January 27, 2012

Toddler Busy Bag Swap

A "busy bag" is a ziploc bag containing an activity (can be educational) you can give your kiddo to keep them busy, on their own or with minimal help. Each activity should be:
  • Self-contained. Something that you can grab and go, no added materials required. Great for home or on the go (doctor appointments, airplanes, restaraunts, etc)
  • Convenient. No major set-up or clean-up required (no paint, liquids, sand, dirt, etc).
  • Re-Usable. Should be able to play with many times without added materials, use lamination if needed.
  • Inexpensive. Aim for under $1/bag to keep this budget-friendly (brainstorm about re-using materials you already have or recycling containers, etc).
  • Easy to Make. Should not take hours to make.
  • Toddler-appropriate. Avoid small choking hazards like tiny beads. 
This is a toddler busy bag swap so all activities should be appropriate for toddlers ages 12-35 months. This is a wide-range so young toddlers may need supervision with some activities.

Each person will choose one activity and make 15-20 sets of that activity. I will update you with the exact number depending on how many kiddos we have, but will cap it at 20. If you have twins (or two toddlers) and want a duplicate set of busy bags, you should sign up to make two activities (or three if you want three full sets). Some activities use similar materials so you can make it easier on yourself if you like.

See below for a list of suggested activities. You can make one of these or feel free to google or Pinterest "busy bag ideas" and find your own. (As people sign up, I will cross out the activities that are already chosen)

I will host a dessert get-together for the swap (details to follow). If you can't make it that day, I'll make arrangements with you.

Want to join this swap?
Comment on this post with  a) the number of complete busy bag sets you want and b) what activity/ies you will make and c) your email address.
Please comment to sign up by next Wednesday (February 1st). I will send you a confirmation email to give you the exact number of bags to make and other additional details. We will swap on or around February 15th.

Suggested Activities:

1. Button Snake  (Emily)
2. Mini Reversible Felt Board (Jill)
3. Matching/Memory Game (Natalie K)
4. Plastic Egg Carton (Kelly)
5. Pool Noodle Stringing
6. Pom Pom Stuff it In (Nicole)
7. Color Sorting Pipe Cleaners
8. Sponge Lacing  (Marki)
9. Color Wheel (Shoshana)
10. Cupcake Magnetic Puzzle
11. Pom Pom Bottles (Ashley)
12. Laminated Flip Book
13. I Spy Bottle (Marki)
14. Wooden Bead Lacing (Tricia, w/ pasta)
15. Popsicle Matching (Natalie S)
16. Clothespin Drop (Erin)
17. Homemade Playdough'
18. Colorful Flowers (Bec)

Have additional questions? Feel free to email me.

January 13, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

Maybe I should call this post "On the Road Again" because Christmas weekend kicked off four consecutive weekends of road trip travelling. To all the friends we haven't seen in ages: we will be home in February. No travel plans.

When A&Z hear people talk of Santa or even say "Merry Christmas", they both say "ho, ho, ho" 

Before we left town, the girls tested out some new present that were just too big to take with us. (They are not in their right named chairs)

We headed to Yakima on Christmas Eve and stayed through the weekend. As always, we had a great time with the Yakima Shirzads (aka Bebe Jan and Grandpa). The girls were spoiled with tons of presents and new toys. They definitely knew how to unwrap the presents this year, but the paper was just as exciting as whatever was inside. 

Christmas Eve tradition - new Christmas books before bed

Christmas morning - eating Cheerios was more exciting than presents apparently?

Lexi (the twin who is not doing a tights boycott)

Speaking of Ho, Ho, Ho, we visited the Providence Festival of Trees earlier in December and said hello.

Christmas at the Zoo

Zoolights is a big deal in Portland. Marcus and I have been a few times before with nieces and nephews, but it was a first for the girls. We didn't see the point of taking them as infants last year. It was a quick trip because it was really crisp and cold that night, but we got there right when they opened and didn't have to deal with parking and crowds. Our friends K and P were there with us too. We finished the night off with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant: 4 adults, 3 high chairs, 1 booster and a partridge and a pear tree.

I need to get a) a better camera and b) some better photography skills because taking pictures of lights at night is really hard.

January 9, 2012

Christmas, Birthdays, Oh My

My mom and Lydia's family came down the weekend before Christmas to spread some Christmas cheer and celebrate our birthdays. In the week before Christmas, Lydia, mom and I all have birthdays. Its a busy month!

So with mom and the Ahns here we played at the Children's Museum, baked and decorated sugar cookies, enjoyed babysitter Yiayia for a night out to see MI4, played games, watched movies and went on a walk. It was a great time together, as always.

Beware: picture overload ahead!

cousins hanging out (Zara, Ben, Lexi)

Lydia and Michael rolling the cookie dough
Everyone got in on the decorating

Twins getting a ride from Uncle Peter

Wagon walk

All the girls

The best pic we got of Yiayia and the kids

Opening bday presents

The entire Ahn family

birthday girls

January 3, 2012

Disney World

I am trying to catch up on documenting the past few months so here we go!

We spent Thanksgiving in sunny Orlando, Florida. My mom and sister Lydia and family joined us for a great time at Disney World. In addition to Disney we visited my mom's cousin, Anna, in Tampa and spent an afternoon in St. Petersburg. The weather was warm the whole week. The girls came down with the flu, but still enjoyed (most of) the vacation and did really well on all of the flights. 

Playing in the condo's kitchen cabinets 

Kilimanjaro Sajafi @ Animal Kingdom

Waiting for the big "kids" to finish a roller coaster

Zara (left) and Lexi (right)

Playing the piano at Anna's house

St. Petersburg

Magic Kingdom

Primeval Whirl @ Animal Kingdom

Indiana Jones show @ Hollywood Studios

Riding the boat to Magic Kingdom

Thanks Yiayia for the hats! Tired twins...

Its a Small World @ Magic Kingdom (A&Z's fave)