Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making Puppets in Preschool!!

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I volunteered to come to Baby Bear's class and do some crafting.  Baby Bear wanted to make puppets, so we did a little puppet show with some sock puppets and the kids got to make a puppet to take home. 

Finished puppets in Miss Carole and Miss Lauren's class

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Recipe with Pecan Butter Glaze

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I was listening to an NPR story and heard about how easy it was to make sweet potato gnocchi.  This is loosely based off of the recipe that I heard in a gluten free version.  This is the first time that I ever made gnocchi and it was really easy and delicious!

sweet potato gnocchi baby bear hugs recipe

Sweet Potato
Gluten Free Flour {I used 1/2 almond flour & 1/2 quinoa flour}
1/2 cup Butter or Coconut Oil 
1 cup Pecans 
1/4 cup brown sugar or maple syrup 

sweet potato with masher ricer

Mash or rice your sweet potato so that it is smooth.

sweet potato dough in a glass bowl

Add in the flour until you have the consistency of a cookie dough and put 1/2 Tbl cinnamon.

rolls of orange sweet potato dough

Put a pot of water to boil with at least 4 inches of water.  Roll your dough into snakes. 

sweet potato dough

 I cut my rolls into bite size pieces.  You can can much fancier with the gnocchi design, I just kept the shape that I cut it in. 

Before you start cooking the gnocchi, make the sauce.  You will need a sauce pan.  On a very low heat, toast the pecans very slightly.  Add the butter in and turn off the heat when it starts to melt.  Add in the sugar and 1/2 Tbl cinnamon.  Keep the pan on the stove top so that you can put the cooked gnocchi on top. 

boiling gnocchi

Your water must be boiling to do this! 
Once you have a rapid boil, start dropping the dough balls in.  They will cook really fast and float to the top when they are ready.  

sweet potato gnocchi in peach butter glaze

Remove them immediately and put them onto the pecan & butter sauce.  Once all of the gnocchi are cooked, make sure to mix the sauce around so that they are all nicely marinated.  Enjoy!

gluten free sweet potato gnocchi

Friday, February 21, 2014

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

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Baby Bear is ironically singing the No More Monkeys song as she just in Mini's crib. 

There are some great counting books that teach children reading and counting skills.

 Poke-A-Dot 10 Little Monkeys -This is Baby Bear's Favorite counting book.  There are little dots that you push and it makes a pop sound. 
This book by Eileen Christelow also talks about the bedtime routine of the monkey.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mini Loves Bananas

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Mini has a fruit obsession.  It is great that she is excited about Bananas and she can say the word "nana".  

Baby Bear used to do the same thing. 

Mini's doll that she needs to sleep with is next to her banana. 

Its name is Boobah, the word for doll in Hebrew.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Impromptu Puppet Theater

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Its been crazy cold and very snowy here, so we got creative with indoor activities this winter. 

Baby Bear played with puppets at school and was asking about our puppets. I took out some finger puppets that she had and we cut a hole in a box to have a theater. 

This is the scale of the box.

Baby Bear drew on the box for decoration. 


We had a lot of fun watching Baby Bear's shows.  She sang and told stories!  But the box was so big to keep around and make into a nicer looking theater.

I found this box and I am going to make it into a travel size theather! DIY to come

Friday, February 14, 2014

Preschool Shapes and Math Exploration

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Since I never liked math growing up, I really am trying hard to teach my children good math habits.  The reason most people don't like math doesn't have to to with the real way that mathematicians think about numbers.  I remember 4th grade math we had to memorize the times tables.  We had to take a timed test and it started with the 1X and every time that you passed one of the tests, you got a cut out shape of ice cream scoop put on the cone with your name on it.  The ice cream scoop had a number on it and you had to get to twelve scoops so that the class could have an ice cream party.  Upon completing the last one, you got a cherry that said: Well Done! from an ink stamp.  I hate to admit this, but I remember looking at other people's answers to check if my numbers were right.  I have really good vision and if I looked really hard I could see what she was writing without being obvious.  I don’t remember which tests that I had to take more than once, but I know that there had to be a few.  Having to take a timed test is anxiety provoking enough, but when I had to be able to regurgitate times tables it put me over the top.  It got worse as the numbers got bigger.   My hands would sweat, my stomach would hurt, anything that would get me out of having to take the test in that 4th grade math class.  People would KNOW if I didn’t pass the test because THEY would get a scoop and I would not, like a scarlet letter across my chest.  Every time anyone looked at the board with the colorful cones they would see that my cone had less scoops then some of the others.  Cherries with Well Done!  inked on them were popping up all over the board and mine still needed some scoops.   Just that visual reminder made me not want to go to math class.  I never wanted to go to math class again.  In my graduate math class, we are learning about new ways to get students to understand that math is actually a creative medium.  I had some fun activities at home that I worked on with Baby Bear that related to geometry.  

My brother and sister-in-law got her these cool tangram like shapes for Hanukah from a local store called Toyology.  She likes to explore and discover, so this was right up her alley. 

It starts out by giving suggestions to help kids understand how to fit shapes inside the larger shape by giving you the small shapes you will need to arrange inside the larger shape. 

You get to lay them out first and then fit them inside. 

Next, you have to place the small shapes into the larger one.

For a preschooler, they might need some help figuring out what to do at first, but then they get creative freedom.  Baby Bear gets to turn and turn the shapes until they all fit inside. 

By trail and error, Baby Bear works to do more advanced shapes.  Eventually, they build up to harder shapes and no small shape key.    We also have a magnetic version of a similar geometry game.  This is good as a foundation for children to build on since it helps them to start to experiment with shapes that make up other shapes. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baby Bear's Ballet Class

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Mr. BBH and went to Baby Bear's ballet class to watch her on parent's day. 

It was ridiculously cute!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Activities with Toddlers~Smelling Spices

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skill building activities with toddlers-sense of smell

Baby Bear and I taught Mini how to smell spices. 

different spices for baby bear hugs blog

Things you will need:
Spices of all different types for your child to smell 

young girl smelling cinnamon spice

Be sure to demonstrate what you want your toddler to do.  Be very obvious that you are smelling and coach them to use their nose and sniff.

baby eating spices

Mini didn't understand what we wanted her to do at first, and kept trying to put it in her mouth. {but that is OK, let them safely explore}

By the end she was using her nose to sniff. 

 We could even hear her sniff.  Now that she understands the concept, I asked her to smell other things like flowers and fruit. She knows what it means and how to do the action!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

$1.49 plus free stamp- awesome V-day cards

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Got a late start on my Valentines Cards this year, but this is actually the BEST time because Cardstore is having their $2.49 sale use code CCA4312!!- 
Even better discount announced!!
 $1.49 folded~ code: CHC4199
.99 flat cards- code: CEA3313
 (I couldn't get .99 this to work but call the customer service number and they will fix it)

How cute are these for my little Bears?!!!

*Please click on the links, they help support Baby Bear Hugs*

Want to DIY at home instead? Try one of these 8 ideas 

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