Our summer garden is coming to an end, but the okra is still holding on. It has been so hot here, I just don't want to go pick the okra some days, so, when I finally make it out there, there are a few pieces that are overgrown and hard. I had been throwing some into the composter, but the other day we tried okra painting. The boys had a blast.
This post about crafts for kids was brought to you by Oriental Trading. All opinions are mine.
As a stay-at-home mom of two boys who loves crafts, as well as a volunteer teacher for Children's Worship at church, I'm always looking for fun crafts for kids that are easy to do and worth hanging on to after they're all done. When I browsed the Oriental Trading website, I was pleasantly surprised with their selection! I picked out a few things to review and I'm so happy with what we got.
First up, we received the Color Your Own Knight Mask. My boys LOVE knights and pretending to be knights, so I knew this would be a hit. We were scheduled to teach Children's Worship at church, too, so I thought, what better way to use this awesome craft with the them of "I'm in the Lord's Army!" The kit came with 12 masks that were very easy to assemble, all for only $5.25! (The masks are currently out of stock, but keep checking back!) Oriental Trading also has color your own shields, swords, and more, to coordinate with the knight masks.
Here are the boys, coloring their masks:
This turtle with shell craft is one of my favorite crafts from my kindergarten teaching days! I have been waiting to do this craft with the Captain, and figured he was old enough and had enough attention span to complete it, and I was right. He loved it! I let D make a Turtle, too, but he did have to have a lot more assistance, of course. This cute craft can go along with many lessons and there can be many variations, depending on the turtle you would like to make or the skill you would like your kids to practice.
A little over a year ago, I posted some "Fun Facts" about Captain Fussybuckets & Baby D. I was thinking about it the other day and I can't believe it has been a year since I wrote it. It feels like only a few months ago. So, it's time I do it again. The Captain is 4 1/4 years old and Baby D is 2 (almost 27 months). They are so much fun and also can be quite michievous!
Fun Facts about Baby D
1. He loves his pacifiers, still, or his "meh"s, as he calls them. We've limited them to bed time, but he has to have at least two – one to rub on his cheek and one in his mouth. The other night I asked if he wanted to give his pacis to his baby cousin, and he was excited and said yes, so I gathered them up and left the room at bedtime. He was okay for a couple of minutes, but then he freaked out and said "MOMMY! MY MEHS!!!!" So, I gave them back without incident. He will stop using them when he's ready….right? Let's hope.
2. His speech isn't fantastic, but he's doing a lot better and trying more. We think that he is just a bit lazy with his speech. We've been challenging him more and that has helped. The other day, I noticed that he says three words exactly the same: "orange," "outside," and "Alice," who is one of his Bible class teachers. So, I gave him this sentence to say "Alice eats oranges outside." This is what he said:
3. He's potty trained…but only when he's naked. If he's not wearing anything on the lower part of his body, he uses the potty every single time. But if we put underwear, a trainer, or a diaper on, it's over and he doesn't even try to get to the potty. I don't really know what's up with that, but oh well.
4. He loves food. His favorites are oranges, blackberries, peas, and hamburgers. He also ate a few pieces of broccoli the other day, which shocked me completely!
5. He says things for shock value, such as "tee tee on couch," "na na na boo boo," and "poo poo head." Lovely.
6. He loves to watch himself in the mirror or while talking to family on FaceTime.
7. He loves milk and water.
8. He needs a haircut. I'd love to let it grow out but it's just wavy, like mine. He's got a large forehead so I can't cut his hair like the Captain's, so, I just leave it. Who knows what to do with that mop!
9. He doesn't like sweets much at all. He can eat sweets, and he does, but he's not a huge fan.
10. He LOVES to be outside – running, going for walks, playing at the park, or just wandering around the backyard, looking at the plants, etc.
Fun Facts about Captain Fussybuckets
1. The Captain has started to become more responsible. He is FINALLY understanding that cleaning up isn't FUN, but he needs to do it to be responsible. He's still not a cleaning pro, but he's a million times better than he has been in the past. He's also slowly but surely remembering to put his clothes in the hamper and shoes where they belong.
2. He loves sweets way too much.
3. He is learning about self control and moderation. He remembers that the dentist said no more than one juice a day and he can remember if he's already had juice that day. It's harder to have self control with sweets though (see #2.)
4. He loves his green blanket, his cousins, and his baby brother.
5. He can FINALLY buckle and unbuckle himself in his five point harness carseat. HALLELUJAH!
6. He absolutely loves music. Of course he always has, but it's becoming more evident with each passing day. He loves to sing, make up new songs, play instruments, and dream about playing instruments.
