Oil and Water Science Experiment with Read Along Activity

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Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins is a beautiful picture book with information about sea creatures. In his classic style, he brings the reader down through various levels of the ocean and explores the unique animals that can be found at each point.

Oil And Water Science Experiment With Read Along Activity

Our activity centered around this concept of having different layers or level in the ocean. Jenkins divides the sections by how much sunlight they receive and by the type of animal grouping that can be found there. We made oil and water sections and later played with adding different layers of dyed water.

What you need:

mixing bowls (various sized or all the same)

a recycled plastic bottle


vegetable oil (we use the cheap stuff for experimenting)


food coloring

glitter, optional

small sea/ocean themed figurines (plastic animals, seashells, etc), optional

Oil And Water Experiment Materials

What to do:

Begin by reading the book and discussing the different levels of animals and how the environment changes as you descend.

Before mixing, ask what your child expects to happen. Fill the bottle half full with oil, fill the second half with water. Watch and discuss how the two mediums interact.

Oil And Water Expermient Pouring

Add a few drops of dye, how does it mix? Add glitter, see what happens. Add figurines, do they float or sink?

Challenge your kids to shake the bottle as hard as possible, jump with, roll the bottle, and any other ways to try to mix up the oil and water!

Oil And Water Experiment Bottle

We moved the activity outside and kept a tray under the mixing area to keep the spills from spreading. Our hose was at hand for quick clean up too.

Oil And Water Experiment Mixing

Fill the mixing bowls with water, add drops of dye in each bowl. Practice color mixing. Yellow + green = Yellow Green, blue + red = purple, green + blue = turquoise and so on. Make a chart or verbalize the number of drops they should use for each mixture.

The deeper the color, the deeper you are in the sea. When you want to go back up to the surface, dilute the water and let more sunlight back in!






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Inch by Inch Draw and Measure Activities

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Inch by Inch, by Leo Leonni is a darling story about a crafty inchworm that protects his life by agreeing to measure different animals. The story ends with the inch worm facing his most challenging test yet.

Draw And Measure Activity

The inchworm’s quest to measure different things in its world soon became our own as we brought this story to life by comparing, measuring, and discussing the size and shape of different objects around the home.

Four Draw And Measure Activities

Leonni’s tale inspired us to measure things around our home. This free measurement packet from Sam Nowak was just the resource we needed to implement fun measuring activities at home.

Free download includes 4 different activities:

download packet here

– measurement garden
– measurement with a cherry on top
– draw and measure
– measurement hunt
We printed extra copies of the draw and measure and measurement hunt to complete many different rounds!

Inch By Inch Leo Leonni

Measure with paper clips and blocks, compare inches to centimeters, learn to read a ruler, and more with these additional online resources.

Classroom freebies has these great offers for measurement fun!

Miss Kelly made this monster themed learning packet all about measuring.



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The Best Gluten-Fee Alternative Pasta Around

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Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles”, are a super simple vegetable noodle you can whip up for your whole family in less than 20 minutes. If you are looking for an substitution to wheat based or grain based pasta, these zucchini noodles may be the gluten-free pasta alternative you have been looking for!

Is This The Gluten Free Pasta Alternative You Have Been Waiting For

Use a spiralizer to make long beautiful spiraled noodles in a matter of minutes, only about five to be more precise! All you need to do is trim the ends, attach the squash to the fixture, and turn the crank. Choose small, medium, or large sized blades to affect the width of your noodles.

Invite the kids to come help prepare the zoodles, they love watching the spirals form!

Zucchini Gluten Free Pasta Alternative

Using vegetable noodles is a way to get more fiber and micronutrients into your families diet. As versatile as a traditional wheat based noodle, zucchini noodles just need to be cooked and then topped with any pasta sauce you like. Serve a plate of with additional vegetables as a side or make it the main dish with added shrimp or grilled chicken. They can also be baked into quiches and casseroles, just like regular zucchini.

The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook

Do you have The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook?

Make a pot of zoodles and top them with one of the following sauces, or better yet, try them all!

