St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Necklace

Saint Patrick's Day Rainbow Necklace

Yall, March is here!!! Bring on Spring. I am ready for the flowers to start blooming, flip flops to be my shoe of choice, and long evening walks where it’s still light outside! And St. Patrick’s Day is coming. I’ve never been one to really LOVE the holiday, but it is the day when sparks first flew between III and I almost 11 years ago so I guess it holds a little place in my heart!

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I wanted to share a fun little necklace the kids and I made yesterday. It was raining here (I don’t love that part of March) and so we needed some indoor fun! Well, the kids saw it as fun…I saw it as a great way to work on fine motor skills, color recognition, and patterns. The teacher in me, just never goes away!

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Supplies: Fruit Loops, String (I used baker’s twine), tape, six bowls

First, I had the kids sort the colors to match the coordinating bowl. This was great for Sprout (almost 2) who knows his colors but can always use the reinforcements & the bowl matching aspect was great too! 

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Next, I cut a long piece of baker’s twine and wrapped a piece of packing tape around one end to keep the string from fraying and to make a stiff point for the kids to thread through the center of the Fruit Loop. Tie a couple of knots, making one thick knot on the other end to keep the Fruit Loops from slipping off.

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For Chickadee (who is 3) I drew out a pattern that I wanted her to follow (the rainbow order ROYGBIV = red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) as she strung on the Fruit Loops. We have just started working on patterns, so this was great practice. 

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Once they are finished tie off the end and let them show off their St. Patrick’s Day necklace creations.

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And of course, now it’s time to eat it. They should be rewarded for their hard work, right! My kids loved this activity and are already asking to make another necklace tomorrow! Well, at least Chickadee…Sprout just wants to eat some more Fruit Loops. 

Happy almost Saint Patrick’s Day!

Rice Bin – Toddler Sensory Play

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There have been some colder and rainy days the past few weeks. (Definitely not today..today it’s beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny!) And I have found a great activity that entertains my two toddlers for HOURS! In my personal mom opinion everyone needs a rice bin. 

I’m not sure why I waited so long. We have a sand table, a water table…Chickadee does tons of other sensory activities including finger painting and play-doh. But this was both Sprout and Chickadee’s FIRST rice bin. And it was magic. 

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Materials: a big bag of uncooked rice, a bin/tupperware of some sort, spoons, funnels, tongs, animals, buttons, bowls, etc. 

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There isn’t much too it. Pour in the rice, anything you might want to hide for your little to find, and start playing. Let them explore, dig, pour, use their imagination. Try and stop yourself from freaking out that there may be rice both inside and outside the bin! Our only rule is “No throwing the rice.” It’s easy to clean up. PROMISE. I use a plastic table cloth underneath the kids since we usually play when we can’t take it outside. That along with a little sweeping made clean up easy.

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If you feel the need to add more structure, you could add objects and then include a picture list for you kids to find certain things. Tongs are great when searching because they really strengthen their hands and develop find motor skills. 

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Embrace the magic of the rice bin. Embrace the imagination. Embrace the great sensory play & how it will develop find motor skills. And it doesn’t hurt to also embrace the 30 free minutes of independent play time it give you.

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Want other engaging activities for your toddler? Check out these ideas as well (Click on the picture to be taken to the page)!

Happy Valentine’s Day

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“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” -Winnie the Pooh

These two and their daddy….they have my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! I hope you are surrounded my those you love today. Speaking of LOVE, we began the day at Chick-fil-a eating heart shape biscuits and BIG Valentine plans tonight. Heart shape pizza, with heart pepperonis! 

You may have seen on Instagram, but I think Chickadee’s Dinosaur Valentines turned out really great. I will do a crayon melting/molding post soon. It was a hit and the kids were able to be pretty hands on for the entire process. Chickadee came home with the cutest valentines from her friends, the preschoolers are really stepping up their game.

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I wanted to share one more thing before I sign off. For the past few years we’ve been giving Chickadee and Sprout a book for Valentines Day. Inside of the cover of each one, we write a list of all the things we love about them at this age. It currently means a little more to us than them right now, but I hope one day it’s a great keepsake. Last year we gave Marianne Richmond’s You are my Heart and Nancy Tillman’s I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love. This year we gave The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin and I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

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I hope you have/had a love filled Valentine’s Day!! <3

Penguin Heart Art Activity

Two posts in one week. I’m killing it now folks! Let’s see if I can keep up this pace for awhile. We are in full on Valentine mode over here. Chickadee is in preschool, so for the first time ever I get to be on the mom and get to create Valentines with my little one to send into school. I gave Chickadee several options (shovels, mini cereal boxes, play-doh, and homemade heart crayons). She chose the homemade heart crayons for her classmates, but asked that we make dinosaurs instead of hearts (she has been talking about the for the letter D at school)…so that is what our plan is for tomorrow! I’ll make sure and drop by Instagram and Facebook to let you know how they turn out.

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Sticking with the preschool theme, a few weeks ago they were talking about the letter P and doing a lot of penguin activities. Yall should see her waddle! Well she came home sharing all about penguins and her art projects and asked if Sprout could do a penguin art project too. She wanted him to be part of the fun. I of course said yes! We grabbed some construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, and crayons and got to work. Here is what we came up with (I obviously did most of the cutting but Chickadee glued things in place)…then they both wanted to color their penguins and although it doesn’t make our penguins “Pinterest Perfect” I wouldn’t have them any other way!

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Making this penguin is quite simple really. Here is a little guide to get you started! 

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I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

A Year of Dates | Valentines Day Idea

 

***This is a recycled post from when only my mom and sister were reading my blog and III and I were still giving Valentine’s gifts :/ Now six years and two kids later, I’m realizing we need more date nights in our lives. Anyone want to come babysit our crazy crew for us?

These are good ideas though, so I wanted to share it with all of you who have joined in the journey lately Hope you don’t mind the recycle!

. . . . .

III told me that I couldn’t spend a lot on our first married Valentine’s because he was planning on using ALL of the February gift budget….what fabulous anticipation this brought to my life! He has always been great at date creating, my favorite is when he gives clues that lead to the fun. I can’t wait!

Spending little money on 02.14 proposed a conundrum….so, I put on my creative hat and came up with this…

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I present… a bag full of dates!

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There are 12 of them. One for each month between now & next Valentine’s day. I put a personal spin on the dates, to make them special for us. None of them are very expensive, most involve food, and all include spending time doing things we love.

Here are a few of my ideas:

Creating a tent in the living room & roasting s’mores over a warm fire; movie night, Redbox anyone?; recreating our “first date” for our one seven year anniversary; going to the park to fly kites & wrapping up the day with a picnic; hiking a nearby mountain; March Maddness night…including all his favorite appetizers…

There are obviously a few more; I think I’ll have him open each month’s envelope on the first day of the month. It might look like this…

We’ll pick a date, & I’ll do all the work. It will be a nice change of pace since he is usually the planner in the date department. Hopefully, it will be a hit! Shhhh, don’t tell III!

Happy Valentine’s Day (a little early)!