Tag: DIY

Eggspiring Easter Hunt For Newborns

Easter egg hunts are fun to do and one that we enjoy doing in our home. With my daughter being three, her understanding of the Easter Egg hunt is impeccable especially if it involves finding chocolate. This makes the preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt easier but with a new addition to the family I had to think of a way to involve her as I would hate for anyone to feel left out (my newborn niece won’t notice but I will). 😉

My sister is the much more creative one and she has always come up with ways to make holidays and occasions fun for my daughter so this time I wanted to do something special for her daughter this Easter season.

I thought long and hard about how I can incorporate a newborn friendly Easter Egg Hunt and after a trip to my local dollar store…I came up with a simple way and it was going to include the parents!

I am calling this activity, “Eggspiring Easter Hunt.” So how does it work? Let me give you my simple instructions for some Easter fun for all.

Eggspiring Easter Hunt

This Easter Egg Hunt will involve the parents to do the hunt on behalf of their newborn but of course they can carry their baby with them as they search. There will be decorated eggs hidden in the areas that you have picked for the hunt. As each egg is found, there will be an inspirational quote attached to each one. These messages can be kept to inspire the baby as they grow. These can be used as good wishes for the baby.

Instructions

  1. Purchase Easter eggs that are either already decorated or that you need to decorate yourself. We purchased our ready decorated Easter eggs from our local dollar store.
  2. Come up with some inspirational quotes to add to each egg. We used some classic Disney inspiring quotes as they mean a lot to our family.
  3. We added the quotes to a bunny shape template. Once the quote is added you can cut out the bunny and if you have an older child, they can color it for the baby. If you would like a printable template, click here.
  4. Attach the bunny with the inspirational quote to each egg. We used a pipe cleaner that we attached to the string already on our eggs.
  5. Then on Easter, hide them when the parents are not looking. 😉
  6. Then start the Easter Hunt magic. Watch as each message is read out loud and see the parents enjoy the inspiring wishes for their newborn.

With these steps above, you will have included one of the youngest members of your family and even though they may not know exactly what is happening. They will appreciate the thought as they grow with the inspiring messages around them. But this too will make the parents of the newborn glow with love. I know this is how my sister will feel.

We can’t wait to try this activity out this Easter and spend some great family time together. That is the one thing that I love the best about the different occasions we celebrate as we get to spend time with those that we love and care for.

If you are celebrating Easter, I would love to hear from you on how you are celebrating in the comments below.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

 

 

Myfunvelope Brings Creativity Right To Your Door

Have you ever wonder what crafts or activities that you can do with your child? Have you looked for a craft subscription option to help you?

There is a solution and an affordable one. Let me first introduce you to Kyla.

Kyla is a mom of six wonderful children in Saskatchewan, Canada. Five of her children were all under the age of five and it was a bit of a challenge as she needed to find ways to keep her older children engaged in activities. Kyla thought that a craft subscription would be a perfect solution to help her. However, after a lengthy research she found very few affordable options were available in Canada. Therefore, she began prepping little crafts in snack bags to give to her children and they LOVED them! This is where the idea of “Myfunvelope” bloomed. Kyla wanted to offer the opportunity for other moms to access an affordable monthly craft subscription and this is exactly what she did.

Myfunvelope is for children ages three to nine. Every month your child will receive a funvelope in the mailbox. They will discover and have fun with four unique craft projects that follow a fun monthly theme. They will also receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity for hands-on building that is fun and sometimes hilarious! Markers and scissors are also provided with your package and the cost of this no tie-ins subscription is $18 on a month-to-month basis. All children can enjoy the activities every month as the themes are never holiday related to make it inclusive for all.

We got to try this month’s Myfunvelope and I have to say it was a great one! It is superhero month and my daughter loves superheroes!

The first thing that our daughter noticed was the cape and mask which was the first to go on (and stayed on for hours after)! Then we got to try the fun activities throughout the weeks.


There was the Pop-Up Superhero Activity, Superhero Straw Shooter, Superhero Magnet, Cape and Mask and the STEM activity was creating a flying superhero to measure distance. That one was really fun!

What we loved about the craft package was that it had everything that we needed to do all the activities. It saved us a lot of time and running around in getting any of the little things needed to make craft success.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give “Myfunvelope” 5 super powers out of 5! If you would like to try this subscription it is super easy to start! All you need to do is sign up and let the crafting begin! Don’t forget to follow Myfunvelope on Facebook and Instagram for some great crafting ideas!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

5 Halloween Munchies Recipes

Written By: Karen Silva
Twitter

We all know that every good Halloween party or get together, needs some munchies to keep your little monsters full and satisfied. I will share with you some “not so scary” Halloween munchies, that are easy to make and yummy to your tummy.

