Looking for Something?
Browsing Category

DIY

Author: FLORA

I am a post-career SAHM (Stay-at-home mom), living in Bozeman Montana. I share stories and ideas from parenting with a Montessori and Positive Discipline inspired perspective. Also, I LOVE DIY projects and finding great ways to use thrift store or hand-made toys for my little ones.
Learn more about why I say I'm "Just" a stay-at-home mom.

Find more on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Decide What you Will Do (To Motivate Children to Clean-up)

Today, I want to share how this tool can be very effective in motivating a toddler to clean up.  &#...

Learning about numbers

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) says, “Each day offers us countless opportunities to help children deepen their understanding of math concepts. The more we talk math, the better chance infants and toddlers have to build a positive attitude toward math learning and learning in general.”

So, I am striving to incorporate math concepts into everyday life here with “Chunky Monkey”.  Some people would think it’s too early to work with an 18-month old on math concepts, but that’s not true at all.  Montessori education and the NAEYC recommend that you begin including math concepts in every day life from infancy.  Why waist the incredible time period of 0-3, when children have such absorbent minds?

So, this week I did a DIY flip ring with the numbers 1-10.  number flip book1image1

 

 

 

 

 

I used a permanent marker to write on some lament counter top samples my husband got from a hardware store.  The sample chips and chain came already put together, but you could easily make this with lamenated paper.  In fact, I just found one like it recently at a yard sale (from a crafty mom).:-)image3

My little man was eager to have me tell the “story” of the numbers again and again while he flipped the samples to the next one.

So, I’d call it a success so far – and it only took about 2 minutes to make!

– See more at: http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/music-math-more/math-talk-infants-and-toddlers#sthash.bIKG7DMs.dpuf”

Some ideas for talking about math concepts (from the NAEYC) with young children include:

1. Number and operations

  • “You have two eyes, and so does your bear. Let’s count:–1, 2.”
  • “I have more crackers than you do. See, I have 1, 2, 3,  and you have 1, 2. I’m going to eat one of mine. Now I have the same as you!”
  • “That’s the third time I’ve heard you say mama. You’ve said mama three times!”

2. Shapes and spatial relationships (geometry)

  • “Look, Jason went under the climber and Aliyah is on top!”
  • “You’re sitting next to your brother.”
  • “Some of the crackers we have today are square, and some are round.”

– See more at: http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/music-math-more/math-talk-infants-and-toddlers

– I also strongly recommend this 8-week online course on Early Preparation of the Mathematical Mind.  I took it and learned a lot about how to teach math concepts early.  http://ageofmontessori.org/early-math-course-online/

Funny Birthday card ideas

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

So, my husband’s brother turned 30 today and we wanted to do something special for him.  Since he loves his nephew (How could he not?!;-) ), I made a few funny videos and picture cards to text him throughout the day. Maybe one of your friends/family would love something like this on their Birthday.

Idea #1: Make a Singing Birthday Video.

This is so easy. I used the MyPetCanTalk app, which you can download for FREE! It is easy to take a photo, sing the song, and save it to be emailed or texted.

Idea #2: Make some funny photo cards, similar to ones you might have seen in the store…but STARING your little one!

I used PicMonkey to upload and edit the photos.  Super easy and also FREE!

calebphone

calebbirthday2

My husband and his brother are always giving each other a hard time.

Please share some of your fun Birthday ideas!:-)

 

DIY crafts you can do with a 1-year-old

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

Think a 1-year-old is too young to do crafts? Think again! There are so many activities that toddlers can begin enjoying, and they are great for their brain as well as small-motor development.  Even though a 1-year-old is a long way off from learning to write, the crafts you do today help build the muscles they need in their hands later!

1. “Water Painting”.  On a sunny day, take out a small container of waterand a paint brush and let your little one “paint” the sidewalk.  My 13-month old LOVED it!water painting

2. Easle Drawing/Painting.  I got this great Imaginarium Easle from a local thrift store for $5.  31OX4xuG75L._SY355_You can buy in on Amazon.com for $99 (or I bet you could find a similar one atyour local thrift shop).  The chalkboard part can be use for drawing (using large chalk).  There are lots of super cute ideas on Pinterest for making your own chalk in fun shapes like this (from Princesspinkygirl.com).

6bfb9ae7c4d5301befa1485cf19a7845

Princesspinkygirl.com

 

412xOeOTAELA definite key to the success of painting with a 1-year old, is using Melissa & Doug paint jumbo paint brushes and spill-proof paint cups.  These71BaJKjIDRL._SL1200_ things are amazing!  I fill the cups just about 1 inch with watered down paint, so when he turns the cups upside down and shakes them, they still don’t spill.  Amazing, really.  Also, I like to really water down the paint so when he paints his shirt or head (which has definitely happened), it’s not a worry.  It washes off easily because it’s so light.

3.  DIY Edible Play-dough – Thanks to Welovebeingmoms.com, I got the best ever play-dough recipe.  It really is DSC05741the best too!  And since it’s made from edible ingredients, I don’t have to worry if my little one tries to eat it.  *Although mine just loved pounding cookie cutters into it.:-)

 

play-dough2

4.  Bubbles!  This may not seem like a craft, but making cool shapes can bebubbles a great pre-curser to other creative endeavors.  We went through a store-bought jar of bubbles in 2 days (not kidding!).  Thank goodness it only cost about .20 to make a large mason jar of DIY bubbles to use for months! I used this easy recipe from Artfulparent.com, and it turned out great.  We used these caterpillar-209x209Munchkin Caterpillar Spillers Stacking Cup bath toys as additional bubble blowers (the purple & yellow cups were the best) and had a blast in the sunshine making bubbles of all sizes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy DIY 1 Year-old Bday Cake

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

This cake can take as little as 5 minutes to decorate!

