Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snow Paint Activity

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We got three inches of snow followed by thirteen plus inches of snow this past week so needless to say we were snowed in for a couple of days. Once the snow stopped my husband went out to shovel the driveway and we joined him a little later to play in the snow. Since my daughter just turned two, I tried to come up with something fun and easy to do in the snow. My daughter loves crayons and chalk so I figured I would try to make something for her to color with in the snow. I dug through the cabinets and found a couple of squirt water bottles I had gotten for free over the years. I added some water and food coloring to the bottles, went outside and we had an hour or so of fun. I had to refill the bottles at one point because my daughter loved it so much! Since my husband was shoveling the driveway, it created a perfect wall for my daughter to color on and allowed her to see what she was doing a lot easier than flat snow.



Snow Paint is super easy to make. Here is what you will need:

- Food Coloring
- Water
- Squirt Bottles: you can use anything that squirts 



Squirt Bottle Options:
We used squirt water bottles we already had but you can buy them cheap at the Dollar Store. You could also use a spray bottle which I almost did but with my daughters gloves it would of been to hard for her to squeeze and I didn't want her to go gloveless. Other options are old condiment containers like ketchup or mustard that squirts out or a Squeeze Bottle you can also find at the Dollar Store. Another possible option would be to poke a hole in the top of a water bottle.




         
        



Once you have gathered your supplies, if you haven't figured it out already, all you have to do is fill your squirt bottle with water, add food coloring and shake. That's it, it's that easy to make! 

I added 5-8 drops of food coloring to each bottle to get the colors I wanted. I only used the original food coloring colors, Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow but you can create Orange by mixing Yellow (5) and Red (1) and Purple by mixing Blue (3) and Red (3). If the colors are off, add more food coloring or just leave it because I'm sure your child won't mind.

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If your child is old enough, let them help prepare the bottles by either adding the food coloring or shaking the bottle to mix it together. Children love to help when they know it's something they get to play with!
  
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Once you have prepared the bottles, go outside and have some fun! You can make cool designs, draw pictures, or just squirt it all over the snow. The snow makes a beautiful canvas for your child's art and I promise they will love it.  I had to help my daughter because after all she is only two but she caught on fast and loved it if you can't tell in the pictures. If the bottles get low, run inside and refill them. I will definitely make snow paint in the future for my children to play with!

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Above is part of our finished master piece. We painted the snow on both sides of the driveway, drew hearts, happy faces, our names, and scribbles. We had the prettiest snow in our neighborhood by far!

Below is my sweet little family playing in the snow, winter 2016. My daughter loved the snow this year, thank goodness, and my son just chilled. He was fine as long as the snow didn't touch his face. I hope everybody has a safe, fun and warm winter!




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DIY Play Make-Up

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My two year old is obsessed with make-up and chap stick. She thinks every time she goes into my room she needs to put chap stick on. She has tried to play with my make-up before and succeeded at playing with Grandma's make-up before so I decided it was time for her to have some of her own. No I'm not going to give her real make-up because I don't want her painting her beautiful face just yet but play make-up can't hurt. 

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This play make-up is super cheap and super easy to make, all you need is some old or cheap nail polish in any color you want and some empty make-up containers. Make sure the make-up containers are clean then pour the nail polish into the containers and let dry. Once the nail polish has dried you can close the containers and place in a cute purse or make-up bag, in this case my mom put them in a sea shell purse and that's it, you're done. It's that easy!!!


Things to know:
- You can use old nail polish you don't want any more or you can find $1 nail polishes at any Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, etc...

- You can use empty make-up containers or buy new make-up for cheap at a Dollar Store and remove the make-up. I personally think that it is a waste of make-up though so I recommend using old, empty containers.

- I used a little less than half a bottle to make one blush. I'm not positive how much my mom used but I would assume ¼ a bottle for each eye shadow and almost a full bottle for the powder container.

- Make sure the little metal ball in the nail polish doesn't come out when you are pouring it into the make-up containers.

- The nail polish will flatten a little once it dries. 

- Let the nail polish dry for at least 24-72 hours. 

- I recommend making the play make-up in a well ventilated room because the fumes from the nail polish are very strong and last a few days. 

- Supervise your child when they use their play make-up if you include small brushes. My daughter just turned two and has already lost one of the brushes and the eye shadow lid. She has also pulled the cushion off the eyeshadow brush a few times. I mainly supervise her though when she plays with the make-up because my 10 month old has tried to eat it. 

- My mom tried to make a nail polish lip stick and it wouldn't dry right. I tried with the same lip stick container and it would chip off every time I tried to move it so maybe you will have better luck. I plan on trying to make a nail polish chap stick once I get an empty EOS container so I will let you know how that turns out. 

