Tie Dye T-Shirts

Here is a super fun activity!  Tie Dye your own T-shirts, apron, canvas bag, whatever you can think of to do!  I bought this kit by Tulip at our local craft store.  This kit used Neon colors such as orange, pink, blue, bright green and yellow.  There were other kits with a different mix of colors such as using Primary colors.

When you open up the box, you will find 5 colors with squeeze bottles, plastic gloves, elastics, extra dyes as well as this detailed idea booklet.  I chose to make the Bullseye design and Dylan chose the spiral. 

Time to get started!  The first step is to dampen your shirt.  The directions advised to wash your shirt in the washer first but we were eager to get started,  so I just wet our shirts under the sink facuet, squeezed out the excess and then wrapped the shirt up as pictured.  Here is a picture of our shirts wrapped and ready to go.

The longer shirt is for the Bullseye and Dylan's is wrapped up tightly in a ball for the Spiral.  Next step, get the dyes ready.  All that's needed to mix the dyes, is to add water, cap the bottle and shake.  So easy!

Let's get to dying those shirts now!  I happen to have two plastic containers that were perfect for pouring the dye onto the shirts.  The idea is to take the tip of the dye bottle and point it at where you want to the dye to go.  We also wanted to make sure to cover the shirt, so we had to make sure we got the tip into all the nooks and crannies.

Dylan is pouring the Blue dye onto his shirt.  Once you feel the shirt is saturated in color, place your shirt into a large ziploc bag overnight for the colors to soak into the t-shirt.

Here are our shirts waiting for the colors to soak in!

We waited until the next morning and here are our shirts fresh out of the ziploc bags! The top shirt is the Bullseye and the other the Spiral.   The next step is to wash the shirts individually in the washing machine using hot water.   I will post our final products up tomorrow!

Listen The First Time!

I often tell my five year old that I sound like a broken record when I respond to his incessant need to repeat things over and over again.  His response is usually "huh?"  or "What's that?"  I know I am definitely not the only one with a child that does not listen the first time.  Oh he does some of the time and those moments are wonderful but very few.  A few days ago, I told Dylan that every time I have to repeat something three times or he goes into a time out, that I was going to take away 5 minutes from his normal bed time.  He normally goes to bed at 7:20 PM.  That means, no more books, hugs & kisses are done, no more water - just lights out.  Two nights ago, Dylan had lights out at 7:15 PM and last night it was 7:10 PM.  So far today, he is still at 7:20 PM.  I swear the listening got much better since implementing this rule.  

Chore - Behavior Bingo Chart

I've mentioned before how much my son loves reward programs/charts.  These work for him so I continually try to think of new charts to keep him interested in whatever it is we are trying to do.  The past few weeks, we've been using a Bingo Chart.  It's a Microsoft Word doc that has 5 boxes across and 5 down, filled in so 25 boxes.  We start the chart on Sunday and it ends on Saturday.  Each week, I change the chores and/or behaviors depending on what he needs to work on that week.  Some ideas to fill in the chart may be:

Feed the dog
Sweep the floor
Make bed
Help Mommy
Help Daddy
Empty bathroom trash can
Help empty dishwasher
Set the table
Help clear the table
Brushed teeth in AM
Pick up 15 items around home/room
Good behavior while out
Great bedtime (no crying/whining)
Came in from outside without crying
Listen the 1st time
Empty the homeless bucket (a container of stray items that need to be put away)
Stay in your own bed until at least 6:00 AM

Often times, I have more than one of the above on the chart as I want him to continue the good behavior all week.  We've done a set chart for about four weeks now and what I've noticed is that, often I wish there was a blank spot to award him a bingo spot for something that is not on the chart.  This week, I talked to him about only putting specific chores/behaviors in some of the boxes and the others would be blank.  Then whenever I catch him doing some good behaviors and/or chores without me asking, I award him a spot.  He likes this as well, since now he gets to pick what box he wants colored in.  

The Reward:  The reward for him is $0.50 a bingo.  He loves getting money to be able to buy his own toys or treats so I award him fifty cents for each bingo he has completed on or before Saturday.  Only once so far, has he not completed all the bingos.  Every Sunday, he reminds me to print out a new Bingo sheet for him so he can get started on that week's chart.  

