Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bring "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" to Life!

Reading together is a big activity at our house, and I love an opportunity to make a book more engaging and "interactive." There's no better way to aid in a young child's understanding and reading enjoyment than to bring a story to life! Most recently, we've been reading "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" by Al Perkins. 

Add a drum, and suddenly the book comes alive!
Don't have a drum? How about a hat box? Or a round food storage container?? 

We drum when we read the words "drumming on a drum" or anytime the book makes a drum noise "dum diddy dum diddy dum dum dum."

It's amazing how this small interaction has increased my 10 month old's interest in this book. As soon as we pull out the book, he knows exactly what to do!

How do you make reading with your little person even more fun?!?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Palm Tree Handprint Craft

img252 Summer is finally here, and what better way to celebrate than with a palm tree craft for your baby or infant (although this craft is equally good for kids of all ages)!!
The palm tree is super easy to make. Here, we traced Ethan's hand and cut out it out. The inverted handprint then became the top of the tree. I then cut out a piece of brown paper strip and "glue-sticked" them together. Easy easy! It would also look really cute using paint and turning it into a fingerpainting craft!
In this case, I used construction paper because it allowed me to easily trace and reproduce multiple handprints. Why?? Well, stay tuned--that's for another day! (Hint: it involves birthday party decorating!)

Looking for more crafts like this? Check out the Spring is Here Tulip craft!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 8 "Must-Have" Items for Your Packing List when Traveling with Baby

We decided to take Ethan on his first weekend away when he was 7 months old. I had no idea what to pack for infant travel. My instinct? Pack EVERYTHING! Then I remember...think practical...

First time in a hotel!

I know the obvious tips like "pack travel sized toiletries" or "bring a pack and play" but I felt like I still needed more help to make our travels easier! 

These are my top 8 items to pack when traveling with an infant:

1. A travel spoon- I'll admit- We prefer our regular day to day baby spoon, but it travels oh-so-well. Get it messy, put it back in the case and wash later. We got it for our first trip, but now it's just great to have for when we're on-the-go! We purchased one made by Tupperware.

2. Disposable washcloths- I wouldn't use these for day to day living, but they functioned well and doubled as a burp cloth. They are lighter and smaller than a cloth, but significantly more durable than paper towels. After the trip, leftovers are great tucked in diaper bag.

3. Disposable bibs- I'm all about being green, but again, they are smaller, lighter and easier than a washable bib. Our leftovers from the trip are now tucked in the diaper bag for moments when we forget to bring a bib!

4. Inflatable bath tub- One of the best tips we found was to try and keep the baby on schedule while traveling. If it's part of a routine-do it- including baths! We got the cheapest inflatable tub we could find, and it's been well worth the investment. Not only is it great for travel, but it also makes a great transitional sized tub at home (you know- when you're too big for the infant tub, but too small for the full tub). Also, the small tub saves water! Now you can feel slightly less guilty about using disposable washcloths and bibs!

5. Microwave sterilizer bags- One bag can be used a number of times and meant we only had to bring a limited number of bottles! Of course, you'll need access to a microwave! Use caution though--if not used exactly as directed, they can cause things to melt!

6. Travel pack of disinfectant wipes- Simply a must have. Enough said.

7. Deodorized diaper trash bags- Munckin makes some great ones in conjunction with Arm and Hammer. 36 bags roll up into a very small space, and they do work well to minimize odor- a welcoming benefit while bunking in a small hotel room!

8. A new toy! - This is maybe my favorite tip. A new toy is very interesting to a little person and can serve as a great distraction. 

Do you have any "must-have" items to make traveling with baby easier?
Happy and Safe Travels!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Best Part of Crafting with an Infant or Toddler...

They have no idea when your project goes wrong!!

Ok, I admit, maybe that's not the BEST part, but let's be serious-- Designing crafts for babies is hard! It's no wonder why internet searches for "baby craft" yield so few results! Of course, that's no reason not to try--and to fail--and to learn not to try that project again.

The benefits of making the attempt to craft with a baby (in this case, to paint with a 9 month old) far outweigh the failure.

Here I had the "brilliant" idea to have Ethan add some feathers to his painting. I had hoped that they would stick to the wet paint. Ok, so they did stick...but what was got was a nasty gooey mess!!!

But what did we get? Ethan still had a great time!

Know what else? The feathers did help mix the paint rather well, and his painting did look pretty once it was done (after I picked out the gooey feather remnants!)

Success from a failure--And Ethan will never know the difference! (At least until he's old enough to read this blog post--sorry buddy!)

Want to know more about Fingerpainting with Baby?
Or see a successful baby painting project- Spring has Sprung Fingerprint Tree


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