Scooping Pom poms

I decided to change things up today. We haven’t done a sensory bin for quite a while. I found my inspiration from Buggy and Buddy. It is such a simple activity to set up which is why I loved it right from the start.

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I had a bowl of pompoms, two cup measurers, an ice cube tray, and four silicon baking cups.

As soon as Chloe saw it, she sat down to play with it.

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She preferred the silicon liners to the ice cube tray. This activity lasted for a solid 45 minutes. I couldn’t believe something so simple could entertain her for so long.

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Chloe decided to pack the pompoms in to the cup measurer and dump it out. She labeled it a cupcake and the play turned into pretend cooking and eating. A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing!

I left this activity out, and she went back to it and played for another half hour.

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This was a very successful quiet, easy, and fun activity!

Flying with toddlers

Toddlers are not the easiest creatures. Being easy is not in their nature. So, when we decided (last minute change of plans from driving) to fly for our holiday, I was honestly a little panicked.
I had been planning for probably a full week to keep Chloe busy in the truck for the 16 hr drive(and that’s only one way!) I had movies, colouring books, bubbles for pit stops etc. The day before we were going to leave, we had to change our plans to drive because of highway conditions.

After a quick unpack of some of the things I could no longer take or no longer needed, I had to rethink entertainment. Luckily, the 16 hr drive got changed to an hour and a half flight. Not bad at all! And, on Canadian north, the airline we flew on, a meal is served (yes, even on the short one hour and thirty minute flight!) so I knew that would help if Chloe was cranky.

When Chloe was a baby, she went on a plane a few times. By the time she was just over 1, she has been on 7 flights. All which were good except for one. But all were also an hour and a half or shorter. When traveling with a baby, the easiest and recommended thing to do is feed them (breast or bottle) on landing and take off. Not only does it help with their ears, it put mine to sleep for all or the majority of the ride.

For this trip, I checked out the rules of motherhood and for love of cupcakes.

On the day we left, Chloe had to be woken up at 5:30 am. So early for her! I had her backpack filled with books, colouring books, stickers, Dora figurines, Easter eggs with little toys in them, crayons, markers and a homemade activity. In my bag, I had snacks and treats.

On the two blogs I checked out, I read that a sucker can help with the ears on landing and take off. Chloe had never had one, so I knew she would be very happy to try one.

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This kept Chloe very, very happy.

Right after takeoff, the flight attendant brought a colouring book and crayons for Chloe. I had brought some anyway for Chloe, but extra was nice since we were going to be on holidays for a week and a half.

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Chloe was really excited to colour in the book. New things are exciting.

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After she worked on the colouring book for a while, I brought out a book I got at a garage sale for $1. It’s a magnet book with magnetic animals. Chloe thought it was pretty neat.

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The next thing I pulled out of her bag was little plastic Easter eggs with different little toys inside. One had a necklace and ring, one had a mini camera, one had a little frog and lizard.

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After that, drinks and food came so that kept Chloe entertained for the rest of the flight.

What activities do you do to keep your kids entertained on flights?

Summer activities Pt. 2

Not too long ago, I wrote about some of the activities we had been doing with our daughter. You can find that post here.

There are a lot more activities to add to the list.

1) going for walks

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There are so many different things to talk about or look at during walks. It’s easy to make a game connecting to learning at home. Chloe likes to look at airplanes that fly over us and inspect every rock… Our walks take a while..

2) local festivities

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Recently, our community had a children’s fair with a petting zoo. This was a hit with Chloe. And the best part was that it was free!

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For Canada day, there was a reptile area set up. Chloe loves snakes. She was so excited for this and kept asking to see the snakes. She talked about it the next day too. I’m not particularly fond of snakes…!

3) rainy day exploration

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Playing outside isn’t only for sunny days. Kids love going outside when it is raining. Some need an umbrella though. Like mine.
The world looks a little different when it’s raining and toddlers are eager to explore!

4) going to the lake

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Even if the weather isn’t perfect, like when we went to the lake, it can still be fun. Kira and Chloe played away until they were too cold to play any longer. We also packed a picnic lunch, but Chloe barely are. There was too much fun to be had.

5) watering plants

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Chloe loves her watering can. She also likes to help her dad water the garden. Any chance she has to help water, she’s there! I could probably get her to water the entire back yard.

6) ice cream and Popsicles

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Because it isn’t summer without ice cream and Popsicles. And those things are even more enjoyable when shared with a friend. Cheers!

As the summer goes on, I will continue to post activities for toddlers.

What kind of things do you like to do during the summer?

Clothespin painting

I saw an idea on Pinterest for clothespin painting. I clicked the link for the activity but it went to the current day on the blog and not the activity. I tried searching for the activity but my phone wasn’t cooperating. So I decided to just give Chloe the items and see what happens.

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I put a painting apron on Chloe to help protect her clothes. I should have rolled up her sleeves though…. Oops!

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She was already painting before I could say a word.

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It was interesting to see how she painted with the cotton balls. She used it like a paint brush. I would have dabbed, but she didn’t, which was perfectly fine.

