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Monday, October 14, 2013

4 simple toddler activities for Halloween/Fall

Halloween is not really a huge deal for me  but I do enjoy the things that come along with this time of year. I love eating anything with pumpkin, I love seeing the trees changing colors and the brisk cool air. Last year was hard because my little guy was only 8 months in October so we couldn't really do too much but I did put pumpkins out for him to explore and I remember that he loved touching them and throwing the small pumpkins.

This year he's older and at 19 months is able to do a lot more even though he'd still rather throw the small pumpkins. So here are 4 very easy activities that you can do with your toddler. 

Activity #1 Footprint Ghost card


Last week I set up an area in the kitchen and started making these footprint ghosts with my little one. He loves to paint and this is only the second footprint project that we've done. He helped me paint his foot and enjoyed stamping his footprint on this black paper. I made sure to describe what I was doing and used descriptive words as we made these prints. It's a great sensory activity and he kept asking to do more until we finally ran out of black paper. I turned these ghost footprints into a Halloween card for our friends and family. Inside I put a picture of my little guy with a jack o lantern hot air ballon behind him that we took at this weekends balloon fiesta, here in Albuquerque.

Activity #2 Pumpkin collage

We started this project by tearing up some orange tissue paper. I had him help me tear it up in the morning and then we completed the activity in the afternoon. I cut two pieces of contact paper into circles and peeled off the sticky part.


I let me little guy feel the sticky paper and then modeled putting the paper onto the paper. He started helping me and then really got into covering the paper with the tissue paper. He did one whole pumpkin on his own and then half of the second pumpkin before loosing interest. 

This was great for fine motor skills, we also talked a lot about textures and colors and sizes as we did this project. I then cut out the black eyes, stem and mouth and added them to the pumpkins. We taped these onto our door under our fall wreath.

Activity #3 Gel Squishy bag


This was a Pinterest inspired Halloween bag. I was looking for Hair gel but ended up using Purell since I found a huge bottle on clearance. I used food coloring to dye the Purell and then added some squishy spiders, google eyes and pompoms into the bag and sealed with duct tape. My little guy loves these gel bags. He's working his hand eye coordination when he lays with them because he tries to move the spider or eyes to a certain area of the bag. I also use lots of words as he uses it, colors, shapes, numbers etc.

Activity #4 Painting Pumpkins

As I mentioned earlier my little guy loves to paint!! I honestly sometimes just give him a wet brush and tell him to paint the patio floor and he enjoys that!! Anyway back to the pumpkins. I used a large plastic square used to put under high chairs for messy eaters and had my little one start painting. I didn't care that he mixed colors, I just let him do what he wanted and I loved watching him look at the colors and pick which color he wanted. It was so interesting to watch him decide which color to use. Towards the end he started finger painting which made this an even better sensory activity. We put some of his handprints at the bottom of the pumpkin. I used some tape to tape off eyes and mouth so that he could paint around them and so the shapes would show once I took the tape off. Here are the finished products.

This activity was a hit!! I'm sure we'll be painting something else tomorrow or even adding darker paints on top of these. I love watching my little guy get into a project, he didn't mind getting dirty and even started painting his hands on his own to make hand prints. 

I love watching my baby boy enjoy these activities, I hope you will try some of these activities. I'd love to hear how your little one liked these activities as well. Leave a comment if you try any of these activities with your little one. Happy Fall Ya'll!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Table and chair makeover

I've been wanting to buy my little guy a table and chair set for a while now. I thought this would be great for working on projects, eating snacks etc. I knew I didn't want a picnic table type because I was afraid he'd fall, or worse want to balance on the bench like I accidentally taught him to do on our planters. 

I've been checking on Craigslist for several months until I finally scored!! I saw two separate posts, one for 2 chairs ($5) and one for a table ($10). Luckily both were still available.

So I bought them and knew that I wanted to repaint them. After reading several Pinterest posts I settled on going with the valspar spray paint for plastics.
I got it in red so that it could go with his Baseball theme room. This paint was $5.44 at Lowe's. I took the legs off of the table and washed the surface of the table and chairs with soap and water.


The table and chairs had water in them so my dad drilled a small hole for the water to drain from them. He then sprayed the table top and chairs.

Here's the finished product. 
The fresh coat of paint gave new life to these old faded items. I can't wait to move into our new house and find the perfect spot for this.

Don't mind my little guy, he was smelling rose petals. He loved the table and chairs too!! For a little over $20 I have a great  table for my little guy!! This was a very quick and very easy project and well worth it. These sets run anywhere from $50-$60 for the set.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

No Sew Fire Fighter outfit

I love to make things for my little guy, however, I usually have a very limited window of time where he is asleep long enough to get much done. With that said, I'm always looking for simple yet nice things that I can do myself. 

A couple of weeks ago I was asked what my little guy was going to be for Halloween, I honestly hadn't given it much thought with our upcoming move and all. I started thinking of what interests my little guy has and also the weather. He gets hot very easily so I didn't want a bulky costume. I remembered that he loves his rain boots, I usually have to hide them otherwise he wants to wear them everyday. So I started my Pinterest search so that I could create a fire fighter outfit.

I found several ideas that I liked and started gathering my materials. Here's the link to the Pin that inspired me. http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2010/10/happy-
halloweenand-look-at-what-you.html

I purchased a black jacket and black pants 
and the helmet. Total spent on the clothing 
was about $14 and $6 for the helmet.
I also purchased some duct tape ($3) in a neon 
green, I could not find red or yellow but my 
dad reassured me it would look fine. I
followed the example and added the stripes 
to the clothing.
 
I wanted to add the silver line but the duct 
tape I had at home was very wrinkled so I 
used some shimmery sticker paper that I had
in my craft room and just cut it into strips and 
placed  in the middle of each neon stripe.
And there you go a fire fighter outfit. I had seen
 some that retailed for $19.99 but the quality 
was horrible. I know my little guy will be 
comfortable in this outfit and if I really 
want to I can simply take the tape off and 
reuse the clothing.

I can't wait to see my little guy in this outfit :).
This project didn't take much time maybe 
two hours max and that's with interruptions.