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Fun with Toddlers: Cloud Dough

25 Sep

Eli was so excited to try Mom’s newest crazy activity.

 

Have you ever been to a children’s museum and played with that funky stuff called cloud dough?  It’s not clay, or playdough, or sand it is somewhere in between.  It’s Cloud dough. I found THIS great recipe on pintrest to make your own.  That’s exactly what Eli and I did last week.  So very much fun!

He looks like he’s going to shoot me with baby oil.

A great activity to do on a chilly afternoon.

Simply combine 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil. Knead about 3 minutes.

I didn’t have a full cup of baby oil (only about 1/3 cup) so I adjusted the recipe to use 3 cups of flour.  We are planning on making this again soon after our next town (errand) day.  I had the baby oil leftover from when Eli got sticker goo stuck to his face.  I let him wear a sticker to the sprinkler park this summer.  Unfortunately when a sticker gets wet it this goo sticks to your face.  Baby oil was the only thing we found to take it off.  😉

Having lots of fun.

 

I let Eli play with a few toys and a “repurposed” parmesan cheese container. I showed him how to open the lid add some cloud dough and pour it out again.

 

What a great sensory activity.

 

What’s really fun about the cloud dough is that it can be shaped and poured.

 

 

Warning: This does make quite a mess.

A face like this makes the mess so worth it! 🙂

 

Such a fun actitivy to do together. I found myself enjoying the cloud dough almost as much as Eli.

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Putt Putt Golf to Remember

27 Aug

Eli was so excited.

Last weekend Elijah got to play putt-putt golf for the first time at Blue Licks State Park.  To say he was excited would be an understatment.  I handed him a ball and a putter and tried to explain the basic rules.  No throwing the ball or putter, no hitting people, etc.  I was pretty nervous and thought I bet he doesn’t last through two holes of golf.  I’m proud to report that Eli did a great job having good behavior and had a blast!  He actually played all 18 holes right alongside of me.  😉

Such a sweet memory.

I encouraged Eli to use the putter to kind of drag the ball along and he did great!  Elijah was very patient as he watched Aunt Katelyn, Aunt Bekah, and myself try to get our ball into the hole.  It was so fun to watch him try to get the ball into the hole.  He was enthralled with the whole game and mesmerized by hole 18 where the machine eats the ball.  I look forward to taking him for years to come.  What a fun summer tradition it would be.  🙂  I never would have dreamed that at the age of 2 he would enjoy putt putt golf as much as he did.  Once again I am so thankful for the opportunity to make a precious memory with my sweet little boy.

Toddler Craft: Milk Jug Lids, Foamies, & Paint

15 Aug

Eli couldn’t wait to try Mom’s latest Pintrest art project.

Once again let me just say how much I like pintrest.  It is filled with wonderful ideas many of which are just for kids.  When I came across this idea from Vanessa’s Values I knew I needed to start saving our milk jug lids and plastic bottle caps.

All smiles.  Please disregard the leftover lunch on Eli’s face.  (Elijah did this activity as I was washing the dishes after lunch.) 

All you do is take foamies and either glue them on a plastic lid or do like I did and use the foamie stickers.  Elijah chose a plane and a car.  We keep a bunch of foamies on hand for art projects or to keep Elijah entertained during church.  I save the plastic trays that come with produce to use with painting activities.  (I don’t save the meat trays.)

Action shot

This was also a good craft to do to use up some old acrylic paint I found when I was cleaning.  It doesn’t have the right consistency for any of my projects but works great for Eli.  🙂

I was fairly impressed with Eli’s stamping abilities.

This craft was so much fun!  I did find that milk jug lids worked much better than plastic drink bottle caps for Elijah’s little hands.  Guess we will adding milk jug lids to the list of things to repurpose around our home.

We loved this easy inexpensive craft!

Homemade Bouncy Ball FAIL!

23 Jul

We were both really excited about making a homemade bouncy ball!

I just happen to be a super blessed mommy of a little boy who absolutely loves BALLS!!!  Typical little boy I know. 😉  When I saw this recipe for making homemade bouncy balls from the Money Saving Mom I knew we just had to try it!

Elijah was so excited!

We gathered all of our supplies and headed outside.  If you attempt to make your own be sure to do this activity outside as it can be quite messy!

Measuring.

Mixing…growing more excited with every moment.

I did help stir at this moment.  Just when I thought the consistency was just right:

SPLAT!

I don’t who was more disappointed when our bouncy ball didn’t bounce at all!  It just went splat!  Eli picked it up a couple of times and tried again but it went splat every time! 🙂  I have no idea what we did wrong.  We followed the recipe to a T.  You would think for someone who graduated 1 class short of a chemistry minor I wouldn’t have had any trouble with this but alas it was a complete fail in one sense.

Look at that face. It doesn’t work mom!