  • Blue Cheese Garlic and Thyme Compound Butter
  • Rosemary Oregano Butter Sauce (or any of the three variations)
  • Turmeric Black Pepper Cream Sauce
  • Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
  • Coconut Curry Sauce
  • Basil Pesto

Zucchini Long Flat Gluten Free Pasta Alternative

Don’t have a spiralizer? No worries! You can still make awesome gluten-free pasta alternatives with zucchini and summer squash. Use a vegetable peeler or julienne to create thin, even slices and use these as the base for your pasta dish.

Follow the directions for Zucchini Linguini from The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook, no spiralizer needed and you still get a great gluten-free pasta alternative to serve your family.

You May Also Like: Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives + 10 Recipes

How to make the Gluten-Free Pasta Alternative you have been waiting for:

Serves 2 to 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, butter, or ghee
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Optional Add-ins:

  • mushrooms
  • olives
  • bell pepper
  • tomatoes
  • green powder
  • kelp, dulse, or other seaweed


  1. Rinse and trim the zucchini. Attach to the spiralizer or slice evenly with a vegetable peeler. Process until all parts are cut.
  2. Add the cooking fat to a warm skillet. Chop garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until translucent. Cut any extra vegetables you want to add-in and saute them now.
  3. Add the zucchini and herbs to the pan. Stir to coat with oil and mix in herbs. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until zucchini is completely soft.
  4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil, pesto, tomato sauce, or other sauce of choice.

Zucchini Pesto With Meatball Gluten Free Pasta Alternative

Here is a recent Spaghetti Pesto and Meatballs dish I made with organic yellow zucchini. I followed the recipe above and then added a spoonful of Basil Pesto and a few of Mama’s Best Meatballs (recipes all from The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook).





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Tomato Olive Egg Muffins

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Egg muffins should be in every mom’s recipe book! They are a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or snack that provides a healthy combination of fat and protein that will give you kids sustained energy with no sugar crash. These egg muffins are stuffed with vegetables that bring important vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the dish.

Egg muffins take only 15 minutes to bake so you can make them in the morning for a hot breakfast or serve after school for a nutrient dense mini meal.

Tomato Olive Egg Muffin

The recipe for Tomato Olive Egg Muffins features fresh tomatoes and chopped olives in combination with powdered oregano leaf and mineral rich sea salt. I chose to use dried botija olives because their flavor is exquisite. The botija olive is a special olive that comes from Peru, however, any olive (fresh or dried) you like will work for this purpose.

Do you like this recipe and want to make more nutrient dense meals in your kitchen?

Check out The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook at www.primaledgehealth.com

The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook

Mom Tip:

Make a batch of egg muffins once a week. Serve some for breakfast, pack others in a school lunch, and save the leftovers in the fridge for when the emergency of hunger strikes and you need a nutrient dense snack for your kid right away.

Mix and match herbs or other vegetables into the whisked egg. Some suggestions are to add cilantro and garlic, a shredded carrot or two, or chopped spinach and feta cheese. Egg muffins are a wonderful resource for those last bit of random vegetables sitting in the fridge.

Tomato Olive Egg Muffin Recipe

Tomato Olive Egg Muffins Recipe

6 eggs

1 to 2 medium tomatoes

1 teaspoon oregano powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup chopped olives

Optional Add-ins:

  • a handful of fresh basil leaf, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.

Dice the tomatoes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and salt to the eggs. Add whatever additional ingredients you want now.

Use a spoon to divide the egg mixture evenly between each of the 12 muffin cups in a standard greased muffin pan. Sprinkle the olives over the tops of each cup.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the center is set and edges pull away from the pan. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, freeze for long term storage.

Kid Friendly Quick And Easy Tomato Olive Egg Muffins






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A to Z Compost Stew – Alphabet Search Activity

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From apple cores to zinnia heads, kids will learn 26 new ingredients to add to their compost pile. Author Mary McKenna Siddals linked up with illustrator Ashley Wolff to create a beautiful book detailing outdoor garden scenes with a number of happy kids working hard outdoors to cultivate their own organic garden, A to Z Compost Stew.

Having a compost pile is a great introduction for children to learn the importance and natural function of decomposition of organic materials. This practical method of recycling materials not only benefits your little learning but also your garden and local microbes.

