Toddler Craft Project – Salt Dough Ornaments

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I’ve continued to do our monthly toddler crafts with my local Baby Bootcamp franchise (past projects here) but I have been terrible about blogging and sharing them. But this month’s salt dough ornaments are so cute I just had to share!! I thought it would be fun for each kid to make a keepsake item for their family or to give as a gift this season and decided salt dough ornaments was the perfect idea. Salt dough is easy to make; it’s just a 2 to 1 to 1 ratio of flour to salt to warm water. You mix all the ingredients until a dough is formed and then roll out and cut into shapes as you would cookies. (Official recipe: 2C flour, 1C salt, 1C warm water. Whisk flour and salt. Add water slowly while mixing. Kneed dough for 10 minutes).

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You can use cookie cutters or free hand shapes – we shaped letters by rolling the dough into a snake shape and molding into letters. It’s also a cute idea to create a flat ball and get a hand or footprint of your child too. Note – if your end result is an ornament you’ll want to use a straw to make a hole in it at this point too to string and hang later.

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Once your shapes are created you want to bake the dough low and slow (low oven temp, long cook time). For this dough that was about 1/8″ thick it was about an hour and a half of baking at 200 degrees. You don’t want to make the oven any hotter or the dough will brown.

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Once out of the oven and cooled it’s time to decorate! You can draw with marker or get really into it (as we did here) and use acrylic paint and glue with sparkles. Be creative! These are great as gifts to grandparents but also as a gift tag on a present for someone like a teacher or friend.

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Once paint and/or glitter has dried, seal with spray clear acrylic sealer. Salt dough ornaments are the perfect afternoon activity for your toddler or preschooler to keep them busy during these over-excited weeks leading up to Christmas!

Designer Sportswear

First there was the announcement of Tory Sport – the new sportswear line by Tory Burch, now comes the Derek Lam 10C line in collaboration with Athleta (which launches online and in stores today). And after perusing the new Bloomingdale’s fall catalog it made me realize just how many designers have jumped on the designer sportswear bandwagon. Is it because women wear leggings too often? And leisurewear seems to be worn as regular clothing – the new sportswear line by Rebecca Minkoff is called Athleisure, she may be on to something… I admit, I splurge for pricey workout pants and a decent sports bra is always a good idea, but overall I don’t know if I’d seek out higher priced designer labels for my sportswear. Or maybe I’m afraid to buy into any of these fancy collabs because then my $5 Old Navy tank or $12 sports bra from TJ Maxx won’t seem so nice anymore, ha!

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As NY Fashion Weeks starts this week and we finally see the new Tory Sport Collection, what are you thoughts on the recent surge in designer sportswear?

Images: 1. Cynthia Rowley for Bloomingdale’s / 2. Rebecca Minkoff / 3. Mara Hoffman for Bloomingdale’s  / 4. Derek Lam 10C for Athleta / 5. Trina Turk 

Toddler Craft Project – Construction Paper Salad

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For March’s toddler craft for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date the theme was vegetables since a rep from a local farm was coming to teach the kiddos about vegetables and “eating a rainbow,” so I had to think of something veggie-friendly for our craft. Then I thought if you ask any toddler and they will call lettuce “salad,” as if there’s nothing else to salad!

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So, I thought it would be fun to cut a bunch of vegetables out of construction paper and have the kids make their own, very colorful construction paper salad. I pre-cut all the veggies (and had the plate in the first photo as a key of sorts for the parents to know what each color/shape was supposed to be) but had the kids tear up the green construction paper to prep their own “lettuce” for the salad. You can have your toddler help cut the veggies if they’re good with scissors.

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Everyone’s salads were so colorful and unique! After the craft the farm rep shared some vegetables from the farm and the kids could eat an actual salad, too! A great way to learn about vegetables – I hope you try this one with your kiddos!

