DIY Zipper Board Tutorial

 

A few months ago my twins took an interest to buckles. It started in their high chairs and spread to the car seat. They couldn’t do anything with them, but they liked when we discussed buckles and clearly there was a fascination there. I went online and tried to see what I could make with buckles, and ended up making a buckle pillow (post to come in a few days). But then, the twins started in on zippers. They loved to pull down my fleece coat’s zipper and we would say, “Down…Up!” and repeat. So I got back on the computer and struggled to find a lot on what I could do with zippers until I came across this post. I knew making a zipper board was exactly what I would do.

I actually made two. It was unbelievably cheap, simple, and best of all – quick to make. I could make one zipper board in about one hour’s time. So fast!

Edited: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using these links, I will make a percentage of the profit.

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Materials needed: Cheap wood or cardboard, felt (optional), hot glue gun, zippers

Here’s what I did: I had some old, thin board in the basement – the kind that goes in the back of pieces of cheap furniture. It was a large piece and my husband helped me cut it down into four pieces. Each piece ended up being about 17in. X 9 in. I also had leftover neon green and black felt from B’s Frankenstein Halloween costume. Not the prettiest colors, but I’m all about cheap here. I also already had a hot glue gun (but you can find one for cheap HERE). Knowing I was going to make these for the twins, I purchased zippers ahead of time. I got craft zippers very similar to this set. Again, the colors weren’t my favorite, but they were super cheap. Each zipper board cost me under $5, and as I said, one hour of my time.

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After I gathered my materials, I spread out the felt and put the board in the middle, exactly like how I would wrap a present. I started in on the top flap, folding it over and hot gluing it little by little, every inch or so until the entire top flap of felt was stuck to the board.

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I did the same to the bottom flap of felt, and then I folded down the sides. The felt was doubled there and thicker, so I glued it down and then also glued in between the layers until the whole side was good and stuck. When I was done gluing, the underside of the board looked like this:

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Let me say here that I only used real wood and felt because I wanted it to last a while. If I didn’t have these materials or preferred, I could’ve just grabbed some cardboard and glued the zippers on them right away and this project would’ve been done in 10 minutes!

At this point I grabbed my zippers and at the top of each one, I cut the tips off diagonally, so that the zipper would move more easily with toddler fingers. If I kept the tips on, the twins would’ve gotten frustrated that they were pulling on the zippers and they weren’t going any higher (they have the metal piece on the inside stopping the zipper at a certain point – if yours didn’t, you could just add a staple). Here’s what I mean.

DSC_0481After I trimmed the zippers, I placed them on the board where I wanted them to go. I was able to fit nine zippers on, and I alternated which way the zippers were facing to make the board a little more challenging. Then I got to gluing. The big thing I needed to avoid was letting glue make its way into the middle of the zipper. If I did that, the zipper would’ve been glued shut. So I went down the sides of the zipper, quickly. Once both sides had glue I flipped it back over and slapped it down. I found I needed to go back and add a little more glue on the sides. You really want the zipper secure because those toddler fingers grab and pull. When all zippers were glued down, the finished product looked like this:

DSC_0483I wasn’t sure how the twins would take to the boards, because the zippers are really small and hard to grasp. I had hoped for larger zippers but that didn’t happen.

Sure enough, C grabbed the board today and got right to it. She was focused, concentrating hard, and surprisingly had very little trouble zipping!

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This activity is so awesome for those fine motor skills, which is so much of what our activities are lately. C was able to grasp the zippers easily and pull back and forth for a long time!

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She tried switching her position many times, as the board was pretty big.

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Luckily the zipper board was also very light. B joined in for a few minutes and I only had to split up their fighting once 😛

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Then B went on his merry way and C got right back to it. This was the first activity we have done where she was more into it than B.

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Given that I spent practically nothing on making these boards and it only took an hour for each one – I’d say it was worth it. Now that I think about it, it would be a great car ride activity!

What are tot trays?

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Lately, I’ve been on a wild ride. One that I’ve created. See, when I get excited about something new – I focus on that one thing exclusively for weeks with giddy anticipation for the creation of whatever I’m doing. It started last summer, with DIY sensory boards and a spaghetti sensory bin because – I was on maternity leave, and why not, it would be cute to watch. Then it took off from there. I found myself reading about sensory bins, learning towers, and skills that teach toddlers independence. B, throughout his tantrums, took a liking to all of those things and I realized, we have the need in my house. The same old toys and free play all day won’t work for them, especially B. He needs stimulation, he needs a variety of experiences, and he needs to do things on his own. I found myself drawn to toys that let the twins explore on their own and figure out concepts independently, like our treasure baskets and sensory bottles, rather than those toys that did all that for them.

