simple keepsakes and gifts for busy moms

Monday, November 07, 2016

Coat Check

posted in: Miscellaneous Fun

As the temperatures drop, our house has started to be overrun by jackets, vests, and boots! And since many of them are duplicates (oh, the joys of having two girls :), I've been looking for ways to keep them organized and tell what belongs to whom. When I was in the craft store the other day, I found these cheap wooden letters, and threw them in my cart without thinking twice.

They're totally not my style as is, but something about them reminded of this fun kind of pottery that I love. So I used pictures of their mugs and bowls to get a color palette, and went at them with my markers. Then I just used double-sided tape to hang them up under each of the girls' hooks (the wood is so light that the tape is totally sufficient). The result is so cheery!

While I still have to stay on top of the shoe tsunami, it's nice that the kids can help out a little bit - and we're not getting jackets mixed up on the way out the door anymore! 

Monday, September 05, 2016

Sun Prints

posted in: Miscellaneous Fun

It's been so hot here that we've mostly been hiding inside - but I wanted to find some project that took advantage of the blazing sun! This little kit fit the bill perfectly:

It was so simple that Mollie could help with it, and it only took a few minutes at a time. Great for toddler attention spans! First we went on a walk to gather flowers and leaves from our yard...and our neighbors'. Thanks, neighbors! :)

 

We laid them on scrap paper and pressed them between our heaviest books overnight. The kit says you can use three-dimensional objects too, but I wanted to make sure we had good contrast for our first attempt. The next day we arranged the flowers on the blue pieces of paper included in the kit and moved them to the sun.  

This next part happened quickly! As you can see above, the sun started bleaching the blue paper right away...you're supposed to leave it in sunlight until the paper is almost white, which only took two or three minutes in our yard. Then you quickly take the flowers and leaves off, and submerge the papers in a big bowl of water for another minute. (It took so little time that there wasn't enough time to take pictures.) Then you take the papers out and lay them flat to dry. When you first take them out the color is a light blue, but as it dries you're left with this beautiful brightness!

 This is now one of my favorite projects - so simple and pretty! I'm already brainstorming what other fun objects we can use. I guess the lingering summer has its perks!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Checklist

posted in: Miscellaneous Fun

I firmly believe that summer doesn't end with school starting, or Labor Day passing...it doesn't matter what the calendar says if it still feels like summer! So here's my checklist for soaking up these last hot, sunny weeks:

What's on your list?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Backyard Olympics

posted in: Miscellaneous Fun

If your kids are anything like mine, their days are filled with mimicking the sports they're watching the Olympics right now! (I might have a little gymnast on my hands.) We're not even halfway through, so there's still plenty of time to organize your own backyard Olympics! There are lots of great ideas for events online...these are some of my favorites:

 

Hurdles

 

Balance Beam 

 

Tennis

 

Javelin

 

And here are even more ideas...go for the gold!

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

ABC's

posted in: Miscellaneous Fun

My girls have this adorable print hanging in their room, and Mollie likes to point out "ABC's"  wherever we go. I recently picked up some alphabet magnets in the dollar aisle at Target, and while she liked playing with them, they seemed a bit confusing to her. Having four different colors (and five or six letters in the same color) made it harder for her to tell the letters apart, since at this age colors are the easiest difference to grasp. So I thought having them all the same color might actually make it easier to learn the letter shapes, instead of focusing on "A equals red." 

 

[Side note: I'm obviously not a certified teacher - just a mom trying to figure it out as I go along!]

 

I spray-painted them outside one day during nap time, and after giving them plenty of time to dry, surprised her with the shiny new version.

 

I also bought a second set so that I could spell out simple words, and she could try to copy them...eventually. :)

 

She's so much happier hanging out in the kitchen with me now - cooking dinner equals quiz time!

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