Category Archives: Kiddie Activities

Tuesday Timeout: Rain, Rain Go Away

I haven’t done a Tuesday Timeout in a while, and while I’d love to blame it on being so busy with two babies (which we definitely are in this household!) it’s more the fault of me not taking many pictures of me WITH the boys..

This is in our Florida Room.  When it rains like it did today, the mulch sometimes floods.

This is in our Florida Room. When it rains like it did today, the mulch sometimes floods.

That being said, Paul is home from work today and he took a few pictures for us. :) On his days off normally he and Xander would go on a bike ride, or go to the park, or go anywhere just to get out of the house (sometimes just play outside) and normally Xander and I spend at least part of our day outside as well–normally it’s in the morning because it’s so much cooler and not nearly as humid!! It didn’t happen this morning though.  I’m pretty sure it rained some last night, and right after breakfast it started pouring down.  We’re getting used to the rain because it’s rained nearly every day for the last month, there has maybe been 2-3 days we haven’t seen sprinkles at the very least!

Please let's go outside!!

Please let us go outside!!

I had planned a really fun morning that included meeting up with some other moms and kiddos down at the park.  We were going to meet up with our neighbor and her little girl, that’s a month older than Xander, and then walk down.  Of course, the rain crushed our plans!  So, I sent our neighbor a text asking if she and her daughter wanted to just come over and make play dough and play.

Pouring in some sprinkles.

Pretending to pour in some sprinkles. You can just barely see the top of little Liam’s head in this picture! Wearing him in the Boba is a total life-saver!

Originally I had planned on making it with both Xander and his little friend, but we had to clean the house a little and they were eating breakfast once we finished.  We ended up making it on our own and they got to our house just as we finished the second batch–we made blue and red.  As you can tell in the pictures Xander is still in love with using the kitchen appliances and is a huge helper.

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Not so big on smiling today though.  We used our cookie cutters and my rolling-pin along with some cups and forks/spoons.  Xander is finally to the age that he’s starting to like play dough.  His friend wasn’t as enthused about it, but I think that’s more because there were new toys at our house.  I was REALLY impressed with Xander’s sharing skills, and while they definitely need practice, he’s better than I expected him to be.  Needing practice just means we’ll have to have our friends over more often though!! :)

The play dough recipe is really simple:
2.5 cups flour, plus extra
.5 cups salt
1.75 cups water
2 TBS oil
Food coloring

Mix flour and salt.
Bring water and oil to a boil adding food coloring.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.  (I did this backwards and just poured the hot water into the kitchenaid bowl of my mixer)
Mix until the dough isn’t sticky, adding additional flour as needed.

Our Art Project for the Nursery

This morning Xander woke up in a VERY grouchy mood, so I knew immediately I was going to have to keep him busy or else I’d be carrying around a grumpy toddler all day.  I pinned something a while back on Pinterest that I knew would make a perfect “art project” for us and have intended on doing something similar for Liam’s room.  If you want to read her tutorial you can go here, it’s definitely more detailed and she probably does a much better job of explaining all the steps!

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He might look sweet, but he was NOT happy.

 So, we cut out the fabric for our art project this morning so I could “draw” the outlines in order to paint after nap time.

Here you can see the printed wheel that I traced.

Here you can see the printed wheel that I traced.

I printed out a few outlines of what I wanted to “paint” with Xander.  You can totally skip this step and just freehand it, but if you need a pattern to go off of you can just google “____ color sheet” with the blank being whatever you want to trace.  I did a nautical wheel, an anchor, a sail boat, a starfish, and a whale.

All traced.

All traced.

