Tag Archives: toddler activities

The wonders of play dough

I gave Miles play dough to play with once before, but he didn’t like it. It was a make-your-own using cornstarch and water. It broke apart too easily, and wasn’t the right consistency. Miles only played with it for 5 minutes, so I figured he just didn’t enjoy play dough, and I haven’t tried it again since. Big Mistake.

I found a recipe for one minute playdough here. It use only dish washing detergent and flour. I substituted plain white flour for self-raising flour because that’s all I had, and it still worked. It was the perfect consistancy, it came out a lovely pastel green color without any food coloring added to it, and it also smells clean!

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I decided to use the play dough as an opportunity to teach Miles about the color green by pairing it with other green items. I used a green Easter egg, green wooden dowels, some green tops, and green dinosaurs.

Miles absolutely loved it and played with it for about a 45 minutes!

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I loved watching him concentrate so hard as he manipulated the play dough in different ways.

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He chews on his tongue when he is concentrating hard like I do. haha

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I wish we had been using play dough all along! It’s great for fine motor skills, and it kept him entertained for so long. I’ll definitely be using this one minute play dough recipe again in the future!

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Earth Day

Earth Day is Monday, so we’ve been doing some environmentally friendly activities all week.

The first activity we did was a recycled materials painting.

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I gave Miles an old paper bag to paint on with some finger paint. (I taped the paper bag to his high chair so it wouldn’t move around as he painted.)  And instead of giving him a paint brush, I gave him a recycled toilet paper roll and pieces of a recycled egg carton to stamp onto the page.

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The first day he painted with blue.

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We hung it up to dry and the next day he painted over it using green paints. The idea was to make it look like the earth.

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Here is his finished “earth”:

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Our next activity was a two-part activity. First we went to the park on a discovery walk to pick out some objects for an Earth day discovery tray.

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 I wanted this walk in the park to be different from other walks in the park with Miles. So, I took him off the trail a bit, and then let him lead the way.

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We picked up any object along the way that he was interested in.

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 I talked to him about all the different objects, describing their textures, colors, etc.IMG_2738

His favorite objects were big sticks and flowers.

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We ended up with some sticks, a pine cone, and some flowers to put in our discovery tray.  I also added the Earth ball.When I first introduced him to the tray he was only interested in playing with ball. When I took the ball out of the tray, he was much more interested in the natural objects.

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There are many other simple ways that you can celebrate Earth Day.  From picking up litter on the streets, to using minimal electricity for a day, the possibilities are endless. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about some of the ways you celebrate Earth Day.

 

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weekly activities

My last blog was about where we went last week, this blog is about what we did around the house and what Miles (14.5 months) has been learning.

Since Miles has always been a big fan of opening and closing as drawers, and recently has become obsessed with opening and closing containers, I decided to make some “open and close” activities for him.

First I set up this “open and close” bin for him.

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The bin included a tin box, a glasses case, a small purse, a book, a tin food container, an easter egg, a toy cell phone, my old cell phone (which doesn’t work anymore because Miles put it in the wash machine just before I started it – which his daddy saw and thought it was funny so didn’t tell me because he thought I would notice- tsk tsk), an easter egg, and a small zip-up toy backpack.

I’ve been trying to implement Montessori inspired activities into Miles’s playtime, so I introduced him to this activity using the Montessori method. We took the activity from the table and placed it on his mat. Then I showed him twice how to do it. I opened each item saying “open” as I did it. And then closed each item saying “close.” When I finished showing him, I stepped away and let him explore, still saying “open” when he opened one of the items and “close” when he closed one. When he stopped showing interest, I had him help me clean it up and put it back on the table.

His favorite items were the tin box and can and the two cell phones.

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This was the other open and close activity we did this week.

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I set Miles up with a bunch of different containers and their tops to match them with. He loved this activity.

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Besides these two activities, I also worked with him on “open and close” all week. Whenever he opened a drawer or cabinet, I would say “open” and when he shut it I would say “close.”

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Another activity we did this week was this split pea bin. Just split peas in a bin with some spoons and cups.

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Miles absolutely loved it! He played with it for about 40 mins. Of course he needed constant supervision with this activity, because of the small split peas (which he tried to eat only a few times). He loved scooping from the bin into the cups with his spoons.

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Daddy helped out for a little while.

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This activity was over however when Miles started throwing the split peas across the room. I have never seen him so throw such a fit before as he did when I took away this activity.

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Miles has also been learning the parts of the face. He can point to ears, eyes, and nose on both me and Joe,  and he even says “eeyyyyeee” for eye and “eeeeeee” for ear.

The only part of the face he can point to on himself though is his ear.

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When he got tired of playing the parts of the face game, I scored these really cute photos which I felt like I had to share.

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I was featured for Tot School!

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Being a tourist with a toddler

Although I’ve been in Scotland for almost 5 months now, Joe and I sometimes still enjoy “playing tourist.”

This week, we decided to get a two day ticket on the Glasgow tourist bus.

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It took us around the whole city, and we could hop on and off as we pleased. Miles loved it. He would always hold on really tight when we first got on it, but by then end he would relax and drift to sleep.

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On the first day, we took the whole tour, then stopped at a park and went for lunch and shopping. The second day we decided to be a bit more touristy and go to a museum. We went to the People’s Palace.

We have begun to let Miles walk around as much as possible, especially when we go somewhere together.  So we did not bring the stroller to the museum. This was our second time visiting a museum without a stroller, and I must be honest it takes a lot of getting used to.

