Tag

toddler activity

Turning Your Child’s Paintings Into Quote Art

In DIY, Freebies

I’ve been making over the boys’ creative corner in our basement for a little while now.  I revamped the art supply stash with some pallet storage and I rehung some of the art that was already there.  But it was definitely still bare.  It needed some color and character.  What better way to add some character than with the two characters I gave birth to?!  I got some paints and let my little Picassos go to town.Continue reading

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Ready, Set, Craft! Challenge // Wood

In DIY

Can I just say, I am loving this challenge series!  It’s forcing me to think outside the box since we’re purposefully picking very generic craft items. These are all items that I have used in previous DIYs so it’s really getting my wheels turning and getting the creative juices flowing!

This month, Emily chose wood.  Oh, the possibilities!  I have to say that one of my favorite aisles of any craft store is the unfinished wood section.  I could stand there and just stare for awhile, coming up with a million ideas on what to do with it all.  Something I haven’t really used much, even though I look at them all the time, are the shapes.  Small little baggies, hanging on hooks, filled with different shapes in all sizes.  Then, when I looked at the circles, I was reminded of a recent play date with our besties when we played a memory game with the kids.  Just some small circles with pictures on the back sides and I thought, “Hey!  I can make this!”  So I did!

What You’ll Need: Wooden Circles (an even amount), stickers, Modge Podge (or other sealant)

If you have a toddler or preschooler, you probably have about a million to a billion, half empty, sticker sheets lying around.  If you get lucky however, you may be ale to find enough for this project!  I had such luck and they happened to be one of Gav’s favorite things, dinosaurs!

Separate your wood circles into pairs and place a sticker on each.  Make sure you only use each picture once per pair.

Brush a layer of Modge Podge over the top, let dry, and you’re ready to play!

Super simple and a great, non screen related activity!

Want to join in next month?  Here’s our craft item for March:

Mason Jars
Image credit Chiot’s Run

Alrighty…it’s link up time!  Have a project that involves wood?  Link it up below.  We’d love to see your creations…Happy Crafting!
XO, Kelly

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My Favorite Apps for Tots and Preschoolers

In Mommyhood

These days you’d be hard pressed to find a kid that didn’t know how to work an iPad or phone.  Technology is just part of their everyday life now.  I’ve tried to make sure, however, that the iPad or my phone is something special rather than an everyday activity.  This keeps Mr. G from having too much screen time and it keeps his attention longer when he gets to play with it.  But I also don’t like to have just any random app on there.  I like for him to be learning, wether or not he realizes it or not!

So I thought, with Christmas coming up and many little ones probably getting a tablet or device of some kind, I thought I’d share some of our favorite apps that are both fun and beneficial for your tot or young kiddo.
Mr. G has been playing with this one for a while now and still loves it!  You pick from a variety of toys that are broken into pieces for your child to put back together.  I like that in addition to being a puzzle like game, it promotes problem solving since the toy has to be put together in a certain order.  This used to frustrate Mr. G but now he understands that if one piece doesn’t click in, that means there’s another one that has to go first.  Plus, once they’ve built the toy, they can play with it.  My personal favorite is the firetruck where you save kitty cats from houses.
This one is from the same app family as Build and Play but is good for the younger ones.  It works the same but the toys are more color coded and easier to put together.  
This is such a great letter app.  Each letter has a few words that it changes, or morphs, into with every tap.  It’s even fun for me!

Book Builder

This app is reminiscent of the “choose your own adventure” books from my childhood.  The story is narrated up to a certain point and then your child can push the buttoner where they want to go next.  The story can be different every time they listen to it!

Endless Reader, Numbers, etc

There is an entire series of apps under the search “endless”.  From numbers to letters, reading to word building.  Almost all of them have free versions and then, or course there are bundles and in-app purchases.  These are so great for learning the basics of math, reading, word and letter recognition, and I could go on and on.  Plus, Mr. G loves the funny sounds the letters and numbers make so it’s fun for him while he’s learning.

