Color Changing Activity Board for Toddlers

At the age of 2, M was pretty adventuros and kept us busy tidying up closets  and drawers. Part of our effort to keep his little hands busy, was to make him an activity board (busyboard). Here he could explore to his heart content, without any risk of cuts, burns, poisoning, electrocution or breaking expensive items. The board itself is nothing new.

Basically you cut a piece of fiberboard or plywood to desired size, paint it as you like, populate the board with whatever your child likes and mount the board to a suitable wall.

Our son had a special intrest in switches and colored lights and to accomodate that, I decided to mount 3 switches each controlling one channel of an RGB LED. The idea is that the individual colors can be turned on or off, one by one, enabling the child to mix the colors. The result can be seen in the video below.

The light feature is designed to be inexpensive and very easy to build. Its based on a single 5mm RGB common anode LED with voltage reducing resistors for each color.  However individual leds for each color could just as easily have been used. I used hot glue to diffuse the light.

The diagram below shows the curcuit alongside my ghetto implementation of it.

diagram and implementation

As seen I built it using whatever I had lying around that day, making this instance of the project very inexpensive and low impact. Except for paint, solder and hot glue every part is made with salvaged materials.

When someone sees the board for the first time, children and adults alike, they seem to go straight for the light switches and stay there –  fascinated.

 

Hama Beads

As a child I loved beads and now as a parent I might even love them more. We use them to teach M the colors and to practice fine motor skills – in particular precision grip. It’s also quite fun for adults who may express themselves creatively.

Hama beadsYou can get different kinds of beads but I’ve been told that Hama beads are the best, so I went out and bought 30.000 beads in 48 different colors and a pair of tweezers, which I discovered, is actually pretty need to have.
Apparently birds are popular at the moment so I made a redbreast and a bluetit for the baby’s room, O made a little baby penguin and M made a spinning top (just add a toothpick and spin away).

Spinning TopWhen the children are finished with their bead projects, the question is always what to do with the craft? One idea is to put them to good use and glue magnets onto the beads and use them on the refrigerator.

Now for the ironing – we tried ironing the beads like this guy who uses tape, but O thinks that HE is the master of ironing beads and made his own video tutorial.

Continue reading Hama Beads

Constructive Eating

I read this article about how to get your kids to eat their vegetables, which we all know can be quite a challenge. The Danish board of Health recommends 600 grams of fruit and greens every day, but only a tenth of the Danish children meet the standard. Pretty scary.

The authors stated that it’s easier to learn to like the taste of vegetables before the age 12 month due to the fact that 1-year old babies are far more skeptical about new foods and are strongly influenced by their parents’ habits. Next you need to expose the child to a new food item at least ten times before you throw in the towel.

Continue reading Constructive Eating

A’s Christening

Sunday was the day for A’ christening. The weather was beautiful and the whole family slept well, which is the first step to achieving a successful day.

I was stressed out of my mind in the morning. It’s really a hopeless task to get everyone ready in the right (preferably clean) clothes at the right time. Just the baby alone – make sure she is pretty full so she doesn’t cry in church, but not so full that she vomits on the dress. Don’t be late for church but don’t come to early or you will have the problem of controlling the 3-year old bag of fleas. Continue reading A’s Christening

I didn’t take it, I just borrowed it

I was sooo happy when my son came home with a homemade necklace for me last week. It was just awesome that he had done this all by himself (he isn’t exactly known for his patience). Several days went by before he quietly told me that maybe; just maybe he had borrowed it from one of the other kids.

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How do you deal with the task of teaching children the difference between borrowing and stealing?

 

Sophie la Girafe

Yesterday we received a gift certificate and I went off to buy baby toys. Sophie the Girafe is the best selling toy in France and it’s pretty popular in my area too.

20150912_090402_resized_1The company claims that this toy will be your baby’s all-time favorite and you can pad yourself on the back for purchasing it, since it stimulates all five of the baby’s senses, is made out of natural rubber and free of BPA and phthalates.

I recommend buying the unscented version due to health reasons.

It’s pretty pricy (about 30 dollars), but since I gave away our old teething toys, we needed new ones.

Is it worth the money? Time will tell.

What is your child’s favorite teething toy?

Shower Painting

I found this post on Miss Banana Pants’ blog and wanted to try it out.

The shaving cream was about a dollar and the food coloring was also around a dollar each (I got four). Unfortunately I couldn’t find any shaving cream without perfume (went to three different stores), so the poor kid smelled pretty manly afterwards. Kidding aside you really shouldn’t use products with perfume on the kids, since it increases the risk of allergies. Actually I later read (on my quest to find a more healthy shaving cream) that it’s very easy to produce unscented shaving cream but unfortunately the demand is low for the time being.

Note to dog – stay away from bathroom

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Push Presents

Until very recently, I hadn’t heard of the term “push present”. Who the hell came up with that name anyway? A friend gave birth and explained that she on that occasion received a diamond ring from the father.

Hmm, should I now feel cheated? I didn’t get a present in the delivery room – other than my amazing children of course. Continue reading Push Presents