Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mom's Secret Weapon for Beating the Rainy Day Blues + Nuby Bath Toy Giveaway

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Nuby. As a Nuby Parent Blogger, I received these products in exchange for my 100% honest review. 

Mom's Secret Weapon for Beating the Rainy Day Blues + Nuby Bath Toy Giveaway

During the month of April, the Rainy Day Blues tend to kick in over here, thanks to the frequent rain. All the rainy days are hard to deal with, but it's especially difficult for Liam and Lily, who just want to spend their time outdoors. If you have kids, then you know that cabin fever is legit!!!


I'm always trying to come up with new crafts and activities to keep my kids busy, but sometimes I just don't want to set up another rainy day activity. Like many moms, I often overlook the simplest way to keep them entertained, and it's something that everybody has in their home: The bathtub!

Putting on a swimsuit and taking a bath in the middle of the day can make this ordinary everyday task seem so different and so much more fun!

Nuby Bath Toys

Toss in a few fun toys, grab a book (or a device to watch Netflix), and sit back and relax while your child plays. If your kids are anything like mine, this activity will give you a full hour of relaxation! An hour of not hearing, "I'm bored!" over and over again is an amazing thing!

Mom-Approved Ways To Make Rainy Day Bathtime A Blast:


Put on a swimsuit! 


The Lucky Few

There's just something about wearing a swimsuit that makes this ordinary task seem more fun. It doesn't compare to a day at the pool, but it's still really exciting!


Mix in some color!


Bathtime Activities

Changing the color of the bath water is so much fun! Add one color changing tablet to the bath water, or mix two for a simple lesson in color mixing!

Add some bubbles!


Bathtime Activities

Bubble bath always makes bathtime more fun! Bonus points for blowing bubbles in the tub, too!

Toss in fun bath toys!


Nuby Bath Toys

Liam has two new favorites!

The Nuby Splash 'N Catch Bathtime Fishing Set is a versatile, BPA Free bath toy. The four colorful characters can be linked together, or the net can be used to scoop up the sea characters. Liam loves this toy, and I love how it helps Liam strengthen his fine motor skills by scooping and linking!

Nuby Splash N' Catch Bathtime Fishing Set
Nuby Splash N' Catch Bathtime Fishing Set
Nuby Splash N' Catch Bathtime Fishing Set

The Nuby Octopus Hoopla is such a fun toy! It's a toy and a game in one. The adorable octopus floats in the water, and the three included floating rings can be tossed onto the arms. This toy is also BPA Free and is perfect for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination! It gets this special needs mama's vote of approval!

Nuby Octopus Hoopla
Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bath Toy
Nuby Octopus Hoopla

Give them washable paint and a paintbrush!


Bathtime Activities

This is a favorite bathtime activity in our home! An inexpensive palette of washable paint and a paintbrush captures their attention. Even better? It wipes clean in seconds!

Let them color with bath crayons!


Bathtime Ideas

Just like paint, bath crayons are always a hit! (Guess what? Even my tweens, Dylan and Lexie, use them!)

Add some sprinkler action!


Nuby Parent Blogger

Most kids love spray parks and sprinklers, so bring the fun to the tub! Although we used a favorite new Nuby product, turning on the shower will add to the fun. (Check back next week to see this beloved Nuby product in action!)

The next time the rainy day blues hit your family, send your kids to the tub! An hour of splashing may be exactly what you all need to turn the day around. After all, happy kids = happy mama!

Down Syndrome Awareness
Nuby Bath Toys
Nuby Bath toys
Nuby Parent Blogger

GIVEAWAY!!!


Nuby Bath Toy Giveaway - Winner's Choice

Want to win a fun Nuby bath toy for your child? I have one bath toy up for grabs for one of my readers! Winner gets to choose Octopus Hoopla or Splash N' Catch. (*Open to US residents only. Giveaway will end on May 5th at 12:01 AM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified the following day.)

To Enter:

* Leave a comment telling me which toy you would choose if you won.
*Visit me on Instagram and follow the directions on the GIVEAWAY that will post tomorrow morning. 

Good luck!!!


Mom's Secret Weapon for Beating the Rainy Day Blues



Purchase Octopus Hoopla:


Purchase Splash N' Catch:


Connect with Nuby:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How To Make a Construction Pit for Kids: An Easy & Inexpensive DIY

How to make a construction pit for kids - an easy and inexpensive DIY

Over the past two years, I've been working hard to turn our backyard into an inviting space for my kids. Of course, I have dozens of projects on my to do list and not enough time to complete even a fraction of them! I did, however, manage to create a fun construction pit for my kids in 10 short minutes, for less than $20. The end result was an instant hit!


Backyard Construction Pit

This DIY backyard project is very easy to do and inexpensive! It definitely helped that we already had a space for it, but creating the border can be very simple. Creating our construction pit only took a few minutes of time, and the kids loved it so much, that it made me regret not doing it sooner!

Easy & Inexpensive DIY Construction Pit for Kids


This DIY Construction Pit can be completed in just a few simple steps! The finished project is like a large sandbox with a fun twist!

The first thing you need to do is find a spot for your construction pit and create the border. I decided to use the built in sandbox space at the bottom of our wooden swingset. It was filled with mulch and held our plastic sandbox, but since it was already framed, I moved out the sandbox and got to work!

