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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Letter A Sensory Bin

I love sensory bins and it has been much too long since I posted one! Since we are focusing long and hard on each letter right now, and Boogie is really enjoying A, this bin has been out for awhile. I just recently started letting Bam Bam play in it too and he LOVES it. He toddles right over to the shelves and starts saying "please" in sign language with "eh eh eh eh!" thrown in with a tone of desperation. I obviously VERY closely supervise them while they play because there are a ton of choking hazards in here. You have to know your child. Bam Bam puts things to his lips and looks at me. And he has never once tried to eat the rice. He is completely the opposite of Boogie, who was, and still is, a hardcore mouther. Boogie is finally getting his last two molars, so I am hoping his teething days are going to be over by the fall. Another big difference with how the boys approach sensory bins is that Bam Bam is all about throwing everything everywhere. He is very hard to discipline because he is so young and nothing phases him. Boogie has always hated having Hubby-Man or I upset with him so saying "No throwing!" was usually enough. Bam Bam looks at us like "What are you going to do about it?" So, I have a ton of rice all over my kitchen floor several times throughout the day.

Anyway, all that aside, let's look in the bin!


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I don't know why I don't have a picture of everything in the bin. Sorry!

The base is red rice dyed with Kool-Aid. I figured that went with apples. If we had access to acorns, I would have rather filled it with something that started with A. Because I am crazy like that.

I used every letter A I could find in our stash.

giant foam letter from JoAnns
sponge letter from the dollar store
foam letters from puzzles from the Dollar Tree
wooden letter from a name puzzle
bottle cap letters
Leap Frog fridge phonics magnet letter
Melissa and Doug letter stamps
Melissa and Doug alphabet puzzle letter
dollar store magnet letters
Wilton cookie cutter letter
pipe cleaner letters

Then, I found a bunch of items that began with the letter A.

flashcards
handmade yarn and pipecleaner apples
pretend food apples from a Walmart set and from the dollar store
an airplane from the train set and one from the airport
an alligator from a Melissa and Doug puzzle
acrylic acorns from Pier 1
acorns from the dollar store

All items we had around the house. Hours of free sensory and letter learning fun!

May be linking up to some of these great parties!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Letter A Muffin Tin Meal

I have missed muffin tin meals! I realize blogging and muffin tin meals are not mutually exclusive, but I was kind of taking a break from all those things for awhile. This week I wanted to do something new for the letter A anyway, so I decided to make Boogie a meal full of As for lunch today.


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Just used a Wilton letter A cookie cutter and went to town! Pretty self-explanatory, huh? :) Gotta love PicMonkey!

May be linking up to these great parties!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Family Photo Peekaboo Board

You know me and my love for reinventing a perfectly good wheel, right? Well, here is another example, inspired by the peekaboo boards on Inspiration Surrounds...Creativity Abounds and Disney Family Fun.


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The above photo is my favorite because it shows what the windows look like as well as how they open.

I did mine completely differently than the other 2 I linked to, though the idea is the same. I knew that for the flight to Taiwan, I wanted a switchability factor, meaning, I wanted to use more than just 4 photos, and I wanted to make it so that I could put any photo I wanted in any window. I knew this would mean one of my 2 old reliables- either velcro or magnets. I went with magnets because I have a lot of weird small pieces left over from my other magnet projects.


If you follow my blog at all, you know that I do not sew if I can avoid it. But with 2 little boys tugging on this, I knew there needed to be a sewing component rather than just hot glue. So I knew that I needed to hot glue felt to some kind of board so that I could sew felt on felt for the windows. And I was pretty sure I wanted to use pom poms for the handles because those would be easier than buttons or pony beads for Bam Bam to grasp.

With all those ideas in mind, this is (roughly) what I did.

