Monday, June 18, 2012

Alphabet Activity and Tofu Cheese Fail

First, for the tofu cheese fail. I decided to try a vegan recipe for lasagne swirls with tofu ricotta cheese. I have been experimenting with adding more tofu to our diet. I should have known, however, to just stop right there and go with real cheese when the tofu cheese recipe called for tahini. I like hummus, but the sesame taste is just wrong for an Italian dish and too foreign for little boy tongues. The eldest took one bite and declared, "Mom, I don't like this." He dutifully ate his and excused himself from the table, making barfing noises along the way. The littlest cautiously tasted his portion, screwed his little face into a look that said, "There is no way I'm gonna eat that crap, Mom!" OK, I hope my little one doesn't ever use the word crap, but the poor guy was not happy about the flavor explosion in his mouth. He gave it a valiant try and resorted to eating plain noodles left over in the pan. As for me, I didn't find it repulsive, but I did find myself longing for the creamy gooeyness of real cheese. As you can see from the photo above, it looks innocent enough, but don't let looks fool you.

However, out of failure comes success. I am super excited to be sending out a special mailing to my photography clients and to make it really special, the boys and I headed to Office Depot to look for some nice envelopes. No go. Well, Micheal's was next door, so of we went. Turns out they are closing this particular location and I couldn't find what I wanted there either.

While passing through the wood craft isle, the little one got himself worked up over those large wooden letters they sell. I picked out B-E-N and showed him how they spelled his name. He clutched the letters to his little chest like a cherished treasure. I really didn't want to spend $12 on three letters from the alphabet. I really thought it would be a good thing to take advantage of his eagerness to learn his letters, though. I'd been meaning to make him a set of Montessori inspired sand paper letters but, well, add it to the list.

Big brother came to the rescue. He lead us two isles over, where we discovered a whole bag of little wooden letters, the entire alphabet and a few extras thrown in, for the price of one of the big ones. Meanwhile, the little guy was filling the cart with overpriced wooden numbers. Somehow I convinced him to give up the numbers for the bag of letters and away we went.

This evening, while Momma was ruining dinner, I set the little one up at the kitchen counter with paint and wooden letters. As he painted each letter, he named the one's he recognized and I helped him with the rest. We sounded out each letter and came up with words that began with those sounds. Now he has beautifully painted letters to use for letter recognition and spelling simple words. Pick up a batch for a reasonably priced learning aide for your little learner that provides a more tactile approach than plain old flash cards. Put them in a nice little box with a handle, and they even become portable.

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