Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Busy Bags FTW!

In my last post I talked about a Busy Bag swap I recently participated in. I just have to say, best. idea. ever. I never heard of this until a friend invited me but it is pure genius. Here is the low down.

I participated in the 1-2 yr old swap which had 11 people participating. I had to put together an "activity" that a 1-2 yr old might like to do. It had to be clean, easy, cheap, safe and contained in a ziploc bag. I made 11 of this activity, brought it to my friend's house, and we all swapped. So now I have 11 different neat things for Dominic to do! And because I think it is so awesome, and because I love you all, here are the 11 bags I received:

#1. Sparkle Bottles-The first activity consists of three bottles filled with *1-hair gel and glitter *2-water(I think) and glitter, letters, confetti, and other awesome stuff and *3 tissue paper. These are fun to shake and look at.

Dominic has mostly played with them like this:

#2. I Spy Bottle: An old water bottle filled with rice (you can also use sand), and other random items like a paper clip, dime, eraser, etc. Also included was a card with a picture of all the items included. Shake to find item. Fun. Though so far, Dominic has just tried to feverishly open it to dump everything out so it is a good thing it is glued shut. In a few months, he is going to love this.

#3. Cups and balls. This is proably Dominic's favorite thus far. Simple, but the possibilities are endless. 


Of course he is drumming away.

#4. Clothespin Bucket. I spent hours on teh interwebs (Pinterest especially) searching for an idea of what to make. After lots of pins and millions of great ideas, I put all the to waster and just made up my own thing. I chose this because Dominic loves taking stuff out and putting them in again so really I made it for him and hoped others would like it too. Also I had tons of old yogurt/cottage cheese containers sitting around which I wanted to use. I cut three holes in the top just the size of the clothesepins for them to be put back in. This was a really simple thing to do, but then just because I like to be difficult, I decided the containers were ugly so I covered them with scrapbooking paper I had laying around. Woops. Completely unnecessary and took way too long and I highly anticipate all the paper being torn off. Nonetheless, Doc likes this one too.

#5. Sensory Board: This is essentially a book of giant notecards with different textures and fabrics glued to the notecard (there is also a bell and some pom poms). Dominic might be either A. too old for this or B. too destructive. I'm going with b. Certianly saving this for the next baby.

 #6. Animal/Letter Book. Picture and name of an animal on one side, corresponding letter on back side, laminate, attach together.

 #7. Button Snake. This is so cute! You sew a button on one end, put a bunch of pieces of felt on the ribbon with a slit in the middle so they slide on the ribbon. Then sew the ribbon to a piece of felt on the other end.

#8. Pom Pom Push It. Dominic has played with this one a lot too, and it is so simple. I love it. Take a container and make a few holes in the lid. Make sure the holes are smaller than the pom poms so they are a challenge to put through.

The apples are not part of the activity, he is multitasking. :)

#9. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. We haven't gotten to try this yet, but I am so excited to! It was laminate and had the words and pictures: car, fire hydrant, leaves, house, mail truck, school bus, sidewalk, squirel, stop light, stop sign, tree. It also included a crayon so you can check off things when you see them. I might make more of these more catered to our neighbordhood but also can see that this would be good for a car ride (and for years to come).

Sorry about the poor picture.
#10. Bag of Foam Shapes. This is too very simple but great. I like asking him to find the "blue one" or "green one", and the same with shapes. 

#11. Egg Carton. Another favorite in our house. Cut a egg carton in half. Put pom pom inside plastic eggs. Paint corresponding color in each space. Color, motor skills, in and out, this has it all. 

Sometimes we have more than one activity out, and the other day Dominic combined two:

Those five of you who read my blog frequently or know me in person, know that my Dominic sits still for almost nothing. I have found very creative ways to keep him busy with stuff around the house but this just makes it so much easier.

