July 11, 2016

Keeping My Toddler Busy: Play Doh

We've entered the world of Play Doh, and Cai loves it. So far we only have one container of blue (thanks to Cai's Aunt Lauren), but I want to try making some soon.
I plunked Cai in his high chair and started by only giving him a bit of the dough. He was a bit tentative at first, but his elephant really enjoyed it.



I let him use a some wooden utensils from his kitchen set with it, and he thought that was great.





 We've played several times since then, and it keeps him busy anywhere from ten to twenty minutes.
If I play with it with him, I have to make lots of snakes.

 And sometimes the snakes kiss.
And hiss...

 And eat Play-Doh apples.
And he only tasted it once or twice :)

July 04, 2016

Keeping My Toddler Busy: Color Sorting

There are a bajillion different ways to do this activity, this is just what we did using what we had on hand. It's one I want to try again when he gets a little bigger too.

Supplies:
Colorful things from around the house- I was sure to grab things that had only one color, so as not to be confusing.
Specific areas for child to sort the different colors- you could use containers or construction paper, but I used pieces of felt because that's what I had one hand.

This activity required a lot of modeling. Cai is already pretty good at identifying, and saying, the color blue, but not so much the others.
I put everything in an empty laundry basket and limited my items to red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

 Steve and Cai have been working on a similar activity with M&M's, so I thought it might be a fun time to try this one.

More often than not though, Cai got it wrong, haha.

He also preferred to pretend to eat the toy food. (Disclaimer: These pictures are terrible examples of how a cloth diaper should be properly worn. It shouldn't be curling down like that because it causes leaks. I didn't want to stop the activity to fix his diaper though, so we just changed it afterward. Also, our central air is broken which is why he is wearing only a diaper in most of these posts.)



He got really excited when he found blue items!


This didn't keep him busy for very long and it provided me with more toys to put back in their respective places, but it was fun for a little while.

June 27, 2016

Keeping My Toddler Busy: Baking with Mama

I love baking. Lately I've been making cupcakes or muffins for Steve to bring to work with him on Fridays. The general consensus from everyone at his work is that I need to forget the muffins and make only cupcakes, so this time Cai and I made chocolate muffins with chocolate frosting (Which reminds me, what are your favorite combos for cupcakes and frosting? I need some ideas!).
This was really difficult to photograph, safely, so I don't have very many pictures. 

I also don't have one of those cool activity stands because they cost a butt load, so I just watched him very carefully as he sat on the counter.

I made sure to explain to him to keep his fingers out of the mixer, and I also unplugged the toaster because he wanted to turn around and stick his fingers in there.

(Can I just point out my new under-cabinet lighting? Steve and I went to Ikea for Valentine's Day and spent like $50 on it and Steve installed it himself. I love it!)

Basically, I just filled the measuring cups or spoons and helped him pour them in. This is a great opportunity to practice counting, and, with older children, give them the ground work for fractions.
And I completely forgot to take a picture of the results, but they were yummy.

I have many, many memories of baking with my mom, so this is something I was really excited about doing with Cai. In fact, he got to do some baking with Marmie on vacation.
(She's going to kill me for sharing a picture of her in her pjs. They were making biscuits for breakfast)

What are your favorite things to bake or cook with your kids?

June 23, 2016

Keeping My Toddler Busy: Father's Day Key Chain

I spent a total of a dollar on Steve's Father's Day gift. Cai and I were shopping at the Dollar Tree and came across this shrinky dink kit.
                                                
It was a sports kit, but it was easy to  just ignore the sports part and do what we wanted with it. I had seen an idea on Pinterest that looked neat, so we went with it. If you've never heard of shrinky dinks, it's basically just plastic paper that you draw on, cut out, and then back for a minute or so in the oven. It shrinks up into a thick hard piece of plastic.
We traced Cai's little hand. Isn't it funny how he always keeps his little pinky bent?

I gave Cai some markers, and he went to town.


I made it a point to give him a variety of colors, but he still gravitated toward the blues.

I then cut it out and poked a hole through it. The whole poking was a little tricky. We then put it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and baked it in the oven.


It didn't take long for it to shrink up, and Cai enjoyed watching it. He put on his little play pot holder while we did it.

I punched a little star out with a star punch just for fun too. This was the finished result. The kit came with key chains to attach to it. 

Cai was super excited to give it to Steve in bed on Father's Day morning. I didn't take a picture of the gift giving because I chose to just enjoy the moment instead. As a replacement, I thought I'd share my two favorite Father's Day photos.

Steve taught Cai how to use the drill (he was taking our pool down. We're going to try to put a fire pit and seating area there instead, IF we can do VERY inexpensively. I'll keep you updated on that).

And while he worked, Cai ran in the sprinkler for the first time. He actually loved it, contrary to how it looks in this picture! It was a very enjoyable day all around.


June 20, 2016

Keeping My Toddler Busy: Painting

This activity was painting with a purpose. I want to redecorate our main bathroom to be a little more fun and kid friendly, and I wanted some artwork on the wall to go with my ideas. So Cai's job was to create it. 

Supplies: 
Paint- I used acrylic craft paint which meant I had to be more careful about him putting his fingers in his mouth, but you could use non toxic paints and finger paints.
Brush- optional. We started out with a foam brush, then switched to fingers
Pallete- I used the back of the lid for the container I keep my paints in. The nice thing about acrylic paint is that it peels off when it's dry.
Canvas- or paper. Hobby Lobby often had sales on canvas. I happened to already have one that I bought a while ago for another project.
Drop cloth: I cut a garbage bag open and laid it on the floor.

We used a little bit of every color.


 Cai started out with a foam brush.

 He very quickly ended up with some on his face.

 I got frustrated with the brush because he basically smeared it all and made brownish green paint, so we switched to using his finger.

I found it worked best to hold the canvas for him and help direct him to the unpainted areas. Of course, I'm planning on using the painting for something specific. If you were just doing this for fun, there would be no need to direct like I did.

I was really glad we did this on a wipeable floor, because at one point he stepped on the canvas and made a footprint on the floor.

 Our finished work.

 Our finished pallet, a work of art itself.
 Our workspace when we were done.
The babe. He had to stop and examine the first two spots of paint he got on himself. He quickly got over that. A bath followed. :)

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