Outside Fun

On a snowy winters day, give the child a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of food colouring. Let the go outside and spray paint some creations onto the snow!

Easy Toddler Craft for the Birds

Help toddler thread cheerios, pretzels and other such items onto pipecleaners.

Bend into loops.

Create several to have a chain.

Hang outside where the child can watch the birds eat their creation!

Winter Suncatcher

Using a metal pie plate, have child put an assortment of small colourful toys, beads, buttons, etc inside.

Lay ribbon or string so that it will be able to hang the suncatcher once frozen
Fill to brim with water.

Remove from pan and hang outside near window.

*Perhaps a Nature version too - using pinecones, pine needles, rocks, twigs, leaves, etc.

Christmas Craft: Gingerbread Man

1. Cut out a large gingerbread man shape.
2. Let child decorate with a variety of items like:
glitter glue (my child's favourite!)
crinkly paper
googly eyes
pom poms
pipe cleaners
bits of fabric or felt
markers, crayons, etc.


Recent Christmas Craft Creations

artwork done with crayons & glitter glue framed

decoupaged white tissue paper onto a clear vase (great for gifts)

toddlers hands and foot make this reindeer's shape

markers on a wooden ornament

foam stars decorated with glitter glue and hung from the ceiling

finger painting on green construction paper, then covered in glitter glue, cut into tree shape, and buttons added as ornaments. Foam star glitter glued and then glued on top.

Gingerbread house made with square graham crackers, icing, and assortment of candies (m&m's, smarties, gummie bears, pretzels, coconut, raisens, marshmallows)


Toddler Toy Gift Ideas

These are the toys that my 2yr old Toddler loves:

- with pots, plates, cups, spatula, and a variety of food - some being the type that she can "cut" up.

- Baby Doll with a couple clothing items, few diapers, soother, plate & spoon, magic bottle of milk & juice, a few blankets. Favourite large accessories: Cradle & Stroller

- Give a box of craft supplies with items such as glitter glue, finger paints, stickers, feathers, pom poms, foam stickers, markers, etc. Also some items to be decorated such as unpainted wooden or plaster items like boxes, pictures frames, and tree ornaments.
Check out the dollar store for some cheap craft supplies!

- A book that has a variety of toddler activities & crafts is a great gift for both Mom & child

- Necklaces, Bracelets, Scarves, Hats, Purses, etc.
Check out a thrift store or dollar store for some great items

- She calls Papa regularly on her play phone and tells him about her day

- This gives lots of entertainment. Purchase a set with the potato family and then buy separate accessory kits. You could also use the accessories with playdough if you wanted.


Toddler Pumpkins & Jack O Lanterns

With a toddler, carving a pumpkin is not something they can help with. However, there are alternatives!

If you only believe Jack o Lanterns should be carved, cut out the top hole, loosen the seeds & muck from the insides and then give the toddler various spoons or containers to scoop it out. Gross yet Fun!

OTHER VARIATIONS on Pumpkin Decorating:

- let the kids paint their pumpkins with faces or some abstract design that only they understand.



Push Pins & Yarn
- Saw one post where they had put various coloured push pins spread all over the pumpkin and then took lengths of yarn and wrapped them from pin to pin to create unique geometrical designs.

Mr. Potato Parts
- Put a few strategically placed holes in the pumpkin and then let the child use their accessories from their Mr. Potato Head toy.

Child's Creation:
Another option is to let the child draw the face and then the adult carve exactly where the lines are.


Easy Halloween Costume - No Sew

My daughter is a Ballerina for her indoor Halloween Parties.

* Dressing her in a white onesie & stockings from her closet.
* Putting her hair up in a bun/ponytail
* Tieing ribbons around her ankles like those on ballet slippers.
* Wearing ribbons around her ponytail
* Complete outfit with a homemade tutu
* A Tiara would be a nice addition (my daughter wouldn't let it stay in)
* A wand or wings would transform into a great Fairy Costume!

* There are so many online tutorials on how to make a tutu. I bought tulle (sometimes called nettings) for quite cheap. I cut into strips about 2" wide. The length depends on how long you want it - keep in mind that the strips will be folded. For the waistband, I used one of my stretchy hairbands. Also saw online people that used a piece of purchased elastic or a length of ribbon. Using two strips, double over so they are now half the length. Loop over the elastic and pull through your loop. Continue with as many as you like until it has the desired fullness. *

The tutu would also be great to make as a Birthday or Christmas present for the child's dress up box!