Once you find the spot, making the border is easy. Although you could build a frame by measuring and nailing pieces of wood together, it's even easier to use logs, large rocks or bricks. That also gives it a more natural feel!

After the border is built, all you need to do is fill it!

Backyard Construction Pit

Supplies: 

  • Bags of small rocks or gravel
  • Shallow planter
  • Potting soil or mulch


I opted to use sand pebbles because they were large and smooth. I used 5 bags for the 16 square feet space, and at just $3 a bag, it was a steal!

How To:

  1. Place the shallow planter in the middle of the construction pit. 
  2. Empty the bags of rocks into the construction pit and use a rake to spread them evenly. Make sure the rocks are level with the top of the planter. 
  3. Fill the shallow planter with potting soil or mulch, so your kids have a place to dig easily. (This could also be filled with water!)
  4. Place construction vehicles inside the construction pit. (Plastic sand toys work great!)


Backyard Construction Pit

Backyard Construction Pit

Backyard Construction Pit
DIY Construction Pit for Kids
Backyard Construction Pit

Liam and Lily immediately fell in love with this incredibly easy to make Construction Pit! Even my too-cool tweens were spotted doing some digging. And just FYI, this construction pit is not just for boys! 


Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit

Construction Pit


I made the construction pit on Sunday and my kids have already logged in hours playing in it. My always barefoot, truck-loving, mess-making boy is in his glory, and Lily loves digging with the construction vehicles! It's truly one of the easiest, most fun play spaces I've added to our backyard! Who wants to come over to play?


DIY Backyard Construction Pit for Kids


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Friday, April 21, 2017

Flower Gardens for Kids: Plant & Craft {A Year Of Color Pastels}

Now that Spring is in full swing, my entire family wants to stay outdoors 24/7! Outdoor projects are being planned, gardens are being planted, and we're preparing our yard for the months of warm weather ahead of us. The countdown to Summer has officially begun!


Earth Day is on Saturday, so Lily and I have been talking about all the ways we can make our world more beautiful, and brainstorming ideas on how to help save the Earth. She was full of questions and had some great ideas to share. I told her she could pick something to do in honor of Earth Day, and she said she wanted to plant a little flower garden to put in front of her playhouse.

Yesterday afternoon, we headed to Lowe's and her eyes widened at the sight of the rows and rows of beautiful flowers and plants. She excitedly chose the prettiest flowers, then we added a bunch of supplies for a fun DIY play area that I will be sharing next week.

Lowe's

She said she loved shopping at that place...that is, until she had an encounter with a cactus. She spotted the bright flowers on the blooming cacti, and asked to take one home. I let her choose her favorite one, but after a jab on the hand, she declared that she HATES mean cacti and promptly put it back on the shelf.  Although this incident caused Lily's lifelong hatred of cacti, our trip was mostly a success!

After we got home, and the drama of the cactus incident subsided, we gathered our supplies so Lily could plant a little flower garden. We then continued the fun indoors while it rained, by creating a puffy paint flower garden!

Our simple Earth Day activities were well timed! It just so happens that today is our monthly A Year of Color link party, hosted by me, Little DoveMacke Monologues, and Work It Mommy. Each month focuses on one color and you can link up any post that revolves around that particular color: Fashion, Recipes, Activities for Kids, Crafts...ANYTHING is welcome! The link will be open for a month, so you can link up any time. We hope you will join us!



A Year of Color

This month's theme is:

YearofColor_LinkupImage_April

I had originally planned to share my favorite PASTEL items for today's post, but a pastel flower garden for kids and a pastel puffy paint flower garden craft seemed more fun!

Mini Flower Garden For Kids


Supplies:

  • Small container for planting 
  • Potting soil
  • Flowers
  • Shovel 
  • Watering Can


Procedure:

  1. Fill the container 3/4 of the way full with soil. 
  2. Have your child arrange the flowers in the container. 
  3. Help your child fill in the holes between the flowers with potting soil. 
  4. Let your child choose the perfect spot for their mini flower garden, then give it a good watering.
  5. Add some worms for good measure. (Lexie did this and it disgusted me. Did I ever mention that I despise worms?)
  6. Have your child water their mini flower garden on the days it doesn't rain!


Lily and Lexie loved making their own mini flower gardens! We used our plastic Easter basket containers left over from our Lollipop Gardens and they worked perfectly!

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Puffy Paint Flower Garden Craft


Supplies:

  • Construction Paper
  • Green Marker
  • 1 large bottle of white school glue
  • 1 can of white shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • 1 Bowl for each color of puffy paint
  • Large paintbrushes


Make The Paint:

  1. Fill each bowl with a mixture of an equal amount of white school glue and shaving cream. (We used 1/4 cup of each.)
  2. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to each bowl and stir. Add more if necessary. (We prefer neon food coloring!)


Craft:

  1. Draw stems and leaves on the construction paper.
  2. Paint a flower onto each stem.
  3. Allow to dry for 12 hours before touching the puffy paint.
  4. Bonus: Add grass, trees, bugs, clouds and animals to your picture, too!


Lily and Lexie love painting with puffy paint. It's truly their favorite craft! If you haven't tried it with your kids, you need to. The texture after it dries is awesome!

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What activities do you have planned to celebrate Earth Day?

Link up your "pastel" posts below and start planning your A Year of Color posts for the next few months!



May 19th

A Year of Color

June 16th

A Year of Color