Tag: toddler

Toddler Activities for Rainy Days

Toddler Activities for Rainy Days

Well, we had told the kids that we would go to the zoo today because it was supposed to be cooler. We woke up to a dark sky and pouring rain–no way was the zoo happening. Boo!

Oh well. I felt bad, though. I wanted to give them something different and engaging to do.


Activity 1: pom pom toss

I used painter’s tape to tape some toilet paper and paper towel rolls to the wall and handed each a cup full of pom poms. Karissa loved this and kept going back to it constantly.

Bonus Activities: Madilyn dropped a few through the tubes before deciding that it wasn’t really her thing. She decided to sit down and sort the pom poms instead (she really loves pom poms), and then wanted to stick and unstick tape to the wall for a while.

Relocated pom pom toss

Activity 2: Paper Basketball

My mom in law constantly gets junk mail clothing catalogues, so today we utilized them! We made some crumpled paper “balls” and tried to throw them in our bucket “baskets.” Alas, mommy doesn’t have great aim.

Oh well, still fun.


Activity 3: Straw Bead Necklaces

I still love crafts, but since we moved I’m not sure where everything is. This is really easy–all you need is some stiff string (we used paracord), plastic straws, and scissors to cut your straws into beads.  Give them to little hands for great motor skills practice. I was very impressed with both girls, Madi even strung the beads herself.

So proud of her work

I love getting to share what we do with you and I’m always looking for new fun and/or easy activities to do with my girls. What does your family do for fun on rainy days?

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Trying to get two small children immersed in the spirit of the season can be tough. It involves lots of music, lights, walking, crayons, wrapping paper and bows. When you add crafting components it can get loud and messy. That’s alright though–we had a ton of fun! Karissa kept saying, “It’s pretty, mommy,” as she poured it through her fingers over the pinecone. Fun fact: everyone was 85 percent less frustrated than usual. That’s a win for me! Heads up, my one year old did nothing except eat glue and chew on the brush, so that could be in your future.

Supplies:

Elmer’s glue

Pinecones (we used three)

Paintbrushes or sponges

Festive colored glitter (we mixed green and silver, and red and gold)

Ribbon

Steps:

1. Brush glue over the outside of the pinecone.

 

2. Pour glitter over the pinecone.

3. Set aside and allow to dry.

4. Tie a ribbon to hang.

Painting with babies

Painting with babies

Karissa has recently fallen in love with art projects. Which is awesome, I love art. I’ve been trying to encourage artistic exploration for probably a year now and it’s just starting to blossom in her. Madilyn likes to draw, too, so it’s very fun.

I’m still not used to the chaotic nature of toddler arts and crafts, though. I handle the mess just fine, but it still surprises me sometimes just how much paint there is. It looks like such a minuscule amount when you squeeze it out of the bottle.

In all of my mommy brilliance I thought, 2 year old and 1 year old–let’s do an art project. We’ll do a handprint zoo! What could go wrong?

Lots, mom. Lots.

So I already know that Madi can’t have regular paint. I squeezed food coloring gel and tossed sprinkles onto her tray to entertain her.

Karissa made her own artwork and put a “lion” handprint on our group zoo paper. Madilyn did what would be the tiger.

Buuuuut Karissa wanted to paint a lion herself.  So much for the zoo. So cute, though. We ended up with a red globby mess and a happy kid. No real lesson here except to expect to be flexible with your expectations.

Easy Halloween Trick-or-Trio

Easy Halloween Trick-or-Trio

Blurriest picture ever

I really enjoy encouraging the kids to get into upcoming holidays. Madi doesn’t know what Halloween is yet, but Karissa seems to remember! We are going to be attending Boo at the Zoo! at the LA zoo dressed as 4 characters from My Little Pony (Matt is Princess Twilight Sparkle, I’m Applejack, Karissa is Pinkie Pie, and Miss Madilyn is Rainbow Dash). I like to plan little craft activities during the week to entertain them that are themed around whatever we do for the upcoming weekend. Aquarium week we made our own construction paper fish tanks and fish, zoo week we do animals, arboretum week we do plants. It logically follows that Halloween week we do Halloween.

