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DIY Bowling Game

by Michelle on November 11, 2013
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),Fun time & Toys

As fall begins, many families are facing colder weather. This means we all need new ways to entertain the children inside on these cold or wet days.  Art activities are fantastic, but sometimes it is fun to be able to get some gross motor movement in! An easy indoor activity is bowling! Using items you have on hand, you should be able to have a set quickly. A hallway works the best for the bowling lane so that there is confined area to roll the ball in. Make sure you get any items off the floor that would get in the way of the game!

Where to Begin:

The first step will be to find bottles to use as your pins. I often have empty water bottles in the recycling, so that is an easy way to start! Using water bottles also saves the step of having to clean out the sticky soda or juice  DIY Bowling Game from the bottle. A traditional bowling game has 11 pins, but that can be too many for a small child. Starting with 6 is a good way to introduce children to bowling. A ball also needs to be found to knock the pins down with. It needs to have a little weight behind it to knock the pins down.

 The pins can be decorated or left as they are. A fun way to decorate them is to squirt a small amount of paint into the bottles, add a tablespoon or so of water and shake it together to coat the inside of the bottle. When it is coated, the excess paint can be poured out and the bottles need to dry overnight. An even more simple idea is to just wrap the outsides in a piece of scrapbook paper. This can also be an activity where each child gets to decorate pins themselves! Each pin doesn’t need to match, so it can be fun!

We have found we like the pins to have some weight to them. This can be achieved by adding some rice or beans to the bottle. The amount will really depend on the skill set of children you are playing with. The great thing about the bottles is that you can empty out or add more filler as you play. They can be left empty as well. Water can also be used to add a little weight to the bottom.  Also, the weight of the pins may have to change depending on the ball that is used. A lighter ball will need lighter pins to be able to knock the pins over.

No matter what size bottles you use, or how you decorate, this activity will be a lot of fun for children. It really is a fun game to play with toddlers! Smaller kids are really fascinated with cause and effect. And this game allows them to safely test out those actions without breaking anything! Just make sure to  show your toddler how to roll underhand! This is also a great game to learn about taking turns.

Enjoy your bowling set!

Written By: Gena W., The Mom Crowd Contributor

 

Simple Halloween Favors

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday around here. It has become more fun in the past years with little kids around to dress up and introduce the holiday traditions. Halloween parties are always fun, and more and more are happening that are really family friendly. Here are some fun ideas to liven up your own party or to take to a friend’s party to have some fun. These are all easy ideas that can be made with items on hand or some from your local dollar store.

Spider Ice Cubes

A great and easy favor is to buy the small spider rings that are everywhere during the Halloween season and make them into ice cubes! There are the tradition

al black ones, but I have also seen assortments of spider rings in many colors. I found a bag that had some purple, green and orange mixed in with the black! Use your imagination! There are often bags of goodies that you can find at the store, it doesn’t have to be limited to just the spider rings. Just make sure whatever favor you pick, you choose one that won’t get ruined being soaked in water.

The ice cubes are made in a regular ice cube tray you most likely already have. Just place one spider ring in each ice cube section and pour water over! To make it even more fun, I will often use the juice or punch that I plan to use at the party and make ice cubes out of that. So when the ice melts, instead of watering down your juice, it just adds to the flavor. There are many recipes floating around online, so use your creativity. But this is a great and easy way to add some fun to your party.

Spider Ice Cubes

Ghost Lollipops

Another fun treat that you can use for a party or even trick-or-treaters is ghost lollipops! This is an easy craft that you can get kids involved in making. You just need some suckers from the store, some white fabric (or tissue paper), some ribbon, scissors and markers. The squares need to be big enough to cover the suckers to make their heads with enough leftover to make the body. You will tie your ribbon blow the head of the ghost and then add a face with the markers! This is an easy and fun craft that has been around since I was little.

Whatever your Halloween plans end up being, these are easy crafts that can be done with some cheap supplies. That is always a bonus when planning for a party, or for special treats to be handed out to trick or treaters. Even if you don’t have a party, it would be fun to make the ice cubes to have for a special Halloween dinner! These ideas can be used any time of year, just swap out the spiders for another fun prize and accessories can be added to the ghost lollipops to make them almost anything! Just remember to have fun!

Ghost Lollipops

Written By: Gena W., The Mom Crowd Contributor

Easy DIY Craft For Your Toddler – Fall Wreath

Fall has arrived – Time to get Crafty!

Autumn Leaf Wreath

It is that time of year again! The weather is starting to cool down and the leaves are starting to change colors. The change of the season is always a favorite time of the year, especially when you have some little kids at home to enjoy it with. A fun activity to do with toddlers or older kids is a fall wreath. Best part…you can most likely make it with items you have around your house!

Things you will need:

  • paper plate
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue (If you have older kids you can let them cut out and color the leaves themselves.)

