DIY – Bat Silhouette Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of bat silhouettes for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat silhouette pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin(s)
  • Pom poms
  • Sunset colored paints (I used red, orange, purple and yellow)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this bat pattern I’ve created and cut the bats out.
  2. Break off several small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the bats where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  3. Pour non-toxic sunset colored acrylic paints into a pie plate (or something similar) and set out a pom pom for each color.
  4. Use a clothespin to grab one pom pom at a time, or one clothespin per color.
  5. Allow your little one to dab the paint around and over the bats to their heart’s content.
  6. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the bats to reveal their silhouettes!
  7. Hang it up and enjoy! 

DIY – Ghost Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of a ghost for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Ghost pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin
  • Pom pom
  • White paint
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this ghost pattern I’ve created and cut it out of it’s frame, then set the frame aside.
  2. Cut the eyes and mouth out of the ghost shape.
  3. Break off three small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the eyes and mouth where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  4. Pour non-toxic white acrylic paint into a pie plate (or something similar) and use a clothespin to grab ahold of a pom pom.
  5. Place the ghost pattern’s frame around the edges of your cardstock page and dab the pom pom in the white paint, then dab it around in the edges of the ghost’s shape to create a dotted pattern for your little one.
  6. Remove the frame and allow your little one to dab the paint away to their heart’s content.
  7. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the eyes and mouth to reveal!
  8. Hang it up and enjoy!

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! I see much play dough in our future, and while buying it is always a viable option, how fun and cost effective is it to make some on your own?

So let’s make some homemade play dough!

SUPPLIES
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper
  • Gloves
  • Sandwich bags
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the cream of tartar, flour, and salt in a large saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Slowly add the oil and water, stirring until well incorporated.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until the mixture thickens into a dough.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the dough to cool slightly until it can be handled comfortably.
  5. Divide the dough into equal portions based on how many colors you would like, and roll into balls.
  6. Put on gloves and press an indentation into each ball of dough, then add 15 drops of food coloring to the indentation of each ball to start, you can always add more later. 
  7. Knead each ball of dough until the color is well incorporated. If the color is not as bright as you want, you can add more food coloring and knead again.
  8. Enjoy!

*This can be stored in sandwich bags, one for each color. Just be sure to remove all the excess air for longevity of the dough!

Family Friendly Autumnal Activity Ideas

Welcome back Autumn! Every year I look forward to the Autumn and the warmth it generates inside my home and soul. Where I live, September and October are still rather warm on some days, and turn wet and cold as the months progress toward Winter.  I cannot get enough of the rain this time of year. The cold, wet weather begins to take over outside, driving us all inside to be together and warm. There’s nothing like cuddling up with people you love, reading a good book, watching a movie or playing a video game while the weather misbehaves outside.

I intend to spend a lot of time with my family this year and came up with some family friendly ideas I’d like to experience with Zoey! Follow along and try some of these activities for yourself, this is a time we should all enjoy!

We intend to:

  • Bake bread.
  • Bake cookies for family and/or friends.
  • Collect acorns and make art.
  • Collect leaves and make art.
  • Collect rocks and make art.
  • Make nature pressings or rubbings.
  • Donate to a food bank.
  • Go on a hayride.
  • Go puddling in the rain.
  • Have an indoor picnic on a stormy day.
  • Make a bird feeder.
  • Make Halloween decorations.
  • Go trick or treating!
  • Make fresh tortillas.
  • Make homemade play dough.
  • Make stovetop popcorn.
  • Pick apples.
  • Bake apple pie.
  • Drink apple cider.
  • Make caramel apples.
  • Pick out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
  • Give pumpkins a bath.
  • Carve, decorate and/or paint pumpkins.
  • Bake pumpkin bread. 
  • Roast pumpkin seeds.
  • Roast s’mores.

The Benefits of Reading to Children

Stack of Children's BooksZoey’s Bedtime Story is a nighttime ritual I started last year, and this year, the adventure continues! I made a New Year’s resolution to read to Zoey every night this year and we have yet to miss a day!

