February 28, 2010

On Hiatus

Well, I have tried really hard to balance motherhood, home-making, blogging and working part-time, but I can't keep up.  I have decided to go on a hiatus from the blog for awhile.  I know I introduced my math series and haven't followed through, but plan to when I return.  I am not positive of when I will return, but my guess is early summer when the school year is over.  Maybe sooner if I can get things to run smoother around here.  I will not be returning to work next school year, so perhaps I will have more time to devote to the blog.  Please sign up for a feed so you are made aware of Early Motherhood's return.  Thank you for reading and I hope you will return when I do!

February 24, 2010

Beech-Nut Baby and Toddler Kits

I have signed up for these in the past and they have come with coupons for FREE baby food.  Not sure if these will, but it's worth a shot:
Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

February 20, 2010

CVS, Target, and Randalls $5.65

I had some catching up to do on deals today since we've been sick.  As a result, I missed out on several, but here's what I did accomplish:


Aussie shampoo
- 1.00 (RP 2/14)
= $1.99 and earned 2 ECBs

Used 1 ECB
Total OOP = $1.07 and earned 2 ECBs


Puffs facial tissue (x2) Note: I opened them before I remembered to get a picture
- 1.00 (mailer)
= $0.99 each

Glade candle tin (x2)
$3.32 ($1.66 each)
- 3.00 ($1.50 manufacturer's coupons found in tins)
-1.00 (Target mailer)
= +$.68 overage earned for both

Method laundry detergent 64 loads
$7.48 (orig. $14.99, on clearance since Method has new packaging)

Used $5 Target gift card

Total OOP = $4.58

Randalls (Kroger Stores)

Right Guard antiperspirant (x2)
$1.00 each
= free

Total OOP = $0

February 19, 2010

Free Music/Story Downloads

Sorry for such a long break.  S and I have been very sick, but we're slowly recovering.  Here are some free music/story downloads for you to enjoy with your little one: 

"John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" and "Yankee Doodle Boy"

The Best of Countdown Kids: 10 very familiar tunes

Use code NAPTIME here to get a PDF of The Original Story of Winnie the Pooh, an MP3 of the story read aloud, and an MP3 of the song "House at Pooh Corner" by Fred Molliin

Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom!

February 11, 2010

Pampers Gifts to Grow 30 Point Code

Here's a 30-point code for Gifts to Grow GTGPLAY2USA2010

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

February 8, 2010

Free Sample of Burt's Bees Toothpaste

You can sign up for a free sample of Burt's Bees toothpaste here.  It may be a good one to try when S is ready for fluoride toothpaste.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Toddler Math: Introduction (Part 1 of 7)

I realized the other day that S's early literacy skills are developing very rapidly and that I don't plan as much with him in the area of math.  This is ironic because I myself am a "math person".  In fact, the part-time job I recently took is as a Math Specialist at an elementary school.  So I asked myself why this was the case and realized there is so much more to math than being able to perform operations.  I also realized that we do more math than I had originally thought simply through play.  After these realizations I decided to break down the components of math for myself and take a look at each one to evaluate how I could develop early math skills in these areas with S.  From all of this I am starting a new series of posts titled "Toddler Math." 

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics breaks math into six standards:
I plan to continue this series by writing a post about each of the six standards.  In each post, I will share four components:
  • Concepts and Vocabulary
  • Educational Products, Toys, and Manipulatives
  • Activity Ideas
  • Children's Literature Connections
My goal at home is to have S engaged in an activity a few minutes a day that addresses a standard each day of the week  (ex. Monday-Number and Operations, Tuesday-Algebra...).  There are six standards, but Process Standards will be integrated throughout all of the above standards (more on that to come).  I hope you enjoy following along.

February 7, 2010

Our First Experiment

I have been meaning to incorporate more science into our activities, so when I ran across this on several blogs, I wanted to try it with S.  I had made these "hot" and "cold" laminated cards when S was about a year old to teach him the difference, but I brought them back out for this activity as a visual.  We filled an ice cube tray with water and food coloring drops (red for Valentine's).  When the water had frozen, I filled a bowl with hot (very warm) water and one with cold water and placed a few ice cubes into each.  S liked to explore the different water temperatures and we talked about how the cubes in the hot water were "small" and the cubes in the cold water stayed "big".  This was also a good activity to introduce the word "melt", which I'm not sure I've really used with S.  Our fun ended when he turned one of the bowls over, but he enjoyed it so much that I think we will do it again to reinforce the concepts. 

Thanks, April Flowers!

