And my oldest, engineer-brained son with his resourceful choice – a multi-tool pen with includes a touch screen stylus, ruler, level and mini screwdriver. These Valentine’s would also work well with a ruler favor..
The kids really enjoyed my Thanksgiving Joke Teller / Cootie Catcher, so I decided to create another one for Valentine’s Day. Great entertainment for their classroom celebration and perfect way to connect with friends and family over Zoom this year.
Since my boys were 3 years old, this US Foam Puzzle has been a favorite go-to of theirs. At 1st it was just fun for them to put together, but as they got older it became a great learning tool. They are now familiar with most US states, their shape, general location, as well as some facts we’ve learned along the way.
Jacob has been asking about the difference between city, state, country and continent lately, so I wanted to come up with a hands-on way for him to understand the bigger picture. Since they enjoyed the other foam puzzle so much, I decided to purchase this World Map Puzzle with Flags & Capitals. Understandably due to size constraints, it doesn’t include EVERY flag in the world. If it did, I think that would be too overwhelming anyway. The puzzle has a total of 65 flags (based mainly on country size) which seems to be the perfect start.
The foam puzzle, flags and map provided are great. Unfortunately there is no ‘key’ to know where each flag goes. I was able to figure it out using the original sticker sheet, but both Jacob and Evan were at a complete loss putting the puzzle together without my help. To give them the independence of easily figuring it out on their own, I created a color-coded diagram showing all of the 65 flags and the corresponding country by continent. I also made a color-coordinating continent map for easy reference.
Click on image below for FREE Printable:
Once I gave them my diagrams (other than some adorably incorrect pronunciations) – easy peasy. Both Jacob and Evan were able to correctly identify 65 flags, place them in their corresponding country, and understand which continent they belonged to as well!
I have no doubt this puzzle will be another one of their favorites – learning more as they grow and discovering new things each time they complete it. 🙂
When I was pregnant with Jacob & Evan, my cousin told me about a new (at the time) website called Pinterest. I signed up for an account to start Pinning decor ideas for their nursery. Little did I know what a life-changing website it would become. Why did it have to be created AFTER I got married?!?! I came across so many crafty ways to document the boys’ 1st year and couldn’t wait to make something especially for them!
With so many ideas, I decided to photograph and create two different monthly comparisons – One with the boys together (because twin baby portraits are simply adorable!) and one with them alone (because they are, after all, individuals). In attempt to capture their personalities, I also included brief descriptions about them. It was fun to reflect on each month’s little joys and take time to appreciate the small things.
Naturally, when Avery was born, I wanted to create the same monthly snapshots for her as well…
I used Photoshop to create my images. If you do not have Photoshop (or any other photo editing software), a similar technique can be used with either of the following:
An online photo editor like PicMonkey that allows you to add a paragraph of text, and enables you to crop and edit your photo as well.
If you only want to insert a small amount of text, such as the month, AddText has a quick and simple process for adding a caption (downside = limited fonts and their website appears in bottom right of the photo).
If you have the images on your phone or iPad, there are tons of apps that allow you to add text. Imagic Text and Word Swag are ones that allow for longer text/paragraphs.
If you have any other suggested ways to add text to your image, I’d love to hear about it – please comment below.
Looking back at these photos, I had no idea they would trigger so many heartwarming memories (all too easily forgotten). It doesn’t feel like it during the day-to-day grind of picky eating, tantrums and poopy diapers, but it’s true when people say “they grow so fast”. I’m glad I took the time to create this project, as it really helped me cherish the little moments and capture their growth for the 1st year.