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Showing posts from October, 2012

Ten for Tuesday: Beyond Halloween - Lights, Spirits & Parties from Around the World

Fall might be my favorite time of year - great weather for outdoor play, beautiful colors as leaves change, yummy seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy. Plus,Thanksgiving ranks high on my list of holidays. With Halloween upon us (tomorrow!), I thought I would share some other Fall/Autumn holidays/festivals (AKA parties) from around the world. 

Western Europe:

1. St. Martin's Day(Martinstag) - Held on Nov. 11th, this German Holiday feels a lot like a festival of lights, typically including a procession of lanterns. It is holiday that children all over Germany, Austria and many other European countries celebrate. Red Ted Art shares the lanterns they made for this holiday.

2. Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night- I am learning from my friends in the UK that this Nov. 5th holiday is actually quite a big deal and the celebration features fireworks, sparklers and a bonfire. I love that The Imagination Tree created edible sparklers for the occasion. She also shares more details about this ho…

From Recycle Box to Story Box: Halloween Hide & Seek Story Time

A few weeks ago at the library, at the last minute I grabbed a few books from the Halloween display. One of those books was Where is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz. I made a story box to go with this Lift-The-Flap Book, which is a Hide-and-Seek type of story of the baby going around the house looking for her pumpkin. 

I made it almost completely with items bound for the recycle bin. Wild Thing helped me out with the finishing touches. He LOVES this story box and uses it to retell the story, which is great for early reading/literacy for toddlers and preschoolers.

In the book, Baby looks everywhere for her pumpkin before finding it outside.

She looks under some leaves and finds a black cat (I cut a cat out of a faux leather black fabric scrap). Behind a curtain, she finds a ghost (I made the ghost out of a lollipop with tissue and an old cloth for a cape to match the ghost in the book and used a fabric scrap for the curtain). Inside a closet, she finds some bats (Wild Thing help…

Kids Co-Op: Link-Up & Play -- Featuring Safety Crafts + Baby Play!

These activities stuck out for me from the Co-Op last week because they connected with things we have been making, creating and enjoying at home as well. In addition to fun Fall/Autumn activities and our pumpkin fun for Halloween, we also did some great stuff for Fire Prevention Week and our cardboard fire truck is still a hit, and we recently shared some of our favorite DIY baby play at home items. So, I am sharing two great fire truck/safety posts and a great DIY baby toy that I absolutely LOVE because we love milk jug play too!

I really love all of the great tot school ideas for learning about fire trucks and fire safety over at The Educators Spin On It, a blog that I love and recently had an opportunity to guest post on writing about Teaching Children About Hunger, a timely important topic, especially during the holiday season. 

Another of my favorite bloggers, J Daniel Fours Mom has a great Read.Explore.Learn weekly series and she also shared some great fire safety and activitie…

{In Season} - 3 Simple, Fun Fall Sensory Bins for Under 5 Bucks

Recently, we made three perfect sensory bins for the month of October -- and for all three I spent only $5 (total, not each). They have each been a hit and offered unique play and learning opportunities for Wild Thing, who is almost 3, and Caterpillar, who is 15 months.

We created a Fire Sensory bin for Fire Prevention Week earlier this month and shared the bin, fire truck/safety books and a cardboard box fire truck craft.

For Halloween, I made a bin that I call our boo bin, dominated by orange and black and pumpkins because for Wild Thing, Halloween means pumpkins and not much else. He loves all of the pumpkins, the black and orange, and the letters as he is into early spelling/reading right now. The pipe cleaner spider is a fun addition too. I have to be careful with black beans with Caterpillar, but he much prefers playing with paper shreds most of the time - throwing them up in the air amuses him to no end.

For the black beans in the bin, we re-purposed the black beans from our Bee…

What A Survivor Looks Like {Kid Bloggers Go Pink} {Real Life Wednesdays}

Today, I share these photos to celebrate my grandmother's approach to her battle with breast cancer. This post signifies important growth for me regarding my relationship with her. Above, she is with Wild Thing when he was just a few months old and with my brother. Two months later she would pass away, but not from breast cancer. She would be cancer free for almost 20 years--dying from unrelated health problems. She outlived this disease that effects way too many of us. She shared her story with me of losing a breast as I helped bathe her one night when she was too old and frail (because of severe osteoporosis) to bathe herself -- even decades later, I could tell how traumatic the loss was. My genetics mandate that my mother and I get checked, but self-checks, mammograms and education about diet and life choices that increase the risk of getting breast cancer are important for all women, since currently 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

This post also remind…

Simple Ideas for Baby Play at Home #3

For my third post in my Baby Play at Home series (a monthly series I stumbled into in August), I am turning my blog over to other wonderful bloggers by sharing their favorite simple baby play activities that you can do with things you (probably) have at home.

I love Mama Smiles - one of my favorite blogs and this simple non-shape sorter box is a great idea, especially for encouraging independent play with your baby. You do not have to have an orange box. You could simply cut holes in any box. She also shares a favorite toy among her kiddos (baby and older kids included): a bottle filled with water and glitter. So clever, I am going to have to try it.

Another favorite blog of mine is NurtureStore, and this post explains, in a very clear and simple manner, how to make a treasure basket for your baby using, again, household items.  While it looks beautiful and you might at first think, whoa-I would have to get so many things, if you read the post you will see you really can do this wit…

Kids Co-Op: Wild Thing Picks + Link-Up & Play!

This week, I looked through the Kids Co-Op posts from last week on my own, but Wild Thing also climbed into my lap and pointed out which posts he wanted to see. (I absolutely love it when my ever-growing and ever-independent almost 3 year-old snuggles up with me on my lap.)

So, today I am sharing some of his favorites. He actually wanted to look at quite a lot of them, so I picked two from the many, many that he wanted to explore.

We go through lots of milk jugs around here and recently made pumpkins with our orange milk jug caps, so this would be another great upcycle Halloween activity for us.

We have also used paint samples for play a lot, including Mickey Mouse ones before, so I think that is why this next post stuck out for Wild Thing.

I would love to hear what you think of Wild Thing Picks! (I thought last week was a really great week, so thanks to everyone who linked up and shared and if you have not looked through the link-ups, circle back and do -- it is worth it!) 

Outdoor Play: Pumpkin and Leaves Blog Hop + Free Backyard Pumpkin Hunt

In the spirit of outdoor pumpkin fun, I looked back at photos from our pumpkin patch visit with Wild Thing two years ago, right after he turned 1. It amazes me to think that just two years later, we will head to the pumpkin patch this weekend with an almost 3 year-old and not quite 15 month old. As they say, time flies...

Even though we have not gone to the pumpkin patch yet, we are enjoying some creative, outdoor pumpkin fun in our own backyard and neighborhood that is absolutely free! No money spent, nothing special bought just a simple upcycle of our milk jug tops, which, conveniently, happen to typically be orange!

We are doing pumpkin hunts in our own backyard and on our neighborhood walks. A bonus to hiding these pumpkins and taking them along on walks is that it does not really matter if the pumpkins get lost. (On walks, I hide the pumpkins along the way and Wild Thing finds them on the walk bake home). 

Another bonus is that these simple, homemade jack-o-lanterns offer is r…