Halloween/Fall Sensory Bucket

I know it's after Halloween, but I just got around to taking a picture of this yesterday. I got most of the items at the Dollar Tree, Target and Wal-Mart. She loves the little bugs and LOVES dumping the whole thing on the floor.

Pumpkins and gourds
Foam pumpkins
Pumpkin straws
Halloween stencils
Bugs, skeletons, spiders and bat rings
Stuffed spider
Sparkly leaves
J is for Jack O'lantern flash card
Shiny pumpkins
Halloween colored pompoms
Pumpkin erasers
Bat erasers
Jelly bracelets

Happy Halloween!

Every September we visit an apple orchard and I started taking these pictures when Sweet P was just 4 months old. The pumpkin gets moved around the orchard so you never know where it'll end up, but it's always there. I know Baby Brother isn't in these pictures so I threw one of him at the end so he could wish you a Happy Halloween, too!

4 months old

16 months old

28 months old

3 weeks old

Tot Preschool: Letter F

Sweet P is 29.5 mos old

Getting behind on these letters! So I'm going to try and pump these 3 out!

Auntie RoRo was here for all of Letter F and did a few activities with Sweet P while we were in the hospital. We watch videos in the morning while Sweet P eats breakfast. We watch letter videos from Kids123TV. Some of them are good and some I could do without, but she likes them and they are catchy.

Bible Verse: Every good and perfect gift is from above. ~James 1:17

We slacked on our bible stories the week we got home from the hospital so I don't have a bible story from this week.


Letter F Fish: This doesn't quite look like a fish, but pretend anyway. Sweet P was sitting across from me so I didn't realize the F was backwards until I went to hang it up. Oh well! She had fun anyway.

COAH's doadot F: Once again we used smiley face stickers for letter F.

F tracing: I can't remember where I got this page. I've had it for awhile and it's been recycled since I took this picture, but she did a pretty good job with the tracing! She also colored each of the pictures one color (as you can see at the bottom).

F is for Firetruck from A Heart for a Home: These are lowercase letters and Sweet P really did a great job with coloring the numbered portions the right color.

DLTK's doadot F: She always does a good job with dotting these in different colors.

F Collage: We had lots of F stuff this week and tons of flower stickers to put on her collage.

Paper Plate Frog: Auntie RoRo found this idea in a video about 5 Little Speckled Frogs. It turned out so cute! (This was done while we were in the hospital).

Other activities: 

Cutting/Tearing/Sorting: This started out as a sorting game with pony beads and star stickers on a strip of card stock (the card stock is what is ripped up). She wasn't super excited about the sorting, but after I showed her a few, she finished the last couple. After that, she ripped each star off the strip and then wanted to use her scissors so this turned into a fun little activity! She also poured pony beads in and out of her two pitchers.

Letter F puzzles: We have a set of these puzzles and I pulled out the 2 that started with letter F (fox and frog). She does great with these and usually wants to do more.

Animal magnets and letters:

"Food" puzzle: She loves this puzzle with the baker on it.

Monster "Face": Auntie RoRo brought this for Sweet P and she had so much fun putting on his face several times. I taped a magnet to the back (our doors are metal) so she could hang it up and the stickers are removable. We updated it this week during H week as well!

Upstairs Shelves:

Melissa & Doug Farm Animal Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Hide n Seek Barn: I couldn't find this online, I found it at a consignment sale last year and Sweet P loves it.

We added to other wooden puzzles when Gammie got into town that she found at Goodwill.

Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetable Puzzle from The Iowa Machine Shed: I need to take a picture of this, but this is a really neat puzzle Gammie bought Sweet P when she was here over the summer. It is fruits and veggies that pop out.

We read several library books that started with F during this week and Sweet P and I went to story time while Auntie RoRo stayed home with Baby Brother.

Pumpkin Painting

I wasn't sure how Sweet P would like this because sometimes she's in to paint and other times, well, she's not. She L-O-V-E-D painting this pumpkin (it's from the farm!).
I used tempera paint and put 6 colors in a palette, then let her go to town. She started out doing single colors and then decided to mix them all.

After it dried she put foam Halloween stickers on it.
It turned out pretty awesome, don'tyathink? Such a fun, easy and cheap craft!

Pipe Cleaner Spider

I saw an activity with pipe cleaners and a strainer awhile ago at The Imagination Tree and thought it'd be a great way to make a "spider" this week.

