Friday, April 13, 2018

DIY Sand Table

Let's be REAL for a second... Educational toys are EXPENSIVE.... there is no way around it... Having spent 14 years specializing in Child Development I know how expensive these items can be...
I knew that I wanted Matilda to have a sand table for her birthday this year, but I was not willing to spend hundreds of dollars on it... I mean she is totally worth the hundreds of dollars, but again let's be real it's a lot of money!
So I decided to do what I know best and ask my dad (Her Fuzzy Dada) to make her one!  And guess what... he rushed right to Home Depot and got all of the stuff and whipped her up a sand table in no time at all!

So here we go... below are the simple directions to making your own sand table for your little one(s)!

We bought:

PVC Pipe (the amount will depend on the size of table you purchase)
PVC 90 Degree Elbow (4)

Utility Tub (1)

We cut the pipe to fit around the utility tub and glued the piping together.  Now we only glued the bottom portion of the piping so I would be able to store it in Matilda's toy shed.  This project took maybe a half hour to complete if that... and the best part is that it was under $30.00 to complete!  You really can't beat that!  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Matilda's ABC Book

Matilda's ABC Keep Sake

When I first found out I was pregnant for the first time I knew that I wanted to have some keepsakes for Matilda.  I wanted some things that she could have for a long period of time.  Not just her first pair of shoes or her first curl. (which for Matilda wouldn't exist as she has stick straight hair!)  I of course started her baby book and we have it up to date, and we have a picture book of her family, but I just wanted something else...something different. 

As she has been growing and developing I wanted to make her something that she could use on a daily basis.  I finally figured it out and created an ABC Book for her.  For every letter of the alphabet I placed a different picture of Matilda in it with something or someone that starts with that letter.  So for the letter Aa I placed pictured of Matilda with Aunta (my sister) and Auba (my niece).  For the letter Bb I placed a picture of Matilda with her dad and I on her baptism.

What I love most about this project is that each and every picture symbolizes someone or something that has happened in her life thus far.  Each picture is special to us and to her.

About two years before Felipe and I got married my brother passed away from an unexpected accident.  For me it is so very important that Matilda knew who her Uncle was even though he is not physically here with us on earth.  She prays for him at night.  She knows his name.  She knows that he lives in Heaven.  She knows her Uncle.  It was important for me to make sure there was a picture of the two of them in the book.

This book comes with us everywhere we go.  It is currently in her car seat waiting for us to leave the house!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Day 6 & Day 7 of my Valentine's Day Toddler Activities

Day Six: Simple Valentine's Day Cards 

This project has to be the easiest one yet.  All you need is some paper, stickers, and crayons.  Yup!  That's it!  Can't beat that activity right?!!

Stickers for little ones are great. Having them peel the stickers off of the paper really helps with their fine motor skills.  Matilda loves stickers.  She can sit for fifteen minutes just peeling and sticking and repealing and re-sticking them to her paper!

We made a few Valentine's Day cards for some super special people we love.  We can't wait to be able to give them to them!!

Day Seven: Simple Valentine's Day Breakfast

Matilda loves herself some breakfast.  It is her best meal of the day.  Matilda is not much of a milk drinker at all, but she will take a few sips of milk if it is colored.  She occasionally will drink chocolate milk, but water is her drink of choice.  She has never had anything besides milk and water.  Since she gets so much dairy in other ways we are not that worried!

What I did for this breakfast was simply toast an Eggo Waffle and use a cookie cutter to make the shape of a heart.  I then added some pink food coloring to her milk.  She doesn't need anything on her Eggo Waffle. She loves it just plain!  I always try to add some fruit on her plate with her breakfast.  This morning it was mandarin oranges.  Another favorite in our house!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Day Four and Day Five of my 14 Days Valentine's Toddler Activities

Day Four: Valentine's Day Q Tip Painting

Day four is yet another easy project for your little one.  Another activity that I can almost guarantee you have the materials already at your house!  All you need are three items for this fun and a little messy project!

Construction Paper
Q Tips

Matilda absolutely loved working on this project.  She loves to paint and loves to get the paint all over her!  I don't mind one bit as all I have to do is throw her in the tub!  

We used Valentine colors for our project!

Day Five: Valentine's Day Wood Heart Painting

For this project you will need wood heart shapes.  We already had these from our wedding a few years back and I had been waiting to find some use for them!  (See honey this is why I throw nothing out!  It must be the former teacher in me!)  You will also need paint.  We made ours for our family so on the back we wrote their names with a sharpie marker, but that is optional of course!  

This project was super simple for Matilda.  All she had to do was get messy!  And boy did she enjoy that!  

We plan on wrapping ours in little bags and handing them out on Valentine's Day to our family!  

Have fun with these projects and can't wait to share the next couple with you!  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 3

Day Three: Valentine's Day Wax Paper Heart

Day Three is fun, but a little messier project than the two days prior!  For this project you will need three items!  All of which can be found again at the dollar store, but most of which I can almost guarantee you have in your closets at home.

Wax Paper
Tissue Paper
Liquid or Stick Glue

Cut a medium size piece of wax paper out and set it aside.  You will then need to cut a heart outline out of the construction paper.  Use the glue to glue the heart outline onto the wax paper.  You will need to then cut the tissue paper up into small squares.  The last step before your little one can get messy is to smear the (liquid) glue on the wax paper inside of the heart outline.

Once you have completed the last step it is time for your little one to take the tissue paper and place them on the glue!  Have them fill in all of the empty wax paper.

I hope your little one enjoys getting a little sticky and check back tomorrow for day four!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 2

Day Two: Valentine's Day Ice Painting

Another easy project to do at home with the kiddos!  All you need for this are four items!

Ice Cube Tray
Food Coloring
Popsicle Sticks (if desired)
**We didn't have Popsicle sticks so I cut plastic straws in half and used those!**

This project will have to be done in advance though so the water can freeze.  What I did with Matilda was have her help me fill the ice cube trays the night before with food coloring and water.  We set them in the freezer and waited until morning for them to freeze!  She was so cute and wanted to keep checking on their progress!  I had to remind her that they would be ready when she woke up from her sleep.  You can do this part int he morning as well and they should be pretty well frozen by late afternoon!

I simply gave her a piece of white construction paper and let her go to town.  She had so much fun creating another craft!  And another activity that was super easy to clean up!  Just a rag was all we needed!

And don't worry about them eating is just water and food coloring!

I hope you guys enjoyed this activity and come back tomorrow for Day 3!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 1

I have decided to create fourteen days worth of toddler activities to do for Valentine's Day!  Most of these items we as moms already have in our pantry and if we don't they are easily bought at the dollar store!  It always has seemed crazy to me to spend a lot of money on messy projects that last only a few minutes!  Throughout all of my years working in education I spent many of hours in the dollar store buying for crafts and activities! 

Day One: Valentine's Day Shaving Cream

For this project it can't get much simpler than two ingredients:  

Shaving Cream and Food Coloring

I mean Come On!!!  I'm sure your husband won't mind if you take a little of his!!!  

We used red food coloring which turned out pink, but hey pink is still a Valentine's Day color so we were good there!  Matilda really enjoyed playing with it.  It is a great sensory activity.  Especially for those little ones that are still a bit hesitant to getting their hands messy!  

When I was teaching preschool we would do this activity all the time.  You can have older children write their names, the letters of the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and so much more!

 It is a simple activity with minimal cleanup as well!  I simply picked Matilda up and placed her and the high chair tray right in the bathtub and washed them both right up!!  It took a whole two minutes for cleanup!  I mean can't complain about that easy cleanup!! 

Hope you enjoy and check back tomorrow for Day 2!