Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cheap Toddler Activities

I've been stuck in a rut lately, not knowing what to do to entertain Layla. She stays pretty happy with her toys and is good at entertaining herself but now that she's really, really soaking up things throughout the day I feel like new activities would be good. For her and I both because, lets face it, the day can get a little boring if all we do is sit on the floor and play with the same toys all day. 

In my search for new activities I went to Pinterest, of course. I usually use what I find as more of a guide and put my own spin on things. I saw on The Activity Moms blog the idea to fill a bowl with rice and give your toddler a small cup and funnel to use to play with. Instead of rice, which we actually like to eat, I used some beans, that we don't eat (unless canned and ready to go). 

Layla had fun with the beans but mainly just wanted to eat them so this activity was cut very short. I tried to encourage her to play and not eat but it didn't work, haha. Something to keep in mind for when she's older. Hopefully she'll outgrow putting everything in her mouth! 

I also made some animal flashcards to help me teach her animal sounds and recognition. She loves animals! Her favorites are cats, dogs, polar bears and ducks. (A little random, but that's our family!) 

My wonderful designer husband put the pictures together nicely in InDesign and I printed them off and cut them with my handy mini paper cutter from my MIL. I need to borrow my moms laminator bc after just a few minutes with them Layla has them pretty bent up (and I printed on card stock). 

After we went through all the cards a few times I pulled up some animal sounds on YouTube and she loved that! It was a great way for her to make the connection of sound with the animals and to see the animal on the card and on my phone. This activity was definitely successful. 

And there you have it! Super cheap, super easy entertainment for your toddler! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sorry for the absence

Lots has happened in the last few weeks!  We've been to Wichita to marry off Emily, celebrated Layla's 1st birthday and Layla has reached a few big milestones!

Emily's Wedding

We had a great weekend in Wichita for Emily's wedding. I got lots of girl time with my friends from college and loved being a part of the wedding. We woke up in time to see the pretty sunrise on the 27th (wedding day and Layla's birthday)! Layla got to open a few gifts and I got some playtime in before I had to get ready for the day.
Me with my sweet birthday girl :)
Jenny and I (and our hubby's) got to stay at the same house together during the weekend. That was fun and perfect for the guys bc they got to hang out all day Saturday. 

The weather was absolutely perfect that day! The wedding party took some pictures outside and enjoyed the amazing July weather and then we got some "rest" and dinner before the ceremony at 7pm. 
Just before the ceremony
So much has changed since we graduated! It was so fun meeting each others babies!
Nancy came all the way from Hong Kong!

Layla playing with Sidney. They were so cute!
Layla did so good staying up way passed her bedtime two nights in a row. I was so proud and thankful! We had a great weekend! It was just over a little too quick. 

Layla's 1st Birthday

We had a great party for Layla and were even able to help out a sweet family who's little girl is in the hospital. She was born with Jeunes Syndrome which requires her to have surgery every 6months. We raised over $400 for her and her family to help with medical expenses! It was so awesome to be able to do something for them. (They're good friends of my in-laws). 

Enjoying her new soft blocks from Grandma and Grandpa
Fun new bubbles from mommy and daddy

She loves her new leapfrog puppy from Nana and Papa (she had just waken up from a nap, hence the wet, sweaty hair lol)


Today we made a fort to change things up a bit. She wasn't too terribly excited about it but I think she had fun :) it definitely won't be our last living room fort.