Magic Easter Beans – a seriously cute and super simple Easter tradition

Last year, we began an adorable Easter tradition which I found via THIS post from Meet The Dubiens. This was so simple and quick to put together and R just LOVED it. He was still talking about it months later. Here is what happened last Easter…..

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St Patrick’s Day Sensory Tub

I have had in the back of my mind for weeks that I need to create some St Patrick’s Day themed Montessori trays. We still have our Valentine’s Day trays and sensory tub on our shelves so I’m a bit behind. This morning I was scrolling through my Pinterest boards  and R(3) (who incidentally loves Pinterest almost as much as I do!) saw this gorgeous St Patrick’s Day sensory tub from Sense Of Wonder. So we decided to get our St Patrick’s Day fun underway and make a sensory tub. This was the first time that R has helped me with putting together a sensory tub and he had very definite ideas about what he wanted. This is what we created together.

Our St Patrick’s Day Sensory Tub contains:

  • Dried green split peas
  • Mardi Gras beads
  • Green pom poms
  • Green pipe cleaner stars
  • Gold coins (I wasn’t able to find any pretend gold coins. These were actually party favours from the $2 Shop that were gold medals for race winners. The kind that you wear around your neck, Olympics style. I removed the ribbons and turned them into gold coins)
  • Clear and green glass pebbles (you can’t see it in the photo but the green ones have a beautiful irridescence)
  • Green buttons
  • Various utensils for scooping and pouring
  • Felt rainbow (I made this to add a game to the tub. There’s more information on the rainbow at the end of this post)

Here’s a pic of the supplies before we put eveything in the tub.

We incorporated a sorting game into the construction of this tub as R sorted the green pom poms from the other colours.

Once we had our “ingredients” ready, R poured the split peas into the tub. When he was done, he ran his fingers through them. I asked him what it felt like. His response? “It feels like peas.” Ask a silly question…..

We tossed everything in there and at last it was time to play. There was lots of pouring and scooping, as expected. We use split peas quite a lot in our sensory tubs. They feel so silky and they make a great sound as they are poured into the cups and bowls. R scooped a few spoonfuls into the little cups and then shook them close to his ear, listening as the peas tapped and rattled against the plastic. Throughout his play, the peas became dog food for an imaginary pet puppy, special green jelly, cups of coffee and later they were water for his special machines (the cups and bowls were the machines).  You gotta love sensory tubs for sparking imaginative play!

The felt rainbow was something I put together as an added game in the tub. I didn’t use a template. I kept it pretty freeform and just eyeballed it as I cut the various colours. I like that it is a bit organic and not perfect.

Here’s a pic of the pieces when they are separated. It’s an excercise is size sorting.

And here it is in action.

I plan on writing an explanation of sensory tubs in a future post, but in the meantime, Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts has written a very detailed and helpful explanation. You can read it here.

The way to my heart….

Mr Perfect Day and I have never really been big observers of Valentine’s Day. We don’t go for the sentimental cards or the overpriced bouquets. Being the foodies that we are however, we do usually cook something special and have a nice romantic dinner at home. This year, however, I wanted to make it a little more special since R (3.5) is now at an age where he really enjoys special days like this and I love any excuse to celebrate, craft, create or go to town with our meals. So this year, I planned an entire day of heart themed meals. You know what they say though, about the best laid plans……

It all began with this idea which I found on Pinterest. I thought it looked simple enough. Minimal effort for maximum impact. Two batches of pancakes, one coloured pink, one left plain. A heart shaped cookie cutter, and voila! Easy peasy, right? Well, yes, unless you are me whose pancakes inevitably turn into rubber or charcoal. This morning it was charcoal. Now, I am an advocate of  adding one’s own stamp on a creative dish but somehow black heart shaped pancakes didn’t quite measure up to the Valentine’s breakfast spectacular that I’d envisaged. Enter Mr.Perfect Day. Chef extraordinaire. Between assuring me that I wasn’t a failure for not being able to provide my family with a traditional pancake breakfast, he tossed my batter in the trash, and started over from scratch. He cooked the pancakes while I was in charge of cutting and assembly. A perfect team effort. And isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about?

Lunch went more smoothly with some heart shaped chicken quesadillas and watermelon, also cut into heart shapes, naturally. I found the inspiration for the quesadillas at this post from Super Organised Mum.

I kept the quesadillas pretty simple as R is going through a very fussy eating phase. There are a tonne of quesadilla recipes online, but I just made this recipe up to keep it nice and simple. These were so delicious, we all went back for seconds and R gobbled his up. A proud Mama moment since he has been turning his nose up at almost everything we put in front of him lately. These would also be delicious served with some salsa, sour cream and a green salad.

No Fuss Chicken Quesadillas (serves 4)

You will need:

Tortilla wraps

1/2 Barbequed Chicken

Fajita seasoning mix

Avacado

Corn kernels (frozen, tinned or freshly cooked)

Cheese (I used provalone but any melty cheese would work well)

To make:

1. Add the barbecued chicken to a fry-pan set to medium heat.

2. Sprinkle some Fajita seasoning over the chicken (I used about a third of the packet) and a little water to make a paste.

3. Fry until the chicken is warmed and coated in the seasoning mixture and the sauce has thickened a little.

4. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut the torilla wraps into an even number of heart shapes.

5. Butter one side of each heart shaped tortilla.

6. On the NON-BUTTERED side, spread some avacado,then add some chicken, top with the corn kernels, then the cheese. Finally, top with another heart shaped tortilla, buttered side up.

7. Cook in a sandwich press until the tortillas are golden and crispy.

We ended our heart filled food day with heart shaped pizza, again made by the fabulous Mr. Perfect Day. He even arranged the salami into a heart shape! He made my day today. x