Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How We Play Wednesdays

Take one Christmas present. Add water. Wait about an hour. Play a couple rounds of new board games. Check and find: jellystones.

Add one kid, and have loads of squishy, sensory fun!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reindeer Craft

Ever since my kiddo was teeny tiny, I have been making these reindeer crafts. His foot is used for the head and his hands for the antlers. I write the year on the back. We hang them on his bedroom door for decoration. It is neat to see how much he grows every year.

I love that this is a quick and easy craft that helps celebrate Christmas! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Sensory Bin

Christmas is my most favorite holiday. To help Logan get into the holiday spirit, I created a Christmas sensory bin for him to play with. I have been able to get quite a bit of mileage out of this bin. The first week I just presented him with the red and green rice along with different types of scoops, funnels, and cupcake tins. He had a great time just running his hands through it and playing with the different sized funnels, which are new to our sensory play. 

Once the novelty started to wear off and the bin wasn't getting as much use, I added in some new, interesting items. Suddenly, the old was new again! In this bin, I added glittery tree table scatter, pom poms, tiny spiky balls, pretend candy canes, plastic ice cubes, and a wind up penguin. I had everything on hand, or I purchased it at the dollar store.

Logan enjoyed sorting the items and then played with them another way by creating a small world for his penguin. "I'm making a ice home for the penguin. The trees will be the forest. He is going to find the perfect one for his Christmas tree," he tells me. Soon, the funnel is a "dark mountain" and the pom poms become the penguin's "fish shaped house." 

I have a lid for this bin and it makes it easy to store under a bed and out of sight when not in use. I pull it out occasionally during play time to give Logan the option to play with it through out the day. I will separate the items and store them once I decide to create a new one. I'm thinking something involving "snow" for January!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How We Play Wednesdays

My kiddo adores little figurines. One of his favorite things to do is combine them all in different ways. Here he uses his Littlest Pet Shop and Playmobil toys to play in a completely different way than the toy was intended.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sparkle Bath Paint

There are some days that my little guy is reluctant to take a bath. These days usually coincide with days when he is wearing a Band-aid that he really likes. I explain to him that I will put a new one on after bath time, but he loves that particular band-aid and "will miss it too much." So on those days, I have to find something to make taking a bath more alluring. Bath Activities for Kids, Santa Sparkle Paint did just the trick. In my house, when you add glitter to anything it suddenly makes it a thousand times more amazing. This was no exception.

I simply whipped up some homemade bath paint and dumped an outrageous amount of silver and green glitter into it. 

Logan covered almost all the surfaces of the tub with this paint. I had planned to rinse the paint off after his normal bath like we usually do, but he had other plans. He would paint a surface and then dump water over it to wash it off, and then he would squeal with delight as it mixed with the water in his bath. 

You can't see it from this picture, but it really sparkled! Once we washed the paint and glitter down the drain, he rinsed off in a nice bubbly bath. Mission Complete! Band-aid: Forgotten. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How We Play Wednesdays

I'm starting an all new Wednesday post called "How We Play Wednesdays." It is simply a glimpse into our daily life, and the different ways my little guy plays during the week. 

Bath stickers stick to kids too. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

North Pole Breakfast 2012

Our family welcomed our elf back this week. This is the second year that Mickey came to visit us from the North Pole. To celebrate his arrival, we had a North Pole Breakfast. Last year our elf, which was given the nickname Mickey by our clubhouse loving little guy. His arrival was quite a treat, as were the sweet treats he brought with him! Logan was very excited, to find this little surprise waiting for him when he woke up. He couldn't wait to look at Mickey, read the story, and snack on some donuts. 

This sweet little tradition is one I hope he will look forward to for many years to come!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Advent Activities 2012

It's my most favorite time of the year! I adore Christmas time where everything seems more magical! This year, we are have quite a few fun things planned. There are more than twenty-five, but some we will do on the same day! Here is just some of the fun we will be having this Christmas season: (italics are the ones completed)

1. Decorate the Christmas tree 
2. Play in a Christmas sensory bin 
3. Bake Christmas cookies
4. Build a gingerbread house
5. Welcome our elf 
6. Host a Christmas themed play date
7. Make salt dough ornaments 
8. Go to a light parade 
9. Walk around and enjoy Christmas lights
10. Make reindeer food
11. Play with Grinch Goo
12.Make ice cream cone trees
13. Play with gingerbread play dough
14. Drive around, look at Christmas lights, and drink hot chocolate
15. Attend a special event at a local attraction
16. Sing and dance to Christmas carols
17. Have a Christmas movie night
18. Make a reindeer hat
19. Make and decorate Christmas trees in the bath tub
20. Play with candy cane paint
21.Have a special Christmas eve party at grandparent's house
22. Wear Christmas socks
23.Go to a festival of lights
24. Dress up in a Santa hat and take pictures!
25. Make a cinnamon snowflake as a yummy snack
26. Leave out cookies for Santa
27. Make shape Santas
28. Read Christmas books before bedtime

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dot Painting

This past week we read a book called The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. It is about a girl whose art teacher tells her she must put something on her paper at the end of class. She makes a tiny dot. The next class, she comes back to find that the teacher has framed that tiny dot. The little girl thinks she can do better and soon she has a gallery full of all different types of dots. 