So make them on your own, or organize a busy bag swap among friends (it's much easier to make multiple of just one activity). I'm so grateful to have been part of this and cant wait for the next one! There are TONS of Busy Bag ideas on teh interwebs for the 1-2 or 3-5 age groups. Hopefully this post gives you some good ideas.

And btw if you aren't a recovering gamer like I am, FTW means "For the WIN". This is certainly WIN.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random Thoughts

*Last night we made homemade pizza. It was super easy since I cheated and used the bread machine to make the crust. I don't mind thin crust but I love me a nice thick one so I made enough for two pan pizzas. Only 55 mins in the bread machine and the dough was ready! Dominic helped me then roll it out (I threw one of them around a little, how could I not!) Dominic was also a big help spreading the sauce and sprinkling the cheese on them. Everything was going perfectly until Doc took a nice big hunk of the yummy fresh mozarella and threw it on the ground proclaiming "GET IT!" to our hovering dog. Yep we've created a monster. The pizza however was DELICIOUS.

*We don't feed Payton at the table, but we do give him our scraps afterwards, so Doc whenever he is done with something will throw it on the ground and yell "Get it!" to Payton. Oh boy.

*Speaking of which, what do people with kids who don't have dogs do? Seriously. Do you people clean up after yourselves??? I shudder at the thought.

*The other day it snowed. I know people hate me for this but, I love it. Even though it was just a dusting, it was the funnest thing ever because it was Dominic's first time really seeing snow (he didn't really pay much attention last year.) He was so excited. We went to bring Payton outside and then it really started coming down and Doc and Payton were both running around going crazy. Pure joy.

I didn't teach him to stick out his tongue to catch the snow, that part my friends is pure, raw, instinct.

*I went to "tupperware" party this morning (I use quotes cause it was really laid back, food, fun, fellowship); it was wonderful! I spent the day with some amazing like-minded Catholic women. It is so nice to have faithful ladies to talk with. Food for the mommy soul.

*At this party we exchanged Busy Bags. Best. Idea. Ever. There were eleven of us who participated so we each came up with an ziploc bag contained activity (for 1-2 yr olds) and made eleven of them. Then we swapped! So I have 11 easy and fun activities to keep my very active won't sit still for nothing boy. We've already broken out a few of them! My next post with be a little more in depth about this and I'll share all the wonderful activities people made.

*Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Saints Day and Eve

We have had a fun last couple days. Despite being a little under the weather with colds. On Saturday, we went to the next town over for Pumpkin Fest. It was cold and rainy, but awesome. Dominic absolutely loved his first parade. He enjoyed waving and saying hi to every single person on the floats that went by and simply loved all the marching bands, fire trucks, ect. I have to say the whole things was quite nostalgic for Geoffrey and I.

We were both in the DHS marching band and marched in the Pumpkin Parade ourselves all those years back. I'm not one to spend too much time thinking about my High School days as I believe the best days are right now and yet to come, but Geoffrey and I did have some fun times in marching band, it is how we met afterall.
Our family enjoying the parade. Photo credit:

And then of course, All Hallows Eve. We took Dominic trick-or-treating for the first time (just to the houses of family members) and it was such blast. Geoffrey said at one point "this is why I had a kid, so I have an excuse to dress up and trick-or-treat again." He cracks me up. Yes we were that crazy family that all dressed up in a matching theme. Love!

If you aren't as much of a Batman fan as we are, Geoffrey was the Joker, Doc was Batman, and I was Harley Quinn (joker's henchman and girlfriend from the game Arkham Asylum). Dominic's Aunt Chrissie knit the super cute Batman hat. It was a little big, which is even better because we will be getting a lot of use out of it as the best winter hat ever for years to come!

The of course the great Feast of All Saints and All Souls. We had some great prayer time as a family, asking for the intercession of our own little Saint, Ellen, and calling on all our patrons. On All Souls we prayed for all of our relatives still in Purgatory, and said special prayers for those we know who passed this year (Nikki and Justin in particular).

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine unto them.
May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

I hope you've had a great week also!