Auntie RoRo got Sweet P these super fun pipe cleaners. They are sparkly and Halloweenish colors. After showing Sweet P how to stick the pipe cleaners into the strainer, she went to town.

We talked about how spiders have 8 legs and she even made it into a hat!

She couldn't wait to show the Farmer her spider hat when he got home.

Healthy "Caramel" or "Candy" Apple

Like I said in the MTM post, this idea came from a Parents magazine a year or more ago. They had three ideas and I took two of those and mixed them together (using almond butter instead of peanut butter).

These are SO easy and so quick. Sweet P loved it and it was such a fun treat for her. Can't wait to make another one!

The Recipe: Healthy "Caramel" or "Candy" Apples

What you need:
1 (or more) small apples
popsicle stick(s)
almond butter

Wash apples and insert popsicle sticks into the top. Spread almond butter along the bottom of the apple until covered. Dip apple into granola. Serve!

You could also use raisins and peanut butter. Yum!

Muffin Tin Monday: Pumpkin-Style


I found the idea for this healthy "caramel" apple in a Parents magazine before Sweet P had teeth and finally got to use it today! Let's just say she was SUPER excited about her almond butter and granola apple. It was such a simple treat!

Besides the apple, we went with a pumpkin theme today. We love punkins around here!

Clockwise from top left: Tomato pumpkin with spinach leaf, almond butter granola apple on a stick, clementine pumpkin with spinach leaf, cheese white pumpkins, carrot pumpkins, cracker pumpkin with spinach leaf and raisin face.

I love that the tomato slices look like jack'o'lanterns!

Check out what other moms are making their kiddos at Muffin Tin Monday (click the button at the top)!

Tot Preschool: Letter E

Sweet P is 29.5 mos old

I don't even want to know how I'm going to try and remember what we did for Letter E, especially since a Baby Brother came at the end of Letter F and we're now at the end of Letter G! But I'm going to give it a whirl! Auntie RoRo was here for all of letter E.

Our verse: "Every good and perfect gift is from above." ~James 1:17
Bible figure: Elijah


Letter E collage: We did her letter E collage on the letter E this week instead of making a letter animal. Auntie RoRo found some awesome "eco-friendly" themed stickers for this activity.

Paper bag Elephant: This was a simple craft and she fed him food from her grocery store.

E is for eye: Sweet P and Auntie RoRo did this octopus while we were in the hospital. This is another page out of our coloring book that has eye stickers.

E dot page with stickers: Same as previous weeks, we used star stickers for the dots this time after she dotted each dot with a dry erase marker.

E is for Ear: Auntie RoRo made this ear and had Sweet P color it while we were in the hospital. She was too cute holding it up to her ear. They also talked about how ears are for listening.

Dry erase spelling: We do this each week, this is just the first time I remembered to take a picture of the board since I had the camera in the basement. We have Melissa & Doug animal magnets and I fish through them each week for an animal that starts with that letter (obviously there isn't always one). Pretend those are an elephant and that the letters spell Elephant. I take the magnets off and write the word and have her place the matching letters on the board.

E doadot from DLTK: Sweet P dotted this in blues and greens.

Earth doadot from DLTK: This was also done in blues and greens and we talked about the Earth.

Lowercase e coloring page from Developing a Heart for Home: These are the cutest coloring sheets! We have one for each letter and it is a color by number activity. This was the first we did and it was a little tough for her, but the other 2 we've done she has done really well! She colors the numbers first and eventually colors the rest of the item. E is an elephant.

Upstairs shelves:

Elephant puzzle from Target 1$ spot
Body Parts puzzle from Target 1$ spot

Downstairs shelves:

Marbles, bouncy balls and a measuring cup

Dominoes: We did several activities with dominoes, including building fences and train tracks.

Other activities:
We visited the Bridges of Madison County with Auntie RoRo and Uncle Will this week, went to the farm and visited the Sculpture Garden downtown. It was a super warm week so she even got to play in the little splash pools downtown (even though the water was FREEZING!).

I know I'm missing activities and maybe Auntie RoRo and can remind me of a few things. We had a great week with Auntie Ro and Uncle Will and got to meet Baby Brother at the end of the week!

Thankful Thursday

We have SO much to be thankful for these days, but here are a few of the things that top the list.

Thankful for our sweet baby boy and big sister Sweet P.