After I had printed the various color sheets, I mixed 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of warm water until there were no lumps, and then put it in a ziplock bag. (Basically you’re piping the paste like you would ice a cake in this step–but it comes out fast, you could probably slow it down by adding more flour, but it’d also possibly take longer to dry!) I cut a VERY small tip off (seriously, cut even SMALLER than you think you’ll need, it comes out fast and you can always cut again!!) then got to work.  I had to work very fast, even with my small tip–I should have put the mixture in a new bag and started over but I was impatient and Xander thought it was the coolest thing ever. And who am I to rain on grouchy pant’s parade? Once I finished I ended up taking the cutting mat that had all the “pictures” on it out to the patio table.  You definitely don’t need a cutting mat, but you DO need something underneath when painting, and depending on how watered down you do your paint you probably need something more substantial than newspaper!! (The Florida sun does wonders for drying times, it would have taken drying overnight without it!)

IMG_4457During nap time I set everything up and had it ready to go for when grouch woke up.  Oh and he was still grouchy–and ended up playing in the water table while I painted the first two by myself!

IMG_4461Eventually we finished, and let them dry another hour or so. There were random breezes today so I weighed down each corner of the paintings so that they could dry without creating a mess.  (I also suggest doing this if you dry the flour/water mixture outside.  I didn’t at first and two paintings got messed up and I had to go back and fix them!)

Xander painted this one 100% on his own.  He is super proud of it!

Xander painted this one 100% on his own. He is super proud of it!

IMG_4465After they finished drying, I picked all the flour/water mixture off, and the paintings are finished!  They’re each 12×12 inches, and I need to figure out how we’re going to frame them.  They are going to look AWESOME in Liam’s room though!  I’m so excited to share! Let me know if you end up doing something similar! :)

A Valentine Craft

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Xander LOVES painting.  Probably because I love painting, and kind of pushed it on him when he was about six months old!  In the past we’ve painted things for Paul, we’ve painted an entire book worth of pages for all the grandma’s for Mother’s Day, we’ve even painted a sign that hangs in his room!  So yesterday, while I was on Instagram I saw a picture of a friend’s two year old using toilet paper rolls as stamps with paint I knew we had a new project.

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Needless to say it was a complete hit!  (Note the little lip biting, this is his “I’m concentrating hard” face!) I bent and taped the toilet paper rolls into a heart shape and we used them as a stamp.  Well, Xander used it as a stamp until he realized he could use it as a paint brush anyways!

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I put freezer paper on my table as well as underneath it to save myself the trouble of having to clean up paint–it’s washable, but I still don’t want to have to clean it up!

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I gave in and let him have an actual paint brush which made him pretty happy.  Of course, he painted his hands with it instead of the paper–but hey, you win some and you lose some.

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His finished “masterpieces.” I think the white one is my favorite.  Either way it kept him busy for a solid hour while Paul worked on painting his room. I think I might print off a picture of him painting and give them out as Valentine’s this year.  We’ll be traveling on Valentine’s Day so that’s about all we’ll have time to do.

Traveling with a 17 month old.

Xander did so well during our trip, I wanted to share the activities that I packed and make note of changes I plan on making before our Crazy Cross-Country Trip!

Our activity bin.

Our activity bin.

All the different bags.

All the different bags.

They all fit (with exception of the MagnaDoodle into the square cube, along with the DVD player and Xander’s heartbeat giraffe.  I only brought five bags with us, I have ten planned altogether.  I definitely didn’t need to bring all five, I’m thinking two or three for each leg of the trip will be sufficient, all the others will go in the trunk until the next part.  Also, there is a box of Color Wonder markers that I put in the box, it was easier to keep them all together than to separate them into different bags.  The only time Xander gets to use markers are when they’re Color Wonder.  Those things are amazing, they only color on the special paper!  So, if he decides to color on the car or his car seat, it doesn’t show up!

 

Bag #1

Bag #1

Bag #1 had a Signing Time DVD, a Color Wonder drawing pad, the buckle toy I made, an old baby wash bottle filled with old school laundry pins (he takes them out and puts in them back in over and over), and then Brown Bear Brown Bear. He played with everything in this bag, with the exception of the buckle toy.

Bag #2

Bag #2

Bag #2 had two little shaker balls, a Signing Time DVD, another board book, a bunch of velcro popsicle sticks, and an old wallet filled with business cards and a pen.  I took the ink out of the pen before we left, so he can’t “click” it over and over, but he could pretend to write.  This bag didn’t really get played with.  He played with the popsicle sticks and the shaker balls, but that was it.  It actually fell underneath Paul’s seat and I didn’t find it until we got back!

