Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activity

I'll admit it.....I think I need a PIN-TERVENTION!!  Is anyone else completely and utterly addicted to Pinterest?  I am!!  I have it on my computer, but I also have it on my iPad which I LOOOOOOOVE.  There are so many neat things on there!!  I just can't stop!  (Which is probably one reason why my blog posts seem a little less frequent....told you I needed an intervention!).

Anyhoo....I came across this fabulous activity for the book ChicKa Chicka Boom Boom over at I Heart Crafty Things.  We love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Sweet Girl giggles everytime we see the band-aid on letter "f" so I knew this would be a hit!!  Like all of our activities, it was super simple to put together! 

All you need is a cookie sheet, some construction paper for making a coconut tree and some lowercase letters.

This is a great activity because it uses lowercase letters.  First, we put the letters in alphabetical order.  Then I would read the book and Sweet Girl would find the letters and "walk" them up the coconut tree.  Once the letters were ready to "fall", we shook the board and letters went everywhere!!!  It's a fun little activity and we've done it multiple times this week!! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Butterfly Catching

We always see little butterflies fluttering around when we are outside and Sweet Girl is fascinated with them.  She's been asking for a butterfly net for a while so when we spotted one at the Dollar Tree we picked it up.  Needless to say catching an actual butterfly is pretty challenging, so we improvised and made our own.  We had fun "catching", counting and playing with our butterflies (and our fish...).  It's an easy, but super fun activity!!  All you need are some pipe cleaners and some type of net.

(I twisted our pipe cleaners so they would resemble butterflies.)

For some reason Sweet Girl wanted some fish to catch too so I made some of those.  I also brought out our Melissa & Doug magnetic fishing rod to use for picking them up!! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

An "Art-tastic" Kind of Day

On the days I know we are staying around home I try to have something "new" and "fun" waiting for Sweet Girl after her nap.

On this day, I moved our little table in our playroom out to our deck and we had an "art-tastic" kind of day. 

I set out our Crayola Slick Sticks (which are beyond fabulous, by the way!!), some stamps, watercolors and stickers and let her just doodle and play.

I think she enjoyed using our table in a different way.  Isn't it funny how you can move something barely used to a new place and all of a sudden it's a hit?

Our ocean sensory bin was also outside and she played around with it for a while!  The ocean bin has been our most used sensory bin so far!

And here's how I found her when I stepped inside to take care of Little Man! 
She looks like such a big girl! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sibling Love

Little Man's favorite person in the whole wide world is his big sister.  He follows her everywhere, tries to eat all of her stuff and will stop cold-turkey in his tracks if he hears her voice.  There is nothing sweeter than hearing your two kiddos laughing at each other in the back of the car, or hearing the big sister say, "Hey little buddy, you sure are cute"!  They just melt my heart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lollipop Craft for Toddlers

We've done lots of arts and crafts this summer, but I keep forgetting to pull out my camera!!  Here is a fun craft that we did where I actually did have my camera handy.

It's really simple and Sweet Girl enjoyed it because she got to use her two favorites....glue and glitter!

First...grab your supplies.  You'll need two pieces of colored cardstock, a bowl, glue, glitter, tape and some straws.

Use your bowl to draw circles on your paper.

Then have your kiddo add glue until their heart is content (or your run out...whichever comes first).

Then, hand over the glitter and let them shake away.  I usually cover all but 2-3 of the holes in the glitter container with tape to try to control the amount that comes out.  Sweet Girl puts a little wrist action into her shaking and the glitter usually ends up everywhere!!  (TIP...use playdough to pick up your glitter pieces from floors and counters!!)

Once the glue is dry, cut out your circles and tape on a straw.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fourth of July Party

We had a fabulous Fourth of July party this year!  I had a blast making all the party decorations and planning the menu.  I swear I want to be a party planner in my next life!

Here are a few photos of our fun day!  Be sure to check out the links for some Fourth of July freebies!!

Our candy bar (cupcakes, cake balls and a pie were on the other end)
Printables are from here and here.

