Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ocean Engagement! 

We are headed to the beach in a few weeks and I really wanted to work with Livi on some ocean themed things! I knew she would like them, but I actually couldn't believe how much she LOVED them! 


We started with Sand Molds! Texture is a huge obstacle for little ones, but she adapted to this really well! This sand was from the Target Dollar Spot ($3.) It feels similar to Mad Mattr Sand or Kinetic Sand! I highly recommend it! The clean up is so easy and it doesn't dry out! 


Our two focus texts for the week were Where is Baby's Beach Ball and Seaside. Both books are super cute and engaging for little ones! 

After our books, we did some Dot Painting! Sometimes when we don't have much time to get completely messy, so we just do Dot Paint instead of regular painting! 



Next we moved to doing our sensory bin! It had been a few weeks since I had done the water beads, so you better believe I busted those out again! :) 


We talked about the types of ocean animals, pretended they were swimming, hid them, and just explored with these! 

And then this happened during by brief restroom break. :) I love this kid and her creativity! 

Now, we did a really fun Jelly Fish activity but I couldn't get a great picture of it, so I'm going to share think for the place I found the idea! 

Our Pet Jelly Fish was so much fun! 


Olivia played with this for so long! She loved it! 


My picture is NOT Pinterest worthy, but it really looked great while moving! The link above includes the EASY instructions! :)

Next we made a fun crab! Just a paper plate stapled in half, painted, then I put metallic paper strips on it for legs! 

Livi loves painting, so we also did a Jelly Fish like this! 


I love watching her carry these around all day and show daddy when he gets home! 

Next we did some more ocean exploration! 


I froze some of the smaller ocean animals with some blue food coloring, then we put them in a bowl of water! The kids loved this! It was fun watching them melt, watching the water change color, and playing with the animals! 


Lastly, we wrapped up our ocean week with this Melissa and Doug Puzzle! Livi loves it but gets so frustrated with the starfish! Lol. 

We have been so busy but we are finally out for summer! I'm happy have both of my kids with me and be prepared to see some fun blog posts coming your way soon! 

(Affiliate links are included for your convenience) 

Have a fabulous week!

Hillary



Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day Sugar Cookies!

Earth Day is here! Well, tomorrow actually...but for once, I am ahead of the game. Tonight we ventured out and made Earth Day Sugar Cookies! I was skeptical to say the least about these because every recipe I found for "Earth Day Cookies" called for some weird ingredient. I decided to improvise (which in the kitchen...usually ends in a disaster for me) but these turned out great!


First, I followed this Sugar Cookie Recipe because it has NEVER let me down. I made the dough, just as she states. Follow it exactly! It is easy! I just omit the almond extract (because I never have it.) lol. but it is like she reads my mind...because she states that you CAN omit it! Whohoo!

Then, after you have the dough made...just simply split the batch into two sections. I used rubber gloves for this next part but you do not have to. Add in green food coloring to one dough section and blue food coloring to the other dough section. Knead the dough until it is the desired color.


Now, in hindsight...I would make the blue section much bigger...I ran out of blue and had a lot of green left that I just tossed. Oh well, we still ended up with a ton of cookies! No harm done!

Next, roll the dough into small balls and place on parchment paper (on a baking sheet.) 


Then cook as directed in the original recipe. (350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.) Again though...I cooked mine for about 11 minutes. I am not sure why that worked better...maybe the food coloring had something to do with it. Anyway, I would recommend cooking them around 11 minutes. :)


And there you have it! Earth Day Cookies! And holy cow...they taste amazing (if I am allowed to say that.) I really can't take credit...the sugar cookie recipe is the best!! 

So tomorrow we will do some fun crafts and eat some cookies! If you want to see more of my crafts in action with my kiddos...head over to my instagram and and facebook page! Have a great Earth Day!

Until Next Time,
Hillary



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Mess-Free Earth Day

I love Earth Day! I used to love doing activities with my 3rd graders and 5th graders when I was a teacher. Now, I am excited to talk about Earth Day with my own kids. Olivia loves to paint but let's face it...she makes a huge mess! I am perfectly okay with that, but I knew this activity would end up a big blob on a plate if I didn't take some measures to make it "mess-free." :)


First, I prepped the activity! It wasn't hard, as you can see below...but I needed to have it all set up before I showed it to her. 


Just take a paper plate, a gallon baggie, and some blue and green paint. At first, I put the plate in the baggie and I was just going to squirt the paint in the bag, but I decided pulling the plate out was better, then I squirted paint on the plate and slid it into the bag. 


Basically, I just squirted the colors in various spots where I knew land and water are on Earth. :) I am no geography whiz though! lol.


Next, I taped it....PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP! lol. I didn't take a picture of it, but it is so important! I used packing tape! Then, let the little one squish, squish, squish! 


After a few minutes, this was the finished product. 


Disclaimer: I took the plate and bag away from her before she wanted to be done. lol. I knew it would be a big green/blue blob if I let her keep going. Needless to say, she was sad...really sad...that I took it away. (mommy fail) lol. So...I squirted some more paint in a bag, taped it, and let her continue. Maybe that is spoiling her, or maybe I was just glad she liked the activity...the world will never know. But just a mommy tip...you may want have a spare baggie with paint on hand for when you snatch away the real one. :)

What do I love most about this? There was no clean up! lol. None. So I hope you enjoy this activity! 

Have a great week!
Hillary








Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Olivia has become very interested in cars and trains lately. I decided it was the perfect time to do a "transportation theme" for our weekly activities.


We started off the week with two really great books! Curious George On the Go and On the Go! I highly recommend both of these books for toddlers. They are interactive, inexpensive, and really fun for little ones!


Next we worked on our numbers (1-5) with this Numberline Train! Olivia loved putting the numbers in order, and naming the numbers. She can say all of her numbers (1-5) now!


Next we got really messy (but clean at the same time??) lol. Have you ever used shaving cream to clean your counter-tops? Sounds weird, but it is amazing! Now, I don't actually use it as a cleaner, but it did help clean my counter when Olivia was playing with it! 


I just squirted shaving cream, smeared it around, then let her run toy cars through it. 30 minutes at least of pure fun! She loved this! She made car noises and a mess! It was perfect!

Snack time came next and it was easy and yummy! Graham crackers, peanut butter, and M&M's! She gobbled it up! And note, it looks like traffic lights. :) 


Road Shapes from Mrs. Plemon's Kindergarten Blog were a huge hit too! My son loved them also! These were so easy to print, cut, (I laminated, but you do not have to) then just let the kids play! Oh the car noises! So cute! We talked about the shapes and she can identify most of her shapes, but a few were still too hard. 


Outside we go! We only had a few pretty days this week but sidewalk chalk was a must. We drew all kinds of things but we talked about red light, yellow lights, and green lights!


Here is another fabulous idea from Mrs. Plemon's Blog! These Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Books are AMAZING! We used them all of the time when Rex was little but I had forgotten all about them! They have all different kinds but I got the vehicle one!


These are great for fine motor skills and I love how she can peel them up over and over again!

Lastly, we finished up with boats! I ordered these Alex Toys Magnetic Boats! Super cute, and with a little blue food coloring, it looked like the boats were really in the ocean. :) Water bins are always one of my favorites! It is great for her sensory skills and she has so much fun! 


I have had a lot of questions about what my day is like with Livi. Believe me when I say, this stuff only takes about 1.5 hours a day. I do not "school" her all day. :) I do these things because I know they are good for her, it helps her learn, and gives us quality time together to interact! I love all of your sweet responses and questions. I am happy to share anything I have with you! 

I hope you have a wonderful week!
Hillary