Our daughter is a fan of the television. I am not a fan of her watching television, but still we do let her watch videos & toddler appropriate programming in moderation. She does not like it when we shut off the TV. She is a smart cookie though & knows how to work her family.
Daddy: “Mai, we have to shut of the TV.”
Mai: “How bout, we watch Patriots.”
She knows her daddy’s weakness.
She also knows her nana’s. “Nana, do you want to watch Cooking Channel?
Mai enjoys watching cooking with her nana. She also loves helping in the kitchen and pretend cooking in her play kitchen.
Her favorite pretend food to make is cake. She makes cakes out of Play-doh. She stacks her stacking cups to make tiered cakes & then decorates them with the cherries from her Hi Ho Cherrio game. There is a learning exercise on ABC Mouse that allows you to decorate cakes & she adores this. She will draw with her imaginary icing & place flowers & fruit all over her virtual cake.
To help inspire our future little cake boss to continue to make tasty treats, we came up with this felt birthday cake for her to decorate.
What you will need:
A medium sized plain cardboard hat box
Assorted colors of felt sheets
Craft pom poms
Cut out letters & numbers. Make as many different fruits & flowers as you like. Let your little baker go to work decorating their cake.
If you ask my daughter how old she is, she will tell you that she is 1. My mother-in-law taught her this many months ago. She is turning 2 next month & if you ask her how old she is going to be next month, she will answer that correctly as well. I love that she knows this. We have been working on numbers with her for some time, now. One of our favorite books is ‘Ten Little Ladybugs’ This has been a great book for her to learn to count with.
While counting the lady bugs, I will count up until the last bug & pause. 1, 2, 3…. and Mai will yell out “4”. Good job, baby! She knows her sequence of numbers from 1-10, but I am not quite sure if she know what these numbers mean. Lately, I have noticed that if she sees a pair, she will point out to me that there are 2. I thought that she would be ready to start recognizing higher quantities. Let’s see how she does with our DIY counting crafts.
Counting by Petals
Outline a petal in pencil on a piece of cardboard.
Cut out the shape for the apple, stem & a leaf out of felt for each apple. Cut out a smaller apple shape out of cardboard & glue the front & back of the apple around the cardboard with the stem adhered to the inside. Set leaf aside.
Cut out a piece of velcro & attach to the back end of the leaf where you would like it to attach to the apple.
Draw in a number or cut out a felt number to put on the leaf that will correspond with the number of worms in the apple.
Make a worm hole to correspond with the number of worms you will have. Glue 2/3 of the way around on the edge. Leave the middle open to form a pocket to fit the pipe cleaner worm.
Cut a small section of pipe cleaner to make your worm & make an eye with magic marker. Place the worm in the worm hole pocket.
While Mai enjoyed playing with the worms & petals, I think she was still a bit young to recognize the numerals & match them up correctly, but we will keep counting & practicing & having fun learning along the way.
I’m a New Englander. Tonight, marks the first snowfall of the season for us. There is a love /hate relationship between snow with most New Englanders. Every year, I get excited when that first snowflake drops. It just does not feel like the holidays with out it. That first snowfall is so beautiful. It is perfect and untouched. It makes the ground & the trees glisten and it just invites you to come out & play in it. Then the problem is you do, then realize that it is also cold & wet and that you would rather be inside by the fireplace sipping your cocoa.
Last year was my daughter’s first winter. We couldn’t wait to take her outside & pull her around the yard in her sled, but once we got out there, I immediately began to worry about the cold. We pulled Mai around the yard a couple of times, took this happy family picture & then went back in the house where it was warm.
I said to myself, “Next year will be better.” ” She will be older. We can build a snowman.”
Well the year flew by & here we are already into another winter. As the snow is touching down on the ground, I am already daydreaming about taking our daughter out in the snow again.
I know myself though & the paranoid mommy in me will probably do the same again this year. It made me think, I wish I could bring some of the fun of the snow into the warmth of our home.
I have seen a number of felt projects in my travels though Pinterest & other bloggers. I have seen the felt Christmas trees, advent calendars & a clever felt gingerbread house. Why couldn’t I make a felt snowman?
Let me just warn you ahead of time. I am not a seamstress. Sometimes I see some of the other posts on here, of recipes, family anecdotes, photos & crafts and it makes me feel a little inadequate. I am not a chef, I am not a writer, a photographer or a very good sewer.
