There’s so much magic when a person gets to shake a snow globe. It’s a whole work in your hands. Snow Globe Sensory Bins are even more magical and fun to explore.
If your child loves snow globes, they’re going to love this play idea.
Mila has a slight obsession with snow globes.
On her first Christmas, she got multiple ones from different people. We still have all (but one), that are all set up in her room. My parents also get her snow globes from every place they visit. To say we have a mini snow globe collection is an understatement.
No matter the time of the year, she loves to shake and look at them. To continue that love, I thought this sensory bin would be a perfect fit.
I was right!
As with a lot of my sensory bins and play ideas, I used elements I had around the house or from past bins. Here’s what we used for this one:
Rainbow bottle brush trees
Different sized jars
Spoon or mini shovel
This sensory bin is full of fun activities. All I did was set it up like this and Mila made it her own.
She filled up the jars with snow and saw how many trees she could fit in each jar. I watched her make the snow globes pretty too.
We talked about the colors of the tree, had them count, and we did small to big comparisons with the jars. Learning has no boundaries. You can talk about whatever with your child. They’ll soak up all that information.
Even though I originally just set up the mini trees, Mila brought in mini toys to play with and put in the snow globes too.
I can easily see opening up play with her by making the snow globes more themed or adding different seasonal elements in the future. Again, the opportunities are endless when it comes to sensory bins!
Hopefully you and your child enjoy this sensory bin as much as we did. We want to make snow globes sometime this winter and need all the tips we can get! I’ll update when we make them.
Have you ever made a snow globe before? What liquid do you use for the inside?
Then… check out these other fun indoor winter activities too!
Winter is here and for us, it’s time to stay inside when the temps are so low. To bring the magic of snow inside, we created these adorable Popsicle Stick Snowflakes
They’re easy for toddlers and preschoolers to create and make for an adorable craft as well.
If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you can tell I’m trying to get better at taking videos. They’re fun to make and post as reels too. It gives people who don’t have a lot of time to read a quick glimpse into the crafts and activities we do.
With that said, I forgot to take pictures while making this craft… oops. No fear though, I posted the video below.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these adorable glitter snowflakes.
Modge Podge )you can DIY this with glue and water)
For the first part of this craft, snowflake assembly is required. I would suggest an adult to do this. Personally, I used hot glue for this to be sure the snowflake will stick together. You could use other glue, but I’m unsure how it would hold up in the long run. If your child is comfortable using a hot glue gun, then they can go for it.
The actual snowflake uses four popsicle sticks. Just keep layering them so you can see the ends of the popsicle sticks. The video shows this really well.
After the glue is dried, your child can paint the snowflakes.
Mila chose the colors of her snowflakes. Of course she went for pink, light blue, and silver. She wishes that there were pink snowflakes. Wouldn’t that just be magical?
While they’re painting, I put a little tray underneath so nothing got on our countertop. These snowflakes get a little messy, so protect your area if you need! Mila couldn’t really hold and paint, so her brush kept going on the tray. Just a little heads up.
Now on to the best part: GLITTER!
Before the paint dries, sprinkle glitter over top of the snowflake. This way it gets stuck in the paint. If the paint dries beforehand, you can use modge podge to get it to stick too. I think it takes away an extra step just putting the glitter on the paint. You get similar results.
After the paint and the glitter is dry, use modge podge to seal in the paint and the glitter. If you don’t seal it, you’ll have glitter everywhere.
Once everything is dry, you have your beautiful, popsicle stick snowflakes!
They’re a lot of fun to do and easy to assemble. As you saw in the first picture, I attached them a shelf, but we want to make more to create a snowflake garland. You can potentially make and show these off in a variety of ways.
I also think they’d look cute as a car mirror decoration, but we’re definitely doing garland!
What ways would you show off these Popsicle Stick Snowflakes? Or let me know what snow or winter inspired crafts and activities you do during winter in the comments.
What’s more fun than reflecting on the last year? Going back to that year ten years down the road with a DIY NYE Time Capsule.
In my DIY Mini Cardboard Memory Book post, I shared that I was going to do something special with it. I’ve decided to make another new NYE tradition by doing a time capsule every year. We’re gong to fill it up with a lot of things that made the last year so special. Then, in ten years, we’ll open it up and walk down memory road.