A to Z Compost Stew Alphabet Search Activity

This collection of ingredients comprises of a wide variety of ideas that are available through out the year, watch the changing seasons progress as you turn the pages. This can incite a participatory conversation with your little one about the changes of weather during the year.

a to z compost reading

Questions to Prompt Critical Thinking:

Which pages are similar to your environment, what pictures are different?

How do plants grow and/or change in the different seasons?

What role does water play in the garden? How does it affect the plants and compost?

cover photo

Compost Stew gives simple direction for anyone to lean how to start a compost pile and what to include. Enjoy a fun hunt around your kitchen and yard for new ingredients to add to the pile!

Alphabet Search Activity

Follow along with the book and gather up as many A to Z items as you can! If you do not have the specific ingredient ask about other compostable things that start with the same letter.

compost ingredients

This colorful book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for easy, child-friendly ways to start their own compost pile and enjoy gardening.

playing with compost copy

Finding success! Enjoy watching your A to Z collection decompose and return to nurture and nourish your garden.

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Skeleton Fine Motor Activity + Book Read Along

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Caldecott Honor winner Steven Jenkins delivers yet another fascinating book made for expanding little minds. In Bones, Jenkins compares various animals (including many human representations) in scaled models of full body and selected skeletal views. This book is long and detailed, but in classic Jenkins style it has various headings and short paragraphs that make it easy to have a quick read version. I always enjoy his work, aside from the beautiful artwork, his text is diverse enough one can easily choose how much time to invest in reading. At the end of most his works there are a few pages of further, specific detailed illustrations for older kids or those who have a peeked curiosity for more.

Bones is a visually driven book, demonstrating the subject matter through artistic renderings rather than heavy text load. The pages have brightly colored backgrounds making the illustrations pop.

Skeleton Fine Motor Activity and Book Read Along

We learned about some new animals today: aardwolf, mouse lemur, butterfly fish, and the babirusa. I like to keep a list of interesting things we come across to reference later (in moments of needed youtube pacification). I ask my girl to spell out the words as I write them down to practice her letter recognition and spelling.

My little girls loves activities when I sit down with her and spend special time with her one on one with uninterrupted attention. This activity was just for her.

fine motor materials


  • Pipe cleaners
  • Straws (I wash and recycle drinking straws for crafting purposes)
  • Scissors

hand outline pipe cleaners

Begin by making an outline of a hand with the pipe cleaners. We used pipe cleaners of various sizes to represent the palm and fingers. Different sizes can create a child/baby size and scale up to an adult size.

bones in hand fine motor

Refer to the illustration as a guide and cut the drinking straw to the appropriate size. Match each “bone” to the corresponding piece.

fine motor in action

Thread the straw “bones” on to each pipe cleaner, count out-loud as you go. Practice simple addition and subtraction as the straw pieces transfer from the page to the pipe cleaners.

skeleton hand

Fold the ends over the straws to keep them in place and compare it to your own flesh and blood example! Make a mommy size to match.

Skills practiced:

  • counting
  • basic math, addition and subtraction up to five
  • measuring
  • matching, visual recognition of sizes
  • size and scale comparison
  • fine motor skills, threading, bending, and cutting
  • vocabulary as different concepts are discussed

This activity can be scaled up or down to best suit your child’s level of interest. For younger kids, use less bones or make a basic human outline. For older or more advanced learners, add on to the hand to complete the entire arm and extend it to the formation of the rest of the torso or backbone.

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Fairy Houses: Read Along and Activity

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Tracy Kane has developed a brilliant series for young readers all about fairies! Fairy Houses…Everywhere! is a true celebration of small magical, hand made fairy houses. The story is told through a well developed series of photographs, the tale is not based in a plot line, lessons, or characters but instead a nonverbal trip through various fairy habitats.

