Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making "Snow Cones"

Mercedes made "snow cones" with fresh snow, a plastic ice cream scoop, rubber cupcake holders and water with food coloring for the "flavors".

Fluffy Winter Wonderland Animal Play

 One snowy day, Mercedes and I created a winter wonderland for her animals with fluffy cotton balls and shiny sequins on a cookie sheet covered in a soft white pillowcase.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Indoor Snow Play

During one of our recent snow storms, Ben came home from work early and filled up Mercedes swimming pool with snow. She played with the snow in our warm, cozy kitchen. The snow lasted several hours without melting.

First she let all her tiny plastic animals play in the snow.

After the animals got cold, we took them out to warm up, and Mercedes "cooked" with her snow.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beans and Animals Sensory Bin

 Mercedes and Emerald both enjoyed this simple sensory bin with dried beans and plastic animals.

Eventually Mercedes added cotton balls to the mix.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beach Themed Sensory Play

I set up a mini-beach for Mercedes in our kitchen with sand and seashells on some tinfoil, and a glass casserole dish filled with water and tiny sea creatures.

 I always set these up while Mercedes is napping or busy with something in another room because I like when she sees the entire setup at the same time and then watching while she decides what to do with it.

The first thing she did was add some sand to her "ocean".

And then she added some seashells to it.

 She soon asked me for more animals to go swimming. So...her giraffes, hippos, cows, zebras and elephants took a trip to the beach!

What is a trip to the beach without wading in the water?

 And you can't take a trip to the beach without feeling the sand beneath your toes!

She then asked me for some ice cubes to cool her animals off.

And they all went swimming in the ice water...yikes!

I love watching her games progress while she learns and plays.

Sand and Seashells Sensory Bin

Mercedes had fun finding seashells in the sand and seashells sensory bin I made for her.

She put her seashell treasures in an old ice cream bucket. Once she found them all we hid them again...and again, and again.

Scrubbing Seashells

Mercedes' Great-Aunt Laurie brought her some seashells the other day. They were kind of sandy, so I set Mercedes to work cleaning them. I gave her a couple of little sponges (kitchen sponges cut into strips) and a washcloth for drying.

Look at those squeaky clean, shiny seashells!
This has become a favorite activity at our house. She frequently asks me if she can have some water to "give the seashells a bath".

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Restaurant

 For my Valentine's Day present, Ben planned an incredible dinner to cook for me. Not just ANY incredible dinner. A truly, truly incredible dinner. Crab legs, stuffed mushrooms with a cream cheese filling, and homemade coleslaw. It didn't seem right to just eat dinner in the kitchen like we do on every normal night. I wanted it to feel special. And I wanted the night to be special for Mercedes too. Since the meal Ben planned was totally restaurant quality, I got the idea to create a Valentine's Day themed restaurant in our living room.

Mercedes decorated the Valentine couch. And yes, I did nail Mercedes' bed sheet to the wall. Why? Because it matched the Valentine theme. I couldn't help myself.

Mercedes' picnic table, where she ate most of her meals and snacks all day. Somehow moving it 10 feet from the kitchen to the living room and throwing a blanket over it made it REALLY exciting for her. =-)

 Our pretty table...I used a sheet for the tablecloth.

 The "cozy corner".

While Mercedes was napping, I surprised her and decorated the windows with hearts. I also made a sign for our restaurant. Mercedes named it "The Chocolate Valentine Restaurant".

  Ben's dinner DID NOT disappoint! Oh my. Every bite was the best bite of food I've ever eaten. Seriously. Best meal ever.

Crab legs dipped in buttery garlic sauce.

 Stuffed mushrooms with cream cheese filling.

Homemade coleslaw...the BEST coleslaw I have ever tasted. Seriously.