Toddler Activity: Tea Party and Manners

Who said tea parties HAD to be fancy? In this house, we have pajama tea parties sprinkled with lessons on manners.

Mila has recently entered the pretend play stage. She and I play with certain toys and do different voices all the time. Since she has a few tea sets, she’s been asking to have a tea party.

Well… minus the tea. Turns out, she’s not the biggest fan of tea, but she loves chocolate milk.

When I told her we’d be having a tea party for brunch, she went and grabbed her tea supplies and a few friends too. I grabbed everything else.

Here’s what we used to have a successful tea party:

  • Brunch food
  • Tea cups with chocolate milk (oh the irony)
  • Kindness Rules!
  • Stuffed animals
  • Play tea pots
  • A BIG imagination

For our sandwiches, I used a heart cookie cutter to make them a little festive. Mila took noticed and loved that. She also loved the macaroons and veggie straws. Everything she ate, she had her pinky out

We did a grazing board because for some reason Mila will eat more this way.

She had the option to dress up in dresses, but she insisted it be a pajama tea party. How could I refuse?

Our little party started with Mila making everyone ‘tea.’ With a tasting promptly after.

She ate and fed her friends. I was informed of what was in all the different tea pots she used too.

Her tiger, baby, and blue Mickey Mouse were the guests of the century. They say quietly mostly, but they did help teach Mila a lot about manners.

A tea party felt like a perfect time to talk to Mila more about manners and being kind. We have these talks fairly often, but it was a great opportunity to demonstrate table manners.

First, we read Kindness Rules! We love Hello!Lucy and their set of books. Their My Mom is Magical is one of Mila’s favorites. We read it completely through and stopped on the pages that talked about eating nice and neat.

They used a wolf and the main character as examples. The wolf ate messy, but the elephant was full of manners.

To demonstrate messy and nice eating, Mila’s animal friends happily volunteered.

Her tiger ate messy without using utensils. Mickey Mouse used every manner and ate without making a mess.

I asked her to tell me the difference between the twos eating styles. She laughed wildly at the tiger, but ended up saying Mickey’s style was how she wanted to eat.

She continued eating, using her manners and making sure to remember how to eat neatly.

We took the time to talk about kindness words. I quizzed her on when to say please, excuse me, thank you, and so on. Kindness Rules! gave her a nice refresh and visuals on how it can be mean when we don’t use manners or are not kind to one another.

Overall, we had a fantastic tea party brunch. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was memorable in so many ways.

Does your toddler like tea parties? If not, what’s their favorite way to pretend play?

Also, I’m taking suggestions on different teas Mila would like. Let me know in the comments.

While you’re at it, please, check out these bloggers take on tea parties too:

Toddler Activity: Identifying Parts of Flowers

If your toddler is anything like Mila, they love flowers. Spring is the perfect time to not only go and pick flowers, but to learn and identify parts of flowers too!

After learning about the water cycle, it was an easy transition to learning about flowers. While reading the Little Raindrop Book, Mila noticed that flowers and plants were a part of a raindrops journey. Since I have a ton of plants, she connected how our houseplants get thirsty and that they needed water to live.

So, we reread the book, talked about what makes a flower, a flower, and made a fun craft too.

To do this activity with your child, you only need a few supplies.

Before beginning this activity, there’s a little prep to do.

First, cut out pieces to make a stem, flower, leaves, sun, and dirt. I did basic shapes, but you can be as creative as you want. For the flower, I left it white so Mila could paint and personalize it.

Then, cut squares for your child to actually label the flower. There should be six squares. Label them with these: sun, flower, stem, leaves, dirt, and roots.

There are a few ways to introduce this activity to your child. Mila interacts with flowers and plants everyday at our home and through the book I mentioned. Your child might enjoy going outside and actually seeing flowers before doing this.

After you talk to your child about flowers, it’s time to set up the activity.

I first had Mila paint her flower with watercolors. Since we’ve been in a creative mood, she loved this part!

After that was finished. I had Mila tell me what she remembered about flowers.

To get to the main part of the activity, I asked her a few leading questions. The first was where do flowers live. She instantly said dirt, so on our paper we laid down where dirt would be. Then I asked her what part of the flowers lived under the dirt. Roots! This is a difficult question and I think she only knew this through my plant propagations.

We glued down half of the ‘dirt’ and then drew roots underneath the other half. This makes this project interactive.

With the dirt and roots set, it’s a little easier for them to figure out what comes next.

