Friday, July 22, 2016

Waterproof Your Car Seat

This summer my 5 year old took swimming lessons.  With a toddler in tow, we didn't take time to have her change out of her wet swim suit and into dry clothes before heading home.  
I didn't want her booster seat and the back of the car seat getting all wet and smelling like chlorine so I came up with a way to keep the seats dry.


I just used a waterproof baby pad.  This one is about the size of a diaper changing pad and allowed me to keep the back of the car seat dry too.  This fits over the booster seat, and would also work on the 5 point harness car seats and the regular car seat itself.  


Here you can see my daughter hard at work learning to swim:


She's such a little water bug.  


Getting some one on one instruction.


On the way home, and my car is staying dry.



I used a similar method for protecting a car seat during a long road trip.  Click HERE for the details on that one.



This trick not only helps keep car seats dry (a life saver when potty training or on long road trips when a diaper might leak), but also helps to keep crumbs contained and keep the original car seat cleaner.




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Monday, July 18, 2016

Little Horses, Big Fun


This summer is just flying by.  The girls are involved in lots of different camps and lessons.  And of course, I try to squeeze in fun stuff at least weekly if not daily.  Last month we took a trip to check out the Land Of Little Horses in Gettysburg, PA.  I remember going there when I was a kid, and since my girls just love horses, I had to take them.  Whenever I go somewhere, I always check for a coupon.  I was glad to find a great deal on Groupon, so it costs even less.


Here's the stables that house all the little horses.  Some horses were just roaming free.


Throughout the day, about every hour, there were different activities going on.  Here is the hare and tortoise race.  


There was also a play area with several different buildings to play in such as a saloon and chapel.  


Here the girls are all dressed up for the show while my little guy plays the piano.


Saloon girls.


There was also a jail that the kids loved being locked up in.  Seriously they didn't want to leave.
A fake fire pit and tee pee area also kept the kids busy, as well as the playground.  


There were other animals to visit such as peacocks, goats, alpaca and donkeys.

At one point there was a parade of all the little horses.


My youngest daughter had to make sure to pet each horse at it walked by.


We kept busy the whole time we were there.  Every hour we did one of the activities, most lasted about thirty minutes.  Between shows/activities we checked out the other animals or played in the saloon area.

Here was a little circus performance act some of the horses did.


At the end of the day was a grooming session.  The girls just loved brushing the horses.


This was a really fun trip.  We spent about four hours there and the kids loved it.  My youngest daughter didn't want to leave, she loved all the animals so much.  I'd say this place is geared toward preschool to elementary aged children.  I took my 11 year old daughter and her friend and they had fun too, but mostly because they were together.


Have any of you visited the Land of Little Horses?  
What did you think?
What was the favorite thing to do?
My kids loved petting the horses and I thought it was neat that some would just roam around like a pet dog would wander free in the yard.




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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dirt Cups

Here's a cute snack for the kids that not only looks fun, but is easy to make.



To make this snack even easier, I used cups of prepared pudding rather than making my own.
You will also need chocolate cookies and gummi worms.



Crush up some of the cookies and sprinkle them on top of the pudding cup, then add a gummi worm.



This quick and easy treat is not only fun for the summer (or any other season), but would be great for a bug or dirt themed birthday party too.



Another variation of this is a Sand Cup.  Use vanilla or butterscotch pudding and nilla wafer cookies on top.  Add a few gummy fish instead of worms, maybe even a little umbrella or teddy graham bear cookie basking in the sun.


Sand Cups made with blue jello, cool whip, vanilla pudding, crushed vanilla wafers and teddy grahams (gummy bears would work too!):


I like making snack time fun.  It brings a smile to the kid's faces and makes an ordinary day feel special.





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Monday, July 11, 2016

DIY Paper Spinners

I love summer when the kids are home from school because there is more time to do things.  We've been trying out some fun ideas I've seen floating around on Pinterest.  Check out my Kids Pinterest Board to pin some ideas of your own.  

The other day we made paper spinners.  The girls colored them, but my 13 year old son couldn't let them have all the fun and found himself having fun spinning them too.  It was neat to see how the patterns and colors changed when they started spinning.


Using the templates and instructions found HERE, the girls made their own paper spinners.



I printed out the templates and they cut and colored them.
I cut out the cardboard and we glued the paper onto it, making each side a different pattern.
Then using a needle and thread we added the string for spinning.



Here are all the different patterns.  The pattern with the most colors (bottom left above) only looked like two colors when we spun it.



Here's a montage of all the different spinners and what they look like when they're spinning.  I set it to some fun music so you wouldn't have to hear my kids trying to get my attention the whole time with, "Mom, look over here" and "Mom, check this out".

video

Oh, and in case you were wondering what I do with my toddler during craft time when he'd love to color everything and rip up the paper, you can see him safely contained in his high chair, happily eating while the other kids play with their spinners.   



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Thursday, July 7, 2016

She Doesn't Sell Sea Shells

My youngest daughter had the privilege of vacationing at the beach with Grandma.  They went in May before school let out and it got crowded.  One of the favorite activities is collecting sea shells.  But what to do with all those shells?  Well, if your child is the artistic type, one thing you can do with them is paint them.  


We just used acrylic paint in various colors.


She was going for a zebra look with that black and white one.


I think the ones painted with glitter paint turned out the best.


And here's a little video of my daughter describing all her shells.  She actually requested that I video her.  Oh, and she wanted me to mention after we finished filming, that none of her shells are for sale.  However, if you'd like to purchase one of the hundreds of shells she's collected and can't bear to part with, let me know, I'm sure we could strike up a deal.  I need to start making room for next year's shell collection.

video



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Friday, July 1, 2016

Wooden Firecrackers

I'm back today with another 4th of July decor DIY.  This time I made some WOODEN FIRECRACKERS.  I combined this idea and this idea that I saw on Pinterest. 
I cut my wood to length.  I didn't measure.  Just cut a 2x4 in half length-wise and then made each piece shorter than the first.  Then I painted them to coordinate with the wooden star blocks I showed you yesterday.  I also sanded the edges to give it a distressed/rustic look.


I used some twine and a metal hanger to add some details.  I cut off a few inches of the hanger and had my son twist it into to a curly Q.  


Then I drilled some holes in the top of each block and stuck in the metal curly Q.


Isn't that just so cute?


I love how these turned out.



And the fact that they match the star blocks I made, makes me like them even more.  Click HERE to find out how to make the star blocks.




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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wooden Star Blocks


Last week I made these cute wooden STAR BLOCKS as some 4th of July decor.  
I got the original idea HERE, and changed it up just a little bit.
It was easy to make and looks cute sitting on the mantle.

I used a scrap 2x4 that I cut into 3 square blocks.  The girls helped me with the project so it went by pretty quickly.


While the girls painted....


this little guy played in the water table and happily stayed out of our way.


The white block is more of a silvery color and took more coats than the red and blue blocks.  Once they were dry, we added some stripes (using painters tape) and dots (using the end of a paintbrush).


We also painted stars in the same red, white and blue colors.  The stars were from Michael's and only .29¢


I used a sander to distress the edges of the blocks a bit, then I super glued the stars to the blocks.
  

I didn't bother painting the sides of the stars.  I thought having the wood show through would give it a little added dimension.



I made some wooden firecrackers to match the star blocks.  Be sure to stop back tomorrow when I'll be sharing that idea.



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