Materials:

cardboard
exacto knife
felt
chalk/marker
scissors and/or pinking shears
hot glue
needle and thread
pom poms
laminator and laminating sheets
magnets (or velcro)
1 piece of paper
stapler
velcro
photos

Instructions:

Figure out the size of your board and cut it from your cardboard. I used a diaper box because it is pretty strong. I actually used 2 pieces about the same size so the boys couldn't bend the final product.

Figure out how many windows you want and the size you want them. My cardboard square is about 8 inches and the windows are 2x2. Roughly.

Figure out the placement of your windows. Trace. Cut with exacto knife. (do this for both pieces of cardboard if you want it reinforced.)  If you used 2 boards, hot glue them together.

Put your piece of felt (or fabric) that is the same size as your board underneath your board and with chalk or a similar colored marker, trace the windows. Cut out the windows.

Cut the window covers out of whatever colors of felt (or fabric) you want, just a little bigger than the size of your windows. I liked using my pinking shears for this for added cuteness.

Use your needle and thread and a simple stitch to attach the window covers depending on which way you want them to open. I did all different ways.

Use your needle and thread again to attach your pom poms opposite your stitching so that your little one has a handle.

Hot glue the whole felt shebang to the cardboard.

Now, the inside and back. I will show you photos first so you have it in your head before you read on.


I ran 2 laminating sheets through my laminator to create the place for the pictures. I did one empty and one with a purple piece of paper to round out the 6 major colors. I cut them to size then  put the purple one, which would be the back and bottom-most layer under the felt/cardboard so that I could place 4 magnets in the centers for the pictures.

Next, I stapled one side of the clear and purple laminated pages to act as a hinge. I stapled with the purple page towards me so that when I attached it, the pointy parts would be towards the cardboard. I used hot glue to attach the clear page to the back of the cardboard so that there is a barrier between the pictures and the children

I used a small piece of velcro on the opposite side from the staples to act as a lock.


I used velcro to attach an envelope to the back of the whole thing to keep the pictures in, just like I did with the travel train table.

I laminated all the pictures and attached magnets to the backs.


Now, it is a simple peekaboo board for Bam Bam, but it is also a way to reinforce colors, memory recall and direction-following to Boogie. For example, "Can you open the door with the yellow knob?" or "Do you remember who is under the red door?"

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fish in a Bottle- a travel aquarium

This is another travel idea aimed at my 14 month old, Bam Bam.

This activity was inspired by the Bright and Beyond Baby Playtime Activity Cards. They did it with only one water balloon and a sharpie face, but why use one balloon when you could use 5? And why use a sharpie when you could use googly eyes?


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The boys were happily entertained at the train table the day I made this, so I popped into the kitchen and watched them while I was gluing google eyes onto water balloons. Bam Bam noticed that I was doing something fun first, and within seconds I had two screaming children begging for fish at my feet. So, I made two, put them away, and am fairly sure this will keep them both happy at least for a little while on the plane. Obviously, I am bringing the bottles empty and adding water once we get through security. And unfortunately, it won't be colored water on the plane. But for car trips or a quiet activity in a waiting room or at a restaurant, colored water would make this more fun!

To make the fish you just need a little puff of air in small water balloons. Make the knot and voila! Fish! Use your favorite waterproof adhesive (I used superglue because I wasn't sure about hot glue in water) to attach some small googly eyes. Squeeze the fish through the opening, add some water, use some adhesive on the top if you will not be on a plane, and you have an adorable, portable aquarium!

I think this is fun for not only shaking and watching where the fish go (which is mostly what Bam Bam will be doing), but also for talking about colors and counting, which we will do with both boys, but Boogie will be more into the counting than Bam Bam, obviously. Colors are old hat for Boogie, but we can review them for Bam Bam's sake.