Mila ended up putting the stem, leaves, and flowers on by herself. She helped me glue the pieces of paper and placed them where she wanted them to go. For the sun, I asked her what gives the plant life. the sun and water. She placed the sun in the top corner and said that was in the sky.

We used the little pompoms to talk about seeds. Since seeds are in the middle of the flower, we put them there. Although we didn’t talk about seeds, I did extend her learning and told her seeds go in the ground. Then I told her they sprout roots and flowers from that one little seed. She seemed pretty amazed by that.

After it was all laid out, I made her go through all the parts to label them.

As she stated what part of the plant was what, I glued down the appropriate label so she could see the words by them.

Overall, it was a fun activity that she’s really proud of. She’s showed everyone who’s came over.

Make sure to check out these seven spring books that can help you talk to your toddler about flowers and spring. They all have beautiful illustrations and I know toddlers and young children will LOVE them.

If you tried this activity, let me know in the comments. I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram at @greyskies.rainbowhighs so I can see everyone’s creations!

Before you go, check out how these other mom incorporated flowers with their kids:

Toddler Activity: Stormy Clouds Experiment

Rain rain, go away, come back another day! Or if you insist on staying, it’s a perfect time to introduce the water cycle to toddlers.

Mila LOVE experimenting. I try to tailor to her learning style as much as I can. She would prefer doing an experiment every day, but that’s not always possible. Thankfully, teaching her about rain and the water cycle gives us an amazing opportunity to get dirty and make what she calls Stormy Clouds.

This experiment is fun for both toddlers and adults. It not only talks about the rain cycle, but you can incorporate color recognition, the Scientific Method, and motor skills too; so much learning packed in one rainy day activity.

Here’s what you’ll need to make stormy clouds:

I’m going to first start off by saying this activity can get messy. Whenever there is food coloring, it somehow gets everywhere. I’d recommend placing a plate, mat, or some sort of paper under your big jar. Of course, food coloring will clean up, but it’s nice to just take some precautions.

Once you get an area where you’ll experiment set up, fill a big clear jar with water. The jar I used had a lip on it. I filled it up to the bottom of the lip so it gave me some room to put the shaving cream.

Next, mix your food coloring with water in little jars and bowls. Your child will be either scooping the colored water with a spoon or using a pipette. I used very small Tupperware containers for this step. For the water/food color combination, I used 8-10 drops of food coloring and eyeballed the water. I wasn’t too scientific about the measurements!

Then, add shaving cream to look like a cloud on top of the BIG jar of water. I did this step after the food coloring because Mila would not have had enough patience to wait for all of the colors.

After you’re set with the cloud, have your toddlers start spooning or dripping the dyed water over the could.

It takes a little bit for the water to penetrate through the cloud, but once it does, it’ll look like rain drops are coming out of it. Mila enjoyed using purple the best since it was easier to see. Although, it was fun to do a huge mix of colors.

Throughout the experiment, we talked about how clouds make the rain and then it goes down to Earth. I’m not a huge science buff, so I turned to Little Raindrop, which is a cute book that talks age appropriately about the water cycle! It has adorable pictures and tells the story about a single raindrop. Mila got this when she was one and it was too advanced for her. At almost three, it’s perfect!

Even if your child is not interested in learning about the water cycle or even into rain, the activity is fun to just make a mess and play with colors. I showed a group of adults this activity and they enjoyed it too. It really is fun watching the shaving cream turn different colors.

Next time it’s raining or anytime you want a hands on activity to do with your child, this Stormy Clouds Experiment is perfect!

If you liked or tried this activity, let me know in the comments!

Check out these rainy day activities from other moms!

Toddler Activity: Egg Rescue

If you’re stuck with abundant amount of plastic eggs from Easter, let your toddlers play with them! This Egg Rescue is fun for active toddlers who like to work with their hands.

Mila loved ripping through and tearing all the tape off the eggs. It was fun to watch her too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic Easter Eggs
  • Washi Tape
  • Candy, little prizes, or change.

This activity takes a little time to set up. It’s worth it because they get really into it.

Fill Easter eggs with whatever stuffing you’d like. Think of leftover eggs from Easter Egg hunts!

Then, tape them on to whatever table.

Next, have your toddler rip the tape completely off. I made Mila tear off every single piece of tape before she could open the egg. It made her be precise in how she did it.

When they have all their tape off, it’s time for the surprise. Mila had no idea they were filled and was so excited! I let her open the eggs all by herself too.

