Toddler Activity: Fireworks Before Midnight Experiment

Let’s first start this off by saying… HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’re not quite there yet, but oh so close.

Mila and I did fireworks at noon, in case she doesn’t stay up. Its a little science experiment that I thought I’d share here. We did it a few times, if that gives you a time estimate.

It was fun and Mila loved helping too!

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Jar
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Oil

Yes! It’s that easy.

All you do is fill up the jar with water. Put the food coloring in the oil. Then, slowly pour it in.

The food coloring escapes the oil and creates ‘fireworks.’ Mila thought they looked like different things. It made me smile to know she’s connecting so many different things.

I took a video of our experiment and wanted to post it here.

Again, Mila and I hope you have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Toddler Activity: 2021 Sticker and Writing Activity

Two posts in one day, oh my!

Anyways, Mila is getting more and more into drawing and tracing letters and shapes. I haven’t really sat down and did a full activity with her yet, so I wasn’t too optimistic about how this would go.

I made three different pages for Mila to do.

The first is a sticker activity.

Is anyone else’s toddler obsessed with stickers or is it just mine?

I knew if the other two activities didn’t work out, she’d love putting stickers on this big piece of paper.

All I did for this was tape two pieces together and write ‘2021’ in marker.

The goal of this activity is for your toddler to put stickers along the numbers. It helps them get the hang of the shape of the letter without writing it. Plus, they’ll be using motor skills by taking the stickers off and putting them along the lines.

She might not have put all of the stickers on the letters, but stickers are always a hit with Mila!

The next activity is writing. There’s a bubble number one. For this one, they just practice their numbers inside the letter. It’s just to get them familiar with it.

Honestly, this is more Mila’s speed. She did her best with trying to draw it and I think she did well.

The final page was way too challenging for Mila, but a good way to keep numbers familiar for her. I ended up asking which numbers were where and told her the letters too.

Overall, the sticker activity was a hit and I’ll continue doing similar ones for this stage. The other two I’ll keep doing similar things to see how she progresses with them. One day she’ll be a pro at them.

These can all be made with computer paper at home. The sticker activity gave me enough time to make food and wash dishes!

Hopefully, this can help give you some time to get last minute things done for NYE at home.

If you try this out, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know how it went!

Toddler Activity: DIY Countdown to Midnight Clock

To make the New Year’s Eve day a little more special, I made a countdown clock for Mila. It took a little bit of time, which is why I’m posting today.

You can definitely get help from your kids with this activity, but it’s mostly for adults or older kids to make. Kids of all ages can enjoy when it’s done.

Like most of our activities, I had everything at home. If you don’t, all of these items can be easily bought at a variety of stores.

The supplies:

  • Poster board or craft paper
  • Marker
  • Balloons
  • Confetti (I used scrap paper)
  • Tape
  • Candy or other fillings

The idea of this activity is to celebrate NYE all throughout the day. As each hour passes, kids can pop the balloon and have confetti and whatever else you stuff it with.

If they don’t stay up until midnight, then at least they get some excitement throughout the day!

This project was a little more longer and in depth than our usual ones, but I think she’ll love it when the day comes.

First, draw a big circle on your poster board or craft paper. Then, add the numbers around the circle like a clock. I wrote in the middle of it, but you can personalize it however.

Once that’s done, it’s time to stuff and blow up balloons.

You’ll only need twelve balloons and some come with confetti already in them. That would have been way easier, but I just made confetti by cutting up scrap pieces of paper. This takes a little time, but it looks cute all mixed.

If you are making your own confetti, have your child practice their cutting skills and help you out!

Next, stuff the balloons!

This can be a tricky task. I used a funnel, but there are others ways to do it too.

In addition to the confetti, I added chocolate hearts to the balloons. Mila loves them and she’ll be shocked by the surprise.

After this is done, blow your balloons up and tape them to your clock.

Hang your clock to a wall and enjoy popping them on New Years Eve! Kids who love messes will be excited to make one every hour.

I hope you enjoy this way to celebrate bringing the new year in! If you decide to do this activity, comment your experience. I’d love to hear from you and see pictures.

Toddler Activity: NYE Firework Painting

If you enjoyed last weeks Christmas activities, I have a few New Years ones too!

This first one is a firework painting. Mila loves to paint and experiment with how brushes work. That makes these DIY paint brushes even more interesting for her and toddlers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • Scissors (kid and adult)
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Paper plates

I had all of these supplies at home, but most everything can be easily purchased. Feel free to use whatever color of paint. Mila just picked these three and I added the silver in.

