Snow Globe Sensory Bin

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:

  • Fake snow
  • Sensory bin
  • Rainbow bottle brush trees
  • Different sized jars
  • Extra accessories
  • 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!

DIY NYE Time Capsule

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.

Mila Drawings and Glitter Handprint

Mila loves to draw and always draws our family. Remember the person she drew and I got a tattoo of it earlier this year? So, I definitely asked her to do a drawing of all of us and labeled it too. I think this will be precious to see in ten years. Her drawing skills might be a little better then, but I think these will always be my favorite.

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.

Ribbon Height

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.

Sparkling Cotton Candy Mocktail

New Years Eve is traditionally has drinks all around. If you have kids or don’t drink, you HAVE to try this Sparkling Cotton Candy Mocktail.

Not only is it pretty and tasty, it’s easy to make with only four ingredients. Trust me, when the ball drops into 2022, you’ll want to be holding this drink in your hand.

I’m always on the look out for fun things to make Mila. When I was browsing Instagram a few days ago, I came across this fun cotton candy drink from @hecticmomlifestyle. Instantly I knew Mila would love it.

So I went and bought everything to test for NYE. Spoiler alert: she and I both loved it so I had to share @hecticmomlifestyle’s recipe!

Here’s what you need to make your NYE sparkle:

  • Sparkling grape juice
  • Cotton candy
  • Marshmallow creme
  • Sugar sprinkles

This drink is simple to make and Mila was amazed by the magic behind it.

First, dip your glass and cover the rim with marshmallow creme. I’ll admit, I made a huge mess on this part and gave it a thick coating. Mila still loved it.

Then, layer sugar sprinkles on the marshmallow creme rim. I suggest using a small plate or bowl.

Here’s the fun and interactive part for kids… or adults… put some cotton candy in the cup. We put a decent amount in since Mila loves the flavor. That’s up to whoever is making it though!

Then, pour in the sparkling grape juice. Of course the cotton candy disappears and your juice will slightly change colors.

After, I garnished her cup with another piece of cotton candy and let her enjoy.

I ended up tasting this drink, before she ate the entire bag of cotton candy. It was surprisingly not overly sugary. If you’d want this mocktail to be a cocktail, I’d suggest using champagne instead of sparkling grape juice to get the same effect.

We’ll definitely be enjoying this drink on NYE. Stay tuned for some fun activities you can do with your child this year.

Here’s some we did last year:


Do you make fun mocktails for NYE? Let me know your drink choice in the comments.

Winter Tree Sensory Bin

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
  • Fake snow
  • Mini ornaments
  • Bells
  • Pinecones

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.

5 Ways to Decrease Mom Guilt During the Holidays

Christmas is almost here and mom guilt is in full effect. There’s presents to be wrapped, the kids asked for a new toy from Santa, and the cookies haven’t been baked yet. All while you still have to parent, work, and everything else too.

Not thinking you can get everything off your Christmas Bucket List done or making the holiday season as magical as it can be, it makes you feel bad.

In efforts to be nice to myself, I wanted to share some ways to I decrease mom guilt during the holidays with you.

Take a Deep Breath

Whenever I feel myself spiraling into mom guilt, I try to calm myself. Usually, I just need to take a deep breath and realize my thoughts and emotions are getting the best of me.

Believe me, I get it. There’s a ton to do, but if you can calm yourself with a deep breath and taking things one step at a time, it will help. In that moment you can realize what’s really important and what you can handle in the next five minutes, hour, or day.

You are one person and it feels like the world is on your shoulders. Don’t forget to breathe and remember you’re doing your best.

Buy Premade Crafts/Baked Goods

I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. It makes me feel creative and show other parents easy activities to do with your kids.

On the other hand, there are times I have NO idea how everyone’s getting things done… and so beautifully! It can make me feel guilty about where I am with the holidays or coming up with unique crafts or baking all kinds of cookies from scratch.

My big tip… buy premade crafts and baked goods. They don’t even need to be all the way done.

If you walk into Joann Fabrics or any craft store (even the dollar store), there are a ton of different fun Christmas crafts and activities. Mila and I have done quite a few this year and it was just as fun… with just as cute outcomes.

Plus, I am all for buying cake boxes so I don’t have to think about all the ingredients. Or they had premade cut outs that all you had to do was bake and decorate.

This is such a time saver for me while still giving me that feeling of doing jolly holiday activities.

Involve Your Child

Kids are seriously magical. They want to help whenever they can and what they do always turns out so precious… or hilarious.

Mila helps me out with so many different things during the holiday season:

  • Picking out/Making presents
  • Decorating cookies/cupcakes
  • Creating DIY wrapping paper
  • Picking up her toys
  • Practicing being patient
  • Voicing what activities she wants to do or not do

The root of the holidays and making traditions are the kids… so make them the center of it.

Cookies, presents, and all the other home things do not have to be perfect; especially during the holidays. I think it’s more special knowing a child helped with all of these things. It teaches them and helps you out too.

Another part of mom guilt and worry during the holidays is money. Mila and I always try to make gifts and they’re usually the ones most loved.

Involving children in the holiday hustle can really help with mom guilt and making memories too.

Take Care of You

If you’re anything like me, I put myself on the back burner. I constantly try to put others ahead of me and make sure the ones I love have everything they need… even if I don’t.

Whenever I’m in a bad mental place, I feel like my mom guilt is worse. I’m not at my best (or nicest) to Mila. It makes stressful times like the holidays way more intense. Not only do I feel bad on the inside, everyone else can feel it too.