Remember to use your best judgment as to which tasks you can have your child help you with.

Ghost Popsicle’s

What you will need: Bananas, White chocolate wafers, Chocolate chips and Popsicle sticks

  • First unpeel your bananas and cut them in half.
  • Melt your wafers until your white chocolate is liquid (I did mine in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Then dip half of your Popsicle stick into the chocolate and stick it into the end of the banana.
  • Once completed, gently dip the whole banana into the melted chocolate and add three chocolate chips (two for eyes and one for a surprised spooky mouth).
  • Then set all the done ones onto a tray over wax paper and put it in the freezer for about an hour.

Veggie Treat

What you will need: A large tray, veggie dip, baby carrots, broccoli and cucumber

  • First lay out your baby carrots in to a circle shape and use the broccoli as your stem of your veggie pumpkin creation.
  • Remove the baby carrots from the areas in which you would like to have the eyes and nose and place a small container with veggie dip in those places.
  • Finally remove the baby carrots to create your mouth and add some sliced cucumbers in that area.

Monster sandwiches

What you will need: Toast bread, cold cuts, mayo, cheese, circle shape cookie cutter and green olives with opening

  • First with your cookie cutter, cut out circle shapes on your toast bread slices.
  • Once completed, assemble your sandwiches using your mayo first, then cold cuts.
  • Before you add your cheese, use a knife to design your cheese slices to look like sharp teeth.
  • Once you have added that and put another circle piece of toast bread you are ready to add your eyes. That’s right you guessed it! Use the olives as your monsters eyeballs.
  • To keep them in place you can add a tooth pick to each one, just make sure your guests can see the tooth picks so that they can pick them out before taking a bite.

Sweet and sticky pumpkins!

What you will need: Rice crispy Squares, Rolo chocolate and green cookie icing

  • Feel free to make your own Rice Crispy Squares from scratch. Or you can just buy a box of Rice Crispy Squares, add two drops of Orange food coloring on each, pop them in the microwave for 8 seconds and then shape them into a pumpkin.
  • Once you have that done stick one Rolo chocolate on the top as your pumpkin stem.
  • Now you can stop right there or you can use the green icing to create some more detail on the pumpkin like leaves.

Eye love cupcakes!

What you will need: Your favorite cupcake recipe, white buttercream icing, red icing, black icing and lifesaver candy

  • First make and bake your favorite cupcake recipe and then set them aside to cool down.
  • Now comes the fun part… decorating!
  • Spread your white buttercream icing on all of your cupcakes.
  • Then place one life saver in the middle of each cupcake.
  • Using your black icing fill in the hole in the middle of the life saver to complete the look of your eye.
  • Finally add your final detail using the red icing and drawing out some veins.

I hope I didn’t make you drool too much! All of these ideas are super easy to make and it doesn’t take too much time to make.

Until next time mombies!

 

5 Halloween DIY Decoration Ideas

By: Karen Silva
Twitter

My niece and I are super excited that fall is finally here and Halloween is the cherry on top of the cake for us! Now that she is three she has a lot more opinions on what she wants to be this year and boy let me tell you how she surprised me with her suggestions. Some of her costume ideas were a zombie, cat and a witch. Not your typical little girl asking to dress up like a princess.

Now shopping for a costume this year with her will probably go without a hitch. So I decided to roll up my selves and focus on Halloween art projects to do with her instead.

Here are my top five Halloween art activities that you can do with your children.

*Please use your best judgment on which tasks your child can help you with for each activity, as you may have to do some of the tasks that involve using sharp objects alone.

BOO!

What you will need: White balloons, Black markers, White mesh sheet, string, tape, and scissors.

  • First blow up your balloons (as many as your heart desires).
  • Then together with your child draw on your ghost faces.
  • Once completed drape over your White mesh sheet over you balloon and with your finger roughly estimate where you should cut a small hole at the top of the sheet (make sure you don’t pop the balloon).
  • Then in the small hole on top tape one end of the string and the other end, use it to tie it up somewhere.
  • To add a nightly effect to your ghosts you can add a small glow stick into your balloon before blowing it up.

Haunted House

What you will need: Brown recycled boxes, black marker, Ruler, scissors and tape

  • Using your ruler draw out wood stake shapes out of your recycled boxes.
  • Then with the black marker draw on some lines and fake “nails” to make it look like its pieces of wood.
  • Once you have a couple made, tape them to your windows to make it look like a haunted house.
  • You can also use the recycled box to make “Keep out” signs or other creative Halloween themed signs.
  • Once you have decorated the outside of your home, be sure to add some cob webs and throw in some fake spiders for a creepy look.