7. He asks at least twice a day for something for his birthday. His birthday isn't until November.
8. He's a really great baseball and basketball player.
9. He can sing the books of the New Testament, thanks to his Bible class teachers!
10. He loves to eat sandwiches!
The Captain and Baby D’s current favorite book is “Corduroy” by Don Freeman. I loved this book as a child, so it makes it even more special that the boys love it so much! My mother, the boys’ Grammy, was the one who introduced Corduroy to the boys, by reading them books when we have visits together.
Corduroy is about a little stuff bear in a department store who has lost one of the buttons on his green corduroy overalls. One night, he goes searching for the button and has many adventures! The end has a nice surprise, as well! It really is a cute, fun, exciting book that all of my kids have loved, and I loved as a child.View Post
Something strange has happened, but apparently, it's fairly common. Baby D, who just turned 19 months old yesterday, is acting like a full fledged two year old. Just in the past two weeks or so, he's started becoming far more defiant than ever, saying "NEH!" for 'no' and even hitting and pushing us. This phenomena is very odd, because while he was getting into trouble a few weeks ago, he wasn't being defiant and still got his feelings hurt when we corrected him. But now……it's like a different kid….a kid in the midst of the terrible two's. How is this right? I know from raising Captain Fussybuckets, that things will get far worse before they get better. In all honesty, the Captain is only now beginning to creep out of those Terrible Two's/Three's, but man, he still has his days. But his behavior currently resembles the behavior of a preschooler who likes to get attention by talking about poop and other taboos, not a toddler who is seeking independence and testing limits.
I was thinking about when we hit this phase with the Captain. He was about 22 months when it came on fully, possibly even later, but it was before his 2nd birthday. We were houseparents at the children's home and, while he had plenty of good influences, let's just say there were some not so great influences, as well. Let's be honest, there were teenagers living there, so you can only imagine the stuff he heard at that age. BUT, he survived and then got a new baby brother, and really, he didn't hit the terrible, Terrible Two's until closer to three, I'd say. Sure, there were the tantrums at the store, the whole having to share the attention of Mommy and Daddy with Baby Brother, the not getting his way thing, but as his independence blossomed and he became more aware of things, the scarier his behavior became! And now that I think about it, maybe Baby D has more of an issue because he isn't as verbal as the Captain was at this age. While he's learning to say more words all of the time, the Captain was pretty good at letting us know, through talking, what it was that he wanted. Baby D isn't quite there yet, and I'm sure it's highly frustrating!
I cringe a little every time someone says to me: "This too shall pass." Of course it will pass, but I need some sympathy here in the moment! ha! Baby D will grow out of this Terrible-ism and become an independent, sometimes whiny preschooler like the Captain has. And then, they'll become obnoxious ten year olds and awkward 12 year olds and then miserable teens, and I'm sure that I'll wish I could go back to the Terrible Two's and Three's. I try to keep that in mind when parenting my two precious boys, really I do. In all honesty, I am glad they are independent and see what they can get away with, because that means they're healthy and know how to think for themselves, and that will be so beneficial as they get older. And who knows, maybe it'll make me smarter, too. 🙂 Being a parent of two boys has definitely helped my patience level!!
Three year olds are weird. I always knew this, from my days of baby-sitting and teaching Bible class, but boy, is it true. Three is that awkward stage between toddlerhood and preschool where the imagination goes crazy and they have a vocabulary to express themselves. Today alone, my son has used the word "poop" inappropriately and has pretended to "smoke" a piece of plastic he found on the ground. Now, "poop" and other private words aren't bad words and we certainly don't teach him that because he has to be able to say SOMETHING to let us know how he's feeling, but we're trying to teach him that they're only words you say to Mommy, Daddy, or the doctor. (or grandparents or baby-sitters, if the need arises, but that's a toughie.) He's still learning and that's okay, but if you know us and you interact with my son, please know that he's in this awkward stage and we don't allow him to inappropriately talk like this in public. Saying "I need to poop" is one thing, but saying "we eat poop" is NOT okay, obviously. But, like I said, you don't learn these things overnight when you're three.
Speaking of overnight, I figured out the the kid sleeps longer on our floor than he does in his room, each and every night. I guess that phase is lasting longer than I thought it would. He's also in the stage where he still needs a nap but he sleeps better at night without one. But then again, sometimes he misses a nap and sleeps so fitfully because he's overtired. So, it's a challenge. I think I'll stick with the daily naps because fitful night sleeps are the worst. And the grumpiness that ensues the following day? YIKES.
