Monday, February 24, 2014

Train Videos

Trains hold a magic over kids, and long train videos are great. Here are two good ones on YouTube:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Club soda for cleaning chocolate?

Kids will hold chocolate, and drool chocolate, and wipe chocolate, and it will get into their cloths and everything else upholstered. The internet says to try Club Soda to help clean it. I did. It worked. But, I also had a doubt.

So, I ran an experiment.
Cleaning chocolate with

  • Club Soda
    (carbonated water with potassium bicarbonate & potassium citrate)
  • De-bubbled Club Soda
    (hand blender... excellent de-bubbler, a hit with the kids)
  • Tap water
The results? All equally cleaned the chocolate off:
And, the rest came off by just tossing it in the washing machine. So, perhaps my experiment was flawed ... I needed a tougher stain? Or this rag was too easy a fabric? Or I didn't work it in enough and let it set? A chair's cover definitely remained stained the last time we had a chocolate-a-splosion.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Milk Jug Trowel and Bucket

Take an empty milk jug and cut it to create trowels, buckets, scoops, and funnels. Fun in the sand box and in the bath too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ample Bath Toys

Don't toss or recycle those bottles and tubs, use them for bath toys!

Especially fun are containers with unique lids, such as coffee creamer and squeezable jelly bottles. In general, the bottles with smaller necks add a lot of fun as they bubble as they fill up, and take longer to dump out. Don't be shy, a gallon sized milk jug is great fun too.

Of course, these all combine well with food colors. Have fun enjoying these containers in a new way. ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bubbles in the Bath

Bubbles bubbles everywhere, all too many to eat. Bath time is a great time to blow bubbles for the little ones. They hang around longer, and give the adult something fun to do. They stick onto tile surfaces and wet kids, offering lots of popping fun. Happen to have a bubble machine? (You should.) that makes it quite the event.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stroller on Steps?

Back wheels hitting step, need a lift.
I was recently speaking with an expecting Dad who was concerned about the upcoming changes to life. I pointed out that while there was much to change, they still had a lot of leeway with just one child for many months. In the first year we took our first born to New York, Chicago, Los Angles, and Europe. It all went rather well.

One of my larger concerns was traveling older cities with a stroller. Cobblestone streets and lots of stairs had me concerned. As it turns out, strollers can do stairs better than you may have guessed. Many stairs fit into a sweet spot where you can rock the stroller between front and back wheels.
Back wheels over the lip, rolled forward till front wheels hit.
Push handles down to rock a bye baby and lift the front. 

When the back wheels hit a step, you lift up till they roll over the lip. Then the front wheels will hit a step, but the back will now be on top of a step. You can then press down on the handles and cause the front wheels to roll up their step, till they crest the lip and roll forward.

The tick-tock rocking motion becomes easy and natural, and you can bounce your baby right up to the top of that medieval castle.

On the way down, you do it in reverse, with you below the stroller of course. If you get into a bind, with spiral steps or an unfortunate step ratio where both wheels hit steps at the same time, it's not so bad to have your significant other grab the front foot strap.

So, enjoy wider travels. At least for ours, until they're walking on their own children seem quite happy to stroll around all sorts of new places.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pick the Songs

I sing poorly, but a crying kid will get you to try anything. At first, I used the classics. But soon row row row your boat and hush a bye baby were gnawing at my soul.

One car trip I was running out of ideas, and gave a shot at whistling the theme song to Super Mario Bros, and the Water World music. Hey, why stop there? Portal's Still Alive came to mind, and was actually not mind numbingly simple.

So I thought of what other songs would be enough to keep me from degrading further mentally, but were simple enough that even I could sing them. The current top songs:

Some are still on the children's songs side of things, but at least have verses. Others are probably not typical for kids, but Still Alive and Drowning get more requests than you might think.

The moral: kids will love whatever songs you're happy to sing, so pick songs you'll enjoy singing.