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Chloe wanted me to try too, so I did my own page while she did hers. I dabbed mine, so she gave it a try too.

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But then of course she went back to painting instead of dabbing.

Chloe did 4 paintings during this activity. She loved it. Well, she loves painting to begin with. I should have kept a cloth beside her though. Inevitably, she got paint on her hands and she didn’t like that. She kept asking me for a cloth. That silly girl.

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Stay tuned for a guest blog post!

Traveling with toddlers: entertainment

For our long roadtrip, I decided to put together several items for entertainment for Chloe. She is almost 2 so I find that a lot of things are either too young or too old for her.
Here are some of the things I assembled:

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We are fortunate enough to have a DVD player in our truck, so we brought along a bunch of movies, knowing this would end up being a huge part of Chloe’s entertainment.
I purchased some books from garage sales, and a couple from the bookstore in hopes that the novelty would last a little while. I also threw in some old favorites. Bedtime books were kept in Chloe’s suitcase, apart from the car books. During part of our trip, I sat in the back and read books with Chloe. Matt also took a turn in the back, reading books to her.

On Pinterest, I saw an idea for bringing a baking tray and magnets. I figured this was a worthwhile idea to try. In all honesty, Chloe was a bit too young for this one. We played together for probably 5-10 minutes out of our 12 hr drive so far. At first, I handed her one magnet at a time. Then she would place it on the tray. Sometimes I’d ask the colour and get a response.

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Then I tried sorting into colour groups. Chloe kept this up for a few magnets. Then took all the magnets off and handed them back to me, announcing that she was all done.

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Other activities I tried were a colouring book and a pompom container. Normally, Chloe loves colouring. Or ripping the paper off the crayons. Whichever. Anyway, I brought the crayons that have already been stripped of their paper. Chloe didn’t seem to interested. It lasted 5 minutes, tops.
The pompom container was a recycled cream cheese container with two holes in the top that Chloe could push pompoms through. At home, she can’t wait to play with pompoms. This lasted maybe 2 minutes in the car….

One activity that went well was playing with stickers. Once again, I was in the back with Chloe. I’d let her point to a sticker, I’d peel it off and then she’d stick it on the paper. She loved this.

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We have only done one part of our trip, so I have more time to try things again or try new things.

The two most entertaining things on the highway were 1) movies 2) snacks.
In the cities, Chloe happily looked out the window and pointed out every single bus and truck. So that kept her busy.

Do you have any suggestions for things for a toddler to do on long drives?

Traveling with toddlers: snacks

A long road trip with an almost 2 year old. Hmmm.. Sounds terrifying. I did a lot of planning and prep in hopes to keep her happy, full and feeling good.

I went to the grocery store and bought some unhealthy snacks but also lots of healthy ones.

I decided to have a large snack bag in the back that could be reached from the front or back.

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Some of the items in the bag were:
Fruit/vegetable packets
Fruit cup
Granola bar
Pretzels
Mini crackers with peanut butter
Apple sauce
Mandarin oranges
Strawberry muffins (see post from May 22)

I also had a cooler full of good food for the three of us. I had:
Celery with peanut butter
Carrots and ranch
Apples
Grapes
Strawberries
Buns and sandwich meat
Pb and j for Chloe
Yogurt
Water
Pepperoni sticks

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I got the idea for the jars from cool mom picks
I was kind of excited about those jars, thinking they were a good idea. But I forgot about them, at least on the way to our destination (12 hrs of driving, spread over 2 days).

I packed so many snacks. Which was a good thing because Chloe ate most of the time. But it was also annoying because we were tempted to eat out a few times, which is to be expected, but we still had all this food…

We’ll see what happens. We are still at the first part of our 10 day trip.

What are your go to snack ideas for toddlers on road trips?

Buttons!

One day I was cleaning out a scrap booking box and found a bag of buttons. Chloe stole it immediately and started playing with the buttons. Since then, I’ve kept them in my ‘Chloe craft/play cupboard’ and I pull them out every once in a while for her to play with. She loves them! When she first started sorting and labeling colours, she was playing with her buttons.
Note: make sure this is a supervised activity, especially if your child likes to stick things in their mouth. Mine doesn’t, and has never put a button in her mouth, but it doesn’t mean she won’t…

I decided to try putting the buttons in a bin yesterday, since Chloe often takes them all over the main level of our house. I also put in some little plastic cups and a paper towel tube to spark some creativity. When Chloe normally plays with buttons, she makes a mess of my house trying to find containers to put buttons in, so this time I saved her the trouble!
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Chloe didn’t want that paper towel tube in this bin. She kept taking it out. I tried pouring buttons through it but she wasn’t interested. We played together for a bit and then I just stepped back and let her play for a while. She probably played for a solid hour.

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When we played together, we did some colour sorting and identification of colours.

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Chloe kept asking for the buttons the rest of the day. I gave her the bin a couple more times throughout the day. It’s such a great quiet activity!

Oh, and I didn’t find this idea on Pinterest. But I used to sensory bin idea I found on Pinterest to create a button sensory bin.