I Spy Learning Bottle

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Every month or two we get together with a group in our neighborhood for a craft/family night. The moms & kids come over around 4:00 and we create something fabulous. Then the dads join us after work for dinner. It has been so much for getting to know our neighbors better and better. We have done everything from Christmas cookie decorating to shirt tie dying. So many great memories made.

We hosted this past Friday night and with the kids we made I Spy bottles. And Chickadee is obsessed. The picture gives it away, but basically trinkets hide in the rice inside a wide mouth clear bottle. Our family made three bottles…one to spy colors, one to spy letters, and one to spy the assorted trinkets Chickadee put inside. 

Here is a quick tutorial. 

Supplies: 20 ounce clear wide mouth bottle (Gatorade, Vitamin Water, etc), trinkets, charms, small animals, uncooked rice, hot glue

 After cleaning out and drying your bottle, remove the label. Then fill the bottle with the trinkets/charms of your choice. For this bottle I was making for Sprout I wanted to concentrate on colors. Whatever you decide to put inside I do suggest you writing it down so you can ask your toddler “Can you find the dolphin? color purple? etc.” 

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Using a funnel I poured in the rice. Make sure to leave about 1.5-2 inches empty at the top to give the rice room to move around while your little one is searching for the trinkets. 

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Last, squeeze a little hot glue on the inside rim of the top and screw on to keep the rice in the bottle & not all over your car or carpet :) I found it easiest to shake the bottle horizontally to move the trinkets around & “hide” them in the rice. Chickadee has been using her’s in the car when we have gone on short trips around town and is loving all the searching. Sprout is 17 months and so we usually look for the colors together. He LOVES shaking the rice around. These bottles have been fabulous. One of my favorite kid toys I’ve made in a while! 

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Enjoy!

Painting with Pom Poms

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I have a fun new painting technique to share with you and your toddlers! Chickadee loves painting both with her fingers and paintbrushes, but to be honest it always gets a little messy. Bring in the power of the pom pom. This new painting tool will add so much for to your next art time!

You will just need a few things. I used these pom poms, some clothespins, and these paints are my absolutely favorite!

I have two projects to share with you, both of which we used the pom pom painting technique. (“technique” doesn’t that make Chickadee sound like a true artist?) The first project was a little more guided. I used a Sharpie to draw pictures and to write out Happy Birthday for one of Chickadee’s friends. Then we just changed out pom poms as Chickadee changed colors. I really LOVE how these two pictures turned out.

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Don’t you love the speckled look? After seeing how this painting technique turned out I thought it would be perfect for Easter eggs. I found these awesome large Easter eggs in Target’s Dollar section the other day and grabbed one for Chickadee to paint.

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Don’t you love how it turned out!

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I noticed Amazon also had Crayola glitter paint…wouldn’t that look awesome. Do have you used any crazy painting techniques with your little one? I’d love for you to share!

 

Playroom Bookshelves

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When we were looking for a house last year, I had a few things on my “Must-Have” list: a family friendly neighborhood, at least 4 bedrooms, an open kitchen and A PLAYROOM. I lived the first 18  months of Chickadee’s life with our living room also serving as our play space and if I was fortunate enough to be given the choice, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted a space for the kids to just be, as well as a place that at the end of the day I could close the door or walk away and not be surrounded by Fisher Price & Melissa & Doug (although they are my best friends during waking hours!). So when we found our home I fell in love with the formal living room playroom. It is right off the kitchen which is awesome…has tons of natural light which makes me happy…and it’s great space for the kids to play!

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I hope to share the whole room with you soon. We painted, added curtains (using a KING sheet), designated an art space, and created a reading nook.

Over a year ago I found these awesome plate racks at Goodwill for $9 each. Similar shelves sell for 10x that price at places like Pottery Barn, so I was flying high after bringing these home. I never intended to use them as plate racks though, bookshelves were always the life I had planned for them. However, life set in, Sprout was born, and I never got around to painting them…until the other weekend.

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They got three coats of straight up white paint and some picture hooks attached to the back. We then hung them in a corner by the window and filled the shelves with some of our favorite books.

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Chickadee LOVED waking up from her nap to find her new shelves in her reading corner; it was like all of her books were opened for the first time again. In my opinion a child can never have too many books! Here are a few of our favorites.

The Giving Tree | The Very Hungry Caterpillar | Goodnight Moon | The Velveteen Rabbit

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name | The Polar Express | Press Here

 The Kissing Hand | Guess How Much I Love You |  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

You Art My Heart | I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love | ALL Curious George

Toddler Valentine Fingerprint Art

***So I have noooo idea why the internet fairies decided to send out a comment response as a post yesterday, sorry about that. I you wanted to know the kind of sausage I used in this one pot recipe, it was Hillshire. I double checked at Publix on Monday :)

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Hey Friends! I hope yall are staying warm and dry wherever you are. We have had a mix of rain and “snow” down here in Georgia and it has kept us indoors for the better part of a week. This mama is going a little stir crazy…you? I’m here to share a fun little Valentine art project that passed the better part of 45 minutes for us the other day & turned out really cute. I plan on repeating this project today so thought I would share the fun.

So it’s SUPER simple, all you need is some construction paper, painter’s tape, and kid friendly paint (we used this Crayola paint *affiliate). I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves and then I’ll leave you a few tips below.

LOVE_tutorial

 The last step would be to peel the painter’s tape off. A few tips from our experience….1. make sure you have something under the construction paper to protect your work space (we used an open cereal box). 2. Use a smock or large bib to keep paint off their clothes. 3. Keep baby wipes near by for easy clean up 4. Use scissors to cut clean tape lines so you get straight edges. 5. Shake your paint and let your toddler just use the paint left in the lid. Shake again when you run out. 6. Depending on the age of your little one, you might want to help them make sure they have their fingerprints where the paint meets the paper.

So there you go, easy peasy! We did a heart too (this time Chickadee used a paintbrush)….the possibilities here are really endless!

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Happy Wednesday!

DIY LOVE Mailboxes for Kids

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Yall, can I be honest for two seconds. I really haven’t felt like blogging lately. I’m not sure why, maybe I just needed some inspiration. Okay…two seconds over because well, I got some inspiration.

Chickadee loves going to the mailbox. She is so cute carrying in the mail and opening up all the pieces (and stacks of Amazon packages). No one gets excited about the water bill like a 2 year old that just got to tear some paper. So she is my inspiration for this project, along with Valentines day that is just around the corner.

We love a good craft project. Chickadee is such a little creative, so these Valentines mailboxes were right up their ally.

Chickadee’s mailbox is made from a yogurt container and wrapping paper tube left over from Christmas.

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Sprout’s mailbox is a red solo cup and paper towel tube.

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For both mailboxes I used a razor blade to slice a 1.5 inch slit in the middle. Then I slid in the tube and taped it on the inside. We used cardstock, washi tape, stickers, and crayons to decorate both of the mailboxes.

I attached them to the wall using painter’s tape at first, but they fell immediately. So next I tried masking tape and so far it’s held everything in place.

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My hope is to leave them a love note each night in February with a little message sharing something we love about Sprout & Chickadee at this age. And if things get crazy, maybe a little fun treat every now and then!

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So what do you think? I already shared a few love notes with Chickadee and she got so excited about opening up her own mailbox and finding a little LOVE inside. I think February is going to be a lot of fun!!