About Me

I'm a teacher turned stay at home mama. I love finding things to make and do!

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Color Sorting

While we were out of town, we visited The Land of Nod. (if you've never been to the store or website, you should...they have the best stuff!)  I got this color sorting puzzle for A.  I really wanted to buy this one but it was twice as much and I thought it might be too hard for her.  Well, I introduced the puzzle to her on our car trip, and she got it almost instantly!  It's a fun, simple activity and I was really impressed with the quality of this product.  Even though she's mastered this puzzle, I think she'll find it fun to play with still for a little while.  

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Clothespin dolls


I made these cuties for A for Christmas.  I would have liked to sew a little house/purse to put them in, but just didn't have the time.  Maybe a cute little house is in their future?  Anyway, you can get the full tutorial here.  Read carefully because it does not tell you exactly when to paint the face on the doll.  Do it BEFORE the varnish.  :)  I'd love to see any dolls that others have made!  You can use the "email me" button on the top left to share.  :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homemade squishy food container

So I know you've seen these before.  I showed you, remember?  Well, I looked high and low to find a reusable, refillable "squishy food" container for A.  All I found was someone else asking the same question on  a forum.  I decided I was going to have to make my own.

I bought two different Take & Toss containers: cups with straws, and little snack bowls.

I switched the lids (I still use the tall cups with straws for drinking AND I use the tall cups with snack lids for bigger snack storage.)

Finally, I poured some good ol' baby food into the container.  Since A is used to drinking out of the squishy food pouches, this wasn't much of a difference.  

Although you don't get every last drop sucked out like you do with the pouches, it is a good substitute.  When A is finished, I just open it up and give her the remaining spoonful of food.  Yum!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chai spice boys

A and I tried a new recipe today.  Instead of Gingerbread boys, we made Chai Spice boys.  You can find the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens here.
I think this is best done in three days:
Day One: Mix dough and put in refrigerator. (I didn't take pictures of this)
Day Two: Roll, Cut-out and bake cookies.
Day Three: Decorate cookies.
A sprinkling flour (she LOVED it and even ate some and said "mmm") 
Rolling the dough...
Cutting out the cookies.
Decorating the cookies.
TIP: I just put some powdered sugar in a zip-top baggie, added a splash of milk, zipped closed and squished the frosting around.  I cut a tiny tiny hole in one of the corners and helped A squeeze the frosting out.
I brought out some sprinkles, but A was MUCH more interested in the freeze-dried strawberries as a cookie topping.  Here she is picking the strawberries off and eating them. 
This is a nice, crisp cookie.  The Chai and gingerbread flavors are light, so they don't overwhelm.  Mama, Daddy and A give them a thumbs up!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Playing in the snow...inside.

Occasionally when it is too cold to go outside, but there is a fresh coating of snow, I'll bring the snow inside for A to play with.  It starts out in a little bin, but usually ends up just on her little table.  I give her spoons and a funnel, Little People, bowls, etc.  She starts with mittens on, but they come off and she eventually ends up eating it (yuck!).  If her clothes get wet, I just put her right into her jammies when we're done.  It's a good way to beat cabin fever!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Matching animals to photos


I bought a tub of animals from Target for $10 recently and made this activity for A.  I chose six animals and put them in a little bin.  I made the cards using a Google image search, printed on card stock and laminated them.  (you can use contact paper or packaging tape)
  I introduced the activity last month and she wasn't interested.  I put it on her shelf and every now and then would bring it out.  Now she really enjoys it.  I take all the cards and she takes the bin of animals.  I will show her one of the cards and ask, "where is the (animal name)?"  She finds it and lays it on top of the card.  I've also put the cards out in a line and she's matched the animal to the card that way.  I plan to add animals and cards to this in the future.  You can download my cards here:

(attempted at 18 months = unsuccessful. 19 months = successful!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bumper Pockets

A while back, I needed somewhere to put a few extra pacifiers for A in her crib where she could get them when she woke up at night.  Hers kept falling behind her crib or she couldn't find the ones laying on the other end.  I thought if I could just sneak a few in a pocket once she'd fallen asleep, I wouldn't have to go in there in the middle of the night.  

I decided to whip up some bumper pockets.  Not only did I make a little one  for her pacifiers, but I made a larger one to keep a few small toys and a book so she would have things to play with before she fell asleep and when she woke up.  They were EXACTLY what I needed.

Here's how I did it.  (at the bottom, I've put a few things I might change.)

First, get your bumper and measure how long you want your pocket to be.  Cut out a rectangle of fabric using pinking shears and pin it to your bumper.  



Sew around the sides and bottom using a zigzag stitch.



That's it!  You're done!  If you don't sew, you could try using iron-on/sticky Velcro with this project.



Things I would change:
-I did this pretty quick because I wasn't sure if it would be a good solution.  Knowing now that it worked so well, I would make it a bit sturdier .  I might make an entire pocket and sew it to the bumper.  After a month or two of use and washing, the pocket got a little stretched out.  It still worked, but it made me want to have a sturdier pocket in the future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

dwink, repurposed.

Okay, so have you seen these before?  They are awesome.  We've been using them since A was about 4 months old.  They are great for travel or on-the-go eating.  Boon makes a nice spoon dispenser
for these.


While I love using these squeezable foods, A doesn't know how to eat them herself without getting the insides all over her.  Enter the dwink.  This is made to hold juice boxes for little ones so they don't squeeze juice all over themselves.  A doesn't drink juice, but I thought I could put this neat little box to use.  Here is how we use ours.

It is perfect!  I introduced the dwink to A and showed her how to keep the "squishy food" (as we call it) inside.  She uses it like a pro.  We have one for the car and one for the house. We love our dwink!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making Salsa


A loves, I mean LOVES to help Mama in the kitchen.  She recently surprised me and wanted to try salsa.  She ended up really liking it.  I had A help me make another batch on Sunday.  I used this recipe
from I heart naptime. It tastes like the salsa you get at authentic Mexican restaurants.  
I have A stand in our Learning Tower and she carefully helps me dump the ingredients inside the food processor.  The best part was when she got to tear the cilantro leaves from the stems.  Occasionally she would put a piece in her mouth and say, "num."
I plan on making a double batch soon and canning it so we can have it on hand.  If you decide to try this recipe out, I'd recommend making it a day ahead of when you want to eat it.  It does taste much better once all the flavors have a chance to mix together.
(attempted at 19 months = success!)

Pompom sorting

I tried this activity with A today. I had a handful of pompoms and put one of each color into the muffin tin. I would hand A a pompom and say, "where does the (name of color) one go?" She would look around and place it in the correct compartment. This held her attention and she did a great job.
(attempted at 19 months = successful)

Welcome!

So I have left my old blog and started this new baby.  I love to find things that are new to me and see how I can make them my own.  I'm hoping you'll leave here inspired to create something of your very own.  Thanks for visiting.  :)