Hope you are all enjoying these cheap, easy DIY travel activities as much as I am enjoying making them! :)

Linking up to these great parties!
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Build a Face Blocks

Here is another great, easy idea for your baby or toddler. I am using it specifically for travel, because it is smallish and portable. It will be great for my 14 month old because a) he just figured out blocks  b) he is obsessed with pointing out and hearing the words for parts of the face c) we can identify and name the 4 of us. It will also be great for my 34 month old because a) he will get a huge kick out of mixing up our faces b) we can reinforce the Chinese words for the parts of the face, which he has mastered recently c) we can reinforce the concept of top, middle, and bottom d) he can practice following instructions (ie- can you put mommy's eyes on daddy's nose and your mouth). This is so much more than just building with blocks!

I got the idea from a feature on U Create but the blog that it was originally posted on was A Couple of Craft Addicts and she got the idea from Disney Family Fun Magazine. With all those sites linked properly, though, I tweaked the idea by just using 3 blocks and the parts of the face rather than full body shots. To be a hundred percent honest, I was pretty sure Hubby Man does not ever want to see himself with boobs :P But also, like I said above, both boys are learning about the face right now in different ways, so it made a lot more sense for our family to do it this way. I do think it could be a lot of fun to dress your family members up in either crazy outfits, costumes, or their favorite outfits to do this. Or, if you are going to do faces, to do silly faces instead of normal smiling faces. The possibilities are really endless!

The only changes I made to the actual project was to laminate the pictures and use double sided tape rather than Mod Podge. I have one hardcore teether and one end-of-the-road (FINALLY) teether, and I want the pictures to survive. Also, the tape allows the pictures to come off easily and be replaced with more recent pictures and the blocks can be used as blocks again when we aren't traveling.

Go to A Couple of Craft Addicts for a full tutorial if you would like one :)


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25 Popsicle Stick Animal Friends

When I saw these 5 fun popsicle stick farm animals from Make and Takes, I knew I had to create Boogie a set for the plane. I was going to buy finger puppets on Amazon, but could not decide which set because he likes such a variety of animals. Making my own out of popsicle sticks solved that dilemma. Amanda gives a little tutorial on the horse, pig, cow, cat, and rooster there, in case you would like some instruction. Otherwise, I think the process is pretty self-explanatory :)

I had a lot of fun making these for Boogie and think he will have fun singing "Old MacDonald" and talking about our trip to the San Diego Zoo when he sees these.


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In case it is hard to tell, the farm animals from left to right are a mouse, cow, horse, pig, cat, sheep, duck, goat, dog, and rooster.


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The forest animals from left to right are a brown bear, snake, rabbit, frog, and robin.


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The zoo animals from left to right are a panda, lion, elephant, zebra, rhino, tiger, penguin, hippo, monkey and giraffe. 

I think they turned out so cute!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

{FREEBIES} A is for Apple/Airplane dot marker pages

My house is a mess again, but we are back to doing school stuff from time to time and I want to post a page I made for Boogie in case any of you are starting letter of the week fun soon.

Every morning when Boogie wakes up, he asks for school work now. Usually Bam Bam is taking his morning nap at that point, so Boogie and I eat breakfast and then while he is eating as slow as molasses in the dead of winter in the middle of the night in Antarctica, I get an activity or two ready for him to do at the table. He is LOVING learning his letters right now and I am so excited! We have been focusing mostly on A very slowly for a couple weeks, but this week I started practicing his name with him too. We are just doing an activity here and there so I can kind of feel out what he likes and doesn't like. Almost everything I put in front of him, he is doing with a vengeance. He can do clothespins like a champ now, and letter matching is a breeze for him, so my focus is letter recognition. He recognizes A, H, O and R. Sometimes he recognizes S as well. So, I am just going to keep going at it very slowly, and continue to focus on A and the letters of his name for games/activities/worksheets, and the whole alphabet as a group for matching. If that makes sense.

I made him a letter A sensory bin a couple weeks ago, and the main things I have in there are apples, acorns, and a couple alligators, as well as lots of different kinds of As, so those are the items we are using for most of our worksheets, as opposed to astronauts (which he isn't really into at this point) or ants. There were airplanes in there, too, but those didn't stay in very long. Since our trip to San Diego in June, Boogie has been obsessed with airplanes. With that in mind, I made him "A is for apples" and "A is for airplanes" dot pages because he perfectly nailed a dot marker page yesterday, and I thought this would mix it up a bit for him.