Halloween treat bowl

What you will need: A plastic serving bowl, Halloween stickers, fake spiders and a hot glue gun

  • Let your child go crazy and decorate the whole bowl with Halloween stickers. I found a box with over 250 Halloween stickers at my local dollar store (we did not use them all).
  • Once completed ask your child where they would like the fake spikers to be placed as you hot glue them down.
  • Then fill your bowl with Halloween candy and either treat yourselves leading up to the day or use it as your serving bowl for your trick or treaters.
  • Another idea is to glue a bunch of fake googly eyes all over your bowl.

 

Oh my monsters!

What you will need: Construction paper, scissors, tape and markers

  • Cut all your construction paper into different shapes (circles, triangles, ovals, squares, etc).
  • Then have your child be creative with how they want their monster faces to look using markers.
  • Once completed tape them around the house or on your doors and windows for all to see.

*You can also make the faces using other colored construction paper and then gluing them down to add more detail*

Fake Hands

What you will need: Clear latex gloves, fake red blood, Pudding, Jell-O or candy

  • First make your pudding or Jell-O recipe and fill up your latex gloves (This will give your hand a very squishy and creepy feeling). Remember not to fill it up all the way to the top because you need to tie it so the liquid doesn’t spill out.
  • Then using a string or laundry clip hang the gloves in your fridge until the pudding and Jell-O harden.
  • Once completed dip or splatter some fake blood on your fake hands and set aside to dry. Once it is dried, place them around your yard or even around your house as a Halloween decoration.
  • You can also fill your latex gloves with candy instead and place them around the yard, splattering some fake blood over it. If your little monsters are a little scared of the look of fake blood then just skip that step all together.

I hope this inspired you and your children to be creative this year and create some of your own Halloween decorations instead of buying them. They add a personal touch and create great memories.

Until next time my fellow mombies!

About the Author

Karen graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently joined Momma Braga and has become an expert writer for the blog. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

5 Creative DIY Father’s Day Crafts

By: Karen Silva
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

Dads…The one we call our hero and the one that will do anything to put a smile on our face even through the toughest times. So why not show him how much he is loved and appreciated by making some special crafts with your little one, to give him this Father’s Day.

Here are my top five favorite Father’s Day crafts.

*Please use your best judgment on which tasks you will need to do on your own for the safety of your child*

#1 Dad in the world

What you will need: Gold plastic cups, glue, hot glue, decorative foam shapes and Gold or Yellow pipe cleaners

If you haven’t guessed it, this activity is all about making a trophy for our #1 dads. I found my Gold plastic cups from my local Party City store. However, if you do not have one or are having a difficult time finding some, you can always wrap normal plastic cups with Yellow or Gold construction paper. Once you have your Gold cups, hot glue the bottom of the cups together. Then together with your child glue the foam shapes onto the cups. You can also write #1 dad on the trophy. Once that’s done, hot glue each pipe cleaner to each side of the cup to make handles.                                               

I love you to the moon and back

What you will need: Construction paper, glue, scissors, markers and a picture of your child with dad.

On one construction paper draw and cut out a spaceship. Glue the spaceship onto a black or dark blue construction paper. On a red construction paper trace and then cut out your child’s hand print and glue it to the bottom of your spaceship. Then glue the picture you have to the top of the spaceship (you can cut the picture to a circle shape, so that it fits perfectly to the top of the space ship). Have your child decorate the spaceship with markers. You can add some stars and the words “I love you to the moon and back.”             

Why I love you

What you will need: Thick popsicle sticks, markers, construction paper, hot glue, nuts and bolts.

On a construction paper glue down the thick popsicle sticks to make a border. Write down on the construction paper “Why I love you” and write down your child’s answer. Have your child decorate and color the popsicle sticks. Once completed hot glue the nuts and bolts onto the popsicle sticks.

Suit up with love

What you will need: Tie and fabric paint.

Make sure you and your child is suited up and ready to go as this activity may get messy. Get a plain tie but make sure it is dad’s favorite color. Together with the fabric paint decorate it and then set aside to dry. To make this activity easier you can always make a tie out of construction paper and hot glue a safety pin to the back so dad can still wear it.

Best Dad Hands Down

What you will need: A white apron and fabric paint or regular paint.

Same idea as the activity above; however, when decorating the white apron make sure that your child puts a couple of their hand prints on it. You can even write on the apron “Best Dad Hands Down.”

Whether you choose to do any of these activities or something different for your special dads in your life; I would love to see it, so make sure to tag me on Twitter.

Have an amazing Father’s Day!


