Fluffy Bath Paint

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Mini Thor used to loooooove taking a bath and wanted to take several baths a day, but suddenly he refuses to take a bath! I don’t know what caused the change, but seriously, little boys NEED baths! They play in the mud and dig in the dirt, find bugs, and collect rocks…being a boy is messy business! I’ve had to come up with a few ways to bribe him to take a bath make bath time more fun! One of those fun things is Fluffy Paint!

These paints are super simple to make; they are just shaving cream + food coloring! A fellow momma to a sensory kid told me she tried this with her little boys (shout out to M.J.) and I just had to give it a whirl!
You can mix them up in an ice cube tray, muffin tin, or in our case the jello Jigglers mold from our “Monsteriffic Jellotastic Movie Night”, pretty anything with sections will do.

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Spray shaving cream into each section and add 1-2 drops of food coloring. Stir together the two ingredients and you’ve got fluffy bath paints!

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Mini Thor has a blast with these!

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They are fun for painting the tub walls…and also adding hair-dos to rubber duckies!

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Have some fluffy fun!
-Kate

P.S. Try some of our those bath time favs…
Like these bath paints
Or have a snow day in the tub!
Or maybe a glow bath like we have done many times. Just put glowsticks the bottom of the tub during a bubble bath!

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Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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Mini Thor and I love to play outside! Kids need sunshine and fresh air! I try to come up with fun new things for us to try and I had seen SideWalk Chalk Paint on Pinterest like a million times so I whipped some up for us to play with. This paint is so simple to make and the best part is…it is washable!!!

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Here’s what you need..
– 1 Cup Corn Starch
– 1 Cup Warm Water
– Food Coloring (a few drops of each color you want to make)
– Containers (like muffin or cup cake baking containers, I used silicon baking cups)
– Paint Brushes (Basting Brushes work great for this!)
These are all things you probably have in your kitchen! This activity would be great for an impromptu afternoon in the sunshine!

The How-To:

Whisk together your corn starch and water in a small bowl.

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Pour some of the mixture into each of your containers and then add a few drops of food coloring to each one. Stir it up and that’s it, you’re ready to go paint!

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The colors will be dark when you first paint them onto the sidewalk but they dry in beautiful almost neon colors!

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We had so much fun with this! Mini Thor got to splatter paint all over without worrying about getting his clothes messy or getting paint everywhere. Its a beautiful thing when children get to play in absolute freedom! He had droplets all over his white shirt and it washed out no problem!

Give this fun activity a try and I bet you’ll see some smiles 🙂

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And all the excitement might just wear out your little one!

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-Kate

Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night

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Mini Thor loooooves the Disney Pixar Movie “Monsters, Inc.” With the new Monster University movie coming out this month there is Monsters stuff all over Walmart. He spotted a Jell-O juggler mold with the faces of a few characters right next to “berry scary” flavored jell-o, so of course we just couldn’t pass it up! There were a couple other jell-o uses that I’d been wanting to try as well, so I thought we’d just make a night of it. A Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night!

First we made Jello-Jigglers so they could sit for three hours in the fridge and be ready for dessert after supper.
This is the end result…

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They turned out awesome and Mini Thor loved them!

Next I fixed “Monster Snacks” for us to eat while we watch the movie. I made Jello Grapes and they were a hit! (There are many many posts out there with this idea so I’m not sure who actually came up with this genius snack.)
Here’s the how to..

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Mini Thor and Aunt PeyPey both loved them! They were gobbled up quickly and I had to make a second batch!

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(You may want to use a lighter colored jello if you are worried about messy fingers)

Next we made some “Jel-doh,” homemade play-do using jello mix! I’m kind of weird (which you may have guessed already) and I just can’t stand the smell that store bought play-doh leaves on your hands, yuck! so when I found a recipes for making this scented dough I just had to try it! If you have a little one who may be tempted to taste play-doh this dough might be a good trial before using other modeling clays with them.  If they eat this it won’t do any harm, although I can’t imagine it tasting very well. 

Here’s the how-to…

In a small saucepan combine the following:

– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup salt
– 1 Tbsp cooking oil
– 2 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 cup water
– 1 (3oz) package of Jello

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Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough becomes the consistency of mash potatoes.

Remove from pot and cool on a lightly flour surface.

When it has cooled enough, kneed the dough thoroughly.

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(Store in an air tight container when not in use.)

We put our Jel-do to use as soon as it was cool! We made it into MONSTERS!

