Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lego Party part 1- Cake!

T is five! He turned five a week and a half ago but today we are finally having his party. Right now his favorite thing to do is build with Legos. So naturally he wanted a Lego party.

His cake wasn't difficult for an amateur to make. I mixed two cake batters. One was the classic Hershey chocolate cake. The other was a fresh strawberry cake made without added jello or food coloring.  Since T really wanted the strawberry I made a bit more of it than chocolate.

I poured the batter in sheet cake pans. Two standard size and one half size. After baking I turned each cake sheet out on parchment paper.

Next I cut the sheets in half and trimmed as needed. I ended up with two 2*3 & one 2*2 cake "legos".

I filled them with frosting. The chocolate got orange and strawberry got cream cheese buttercream. Getting out the food dyes I mixed just enough in small bowls to get the colors I wanted. Then I dirty iced the tops and sides. While waiting for it to harden a little I got out fondant. I rolled it and cut out circles. After finishing frosting the cakes I added the fondant circles to the tops. I ended up with two 2*3 bricks and one 2*2 brick.

Final step was assembly. I put the large bricks next to each other. They became the base. The smaller brick was stacked on top. Topping it off was a cake topper T built from a kit we found at the Lego store online.

It was a lot of fun to make!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Wooden Toy Trap

T is now five years old. Looking back my biggest mistake was toys. Although we managed to avoid all the battery powered light-up noismakers and plethora of plastics I fell into an "it's wooden" or "it's Montessori and important for x" trap. Yes, it's a trap. I don't care how educational it is. I now agree with Simplicity Parenting.  If it has limited use/purpose it is excessive.   Sure those Schliek animals and matching nomenculture cards are nice. Yes the knobbed cylinders have their place. And the pound and roll? Fun. The wooden stacking toy puzzle shaped like a caterpillar and the wooden one to five shape stacker? Different but similar enough.

I purged.  And weeks later I've not heard requests for any of the toys waiting in the basement.
Now they have a few choices and know what? They play with these toys happily. For hours. We do rotate a bit, too.

Stuffed bedtime toy

One doll per child
Basket of puppets
Duplos (Legos for T are in the toy library cupboard and come out any time he asks)
Dressup (probably coming out of rotation as only the hats are being played with)
Wooden blocks
Barn with animals and buildable fence

Library of Toys:
"House" game items

Wednesday, March 19, 2014