Big Sister Present

My daughter will be a big sister in 6 months and have been doing some thinking on a gift for her from her little sibling.

Have to head to the dollar store and see what they have for inspiration but here are my thoughts so far...

Container: Fancy purse (use for dress up later)

Bag of candies (quite a treat as she doesn't get much candy)
*Special Notebook (will add her name to cover with puff paint & sparkles)
Special Pen (purchase a fancy pen and add ribbons to end)
small baby with tiny accessories

I saw on another blog where their 'big sister' was older and so a disposable camera was amongst the items - that would be very neat to see their perspective!

Other Moms also mentioned that they purchased something larger that would help keep their child entertained once at home with baby - ie. play kitchen, playdough set, baby doll w/ crib, stroller, etc.

Gift to Baby:
I also plan to have my daughter help 'purchase' a gift for the baby - probably a small stuffed animal and rattle - that she can help wrap and give to the baby. Perhaps she'll feel extra special playing with the baby with the items she had given him/her.

* Making your own Stickers & Special Notebook *
Stickers: Print clip art out on a 81/2 x 11 label sheet or on the smaller labels.
Notebook: Layer several papers (I like to alternate a few coloured papers with white). Fold either horizontally or vertically depending on the size of notebooks you want. Staple in several places. Cut your notebooks out!


Make Your Own Loot Bag Favours

Check this link out for some amazing ideas on homemade Loot Bag Favours.

*would also be items that would be great as Christmas Stocking Stuffers!*

Everything from felt play food, lollipops, superhero masks, etc.



Halloween Crafts

Ive been searching for some ideas on Halloween Crafts to occupy my 2 year old. These will also be used to decorate the house.

Collage: I copied clip art from
http://www.office.microsoft.com/ onto a Word document and printed out. I cut out the various pictures and will let her glue them onto some orange paper.

Hanging Decorations: Some of the above clip art I enlarged and cut out. I cut large squares of cardstock (a bit bigger than the clip art) and let her glue the pictures on the front and back. Create a hole in top and hang with string.

Puzzle: One piece of clip art I enlarged to the size of a full sheet of paper. I printed out and cut into six equal squares for her to reassemble.

Colouring Pages: There is lots available to print. Google "printable colouring pages" or draw your own simple picture for them to colour.

Jack o Lantern Candle Holder: Using bits of orange tissue paper, let child glue onto small jar or votive holder. (Reuse old jars from salsa, pickles, etc.) Apply a layer of glue on top. Use a black marker or glue pieces of black felt for jack-o-lantern face.

*I let her do the glueing & sticking orange paper on and then I obviously did the face*

Jack o Lantern on a Stick: Let them paint a paper plate with orange paint. Give them shapes cut from black construction paper to glue on. Glue a popsicle stick to the back of the bottom part of plate. Or forgo the stick and hang with string.

*Make five varied sizes & expressions of Jack o Lantern on a stick and use to recite the commonly known poem (see below)

Terra Cotta Pumpkins: Use any desired size of terracotta pot and let child paint orange. Then draw on a face.

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late!"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care."

The fourth one said, "Let's run, let's run!"
The fifth one said, "Isn't Halloween fun!"
Then Woooooooo went the wind
And OUT went the lights.

And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Egg Carton Spiders: Using cardboard egg carton, cut out a few individual cups. Let child paint black. Poke holes in cup for child to stick black pipecleaners through for legs. Glue on googly eyes. Poke hole in top to hang. (Do several and hang at various lengths)

Salt Dough: Create pumpkins and ghosts for decorations or magnets.

COOKIES! Going to find a yummy sugar cookie recipe, add some red/yellow food colouring and make pumpkin shaped cookies.

