Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ghost Mud

Halloween is almost here, but we're still having some fun with different Halloween play ideas. Over the weekend we decided to get a little creative with some sensory play and experiment with a different take on cloud dough, which we're calling Ghost Mud.

Ghost Mud Sensory Play

We've made what is often called cloud dough in the past (you can see one example as Snow Dough here) which is made using flour and baby oil. We've also enjoyed making oobleck (corn starch and water) so we decided to try and mix up the two recipes by trying corn starch and baby oil together. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Toddler Airplane Activity Binder

A friend of mine starts an amazing adventure this weekend as she and her husband travel internationally to adopt the child they've been waiting for for almost three years. It's been eye opening and inspiring to watch them as they spent the last few years working and waiting through the paperwork process. And now their moment is here. Among hundreds of questions and concerns, my friend mentioned the long airplane ride back to the United States with their little toddler and what she was going to do for activities. Although many of her questions and concerns were ones I could only listen to with empathy, this was one that got my brain churning. Before they left our family gift to them was a Toddler Airplane Activity Binder.

Toddler Airplane Activity Binder

Although I won't know for several weeks if the binder was successful, I'm hoping it is helpful on the long plane ride. I can also see it being used in other settings where toddlers need some purposeful activities, such as waiting at a doctor's office or in a restaurant. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Witchy Playdough Play

We had so much fun with our Room on the Broom post that we decided to continue our witchy themed fun. We found a pack of "witch fingers" while doing some shopping. Big Brother and I instantly got excited about the idea of some witch themed playdough play.

Witchy Playdough Play

To begin with I made a batch of basic cooked playdough. I dyed the playdough a bright green color by mixing in green and yellow food coloring. After cooking I kneaded in about 1/4 cup of green glitter for a little extra fun. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Room on the Broom Memory Game

This month's Virtual Book Club for Kids Author is Julia Donaldson. As she is not an author we know well we were looking forward to reading some new books and discovering a new author. Which is part of the fun of the Virtual Book Club for Kids! And of course it's also always fun to see what great project and activity ideas can come from these books.

Room on the Broom Memory Game

We decided to read Room on the Broom because it's a great fit for Halloween. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cork Bats

The other day we were headed to a play date with two good friends who also love to craft and we wanted to bring something fun to do. We quickly put together this fun cork bat craft, which is perfect for October and was easy to assemble.

The kids (ages 4, 5, and 7) were able to do almost all of the work themselves, which made them all feel really proud of their creations.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween Character Votives

Earlier in the summer we had a lot of fun using recycled baby jars to create Under the Sea Votive Holders. Now that it's a new season, it was time to create a new set with a new theme: halloween!

These votive holders are really so easy to make, and can turn out really colorful and fun. We added a new lighting source for this set: finger lights from the dollar store. The lights are very bright and make the candle holders really glow. Plus they are easy for Big Brother to turn on and off  by himself. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

5 Books for Helping Kids Learn About Anger

Since the beginning of the summer, and shortly after turning four, Big Brother has been experiencing some spells of bigger emotional outbursts. While it is worrisome as a parent to see him get so upset and struggle with how to express these emotions, the research I've been doing leads me to believe that most of what he is experiencing is a developmental phase not uncommon to some four year olds.

One of our jobs as his parents are to help him to understand that it's normal and okay, to have these big emotions (anger, sadness, frustration) but that when we have them we need to express them in a way which is safe and controlled. 

5 Books for Helping Kids Learn About Anger
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Although we've been helping him work through these spells using a variety of techniques, one of our go to strategies is to read books during non-upset times. These are 5 books we've been using over the last several months to help Big Brother start thinking about how to express his anger without hurtful words or actions. Most of them give concrete strategies or the words to express the emotions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween Sticky Collage

It's October, which means it's that time of year where our family is pretty excited to be getting ready for Halloween! It's definitely a top family holiday. 

Halloween Sticky Collage

This year we were excited to participate in the Halloween Read + Play blog hop. Over 25 bloggers each picked a favorite halloween book and have paired it with a fun activity or project, there are some great ideas in this series!

For our project we chose the book Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming. The story is filled with fabulous rhymes, a catchy rhythm, and helps the reader imagine they're on the street trick-or-treating for the evening. 

After we read the book, we created our own halloween street using the "sticky collage" approach. We call it a sticky collage because the base is contact paper, which allows little hands to stick the items to the collage without needing glue. We've enjoyed several other types of sticky collage before.