Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's Good to be GREEN

This week, Cruz and I went green...

We started our second official theme week this week with the color GREEN.  And while I had lots of ideas up my sleeve for the week ahead, it was more fun to take each day in stride and see what our summertime world had to offer us.

We saw green EVERYWHERE.

Monday morning started with a discovery box bag...  


...filled with an array of green items from around the house, this weekly ritual is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Cruz loves to unpack each treasure, use his senses to explore their use, and discover a unique joy with each.  This week, he unpacked a green flashcard, a board book, a green piece of paper, fruit snacks, a garden shovel, a green frog bath toy, a watering can, a green apple dum dum, some bubbles, an alligator, and last but certainly not least...

Kermit the Frog.

The Kermit puppet was the highlight of the discovery box (next to the sucker, of course), even though he kept trying to snag Cruz's fruit snacks ;)

The second highlight of our kick-off to green week was Muffin Tin Monday!  This week, Cruz tried some green pepper with ranch dip, green beans, green fruit loops, green grapes, a spinach wrap with ham and cheese, and some string cheese.  

We decided to swap our 'Make Something Monday' with 'Read About it Tuesday,' so Cruz could attend story-time at our public library on Monday.  When Cruz quickly discovered that his voice did indeed echo in the large, open-spaced library, I wasn't sure what we got ourselves into, however, the children's section was full of rambunctious little toddlers and proved to be pretty kid-friendly :)

Cruz did pretty good during story-time, however, he thought the reader moved through activities a little fast.  He would have liked to play 'Ring Around the Rosies' a few more times!

Cruz posing with his first book checked out from the library.  He looks pretty proud...   

We (well, I) had fun checking out green books while Cruz had himself a hay-day in the play kitchen at the library.  He didn't seem to notice the thousand or so books surrounding him!

Tuesday, Cruz and I went on a leaf walk in our neighborhood, collecting different leaves and studying them for their color.  Sometimes, I handed them to Cruz, who stuck 'em in his bucket, but other times, Cruz could reach them himself.   

Next, we took a piece of sketching paper and drew us a tree trunk.  I cut around it and let Cruz have the honor of crumpling it up into a ball.  We carefully unwrapped the trunk and glued it onto a blank canvas.  The crumpled marks gave it the nice effect of tree bark.  Then, taking two shades of brown paint, we sponged some paint on the bark with cotton balls.  

Then, the fun part.  Using 4-5 different shades of green craft paint, we painted our leaves and pressed them on our canvas.  Cruz added some detail work in with the brushes and surprisingly enough, his hand-print passes for a pretty good leaf, too!  

I love how this baby turned out and can't wait to hang it in Cruz's new room. I'm tempted to sponge on some baby blue sky, but may save that for blue week :)

Proudly displaying his artwork...

What's Cookin' Wednesday started with Cruz's first favorite book and an inspired breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham.  

We then got a little crazy in the kitchen and mixed up some chocolate pudding for dirt cups!

Cruz LOVES helping us in the kitchen, and often gets frustrated when we don't let him do as much as he would like.  Chocolate pudding was the perfect thing to let Cruz experiment and get a little crazy with!  It's easy with simple ingredients, and I'm not sure you can mess it up!  Plus, it does require a lot of whisking, and I was glad to have a 'helper' for that ;)

Soul patch!

Cruz got a little crazy with the whisking...

Testing the waters...

Here's what you need for garden dirt cups:

-at least six pint jars (I bought a pack at Wal-Mart)
-one package of Oreos
-two packages of instant chocolate pudding
-gummy worms!
-mint sprigs
-jumbo popsicle sticks
-permanent marker or alphabet stamps
-green ribbon 

Just layer a spoonful of Oreo crumbs (I used the entire pack) with a spoonful of pudding, and be sure to hide some worms in between!  Top it off with some Oreo crumbs, and finish with a mint sprig and label.  Add some ribbon if you want! 

Go Somewhere Friday:  On Friday, we reunited with one of our favorite places to go in the summertime - The Cedar Valley Arboretum, aka, The Secret GardenThis place has SO much to explore and is one of the most peaceful places I've found in our area.  There's a railroad train that runs every Wednesday, a fish pond with lily pads, a massive sandbox with 'dinosaur bones,' a tree fort perfect for reading stories, a vegetable garden, sensory garden, and even a place for some cage fighting ;)  Last year, we had fun walking Cruz through the trails, and sitting him by the many photo ops., but this year was a whole new story!

We could have spent all afternoon at this place.  Cruz LOVED the sandbox, talked to the fish, and crawled through the ladybug tunnel a million times.  We read books, smelled the pretty flowers, and went on green scavenger hunt!

Our green scavenger hunt included things like caterpillars and four-leaf clovers, toads, thistles and lily pads.  Cruz wasn't very interested in following me around and hunting through the grass for a four-leaf clover, but he did try to take a swim with the lily pads!  

We may not have found a caterpillar, but we read a pretty good book about one...

Other activities for green week included green finger paint in the bathtub, a green park to play at, and watering the garden and 'taste-testing' the different types of herbs.  

The theme for this week is 'weeding and cleaning!'  I'm taking a week off from colors to finish some summer house projects - with some fireworks and barbecues mixed in between :)  

Linking up with Monday Mom Musings at Jellibean Journals!


  1. Oh my goodness! These were all such wonderful ideas! I am definitely going to do a green week with E this fall and I will be coming back to reference this post for sure. Cruz is too cute in his chef hat. I die!

    1. Thanks so much! Send me some of your ideas when you do it! I'd love to continue this tradition as Cruz gets older - I only think it would get more fun :)

  2. What a fun idea! You had really great ideas and I look forward to trying these out! :)

  3. Hi! Just found you through Sunday Funday and so excited to be a new follower! :) Your blog is adorable!

  4. I just found your blog through the MMM link up and will be a new follower. This is an awesome idea. I am going to have to do a color of the week with my son when he is slightly older. I love the ideas!

  5. Oh my goodness there are so many creative things in just this post alone. I love everyone of them!!

  6. I love coming onto your blog! It is so much fun! You have such creative ideas. I especially enjoy the muffin tin idea, may have to snatch that idea. :)

  7. Your lil one is amazingly adorable! I love your green ideas! What a great way to teach colors!!! Awesome that Mom gets to have fun too!!! I'm a new follower and would love a follow back!

  8. WOW---I LOVE all the things you do!!! What great ideas---might have to steal some:) Just followed and can't wait to read more...come check us out at!




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