About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

5 Fun Activities For A Rainy Day

By: Karen Silva
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

Some parents cringe when it starts to rain as they worry about their children having meltdowns from being indoors all day or at the thought of them getting messy in rain puddles. But really there is no need to fear if you can make it a fun day for them and for yourself.

Here are my top five favorite activities to do using simple recycled material that is perfect for a rainy day.

*Please use your best judgment on which tasks you may need to assist your child with*

Talent Show

What you will need: Empty tissue box, paper towel roll, elastic bands, tape, straws, caps from jars, popsicle sticks, rice and decorative materials (for example: markers, paint or stickers).

Throwing a talent show will not only keep your kids busy for a long time but it will get them to show off their talents. You can make fun instruments and more using recycled items if they want to show off their musical skills.

To make a guitar, glue the paper towel roll onto the side of a tissue box. Then stretch out the elastic bands over the opening and tape it into place. To make a flute, get a bunch of straws and cut them from smallest to largest; then tape it all together. To make a mini guitar, first wrap the elastic bands over the cap, then glue the popsicle stick to the cap of the jar. Finally, to make the shaker, cover one side of the paper towel roll with paper and tape, then fill it with rice and cover the other side. Don’t forget to decorate your instruments, then its lights, camera… Action!

Bowling

What you will need: Ten empty water bottles, a ball, paper and decorative material (for example: markers, paint or stickers).

First decorate all ten empty water bottles. If you do not have a ball you can always use a yarn ball or make one with crimpled up paper wrapped in tape. If you want to make this game a little more challenging you can add some water into the bottles to weigh it down.

*Fun tip: You can paint the empty bottles with glow in the dark paint. Then all you need is a black light and you have your very own glow in the dark bowlerama.*

Painting like a Pro

What you will need: A few water bottle caps, a large container cap and hot glue.

First, cut a hole in the large container cap, large enough to fit your child’s thumb. Then once that is done, hot glue the water bottle caps to the large container cap. Fill the caps with different colors of paint and then they will have their very own paint palette.

Sink or Float

What you will need: Half of a soda bottle and decorative materials (for example: markers, paint or stickers).

First, cut the soda bottle in half and tape the top so it isn’t sharp to the touch. Then decorate it as your boat. Then together think of some items that you want to put in it to see if they’re going to sink the boat or if it will float. You can write these items onto a piece of paper to record your results. Example of items you can use for this game is an eraser, paper clip, a bag, rice, marbles, stones, etc.

Octopus, Bubble bees and Butterflies? Oh My!

What you will need: Toilet paper rolls, googly eyes and decorative materials (for example: markers, paint or stickers).

Making little characters out of toilet paper rolls is not only fun but a great way to decorate your bathroom. To make the bumblebee have your child paint the toilet paper roll with yellow paint. Once that is dried, they can paint on the black strips. Finally cut out the details with construction paper to add on and glue on your eyes. To make the Octopus, first paint the toilet paper roll and then set it aside to dry. Then with scissors cut slits on one end of the toilet paper roll and bend them to make the legs. Then decorate it together and don’t forget to glue the eyes.

Even though it may be gloomy and rainy out doesn’t mean that your home has to be. Creating fun art activities and games to play around the house will keep your kids happy and entertained. If you decide to do any of these ideas or others on a rainy day, I would love to see them. You can tag me on Twitter @Karenbabydoll22.

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

 

Five DIY Craft Ideas For Mother’s Day

By: Karen Silva
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

We all depend on her, she is always there for us and is our rock during hard times. Yes I am talking about Mothers! Who would we be without our moms? I can’t imagine my life without mine. Some may say that they are “daddy’s girl”, but I am all “momma’s girl” and damn proud of it. I still remember my mom’s expression every time I presented her with a homemade gift for Mother’s Day. Seeing her so proud and happy with my crafted gift, made me feel like a million bucks.

So what better way to show your mom how much you care then to take the time to make something special for her! I will with you my top five favorite Mother’s Day crafts that are simple to do with your kids.

*Please use your best judgement on which tools and materials you will need and feel is the safest to use with your child*

A Handful of Compliments

Material Needed: Colored construction paper, scissors, pencil, glue and markers.

First draw a vase and cut it out. Put the vase aside as you will be using it afterwards. Now with your child pick about five different colored construction paper. On this construction papers, trace your toddler’s hands and once all traced, cut the hand prints out. On each hand print ask your child 5 reasons why they love mom. Write each answer on each handprint. Write the question on the vase that you cut out too. Then cut out five strips out of green construction paper for your stems. Glue the handprints to the stems and then the stem onto the vase.

Cooking with love

Material Needed: An apron or oven mitts and fabric paint.

