Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Playdough Table

working hard. This is my favorite picture 

okay well chubby baby hands poking things is pretty cute too. 
We whipped up some homemade play dough last week and had a simple fall themed play dough station.

We had:

  • plastic leaves ( I liked the cheap once with the plastic veins since you could stamp with them
  • chop sticks  Not fall related but I have a ton
  • some Styrofoam pumpkins from the dollar store 
  • mason jar lids since i didn't want to hunt for cookie cutters
  • and of course orange play dough
Despite being such a last minute idea it turned out great. Bear actually squished and kneaded the dough for the first time ever and enjoyed stamping the dough with the leaves. While Wolf walked around the table occasionally touching it and walking away. It will definitely be used again in the next few days. 

Still looking for more Autumn ideas?  Don't forget to check out The Artful Year: Autumn E-book. With 78 pages of crafts and recipes for the whole season this book is well worth the price. Click on the link to see a sample of a few projects.

The Artful Year eBook

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The in-between

Things have been pretty crazy around here. With husband still commuting to work since we have yet to find the right home for us and now his work trip out of town I have been on baby duty on my own. Man this gig is tough stuff sometimes. Trying to keep my calm and not show my seams in front of the boys has been a real challenge and sometimes I am not too good at it.

I keep wanting us to go to the next step already. I have mentally already moved out of this home and have already said goodbye to my life in this city. But guess what? I am still here. I was talking to a good friend today about sometimes getting so caught up in the future that you completely shut off what is in front of you. I call it the "in between real life" period but it doesn't make this time any less real. And time is going to keep going whether I am ready for it or not. I am praying that I can stay in the moment and make the best of what is in front of me. So for now I am going to remember to take deep breaths, smile often and go with the punches.... at least try to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More leaf activties



   Well fall is officially upon us. How exciting!!! I have yet another leaf activity to share with you. (what can I say...we have been taking a lot of walks and leaves are free. It's a win win people!!!) This time it is from The Artful Year: Autumn crafts and recipe e-book.

Our first project we decided to make was her Fall Leaf Suncatchers. As you can see Bear was really focused on his work here. I mean seriously look at those chubby toddler hands at work. So cute. (okay doting mommy moment over). The results were lovely and I especially liked the fact that it was a craft that Bear could easily make.

The Artful Year eBook

If you are looking for Autumn activities to do with your little ones this season this e-book is well worth the money. With 78 pages of lovely pictures displaying each activity it is as much eye candy as it is instructional. There are so many great ideas. I have been reading the Artful Parent for some time now and am excited to be an affiliate for such a great book. For a sneak peek and info on how to purchase just click on the image above or on the sidebar. I can't wait to get started on a few of these.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Leaf Confetti {Kids Co-op}

As I mentioned HERE we have been really into nature walks lately. We have been collecting a ridiculous amount of leaves, but what to do with them? Crunchy leaf confetti/glitter (I really don't know what to call it)  of course. 

First I placed all of our leaves in a shallow baking dish and let B make a big crunchy mess (this was the highlight of this project). I made sure to take out the stems and veins that you couldn't crunch and  some of the leaves that were not dry enough. We crunched them up as best we could with our hands. I think that maybe a mortar would have worked better or maybe even a food processer to make it extra fine.

I placed our leaf confetti in a salt shaker. We slathered our paper with glue. (Yes, slathered. There is no other word to describe a toddler with glue) and shook our confetti bottle over it. It seemed to work okay but as I mentioned I would have made it finer in retrospect. B started getting impatient with the bottle and decided to just pour it over the glue with  his hands. Works for me. 

The results are really cool, you actually get to see all the various shades of colors the  leaves had. I let it dry and then went over the top of it with craft glue to seal the leaves a little bit more. I also went back and cut out the paper into a leaf shape but you could leave it as is. For older kids I think it would look really neat if you draw with the glue and use the leaves as a glitter project. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My first guest post {Raising Tots}

I am way too excited about this. (like on the verge of nerdy) I had my very first guest post on Love, Play, Learn. I shared a fun fall game idea that the boys love.  If you would like to read more about it and also check out Brittany's blog that is always full of fun ideas just head on over HERE.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mama and Bear

Being a toddler is tough. Being a toddler to a little brother who is mastering walking and having all four of his top teeth come in all at once is even harder (poor little brother too). It means that Wolf has been attached to me all the time. His separation anxiety is high and adding all these other things...well you can imagine not a lot gets done around here.
I can always tell that it is time for a Mama and Bear date when he starts trying to get attention anyway he can. I will spare you the details of the adventure we have had but it's your standard toddler mischief.

