Sensory Play: Babies 6 Months & Older

Sensory:  relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses.

I’m a hands on learner, so sensory play is my go-to.  Lucky for me, E seems to be a hands on fella, as well.  So, I think we’ll tackle this mother/son learning thing pretty well!  I’m always brainstorming fun & creative ways for us to play/learn to help spice things up.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We love some blocking building (well, banging) but even that can get old after a while.

So, here are a few of our favorite inexpensive, DIY, at home (etc, etc) sensory play items from the past month or so!

Water Play
Use a baking sheet or a tupperware container depending on your kid’s level of *grab & fling* technique.  E’s wild, so we stuck the baking sheet.  Fill it with a few inches of water & some kitchen utensils (and/or toys) & let ’em go to town!  This will be even better as it warms up & we can play outside!

“Fingerpainting”
Take a piece of paper, blob some paint on it & stick it in a gallon size bag.  We used card stock & (me being me, doing the most) used painter’s tape to form an “E”.  This way we had a personalized “painting”!  Also, use better color choices than me.  We got a little dismal with the dark colors. E wasn’t nearly as into this as I was hoping, but it was still pretty fun.  I’ll have to try again in a few weeks to see if he’s warmed up to the idea.

Jello Dig
Now this was fun!!  I’m that Mom, so we used gelatin & (ever so little) food coloring but jello works, too.  Make your jiggly substance of choice in a tupperware container & put some of your babe’s favorite toys in the liquid.  Allow a few hours in the fridge (we did overnight) to set & let your little practice their dexterity & dig for their toys!  Pro Tip:  Allow it to come to room temp first.  E got MAD when his little hands got too cold & need a break. Whoops, lol.


Texture Exploration

Shout out to my sister & her interior design friends for hooking us up with some awesome fabric swatches.  Eventually these will go on a sensory play board, but for now E loves to play with them as they are.  The crazier the design and/or texture, the better!  Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but EVERYTHING is new to our little ones.  That scratchy fabric might drive up us a wall, but they will love the experience of feeling its roughness.

Water Bottle Entertainment
The sound of an empty water bottle squishing between their teeny hands is one most babes love.  & while alone they are a good enough play toy, they are even better with exciting things inside (plus, this really helps with learning distance/volume).  So far, we have a colorful poof balls, a glitter & water mixture, colorful buttons (<- awesome DIY rattle), & a star confetti & water mixture bottles.  I have some googly eye & pipe cleaner bottles in the works, also!

Lately, we have also been playing in the grass; E loves grabbing it & feeling it in between his toes.  Occasionally he’s even enjoyed a Saran Wrap roll (much thicker than a paper towel roll), banging it on pretty much everything he can reach! There are so many every day items that you probably already have on hand that you can use for sensory play; it’s wonderful!!  Go through your kitchen or craft room & see what you can find. You’ll be surprised what you’re able to come up with to help enhance your babe’s sensory play & hands on learning! Comment below & share your creativity; I’m always looking for new ideas!!

From Drab to Shab: Diaper Box Baskets

Today, I hit the limit.  I couldn’t stand to throw out one more diaper box.  We’ve thrown out so many & each time I think to myself how wasteful it is.  I mean, yeah it’s just a cardboard box & yeah, we recycle but still.  There had to be SOMETHING I could do with them.

As I looked around my mess of a house I thought about how badly I needed to clean.  There are baby toys & photography props everywhere.  I’m forever complaining about how much easier it would be to keep things tidy if I had more baskets for organization but never get any because they’re so expensive.

That’s when it hit me: diaper box baskets!!  They’re the perfect size, so why not?! Continue reading From Drab to Shab: Diaper Box Baskets

Monthly Footprint Art: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Are you tired of seeing footprint art yet? I hope not, because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a regular thing.  March’s St. Patrick’s Day footprint art was a little difficult for me. I had crafter’s block; all I could think of was shamrocks.  I wanted to make St. Patrick’s Day cards to send out, but there was no way I could fit a footprint shamrock on the size card I was trying to make.  So, I broke out my handy dandy side kick: Pinterest.

Continue reading Monthly Footprint Art: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Photo Shoot

Holidays are my jam.  I love celebrating, decorating & documenting each month with whichever holiday is coming around.  I focus on the bigger holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, BUT I found this site that has a bunch of random holidays that I also add to our calendar.  Some of them are a little out there,  but most of them are fun things you can easily celebrate (like take a walk in the park day), so why not?!  It makes an ordinary Thursday turn exciting super quick.  Can’t beat it!   This makes our calendar get packed pretty quickly, but I always make sure to schedule time for footprint art  & for a photo shoot.  This way, I don’t end up scrambling at the last minute.