These are constructed for very young children where focusing on the end result isn’t as important as the activity.

Craft #1: Spooky Sticker Tree

Supplies:

Computer paper or construction paper, color of your choice

Brown or black marker

Halloween stickers (I got a book of stickers at Dollar Tree)

Steps:

Prep: Draw a Spooky looking brown or black tree trunk. Older kids can do this part, or if you want to let your toddler do it that’s cool too. Mine will do a brown scribble, but I think she enjoys having an actual tree drawing to decorate too.

Simply give them the paper and some stickers and let ’em at it!

Craft #2: Halloween Collage

Supplies:

Construction paper

Glue

Colorful baubles and things to glue to paper. We are using torn up tissue paper, feathers, pom poms, and paper shapes. Foam Halloween shapes or sequins would be cool if I could find them in the closet.

Steps:

Give them their paper, some decorations, and some glue (maybe a small amount, Karissa goes nuts). See their creativity blossom.

Craft #3: Paint a Pumpkin

We don’t have time to carve a pumpkin this year, so today we are going to paint our own mini pumpkins. I am sure Karissa is going to love this!

Supplies:

A small pumpkin or multiple pumpkins

Paint (we use washable tempera right now)

Brushes

Something to cover your workspace

Apron to protect little one’s clothing

Glue, glitter, sequins, feathers, rhinestones, or whatever else seems fun

Steps:

1. Prepare workspace by covering it (if you’re the kind of person who is inclined. I’m not). Put an apron on kid (again, if inclined).

2. Give kid pumpkin and painting materials. Let them paint.

3. If you have a child that will let paint dry before trying to further decorate with glue and things then congratulations, thousands of us envy you. If not, just give them the sequins and whatever else. It will be messy, but they’re having a blast.

That’s it. I hope you have a fantastic holiday full of magic for the kids. Happy Halloween, everyone!

 

Taste Safe Slime

Taste Safe Slime

Karissa likes to paint, but Madilyn is a bit too little to be handed tempera paints yet. Instead, I tried to make her a baby substitute…except that I don’t keep wheat flour in the house. Say what I may about wheat, but the gluten makes for great stickiness with craft type projects. Anyway, I substituted psyllium husk powder, and the results were acceptable, but not really paint. Instead I got goopy slime stuff–not the intended result, but fun sensory play regardless!

Be careful with this,  while technically taste safe psyllium husk can cause constipation.

Supplies:

1-2 tbsp psyllium husk powder

1 tsp salt

1-2 cups water

Food coloring

 

Steps:

1. Combine salt and psyllium powder in a bowl. Add water and whisk with a fork.

2. Separate into multiple small containers.

3. Add whatever food coloring combinations you like. If you don’t need it to be taste safe you can also add glitter, sequins, beans, rice or beads as well–get creative. We added glitter for Karissa and she loved it!

Sensory Ice

Sensory Ice

Boy, it’s hot! The girls seem irritated that I’m so concerned with keeping them from getting sunburn and heatstroke and bored with sitting in the air conditioning, so I thought this back patio activity might help alleviate the boredom.

Rainbow Ice

Supplies:

Ice tray

Toothpick

Food coloring

Water

 

Steps:

1. Fill trays with water.

2. Mix food coloring in your ice cube tray to desired colors. I only had gel food coloring, so I put a small amount on the toothpick and mixed it.

3. Freeze and save for a hot day.

 

Flower Ice

Supplies:

Ice tray

Fresh or dried flowers

Water

 

Supplies:

1. Fill tray with water.

2. Press flower heads into the water, submerging completely. Make sure these flowers are non-toxic, just in case.

3. Freeze. These will be fun for your little one to play with later! Obviously you don’t have to use flowers, I just used what we had from Mother’s day.

