Oct 1, 2014

5 Spooky Activities for Toddlers


With October literally right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to roundup some of our all time favorite spooky activities for toddlers. Of course, your infants and older children can also participate in most of these too! There is a little bit of everything here: mess free, super messy, fine motor, sensory, arts and crafts. Your little ones will have a blast experiencing all of the spooky fun!











Can't get enough Halloween goodness? Check out our Halloween Pinterest board for more activities, crafts, and fun ideas! 

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Sep 30, 2014

Corn Sensory Bin Challenge

(This post contains affiliate links.) 

This post is part of Little Bins for Little Hands' Sensory Bin Challenge! Every month, a new simple sensory material is offered to our children. Then the fun part happens, letting them lead the way. The material this month was corn! I absolutely love corn as a sensory material. It screams Autumn to me and is such a pretty base. Kingston couldn't wait to sink his hands into the kernels. 


He ran his fingers through the corn and shrieked in it's excitement, "IT'S CORN!!!" He let it fall through his hands and spent some time sifting the kernels. Then he knew just what he wanted to add. He ran to get two of his favorite trucks, part of the Caterpillar Construction Mini Machines set and the pumpkin that he had picked yesterday at the patch.


I snapped a picture of his new setup before he started playing!


He picked up each truck before deciding which was going to be the best truck for corn filling and dumping. "The dump truck Mama!"


He immediately began filling the dump truck bed up with corn. Then in proper toddler fashion, he dumped the corn and repeated (about 500 times!)



He pushed the dump truck around the corn bin filling and dumping. He really liked pouring the corn over the pumpkin. This seemed to be the goal to filling the dump truck! He used the bulldozer to push some of the corn around.


He spent the rest of the day playing with this bin off and on! Such a simple material mixed with a few of his favorite things really made for a great custom sensory experience.

Just a tip, the deep basket we used also made for NO cleanup! All corn actually stayed inside of the bin for once. Score!


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Sep 28, 2014

10 Book Lists for 0-3


If there is anything we love doing over here, it is reading! When we aren't doing sensory activities, arts and crafts, or exploring outside, we are usually curled up with a good book. Kingston has had a love of reading since birth. He has always been fascinated by the pictures, and now as he is older, the stories. By reading to him throughout the day every day, we have helped his language skills develop and fostered a love for imagination and exploration. 

Are you stumped as to what books to introduce to your baby or toddler? Or are you a seasoned book lover who just wants some new suggestions? We've got you covered!  Here are 10 of our favorite book lists for the 3 and under crowd. 























Wondering where to go from here? Check out all of our Book Lists or head on over to our Homeschool: Reading & Literacy Pinterest board! 

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Sep 27, 2014

BB Blocks Review


Our newest little addition, Bentley, has been here for a month now! For the past 4 weeks, I have been documenting his growth using BB Blocks. BB Blocks are an ingenious product that can be used to record your little ones age in photographs. I love that the owner and creator of BB Blocks is a mom just like me, who was looking for a better way to keep track of her little ones growth. 


I was sent a set of Woodland BB Blocks and the Woodland Expansion set. The regular sets of BB Blocks come with three blocks, two small squares which have numbers and a long rectangle that has the words "weeks", "months", and "years" on it. The expansion set is phenomenal for greater number combinations.



These blocks are so versatile. I am NO photographer, however, the BB Blocks make my pictures look more polished and put together. With my first son, I used to color a homemade number or I would edit a picture on the computer to add in the amount of months. This is much easier and looks much better! These are also awesome to bring with you to professional photo shoots to document your child's growth.


These work great with older children too! The picture below is of Kingston (2 years) and Bentley (2 weeks). Just by putting the number 2 in between them, I was able to capture them for the short time that they shared a number! (BTW try capturing a wiggly newborn and a wild toddler at the same time.. yup I'm totally NOT a children's photographer!)


These blocks make a phenomenal gift. If you are looking for a unique and fun gift for a baby shower, this is it. These would definitely make a statement and be a big hit for any mommy-to-be. These blow onesie decals out of the water!


In just 4 weeks, I have already seen such a difference in Bentley's growth. I have loved using the BB Blocks to capture his growth, and I am SO excited to see his growth every single week. I plan on using these to take a picture every week and then make a giant collage for his first birthday. This is a lot more exciting than simply capturing pictures of them monthly (though you can use these to do that too!)


My sweet boy is already growing so fast! He is already rolling over (2 weeks), smiling constantly, and has even started laughing this week (4 weeks). He is such a little love, and I can't imagine our lives without him!


Interested in getting some of these amazing blocks for yourself or as a gift? BB Blocks is generously offering my readers a 10% discount off of your order by entering the code BURKE at checkout!

Don't forget to check BB Blocks out on social media: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

We were provided these sets of BB Blocks in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

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Sep 26, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Sensory Bin


We are so excited to be participating in the Nursery Rhymes Crafts and Activities series hosted by the Sugar Aunts! Every night before bed, I sing Kingston a medley of nursery rhymes. One of our favorites is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! 

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There are many versions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with many verses, however, the one we sing is much shorter. 

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are?

For our activity, I put together this simple star themed sensory bin using:

tinfoil
gold sequins from CraftProjectIdeas
a felt star
a wooden moon


Kingston was ready to dive right in! We recited the nursery rhyme and then he explored the contents of the sensory bin. He was drawn right away to the felt star. We talked about the color and counted the points of the star. 


When he found the moon, we engaged in a conversation about the stars and moon. He is infatuated with pointing out the moon in the sky at night, so he really liked talking about it!


Then he discovered the tinfoil. I added the tinfoil to add extra sparkle to the bin. K picked it up and quickly exclaimed, "Mama it's trash!" Great. There goes my extra sparkle idea!


It did come in handy, however, when I showed K how to pick the balls of tinfoil apart. He used his fine motor skills to open up the crinkled tinfoil and make it flat again.





Then he started picking up the gold sequins which were at the bottom of the bin. These sequins come in multiple sizes, so he liked examining them. We talked about the difference between the colors yellow and gold. He pointed out which items were yellow and which were gold. 


Then he decided he had to drop them all over the place!


He used the black and white straws (leftover from his 2nd bday party) to stir and move the yellow easter grass. It wouldn't be a sensory bin for us without making a mess! After throwing all the grass on the floor, he proclaimed that he was done.


Nursery rhymes are a great way to share something special from your own childhood with your kids. To check out all of the other crafts and activities in this series, head on over to Sugar Aunts


The products from CraftProjectIdeas featured in this post were given to us for free. 
They offer phenomenal projects and fantastic ideas on both their website and their Facebook page

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