Preschool Book Pairing Activity: Room on the Broom Handprint Art

The best way to learn is through books! To introduce Mila to Halloween concepts, we’ve been reading a ton of different ones. Lately, Mila’s favorite has been Room on the Broom. We extended her learning by pairing the book with an activity to make handprint art.

Again, it’s another decoration that Mila and I will be able to look at in the future and remember our times when she was little!

All we used for this craft was…

I want to start off by saying, I most definitely helped Mila with this craft. Older kids could probably do this alone. But, I used hot glue, cut out the hat, and made the broom. Everything else she had a hand in making… literally.

First, I painted her hand with green paint. Then let her press it on the canvas to make the witch.

While it was drying, I assembled the broom and hat. For the broom I used this cute gold pipe cleaner for the base. Then I cut up ribbon to make the straw part of the broom. I combined them by making a loop with the pipe cleaner and twisting it off.

The hat was easy to make. All I did was cut out a witches hat on black paper and hot glued leftover pipe cleaner for the base of the hat.

When the green paint was dried, I hot glued down the broom and the eyes.

Next, we made the hair. I took a few pieces of orange yarn and braided it to look like the witch in the book. Mila loved helping cut out the pieces and was very impressed with how much it looked like the original witch. She’s finally impressed by my skills!

After that, we glued down the hat and added facial details and the night sky with a permanent marker.

Mila absolutely insisted on drawing the witch’s nose and the moon.

I absolutely love how this turned out… with all of Mila and I’s crafts. It’s festive and we put a lot of hard work into it. Doing a book pairing activity with her also underlines the importance of reading and teaching her that reading is fun and valuable.

Hopefully she’ll want to continue reading and extending upon those lessons in the future.


What’s your favorite Halloween book that we need to get next year?

Halloween Craft: Googly Eyed Monsters

Halloween crafts and activities do not have to be complex. My preschooler’s favorite Halloween Craft are these Googly Eyed Monsters! Not only did she have a spook-tacular time making them, she loves making sure everyone sees them when they come in our home.

The best part about these monsters, you only really need to go buy googly eyes. Everything else are pretty common household items.

It looks pretty simple right? Here’s all we used:

To set up this craft for Mila, I cut some squares from old cardboard boxes. We love to upcycle and reuse items. If we can make memories by doing that, I’m all for it!

Then, I put out the colors of paint she wanted to use. I tried to persuade her to use more Halloween colors. She insisted on blue though, but I think it turned out super cute even though it’s not a traditional color.

I let her free paint and do whatever she wanted. They didn’t start off as monsters, just as big blobs.

If you have older kids, they’ll be able to do this next part on their own. I went in and drew outlines of monsters with her blobs. She might be able to do it now, but I just follow her interest and patience level with these types of activities. There’s no right or wrong ways to outline them. Just let their artwork speak to you!

When the monsters were finished and dried, Mila put the eyes where she wanted them to be. Let your child pick out how many eyes and the eye color they think they need. It’s so cute to see how they end up seeing their monsters.

Then, you can hot glue a pipe cleaner on the back of the cardboard pieces to hand them. This is an optional step, but I love it.

I love this little progression picture. This activity came out so adorable and I’ll definitely be hanging these up throughout future Halloweens. At first, Mila was afraid of some of her pictures. Now she thinks they’re cute. She’s really getting in the spooky mood!


Which is your favorite monster that she made?

Halloween DIY: Skeleton Animal Glow Ups

My entire house is fully prepped for Halloween! It’s been so fun to see the transformation. Our latest spooky DIY are these Skeleton Animal Glow Ups.

I have been back and forth with sharing these. They’re so creepy, but Mila loves them. Honestly, they’re sort of like a creepy Elf on a Shelf.

They were so easy to make and they fit our Halloween aesthetic. I found them at the Dollar Store for a dollar a piece. Not a bad price in my eyes; especially because it was a craft for both of us and they look so cute.

Cute as in… creepy. They can be both, right?

I will say, Mila had fun painting them, but it was a little tricky. She did them for a while, but I ended up finishing them.

If you do paint them and your kiddo wants to carry them around, I would suggest spraying them with a clear coat. It just helps the paint hold up a little longer. If you’re keeping them out of their hands, it should be okay!