Even when you have a million things to do, make space for you.

I know it’s hard, but you need and deserve it.

Personally, I love wrapping presents. It’s really relaxing to me and I make sure to put one of my favorite movies on with a big cup of peppermint hot chocolate. Honestly, it’s not much, but it gives myself space and takes care of my needs.

I would also suggest trying to get a babysitter so you can do things like that OR a self care day during this time.

The biggest message I’m trying to convey is to not forget about yourself. You are important and need to be taken care of just like everyone else, no matter the time of year.

Live in the Moment

Through the craziness of the holidays and trying to plan everything out, try to live in the moment.

Whenever I get so busy and planned out, I feel myself slip into autopilot or going through the motions. Honestly, the best parts of this past month is the moments not planned.

Mila and I went to the Akron Zoo’s Wild Lights on a whim. It wasn’t planned and we had so much fun. Another time, we were asked to go watch a play of The Grinch a couple hours before it started. Again, it was so much fun.

It’s easy to fall into checking things off your list, b it you can’t forget to live either.

Whenever I feel guilty as Mila watches a show while I’m rushing around, we hop in the car and go look at Christmas decorations and lights. It’s simple, but puts a smile on both of our faces.

Life is way too short to feel guilt and not soak up all these moments.


No matter what you need to do during this holiday season, remember you are doing your best. There’s no need to feel guilty. You are the best mom and parent to your child.

I promise they see your hard work and love you so much for it and for you just being their parent.


What ways do you decrease mom guilt during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

Christmas Activity: DIY Wrapping Paper

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
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cookie cutters

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?

Christmas Activity: Tissue Paper Lantern

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
  • Tissue Paper
  • 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 Sensory Bin

Happy December!

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
  • Jingle bells
  • Chocolate Kisses
  • Santa stickers
  • Refrigerator organizer

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?

Christmas Activity: Letter to Santa

It’s officially time to start getting festive. Our Christmas tree is up and indoor decorations are done. With all these bucket list items getting crossed off, we had to do another… write a letter to Santa.

I mean.. there’s less than a month until Christmas, we HAD to make sure he knew what Mila wanted this year.

The letter to Santa is very important in the eyes of kids who believe in him. When Mila realized that Santa was going to see her letter, she had that look Ralphie did in A Christmas Story.

It was all very official business.

After brainstorming her thoughts for the letter out loud, she decided it was time to write. Since Mila only knows how to spell her name at the moment, I got to help her out a little in the writing and spelling part of this.

Her letter to Santa states:

“Dear Santa,

How do you do? Thank you for giving me Christmas presents. I would like a big doctor thing.

Thanks, Mila”

She’s a lady that knows what she want! Hopefully she’ll actually become a doctor one day since that’s the only thing she wants at the moment. Besides becoming a mommy like me… her words.

Marking an item off her bucket list.

Anyways, I wanted to share this big moment because there’s a lot of learning going on in this simple letter.

Not only did she practice her writing skills and can prove she can remember and write her name, she drafted and wrote a letter! That’s pretty big for a three year old. Just because she didn’t physically write it, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any thought or work put into it.

It also showed her emotional intelligence with the thank you’s and asking Santa how he was doing.

These are all social skills that are all important to learn… simply by just writing a fun letter to Santa! Learning really is everywhere you look.

Fingers crossed Santa gets her letter in time. She used special stamps to help it travel quickly.

I’ll keep you all updated on if he does.


You can find the ‘Letter to Santa’ template at The Letter Vee. Some of the other stamps come from Three Little Crumbsnatchers, she also has the cutest Christmas activities you can print out for free. I’ll be posting them this December, so keep your eyes peeled.


Does your child or did they write letters to Santa? I’m thinking of recording Mila too. I think it would be cute to look back on. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a fun idea or not.

Christmas Bucket List 2021

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year!

Mila and I are getting so excited for this holiday season. Although we’re trying to hold off most of our activities until after Thanksgiving, we’re feeling the pressure!

A good middle ground was to make our Christmas Bucket List 2021.

This isn’t the first time Mila and I have made a Christmas Bucket List. During her second Christmas in 2019, we made a similar one! We had a ton of fun getting to every item, but she didn’t grasp it like she will this year.

Bucket lists are fun because you can prepare for an upcoming season and list what you want to do. Then, any extras are just added fun.

All of our Christmas Bucket List items are easy to do and most will just be at home.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Decorate the Christmas Tree
  • Put up decorations
  • Drink hot coco
  • Write a letter to a santa
  • Visit Santa
  • Have treats for Santa and his reindeer
  • Sing Christmas songs and dance to them
  • Bake cookies
  • Christmas movie night
  • Eat a candy cane
  • Go look at Christmas lights
  • Make wrapping paper
  • Make gingerbread houses/people
  • Make an ornament
  • Wear Christmas pajamas
  • Take family photos
  • Christmas on the Square
  • FLORIDA!
  • Have a Merry Christmas

I can’t wait to celebrate Mila’s FOURTH Christmas season with her. She’s already so excited for Santa and the magic behind it all. And… she already wants to cross the items off.

Even though we paused our list due to the pandemic last year, I figured we needed to bring it back and make it our tradition.

As always, we’ll be sure to share our holiday experiences, crafts, and activities. Stay tuned.


All I did to make the physical list was unrolled craft paper and drew on it with markers. It was easy to do and it feels like we have another huge and interactive Christmas decoration for the year.

What would you add to your Christmas Bucket List that I missed? Let me know in the comments.