First, you’ll want to cut the paper tubes to make the brush. If your child is learning how to use scissors, guide and help them with this. You can also get this step done beforehand.

We did three different firework shapes to get different looks.

Then, we put our paint on paper plates. Mila poured the red, which might have been a mistake. One recommendation is to spread the paint around. This way when your child pushes down with their brushes, all the bristles get paint on it.

After you get all your desired paint ready, it’s time to start painting.

I let Mila know we were making fireworks because that’s how we celebrate the new year. She’s seen fireworks before, so she understood what they were.

Of course she doesn’t grasp the concept of a new year, but it’s fun to begin those conversations with her.

I did have to show her how to push down on the brush. She got the hang of it pretty quick!

It helped when I really pushed the bristles down to make them more flexible. They are quite stiff at first!

With their finished project, you can either write over top of it or just leave it. Mila ended up making two. The canvas will have ‘2021’ written on it and the paper version will be untouched.

I’ll update this post with a finished picture after her artwork is all dried.

This activity is pretty quick, but a lot of fun. Toddlers and young kids will love making their own brushes. Plus, what kid doesn’t like fireworks without all the noise.

If you try this activity out, let me know in the comments below!

Goodbye, 2016.

Well in all my efforts to stop this day from coming, its here. The last day of 2016. Jensen’s year has come to an end and I’m being thrown into a new year. I don’t think it’s completely hit me yet, but when the clock hits midnight I’ll be numb.

As I said in my last post, it’s terrifying to leave the year without Jensen. There’s so much unknown in the future and I don’t know how much more hurt I can take. I read and hear this next year will be a better one and good things are coming. With each of their words I just want to scream out, they don’t know that for sure. The same things were being said to me last year, right smack dab in the middle of my pregnancy. This past year was supposed to hold all those things and even more, but we all know it didn’t turn out the way anyone thought it would. And yet, it doesn’t make this such a horrible year.

Just yesterday, someone told me this next year would hold better things for me. Almost immediately I thought, 2016 holds so many good things. There’s no part of me that wants to ‘try for a better year.’ No other year in this history of the world will ever have had Jensen physically in it. I know everyone sees the tears and loss I’ve had. It’s strong and it’s very uncomfortable. I get it. But there has been so much love, strength, and support I never have had before. Jensen has impacted so many people in the past (almost) nine months. He’s made me smile everyday and most of the times through tears. Maybe that means I’m comfortable in my grief, but I would beg to differ.

Honestly, I can’t say that 2016 was this perfect year. My son died. That is so life changing. His dad left, which has brought good and bad to my life. There are times where all I could do was lay in bed. I’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean. Friends have left and people sometimes look at me in the craziest of ways. A pain I never knew existed was introduced to me. This year was my ground zero and I have to leave it without Jensen. Those are the bad things that’s went on. Looking back on those brings me to tears, so maybe I could fill two oceans instead of one.

Yet, through this pain, I’m still holding on to it. But why am I?

Mostly, it’s my fear that Jensen will be forgotten. It’s knowing that his first birthday will come and he won’t be there to smash his cake. I’ll be a mama to a one year old that’s not here anymore. Will anyone know what April fifth is when it comes but me? Then there’s outside pressures of people wanting to put a timeline on my grief. I’m so afraid that I’ll get to his birthday and everyone will be so impatient with it. They won’t understand why I’m still so sad. I’m terrified that I’m going to be more alone in this. Somehow? Deep down I know some of these are just really out there, but this is grief. This is what it does to one’s mind.

In all reality, I don’t want anyone to forget Jensen. I want people to tell me “Happy Birthday to Jensen” on his birthday. I want to smash his cake for him. I don’t want people to be impatient with me. I know a lot of people don’t understand this complex grief, but I want them to be okay with it. I want patience. I want people to say his name to me. I don’t want them to be afraid. I want them to know these tears aren’t toxic, they’re sometimes the only way I can show my love for him. I want people to see me as the mom I am. I want people to know that I won’t let them forget Jensen. I want them to know I’m terrified of the future, but I’m trying my very best.

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A part of me wants to say, “let me take on 2017.” Let me show the world even more of Jensen and try to do greater things in his honor. Another huge part is saying, stay here forever. There’s a lot of things I wasn’t ready for this year and I grew stronger through them. Maybe that’s what the stroke do for me. Make me an even stronger mom to Jensen and give an even louder voice.


For all of you grieving this New Years Eve, know you are not alone. I am here for you and feel the pain and fear of going into the next year without a loved one. Yet, they’re always with you and you will you carry them in your heart forever. For where there is love, their memory cannot truly die.