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We used googly eyes (I love googly eyes!!!), pipe cleaners, and pompoms to make silly monsters!

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Mini Thor was occupied by this for like half and hour, which is a very long time for a two year old!

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I loved making jel-doh monsters with my little monster! We made many monster friends!

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We ended up watching Monsters, Inc. a couple times and we had lots of monster fun!!!
-Kate

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Dealing with a diagnosis

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Last week Mini Thor had an evaluation with the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center. We loaded up in the Equinox with a basket if toys and snacks in the backseat and Granmomma in the front seat. Despite some road construction and stopping for a potty break, we arrived just in time. (Note: being on time for things when you have a toddler is quite a victory in itself!)
He was weighed and measured and checked over by a pediatrician, we were asked tons of questions, and he met with a psychiatrist. Then we waited while everyone discussed their results and opinions. After a little waiting, and Mini Thor rearranging the chairs in the waiting room, we were brought into a room to be told the diagnosis.
I thought we would leave with a diagnosis if Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder, but instead I was told he is OCD. The psychiatrist said he is too young to be “officially” diagnosed as OCD so he was being diagnoses as having an Anxiety Disorder and being hypersensitive (hence the sensory issues he deals with). You may be asking yourself, “what does a toddler have to be anxious about?” But it’s not like being nervous about a new job or a date, it’s like an all around all the time anxiety. We were told he was born this way, that it’s genetic, just like his blue eyes. She went on to say that his sensory issues are because of his anxious temperament, he is hypersensitive because he is hyperalert to his surroundings. (She also talked about how brilliant he is, and if course Granmomma said “I’ve always said he’s brilliant!”)
So what does this mean for Mini Thor, well, this means I can explain a little when people say “you have a strange child” and maybe it’ll be easier for family to understand his meltdowns over little things like his socks not being on right. I’m still having trouble really deciding how I feel about it, honestly. It still feels like there is uncertainty there since they can’t “officially” diagnosis him as OCD. But then again, when is life ever certain.
In a few weeks we’ll receive a written report in the mail with recommendations. The psychiatrist said she would send me a list of books that I might want to read, I’m looking forward to that. In the mean time in doing research and thinking of questions to call and ask once I get the report.
But the bottom line is, he is still my funny, quirky, adorable little boy no matter what label he is given. I loved him before his was born and that love has grown as he has. I loved him before diagnosis and I’ll still love him today, tomorrow, and everyday for the rest of forever!
He’s still my Mini Thor and I love him quirks and all 🙂

He’s still the same silly boy who loves to make funny faces with me…

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And funny faces with Aunt PeyPey too…

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He’s still the same boy whose smile could light up the world…

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So we have a diagnosis now, and it’s a relief to have some answers. I know there may be some rough days ahead as we encounter people who won’t understand him and people who will judge (since mental illness often carries a stigma)…but I will always love him! ❤

-Kate

Survival Tips: Keeping a Sick Toddler Occupied

Mini Thor has been sick like a million billion times this winter/spring! He is currently battling another round of tonsillitis. He feels puny when his fever is up but once that children’s Motrin kicks in he will have a couple hours of energy, he wants to do stuff but he’s whiny and grumpy so normal play just isn’t in order. He wants to be busy but he doesn’t have the get-up-and-go for his usually activities, so this momma has to get creative.

We started the day with a bubble bath and Bath Paints!

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We use an empty egg carton to make our paints in. I fill half the spots and leave the other half so that Mini Thor can mix together his own color concoctions. He loves to mix the paints up!

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A basting brush makes a great paint brush for little hands!

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To make homemade bath paints you’ll need bubble bath/baby wash, cornstarch, and food coloring. Find my instructions here.

We also got in some motor skills practice by making a cut and paste project.

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Mini Thor cut up pieces of scrapbook paper and cut out pictures from magazines and glued them onto paper. This is a simple way to keep him occupied, he loves to cut paper and this is good practice.
He did some impressive cutting for someone who isn’t even three yet!

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He used colored glue sticks (made by Elmer’s Glue) to stick the pieces on. Who wouldn’t love orange glue?!

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We also made a mailbox out of a shoebox! We used the empty box from his Nike sandals and some Superman logo duct tape, simple as that!

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I lined up the tape and Mini Thor cut the pieces off for me. We covered the box and then I wrote “MAIL” on top.

