As always though, I made a party planning board you can check out below.
My son turned 4 last week and we had a very fun party at a local museum. I took it a little easier on myself than usual by letting the museum take over some of the party planning in regards to activities but did dress it up a bit with a photo booth area and themed food.
As always though, I made a party planning board you can check out below.
Easy, transportable food options, a fun photo backdrop and a paleontologist outfit for the birthday boy were all I had to plan for this time with the museum taking care of goody bags, activities and cake!
I designed this poster on my computer using powerpoint and then sent it to be printed at my local Walgreens. For a grand total of about $10 (I also had a coupon). I had this great centerpiece for the food wall. I found the paper decorations in the discount bin at Target for a couple of dollars each.
Since it wasn't at my home and I had to transport all of our food I went pretty simple. The party was also at 2 so a full meal wasn't necessarily expected by guests. We had turkey sandwiches, doughnut holes, fruit and veggies and bugle chips. I also brought a punch. The venue provided the cupcakes and I added the cupcake toppers. I used powerpoint again to create the food labels. I just took a picture of the photo backdrop and then layed a text box with a white background over the rectangle image of the photo backdrop and printed them out. Super easy.
I bought the photo backdrop on Amazon. It is a tapestry/wall hanging and only cost $11! I'm sure I'll find another use for it in the future and because it is fabric it will still look great after each use!
The museum had a great plan for the party with a several paleontology themed activities. First, the drew clothes on skeletons while guests arrived. Then, they searched for "dino bones" to complete a large puzzle. After that, they learned about how fossils are formed by making a fossil sandwich filled with layers gummy worms, gold fish and pretzels that they then mashed down to create fossils in the soft, white bread.
After the fossil sandwich and discussion on fossils, they went on a scavenger hunt that had a really fun story element and found dino eggs, arrowheads and buried treasure!
It was a really great party and I think everyone had a great time. It was definitely nice for me to take a break from all of the crazy party planning I tend to get myself into.
Thanks for visiting!
It's been a busy and kinda rough last few months. My Mother-in-Law has been very ill and passed away on Friday. My grandfather also passed away only two days before on Wednesday. My husband and I both agreed to put our Valentine's Day on hold but, I knew that I wanted my kids to keep some semblance of normalcy and have a bit of fun to take their mind off of the very heavy things that have happened. Plus, I hoped to involve my Father-in-Law and Sister-in-Law as well to give them something to keep them occupied with the tragedy so fresh and it being the day of love as well as my FiL's 55th birthday.
So, I perused Pinterest for some ideas and decided on a fancy family dinner and for the morning, the kids had a scavenger hunt to find their gifts. Walmart had some pretty legit stuffed animals for only $15 so they received those in their favorite animals, some Valentine's Day themed socks and a package of edible bubbles. (I know, I was unaware this was a thing too. They seem pretty neat.)
For his birthday, my husband had a great idea of gifting his Dad with a giant, ultra, mega Nerf gun and got one for each kid too. This turned out to be the best idea. Even though the joy was brief, there was joy, and his Dad even laughed out loud several times in reaction to my squealing kids running in fear of being pelted with a nerf dart. Everyone enjoyed the dinner and our plan is to have a weekly dinner where they come and have a Nerf battle and an opportunity to be happy for a bit instead of grieving.
The family dinner was such a success that I think we'll do it every year. I made it fun with a sequin table cloth, other decorations, a custom menu and fizzy juice for the kids. I also acted as a waiter, complete with a proper silly voice, for them and let them order off of their menus which they thought was fantastic.
Oh, and I had no idea that I was supposed to send a Valentine's Day box with my son until I picked him up the day before (Usually my husband drops him off and picks him up so the info fell through the cracks.) So, I ended up making a pretty adorable dino box for him. He is obsessed with dinosaurs. When my husband got him to school the next day, he said that most of the kids literally just had a box. Not a decorated one. Just a box. lol. I'm glad I was over-prepared and stressed to make it the night before.
With three kids taking adorable photos can get a bit hard. But, I managed to scrape together a few great ones using my awesome trick of pretty wrapping paper for a background. I dressed the kids in some adorable clothes, bribed them with the promise of candy at the end of the ordeal and quickly captured their adorable little faces with my phone camera before anyone had a meltdown.
I even managed without anyone making silly faces or sounds behind me this time! After selecting my favorites and running them through my favorite photo filter app, Rookie Camera, I ended up with photos that I really like and only cost me some time, a little sanity and $4 for the wrapping paper. Enjoy!
Since I was not looking photo ready during our session, I left the wrapping paper up and captured a few more photos the next day too.
Alan had a fantastic fiesta themed first birthday party...two months ago! I'm sorry for the extremely late posting! I have been so busy recently with work and kids and holidays that I haven't had any spare time for hobbies. But, I'm finally getting a minute now that the semester tests are nearing their end and I have mostly prepared my lessons for the next semester. Take a look at all of the fun that was had a few months ago celebrating Alan.
The party food was a taco bar with all of the fixin's. I made cupcakes (from a box mix) but made them extra cute with swirly icing, sprinkles and Alan heads. We also had corn on the cob and chips with salsa and queso. I also printed out labels in Spanish and English for all of the food. To make the cupcake toppers I took one of the photos from our fiesta themed photo shoot and sent it to Walgreens as wallet sized prints. Then I cut his head out and hot glued it to a toothpick.
For fun activities, we had a create a maraca and/or sombrero station and a pin the mustache on Alan. I just printed a photo of Alan into a poster sized print at Walgreens and cut out some mustaches from black construction paper. I also had a fun photo booth for selfies and such.
For the rest of the decorations I kept it pretty simple and posted Spanish labels on various items in the house and hung a large sombrero and printed sign on the door.
Also, Alan's shirt was made using my silhouette cameo machine. I created the design and cut it into stencil material. Then I used red acrylic paint to paint the design onto the shirt. It is way easier and cheaper than vinyl plus, I think it lasts longer and looks way more legit. For his party hat I used a store bought hat from Target and added the glittery one with craft foam. Easy and cheap!
Guests left with their crafts, some sticky mustaches and mini wooden maracas. It was a fun, colorful and festive party that was a blast to plan.
In preparation for Alan's fiesta themed birthday party we had a bit of fun with photos! It was a simple set up and I think the results are extremely awesome.
We took them last minute on a weeknight in the kitchen! All I did was tape a white sheet up over one of the walkways into the space and then added a kid sized chair and sarape. Then added Alan with a kid sized sombrero, sticky mustache and a few tiny wooden maracas. I was honestly amazed that he didn't try to take the mustache off. Probably because his hands were full of maraca and he was most likely confused about what was going on. lol.
After running them through a few editing apps and filters I came out with my adorable pics but, they didn't look great right out of the gate. Editing is a must!
After editing them up a bit I headed over to canva.com and created some invitations for his party. After saving the images I created on canva (for free) I created an invitation at Walgreens online and had them mailed to my house! I was super happy with how they came out!
Now it's time to get to party planning!
Alan's first birthday is fast approaching! We're planning on having a pretty low-key event with a few friends and family but, I have to make it awesome! It's going to be fiesta themed and freakin' adorable. Because we won't have many kids I've only planned a few activities but, the focus is going to be on food! We're going to have a taco bar!! Alan loves tacos so it is definitely appropriate. Check out the party plan and don't forget to come back when I post the deets!
I'm also planning on a 1 year photo shoot that is going to be adorbs so stay tuned for that too.
I have another great guest post from Education.com! This time they've provided a free worksheet and answer key!
Let your child float through practicing subtraction with this fun Under-the-Sea Worksheet. Find more subtraction resources from Education.com.
You can get the free worksheets by clicking each image.
We celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday this past weekend and it went off without a hitch! I even managed to make a cake that was not an epic fail like previous years! Check out all of the details, activities and fun below!
The theme was Flamingos and Dinos with a focus on the flamingo. The cake was one hundred percent boxed mixes in both devil's food and confetti and canned icing but, I made it look extra by making it a tier with ombre icing. I made the two paper figures on top by printing out a dino and flamingo image from the internet and backing it with colored paper and then taping it to a skewer. The rest of the food was simple but yummy with dino scales (chips), flamazing ham and cheese sandwiches, flamingled fruit salad, dinorriffic noodles and dinotastic punch.
For activities, we played flamingo ring toss, had a dino and flamingo egg hunt, did a guided flamingo painting, pinned the tail feather on the flamingo and had a competition to see who could stand on one leg the longest. We also had a tropical themed photo wall area.
For the art activity, I created cardboard easels by cutting out one side of a small packing box and creating a triangle. Then I used duct tape to tape along the cut edge. Then I taped the canvases onto the sides. You can see how I made them here. I ordered kid aprons online for each kid to wear and bought a pack of big paint brushes as well. The paint was liquid tempera purchased at Hobby Lobby and I put the paint on paper plates. The kids all got to take their aprons, paint brush and art home as party favors.
The photo booth props were something I planned on making and then I found a pre-made set in the party aisle at Wal-Mart on clearance for .99 cents! So, I just used that. It even had flamingo glasses! Perfect! I also supplemented with some items from our dress-up collection including tutu's, masks, tiaras and feather boas.
In addition to the art themed favors, kids also took home a flamingo or dino mask. The girls above are wearing them while competing in the one-legged standing competition. In the background you can see the pin the tail feather game I made. Somehow it did not get photographed! I just drew a flamingo on some pink paper and game the kids colored feathers with tape to tape onto the bird. They enjoyed it!
I found free mask printables, backed them with construction paper and then laminated them. Then I hole punched them and added ribbon for tying. They actually took a lot of time but were essentially free and I think they looked awesome!
I purchased pre-filled eggs online one set was regular eggs but the other were dino eggs! I had some other adults hide them while I corralled all of the kids inside and handed them paper bags with their names on them. Then we let them loose!
I think the party was a success and all of the guests had fun. I didn't feel too rushed the day of but I'm sure that was mostly due to staying up until one the night before. Now I have to get planning on my son's 1st birthday coming up in October! Thanks for visiting!
For my daughter's birthday we decided to have a guided painting activity. I created these cardboard easels in less than 10 minutes and they worked beautifully! Plus they cost less than a dollar a piece! Keep reading to see the full tutorial below.
You will neeed:
- small cardboard box
- duct tape
- scissors/box cutter
1. Remove one of the small sides of the box. I found this pretty easy using just scissors.
2. Pull the two cut sides together to form a triangle shape and duct tape along the edge.
3. Attach your canvas or paper using tape. You could also hot glue a clothes pin or clip. I used two pieces of rolled duct tape to adhere the canvases for the kids at the party. They were easy to remove and we had no issues with canvases falling off.
It's been a busy past few weeks at my new job and it has kept me from posting for awhile. But, I've been getting ready for my daughter's seventh birthday which is coming up this weekend! Eeeek! I hope I'm able to get everything done in time! I'm currently cutting out about a bajillion paper tropical leaves for decor along with 20+ Dino and flamingo masks for tiny people to wear.
The party is going to be mostly flamingo with a touch of dinosaur to accommodate little boys who might not love the idea of pink birds. We'll have a Dino and Flamingo egg hunt, games revolving around one leg and a guided painting activity for kids to paint their own masterpiece! I'm excited to see how it'll turn out and I hope you are too! You can see my inspiration board below and check back next week for the end result!
