Glitter Sensory Bottles

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If you have been around A Step in the Journey for a while you know that I love sensory play. Anything from finger painting to rice buckets to play dough, we do it all around here. A little while back we did a sensory bottle filled with rice and hidden treasures. It was a hit, so I thought I’d try something similar. Sensory bottles are wonderful for toddlers, big kids, and even adults. These magical glitter bottles are designed to help soothe, relax, and calm down a over excited, anxious, upset or stressed child (or even adult for that matter). They are perfect to place in the spot you send your child to “cool off!” And are also fun to play with while waiting on lunch or in the car. 

It’s a simple activity and completely customizable. The three supplies you will definitely need are color or clear glue, warm water, and a clear bottle. The custom part can be what color/type of glue you use (Elmer’s makes all kinds…we used pink and purple glitter glue) and what you choose to put in your sensory bottle. I used sequins, but you could also use small beads, legos, or buttons.

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First, you will need to rinse our your bottle. 

Next, Fill your bottle about a 1/4 of the way filled with the glitter glue. (If you items that you wish to float are heavier than sequins you might want to add a little extra glue to slow their fall.).

Then, fill the rest of the bottle (almost) full with warm water. Now, SHAKE! Like a lot. You will need to break up the glue and get it to mix completely into the water. The kids really got a kick out of this step!   

Once the glue is all broken up add in your sequins, legos, buttons, beads, etc. Whatever you chose! If a little water spills out that is okay. After adding your items, if you still have space in your bottle, add a little more warm water. 

Dry off the rim and hot or super glue the top on. 

Voila!

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Your kiddos can know shake up their sensory bottle and watch the items and glitter fall! The items will fall in about 15 seconds to start with, but as time passes and the water and glue become more dissolved in one anther the fall of the items will slow down to about 30-45 seconds. The glitter will take much longer to fall to the bottom. Ours takes about 10 minutes. 

As I mentioned before. These are really great when you child is upset or having to “cool off.” Sprout will take his with him to the steps and shake it up. As he watches the sequins and then glitter fall he calms down. It also gives me a chance to calm down before I go over to talk to him. Win! Win! 

Check out my I Spy learning bottle if you are looking for more sensory bottle ideas!

Other sensory play ideas are these rice bins and mess free painting!

 

Lucky Charms St. Patrick’s Day Treat

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Repost from March 2014

III was sweet enough to run to the grocery store the other day on his way home from work. I feel like maybe it was raining and I didn’t want to get out with Chickadee, but it easily could have also been because I was still in my pajamas (some days are just like that!). Cereal was on the list and much to my surprise he came home with Lucky Charms! One of my favorites even at 29 years old. I used to buy these every March for my students and they would graph all the different marshmallow shapes that ended up in their baggie. 

Last night I decided to make Rice Krispie Lucky Charm Treats. 

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It’s your basic Rice Krispie Treat recipe, only using Lucky Charms in place of the rice krispies. If you don’t have the recipe on hand, let me jot it down for you!

Lucky Charm Treats
Yields 12
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups of Lucky Charms
  2. 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  3. 3 tsp of butter
Instructions
  1. 1. Melt butter in pot
  2. 2. Stir in marshmallows over medium/low heat & stir until melted (spray your spatchula with cooking spray to prevent stickiness!)
  3. 3. Once melted remove from heat and add in your Lucky Charms
  4. 4. Pour into greased dish
  5. 5. Enjoy!
Adapted from Original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
Adapted from Original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

And there you have it!

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I may or may not have eaten one for breakfast :O It is cereal, right? Oh, and I would be amiss if I didn’t show you my adorable “sous chef!”

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And here she is last year, sporting this cute Rainbow necklace (a great fine motor skill craft!)

Before you go, here are a few more RAINBOW treats for you to check out as we get closer to Saint Patrick’s Day!

Love DOES

Yall, on Friday Mr. Groundhog “said” there is going to be six more weeks of winter. SIX. Please say it ain’t so! I’m with the folks saying #notmygroundhog

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We need Spring. Two weeks ago we found ourselves in the ER with Sprout. It was our first trip and we hit it out of the park. He started with a cough on Saturday, fever Sunday, and by early Monday morning had a rapid heart rate and seemed to be having trouble breathing. Off to the ER we went and a few hours later he was admitted with pneumonia. PNEUMONIA yall. Not even the walking kind. The on oxygen & breathing treatment kind. Poor buddy. It was heartbreaking to see him in that hospital bed. My heart broke for all the other parents in that hospital who were also sitting with their sick little ones and it was not lost on me that more than likely our stay would be short and others’ stays would be different. While serious, I knew he would most likely be okay. I was also very thankful for the wonderful children’s hospital that is Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and that we have access to it. So we were admitted to the hospital and there Sprout stayed for three days until he could sleep through the night without his oxygen levels dropping. 

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And besides always listening to your mama/daddy instinct, there is something else I learned through this experience. LOVE DOES. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about our village before, family and friends who are always with us and for us. Find your village, love on them, and let them love on you. My Mama dropped everything, called in a sub (she’s a teacher), and showed up within a few hours (2.5 of those were driving) to take care of Chickadee and Poppy so III and I both could be at the hospital with Sprout. LOVE DOES. A dear friend and neighbor picked up Chickadee from preschool while my mom was on the way and took her to lunch so I could have a second to breathe and feed Poppy before heading back to the hospital. LOVE DOES. Friends brought meals…and they didn’t say would you like me to bring dinner, they said I’m bringing dinner tomorrow. LOVE DOES. A friend sent her sister (an art therapist at the hospital) to come bring an activity to help us pass the long days of being quarantined. LOVE DOES. So many were “on call” should we need help with the girls, meals at the hospital, a hot shower near by…LOVE DOES. And the prayers, how we coveted those, they came from all over and gave us confidence that our little man would be just fine. LOVE DOES. 

