Self Portrait

Young children are continuously working towards forming their own self-identity. The activity we are sharing today is a great way to encourage children to explore how they see themselves. This activity is also a great way to reinforce the concept of facial part recognition for children who are still learning the parts of their face.

Materials Needed

  • Two Pieces of Construction Paper (We used white and a piece of paper from a set of multicultural construction paper. I let my toddler pick which piece of paper from the pack she wanted to use to represent herself.)
  • Glue
  • Magazine Clippings of Face Parts
  • Scissors
  • Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils

I started this activity by having my daughter look in a mirror. I asked her to point to her nose, mouth, and eyes. We talked about what color her eyes were. Next, I had her pick two eyes, a nose, and a mouth to glue onto the construction paper. I offered her no guidance when she was gluing. Instead, I let her put everything where she thought it should go.

After my daughter was done with the gluing, I drew an outline around where she put her face parts.

Next, I cut it out and asked her to glue the face onto the white construction paper. If your child is preschool or early elementary school aged, let them draw the outline around the face and do the cutting themselves. This is great fine motor skill practice.

To finish this activity, I had my toddler pick a marker to draw her hair.

My daughter enjoyed this activity. The end result looked nothing like her, but that is fine. We will all enjoy looking back at this self portrait when she is older. Just under a year ago, we did a slightly different version of this activity. It was fun as a parent to look at both of them together. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing several more self exploration activities that we are excited to share with you.

How to Help Your Child Overcome a Fear of the School Bus

While we officially have just over a month left of summer, most schools in our area start at some point next week. This is a hectic time for many families. It might also be a stressful time for some children who are anxious about riding the school bus. Today, we want to share a few craft and book suggestions to help children overcome their fear of the school bus.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions expressed are our own**

Crafts

This paper plate craft incorporates painting, cutting, and matching!

Photo Credit: Honey & Lime

This easy shape school bus is made with paper and is simple enough to fit into a hectic day!

Photo Credit: Look! We’re Learning

Books

I’d love to hear from you! How are you getting ready for the start of a new school year? Are your children anxious, excited, or a mix of both?

Tissue Paper Ice Cream Craft

Summer is sadly almost over. We could not let the summer go by without creating an ice cream themed craft!

Materials Needed

  • Brown Construction Paper
  • White Construction Paper
  • Red Construction Paper
  • Tissue paper cut up into squares
  • Glue
  • Scissors

I started by cutting out a triangle from the brown paper, a half circle from the white paper, and a small circle from the red paper.

Next, I helped my toddler glue tissue paper onto the white paper.

After that was dry, we glued the white paper on top of the brown paper.

To finish this craft, I flipped it over and helped my toddler glue on the red circle. This is a super simple craft, but my little one had a lot of fun with it!

Toddler Diaper Bag Must Haves

When we were preparing for our daughter to join our family, we put a lot of research into finding a diaper bag that would be functional and durable. We ended up with several that all have their unique uses. However, our sweet girl has quickly grown into a very active toddler. As children grow, the things you need to pack in their diaper bag changes. Today, we want to talk about a few things we consider essential in every toddler’s diaper bag.

Diapers or Underwear

Image by Mahesh Patel from Pixabay

It is pretty obvious that you should pack diapers in your diaper bag, but even if your toddler is potty trained, never leave the house without an extra pair or two of underwear! Also, do not be tempted to leave the house with only a few diapers even if you think your toddler won’t need more than one diaper change. Toddlers can be just as unpredictable as infants when it comes to their potty habits!

Baby Wipes

Do not take the wipes out of your diaper bag once your child is potty trained. They will still come in handy!

Two Changes of Clothes

Image by freestocks-photos from Pixabay

We never leave the house without two extra outfits. One is not always enough.

Snacks

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

When my daughter was younger, we’d always have a little baggy of Gerber Puffs or Cheerios. Now that she is a bit older, it is still important to pack snacks. We now usually select pretzels or cheese crackers. You never know when a toddler will decide that they need something to eat immediately.

A Bib

Our little one does not usually wear bibs at home anymore, but packing one in her diaper bag helps us cut down on outfit changes while we are in public.

