Tag

2 year old

Cardboard & Yarn Craft Ornament

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Since Mai has started daycare our craft collection has doubled itself. We have a collection of home crafts & now the take home ones as well. Our kitchen island has a pile of them. This week, we hung up a few of our favorites to display them. This weekend we decided to make some crafts that were meant to be hung. Since Halloween is over & Christmas is everywhere, now was as good a time as any to make our first ornament.

What you will need:

Cardboard

Paint

Yarn

Glue

Directions:

Cut out your desired shape

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Cut out notches in the cardboard.

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Paint the cardboard shape.

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Wrap yarn around an empty toilet paper roll to make it easier for little hands.

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Pull the end of a piece of yarn through one of the notches. Pull tight around another notch & continue until you achieve the look you like. Younger toddlers may need a hand with this.

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Pick a side that you like better. Glue a string to the opposite side.

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Tissue Layering & Paper Plate Crafts

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There are many reasons that I love craft projects with my toddler. One of the big ones is that it keeps her mind & hands occupied. I do many crafts side by side with her, but sometimes it is great to have her work independently while I cook supper or get chores done. Arts & crafts are a far better alternative to sitting in front of the television. This is why I love tissue paper crafting. It can keep her content for long periods of time.

Tearing the tissue into pieces is fun for her destructive little hands. Layering the tissue in different colors & patterns is a great creative outlet for my little artist.

What you will need:

Different colored sheets of tissue paper

Paper plates

Vinegar

Elmer’s glue

Paint brush

Mix 3 parts vinegar with 1 part glue & stir. The vinegar will cause the colors to bleed together & the glue will adhere the tissue to the plate.

Cut or rip the tissue paper into several pieces & colors. Layer the tissue pieces & paint on the vinegar/glue mixture. Do a few pieces at a time. Let dry & then trim the excess that hangs over the edges.

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Mai said that she wanted to make a fish. We picked two colors & layered the bottom of a paper plate. Let it dry & trim around the edges. Cut out a triangle for the mouth & set the triangle aside. Cut out a triangle using a piece of construction paper. Glue the triangle mouth cutout to the inside of the construction paper cutout & glue to the opposite end of the fish’s mouth. Glue a small black circle inside of a larger black circle & glue above the mouth to make an eye.

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Mai wanted to make more animals. She asked for us to make animals that live on a farm. Since Thanksgiving is coming, I suggested a turkey.

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Layer & brush one color of tissue to the center of a paper plate.
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Form another layer around the yellow in orange & then add another layer in red. Let dry. Cut the excess paper around the edges.
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Cut out a shape for the turkey body & glue to the bottom center. Cut a piece for the turkey waddle & glue into place.
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Add a beak & some googly eyes. Finish off your turkey by adding pipe cleaner legs & feet to the bottom.

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Pine Cone & Play-Doh Turkey Crafts

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One of my favorite parts of my daughter’s days at daycare are receiving her daily reports & seeing all of the craft projects that she brings home. I love seeing her beautiful crafts, even the ones that she does with someone else.

This week she brought home a lovely fall one.  It was branches bound together & decorated with Play-Doh. Miss Laura said that Mai worked on it for 2 hours.

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This weekend there was a sale on Play-Doh at the supermarket, so I stocked up. Mai was so excited when I came home with a box filled with 24 different shades of it. She dove right in & started creating.

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She is becoming quite the little artist. Her imagination is developing so quickly. I watched her as she kneaded & forms different shapes & put them together. She explained to me as she molded her creation what she was making.  “Look mama, a frog! He has a blue fly on his tongue.” I have to admit, I was very proud.

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She did not stop there. “Look Mama, I made Dukey’s poop.” Oh dear! It does look like Dukey’s poop.

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Since we already were in such a crafty mood & had a table full of Play-Doh, I thought we could make something together.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This just require pine cones & Play-doh. I used craft pine cones only because they were handy. You can use ones from your yard as well.

Form & mold the turkey’s head to the fat part of the pine cone. Show your child how to do it & let them do it to their own.
(If your pine cone is wobbly, place a chunk of Play-doh underneath to keep sturdy.)

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Form long oval shaped pieces to use as the turkey feathers.

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Insert towards the back between the pine cone scales.

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Again, show your little one how to do it.

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Add the beak. Older children may be able to do this step, but the smaller hands might need the help. Mai asked mama to make her turkey face.

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Add the eyes next.

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Add the turkey’s waddle & you are done.

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Toddler Cold Remedies

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It has been a vicious 4 weeks in our home. The change of season has brought a lot of beauty, fall treats & fun things to do, but it has also brought with it a collection of colds, stomach bugs & other viruses. Let the passing around of illnesses begin. Until I can find a giant bubble on Amazon or matching hazmat suits, it is inevitable that we will continue to get sick as the cooler weather approaches.

