For Valentine’s Day this year, I started by looking up some fun favors on Amazon and presenting them to the kids. Avery was super stoked about the flippy sequin bracelets I found, so we went with a Mermaid theme.
Inspired by her favorite color at the moment – GOLD, I created this super sparkly mermaid Valentine. Paired with the sequin bracelet favors and signed using my glitter pens, Avery’s definitely ready to make a splash at her school celebration!
Favor ideas to pair with this Valentine:
– Mermaid Sequin Bracelet (as shown in photo above)
– Mermaid Folding Paper Fans
– Sequin Mermaid Tail Keychains
– Mermaid Favor Assortment (Stamps, Stickers & Tattoos)
– Glitter Spiral Notepad / Pencils
– Mermaid Tattoos
Depending on your favor, you can tie it on with string, attach with double sided tape, or use a fun glitter or mermaid Washi tape.
To create your own Mermaid Valentine Printable, download here.
Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable
Related: DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards
“Be a mermaid and make waves.”
Right now Avery is OBSESSED with everything unicorn. Anytime she spots something at a store with a unicorn on it, she ogles at it like it’s a lost baby kitten and is convinced it was made for her. So to no surprise, this year we decided to create Valentine’s Day cards with this mystical creature – and just the right amount of sparkle!
Since Valentines these days usually come with a fun favor attached to them, I purchased cute unicorn fans to include with Avery’s. Some other ideas if you are interested in adding a favor (which you can either tie on, attach with double sided tape, or use a fun glitter or unicorn Washi tape)…
Based on whichever size you would like, click on the above image to download and start creating your own magical Valentines!
Related: DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards
“Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.”
When planning our trip to Disney World, I mentioned to the kids that sometimes people dress up as their favorite characters and showed them some pictures. Avery immediately shouted “I want to be Darth Vader!!”. Coming from a girl that plays with a 4ft tall Stormtrooper like it’s a doll (singing him lullabies and tucking him in for bed) this came as no surprise. I decided to take the challenge and come up with something that has a little bit of Disney Princess flair.
I purchased a black leotard and tutu from Amazon and created the below chest plate.
I used Dark T-shirt Transfers, printed the chest plate on a sheet, and ironed it on the leotard following the given directions (Note: It is not recommended to print on fabric that stretches like the leotard, however I was happy with the results).
Click HERE for free printable chest plate (to scale for girl’s leotard).
The force is strong with this one…
Happy Star Wars Day! May the force be with you.
Celebrate all the wonderful teachers in your life during Teacher Appreciation Week! Whether it’s a school teacher, sports coach, or even a caretaker – these real life superheroes cannot be thanked enough for taking the time to help us learn and grow!
This year I created a “Thank you” coloring page that’s easy for even the littlest of ages to provide a gift to their teachers with their own personal touch.
Click HERE or on above image to download FREE printable.
For the boys, I included a questionnaire on the back of their coloring page.
Click HERE or on above image to download FREE printable questionnaire.
Thank you to all the hard-working teachers!
“It takes a big heart to shape little minds”
Related: Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page with Questionnaire
‘Tis the season for roses, hearts, Cupid and the age old tradition of spreading love with thoughtful Valentine’s Day cards!
Avery is currently obsessed with decorating herself in adhesive bandages, like they are a fashion accessory – so I picked up some holiday themed bandages to use for her classroom Valentines (one of many amazing finds at the Target Dollar Spot!). I created and printed the below Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards and attached the bandages with double-sided tape.
Click HERE to download free printable.
Now my adorable little heart breaker is ready for her 1st Valentine’s Day celebration at school. 🙂
Related: DIY Super Hero Valentine’s Day Cards
*****CLICK HERE to see UPDATED POST WITH A DIY 9 SONG COLOR-CODED BEGINNER PIANO MUSIC BOOK*****
The other day, Jacob was jamming away on his toy piano singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ – eyes closed, head bopping, slamming random keys on the key board… I loved the enthusiasm and figured the boys are probably old enough to start reading beginner sheet music, so I decided to put together a few songs for them.
I am by no means a musician, but I did play piano back in the day and remembered some of the basics. I wanted to keep it simple with what I feel is a reasonable goal for toddlers and preschoolers: Find Middle C and play a simple song with one finger (not at all insisting on proper finger placement). I’m not trying to raise Mozart – I just want them to have fun and become comfortable with the basics of sheet music while doing so.
We have a Fischer-Price electronic keyboard that has color coding to the keys, so I decided to coordinate with that…. I cut little squares from Color Coding Dot Labels, and labeled them with the appropriate letters for keys C-A. I also labeled one key with a black outlined orange, for one of the notes needed in ‘You Are My Sunshine’. If you don’t have Dot Labels, simply coloring a white part of sticker paper with a marker works just as well (which is what I did for yellow).
I then created color-coded sheet music for a few of their favorite songs…
CLICK on above sheet music to download pdf printable. Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
As simple as that, and they now understand the concept of reading and playing music on the piano. With or without an accurate rhythm on the keyboard, watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless!
Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book
Months ago, Jacob told me he wanted to be Kion from The Lion Guard for Halloween. To no surprise, Evan and Avery wanted to team up with him as Beshte and Ono to help defend the pride lands!
