Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

He’s 5 . How is my little guy 5 years old? People keep telling me that soon he will be taller than me and I will be looking up as I discipline. I am 5’4 I know my days are numbered. He was born on Thanksgiving 2006 and today on the eve of the holiday this year I am devoting my post to the little guy who made me a mom, took me away from teaching in a class and sparked so many things I never expected to be part of my life including this blog.

 

Below are links to his favorite crafts and activities , I hope one ( or more ) of them bring you as much joy to share them with your kids as it brought us.angry-birds

Nothing beats this Angry Birds Waterballoon Game. He loved this. We played a handful of times before we moved and the weather turned. We will be playing again once warmer weather comes back.

Knight’s Shield. After we moved this summer this never left his side. He slept with it on his night stand, he had it next to him at meals. Although I doubt it was conscious this was his security blanket until he was comfortable in our new digs. It’s now happily lumped in with his sister’s Dora toys,  and the others in the family room toy basket.

Puffy Paint Moon. This has been up in his room since the moment it dried. A big puffy moon to gaze at as we chat about our day at bedtime even if we can’t see the real one every night in the grey Pacific North West sky.

This Scrap Paper Rainbow is more one of MY favorites but it’s also his very first craft. Although I don’t think it was posted as our first, it was the first he helped me do for the blog. I wish I’d kept it!

This roadway and the 2nd version using an up cycled kitchen mat are used daily at our house still. Not bad for a craft!

And are you shocked that this Ice Cream Taste Test made the cut?

Happy Birthday Big Boy – I love you even especially with playdough on your head.

Sunday Spotlight : The Nursery

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A few days ago I tweeted that I wondered if anyone would want to see a spotlight of all the Etsy.com shops and items that I have used to decorate my baby girl’s nursery. Within moments I had many many replies asking for it so by request the Sunday Spotlight this week are all the shops that have contributed . I should say upfront nothing showcased was given to me to review, I bought everything  I am showcasing.

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Here is the main themed wall, although we aren’t heavy in a bird theme a lot of the accessories are birds and butterflies, most notably this vinyl tree and bird decal from Styley Walls The room was already tan ( it has been a guestroom and a playroom previously) and I had no desire to repaint.  Instead this tree would make it all more feminine.

Nursery showcase

More birds are on this awesome alphabet print with each letter is in an adorable birdhouse .This was a standard listing from Wall Candy that they happily made  into a larger size. I am in love with this and everything else in their shop.

Nursery showcase

This butterfly mobile from Liv’s Lullaby was a last minute addition, I wanted something light and airy and not pink. This was perfect and I love that it spirals down in size.

Nursery showcase

This book nook is dominated by my great great grandmother’s rocking chair , to think about how many generations of our family have been nursed in it makes me smile. Obviously it wasn’t bought on Etsy but the pillow comes from Stitch Bandit It was just the splash of chocolate and pink the book nook needed.

Nursery showcase

Not to be forgotten are these awesome teethers from Little Alouette. I actually won the heart one at a conference and bought the birdy one to match the theme. I can’t wait to see if my daughter loves them as much as I do.

Nursery showcase

This magnetic frame from Shabby Vintage Mom is a great place for pictures , I love how delicate it is , girly without screaming princess! I didn’t want to open the package when it came it was wrapped so nicely.

Other Non Etsy:

Crib: Ikea- Hensvik
Crib Sheet: Pottery Barn Kids
Changing Table: Pottery Barn Kids ( discontinued)
Baskets and Liners : Pottery Barn Kids
Lamp: Ikea
Curtains: Ikea ( discontinued)
Paint Color : Benjamin Moore Arizona Tan

Parent and Tot Projects

We normally focus on things kids can make but making something for your child to play with and use is something special to share. These are some of our favorite parent and tot projects we have made in the past 2 years.With the exception of the firetruck ( which was well loved and recycled) everything  is still used years later!

Diaper Box Fire Truck ( above)


Alphabet Fishing Game

Custom Roadway Mat

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2009/06/sent-in-by-you-parents-only.html

Bleach Dyed Tee-Shirts

DIY  Framed Chalkboard

Yes They’re Flash Cards !

Flash Card Garland

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See flash cards are good for something! When a friend asked recently if  flash cards were good for anything, I jokingly replied with ” You could make a craft with them!” and so this idea was born. Flash cards aren’t inherently bad, if you play, create or need them to accommodate disabilities they can be fun or even crucial. However sitting and teaching the average preschooler with them just isn’t the best way, rote memorization and learning are not equal. So if you have some don’t throw them away, make this and dress up your playroom or kids bedroom .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need flash cards, some card stock ,double stick tape,  scissors , ribbon, and a hole punch.ASept9 001
  2. Start by deciding on a pattern for your paper. My son helped me and we took the opportunity to talk about patterns.ASept9 005
  3. Cut the paper to size. ASept9 002
  4. Attach the flash card on the paper with the double stick tape. ASept9 003
  5. Punch two holes at the top.ASept9 004
  6. Repeat 25 more times.ASept9 006
  7. Time to start lacing the cards on. I used just over 9 feet of ribbon. I left extra on both ends just in case. This is not a fun part of the craft, I forgot G and had to re-lace H-P.ASept9 007
  8. Tie bows at the end of the ribbons once all the letters are laced on. ASept9 013
  9. Put it up. My playroom is too small to allow me to get a good shot of the whole thing! ASept9 014

For another fun alphabet activity check out what I posted today at

FamilyEducation.com

Framed Chalkboard DIY

framed chalkboard tutorial
 

Writing on a vertical surface is very important for fine motor development. It works out the developing muscles in the arm and wrist that are used for writing. Your child’s hands/wrists naturally go into the proper position when writing vertically so easels , white boards and chalkboards like this one are invaluable. I have been wanting to make my son one for ages, and I finally bit the bullet. This framed chalkboard DIY was so easy to do and inexpensive too!* Updated to add this super cool link to another chalkboard at infarrantly creative that blows ours away! don’t miss it! *Cereal Box Mosaic

  1. Gather your materials. I used Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint, a roller, paint tray, painters tape, an old picture frame, an old sheet, 4 nails and a hammer.DIY framed chalkboard tutorial supplies
  2. Start by deciding where you want the chalkboard. Have your child show you how high they can reach so that it’s all usable space. I’m no good with measuring tape so I just eyeballed it and thumb tacked it to the wall to decide. You may want to measure where on the wall you put it.framed chalkboard tutorial
  3. Tape off the area to paint.diy framed chalkboard for playrooms
  4. Apply your first coat. Wait 4 hours or more and add a 2nd. Let dry.chalkboard DIY
  5. Take off the tape.diy chalk board tutorial
  6. Place your frame on the wall so the painted area is centered, and secure it to the wall. I nailed mine but depending on your walls you’ll want to use the appropriate fashion. I particularly liked using a frame because it creates a ledge for the chalk as well.playroom homeschool room chalkboard
  7. Add chalk and child!make your own chalkboard for a homeschool room