Originally, I had them all on our dining room table. Like I said though, they’ve become our unofficial Halloween Elves on a Shelf.

I actually love how they turned out and will keep them for the years ahead.

Somehow they mesh really well with the white pumpkins and the general feel of my house. We like random things, so they make me smile.

Your Halloween decorations don’t have to be grand to make a statement. Sometimes all it takes is a little paint and a animal skeletons from the dollar store!


What’s your favorite way to decorate for this holiday: scary or pretty? Let me know in the comments.

Pumpkin Washing Sensory Bin.

Another day, another fall activity! Today’s play is a Pumpkin Washing Sensory Bin.

We love sensory play for so many reasons. To summarize all of its benefits, it helps children’s brains in a ton of ways! It also gives me a minute to do a chore or task that needs done around the house too.

Now that it’s spooky season, I’m finally letting Mila pick pumpkins from our pumpkin patch on the side of our house. It led straight to this activity.

Before we paint or decorate these pumpkins, I thought they needed to be cleaned off. Instead of me just doing it, I thought it would be so much fun for Mila… and I was right. All I had to do was set up this station.

The only materials I used were:

The only thing I told Mila was that the pumpkins needed cleaning and she could use more water and soap if she needed.

Let’s just say… she went to work right away!

This activity is so simple and Mila had came up with a big story of why they needed washed. She pretended they came from a different farm and not just outside our home. I always love listening to how her mind works.

That’s what makes sensory play so fun for everyone.

I actually left this activity out for the next day and she kept on playing. Lets hope painting or carving pumpkins goes this smoothly too.


Do you paint or carve pumpkins?

I’ve done both, but I’m thinking Mila may like painting more than carving this year. I’ll keep you all updated when it happens!

Preschool Activity: Farm Activity Box

Another week, another activity box! This week’s activity box theme: FARM!

The last two weeks, Mila and her class have been learning about farms. To extend her learning about it, I thought some farm themed activities while she’s at home and when she’s off on Fridays would be fun!

This theme is also a ton of fun because we live in a rural area where a lot of people have farms and farm animals. We can go to different ones and actually see them. It was also a great time because we were just at our county fair where we saw all of the students’ farm animals and 4H projects that they worked so hard on. It was a way to be active while learning too!

Since we can’t go back to the fair or a barn every day, this activity box was perfect for her learning.

There’s a ton more activities you can do too, this just was easy for her to take to her grandma’s house on her day off.

I hope you love everything that’s inside. Let me know if you have other suggestions.

Books

I’ll never stop saying this: WE LOVE BOOKS!

Books help kids discover and learn about the world around them when they can’t get out and see it. Plus, it helps teach them lessons too.

These books are all ones that we’ve read so many times. I think Mila’s favorite is the farm sound. She’s had it since she’s been really little and it helped her learn different farm animal sounds. She also loves the Peek-a-Who and can even read it to me… more like look at the pictures and remember what it said.

We also love the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series and have almost all the farm animals. Sandra Boynton books are a big hit with Mila and this one always makes her laugh.

Lately, Mila has been obsessed with sheep, so The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg has been a new book that we’ve gotten. It’s a really cute book about sheep’s hair and caring about others. I’m unsure how super farm related it is, but Mila’s obsessed!

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg by Gemma Merino

Farm Sounds by Usborne

Peek-a-Who? Are You My Mom? by Scholastic

Are You a Cow? by Sandra Boynton

That’s Not My Pig… by Usborne (we use all the ‘That’s Not My’ series with farm animals)

Painting and Play Dough

Painting and play dough are our two go to activities in our house. Mila loves them both and plays with them for a long time.

The farm animal ‘paint with water’ activity book from Melissa and Doug is a huge hit. There’s 20 different animal scenes that are perfect for learning about the farm! I also love that there’s paint on the top of every single page. It came with a brush too! All you need to do is a have a little cup of water and they’re good to go! Mila loves to paint, so I limit how many pages she does at one time!

I always include play dough in Mila’s activity boxes. They help her use her imagination in play and allows her to make shapes with her hands. I thought she might use the different colors to make animals, grass, and maybe just a farm scene. Who knows what she’ll create!

