Sun Catcher Valentine

Sun Catcher Valentine Banner - projectsinparenting.jpg

With 8 to 14 inches of snow expected today, schools in the area were cancelled for a rare occurrence — SNOW DAY!! Needless to say, the kids were very excited and we spent most of the morning outside. This afternoon, we decided to stay warm and stick indoors for a Valentine’s Day themed craft.

Using these cute doilies from the dollar store, (click here for a similar product on Amazon) I simply cut out a heart shape from the middle of the doily and attached a square of contact paper (larger than the doily) to one side. Then, with Valentine’s Day inspired colors, I cut small squares of tissue paper and put them in bowls.

Sticky side up, the kids selected their preferred tissue squares and attached them to the contact paper heart in the center of the doily.

When their Valentine heart decorating was complete, I trimmed any excess tissue paper that was hanging over the lace part of the doily, then sealed their heart with another sheet of contact paper. After trimming around the outside of the doily (to cut off excess contact paper), we hung their masterpieces in our window to enjoy the beautiful stained glass colors!

These Valentines also make perfect gifts to send to family and friends! 🙂

“Close your eyes and picture of the sun. That’s what it felt like to love her, warmth.”
– Atticus

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DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards

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‘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.

heart-breaker-valentine
Click HERE to download free printable.

Now my adorable little heart breaker is ready for her 1st Valentine’s Day celebration at school.  🙂

Related: Mermaid Valentine Printable
Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable

Toddler Water Activities

Toddler Water Activities

With summer comes water – especially here in Chicago, where the heat and humidity can make a bed of ice cubes sound comfortable. Even with the scorching weather, I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors with the kids – which means LOTS of water activities to keep them cool. We have a ton of fun with sprinklers, water balloons, and the kiddie pool, but sometimes they need a little extra creativity to catch their interest and get them excited to play outside in the heat.

With 3 little ones, I try to stick with activities that have minimal set-up time. I’ve seen a ton of great ideas on Pinterest, and as fun as some of them may be, I simply don’t have the time for things like building an extravagant “car wash” system out of PVC, hoses and hanging sponges…. For me, simple = good. And holding the kids attention for 30+ minutes = WIN!

That said, below is a list of our top 10 water activities…

1. Target Practice

Target Practice
Using water sprayers from our local dollar store, I set up rubber ducks and frogs on top of activity cones and the kids practice their aim by spraying them off.

 

2. Fishing for Ducks

IMG_7980Fishing for Ducks 2Fishing for Ducks
Holding the test of time, this has been a favorite activity since the boys were just short of 2 years old. Using an aquarium net, the kids “fish” for anything from rubber ducks to ping pong balls… After they are done fishing, sometimes the kids like to get out kitchen utensils and make “duck soup”.

 

3. Animal Baths

Animal Baths
This particular day we were taking a break from the heat, but have done this activity indoors and out… Using an old toothbrush and some soap, the kids enjoy pampering their favorite toy animals with a little spa-day.

 

4. Sink, Float & Explore

Sink and Float
With simple items from around the house, the kids explore what sinks or floats. The activity itself only lasts about 10 minutes, but then they enjoy simply playing with the items in water… (example items: plastic cups, paper, marbles, straws, plastic beads, coins, pom poms, plastic bugs/animals, buttons, wooden sticks, spoons, paper clips and rubber bands)

 

5. Splash Slo-Mo

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Slide-Slo-Mo
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Playing around with the ‘slo-mo’ feature on my iPhone, I decided to take some clips of the kids splashing around in the pool – SO FUN! Now the boys are constantly requesting I take videos so they can watch their playbacks in slo-mo… Summer splashing at it’s best!

 

6. Chalk Paint

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Wet Chalk Jacob
Water + chalk = messy fun!!… Great for using left over small pieces of chalk – Just throw chalk sticks into a baggie, pound with a hammer (or the flat end of a meat tenderizer), pour chalk powder into a bucket, and add a small amount of water to make a thin paste… For less prep: Simply pour water on the ground, color heavily in the puddle with chalk, and mix with hands.

 

7. Car Wash

Car Wash
Whether it’s washing their toy trucks or Mom and Dad’s cars, the kids always enjoy a good car wash.

8. Wet Paper


As simple as construction paper in water – Squish it, squeeze it, and tear it. A great sensory experience.

 

9. Water Transfer

Water Transfer.JPG
Another go-to activity of mine, indoors or out… Using kitchen utensils, sponges, and a Fine Motor Tools Set, transferring water becomes endless hours of fun.

 

10. Putting out Fires

Putting out Fires
Off in imagination land, the kids love to pretend their toy house in our backyard is on fire and they help put it out with the hose, buckets of water, and/or their Paw Patrol Water Backpack.

Thanks for visiting my blog! For more fun ideas, follow me on Pinterest and Facebook… and now I’ll leave you with this adorably happy face…

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DIY Dollar Store Proton Pack

DIY Dollar Store Proton Pack

Cory was channel surfing one night and happen to catch the last scene of the Ghostbusters. To no surprise, the boys were completely captivated and loved hearing the theme song at the end. When trying to come up with Halloween costumes, I decided to pitch the idea of being the Ghostbusters. I thought I would have to do some convincing, but Jacob and Evan immediately got excited, saying they couldn’t wait to “Toast the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!!”… My inner child-of-the-80’s could not be more thrilled.