Barry Kane shares his photographs of fairy houses in meadows, woodlands, and on the beach. Each one is an individual work of art and extraordinary beauty. The details and thought put into these projects are sure to inspire adults and children of all ages.

fairy houses for creativity and fine motor skills

I picked this book out, hopeful that it would be a resource for my young one to turn to when she needs creative inspiration. I have no doubt it will last her years!

fairy garden

There is nothing better than seeing kids outside playing, walking through their imaginary world of peace, love and happiness. Each house is exquisite, made from natural materials found in its setting. Taking only the materials that have already fallen or are otherwise offered (dead, broken, etc) presents an important lesson to teach young kids about respecting nature and the life of plants.

fairy bridge

Wherever you are, fairy houses can be made! Find a cozy nook in your backyard, local park, or search further in a nearby State or National Park. Construct these beautiful treasures with your kids, this project opens the imagination of parents and children alike. It feels good to look at the world through a tiny scale. Transforming an acorn top into a tiny dish opens a new realm of possibilities.

forrest fairy house

We had so much fun on our front patio, the idea stuck with us and we made this larger one the next day in the neighboring forrest.

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All About Me Read Along and Activity Book

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Dr. Seuss strikes again! We are a family that loves the silly rhythmic rhymes of Dr. Seuss. My Book about Me by Dr. Seuss and Roy McKie delights young children with silliness and engages their attention by asking thought provoking questions about their life that makes them unique and special.

Dr. Seuss Read Along and Activity

I gave it to my four-year-old and she was quite taken by the fact she can actually write in a book. We are treating this work like a memory book and can track the changes in our life as the years go on. This book is also great for kids with basic reading and writing skills as they can fill in the blanks all on their own.

dr. seuss activity open book

Be sure to get this book new, otherwise you run the risk of having someone else’s writing in it! There are pages upon pages of fun silly questions as well as some more reflective, thought-provoking ones. I like the element of active investigation into one’s life, this book teaches different ways to quantify certain elements within the child’s environment.

dr. seuss activity book

My favorite part of the book are the “get-up-and-go” questions that encourage the kids to walk (jump or run!) around their house counting and quantifying various items. We made it a hunt within the house to find all the answers.

dr. seuss activity fill in

As you read along, it is easy to encourage simple reading skills by leading the child through the sentence. Each statement is illustrated with a matching picture that provides visual clues. There are plenty of easy to read, beginner sight words which can be practiced. Read though these pages as a “fill-in-the-blank” activity and enjoy this book for years to come!


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Build a Nest Read Along Activity

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All you need is a nice afternoon, a book about birds and some modeling clay for this fun fine motor and early learning activity. A Nest Full of Eggs written by Priscilla Belz Jenkins, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell follows a robin family through the spring season as nests are built, eggs laid, and chicks hatch.

Robins are the featured bird, used as one example to explain the mystery of what is inside an egg. This book teaches how bird parents care for their offspring, build their nests, and how the baby birds develop then learn to fly and care for themselves.

Build A Nest Read Along Activity

Awarded the status of “Level One” within the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science Series, A Nest Full of Eggs explains simple and easily observable science concepts for preschool and kindergarten aged children. This is a great resource for unschool, homeschool, and afterschool educational environments. It is a light read yet intriguing enough with a good mixture of information.

A nest full of eggs collage

Inspired by the pages illustrating the variety of bird nests. We set to work with some modeling clay and our imagination.

early learning biology

A pinch of cotton adds some nice fluff to comfort the birds and eggs.

small bird world

We expanded upon the pictures by discussing similarities, ways the birds may find materials, and the different environments they live in. Some make nests in the trees, some make their nests in a bed of leaves on the floor.

fine motor skills small bird world

Make caves, trees, gardens, and cliffs… imagine all the places birds live!

Skills Practiced and Learned:

  • Fine Motor Skills – rolling, twisting, cutting
  • Hand eye coordination
  • Visual recognition
  • Imitation and creation
  • Discussion of similarities and differences
  • Early learning biology


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Letter Recognition and Read Along Book Activity

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Dr. Tony Hare’s Animal Fact File is a wonderful collection of animals. This almost 200 page, full color book provides details on various mammals. Well-known species like tigers and wolves are discusses as well as lesser-known species like Przhevalski’s horse and the serval.