Father’s Day Print Cards

Father’s Day Print Cards

We have another round of holiday cards to paint for some super special people today–dads!

I decided to go with a western theme this year with my girls helping.

Supplies:

8 1/2 × 11 cardstock cut in half

Tempera paint–brown, green, and tan

Acrylic paint–yellow and pink

A paintbrush

Red and blue or black construction paper

Glue

A ballpoint pen or black marker

 

Steps:

1. Have a little helper place two brown footprints (one of each foot) on the inside of the card. These are chaps! You can see in the pictures that mine are too high up and too big, my 6 month old is a giant! You could size your paper up if you would like, I just have small envelopes. I also had her put a small handprint for a little cactus. Let dry.

2. Have a helper (I had my 20 month old do this) add a large green handprints to the front of the card. This is a prickly pear cactus. Let dry.

3. On the inside, glue a triangle of blue or black construction paper down between the chaps for a body. I used patterned paper. Paint a head with tan paint and let the glue and paint dry.

4. Add some cactus needles and arms to your little cowboy man. I also added a foam cowboy hat sticker (he is tipping his hat, otherwise it would be hanging off).

5. It’s coming together! Give your cowboy some stick figure arms and a smiling face with a pen. Cut a small triangle out of red construction paper and glue on top of the shirt around the neck.

6. Using pink acrylic paint (I used acrylic for the different texture and layering of the paint) and the wrong end of a paintbrush (handle side), place a few scattered dots on your cacti. Wipe the end of the brush off and, using yellow paint, surround the pink dot with yellow flower petals. Add whatever finishing touches you like, and you’re done!

 

Easter Print Cards

Easter Print Cards

I am very excited about Easter this year! This is the first year with both kids, and Kari is finally old enough to enjoy Easter eggs. I will be trying to fill them with alternatives to candy, such as socks, stickers, and little healthy snacks. We may also buy some more egg shaped crayons and chalk–they’ll be pulling double duty as Easter eggs. We are also going to be making cards for relatives near and far. All of my family is in Texas, so we are trying to send everyone little mementos and reminders that we love them.

Difficulty: Easy

Supplies:
8 1/2 x 11 Paper or cardstock, cut in half
Washable finger paint or colored ink pads
Other assorted crafting supplies–whatever your toddler fancies
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. In light, springy colors have your little helper(s) print hand and/or footprints inside the card, spaced out a little. These are flowers. Add stems, grass and leaves. Let your paint dry between phases.
2. Put a few brightly colored fingerprints in the grass–Easter eggs!


3. On the cover of the card place a gray, white, or brown upside down footprint. Add bunny ears, tail, and a face.
4. Add grass and Easter eggs around the rabbit.


5. Finishing Touches! This is the time for sentimental thoughts, glitter, stickers…be sure to label your hand and footprints!

Valentines Cards

Valentines Cards

Today we’re making cards for family for the next upcoming holiday! I have a 16 month old and a 3 month old, so the cards are very simple for now, just crayons and paint. Kari actually participated happily, which surprised me. She scribbled on the paper–I had six papers out–and slapped red paint onto the page for me.

Difficulty– Easy (depending on your participants)

Supplies:
8 1/2 x 11 paper or cardstock cut in half
Washable finger paint or colored ink pads
Any other crafty supplies your toddler might enjoy (glitter, glue, foam shapes, crayons, sequins–the possibilities are endless!)
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. Let your child/children color the paper, write, etc.
2. Have your child make a handprint on the inside of the paper. Decorate the handprint if desired.


3. On the cover, use two footprints in the shape of a heart to adorn the card. I am using my 3 month old’s feet to make hearts.
4. Write a cute phrase on the front of the card. Add embellishments–here I added stickers and ribbon.
5. Add any finishing touches, such as names and dates. Make sure you label the prints for relatives!