Sometimes I can’t believe how fast time has went since Mila has been born. She is ALWAYS asking what she was like when she was a baby. I feel like she just was a baby and I blinked and there’s a little girl in front of me. Plus, this year has seemed like the fastest yet. She has grown so much and I want to treasure how little she is with what goes in our NYE time capsule. Hopefully she won’t be too embarrassed by her answers when she’s thirteen… let’s get real, she’ll be annoyed with everything then.
Almost everything was easy to put together and I found the worksheets online! Everything else is easy to make at home and it’ll bring up fun conversations amongst your family.
Here’s what we’ll be seeing on NYE 2031!
Year in Review Worksheets
I found the worksheets we used in our time capsule at @whimsicallywonderful on Instagram. Her printables are adorable (and free). I’m pretty sure I’ve shared them on the blog before. Anyways, I was planning on making our own sheets to write on, until I saw the ones I printed off.
Even though these sheets are girly, she also has ones with blues and greens in them. They’re so cute, just a different color scheme. You can find them at Whimsically Wonderful under the Whimsical Prints. It’s the last section on the page. Trust me, if you’re planning on doing a time capsule, these are such a great option!
I printed off:
My Magical Year
Top 5 Best Moments
My Feelings about 2021
There are more options on there too; like handprints and a letter to a future self.
She also chose to do a glitter handprint. We made a little craft with her hand being the 0 in 2022. We traced it out, added glue, and then a bunch of glitter! It’s still drying after twelve hours, but I’ll make sure to update about it on one of my socials.
If it never dries, she also traced her hand on the back of the family drawing too!
A Letter from Mama to Mila
Letter writing is so therapeutic and if you’ve followed my story for a little while, you know I write a lot of them (you can search letters if you’re interested). I actually used to write letters to Jensen every day when I was pregnant with him up until Mila was born. So, it sort of makes sense that I would include a letter in here too.
Honestly, one of my biggest fears is something happening to me and her being without a mom. I want to make sure she knows how much she means to me and maybe I can throw some wisdom in there too. It sounds cheesy, but maybe it’s the last letter or words she would ever get to me. That thought alone makes it important to me to write about this year and how much her at three or in 2021 meant to me.
Again, we’re also going to be opening this up when she turns thirteen, I may need that extra support… I’m joking.
If you do do a time capsule, this would make a precious memory for your child.
On Mila’s papers, it asks to write her weight and height. Even though I can easily write that down, I want to be able to visually see it.
Although I’m not going to add bags of rice in her memory box, we collected her height in a ribbon. I just placed one end of the ribbon on her head and then cut it at her feet. Then, I made a little tag saying what the ribbon was for and connected it with a clip.
I love this idea because I can unravel it and actually see how tall she was.
Again, this is a super simple and easy idea you could do too! It wouldn’t even have to be a ribbon, yard or string work well too!
Pictures and Miscellaneous
Since we take thousands of pictures each year, we had to add a few in the time capsule.
The DIY Mini Cardboard Memory Book is snuggled tightly in there. I’m still obsessed with how it turned out. We’ll also be taking Instax pictures on NYE to add to the capsule as well. Maybe I’ll even let her take whatever pictures she wants. This way we can check out how her photography skills have changed too.
Some other items we’re adding are a New Years necklace, a craft, and maybe a toy or trinket. I haven’t totally nailed that last part down.
When we open it, I just want to be blasted back to 2021 and have this magical feeling.
As pretty as everything is out of the time capsule, it’s perfect inside too. We added a ‘Do NOT Open Until NYE 2031’ on the lid too. Just in case I need some motivation to wait!
Even though I bought a pretty jar for this time capsule, you can easily upcycle items you have around the house. I’m thinking mason jars, pringle cans, or even old tupperware containers you don’t know what to do with anymore. You could be as creative as you want to be and even make this a fun part of you time capsule too. For some reason, I’m thinking of a VHS or DVD case. It would have been so clever 30 and 20 years ago.
Anyways, I’m really happy to be starting this tradition with Mila and see how it evolve over the next few years. I hope you enjoyed it too and maybe want to start this with your family.
If you do this tradition or plan to, let me know what other things Mila and I should add.
With the year coming to an end, it’s a fun time to look back on our favorite memories. To keep and showcase them, we made a DIY Mini Cardboard Memory Book. Ours is perfectly pink and full of all the pictures we loved from the last twelve months.
The plus side, this easy craft is fun to make and you can personalize it however you’d like.
