Kite Craft for Toddlers

Today, my toddler and I were in charge of the play group at our church. It is a great way to meet other moms and for the toddlers to run off some energy. My toddler took a nap afterwards which is rare these days.


Kite Craft


As part of the play date, we supply a craft for the toddlers. This time they made kites with paper, string and ink bingo dobbers.

I precut a 8×11″ paper into a kite shape. Then let the kiddos dab the ink wherever their heart desired.

Sometimes the toddlers splattered the ink but it was pretty cute. My daughter only used pink, purple and blue. I love seeing her personality show through her choices. Once she was done adding color, I hole punched the two sides and tied a string. With her completed kite, she ran around the room holding onto its string to let the kite fly.

Supples:

  • Medium weight paper
  • Ink bingo dobbers
  • String or yarn
  • Hole punch

I’m in love with Chick Fila’s New Toy

At our recent trip to Chick Fila, my kiddos got this adorable forest diorama. This toy is a smaller version of a pop out and play set available at PetitCollage.com which may be my new favorite educational toy manufacturer. It comes in flats sheets with stickers of paw prints and tails. My toddler loved piecing it together and adding the stickers across the board. The animal tracks appears to have the animals all huddled in one corner for awhile.

In addition to the animal puzzles, there are mushrooms to match on the board. So much fun. Other pop up and play sets available on their website are outer space, mermaids, pirates and zoo. I want to buy them all.

I could see combining any of these toys with a fiction or nonfictional book so the kiddos can physically see what the story is about.

Is there an educational toy you love?

I’d love to hear about in the comment field below. Happy playing!

Classic Train Set

Playing with the classics is always a good time. In 1936, Skaneateles Handicrafters were one of the first toy companies to make a wooden toy train and track very similar to that used by most companies today.


Engineering Skills for Kids


My kiddos love playing with the wooden trains. It isn’t their first choice in toys but once they get started they will play for hours. Learning about magnetism with the cars connections and track layout are great skills gained from wooden trains.


IKEA vs Kids Destiny Brand


When I started to look for my kids first wooden train set, I didn’t realize there were so many options. We originally purchased Kids Destiny Wooden Train Track 59 Piece Pack which states it is 100% Compatible with All Major Brands Including Thomas Train Wooden Railway System making this a great starter kit.

A year later, we were gifted an IKEA train set. I assumed the two sets were compatible. However, the two sets are not compatible. The plastic connectors of the IKEA train tracks doesn’t fit in the inserted connectors of the Kids Destiny tracks. Both are great train track sets but not together.

As you can see in the photo below, we mix and match them but it takes extra planning where the different tracks can go. Kids get a little frustrated and I have to help make it work.

When researching what skills are developed from wooden trains, I was surprised to find a long list at ChildDevelopment.com. Here is some of the concepts that I found interesting. Check out their website for a full description.

• Understanding/recognising items.

• Vocabulary.

• Following instructions.

• Turn taking.

• Counting.

• Requesting.

• Grammar.

▪ Pronouns.

• Moving Concepts.

• Imaginative play skills.

▪ Boundary setting.

▪ Motivator.

▪ Expand play.

Dance Class

I’m feeling so proud today. It took 6 months but my toddler has turned a corner this week. She walked into dance class with no hand holding or bribes. I know it sounds bad but for moms with ‘attached at the hip’ kiddos they will understand. I feel like this is a huge step in her trust in me that ‘mama comes back.’


Class Overview


My kiddos attend Turning Pointe Dance Centre in Snohomish Washington. The staff is patient, educated and fun. The amount of Ballet terms I know now has sharply increased since my daughters started classes. Both girls started dance class at the age of two.

Dance Term:

  • Relevé – Tip toeing or A rise onto the toes.
  • Sauté – simple jump in the vertical direction.
  • First position – The legs are rotated, while heels are together.
  • Plié – A bend of the knees and the torso is held upright.
  • Tendu – A “stretched” from a flat foot to a pointed foot.

For a full list of terms, check out Orthopt.com.