Each animal featured receives a double spread illustrating the specific animal and highlighting certain unique characteristics. The skeleton is depicted for every entry as well, providing a useful tool to compare the different structures. The text is easy to ready and engaging for a range of ages. Each page has a lot of information, the reader can choose the level of detail to explore saving the leftover for next time.

letter practice

We found the illustrations beautiful, they look like they could be in a biology textbook. The detail is exquisite, making the animals pop alive, life-like before our eyes. Young eyes will be captivated by the high attention to detail and variety of information.

read along letter practice

Letter Recognition and Letter Practice (Early Learning Skills)

Things To Use:

  • White erase board or paper
  • Markers
  • Alphabet flash cards

Grab your white erase board and start writing! My daughter picked an animal, we read about it and I wrote the name down on the white board. Once the letters were written it was much easier for her to copy them down as well. I gave simple directions to help her along – Line straight down, loop around, pull the tail down, etc…

early learning letter practice

Without guiding lines, our letters scrunched up quite a bit! Giving a top and bottom guide helped facilitate proper spacing.

letter hunt

Exhausted from the writing practice, we moved on to a more simple game of letter recognition with alphabet flash cards. Here we discussed the differences between upper and lower case letters. We made a “hunt” in the index, matching up animals with their page number and finding the right page. I asked my three-year-old to practice sounding out the letters as we found their match.

Letter Practice and Read Along Activity

You can easily adapt this activity with any book you have already in your library. This Animal Fact File is a gem of a resource and recommend it to any family filled with animal lovers!

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Read Along Mosaic Art

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One of the most famous of Jenkins’ book is What Would You Do With a Tail Like This? This was our first of his books and we have been avid readers of his wonderful work ever since. Jenkins is a master of his art. His illustrates with 3D like forms using a variety of textures perfectly paired to each animal.

Steve Jenkins Read Along Mosaic Art

We did a fun paper puppet project to another one of Jenkin’s books Time to Eat recently, check out our work here.

What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? poses the same question to 14 animals from all walks of life. The most interesting and surprising of which is the bombardier beetle for a reason I hope you discover!

Steve Jenkins Read Along Mosaic Art

What you need:

  • Collection of paper scraps in different colors and textures
  • Ribbon, rick-wrack, yarn
  • Glue stick or white craft glue
  • Glitter or glitter glue

What you do:

  • Create a layers mosaic like art on construction or plain printer paper. Choose to make an animal from the book, an abstract pattern or a self portrait.
  • Cut, rip and tear pieces to make the form you and your child imagine. This is a great opportunity to let them explore their own creative style.
  • Finish with glitter! Spread glue around the edges of the picture and sprinkle glitter over so it sticks. Shake off the extra.

Gathering supplies…

art supplies

Lots of cutting and gluing.

hands gluing

Finishing off with glitter!

glitter art

Ta-Da, the finished mosaics.

mosaic art

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5 Books Celebrating Nature in the Backyard

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This is my list of the top 5 favorite books about backyard nature, shared between myself and my daughter. These are books I don’t mind reading over and over and she equally enjoys hearing the story and seeing the pictures.

5 Books Celebrating Nature in the Backyard

Looking through our growing collection of books, I realized most of them are nature related, discussing different animals, way of living and various habitats. The following 5 books are specific to common backyard critters and garden environments.

The Icky Bug Alphabet Book

Jerry Pallotta brings the reader through a journey to meet 26 different animals, each corresponding to a different alphabet letter. A is for ant, B is for bumblebee, C is for cricket… it introduces many backyard bugs and insects to young readers. Each entry has short description about the animal, noting the special qualities that set it apart. This book is offered as a board book as well, making it great for little hands that like to get rough with the pages.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me? 

A garden guessing game playfully depicts ten types of flowers, written by Anne Rockwell. The book begins by asking the same rhythmic question for each flower and giving hints to the audience that point to the special nature of each flower. Young kids will love learning the “do you know me?” line, predictively shouting it out on every page.

The Reason for a Flower

This is a book I like reading over and over. These pages create a beautiful world that explains the flowers perspective and reason for being. Written and illustrated by Ruth Heller, this shows many familiar plants and animals working symbiotically together to help flowers repopulate via pollen and seed. Where do seeds come from? Where do they go? Why are they made? What are they for? All these questions and more are answered in Heller’s rhyming story. The illustrations are inspiring with their bright and beautiful colors.

