Toddler Activity: DIY Letter Crayons

Today is Crayon Day! Did you know there was a day specifically for crayons? Me neither, but I love how these DIY Letter Crayons turned out. I think it’s so fun celebrating different days with Mila, but the activities along with it are even more fun.

Another thing I didn’t know before Mila and I did this activity was that anyone can purchase a ton of unwrapped crayons. It makes this DIY a lot easier!

Here’s what you’ll need if you want to create some of your own:

This can obviously be done without purchasing the unwrapped crayons. You can use broken ones at home or a smaller amount from a store. Just make sure that the wrapping is taken off. That’s most important.

Before you start cutting crayons for the mold, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, start breaking up crayons to place in the mold. I’m pretty sure this was Mila’s favorite part of the whole DIY. It takes quite a bit of crayons to fill the mold up. One word of advice from me is even if it seems like a lot of crayon in the mold, they melt way down.

Figure out which colors you’d like to put together before hand too. I added a lot of white in between colors to prevent the crayons from getting mixed. Plus, the marble look is cute too.

Anyways, place the mold on a baking sheet then in the oven for about ten minutes or until they’re completely melted.

After they’re melted, let them completely cool before removing them.

That last step is super important. A few of our crayons broke during the removal process. To fix it, I just popped them back in the oven for a little while.

Overall, I think they turned out perfectly! We made sure to do “Mila’s letters” and Jensen’s too. She helped pick out the colors for both. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about letters and colors as well. I love how random activities can hold so much learning opportunities.

One mistake I made through the crayon making process was putting white on the corners. When we make more, I’ll keep away from that. It just made drawing a little harder for Mila and she didn’t understand why she couldn’t see what she was drawing.

Besides that, Mila noticed and loved how one crayon could have so many different colors. I can’t wait to see her future creations!

If you try this DIY out, let me know in the comments. Also, if you’ve done it before, tell me your tips in getting anything out of molds! I feel like it’s all up to patience, but I get too excited.

Before you go, check out what these other moms did to celebrate Crayon Day:

Toddler Activity: Waffle Day Letters

If you hadn’t guessed it already, today is Waffle Day. To celebrate, Mila and I of course ate, you guessed it, waffles! She also did a fun activity that we thought you’d love too!

Mila is obsessed with numbers, which is wonderful. She can count to fourteen all by herself. But… letters… they’re not her thing yet. The only ones she likes are m, i, l, a. I’m sure you get why. To help her get excited about them, we got to play with out food again.

For this activity, we got to combine making brunch, learning letters, and eating. Yum!

Here’s all you’ll need:

You might be wondering… why waffles and why letters? The squares in waffles make GREAT place holders. Plus, it’s fun too.

To start this activity, make your preferred waffle recipe and cook one wafffle.

While this is cooking, get a small bowl of blueberries or chocolate chips ready. Then, make sure to have out a whiteboard and marker or a piece of paper and pencil.

Once the waffle is done, let it cool down a little bit and then place it in front of your child. Draw a letter on your white board or paper. Then instruct them to write the letter with the blueberries or chocolate chips on the waffle. They might need a little help at first!

While you’re cooking, you can keep writing different letters for them to try. Make sure to say the letters out loud and connect them to something they know. I started with Mila’s ‘letters.’

Just keep in mind, your little one might eat their tools!

This was such a fun activity that can be anytime you’re enjoying waffles. It teaches them their letters and challenges them how to create letters too! Plus, they’ll be using their fine motor skills too! Just an overall educational and interesting activity.

If you liked this activity, let me know in the comments! Have you ever used food to learn?

While you’re at it, check out the fun other bloggers had with Waffle Day!

Toddler Activity: Easter Bunny Nature Craft

Spring is finally here and we’re gearing up for Easter!

One way to celebrate was making a Easter Bunny Nature Craft. We were able to get outside and create, which is our favorite.

Everything we used, we found in our back yard, besides the paper and glue.

For our craft, I told Mila she was going to make a bunny out of leaves and flowers. Since she had a traumatic experience with the Easter Bunny this year, I wanted to help her see he wasn’t all that bad.

She loved finding leaves for the bunny’s ears and then a flower for his tail. It was a great hunt. I think it’d be awesome to have a scavenger hunt for all the components too.

Since the trees in Ohio still haven’t produced new leaves, a lot of what she found was old.

After we set it all out, I had her tell me what she wanted to use for the bunny’s body parts. She decided about its body, tails, and ears.

Then, I asked her if she thought we should make the bunny a crown. She did!