Then my blog took a turn, focusing on activities and crafts, because that’s my life at home right now – that’s what the twins do. I don’t know what direction this blog will go in the future but it’s my hobby and I enjoy it. And whatever the twins are interested in, I’m interested in. I made buckle pillows and zipper boards (posts coming soon!). I got a sewing machine for Christmas. I got so pumped about all these little things I couldn’t sleep at night. I even got my husband into it, as he’s still making those learning towers (they won’t be done until spring, unfortunately!). And then, I stumbled upon the Montessori Method. I’m not the kind of person who throws all the eggs into one basket – there are many correct ways to do things. HOWEVER. I knew nothing about Montessori, except that it was an expensive preschool. I still don’t know much about it, so this post isn’t about that. But what I have found is that everything B needs, everything that my husband and I believe in (independence at a young age, discovery, problem-solving, etc)….matches the Montessori method, almost to a T. We had no idea. As I read more about it, I’m really in agreement with so many of the Montessori concepts. My twins are only 19 months; they aren’t going to preschool for quite a while. So I wanted to implement something at home that resembled “preschool learning” because the twins love to learn new things.

Since I’m focusing mainly on cheap, simple toys (which typically do fit within a Montessori-type activity), I hosted a Busy Bag Exchange back in December (another future post). The bags were great but I wanted more.

So just recently, through a Montessori lens, I discovered tot trays. And fell madly in love with them. As far as I can tell, “Tot Trays” were coined by Carisa at 1+1+1=1. Her website is loaded with ideas – more than I could ever search through in one night. But the idea is quite simple, and very much like a busy bag. Basically, the child does an activity; a simple, cheap, educational activity on a tray. I just bought trays but when I tried tot trays for the first time, I didn’t have them and used a cookie sheet instead. The activities are not meant to last hours and hours (though bonus points if they do!) – they are short activities that reinforce skills – everything from math or language arts skills to practical life skills (like practicing pouring water into a cup, or picking up things with tongs, or scooping with spoons). It can be anything really, so long as it fits on a tray. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t need to be over-thought. Many people do tot tray activities without knowing they have a name. The idea with the tray is that the child will be responsible for it. As soon as they are able, they will carry the tray with the activity on it over to the floor or a table and return it when the activity is over. From a practical standpoint, trays have raised edges, and raised edges keep messes from going everywhere! I just adore them.

A few weeks ago when it was (shocker) snowing again, we needed something different and quick after nap. I decided to implement our first two tot trays, back to back. First, we started with a color matching tot tray. I printed out the color sorting mat from here, grabbed an old cookie sheet and the large sized pompoms I already had. After realizing I only had one cookie sheet, I ended up giving the babies their coloring mats on the table with a container of pompoms for each of them. Their only job was to take the pompoms and match them to the corresponding colors on the mat.

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They did it in about two seconds. I don’t know if that’s good or bad! That’s the thing with tot trays – I mean, I obviously started them with one that was not a challenge for them, which made the activity short. I would imagine the goal is to challenge them at least a little bit. I love the many skills being applied here – knowing the colors, but also identifying letters, feeling textures, and the fine motor skills necessary to place pompoms on a small circle. B was especially into this tot tray, and kept trying to get the pompoms to stick to the paper. (I added pink, white and black pompoms at first because I knew they knew those colors – but when your mat doesn’t have those colors on it? Yeah – don’t do that. Lesson learned!) B practiced saying the colors a few times.

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And that was it for our first tot tray! Luckily, I had one more planned. I grabbed two sheets of plain paper and as this was around Valentine’s Day, I drew a big heart on each paper. Then, on the “tray”, I gave the babies a sheet of heart stickers and two Dollar Tree crayons. So simple and so cheap! My kind of activity!

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I tried to get the twins to put the stickers “inside the heart”. That didn’t work out exactly, but that’s okay. C was especially into this tray. She is madly in love with stickers right now – they both are. I had to peel them off for her but she stuck every one down and then went to town with the coloring.

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She couldn’t stop smiling through the multiple sheets of stickers she went through! She really had to work her fine motor skills around pulling stickers off my fingers and then sticking them onto paper.

