Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Swinging into Fall

Hannah's big birthday and Christmas present from her grandparents this year was a swing set - a fabulous Craigslist find that will last for years.  Whenever we get a break in the weather Hannah begs to swing or slide on it.  Unfortunately, the weather has been pretty 'soggy' lately - according to Hannah - and so she's gone quite a few days without playing on it.

But she woke up from nap time today, and the sun was shining!

First things first, she loves to hang on this bar as long as she can.  
(click to enlarge - the face she makes in the last picture makes me snicker.)

And then she has to take the slide for a test drive.
(click to enlarge - again, the last picture is the funniest.)

But she spends most of her time gliding on her 'rocket ship'

and swinging on her belly.

Sometimes I look at a picture of Hannah, and I can get a 
glimpse of what she'll look like as a teenager.  
This is one of those pictures.  My little girl is growing up so fast.

And when she was all done, we had some hot cocoa to warm up.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Autumn Activities for Rainy Days

Here in the Pacific Northwest, Autumn means changing leaves, apple cider, and RAIN.
Lots and Lots of Rain.

Hannah is an active kid, and just a few days into the rainy season she was about to climb the walls.
This mom needed to figure out some activities to help pass the time - and fast.

Here is a video where I detail 3 cheap and quick activities that are fall themed.  Best of all, you can edit them to fit your child's developmental age.

The first activity is a painting project.  Hannah and I discussed the changing (and falling) leaves in our backyard, and the various colors we saw.  I used finger paint, and each color had a dedicated plate and champagne cork.  You could also use wooden stamps, cut up sponges, or fingerprints for older kids.  I painted the tree trunk and let it dry for a few minutes before we started.

Here's Hannah adding the orange layer:

And showing off the red stamp.

She was so proud of herself when she was all done!

We're going to frame it and add it to our Autumn decor.

This next project was done with die cut foam leaves, and a sharpie.  You could substitute cardstock or poster board and cut whatever seasonally appropriate shape you like.

If your child does well with small objects, and there aren't younger children in the home, you could add another layer to this activity by having the child add and count beads.

This is how I stored the activity on our shelves:

tip: Goodwill is a great place to find these wooden trays.  They're usually from Melissa & Doug toys, but I always see them for less than $2 in various sizes and configurations.  They're great to have in your supply closet. 

The third activity is detailed in the video:

I've added this blog post to my Pinterest account. 
Check it, and my other pins, out!

What is your child's favorite rainy day activity?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Costume

I always laugh when someone suggests that I let my toddler decide their birthday theme/their Halloween costume/what to eat for lunch.  Either they've never met a toddler, or my toddler is the most indecisive one on the planet.  The girl changes her mind fifteen times and then crumples in a mess of uncertainty when posed with such life altering decisions.

For Halloween this year I suggested that she either go as Foofa or a Pirate.  

Her current mantra is 'I LOVE Captain Hook' after catching an episode of 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' while I was in the shower.  Now if she picks up all her toys then she can watch an episode before naptime.  Not so surprisingly, she loved both suggestions and couldn't pick between the two.  

Since it's Oregon, and 9 times out of 10 will be drizzly on Halloween, I went with Foofa made from a sweatshirt and long pants.  Cute & Warm was the goal, and I think I succeeded.  If you ask Chris, the goal was not to spend $40 on something she'd wear for 20 minutes and pose for a few pictures in.  This homemade version came in at right about $12 (plus some mommy craftiness time).

I have the pattern for the eyes and flower, as well as a discussion on how to make the 'neck petals' (seriously, what would you call those things?!), but my computer is having a hard time creating a PDF, and Hannah is having a hard time watching me sit on the computer, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some pictures from the quick stroll around the neighborhood:

And for those that have NO idea who Foofa is, she's a character from Yo Gabba Gabba, a kid's show on Nickelodeon.   A picture of the pink wonder and the rest of the Gabba Gang can be found here.



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