Friday, February 24, 2017

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

So mommy life has got me exhausted this week! Livi turned two on Monday (yay!!) but now has strep and the flu! Rex also has strep and the flu. My husband had the flu on Monday. I am waiting...will I be next? Who knows! I have meds called in just in case I need them! We mommies have to think ahead, right?

Anyway, despite the illnesses running our house right now, Livi and I dove into a little "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" action! First, I love all of Eric Carle's books. Second, she loves this book and insists we read it every night. I knew she would love some activities to go with it!

We started by reading the book a few times. Like I said, she loves this book so she was engaged from the beginning! Then we moved to our sensory bin!

For the sensory bin, I bought 5 bags of black beans at Wal-Mart ($.88 ea.) and then put in some play fruit from the kid's kitchen. I also snagged the adorable caterpillar on Amazon and it was the perfect size!

I added in two plastic cups and a measuring spoon and she had a blast! In fact, I have left it out all week and both kids play with it every night! While she was playing though, we talked about colors, fruit names, pretended to feed the caterpillar, and buried the fruit. She loved every second of it! 

Okay, have you ever TRIED to get a picture of your child and they will not be still? Holy cow! So we made this headband...I cut, she glued, and then she wouldn't be still wearing it! She danced, pranced, and ran! lol. That's okay though, that just means she liked it! It was very easy to make though, just construction paper, scissors and glue! 

Next, we did this C is for caterpillar page! I used pom poms and I created this C is for Caterpillar Page.

She needed some help knowing where to glue them, but she caught on fast! 

Lastly, we finished up with her NEW favorite book!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABC is a GREAT book for toddlers! Now we read it every night and every day! lol. 

Next week we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss and I cannot wait! Hope you all have a great and HEALTHY weekend! 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Sea of Pink and Red

What a fun (and busy) week! I feel like I have been swimming in hearts and candy, and all things pink and red!

Olivia and I have done so many fun things this week! Again, I hate that this post is coming AFTER Valentine's Day, but I know you will have left over candy, hearts, and all things red and pink for feel free to still use these ideas with your little ones! I mean...they *really* don't know that Valentine's is over, right?

So we started off the week with a sensory bin! Pink rice? Yes. Can I tell you how cheap and easy this was?

So dying the rice was easy! First, buy rice. I did a 5 lbs. bag for $1.98. *fist bump*...I know, amazing. Dump it in a large container. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix to coat the rice in the water.  Add in red food coloring and mix until you reach the color you want!

Obviously it will take more food coloring than this...but this is a before picture. :) The rice wasn't wet or messy after, so I went ahead and added the Valentine goodies to the bin and let it set overnight. 

Then we played! All of the goodies are from the Target dollar spot. I just stock up each time I go in there. Note: We DID do this one outside and I AM GLAD! Rice was everywhere. this outside if at all possible, or invest in a good vacuum. :)

Olivia loved this bin. I added in some plastic cups and she dug, played, dumped, scooped, and hid all of the toys in the bin. I love watching her learn and explore. 

Next, we came in for snack time and I just happened to combine snack with an activity. When I was at Target (I know people, they see me coming...) I saw some Kashi Healthy Heart my head I thought "yuck" but I saw that the cereal came in heart shapes. A perfect reason to buy cereal right? It turns out, it is very yummy! 

So I made this H is for HEART activity and she loved it. She lined the hearts up, then ate them! Perfect! And I cannot get over those sweet little hands. I could eat. her. up. 

We finished up our activities for this day with Where is Baby's Valentine? It is a lift flap book and it is so cute!

So, now we move to Valentine's Day. Yep, I fed my children donuts with all the frosting. I may have also had that pretty pink one sans the sprinkles...all to myself. 

And can we just take a minute...

I am obsessed with these two. 

Okay, moving on. 

We started off our day with Where is Love Biscuit? Olivia loves books that you can touch and feel! 

Then we did a Conversation Heart Color Sort Activity. Now, I personally hate those dang conversation hearts, and I knew if I bought a big bag, they would not be eaten. My children, husband, (and I) love Sweet Tarts though, so I bought a bag of conversation Sweet Tarts. 

I was a bit skeptical of doing this activity with her, I thought she might want to just eat them (like the cereal) and I wasn't sure if she knew her colors well enough. I was so surprised though! She sorted them like a pro once I added one to each heart! She ate two of them, but wasn't too interested in chowing down on them! She really enjoyed this activity and did it a few times. 

Another thing Olivia LOVES to do is paint. I decided to switch it up a bit and made a heart stamp out of a toilet paper roll. I have seen this idea floating around, and wanted to try it. So I just caved one side of the roll in to make a heart shape, then taped it with some red tape I had. Done! 

She loved this! I had to guide her quite a bit because she wanted to use it like a paint brush, but she got the hang of it. 

