Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: Busy, Bubbly, Baking Soda

If you have seen this activity on Pinterest, but have yet to try it, then you are missing out!  It is a must try!  


It only requires a big pan or tub, a big box of baking soda, a few small bowls of vinegar, food coloring, and medicine eye droppers.  Most of these things you probably already have!  Just poor the baking soda into the pan, fill a few small bowls with vinegar and add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl and let them go at it dropping droppers full of vinegar into the baking soda!  We have done this activity several times and the mess is (almost) always minimal.  The time it keeps him busy always outweighs the time it takes me to clean up the mess.  Last go round he stayed entertained for over an hour!  Only took 10 min to clean up, so I would say that's a win!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: Busy Bags

I have been pinning busy bags for quite some time, but just haven't had the motivation to make any!  I have a Doctor's appointment tomorrow and have to take Elijah with me, so I thought now was a good time to give them a shot to see how well they keep him entertained.  If all goes well I plan to make some more for him.  If you have never heard of busy bags, then let me tell you a little bit about them.  They are a small toddler or childrens activity that can be contained in a bag that you only bring out at special times that you really need your toddler or child to be entertained.  I put mine in quart sized zip lock bags, but I have also seen them put into pencil bags and kept in a binder.  That may be something I do in the future, but today I just used materials I had on hand at home for all of my bags.


Today I made a total of 5 bags.  The first one I made was very simple.  It's just pipe cleaners taped together at the bottom with tiny beads that he can string onto them.  It's not required that he match the bead to the pipe cleaner, but I thought I would make them match so he would have that option if he chose to do that.  This activity it great for working on sorting and fine motor skills.

The second busy bag is home made popsicle stick puzzles.  I took 2 pictures from some old damaged books I had and mod podged them onto jumbo sized craft sticks.  After they were dry I then cut the sticks apart.  If you don't have mod podge school glue would work just as well.  I had originally intended to print off some pictures of his favorite cartoon characters, but my printer ran out of ink!  These would also be fun to do with family/pet photos.  After completion of these I realized this activity may be a little difficult, but he may surprise me!

The third busy bag is a tiny chalkboard that I made from a small 6" plaque that I spray painted with chalkboard paint.  I included a piece of chalk and a large pom pon for erasing.

The fourth busy bag is a shape and color sorting activity.  I took a 12x12 piece of cardstock and drew shapes on one side and color squares on the other.  I then "laminated" it with some clear contact paper and included a bowl of multi-colored foam shapes for the sorting.


I think this last busy bag will probably be Elijah's favorite.  I cut out 6 foam fish and wrote each letter of his name on them and attached a paper clip.  I then made a small fishing pole from a dowl, pipe cleaner and a magnet.  After he "catches" each fish he can match it to the letter of his name in the water.


Hopefully these will do a good job of keeping my little man busy while we are at the Dr. tomorrow, because sometimes it can take a bit!  If not I have the ipad for backup;)  If you would like more busy bag ideas, then please follow me on Pinterest.  I have several more pinned that I have yet to make.

*I just wanted to let everyone know that these worked fantastic!  We forgot to charge the ipad last night, so these were all we had for entertainment at the Dr.'s office and I must say they held his attention better than the ipad usually does. It was so much less stressful than chasing him all over the office.  I will definitely be making more!








Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: Firework Painting

I am hoping to try out a new segment to my blog called "Toddler Tuesday."  One of my main goals at home and on my blog is to foster creativity in my children and help you do the same with yours!  Tonight we tried out an activity I found on Pinterest and Elijah LOVED it!   I must also say older kids would love it too because our 9 year old neighbor came over while he was painting and jumped right in!  You don't need many supplies for this particular activity: 

Toilet paper rolls, paint, paper, paper plates, and something to cover your table with should be all you need.
Just cut the ends of your toilet paper rolls and fan them out.
I covered my table with some old wrapping paper I had so I could just wad it up and put it into the trash when I was done.  I gave him 3 different colors of paint, one for each toilet paper tube and some black paper, although any color would be fine.  Can you tell how excited he is!?
Then, all you do is dip your toilet paper tube into the paint and then press it onto the paper! 
Here is the finished product!  He loved this activity so much he did 5 or 6 sheets of paper before he tired of it.  It would also be fun to add glitter or those little star stickers to your finished products.

Hope your little ones enjoy making their own firework art as much as mine did! 



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's A....

When I had my first child Pinterest had yet to become the phenomenon it is today, so when we found out we were expecting our second child (and most likely the last) I knew I wanted to have a gender reveal party.
I wanted to create a cute, fun party, but we were on a pretty tight budget so I tried to use things I could either make or already had available.  We did splurge a little by having the food catered, but the rest I did myself to try and save as much as possible.
I created some cute invites in Photo Shop.
 Above is the setup I did for the dessert table.  The backdrop is made up of a set of lace curtains I had on hand along with a garage sale find mirror that I revamped into a chalkboard, topped off with some pink and blue balloons threaded onto some fishing line.  I then tied some tissue balls from Hobby Lobby onto the fishing line as well.  The table is actually an old red dresser I have used for other parties I have done, but since red didn't match I sewed some burlap together to make a cover.  The banner is just different patterns of pink and blue craft paper cut and taped onto a pink ribbon.

I obviously hand wrote my chalkboard art.  I wish I would have started sooner and taken a little more time with it, but I waited until the day of the party and I was in a hurry and it pretty much looks terrible!  However, it did the job of conveying my theme, since Elijah had nicknamed the baby "Baby Cupcake" from the time he found out I was expecting.

I found the cute pink and blue cups for the cupcakes from Hobby Lobby and plated them on Dollar Store trays that I already had.  I filled by candy jars with pink and blue Cotton Candy, butter mints, and pastel M and M's.

I thought it would be fun for everyone to make a prediction about the gender.  I painted a canvas with chalkboard paint for guest to write their votes on.

Party favors were Hershey's bars with "He" or "She" colored in.
For the big reveal I cut apart a moving box and turned it inside out so that the pre-printed writing would not show.  I then decorated it with chalkboard and acrylic paints.  My best friend filled the box with the appropriate colored balloons and we hung it from a tree in the front yard.
It was finally time for the big reveal and Elijah got to pull the string to open the box and.....
It's a GIRL!  We are so blessed to get to have one of each!
If you are expecting, I so encourage you to throw your own gender reveal party!  It is the most exciting party I have ever thrown.  It doesn't have to be extravagant to be fun and exciting.  Most all of this was put together the day of the party and we had a fantastic time!