After reading the book, I asked Logan if he would like to make some dots. Using pipettes and liquid watercolor, Logan squeezed all different colors and size dots onto his paper. 

Soon, he too had a gallery of dots of all kinds.

We hung them on the fridge once they had dried. I always enjoy finding ways to extend the reading of books. It is way to expand the experience of reading the book. In this case, it allowed Logan to experiment with dots the same way the main character did. This activity really made the story seem relevant and come to life. I find that doing activities like this do not take much time to set up, but help to solidify Logan's love of reading.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I must admit, I don't like having pictures of myself. For a while, I found myself avoiding the camera. I was always with my kiddo, but I was always behind the camera. 

 Then I realized, that it didn't matter if I didn't feel beautiful, my little guy deserved to have lots of pictures with his mom.
 He thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am.
 I think he is completely great too. Our relationship is beautiful.
.And that is what I want to remember.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Guide Advice from a Four Year Old

These next couple of weeks, just for fun, I am going to share a couple of different gift guides. It is a departure of sorts from the usual business around here, but since we are busy writing letters to Santa, I figured I would share. 

First up this week, here are just some of the things my kiddo requested from the man in the red suit. 

1. Music! Logan has a wide variety of likes when it comes to music. He loves everything from Katy Perry to Bob Marley. He also adores all sorts of kids music. One album I won't mind playing during car rides is The Fresh Beat Band, Volume 2. We have seen them in concert twice. The tunes are catchy, and you might find yourself humming their songs!

2. Playmobil- The kiddo is on a horse kick. He adores anything pony, horse, or unicorn related. I really like how detailed Playmobil toys are and they can provide for hours of pretend play. There is a gigantic selection of toys and you are very likely to find a toy that sparks your child's interest. 
3. Squishy Baff- Any type of sensory play is always a win with the kiddo. He's hoping for the pink version, since it's his favorite color and pink makes everything better times a thousand. 

4. Horses, horses and more horses! As I mentioned before, Logan adores horses. If he had his way, Santa would be bringing him a real horse, but I'm afraid that might be too big for Santa's sleigh and our yard. Instead, he is requesting the Melissa and Doug horse stable, and to add to his collection of My Little Ponies. 
5. New building stuff. My little guy loves to build with blocks. I love the versatility of the toy as they can truly be anything you want, but he doesn't have enough for his elaborate building plans these days.

6. Hot Wheels- My kiddo developed a very sudden interest in Hot Wheels. He has a couple of wall tracks that he received for his birthday, but he would like to have some that he could build himself and bring to places when we visit. 
7. Littlest Pet Shop- My little guy adores animals, and he can play all day long with his Littlest Pet Shop toys. He is always adding these to his sensory bins and play dough play. These little toys make a great stocking stuffer. 

Other things that are still hot ticket items for my guy are anything Smurf or Minnie related, books, and art supplies.

 What toys are your kids wishing for these days?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spaghetti Painting

Do you ever have plain left over spaghetti? I always over estimate how much uncooked spaghetti I will need and I end up with a pasta explosion. Rather than chuck the spaghetti or let it sit in my fridge for a couple of days, and then throw it away, I decided to set up a painting experience for Logan. I simply used the squeeze bottles of paint and squished some into the bowls and swirled it around. 

I thought Logan would be timid at first, but he dug right in and placed the spaghetti on the paper. At first he carefully placed a few strands here or there, but by the end he was grabbing handfuls and squishing the pasta down onto the paper.

He made numerous prints and each one was unique. Next time I think we will use this technique to make our own wrapping paper. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stuff my kid says #23

Logan: Mom, when you come back in from taking Teddy outside, we can talk about how much I love you!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Face Game

Halloween's over, but we can still talk about pumpkins, right? On Halloween, Logan had a friend over and they played a game to create these jack-o-lanterns. They simply grabbed an eye, nose, or mouth out of the bucket and then glued it onto their pumpkin. 

For some reason they each chose a pumpkin and stuck with it. You could also play the game so that they can stick a feature on any pumpkin or complete one pumpkin at a time.
Some came out quite silly, and the kids loved the game!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cooking with the Kid: Chocolate Cupcakes

My little guy has been helping out in the kitchen since he was in his high chair. Nowadays, he still loves to stir and pour, but his cooking skills have increased. His new favorite part of cooking is cracking eggs. I showed him how to do it, and then let him figure it out himself. Sometimes there are eggshells, but his sense of pride and fostering independence is more important to me. We love to make things from scratch, but this time we just used chocolate cake mix. The results were still yummy!

