Sunday, 29 November 2015

Taste Tests: Ebi-kun Eats and tastes tests... dried white fig

Luckily we had a few Ebi-kun Eats episodes recorded so when I dropped everything to go back to the UK we were still able to put out a show each week - be prepared folks!

This episode Ebi-kun tried shrivelled up dried things...

If you click through to YouTube and leave him a comment, he will reply - he does it all himself (and it's a good way of getting him to practice his English!)

And if you enjoy the show, subscribe to his channel!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Quite possibly the most disgusting yet...

When we were doing our monthly shop at Yamaya - International Liquor Store, Ebi-kun spotted what looked like aliens on a stick and asked to try them for his Ebi-kun eats show!

Things I learned from this show...

  • open the window before starting
  • empty your bladder before filming
  • invest in a stand for the phone because it was hard to keep it steady when I was laughing so much
So... are you ready to watch?

Don't forget to give him a thumbs up! And if you leave him a comment over on Youtube, he answers them all himself.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Favourite Montessori Style Open Ended Toys part II

Part II of the favourite toys series...

These are not Montessori toys but do complement a Montessori setting.

Wooden train track

We actually got ours from Daiso and I bought a few pieces each time I wen to the store to build up the set. I think many of these sets are interchangeable but some more expensive sets will only work with their own pieces. I think it's a great toy to build on as you can ask family/friends to get the add on buildings, trains, people etc. Ours gets used in conjunction with the wooden blocks too.

Play Silks

Kids can get so much out of play silks, they can be used for no end of things. From impromptu dress up outfits to secret dens to flags. Etsy is also a good place to look for play silks, get a pack of coloured ones or some plain ones and dye them yourself, even make it a project with the kids.

Marble Run

This is another gift that can be added too, we got a basic set and then added to it. Hours of fun! And it has been known to have this set up with the train track (and absolutely no way to make it to the sofa!) The wooden sets like these are trickier than the plastic ones that slot together so I think these are suitable for a slightly older child. Ebi-kun got very frustrated when he first had his because anything slightly out of sync meant the ball doesn't roll properly. Now he has it down and he can work out what is wrong these days.

Play Food

Absolutely every child should have a set of play food. We had a mix of wooden with velcro on them so you could chop them, plastic items (good when water gets involved with the playing) and felt items that I made. Etsy again is another great place to look for play food and Ikea have some great cheap options too.

Musical Instruments
Another fun but noisy choice! If you are a musical family then a selection of instruments are a no brainer, for us not-so-musical families a set of percussion can still be a lot of fun for impromptu dance parties and the such like. Ikea have just introduced a great musical instruments set too.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Favourite Montessori Style Open Ended Toys part I

On thing I always get asked around this time of year, is what kind of toys Ebi-kun has, so I thought I'd do a round up, the post got too big so I made it into a mini series. 

OK, first up... wooden blocks, I don't think you can go wrong with wooden blocks but there are some things to keep in mind. Not strictly Montessori but I feel they fit with the ethos and they can be used in so many ways.

I do recommend getting either natural or stained rather than painted blocks. The paint chips off the blocks easily so they end up looking tatty very quickly. Also, check on where the product is made, some cheaper blocks use dodgy lead based paint, another reason to go for stain or natural blocks.

Blocks in a walker 

This isn't the exact model that Ebi-kun has (yes, he still has it and still uses the blocks). He had the walker for his first birthday, if your child is using it to learn to walk with then make sure the handle is low so their weight will prevent the walker from whizzing off without them!
I remember having one of these as a kid and Ebi-kun has used his a lot, the walker can also be used for ferrying other toys around too!

Available from Amazon

Mixed shape set

We don't have this actual one but it's beautiful. I love the mixed shapes set because it opens the imagination. Ebi-kun uses his to build all kinds of things from extending his marble run to making fancy structures. 
Available on Amazon

Generic Block Set
So, we actually have three sets of blocks, the ones in the walker, ones that are shaped with arches etc. and a pack that are stained but just standard sort of shapes. The combination of all three makes for a lot of fun. Ebi-kun is 10 now and the blocks still get pulled out, not as often as when he was little but they are certain still used. I doubt we will ever pass them on, we will keep them for Ebi-kuns kids in all those years in the future.

Coloured Windows

We don't have these, they came out to late for us really but I have friends that love them and would be a good one to add to the mix.

Alphabet Blocks
I added these into the mix with a word of warning... there are a lot of letter blocks out there and some are beautiful BUT if you are going for alphabet blocks find a set with lower case letters. 97% of what we read is in lower case so you should be introducing lowercase first. 
This rules goes for any toys, with years and years of teaching experience, I know that kids will pick up uppercase with out any help and that those who learn uppercase first then have to unlearn it when they are starting to write a school (they naturally write words in uppercase if that is what they learn first)

Full disclosure, I have used affiliate links and I do say whether they are to the actual products that we have or if it's a similar item. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Fancy an avocado?

