Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hats off to Hats

Hats and other random things to place on your head

Place different hats on your head and on your child's head. When you put thing on that don't belong tell your tot how silly it is-don't you love the word silly? Just saying it erupts smiles at our house. Make noises with each hat you put on; for example sirens when you put on a fire hat.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bubble Blowing

So I don't want to be all about, "buy this for your kid", "oh, this is great buy this for your kid" this for your kid. My tot LOVES bubbles but for some reason she's not like the other kids and can just pop them she has to be holding the container, which big open bubble containers in her hands means lots of spilled bubbles. These things by Little Kids Inc are genius. It's like a sippy cup for bubbles only it works way better than any sippy cup we own. We got one at Target for $2 and it's totally worth it with all the money you save on spilled bubbles and all the time you save changing clothes, and now we can blow bubbles inside anytime we want. They also have big buckets with multiple wands in them if that sort of thing is your cup of tea.
As a side note has anyone seen or used one of those bubble pipe things? Were you blow into the end and then out the other end comes bubble-delight? I wonder if they are easy enough for a toddler to blow their own bubbles. Maybe, we'll have to try it one day.

Blanket Wagon

Blanket or Sheet

Have your child sit on the sheet. Gently pull him across the floor. That's it! Pretty simple eh? After we had gone up and down our hallway a couple times I gave M* a stirring spoon and showed her how to "paddle" while I sang "Row Row Row Your Boat."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Farm Themed Day

What kid doesn't love farm animals?? there in the pink, your kid doesn't? Well...weird...

Have a farm day! Eat only things from a farm (if you stretch enough you could really make anything come from a farm). Talk about what animal lays eggs, what animals make milk, how crops grow etc. Your child may not understand exactly what you're saying but exposure is key.

Go visit a farm. If you don't have a farm in your area chances are you do have a petting zoo. Check out this website for help finding one. They have a lot of states missing so try google if you can't find one.

Follow the visit up by some quiet story time about farms. Hit the local library if you don't have any.

If your child is old enough make a craft that has to do with a farm animal. Keep it simple like turkey handprints or make a yellow pom pom into a chick.

Sand Box


Sand or Dirt
Buckets, bowls, know the basics.

Ahh spring how we've missed you! I found this bucket and shovel at the dollar store and thought might as well try it (I think I saw the same thing for $1 at target if it makes you feel better buying it there). We spent an hour loading up the bucket and dumping it in. If you don't have a sand box around get a pot of dirt and set it up on your porch, it'll be just as fun and just as messy.
Does anyone have any cool things they do with their toddler in the sand? I just don't feel it's true potential has been unlocked at our family.

A Day on a Matteress

I hesitate putting this on here but it really is a great activity. I just took the bumpers off of our crib and thought it would be easier to pull the mattress all the way out to change the sheets without the big hinderence there. I was right it was easier, just in case you were wondering. My daughter thought the matteress on the floor was the COOLEST thing ever.

Matteress on the floor
Pillows (I would say NOT optional but I suppose they really are optional)

Of course the first thing she did was jump up and down on it. I grabbed some pillows to put on the side once this first...I guess...maybe I should've put a helment on too.

Next she looked through many many books, while on the mattress.

All her stuffed toys were brought to the mattress given a bounce and laughed at as they fell dejected on the floor.

Then she stood on one end of the mattress and threw her doll to the other end. If it didn't make it off the mattress she stood where it landed and threw it off-I promise we didn't teach her that.

I was on one end and she was on the other and she would drive her car down on the mattress and then I would chase her back down the mattress with it. Bring on the giggles.

She was pretty upset when I put it back and I was worried she wasn't going to go to sleep on it now that she had found out its great playing potential but I guess once it was in the crib it wasn't cool anymore.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mail Box

Shoe box
Paper and/or Stickers (optional)

Cover shoe box in paper. I taped and glued mine in hopes that it would last a little longer but I don't think it's going to make a difference. Cut a slot in the top of the box. I put letters on the top that says mail, they were promptly torn off. Make "letters" to go in the mail box. I had M* put some stickers on some 3x5 cards for our letters. I think it would be fun to put a new letter in every so often. Maybe some days put some "packages" in, like some dollar store toys or a treat.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Edible Playdough

I'm a big fan of edible playthings, mostly because I'm a big fan of eating. Here is a recipe for edible play dough.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 c powdered milk

Mix it all together and mold!

Bubble Bath-Outside the Tub

Remember the good old days of bubble bath beards and hair-dos? I sure do. Unfortunately now days (or maybe I just didn't get the news until now days) putting your kid in a bubble bath is like bathing them in poison, I haven't decided which is more frowned upon. Anyway, I can't shake the feeling that M* is missing out on one of the finer things in life, so instead of bringing her to the bubble bath we will bring the bubble bath to her!

Dish Bin, Bowl, or Bucket
Bubble Bath or Dish Soap

Fill dish bin full of bubbles and water. Plop in toys, preferably toys your child doesn't see in the bath everyday, get some that float and some that sink. It was like a treasure hunt trying to find the things at the bottom. Alert:Drowning hazard. Don't leave your toddler alone with this.


Paper Plate

Punch 1-3 holes in a paper plate. Slide ribbon through the hole so just a little bit is hanging out. Show your toddler how to pull the ribbon out from the hole. When they get the hang of it then you try to help them thread the ribbon themselves.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cardboard Kitchen

M* Loves playing with pretend kitchens. That is all she does at her cousins house. Unfortunately I just can't justify spending $100 on a toy "just because." I was so excited when I found this idea in Family Fun. Their rendition is much prettier but this works for us. I'm not terribly great at writing tutorials but I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory.

Cardboard box (you need a pretty good size box but you can make it as large or as small as you want)
Extra Cardboard
Two pieces of paper (different colors)
Paint (optional)
Milk Carton Lids or Similar

First decide where you are going to put your "sink" trace outline of bowl onto top of box. Using a razor blade cut 1/4-1/2" inside the circle-so your bowl should have something to hang onto. From separate cardboard cut out the shape of your sink-like a candy cane. Cut a big enough slit into the main box so that you can slide the sink down into it.

Trace 2-4 circles on one piece of paper, cut out, glue onto the other piece of paper to make the "stove". Secure milk caps for knobs on the stove (I think it would be cool if you had long brads to secure them with so they could turn but we just used glue).

On the front of box cut out shape of oven. You can cut out a window out of the center if you would like. If your box is smaller you will want to cut it to the side so you will have enough room for your cupboards in a future step. Cut a strip from your extra cardboard and secure on as the oven handle.
When you cut out your cupboard be sure to leave enough of a boarder (the part in blue) so that your box is still supported. Cut two parallel horizontal lines and then a vertical one to divide them.

If you have enough extra cardboard you can cut out a panel to insert between the cupboard space and the oven space. We also added a shelf to our oven by gluing it in between the two walls.
On the opposite side of the cupboards make two holes line up with each other. Secure a ribbon using the two holes to use as a towel holder.
Paint. Then insert bowl into the hole you cut out for the sink.

Hopefully you haven't lost your mind reading my (terrible) instructions. M* has really had a lot of fun with it and it only took me about 45 mins to make. Good luck!