This week our daughter was sick for the 3rd time within the past few weeks. She has had a rough run of it & so have mommy and daddy. The difference is we can take medicine to alleviate our symptoms. There are not many options over the counter for a toddler, but there are things that you can do to remedy your young one’s symptoms.

Fluids: Keeping them hydrated is essential. Fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration. Give them water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices.

Rest: Our poor little toddler’s bodies are working so hard when they are sick that they need the extra sleep to get better. Of course as we all know, if a toddler does not want to sleep they won’t. Books, videos and cuddle time are a great way to get them to relax.If you are lucky they will doze off somewhere in between.

Garlic: When I was sick as a child, my father used to make me hold a clove of garlic between my teeth. He said that it had healing properties. Turns out he was right. I am not so sure if holding it between the teeth will work, but eating it certainly will. If your child has an appetite, add a little fresh minced garlic to their meal.

Vapor Rub: Vapor rub is wonderful for clearing a stuffy nose. Do not apply too close to the face. When our daughter caught her first cold I read that you should apply the rub to the feet instead of the chest.  I did it & then tried it on myself the next time I was sick. It worked great. Our daughter loves Vicks. She asks for it even when she is not sick, of course mommy has to say no.

Humidifier: Every home should have one of these. A cool mist humidifier can help ease many cold symptoms. Running one while they sleep can help the little one breath better and control coughs.

Honey: Raw honey has a number of health benefits. It can be used on skin ailments & it can be used to help cold symptoms. It is a great alternative to cough syrup. If your child is resistant to take a spoonful like mine is, sneak it into their juice or try a peanut butter & honey sandwich.

Ball Syringe: Have your child blow their nose as much as possible to clear out all of the mucus. Too much mucus can lead to post nasal drip which will irritate their throat more. Teach them not to suck it back in. If they let you, use a ball syringe to clear out the mucus.

Chicken Soup: Every mama’s favorite cold cure is hot chicken soup. Studies have proven that this is not just an old wives tale.

Popsicles: The frozen treats are fun to eat & will help sooth their little sore throats. Try to stick to bars that are 100% fruit juice.

Elevation: There is a reason that your child’s cough & sniffles always seem worse at night. Staying propped up will keep the nasal passages clear.

Don’t forget to give plenty of hugs, kisses & cuddles while your precious little ones heal.

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Patriots “Foot”ball

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As you already know from my ‘Football Widow’s Rant’, I am not a football fan. I could care less about it. My husband loves it. He loves all sports really, but football is his favorite. From the day our daughter was born, we both hoped that we would be able to share our interests with our daughter. For me, I hoped that she would enjoy art & doing crafts with mommy. She does & I couldn’t be happier. My husband has a longer list of interests. He dreams of running marathons with her as she gets older, playing golf and taking her to sporting events. He is off to a good start as she has already run her first fun run, loves golfing with daddy & at 2 years old is already a Pats fan.

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At only 7 days old, Mai watched her first game with her father. Fast forward to today where she gets excited when she sees the Patriots emblem, cries if her Pats sweatshirt is dirty and screams “Good job, Tom Brady!!” at the game while stuffing popcorn down her gullet.

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Who knows if her love for football & the Patriots will continue as she gets older, but for now daddy is enjoying his little New England fan. I thought we could make a keepsake for them to look back on some day.

Mai loves foot & hand crafts. She thinks it is fun to paint her feet up. I had to help to ensure that we had the colors in the right spots.

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While the paint dried, Mai thought it was only fair that she got to paint mommy’s feet too.

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When the paint dried, we painted on our Patriot’s game face, dated it & framed it for daddy. He loved it of course. GO PATS!

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do.

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“Do as I say, not as I do” This is the hypocrite’s mantra, an expression abused by parents for years to justify the fact that they are modeling bad behavior. I think about some of the things that I say to my daughter and then think about my own actions. I realized something. I am not always leading by the best example. How can I ask something of my daughter that I don’t always follow myself?

“Pick up your mess.” – I am not sure how I could ever get that statement out with a straight face. As I speak the words out loud, my mind wanders to my unmade bed, the pile of laundry sitting in my hamper & the tumbleweeds of dog hair that just rolled over my feet. I am just waiting for her to say “I’ll pick up my toys when you run a Swiffer over this floor.”

“Don’t say no to Mommy” – No! I said don’t say no. No, don’t shake your head no. No, I said no. Why are you still saying “no” to mommy? Maybe I should try only saying yes.