When I last went to get my hair cut, I arrived a bit early, so I had a wander around the little streets near to the hairdressers. Down one of the streets I came across this massive avocado, so I had a bit of gander, it turned out to be an avocado cafe! The owner popped out and said hello so I decided that if I had time I would investigate further after my hair appointment.

It's a quirky and cute little cafe and every menu item uses avocado - well, I think there were maybe a couple of things that were avocado free, if you are one of those freaky avocado haters!

I'm not sure how to describe the style of the place really but it is homely and quirky, so I loved it! Behind the ghetto blasters was the drinks bar and soup.

I love this funky light too..

I ordered a lunch set, it came with avocado smoothie, there are syrups in the drink bar to add to it, it was good without the syrup but I tried strawberry and that was amazing too. Then there are a choice of drinks in the drinks bar and soup...

Service was great and the owner explained to me what everything was, he had lived in Vietnam years ago and worked with American troops so his English was pretty good. I had the locomoco don which came on top of a half avocardo and avocado balls on the side. It was great, I stuck with the regular size which totally filled me up but you can up the size, for those hungry men folk!

Apparently there are 2 other cafes in the group, I haven't tried them out but I will be coming back here after my next hair appointment!

As the place had just opened it doesn't seem to be on google yet! I don't remember exactly which little street it was down, just look for the big avocado! Somewhere near BerBerJin.

I also spotted this place down one of the side streets but sadly it wasn't open! Maybe next time...

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Ebi-kun Eats - Spicy Okinawan Pig Ears

Full disclaimer, I do NOT force my son to eat this stuff, he sees it and wants to try it!

On to Spicy Okinawan Pig Ears, why you ask, Why indeed!
How was it?
Does he recommend it?
Hit play to find out...

Liked this? Want to see more? Subscribe to the channel and join periscope (follow jojoebi), we try to do the live tasting Wednesdays 4.00-5.00pm JST

Friday, 13 November 2015

Grateful for technology

As you know, I am a bit of a techie geek, I do like me some technology! This last week I've been very grateful for the amazing technology we have available these days. I have been able to facetime Ebi-kun and hubby twice a day which is kinda weird in the fact that it doesn't really feel like I'm sat on the opposite side of the world!

Ebi-kun has been going to gakudo - after school club. He says he'd rather be going home and me being there (of course) but he has been enjoying gakudo and hanging out with his friends. He gets a snack when he first gets there, then they have to do their homework and once they have finished they can and play. Then daddy has been picking him up about 6pm.

I think it has been a hard time for my hubby, but he seems to be managing, he has been super organized and written up a meal plan for the week, obviously My Organized Chaos has rubbed off on him. 

Ebi-kun is back on a Khan Academy streak, so here he is doing maths on KA and chatting to me at the same time!

I'll be flying back on Monday, can't wait to give them both a big hug! 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Cuteness overload...

Time for an update... Mom is doing better, her meds have been reduced but she is still sleepy but the rest will do her good, certainly genkier than when I first arrived.

We did go over to my uncle and aunts house for lunch, he is a mean cook my uncle, and always puts on a great spread. My cousin turned up too with his wife and little one, who kept us amused all afternoon. You know, the typical 1 year old antics, they are so funny at that age...

My middle brother is heading back this week, so we will all be under one roof this week, my little brother lives over here so he has been keeping an eye on mom when he can. I think once the funeral is out of the way, things will be a bit easier for her, closure and all that.

Monday, 9 November 2015

October 31st - catch up post

We started Halloween off with a quick spirited breakfast, ghostie pancakes...

This was the pepsi that Ebi-kun tried in his Halloween Ebi-kun eats, it was foul! 

Of course we had to have a revolting Muffin Tin Dinner, not strictly a muffin tin meal really. The standard severed fingers and eyeballs, lots of brains, rotting flesh and bugs! Nom, Nom.

We had the bilingual playgroup party the previous week so Ebi-kun decided to organise his own party with his neighbourhood friends. He went and talked to all the moms and told them what they needed to do, set the time and date and got the kids to dress up. It was a big success, he was very chuffed with himself!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Taste Tests: Ebi-kun Eats and tastes tests... Smoked egg

Taste Tests: Ebi-kun Eats and tastes tests... Smoked egg 

Hello tastebud explorers!
Today we have smoked egg on the menu...
What will it taste like? Only one way to find out..

If you like watching Ebi-kun Eats make sure you subscribe to his channel!

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