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March Baby/Toddler Book Club: Alphabet

10 Mar

The theme for this month’s Baby/Toddler Book Club was the Alphabet.  Everyone brought their favorite Alphabet/Letters books and we had a terrific selection.  We actually even finished three of them this time and that’s an accomplishment for 10 kids ages 3 and under.  Though I did hide most of the toys this time, which helped secure their attention and made things a little less chaotic.

This month’s selections that were actually read: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, A You’re Adorable, and B is for Bear.

We also had some simple paint crafts set up for the kids to create their own “A is for Apple,” “F is for Fish” and “H is for Hands” sheets.  Those were the letters I had stuff readily available to create, and I thought three was enough for one sitting.  I’m hoping to complete the rest of the alphabet over the next couple weeks on days we’re stuck indoors and then hang it on one of the basement walls.  To make the apple I had an apple sliced in two for them to dip in paint and then stamp the paper.  Once the paint dries, I think we’ll add a little green stem to help make it look more like an apple.  For the fish, we took one of the fish bathtub toys and used it to stamp the paper and for the hands, they simply dipped their hands in paint and stamped the paper.  It was a lot of fun, and while there were no “in-depth” discussions about the books, we didn’t expect anything other than fun!

Til next month, happy reading!

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Fat Tuesday Party Toddler Style

9 Mar

My Mardi Gras celebrations are definitely not what they used to be (circa the late 90s), but I actually remember them these days so there’s something to be said for that.  I didn’t want to let the day pass without some fun, so we hosted an afternoon Fat Tuesday celebration for one of our mom’s groups.  We of course had traditional items like puczkis and added jello shots (virgin), “coins” made from gingerbread cake and beaded necklaces (of the traditional and cheerios variety, given with no flashing required).   I originally wanted to make beaded necklaces out of tiny cake pops, but ran out of time (cue the cheerios necklaces as I wanted their to be an edible option and that was all i had time for)– definitely going in the idea box for use at a future gathering.  I also had posterboard for the kids to make masks, crowns and hats –super simple and economical craft  that’s lots of fun.  All in all, get a bunch of friends together and fun is sure to be had.  Cheers!

Valentine’s Day Bookmarks w/ Printables

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is almost here and since lil man goes to school on Mondays, Valentine’s Day cards are a necessity this year.  I decided to skip the store bought variety and I didn’t want to go the food route b/c of allergy issues, so I created custom bookmarks (perfect for school!).  I downloaded the animal images from iStockPhoto.com and created four designs in Adobe Illustrator, but you could also use PowerPoint, Publisher or any word processing software.

Once I had the design created and printed, I gathered my supplies:

  • Laminating sheets
  • Red & white yarn
  • Scissors (note, I originally used a paper cutter, but scissors were easier on the laminated paper)
  • Hole puncher
  • Corner punch

I started by laminating the printed sheets–each sheet had four bookmarks on it.  Then I cut out the individual bookmarks, rounded the corners and punched a hole to tie the yarn through.  A couple photos of the finished product:

The messages are:

Lion: Have a roaring Valentine’s Day!  Love, Evan

Elephant: Don’t forget to be my Valentine.  Love, Evan

Ladybug: Will you be my love bug? Happy V-Day!  Love, Evan

Giraffe: Gee, You’re Cute! Happy V-Day! Love, Evan

Font is Actionls (downloaded for free from dafont.com).

Here are the templates with my son’s name removed so you can print and sign your child(ren’s) name.

TMC 2011 VDay Printable Bookmarks 1

TMC 2011 VDay Printable Bookmarks 2

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Custom Cookbook

12 Feb

I’m back!! And, I’m going to try and stay back!  This past week, a few friends from my moms group and I got together to “shower” a friend having her second baby next week.  As I’ve been trying to cook more lately, but it’s a challenge with two little ones, I was inspired to create a zero fuss cookbook to give to the mom of two to be and for the other moms in our group to use.  The criteria was simple–easy recipes that should take 15-20 minutes or less to prepare.  Everyone turned in recipes and I’m excited to try some of the new ones.  In preparing the booklet, I also was inspired to finally learn how to create step-and-repeat rows in Adobe Illustrator and I went a little crazy with them though i think the result turned out pretty cute.  Here’s the cover, table of contents and a sample inside page:

I printed it double-sided and turned it into a booklet–here’s a low quality photo.  I punched holes and tied it with pink ribbon to bind it.  Also rounded the corners to make it a little more fun.

Tip: When printing booklets, it helps to map out on paper how the pages will flow before creating it all electronically as it won’t be in chronological order.  Also, you’ll need to create pages in multiples of 4–for example, this booklet was 20 pages–5 sheets printed 2-up double-sided.

Off to cook now!

Days 5-19 = Big Fail

21 Jan

So much for blogging every day.  Our family was hit with the stomach flu twice, RSV, strep throat, yeast infection, fevers, colds and basic overall sickness. Plus, my computer hard drive died after falling off the high chair, so  between taking care of the kids and husband and being sick myself, there hasn’t been much time or energy for blogging.  Yes, pity party of one.

All this sickness means I haven’t done much creating either, but we did manage to make some oobleck and cheer our Bears on to the NFC Championship game against the Packers.

Back to the oobleck.  We were supposed to host a Dr. Seuss themed playdate and I wanted to have everyone do an easy craft–what better option than Oobleck to tie in with Bartholomew and the Oobleck?  The play date had to be cancelled due to the plague over our house, but the oobleck was a great activity to keep my 2 year old occupied while feeling sick.  It’s ridiculously easy to make.  Just take two cups of corn starch and mix it with 1 cup of water.  You can also add food coloring, but we just made it plain.  This stuff is fantastic for keep a toddler occupied.  It looks like its liquid, but when you pick it up, it’s hard.  It also oozes and is generally just a ton of fun!  When you start mixing, it’s going to get hard fast.  Don’t dump a ton of water in–that’s part of its beauty.  Stick with the recipe.  Also, we’ve been storing it in a plastic container for three days now, and it’s holding up well.

I will try to take pics and get back to daily creations now that everyone is starting to recover.  Hope your new year is starting off better than mine.

Enjoy!