Friday, October 30, 2015

Peek-a-BOO Ghost Match

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We are right in the middle of moving to a new house. With all of the craziness that comes with buying, selling, packing, and moving with two little ones, I haven't been making a lot of activities for Skyler and we have been relying more on finding new ways to play with all of our toys. That got a little harder when we started packing up as many toys as possible in preparation for our move. When trying to think of some simple activities we could do with what we still have at home, this match game came to mind.

We have been reading and playing a lot with the theme of Halloween and Skyler is very interested in ghosts lately. I decided to have a fun little number match and scavenger hunt. This could easily be done after Halloween with pumpkins for fall, ornaments for a Christmas tree, Easter eggs, etc.

I had already packed up all of our construction paper, contact paper, and other crafty items I usually use to make games for Skyler, but then I remembered we had our easel still. To make this craft game, I cut out one ghost shape and then traced and cut ten ghosts out of one piece of easel paper, then traced ten more onto a new piece.

I happened to make each one a different color, but this was definitely more of a number match for Skyler. If your little one is younger, you could use less numbers or just have it as a color match!

I hid the ten ghosts around our living room with pieces of tape and Skyler had so much fun running around and collecting his ghosts. I thought he would have to work a little harder to match the numbers, but he would look at it while he ran to the easel and by the time he made it there, he already knew exactly where to put it. I might have to go up to 15 or 20 on our next number match!

This face when he found the last one hiding behind the couch just makes me smile!

Even though I just used tape, we have been able to use the ghosts a few times! To make the game last longer, you could laminate or cover the ghosts in contact paper, or use velcro in place of tape.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Non-Edible Halloween Treat

Last year around Halloween, Skyler and I made play dough Halloween treats for his ECFE class. I used baby food jars and they were really cute. We were in class with the parents, so I just handed each of them a jar. This year in his preschool class, they put them in a bag and then send the bag home. I didn't want any bags getting dropped with glass jars in them, so I chose a more safe (and much less time consuming) way to package our play dough.

I have been wanting to make this awesome microwave play dough from Fun at Home with Kids since the first time I saw the video on their Facebook page, and I can't believe I waited almost six months to try it! When I heard Skyler's preschool was having a Halloween dress up and treat day (non-edible items allowed only), I jumped at the opportunity to make some fun homemade play dough "treats."

Skyler and I followed the play dough recipe, adding yellow and red food coloring and pumpkin pie spice to make ours into little scented Jack-o-lanterns. Skyler is a great helper when we make play dough. He loves to measure, pour, mix, and especially knead the finished dough. This recipe is so simple and makes a great play dough to explore with! Skyler enjoyed playing with his Halloween cookie cutters while I put our treat bags together.  

All you need to make these non-edible Halloween treat bags are:

Orange microwave play dough (add the pumpkin pie spice for extra fun!)
Snack baggies
Black and green sharpies
(Optional) Stickers for a gift tag

I made the dough into sixteen little balls, stuck one ball in each snack bag, smashed it down into a puck and closed the bag. Then I drew a simple jack-o-lantern face and green stem on the bag. You could just leave it at that, but I had some cute stickers too, so I cut them into strips and wrote on the back as a gift tag.

From start to finish including making the play dough, this only took about half an hour and we doubled the play dough recipe, so we have a lot of dough to play with at home too! We had a lot of fun putting these together, and Skyler can't wait to give a bag to each of his friends at school!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Simple Bowling Game

Wow! I didn't think that after Emerson's arrival I would be taking such a long break. Being the single parent of a toddler (/preschooler) and newborn (/baby) is no joke, and while my boys make it as easy on me as possible, unfortunately I have not had time to create and blog as I would have liked! Even though I had many ideas, they just never ended up being written about, and although I would like to say that I have a bunch of stuff coming up soon, I'm not sure when I will be getting back to regular posting. I have been thinking about it more and more lately. I think the deployment has been a big part of my lack of motivation here, and it is very possible that Joe's homecoming will be just what I need to get back into it.

But...this bowling game! I am almost embarrassed to share, it is that simple. Skyler has absolutely loved this lately though! All you need to play is a chunky wood puzzle (we have done it with this Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle, and also with the Melissa & Doug Vehicles Chunky Wooden Puzzle) with semi-smooth bottoms on the pieces and a ball (or ball and bat as Skyler preferred). A little hockey set would work to (We love this hockey stick and ball set!)

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We were playing in the living room during Emerson's nap one morning and as we were playing and talking I started to stand the puzzle pieces up. Skyler asked what I was doing and happened to have the ball and bat in his hands and voila! Our new favorite game was created. We have been playing frequently in our free time (not that we have had much of it lately, we are pretty much always out of the house! Soaking up as much of the sun as we can this summer.)

King of the bowling game!

And one more, because the tongue just makes me laugh! Every picture - tongue hanging out!

Depending on the puzzle you use (shapes, colors, etc.), you can easily make this more of a learning activity and not just a game by calling out "try to knock down the animal that says "moo" or "knock down the piece that is red." Or when several pieces come down, ask the child the question then. "Which animal sounds do those make?" or "What colors (shapes, animals) did you knock down?"

Little brother didn't get to play the bowling game, but we did have fun with blocks on the same day. He sure has changed a lot in the past seven months

We moved Emerson's crib into Skyler's room and they have been sleeping in the same room together since Sunday! First two days were not so good, but each day has gotten better! If I get it more organized/cute I may have to do another room post, since I love taking pictures of it (Like here, here, here, here, and here!) My favorite room in the house! We are taking up every single inch of our tiny space, but I just love our home.

Even though I haven't been posting here, I post frequently on Instagram. You can find me here

If you want more bowling fun, you can find our homemade bowling game here.