Are You a Bee?

This book is a favorite of ours, it is extremely informative without being too wordy. My three year old easily assimilates the new knowledge and celebrates the interesting nuances of the animals. This book is part of a larger collection of “Backyard Books” including similarly designed books about the dragonfly, spider, grasshopper, ant and others.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Kate Messner artfully tells the whole story of gardening, walking the reader through the four seasons and changes that ensue. A grandmother and her granddaughter spend time together in their backyard garden planting seeds and harvesting vegetables. You will discover the curious things that lay beneath the soil and under the leaves as well as the wonders that pop up above ground.

Learning about the backyard environment is one of our favorite subjects. Discovering new things in books and later finding them in real life right outside out door is a wonderful experience.

Hope your family can enjoy these as well!

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Read Along Book Activity with DOG

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Matthew Van Fleet is the name behind numerous books that introduce kids to opposites, textures, colors, and basic biology. He uses animals to demonstrate the different concepts, giving them playful depictions and 3-D details. DOG is the perfect book for young dog lovers, the author employs liftable flaps, shaggy textures, and cleverly designed pull tabs to bring the doggy world to life.
Read along and play with Dog

This book is very interactive and presents multiple concepts making it easy to think up fun games to play along as we read.

Begin by asking your child a few probing questions to get them thinking about how this book relates to their life.

  • Which dog name do you like? Which name is the silliest?
  • Which breed do you like? Which most resembles your own dog?
  • Which behaviors do you see your dog do?
  • Who do we know that has these breeds of dog?

There are many opportunities to learn about the word DOG. I asked a few questions as we read along. What does it look like? How do you spell it? What are the sounds of each letter? What is the difference between dog and dogs?

learn to read dog

Treasure Hunt with Matthew Van Fleet’s DOG

Excited by the many different descriptive adjectives presented in DOG, kids will have a great time searching their home for items that correspond with those found in the book. Armed with a basket, my little tot went around scouting for something to match the word I called out while reading.

Her exploration was fueled by simple questioning like:

  • Do you have something drooly?
  • Do you have something smooth?
  • Do you have something sticky?

treasure hunt

Here is our comparison of sizes! Teeny, little, medium and big.

size comparison

More Read Along Games with Matthew Van Fleet’s DOG

  • Make a memory game with the different names listed in the last pages
  • Make a memory game with the various breeds named in the back
  • Compare and contrast the differences and similarities in behavior for puppies and adult dogs, compare babies and adult humans

Not a dog lover? Read Van Fleet’s CAT instead!

Check out the author page for a complete selection for all Van Fleet’s bright, educational books.

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5 Senses Read Along and Fine Motor Activities

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This level 1 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out picture book introduces children to the 5 senses. Written and illustrated by Aliki, the simple story has become a bestselling picture book teaching kids about sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch.

Level 1 books are best for preschool to primary aged kids. They explore the introductory concepts about things in our environment. I like to point out these are five physical senses and do not encompass all the ways our bodies and minds intake information. This was an important note to make for my daughter.
Read along and fine motor activites

Popsicle Stick 5 Senses Fine Motor Play

What you need:

  • popsicle sticks
  • hot glue gun
  • sense symbols to cut out

fine motor 5 senses

How to play:

  • Ask your child to pose for each sense (have them point to their eyes, ears etc) as you draw them down.
  • Cut out the image and glue with a small dab onto a popsicle stick.
  • Draw inspiration from your environment and daily activities, shout out a name or concept and have the child hold up the corresponding sign

5 senses popsicle sticks

Here we are adding in the corresponding symbol to the story.

fine motor skills with 5 senses

5 Senses Custom Illustrated Chart

This custom illustrated chart was a delightful activity that prompted some deep thinking and creative response from my little one.

5 senses illustrated chart

What you need:

  • one sheet printer paper
  • markers, crayons or colored pens

How to play:

  • As you read the book, write or draw in a symbol for each sense discussed in the story. This works out to be one new picture per page.
  • Discuss favorite spells, sounds, and sights. Make a note of how many objects demand the use of more than one sense.