For Kion and Beshte, I used orange and grey footed pajamas from footedpajamas.com (while also scoring a 15% off coupon from Retail Me Not – deals rock!). I attached red and black craft fur that I got from Michael’s Craft store (also available online at Amazon or Walmart) for hair, and used fleece fabric to sew on ears and a tail.
For Beshte, I designed a mask and created this TEMPLATE to make it into a fabric mask using felt squares and Stitch Witchery. Seriously, this stuff is AMAZING! All you have to do is cut the Stitch Witchery to shape and iron your fabrics, bonding them together – no sewing required! (Note: I cut the eyes out after bonding all the materials together to make sure the fabric was even)
For Ono, I purchased a white leotard from Amazon and created wings and a tail, using fleece fabric (Fleece is great for this purpose since it does not fray at all). The leotard fabric and skinny arms were a bit difficult to work with, so I chose to use a combination of Velcro and sewing to attach the wings. To give the tail a more 3 dimensional look, I sewed in pipe cleaners between the two tail fabrics.
Similar to Beshte – I designed an Ono mask for Avery and created a TEMPLATE so I could make a fabric mask, using felt squares and Stitch Witchery.
To complete their costumes, The Lion Guard needs their badge of honor – so again I used my trusty Stitch Witchery to fuse the symbol (from felt squares) to each costume’s left arm. Tip: After printing out this TEMPLATE, I cut out the shapes with an X-ACTO knife, and chalked out a mirror image as a stencil.
Now my little protectors of the pride lands are ready to roar on Halloween!
Related: See Paw Patrol and Ghostbusters costumes.
Shortly after the boys turned 2 years old, they started finding Cory or I in the mornings and asking, “Is Dad home all day?”. If the answer was “no”, I often times had two crying kids on my hands. Understandably (in their minds), they were upset that Cory had to run off to some unknown “work” place, instead of staying home to play with them. Unfortunately for me, I had to break this news to them every Monday through Friday and they would be super angry with me – like it was MY choice which days Cory went to work.
While it was neat watching them realize the concept of days, I wanted to avoid the unnecessary tantrums and help them understand their schedules better. As a visual person myself, I decided to put together a weekly calendar *showing* them which days Dad was “home all day” (by putting a picture of Cory’s face on Saturday and Sunday). I printed out the calendar, put it in a sheet protector, and hung it on their bedroom door with a clothespin to mark the current day. Each morning, they would wake up and move the clothespin to the new day.
Both Jacob and Evan responded to the calendar extremely well, so I started adding images for almost everything – doctor’s appointments, swim class, holidays, etc. The boys quickly started understanding weekends vs. weekdays and were excited when something new would pop up on their calendar. Although our weekly events pretty much stayed the same, when I knew a holiday or special event was coming up, I would print the future week in advance and simply slide the sheet behind the current week (in the sheet protector) so that it was ready to go.
Avery is 2 years old now, and starting “toddler school” this week, so I started using the weekly calendar for her. She is loving the new responsibility of updating her marker for each day, and super excited for her 1st day of school. No more tantrums and full cooperation for the day’s activities (well, most of the time anyway). Either way, a definite WIN!
- Click HERE for Weekly Calendar Printable.
- Click HERE for Weekly Calendar Clipart Printable – Simply cut & paste appropriate holiday, event or activity onto your Weekly Calendar.
- For sports classes such as swimming, gymnastics, tennis, etc., I recommend using images from Classroom Clipart (endless options and free!). This website also has perfect graphics to use for other activities (piano lessons, etc.) and additional holidays.
“December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss
Homemade gifts are the sweetest and it doesn’t get much more adorable than children’s artwork – so this year for Mother’s Day, I worked with my sister in-laws to have each of the 8 grandchildren create a special piece for their Nana.
Each drawing/painting was created in a square format. I then took a photo of each masterpiece (Note: For best results, shoot outside in full sunlight), and used Diptic to group the photos into two sets of four with equal dimensions. This app also makes it super easy to create a fun colorful border, complimenting the kids’ artwork.
After combining the artwork into two collages, I printed each as a MIRROR IMAGE
onto Fabric Transfer Sheets
, then ironed them onto each side of a Canvas Tote Bag
. (I stress “mirror image” because, regardless that it’s clearly on the instructions, I have forgotten this step on numerous occasions – trust me, you’ll want to save yourself the frustration)
Voila! Straight from a child’s heart and imagination… A one-of-a-kind, reusable tote, made especially for Nana. 🙂
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”
To all the amazing moms out there – you are loved and appreciated today and every day… Happy Mother’s Day!!
It’s time to celebrate our real life superheroes – teachers! With Teacher Appreciation Day just around the corner, I wanted to come up with something the boys could give to their teachers at preschool. I thought it would be nice if they had a hand in creating it with their own personal touch – so I designed a coloring page with an option to add a statement about their teacher/classroom.
Click HERE for Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page. (Also great for nannies and child care providers)
Click HERE for Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page with Questionnaire.
Click HERE to see my latest post and NEW coloring page with full page questionnaire.
Thank you to all the hard-working teachers! I appreciate your dedication to making a difference, while inspiring curiosity and knowledge that ultimately shapes our children’s future.
Related: Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page with full page Questionnaire.
“It takes a big heart to shape little minds.”