This is the finished one (our 3rd attempt!) :) And do you see my hodge-podge of paint? I literally use whatever I have around the house! 

I wrote her name on this one and I will keep it! It turned out so cute and I will forever remember her giggling and having so much fun doing this one!

Finally, we finished up our Valentine's festivities with another water bead bin and a fun activity for Rex!

So I just used red water beads, and some of the items from the rice bin I talked about earlier in the post!

I think the water beads are still her favorite. She really loves playing with these! I really wish we had these when I was a kid, man they are fun!

I always let Rex play with the things we do during the day, he loves them just as much as her most of the time! I wanted to do something that I knew he would really enjoy though!

So these are the items I used, and I let him just explore and play! I was curious to see what he would do!

Needless to say, he was brilliant! I am so proud of this kid. He is such a smart cookie. 

And of course Livi knows how to have fun too! :)

And that is a wrap folks! We had a great Valentine's week and now we are prepping for little one's birthday party THIS WEEKEND! :) I hope you enjoyed reading about these fun activities and don't forget to check out our post on Edible Chocolate Play Dough!

Have a great weekend!

Until Next Week,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Edible Chocolate Play Dough

Okay, can you say yum? I dough and you can eat it. It smelled delicious, tasted similar to cookie dough and worked just like play dough! I am impressed! I had share it with you and a fun printable!

Now, I had to play around with this recipe A LOT but I think I finally got it perfect for you! I wanted to share it in my upcoming post of Valentine activities Livi and I will do this week, but I really wanted you guys and gals to have it BEFORE Valentine's Day so you could try it with your kids!

So, the recipe is in the picture below or in the download under the picture. Just click the link and you can get these cute cards to go with your bag o' play dough! :)

So we started with all of the ingredients placed out on the table. Organization is key. 

Then I called the kids in to help! Oh man, they were so excited! I let each of them take turns adding the ingredients. I didn't get great pictures of that because I was supervising (a must!) lol. 

Then they were ready to mix the ingredients! 

Finally, we had to dive in with our hands! We just mushed and smushed until it became a play dough consistency. If you try this and your play dough ends up a bit dry and crumbly, just add a little more oil. This recipe worked great for us, but I know every one is different!

Play time was next. I didn't get a good picture of Livi playing with it, but I will later in the week! Rex was a pro though! :) I just gave him some heart cookie cutters (from TARGET) and laid some parchment paper down. 

Guys, the smell was amazing. I tasted it and it was yuuummmy! The kids didn't want to taste it. I think all of my "do NOT eat the play dough" from their real play dough must have stuck with them! lol. 

It made the best cut outs and was an easy clean up! 

We had a great time and I am excited to do more Valentine fun this week! I hope you all have a great Valentine week! Please feel free to comment with any fabulous ideas you do with your kiddos! I love collaborating with mommies and teachers! 


Friday, February 10, 2017

HUGS for the Teacher? Why Not!

We have not officially begun our week of Valentine fun and goodness, next week is BUSY! Between doctor appointments, a Valentine party, and Livi's birthday party prep...I hope I get something accomplished! lol.

Anyway, I am trying to get ahead of the game...before I get behind. So I finished up Rex's teacher's gift today. I thought I would hop on here and show you what I did and provide a printable for you (if you want to do the same thing!)

So...the dollar spot at Target is my friend! My very. best. friend. So I snagged this cute bucket in the dollar spot (I will warn was $3.00) lol. Then I grabbed some yummy Hersey's kisses...(the cupcake flavor) because they had the prettiest wrapper. I'm such a sucker. I bought three only took one to fill it up. Does anyone else have trouble estimating stuff like this? Geez. It is a problem.


So I filled up the adorable bucket and then it sat at my house for two days until I made a tag for it! :) Today, I made a tag. Well, four actually. Good thing though because I messed up twice writing Rex's name (and it is still crooked, can you say OCD?) It has been a LONG week. lol. 

And there you have it...simple, cheap, DONE! I think the whole thing cost me $9 but would have cost me $5 or less had I not bought enough kisses (hugs) to fill up a bath tub! 

I had some red and white string, so I used that to tie it on the bucket! I am sure she will love it and he will love giving her something special! 

Now, I am risking her seeing this (sorry Mrs. Chapman) before Valentine's Day so that I can give you this template! I hope you will find it useful! Just click to download!

Fonts are by A Perfect Blend and Clipart is by Educlips.

Until Next Time, 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter Wonderland

 (This post does contain affiliate links for your convenience.) 

We had a week of winter themed activities! In Texas, my kids don't see much snow or winter. So exposing them to different seasonal things they may not see every day is a must!

We started off the week with some snowman fun! Everything we did was on the topic of snowmen (or snow-people, if we are being politically correct!)