Halloween Garland: Cut out several halloween shapes (Ghosts, Bats, Pumpkins, etc) either by drawing the shape or using clip art or downloading various templates available on the internet. Punch a hole in the top of each. Let the toddler help thread them onto string or yarn and hang in entranceways, windows, etc. *Using cardstock may help this be reusable*

Halloween Gingerbread House: A mini version using one square graham cracker per wall, one for the floor and two for the roof. Decorate with candy corn shingles and other various candies. Yum!
Pumpking Carving: I'll cut out the top lid and loosen all the innards from the sides. Then give her a spoon and let her scoop!
* She was quite grossed out by the feel of all the seeds & goo and seemed to enjoy touching in & cringing *


Helping Make Meals

My toddler wants to be a part of what Im doing all the time. If I can find her jobs to do this makes life easier for both of us - although it does slow the process somewhat :-)

holding mixer or helping stir items

shucking corn - quite messy but took her quite a while

Other things she can do:
* Put items into the garbage for me
* Unload dishwasher and bring dishes to me to put away
* Feed the cat
* Pull potatoes out of the bag and hand to me to peel
* Wash potatoes, carrots, etc.


Recycling and Upcycling Children's Artwork

Great gifts & ideas for any occasion
(and keeps the clutter to a minimum!)
Mail to various relatives (especially those without children)

Cut & fold into envelope shape. Affix address with a label. What a funky piece of mail to receive!

Make a calendar from your home printer

Take a picture of artwork and using website (like Walmart or other similar one) upload to use on:
mug, mouse pad, calendar, greeting cards, notepads, tote bags, and anything else they will put a photo on

Cut up artwork into strips or squares and let child glue onto paper for a newly designed piece of artwork - or put onto a greeting card!

Cut into squares, punch a hole in corner for a gift tage

Mat and frame the artwork

Wrapping paper

Cut up into strips for bookmarks: laminate or glue onto cardstock. Punch hole in top and thread yarn through.

Create greeting cards

Laminate for use as a placemat

Transfer or trace onto fabric then embroider and make tea towels, napkins, quilts, sachets, and small pillows

Cut into puzzle pieces and let child put it together again

Decoupage it onto any wooden, metal or glass items (wood tray, a box, a frame, a set of drawers, metal can, cardboard can (like from hot chocolate), glass votive holders, glass canisters, etc.

Cut into squares to make a memory matching game

Glue to wooden shape or cardstock and place magnet on back

Cut into strips to make a linked chain garland.

Print on fabric to use for: pillows, quilt squares, sachets, appliques, pot holders, fabric coasters, tea towels, tote bags, and aprons

Cover a blank book or journal

Use artwork (or photo of it) in place of the photo on a photo keychain

Taking pictures of the artwork is a great way for storing them without taking up the space they normally would!


Salt Dough Recipe

Use this for Halloween Decorations, Christmas Ornaments & Decorations, Gift Tags, Placecards, Necklaces, Lapel Pins, Magnets, etc. Could hot glue small ornaments to Greeting Cards too!

Toddler can help mix up the ingrediants, make some 'creations', and/or paint your creations. A project for any age!

½ cup salt
1 cup flour
½ cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.

3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth.
If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.

4. Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.

5. Use cookie cutters to cut out as many shapes as you want.

6. Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want. Or insert a paperclip.

7. Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.

8. Bake for 2 hours.

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

10. Paint.

11. When paint is dry, use glitter glue or glitter paint to put a sparkling cover coat on your ornaments.

12. Spray with varnish

13 When dry, thread ribbon through hole and tie in a knot in the back.

Tips, Techniques, Ideas:

* Food colouring (red, green, blue, or yellow). Two or more food colours can be combined to make different colours and shades or for a marbled dough effect.

* Add spices that act as natural dyes e.g. cinnamon, curry powder, saffron or paprika.

* Add cocoa powder or instant coffee for different hues of brown.

* Wearing protective gloves add a little paint to the mixture then knead the dough until the paint is uniformly distributed through the mix.

Some pictures taken from the internet as ideas & examples:

Christmas Gifts for a Toddler to Make

Ive started to give some thought as to what my toddler can make for her relatives for Christmas. These ideas could also be used for Birthdays too of course.

Christmas Ornaments
recipe for salt dough: http://123mytoddlerandme.blogspot.com/2009/08/salt-dough-recipe.html

Picture Frames (either standing or magnet variety) Unfinished wooden frame that can be painted.

Bingo dabbers would make a funky polka dot design. Or perhaps decoupage with tissue paper, construction paper, magazine or catalogue pictures, old Christmas Cards, or even photographs.

Tote Bag - Canvas Bag and Fabric Crayons.