If you choose to use over mitts to decorate, remember to decorate only the top and not the bottom. For either one of these ideas have your child suited up and ready to go just in case things get messy. With hand over hand guide them with the fabric paint to decorate the oven mitts or apron. Once you’re both satisfied with how it looks, set it aside somewhere that’s at room temperature and let it sit to dry completely before gifting it.

Pandora’s Box

Material needed: Wooden or White jewelry box, glue, picture of your child with mom, paint brushes, regular paint and glitter paint (optional).

I found my wooden jewelry box from my local dollar store along with all my painting supplies. Together with your child decorate the outside part of the jewellery box and set it aside until it dries. Once it is dried, glue the picture you have inside the jewelry box on the bottom.

My Cup of Tea

Material needed: A white mug, a plastic bowl, lukewarm water, toothpick and nail polish.

First make sure that your white mug is washed and dried. Then have your toddler choose the color of nail polishes they would like to use to decorate mom’s mug. In the lukewarm water add drops of the nail polish in without having the tip touch the water. Continue this process until you both are satisfied with the amount of drops you have put. Then quickly with the tooth pick swirl it around to make a design with the nail polish colors. Together dip the white mug into the water, only half way and hold it in there for ten seconds. Then place the mug somewhere to dry before gifting.

*In case you get nail polish on either of your hands or on the bowl remember that you can always remove it with nail polish remover.*

A Whole Pot of Love

Material needed: Flower pot, paint brushes, paint and flowers

Together with your toddler visit your nearest flower shop and pick out flowers for mom. Together decorate the flower pot with the paint supplies you have and set aside to dry (I found my flower pot at my local dollar store). It is best to choose flowers that come in a plastic pot, as it will be easier to insert it into your decorated flower pot once it is dried.

I hope I have inspired you to try one of these great Mother’s Day crafts for your loved one. Remember to always add your child’s name and the date somewhere on the craft as a keep sake. To all the momma bear’s out there reading this… Thank you for all that you do. You’re doing a fantastic job and your child/children are proud of you, love you and honour you, even if they don’t show it all the time.

Have an amazing Mother’s Day!

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

 

Easter Activities For Toddlers

By: Karen Silva
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

It’s that time of year again where you hang up your “mommy” or “daddy” title and become the Easter bunny. I am super excited for this year’s Easter because my niece is now two and half years old and she has a better understanding of going “Easter egg hunting”. I know how much children love chocolate and the headaches parents get with the sugar rush resulting from the chocolate eating (can you say Halloween all over again); therefore, I decided to give my niece a different type of Easter egg hunt. One that will not only keep her entertained but one that will save my sister and brother-in-law from a toddler sugar rush.  

I got two bags of colorful empty Easter eggs, Easter themed stickers and stamps from my local dollar store. In each egg, I added stickers and since I had four Easter themed stamps I added one to four different eggs along with some stickers. Of course I didn’t just stop there, I knew that if I didn’t incorporate some sort of chocolate we may have a tantrum on our hands. So I got her one chocolate surprise egg. My recommendation is to have the chocolate found last, by either hiding it after all the other eggs are found or it is given when you feel is right. Also as a bonus add on, I hid a small sticker book (also found at my local dollar store) so that she had something to put all her stickers in.

The Easter egg hunt and just playing with the stickers and stamps can keep your toddler entertained for quite some time. However, if your toddler is anything like my niece, who loses interest in something quickly. Then you can try one of my top three favorite Easter activities to do.   

Decorate Easter cookies

For this activity you can make a batch of your favorite sugar cookies or you can buy a prepackaged cookie decorating kit. Together with your toddler you can decorate these cookies with icing, chocolate chips and even some sprinkles. I have purchased my prepacked cookie decorating kit at my local Wal-Mart.

Fluff up that bunny!

Pre-cut the shape of a bunny out of White construction paper. Together with your toddler glue down some cotton balls. Once dried have your toddler create the face with some paint.

Decorating Eggs

Once you have boiled your eggs and let them cool completely, the real fun with your toddler can begin. Together you can decorate them using markers, paint, or even food coloring. Just remember that it can get messy so be prepared with some extra clothes and a large space to work on. If you choose to use the food coloring, remember to add only a few drops of the food coloring into a bowl of water (a little goes a long way) and instead of using your hands to dip the egg in, you can use a spoon.

Remember that you can’t control the activities you have planned, whatever happens will happen, but the important thing is that you are creating memoires and having fun.

If you choose to do any of these activities or any other ones, I would love to see them. Be sure to tag me on Twitter @Karenbabydoll22.