We started off with these two books. Olivia loves books, in fact, I have to be careful because she wants to read them about 10 times each. When we sit down to read, it takes a while, but that is okay! These two books are great, Colors in the Cold talks about different colors and clothes the snowman is wearing and The Itsy Bitsy Snowman is to the tune (or rhyme) or The Itsy Bitsy Spider. She loved both books! 

Next, we did some fine motor practice with cotton balls! This activity was simple, free and FUN! All you need is a container (I used a coffee cream container because we go through those so fast. Anyone else obsessed with coffee??), and some cotton balls. I drew a face on the container and glued some paper on for a scarf to make it look like a snowman. We also used some fine motor tools but that isn't mandatory! 

Olivia played with this a lot during the morning time! She kept going back to this activity. I loved it because it wasn't messy! She ended up using her fingers the most, I think the tools are still too difficult for her. Nevertheless, she had so much fun! 

Next, we moved to a little craft time. I just used blue construction paper, and cut up white paper into squares. I let her begin gluing anywhere she wanted. While she was doing that, I cut a few smaller black squares and an orange triangle. (Can you guess what she is making? lol.)

An after a loooooot of gluing, we had our finished product! She loves doing this activity! However, I think I could literally put a glue stick in her hand any time of day and she would be happy as a clam. The kid loves to glue! 

Next, we decided to move outside! We did a snow play sensory bin! I took a simple plastic cup and drew a snowman face on it. Then she just played with the pretend snow and scooped it in to the cup!

I think we did this for almost an hour, she LOVED playing with this bin. It was 70 degrees outside, so we enjoyed the warm weather too. 

On Tuesday, we stuck with the winter theme and dressed up a few Educlips kids! I love this activity and Olivia had the best time dressing up the little kids. Her motor skills are not great with this yet, but it was still a lot of fun! I have provided the link below, and I just printed and cut them out, then laminated them! 

Our Snow Sensory Bin was fun for her to explore. I used cotton balls, pipe-cleaners (twisted up), and some large sequins. For sensory bins, just try to use what you have around the house! No need to purchase a lot of items. Kids just love to explore new things!

Snowflake Dot Art was a hit too! I am convinced all things Dot Art are a hit! A while back I purchased a set of  Dot Art Dabbers and my kids go crazy over them! What is it about these things that is so fun? I think I may need to try their hand at BINGO. Anyway, Livi loved this activity! Note to Self: Print more copies next time! She wanted more, more, more! 

We finished up our day with a great book (the dog says Woof Woof and she loves that!) And some "Snow Writing!" Big brother helped with this one!

Shaving cream is one of the easiest things to clean off of anything! We did this one outside but it was a super easy clean up! 

On Wednesday, we did a Snowflake Play-Doh Mat! Playing with Play-Doh is Livi's jam, she loves it! Rex also loved this mat last night after dinner! I worked with Livi on how to roll the Play-Doh which was something she couldn't do yet. Now, she does it with ease and loves making "Sssss" or snakes as we adults call them. 

And holy moly, get ready for picture overload. This next one was both of our favorite things all week! I did another explore bin for her with some water beads and arctic animals.

You guys, she spent the first 5 minutes with these critters just waving at them and saying "Hi!" (Picture above is her waving!) I could have died, it was so sweet!

After we got our introductions out of the way, lol, she was ready to play. Hint: It will sound weird, but I highly suggest playing with these on a blanket or with carpet underneath. We did it on a table but when the beads would fall they fell on the carpet and she picked them right back up. When we tried it on the concrete, they bounced EVERYWHERE. It was a disaster. These are not messy, so inside play is perfectly fine! 

I gave her a cup because she loves scooping them up and dumping them out. Olivia did not attempt to eat these, and they are non-toxic, but keep an eye on your little one if you do these bins. :) 

We talked about all of the animals and I hid some of them for her to find in the water beads. And again, my son loved these when he got home too! 

Lastly, we wrapped up our winter themed ideas for the week with Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. I have such love for their books and this one is no exception. Please go buy this one if you do not have it! It is inexpensive and your kids will love it!

Lastly, I created this "P is for Polar Bear" gluing activity and placed a few real pictures of polar bears on there. I was surprised to see how interested she was in these pictures. I forget that she isn't used to seeing real photos of animals like this; she really studied them for a while.

I just had her glue cotton balls on, but let's be honest people, I was over the gluing at this point in the week. So before she even saw the glue stick, I glued all over the P and told her to put cotton balls on the "purple space" (she knows her colors so she followed this instruction well.) Mommy wins! :)

With gymnastics during the week, and the rest of our busy schedule, these activities filled up our week quite nicely! She is really enjoying the themes each week and all of the different things we do! Next week we will be doing a Valentine's Theme! I am very excited for some chocolate play-doh, sensory bins, and heart crafts!

I have provided all of the links to the activities I created this week (or found on Pinterest) and they are all free! So download them if you would like to try these with your little ones! 

Until Next Week,