Haven't used these before but apparently the child draws on the bag (or shirt) with the crayons, then you iron the design with a piece of wax paper on top. Follow the directions on the crayon box since the directions may vary according to the brand.

Hot Trivet - Ceramic Tiles that are painted by the child and then clear coated with varnish. Glue felt on bottom to prevent scratched tabletops.

Vase - Clear Vase that is decoupaged (glue & paint brush - she'll love it!) with tissue paper.

I have many styles of clear vases that I find boring (I prefer coloured vases because I don't like seeing the stems) and will give away once decorated as presents. I'll make sure I get one for Christmas too! :-)

Candle Holder - same idea as vase - decoupage tissue paper onto candle holder. My 2yr old made this for her Grandma's birthday:

Magnets - Using wooden shapes, let child paint or colour. Stick a magnet on back. Another option: cut a tree shape from green felt. Let child help glue to cardboard or cardstock. Let child glue on small buttons or beads for the tree decorations. Glue a magnet to the back.


Camping with a Toddler - Necessities

Wipes! - even if toilet trained, bring these for the constant dirty hands & faces

First Aid Kit

Bug Repellant


Potty - If in-training or recently trained, a potty might be good to bring since some outhouses can be pretty scary.

Variety of toys that you only bring out if it rains (see separate Camping post)

Durable & Washable Toys - (see separate post on Camping)

Snacks - snack mix (see separate post in Food), Popcorn Twists, Fruit, Marshmallows, Meat & Cheese (cut up at home and put in plastic container), etc.

Disposable Camera

Rug or Mat outside Tent/Camper to keep a minimum of sanding coming inside

Clothesline - (Rope or folding wooden variety) There will be many wet items that will need to be hung up somewhere.

Extra Socks, Extra Blankets



These ideas compiled from a variety of magazines & online articles.

* FLOWER - Arrange cupcakes in a circle with one in the middle at the far side of a large platter. Use green construction paper to create a large stem & leaf.

* PIRATE - sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over white frosting and decorate with gold covered coins.

* PRINCESS - Pink frosting strewn with edible glitter and rose petals

* BABY SHOWER - Draw a baby face on each cupcake with icing, or simply pile up the frosting and stand a frosted animal cracker on top.

* BRIDAL SHOWER - Top with sugared edible flowers or candied fruit

* BIRTHDAY - Ice one letter on each cupcake and arrange to read "HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Child's Name)" on large serving tray
(I should have arranged this on a bigger platter to make it more flattering)

* SUNFLOWERS - Chocolate or yellow frosting with candy corn trimmed with a halo of orange candy corn 'petals'

* VALENTINE's DAY - Red Velvet cake with an inner core of chocolate and frosted with more chocolate. Top with candy hearts, kisses, or X's & O's.

* ST PATRICK's DAY - Green, Green and more Green.

*MUD / DIRT - Sprinkle chocolate frostinng with crushed chocolate cookies and have a candy worm slithering out of the center.

* EASTER - White cake and frosting. Cut marshmallows in half diagonally to form ears (frost the insides pink). Two more marshmallows make cheeks and a mini marshmallow cut in half makes bunny teeth. Use tiny candies for eyes; finish with a pink jelly bean nose.

* EASTER 2 - Sprinkle with coconut and nestle a few jelly beans in center

* HALLOWEEN - Ice with chocolate frosting and make spider legs with licorice and give them red cinnamon candies for eyes.

* DOGS / PUPPIES - Ice with chocolate frosting. Using crackers, one large brown candy and two smaller candies, and gel icing, create a puppy face.
(This was done for a Puppy Party my friend's 5yr old wanted)

* CHRISTMAS - Top with marshmallow snowmen, candy canes, or gingerbread figures.

* CHRISTMAS 2 - Ice half of your cupcakes in white and the other half in red. Alternate on large platter in the shape of a candy cane. *Option* Sprinkle them with crushed candy canes

* CANDY-TOPPED - Arrange candies on top in whatever design pleases you.

~~Decorate the tops with a variety of smarties or other small candy.

~~Arrange green & red smarties in a Christmas Wreath shape

~~Arrange gumdrops & jube jube in a flower shape (summer flower or Christmas Pointsettia)

~~Create a spider with black jube jubes and black licorice

If you are searching for a particular theme of cupcake, Google it! It's amazing all the ideas that are out there and many sites include the instructions on how to make it as well.