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We wrote letters back and forth to each other. Every time he opened the “mailbox” he said “oh goodness there’s mail in here!!” in his silly dramatic voice! He is such a ham sometimes!

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It’s amazing the fun that can come from a box!

Speaking of simple fun..how about making a fort! We made a pretty awesome fort out of our loveseat!

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Look at the big smile a fort can bring to a sicky little boy’s face!

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When you are stuck in the house all day you have to use what you’ve got to keep the sicky baby occupied. Simple things can bring big smiles! I’m sure I’ll be whipping up some more activities as the day goes on, but for now that’s all I’ve got. I’m one tired momma after not sleeping last night and then keeping “Fuss Bucket McCranky Pants” busy all morning. (When he’s being a grumpy butt I call him that and he usually has to try really hard not to crack a smile). Man, am I looking forward to nap time! When you’ve got a sick munchkin, I always advise taking a nap then they do. You never know how little sleep you may get (or not get) in the coming nights so you might as well take advantage of nap time!

For more sick day ideas see my previous posts…
“Sick Day Fun”
“Sick Day (again)”

I hope these simple ideas can make your sick days a little easier!

-Kate

Color Run!

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When I was a teenager, I lived in the Evansville area so when I heard there was going to be a Color Run there I just had to make the trip back home and do it! My mom, sis, and a family friend registered too! Seriously I was pumped. The run took places yesterday and I just have to share a few photos with you. Mini Thor is just so darn cute covered in colorful paint powder!

He was excited as soon as he got up yesterday morning! “Color Run! Color Run!”

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We loaded up and headed to Franklin Street at an early 7:00am! And by early, I mean early for everyone else on a Saturday. Mini Thor gets up at 6am every morning so it was no biggie to us.

We arrived and got our color packets! At the start of the run, everyone threw their packet into the air.

Mini Thor (and the stroller) ended up with a good amount if paint on them even before we got moving!

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This is Granmomma and PeyPey after the precoloring at the beginning 🙂

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And them with our friend (who might as well be family) Dawn!

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At the first few points of color being thrown I would ask him if he wanted to be covered up or just put his sunglasses on. He ended up loving it! I was worried with his sensory issues that this would all be too much, but nope, he did fabulously!

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After riding in the stroller for the first loop he was ready to get out and join in the color throwing and fun for the second loop!

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It was a blast! This was an excellent sensory experience! Lots of sounds and colors to experience!

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We were covered in color!

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Check out my little sister!

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We seriously went out to brunch like this! (Me, Mini Thor, PeyPey, and Granmomma)

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What a wonderful adventure!!!

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(The event was put on by The Franklin Street Event Association)

-Kate

Update: If you are wondering about the powder, it washed out if the provided race shirts easily but a couple spots did stain Mini Thor’s white shirt that I had purchased at Walmart for him to wear for the run. Our shoes dusted off easily and it washed off if our skin with no problem. If you are going to participate in one of these fabulous fun runs make sure you bring towels to lay down in your car for after the race. Granmomma’s car seats ended up with some color on them haha. It seemed to dust right off though. Overall, it was totally worth the mess.
(Update made on 4/22/13)

Egg-citing Bath and Peeps S’mores!

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Every holiday is full of excitement around here! We spend the time leading up to the actual holiday celebrating too. You’ll always find our windows decorated, we watch holiday movies, and we do holiday activities.

Check out one of our Easter activities……..
Glow-in-the-dark Egg Hunt..in the tub!

I purchased a pack of eggs at Walmart and some glow bracelets from the dollar tree

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To make your glow eggs, activate the glow sticks and roll them to where they will fit into the egg.

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Put the glow stick bracelets in eggs that match, (Orange glow stick in an orange egg, green glow stick in a green egg) for the maximum glow.
We had some dud glow sticks and there were a couple Mini Thor wanted to keep out so we ended up with about a dozen glowing eggs.

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Then I ran a bubble bath (using California Baby Bubble Bath) and let water into the eggs so that they would float below the bubbles.

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Mini Thor then hunted they eggs and lines them up on the bathtub ledge

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After he had found all the eggs he dumped them back in the tub and played for a good while!

You could also hide the glowing eggs throughout your house and have an indoor egg hunt before bed!

We also had some more Easter fun by making s’more kits for Mini Thor to take to school (and we had to eat some too of course)

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The inspiration came from this post by Live-Love-Pasta that gives directions on how to make s’mores out of peeps! (Mini Thor looooooves Peeps!)