Matching Game and Threading

These two activities are Mila’s favorites!

The first are the threading boards. We got these from Mila’s preschool sale and they’re a blast to work with. It’s helped Mila’s coordination and motor skills. Plus, the scenes are so cute. There are a ton of threading activities that you can find on Amazon as well. This set (not pictured) is so cute and from Melissa and Doug!

Mila’s other FAVORITE game is the ‘grab it’ game. Essentially, you fill the red thing with the scare crow up with chips that have animals in it. When it’s your turn, you grab a chip and see if it matches to your board (the green barn). The first to fill their board up wins.

This game is so educational for us. Not only does it help with matching and animal recognition, it’s taught Mila to take turns and we practice animal sounds too. I found this game at Aldi, but you could make one too. Personally, I would use matching cards with farm animals and then have each player grab them from the deck. Essentially it would be the same thing.

These matching farm animal cards would be great!

Other Farm Fun Activities

Some of the other items that are in her box was her sheep that her great grandmother made, resin letters (of course), and a quick piggy clean up activity.

You could add any stuffed farm animal and multiple ones. At this stage, they really get into pretend play and it’s so cute to see.

As always, I’ll suggest to get a set of resin letters from Beags and Bubs. They’re the best!

The quick piggy clean up activity is a hit and doesn’t take too long to make at all. All you have to do is print out or draw a piggy. Then, put it in a ziplock baggy. When it’s in there, you just use black or brown markers to make the pig ‘dirty.’ Then, instruct your kiddo to clean the pig with a paper towel or sponge. They can also make the piggy dirty by drawing on it too.

I wanted to share two things Mila has done in preschool that I think would be a fun addition to this box as well. They’ve done a TON of other activities, but I thought these were just the cutest!

First is a story that Mila told her teachers and they wrote down. I actually love capturing her stories and recording them. It allows kids to be creative and see the importance of their words. Also, it’ll be so cute and funny to read when she gets older too!

I think she did a pretty good job!

This next activity was something that Mila talked nonstop about.

It’s a cut out of a big with brown paint. So, they got the pig dirty. I’m unsure what type of paint they used, but if I were to do this, I would probably put a drop of dish soap in the paint and mix it. This way it helps with clean up! Plus, what toddler doesn’t like getting dirty!

I hope you loved all these activities and items.


Let me know in the comments how you felt about this activity box! It was a lot of fun putting it together and watching her interact with it.

What activity box would you like to see next?

From Preschoolers to Princesses: Atwood’s Princess in the Park

This weekend, Mila and her friends were transformed from their fabulous, preschool selves to beautiful princesses. Atwood Lake Park hosted Princess in the Park for area girls and it was a fairytale for everyone involved.

Naturally, Mila took the afternoon napping and getting ready for the event.

There were two sessions for it, but we went to the later one at 5:30. Thankfully that nap came in handy. To get her ready, she got her hair curled, put a little bit of makeup one, and was dressed in her favorite princess dress.

She was too excited to take pictures before we left, even though she made me and my parents dress up for the occasion.

It only made sense since we were going to be in the presence of a ton of princesses!

When we got there, the girls were divided into four groups: red, purple, silver, and blue (or maybe pink, we weren’t in that group). You could tell their group by the necklaces they gave them when they were registered. Mila was in the purple group, so that’s the timeline of the night I’ll be following.

There were four different princess activity stations: craft, carriage ride, story and snack time, and nail and hand painting.

The first station Mila went to was the crafting one. Here, all the princesses decorated a frame and a princess wand. Mila absolutely LOVED the wand and it turned out so cute. She held it most of the night and pretended to have magic powers too.

They had all the craft supplies ready for us. There were wooden skewers, stickers, ribbons, stars, and the frame. I think Mila tried to put everything on her wand. It turned out adorable.

It seemed like all the other princesses enjoyed their craft too!

After craft time was the carriage ride.

Cinderella brought her magical carriage with her beautiful horses for all the little princesses to ride. Of course she joined in too! They had six girls at a time join Cinderella and they took a carriage ride around the Atwood Lake Park. It took about fifteen minutes, but it probably seemed a lot quicker for the little ones.

