Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Family Game Nights with Our Preschooler

Family Game Nights are some of my favorite nights there are! Playing board games with your children is often a great way to get some learning in in a really fun way! They can learn math concepts, taking turns, following rules, and how to be a good sport. That last one is important to be learned at home before they're playing games with friends and get upset if they loose the game. You can also teach strategies and things of that nature!

Not only are board games excellent for learning, but having family game nights helps the family to bond too. It can be made a tradition and just another way to make sure you always remain close with your children even when they're teens. It's great family time to get people talking and laughing together.

Some of my favorite family game night games we have for our preschooler:

1. Candy Land! This game is a classic!

Candy Land Board Game -  Hasbro - Toys"R"Us

2. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Grr-ific Game. Based on the popular PBS Kids show Daniel Tiger this game is great to get kid's acting things out, and talking about emotions. It's a great first version of charades I think.
3. This game says it's for ages 6 and up but don't miss out on playing it with your preschooler! You'll have to explain it to them and give them some pointers along the way, but that's true to any game! I really enjoy playing this game with my daughter! I find it's one adults can enjoy a lot. Here's a link to purchase a similar version.

4. Twister Moves! This is supposed to be for much older kids to play together but we have fun trying out best at it just us!
5. Don't Break the Ice is totally a classic that kids really enjoy! Makes a great gift for a 3 year old. 

6. Cranium Hullabaloo is so much fun! It's an active game to get the kids moving and burn off some energy!
Cranium Hullabaloo
7. Hungry Hungry Hippos is a game that goes quick and is sure to bring laughs from the kiddos and even the adults!

8. Chutes and Ladders is good for building math skills and also talking about some behaviors that can be rewarding or have consequences. 

9. We have quite a few different versions of memory, we have a Minnie Mouse one, Doc McStuffins, and then some I have made myself. Any version is super fun and exercises the brain! Here's a link to a big selection 

Disney Girls Matching Games - Minnie Mouse -  Wonder Forge - Toys"R"Us
10. We also like to play Bop It! We have an older version than this one, but still

11. We have an old version of Simon that's fun as well, but here's the new one

Image result for simon game

Some more games we hope to incorporate in our family game nights soon:

2. Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Game

3. Educational Insights The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

4. WordTeasers - Small Fry

There is also many ways to make your own board games! Here's several ideas

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015

This year I'm calling our summer bucket list "making the most of our summer"

There is so few summers while our kids are still small and they go by so quickly, I feel that it's important to have the most fun and make as memories as you can. That's why I think it's a good idea to make a list at the beginning of the season of all the things you'd like to accomplish so you can stay on track and feel a sense of accomplishment (and also instill that in your child) when you check things off the list! But anyways, here's our summer bucket list. Hopefully it gives you a few fun ideas of things you'd like to do as well to make the most of YOUR summer with your kids too!

  • Go fishing
  • Learn about the summer solstice. You can do this by checking out some books from the library, watching videos online, and then doing some sensory play or crafts to bring what you've learned full circle.
  • Go mini golfing
  • Make a bird feeder. There are so many cute ways to make bird feeders, you can simply put some peanut butter and birdseed on a paper towel tube or find a more crafty option if you'd like. We're going to try this one this summer.
  • Go to the zoo. You can even make or print a scavenger hunt form for the trip! 
  • Ice chalk. It's very simple to make, you just mix equal parts corn starch and water, a little bit of dish soap, and a few drops of food coloring, then pour it into an ice tray and let it freeze! It's great to cool down with on a hot day.
  • Make popsicles. I've made some with just pureed strawberries when my daughter was a baby, if you have a baby just freezing any purees they have had, or breast milk works great for them! I usually make popsicles now with coconut water and pieces of fruit stuck in. Or pureed fruit and vegan yogurt, nut butters and fruit (sometimes even spinach blended in)! The varieties are endless.
  • Chalk paint. The same recipe as for the ice chalk, you just don't freeze it! 
  • Shaving cream and ice sensory play. Best thing ever to cool down on a hot day, even as an adult I love it. Here's a link to one of ours we've done 
  • Have a picnic
  • Do a beach/ocean themed unit
  • Go to a water park
  • Do a fairy tale themed unit
  • Celebrate International Mud Day, June 29th

  • Feed ducks
  • Swimming
  • Visit a petting zoo
  • Camping
  • Have an outdoor scavenger hunt
  • Make tie dye shirts
  • Take some chalk art pictures
  • Participate in a summer reading program at a local library
  • Bird watch
  • Take a hike
  • Grow a sunflower

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chocolate Cake Dough & Cars Dirt Road Sensory Bin for Toddlers

This is the perfect sensory bin for those little ones who love cars! It's very simple and frugal to put together too, seeing as you can reuse the cake dough again and again. 

You only need two things for this adorable sensory bin. A box of chocolate cake dough and some toy cars that can be rinsed off after play!

All you do is pour the box of cake mix into the bin, and then add the cars. The cake dough has a consistency similar to cloud dough. Kids can form it into balls in their hands and crumble it up again.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Birdseed Sensory Bin

I really like this birdseed sensory bin that my daughter helped me to make. We filled the sensory bin up with a birdseed mixture, you can find this at Menard's or a similar store. We added in some birds we got from the Dollar Tree, a yellow daisy sink strainer. We also had a little toy nest and a little toy bird bath to use, as well as a butterfly eraser I put in. 

It's a very close to nature sensory bin and the kids can use the sink strainer to scoop and pour and play with the bird seed. 

Memory Game for Toddlers

This is a very interactive version of memory that can be played with young toddlers, 1-2 years old, without them even realizing they are working on their memory skills. It involves their toys, one's they probably love, and is fun!

We did this with baby dolls because my little girl has always loved them, but you could do it with little people, barbies, stuffed animals, etc. Only use as many as you feel your little one can remember or at least learn to remember. 

So you lay out all their dolls (or whatever) in a row and then let them give each one a piece of pretend food too eat. Tell them to try to remember who has what and then take all the food back, and give it to the same dolls (or whatever) again. It's pretty amazing how good such little ones can be at this!