Here’s what you’ll need to capture your memories of the year:
Scrap Cardboard Pieces
Honestly, this took me a little while to make, but I’m glad I did it. A little hard work goes a long way!
First, I cut out seven, small cardboard squares to make the pages. You could easily make these bigger, I just want to use this book for another project I’m sharing this week. Then I made little holes on one side of them. I couldn’t find my hole puncher, but I made them with scissors.
After, I painted a little area on the squares pink and let them dry.
While it was drying, Mila and I picked out one picture from each month, besides two months… you’ll see why. Then, I just printed them on stock paper I had at my house. When they were all printed, I just cut the pictures out.
Once that was done, I pulled out MIla and I’s favorite stickers, some glitter markers, and got to work!
Like any type of scrapbooking or picture books, it just takes time. I had a lot of fun looking back at all our favorite memories from the year. With every page, I made sure to write the month out and add relevant stickers. I think they all captured the feeling and emotions of every month. Mila had fun helping me with the stickers as well.
On the back cover page, I had her write down her name with little hearts. Just so I always have her writing. She draws hearts on everything to show love. Just something I always want to remember.
Just to share our pages incase you need some inspo, here’s ours and why we chose them for the month.
January and February
In January, MIla did a fun glitter shoot and they’re one of my favorite pictures of her! She seriously looks magical. Then in February, we made one of my favorite DIYs: I love you frame. It’s one of the pictures from that day and always makes me smile.
March and April
Last March held Easter. I laughed so hard when Mila took off after getting one ‘good’ picture with the Easter Bunny. The running shot is hilarious and I had to add it. April is our big birthday month. Jensen’s is on the fifth and Mila’s the fourteenth. We picked a picture from the day she turned three.
May and June
One month that we look forward to every year is May. We get to go on vacation AND school is usually out too. That means summer! This picture is of her in Myrtle Beach in her yellow polka dot bikini. In June, we went to our local waterpark so many times. I had to capture one of those moments.
July and August
In July, Mila and her friends won the Fourth of July talent show in our town. It was a big moment for them (and us moms). I’ll never forget that day and will always tell Mila the story of what she did after… I’ll make sure to share one day on here. At the end of August, we got Toby! Mila chose this picture since she loves her puppies so much!
September and October
September was a huge change for the both of us. Mila started preschool and has been learning so many new things. Believe me, she tells me all about it. It was also the start of me posting a picture every day of Mila’s outfits. Since we’re obsessed with Halloween for all of October, Mila requested that I added all of this year’s costumes.
November and December
Of course we had to celebrate the holiday season with these last two pages. We still love her turkey headband from Thanksgiving and that Santa picture showcased how December felt all month long.
Back Cover Page
Like I said above, I had Mila add this page. I think it’s a sweet touch to wrap the entire year and how she’s growing up. Makes my heart smile.
I really feel like this will be a yearly tradition from now on. It’s such a cute and quick way to reflect on all the years. Plus, when you see my next NYE activity, you’ll think it’s even more perfect for the mini version. Stay tuned to see.
What are some ways you like to reflect on the year during New Years? Or do you have any NYE traditions you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.
Happy First Day of Winter, everyone! To celebrate, I prepped this Winter Tree Sensory Bin for Mila to play with winter elements without the cold!
This sensory bin was such a hit, I’ll keep it set up all winter long.
Let me tell you a secret… of all the elements in this sensory play are reused from Christmas decor and past sensory bins.
My dogs told me… aggressively… that they didn’t like my new mini tree. I was so sad because it was cute and brand new! Instead of just throwing it all away, I cut what I could salvage off and gave it a new life.
I’m letting you on this little secret because I have NO idea where to find little tree branches like these normally. AND since Christmas season will be over soon, you definitely can reuse old decor items for play or other DIY’s. It’s always just a nice reminder.
Anyways, here’s what’s all in this sensory bin:
Reused pine branches
To set this up for Mila, I added fake snow from the other sensory bin this month at the bottom of a tray. At first, I put the tree together so she knew what she was going on.
Then I told her to decorate the tree with the ornaments and bells.
After, she had taken everything out of the bin and started making different trees! I wish I would have began the play this way. It made the bin much more creative and she ran to get other little characters to play in the snow.
I love watching her play and her ideas come to life.
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate winter or just want another sensory play idea for your child, this one was definitely a hit!
Let me know in the comments your favorite season and how you celebrate them.