Once we added grass for the bunny to stay in, mila thought it was complete. As she played, I glued everything down.

It turned out so cute and it was fun watching Mila pick out different things around the yard. She was so creative in making the bunny too.

I can definitely see us doing something similar again! It’d be really challenging with having her find Easter eggs filled with supplies too. Maybe I’ll have a lamination machine by the next time we do an activity with nature. A girl can dream right?

As always, let me know in the comments if you tried to make an Easter Bunny Nature Craft! I know your child will love getting outside and creating too.

Toddler Activity: Snipped Paper Shamrock Collage

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to work on Mila’s scissor skills and do some more process art. This Shamrock Collage is a fun way to teach them about a ton of different things, while they’re having fun.

Mila is so interested in scissors. Whenever I use mine, she asks for her and tries to cut different things. Although she’s still into using both hands to cut, I challenge her to try and use one hand.

If you didn’t know, toddlers Mila’s age shouldn’t really be cutting paper. They should practice on play-doh or something similar, which Mila does. But, I like seeing how she’s progressed. When she practices on paper, I try to cut strips for her so she can do short cuts.

Anyways, let’s get back to this project. Here’s all the supplies you’ll need:

  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Market
  • White paper

I’m going to go on about scissor skills (sorry!). If you want to age this activity up, use the green paper as a template. This is too old for Mila’s age and for most toddler-aged kids.

Anyways, I found extra scrapbook paper in the playroom. We don’t use a ton of green for crafts, so I actually had a good bit of it. To make the shamrock, I followed this pin. I cut long strips for her to make small cuts too.

She practiced holding the scissors and the paper.

Eventually, I ended up holding the paper for her to help out. She got a little bit frustrated with it, but she cut a good amount.

I ended up getting out play-doh and those scissors so she could continue cutting. Then I cut some extra squares and triangles so she had enough to do the collage. We sort of sham-rock team work. Okay, that was a lame joke, but it was festive.

Next, I placed the cut pieces in a bowl and covered all the white area of the clover in glue. Then, I instructed her to make a collage.

Specifically, I told her to cover all the white with green pieces.

She had a blast picking out the best pieces to put on her shamrock. We found some Irish music to listen to and it all came together pretty quickly.

One thing I would suggest is have a wet washcloth with you.

I think Mila’s going through something about sticky things. Every time her hand accidentally touched the glue, she immediately needed it wiped off. That took some time to do, but we had so much fun.

When she was done placing the paper, she wanted to draw around the sides. I think she just loves using markers.

Honestly, I loved the way it turned out.

It’s so festive and I feel like it’s a project that I can do with her through the years. For now, it’s hanging up on my fridge, waiting for the leprechauns to see!

Let me know what you think about this activity and if you try it out, I’d love to see what you and your little came up with.

Toddler Activity: Pi Day Matching Game

Most toddlers probably don’t understand what Pi is or what maths really all about. Heck, I’m not sure I even know either.

But let’s be rational and not talk in circles.

Dah dah dum.

Did you get me one math joke I’ve ever told or no? Either way, it’s Pi Day and I made Mila a fun matching game that includes all different sizes of circles. You can do that same at home with items located in your house, at this very moment.

Not only does it introduce toddlers to what pi looks like and that it deals with circles, this game incorporates color and size matching too.

All you’ll need to make this matching game is a piece of paper, markers, and random lids.

Once you find a few lids, just trace around them on the paper. I did corresponding colors with the varying shapes. This really helped Mila with some of the shapes that are similar in size.

To be a little festive and help her connect circles with pi, I added the symbol inside all of them. She loved identifying the numbers at the top too.

I love being sneaky and adding learning points. She has no idea that she’s doing an educational activity. All she knows is that she’s having fun. It reinforces that learning is FUN.

Before letting her play, I randomly spread out the lids. Then I gave her directions to match them.

For her first match through, I had her focus on the size of the circles.

Mila actually did an amazing job.

She was able to correctly match all the lids. There were only two green ones that gave her a little trouble. With some encouragement, she was able to figure it out though.

When she was done, I cleared them off and had her do it again. This time, I had her focus on the color of the circles.

If you couldn’t have guessed from Mila’s reaction, she matched them up perfectly for the second time. She started stacking them after this time, which worked for me.

This matching game is a fun way to introduce Mila to math concepts that are advanced for her age. But, by just becoming familiar with pi and pairing it with circles, infinitely helps for the future.

Let’s hope she’s a little better at math than me!

