Toddler Activity: Rainbow Bubble Wrap Painting

In our house, rainbows hold a special meaning.

Mila is my rainbow baby and any time we can incorporate them in our home, we do. So, it felt pretty fitting to make our big canvas painting a rainbow this month.

We’ve done smaller rainbow crafts, but this big painting may be my new favorite.

All the supplies you’ll need are:

  • Paint (the colors of the rainbow)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Canvas

Since Mila was busy with the nice weather, I was able to prep this easily. When she did notice we were painting, she ran over.

We talked about all the different colors. She’s finally able to say ‘orange’ and let me know that her favorite color of all of them was purple.

All I did was put paint in rainbow arches in the correct order.

Then, I helped Mila put the bubble wrap over top of it. When it was there, she pushed on all the paint to spread it out.

It was fun watching her figure out how it all worked. She thought it was pretty cool to see how the paint mixed together and everything. The best part was pulling off the bubble wrap.

We all know my love for using random things to paint, this turned out so different than I expected. It’s textured, but not in bubble wrap’s usual way.

Mila was so proud of her latest artwork. It’s hanging up now, even though I may add a quote above the red arch.

No matter what, this artwork is easy to do with kids of all ages. It can be modified for babies by putting a more secure wrap on the canvas. For older kids, they can pour the paint on too.

I hope that you and your toddler love this activity! If you end up doing it, let me know in the comments.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part 13

In all the weird things my toddler does, this one has me the most perplexed.

A few weeks ago, I bought Max, our dog, a new chew toy from chewy.com. This pink bunny would be perfect in distracting him away from all of Mila’s stuffed animals… or so I thought.

When I opened it out of the box, Max wagged his tail so much and was so excited to get a new toy. But, there was someone else who had their eye on it…

She still hasn’t let it go either.

Mila has taken claim to this stuffed bunny. Max isn’t even allowed looking at it without her interjecting. Before we leave the house, she hides it in her closet so he can’t get to it. It’s a cat and mouse game that I don’t quite understand.

Instead of her other stuffed animals being saved from Max’s love of chewing, she has protected this bunny with all of her might.

At least this is one toy that doesn’t go into the bathtub.

So, here’s my daughter with the dog’s her chew toy bunny. In her zoo full of crazy colored stuffed animals, for some weird reason, she’s crazy over this particular one.

Toddlers are just weird.

Read Across America Day: 3 Books that Cultivate Compassion

Today is National Read Across America Day. What better way to celebrate with your child than a new book and activity?

As I was picking out books for the day, Mila’s Little Bookish Wardrobe box came in. I thought it fit perfectly in the NEA’s theme this month: cultivating compassion.

The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon by Matthew Burgess is a book all about feelings and helping someone out who’s in a bad mood. We all get in bad moods, but this book helps cultivate compassion by thinking what will help your child’s sibling, parent, or friend in a nice way.

Mila loved the images in the book and it was a great way to talk about emotions. It also opened us up to talking about what makes her mad. Honestly, hearing her talk about being angry was a learning moment.

When we normalize feelings and having different ones, we can learn so much about our kids and selves.

In the box, we always received a red wig (that Mila is wearing in the first picture), a rainbow sweater, and a slippers activity. Every thing in the box goes right along with the story. It’s always fun to explore.

This months activity was drawing on slippers. In the book, they paint to feel better and the Curmudgeon has big, furry feet. They sort of look like slippers.

So, Mila drew her different colored lines on the slippers. She’s so proud of them.

I think it might be a good learning tool for when she’s mad or having big emotions. It might be something she wears if she’s feeling overwhelmed. It’ll let me know there’s something going on if she can’t express it.

Two other books that we have that cultivate diversity that I think you guys would love are these.

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

I absolutely love this book. It talks about a wide range of diverse families. There’s families of all backgrounds and sexualities. For us, it talks about single parenthood too. All in a compassionate way!

The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild

Another great story that promoted compassion is this little story. It’s literally about the title. It’s such a cute story that talks about family time and slowing down for each other.

No matter what you read today or anytime with your child, you’re giving them a gift they’ll always be thankful for.

Even if you put them in a red wig.

Check out these other bloggers who are celebrating Read Across America Day too!

Toddler Activity: Rainbow Heart Match and Diversity Learning

Diversity is one of the most important concepts to add into toddler activities and crafts.