I did not get to read the descriptions or take as many pictures of things as I might have liked to because I was busy chasing around my little toddler. However, I did still enjoy myself. It was so exciting watching Miles explore this new place. To touch and see the things he has never touched or seen before.  So, even though maybe I didn’t learn too much from my museum experience, I am happy to know that Miles learned and explored a lot.

The fountain outside the park

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If you can manage to look past the beautiful fountain, you can see the old carpet factory in the background of these pictures. It is a beautiful building that is now just an apartment complex.

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I always love these things haha

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Miles in jail!!

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We tried to get him to look upset while he was pretending to be in jail, but the above picture is the best we could get.

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These pictures are from Kelvingrove Park, that we went to earlier in the week to feed the birds and squirrels again. It has become an almost everyday thing since both Miles and Joe enjoy it so much.

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Miles enjoys being outside so much. He is so content just walking about and exploring, even when it is obvious in his eyes that he is getting tired he keeps a smile on his face as long as we are outside. We are going camping this weekend for a night, so hopefully he enjoys sleeping outside just as much. I’ll be sure to post a blog about our camping adventure.

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Easter Activities

To celebrate Easter, I gave Miles a bunch of activities throughout the week.

We started with this one. It’s just 6 little Easter chicks, 6 plastic Easter eggs, and an ice cube tray, all from Poundland (the UK equivalent of Dollar Store)

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This activity worked really well because he could practice a few different fine motor skills. Here he is sorting the chicks in the ice tray.

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I gave him the activity again a few days later and this time he was more interested in opening and closing the eggs.

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Since Miles has been very interested in pouring and splashing around in water lately, I set him up with this Easter themed water bin. It just uses the plastic Easter eggs and ice tray in the above activity, and I added water to it. He absolutely loved it! He played with it for about 40 minutes. By the end of it all the water was on him, and there was none left in the tub.

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For his Easter craft I drew an egg on a sheet of paper and Miles picked the stickers that he wanted to put on, and then placed them on by himself.

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There was some coloring as well, which he is starting to get the hang of, but he didnt enjoy it as much as the stickers.

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This activity was great for his concentration. He concentrated so hard to get the stickers to stop sticking to his fingers and to stay on the page.

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Miles’s finished Easter masterpiece! 🙂

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THE GIANT EASTER MORNING SENSORY BIN!

Rather than doing an Easter basket with a bunch of chocolates, I decided to give Miles a giant sensory experience for Easter morning with this bin. I used Easter grass, little baskets that came in an Easter Egg dying kit, little bunnies and chicks, straws, pipe cleaners, and other random pastel toys I had lying around the flat.

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When he first approached it, he was very neat and careful, picking up just one item at a time and examining it.

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After a while though, he was throwing the grass all around and clapping for himself afterwards.

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Daddy joined in on the fun.

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And of course what Easter would be complete without a little chocolate?

Miles thought his chocolate bunny was a toy at first, so Joe had to show him he could eat it.

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Yummmmmmyyyyy!

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I’ve been trying to post this blog for a few hours now but the internet keeps cutting out and my computer keeps going totally crazy. But I finally got around to it!

Happy Easter

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Feeding the Pigeons

Yesterday, we took the burnt bits of the bread that we made and went to the park to feed the pigeons. Miles absolutely loved it. I think his huge obsession for birds grew even bigger. The pigeons were surprisingly very brave. They would jump up on our knees and arms looking for bread. One even landed on Miles’s head! (scary!) It was such a great experience. I am so mad at myself for forgetting my camera, but I brought my iphone so here is the full photoshoot.

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The little girl in the photos is just a girl we met at the park who joined in our pigeon feeding. The two men in the picture are my husband Joe and his brother Shaun.

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What we did this week

I probably should have been keeping a blog the whole time I’ve been in Scotland, but oh well, better late than never.

Places we visited:

the Glasgow Transport Museum

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Miles loved walking around the museum by himself and exploring everything.

Around the house:

Joe introduced Miles to keys and how to open doors, and now he tries to do it himself.

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This kept him entertained for hours. And now everytime he sees one of our keys lying around on the ground he picks them up and walks towards the door and sticks them in the little hole, then claps for himself.

Then we gave Miles his first haircut!! I was pretty nervous to let Joe cut it, but it actually came out pretty good I think.

Here’s the before and after!

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We found that the secret to keeping to stay still the whole time was to keep giving him snacks.

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Joe made bread and so we gave Miles some of the dough to “help” with.

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He loved picking it up with the fork and putting it into the two bowls. This was great practice for him feeding himself.

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He tried to eat it only a few times.

I found these awesome chunky naked crayons which I thought would be perfect for Mile’s first time coloring.

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He enjoyed it initially, but then became more interested in standing the crayons straight up.

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He also finally took interested in this activity, dropping the popsicle sticks into the slits. It took him a couple weeks to get the hang of it, but now he loves it.

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I also found an idea on Pinterest to let children finger paint with baby shampoo. I thought this sounded like a great idea. Since it was just soap, it would be easy to clean up.

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Miles unfortunately didn’t enjoy it. He didn’t really get the concept and didn’t enjoy getting his hands sticky. After about 5 mins he started shouting “out” at me.

Joe began setting up Miles’s toys very elaborately for when he wakes up in the mornings. Here are some of Joe’s masterpieces:

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Miles loved knocking them down.

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