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

 

Tis the Season for Christmas DIY Projects

By: Karen Braga
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

The holidays always bring people together and sprinkles a little special magic in the air. So for this holiday season why not do some fun Christmas activities with your toddler.

I will share with you my top ten favorite DIY projects that you can do to either decorate your home or to give as a personalized gift to someone special. Remember when doing activities with your toddler always set up a good working station. Also make sure you and your toddler are wearing old clothes if you are working with paint. So play your favorite Christmas songs and let’s get started.

Top Ten DIY Projects

  1. Personalized Christmas Ornament

*Please note that you can find some ornaments that are thicker and will not break easily; however in case you don’t, just work over a soft surface.*

Materials Needed: Plain White Christmas Ornament (I got a couple of mine from the dollar store), Paint, Glitter (optional) and Glue.

First, have your toddler pick the colors of paint that he/she wants to work with and put some on a paper plate. With hand over hand, guide your toddler to add some paint on their brush and have them decorate the ornament. For a more simple/personalized decoration, you can add some paint onto your toddlers hand and have them hold the ornament. This will leave their hand print on the ornament. Once dried you can have your toddler add some glue and then sprinkle some glitter over the glued areas.

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest
  1. Christmas Stockings

Materials Needed: A Plain Christmas Stocking, Hot Glue Gun (for your use only of course) and some decorations of their choice. Some art decoration ideas for your toddler would be pom poms, Fabric Paint and Christmas Foam Designs.

Place the stocking in front of your toddler and have them hand you the decorations that they would like on it and where they would like it placed. You can also have your toddler fill the stocking with some Christmas treats and little gifts.

  1. Stuffed Snowman’s

Materials Needed: A sock of your choice (you can use a plain White one or get a Christmas themed one), Rice, Three Elastic Bands, Materials to make a snowman face and hot glue gun (for your use only of course).

This idea is super cute, fun to do and also a great sensory play for toddlers. Hold open the sock and have your child scoop up some rice with a scooper or with their hands and put it in the sock. Together fill the sock close to the top but not all the way and tie it tight with an elastic band. This will leave a little piece of the sock sticking up and that’s ok as that will be the bottom of your snowman. You can either hot glue it down so it can stand up straight or fold it up. Now create your snowman layers by tying two elastic bands in two different spots. If you want to cover the elastic bands you can tie a ribbon around it. Once completed your toddler can hand you the materials for the face of the snowman. I used materials I already had around the house. For the eyes we used small buttons. For the nose I colored a tooth pick orange and cut a small piece (I put the pointy part sticking out however I added a small drop of hot glue on it so it wouldn’t be sharp). Then for the mouth we drew it on with a marker. Feel free to be creative by using different materials you already have and doing your own snowman design.

  1. Hot cup of love

Materials Needed: Tin of Hot Coco Powder, Mini Marshmallow, Plain White Mugs or Mini Jars, Candy Canes, Little Bags, Ribbon and Paint. Tip: I like to get my mugs or mini jars from Walmart as I can get a set for a lot less money than purchasing them separately.

This is one of my favorite DIY gift ideas because it is not only fun to do, you can also make a lot with it such as giving this as a gift to many people.

Make sure your mugs or jars are all washed and dried. Then by using hand over hand, guide your toddlers hand with the paint brush to create your design. Once your toddler is done painting, set them aside to dry. Hold open a small bag in front of your child and have them place some mini marshmallows in the bag and then tie it closed with a piece of ribbon. Repeat this step with your child with the coco powder. Have your toddler put a candy cane, bag of coco and a bag of mini marshmallows in the mug.  If you decided to use the mini jars instead of the mugs, you can put the coco directly in the jar followed by some mini marshmallows on top, then seal the lid and tape the candy cane onto the jar. Finally, don’t forget to add a tag with the person’s name on it.

  1. Christmas Wreath

Material Needed: Ring foam (You can find this from Michaels Craft store), Christmas bows, Christmas Tinsel garlands, Pom Poms, Hot Glue Gun (for your use only of course) and any other decorations you would like to use. *If you’re on a tight budget please feel free to cut out a reef shape out of a paper plate instead. However if you would like to use the ring foam from Michaels Craft store please check out their website, as they have coupons you can use towards your purchase.*

This gift is super cute and a great decoration piece. Add some hot glue onto the ring foam to secure on the end of the tinsel garlands. Together with your toddler wrap the rest of the tinsel garland around it until it is all covered and then glue the last piece down. Put some hot glue onto the Christmas bows and with hand over hand, guide them to place the bow on the reef. Other decorations such as pom poms, have your child hand them to you as you glue them down. Once you have completed your look it is ready to be given or displayed.

