Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pudding Spider Snack

This is a super simple spider snack. How's that for alliteration? But really, this snack is quite simple and easy and great for either handing out at Halloween or class snacks, which is what we made them for. We made a whole army. But I'm just going to show you the one, and how easy it really is.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Pom Tree Kids

Between my boys and my nieces, I take care of lots of people who enjoy a good craft project, so I was happy for the chance to review a variety of projects from Pom Tree Kids.  I appreciate this company is dedicated to helping kids enjoy doing something that doesn't involve a screen!

The first thing we played with was a Pom Jewelry set, and while you might think it's strange that my boys enjoyed creating with it, they actually were not real bothered by all the pink and purple.  My older son chose some colors he liked to make a keychain to put on his backpack, and when he came home the next day he said someone had complimented it so he wanted to make one for them too!  My younger son put a variety of "charms" onto a bracelet, along with some fuzzy pom poms.  I think that the pom pom beads were a favorite of both boys, and while in theory the little plastic tube going through them would make it easy to them on a string, the thread that is included with this kit is too fat to go through the tube easily.  That ended up causing some frustration and I even had to go get a needle to get one particularly tough "bead" on.  The boys weren't real in to layering the flower shapes on top of each other, but I can see how another child would find that to be really fun.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DIY Fairy Costume

Okay so this isn't an entirely DIY princess fairy costume post. It's like- go buy some Dollar Spot Fairy wings and pair it with a cute DIY wand and wala- you have a costume! :)

We made this wand for a fairy birthday party Aly was invited to. And if Aly makes something, you better believe Ada will be making one too :).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How I Tell My Child to Go Back to Bed Without Having to Go Upstairs a Million Times {a review}

When we lived in Kenya for a short time, we made some good friends who lived across the courtyard from us. We both had small children who went to bed early, but we also wanted to hang out together in the evenings to play games and eat a few of the sacred chocolate chips that a visitor just brought over from America. So, we used a baby monitor to play a game in one person's apartment while listening for the child sleeping in the other.

These days we're not playing games at other peoples' apartments while the kids are sleeping, but we have many other just-as-good reasons to be tuning into our little (and not-so-little) ones with the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor.

Scenario #1:
Three big kids are in their room, in bed, supposedly falling asleep. I check out the camera and see that Ada is actually standing up in bed, playing with her pumpkin garland that we just made. What?! SO, I could go up there and tell her to get back in bed OR I could click the button that enables the microphone on their camera and say, "Back to bed, little lady." You guess which one I chose.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Take a Break Box

In Aly's kindergarten classroom this year, her teacher has a "Take a Break" box. This box is sitting on a desk that is a bit removed from the main flow of the classroom, and its purpose is to be a safe place that kids can go, whenever they want, to just take a break. Maybe they feel overwhelmed by the work, or are on sensory overload/underload, or maybe they just are feeling annoyed by a classmate. They can go there whenever they need to and it is absolutely not a punishment. Aly loved the idea of it, but so far hasn't taken advantage of it (my guess is that she's too nervous to- ha!). Anyway, we decided to develop one at home too.

The purpose of our box is a bit different. When the kids feel their temperature rising or just are grumpy and need some space, they can get the "take a break" box and use what's inside to help them both recognize what's going on inside of them as well as get control of their emotions before they hurt someone with their words or actions. With 4 small people and 2 big people in one fairly small space, it's easy to get on one another's nerves :).

In our box, we have:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Costume

When I first asked Sebastian what he wanted to be for Halloween, he originally said, "Monster." And I was like, "Okayyyyyy..." But I really had no idea how I was going to do that. But then, last week, he changed his mind. He declared he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. And I was like, "Yes! I love the Turtles, and I know how to do it!" And so I wanted to share it with you.

Cowabunga! It's not just a show you but a show you how to do it yourself. Don't worry, I took lots of pictures.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Support Local: Brilliant Sky Toys and Books (+Giveaway!)

Brilliant Sky Toys and Books is a toy store that has been around for quite some time. From locations in Iowa and Illinois to Texas and Georgia, these stores are locally owned and committed to providing quality toys that will contribute to the importance to PLAYING, something we obviously value here at Play Eat Grow.

While we know that play can happen with or without pre-made toys, we're excited to share about the recipients of the 2014 Brilliance Award - an award that Brilliant Sky Toys and Books gives each year to their favorite toys based on playability and quality. Here's their list for this year: