Thursday, July 20, 2017

Little Einstein Birthday Party

My daughter turned four recently and this year she got to pick out her own theme for the party! I gave her choices of her favorite things and of course she picked Little Einstein’s. 

Let me just say if a show is on tv regularly then there should be toys/items available for purchase! I searched high and love and struggled coming up with some ideas! Likely Pinterest and Etsy saved that day! (At the end of this I will share where I got either the product or the ideas!)

So through all of the searching I knew I had to put together an outfit, games, gift bags and things to put inside, a cake, decorations and a cake! 

The first thing I start with is the outfit!  I decided to make one as I enjoy all the details of party planning!
The dress worked perfectly! It did shrink in the wash prior to use, so it was a little short but it still looked cute!
 I loved the svg file of Rocket and his friends and I knew I needed to do something more so I put it on the gift bags!

 This was a larger project then I had anticipated and it is in no way perfect but kids don't mind!
I went to Party City and bought instruments to fill the bags with!  They had instruments ranging from .25 cents to .85 cents! My daughter is still having a great time with her instruments.
 I needed to create a banner for her birthday! I got this idea from Etsy but since I had my Silhouette Cameo I decided I could make it myself!
I found a picture of a cake that I wanted to re-create. I have never decorated a cake other than slapping some frosting on it and calling it good so it was bound to be an adventure! Thanks to my mom's frosting we got it done!
To compete the cake I needed a toy rocket. I searched amazon and ebay but, my lord, those things can go up to $999! That is just insane! Luckily I found one on ebay and it was perfect, and I only spend $30! 
Not too bad for my first cake! LOTS of frosting but that's okay it passed the birthday girl test!

I am all about the details! I found this awesome paper at the craft store which could be used for just about anything! So I covered the top of the cake stand and wrapped her present in the paper as well.
The kids my daughters age are not at the age where they will do structured games and activities for a long period of time so I put out a craft table for the littles as well as some older cousins.
I got canvas from the craft store (look for the deals) it ended up being under $10 for 6.

It was a great birthday but I want time to slow down! Alli is growing up too fast!

For details on where I purchased items or where I got the ideas from you can find those listed below:
* Purchased the rocket svg on Etsy from Momascontrolledchaos
* Inspired by Pop Sugar
* Purchased the gift tags from partyirenelatimore
* Inspired by GKLLDesigns

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fostering A Love For Reading

Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your toddler and school aged children! It is also extremely beneficial that they also see you reading. You can read a magazine, book, newspaper, cereal box, etc! I try to stay away from iPad's and iPhone's as there is nothing better than the feel of a real book in your hands, it can also be hard for the child to see that you are actually reading! 

If your child doesn't love sitting down with you to read don't fret! I would always look at other parents whose child sat perfectly for stories and I thought what am I doing wrong?! What I was doing wrong was comparing my child to theirs! Here are a few things you could try to help your child to gain a love for reading and want to sit and read with you:
  • Read aloud a book while your child is playing. They may come and take a look or two. Even if they don't appear to be listening they might be and this is a good way to start introducing books and not force them to sit on your lap and listen.
  • Read to your child in the bath tub. They are contained and you can read to them while they play. 
  • Right before bed  or nap is always a time that I can get my little one to sit with me and read. I get her some milk, a blanket, find our favorite rocking chair and gather our books, she sits for a long time (which is something she never did) now it's just part of our routine. Start small (one book or so) and do it nightly!  
  • Let your child choose the books. Each night my daughter is encouraged to choose the books she'd like to read that night. I sometimes need to stop her as I see it taking a half an hour to just get through the stack of books! ;)

This is my daughters favorite book right now! We read it daily and many many times a day! I wanted to build upon this book and make some fun crafts or lesson's from it! 

This book is a simple read, one sentence per page. It talks about how the squid is the biggest thing in the ocean. The book has repetitive text such as: I'm as bigger than the shark, clams, etc. 

I decided to start with creating our own book!
At the start of every school year I hit up the Target Dollar spot as well as the school supplies! I had the majority of items in stock but did have to go out and get a few!

Here's what you need:
  •  A Blank Book or staple blank pages together (Target Dollar section has books starting in July and August) (I got three hard cover books for $5 and five soft cover larger books for $5) 
  • Some sort of blue or ocean themed paper (I stopped at Joann's and they had 10 scrapbook pages for $2, but you don't need to use scrapbook paper, your child can color the page too)
  • Pictures of your child in a swim suit, swimming, etc. (you could be very creative and add a diving helmet or accessories if you'd like)
  • Stickers of Ocean Animals or print off your own ocean animals (I got my stickers at Meijer and they were on sale for less than $1 !)  
  • Glue  
First I started gluing the paper into the book. The first few pages I cut the paper in half and glued them in but quickly realized to cut the entire length and fold it in half, it looked SO much nicer and more professional that way! 
Once that is done you can let your child glue in their picture and put their ocean animals inside. We put one animal on every page so we could work on speech during this activity as well!  
Then add repetitive text on each page similar to that of the story.

I used my Silhouette Cameo for the words, which was much more time consuming then I thought it would be! You can print off the text, have children write it, you can write it, use stickers or some sort of cutting machine. 

I taped around each side as I knew it would be a well loved book and I didn't want the pages coming off or getting ripped.
I added a cover and then wrote All About the Author on the first page.
This is such a great story and fun activity! You can create your own books easily at home by using your favorite books too!

Have fun and keep that love for reading alive! I plan on adding a craft next week to keep this story alive!