“No sweets before dinner. It will ruin your appetite.” – These words have been muttered as I ducked behind the kitchen island to pop a handful of Hershey kisses in my mouth.
“Mama, what you eatin?”
“It’s a piece of broccoli, honey. Broccoli is good for dinner.”
I think she bought it. Is there any chocolate on my teeth?

“Don’t yell at the dog” – Perhaps, I raise my voice occasionally at our furry baby.
“DuUuUuUkE!, GET IN THE HOUSE!” “SToOoOOoooP BaRkInG!” “DON’T SNIFF THE BABY’S BUTT!!”
OK, I am definitely to blame for her yelling at our pup. I have however, never put a towel on his back & tried to ride him like a horse. She came up with that one all on her own.

“We have to put your jacket on. It is cold outside.” – I have been known to walk out of my house in the dead of winter with flip flops on. A few years ago I got poison ivy on my chest because I brought in the firewood from outside wearing nothing but a pair of underwear & sneakers. Don’t judge me.

“It’s late, it is time to go to bed” –  I think my daughter has a checklist under her pillow of excuses for why she shouldn’t go to sleep.
“Mama, I need juice for my throat.” Check!
“My tummy hurts, I need a rub.” Check!
“I want a cheese sandwich.” Check!
I think she forgot “Mama, I got a poop in my butt.”
I have a similar list.
The Big Bang Theory marathon is on tonight. Maybe I should do some housework. (I can’t even say that without laughing). I need to write in my blog. So here I am typing away at midnight thinking “Wow, it’s late. I should probably go to bed, but of course I won’t, because I need juice (wine) for my throat too.

If Mai asks I went to sleep at 8 o’clock.

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Teaching The Value Of Money

IMG_5417They say “Money can’t buy you happiness.” This may be true, but it sure can buy you a lot of things that make you happy. People love money. Even at an early age the love of money begins. My daughter may not comprehend the value of money, but she sure does know that she likes it. Whenever there is spare change lying around, her face lights up & she hoards it for her piggy bank.

Mai is in her “I want that” phase. We can barely leave the house without it. At the grocery store I hear it echoing down every aisle. “I want the Goldfish crackers.” “I want the funny juice box.” Alright, but you’re buying today. It is funny, she never does.

Children’s brands are clever. They advertise everywhere. Luckily, we do not watch much television that contains commercials, but those marketers find a way to sneak in a ad anywhere. While reading to Mai ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’, she noticed the back book jacket with the author’s other books on it.

“Mama, I want the pig with the pancake.”

“I’m sorry honey. We don’t have that book.”

“Mama, you go to the store & get the pig with the pancake?”

Siiiiiiiigh! Thank goodness for the library.

I can remember at a young age my mother telling me “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” My smart ass remark back was always “Yes it does. Money is made out of paper & paper grows on trees.” Oh how, I wish I could go back in time & smack the crap out of myself.

We want Mai to grow up understanding the value of money and how to spend responsibly, but for now we will just start with her being able to differentiate between those coins that she loves to hoard. Here is an easy coin sorting activity.

What you will need:

2 paper plates

A couple of markers

Glue

Scissors

Assorted change

Directions: Money is dirty, so be sure to clean your change first. On one plate, slice 4 slits on the back just long enough to fit each coin. Use a marker & write the value of each coin to the side of the slit. On the other side of the slit, attach the coin with glue or with tape. Write the coin name underneath. Place the other plate down normally. Staple or glue the paper plate with the coins to the other one so that the coins are on top. It will form a little container to insert & catch the coins in.

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“Mama, now we put them in the piggy bank?” The kid is no dummy.

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Halloween Pasta Crafts

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Is it weird that I have 8 boxes of pasta in my house designated only for crafting? I have more pasta for arts & crafts than I do for actually eating. I love pasta crafts. It is so much fun to work with and it comes in so many varieties & shapes. You can paint it, string it together & glue it. They are so many possibilities.

When I asked Mai if she wanted to make pasta skeletons with mommy tonight, she jumped up and threw her hands in the air & said “Yeeeeeeaaaah & and we make pasta monsters, and pasta kitty cat & a pasta mama and dada….”
Taking one of my daughter’s suggestions, we made some pasta monsters too.

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What you will need:

Unlined ziti

Mezza Rigatoni

Elbow macaroni

Farfalle

Small shells

Jumbo shells for stuffed shells

Ditalini

Wagon Wheels

Hot Glue gun

Yarn

Paint

While Mai painted the jumbo shells for the monsters, I started to string & glue the skeleton together.