At this age, I found it hard to find any classes or sports that little kids could attend. There are swim lessons available at 6 months old and gymnastics at 18 months old but this is a class they can do by themselves or with mom.

Dance class works on their gross (full) body control as well as listening to tempo and choreography. There are drop in classes to try for about $8-10 depending on the length. At the end of the year, they have a performance to show off their new skills. I’m looking forward to it.

Happy Dancing!!

Bead Heart

This week at my MOPS (mother’s of preschoolers) meeting, the kiddos made little heart ornaments from beads and pipe cleaners.


MOPS Activity for Kids


Twice a month, my MOPS group meets to discuss current topics and upcoming challenges of being a mother. I have learned so much from the guest speakers. Thus I’m a huge fan of MOPS.

When I had a toddler and going through a rough time trying to conceive my second, the other moms in the group were there to hold my hand and listen to my pain. I am so thankful to be apart of this group of women. I pray that every mom has something like this in their life and if they don’t I’d be happy to introduce you to MOPS in your area.

Anyways, while us mommies are learning about some new mommy skills, our kiddos are learning about Jesus and his love in the church’s childcare.

This is a great craft for preschoolers. During the MOPS meeting, the kids made this bead heart to symbolize Jesus’s love for them. The instructors began the meeting by reading a short story about ‘Children of Jesus’ from My Favorite Bible.

Similar to the snowflake ornament from last week, you can make this more challenging by having them follow a sequence to practice their coding skills. When they are done, the kids will have a cute heart to share with friends. Happy Hearts Day!

Supplies:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Beads

Weekend in Cle Elum, Washington

Hello. My family was fortunate to go to Suncadia in Cle Elum, Washington over this midwinter break from school. This is my fourth trip enjoying this large resort that includes indoor and outdoor activities like swimming, wild life encounters and trails for every age. Here is my detailed review of this beautiful resort.


4 Out Of 5 Stars


Suncadia has some of the best views as you walk through the lodge. This resort has an Inn as well as a Lodge. We stay at the Lodge that over looks the valley. Here are some positive points about our trip.

Customer Service

The staff is kind and helpful in every area of the resort from front desk to the restaurant staff. We were very pleased with their help.

Rooms

Relaxing in the bedroom while the kids and husband make a snowman.

The bedrooms have a cozy fireplace, comfy beds and clean bathrooms. Just big enough for my family of four to play. The room we stayed in had a small kitchenette that included a cooktop and fridge. It was stocked with plates, cups and utensils for four. There was a k-cup coffee machine with coffee and creamer (my life support). Plus a toaster which we used for waffles in the morning.

A huge plus for me is their 100% cotton bedding and towels for my daughter who has eczema. I didn’t have to worry about them making her itchy.

Restaurant (Portals)

Beautiful views from every seat in the restaurant overlooking the ridge. The food is high quality and fancy and I was loving it. My kids had tater tots and chicken strips with ranch or ketchup (no bbq; just a heads up).

Pool

The pool isn’t connected to the hotel. Though includes a indoor and outdoor pool with 2 water slides (outdoor pool isn’t open in the winter). Kids must be 42″ tall to ride the slides and no double riders. Only single riders so my kiddos were interested in the slides. But the pool is warm and they have indoor and outside hot tubs for kids 6 and older.

Activities

There is a kids junior club which we didn’t try this trip (I feel my kids are too young) but they had great indoor kid activities in their conference room. These activities are an additional charge. Here are some of the activities we participated in:

Outdoor activities include:

  • Sleigh ride
  • Sledding
  • Cross country skiing
  • Skating
  • Visit the elk

Why Suncadia lost a star?

It all comes down to poor communication. I made an reservation for dinner and didn’t know they only have buffet right now. This is new. If I knew I was going to eat a buffet maybe I’d skip lunch.

