Happy Elephant Appreciation Day!

Sounds like some good qualities to instill in your child. Yes, September 22nd is creeping up again. Elephant Appreciation Day! Have you hugged an elephant today? You’d better find one tomorrow!

Kindermusik Fest

Don’t forget to join us at the Powerhouse tomorrow! We are celebrating our studio’s new Maestro status. We want every child in Oxford, young and old to come and have fun at our celebration. If you been in our Kindermusik classes in the past please bring a CURRENT photo to add to our memory wall. We’ll supply the older photos. We’ll all have a wonderful reunion! Can’t wait to see you.

Home Made Play Dough

I have been thinking about doing this for a long time. Actually, my oldest son’s Mother’s Morning Out teacher gave me this recipe when he was about 18 months old. He is 9.5 years old now so you can see the idea has been kicking around in the back of my head for a little while! We had lots of fun and it got out their creative energy and eventually got them out from underfoot so that I could make the promised blueberry muffins!

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Salt
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon Oil
1 cup Water
Food Coloring (optional)

Mix up the dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Add the oil, water and food coloring. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly because the mixture will thicken up quickly. In 2-3 minutes you should have a big ball. Turn out onto waxed paper or a plastic plate or board and knead until smooth and cool. (This part is great for the kids!) Store in an air tight container or freezer bag.

Yes, someone got bored and took her dress off while she was waiting!


“Relationships do not unfold in a vacuum. They are most rewarding when they become a vehicle for learning about oneself, about each other, and about the world. For toddlers, having things to do is a prerequisite for all these kinds of learning.”
-The Emotional Life of the Toddler
by Alicia F. Lieberman

Even the Seafood Hater Ate This One!

Ok, maybe he was just really hungry after having such a beautiful day which was not too hot to play outside. They both took full advantage and played with some neighborhood kids ALL DAY outside! Yeah!! One of the things that has always seemed wrong to me as a transplanted northerner is that kids never play outside all summer! They might get the notion but less than 10 minutes and they are back inside. The flip side of this is that, yes, you can go to the park and play for hours after school in January and February.

So here is the relatively quick meal I came up with after getting home from a meeting at 5:30 and having to sit down with the baby until almost 6 before even taking anything out of the fridge.

I started with one of those boxed Near East rice mixes. I chopped up some sun dried tomatoes and threw those in while it cooked.

Thaw some frozen spinach and squeeze the excess water out of it. Saute in some olive oil and add some chunks of feta cheese. Heat until the cheese mostly melts into the spinach.

I had some catfish and fresh basil that needed using so this is a variation of something I found on Epicurious.

4 catfish filtes
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Mix all the other ingredients and spoon over the fish. Broil the fish without turning until done.

Ta-da! Did it take 10 minutes to get it all done? No, but you know the story on that!

Baby Me

Poor little one. She looks so sad here. We realized recently that as the youngest with 2 older brothers Shaela was growing up in a house where the only thing approaching a doll was a Teen-age-mutant-ninja-turtle, Batman or Superman figure. Grandma and I took her doll shopping. That was a whole new experience for this “boy mom.” This is the baby doll she picked out. I was personally thrilled that it didn’t talk or yell at me when I got near it nor did it drink or wet it’s pants. When asked later what her doll’s name was, she gave it a little thought and my 21 month old said, “ME.”

Bell Horses

Help your child learn about counting with this fun Mother Goose rhyme.

Bell horses, bell horses,
What’s the time of day?
One o’clock, two o’clock,
Time to go away.

Good horses, bad horses,
What’s the time of day?
Three o’clock, four o’clock,
Time to go away.

You can help your child hold up fingers at the proper times. You can get out some toy horses or even cut out some approximations of horses yourself! Maybe your drawing skills are not up to snuff but magazines and the internet are full of photos.

Can you make a clip-clop sound with your hands on different parts of your body? Can you make the sound with just your tongue? Can you move the toy horse around the room at a gallop and a trot? Can your feet move like a horse?