boys! So thankful that we got to spend time with family and have tons of fun, but dealing with the repercussions can be rough.

That’s why we did a morning bath like I had mentioned before. The secret ingredient in this bath was Crayola Bath Dropz. I got these at Target on the shampoo isle.

There are three different colored drops which you can use separately or mix to make different colors. This time, we chose blue and I got about 20 to 30 minutes of calm!

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Dad’s Day

The boys and I made our Father’s Day cards this morning since we are leaving town later this week.  We went for quick and easy this time and they turned out well.

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I have been known to drink a glass or two of wine to make it through “witching hour” at the Luckett House. I figured I might as well make use of this talent.

I saved a few corks from empty bottles and we used those to make some abstract art. My husband has some blank notecards that we used for our cards. I put a dab of paint on some old plastic lids. Before letting the boys get to work, I spread the paint around on the lid so that there wouldn’t be huge globs of paint all over the cards.

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Here they are at work. Snacks and cars are a must when making masterpieces.

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Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads!

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Boys Can Have Tea Parties Too!

P is in love with “the girls” from Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie. He loves watching them sing. They have frequent tea parties where they interview celebrities.

I have been wanting to have a tea party with the boys, but after searching, it is clear that most tea sets are made with girls in mind. When I saw this Lemonade Set, I thought it would be perfect for our Backyard Tea Party.

For snack time this morning, I told the boys about our tea party. They were thrilled! We put out their snacks on a paper plate, filled the pitcher with water and started the party.

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The boys usually drink out of sippy cups or cups with lids, so drinking out of a regular cup was fun in and of itself.

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We hadn’t made any ice before hand (plus, it looked like that tiny ice tray would be difficult to get the ice out of), but we had some leftover heart shaped ice from our Ikea ice cube trays, so we used that to chill our “tea”.

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After a while, the boys remembered they were boys and turned this tea party around.

M started blowing bubbles in his cup (we have been doing lots of bubble blowing in the pool), drenching himself.

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Which gave P the idea to fill the cups and splash water on each other.

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All in all, our tea party was a success. I’m not sure we are quite ready for tea with the Queen, but we sure had fun!

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Car Wash

The boys LOVE washing cars! I think we did this almost daily last summer.

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First, we gather our supplies.

Some sponges

a bucket

soap (we don’t always use soap and they don’t seem to mind)

spray bottles (from the dollar spot at Target)

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And line up the cars.

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After filling the bucket with soap and water, the boys get to work!

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I’ve also seen baby doll washing stations. I think the boys would like that just as much, but we don’t have any washable babies!

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Water Table

My parents bought this Pirate Ship Water Table for P when he was 1. It was the perfect grandparent purchase and we love it!

However, if I was the one buying, I would have probably chosen a more simple (read: cheaper) table like this one.

We have spent a ton of time using the water table. There are many things you can use it for in addition to water. We didn’t put the pirate ship away until late November last year and probably could use it year round here in Texas. Here are some ways that we have used it.

Obviously, water is a favorite. No matter how many times we fill the ship with water, it is still fun!

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Another we recently tried was bubbles. We just squirted some dish soap in the bottom before we filled it with water. We also added some food coloring which I don’t think was necessary. Bubbles were a hit. It quickly turned into a car/toy wash!

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Here is shaving cream. Similar to the bubbles.

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We have also filled the ship with some of our sensory bin materials when it’s not as hot outside. Oatmeal, rice and beans.

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Travel Bed

Traveling with 2 young kids is not easy. I look for anyway I can to make it a little easier.

P is too big to sleep in a pack and play and we typically don’t have extra beds wherever we are staying when we travel. We went out of town this past weekend and have a few trips planned this summer, so it was time to come up with a solution. Enter, the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed that I saw a while back on Cool Mom Picks.

Perfect solution for sleep on the road. It comes in a drawstring bag with the easy to use air pump included.

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It takes minutes to inflate/deflate. It also has raised sides that keep the child from rolling off in the night. The middle part fits a crib sheet perfectly and we tucked in a top sheet to keep P warm. Here are some picks of us testing it out.

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I would highly recommend this to anyone with a young child that has outgrown the pack and play!

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