I make sure to do different games with Mila that lets her take in a wide array of different concepts. Some she might not even know she’s learning.

Today’s little game incorporates two of heart favorite things: hearts and colors.

This quick activity doesn’t take long to make and you most likely have all the supplies at home already.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors

The first thing to do is draw and color in different colored hearts. Then cut them out.

After they’re cut out, trace them on another piece of paper. Here I added the color of the words of the corresponding hearts. That way she’s getting some word recognition while playing.

When you’re done tracing and writing the names, it’s time for your toddler to play.

Obviously, they can use this as a color matching game, but there’s even more to be learned when you engage with them.

While Mila played, we talked about how each shape was a heart. I asked her what made the hearts different. She replied with naming all their colors.

I also showed her that under each heart is the same too. Even if they have different names and colors, they are still always just hearts.

To expand on that, we talked about people have different names, hair, and skin color.

It’s not groundbreaking conversations, but letting her explore differences and still loving all the hearts is so important. There’s no bad colors, they’re just different on the outside.

I can’t wait to laminate this set up so we can keep on playing! It will definitely grow with her as she learns to read and spell.

If you try this activity out, let me know how it goes in the comments.

10 Thoughts of a Toddler Dance Mom.

Toddler classes and sports can be a little… different than older kids. You never know what a toddler is going to do or say.

For us, dance class has been amazing. Mila loves the girls that are there, dancing, and following around her dance instructor the entire time. On the mom side of things, it’s a little more stressful, but full of proud moments too.

Every dance evening is full of thoughts, even though class is only a half hour long. Here are some of mine for you to laugh with.

What to do with her hair this week?

Every single week is a constant battle of doing something fun with her hair, but making sure it stays up. It’s even harder when your toddler doesn’t like their hair touched. Yet, somehow it ends up decently cute.

Where are her dance shoes?

Quiet panic sets, until you realize you just misplaced it in the car. Oh well.

Why are dance shoes so hard to put on?

Um, what shoe goes on which foot? Maybe she needs a bigger size… nope. Just on the wrong feet.

Please, let her be nice…

Thank goodness for socialization and her playing with other kids her age. Oops. No! Don’t push while you guys are racing.

Her teachers are ready. It’s go time.

She is so cute when she listens and dance.

Aww, she instantly found her sticker and is ready to go. Are all kids this cute when they listen?

Run and hide!

Time for a half hour of alone time. Let’s see if I can escape before she sees me leave.

Is she doing okay? Does she miss me?

Being away and not knowing is hard. I wonder if she’s listening and dancing her heart out. What if she’s looking for me and I’m not there?

Is the music really loud or am I just getting old… it’s definitely the music.

Time to watch all her dance efforts.

Her little face pops through the door. It’s time to watch all her hard work.

Just joy…

The smile on her face and all the little dancers face makes every up and down of the evening worth it.

There’s just joy all around.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part 12

If you were wondering if I ran out of weird things Mila does last week, I didn’t. There was just other things to share.

Don’t worry, she’ll always be full of weird things.

Mila’s bedtime routine consists of brushing hair and teeth, reading books, and snuggling. But, a couple months ago, she added something new.

Every night before bed, Mila brings fruit snacks and Capri Suns for a midnight snack. It’s almost on cue. When she’s tired but still fighting sleep, she gets up and gets in the snack cabinet. Then comes with her hands full with these sweet treats.

Every. Single. Night.

I guess it’s sweet that she thinks about me and brings me snacks too. She could just keep them for herself… so that’s sweet.

It’s just a really weird thing to have added into a bedtime routine, especially after her teeth are brushed.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, toddlers are just really weird.

Does your toddler ever bring food to bed?

One Way to Trick Your Toddler Into Brushing Their Teeth.

If your child is anything like mine, they can’t stay still. Especially when they’re doing something as mundane as brushing their teeth.

I’ve finally found the trick to get Mila to brush her teeth and do it right.

All it took was Pizza and his friends.

Okay, I know everyone loves Pizza updates. You’d never imagine how central he is in our everyday life. This time, it was finally for my advantage though.

Mila has had issues with brushing her teeth since the beginning. I would have to hold her down to get them cleaned

I did different tricks like making her laugh, having her brush mine then me hers, and changing her tooth paste and brushes. For a few months, I even told her they’d fall out if we didn’t brush them. Some things worked… for a little while.

