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Archive for June, 2011

We found that raised letters made for much clearer rubbings than indented sidewalk patterns and writing.

We decided we are going to take this one on the road with us.

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EEeeek! Bugs.

Recycled Crayon Bugs

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. That is, I’ve been wanting to use our broken crayons to make large recycled crayons AND I’ve been wanting to use this pan for something other than dessert. My father-in-law found this pan at Costco and he has asked me a few times if I’d used it yet. So, it needed to happen.

Viola!

(Yes, that beetle in the front is cracked and yes, it was tragic for our 4yo. No, this hasn’t happened to any of the others…ie. I’m pretty sure it was a fluke and that it was just played with a little too roughly a little too soon after coming out of the freezer.)

I wanted to keep the colors in each mold similar (blues and greens) while the girls were very excited about making rainbow bugs. I was surprised at how much I liked their choice. Contrary to a warning I had read, they did not turn out one icky brown color. 

To make these, we preheated the oven to 250-275 degrees. I greased the pan with vegetable oil and explained to the girls that this would hopefully help keep the finished crayons from sticking to the pan.

We mixed different brands and gel and sparkle crayons in there too. We filled the molds as high as we could with these broken crayon fragments broken as small as we could break them by hand. I didn’t bother getting out a knife to chop them any smaller. The girls watched as I put the pan in the oven and then about 10 minutes later they watched as we took them out. After about 8 minutes in the oven I used some left over chopsticks to push the semi-melted crayons in the center of the molds down a bit so that they wouldn’t be sticking out the top.

After I let the pan cool on the stove top for 10 minutes, we stuck them in the freezer for another 10 minutes. The crayons dropped out of the pan easily just by turning it over and giving it a soft pat.

The bottom of the girls’ purple and pink ladybug beetle turned out sparkly and swirly. Today, I plan on taking them out to get rubbings with their new bug crayons.

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Today at the gym I watched a news segment on tutors for 2 year olds. The segment featured parents who are dropping their toddlers off at a tutoring center so that they can learn to read before they go to school. For many reasons that I may sometime find the time to write about I am opposed to doing the same. For many of those same reasons, I’d been hesitant to sign up the girls for any of the endless possibilities of toddler-geared classes out there. However, as the girls have expressed interest in particular subjects and as I’ve found related programs available locally that have been mostly structured for fun and play, I’ve decided to take part.

This spring we decided to take Spanish and Ballet. To our 2yo, these classes are interchangeable. She will call ballet, “Spanish class” and she often insists that our toddler Spanish class is “ballet class.” Tonight we may (or may not) be taking part in our first ever ballet recital (or maybe I should say, “Spanish recital”).

This past Monday was the last of the Spanish for this session. I’d like to sign us up for more classes since the girls really seemed to enjoy it, but i need to make sure we are not overdoing it schedule-wise for the summer.

For the last Spanish class we had a birthday fiesta. The kids got to decorate the room and some photocopies of cakes. I’d love to learn a foreign language in a more natural setting, but this class has really been a lot of fun. The real selling point for me has been the instructor, she’s amazing (patient, enthusiastic, inspiring, fun, etc). I doubt the girls or I would enjoy this sort of thing quite so much if it wasn’t for Ms. Priscilla.

Since I am busy taking care of myself (i.e. going to a mommy and me gym class with our baby) on Thursday mornings, my husband has been taking the girls to ballet class. I usually walk over with them to the park facility where the class is taught before heading to the gym. I usually only get to watch a minute or two of the class before I have to take off. The minutes that I have been able to watch have been seriously therapeutic. I can’t describe the beauty of a toddler ballet class. There is no corralling the chaos and there can’t be a much more heart-aching-adorable sight than 10 or so toddlers running around in tutus and ballet shoes. Its enough to burst my heart. I think I need to not be busy on Thursday mornings next time around.

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