Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reusing Christmas Bows - A Counting Activity

A couple of months ago I saw a post to create a counting activity using ghosts. At the time I thought it was a cute idea and something to do another year. But then I saw a similar activity using bows (Christmas Bow Counting Activity) and I thought now is the time to make it. 

While drawing the numbers of the poster board, I learned how important it is when doing any project for a toddler, who is sitting next to you, to not leave writing utensils in that toddler's reach. But I just have to laugh it off because the project is for him so who cares if it looks perfect as long as he's happy to play with it and can enjoy it and learn from it. 

I deliberated on what materials to use for this project for a while. Should I use poster board and have one big piece with the bows to put on to it? Or should I use card stock with smaller, individual pieces for him to put the bows on? I finally decided on using a piece of poster board putting the numbers at the top and the bottom and then allowing him to count out the bows on to it. This way we can use it for other holidays and can count out different objects like hearts for Valentine's Day, ghosts for Halloween or four leaf clovers for St Patrick's Day. 

I used numbers from an alphabet set purchased at the dollar store and traced them onto the poster board instead of gluing them to allow for extra creativity. I let my toddler pick out which color each number was going to be on the board. So even though it doesn't look perfect, since I was tracing the numbers and coloring them in, it is created with love. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Toddler's Christmas Felt Tree

Like many moms, I have discovered the joys and pitfalls of Pinterest. I quickly started creating many boards of all different topics including enough birthday party ideas for my two littles to last into their teens.

For now winter crafts and activities, specifically Christmas, has received a lot of attention as I am very determined to start doing more organized activities with my toddler as he gets older. After pinning everything from coloring pages to paper roll crafts, I stumbled across something I wanted to make him.  A Felt Christmas Tree.

I found several examples but the one I really liked was Vicki's from Nap Time Magic: Toddler Christmas Tree because it was movable. This was a key factor because I had to make sure that my toddler could play with it away from my 8 month old.

So far the tree has been a success with my guy. He has a set of felt ornaments I made specifically for the tree and some other felt animals and letters that were left from a cloth book project. Typical of any child, he is using the ornaments both on and off of the tree so it is getting twice the use which is great of any 'toy.'

  • 1 yard of green felt 
  • 1 tri-fold display board
  • felt of various colors (dependent on your ornament choices)
  • emobroadiary thread (if you wish to sew embleshments onto your ornaments)
  • velcro with adhesive (Instead of gluing my tree to the display board, I use velcro so that way I could create other felt scenes later.) 
  • general craft supplies (scissors, glue, needle, paper, etc) 

Our Tree 

Organizing the oranaments 

The star has to go on top.

Some Ornaments 

Christmas Felt Tree Ideas 

Winter Crafts

Ornament Ideas 

Felt Ornaments

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Craft

Completed Project
We decided to make ourselves and the grandparents a handprint Turkey for Thanksgiving from our toddler. I got the idea from various Facebook pages and Pinterest Pins.

Considering last Christmas my son did not want any parts of having paint on his hands for a mitten ornament we were making, I was pleasantly surprised at his enthusiam for this project. 

I painted his hands different colors using a cotton ball and finger paints. We also painted his foot brown to make the body of the turkey. Afterwards, I let him paint some Thanksgiving pictures with the cotton balls since they still had paint left on them. 

He loved every minute of it. The end project turned out great. I can't wait to try this next year with his sister. 

My Son's Blue Hand

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Getting Ready

I am a person who likes to be very organized. For example, when I was teaching high school, I had a binder for each chapter or topic as well as a folder on my laptop.
So that is where I started my journey in teaching my toddler. I got a small binder filled it with paper, tabs, and folders and started taking notes. I set it aside for a few weeks as life took me on other journeys. When I wanted it, I couldn't find it. I spent several days looking everywhere. Thankfully it didn't disappear into the void and I did find it again. But that often seems the pattern for my life. When I need something, it vanishes.
Getting started is an exciting adventure but the path to it is too frequently filled with obstacles.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Describing Oneself

I sat here last night and tried my best to come up with a tagline for Google+ and an introduction to myself. Anything I wrote seemed very trivial. Who really cares what television shows I like or what video games I like to play or watch others play on YouTube? Is that really who I am?

Just a short five years ago I would have introduced myself as a history teacher who liked reading Mercedes Lackey novels, watching Project Runway and other similar reality shows, and going to ice hockey games.  Today I feel like the only thing that adequately describes me is: Mom.  Somedays I am okay with that description and others I feel like I want more out of my life. But for now I am a mom who wants to teach her children.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Starting a new project

I have been contemplating what to write in my very first blog post. Do I introduce myself? Explain why I want to start this new project? Should I write about my journey to picking a blog name? What are my goals for this project?

Questions fill most of my life as a mom and a teacher. I question how to do things best for my family and myself. I review choices and decisions regularly.

Maybe that is the real reason why I have decided to start this new project. To work through thoughts, to express my joy and sadness in being a mom, to share crafts and lessons, and to voice my ideas on various topics.

In the end, who really knows where this quest will lead me. I just hope to become a better person because of the journey.