February 6, 2010

Heart Letter Search

I printed this blank heart mat from a site I just discovered (and love) called PrekindersNote:  I am adding it to my resource list.  I then added some letters that S is familiar with to create a "letter search".  We used a different color of dot marker to mark each letter.  I modeled this for him to begin (some of the S's) and then had him point to the letters before he marked them himself.  As you can see, his attention span did not last for the entire activity, so next time I will cut the mat in half. 

Thanks, Activity Mom, for the site!

February 4, 2010

Pampers Gifts to Grow Points

Here's a 10 point code to enter at PampersFebThankYouFans, but hurry it expires tomorrow!

February 2, 2010

Alphabet Chart

S has become fascinated with letter identification in last few weeks.  Today we made an alphabet chart out of a file folder with the tab end cut off.  I put sticky sided magnets on the back so that it can hang on the fridge.  I wrote the lowercase alphabet on it and made a "sticker" for each letter (name badges cut in half).  When S can identify and name a letter, I will place a sticker over that letter.  He was so proud today when we covered the letters he has learned.  I do not think we will use the chart for much direct learning though because I don't want him to just memorize the placement/handwriting on the chart.  So far he has learned most of his letters through letter magnets, Leapfrog Fridge Phonics and Letter Factory DVD*, this classroom alphabet, dot letters, and letter matching.  If he enjoys this chart, I will make more (uppercase, numbers, letter sounds, skills). 

*Note: While I love these products because S can already name several letter sounds from playing with Fridge Phonics and watching the Letter Factory DVD, I do have some complaints about them.  The video only identifies one sound per letter and I would prefer they teach all sounds a letter can make (ex. hard c and soft c).  I also have issues with the pronunciation of some of the letter sounds (ex. L does not say "ul").  The Letter Factory video does provide a wonderful visual for remembering letter sounds, however. 

New Pampers with Dry Max Sample

Try new Pampers with Dry Max by signing up here

Thanks, Juila!

February 1, 2010

CVS $0.12

Slimfast Bars (x2)
- 1.25 (printable)
= $3.74 each and earned 3 ECBs
*Note:  I am not on a diet, but received a Peanut Butter Crunch sample in the mail and was hooked!  They are so yummy. 

Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste
- 1.00 (Jan. All You Magazine)
= $1.99 and earned 2 ECBs

Dove Men's Bodywash (x2)
- 1.25 (1/31 RP)
= 4.24 each and earned $10.98 ECBs

Used 15 ECBs earned from survey participation as a CVS Advisor
Used another 3 ECBs

Total OOP = $0.12 and earned 15.98 ECBs

January 29, 2010

Free Animal Cookies and Circus Train

I tied three animal cookie boxes to make a circus train for S.  I use to love pretending these boxes were circus trains when I was a child. 

You can get 2 boxes for FREE at Walmart with this $2/2 printable coupon

January 28, 2010

New Felt Board

Today I finally got around to making S's new felt board.  The cardboard triangular one didn't hold up too well under toddler usage.  I used a cheap frame from Ikea and put a sheet of white felt inside over the plexiglass.  I have it propped up against the wall of our play room, but you could hang it low as well. 

I also cut out three varying-sized hearts to work on the concept of size (big, medium, small).  We're not quite ready for sequencing them, but this is a start.  S also likes to count the three hearts. 

Anyone have a good Valentine's felt board rhyme? 

More Diaper Samples

Go here to request a sample of Huggies Pure and Natural diapers.  If you requested one a few months ago, it looks as though it may have been reset, so you can try again. 

You can also request a Pampers potty training kit that comes with coupons and a free sample of Easy Ups Trainers. 

Diaper samples are great for keeping in the car and they often arrive with coupons!

January 27, 2010

Free Avery Label Pad Sample

Get a free Avery Label Pad sample here.  I love labels!

Dot Letters

I have been wanting to print and try this activity with S for a long time now.  MakingLearningFun.com has printable letter magnet pages.  You are suppose to use them with little colored dot magnets, but I used them with our dot art markers.  S has completed "S is for school" and "V is for Valentines".  I plan to bind them together in a book when we finish all the letters.  I like that there are several choices per letter and they also have pages to go with Brown Bear, Brown Bear and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Thanks, 1+1+1+=1!

January 23, 2010

My $12 Mall Trip

Children's Place (Monster Sale 50% off reduced merchandise)
Toddler Boys Cargo Pants (x2)
$3.50 each
= $7.00

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser (full size)
= free (mailer)

The Limited
women's tee
- 15.00 (printable)
= $4.50

truffle *not pictured ;)
= free piece of chocolate per month (Godiva Rewards Club)

Total OOP = about $12

January 22, 2010

3 Free Shutterfly Valentine's Day Cards

You can get 3 free 5x7 folded Valentine's Day photo cards from Shutterfly using the promo code 3FREECARDS.  You will have to pay $0.99 to ship them to yourself and another $0.08 for tax.  My total was $1.07 which is a lot cheaper than buying three greeting cards at the store.  You will have to enter the code into your account.  Freebies for Mom has good directions on how to do it.  These will be perfect for grandparents!