Curious World

Mr. G loves Curious George so I knew this would be a hit.  I love how much is in this app!  Puzzle games, number games, books, and educational videos.  It has a little bit of everything and a little fun thrown in too!

What are some of your favorite app for your little ones?
XO, Kelly

*all images from iTunes App Store

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Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It // The Alphabet Monster

Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It // The Alphabet Monster

In DIY, Mommyhood

It’s been too long since I’ve done a Pinterest project.  But, since it’s been so long, that means I have a ton of projects piled up to try now!  THIS PROJECT was sent to me by my mom.  She’s a first grade teacher and loves finding these types for things for me to try with Mr. G.  I loved the idea especially since Mr. G is already learning so much in preschool this year and this is a great ay to reinforce that.  So I immediately started collecting the supplies.  It took me a little while but you’ll see why in just a second.

What You’ll Need:  Empty Wipes Case, 26 Bottle Caps, Sharpie, Crafting Scraps

First things first, decorate your monster!  This is where those scraps come in.  Use whatever you have, be it paper, felt, foam sheets, googly eyes, etc.

Now for those This is what took the longest to collect.  To get them faster, ask friends and family to help out.  I just saved the tops from our almond milk containers as we went through them.  Take your sharpie and write the letters of the alphabet on them, one per cap.  The tutorial uses small circle labels but all of my caps are white so I opted out on that part.

To play, have your child feed the alphabet monster one letter at a time and say the letter as they put it in.  You can also ask them to feed the monster a specific letter once they’ve gotten some of the letters memorized.  Mr. G thinks it’s funny and loves to feed the monster.  I wonder if he realizes he’s learning too!

Om nom nom!
XO, Kelly

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Toddler Journal

Toddler Journal

In DIY, Mommyhood

One day my mom sent me a message with an attachment.  It said something along the lines of “This is really cool” and “You should do this with Gavin”.  So I clicked on it and immediately knew I wanted to start doing said activity.
*This is also my way of saying that this is not my original idea.  I don’t remember where I saw it.  I just have to share!

A lot of times, life can just pass you by.  Especially the standard, mundane, gotta do it activity filled days.  This is true whether you have children or not but, if you have a toddler (or a baby or both/a few) days can begin to blur together pretty easily.  Not everyday is filled with big events, parties, etc., but, like my little blog title likes to point out, there is joy in every day.  That is why I love this tiny, quick activity that I added into our bedtime routine.

I remember having a journal as a teen/20 something to document my day to day life.  I’m sure you do too.  And, like mine, it’s probably filled with more “woe is me and my teen existence” stories than joyous ones but, hey, that’s teen life.  I do, however, remember many good moments recorded with plenty of exclamation points and whatever the equivalent of “OMG” and “Heart Eyes!” was a decade or so ago.  (Don’t want to date myself too much!) And those are the ones that make me smile and reminisce.  The other ones just make me laugh because all of us as teens were ridiculous.

So what is this little ritual you do, you ask?  All we do is ask Mr. G what his favorite part of the day was.  We’ll talk about the whole day, no matter what it was we did, and he tells us what he liked the best. We write it down and that’s it!  It takes all of 2-5 minutes tops.  It’s already so much fun to look through it and remember my little guy’s experiences and the little things that brought HIM joy.  All you need is a notebook and a pen.  Nothing fancy, though you could DIY one if you’d like.  I know I would have loved to make one all cute and DIY-i-fied with his name and all that good stuff.  But I lost out to the Ninja turtles…pick your battles, right?!

We’ve enjoyed doing this so much that I’ve decided to start a little gratitude journal of my own.  Not the tradition journal where I talk about my whole day or my stresses and such.  But one where I reflect on the day and write my own favorite part(s).  A highlight reel of my day, if you will.  The day-to-day can get pretty daunting or just plain boring.  This is my way to combat that and remember that the good Lord has placed so much good in our lives!  There is joy in every day!