This nail polish play make-up is a super easy and super cheap toy to make. It is the perfect gift for any little girl that loves make-up and loves watching her mommy get ready in the mornings. By making our daughter some play make-up she will be able to copy what you are doing and learn to pretend play which is very important for children at this age. I hope your daughter enjoys her play make-up as much as my daughter does!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

10 Tips on getting a Picky Eater to Eat

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There are several reasons your little bundle of joy won't eat such as being sick, distracted, tired, full, not hungry, bored of that food item, doesn't like the way it feels, or plain out just doesn't like what you are feeding him/her. If you have children you have probably gone through the constant battle of trying to get your kid to eat at some point in your child's life. From throwing their plate to plain out just refusing to eat can be very stressful on us as parents but don't give up just yet after all the kid eventually has to eat something and when they do decide to eat they are going to rely on you, the parent, to make them food. Here are a few things you can try next time your child decides they don't want to eat:


1. Keep a Routine: 

Feed your child breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner around the same time every day so they know when they can expect to eat and that it is time for food. If they refuse, let them know that they won't get anything else until the next meal time.

2. Get Them Involved

You can involve your child by letting them choose what's for dinner or what side item they want with dinner. You can also involve your child by asking them to help you make dinner. Even if it is something as simple as just adding the salt they will be proud that they helped you and be more apt to try what they helped make.

3. Change It Up

If your child isn't eating what you served, try making it appear different. You can change it up by:
       - Warm It Up: Nobody likes cold vegetables or meat.

      - Add Flavor: Ketchup, ranch, honey mustard, peanut butter, vegetable dip, fruit dip, or a pinch of salt (fake add salt so your kid thinks you did) can make a huge difference to your kids taste buds.

    - Change the Shape: Use cookie cutters or a small knife to cut sandwiches, cheese, fruit, etc... into cool shapes, animals, or characters. 

     - Change the Color: Add food coloring. Green eggs and ham anyone?

    - Mix It Together (Hide the Fruit and Vegetables):
      For Babies: If your baby won't eat the baby cereal try mixing two of them together or add a little applesauce to it. Neither of my children liked the Rice Cereal so I mixed it with Oatmeal/Multi Grain Cereal and they ate it. I've also had to mix a few of the baby vegetables with a meat or fruit to get them to eat it. The meat and fruit help mask the vegetable flavor. The benefit is they are now selling already mixed baby food.

       For toddlers and older children you can mix vegetables and meat into Omelets, Chicken Pot Pie, Stir Fry, Soup, Pizza Toppings covered by cheese, or a casserole. You can mix fruit into smoothies, cereal, homemade popsicles, trail mix, homemade granola bars, or homemade fruit rolls.
    

4. Try Something New: 

Try changing it up every once in a while by not feeding your child the same food over and over again; you can only have mac and cheese so many times before you get tired of it. When introducing new foods, be patient because it may take some time for your child to realize they like it since their taste buds have never had it so Try Try and Try again when introducing new foods.

5. Save the Best for Last

If your child is only eating the fruit and not the meat, vegetables, etc... try saving the fruit for last. Only give your child some vegetables and meat for their meal and tell them if they eat it then they can get fruit.

6. No Special Treatment (this does not apply to babies): 

Once your child reaches a certain age and has all their teeth then they should be able to eat almost everything we eat. Cook one meal for everybody in your family. Don't feed your child a different meal (dinner) because they will think it will always be that way and that they don't have to eat their food because they will get something else. Also by feeding them the same food as you, they will see you eating it and hopefully copy you since most kids mimic their parents.

7. Make Food Fun

This can be as simple as changing the shape or color of the food to something that takes a little more planning such as a theme night.

     - Change the Appearance: As I mentioned before you can change the shape or the color of the food to make it more appealing to your child. You can also try creating a picture with the food by making a fish out of the fruit and seaweed out of the vegetables. 

    - Theme Nights: You can go all out with decorating, costumes, and food or you can keep the theme night simple by just making all your food match that theme. Some examples for a  theme night  are: Mexican Fiesta, Mardi Gras, Hawaiian Luau, Tea Party, Make your own Pizza Party, Appetizers for Dinner, Color Food (all the food has to be the same color) or Letter Food (all the food has to start with the same letter). There are several different themes you can do, just get creative, maybe ask your kids what they would prefer.

     - Location Change: You can make meals more interesting by changing the location you eat at. Try having a Picnic in the living room, Breakfast in Bed, Grill Out in the Garage, or eating dinner under the kitchen table. 