Preparation:

A fun way to prep this activity would be to take your child on a walk around your own neighborhood to  talk about the changes they see. The conversation can be turned towards fall by talking about the changes in nature around your own home. Things will start to look different, and even smell different! You could also bypass the paper leaves and have some fun collecting leaves you find on the ground to add to your wreath. This is all just a fun way to tie the art project into things that are going on in the world outside your home.

Directions:

Start your wreath by cutting a circle out of the center of the paper plate. You will want to poke a hole with your scissors to leave the outer ring intact. The paper plate will make up the form of the wreath. The next step will be to gather your construction paper and cut out leaves from the colors. Use some green, brown, red, orange, or yellow paper to mimic the colors your child saw on their walk! The leaves can be various sizes as well. Just make sure enough are available for your child to have a variety to choose from.

Then have your child sit down at a table they can do crafts at. Some younger children may do better sitting in a highchair or booster seat. Depending on the individual child, they may be able to apply the glue to the wreath form themselves, or it might need to be done for them. But they should have fun putting leaves on the wreath form! Encourage your kiddo to spread the leaves around and fill up the wreath. And if more glue needs to be applied, then go for it! This wreath is going to be artwork!

When the wreath is all finished, it needs to be laid flat to dry overnight. When the wreath is dry, have your child help you pick a place to put it in the house. You could even cut out multiple plates so that your child can give a wreath to a grandparent, babysitter or neighbor. It is a nice way to embrace the entrance of fall! These wreaths would also make a great art piece for the front door or window of your house. Kids take so much pride in their works of art, they will be so proud to show it off!

Written By: Gena W., The Mom Crowd Contributor

 

Benefits of Baby Wearing

Benefits-of-Baby-Wearing

Have you heard of the term “baby wearing”? Have you wondered exactly what it is all about? I remember when I first heard the term and I wondered myself, “um, ok”. Well after some research, it turns out it is a very beneficial thing to do for the new mom. Don’t be afraid to do it. Here are some reasons to begin your “baby wearing” experience with that beautiful new baby of yours.

 It’s Convenient

When you have your baby strapped to you it makes life a little bit easier. It frees your hands to do other things. For example, doing the dishes or folding laundry. Maybe you work from home and need to type. If you are out and about and need to do some errands you can put your baby in the carrier and actually push the shopping cart or hold your basket at the farmers market. More and more baby carriers also double as a blanket, nursing cover or even a changing pad. This definitely lightens the load and allows you to remain productive even when you have a newborn.

 Breastfeeding

When you have your child so close to your skin all the time this helps to promote breastfeeding. In some cases, which a few of the carriers I have seen you can even feed your baby in private while walking around. This is awesome, live your life and your baby is content also.

 Cognitive Development

Babies are extremely observant. When they are worn up right, they are right in the action and it keeps their wheels turning. It allows them to witness everything you do throughout your day. Whether you are cooking, folding laundry, taking a walk, or grocery shopping, your baby is constantly in observing mode and soaking it all in. Babies who are worn are also being constantly talked to by their parent or guardian versus a baby who is pushed around in a stroller and in front of the parent. This allows you to have more interaction with your child and in return creating a stronger bond. All of this encourages learning and brain stimulation in your baby.

 Postpartum

You might be experiencing all kinds of new feelings after you have your baby. There are several things that are probably on your mind one of them being getting back into shape. When you utilize baby wearing you are able to get those daily exercise workouts in. Wearing your baby will distribute their weight a little more evenly, allow you to go in places where you can not take a stroller, and even enable you to boost up your workout and burn more calories.

Some new moms even experience postpartum depression. When you are wearing your body it allows for you to get in those extra little snuggles and kisses that will help you to beat the depression. This allows you to bond even more with your baby without feeling burdened with life’s day to day tasks.

The benefits are endless, and here we have only named a few. So put that baby carrier on your registry, and begin your baby wearing. It’s all worth it!

Planning Smart for Toddler Activities

by Richel on July 8, 2013
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),Fun time & Toys

Planning activities for toddlers is great way to help your child learn new skills and expand on current ones.  Since your child is learning through a combination of methods, from the exploring of the world around him with his hands to more complex things like problem-solving.  Toddlers embrace it all when they learn.

Every learning experience, is built on other learning, and now, with so much accumulated knowledge as a base, he is growing and understanding more and more everyday.  Think of each new skill as the base for the next one to be learned.

Mom Jogging with baby

Toddlers Embrace the World Around Them

Appreciate that toddler love to discover new things! Who could have imagined that toddlers learn in so many different ways! When you are exploring what activities for toddlers you want to do it important to know that primarily, your toddler learns by:

Find ways to engage a child’s sense. When he feels wind blow through the open car window,  when she compares the texture of the carpet to the texture of a favorite blanket, your toddler is categorizing his experiences in ways that help him make sense of the world around him.

The world is full of things that engage and inspire his senses so have fun and expand upon that.

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