We headed off to our favorite local book store during Wolf's nap. We found some great used books for a super low price. "Sure B  you can pick out a $2 Thomas book". There are few things  that can make this little boy as happy as books and Thomas. I am pretty sure we made his week by combining the two.  We even picked out a book for W. Afterwards we walked around downtown for a bit and grabbed a little snack before heading home. He had a smile the whole way home as he flipped through his "new" book over and over. I just love it when I am able to make my kids day.

I have posted about these sort of dates with B before. It means so much to be able to reconnect with the boys in a setting that is specifically aimed towards them.  With Wolf I feel my reconnection time is obviously different, we read books, sing songs and most of all we nurse. But with B only nursing once a day and being far more active, thing had to shift and time needed to be spent differently, and it makes such a big change in his behavior. I know that with W walking our activities will be different soon as well. I am so excited to see what type of things he will be into and what little adventure we will go on.
How do you reconnect and spend time with your little ones? I would love some new ideas.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall sand play {Kids Co-op}

Fall is almost here!!! I, like so many would say that fall is my favorite season. That slight chill in the air, pumpkin spice, the extra blankets you throw on the bed at night. Oh yes it is all so sweet. 

Over the weekend we went on a nature walk and collected rocks, sticks, and some pretty freshly fallen leaves. The next morning we placed those collected items in the sand table and let the boys explore. W mainly liked hitting the sand with his shovel while B dug the sand with the sticks and had fun hiding the rocks under the sand and coming back to dig them up. He even made a "tree" from one of the leaves we collected. 

B loved collecting items during our walk in his little pail and seemed to like playing with them afterwards as well. I loved that it was such a simple activity that can change each time we do it based on what we collect. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grandparents are AWESOME!!! *a note from Bear and Wolf*

 Maybe it's because they let us coach their dancing skills, or because they crawl into tunnels to prove they are not scary (by the way B still didn't buy it) and carry our trikes after a long ride to the front of the house. Maybe because they laugh at all our silly behavior that our parents would not find as silly. Or that they will just sit and cuddle whenever we want. We have to admit that all the gifts are awesome but we would love them just the same if there weren't any.

Either way we seriously have the best grandparents in the world. So much so that we asked mama to write this post for us. Happy grandparents day to all the grandparents out there too.

Bear & Wolf

Friday, September 7, 2012

We are moving

Moving house

time to move our things

this is how he  "unpacked"

Day 2: Time for the real deal

perfect illustration of what moving looks like. Note the little girl playing 
Well, life has been a bit hectic these days.  My husband got a job offer in a city about an hour away. Things move really fast in his job so he started within  days of his job offer. The good man that he is, he has been commuting for the last week. Being from California we are no strangers to long commutes but we always said that was one of the major reasons we left California in the first place. So we are moving. We have not found the right place yet but I figured I might as well start explaining the process to the boys. Mainly Bear as he is old enough to notice the change more.

I picked up the book  Moving House (Usborne First Experiences) at a local book store as well as This book (although this one ended up being for school aged children, but still really good) . I have been reading it to the boys each day. I was also gifted a Mr. Rogers curriculum book by my MIL that talks about changes such as moving. The first activity I did was from this book although I added a few more things.

1. We talked about packing our things including our most loved items. Then I pulled out two small boxes and some toys and clothes. ( I did two types of items since I thought it was a good opportunity to have B sort)

2. He sorted and "packed" the items in he boxes.

3. Nothing like adding a little fine motor skill and having him seal the box with tap. (masking tape)

4. We put our items in the "moving truck" and moved to the new house.

5. We unpacked and later put items in the right spots

The next day I decided to apply this in full scale. I pulled out a few packing boxes in varies sizes and a lot more clothes. This time I just let them explore. They both enjoyed putting things in the boxes and pulling them out. B even told me he was "paaaack". And of course no kid can resist climbing in boxes,  it's a childhood fact.

We will continue to read these books to keep them aware of our transition. I really hope we find the right place soon. Do any of you having any moving activities? I would love to hear them.