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I printed the file out in black and white, so I didn't mind the funny pink marks on the apple page. Those came from using a clipart image and changing the brightness/contrast until it was more like a coloring book image. Just click on either of the images above to download the page(s) for your child.

I hope to continue making a dot marker alphabet using transportation if I can find the clip art to do it, and if Boogie stays interested, so if you have a vehicle-loving child in your house, who also likes dot markers, keep an eye out.

Hope everyone is enjoying August and having fun planning for a new school year, like I am!
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The Ultimate Drop and Dump Toy

Here is another activity I created, this time with Bam Bam (14 months) in mind for our loooooooooong trip to Taiwan in the beginning of September.

My desire was to find something with an opening large enough for Bam Bam to drop things through that were not choking hazards. Dropping things into a tube and watching them come out the other side can keep a baby/toddler entertained for quite some time, and the upcoming plane ride is quite some time long :P I wanted the tube to be durable as well. Basically, I was looking for a wider, plastic toilet paper tube. Hubby-Man looked at Lowes, but the largest clear vinyl PVC pipes were still too small for the largest pom poms in my stash, and that was what I had in mind for Bam Bam to use. Enter necessity, the mother of invention, and close cousin of desperation. When the PVC pipes fell through, I moved on to my back up plan, which was to find a way to attach 2 Parmesan cheese containers together. The added bonus of using that kind of container rather than a PVC pipe is all the different kinds of openings, which work a ton of different fine motor skills, 1:1 correspondence, and hand-eye coordination. Win win win!


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All you need to DIY is 2 Parmesan cheese containers (sprinkles and sesame seeds often come in the same size containers but Parmesan cheese is a bit more household), an exacto knife, some kind of adhesive, and things for your baby or toddler to drop, dump and shake.

To make the tube container, cut off the bottoms of the 2 containers. Cut as much or as little as you want to make the tube the length you would like it to be. Attach the two containers with your sticky substance of choice. I tried crazy glue, which made a huge mess but didn't stick right, so I used hot glue next, then put a layer of clear packing tape around the outside as well. That's all there is to it!

There are SO many different ways Bam Bam can play with this. I think he and Boogie will both love dropping anything they can find into the top and watching it come out the bottom. But, we can also put one of the tops on the bottom when I get tired of fetching pom poms. The boys can put pipe cleaners or coffee stirrers through the holes for some 1:1, fine motor practice. We can also use this for color recognition and tell Boogie to put a certain color in, or tell Bam Bam the name of the color when he tries. Using the larger opening of the lid, the boys can dump several thin objects through, or work with their fingers to stuff the large pom poms in. They can practice twisting the tops on and off. We can put things inside the tube, put both lids on, and shake the contents. Nothing too noisy on the plane, of course, but when we are at the apartment in Taiwan, they can be noisy :)

I love the versatility of this "toy", as well as the fact that I already had everything on hand so it was FREEEEEE!!! :)

I hope the boys will find even more than 4 ways to use this and that it will keep them busy for more than 4 minutes :)

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Travel Train Table (in a file folder!)

Sometimes, I have moments of pure creative genius (if I do say so myself) that are at least 95% my design. This idea is one of them, so I am very excited to share it!

