Crafting with Little Man

I love doing crafts, so I have been impatiently waiting for Jack to be able to join me. So far, he just wants to eat the crayons. I bought him a Crayola marker that only works on special paper. He seemed to enjoy that for a couple minutes, but had even more fun ripping up the paper regardless of the masking tape I used to stick it to the table.

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Either way, I know he’s still using his creativity and analyzing what’s in front of him with all 5 senses.

I found a site with some great toddler craft ideas! The site doesn’t seem to currently be working, but I believe it was called Wildflower Ramblings. It had a good list of crafts for 1 year olds including one we did to make a present for my mother’s birthday. I used clear contact paper and stuck it to the table with the sticky side facing up. I gave Jack a pile of different colored pieces of ribbon that I had cut in about 1 inch lengths. We also used some fabric scrapbook flowers. I let him stick them to the contact paper. When he was done, I added a paper heart and sealed it with a second sheet of contact paper. An iron helped to make an even better seal. I trimmed the excess and wrote a note on it with a sharpie. It was his first craft present!

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This was a great project for his age. I was surprised he did not try to eat any of the ribbons. He spent longer working on it than I expected. He would pick up a ribbon, examine it, wave it around, stick it on the contact paper, and peel it off to do it all over again. I love that we can do it again using different colored ribbons or other materials to stick on. Even better, there was no mess to wipe up!

Another activity we tried from that website was playing with pompoms and a muffin tin. He did put them in his mouth a couple times but spit them back out. I guess they didn’t taste very good.

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He liked dumping the pompoms out or taking them out one by one. He’s not as interested in putting things inside other things yet, only dumping out things and taking things apart. He’ll put a couple megablocks together but would rather take them all apart. This will be a good activity for us to keep doing together so he can work on that skill and, later on, sorting as well. For both projects, I pointed out the colors of the ribbons and the pompoms.

I’m really enjoying watching him closely examine everything and looking forward to the times when we can be drawing together side by side. For now, his serious expression as he holds up a pompom to look at closer is the greatest thing I could want to see.

Hello 2016 (Year of the Non-recluse)

The new year is here, phew! Time for a little self-analysis. The last year certainly had its ups and downs. On the negative side: our dog Dusty passed away, some of our family is further away, and some of our family went through an upheaval. On the positive side: Jack is a healthy, happy boy, I get to see him every day at home, and my husband and I have a strong, loving marriage. I wouldn’t trade our little family for the world!

My husband was especially excited about 2016. He has a theory that even numbered years are good, and odd years are bad. We are not generally superstitious people, by the way. We met in 2006, married in 2008, and our son was born 2014. On some of the odd years, we experienced deaths in the family. There were many other little ups and downs, but those are the big ones. Hopefully 2016 holds something amazing for us. Almost everyone has goals or resolutions for the year. Mine are as follows:

• Don’t become a recluse. Sounds odd, but it’s true. As a stay at home mom and quiet introvert, I find that I can easily go days without leaving the house. I get caught up entertaining the little one at home and enjoy staying in our nice, warm house a bit too much. Sometimes I really need to push myself out the door. I’m going to avoid becoming a hermit this year.

• Get more fresh air. This can go hand in hand with the first one. It’s too easy to stay indoors in this cold weather. If we get a warmer day, I need to bundle up Jack and spend some time outside. I always feel more refreshed afterwards. Summer is no problem, we walk every day. Winter is the tough part.

• Organize and simplify. We have boxes in our basement from when we moved in a few years ago that I should go through. If I haven’t needed something in that time, I should consider rehoming it. Also, I would like to finally paint our master bathroom, the last room in the house to be painted. There are many other smaller easy projects around the house that I would like to finally get to as well.

Of course, I could also say the overused goals – eat healthier, be a good mom, take care of myself and my family – but I feel like those should go without saying. Those are ever-present goals for life in general that carry forth each year.

Now that the holidays are through, I hope everyone can look forward to this new year with a fresh outlook. The past year may have held some tough times for you, but this new year is a clean slate. And remember, don’t become a recluse. Explore that world out there!

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