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Toddler Travels

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This winter…am I right?!! Brrr! With spring break right around the corner here’s a fun idea if you are lucky enough to be road-tripping to somewhere warm or even if you’re planning a stay-cation! Little play dough activity kits are sure to keep your kidlets busy in the vehicle or indoors!

The sky is the limit as far as themes go, upon research I found some fun ideas for fairy kits as well as farm kits, ocean life kits or whatever your little is interested in!  I’m sure it would be great to even focus on alphabet kits with magnetic letters and then items to represent each letter!

I made two kits for my travelling toddler and our upcoming trip to Texas!  I themed his dinosaur and construction site.  I added trees and signs as well as some dinosaur figurines and CAT implements.  I also found a book to go along with each theme and then made some essential oil scented play dough to add to each kit.  I put each themed activity together in a clasped lid container for easy access in the vehicle.  E can play with these in the truck on his lap desk I made him last year! (search “travelling” to find this post). You could also add beads, marbles, stones, a wide array of figurines, and cookie cutters!

The recipe I used for play dough is as follows (from a generous friend):

  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cream of tarter
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2-4 drops essential oil for each container of playdough
  • Boil the water and salt and once dissolved add the remaining ingredients. Remove from heat and let cool enough so you can kneed the dough to the consistency you want. (I wore rubber gloves so I could handle it sooner. This is also when I added food colouring and essential oils.)

 

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Fall Foliage…

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Here’s some rainy day fun to do with your littles this fall.  It’s an easy craft that lets them explore texture and color (and make a bit of a mess too!).  I find that E and I are constantly talking about the scenery whenever we’re in the truck together and as the seasons change we are both captivated by the beauty of nature and all the colours in our valley.  Next time you’re out and about stop and take in the fall display (I know that far too soon it’s going to be covered in white!) and then gather up some on-hand supplies to make your own snapshot art of the season!

All you need is some paint, paper, markers and then whatever interesting forms of texture you can come up with.  We used q-tips bundled up with an elastic, corks, and bunched up tin-foil.  Let your little draw a tree trunk with marker and then dip your “paintbrushes” in an array of fall coloured paint to create the leaves! So easy and so fun to see the colours mix and the textures blend.  E has his artwork tagged to go to his Noma  & Bubba and Grandma & Grandpa Stew (and I’m hoping one for me too!!).  I can see this being a fun project to complete in every season!  I’ve always had an adoration for the simplicity of a lone tree and love my little’s spin on it!

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Easiest Easter Decs Ever!

Easter being early this year and Spring being late is really messing with my head but when little man asks to do a craft project the timing just works out!  This year we made some super simple (and somewhat messy) art sure to entice the Easter Bunny to hide some goodies at our place!

All you need is some washable, kids craft paint, clothespins, pom-poms, paper, and eggs! (We use those unbreakable fake eggs from the dollar store that are set up in cartons and can be used for an array of egg decorating techniques!)

Pour some paint into bowls (one color per bowl).  We had coloured pom-poms that coordinated with the paint colors for an easy way to remember to not mix colors but any color of pom-poms will work.  Clip a pom-pom onto your clothespin and this becomes your paint ‘brush’.  Draw out an egg shape onto your piece of paper and let your decorating begin.  E made a crocodile on one of his as well as polka dot lines and I went the more traditional route with waves and polka dots.  It was a really easy way to paint for little hands and we had fun (despite the massive clean-up…thank goodness for washable paint!)

Continue with your pom-pom brushes and decorate some eggs!  We used some leftover letter stickers I had laying around to spell out “EASTER” and we painted over the stickers and then removed them once the paint had dried for an easy little greeting!  E liked the flat paper egg painting better as he didn’t get as messy.  I can’t figure out why he hates getting his hands dirty with paint, markers, and food yet dirt and mud is fine!!! Boys!

We decorated up our house for Easter this weekend amid the chaos and it was a great way to get into the spirit and talk about Spring!  These crafts are easy enough to do in an afternoon, they’re cheap and the supplies are easy to find!  Here’s hoping we see some of those bright and fresh colors outside soon!

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Love Bugs…

Valentine’s Day with all it’s pink and red hearted glory is one of my favourite holidays.  It’s fun to come up with projects and activities that reflect all the loving we can handle.  Last year E and I kept with a “Love Bug” theme and here are some easy projects to do with your little loves…

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Cut out hearts in all different sizes from colored construction paper.  Using a large pink or red (or any color for that matter) upside down heart as the body, glue a smaller heart to the top as a head and then even smaller hearts on the body for the dots.  Add a face and some antennas as desired. We hung ours up on our windows for some festive cheer!

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We also spent an afternoon making cute little ‘love bugs’ out of heart-shaped sugar cookies.  I used black royal icing to outline the bug and then pink icing to flood the body.  E had fun adding mini chocolate chips to the cookies for dots (complete with a tractor and trailer haul!).  After the icing had set we packaged them up in little cello bags and made some tags with lady bug stickers for our valentines!

 

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LOVE

Love is quite obviously a verb.  We feel love and we act out love.  Have you ever thought of love as a noun? To get to that place of true love? Love for yourself, love for your family, love for your friends, love for your foes?  It’s a tricky word, love.  Flippantly used it loses emphasis, yet not used enough and we lose joy.

Finding the love in our everyday lives and cherishing that which we love and treasure is so utterly important. (It’s the base of my blog in all reality.) Valentine’s Day amid all the hearts, chocolate and flowers is a day to truly think about LOVE.  To tell those we appreciate and treasure that we love them.  To find the courage to unabashedly love ourselves.  To forgive and move forward with those who have wronged us. To find the things in our lives that bring us joy, that we truly love.

It’s easy to lose sight of the deep meaning behind the day and get swept up in the glitz and the commercialism of Valentine’s Day but I challenge you all to take a step further and think of love from a different view.  Challenge yourself to release and appreciate your struggles, appreciate the efforts of those around you, to receive the help, kindness, and affection from those in your life who try, and to relish in and appreciate the beauty that is LOVE!

 < I love my little family, especially my little man.  On a lighter note, I love matchy matchy with him… Here’s a couple ways to make matching shirts for the festive day… To visibly spread some love! >

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(Bend an empty paper towel roll into a heart shape and dip into acrylic paint mixed with a textile medium for cute little hearts stamped onto plain white shirts and emphasize with a sassy or sweet hashtag! This is a great project for little hands.)

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(To match mommy’s striped, puffy heart sweater, (From Old Navy Old Navy Canada   Old Navy US ) I bought a plain navy and white raglan T and sewed a red heart onto the centre…easy peasy and super festive.)

*Stay tuned on the blog for some more fun projects to do with your little (and big) loves!*