Another area of miscommunication is on their website. The double queen description states there is a fridge in the room. When I walked into the original room we were given, I asked the bellhop where the fridge was and he stated not all rooms have fridges. I thought weird and asked if I could get one. He said I’d have to switch rooms with the front desk. We switched rooms to a king with sofa bed to meet my needs but I felt it was a little false advertising.

Either way, I recommend calling to make a reservation so you know exactly what you are getting. Ask lots of questions.

Conclusion

We had a lot of fun and look forward to going back again soon. I recommend to my friends, family and readers a trip to this growing resort on a ridge in the middle of the forest. Wishing you the best on your next family adventure!!

Horse Sleigh Ride

This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful long weekend at Suncadia in Cle Elum, Washington for the celebration of president Washington’s Birthday. Originally, we made these plans a while ago thinking our family would experience the winter wonder for only one weekend away however to our surprise we got snow at home the two weeks prior to our visit at Suncadia. Luckily, the mountain passes cleared up and we got to experience the fun activities Suncadia had in store. For example, the magic experience of a horse-drawn sleigh ride.


Calming Sleigh Rides


This experience was like the lullaby tune “Jingle Bells.” So much so I began to sing the song when I heard the sleigh bells jingle as we rode through the forest under the cozy blankets that were provided to us. The ride was so peaceful and we were so cozy under the blankets that my toddler fell asleep 10 minutes into the ride. I have to thank the team at Three Peaks Outfitters for a great memory of this winter outing!

Meet Lucky and Tip from 3 Peaks Outfitters. Both the kiddos got to pet these beautiful, big horses. I believe he said their horse breed is Percheron. Similar to a Clydesdale but a noticeable difference is the short hair near the hoof or fetlock. Not sure if you can see us standing back there with our winter outfits on but we have big smiles on our faces.

The driver offered my daughter the opportunity to sit up front with my husband. She jumped up there faster than she could say yes. The cowboy explained all the harnesses and horse behaviors to us as we rode through the snowy forest. The sleigh would twist and creak during this half hour trek. It was beautiful, peaceful and educational.

Check back tomorrow for a full review of our experience at Suncadia with a list of activities available to you.

Bead Snowflake Ornament

While on vacation, my family took advantage of their winter activities which included this cute snowflake ornament made of pipe cleaners and beads.


Snowflake for Kids


To start this easy craft, take 3 pipe cleaners and twist them together in the middle then separate the end out to look like a 6 point snowflake. I had to twist it together for the kids before they added the beads to each end. This is a great eye hand coordination activity for the kiddos. My toddler was very focused on adding the beads.

When you get close to the end, you will want to hot glue or super glue the last bead on the end so the beads don’t fall off. On one end, tie a ribbon so you can hang it on the tree.

Viola the snowflake is completed. It is an easy and fun activity for all ages. For a complete diy video, check out Crouton Crafts’s YouTube channel here.

For older kids, I recommend making it more challenging by following a pattern to transform this activity into a coding exercise.

Compliment Cookies and Cupcakes

I feel like I talk about My Little Ponies a lot. I guess you are getting a little taste of what it is like at our house with pony craze. (Spoiler Alert) My kiddos and I recently watched an episode where Pinkie Pie was teaching her students about compliments with a cupcake exchange. I thought:

‘Wow that is a great idea.’


Girl Scouts Mari Badge Idea


My daisy troop recently earned their Mari ‘Responsible For What I Say and Do’ Badge. We started by reading the story of Mari the marigold. Luckily the story includes cupcakes decorating. Then the girls watched the first minute of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Season 8 Episode 12 “Marks for Effort,” where Pinkie Pie explains and shows her students how to pay a compliment for the exchange of a cupcake. Then we reviewed the compliments we saw in the show before decorating a cupcake for our exchange.

Today, we decorated cookies similar to the cupcakes. The frosting, sugar cookie and sprinkles were supplied to my kiddos. They might have eaten just 2 large spoonfuls of frosting before any made it onto the cookie. So yummy!!

I think I would call these cookies Rainbow Bam!! Every variety of rainbow sprinkle made it onto this cookie adding just the right amount of crunch. Enjoy!!

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