Honestly, this part was just as magical for the parents as it was the kids. The carriage was breathtaking and I hope it made Mila feel so special. Her smile was radiating.

When the carriage ride was over, the other half of the group of kids went on and Mila’s got to meet Mrs. Ohio from 2011. Her name is Mrs. Melanie Miller and she did amazing with the little ones. Mila was so happy to meet another real life princess for the night!

She instantly wanted to give her a hug and sit and talk with her. I think Mila was a little awe-struck because she didn’t say a lot, but kept looking at Mrs. Miller and her crowns. I think she loved her sparkly dress too. They discussed how their favorite letter was “M” and how Mila should always follow her dreams. It was so adorable. Mrs. Miller also gave Mila an autographed picture that she talked about and showed us on the way home.

Mrs. Ohio, if you are reading this, thank you so much for being patient and so caring. It truly made an impact on our girls. I know Mila enjoyed meeting and talking with you.

Next it was story and snack time!

They had cupcakes there for the kids to ice and decorate. Although they didn’t have tea, they had apple juice that were perfect for princesses.

As the kids decorated their cupcakes and ate them, a man (whose name I didn’t catch) read a story to the kids. He let them name the princess and unicorn. Mila came up with the name Aveena for the princess and another girl names the unicorn Sedine. They really gave him tricky names to remember. It was pretty comical.

It was a really cute story and gave the kids time to calm down after all the carriage and Mrs. Ohio excitement.

I love watching Mila decorate her cupcake too! She gets better at it every time.

The next and last station was the nail and hand painting. Although a lot of girls sat and got theirs done, Mila had other plans. She’s not the “let’s get our nails painted” princess. Instead, she decided to play.

Since my parents went with us, she had my dad play on the playground with her. They had so much fun on the equipment and the swings.

It also was nice that she got to get really tired before we left!

I love watching her play and interact with other kids and her grandpa. I swear every time I look at her it looks like she’s grown up more. It’s one of the most bittersweet feelings that all parents (I think) feel.

After the last station, we could leave. Instead though, Mila got to meet up with her friends. They, again, went to see Mrs. Ohio and took pictures with her. It was so cute watching them listen to her and wanting to see her crowns. I swear us parents looked like the paparazzi taking a ton of pictures. It was just so exciting.

The princesses took more pictures and played for some time after too. I loved seeing them all dressed up. They’re usually beautiful, but they looked extra cute all dressed up.

I am so thankful for everyone at Atwood Lake Park and the princesses that made this happen. Mila and the rest of their kids really enjoyed themselves. I know she will be talking about this event for days, especially when we go and print pictures out!

Since we live in such a small, tight community, it’s amazing to get our kids together and interacting. It’s truly special and amazing.


If you live local, what are some events you’re looking forward to this fall? If you don’t live local, what are some fall events that you think Mila and I should do? Let me know in the comments.

Preschool Activity: Halloween Activity Box.

October is right around the corner and we’re gettin really excited for Halloween! To prepare Mila and to give her some activities to do when she’s not at preschool, I made this Halloween Activity Box.

It’s full of fun, but I’m saving a lot of activities we’re doing for the month of October. You’ll have to keep coming back for more.

I actually love Halloweven! It’s probably my favorite holiday besides Christmas. You get tk dress up and just feel magical for the month. Plus I love all the outdoor activities and the yummy treats.

This year seems just a little extra special because Mila is so excited and knows what’s going on.

I know she’ll be happy to see this box too!

Halloween Books

There are a TON of cute Halloween books out there, but I love these three! By the way, if you have any Halloween book recommendations, please let me know in the comments.

My two favorite classics are The Nightmare Before a Christmas by Tim Burton and Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Yeah, I know The Nightmare Before Christmas is a controversial book on whether is Halloween or Christmas, but we read and watch it during both holidays!

Tim Burton is one of my favorite creative minds. So, we have some activities around this particular book and I want to introduce Mila to some of his movies this season too. Room on the Broom is fun for Mila at this age because she tries to follow along and does a great job! I have an activity for this too!

