Happy first day of December!
I created this craft and wrote this piece a long time ago and thought now would be the perfect time to share since the holidays are before us. I can’t wait to take them out and see what Little Miss F does with them now!
Two years ago we were excited to participate in our second Nature Pal Exchange! Once again I was tempted to go upstate to forage at my Mom’s farm for pine needles, twigs, pinecones, milkweed seeds, and other fancy stuff...but...then I got thinking about what New York offers. I considered a bunch of possible crafts--making pressed leaf ornaments with sculpty clay or acorn cap ornaments. While walking through a park on my way into work one morning I noticed there were some large stones on the edge of the path. Looking more, there was a great variety of large smooth stones! it was serendipity once again that led me to our project-Winter Themed Story stones!
We ❤ Discovery Bottles! In anticipation of Valentine's Day, I made Little Miss F two Valentine inspired Discovery Bottles.
So this is the state of things...I began this post in January. Seriously. January….and now I am finally getting around to posting it...how many weeks AFTER Valentine's Day? What can I say...life is busy and it doesn’t always go according to plan. But we’re having fun!
We LOVE any project, activity, or craft involving contact paper. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I offered Miss F a Valentine Themed Sticky Craft using a variety of materials I found at the dollar store: Ribbons, pink, white, & red pom poms, and plain & glitter hearts in a variety of colors.
Miss F loves Yetis. Yes, the winter wonderland version of Big Foot. Absolutely. Loves. Yeti. She has yeti books, a Yeti friend for her bed. We’ve been reading Vin Vogel’s picture book, The Thing About Yetis. Our little girl, much like a Yeti thinks the cold and snow of winter are the most fabulous things. She does not like to be hot. But...just like the Yeti in Vin Vogel’s book, sometimes, even those who really, really love the winter miss the breezy ways and days of summertime.
We LOVE the ocean. We LOVE the beach--the water, the waves, the sand, the shells, the rocks! This summer Miss F simply delighted in her first beach experience, much to the absolute pleasure of her parents (and Digby!).
It has been such a busy New Year! I have a bunch of posts planned on a variety of Invitations to Play to share quite soon -- our Winter Nature Pal Exchange Craft, Story Stones, Valentine Inspired Play Activities, Sensory Bottles and More! In the meantime, I thought I would go old school and share one of our favorite homemade activities: Popsicle Sticks in a Coffee Can Posting!
Life has been busy since my last post! Between the full calendar of school activities this fall, Thanksgiving and everyday life, I am happily exhausted. Coffee is now back in my routine after nearly 3 year break. I didn't drink coffee during my pre-and postnatal times. Wow, did I miss you coffee. It's good to have you back my old friend.
Back to toddler life...Lately I'm finding Miss F is able to do so much more throughout the day (napping less and less nowadays!) and is so excited for every new adventure. I am regularly creating new activities for her to enjoy at home. Some are huge hits and others not so much. Today I want to share one of her most favorite recent play activities--pom pom transfer play. If you are looking for an easy and fun activity for your toddler--this is it!
Last weekend my daughter and I took a leisurely autumn walk to the park. Actually, we never even made it into the park -- only to the entrance steps! Little Miss F. was having so much fun playing with the leaves as we went we didn't get very far. While we were sitting on the steps enjoying the leaves, an older man stopped to share, "I was watching you and your daughter as she was playing in the leaves." I wasn't sure where this was going...but I listened. Having a dog and a baby has taught me that people feel quite comfortable to come up to you at any time and just chat. Then he asked me, "Do you know Buckminster Fuller?" He then said, something I hope I carry with me always. He explained, "When your daughter pulls on the drapes, LET HER! There's only two weeks that she'll be that type of scientist!" It was amazingly affirming to hear from a complete stranger, YES! Do let your child play in the leaves. She is happy. She is exploring. She is engaged. She is learning! Thank you kind stranger. You left me with a quote I will ponder for some time.
Nature and offering natural materials to my daughter is important to me. Especially since we live in New York City. In last post I shared our Nature Pal Exchange box. It was so much fun to purposefully explore the nature around us in New York! There is a lot to notice, explore, wonder about, and enjoy! I learned some lessons too! Dry out your collected materials as soon as possible! I made the HUGE mistake of not drying out my collected acorns and leaving them in open bags in a closet. Big mistake! I noticed the condensation on the bags & hoped since they were open they would dry out on their own. Nope. Mold formed. I was so disappointed & it was totally my fault. I felt so bad-the acorns could have been tasty meals for squirrels. :(
Sitting in My Box: Back to Basics Play for Babies, Toddlers, & Children of All Ages Encouraging Imagination & Creative Thinking
I almost did not write this post this until one evening while enjoying a snack of black beans my daughter ventured into the living room to gather up some bins I had left out from our new IKEA sensory table. She then proceeded to use the bin as her seat in the kitchen to enjoy her snack. Apparently she thinks our kitchen is a BYOSE #BringYourOwnSeatEstablishment.
She was delighted. Delighted in herself. Delighted in the box. Delighted with her snack. Just delighted.
I know I have not posted anything in a little bit. Honestly, I’ve been enjoying summer and just taking in each precious day with Little Miss F. Sometimes it is the best thing to just disconnect and take a break from all devices and apps and just get outside and be with your child. For us, this has meant a lot of time traveling with the family. When I travel I notoriously over pack, add a child into the mix and I seriously have a problem. Recognizing this, I knew I needed to create some easy to pack, light for travel fun toddler activities for car trips and small hotel rooms. Who knew that the zipper pouch activity would become one of Little Miss F’s favorites!
My husband recently remarked that we need to give her more challenge. She’s figured out all of her play areas.
I think he was right. To her, she could move about the house and accomplish her work in a matter of minutes. We needed to do things differently to make her stop and ponder and wonder.