  1. A “Hand-Full” Christmas Tree

Materials Needed: Green construction paper, Brown construction paper, Scissors (for you of course), A Pencil, Glue and some art decorations of your child’s choice.

First trace your toddler’s hands onto a Green construction paper with your pencil. You will need a couple of them so if your toddler is getting inpatient have them walk away from the activity until you have traced and cut out the hands that are needed (you will need about 10). Also cut out a rectangle piece of Brown construction paper for the stem of the tree; however make sure it is long as it will be the support for the hands. Together with your toddler, glue four hands together (have the fingers facing down) onto the brown stem, as the bottom of the tree. Then glue three hands onto the stem, then two on top of that and then finally your last hand on top. With the decorations of your choice decorate the tree from top to bottom and don’t forget to add a tree topper. For a personalized touch you can add a small family photo as your tree topper.

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  1. Christmas lights

Material Needed: White Paper, Different Colored Paint and A Black Marker.

This activity is safer than it sounds. Together with your toddler add a small, thin amount of paint onto your toddlers thumb and place it onto the paper, leaving a thumb print. You can also add some of your thumb prints as well. Continue this process until you both have reached your desired look. Then with the black marker draw lines to connect the lights together (you can use hand over hand guide).

  1. Just for Santa

Material Needed: White Plain Plate (I got mine from the dollar store), different Colored Paint and a Black Permeant Marker (just for you of course).

This activity is super cute and will get all children excited for the big jolly guy. As you explain to your child how Santa gets really hungry after making all his stops, he likes to munch on snacks; so creating a special plate just for him will make him feel special.

Have your toddler paint the plate and then set aside to dry. Once completed you can write a message for Santa on the plate for example: “Dear Santa, hope you like these tasty snacks I have left you.”

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest
  1. Mittens

Material Needed: Colored Construction Paper, Glue, Scissors (for you of course) and the decorations of your child’s choice.

Cut out mitten shapes with the colored construction paper that your toddler has picked. Then with hand over hand, add some glue onto the mittens and encourage them to add the decorations that interests them. For a more complex activity you can get a solid colored pair of mittens for them to use; however decorate them with fabric paint.

  1. Pretty snowflakes

Materials Needed: This activity can get a little messy as it requires glitter so if you do not wish to use this then you can substitute it with paint or markers. Other materials needed is glue, tape and string.

Place your pre-cut snowflake designs in front of your toddler, then with hand over hand, add some glue to the snowflake and sprinkle some glitter on top. Repeat this step until all snowflakes are decorated. Then once dried tape your snowflakes onto your string and hang it up for decoration.

These are just some of the many DIY activity ideas you can do with your toddlers this holiday season. Remember to add some special touches yourself into the activity so it’s a special project made just from the two of you. Writing your child’s name and the year they made it on would be ideal to place on the back of the DIY projects as this will be an added memory for them and you!

If you make any of these DIY projects please be sure to tag me as I would love to see everyone’s creations.

Until next time…Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

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Simple Trick and Treats for a Friendly Halloween Party!

Special Guest Post

By: Karen Braga
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

Throwing a Halloween party can be sometimes a lot of work; however, it can also be a lot of fun. Between playing games, dancing to music or just mingling, your guests will be hungry. I will share with you some of my favorite simple Halloween themed foods and baking goods to have at your Halloween party. These ideas are simply delicious and yet fun to do with your children. Please use your best judgment as to which of these are age appropriate for your toddler or child to participate in.

Sometimes just creating spooking Halloween names to your home cooked meals and appetizers will get your guests talking. For example, you can have a bowl of spaghetti with meat balls and call it “guts with eyeballs”. Giving an ordinary dish a spooky name can even spark interest to those that are picky eaters. Another great idea is making little sandwiches that are Halloween themed. You can find some Halloween cookie cutters at your local dollar store and make them into charterers using toppings and other edible ingredients. Nevertheless, no matter what you decide to make please keep in mind of any allergies that your guests may have.

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Top five favorite easy recipes and ideas for meals/appetizers:

  1. Mummy is that you?

This dish is super easy to make and only requires four ingredients. Hotdogs, Pillsbury mini croissants, ketchup and mustered. First cut your hotdogs in half and put them aside. Then unroll each mini croissant and slice them into long pieces. Once you have done that wrap each piece onto each hotdog until you achieved your mummy look. Make sure to leave some room to add the eyes after it is done baking. Once golden brown and cooled off, use ketchup for one eyeball and mustered for the other.

  1. Pumpkin mini pizza

All you need for this one is English muffins, pizza sauce, toppings of your choice, black olives and cheese. First slice or break apart your English muffins and put them on your baking sheets. Then add your pizza sauce and cheese. With your peperoni and other toppings cut them in shapes you need to create your pumpkin face on your mini pizzas and then bake them.