A Book

Image by Wokingham Libraries from Pixabay

There are two reasons that we like to bring at least one book in our daughter’s diaper bag. First of all, having easy access to books in early childhood helps encourage early reading and language skills. Secondly, our toddler gets bored very easily and we like to help her stay entertained without technology.

A Spare Sippy Cup

Image by Stephanie McNeil from Pixabay

This is a recent addition to our diaper bag. Our toddler has now broken two sippy cups while we were out in public. If one falls on the floor at just the right angle, it is done for. To avoid last minute trips to Target or Walmart, we have started packing an extra cup.

Hand Sanitizer

Image by Adriano Gadini from Pixabay

We are not overly afraid of germs, but we feel like with as much as our toddler touches in public, clean hands are a must. Since soap isn’t always an option, we like to carry hand sanitizer.

We hope you find our list useful! We would love to hear from you! What are your diaper bag must haves? How much has your must have list changed as your child grows?

A Simple Guide to the DAS Pass at Disney World

Traveling to Walt Disney World is an exciting experience. However, it can also be overwhelming. If you or a person you are traveling with have a disability that limits the ability to wait in a conventional queue environment, Disney has a system to make things a bit less stressful. The current program is called the Disability Access Service (DAS) pass. We used the pass last spring and would like to share some useful information about it.

Getting the DAS Pass

You will need to go to Guest Services at a park to set up the DAS pass. This can be done inside or outside each park. We went shortly after we got to Disney. We had planned on spending that evening in a park, but we never actually got inside the park, because the line was very long and by the time we actually got the pass, our child was ready to go back to the hotel. I do highly recommend getting it the night before your first full park day if possible. This can help prevent missed park time. There is no medical documentation needed, but you will be asked to explain why exactly the person needs the pass to wait outside the lines.

How it Works

Once you have the pass, you will visit the attraction you want to ride. The person with the DAS does not have to approach the attraction. Anyone who has been put on the pass by guest services can request a return time. The Cast Member at the attraction will give you a return time for that attraction that is typically based on the current wait time minus ten minutes. You can only get one DAS at a time, but you can use an existing fast pass, ride a ride with little wait time, or find somewhere quiet to rest while you wait. For example, if you want to ride Peter Pan’s Flight and it has a 70 minute wait time, they will likely have you come back in an hour. During this time, you can find rides in the area with typically low wait times such as the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and the Mad Tea Party. After that, you can sit or have a snack until it is your return time. Our daughter discovered she loved popcorn during our trip, so we would refill our popcorn bucket and find an off the path place to sit. Since Disney banned smoking in the parks, the former smoking areas are now wonderful places to take a break!

A Few Other Things You Should Know

The DAS pass is not given out for mobility based disabilities. If you cannot stand in line, they will recommend you use a wheelchair or scooter. As someone with a rare disease that comes with both mobility and non-mobility related issues, I highly recommend either taking your own wheelchair or renting a scooter from an off-site company. Renting a scooter daily from the parks can get expensive and there is a lot of walking involved outside the parks. If you believe that a DAS card alone will not accommodate a specific disability, please talk with guest services about the specific needs. Disney is probably one of the most accommodating places on earth. They may not be able to address every specific need, but they do try to make every guest’s visit enjoyable. Even though they do not require documentation, please only use this program if it is something that your family needs. The former disability pass was widely abused, so the current DAS was designed to help prevent some of that abuse.

We would love to hear from you! What are your tips for surviving a Disney trip? If you or a loved one has a disability, have you used the DAS system? What other disability friendly travel destinations has your family visited?

Paper Plate Jellyfish

Recently, we have been working on crafts and activities that focus on the ocean and things that live in or near it. Today, we want to share a fun painted jellyfish with you.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for any purchase made from our links**

Materials Needed

  • Paper Plate
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush (Optional. My toddler used her hands)
  • Glue
  • Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Googly Eyes

I started by cutting the bottom off of the paper plate in a wavy pattern. After that, I put several paint colors on the plate.

Next, I let my toddler start painting. She decided to use her hands, but you could let your little ones use a brush or even a sponge.

While the paper plate was drying, I cut up strips from the tissue paper. We used a metallic tissue paper that looked different on each side.

After the paper plate fully dried, i flipped it over and helped my daughter glue on the tissue paper.