Looking for a different way to make your Christmas gifts even more special? Try this DIY Wrapping Paper. I promise your family and friends will love getting their gifts wrapped in paper that’s made with love. And… your kids will be really proud of themselves when they show it off to them too.
Making our own wrapping paper is a big Christmas Bucket List item for us. We did it her first Christmas and now it’s become a fun tradition. I know my parents always look forward to seeing her wrapping paper. This year, she made it for her friends at preschool. I’m sure we’ll be doing this Christmas Activity more than once this year.
Maybe this can become a fun tradition for your family too! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own wrapping paper:
Brown craft paper
This activity is super simple in the best way. You get to let your child be as creative as they want to be. PLUS, they get to be messy too! I think all kids like that aspect of that.
To set up, all I did was lay out brown kraft paper, pour paint on a separate paper plate, and laid out her tools (paint brushes, cookie cutters, bingo daubers). She did everything else all by herself. I would also suggest laying trash bags down if you want to keep your surface clean.
I played Christmas music and had Mila explain to me what she was drawing. The one section was a whole scene with people. It’s fun to hear their thought process.
After they’re done creating, just let your wrapping paper dry.
Then, just wrap your presents like normal. I tried to get Mila to paint more in the middle so you could see the design. We also love to add yarn and ribbon to make presents even more special.
Mila was super proud of her wrapping paper. It’s so unique. We’ve done it every year and each year it looks so different. It’s a great way to capture her growth. It also feels like a present within a present when you give to others. I love gifting her artwork and this is a fun way to do that while being useful too!
Even though we normally do this for Christmas, I’d love to do it for different birthdays or holidays.
Let me know in the comments…
Have you ever made your own wrapping paper? OR what recycled products do you use for wrapping paper?
The Nativity is a story a lot of people know and learn about around Christmas time. If you’d like your toddler or preschool to know this story, doing this Nativity Popsicle Stick Craft is a way to help them remember it and make it fun too.
As you might know if you’ve been following along with our story is that Mila is in preschool. Her preschool talks a lot about Bible stories.
I don’t necessarily talk about one religion at home. We talk about how people believe in all kinds of different things and none of it is wrong. My personal beliefs stem from different religions and readings, I’ve written about them in previous posts.
No matter what I believe, I want Mila to be able to make her own decisions. Right now, she’s asked a lot of questions about Jesus and Bible stories. So, we’re reading and doing activities with what she’s curious about.
Mila loves baby Jesus. Every time she sees a Nativity set up she says, ‘awww. Look at the baby.’ Then she names everyone.
It definitely made me want to do this activity with her even more. After a trip to the store, we got everything to create our interpretation of her favorite scene.
Here’s what you’ll need to create this book and craft pairing.
To start this activity off, we read the book with each other. She let me know she knew all the characters and that Jesus was born in a manger.
After reading, it was time to start making the scene.
We first wanted to make the manger. All we used was popsicle sticks and glue. We ended up using big popsicle and it took five across for the base. We used a smaller popsicle stick to connect it together.
Then for the floor of the manger, we used one big popsicle stick across it on the bottom. For the roof, we just crisscrossed them on the top.
Next we made Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus.
Again, we used popsicle sticks. For Mary and Joseph we decided to use big ones and for Jesus we used a small one. To get the correct length, we just cut them with scissors.
To make them look like they had clothes, hair, and accessories, we used yarn. You could use any color, I think ours turned out really cute.
Then, glue them down on the manger.
After that, make a star out of pipe cleaner and attach with glue.
You could stop here, but we decided to make this an ornament. To do this, we just glued on another piece of yarn so we could hang it.
Mila was SO proud of her hard work on this piece. She loved seeing this family together and talking about what she learned at preschool. I am so happy she can always let me know what she’s learning about.
This craft is so much fun for kids of all ages. I hope if you make it, you have as much fun as we did!
What’s your favorite Christmas book or story to read? Let me know in the comments.
Also, if you make this craft/ornament, tag me on Instagram or Facebook (@greyskies.rainbowhighs).
We love fun traditions in our house. Any time I can be transformed back into childhood, I’m all for it. Especially when I get to pass it on to Mila. One of my favorites crafts in elementary school were Tissue Paper Lanterns, so we made a Christmas themed one.
There are a ton of different skills in this DIY for Mila and now we have another tradition we can do every year.
