Tag Archive | parenthood

Indoor Activity Ideas for a Preschooler

Whether the weather is uninviting, someone feels out of sorts, or it’s an inside play day, mommies sometimes need a “go-to” for an activity. I’m creating a jar of activity sticks, and they’ll be simple: craft sticks with a different activity handwritten on each stick.

Here is my list, a work in progress, that is primarily geared towards preschoolers. What would you add to it?

Activity Sticks Ideas:

  • ABC Mouse (online subscription)
  • Bake together
  • Bath time / Water play
  • Bean bag toss
  • Beans box
  • Blocks
  • Build a fort
  • Candy Land
  • Color Wonder
  • Connect Four
  • Crayons
  • Dance
  • Dolls
  • Dominoes
  • Hopping
  • Hopscotch (on porch or painter’s tape on the kitchen floor)
  • I Spy – books, pictures, in the house
  • Jumping jacks
  • Letter craft
  • Memory game
  • Movie and popcorn
  • Musical instruments bag
  • Nursery rhymes
  • Ornaments
  • Painting, watercolors
  • Paper hats
  • Piano time
  • Picnic inside
  • Play store (cash register, make play money)
  • Play-doh
  • Puppets, paper bag
  • Puzzles
  • Read stories
  • Sing silly songs
  • Stickers
  • Sun catchers
  • Tape, double-stick (art collage, etc)
  • Tape, masking
  • “Tinker” box (random collection of stuff)
  • Treasure hunt
  • You Tube (songs, nursery rhymes, animals)

I have a  Pinterest board with many indoor activities. Please share what activities your little ones enjoy! 🙂


Only a Short Time

Our children are only little for a short time.  While the days can be long, the years are short.  I remind myself throughout the day with our ever-changing 2 1/2 year old that:  he’s young and will only be this age once, to take a breath and enjoy him, to delight in his excitement of the world, and even when he has a cheeky gleam in his eye that I get to be his Mom.

You will never have this day
with your child again.
Tomorrow they’ll be a little
older than they we’re today.
This day is a gift.
Breathe and notice.
Smell and touch them;
study their faces
and little feet and pay attention.

Enjoy today, mama.
It will be over before you know it.”

~Jen Hatmaker

Dear Mom, Thank you for ___, Part 1

mom and hearts

As many of you know, my dear, sweet, cute little mama passed on in April 2012. She was my best friend, and I miss her every day.  Being in the middle of the holidays is especially difficult as Christmas was her favorite time of year. The missing is getting easier in that it’s not constantly raw, but sometimes the reality of my “new normal” slaps me in the face.  I took some time the other evening and wrote a list of memories and things she did for which I am thankful. Here is part of the list in no particular order.

Thank you, Mom, for:

  • loving me
  • mothering me
  • choosing to be a homemaker
  • letting me be myself
  • encouraging me
  • believing in me
  • trusting me
  • being my best friend, especially as an adult
  • telling me “no”
  • letting me share your bed when Dad traveled, even though I probably hogged the covers
  • teaching me how to put together jigsaw puzzles
  • teaching me how to play Mah Jongg
  • enjoying margaritas, red wine, and strawberry shortcake
  • being a good cook
  • teaching me to cook
  • showing love
  • believing in the inherent goodness of people
  • praying
  • being patient with me
  • understanding my emotions
  • hugs
  • kisses
  • laughter
  • quiet
  • reading alone and together
  • taking me to piano lessons every week for years and treating me to a Blizzard on the way
  • being happy to hear my voice when I called you

More of this list to come at a later time . . .

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Must-have Baby Items

Since we have “been there, done that” with an infant, people often ask me what would we recommend for a nursery. With so many choices out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the basics, much less wade through all of the recommendations and navigate the store (ahem, Babies R Us).  When I’m asked for one thing, it’s hard to answer. Honestly it depends on what age, so here are things that were useful for us during D’s first months.

The List:
–High-quality video monitor by Summer (costly but worth every penny since you can see and hear the baby without disruption)
–Medela breast pump (electric with double action)
–Diaper Genie 2 (Amazon has good prices on refills through subscribe & save) It really does keep out most of the stink.
–Bouncy seat with vibration option (used almost daily when he was tiny during my shower)
–Boppy pillow with 2 covers (I’ve heard my Breast Friend pillow offers more support for nursing.)
–Glider rocker with ottoman and/or comfy recliner. You may spend many nights sleeping in the recliner or on the sofa with little one on your chest.
–Muslin 36″ blankets (great for swaddling, putting over stroller, light layer in warmer months)
–Halo sleep blanket, when we weren’t swaddling anymore
–Baby Trend infant car seat (lightest weight and good carrying handle, triangle shape)
–Snap & Go stroller frame for car seat (Consignment store!)
–If nursing, Bella B nipple butter (from Amazon) and Lansinoh lanolin for shower time
–Digital camera
–Pack & Play with changing table (if you’re tall, make sure the changing table is higher)
–Changing table for nursery
–Mattress covers with waterproof backing (buy 2)
–Gas drops
–Bottles: Playtex drop-ins worked best for us, producing the least amount of air in little man. I tried about 5 different products before choosing.
–Hooded towels
–Baby bath where one side is reclined and the other sits up
–Aveeno or Aquaphor baby wash and lotions. (Johnson dries out his skin too much.)
–Many baby washcloths
–Breathable baby crib liner instead of bumper pads (bought at Target)
–Diapers: Target brand are good, but we can only use Pampers b/c D is so sensitive. Pampers work better for boys and Huggies for girls, in general. The Wal-Mart brand leaked every time I tried. (If you plan to cloth diaper, check out my friend’s business Earthy Baby)
–Protect the bottom with A&D ointment, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Desitin, or Aquaphor.
–Bumkins brand bibs when little one starts eating food. They wash right up in the sink or washing machine. The velcro is sturdy, and the pocket really catches stuff. :)
–Detergent: buy something free & clear. Don’t think you have to use Dreft. We’ve used All and been happy. Also, get some good stain remover. Dreft stain remover spray and Oxy Clean spray have worked well here.

A few other things:

Don’t waste your money on a wipe warmer. We haven’t needed one, and many said it was a waste. I bought Swaddlers, but they didn’t work since D liked his arms more free. Using a blanket to swaddle worked better for us. Also, we highly recommend taking classes for childbirth, breast-feeding, and newborn care.

What is your must-have item for little ones?

What can you do with a box?


If you’re my hubby, you make a tunnel for our toddler. Once we showed him how to use it, he’s enjoyed it. The window on the side is an added bonus. And if your truck will move itself, you can send it through the tunnel on its own with your mommy waiting to send it back.
Good times!

web_tunnel enter web_tunnel exit

Such a simple toy

It’s often the simple things that make the best toys. For example, the box that housed the new toy is often more popular than the toy itself.
My 17 month old enjoys taking things apart, stacking, and opening and closing drawers. The other evening I needed something different to occupy him in his high chair for a bit.  So I decided to create something simple: a washed formula can and lids from baby food jars. I cut a hole in the top of the lid that was plenty wide and gave him the container and lids. He promptly removed the lid to the can and enjoyed putting the small lids in the container, pulling them out, and starting over.

It gave me 20 wonderful minutes to work on dinner and wash some dishes. 🙂