XO, Kelly

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Tot Activity // Storybook Magnets

In Uncategorized

I don’t know about your toddler my my little man loves magnets!  He loves playing with the magnetic letters my mom found for him forever ago and now even sorts them by color.  Plus, since they’re on the refrigerator, it’s convenient for me when I want to cook or clean up the kitchen.  I thought I’d add something to his magnetic collection that’s also great for us to use together.  These are great for when you first tell the stories to your little one and even when they know it by heart.  Then they can retell the story to you!

What You’ll Need: Small Wooden Rectangles, Clipart, Modge Podge, Adhesive Magnetic Strips

Now before we start, if you’re super artistic and want to draw these out, have at it!  I tried that as my first approach and then started to get really frustrated trying to draw a bed.  So I went a different route!

Find some pictures online of your characters and key points of the story.  I found all but one of my graphics from clker.com, a completely free library of clipart.  You may have to combine some graphics, or even draw a little on one or two, like you’ll see with the picture of the three chairs.

Print, cut out, add to the pictures as necessary, and Modge Podge your clipart to the wooden pieces.  Back to my example of the chair picture, I added a little blue pillow with a spar pie to make the little chair look “just right”.  Let them dry then slap a magnetic strip to the back.  I used a glue gun to really ensure the magnet would stay on.

Now story tell away!

I have so much fun using these with him since he already knows these stories and he can help me tell each one.  He loves when I act out the huffing and puffing parts of The 3 Little Pigs!

XO, Kelly

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Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It // Crazy Love Valentine Art

In Uncategorized

I saw this Valentine art on Pinerest and thought it was adorable.  Then, once I saw how to make it, I knew I had to try it with Mr. G.  It’s such a simple DIY with an awesome end product and it’s fun for your little ones.

What You’ll Need: Paper, Pen/Sharpie, Watercolors, Straw

For my paper, I chose to use some that is specifically for watercolors.  This keeps the paper from getting too soggy plus, I planned to scan the final product into my computer so I wanted the paper to hold up.  Draw out a head, face, and any other doodles you’d like.  Just be sure to leave the hair out.

Once you’re ready for the paint, fill a cup with water and get your first color ready.  Gently dab some of the paint onto the paper and hand your child the straw.  Get really close to the drop of paint and blow!  Mr. G thought it was so cool when the paint went crazy!
Side Story: He only thought it was cool for the first couple of seconds.  Then he realized that the boy on the page was going to have crazy hair and he didn’t want that.  He wanted “nice hair”!  So the rest of this project was very tearful and sometimes a lot of spit came out of the straw.  Oh to be a “threenager”!
Keep adding drops and spraying them up the page until you rach the desired look.  Be sure to have a couple of straws handy becuase, depending on the age of your child, they may get pretty spitty.

I had a feeling that Mr. G would only sit still for one project so I scanned the original into the computer and printed them out as 5X7s.  Now everyone can have one!  Check out THIS TUTORIAL for more on how to turn your child’s art into a card.

I love the end result of the project. So colorful and whimsical!

Have a Pinterest project you’d like me to try?  I’d love to hear from you and try it out!
XO, Kelly
PS: Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It is now on Wednesdays! 
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Tot Activity // Attention Expanders

In DIY, Mommyhood

Ever since Mr. G stared preschool we’ve been working on “listening ears” and following directions.  As with any young child, neither of these is easy, especially going into a preschool setting from being the only child of a SAHM.  And don’t get me wrong, even when he was just at home he got time outs and general discipline.  Preschool is just more of it for longer periods of time and that’s just not something my child is in to at this stage of his life.  And let’s be real, no one really likes doing what they don’t want to do, adults and toddlers alike!

One day, after a day of general not listening and zero attention in circle time, Mr. G’s teacher gave me a suggestion of how we can work on it at home by sitting down for 5 minutes for a small activity where he has to concentrate and listen.  I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I just love Mr. G’s teachers!  They are always communicating what they are working on so that Mr. G can have consistency and will thrive in his school environment.  Just had to say that!