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This tot tray lasted much longer than the first one, which was nice. When they were done, we hung them up on the slider with our other heart crafts. My first introduction to tot trays was a success. I’m not sure how I’m going to post about them and organize them here on this blog, but I plan to do many more tot trays with them in the future. Next up – learning to carry a tray!

On a side note, I won’t have a blog post about this one but my nanny made amazingly adorable weather sensory bottles.

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This picture is not my best work, but the bottles demonstrate “snowy”, “windy”, “rainy”, “sunny”, and “cloudy”. I’ve just set up a Facebook page and there you can find the link where my nanny found the idea!

Repurposing Containers: A Fine Motor Activity

I am so over this cold weather. We are desperate to get out of the house, but the temperature has been below zero for days, if not weeks. Yesterday I bit the bullet and took the two 19 month-old toddlers to the library for the first time. By myself. I knew what I was getting into. It was every bit as exhausting as I knew it would be, but the twins played with some new toys and took out a few board books. We just needed a change of scenery, and on a Friday afternoon after a long work week, I didn’t have it in me to think of something new and fun for them to do at home.

Today, however, we had a nice, relaxing morning together. We started off with dried beans in the water table, which I’ll post more about in the future. After that, we moved on to a basket I had been working on for quite a while – repurposed, recycled containers. DSC_0519

Most toddlers seem to get a kick out of household items that aren’t toys (or is that just my twins?). They constantly want what they can’t have and it’s frustrating for them and myself when I have to repeatedly tell them “no”. At this age, they are also going through a phase of wanting to open everything themselves. So a few weeks ago I began collecting containers. I tried to choose those that varied in size and difficulty in opening. As you can see, some containers only need a quick twist to open, while others are much more challenging.

I washed all the containers thoroughly with soap and water, let them dry, put them all in a basket and let the twins go to it. Judging by their silence and focus – I’d say it was a hit. Of course they chose to sit with the light from outside at their backs, not helping my photography efforts, but I still managed. 🙂

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Both toddlers focused on this repurposed ice cream container as it had an easy to twist lid.

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It was really fascinating to watch them work their fingers around the small lids and their entire hands around the large ones – it was really a wonderful fine motor exercise for little hands. Not only did they seek to put the lids back on the containers, but they practiced matching which lid went to which container, and C even stacked smaller sized items into the bigger containers. It kept their attention for a good 30 minutes.

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Fitting with my theme, this activity was FREE (not counting the money spent on the containers from their original purpose). It was easy to set up, easy to clean up, and a simple concept – my kind of activity! When the twins got bored, I packed all the containers up and stored them away, to be used again when we need an instant filler activity!

Fun with contact paper!

Yesterday was a weekend snow day. We were all trapped in the house – together! To manage the craziness of two bouncy toddlers, two hyper dogs and two tired parents in a small house, we had to break out the sensory activities. The twins are officially on one nap now, which gives them a lot of free time during the day (yawn for Mommy and Daddy), so more than one activity was needed! I’ll put them in separate posts. All were easy to set up, easy to clean, and best of all – super cheap!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using these links, I will receive a percentage of the profits. 

The first activity the toddlers did involved contact paper. I bought the clear kind on Amazon and then discovered the chalkboard version. I’m so excited to use that one in the future!

I got this idea from the awesome blog, Allison’s No Time for Flash Cards – the “Pom-pom Sticky Window”.

I must be contact paper challenged, because after cutting it to the size I wanted, it took me a minute a few minutes to get it on my sliding glass door. I left the sticky side out and taped up the edges with painter’s tape. Perhaps having two toddlers climbing all over me while I was trying to do this didn’t help. Prepare your area ahead of time! 🙂

I already had some Valentine’s Day colored pom-poms that I purchased from the Dollar Store and threw them in a bucket. I wished I had two packages.The more pom-poms the better! Stock up!

As soon as I stepped away from the set-up, the twins were all over it. B dumped out the bucket immediately and they both scrambled to push the little fluffy dots onto the paper.

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I wasn’t exactly sure what they would do with this activity or how long it would last. Pleasantly, they were sufficiently interested for about 15 minutes before the pom-poms started to fall off a bit. I don’t know why – perhaps all my finagling with the contact paper took some of the stick off. I thought for sure the activity was done.

But after a few minutes, it sprung new life. B found their new little brooms I have stationed next to the sliding glass door, and I asked him to help me sweep up the pom-poms in order to put them back in the bucket. Well, a few good sweeps sent those pom-poms flying and a new activity was born.