     - Play with Food: We try to teach our children that it is wrong to play with food, but they are kids and they are going to do it anyway so why not let them... on certain occasions that is. Give them something to dip their food in such as ketchup, vegetable dip or peanut butter. They will love dipping their food and will probably play with it like it is finger paint afterward. You can also buy fun shaped food like dinosaur chicken nuggets and have your child pretend that their mouth is the dinosaur's home and they must go home. Another idea is to make a game out of it. If your child is refusing to eat their vegetables have them roll a dice and that is how many bites they have to take of that specific food.

8. Distraction

This mainly applies to babies eating baby food. Baby food is new and different and babies sometimes won't open their mouth for you to feed them. If this is the case try the "airplane" method (act like the spoon is an airplane), singing a song, or getting them to laugh will usually lead to your baby opening their mouth. Don't over distract them by talking to them a lot or playing with them because then they most likely won't eat and think it's play time. Also be carful because distracting them can lead to them choking on the food since they weren't ready it.

9. Positive Renforcement

     - Reward Your Child: You can give your child a treat if they eat all their food this way they know they are getting something they like at the end so will eat all their food. The treat doesn't have to be junk food, it can be something healthy like yogurt, real fruit gummies, or raisins.  You can also reward your child with something like 30 minutes of TV, 15 minutes on the computer, or stay up an extra 10 minutes. Rewards for eating should not happen all the time though because your child needs to learn how to eat but rewards might help if your child is going through a picky eating phase like most children tend to do from time to time.

     - PraiseApplaud your child with excitement. By telling your child "Good job, you ate all your food!" or " Yay mommy is so happy you ate your food!" they will know you are excited and most children love praise so will want to do it again to make you happy. 

10.  Stay Calm and Don't Force It

Yelling at your child and forcing them to eat will only make matters worse and make them either start crying or clamp their mouth shut and start pushing the food away causing a mess. You can't control if your child chooses to eat or not and I'm sure you did the same thing when you were their age so next time you go to yell at your child for not eating, take a deep breathe and calmly let them know that they won't get anything else until the next meal time.


Next time your child decides they want to be a picky eater try one of these 10 Tips and keep trying them, until you find one that works. Get creative, think outside the box, keep it colorful and remember to stay calm! Feel free to comment below with some things you do to get your child to eat!


***Check out another one of my blogs: Food Ideas: Feeding a One Year Old

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bubble Bash Birthday Party

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My daughter is officially TWO and for her second birthday we threw her a Bubble Bash. She is obsessed with bubbles and loves to play with them so we figured we would make a party out of it. I wish it was warmer out so we could of gone outside and played with bubbles but we made it work!

Since we were having a bubble party, we wanted everything to be round from the decorations to the food. We also tried to match the color scheme, aqua and purple, the best we could to make for an awesome birthday party!


Food Table:
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- Mini Powdered Donuts
- Blue Sugar Cookies (bought at Walmart) labeled "Bubble Cookies"
- Cheese Balls labeled "Orange Bubbles"
- Pretzel Sticks labeled "Bubble Wands"
- Cracker, Meat and Cheese Tray
- Sausage Balls
- Fruit Tray: grapes, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple and cantaloupe cut into circles labeled "Lots of Bubbles"
- Purple Sixlets

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Beverages:
- A few 2Liters
- Sweet Tea
- Water
- Juice Boxes for the kids
- Tiffany Punch I labeled as "Bubble Punch"

***Bubble Punch Recipe HERE!!!
Cake:
I made a double layer, round chocolate cake and decorated it with purple, blue, white and silver Sixlets to make it look like bubbles. I then printed off circles with the words "Lexi is 2" on them, attached them to cocktail stirs and stuck them in the cake for decorations. I made my daughter her own cupcake and decorated it with a few Sixlets as well.

***Bubble Birthday Cake Tutorial HERE

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Decorations:
- Purple and Blue table cloths
- Purple and Blue Balloons hanging behind the food table
- Small and Big, Purple and Blue Paper Bubbles on the wall: I cut these out of paper and taped them to the wall, I also taped pictures of my daughter in the bigger Bubbles to create a timeline of her life thus far. It was a simple and easy decoration that added a lot to the party.
- Luna, our elf, also made an appearance to the party and she wrote on one of the balloons while we were sleeping.Bubble Bash Birthday Party, Bubble Party Decorations, Bubble Bash Decorations
Party Favors:
- Bubble Wands with a tag that said, "Thank you for POPPING by!"

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My daughter's second Birthday was a success and she got tons of new toys. I think when I originally told people we were having a bubble party they were confused as to how I would make it work but 
everybody loved the decorations and how it turned out! Like I said before, I wish it was warmer out so we could of gone outside and played with bubbles but it all worked out and my daughter had a blast!

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