We are going to Taiwan for most of September to visit family. We are going to make a shower curtain road/tracks for him for while we are there because he still plays with his train table for hours daily. That got me thinking about the eternal flight overseas. I decided that I wanted to make an easy, cheap, portable train set for the plane with the ability to create tracks and play with Thomas and his friends (and yes, I did just sing the theme song in my head). I thought about the Disney Cars felt board I had made Boogie (and I am doing a Cars version of this idea, too, but there is more precedent for that online so it isn't really my idea) and started looking for images of Thomas et al on Google. Apparently, Thomas is camera shy because there are definitely not the same kind and quality of images of the "cast" like there are for Cars. So, I went to Amazon, and worked from there. Once I had trains for Boogie, I pondered long and hard about how to make the different dimensions work so that the trains would stick to the tracks which would stick to the file folder. After a lot of trial and error, I decided that the trains would connect to the tracks, which would be printed on magnet paper, but have sandpaper on the back so they could attach to felt on the file folder. And that is why the idea is genius, because all the materials are household or inexpensive (I actually already had everything in the house so this cost me NOTHING!) and easy to find at Walmart or Michaels. Which makes them replaceable, which is key for travel toys, in my opinion.

So, here are some pictures and how you can DIY for the little traveling train addict in your life :)


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Materials:

* file folder (I would have used a green one if I had one, but any color will do)
* enough felt to cover the inside of your file folder (most train tables have green as a kind of background color)
* adhesive (I used my trusty glue gun)
* printable magnet paper and/or magnet strips
* tracks from this site
* train images
* sandpaper (I used 3M, and the number on the back was 100 or 150, for coarseness, I guess?)
* double sided tape
* envelope with clasp
* velcro
* laminator and laminating pouches (contact paper would work too)

Instructions:

Train Table File Folder-

1. Turn your file folder upside down and trace it onto green felt. I had a large sheet of felt, but if you only have the small sheets, you will have to do this in halves. I recommend using the larger size because it will look nicer.
2. Attach the felt to the inside of your file folder. I used hot glue, and did a patch at a time to make sure I had everything lined up correctly.
3. Flip your file folder over and trim off any extra felt.
4. Use velcro to attach your envelope on the back of the file folder. This is where you will store the trains and tracks. I used velcro so that Boogie can detach the envelope before he starts playing and take out the pieces while still holding the "train table" open in his lap.



Tracks-

This is how I did this because I do not have fancy programs and I do not know how to make my own images. So, instead of numbered instructions, I will just tell you how I did it.

I googled "train tracks play mat" and was inspired by Jaimee at Craft, Interrupted. I found the original images at mazecreator.com. I used the "print screen" button on my keyboard, then copied and pasted the image into a Microsoft Publisher document because it is so easy to play with images in that program.

I cropped the image so I was just looking at the tracks, then made 5 copies inside Publisher. Then, I cropped each of the 5 copies until all that was left of each original image was the one small piece of the track. So, I ended up with 5 different types of tracks. Next, I made copies of each piece until I had as many as I wanted of each type on one page of the Publisher document. Doing this all in one step and from one photo is important so your tracks are the right size and will fit together well.


I just had one piece of the magnet paper left, so I filled up one page and called it a day :) I printed out the tracks on a sheet of the magnet paper, then cut all the tracks out, put them in one laminating pouch and ran it through my laminator. This was the most annoying part of the whole process because the pieces are thick and wouldn't stay put. I had to redo the setup about a million times. I don't know, though, if you would lose the seal if you run the magnet sheet through in tact and then cut the pieces out. I have only laminated magnet paper when it is already cut out to the shape I want. So, that will be trial and error or very annoying for you, depending on what you decide to do.

After the pieces were laminated, I cut them all out (again), then used the double sided tape to attach pieces of sandpaper so that the tracks would stick to the felt.




Trains-

For the Thomas trains, I used the print screen function to copy images from Amazon into a Publisher document. I also found an image of Tidmouth Sheds through Google that was incredibly necessary :)

I printed out the images once I had all the ones I wanted, laminated them, then used the magnet strips on the back. For a few of them, I used sandpaper instead because they would not be on the tracks (like the crane, helicopter, and Sir Topham Hatt) The last thing I did was write the trains' names on the back above the magnets because that can be helpful! Boogie knows more of their names than I do. So that step is pretty straightforward, actually!