Finally, after letting the glue dry for a short time period, I flipped it over to let my daughter glue on the googly eyes. This craft is a bit more messy than most of what we do, but it was a big hit!

Book Suggestions

Small children learn best when books and art or activities are paired together. Here are our suggestions to go with this craft.

For more ocean fun, please check out our open ended shape fish and our painted sea turtle!

The Essential Guide to Disney Gifts for Kids

In our house, we love all things Disney. Our daughter is obsessed with almost every Disney movie and cartoon that she has ever watched. She loves getting new Disney related toys and clothing. Earlier this month, we posted a list of adult Disney themed gift ideas. Today, we want to share some gift ideas for children.

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions are our own**

Hair Accessories and Ears

Stuffed Toys

Kids Furniture

Books

Building Toys

We hope you enjoy our list of gift suggestions. We’d love to hear from you. What is your child’s favorite Disney character? What is their favorite Disney toy that they already have?

Open Ended Ocean Art

Yesterday, I wanted to find something that would encourage my daughter to be creative, but we did not have a lot of time. I came up with this open ended art that has limitless possibilities for creativity. I am writing this blog post with the intention of sharing what we used for this activity, but you can use whatever you have around the house to help your kids create a beautiful ocean scene that is unique to them.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made through our links. All opinions expressed are our own**

What We Used

  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Googly Eyes
  • Plastic Easter Grass

I started by cutting rock like shapes from the brown construction paper and cutting fish shapes out of several other colors of construction paper. I left the blue paper whole so we could use it as a background.

Next, I helped my toddler glue the Easter grass near the bottom of the paper.

After that, I handed her the rock like shapes one by one. She put them where she wanted them. When she was done with the rocks, I gave her the fish to glue on. We did this art project in the evening, so I wanted to keep it simple, but you can add as many elements as you would like.

After my toddler had everything glued down, I helped her put a googly eye on each fish. The finished art project gave us a beautiful ocean scene that showcased my little one’s creativity.

Book Suggestions

Small children learn best when you pair up books with related art projects or learning activities. Here are some books that would go great with this ocean art.

For more ocean fun, please check out our Painted Sea Turtle and our Open Ended Shape Fish.

Painted Sea Turtle

My toddler loves anything to do with the ocean! Today, we made a painted sea turtle.

**This post may contain affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, for any purchases made from these links. All opinions expressed are our own**

Materials Needed

  • White Paper (I used paper from a large roll)
  • Green Construction Paper
  • Googly Eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Green Paint
  • Pen or Pencil (Optional. I draw out shapes before I cut them)

I started by drawing then cutting out an oval from the white paper. After that, I cut a head, two front flippers, and two back flippers from the green paper. If your child is old enough to cut out the shapes themselves, you can let them do so. It is great fine motor skill practice.

Next, I let my toddler paint the white paper. She used her hands, but you can also have your little one use a paint brush or a sponge.

We had to wait awhile for the paper to dry, but once that happened, I helped her glue the green construction paper parts onto the back of the painted paper.

Lastly, I helped her glue on the googly eyes.

Our finished product was an adorable sea turtle that looks like it is ready to swim away.

Book Suggestions

Children often learn best when books are paired with arts or activities. Here are some book suggestions to go with this cute craft!

We hope you and your little one enjoy making this fun sea turtle! If your little one is also ocean obsessed, we will be publishing several more ocean and fish related crafts and activities in the near future! If you can not wait for more crafty fun, check out the crab craft we did last summer!

Great Disney Gifts for Adults

We have written a lot about our love of all things Disney. Mr. Not So Crafty and I got married in Disney World over ten years ago and it has been such a huge part of our life ever since. Many people view Disney and Disney related merchandise as something just for kids, but today, we are sharing our favorite Disney related gifts for adults!

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission for purchases made from our links, at no additional charge to you. All opinions are expressed are our own.**

This lamp will delight Star Wars fans!

Give the Gift of Mickey Waffles.

This little pouch is great to take to Disney or for any occasion.

This cup is perfect for coffee loving Disney Fans.

This sock set is just too cute to pass up!

This bag is functional and fun.

I hope you enjoy these gift ideas! We would love to hear from you! What do you think of our list? Do you have a Disney addiction? What kind of Disney related products will you never outgrow?