I hope you and your toddler will enjoy this activity. It’s one you can create immediately at home.

As always, if you do participate, let me know in the comments!

Toddler Activity: St. Patrick’s Day ‘Clover’ Painting

Ever wonder how you can combine listening and creativity? This St. Patrick’s Day activity does it.

My house is already rapidly getting ready for spring. Our plants are growing, we’ve been playing outside, and spring cleaning is in full effect. Just over the weekend, our house has rainbows, spring, and St. Patrick’s Day decor up and hanging.

To get Mila ready for next week’s fun holiday, we read Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase.

I thought we could do a painting with it too. When I pre read it, I tried to find repetitive words she wasn’t super familiar with before. Clover is the leprechauns name in the story and is used quite often. So, that’s what I decided on.

To make a regular painting a little more fun, I continued using an unusual painting tool.

The supplies you’ll need:

Yes, you read that right. We’re using a bell pepper to paint!

I guess I just really wanted to play with my food as a child since I’m constantly letting Mila play with hers.

Bell peppers make a clover shape when they’re painted and stamped.

She actually wasn’t super fond on just gripping the pepper though. You can stick a fork in the pepper to do the same effect. It looked like she had more control that way too.

All we did for this activity was read the book and stamp the pepper every time Clover was said.

It turns out, Clover was said way more than I remembered when I first read the story. Mila was constantly going back and forth with from paint to canvas.

There were a few times she didn’t do it because she was so interested in the book. Cute right?

Don’t worry. We read it again afterwards.

Honestly, this was such a cute activity.

It proved that my toddler can actually listen (I’m such a jokester) and she’s so creative.

I think my favorite part of the painting is where you can tell Clover was said three times in a page. She just stamped it quickly in the same spot.

We hope you love this activity as much as we did!

It’s a quick one to do with your toddler or older child. You’ll get a new St. Patrick’s Day decor price and the knowledge that kids can listen when they want.

Let me know in the comments if you try it out.

Make sure to check out these great St. Patrick’s Day activities too!

Also, I’m looking to expand Mila’s Easter/Spring books. Do you have an Easter/Spring childrens book recommendation?

5 March Affirmations for Self Love.

Self love can be a difficult journey, especially during hard months. One way to keep my self care routine in check is by using positive affirmations.

I have a ton of affirmations saved, but this month I needed more than just saved pictures.

Since I’ve been really following the Law of Attraction lately, I figured I needed to physically create March affirmations.

If you don’t know the Law of Attraction it pretty much means you attract whatever you’re focusing on. Affirmations are great for this mindset. I can literally write down what I want to focus on and read it out loud everyday. Those affirmations will find their way back to me.

Or that’s the belief with it.

Anyways, after Mila’s rainbow activity earlier this week, I made prints with the left over paint. All I did was take white sketch paper and pressed it on the bubble wrap.

I knew they would make a cute project for later!

Then, I cut the paper into four rectangles. That way I didn’t have huge pieces of paper for the March affirmations.

Next came the more challenging part: coming up with the affirmations.

I will admit, I did look to Pinterest for some inspiration. Then I searched for some crown chakra affirmations, since mine easily gets blocked.

Eventually I ended up with these.

  1. I love and accept myself.
  2. I am here to make a difference.
  3. I am creating the life of my dreams.
  4. Good things are coming.

The final one I made digitally so I could share with all of you.

All of them are so powerful to remember.

With my anxiety, I have to constantly keep myself in check. My thoughts can race, but these help remind me that anxiety does not run my life.

This next month is going to feel heavy for me; as March usually does. We’re quickly approaching Jensen’s fifth birthday and my grief feels really heavy this year.

I’m hoping with the extra positive energy I’m putting out in the world that it’ll surround me when I need it most.

What are some of your favorite affirmations?

Valentine’s Day Gift: I Love You Instax Picture and Frame

If you want to show off the cutest series of photos at the office, in your home, or even as a gift, you should definitely try this out!

‘I love you.’

We have an Instax camera and love snapping pictures. Mila likes how the film instantly come out and their aesthetic pleases me.

I got an idea to make myself (sorry not sorry) a Valentine’s Day present that I can always remember Mila at this time. So, we had a little photo shoot.

Obviously, she loved getting dressed up and making her hair ‘pretty.’ She was all for it!

Then it was time to shoot.

Since I can’t have Mila’s voice always telling me she loves me while I work, I thought of the next best thing… sign language.

In one of Mila’s dance songs, they sign ‘I love you,’ but a little reminder didn’t hurt.