Help your child with important vocabulary building by leading him through some easy, at-home activities designed to help him understand basic spatial relationships and the words used to describe them. You’ll start out with a short activity involving two jars and some handmade labels and then move on to building with blocks. Watch him acquire new vocabulary to express direction and position without even realizing that he's learning! These activities that involve building, ordering, and rearranging materials will also help him develop strong observational skills.
What You Need:
Thanks so much to Education.com for this fun post! I love their site and always find great activities that match many of my Mommy Camp focus topics! You can find more math focused activities like this one on their site here.
This week was the most popular dramatic play theme of the summer so far and the other activities were pretty popular too. You can download the lessons by clicking the image below and read about all of the fun further down.
This week they had a construction zone dramatic play area. They had a table with foam blocks next to a square of contact paper that I taped to the wall. They could stick the foam blocks onto the contact paper to build. They freakin' loved it! They also had giant foam blocks to build with and I made them diy wrecking balls using long socks and soft rubber balls. I placed the ball in the bottom of the sock and they simply swing it at their towers. It was also a huge hit. They also had regular blocks to build with. To finish off the area, I provided construction worker hats, caution tape and some signs. This was the most popular dramatic play area so far and they played for a really long time multiple times through the week.
day one: engineering
We talked about what an engineer is and what they do. We read some stories about great women inventors and watched a video. Then we discussed the engineering process. Afterwards, we made lego prints.
day two: blueprints
We learned about blue prints and listened to a fun song from Phineas and Ferb. Then Lilly did some measuring using a worksheet and followed a recipe to make mug cake. It's kind of like a blueprint in the overall idea because it is the directions for creating a cake just like the blueprints are directions for building a house.
day three: tools
We read a book and discussed different types of tools. Then we did some hammer painting using cotton pads, paint and a rubber mallet. It was a big hit. (get it? lol)
day four: machines
We learned about different kinds of simple machines by watching an episode of Bill Nye and discussed where we have seen and used simple machines in our every day life. Then we made a pendulum using a paper cup, broom stick and string. We used it to create a pendulum painting. We also made a painting using an inclined plane and discussed what that meant.
day five: architecture
We had a lot of options but, as always, we didn't get to much of it and instead simply read a book about the three little pigs from an architectural point of view, watched a few informative videos and created graham cracker houses. Then we tried to blow our housed down. They were sturdy enough to resist. Honestly, we skipped a bunch of the activities this week. I think we're all tired and would rather just have free play. They really loved the dramatic play area and spent a lot of their free time in there this week.
Week five was fun! My kids always love playing doctor. You can find all of the lessons and activities by clicking the image below. You can also read about the activities we did below!
They had a blast with the doctor dramatic play set-up. Alan even joined in! In the area I set up their doctor tools and laminated some prints of x-rays and an eye chart as well as a patient form. I also bought a box of bandaids from the dollar store and made "casts" from an old whit sock with the toe cut off. I threw in a few gauze and wrap tape for extra fun and made doctor's coats with white t-shirts cut up the middle.
day one: the five senses
We watched some videos and read a book. Then we explored our senses with pop rocks by analyzing how we experienced them with each sense. Lilly did the worksheet but Arthur and I just talked about it. After that we made scented paintings with Kool aid and paint!
day two: staying healthy
We had fun with a very active game of Simon Says, read a book or two and watched a short video. Then we made frushi (fruit sushi)! Yum!
day three: body parts
My most successful activity yet was on the agenda for this day. I made a brain shaped mound of play dough using a brain mold we've had for years. They played with it for at least 45 minutes as "brain surgeons"! It was amazing. While Arthur napped, Lilly created a picture of what was in her head, basically what she thinks about. And, she made a double doodle where she used both hands at the same time to draw a picture. It was crazy impressive what she created. I think she might be a tad bit ambidextrous which is cool. We also watched a few videos and read a book.
day four: my blood
We watched a Storybots video and read a book. Then we attempted an activity using play dough and a toothpick to see our pulse but it didn't work. We weren't feeling particularly up for the other activities so we ended the day with some syringe art. Right out of the gate Lilly squirted red paint all over the blinds and window in my office. So that was frustrating and I will forever have pink cords on my blinds now. Oh well. The art was pretty cool.
day five: My bones
We read the book for this day and watched the video but didn't manage anything else. I guess that's ok. It's all about learning and having fun and it's no fun for anyone if everyone would rather be doing other things.