Thankful for Auntie RoRo and all she did while she was here visiting. I can't begin to put into words how much it meant for her to come back to stay with Sweet P while we stayed in the hospital and the help she was to us when we got home.

Thankful for Gammie, who is still here! For all she's done for us and the sweet grandma she is to our babies. And for extending her to stay to help out a bit more (and so she can attend a few Halloween parties with us!).

And thankful for TK (Auntie Kannon) for sending these pumpkin faces (think Mr. Potato head) for Sweet P to play with (so I could get these awesome pics) and for coming to visit in a few more weeks!

Muffin Tin Monday


Muffin tin meals are super easy, especially after you've just had a baby and need to put something together quickly. Auntie RoRo helped out with this one and made sure Sweet P got some good protein. No theme, but she ate almost everything (save a carrot or two).

From top left: cheese, strawberries & raspberries, ak mak crackers, spinach & tomatoes, tofu, carrots

Tot Preschool: Letter Dd

Sweet P is 29 mos old

Note: I started this before Baby Brother was born and I finally got around to posting it!

Letter D was a little bit of a sparse week as we prepared for Auntie RoRo and Uncle Will's visit. We still did a lot of fun activities, they just weren't all related to letter Dd.

Bible Story: Daniel and the Lions' Den
Read from: A Child's First Bible & Baby Bible Storybook

I made up a song for Daniel and the lions' den and Sweet P acted it out a few times as we sang. We sang the song throughout the week and I wish I had a way to teach you the tune. Here are the words:

Daniel, Daniel, in the lions' den,
God sent an angel to watch over him.
Hungry lions didn't take a bite,
Faithful Daniel slept through the night.

(Now I'm pretty sure Daniel probably didn't sleep much that night, but the rhyme worked and I like to think he was so deep in his faith that he caught a few winks.)

Bible Verse: Jesus said, "If you love me, obey me." ~John 14:15

1+1+1=1 Dot Duck: She picked blue and pink this week as her colors and also wanted to dot other parts of the duck. Sweet P loves these!

Dog coloring page: She colored this and put stickers on it Sunday morning before church.

Dog coloring page: I originally had this for the picture on the opposite side, but she wanted to color the poodle on the horse as well and asked that we hang it up on that side.

COAH doadot D: Again, we used stickers. Sweet P likes to stick the circle stickers to the fingers on her right hand and pull them off with her left. She saw me doing it and wants to do it like that every time.

Dinosaur D: She wasn't too into her letter animal this week because she REALLY wanted to go grocery shopping in her grocery store in the basement. So when we finished the dinosaur we fed him a bunch of food from the store. She also said, "These are triangles!" about his spikes.

Mixed media art: She wanted to use her art kit one morning so she used doadot markers, regular markers, a little bit of the water colors and stickers to decorate this page.

D collage: Filled with dogs this week!

Tot Trays:
Quilted numbers: I laid these out one at a time and she put the right number of flat marbles on the number. She liked to "slide" the marbles down the number before placing them in a spot.

Flat marbles and bouncy balls: Lots of fun with these. She put them in different containers and poured them back and forth between two large measuring cups. I love that she calls them "narbles."

D puzzles: Gammie got these puzzles for Sweet P and I pulled out the two that started with D. She does a great job with these.

Dog/duck magnets: I placed a dog and duck magnet on her dry erase board and the appropriate spelling of each animal with magnet letters. When we did this activity I handed her the magnet letters and wrote the word up on the board. She placed the appropriate letter on each of the drawn letter and then we'd make the sound of the animal.

Animal Memory: I used our tent pocket chart and placed 9 cards in the slots. I handed her the 9 matches and she correctly matched the animals. We did this a few times this week. We also tried to play the actual game of memory, but it's still a little advanced for her.

Upstairs Shelves:
Animal puzzle from Target $1 spot this year: She LOVES this puzzle and we probably did 100 times this week

Transportation ("Driving") puzzle: I found this at a garage sale this summer

Daniel and the Lions' Den puzzle

One Drowsy Dragon by Ethan Long

Other activities:

Playdoh Stamping: We did this twice this week. The first time she used letter D and a few small stamps from our stamp collection. RoRo brought her a bunch of stamps so we did it again on Friday with paw print stamps, another letter D and snowmen Sweet P loved.

Grocery Store: See upcoming post for more details.

Tot School