Our newest Halloween book is All Hallows’ Eve in Salem by Kristian James. I found it on Instagram and knew I needed to get it for Mila. The characters are adorable and I already want to plan a trip to Salem for Mila and I!

I promise, you’ll want to get this book for your kids too!

Play Doh Monsters with Eyes

Mila loves to play with play doh in her activity boxes, that’s why I include them!

This time, I added craft eyes for her to make monsters and to practice counting. It’s really cute to see all the creations she comes up with!

It’s such a simple activity, but she literally plays with it for a while. When there’s multiple ‘monsters,’ she pretends to do different voices and have conversations. It’s so much fun.

Plus, we use these craft eyes all the time! They make projects cuter and they’re perfect for Halloween!

Spooky Worksheets and Stickers

For this activity box, I didn’t use worksheets from Mila’s normal preschool workbooks. There’s none quite that spooky. I did find some cute worksheets that are perfect for the preschool and toddler level, coloring pages, and stickers!

I found the foam stickers and sticker book at Joann’s Fabrics, but this pack is cute from Amazon.

Stickers can be used for telling stories, counting, or making collages. Your child will lead you.

The little coloring page was also from Joann’s!

I found two printables that will have multiple uses. They’re both so cute and Mila really liked how they both looked.

The monster letters are from The Letter Vee. They’re so adorable and I’ll have Mila color them in first, then practice letter recognition with her resin letters.

I also had to print out this Halloween Countdown from Celebration Stylist! They have SO many cute Halloween printables. The Boo Banner hanging over the activity box is from them too! Plus a few other things that you’ll see in October posts.

Anyways, this countdown can be used as a countdown or to practice counting in general. I’m sure Mila will be using her stickers to do the countdown!

Potion Kit and Ghost Friends

You’ve definitely seen this fizzy ball before! They’re seriously such a hit with Mila. This month, we’ll be using them to make a witch’s potion. She loves using her ladle with our new bowl, so I’m excited for her.

I’m doing a post about a different witch’s potion next month too.

Mila and I also made these little stuffed ghosts out of an old sweatshirt. We had a lot of fun with them and Mila liked drawing their faces (not pictured). It was so easy to do! I’ll post a video or blog about how to do this too!

These are just some fun ways for Mila to play and pretend. It’s always nice to have a little brain break.

Miscellaneous Tricks

As always, we love using resin letters in all of our activity boxes. I cannot wait to show you my new set from Beags and Bubs. It’s in the mail right now, but they’re ADORABLE!

Not pictured in this post were face masks. I decided to add them in there because masks are associated with Halloween snd the characters on the packaging are our Halloween costumes. Plus, anytime I can make time for Mila to practice self care, I do!

There were also crayons, markers, and some other tools to play with the play doh too.

This is probably my favorite activity box so far. I love letting her discover different holidays. This can easily be converted and customized to more boy themed too. All of the elements are perfect for both boys and girls though!

I can’t wait to start doing more spooky crafts and activities and share them all with you.


What are some of your favorite Halloween activities to do? Or what are your favorite Halloween books you enjoy reading this time of year? Let me know both in the comments.

Pirate Sensory Treasure Hunt.

Ahoy there mateys! If you’re looking to celebrate pirates or how they talk, your toddler or young child love this Pirate Sensory Treasure Hunt.

Recently, Mila has been watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates. She loves all the adventure and when they find treasure. What little kid wouldn’t want to live on a boat and find coins buried in the sand?

I think she is still obsessed with mermaids too and the ocean reminds her of them!

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to bring the buried treasure to Mila… with some sensory elements mixed in too. Let’s just say this little activity was a hit.

Here’s all you’ll need:

  • Rice
  • Kinetic sand
  • Sensory bin
  • Seashells
  • ‘Pearls’
  • Coins
  • Other little pirate/ocean toys or stickers

I actually used my resin seek and find from Beags and Bubs as Mila’s treasure map. So, some of the items in the seek and find, I put in the bin. It was another cute way to use it!

To assemble this bin you’ll first need to put the items in the bin.

I probably could have added more coins and probably will next time. It just depends on how long you want this play to last. By the way, the ‘pearls’ were under the seashell!

Then, add rice for the sand and blue kinetic sand as water. I put the fish and mermaid under the ‘water.’