We had a fun week learning about different forms of transportation! Keep reading to see the recap and click the image below to download the free lessons!
The kids got to get hands on with a dramatic play auto shop this week. They LOVED this and it was so stupid easy. They played with it consistently all week and would spend up to 45 minutes playing together with no arguing. It was magic. In my original plans I was going to create a car out of cardboard but, when I began setting up the night before, I realized that I didn't have a box large enough. So, I improvised and used a plastic tub instead. I just created some wheels and taped colored paper inside. I even added paper to the inside bottom to look like mechanical parts that they could work on. Honestly, I think this was more successful than the box would have been. To complete the area, I gave them some forms and signs, toolbox with kid tools, safety goggles, empty spray bottles and work gloves.
day one: land
We talked about the different kinds of vehicles that are used on land, read a book, painted with cars and created train track stencil art!
day two: bridges & roads
We created Monet inspired bridge art, created bridges with index cards and blocks and watched a video about different types of bridges.
day three: traffic safety
We learned about being safe and road signs and then Lilly took a scooter and bike safety quiz and earned her own scooter/bike license! Arthur got one too but I'm pretty sure he would fail the safety test.
day four: water
We talked about water transportation, watched a video, made aluminum foil boats and tested them out in the sink with Shopkins passengers and created collage boat art.
day five: air
Similarly to the past weeks, we were all tired by Friday and with this week being the 4th of July even more so. So, our last day didn't get our best efforts. In fact, all we did was make a few paper airplanes and test them out. Oh well! Maybe you'll do better than me and get to all of the things I didn't have time for this week!
We had a great week and learned a lot! Check back for the next few weeks of Mommy Camp 2017 soon!
I modified the schedule this week and we skipped the ocean week. We will be doing it a bit later in the summer right before we take a trip to the beach! So, this week we focused on the community. You can download the plans for this week by clicking the picture below.
The dramatic play set up this week was a map and community creation theme. I purchased a printable from teachers pay teachers for a few dollars and created roads, trees, bushes, ponds, rivers and houses out of felt.
day one - maps
Day one focused on using, reading and playing with maps. Kids got to be pirates and use maps to find hidden treasure. Both kids also got compasses and telescopes to enhance the fun! We also made satchels and maps using paper bags and rounded out the costume with some appropriate items from the closet and eye patches made from craft foam and elastic string. We attempted an origami pirate hat but they didn't fit very well so I found a free printable instead. We used a pirate name generator worksheet but, Lilly wasn't too excited about her name, Stinky Blue Pearl. She also drew a map of her bedroom.
day two - where i live
We started by learning about our neighborhood. Then Lilly stepped outside to draw our house. She also worked on a few worksheets to learn our address and phone number. Then we watched a few videos about our state and city.
day three - economy
We reviewed money and it's value. Then we watched a few videos about consumers and producers. We wrapped up the idea of what builds our economy by creating a product and storefront. Lillian chose to create "Lillian's Lollipops". It was a great way to reinforce the content from the day. Apparently, I forgot to get pictures of her set up with the shop! Ooops!
Day four - community helpers & day five - how can I help
We ran out of time this week to finish everything though we did discuss some of the topics for days four and five. They spent a brief time playing pretend play with police and firemen but I didn't manage to snap a photo. We also decorated some rocks with uplifiting phrases to leave around the park and plan on getting around to making wands to leave for the magic wand project too. We just didn't get them done yet.
Honestly, this was the week I was least excited about and I guess I let that feeling be reflected in the amount of focus I put towards it.
Rachel is a mother of three, high school Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.