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The broom made a fun, scratchy sound as it smashed the pom-poms off the paper! We reviewed colors and textures (“sticky” is a fun toddler word!) and I sang the clean-up song which for now, works every time. I’m sure there’ll come a day when it won’t! A good half hour/45 minutes went by. So simple and so worth the little effort it took to set it up! Mess factor on a scale of 1-10: 2.

Now that I’m getting more and more into these sensory, DIY activities, I’m always amazed how just when you think the activity is over, kids will find a new way to use the equipment. There’s so much more that can be done that I would never even think of! We did two more sensory activities yesterday to round out the snow day, and as I said earlier, I’ll post them separately. Now, there’s a massive blizzard coming our way in a few days. We could be stuck inside for days. I’m on the lookout for our next activity!

Homemade Playdough – NO Cream of Tartar

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Going back at work after being a stay at home mom for the babies’ first year, one of the things I truly miss is the opportunity to do sensory, crafty activities. I’m all about being thrifty and using items that can be found in my own home (or no further than the dollar store) for the twins’ playtime opportunities. My nanny has picked up where I left off, but still, I miss being a part of it myself. My new goal is to try a new sensory activity every weekend with the twins. It doesn’t have to be complicated. This weekend I suppose we did two: We walked in the woods and explored the autumn leaves, trees, and rocks, and today, we played with playdough.

When I was a child, I loved playdough. I flattened it out into a pancake and stabbed it repeatedly with straws. I pushed it through the spaghetti maker and and balled it back up again. But I was also ten years old. As it turns out, playdough is fun at any age and is fabulous for getting those creative juices flowing.

Because the twins are only 15 months, I was a little concerned about them sneaking a bite of the squishy stuff, so I decided to make my own. Though not a single bite was tried, I’m so glad I made my own because I know exactly what went into it, I got to choose my own colors (it’s the little things), and it took me less than 5 minutes to make. Oh, and it was FREE. I used this blog post as the basis for my recipe.

Now, it should be known that most homemade playdough recipes call for cream of tartar. Apparently it helps make the playdough smooth. But we didn’t have that, and so I googled alternative recipes. I don’t know how much smoother the playdough could get, because mine was perfect. It was the exact soft, squishy consistency I was looking for – no cream of tartar needed. I used:

-1 cup flour

-1/4 cup salt

-1 cup water

-1 tbsp vegetable oil

-3 tsp white vinegar (and no, the playdough didn’t come out smelling like vinegar!)

-(optional) food coloring – I made a lavender and a peach

Mix it all up in a pot, medium heat, stirring constantly. Take it off the heat when it hardens into a solid mass and let it cool. Then knead it for a minute or two and you’re good to go – ready for use! (I must say that for my second batch, I needed some extra flour on my plate as I kneaded the dough to get rid of the leftover stickies.) Here’s the finished product from my two batches.

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Depending on the age of the child, you’d want some materials they could use for play. I knew my twins wouldn’t be able to make their dough into shapes or anything of that sort, so I bought $1 pick-up sticks at Target for poking. I also got out some measuring spoons. You could use anything – from pine cones and sticks to cookie cutters and plastic utensils. It’s a good thing I got the sticks, because they ended up being the real hit.

Now, every kid is different, and as I expected, nothing ever goes as planned. C spent the first five minutes either in a panic over this mushy mass in front of her (“Don’t make me touch it!!”), or completely bored.

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B took off with it, poking it and exploring, though neither of them ever really got their hands into it.

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Then, after a few minutes, B got bored. He actually left the table. But C finally found some way to enjoy the dough sitting in front of her. She absolutely loved poking the dough with the sticks and then removing them. And then throwing them on the floor. And repeat.

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She sat at the table for no less than a half hour, just taking out sticks. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it was a successful activity. The best part about the playdough is that when stored in an air-tight container (or a ziplock bag), it’ll last for months. If you live in a humid area, you could put it in the fridge, but since we’re entering the beginning of a dry winter, I’m going to leave mine out and see what happens. Today was the first time we had ever used playdough, so I’m excited to see what they’ll do with it next time!

DIY sensory boards

 

*This post was originally written in May of 2014, when the twins were 9 months old. It has just been updated (20 months old) to reflect the multitude of ages that can enjoy a sensory board! 