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Directions:

Using a piece of yarn, string up 2 pieces of ziti with 2 pieces of Ditalini between them. Tie on knot on each end. Press the glue gun into each end & push the knot into the pasta & insert glue. Make 3 more exactly like this. You will need 4 total for arms & legs.
Use a piece of yarn to string up 2 pieces of ziti with 2 pieces of Ditalini between them. Tie a knot on each end. Press the glue gun into each end & push the knot into the pasta & insert glue. Make 3 more exactly like this. You will need 4 total for arms & legs.
Take two of the pasta/yarn strands. Glue the a small shell to the ziti end on each strand. Glue one piece of Farfalle to each strand using the Ditalini end.
Take two of the pasta/yarn strands. Glue a small shell to the ziti end of each strand. Glue one piece of farfalle to each strand using the ditalini end.
Glue 3 pieces of elbow macaroni to both ends of a piece of ziti as shown.
Glue 3 pieces of elbow macaroni to both ends of a piece of ziti as shown to form the rib cage.
Glue the rib cage to the center of the Farfalle.
Glue the rib cage to the center of the farfalle.
Stack to elbow pieces to the top of the rib cage and glue into place. Place two rigatoni on either side of this. From the ditalini side, glue the other two pre-made strands to the rigatoni.
Stack two elbow pieces to the top of the rib cage and glue into place. Place two rigatoni pieces on either side of this. From the ditalini side, glue the other two pre-made strands to the rigatoni. Glue two elbows to the bottom of each arm.
Fold a strand of yarn in half. Insert both ends into one piece of ziti & knot off on the end. Push the knot into the ziti with glue gun & squeeze a drop of glue on each end of the ziti.
Fold a strand of yarn in half. Insert both ends into one piece of ziti & knot off on the end. Push the knot into the ziti with glue gun & squeeze a drop of glue on each end of the ziti.
Glue the ziti inside of a jumbo shell with about a half inch of the ziti sticking out for the neck. Use a drop of glue to secure the yarn strands on the other end of the shell.
Glue the ziti inside of a jumbo shell with about a half inch of the ziti sticking out for the neck. Use a drop of glue to secure the yarn strands on the other end of the shell.

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Next we were on to our monsters. Mai & I made quite a mess as we painted our pieces for our monsters.

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PASTA MINIONS

Directions: These are directions to make one minion. Paint a jumbo shell & two pieces of ziti yellow. Paint two wagon wheels white with a dot brown in the center. (We used blue, because Mai wanted blue eyes.) Paint two small shells & one ditalini black. Let the paint dry. Use the glue gun to glue wagon wheels in place for the eyes. Use black paint to paint a thick line on either side of the wagon wheels so that it looks like goggles. Paint in your mouth & teeth using black & white paint. With blue paint, paint the bottom 3rd portion of your minion. Paint a thick stick of black around each yellow ziti piece. Let dry. Glue the ziti to the sides of the minion to make arms. Glue the two small black shells to the bottom of the minion to form feet. Glue a black ditalini in the middle of the blue painted portion of the minion.

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PASTA MONSTER

Paint a jumbo shell, 6 ziti pieces, 1 elbow macaroni & 4 small shells green. Paint one wagon wheel white. Add a blue circle in the middle & then a black dot. Let dry. Glue the ziti arms in place using 2 pieces on each side. Glue a small shell to the end of each arm to form a hand. Glue two pieces of ziti in place for the legs & then add the small shells as feet. Glue the wagon wheel eye in place & then add the elbow macaroni over the eye to form an eyelid. Paint in a crooked mouth with black paint & dot with white for teeth. Let dry.

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15 Reasons That My Husband Is Like Our Toddler

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Once upon a time not so long ago I had a sweet little mama’s girl. One day she woke up and decided that mommy was old news & that daddy was the new headliner. It stung a little, alright it stung a lot, but it made perfect sense. I am not nearly as much fun as daddy is. They do have a lot in common after all & I am not just talking about the blond hair, blue eyes and dimples.

1. They both have a keen sense of fashion. 

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2. They think farts are funny.

3. They both have a hard time getting their pee into the toilet.

4. Neither one listens to me when I speak.

5. They would both prefer to run around the house naked.

6. They think Doritos & jelly beans are an acceptable lunch.

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7. Neither has an issue wearing stained clothing.

8. They both laugh at there own jokes.

9. Both get cranky when they haven’t had a nap.

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10. Neither one will eat their vegetables.

11. They both like Elsa from Frozen.

12. They leave crumbs everywhere.

13. I have to remind them both to brush their teeth.

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14. They both will eat food that fell on the ground.

15. Most importantly, they both love me.

Check out Living In Momarchy’s list of 12 things her toddler & dogs have in common.

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