Toddler Craft Project – Valentine’s Day Pasta Necklace

For this month’s toddler craft project I had to do something for Valentine’s Day. I thought it would be cute to put together pasta necklaces that the kids can either wear themselves or give to someone they love like, I don’t know – their moms! And to add an extra level of craftiness to this craft I thought it would be cute to paint the pasta in red, pink, and white to make them even more appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Now, we have about a dozen kids at 1 kitchen table doing these craft projects every month so having them paint the beads was not going to happen so I painted them ahead of time. But, if your toddler/child is old enough the first step in this project can be for them to paint the pasta.

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For pasta I used ziti, ditalini (the tiny ones), and rigatoni (not pictured).

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I used regular craft paint in red, pink, and white.

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And painted each bead – you can roll the smooth pasta shapes in the paint but for a noodle like rigatoni you’ll have to paint each one to get in the grooves.

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Once dry, string on yarn with a store-bought heart beads and voila – an adorable Valentine’s Day Pasta Necklace for your loved one!

 

Toddler Craft Project – Snowflakes

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This  month’s toddler craft project for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date is quite timely as we’re about to get 2 feet of snow where we live – we’re making snowflakes! These Popsicle stick snowflakes are great because they are simple to prep and then your toddler has free reign over how they’re decorated. It’s also a great way to use up random craft supplies you have – leftover glitter, old stickers, random yarn, etc…

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To make the snowflakes you need 4 Popsicle sticks. Use a glue gun to glue one on top of another until your snowflake is made.

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Then let your toddler at it with glue stick, glitter, stickers, paint, markers, whatever you have around the house.

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Last step, use some string, yarn, (which would look best) or even a pipe cleaner (as Z wanted to use) to tie around the snowflake to proudly hang up in your home!

Toddler Craft Project – Marshmallow Snowman

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This month’s toddler craft project for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date (you can see last month’s here) is a really cute, really simple snowman made with marshmallows. If your toddler is anything like mine, holiday decorations are where it’s at right now. This little snowman can be strung and hung on your Christmas tree or simply sat on a shelf to add to your decor.

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To make this snowman you will need” 2 marshmallows (I used extra-large ones, because why not?), pipe cleaners, poms poms, a marker/sharpie, and glue.

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Glue your marshmallows together end to end. I suggest using your glue gun for this part and do it before your toddler starts the project (toddlers and glue guns don’t seem to mix well). Then add pompoms for the nose and the buttons down the front. Using elmer’s or glue stick is fine for this part. Then draw your eyes on your snowman (I used marker, you could use googly eyes or whatever you want).

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Use a black pipe cleaner and take a few strands off the end so you can stick it into the marshmallow to make your snowman’s pipe.

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Now add accessories! For this snowman we used a pipe cleaner for a scarf and then twisted a second pompom around my finger and added a pompom on top for a little winter hat.

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Voila – marshmallow snowman!

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Ps. The snowmen Z made for her and baby M – adorable.

 

*Let me know if you’re interested in trying Baby Boot Camp – your first class is always free!

Toddler Craft Project – Turkey Napkin Ring

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I am an avid member of the Woburn/Winchester Baby Boot Camp franchise – a fabulous way for moms to get fit! You work out in a boot camp-style class with your kids while they are strapped in their stroller (usually with tons of snacks). It’s an excellent workout and ends up being very social; the kids are all friends, the moms are all friends, you get the idea. We even go a step further and have monthly mom’s night out and play dates. Recently, I was named Stroller Friends mom of my franchise which basically means we’ll have a formal play date each month and I will create a toddler-friendly craft. This month, in honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d have everyone put together a Turkey Napkin Ring and also share the how-to with you here!

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For this craft you’ll need construction paper, scissors, glue stick, feathers, 1/2 of a toilet paper roll, and the hand of your favorite toddler or baby. Trace your toddler’s hand and cut out. Decorate with feathers and don’t forget to draw a little face! Staple the 1/2 of a toilet paper roll to the back of the feathered hand.

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Voila! A napkin ring for your toddler’s place-setting at the Thanksgiving table. Gobble, gobble!

 

*Let me know if you’re interested in trying Baby Boot Camp – your first class is always free!