I am always on the lookout for ideas that are cute and EASY.  Easy is definitely the key word here.   Even with only 1 kid (I know some of you are juggling 2, 3 or more!), I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to on toys, cards, or even birthdays.  BUT, I do want those things to be as nice and special as possible.  So, I was so excited when I found this great Dog-shaped Birthday Cake idea on Pinterest from The Experimental Home.

(*Sidenote, you can follow my Pinterest Page here).

cut_cake_dog

Photo from TheExperimentalHome.com

Step 1: Cook your cake in 2 heart-shaped pans.  Then cut one cake in half, in order to make the ears.

Step 2: Freeze to get the cake solid (and to help it not crumble when you frost).

Step 3: Decorate

Step 4: Enjoy!

My good friends made this wonderful version of the cake for their son’s 1st Birthday. By using small dots, it makes a beautiful cake! *But it definitely took more than 5 minutes.

Dog-shaped birthday cake2 dog birthday cake

 

I went a little simpler on my version, but still think it turned out great.  I used a plain white frosting, and mixed in some food coloring to give it a grey color.  Then, we used some black decorating gel to divide the ears from the face, and for the eyes, mouth and nose.

Voila! Took me about 5 minutes to decorate this cake, and it was a big hit with the family and our 1-year-old (although he mainly just loved eating it!):-)

Dog shaped cake5 dog birthday cake3

 

TheNaturalHomeschool

DIY baby squeeze packs for a 1-year-old

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

PicMonkey CollageI know some people roll their eyes at the thought of how much time you must have in order to “waste” some making baby food.  However, I have found it to be the total opposite.  If I take about 2 hours, I can make enough food to last me a month!

Now that Chunky Monkey is 1, I am making squeeze packets and freezing quick vegetable snacks, but I have been making his food since he started solids (at 6 months).*I’ll post some baby food ideas soon.

Here is a quick and easy way to make DIY healthy squeeze packs for your 1-year old. These are squeeze packs (using the  Infantino Fresh Squeezed system). 004A9148Half of the cost is the Fresh Squeezed “station” which you reuse every time you make the squeeze packets. Total worth the $16 cost! *And actually a friend of mine has been lending me hers.  So find a friend to share with and you’ve just scored an even better bargain!

Infantino "Fresh Squeezed" Station

Infantino “Fresh Squeezed” Station

It’s then $13 for 50 DIY squeeze packs (Prices are from 2/2015 on Amazon).  That’s less than half the price that you pay for pre-made packs.

Squeeze Pouches

Infantino Squeeze Packets (50 ct)

smoothie ingredients.Plus, you get to control what ingredients are in the packs (organic, gluten-free…whatever your pleasure).  My son is loving fruit smoothies right now, so pre-making squeeze packs means I only have to get my blender dirty once a month, too. yeah!

Here are some ingredients for your DIY squeeze packets:

  • Smoothie: Whole milk, Greek Yogurt, Frozen fruit, coconut oil (to help digestion), and I sneak in some cooked beets.
  • Carrots, Butternut squash and coconut oil
  • Quinoa and applesauce
  • Chicken, apples, and yams

*I’d love some more ideas, so please post recipes you have used for your squeeze packs in the comments below!

Here are some great step-by-step instructions on how to use the Fresh Squeezed system (although it is super intuitive and about the easiest DIY thing I’ve ever done.)  My only tip is to be sure your food is really blended, or you will get stuck trying to push a chunk through the tiny opening.:-)

Here they are!  DIY baby food for 1-year-old

They can be frozen for a few months and easily thaw by taking them out a day before you plan to eat them, or putting them in a mug of warm water (the same way you warm up a bottle).

DIY Felt Alphabet Letters for baby

Author:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Facebookpinterest

feltalphabet3One of my interests, as a stay-at-home mom, is to incorporate Montessori aspects into my son’s environment.  I strive to have his play time be enriching as well as fun.  *You can check out my guests posts as “Parent Coach” on Age of Montessori.  Anyway, around 8 months, I decided I wanted him to have some alphabet letters that he could touch and enjoy.

 

feltalphabet5 feltalphabet4

 

Supplies:

  • Felt (I picked colors that match the nursery)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

I started making the felt alphabet letters based on this tutorial from A Nest for All Seasons.

http://www.anestforallseasons.com/

http://www.anestforallseasons.com/

 Step 1 worked great. You just find a set of letters online in a font that you like, and cut out the letters in the felt.  Step 2, however, really did not work out. I have no idea how people actually get the stuffing to stay inside when you are hand sewing letters like this.  For me, it totally didn’t work.

Instead, for step 2, I decided to cut out a slightly smaller version of the letters in a different color felt, and then sewed that second letter on top of the first letter with my sewing machine.  WAY easier!  This helped the letters to have enough texture/bulk, but no stuffing required!

I used the zigzag stitch equivalent to “D” on this picture, and really liked that additional touch on how the letters looked. Singer-1748-Sewing-Machine-Stitch-Reference-Guide-300x200

Best of all, he has enjoyed this DIY toddler toy from age 8-13 months!

feltalphabet2 feltalphabet1