Boredom Buster: Scavenger Hunt

Boredom Buster DIY Scavenger Hunt Idea

Did Daylight Saving Time hit you like a ton of bricks? I was a little excited because the kids have been waking up a little too early for me the past few weeks and I thought “now when they way up at “6:45″ the clock will now read 7:45.” Nope, Sunday morning they woke when the clock said 7:15. Even earlier! DST is, however the perfect example of short term pain=long term gain. There isn’t much better than daylight lasting until 7:30 and those long after dinner walks before it gets dark! So I will suffer through these early mornings for the reward of evening walks!

It was warm weather around here last week (Thursday hit 76!). We have been spending lots of time outside on the swing set and going on neighborhood walks to wear the kids out in hopes they take great naps! Chickadee usually prefers to ride her “wiggle” (aka plasma car) or balance bike and Sprout likes his Red Flyer tricycle. However, sometimes I have them walk. We are so lucky that our neighborhood had great sidewalks and slow driving neighbors so the kids can run up and down with only the worry of a scraped knee. 

Scavenger Hunt List

I decided to jazz up one of our walks last week, by having Chickadee bring along a scavenger hunt. She LOVES scavenger hunts when we are on long car trips. I usually find them on a blog, print them off, and attach to a clipboard to keep in our car activity bag. Now that she is forward facing she loves spotting all the items on the BINGO board, so I knew she would love hunting on our afternoon walk.

Going on a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Chickadee helped me come up with the items we were looking for. I wrote both the word and drew a picture so it was easy for her to “read” (she is 3). She grabbed a crayon and checked items off her scavenger hunt list as I pushed Sprout in the stroller. It was fun adding a little extra something to our walk and I have a feeling it will become one of her favorite warm afternoon activities. Afternoon walks are the perfect boredom buster and with the scavenger hunt added on, it’s fun for everyone!

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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Sensory_Play_Bins

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.

Sprout_Rice_Bin

Chickadee_Rice_Bin

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. 

Sensory_Practice

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.

Dinosaur_Crayon_Valentines

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

Rainy Day Family Fun

I hope no one minds too much, but I plan to get back to a few personal posts intermixed with the recipes and DIY. Blogging about our family is where this little blog started and over the years it’s been lost a little along with my passion for blogging. I’m hoping sharing a little bit more about our life with you along with the DIYs and recipes will help reignite that love of keeping in touch!

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The weather here in Atlanta has been all over the map lately. We were in shorts about a week ago, but this weekend it was cold and rainy so we spent our Saturday morning hanging out inside. It was kind of nice. We had gone out to dinner Friday night to celebrate III. After putting in months of hard work he was rewarded with a promotion. We are so proud of him!  Saturday morning we slept in (until 7:45!) and cooked breakfast at home. (I am LOVING these new Pioneer Woman bowls from WalMart!)

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Since it was raining we spent time int he playroom and Sprout pulled out one of his FAVORITE books as of late. 

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Have yall read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with your little ones? It’s a sweet story of 5 siblings ad their dog who head out on a fun adventure to find a bear. It’s got repetition which kids love and lots of fun onomatopoeias! I strongly recommend adding this one to your library if you haven’t already. The kids do happen upon a bear in a cave and things get exciting.

The cave prompted our kids to want to build a pillow cave or fort (which Chickadee calls a “fork”). Also one of our favorite to do when it’s cold and rainy.  III love putting on his architect hat to help them build quite elaborate caves.

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We all played in it for a while before I mentioned to the kids that we found the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt turned into a sweet little video on Amazon Prime. Did you know you can watch thousands of things on your television as part of your Amazon Prime membership? If you want details, read a little more about it here

It was SUPER cute and the kids loved watching in their own cave. Between reading the book, building and playing in the cave and watching the video we were able to pass over an hour of our time stuck inside on this cold and rainy morning and more importantly enjoy time as a family! You could of course also go on your own bear hunt as well. Maybe hide a teddy bear, turn out the lights, and use flashlights to see who can find the sneaky bear!

Hope you have a fantastic week! I’ll try and stop back by later this week to share a fun little Valentine’s craft for the kiddos. 

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…

Valentine Gift Bag Idea_1

I present… a bag full of dates!

Valentine Gift Bag Idea_2

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)!