Here’s the how to…
-Place chocolate on a graham cracker and top with a peep. We used blue bunnies.
-Microwave for 10-15 seconds.
-Top with another graham cracker.
-Enjoy the sweet gooey goodness!

We put the ingredients in bags with the instructions and a note saying “Hoppy Easter to my Peeps!” These would be cute additions to any Easter basket or gift!

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Happy Easter from us! May your kiddos find lots of eggs!

The Dirt Box

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Mini Thor amazes me with the progress he has made with regards to his “sensory issues,” he has come so far with his texture sensitivity. One of the ways to help children overcome or cope with sensory issues is through sensory boxes. I have made a few that we cycle through, but one of his favorites is what he calls the “dirt box.” I made it using what is commonly called “cloud dough.” I first saw cloud dough on Growing A Jeweled Rose, she has tons of sensory ideas on here site, check them out here.

The first time I introduced cloud dough to little man he couldn’t stand it. Eventually, after having the box out several times, he put his hands in it. He would go wash his hands several times while playing but eventually he got to where he loved digging and playing in his “dirt box”.

I recently made a fresh box of cloud dough..here’s the how to..

What you need
– 2lb bag of flour
– 1/2 cup of baby oil
– A container with a lid
– dropcloth or newspaper to put under the box if a little one will be exploring indoors

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Dump the flour into your container and add the baby oil. You kind of have to cut in the oil with a fork like you would butter in a crumb topping, sorry that’s the only thing I could think of to describe it haha (I’m a goofball)

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Then add some toys and something to dig with and let the fun begin. (I put an ice cream scoop in there with some trucks and a few little animals from the dollar tree)

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I let him play with his dirt box in the living room, I put a garbage bag under the box to catch some of the mess but this stuff vacuums up really easily. For me, it’s easier to vacuum it up out of the carpet than to get it swept up in the kitchen.

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The cloud dough runs through fingers just like flour but is moldable because of the oil mixed in, making it a great material for sensory play!

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If your feeling brave you an let them explore with their little toes too!

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He loved that part, haha. Needless to say, we needed a bath after this fun 🙂

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Play-doh Prints

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Little man loooooves play-doh, me not so much, but hey sometimes you gotta let kids be kids right? This morning he wanted to bust out the play-doh out and I thought we’d do something different.

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I pulled out the bucket of dollar tree and happy meal toys and grabbed a few cars as well and we had a little experiment.

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We looked at the bottoms of each toy and than made prints with them in the play-doh.

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Mini Thor was excited to see what kinds of prints we could make. I loved seeing him experiment and discover.
(For older kids, this could be used to teach the scientific method, have them make a hypothesis of what print an item will make and then test it)

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We also made prints with different vehicle toys and compared the tracks they made.

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And of course Mini Thor had to see what kind of print he would leave 🙂

It’s amazing how a few items you have laying around can led to a little science experiment and tons of smiles 🙂

-Kate

Bath Paints!

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In my little home we do something fun everyday, after all smiles and giggles from a little one are pretty much the best thing ever! One activity that Mini Thor really loves is painting. I have stacks and stacks of his paintings. He even has a huge painting hanging in his room that he is super proud of.

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He also loves taking baths and would probably stay in the tub all day if you’d let him. So why not combine two of his favorite things?! Thus the adventure of bath paint was born! I’d seen several recipes on Pinterest and we decided to try a recipe I found on More than ABC’s and 123’s it uses just three ingredients, cornstarch, baby wash/bubble bath, and food coloring!

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We made our paint in an empty egg carton.
Here’s the how-to..
– Fill the openings halfway with baby wash (I used babyganics hypoallergenic bubble bath so that I knew it wouldn’t irritate his skin).
– Add 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to each
– Add 2 drops of food coloring to each and mix!
– Now it’s time to paint!

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Mini Thor had a blast

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And the best part is..it washes off easily! You can just wipe it off with a wet rag or rinse with the shower! Mini Thor even cleaned his paint off himself by filling a cup with water and poring it on the shower wall. The paint just washed right off. So basically your bath tub can now be a never ending canvas for munchkin creativity!
This would also be a fun way to teach colors and let them experiment with what happens when you mix colors together!
Plus, if you encourage finger painting as well as brush painting this is a sensory activity too!
Don’t you just love it when learning is fun?!?!

I hope you get to make these paints soon,

-Kate