  1. Eye see you tacos

This recipe is super fun and delicious. Ingredients required is hard shell tacos, toppings of your choice, sauces, ground beef, taco mix and black olives. I will explain how I make this dish but please feel free to use the toppings, sauces and meat of your choice.

First cook your ground beef in a skillet and follow the instructions on the back of the taco mix package. Once cooked and browned add it to each taco shell. For toppings I use avocado, cheese, tomato and green onions. Cut up all the ingredients and add them on top of the meat; however, not the cheese. Add your sauce like salsa or sour cream on top then add your cheese. For your eyes, add some salsa or sour cream to hold down your black olives.

  1. Not so scary devil’s eggs

You will need eggs, mayo, paprika, salt, pepper and black olives. Boil your eggs and then let them cool off. Dry off your black olives and cut just a few into thin slices and put them aside. Once your eggs have cooled down and the shell is removed; cut your eggs in half. Scoop out the yoke and put it in a bowl leaving the white part faced up on your tray. In the bowl mash your yokes into small pieces and add the rest of the ingredients in (salt, pepper, paprika and mayo), minus the black olives and then mix it. With a pipping bag or spoon, put the mixtures into the white part of the eggs. The final touch will be the black olives for decoration. Add one whole olive on top and some of the thin slices on each side of the olive to make a spider.

  1. Halloween burgers

This one is SO easy that it really will only take you a couple of minutes to prepare. All you need is hamburgers, buns, condiments and sliced cheese. While your burgers are cooking, cut a pumpkin face out of the sliced cheese. Be sure to create different faces as your guests will have fun picking one out for their burger.

For more meal ideas for your Halloween party be sure to check out Google or even my favorite app Pinterest. Now that your guests are full they will still look forward to dessert because no one is ever too full to have that. If you do not have any recipes to use or looking to make something new, be sure to check out one of my favorite websites: http://allrecipes.com/.

Top Five Favorite Halloween Themed Desserts

  1. Halloween cookies

Grab your favorite chocolate chip or sugar cookie recipe. Once your cookies are baked you and your child can decorate them with cookie icing, candies and chocolate chips. For my chocolate chip cookies, I like to have some chocolate chips show on top of the cookie. Then I add some melted chocolate to each side creating legs to create little spiders.

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  1. Halloween cupcakes

First make your cupcakes and let them cool off. Once they are all iced and ready for decorations grab your toppings. Have your child sprinkle some Halloween themed edible decorations on the cupcakes. For a more advance design you can make witch hats to add on top. All you need for that is a chocolate covered cookie as your base. Then with icing attach a Hershey kiss on top, and then to complete the look add some details with icing.

  1. Witch brooms

This one is very simply to do but it does require mini peanut butter cups so please make sure no one at your party has a peanut allergy. To cut costs I went to my local Bulk Barn and bought my ingredients there. You will need mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and straight pretzels. Unwrap your mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and face them upside down. With a knife make a small hole in the middle of the upside down peanut butter cup. Have your child insert the pretzel stick inside and there you have your witch’s broom.

  1. Mud pie

Kids love the name, they have fun making it and the taste of this desert. You will need clear plastic Jell-O or drinking cups. Ingredients needed is chocolate pudding, chocolate chip cookie crumbs and gummy worms. First have your child crush the cookies until there is nothing but crumbs left. Then make your chocolate pudding. You can choose to get the Jell-O pudding boxes and follow the instructions or if you do not have time you can buy the already made chocolate pudding and scoop it out as you assemble this dessert. Have your child add some cookie crumbs at the bottom of each cup. Then they can add about two tablespoons of chocolate pudding, followed by a gummy worm. Continue the process until the cup is filled but be sure to have the top covered with little cookie crumbs and gummy worm.

  1. Scary fruit

Be creative and use your imagination with this one. You can cut out a piece of an orange and get fake vampire teeth from your local dollar store to insert as its teeth. Another great idea is making fruit shish kabobs, it’s super easy to have your child assemble it while you cut up the fruit. You can display these shish kabobs in your pumpkin.

Overall, your imagination has no limits; however if you’re stuck be sure to explore the internet for ideas but always try to add a personal touch. Remember that cooking and baking with your child is an amazing learning experience and they are never too young to learn. Even toddlers learn a lot just by observing, so have them watch you and have them do simple things like putting the cupcake papers in the pan.

Until next time…. Happy Spooking!

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Karen is passionate and knowledgeable about Halloween. Combined with her ECE background and passion on Halloween, she has recently become an expert writer on the topic for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can help families enjoy this holiday.