Glittery Sensory Bottle

Thinking of ideas you can do with your toddler today?

Here is another fun and creative way of making something new with your bottled water container — A sensory bottle!

All you need are the following:

1. Small objects you can put in the bottle such as trinkets, buttons, dice, little foam

2. Glitters

3. Used plastic bottle with a cover

4. A sense of fun!


I coached Joshua in putting in the stuff. First, fill the bottle in half with water. Then I let my toddler put those little items in one by one. Then we pour in the blue glitters and continue putting more small items inside.



Once you have put enough fill the bottle with more water and close the tip with the bottle cover. Try putting upside down and downside up! See the items inside move from one end to another. The glitters under the light has that nice glittered touch!

It reminds me of those glittered ballpens I had in my grade school. I loved those water pens with glitters and little cute stuff floating back and forth!

Actually the one who enjoyed this the most after was my 7 month old Anna. Joshua continued with making a second bottle! It’s a great activity with wonderful creative sensory bottle!


Sarangani my child’s teacher about the environment

Sarangani is a beautiful province located In southern Philippines. It has mountains, waterfalls, rivers, coastlines, and the beautiful Sarangani Bay. The biodiversity in this province is rich, but is in need for protection. 

About 4 out of 5 sea turtle species are actually laying their eggs in its coast. Mostly Olive Ridley, Hawks Bill, and Green turtle are still hatching on beaches of Sarangani.  In Maitum, they have two turtle hatcheries or turtle sanctuaries. 

I brought Joshua for the first time to the Turtle sanctuary and it was his first time to see so many little hatchlings. I explained to him that turtles give birth to baby turtles by laying eggs.  And when they are ready, they are able to get out of the egg and go straight to the ocean. The ocean is their home.

   
 There were baby turtles in the aquarium and he saw them swimming around. He found them really cute! Joshua got more excited when I told him he was allowed to choose one turtle that he would help get back to the ocean. 

He was a little scared to hold them because they were moving so quickly. Finally he got himself one turtle that he would release to the wild. 

   
  

  
 We released our chosen turtles on the beach and they crawled towards the water and swam. Josh watched his turtle go. He was concerned actually if his turtle will be okay. They looked so small in front a huge ocean. Reality is only 1% per batch of hatchlings survive. (It is an alarming low percentage!)
This is why Josh now knows we have to do all we can to help turtles survive. In fact, he cried hard when we left. He wanted all the baby turtles released in the wild. It actually was the right thing to do. Marine scientists will concur that the sooner the turtles get to the wild the better are their possibility to fend for themselves and survive. 

  
Sarangani was our teacher that day about turtles and our environment. I believe if we pass on these values about caring about the environment at a young age, children will grow up doing so. I was about 8 years old when school explained the hole in the ozone layer causing the greenhouse effect. Garbage also directly correlates with destruction of the environment and adding to carbon footprints. That information has impacted me personally.

Now, I want my children to have that same values and conviction of loving and protecting the environment. And lucky me because my children will learn a lot of these in Sarangani.

Of Banana and sticks

Fine Motor skills are important to our toddlers. It just helps them strengthen those hand and arm muscles. It also practices hand and eye coordination. 

I find myself musing on what activity Joshua should do so he can practice his fingers and also get an experiential learning experience. So I started with the banana. Using a table knife, I would ask Joshua to slice into smaller pieces the banana and of course he has to eat these small pieces. 

   
 
These activity teaches him to control his hand muscle and also to accurately slice without touching his little fingers. He loved slicing, that he felt like he wanted more than just banana to slice.

Another activity for fine motor is getting those pick up sticks for practice.  I get a paper cup and mark the bottom with black dots. From the black dots, I create holes at the top with a safety pin or needle.  Then I get a pick up stick and make the holes big enough to slide the stick through.  Draw a little face of the cup and you will see that as your child places a stick on each hole, he adds colored hair to the face! 

   
 
Another home made innovation I did was with a box of Joshua’s toys. It was meant to be thrown but instead I decided to cover it with colored paper. At the top lid of the box I  drew a face of a little bear. I made horizontal slit as the mouth so that the Popsicle stick can fit. 

   
  
In this game, I make Josh feed the bear with Popsicle sticks. He would slip the sticks through the mouth of the bear. He was so happy he could actually feed the bear. He continued playing “feed this bear” game for hours and even days! By doing so, he actually does fine motor skills.

  
I thank God because these activities are all done at home and are very simple. No need of elaborate materials — I honestly just recycle and upcycle stuff I see at home. These activities are so fun and easy but have great benefits for those little fingers of our 2 year olds! 

Most Challenging Job in the World

Not many may agree but I say… The most challenging job in the world is:

MOTHER

It is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Pay is low and not a priority in taking on this career. It takes an on-call 24-hours per day job. Work peaks when “client” is sick or is cramming for exams, or when “client” is traveling out of town. The job does not allow you privacy — your bags are checked, drawers are checked and even your bathroom time is being checked. Applicant must be flexible to clean, cook, nurse, teach, be a pillow, a cheerleader, a disciplinarian, a travel agent, a porter, a driver, a day care teacher, a psychologist, and extra careers develop in due time. 
Sometimes client/s forget to say “thank you” or say “you are the best in the world”. But what keeps an applicant in that job are priceless hugs and kisses, those howling calls with a huge “Mooom or Maaa”. It’s those eyes locking without fear but filled with joy and lots of love. And the thought, “wow, I never thought I can love this much”. It’s amazing. 