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And there you have it! A portable train table with tracks to build and trains to play with :)

Obviously, none of these images are mine, which is why I am not sharing any of the documents. I think probably they don't mind if I print them off for personal use, especially since we own so many of those stinking wooden trains in the 3D version!

EDIT:

Here is a picture to show you that the sandpaper and laminated magnet paper are strong enough so that you can stand the folder up and everything stays on.


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Saturday, August 4, 2012

DIY Lego Travel Box

We are getting ready for our looooooong plane trip to Taiwan in the fall to visit my Hubby Man's family. I am going crazy preparing for the plane ride (especially because Bam Bam was very restless on the way to San Diego) and the 3 weeks there where the boys will need toys/entertainment.

I saw the idea for a travel Lego box on Finley and Oliver and knew we had to make one for Boogie. I knew I wasn't going to use a cheese box or cigar box, but thought I could probably find a cheap, durable, tightly-sealing plastic storage container, and that is exactly what I did. Boogie has only ever played with Mega Blocks and a few Duplos, but those are definitely too big for a trip like this. We decided that at almost three years old, it was time for his first set of legos.

We made a special trip to the local Lego store after dinner tonight, and collected a container full of loose pieces. We specifically stuck to bricks that were 4 blocks or larger. We wanted to set him up for success. This is also the reason we did not buy a packaged set. So many of the pieces are small or hard to manipulate. We are all about fine motor skills, as you know if you read my blog at all, but we do not want Boogie to get frustrated with dropping tiny pieces or being unable to separate flat pieces that get stuck. With all that said, we spent $14.99 on the large container of Legos that we could choose for ourselves, that comfortable filled the box, as opposed to spending a comparable price for a similar amount of Legos, with a lot of pieces he can't use until he's older. I think it was the most financially sensible way to expose him to this awesome toy for the first time.

Here is Boogie's Lego box!

 
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Materials:

*box with a good lid (more on the one I used below)
* Legos to fill the box
* flat Lego building plate
* Exacto knife
* Strong glue (I used super glue but it didn't hold so I used hot glue instead)
* fine permanent marker to mark the underside
* ruler
* sandpaper for any rough edges

 And that's all! I have also heard people say regular scissors will work to cut the flat piece to size. The girl at the store suggested an Exacto knife.

Instructions:

* Measure for the size of flat plate you want on the lid. Use the ruler and marker so you don't forget the exact size you need.
* Trace with the Exacto knife or use scissors on the line you made.
* Sand any rough edges with sandpaper and round the corners as needed
* Use adhesive on the underside of the plate or on the top of the lid everywhere that the plate will touch the lid. Press the plate down and make sure it sticks to the lid firmly. Reapply adhesive as needed.
*Let the adhesive dry.
*Fill the box with Legos and have fun!

It is so easy!

With all that said, we spent $14.99 on the Legos, $4.99 on the piece for the lid, and $2.99 on the container. If you already have Legos and a flat piece to build on, you will only have to spend the money on the storage container! I chose a long, flatish box so that it would be good for on-the-go use. I plan on keeping this as a special travel toy only for cars, planes, restaurants, doctors offices, and the like. I wanted it to be easy to pack and store.

In case you want to know exactly what box I got...


And here are some pictures to give you an idea of the size. 



It is as long as a pipe cleaner, and as tall as 5 blu-rays.Very compact but definitely enough bricks for Boogie to make all kinds of things.

Can't wait to see what my little boy will create!

I may be linking up to some of these great parties.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dinosaur Birthday Party for Bam Bam!

Hello friends! It has been awhile since I posted, so I wanted to share all the fun things we did for Bam Bam's first birthday back in June. This post could have a subtitle that reads "One of the Reasons I love Pinterest." I found so many great ideas, and they all came together pretty well. Without further ado...