Personally, I put the kinetic sand down first. It helped me cover the fish first. BUT, the rice is way easier to spread than the kinetic sand, so it was just easier to do it this way.

After it was set up, I got out some pirate accessories and resin letters to set it up for her.

She had fun finding all of the treasure. It was so cute to watch her just dive in there. I think the hardest thing to find were the coins. They moved around in the rice.

After she did find everything, she prepped it for me to find things!

It was fun to play along with her.

Then, she used the bin for some pretend play while she warched Jake! Anytime she extends play makes the work behind it well worth it!

I personally love this bin and can see us doing more treasure hunts in the future. Mila’s down every time she gets to put money in her piggy bank.


Do your kids like pirates? What are some ways you’ve used them in your play? Let me know in the comments.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Recipe

It’s almost fall, so that means it’s time for autumn themed play. This week, we made pumpkin spice play dough.

Not only does it smell amazing, it’s a ton of fun to play with… for kids and adults!

One BIG thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot of play dough. I was actually really surprised with how much there was after I made it. Honestly, I would suggest cutting this recipe in half. Unless you want to gift some to others!

The best part of this DIY play dough is that it’s only four ingredients and you don’t even need to cook it like other recipes.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • Dash of pumpkin spice

It’s crazy that you can make good smelling play dough with only four ingredients… really only three main ones if you don’t want it to smell like pumpkin spice.

Mila helped make everything! We measured out all of the ingredients and she helped pour everything in. At first we started stirring it with a fork, then it got too thick and we had to start mixing it with our hands.

For the pumpkin spice, we poured a lot more than a dash. We poured it in until we could smell it!

She ended up playing with it for a long time. I think play dough really calms her. It’s also fun to watch her do pretend play with play dough. Another way you can challenge your toddler or preschooler to play with play dough is to have them make different shapes. It’s fun to watch them try to figure out how to make the shape with their hands.

To store this play dough, just keep it in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Mines in a ziplock baggie with all the air pushed out.

Before Mila plays with it, I just have it on the counter to warm up a little bit.

I’ve been trying to take more videos, but I’m forgetting to take pictures… oops. Thankfully I can share them on here.

It’s fun to watch the memories live instead of just pictures. I’ll try to do both!

I can’t wait to see all the times Mila plays with the play dough throughout the season. If we think of more fun ways to play, I’ll share them here with you.


Have you ever made play dough before? What’s your favorite type to make?

I definitely want to try different scented ones!

Leaf Cutting Sensory Bin.

Fall is quickly approaching and that means leaves will be changing. A great way for kids to learn about leaves and fall is through sensory play. This Leaf Cutting Sensory Bin is a fun activity to welcome fall and practice important skills.

Mila and I try to go on a walk every day; with Max and Toby too. This past weekend, there were so many leaves on the ground. Since she was in awe of them, Mila started picking them up.

My pockets were full when we got home!

Even though I had planned this activity for September, it sort of just happened naturally.

Once we got home, I emptied the leaves in our sensory bin, set out her resin letters, and hoped the child safe scissors would work!

That’s actually best part of this sensory bin… you probably have everything right on hand!

  • Leaves
  • Child safe scissors
  • Bin

All I did was do the steps above and let Mila explore the leaves. I did have to remind her how to safely use the scissors a few times though.

Without prompting, she talked about the different colors of the leaves, their texture, and if they are crunchy or not. It brought up a lot of different conversations that I really enjoyed having with her. It’s so amazing to see her mind work.

If you have scissors that cut different shapes, I’d suggest using them. Mila loved seeing the different patterns.

I also love that there isn’t a ton of creativity or prep for this activity. She actually took her time and played with the leaves. It was great for me to clean up while she played.

Another huge suggest is to get resin letters!

She’s been playing with them during our activities for the last few months and is recognizing more letters. I really believe they’re helping her become more comfortable with them. She’s actually remembering what letters are in her name and her cousin, Isla’s name.

Again, check out Beags and Bubs, Danielle makes amazing custom sets. I actually have another on the way!


Do you think your child would like this activity? What activities do you use to talk about fall or the leaves changing with your young child? Let me know in the comments.