Archive for April, 2008

The Letter B


This week we have started focusing on the letter B and we will continue to focus on it for two weeks. 

When I work on teaching Hailey a letter I try not to actually “teach” but rather look for those teachable moments.  When she brings me a book we can look for the letter B.  When she wants to color I can have a paper ready with the letter B on it and talk about the B while she colors. 

While we are grocery shopping I can point out all of the letters that are around us and make special note of whatever our focus letter is for that week. 

I have some foam letters and we play a hiding game with them.  I hide the letter and then say, “Let’s see if you can find the letter B.” 

There are endless possibilities for teaching letters.  For me, I think the important thing for toddlers is to have fun so that they think it is all a game.  Look for those teachable moments rather than trying to teach an actual lesson.  The lesson you are ready to teach when those teachable moments occur are the ones your child will remember.

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Vegetable Manicotti


I am always trying to come up new recipes- I get tired of the same old stuff all of the time.  I’m also always looking for ways to get some extra servings of vegetables.  So, I found this recipe at and want to try it out.  I’ll let you know how it is and post some pictures once I actually try it.

Vegetable Manicotti


  • 2  teaspoons olive oil
  • 1  yellow squash, chopped
  • 1  medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1  15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2  cups shredded provolone or mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon black pepper
  • 14  pieces (8-ounce box) manicotti, uncooked
  • 1  jar (26 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1  cup water


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash and zucchini. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

2. In large bowl, combine squash, zucchini, ricotta, 1 cup provolone, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Transfer cheese mixture to a large resealable storage bag. Push mixture toward one corner and twist bag closed. Make a 3/4 inch cut in a corner of bag, and squeeze filling into each pasta tube.

3.In bowl, combine marinara sauce and water. Spread 2/3 cup each into two 2-quart baking dishes. Divide manicotti between baking dishes, arranging in a single layer. Top with remaining marinara sauce.

4. Cover 1 pan with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with 1/4 cup provolone cheese. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.

5. Cover remaining dish tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze.

6. To reheat: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove plastic wrap, cover with foil, and follow baking directions in step 4.

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Turtle Craft


I saw this very simple craft for making a turtle in one of my Mailbox magazines.

What you’ll need:

  • paper plate
  • construction paper- green, yellow, brown
  • glue
  • marker
  • scissors


  • Have child tear apart the construction paper into little pieces.  (This is an excellent way to help strengthen their hands)
  • Glue pieces of torn paper onto paper plate.
  • Depending on the age of the child- you can have them cut out the pieces for the head and legs.  I would probably start doing this around age 3.
  • Again- depending on the age of the child- they can draw the eyes and mouth onto face.

Hailey wouldn’t have anything to do with tearing up the paper, so she just watched me do it.

Gluing, on the hand, Hailey loves to do.  If I tried to help her she said, “No, no, no.  I do.”

Gluing the torn pieces onto the paper plate.

The finished turtle.

Cute and easy.

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April Ideas


I try to do other things with Hailey, besides the crafts that I take pictures of to share here.  So, I thought I’d give a brief summary of the non-craft activities we have done or that I plan to do with Hailey this month.

  • I created cards with pictures of adult and baby animals on them.  Then we matched up the babies with their mommies.
  • We are going to plant some grass seed and take pictures as it grows.  (It’s still been a little bit chilly here, but hopefully we can start this in the next couple of weeks.)
  • Play matching and sorting games with these umbrellas.
  • I have a Randy the Raindrop story that I am going to use on a flannel board (that I still need to make).  I’ll take pictures of it when I actually do it.
  • Make dice with farm animals on them.  Then sing “Old MacDonald” and roll the die to see which animal we will use for that verse.
  • Raindrop writing- practice the letters in Hailey’s name using these raindrops.  The reason the raindrops are white is that is the color I am focusing on this month.

 That’s all for now.  I’ll be back to share more ideas as I come up with them. 

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