❤️❤️❤️—————————-❤️❤️❤️

I remember years ago when I cried and prayed to God to make me a mother.  God knows me more than I know myself! It took 7 years before that happened.  Perhaps, God knew I was most ready when I turned 35. 

Being a mom is one of the most exciting and most self-revealing careers. I am knowing myself better and also seeing my areas of strengths and weaknesses. It’s a lot of hard work and commitment. It is a character building role. It grows patience, generosity, love, forgiveness, and grace. 

It’s definitely not easy but probably most fulfilling role for women. That’s why I cherish moms for all their love and soulful work in raising children. For God called us for this higher calling and privilege.

  
 

My Baby Led Weaning Child

Until I had Joshua, I never heard of this BLW term. Baby Led Weaning is introducing supplementary food to babies starting 6 months. The key here is to not mash the food.  It is giving your baby the control to try and eat the food. As their slogan says “the mush stops here!”

 When Joshua turned 6 months, I prepared mashed squash for him to eat. I used a small plastic spoon to feed him, and boy did he enjoy it! I loved preparing food for him. But it always required making them into a thick stew or some thick smoothie. This worked well for Joshua. 

However, for my little girl Anna, it’s a different experience. She did not like mashed food. In fact, she gave us that weird face everytime we gave her mashed food! She did not like squash, she did not really enjoy other mashed food too. I got a bit worried because she turned 6 months and was not interested with food.

  
However, I was wrong! She was interested with food. She just wants to hold it herself, and put in her mouth to suck and nibble. I only discovered that when I gave her a piece of jack fruit and she went crazy nibbling and chewing it on her toothless gums.

  
Oh, then I tried to give her a chicken wing and she loved it! She seemed like a champ biting that wing and nibbling on it. She did not get a lot of food in her tummy, but she surely enjoyed taking some small bites out of that wing! At this point, I understand that she still gets most of her nutrition from breast milk but she too is qexploring other options with her own hands and chewing it on those little jaws! 

Come to think of it, with Josh he did not chew much at 6 months. He swallowed food more than chewed. With Anna, I notice her chewing, swallowing, or spitting out food. She seems more in control about her food! So we continued to explore!  

 
The principle on Baby Led Weaning or BLW is allowing the child to eat the same food as what the family is eating. Of course they have to be to monitored and also be given in slices or sizes that they can hold and control. So far she has not choked and many (including myself) worry about that.

I enjoy watching her eat like a little pro. It seems messy too when she eats for now, but I am more hopeful that this method will help her be less picky with food and become an independent eater too! 

Home made and Edible finger paint!

I love activities that are home made! First you know the ingredients and make sure they are safe for kids. Second, home-made activities can be a bonding time for you and your child. Third, when it’s made at home… It’s made with extra effort and lots of love!!! 

Here is how to make home-made and edible finger paint. You will need these:

  • Flour
  • Filtered water
  • Food coloring
  • Bowls and plastic cups
  • Optional: flavoring (e.g. Vanilla, banana etc)

So the ratio is 1 cup flour to 2 cups water. If you add or lessen the recipe just follow the ratio –1 flour : 2 water.

  
It will look like a bowl of soup. I let Josh help me mix all the ingredients together and let him make this batter. From here we will now need a saucepan and spoon to mix this over heat. 

  
This batter will thicken in a few minutes so pay attention because you cannot over cook this one. When it starts to lump, put off the stove and mix it as it cools.

  
Now we start coloring. I would place in smaller bowls and decide to teach Joshua how colors are made. You really just need yellow, red and blue. From there you can make orange (yellow+red), green (blue+yellow), and purple (red+blue). My son enjoys mixing the colors! You can add drops of flavoring here too — in case they eat it. Hahahha! Then we put them in separate plastic cup containers.

  
Once the friends came over, each one had to bring their own Cartolina paper to work on. It was time to explore this paint with their hands and even their feet! It was sooo fun! 

  

Baking fun! 

Having children brings me back to days when I was a child baking. My grand mother, Lola Baby, taught me how to bake her coconut macaroons. That ignited my entrepreneurial spirit early on. When I was grade 6, she made me consign these macaroons at a favorite palabok restaurant in Iloilo. From there, I got my allowance. I was taught early to bake, earn, and save. 

Joshua has interest in cooking. As early as 1 year old we would play cooking and pretend to eat his imaginary dish. But now at 2 and a half, he is more excited to do the real thing! 

I am baking in the simplest form with my toddler. So I just bought a box of White King ultimate brownie mix. You just add egg and vegetable oil and mix.

   

Joshua helps in mixing the ingredients and also sees that there are changes in the composition from powder to a chocolate batter. It makes him realize that it takes a bit of work and some time to bake his goodies. It makes him patient and excited to try his hard work. After about 30 minutes in the turbo oven (yup, you can use a turbo oven),  Joshua gets to see and eat the baked brownie he worked hard for!  

 

On another occasion,  Joshua was throwing a bit of a tantrum.  I did not know what to do to distract him from his foul mood. So I started to cut bananas and mash them. It was not long, he asked if he could be the one to mash the bananas. I of course said “yes”. Soon I had a bowl with 2 cups of oatmeal, a bit of oil, honey, and chocolate bits. We started to mix them all and made teaspoonful balls of this batter. Placing them in a baking pans and putting them in the turbo oven for 15-20 minutes.

Oh did I tell you, that this changed the entire mood of Joshua? He was no longer crying but was superbly excited to see his cookie snack. Yes! It was a successful distraction and one healthy snack! 

   
 
  
I am so happy that there are lots of options today for children to do activities at home!  Baking is a great bonding experience and a good source of learning, and a great distraction activity for tantrums!!!