Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Party Season Project Fever

We have entered Birthday Party Season! The Bean and I are involved with a Wonderful group of moms and kiddos through our church. All the kiddos' birthdays fall within six months of one another, so right around now another half-year of celebrations begins! Unluckily for the Bean and I, the Bean's birthday comes at the veeeeeeeeery end of Birthday Season, so she has to wait her turn and I have to think of gifts as fabulous as the kids before really knowing what is going to be a hit at the new age. Luckily, that teaches the Bean patience and sparks her mommy's creativity. Win!

This Saturday is the birthday of fabulous K, and I have finally come up with something for this play-set loving darling - A Chef Kit! I was inspired by this book I literally stumbled over at our most recent Barnes $ Noble story time: DK Children's Cookbook by Katherine Ibbs

It is a great collections of recipes for little ones with full color photos of every ingredient and children doing every step in the recipe, and foods I'd actually want to eat! The only draw back was that I think it might be a little too old for fabulous K on her third birthday, and the price point was a little too high for me to be able to add anything else to the gift. So the DK Children's Cookbook was added to my wishlist for the Bean, and the search began.

Our big outing with weekend was to The Flagship Half Price Books Store and boy-howdy, was it awesome. A Walmart-sized store of great books at affordable prices that not only makes great literature available for every budget but has also made being Green profitable and hip is my kind of shopping heaven. While I was there I found: Fairy Cooking by Rebecca Gilpin and Catherine Atkinson

This little paperback gem is simpler and more age appropriate than the DK Children's Cookbook, includes mostly desserts and although it lacks the photographed ingredient list I liked so much, the instructions are illustrated and the design is absolutely charming. I have been admiring it more and more since I got it home, so now I need to find another one for us!

You can't have a Chef Kit without a charming apron, so after some easy googling I came across this clever apron pattern by Meg at SewLiberated. I LOVE clever design!! The neck strap is elastic and the waist strap velcros so the little chef can take it on/on themselves and the whole thing from the lining to the shape fit firmly in the Why Didn't I Think of That category. The Bean and I are headed to Hobby Lobby tomorrow for fabric and a couple of cookie cutters and jars of sprinkles and we will be ready to go!

One problem. SewLiberated led me to JCasa Handmade and this fabulous alphabet craft project and now my list for the Lobby of Hobbies is growing. I am hoping to look into this blog more during nap time today after reading JCasa's response to a question as to whether or not she does Montessori home-schooling. She said "we're not montessori-based, rather the girls participate in a traditional preschool environment and are both really thriving there. at home, i really do appreciate the "follow the child" concept that Meg (above) explains so well on her blog and am trying more and more to move toward child-centered activities in our home."

This Really spoke to me. Since we have recently discovered a local preschool that may be what we want in an early school experience for the Bean AND fall within our budget restraints, I have been trying to balance my desire for the Bean to have a fabulous and fulfilling public school experience like the one I had and my new curiosity in providing a great at-home learning environment. Maybe it is possible to have both. It's a wonderful place to let my mind wander.

I can hear the Elmo's World song, so my blogging time draws to a close. Today I hope to give myself some mental space to think about what I want the Bean to get out of her education, what I can provide personally and where I can find resources to fill in the gaps, and what my priorities are for her education. If I can reign in the crafting fever I can feel coming over me, I might just get to that! Wish me luck!

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