Want to download a copy of Dylan's Bingo Chart to make it your own?  Download it here and then leave a comment to let me know how you used your bingo chart.  

Wrap Strap for Shopping Cart

Recently I purchased The Wrap Strap Shopping Cart Safety Strap sold by OneStepAhead Baby.  I has never seen this product until I received an email advertisement from them and it immediately got my attention.   It made me remember what it was like when my first child was small enough and need to be strapped into a shopping cart.   The straps would either be broken or just caked with filth and germs from having so many other kids eating and/or wearing the straps before him.

The Wrap Strap Shopping Cart Safety Strap is a 4” belt that fits over the baby’s belly and Velcros securely in the back. I was surprised by how plush the fabric felt, when I first got my hands on it.  I also noticed the Velcro closure on the back was quite large so it seems as it would be good for different size children. 

Excited to try out the Wrap Strap on my 7 month old, who ordinarily at this age, would not be sitting in a shopping cart, we headed to Walgreens to pick up a few things.

I lifted Tyler out of his car seat and sat him in the front of the cart.  I can see where this might take a little skill but luckily for me Tyler was very cooperative as I sat him in the front seat, threaded the Wrap Strap through the bars and across his belly.  I was then able to secure him in by using the Velcro backing.  

The Verdict?  I love The Wrap Strap Shopping Cart Safety Strap! As a mom, I have to bring lots of things when we travel even if it's just a trip to the local grocery store.  Sippy cup, snack, teething toys, reusable grocery bags.  So do I really want to carry one more thing into the stores with me?  Yes!  This one is easy.  Because it velcros, I can strap it to the baby's car seat handle or right onto my diaper bag.

Another fantastic use for the Wrap Strap is if you kitchen chair allows, you can actually strap the baby into a seat for a feeding.  For us this would be a great idea when visiting Grandma.  As with all products, please use this strap with caution and never leave your babies side when using.

Here is a link to where you can purchase one for your child!  OneStepAhead Wrap Strap Shopping Cart Safety Strap 

The Shape Game

My five year old came up with a great game idea that I wanted to share. He calls it 'The Shape Game'.  We were in need of something to do and he declared "Mom I have a great game idea! I'll go set it up."  And he did. He took sheets of paper and drew different shapes on them.  Then he laid them out from the kitchen through the hallway.  Dylan laid out the shapes in a pattern and then he advised me that on each shape we would have to do something different.  For example, on the squares we would hop on one foot, on the triangles, we would march and on the circles we would do jump 'n jacks.

It was a fun game and we switched up the shapes and made different patterns.  It got quite silly after a while.   What a great game to not only practice drawing shapes, but we also practiced patterns as well as following directions.

The downside is he used quite a bit of paper so if you decide to play this game, then you may want to cut the paper in half. Another idea would be to laminate the sheets so you can play over and over again!  Enjoy!

Moon Sand - Sensory Activity

Well, the commercials certainly make Moon Sand to be a whole lot easier to shape than it is in reality, however, I will say what a terrific sensory activity this is for kids.  Here is how I keep it contained!  I took an under the bed storage container and filled it with a few tubs of Moon Sand.  When baby Ty goes down for a nap and Dyl is ineed of something quiet to do, this is the perfect activity!

I pulled out the container and put it on the kitchen floor for him to use.  Dyl thought it would be great to add some cars in there, and so that's what he did.  He made roads for his demolition derby.

Some rules that we have for this activity is that only a parent can bring this activity out. By keeping the container under my bed, it helps to enforce this rule as he knows not to go pulling things out of our room.
That's right - Out of Sight - Out of Mind.

Another rule we have is that it's hands only.  He wishes he can stick his bare feet in the container but frankly, there just isn't enough room for it.    And finally, the same rule that we have for Play-Doh applies for Moon Sand.   If it's on the floor, it gets thrown away.  This rule only applies to the dough and not the toys.

 Dyl got to play demolition derby for about thirty minutes and then we put it away.  It was the perfect down time activity for him.  He played and sang and was rejuvenated thereafter.