I find a lot of enjoyment in creating things for the babies to use, such as toys. I’ve started an adorable felt letters project but I barely carve out the time to work on it, so when it’s done, I’ll be happy to share. (Yeah, still haven’t finished that one.) Up until now, I’ve spent just a few minutes of time creating sensory bottles and treasure baskets for the babies. We still use both of those things every day. And then Pinterest gave my husband and I the idea of sensory boards.

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My major influence for this project was this.I loved how both the preschooler and the baby got a ton of use out of the same board – going to show that they can get years of use. Here’s another example of simpler textured items, specifically for babies. Anyway, I just thought they were the coolest thing and a great toy that will last for a very long time.

My husband was excited to make them. (I apologize that I can’t give you a tutorial of this project. When my husband made the boards, I was a very different blogger than I am today!) I don’t know the exact amount of money he spent in all, but we got most of the items at Home Depot, including free carpet samples and dollar items if we could. He did choose to sand and stain the board, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to do that. I imagine extra money was spent in the quality of the board, the sanding and the staining. After doing that, he screwed the individual components onto the boards. What you add to a sensory board would be completely up to you and the ages of your children. We wanted pieces that would be fun for both babies and toddlers.  It took him a few days to complete, so the stain could dry. He made two sensory boards (with items you would find also on a latch board), and here are the finished products (updated to show mounting on wall):

 

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So today being their first day of use, we had these boards on the ground lying flat. But my intention, especially as the babies get older and can stand, is to secure them into the wall of the upstairs playroom. I found out today that the board on the right is a little better for the babies at their current age, 9 months, than the board on the left. I mean, I obviously knew the twins couldn’t hook some of those items on the left but they do like to slide and flick whatever they can. It can definitely be used. But I decided to save the second board for a few months from now and just use the board on the right. It’s hard to see, but it’s got the end of a brush, a mirror, a front door knocker, a spinny wheel that I’m sure has a more sophisticated name, a carpet square, a push light, a piece of textured…rubbery thing I got at the dollar store, a door stop, and a mini door. That came from C’s desire to open and shut our cabinets, so we bought the knob for $1 and my husband cut a little piece of wood and made it into a mini door for them to open and shut. I thought it went swimmingly well today, and the boards will have many more days and months, and possibly years, of use. And obviously at this age, this is a toy that I need to be sitting with them for them to play with, as these items aren’t exactly toys for the mouth. As they get older, I won’t be as concerned (at 20 months, I am not concerned at all. It’s a very safe toy for toddlers!).

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The door stopper was a huge hit, so we might add a second to the board. It makes a great noise and is fun to flick.

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B enjoys the texture of the carpet.

 

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Just checking out her reflection. I didn’t add the blurry picture of her bending down to kiss herself in the mirror – so cute!

Updated: The toddlers still enjoy using these sensory boards on a daily basis. I am glad we put a variety of components onto the boards, because their interests and ability levels have obviously changed in the last year. Now, the mirror and door stop are less of a hit (though still fun!). Instead, C uses her fine motor skills to slide the lock.

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B still enjoys spinning the wheel as well as feeling the texture of the broom.

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These boards are super durable and will hopefully be passed down through a few generations of children!

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Please “like” my Facebook page for more DIY crafts and activities – not just from my own blog but from many other amazing bloggers!

 

DIY baby/toddler toys: Sensory Bottles and Treasure Baskets

Sick day(s)!

I think I remember calling my twins’ first illness “a cold” in my last post. As in, just a cold. Some sneezing and sniffles, nothing a mom can’t handle, right? Well. Not 10 minutes after I published that post on Saturday night, Lil C woke up crying. When I went up there, I found she couldn’t take her pacifier because she couldn’t breathe through her nose. While B lay in his crib a few feet away, I tried suctioning out C’s nose which not only didn’t work, but made her cry louder. Then I panicked, thinking she might be in some pain, and gave her Tylenol, which in my arms, she projectile vomited that and her bedtime bottle of 9 ounces all over the babies’ floor.

With C now really crying, my husband is trying to clean up the milk/Tylenol mess because the Tylenol is RED, and the carpet is TAN. (Ah, that’s why we should’ve chosen a darker color rug) He’s using a flashlight to scrub, C is screaming and now B’s awake, crying as well. I’m COMPLETELY covered in vomit.

Good times. And she was up all night, coughing and gagging on what was dripping down her throat.