Hot dog bar
If you are having a summer party, I highly recommend a hot dog themed party.  I was a little worried about how well the hot dogs would go over, but it was fantastic.  In each of the frames, I printed out different toppings for different types of hot dogs.  Everyone loved creating their own "dog".  The favorite of the night was the D.C. Monumental Dog which had onions, banana peppers, red peppers, pickles and mayo.  Click here for these printables, as well as other fun hot dog party ideas and printables!!
I also included little cups of potato salad and veggies with dip for easy pick up and go party foods.

Flags and ribbon decorated our silverware buckets

A star stamped banner greeted our guests.
I got the idea from here, but I made a star stamp rather than using starfruit.

My $5 flag from the craft store.  Yay!  I love a bargin!

And of course, balloons galore!  What's a party without balloons.

The little guests received blue favor bags with star necklaces and bracelets, as well as a small flag to wave!

And are you following Playing House on Facebook?  Click here to "like" us and follow along!

Tot Trays

It seems like summer is just flying by, doesn't it??  We've had lots of fun hanging out at the pool, visiting with family and checking off things from our Summer Fun List!! 

I've been a little lax when it comes to setting out tot trays....mainly because we always seem to be on the go and also because Little Man is crawling alllllllllllllllllllllllllll over the place!!  And he gets into everything!!  I definitely don't remember Sweet Girl being like that, but it's likely because I was able to stay on top of what was on the floor. 

Anyhoo.....I decided to finally throw together some trays (or "plates" as they are called in our house!!).  Sweet Girl has been asking for some for a while and I think she missed having little activities to do!!  My plan is to try to re-incorporate trays into our weekly routine (as long as I can find a safe place to keep them away from Little Man!!). All of these trays she can do on her own, so that makes for some nice independent play time!!

Here are our trays for this week!!

Pouring marbles

Sorting animals by color

Matching transportation counters

Open and close activity
(This is from a great Time for Tots set I got months ago!!)

Tonging pom poms

For those of you have little crawlers/walkers, how do you keep your tot trays out of reach???

Tot School

Friday, July 1, 2011

Toddler Approved Art Supplies

We love doing everything "artsy-craftsy" at our house!  We typically do some sort of art or craft almost everyday!  I love how art allows Sweet Girl the opportunity just to explore the different materials and to "make" whatever she wants!!  One of my all time favorite toddler art books is Mary Ann Kohl's First Art.  I try to incorporate her quote "It's the Process, Not the Product" into our art experiences.

Here are our ten favorite art supplies!!  All toddler approved!!

These fun little crayons are probably our favorite art supply at the moment!!  They are thick enough for little fingers to hold.  They don't break.  And they mark soooo smoothly!!  The only downside is that they are a little on the pricey side for toddlers (but I still think they are worth the money!!).

2. Tempura paint 
You just have to have tempura paint if you have a toddler!  We use the Colorations washable tempuras from Discount School Supply.  For finger painting, I add liquid soap to our tempura paint for easier cleanup!!

Like the Crayola Slick Sticks, these are also chunky and allow little fingers to hold them with ease. 

4. Sidewalk chalk 
We have a large bucket of chalk in our garage that gets pulled out almost every time we play outside. 

Our watercolor paints are from Discount School Supply.  I usually diluate the watercolor paints so the bottles last quite a while!!

6. Do-A-Dot Markers
We use these when Sweet Girl wants to paint, but I don't want to clean up a big mess.  They are perfect for little hands.
7. Sticky tape and white glue
Sweet Girl loves this little dispenser of tape because she can do it all by herself!  And what toddler doesn't love glue?
8. Stickers 
We use all kinds of stickers for simple collages.  I pick up most of my stickers at the dollar store, dollar section at Target or the craft store. 

9. Art Easel 
Sweet Girl uses our art easel almost every day!!  I love how it has a dry erase board, chalk board and a roll of paper.  I frequently move our art easel throughout the house to keep it "new" to Sweet Girl.  Jean from The Artful Parent wrote a great entry about encouraging continued interest in your child's art easel.

10. Household odds and ends
You know...toliet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, bubble wrap, styrofoam, cardboard.
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