Book Review: Feminist Baby

During a target run, one of our toddler’s grandmas saw Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz and we had to check it out. Once we saw it perfectly described our daughter, it had to come home with us. Her grandparents were nice enough to purchase the book for us and it will be a new favorite in our home.

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This is a well illustrated and really funny board book. Feminist Baby has an incredibly positive message for little girls (and boys too). The book takes on issues like gender stereotyping in silly way that children will enjoy.

The concept of introducing serious concepts to little ones in books like Loryn Brantz’s Feminist Baby is wonderful and offers little ones an introduction to vocabulary and concepts that they can build on as they grow.

 

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Shape Truck Activity

Our toddler enjoys all things girl, but she also loves things that “go, go, go”. This shape truck is not only cute, but its a great way to work on shapes and colors. Never underestimate the educational value of art time!

Materials Needed

  • White Paper
  • Construction Paper of various colors
  • Glue
  • Scissors

 

We started by cutting out a few shapes. If your child is small, that is all you will need. If your child is in preschool or elementary school, you may want to provide a larger selection of shapes for them to pick from. If you have a lot of time, you may also want to just draw the shapes for older children and let them do the cutting.

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Next, we went over each shape and color. For toddlers, you can just say  things like “This is a black circle.” or “Would you like the pink square or the brown square?”.  For older children, have them pick the shapes then describe each one. After we went over the shapes and our little one decided which ones she wanted, we just helped her glue them on.

 

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Activities like this help hands on learners really soak in the information they are presented with. What is your favorite way to teach young children shapes and colors?

Mess Free Paper Plate Dino

Our toddler is really into dinosaurs right now. Yesterday, we decided to make a mess free dinosaur. It took some time to dry, but was fairly easy to put together and provided the fun of painting without the clean up time!

Materials Needed

  • Two Paper Plates
  • Paint (We let our little one pick two colors from four options. The amount of colors you use is up to you)
  • Plastic Sandwich Bag
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Googly Eye

 

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Start by putting the paper plate and paint of your child’s choice into a plastic sandwich bag. Our little one has been painting this way since about 6 months, so even the smallest artists can take part in this craft. Let your little one use the bag to spread the paint around.

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Then just switch to the other plate and start painting again!

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After the plates dry, its time to build your little ones dinosaur. One plate will the body. With the other plate, cut out two feet, a tail, and a head with a long neck.

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After that, simply let your little one glue on the parts. If your child is under one, you will probably want to do it for them.

 

 

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Once that dries a little, flip it over and help your child add a googly eye. If you do not have googly eyes, they can draw on a face, but we love googly eyes around here!

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If you want more dinosaur fun after making this one, check out our Open Ended Shape Dinosaur!

 

 

 

Campfire Craft

As we enter August, we will soon be welcoming cooler weather in Ohio. The end of August and the beginning of September are our favorite times to enjoy a campfire in our yard. Our toddler has not yet got to enjoy a campfire, but this should be her summer to get to do so. We thought this cute little campfire craft would be perfect for this time of year.

Materials Needed

  • White paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Yellow Paint
  • Red Paint
  • Orange Paint
  • Paint brushes (Optional, if your little one can not hold a paint brush, just let them dive in with their hands)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

 

 

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Start by cutting the brown construction paper into little strips. If your child is over 3, try letting them do it themselves!

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Next, let your little one glue the pieces of paper onto the white paper. We used liquid glue and put it all towards the bottom of the paper so it would form a pile, but the older your child is, the less guidance they will need.

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After your “sticks” are glued down, its time to paint the “fire”. We did one color at a time with the paint brush but you can figure out what will work best for the child you are working with.

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The end result was super cute and took under 20 minutes to complete from start to finish!

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Book Review: Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo

Last night before bed, we read Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg and Ross Burach. The cover caught our toddlers eye at the library and it did not disappoint.

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There is just something about sticky and yucky things that young children love. Our toddler is no exception. She is a giant walking mess. In this adorable picture book, Billy Bloo has become stuck in a giant pile of green goo. Our toddler is too young to play with slime, but if you have a slime lover in your home, this book is sure to make them giggle. The book does not describe how little Billy Boo got into this situation, but it does follow his journey as various people come to help. Unfortunately, the good Samaritans also get stuck! In the end, Billy Bloo is the only one who is not in the goo. This interactive book has really cute rhymes and the illustrations are really fun. We highly recommend picking up a copy!

Paper Plate Flamingo

This flamingo craft is a vibrant, fun art project for little animal lovers. Our toddler has really enjoyed going back to look at it hanging on the fridge. It is super easy to make and doesn’t require too many materials! It does make a bit of a mess, so if you are looking for a less messy alternative, try our Paper Flamingo.

Materials Needed

  • Paper Plate
  • Pink Paint
  • Paint Brush (Optional. Let your little ones use whatever is comfortable for them
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Orange Construction Paper
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Googly Eyes

 

We started by helping our little one paint the paper plate pink. We are working on getting her to hold a paint brush as fine motor skill practice, but at 19 months, she still prefers using her hands.

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Next, we let the plate dry. We started right after breakfast and picked it up after dinner. We cut the plate in the middle and then followed the ridge of the plate to make a flamingo like neck. After that, we cut just a little off of the neck portion. In our house, this was an adult step, but if your child is elementary school age, you could draw lines for the to follow and cut.

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After that, we had the little one “fold” two strips of orange paper for the legs. If you’ve ever done paper folding with a toddler, then you know that she just crumbled them into a ball and attempted to eat them. That is perfectly okay. It just gives it so much more character.

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Once the orange paper was “folded”, we helped our little one assemble the flamingo. We put on the legs and cut out the black paper into the shape of a beak. We finished it with some googly eyes.

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Great Pretend Play Toys

Pretend play is currently everything in our house. Our daughter will stand at her little kitchen and cook up a meal, or sometimes the occasional pony or dinosaur, then giggle as we sit down and pretend to eat it together. She has also recently discovered the joys of tea parties. I have some suggestions of great toys that will bring joy to your little one and let their imagination run wild.

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Farmers Market Color Sorting Toy $19.98

This 132 piece set is recommended for ages three and up and would be a great addition to any home or preschool setting. Children can practice a variety of skills or just take a fun pretend trip to the market.

Pretend and Play Bakery Set $21.49

This 31 piece set is recommended for ages three and up and will bring baking fun right into your playroom. Besides being fun, this set can also help with fine motor skills and with developing language skills.

Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen Set $189.99

 

This beautiful play kitchen is perfect from kids between three and eight years. This realistic kitchen even has a washing machine!

Farmers Market Pretend Play Cutting Board Playset $11.95

This 32 piece set allows your little ones to practice cutting on their veggies. It is recommended for little ones ages three and up. Not only will they enjoy “preparing” the food to cook, but this set will also encourage fine motor skills.

Examine and Treat Pet Vet Play Set $21.45

This fun 24 piece set from Melissa & Doug will capture your little animal lovers imagination. This one would also make an affordable addition to an early childhood classroom’s dramatic play area. It is recommended for little ones three and up.

 

 

We would love to hear from you! What are your favorite ways to encourage little one’s imagination. What are some toys the little ones in your home or classroom love?