After I got those first three pictures, she wanted to take more. So, so obviously I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of her.

Anyways, I found a perfect, Instax picture frame on Amazon! It’s pretty sturdy. The only issue I had with it was I had to tape the pictures in to stay, but that wasn’t a big deal.

Once I put it all together, it turned out so beautiful.

If you have more than one child, this frame also has a six opening frame too.

I think this would be an amazing gift to parents, grandparents, or anyone your child loves. It didn’t take too long to do either.

Your child will love seeing their pictures instantly and will be happy to give this as a present.

I hope if you decide to make this Valentine’s Day gift, you’ll let me know in the comments below.

Self Care Sunday: Plants and Masks

No matter if you’re stuck watching football, having a lazy day, or are needing a minute to yourself, self care is essential. Moms, especially, need a minute to themselves.

Finding out what calms your soul and clears your head is the self care for you. If you can nourish your body too, then it’s even better.

During the first few months after COVID hit, I got really into plants and helping our environment. They sort of go together, so that makes sense.

I found that taking care of plants and learning about them eased my anxiety so much.

Somehow a few plants has turned into a mini, indoor jungle, but I love it. They’ve also helped me want to take care of myself better too.

Hello self care.

Today, I want to share a little face mask recipe and give a plant recommendation and tip. This way, you can see one part of my self care journey. Maybe you’ll even want to try this self care moment.

Two things Mila and I are constantly running out of is avocados and honey. She will sit and just eat both.

They’re also pretty awesome for your skin too!

To make a mask, mash up half an avocado and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. Mix them up and apply. Use the other half for avocado toast the next morning.

Make sure to save the avocado seed too! I’ll make a post about what you can do with those.

Apply the mask to your face and keep it on for 15 minutes. After, wash off and do your normal skincare routine.

During the 15 minutes is a perfect time to do planty tasks.

If you don’t have any plants, snake plants are perfect beginner plants. You can get them at Lowe’s or the one pictured is from Lively Root.

They’re such easy plants. Snake plants tolerate low light, are drought resistant (which means you don’t have to water them constantly), and do well in household humidity.

Plus, snake plants were one of the plants that NASA found as top air-filtering plants. Pretty cool right?

Anyways, while waiting for my mask to do work it’s magic, I dusted my snake’s leaves. Dusting helps make sure your plant gets as much sun as it can. Even though this is a low light plant, it still needs to get as much as it can.

Self care is something everyone should make time to do. Mila put our DIY mask on too and helped me with our ‘planties.’ She just refused to take a picture.

Find something you love. Maybe it’s plants and masks or maybe not. Either way, you deserve self care on Sundays or any day.

Toddler Activity: Christmas Lava Lamp Experiment

Since I’m on a roll this week, here’s another quick and easy holiday project you can do with your child. Mila loved this activity, but I messed up with it. Oops!

We did this a few days ago, but it’s a DIY lava lamp. The white was supposed to look like a snowstorm and the red is just festive.

I’ll tell you the correct way to do it and how I messed up. Who doesn’t love learning from their mistakes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oil (you can use any kind, but I used vegetable)
  • Water
  • Alka Seltzer Tabs
  • Food coloring
  • Jars

I had everyone on hand, other than the Alka Seltzer tabs. You can find them about anywhere if you don’t have them.

The first part is where I messed up. You’re supposed to fill the jar up 2/3 of the way. I filled 2/3 of the jar with water. We make mistakes. Mine was just a big one for this experiment. It still worked though!

So, fill 2/3 of the jar with oil. Then combine your food coloring and water together to fill up the rest of the jar. Obviously, kids love to help, so they can definitely pour the oil and water into the jars.

Next, get your alka seltzer tabs out. Don’t let your child eat them! But, break them up in smaller pieces for them to put in the jar.

I personally did different sizes and let Mila put a full tab in there as well. I thought it was fun for her to see the difference in the reactions. You could even do this beforehand too.

Next, have them start putting pieces in.

In my one time experience, Mila thought this was cool. She wanted to put all of them in at once. I tried to tell her to do one at a time, but she’d sneak some when I wasn’t looking.

In the future, I’ll definitely do this experiment again… and do it the right way. It was fun to ask Mila what she was noticing. She immediately understood the tabs were making the bubbles. As she gets older, there will be more questions and observations I could ask her too.

As you can see, it is pretty cool! The red turned out way better than the white, but I think this is the oil/water issue that I had.

I hope you can do this fun experiment with your child this week. It’s always great to mix science in your routine at home.

Happy experimenting!