Disney's Family Fun Website: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/special/specialfeature/cupcake-finder-birthday/


Camping with a Toddler - Activities

Some ideas of items & activities to keep a toddler occupied while out camping. Keep in mind that it might not always be sunny so you'll need some items for in the dining tent or camper.

Sand Toys: Bucket, Shovel, Sifter (could also use bowl, mixing spoon, funnel, etc. from the kitchen)


Small bag of Blocks

Crayons, Paper, and Stickers

Jigsaw Puzzle

Magnifying Glass (great for checking out all nature's goodies)

Bug Catcher

Doll w/ accessories (hard plastic doll, choose items that are easily washable)

Etch a Sketch

Lots of books

Finger Puppets

Playdough (store bought or homemade - see separate posts for recipes)

Nature Collage - Bring Paper & Glue. Go for a walk and collect sticks, leaves, etc. in a sand bucket.

Pet Rocks - Bring Acrylic Paint & Brushes. Find some large smooth rocks & decorate with faces or abstract art.

Drawing in the Sand

Collecting sticks for firewood

Searching for beach treasures

Swimming, Splashing, etc.

Campground Playground (if available)

Throwing a Ball or Soccer game


Check out this website for some great games you can print off and keep in the camping supplies for rainy weather.


I printed out Dominos, Matching Game, and Bingo. There's a lot more to check out though so take a peek!


Toddler Birthday Party Food Ideas

This was our menu at our 2yr olds Birthday Party. The party consisted of many kids and their parent(s) too so needed foods for both age groups.

Pigs in a Blanket
(1/2 hotdog wrapped in 1/2 a Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough - bake at 350 for 10mins - I pre bbq'd the hotdogs a wee bit first)

Cheese Slices


Kielbassa & Garlic Sausage

Carrots, Cucumbers & Ranch Dip

Grapes & Watermelon

Veggie Dip (combination of cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing, and small bits of carrots, broccoli, green onion, pinch of garlic)

Mexican Dip (layered salsa, guacamole, sour cream with some taco seasoning and topped with tomatoes, green onions, and cheese)

Crackers, Tortilla Chips, Baguette Slices for the dips


Jar of Peanut Butter for those hard to please kids

Cake & Ice Cream

*The pigs in a blanket were a huge hit with even the parents and were the first thing to get eaten up*


Green Birthday Success!

We did a "Green" theme for our daughter's 2nd Birthday and it was a huge success. Here's some pictures of our decorations & activities.

There's also another post in the Birthday category with more details on a Green Birthday.

Two homemade banners made with felt, cord, and a glue gun. See separate post for more details.
Also made garland from our weekly flyers.

I had several tins from my Cappucino Mix. I covered them in construction paper and then supplied the kids with stickers, ribbons, buttons, etc.

Some of the finished products:

The kids seemed quite excited about them and I heard comments from the parents that they thought it was a great craft.

Colouring Station:
My daughter had done a couple earlier in the week that we used to hang up as decorations.

Kids were supplied with crayons and colouring pages I had printed off the internet. We then hung them up.

Lots of fun with Water & Sand

Fun with Bubbles:
See recipes section for the bubble juice. For tools, we used funnels, potato masher, slotted spoons, etc.

They had fun but it was a little advanced for the younger kids. Some got soap in their eyes which they didn't enjoy.

Fun with Water & Minnows:
The biggest hit of the party seemd to be the clear rubbermaid bucket filled with water, rocks, a dozen minnows and some water toys. It was always surronded by kids and they had a great time with it. A few minnows were sacrificed but all in all I believe it was worth it!

We asked on our homemade invitations for parents to consider giving a gently used toy or books wrapped in something recycled (newspaper, artwork, fabric, etc)

My daughter did receive a couple things like that and most of the presents had amazing artwork for wrapping paper and the most wonderful homemade cards.

Food: Cake was homemade. I didn't use any disposable dishes (that made for a lot of dish washing) and had finger foods so there were no utensils needed. I had washcloths set out for any mishaps so no papertowel would be inadvertantly used.

Loot Bags:
I had fun making these as I love crafts. See separate posts under Mommy Crafts. I made a little drawstring bag filled with peanut butter playdough, a cookie cutter, a small notebook, chunky homemade crayons, stickers, a thank you card made from some artwork, and little bags of candy.