This activity has so many important motor skills that they use. I also had Mila tell me the color of the egg she was opening to get some color recognition in.

Although I think I spent more time prepping, it really was a lot of fun to watch. She even taped down some of the eggs to keep practicing.

The star of the show was the quarter though!

Mila was genuinely excited that the egg gave it to her. Plus, she got to use her piggy bank which is ALWAYS a treat.

Overall, this is such a fun activity. I think it’d be awesome to do if it was a rainy Easter or in the days following. Since they’re mostly plastic eggs, reusing them for other activities and saving them for next year is great for our world!

I hope you liked this activity and if you try it out, let me know in the comments.

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: 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: Easter Painting

One of my favorite activities to do with Mila is her seasonal painting.

Since she was eight months old, I’ve had Mila paint with festive colors. Her first one was Christmas inspired. She had so much fun doing it, I wanted to keep on going. I’m unsure how many paintings I have now, but there’s no plans on stopping. The wall where her paintings hang has transformed into this seasonal activity wall, which is fun to update throughout the year.

The last one we did was for Valentine’s Day and I was up on the air of doing an Easter or birthday inspired one until summer. After I brought my spring decorations up, I figured I could combine the two with my other things.

Mila loves animals and lately (thanks Pets 2) has loved ‘bun buns’ or bunnies. I decided to incorporate a bunny in her painting and use colors that she enjoys so it wasn’t just Easter inspired.

To do this, I cut out a bunny head and taped it on a canvas. I let Mila choose the colors and where to put them on there. After I got the paint out, she brushed where she wanted to as normal. She picked blue, purple, pink, and yellow. After each color, I had her go play while I let the paint dry, so thankful for hair dryers.

Some of the paint did leak through the paper, so it wasn’t a perfect blanked out spot. After I got it dried and pulled it off, I put some white paint to touch it up. It turned out really cute and I like it not being ‘perfect.’ She was so proud of it too and kept pointing to the spot yelling ‘bun bun.’

She did such a good job with it and I really love the layered look. This can be altered to any color and image you’d like to blank out. I think tape would be easier to use, but harder to make a specific shape. This worked best for us and like I said, it’s not supposed to be picture perfect, an almost two year old made it!

I think this would be a great, quick project during quarantine to do with kids of all ages.

We’re doing more Easter crafts this week that I didn’t get to quite finish up this weekend. We’re finally decorating our salt dough ornaments and they turned out pretty good. I’ll be posting about that, my new gardening venture, and some Earth month things!

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

Mila Tries Internet Activities: Easter Egg Sort.

Another day, another toddler activity to try with Mila.

For the last week or so, I’ve seen so many Easter inspired activities. Since we’re going to be quarantined until Easter, I thought I’d tackle one activity a day. A lot of them used the little, plastic eggs that you can put things in. So I got a bag of them for a dollar at the dollar store and thought I’d give it a go.

Turns out, Mila loves the eggs as they come. She will just sit there and open and close all then over and over. We’ve played little games where I have her give me certain colors or we count them. I think an easy, independent activity to do would be a basic color sort.

Since it was so nice out yesterday, I figured we could do something with them out there. I grabbed painters tape, a tub from an organization bin, tongs and a spoon, and her basket of eggs. You’re supposed to make a crazy pattern for your toddler to maneuver around with the tongs, grab the egg, and put it in a basket or even color sort. I got the inspiration from this activity from The Ever Co’s Instagram page (@theeverco).

After I was done getting the tape on there, we went outside. Her and Max ran around for a while and played fetch. When they were over that, they ran to me, but I already had something for her to do.

At first, I just watched to see what she’d do. She stuck her hand in there and got it caught on the tape, which really surprised her. After I told her to use the tongs and put them in the basket, she was on a mission. She played independently for about forty-five minutes with it. When she realized she could put the eggs back in there, she would open them up and try to pick them up that way. To challenge her further, I’d definitely do different colored bowls for her to place the egg into. Maybe next time.

One thing I would have changed if I didn’t throw it together in five minutes… instead of painters tape, I would have used different sizes of yarn and ribbon. Sometimes the eggs or tongs got stuck on the sticky side. She worked around it, but it might have been nicer if that wasn’t in the way.

Hopefully if you get to try this activity, it works a nicely as it did for me. Today, Mila and I are going to try to make salt dough Easter eggs and paint them. Wish us luck!