A while back Penelope was really getting into learning her letters. I went scouring Pinterest for fun alphabet activities, but had trouble finding suggestions focused on basic letter recognition, as opposed to spelling or sound recognition, that weren’t advanced fine motor activities. I did try some great free printables that had the traceable letter as well as things beginning with that letter. But even just as a coloring page she lost interest quickly. I needed something both physical and focused strictly on remembering which letters were which. Then “The Alphabet Game” was born.
When I embarked on this craft adventure I thought it would simply be a fun, quick, and spring cleaning related activity to do with Penelope one quiet afternoon… in the end I myself had a blast, and at points found myself giddy as a school girl watching the transformation happen.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s pertinent enough to reiterate, that one of the things I always looked most forward to before I had kids was making them costumes. I always knew I’d be one of those parents who would gladly let their child leave the house in a superhero costume and wash it while they slept if need be. Since my daughter’s first Halloween at five months old I have been enjoying the pleasure of making her costumes. But, oddly, blogging about it has been a challenge for me.
Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a Huff Post Parents article that put everything in perspective for me. I blog to share my adventures but in a way that I hope teaches you something as well. My costumes for my daughter are all made up as I go and often come together quite haphazardly, a process I can’t tutorialize or often even walk you through. And then I read the story of Fashion by Mayhem.
I came across a pin of this craft on Pinterest a while back thinking it was really adorable and just logging it away for the right time. The first time my 2-year old daughter, Penelope, and I actually did it was when we were sending a package to her grandparents in Southern California. It seemed such a great impromptu project for that kind of moment because it allowed us to not only send them a special art project from Penny, but also shares with them how big she’s getting in a different way than just the Facebook pictures they’re used to seeing. Additionally, the process of making the “hug” gave Penny and me the opportunity to talk about Mamu & Grandpa and how we love them and they live far away and how nice it is to do special things to show people we love them. That is exactly why this project popped in to my head for Valentine’s Day. It is easy and quick, but fun to do, and the end result is something special for someone special.
I always have the urge to make the day before time away (however big or small) from my daughter special. In this case a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s one Tuesday inspired pancakes for breakfast before school. I pulled the little hand scribbled slip of paper with the favorite whole wheat applesauce pancake recipe off of the fridge and whipped up a quick batch of Mickey Mouse flap-jacks. The stream of “I really love you”s that followed was just bonus to the particularly special one-on-one time my daughter and I get when we do something out of the ordinary (like eat something other than cream of wheat for breakfast, regardless of it’s shape).
This project ticked several boxes I was going for that day… fun new project to do with my daughter, holiday themed to do while listening to Christmas music, and homemade gifts for the Grandparents in the end. Done, done, and done.
Let me start by saying that if you have the space for this project… do it! Every child who has ever come over has loved the book nook. And it’s so easy! With that said…
2013 marked the end of my daughter’s first year in school. In the Fall of 2012 she started pre-preschool two days a week at an awesome co-op. As part of the co-op, a different family brings snack each day. I wound up with snack duty on the last day of the school year and really wanted to do something fun for the kids. I came across a post for rainbow pasta I’d pinned ages before and wound up looking up a bunch of techniques to figure out the best (read: easiest) approach to it. This is the method I landed on, and it was crazy easy! How cool do these noodles look?! I wound up making mac’n’cheese with it so the colors were a little muted under the white cheese sauce, but the kids got a kick out of eating colorful noodles, and my daughter and I had fun shake-shake-shaking the noodles up inside the zip lock bags to color them. I made it again for a school party in August but went the pasta salad direction instead. I have to say, even as a grown woman, it is more fun to eat rainbow pasta salad than that of the plain old boring taupe variety.
My daughter goes to an awesome co-op preschool, and I am fortunate enough to have the pleasure of being co-editor of the school newsletter. In the Spring I wrote an article for the “Out & About” feature, which I am excited to share with you here…