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toddler activities

Growing Up

Turn Chores into FUN!

A Christmas Tree scavenger hunt turns a chore into FUN for kids

The holidays are such a fun time to decorate the house with reminders of the season.  I had so much fun this year with the girls, telling them the story of Jesus as we put out the decorations.  We talked about all sorts of things to keep them focused on the true reason for the season.  And the season came and went so quickly this year!  Today, I was pretty ready to have the house cleared up as we get ready to get back to our routines in the new year. So, it was time to do another of my favorite traditions with the girls: a scavenger hunt!

My girls LOVE a scavenger hunt!  And I love a clean house.  So I combined both of our loves and turned a chore into a fun activity for the girls.  The excitement my girls exhibit when searching high and low for the items on a list is contagious.  And I love the skills that a scavenger hunt reinforce.

Here’s how we turn a chore into fun: Continue Reading

Growing Up

Team Puzzle Play

We are kind of puzzle lovers around here.  I have loved them since I was a little girl (although I don’t get to work on them often enough anymore).  And G has been interested and has shown an aptitude for puzzles from a very young age.  W came up right behind her loving to work on puzzles, too!  But have you ever tried to do a puzzle with someone else and found yourself hoarding the last piece – so you can be the one to finish it?  Well, my girls have a tendency to create arguments over doing puzzles together.  So I came up with a fun little team building game using some very basic puzzles for the girls.  And it was a big hit!  This game has made puzzle play a lot more enjoyable and has really helped them to learn to work together. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Sensory Glop for Preschool Play

Our girls are really enjoying their Bob books!  We picked up a set for each of them.  We got the Alphabet one for Wren and the first Sight Words one for Grace.  I know very little about how to teach a person to read, but thankfully our girls are making it easy on me by learning without much instruction!  But since picking up the Bob books, the girls’ interest in reading has hit overdrive.  They ask every day, several times a day if we can read another new book.  And since we are working so quickly through them, I thought I would extend their life by creating some book related activities for the girls to do.  The first one we tried was sensory glop based on the Bob Book Jump. Continue Reading

Devotion, Growing Up

Wisdom turned Inside Out

Some of the most interesting and fun activities are the ones that are sudden inspirations for us.  The other day we got a set of stickers for the new movie, Inside Out (a Pixar film that looks great, but we haven’t yet seen).  And the girls LOVE stickers!  G asked me immediately if we could play with the stickers.  I had grown weary of the way they have been “playing” with stickers lately – sticking them all over their bodies and then onto the tile floor for me to scrape up later; so I said, “Let’s do something special with them!”

G responded, “We could put them on paper!”

I said, “That’s a great idea!”

And in that moment a sudden inspiration hit and I knew that these stickers would be an opportunity to talk about emotions with my young ones.  And I knew I needed to take the opportunity to show them what God’s Word has to say about our emotions and help them to direct them in positive ways.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have taken the opportunity to work on each of the emotions represented in Inside Out and talk about God’s wisdom.

You see, the reason I thought it was important to talk about God’s ways of handling emotions was because I had a strong suspicion that Inside Out would in some small way glorify the emotions that are not what God wants of our kids (or us!).  I suspected they would make Anger something cute, or funny, or appealing – and I didn’t want my girls to find Anger attractive.  I also suspected that Disgust would be something that would be directed at parents or authority figures.  Again, I have not seen the movie, but I felt like I could see where they were headed.  Rather than allow my girls to watch the movie or play with the toys related to the movie and get all their concepts of emotions from them, I wanted to direct them to the Word of God. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Simple Summer Activities: Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

As I have mentioned on this blog previously, I am always in search of simple summer activities for our girls to do.  And I have been waiting to make ice cream with the girls for quite some time.  But when I found this recipe for Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream that did not need an ice cream maker, I knew this would be easy and fun for us!  The girls loved making this ice cream almost as much as they loved eating it!

Throwing everything together took only a few minutes of prep before the girls got up.  If you have older tots, you can have them help you to cut the bananas and prep them for freezing, while you cut the strawberries. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Baby Play: Simple Counting Play and Song

This entry is part 10 of 33 in the series Baby Days

I haven’t been able to write a baby post in a while because I haven’t had a little one in my arms in far too long (hint, hint to my husband!).  But over the holidays I had the privilege of holding and playing with a couple of our youngest family members.  Thus, I got to take out some of my old favorite baby distraction games!  One of my absolute favorites is a simple finger play game that I made up with our oldest and use on every baby I can find.  It works almost every single time to delight and distract them.  And as our youngest has had her sudden (and shocking) vocabulary explosion, she is starting to learn to count.  This old standby game has really helped us to have fun while she learns to count to 5.

So I thought I would share it with you.  It is SO easy to learn and does not take a great singer to make it fun. Continue Reading