Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun with Felt

It doesn't get cheaper than this!

Take a few pieces of felt, sold for 4/$1 at the Dollar stores. Cut into food shapes. Voila! A new toy with endless creations! I made a ziploc bag in minutes with three choices:

Chocolate chip cookies

A Sandwich

A Hamburger

In the past, I've made holiday themed items that need to be 'decorated,' such as an orange pumpkin with different black shapes to make a Jack-O-Lantern face, and a green Christmas tree with different shapes for ornaments. I'd love to make a little gingerbread boy and girl to go along with "The Gingerbread Boy" book we took out of the library recently.

Rachel loves her new 'food'. Just today she made a sandwich, and galloped around the house in circles repeating: "A sandwich. A sandwich. A sandwich!" See? Felt is exciting!
Tin Can Telephone and Zip Line in one!

I went old school and made some tin can telephones for Rachel. We had fun for a bit, but being two, she wasn't so great at keeping the string taut, as she kept wanting to walk around. So we made another toy out of them that both Rachel and Mommy found equally exciting! Watch the video to see our Zip Line that a Winnie the Pooh figurine took multiple rides in:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Steal that we had so much fun doing!

My sister created colored ice blocks with her kids and posted her results on her blog. I was so excited by this activity that I jumped right in and did it with Rachel. I added my own twist and we stirred gold sparkles into them. I put our containers outside on a really cold day, but for only a part of the day. We went out that afternoon, and they appeared solid so we dipped them in warm water (we did this activity again on a warmer day, and they popped out on their own) and turned them upside down and discovered they weren't completely frozen. The result: Beautiful colored ice blocks that held colored water in the middle, perfect for painting the snow!!!! It wasn't necessarily an ideal day for painting snow. I usually wait for mild days so that mittens aren't required, but we went with it anyway!

Rachel had so much fun with this activity that we did it again another day. She carried the blocks all around the yard with her, stacked them, lined them up, threw them, slid them on the driveway, carried them in the sled: the fun never ended! Then we did a little science experiment and brought the ice blocks inside this time when we were done. We put them in a bucket and left it in the tub. She played with them in the tub, then we left them there overnight. One of the first things she did when she woke up was go see her ice blocks and was a little surprised that they were gone. She talked about them melting a lot that day, it really fascinated her! I think I ended up having as much fun as her with this activity. It was nice to do something new in the snow. (Thanks Jill!)

Stealing ideas and making them my own!

I subscribe to a blog called No Time for Flash Cards and get fun ideas from her page. I was so happy with the results of our Paper Bag monster, that I wanted to share!

Monster Craft

Isn't she cute???

We turned this craft, a stuffed paper bag turned into a monster, into a game as well. On the Flash Cards blog, the Mom cut out the eyes, mouth, etc. for her child and he glued them on. I let Rachel be the creative one and make her own eyes and mouth and I cut them out for her. Once we were done this fun craft, we played 'Hide the Monster' and she played it over and over again! Toddlers love this kind of stuff! It was extra rewarding to make a craft and then be able to use it for a game!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Playing in the Dark

Glo sticks totally rock, and do not need to be limited to only outdoor night-time special occasions! Rachel and a friend played in the playroom with two glo-sticks with ALL the lights off and had a BLAST! They played downstairs for a good 30 minutes, then ran around upstairs (in the middle of a sunny day) for a long time, then found little holes to stick them in again and again in Micah's exersaucer.

Rachel even carried hers around some the next day when the 'glo' was all gone! I found at large pack at Michael's for really cheap before Christmas, and they're always available at the dollar store!

P.S. - DON'T let your toddler put them in her mouth/bite them. It's very tempting to do so (for some reason) when you're two, and human teeth can puncture the plastic! Can you tell I'm speaking from experience?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Summer Tea Party

I stumbled across Rachel's pool toys, which include a plastic tea party set I found at a yard sale for $1 this summer. I played with this once inside before banning the set to the pool because she got water EVERYWHERE. However, I knew it'd be a great distraction, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with two perfect solutions: 1) Play ontop of a double folded towel 2) Only refill the teapot with water when she drank most of the water in her teacups. Last time, I kept topping her up, and she just continued overflowing all of her cups. Sometimes, I don't think.

Playing with her tea set caused her to consume a good amount of water. It's a great thing to do if your child hasn't had much liquids that day and they don't take to having water forced down their throat. Rachel's not a big fan of milk, so maybe next time I'll put (a very small amount of) milk in her tea pot next time!

P.S. - Pretend that you don't notice my daughters eccentric clothes and messy hair, okay?