 Once the cupcakes had cooked, L was able to do his most favorite part, the decorating! We have loads of different sprinkles, and although I suggested autumn related sprinkles, he picked his favorite Valentine's Day themed ones.

 He was very attentive to detail and each one came out differently. This took a lot of time, but the kiddo had a lot of fun. 

Once he had finished decorating, he was able to taste test, and they definitely got his seal of approval! 

I am always looking for new recipes to cook with Logan. What is your favorite thing to cook with kids?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Halloween Play Date

Last weekend, I set up a special play date for Logan and one of his friends in the neighborhood. I got my inspiration (and  free printables!) from Gourmet Mom on the Go. All of the decorations were from the dollar store. I bought some different cereals from the grocery store. These were a special treat from the kiddo since we never by the sugary stuff, and mainly stick with Cheerios. That alone made him super excited to start the day. The kids each got a bowl and were able to mix the cereal together to create their own witches brew. 

The strawberries were a last minute thought.  I was going to just cut them, but I made them spooky by adding some icing eyes and spooky mouths. These were actually one of the kids favorite things! There wasn't a single one left!

I also made some pumpkin muffins. I got the recipe from the Smitten Kitchen. If you at all like pumpkin and muffins, you should absolutely try these muffins out. They are so yummy. The kiddos thought so too. Logan's friend asked if she could bring some home with her, because she loved them so much!

After the kids created their witches brew and finished their breakfast, we headed outside to enjoy the gorgeous day. I had set up two centers for them to play with. At the first station the kids were able to paint their own pumpkin to bring home with them. They loved this activity. 

The second station allowed the kids to make their own monsters. The kids used play dough, googly eyes, and different colored pipe cleaners to create some very unique monsters. 

After this, L and his friend ran around, played, and bounced in the bounce house. It was a great simple play date that made the kids very excited for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Sensory Bin

We have been getting prepared for Halloween with lots of Halloween activities. One of the easiest ones that has been a huge hit with L is the Halloween sensory bin. All of the supplies were either things I had on hand or that I purchased at the Dollar Tree. I wanted to use black beans, but I didn't have any on hand, so I settled for bird seed. L enjoyed running his hands through it. 

This bin provided ample opportunity for sorting and picking things up using tongs. But L's favorite part was adding some of his figures and pretending they were in a spooky land and pretending to make magical concoctions.
I have left this as an easy accessible activity, and the little one visits it throughout the day. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glow in the Dark Bath Paint

In our house, bathtub time is play time. We are always looking for new ways to have fun. We have attempted shaving cream paint and a glow bath using glow sticks. Both were instant hits and are still often used. After seeing Growing a Jeweled Rose do a glow bath using a black light, I came up with the idea to try to make glowing shaving cream.

Here's what you need:
  • a black light (I felt quite flashback-y to high school when I bought a new one at Walmart for ten dollars).
  • Shaving cream foam
  • A non-toxic highlighter. I only used a yellow one, so I am not sure how reactive other colors will be. Please check to make sure that it says non-toxic, before attempting this. I noticed that not all highlighters advertise this.

I did set out paintbrushes with the paint, but L ended up forgoing them and using his hands. A little bit goes a long way with this paint. I simply squirted some shaving cream into a container and then took the highlighter apart. A couple of squishes of highlighter ink into the shaving cream, and a gentle stir  and we had our glowing bath paint!

Once we turned the black light on, and L could see the paint glowing, he shrieked and attacked it!

He started by using the paint brush, but that quickly got lost as he spread the paint as high as he could reach and as wide as he could go. As I mentioned before, I have a "vintage 80's" yellow tub, so there was no staining, but if you are concerned, I would test out a little spot prior to unleashing the kiddos.

Once he had covered as much area as he could in the tub, he became the canvas! He loved looking at himself in the mirror!

This was a blast and L talked about it for days. It is definitely worth a repeat quite soon!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Colorful Slime

My kiddo started going to preschool a couple of afternoons a week. One day, upon his return, he discovered this invitation to play with some slime I had mixed up while he was away having fun. I just mixed equal parts of white glue and liquid starch then added some food coloring. The more you play with it the less sticky it gets.

I added some cookie cutters, but L wasn't too interested in them. He much rather see how far he could stretch the slime until it broke.

He also enjoyed making impressions with his hands. When we were finished for the day, I stored the slime in separate containers to play with again. I ended up throwing it away after a week, but that was only because my guy tried to combine all the colors and it became a less than appealing color. 

This was a sticky, stretchy way to play. Have you ever played with slime? 

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