Reading has always been very special to me. I remember my mom reading to me as a child and I believe it had a profound impact on my love for reading and books, not to mention my performance in school. I want to continue that tradition with Zoey. I want her to hear my voice, hear the diction and the pronunciation, see the beautiful images and eventually enjoy the stories. I imagine her sitting in my lap or lying cozy in her bed while I sit next to her and read, her eyes on the book with rapt attention. In reality, she sits on my lap for about five to ten seconds then tootles all over the room while I keep reading and trying to pull her attention back. I keep going because I know tat the more we read, the more she’ll settle in and pay attention.

There are many benefits of reading to children, no matter their age!

  • Increased attention span
  • Bonding between parent/guardian and child
  • Cognitive and language development
  • Creativity
  • Expanded vocabulary
  • Life lessons
  • Listening skills
  • Social and emotional development

So if you haven’t started reading to your little one(s) it’s not too late to start today! And if you’ve started reading to your little one(s) and their attention is anywhere but on you and the book don’t give up! Consistency is the key!

Please come follow along on my Instagram where I post which book we’re reading each night in my story, and every book I’ve read to her has been saved to the highlights on my profile.

I’ve started a Pinterest Board of all the books I would like to read to Zoey or share with her someday. Check it out to get inspired and please let me know if there are any children books you would recommend; we love sharing stories!

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

Homemade Teething Cookies RecipeLast week, we brought some of the beach to Zoey with edible “sand” made out of graham crackers and oatmeal. After she was done playing, I could not let good food go to waste so I made her some teething cookies with the remaining “sand”.

Not too sweet, but sweet enough to be called cookies instead of crackers, these treats are a hit! They are springy, yet firm enough to soothe her teething gums and she likes them!…Although so does my husband so I’m going to have to convince him not to eat all of them before she can knaw on a few.

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Combine the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them with a mixing spoon until a thick dough has formed. You may need to adjust the amount of water or coconut oil you add depending on how juicy your bananas are.
  3. Section the dough into smaller portions and (using a flat surface and a rolling pin) roll out your dough to 1/4 of an inch thick. You will need to use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and surfaces.
  4. With a circular cookie cutter or a drinking glass (I used a drinking glass), cut cookies out of the dough and place them onto the greased baking sheet.
  5. Cook each sheet of cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful they are hot! Use the spatula or a spoon to test their springiness. They should be firm yet springy when pressed as they are brought out of the oven.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool before serving. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a little more firmness.
  7. Serve and enjoy, but please watch your baby as they eat this to make sure they handle the texture well!

DIY Edible “Sand” for Sensory Playtime

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayIt’s the middle of Summer and I would love to take Zoey to the beach for the first time, but just about everything she picks up is quickly introduced to her mouth! I understand she’s figuring things out (and more power to her), but I’m not super enthusiastic about her ingesting beach sand. So, until she gets a little less eager to put everything in her mouth, why not bring a little beach experience to her?

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. We can make edible “sand” that’s fun to play in and safe to eat out of graham crackers and oatmeal; let’s make it!

Check back next week for the homemade teething cookies I made with the remaining edible “sand”.

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play

SUPPLIES
  • 1 box of graham crackers.
  • 2 cups of oatmeal (I used whole grain old-fashioned oats)
  • A food processor
  • A mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon
  • A container for playing in the “sand” (I used a heavy casserole dish)
  • Beach or ocean themed toys (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Open the graham crackers and blend them in the food processor until they are a fine sand-like texture.
  2. Remove the graham crackers from the food processor and pour them into a mixing bowl.
  3. Measure the oatmeal into the food processor and blend it until it is also a fine sand-like texture.
  4. Remove the oatmeal from the food processor and add it to the mixing bowl with the graham crackers.
  5. Using a mixing spoon, stir the graham crackers and oatmeal together until well combined.
  6. Pour the edible “sand” into the container you’ve chosen for your baby to play in. I used a heavy casserole dish since Zoey’s not strong enough to flip it yet. You can always double or triple the graham cracker and oatmeal ratio if you want to fill a larger container.

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  7. Arrange beach and/or ocean themed toys in the sand for your little one to play with (optional).

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  8. Introduce the edible “sand” to your baby and enjoy!

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayDIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play