Another part of this DIY that I love is it’s an upcycle project! Here’s what you’ll need:
Mason Jar or Recycled Glass Jar
Modge Podge or DIY Modge Podge (Glue and Water)
Paint or Foam Brush
To start off, I had Mila cut pieces of tissue paper into squares or smaller pieces. We’re always trying to work on scissor skills and she really enjoys it too. With a little help from me, we had more than enough pieces of tissue paper.
Then, we took our DIY modge podge to put it all together. To make DIY modge podge, just use regular, white glue and add water into it. It should mix into a modge podge consistency. You can see a picture of it down below too. It’s just a more watered down glue consistency that’s easy to spread with a paintbrush.
Mila and I worked in sections. We’d put paint on, then put a layer of tissue paper over top. After it was glued down, we put another thin layer of DIY modge podge on top.
After you fill in all the sections, just let it fully dry. It doesn’t take too long at all.
Once it’s dried, you can put a small candle in it and the light shines through beautifully. I absolutely loved how it turned out and it was easy to do with Mila. Hopefully we can keep making them every year with different patterned tissue paper. Just make sure to add the year on the lantern somewhere.
I ended up putting it as a centerpiece on our dining room table. It looks so cute and I love showcasing all her DIYs and crafts.
Do you ever make a craft over snd over again? If so, what do you make?
Christmas crafts don’t always have to be ‘perfect’ to be adorable. Toddlers and preschoolers love to learn by using the things around them, especially through art. This Christmas Process Art Mila created was a great reminder of that!
There’s a huge pressure to have the most perfect crafts online. It seems kids have to follow instructions step-by-step to create the best craft. When you give them the power to create on their own, they can create something even more spectacular.
I’m not going to say Mila and I haven’t been doing specific crafts together, but she needed this free project to showcase her creativity.
All we used to create this beautiful piece of art was from other Christmas items we had at home:
Red and Green Washable Paint
Gold Acrylic Paint
To set up this activity, all I did was pour the paint and tell Mila to use these objects to paint.
She did ask for a paint brush and I did let her use it to push the bells around. Then she used it to paint after trying all the objects. She really went to work when she could use the brush at the end!
As much as it was a process art activity, I did not want to put a limit to her creativity. I think she had fun feeling the different textures and she loved shaking the bells too. It puzzles her why the items don’t paint as well as the brush… but that’s what it’s all about!
When she was finished, we talked about what her artwork symbolized and what we wanted to title it. She said it was just about Christmas and it didn’t need a name. So, it’s left untitled, but I did have her sign it and I dated it. I told her it reminded me of a Christmas tree, just REALLY close up. It honestly just makes me smile, like all of her artwork does.
We love making art as Christmas gifts… and will probably do it again this year! Let me know in the comments… What’s the best Christmas or holiday present you’ve received? Handmade or store bought?
A new month means there’s new things to explore and discover. This month, we’re doing a Christmas Sensory Play. The most fun part of this sensory bin is everything is bought from the dollar store!
We love Christmas and all the joy it brings to us. I think Mila is mostly excited for snow and Santa to bring presents. To combine that happiness and interest, I thought this Christmas Sensory Play idea was the best of both worlds!
This sensory bin is filled with:
Different types of fake snow
As I said before, I got this entire bin at the dollar store! Everything was pretty cheap and easy to put together. All I did was dump the three different types of fake snow in the refrigerator organizer.
If I could give one fake snow suggestion, I’d tell everyone not to get the small foam balls. They get EVERYWHERE and stick to everything. We could have done with just the glitter snow and the medium sized foam balls. It would have worked just as well.
Anyways, then I hid chocolate kisses underneath so Mila could find surprises.
The next things I added were the jingle bells. I had a ton of different sized and colored bells. This is important for one of the activities that I’ll explain.
To make it a little more festive, I added five, felt Santa stickers. They’re so cute!
There’s seriously a ton of activities you can do with this Christmas Sensory Bin.
The first is just letting your child explore the sensory bin. There they can find the chocolate kisses, feel the different types of snow, or use their imaginations. Mila loves when I don’t give her directions and she just does whatever.
One activity that I directed her in was sorting the bells. You could have them sort by color or size. This provide a ton of different skills.
I also had her count the Santas too. There’s a ton of math that kids can do that will help!
In all, this Christmas Sensory Bin is festive and educational. Kids will love it and you’ll love that they’re learning and having fun.
Do you have any suggestions of Christmas play? I have a few, but I’m definitely up for more ideas. Also, what are you most excited for this Christmas season?