Now, a few days later, we are skipping playgroup but slowly on the mend. Still lots of mucous of all colors, stuffy, coughing, terrible sleep – these babies are a mess. What little cold was I thinking of? Two nights ago, I found that C could breathe better if she were straight up and down. Elevating the mattress wasn’t enough. So I pulled up a rocking chair in the next room, and we snuggled in for the night. I got no sleep, but C was breathing better. Last night, she luckily was okay in her crib.

Anyway, this isn’t a little cold by any means. It’s so hard to see your babies suffering and being so sad. There wasn’t any fever though, just strictly a nasty cold with lots of tears and yuck.

And of course, all four of us have this cold now. In the future, I’m wondering how parents possibly avoid getting whatever illness their children have. I don’t think it’s possible – especially with babies who need to be held and snuggled. So we all feel crappy.

 

Since we are home and have been recuperating the last few days, I decided to bring out some new toys for the babies to enjoy. I’ve been on a DIY kick lately, and have a few projects in the works. I have to give credit where it is due – the majority of the projects I’m working on come from The Imagination Tree – this woman is amazing. Her ideas are cheap and easy, and awesome for kids. Here are a few completed toys:

Sensory Bottles

I’ve been working on this one for a while. For a cheap set of toys for babies or toddlers, sensory bottles are a great way to change up what your child plays with every day. You can be really creative, make many bottles, or just a few, but it’s so easy to do.

First, I collected water bottles. We only had the larger, standard size at the time which is fine for older babies, but the younger ones can grab onto the smaller bottles easier. After washing the bottles and caps and letting them air dry, I filled them with an assortment of items I either had around the house or bought at the dollar store. Some have water added and some do not. I super-glued the caps on, and I keep them in a basket. SO easy!

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From left to right, here are the bottles I made:  1)Water with pink plastic hearts and small beads, 2) Pompoms of different sizes, 3) Water with silver glitter (you need a lot of glitter for a good shake!), 4) Pipe cleaners, 5) water with standard colored beads, 6) small bottle with plastic buttons of different colors, 7) small bottle with plastic necklaces, and 8) Water with yellow food coloring and dish soap

*Another great one that I haven’t yet made is ripped up pieces of tin foil – so shiny!

Again, you can be creative or not, add whatever you’d like, but the idea is to stimulate the different senses. I have a few bottles that make loud noises when you shake them, a few that are great for future color identification or counting, and a few that show slow movement and are great for visual stimulation.

So far the babies love to shake the two smaller bottles, and hold onto/look at/try to eat the bigger bottles.

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Part of my reason for making some of my own toys is that I can keep them for years and use them for different purposes as the babies get older. Right now, they’re all about making the bottles crackle and looking at the colors and shine, but in the future I’m hoping to use the bottles for counting, rolling, and that sort of thing.

 

Treasure Baskets

What I like most about this idea is that you can store these baskets away and bring them out on a rainy day or when the babies are fussy. Or, in this case, on our Sick Day when we need a pick-me-up.

Using cheap baskets from the dollar store, I filled one with regular items from around my house that are safe for babies. We have so many light up, sing-song toys in our house that are great but also do the work for the babies. Treasure baskets are supposed to be for exploration – you put in items that aren’t toys, giving children the opportunity to feel and discover different materials.

I’ve only made one basket so far, but I’d like to make a few with different themes. The Imagination Tree shows baskets full of wood products (like a wooden spoon, wooden blocks, etc), soft textures, crinkly textures, and so on.

This basket has a variety of items from around my house but not with any theme to it.IMG_4242

As you can see, there is a pot holder (clean and new 🙂 ), a bath mit, two fake foods, measuring cups and spoons, etc.

I gave this basket to the babies for the first time and it kept them happily engaged for a good half hour, which in baby time = forever.

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Checking out the basket for the first time..

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They seemed to really enjoy the contents of the basket. And it was great for their fine motor development, as they had to use their fingers/whole hands to pick up oddly shaped items. For the first time, I witnessed C with something in her right hand but an item on her right side she wanted to grab. She transferred what was in her right hand to her left, and then grabbed the object on the floor.

It’s the little things.

Treasure baskets are awesome for different textures and sizes. As the babies get older, you can still use these for toddlers but can switch out any of the items for things that might be more appropriate for their level.

With sick babies who only took a half hour nap (ugh) this is all I’ve got time for at the moment! I’m hoping to make more toys – it’s very satisfying for me and good for the babies.

For now, it’s time to bring out the basket again I think, this cold has them quite fussy…