The Captain also has his hang-ups. He's hung up on the fact that every woman who is wearing a bathing suit or is exposing her stomach in any way MUST be a Dallas Mavericks' cheerleader.
He's also learning to spell, read, sound out words, and pay attention to context clues. That makes spelling certain words difficult for Daddy and I. But, the fact that he's learning how to do such things is remarkable and we'll take it.
And…we've known this for a long time, but the little dude has a remarkable photographic memory. He remembers things, honest to goodness, from when he was almost two years old. Sure, we have pictures of things to jog his memory, but from those pictures, he can remember other things that happened at that time that we don't have pictures of. He continues to surprise us every day, with random things he remembers from two houses ago! It's crazy! This, also, is keeping us on our toes and being careful not to expose him to things beyond his years, if we can help it. (not sheltering, mind you, not making him live in a bubble, but introducing things slowly so we can attack the worldly things one at a time!)
So, all in all, three year olds ARE weird, but this is such a fun, fun age. He loves his little brother SO much (even though he continually "roars" in his face and makes him upset.) They are best friends and we are so blessed by these two, weird little dudes! 🙂
Disclaimer: I am using "weird" in the best way possible. Being "weird" is not a bad thing!
We had some sprouting potatoes that were not being used up quickly enough. Sure, they’re still edible, but today Baby D and Captain Fussybuckets did some potato stamping!
First, you select the potatoes.
Then, you cut them in half and either leave the sprouts on or take them off. Washing is also optional, unless you think your child is going to take a bite:
Now this is the tricky part. You must cut out letters but you can do this easily with stencils, just trace the letter on to the potato with a marker and cut away the excess. Or you could freehand a letter on to the potato and then cut away the excess. I chose the lazy way and cut the letter out and cut away the excess, but lucky for me, neither me or my kids are perfectionists! yay! Remember that with some letters, you’ll need to cut them out reversed…such as the letters Z, B, D, etc, so they’ll be correct when stamped.
I chose to cut out the letters H, O, A, T, and Z. Then I got some red craft paint, poured a little in a small, flat plate and let the boys stamp it up! First up was Baby D:
He really liked it and then went a little nuts with his stamping, but that’s okay!
Baby D’s finished product:
Next up was Captain Fussybuckets. He is excited about learning to read words and how to spell them, so he was super excited about this craft! He chose to spell “zoo” first:
Time for a new piece of paper and more letters:
Super proud of himself:
This craft was really fun AND educational. We’ll definitely be doing it again. The only slightly annoying part was cutting out the letters but as long as you don’t go all out and cut out the whole alphabet, it doesn’t take long.
We were recently given the opportunity to try out some amazing Kool Kid Legs from Mama Runs With Scissors! These Kool Kid Legs are pretty awesome! They're super soft and the colors are very vibrant. And the best part is that they fit Baby D, who is around 17 lbs and 5 1/2 months old AND the Captain, who is 30 lbs and 2 1/2 years old!
These Kool Kid Legs have many uses…they're good for crawlers to protect their little legs from hard surfaces, chemicals or gunk from the floor, they're also handy for super quick diaper changes! They keep the baby's legs warm and don't bunch up as the baby is crawling! We'll be using these a lot when Baby D starts crawling!
I've also used them to protect Captain's legs. I've found that if I put them on after an application of lotion, they help his legs to stay soft and eczema free.
Plus, the best part is…they're adorable!!! Mama Runs With Scissors offers many different styles for boys and girls. And they can also be used for arm warmers, too!
From her Etsy shop:
Approx. 14 inches long and fits most newborns to pre-teens.
Adults can wear as non-scrunchy leg warmers or arm warmers.
The fit on newborns is VERY SCRUNCHY unless you fold the tops under. They also can be shortened to 10 OR 12 inches if you prefer. Just let me know in the message space provided at check out.
AS LEG WARMERS they are great as a fashion statement or extra coverage for warmth under pants, skirts or during diaper changes. Also functional as protection for little legs from rough surfaces and the sun!
AS ARM WARMERS you can quick-change a short sleeve into a long sleeve and let you kids rock their own style!
ECers…..you can't find a better pair of "pants" around!
Fabulous for potty training. Just undies and Kool Kid legwarmers and there will be no more messing with extra clothing when you have to get your little one on the potty NOW!
Each pair is made with care and all seams are professionally finished
COLD WASH * AIR DRY
She even offers a discount if you want to buy multiple pairs of Legs and her shipping is super low, as well! These Legs retail for only $9 plus $2 shipping! SUCH an awesome deal for a great product!!
Here are some action shots of the boys in their Kool Kid Legs!
|protects Baby D's sensitive legs from the grass and sun!|