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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

Toys and activities

We Started Gardening! Part I

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 11:59 pm | By Stephanie Woo

I’m a city girl. As a child, I grew up in a condo building in Taipei. As an adult, for 20 years, I lived in New York City. So if you ever tried to talk to me about gardening, worms, dirt and nature in general, I would’ve tried to change the subject on you. 

Well, now that I live in Portland, I’ve decided to do “as the Romans.” Almost everyone here has a garden. If you are not composting, raising a worm farm and eating dinner out of your garden, then seriously, don’t you care about the environment?? 

So, after much research, discussion with seasoned locals and Youtube videos, we decided to give this ‘grow your own food’ a shot. 

First, we went to the famous Portland Nursery and bought a whole bunch of ‘starters,’ or baby plants. You just have to transplant them into your garden and they’ll grow into fruits and vegetables! I sat there envisioning a garden full of food I’d want to eat. We ended up settling on some strawberries, bok choy, spinach, carrots, scallions and napa cabbage. I really would have preferred some watermelons, figs, kiwi and chocolate cake, but apparently Mark thinks we should start with the basics. He’s soo conservative sometimes. 

Of course we decided to involve B and M (now 2 years, 4 months) in the process. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean my husband, Mark. I followed everyone around and took pictures. 

So before you plant, you need something to plant in. Mark decides to build our own gardening troughs. After a trip to Home Depot, he showed up with all these cedar planks and got to work. Whenever he builds things, he thinks of ways for the children to help. Here he is screwing in castor wheels and the girls are helping fetch the screw and lining them up in the hole.

B lines up the screw

 

B holds the screw in place

 

Dad uses an electric drill to screw in the screws

 

The finished gardening trough!

Next, we put on our rain boots, grab our pail and shovel, then go for a short 30-second hike into the mountains (right behind our house). Oh, by the way, we tried to buy dirt at the nursery, but they didn’t have any to sell! I’m not used to that. I’m used to New Yorkers who will selling you anything you ask for. Oh well. We decide we’ll go digging for our own.

B, M and Dad digging for dirt in the mountains

 

B had enough. She said, “Dirty. Brooke wants to go home.” Just like that, she picks up her pail and goes home.

 

Dad and M keep going. M is using the smallest shovel you’ll ever find in the stores. Small yet mighty effective!

To be continued…

Video: Making Scrambled Eggs on an Electric Skillet with Your Toddlers

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 4:51 pm | By Stephanie Woo
B Breaking an Egg

B Breaking an Egg

Okay, I admit, I’ve been holding out on you.

I’ve had this video for 6 months now. It was taken in October 2012 when B and M were 22 months old. This was the second time Brooke and Mackenzie made scrambled eggs. Since then, they’ve cracked and scrambled at least 100 eggs each and their skills are at a whole new level. I’m planning on posting a more recent video later on, so you can see the difference. 

On their 2nd birthday this past December, B, M and I shot a series of videos, highlighting 30+ activities you can do at home with your toddler. One of them is – you guessed it – making eggs! In the DVD, you will get a detailed view of the materials you need, where to buy everywhere, how to present an activity to your child and special considerations for each activity. For example, in the video about making eggs, I teach you how to teach your toddler to behave around an electric skillet, which is critical to doing this activity successfully! The DVD is still in production, but will be available shortly. So stay tuned!

Repotting a Plant With Daddy

Saturday, October 20th, 2012 1:05 pm | By Stephanie Woo

My husband likes to involve the kids in things he’s doing – and he’s become a really good teacher in the process. We bought the plant and the new pot from IKEA. Daddy and Mackenzie work together to transfer the plant into a nice, big pot.


Mackenzie helps scoop dirt into the new pot


Daddy shows her how to cut the old pot with a pair of scissors


They study the roots of the plant together


Daddy transfers the plant from the old pot to the new and M helps fill it up with soil.