Thursday, January 29, 2015

Love Bug Cards & 20+ Love Bug Crafts & Activities

Last year we discovered the fun of creating "Love Bugs" for Valentine's Day. Our egg carton love bugs were simple and fun to create. This year we decided to extend our love bug fun into an easy to create card idea.

While creating we discovered lots of other great Love Bug ideas, make sure you check out the list of awesome ideas for incorporating love bugs into all elements of Valentine's Day at the end of this post.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cardboard Igloo and Ice Fishing Play

We love cardboard box play and take any opportunity we can get to grab a big box for really fun activities. So when we offered a freezer box around the holidays, of course we couldn't turn it down. With a little paint and imagination, we turned our box into an igloo!

Big Brother has been really enjoying some weekend ice fishing with Daddy, and liked the idea of extending it into play at home. This inspired us to turn our box into an igloo and add some fishing fun too. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Homemade Valentine's Craft Tray

We're excited to be participating in our third Read + Play event!  This time 20 + bloggers have all connected a favorite Valentine's Day book with a great play, craft, or learning activity.

In the last few years we've discovered the character Pete the Cat and really enjoy this series. In his Valentine's Day book, Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day is Cool, he begins the book thinking Valentine's Day isn't cool. But as he makes Valentine's for his class, family, and friends he discovers Valentine's Day is cool.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monster Truck Painting & Note Cards

Monster Truck Painting has been one of our go to activities for quite a while now. We car and truck painted quite a lot when Big Brother was a toddler, and around the time he turned three we discovered that the best way to create this kind of painting was with Monster Trucks.

Monster Truck tires are perfect for this type of painting because they have a great tread on their tires, which make great prints when painting.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mess Free Color Mixing on the Light Table

We love participating in the Virtual Book Club for Kids, and this month the author is Ellen Stoll Walsh. We enjoy several of her books, but particularly love the story of three little color mixing mice in Mouse Paint.

A while back we did a color mixing wheel based on the book, so this time I was looking for a different idea. As we're still in the dark days of winter I decided to incorporate the light table in our play. 

It's not often these days I get any time alone with Little Brother, but last weekend Daddy and Big Brother were on their own adventure so we had some down time together. Perfect opportunity to do a toddler focused color mixing activity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Peace Doves

We're really pleased to be participating in the Martin Luther King Day for Kids Series as hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs. In the lead up to our post I've been enjoying reading some of the amazing ideas as posted by other bloggers on ways to talk to and teach kids about Martin Luther King Jr. and his message.

As a teacher I've always liked including the conversation about "peace" in our discussions around Martin Luther King Jr. and I decided that was the same way I wanted to go with Big Brother.

To begin our thinking and talking with we read a handful of books. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Magic Words Thank You Cards

So although the holidays are over, we're definitely still working on creating our thank you cards and getting them out in the mail. And while this trick may seem magic to kids, I love how simple it was to create these cards.

Magic Words Thank You Cards

Our kiddos were really blessed to receive a lot of wonderful gifts from friends and family over the holidays, and I want to try an instill in them the idea that we send thank you cards in appreciation. Last year we created our Potato Print Snowmen Cards. This year I was looking to create something both boys could help with, despite their age differences. This watercolor idea was simple enough for both a toddler and a preschooler to work on. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Four Seasons Wheel

Last week we shared our post for 10 Books to Read to Learn about the Year & the Four Seasons. To extend from our reading we created this fun project one day when Little Cousin was here visiting too.

Four Seasons Wheel

We created a similar wheel this summer at our Preschool Summer Camp with a weather based theme, so this was also an extension from our summer project.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Simple Play: Paper Boats in Water

We were intrigued recently when we heard that NurtureStore was hosting a month of "Simple Play." Their resolution to go back to basics and engage with simple materials in a playful way connected to how I envision our afternoons being a little less chaotic this month.

To kick off the series today's theme was water play. On this frigid January day it was a little hard to imagine playing with water, but we decided to set up a small container and some paper boats on the kitchen floor.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Monthly Goals: January 2015

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe it's already January 1, especially as the end of 2014 seemed to just fly by this year. We were still regrouping from the Christmas rush when New Year's Eve seemed to sneak up on us yesterday. We spent the night at home, just the four of us, which was really what we needed and appreciated the most last night.

Now that the big night has come and gone it's that time of year where many people are making "resolutions;" I remember in my senior year of high school writing at least 20 of them. Did they get accomplished? Probably not when I wrote so many of them. In the past few years, I've tried thinking about just one or two but even those often fade a bit by spring time.

That's why I was excited when I learned about the Monthly Goals linky. I've always been better at meeting goals when I can do it within a social situation. I lost weight after Big Brother was born by attending meetings and weigh-ins. I always did better with group projects in school. I work out two times harder when I can make it to boot camp class rather than when I do it at home. By setting monthly goals things seem much more achievable, and bigger ideas can be chunked into more manageable pieces. By sharing these goals here I know I'll feel more motivated to do them.