This time though, I’ve found the golden ticket

Since Mila has started dance class, she’s become this little performer. All eyes have to be on her and she loves when she gets to teach dance moves.

One morning, when it was time to brush her teeth, she did her usual refusal.

She was playing with Pizza and his friends and a light bulb went off. I asked her if Pizza knew how to brush his teeth. She said no and I asked her if she wanted to teach him.

Weirdly, she said yes.

For the extended weekend, she had to have an audience while brushing her teeth. I set them up in the morning and she did her lesson.

Now that it’s routine, she doesn’t give any complaints when I ask her to brush her teeth.

All it took was the power of teaching, Pizza, and a few toys.

Does your child have any issues with teeth brushing? What are some tricks you’d share that made the journey easier?

Toddler Activity: Thankful for You Lollipop Flowers

It’s National Random Act of Kindness Day! Although we try to do as many acts of kindness everyday, we wanted to share this today.

Mila loves her ‘kids’ and ‘girls.’ These kids consist of all her cousins and her girls are from dance class. She loves the time she spends with them.

When I asked who she wanted to share kindness with, it’s no wonder why she chose them.

We talked about why it’s nice and important to do nice things for other people. There was a mini brainstorming session about what we could do. Valentine’s Day definitely helped the matter!

Mila suggested flowers, so we compromised.

All you need to do to create these lollipop flowers are paper, scissors, and suckers! I used taped to secure the flowers too.

For creating the flowers, I just drew ones on the back of the paper and cut it out. To get the lollipop stick through, I pressed a hole in the middle with the scissors.

On the underneath of the flowers, I put, ‘I ♥ You! -Mila.’ Short and sweet!

We’ll be giving them out as soon as she sees her kids and girls. She loved how they turned out and wanted to hold them like a bouquet.

If we did a large scale random acts of kindness, I’d definitely add a quote to the flowers. These would also be adorable for a birthday party or class treat.

We’re so happy and excited to spread a little extra kindness in the world. This year, we hope we can do more random acts and bring joy to those who are least expecting it.

Let me know what you think about this kindness project in the comments below.

Toddler Activity: Mardi Gras Beads Process Art

Happy Fat Tuesday!

If you’re looking for a quick activity to do with your child today, this one goes perfectly when listening to some jazz music.

You probably have most of the supplies at home too. Here’s all you need:

  • Paint (purple, gold, green)
  • Canvas
  • Beads

Since everyone knows we love process art here, using beads is a fun way to create.

I chose traditional Mardi Gras colors for Mila to use and we had some random beads already here. There were two different sized beads she used too!

All you have to do is instruct your child to dip the beads in the paint and drop them on the canvas.

It can get a little messy, so put paper underneath.

I had to help Mila get paint on the beads. It’s a little tricky, but older kids shouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s also nice to make sure to leave one part of the necklace clean so it’s easy to grab.

I absolutely love how this painting turned out. It would be cute to add an outlined fleur-de-lis too!

Mila loved being introduced to jazz music too. She dipped the necklaces along with the beat! Next year I’ll have to find a beignet recipe!

If you decide to do this activity with your child, let me know how it goes in the comments!

For more Mardi Gras activities check out these blog posts:

Toddler Activity: Icy Heart Melt

Two science activities in two days? Yep!

This ice vs. salt activity is a fun way to freeze time for you and keep your toddler busy. It challenges them to see what’s making the ice melt and how they can do it quicker.

Before doing this activity, you have to freeze ice cubes. I used a mini heart mold, but you can use anything. To get the colors, I used food coloring.

Here’s what we used to set up and do this activity:

All I told her before I let her experiment was to melt the ice. I told her salt and blowing on it would help.

I’m all for giving myself some time to clean or cook. Mila played with this set up for quite a while.

She gave me enough time to cook and clean up, which is a win for me.

After she was done, I let the liquid dry and brushed the salt off of it. With this you can hang it up, have your child make a picture with it, or incorporate them into a Valentine’s Day card.

We had a ton of fun doing Valentine’s Day activities this year. I can’t wait to see what we get into next!

As always, I hope you enjoy this little icy heart melt. If you experiment to, make sure to let me know how it went.