Continue reading DIY St. Patrick’s Day Photo Shoot

The Ultimate List of Things to do Before Baby

  1.  There is seriously SO much to do before having a baby.  It can be overwhelming, especially with pregnancy brain, which just makes you THAT much more stressed out.  & that’s the last thing you need to be during your pregnancy!  As a list making, over-analyzing, perfectionist, first time Mom I was on the hunt to find the ultimate list of things to do before baby arrived.  I looked & looked, but I just couldn’t find a helpful, concise list of things to do before baby. So, I decided to create my own. Continue reading The Ultimate List of Things to do Before Baby

Five Easy Half Birthday Traditions to Start Today

I am still in shock at the fact that I have a six month old. (Where has the time gone?!)  But I’ve always known I wanted to do half birthday traditions as a mother.    Six months old is probably the most significant half birthday mark, but I plan on implementing half birthday traditions for as long as E thinks they’re fun!  Because, why not?   I was able to do all five of these half birthday traditions just with items I already had on hand.  So whats the harm in some budget friendly family celebrations?! #amiright!?

Five (& a Half) Half Birthday Traditions Continue reading Five Easy Half Birthday Traditions to Start Today

DIY Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

Y’all already know I had to do a Valentine’s Day photo shoot!!  I mean, really, what’s cuter than a naked baby covered in kisses? Not much.  Especially, if you’re a FTM that still has googly eyes for your baby.  BUT, first & foremost, shout out to Hubs: there’s no way I could get these done without ya!  He seriously has come so far.  From being an avid picture hater to throwing out suggestions to improve the shot.  Do I train them well, or what ?! (jk, jk)

The number one thing that parents struggle with when deciding whether or not to get pictures done of their little ones is cost.  Hundreds of dollars for 30 minutes of clicking & 5-10 digital images isn’t cheap!  That is why I am a huge proponent of DIY photo shoots.   All you need is a few props, a couple common household items & Pinterest inspiration and you can get shots that are just as good as professional!  To prepare for this DIY Valentine’s Day photo shoot, I went to Dollar Tree and got $5 worth of props.  I bought plastic roses, rose petals, glitter hearts, heart stickers, & foam hearts.  I ended up not using the heart stickers, so I’ll save them for next year!

Continue reading DIY Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

Monthly Footprint Art: DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Do you ever think of how Valentine’s Day was when you were a kid?  The classroom is decked out, you decorated card boxes and everyone was your valentine.  You anxiously wait for February 14 to arrive so you could enjoy the class party instead of math and eat way too much candy.  That was the life!

You get older and the Valentine’s Day card appeal dwindles as romance becomes more prevalent.  Which is wonderful & all, but as a new mom I’m now anxiously waiting for E’s class parties.  I can’t wait for baking heart shaped goodies and making DIY Valentine’s Day cards.  I’m totally going to be that mom living vicariously through him by forcing him to wear red and give a card everyone (even to the girl “with cooties”).  & I’m SO excited.

Continue reading Monthly Footprint Art: DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Our Pregnancy Announcement Photo One Year Later

It’s hard to believe we announced our pregnancy to the world a year ago today.  It seems like just yesterday, but so much has happened in the past year.   Three hundred and sixty five six (leap year!) days of excitement, planning, emotions, & picture-taking.  We decided to wait until after the first trimester to share with the social media world that our family was growing.  It was SO hard keeping quiet.  But, looking back, I’m glad that we had the chance to relish in the excitement quietly for a few months.  Plus, this gave me plenty of time to decide on a pregnancy announcement photo.

Continue reading Our Pregnancy Announcement Photo One Year Later

How Our Pregnancy Announcement Video Went Viral

Never in a million years did I think I would be writing this post.  Wow!  As of this morning (February 1, 2017), our video has twenty-six THOUSAND views!?! It is still so surreal to me.  When I recorded Hub’s reaction to finding out he would be a father, I honestly didn’t even have any intentions of even uploading it to YouTube.  It was solely for the pregnancy announcement DVD I was planning to make.  But then I quit my job & started this blog. So, I started doing some research on YouTube’s Adsense program & decided, why not?  All, I have to do is upload a video & I might make a buck or two.  Worth a shot, right?! Was it ever!

So, here is how our pregnancy announcement video went viral.

Continue reading How Our Pregnancy Announcement Video Went Viral

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