Love Does is a book by Bob Goff. In the Amazon description it says Bob is the kind of guy that knows love doesn’t stop at thoughts and feelings. Love takes action. LOVE DOES. We have a role to play in the lives of those around us. And that role is active. I was reminded of that over our hospital stay. Show up. Act without worrying if you are imposing or if someone is going to say no. Because love is an action. LOVE DOES. 

Thankfully our little man is back to himself. But I am still crossing my fingers that the groundhog got it wrong. Poppy has bronchiolitis, however is trending in the right directions. Chickadee is taking on an ear infection like a champ. And I’ve been coughing since Thanksgiving. Come on Spring. 

First Year of Preschool

Preschool before and after

If seeing her finish 2K is any indication, we are going to be a mess when she graduates kindergarten and goodness I can’t either fathom high school or college…

Chickadee wrapped up her first year of preschool this year. We debated a lot whether to go ahead and send her at 2 (almost 3) and I am so glad we did. She absolutely LOVED it. Jumped out of the car EVERYDAY ready to go! She made friends, gained even more independence, practiced being respectful to both her peers and teachers, and transformed from a toddler to a little girl.

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At their end of they year program they sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Chickadee didn’t move her mouth for a single word, but she did participate in the hand motions, so we will take what we can get! The teachers handed out diplomas and gave a short little speech about each child. I loved how personal it all was. They said Chickadee is the most detail oriented child they’d ever seen. She was always the last to finish art projects because she took her time and wanted it just right. The said she was always kind to everyone and loved playing with the other girls, but could keep up with the boys too. All words that warm a mama’s heart. It’s funny they said she was detailed oriented, not at all surprising. The same was said about me as a child. She has a crazy memory and it’s because she is so perceptive I think…sometimes I wish she was a little more forgetful :) More than anything though we loved hearing she is kind and caring and we pray that her heart for Jesus becomes even more prevalent as the years go by!

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We are thankful for her first year and how she was loved on by her teachers and supported by the church that houses the preschool.

Preschool Collage

She is already looking forward to August and her new class as well as hearing about her old Bunny class from her little brother who follows her footsteps into 2K when preschool starts back in a few short months.

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For now we are soaking in these summer days, practicing the new skills she learned, and counting down the days until baby sister arrives!

 

Finding Financial Confidence

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.

Growing Financial Confidence

C.O.N.F.I.D.E.N.C.E. What does confidence mean to you. I remember being 7 or 8 years old and incredibly shy. My mom still jokes about how I wouldn’t go up to the counter at a fast food restaurant to ask for ketchup….there isn’t even a risk they would say no, but I was scared. I can still be that shy little girl sometimes when I am forced into conversation with folks I don’t know, but the years have brought confidence. Successes in high school, like reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in front of my peers…in college, like being the activities chair for my sorority, and even this blog and the fact that you fine folks read it continue to build my confidence. I see this shyness in Chickadee when she is encouraged to talk to a stranger and I am determined to gently build her confidence so by the time she is 7 or 8 the folks at Chick-fil-a gladly hand her ketchup when she asks! 

As I shared on Friday, 2017 is going to be a BIG year for our family! Not only are we adding a sweet baby GIRL to our crazy crew, we are also going to be adding a new car (minivan advice, anyone??), probably a new HVAC (both upstairs and downstairs…boo), and we are considering getting new hardwood floors. There are a lot of financial hits on both the need and want list, and to get any or all of them accomplished stress free it is important to be in a place of financial freedom. This blog and the small income it has made over the years has truly helped get my family in a place of financial freedom. We have been able to live on III’s income from day one and save my teaching salary (when I was working) and also this blog’s income to set up our “egg-nest.” It was invaluable when buying our last car and being able to write a check so that we didn’t have to worry about a monthly payment. It also afforded us the opportunity to buy a house and put down 20% to avoid extra fees as you are trying to build up your principal. Not worrying about a sizable mortgage or car payment are two major accomplishments that helped up to grow financial confidence. And we are very thankful to be in a place where we can hit both our needs and wants. But it takes work and constant focus on where our money is going to continue to be in such a position.

April is Financial Literacy Month, and I’m once again teaming up with Suntrust’s onUp Movement to encourage y’all to take positive steps towards achieving financial confidence. I encourage you to ask if you consider yourself financially free? If so, what positive steps can you continue to stay financially free? If not, what steps can you take today toward being financially free?

My most valuable tip in being financially free is, KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING. In a world of credit cards, Paypal, and immediate access to cash it is easy to spend spend spend without tracking that spending. The most invaluable part of our finances is our budget. III is an accountant, so he has created a very detailed Excel spreadsheet where we input receipts on a weekly basis. This allows us to know exactly where every dollar is going and doesn’t allow us to spend money we don’t have. It also causes us to categorize needs verses wants. All of our needs, tithe, and saving goals are hit first…then comes the wants. Every month we pay off credit cards. Try and figure out a way to not let your debt grow. Financial confidence will grow your self confidence. Start today!

Head on over to SunTrust’s OnUp website today for more stories, tips, and tools to start your patch to financial confidence. SunTrust wants to motivate people to move past their worry and focus on financial confidence. 

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  

The onUp Movement is 1 million strong…and growing. onUp is about having the confidence to move forward one smart step at a time.

Join now and start building your financial confidence today.

Join the movement

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.