I am a mommy, with big ideas, a tight wallet & all the best intentions, so occasionally my projects come out less than perfect. This would be one of those times.
White Felt – I used about 2 yards
Black & orange felt (or colors of your own choosing)
Needle & thread
Sewing machine (optional, you may sew by hand if you do not own one)
Fiber fill (I used 2 30 oz bags)
Bean bags (I filled Ziplocks with rice)
Decide how big of a snowman that you want. Draw out your circle on the felt.
Cut 2 of the same sized circles.
Sew the two circles together by sewing around the edges. Do not sew all the way around. Leave a large opening unsewn.
Stuff fiber fill in the open end.
Here was mess up #1. I originally made the snowman just with the fiber fill stuffing thinking that this was going to be stable enough to stay upright. I was wrong. I reopened the bottom of the snowman & filled the bottom with homemade bean bags of Ziplock bags & rice.
a piece of cardboard to fit the shape of the bottom of your snowman.
Place inside the bottom of the snowman with the bean bags on top.
Sew the bottom shut & then go and get a manicure because your nails look horrible.
If you are actually a seamstress, I am sure that you could bring a more polished look to this idea. The snowman is lumpy & I made a lot of sewing mistakes but my little girl loved her snowman. She was placing the button & coal pieces all over the place & thought that the scarf was his dress. She hugged him & tried to feed him some of her milk. Sometimes, imperfection can be beautiful…
It can sometimes be exhausting finding activities to fill your toddler’s day, especially when they are as curious as my busy baby. We try to fill her days with fun activities and books but sometimes (and don’t think me a bad mom) it is a nice break to sit her down in front of Disney Junior or a Baby Einstein video, so I can fix dinner or just grab a moment for ourselves.
Lately she has been requesting to watch television far more than I want to accommodate. Mommy created a bad habit. This worries me. She has a particular fondness to ‘Little Einstein’s’. “Stein, Stein” she asks, when she wants to watch them. She loves these characters. I came across a few different ideas for puppets the other day & it made me think, maybe I could give her those characters she loves without having to turn on the dreaded t.v.
If you have been following us, you know that I love working with felt. It is easy & fun to work with & fairly inexpensive.
What you will need…
Needle & thread
Decide how large you would like your puppets. Trace out the shape of your characters. I used a white marker, so lines would be less visible if missed after cutting. Cut out the body of your puppet (front & back).
Use scissor to cut out facial details such as eyes and mouth & hair if needed.
Use your glue gun to secure details to the body of the puppet.
Use markers to draw in fine details such as eyelashes or eyebrows.
Sew around the outside of the body to secure the front & back of the puppet together.
Repeat this process for all characters.
Here is our finished ‘Little Einstein’ collection…
I found inspiration for this project from a pin that I found on Pinterest a while ago.
It was felt Christmas tree, with movable decorations.I remember thinking what a fabulous idea, a felt Christmas tree that my toddler can decorate herself. It reminded me of the Colorforms from my childhood. I loved this idea but did not think that it would appeal to my daughter, as she does not understand the concept of a Christmas tree yet. I wanted to take this idea and apply it to something that would peak her interest now.
Mai is a lover of animals, so I could not think of anything that would grab her attention more than a farm.
Supplies that I used for this project..
Different colored felt
I use felt on a lot of projects, so luckily I had almost everything I needed already.
I started with a 36″ X 36″ of green felt for my background. I added blue felt to the top for the sky, attaching it with the glue gun. I then applied glue to the sky and dragged cotton balls across it to form the clouds.
I added a barn with a dirt road to complete my background.
Mai & Duke helped too.
I then drew and cut out all of the movable pieces. Our farm included a pond, tree, horse, duck, sheep, pig, cow & a rooster. Mai was quick to point out after I finished, that there was no hop, so I quickly made a bunny.
Our farm was now complete. Felt sticks to felt, so you can also hang this on the wall and the movable pieces will stick.
The verdict: It was a hit. She loved pointing out all the animals to mommy and daddy and moving the pieces around.
Since I was still in a crafty mood and had alot of felt left over, I made one more project.
These should keep my busy little toddler occupied for at least 5 minutes. Sigh!