Bag #3

Bag #3

Bag #3 was in a Target bag, but it fell apart during the trip.  It consisted of a MagnaDoodle, Cars DVD, the ABC Can, and several toy cars.  Everything was played with in this bag, and the MagnaDoodle was probably the favorite toy of the trip.  He played with it for 45 minutes at one time!  It will definitely be kept out during the cross-country trip!

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Bag #4

This was a last-minute bag, but Xander loves EVERYTHING in it.  It has his flash cards, a new board book, Signing Time DVD, an empty tube of deodorant, a crayon roll, a toothbrush, and his hairbrush.  The deodorant kept him SO busy.  He would take the lid off, pretend to put it on, then put the lid back on.  He also will happily “brush his teeth” for quite a while.  I never ended up getting out the flash cards, but I know they would have been a good little activity as well.  He likes to get them out, do the signs, and then put them back in.  For it being last-minute, this bag was a winner.

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Bag #5

This bag had his baby laptop, a train puzzle, a Spiderman color pad, the cloth color book I made last year, and a Shrek DVD. We didn’t watch the DVD or get out the colors book, but he played with the other toys.  Before we left I attached velcro to the puzzle and the pieces so that we didn’t lose any of them, and as a bonus it made it easier for Xander to attempt the puzzle–not that he got the pieces in the right spot! The Spiderman pad is an off brand of Crayola Color Wonders, so it works with the markers and I don’t have to worry about a mess being made.

All in all, the bags made the trip go SO much smoother, and I’m glad I put the effort into them.  Whenever we travel next I’ll bring them all, but only keep 3, maybe 4 in the front of the car with us and the rest will be tucked away in the trunk.  Another thing that kept him really busy was his blanket.  On the way home he played “Peek A Boo” with us (he has a mirror so he can see us and vice versa) for about 30 minutes.  Between the bags, the DVDs and of course his Hullabaloo cds I’m pretty confident that the trip to Key West won’t be TOO much of a nightmare.  (Hopefully I didn’t just shoot myself in the foot!) And if it gets too bad, we can always find a place to stop like we did on the way home.  That not only helped Xander, but REALLY helped me.  Even though I’m only halfway into this pregnancy I’m already needing to get out and walk around a little, so those pit stops aren’t just important for my little man!

I hope the travel tips are able to help you out, and if you have any you’d like to share I’d love to hear them!  We could definitely use any advice you have! :)

Thanks for reading,

Tasha

 

Eggs-citing Activity for Xander

Along with about 40-something other activities, the following is an activity I’ve set up for Xander during the longest road trip of our lives. Best part, he’s been playing with it for the last 45 minutes AND I was able to not only fold a basket of laundry, but I also got to go to the bathroom SOLO during the day time for the first time in months.  It’s definitely a winner and it cost me NOTHING.  Even if you had to buy all the parts you’d only have to spend $3! And that includes a container for it!

Emptying the container out.

Emptying the container out.

So, you’ll need:

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Pompoms (the craft kind, not the cheerleading kind!)
Easter eggs (I bought a bunch after Easter last year at Target for 90% off, but I was in the dollar store today and they have them for 8/$1)
A container to keep them in

That’s it!

Opening and closing the eggs.

Opening and closing the eggs.

I put some of the pompoms in the eggs while he was taking a nap and gave them to him once he woke up.  He’s been busy opening and closing the eggs, emptying the pompoms out, putting them back in, closing the eggs and shaking them.  We’ve talked about colors and counted the pompoms. Okay, I’ve counted and talked about colors! Regardless, it’s a cheap and easy way to keep your little one entertained.  It’s certainly kept Xander entertained today!

I also plan on swapping our the pompoms for raisins and other not so messy foods while we’re driving to make snack time a little more interactive. Are raisins as big a hit in your house as they are in ours?