I have been in Watercolor,FL this past week and been having a great time with one my families that I use to work for. It is always sweet when I get to reconnect with the kids and get to know them more. I am thankful for this time and have been enjoying the sunshine.
There is a fun book store, Sundog Books, down here in Sea Side that I always make a stop at. They have my favorite cards and always something new. This year my friend Lindsey and I bought a great box of post cards. I found a box like this last year by the same company “Happy Menocal” that has patter designs and so I got excited to see these animal prints! The box includes 100 postcards that are designed by ten different artists.
I have always loved writing cards and sending mail along with receiving letters. It always brings a smile and makes the day brighter knowing that someone was thinking about me. If you walk into my room you will see many cards and post cards hung up as decoration. Writing letters has become a lost art with technology and though I enjoy sending an e-card (Paperless Post is my favorite site for e-cards) or writing an email letter to friends cause with the hustle and bustle of life with kids it’s sometimes tricky to find time to talk on the phone or get together.
During the summer you sometimes need a break from being out in the sun and have some indoor activities on hand. Having a stack of postcards is a fun indoor activity that ages 2+ can enjoy and will teach them many different things:
1. Teach kids to think about someone else
2. To pick out a card that someone else would enjoy and make feel special (this is a teachable moment on how we honor others)
3. For toddlers (2-3yr olds) this will help them learn their alphabet letters and though you will have to write the message out. They can use markers, crayons or stickers to decorate the picture or to make a card to send.
4. For preschoolers (3-5 yrs old) this will help them with their alphabet letters, practice writing their letters, learning how to make words and the excitement of accomplishment.
5. For school age (5+ yrs old) this will help them practice writing, sentence structure and keeping in touch with their friends from school.
6. For you! You can sit next to them and write a quick letter to one of your friends. You get to be the example and when they see you excited about it and enjoying the time they will too!
Ideas of people to send to:
- A child the family supports
- Someone in the hospital
- A get well card
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I have been following a blog called Babble Dabble Do and it has some really fun kid activities.
Today while baby brother was sleeping we needed an activity that was something other than our normal go to’s. Thankfully the boys enjoy doing science experiments and art crafts (they know how to speak my love language).
It turned out to be a little bit messy for the two year old but the 4 year old had no problems. Thankfully I found out that food coloring doesn’t stain clothes (I soaked one shirt in cold water and it came off) but does stain the skin… hopefully a couple bathes will take care of that!
Milk- almond apparently works best
a shallow tray
and foil or butcher paper to dry on
First step: pour a little bit of milk in the tray… enough to cover the bottom
Second step: put in a couple drops of different food coloring colors
Third step: The science experiment part
Add drops of dish soap and watch the colors burst and spread… Use the Q-tips to swirl the colors around (don’t mix too much or the colors will blend together and turn brown…though the boys thought it was really great)
Fourth step: I didn’t get a picture but you simply place the water color paper face down in the liquid and when you pull it up it looks like these…
Really easy and fun! We then just swirled the colors around and played with it. We dumped our mixes out a couple times to start over, this will be happening again!
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I found these coloring books a couple days ago and my heart got excited! I have been following an Artist, Valerie Wieners, on Instagram for several months. I enjoy her art, the way she beams God’s grace and how she uses her gift to share her story of redemption.
I found in her shop these really adorable coloring pages that you can download and freely print whenever you are in need of an activity. She has two different girl “books” with various designs. I became a quick fan because I thought these are great to bring with me to work and spend time coloring while also being able to talk to little girls about God’s truth and who God says they are, not what the world says they are. That is a battle they will have to fight for the rest of their lives, starting young to teach the truth that they are God’s BELOVED and that it is not just another name among a list but that is the name that he calls His children. Teaching little girls that beauty comes from their heart and that its not about what color their hair is, what clothes they wear and what color their skin is. I’m not sure a parent can tell their daughter enough that she is beautiful and point out to her the beautiful ways God has made her unique. To stop and look her in the eyes and say “hey I really appreciate _________ about you” “Hey you know what, God gave you a sweet gift to be able to _______” “Hey I really love that God created you to enjoy________” “I love that you like to wear you hair _______” “I am so proud of the way you handled _____ situation, that was really beautiful” “I love that you laugh with your siblings” “I enjoy doing ______ with you” “I think it is really fun that you enjoy collecting ________” “I enjoy how creative you are with _______” “you are beautiful because ______” “I really like how God gave you _____ color eyes” “I really like your fingers and toes” The list goes on but to be able to help them believe that God has made them special, they will begin to see and trust that their identity is from the one true God who loves them far more than they can ever imagine. (I think boys need that encouragement too)
These prints would be fun to hang up in their rooms or around the house to have daily reminders and depending on their age these can be great for memory verses. Here are a few examples of the prints:
You can find them(plus a whole lot of other pretty prints) here: Valerie Wieners Art
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Who better to get ideas from than Mary Poppins! Though our nanny bags aren’t really magical, your kids will be SO excited with whatever you pull out from your bag even if they already have it. Though I don’t bring something “special” every time I babysit but I do like to when its my first time at a families house or when I happen to find some fun things at the dollar store or Targets wonderful dollar section. It helps with distracting kids from the fact that their parents are leaving and someone new is coming over to help take care of them.
Here are some different ideas that may help on a rainy day, first time babysitting or just a little happy for the kids.
♥ A Mae Mae tip: Even if the kids have something to do at the house, kids always love a fun surprise that you bring along with you.
Girls always like having a spa day…Bring some nail polishes and that will be a fun activity while watching a movie, listening to music or just talking and getting to know each other. ages 3+
Bubbles! sometimes these can get messy but they are always a hit.
♥ A Mae Mae tip: If your at a wedding that is using bubbles for the Bride and Groom send off. Grab a couple extra to take to your kids. To be honest these are my favorite kind to use. They are small for little hands and great consistency that make bubbles every time.
I saw this idea on Pinterest and it was a great one! All you need is stickers and index cards. You can even do this with Holiday themed stickers for the Holiday seasons coming up! On the Left side you make a pattern then leave the right side empty for the child to copy. I pre-made mine so that it was more like a game. This helps with following directions, pattern identification and anything with stickers makes learning more fun!
If you have time to play before bed time bring a box of cake or muffin mix and bake cupcakes. Kids always like being a “helper” in the kitchen and the reward of what comes out of the oven is always enjoyed 🙂
This is another Pinterest find. Bring 1 card board box(any size) and cut it so its flat then bring some type of tape that will show up (duct tape, masking tape or even painters tape). The boys enjoyed making roads for their cars to drive on. The older the kids are the more creative it can be come with adding different things you may see around your city. This is fun too cause they get to do something new with the toys they already have.
or make a fort
Jello Jigglers! These are fun but if you want to make shapes you will need to prep before hand to allow enough time to cool in the fridge. So if you bring it premade ya’ll can cut out different shapes and enjoy!
Paper Crafts!! These are fun and possibilities are endless.
Embroidery Thread is fun to bring to make “friendship” bracelets. If you are taking care of preteen or teenagers you may be able to get creative and actually make some of the bracelets that take following directions. For the little kids its fun to just let them pick colors and twist or braide them together to make anklets or bracelets.
If you have more ideas please leave them in the comments and lets share ideas together!
Enjoy your day!