In another sense our little project was a complete success.  The goal really wasn’t to make a bouncy ball.  Instead it was to spend some quality time with Elijah while making a great memory.  In this sense it was a smashing success.  For the next couple of days every time we would go outside on the sidewalk Eli would talk about how the bouncy ball didn’t work.  He kept saying “It doesn’t work Mom!  The bouncy ball is broke.”  Precious that’s what that is!

Elijah had lots of fun playing with the bouncy ball fail.

Exploring his world.

I’m still not exactly sure what went wrong with our DIY Bouncy Ball experiment.  Maybe next year we will try again.  For now I’m thinking we will try to add making flubber to our to-do list this week.  😉

Sidewalk Chalk Painting

21 Jun

Eli and cousin Anna had a great time “painting the porch”.

 

One of Eli’s favorite new summer activities is what he calls painting the porch.  I found this recipe for Sidewalk Chalk Paint on Pintrest.  It is so simple you must try it with your kids.  😉  I have also found that it keeps kids occupied for a long time!

Eli was in awe of the paint.

We have been making sidewalk chalk paint about once a week and usually 1/2 the original recipe and make it as follows.  Combine: 1/2 c. cornstarch, 1/2 c. water, and food coloring.  (I usually split the cornstarch/water mix in two cups so that Eli has 2 colors to paint with.)

Yeah mom this chalk paint rocks.

 

While the kids painted the porch I had a lovely time writing a letter to a friend and reading a book.

 

Cousin Anna enjoying her chalk paint.

Sidewalk chalk paint was a huge hit at our house.  What a great way to bless the little people in your life!

Toddler Art Smock: Simplicity 2295 Review or Simplicity 0477 Review

1 May

The finished art smock complete with pockets for crayons.

For my cousin Anna’s third birthday party I decided to make her an art smock.  (I had originally planned on sewing her a dress but after my aunt gave Eli a nice annoying toy I changed my mind.)   🙂  I had made Eli an art smock for his birthday last year from the book One Yard Wonders which turned out wonderful.  Whenever Anna (my cousin) comes over to play we almost always break out the messy art supplies.  She especially loves painting with Jello.

Back view with ties.

I used Simplicity 2295 (also sold as Simplicity 0477 around the holidays) to make the apron although I don’t think it would be very hard to dream up your own pattern.  (I don’t usually spend the effort to dream up patterns when I can often purchase them on sale for .99.)  If you are sewing for a girl this pattern is great.  Besides the art smock it also includes a pattern for a cooking apron, two tote bags, and a couple pretend kitchen play items.  The art smock or bags in the pattern could also be made for the little boy in your life.

 

I guess we'll have to invite Anna over for messy art day.

 

 

I added a pocket for Bag D.

 

Elijah and I had a great time picking out all sorts of art supplies to go along with Anna’s art smock.  I thought sewing a tote bag would be a great way to keep all of her art supplies together in one place.  It also meant that I didn’t have to drive to town to buy a gift bag.  I figure by the time I loaded up Eli and went to the store and drove back it would equal about the same amount of time it took to sew this little tote bag.  (I sewed view D.)

I think the additional pocket on this bag adds so much.

Somehow I ended up with an extra pocket piece (#11) from the art smock.  Rather than let that piece of fabric go to waste I decided to use it as a pocket on the bag.  I folded the pocket in half lengthwise and finished three sides of the bag (not the folded edge).  Then I sewed it onto the middle of the bag about 3″ from the top of the bag prior to sewing the actual bag together.  I sewed down the middle of the pocket in order to make 2 pockets but you could make the pockets however you like.  These could also be made to hold crayons by sewing seams 1″ apart.  (This would be step zero if that makes sense.)

I think the pocket adds so much to this simple bag.

I accidentally sewed the bag at 5/8″ instead of 3/8″ so my handles ended up being quite small.  Somehow I always seem to miss the small italicized directions.  🙂  Overall I was very pleased with how this bag turned it out.  I have no doubt that I will be making this bag again in the future.

The finished tote bag (view D) filled with art supplies and the art smock.

Such a fun little sewing project to inspire creativity!

Toddler Activity: Cheerios Bird Feeder

30 Apr

Cheerios for the birds

One of our favorite recent toddler activities is making “bird feeders.”  All it takes is one pipe cleaner and a handful of Cheerios.

The first time you do this activity you will probably need to show your child what to do.  I always begin by making a knot at the end of the pipe cleaner so that the Cheerios don’t fall off.  Then I demonstrate gently threading a Cheerio through the end of the pipe cleaner and pushing it down the pipe cleaner.

He's so proud!

This is a great activity for developing motor skills.  I also found that it was a great way to teach what “gentle” means.  Elijah had to be very gentle with the Cheerios or they would break.  🙂

 

On his way to go hang up his bird feeder.

 

Simply wrap the end of the bird feeder around a branch and wait for the birds to enjoy.

 

 

Elijah enjoying his handiwork and stylin' at the same time.

This activity is a great way to use up stale Cheerios or Cheerios that have fallen onto the floor.  Around our house we find this is a wonderful activity to keep Elijah occupied while I am finishing up dinner.