January 20, 2010

Free Baby Einstein Mozart Download

Baby Einstein is celebrating Mozart's birthday with a free Mozart download.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

CVS $4.84

Well, I spent more OOP than usual, but the Oust deal was a $2.00 money-maker and I earned 9 ECBs in the transaction:

Oust Air and Surface Sanitizer (x2)
$7.98 ($3.99 each)
- 3.99 (BOGO 1/13 SS)
= 3.99 for both and earned 6 ECBs

Cottonelle wipes tub and refill 84-ct combo pack
- 0.50 (mailer)
= $5.48 and earned 3 ECBs

Used 5 ECBs

Total OOP = $4.84 and earned 9 ECBs

January 19, 2010

Baby and Toddler Computer Games

I understand if you are not interested in introducing your tot to the computer yet, but S caught me in a weak moment the other day and now there's no going back.  Babygamer.com has a collection of links to a variety of free baby/toddler internet "games."  They basically all work the same way - there is some type of response when any key on the keyboard is pushed.  I have convinced myself that they are good lessons in cause and effect, but there are some that are more educational (i.e when a key is pushed the next letter of the alphabet comes up). 

Also, we do not own an iPhone, but I have read/heard a lot of people talking about free and inexpensive applications for toddlers.  One of my favorite blogs 1+1+1=1 has a list of a few.

If you know of any others, please feel free to comment. 

January 13, 2010

Coloring Pages

My sister told me about http://www.thecolor.com/, an online coloring book.  The pages are broken down by theme and they have lots of themes to choose from.  You can "color" online, but you can also print out blank pages which is what I have done with S.  You could also print out a whole theme and staple them together to make a coloring book.  Here are my favorites:
Thanks, Kelly!

$10 off $30 Borders

You can print a $10 off $30 Purchase coupon to Borders.  The coupon expires 1/18.  You need to be a Border's Rewards member to use it, but it's free to sign up if you aren't already.  Border's doesn't only have a great selection of children's books, but also educational toys (Melissa and Doug, Larui, Alex, etc.). 

January 12, 2010

Free Sample of Gold Bond Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer

You can get a free sample of Gold Bond Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer here.  Sounds like it would be great to throw in the diaper bag. 

January 11, 2010

10 More Points

Go here and enter the code JUSTFOROURFANS1 for 10 more Pampers Gifts to Grow points!

January 9, 2010

Foam Sticker Sorting

This month we are learning about pets and since S has done such a great job with matching, I thought I would try sorting with him.  I found these foam stickers in the dollar bin at Target and placed one of each animal on a cup.  Then he can sort them by animal into the correct cup.  I used all blue stickers on the cup so that he wouldn't think it was color sorting and I only began with two cups when I introduced the activity (the fish and dog since they look very different).  I am keeping the activity on one of my new Oriental Trading Company trays so that S has access to the activity.  (Note:  These trays are so great for art/crafting, food, learning, playdough, setting up activities...)

I plan to follow the below progression with S to support early math concepts, but I came up with this on my own, so if anyone has a different suggestion or addition, please feel free to comment: 
  • matching
  • sorting
  • sequencing (size)
  • patterns
The stickers were also great for fine motor practice (peeling and sticking).   

January 4, 2010

Barbara's Bakery Cereal Sample

You can get a free sample of Barbara's Bakery organic cereal sample here.  I love free cereal samples to throw in my diaper bag for toddler snacks or to take on trips. 

January 3, 2010

Yet Another Pampers Code

Here you go:  WELCOME2GTG2010 (10 points)

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

January 1, 2010

Babies R Us Trip a 66% Savings!

I spent $15.93 today at Babies R Us and saved $32.20 (a 66% savings)!  Here's the trip:

Earth's Best Diapers (Jumbo packs) x3
- 6.99 (on sale discount; limit 3)
- 2.00 (BRU printable; Note: you only need to print one and it will apply to all three packs)
- 1.50 (Earth's Best printable; Note: I was only able to print one and I think Earth's Best has now pulled the coupon)
= $1.50 for one pack and $3 each for the other 2

Gerber Graduates Utensils x2
$10.98 for both sets ($5.49 each)
- 2.44 (BOGO 50% off)
- 1.09 (20% off one item BRU mailer)
= $7.45 for both

Pampers Wipes travel pack
- 1.39 (Free with any baby purchase coupon in BRU mailer)
= free