So, in an effort to work on expanding Mr. G’s attention, I gave it a shot and came up with a couple of fun activities to do with him.  Let me tell you, if you stick with it, it works!  Mr. G has gotten up to 15 mins of circle time at school!

** Before each activity set a timer for 5 minutes.  Tell your child that once the timer goes off, they can get back to playing!  As their attention span continues to improve, increase the time of the activity. **

1. Coloring Shapes
This was actually the example from Mr. G’s teacher.  Print out a sheet with shapes on it, be sure they are shapes that your child knows, and have them color them in according to your directions.  For example, tell them to color the circles red, then the squares blue, triangles yellow, and so on.  I found THIS one by typing in the phase “shape sheet”.  It’s technically a maze worksheet but it works for this activity too!

2. Sticker Sorting

You will need 3 different types of stickers.  (i.e. Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, flowers, animals, etc.)  Draw out three large shapes on a piece of paper and tell them which stickers go where. For the example above, the Toy Story stickers go in the circle, the Thomas stickers go in the triangle, etc.  This helps them work on shapes and sorting in the same activity!

3. The Face

This is one of my favorites.  Print out the two sheets below and cut out the parts of the face.

Parts of the Face DOWNLOAD                                                                
Blank Face DOWNLOAD

Give them one of the parts and ask them what it is and where is goes.  Then they can glue it on to the blank face.  Depending on the age of your child, you can do more with this activity.  They can color the parts of the face before cutting or they can cut them out themselves if they’re ready for scissors.

For Mr. G right now, he’s working on gluing and isn’t very interested in coloring so I doing the cutting out before the activity and he does the gluing.  If there’s time left on the timer, I encourage him to color the final picture.

4. Read
There’s nothing like a good, ole’ fashion story time.  It’s not only good for their development, but if they’re in school/daycare/MMO, it’s probably an activity they are familiar with and will enjoy.

What fun activities do you like to work on with your child?
XO, Kelly

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Mommyhood // Toddler Chores

In Mommyhood

Sometimes I sit back and think about how great it will be when my child (or children, who knows) will be able to have chores.  When they can take out the trash, scrub a toilet here or there, etc.  But, of course I don’t think about it too long, I have a beautiful, happy toddler who still needs me and that will be gone all too soon.  Plus that also comes with budgeting in an allowance and I just don’t want to think about that either.

However, there are things I feel like Mr. G can help me with and I can even teach him valuable lessons about helping around the house and earning something.  Earning and saving money is a pretty advanced concept when you think about it in adult terms but it can still be relevant, in my opinion, on a toddler level.

All I do is tell him that if he helps mommy do this chore or that one, he can earn a quarter for his bank, or “money counter” as he calls it.  There aren’t many chores he can help with at the moment but he can help me empty and load the dishwasher which happens so often that I could go broke if I asked him to help me every time!  So this is our main “chore” right now, and I ask him to help me every now and then.  I make sure to take all of the sharp things out first and then let him go to town.  I have to be very fast because, well, plates and glasses are breakable, but I just stack them and put them in the cabinet once he’s pulled everything out.  (Side note: I don’t consider cleaning up toys or messes a chore.  That’s something he should just be doing anyway.)

He can even put a few things where they belong in the cabinets that are low.  I love that this helps to teach him to earn something and, even if he may not fully understand, how to save up for something he wants.  We’re currently saving up for a monster truck and we’re getting pretty close! (It also helps that a couple of other family members may have given him a dollar here or there!) And yes, his “money counter” is an old Nesquik container.

What do you think about toddler chores?  What do your littles help you do around the house?  I think we’re going to add laundry and sweeping to the list next!

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Tot Activity // Nature Sorting Box

In DIY, Mommyhood

Today I’m over on Love, Joleen sharing our new favorite outdoor activity.  Mr. G and I love exploring and now it’s turned into “treasure collecting”.  I came up with a fun way to add a little learning to the mix with a sorting box.

Check out my POST for the tutorial and some fun pics of the box in action!

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