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Because his nickname is Bam Bam, we went with a dino theme :)



Each child received a goody bucket which included a bucket and shovel (Dollar Tree), an extra shovel set with 3 shovels (Dollar Tree), a plastic egg with a small dinosaur inside (Eggs bought on clearance after Easter. Dinosaurs bought on clearance after Halloween), a pack of dino fruit snacks (Shop Rite), and a set of 4 homemade dinosaur crayons. I tried to enlist Boogie's aid in filling the buckets, but he was more interested in trying to open the fruit snacks when he thought I wasn't looking. Here's a clue, Boogie. I'm almost always looking! :P We also used the buckets to decorate the stairs and it looked pretty bright and fun. In case the sight of all those buckets makes you wonder if we're crazy, my hubby and I have 11 nieces and nephews so the whole "invite one more child than the age of your child" thing doesn't really work for us!



I made "Dino Dig Pudding", which was just sand pudding with some dino gummies inside. I got the recipe from at Ma Nouvelle Mode and it is delicious! As I mentioned with the goody buckets, the dino gummies are generic at Shop Rite. I think they were on sale for something random like $2.17 a box. I used a whole box (6 packages) in the pudding because I used at least one bag per layer of the sand/pudding mixture. As you can see, Boogie got involved with helping me smash the cookies.


This was definitely the biggest talking point of the party. Everyone loved the "Dino Fruit Salad", which I discovered on the National Watermelon Promotion Board website of all places. I used one of our tiny Jack 'O Lantern carving knives and it was super easy to carve out the mouth!

 
I love how these crayons for the goody bucket turned out. I used the instructions from Makes and Takes and used the mold we found here on Amazon. It took a little more than one full crayon for each dino, so they are not very big, but they looked so cute in the bags. I would suggest using good crayons for these because I just used a whole bunch of RoseArt ones I had leftover from teaching. You have to really press the poor dinos down to make marks, Boogie and I discovered after the party. 


The past two years I have enlisted either a friend or an etsy shop to make a tee-shirt for Boogie on his birthday. For Bam Bam's birthday, I decided to use the tutorials for applique shirts I found on Sew Like My Mom and A Spotted Pony to attempt making each of the boys a special party shirt myself. The shirts turned out better than I even could have hoped for...except for the fact that I used the no-sew heat bond stuff and the edges started to come up by the end of the party. My sewing machine is not working right now (Stupid incorrectly wound bobbin. Have to have my Supermom fix it), but if I make shirts for my boys for Boogie's party in October (stay tuned for all the 3rd birthday construction party fun), I will sew around the edges instead, I think.


We used the Wilton dinosaur mold for the cake. I love that they sell so many awesome molds but I have a ton of trouble getting the cake to come out cleanly and with all the lines where they belong. Which is why the dinosaur outline is so pathetic. The head turned out the best, and my Hubby Man is the one responsible for that awesomeness. 


Based on all the great ideas I have seen for small world play, I repurposed the train table for the day, and made it into a dinosaur small world. I covered the table with some extra green table cloth we had. I made a salt dough volcano. We bought some dinosaurs that were big enough not to be choking hazards for Bam Bam and the other mouthers. Then, I made trees out of toilet paper tube trunks and green yarn tops based on the pom pom tutorial at Counting Coconuts. I set it up for Boogie the day before the party, and his favorite part was to drive his bulldozer on the table and knock over the trees. This comes from the last page of his rainforest book, which talks about how it is a BAD thing that trucks knock down the rainforest. It is Boogie's favorite page because there are trucks. Guess he's not going to be an environmentalist any time soon!

Now that I've shared the "stuff" of the party, I want to share some pictures of my beautiful boys having a wonderful time, if you don't mind :)


Bam Bam playing with the balloons on the morning of his birthday, before we decorated.


Boogie absolutely hysterically laughing at a balloon game that one of his aunties made up to play with him. I don't know who was laughing harder, Boogie or everyone watching Boogie laugh!


Bam Bam absolutely thrilled to pieces with his cake.


My boys loving each other and being happy together.

It was such a blessed day! And so hard to believe Bam Bam is one year old already.

I am already pinning away for Boogie's birthday, which is just two months away as of today!

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