I ordered kids flight coveralls for their costume, which unfortunately only come in the color ‘olive’ (not authentic to the movie, I know – but in the event they get interest in aviation or Top Gun, I’m prepared). (UPDATE: Amazon NOW OFFERS KHAKI COVERALLS!!!) I then purchased Ghostbusters patches from Amazon. They sell individual name kits (Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Zeddemore), a pack of 4, as well as personalized name tags you can purchase with just the logo patch.

To make the proton pack, I used the following on-hand supplies:

    • Shipping Box, 13.5 x 10.5 x 5″
    • Black Spray Paint (Flat Black Paint+Primer)
    • Black Duct Tape
    • Industrial Strength Glue
    • Grey Craft Paint
    • Multi-colored Striped Ribbon
    • Black Strap Material
    • Printable Sticker Paper (or shipping label paper)
    • Red Sharpie
    • Glow Stick

And purchased the following items from the Dollar Store:

    • 7.5″ Round Plastic Container
      Round Container
    • 6.25 x 4.5″ Rectangular Plastic Container
      Rectangular Container
    • Blue Light Stick (or Similar)
      Blue LIght Stick
    • Yellow and Red Jump Ropes
      Yellow Jump Rope
      Red Jump Rope
    • 3-Pack of Bubbles
      Bubbles
    • Sound Tube
      DSC_0171
    • Water Bottle
      Water Bottle
    • Flashing Multi-Colored Light Stick
      Flashing LIght Stick
    • Oversized Pen
      DSC_0172

…Lots of lights and things that glow – Toddler approved!!

STEP ONE:
Spray Paint Set-up

  • Cut 4 circles from painter’s tape (I prefer Frog Tape) and stick them on the round plastic container.
  • Cover the light-up section of the blue light stick with painter’s tape.
  • Spray paint the following items:
    – Shipping Box (IMPORTANT: If you would like the red circles to light up, leave one side of box open so a glow stick can be inserted into the round container on day of use.)
    – Round Container (lid not needed)
    – Rectangular Container (lid not needed)
    – 2 bubble Caps
    – Water Bottle Top
    – Blue Light Stick
    – Sound Wand

STEP TWO:
Flashing Wand

  • Take apart the oversized pen.
  • Connect the tip of the pen to the flashing multi-colored light stick.
  • Insert the bottom of the flashing multi-colored light stick into the middle section of the oversized pen.
  • Wrap black Duct Tape around the bottom, to connect the wand with the pen and cover any non-black print.

STEP THREE:
Water Bottle Top

  • Paint the tip of the water bottle grey (I used craft paint)

STEP FOUR:
Red SharpieRed Sharpie 2

  • Remove painter’s tape VERY CAREFULLY from the round container (the paint around it peels up easily).
  • Color clear sections with red Sharpie (a thick Sharpie works best)

STEP FIVE:
Red Rope

  • Drill 2 holes into ONE of the bubble caps.
  • Cut a section of red jump rope.
  • Insert one end of the jump rope into the top of the cap, and feed it back through the other hole.

STEP SIX:
Blue Light Stick Cords

  • Cut a section of red and yellow jump rope.
  • Duct Tape rope pieces to the blue light stick (similar light stick found HERE).

STEP SEVEN:
Tape Light StickTape Light Stick and Ribbon

  • Attach blue light stick to the front, left side of the box with Duct Tape.
  • Cut section of striped, multi-colored ribbon.
  • Duct Tape ribbon to inside of rectangular container, twist the ribbon and attach other end of ribbon to the box with Duct Tape.

STEP EIGHT:
Glue Pieces

  • Glue all front proton pack pieces in place (round container, rectangular container, 2 bubble caps, and water bottle top). Note: Leave jump rope ends loose, so there is no tension on glued pieces.
  • Let glue dry overnight.
  • Tuck yellow and red jump rope pieces, from the blue light stick, into the bottom slit in the shipping box.
  • Tuck top red jump rope into the slit at top of box, and insert the other red rope into the bottom right curve of the round container.

STEP NINE:
Back Hole Cut and StrapsStickers and Cut Holes

  • Cut a hole into the inside of the box, so a glow stick can be inserted into the round container for day of use.
  • Staple and/or tape black straps to the open flaps of the back of the box.
  • Cut a circle hole in the right side of the box (IMPORTANT: The hole needs to be JUST large enough to fit the sound tube, without allowing the larger end pull through).
  • Insert small end of the sound tube into the inside of the box and pull through till the large end catches.
  • Cut sound tube to desired length, insert the flashing multi-colored light stick/pen piece into the tube and Duck Tape to hold.
  • Insert glow stick into back hole for the round container.
  • Tape back of proton pack shut.
  • Print proton pack stickers and stick in appropriate locations.
    DIY Proton Pack Stickers

    Click HERE to download file with labels to size and scale for this DIY proton pack

    DSC_0235 2

    Finished product and reversed proton pack for my lefty.

STEP TEN:

  • TOAST THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN!!!
DIY Dollar Store Proton Pack for Twin Toddlers' Ghostbusters Halloween Costume

DISCLAIMER: These DIY proton packs do not generate actual laser streams. In the event of a ghost problem, please call the Ghostbusters at 555-2368.

“Don’t. Cross. The streams. It would be bad.”

Related Posts: DIY Lion Guard Costumes
DIY Paw Patrol Costumes

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