Monday, July 6, 2015

Breakfast Smoothie Kids Will Love!

We're back! I have been away for a while, but I have plenty of fun posts planned for summer.

My four year old saw a smoothie at a restaurant one day, and was immediately hooked. My blender had been sitting in the cabinet for the past four years, but I took it out the next morning, and we have been making smoothies every day since! It took a few days to find a good recipe that gave a good consistency, but we have settled on the recipe below which everyone loves. I am so happy that they are getting some nutrition at breakfast time, and I love that I can hide things in the smoothie like flax seeds and probiotics.

Here is our go to recipe:

  • 1 cup of skim or 2% milk
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 4-5 strawberries
  • Half a banana 
  • Handful of frozen mango and/or peaches
  • Small handful of frozen blueberries
  • 2-3 spoonfuls of canned pineapple tidbits 
  • Sprinkle of flax seeds on top

On my KitchenAid blender, I use the crush ice feature for 20-30 seconds, followed by the puree setting, and then finally the liquify setting for a minute or two.

I have substituted other random fruits when we were running low, and the smoothie still tastes delicious.

Smoothie Time!

We love starting our mornings with smoothies! What's your favorite smoothie recipe?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Great Toys for Little Engineers

     In this post, I will talk about some amazing toys for kids who love to think, build, and create. We have been struggling with boredom at home with our newly 4 year old. With the cold winter upon us, I was looking to add a few toys to the playroom that would hopefully engage my son, and let him build and create to his hearts content. The list below includes some old favorites, along with some fantastic new additions:

     Both of the kids LOVE puzzles. Sometimes my 4 year old likes to work on his own, and other times, he wants the whole family to help. The cardboard floor puzzles are definitely the favorites at the moment. I love the Melissa and Doug puzzles, and the Crocodile Creek brand also has some unique and fantastic puzzles.

    You can read my previous review on MagnaTiles here. These are still a huge favorite with both my boys. Two year old Baby E is very into the tiles now, and my older son constantly comes back to them with new ideas and ways to use the pieces. I love that they really grow with the child, and each child can find something creative to do that matches his development.

     I really thought that these would be redundant since we already had MagnaTiles. Around the holidays however, there was a sale that was just too great to pass up. We got a 62 piece set to start off, and I have been thrilled with them. Magformers allow the kids to build different types of structures, and my older son has really enjoyed playing with them. Magformers have much stronger magnets, and my son really enjoys that he can pick up and work on his 3D creations.

     Clics are much more affordable than any of the magnetic toys, but are great for endless hours of building and constructing. These are a little bit harder to manipulate, and my 4 year old definitely still needs help when building with these. It's a great quiet activity though, and I can see the clics having great play value even as the kids get older.

    I felt that I could not have a list like this without Lego. My kids have never really been into legos, but they would definitely be on my list of toys to try if your kids love to build and create.

What are your kids favorite building toys?