More Fine Motor Play for the 5 Senses

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Tips for Successfully Keeping Goldfish

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Getting a goldfish in a bag? This is the classic image of many a child’s first pet – a friendly fish. Watching the little guy flit and flip around a bowl brings such joy to little watchers.

After winning a gold fish from the local county fair, I tried to follow this route in my younger years but failed after only two days. Goldfish are known to be delicate little creatures with an unfortunately low life expectancy. I thought I was ready with a cheap bowl and some fish food… alas, it was not so.

Helpful tips to keep your goldfish alive + a read along resource!

Here are some tip’s I recently gleaned from Wendy Pfeffer’s What’s It Like to Be a Fish?

Tips to Help Your Kids Successfully Care for Goldfish

  • Prioritize a glass bowl over a plastic container, elect one with a wide bulge.
  • Pour water into the vessel, fill to the widest part of the bowl to provide the peak amount of oxygen possible (more surface area = more oxygen).
  • Leave the water to rest for a day until it is room temperature.
  • Float the fish containing bag in the water to accustom the fish to the new space and temperature, at least 15 minutes.
  • Open the bag and let the little fish free!

goldfish close up

What’s It Like to Be a Fish?  is filled with many useful tips that teach kids to successfully care for goldfish. These pages are also a wealth of information about fish in general. Pfeffer discusses different types of fish, physical characteristics, various biological survival strategies and food choices.

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Read Along Paper Bag Puppets

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Jenkins is the author of numerous animal centered books. These are wonderful learning tools and educational works for young kids. They cover a rich diversity of animals, many of which I am learning about for the first time.

The main substance of the story is simple and clearly presented, easy enought for young readers, or in my case listeners, to understand. The last pages revisit each animal mentioned in the previous sections with an extra informative blurb about their size, habitat and interesting tidbits about their lifestyle. It is a great way to extend the reading time.

Fine Motor Paper Bag Puppet Read Along with Time To Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Time to Eat discusses 17 different animals, including land and sea mammals, reptiles, insects and bugs. From the great blue whale down to the little wood tick, animals from a range of backgrounds are taught to our little inquisitors.

jenkins art collage

Many options for paper bag puppets here!

Paper Bag Puppets: Art for Any Age

Immediately the idea was a hit, my three-year-old found the idea of just having a paper bag over her hand hilarious.

panda puppet double

What you need:

  • Small paper bags
  • Loose scraps of paper of a variety of textures
  • Supplies you have on hand – glitter, glitter glue, colored string, googley eyes, etc

What you do:

  • Gather your supplies
  • Pick out an animal from the book to make a puppet of
  • Form the bag to make sure it fits on your kids hand and they have a general idea how it should look.
  • Cut, tear, glue and glitter your way to a completed puppet. Don’t forget the teeth and mouth so it can eat its yummies!

frog puppet

Aside the other works by Steve Jenkins, Time to Eat is part of a series that also includes Time to Sleep and Time for a Bath. Check them all out for more valuable educational resources for your little animal lover!

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Small World Ocean Play (without Water)

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This book caught my eye with bright cut out pages and a cute finger puppet peeking through each one. My Ocean is a joyful read for little ones that giggle and coo at the moving finger puppet. The art is a creative compilation of layered pages composed of various textures, colors and shapes.

read along book open

Sara Gillingham has created multiple board books that open children to the variety of natural environments, each with a friendly finger puppet. Check out the entire series from Sara Gillingham and choose your favorite habitat.

Small World Ocean Play (without Water)

Welcome to our small world! I wanted some creative time but didn’t feel like a big mess so we pulled out a variety of small items that promote open ended, imagination play and unfolded the felt board.

What you need:

  • pom-poms
  • sea shells and ocean rocks
  • twisty ties or pipe cleaners
  • yarn
  • felt board (find tutorial here)
  • playdough *optional

small world play

We have a nice collection of ocean rocks.

small world ocean play

What to do:

  • String “sea weed” yarn through the holes in the sea shells.
  • Make outlines of ocean animals with string.
  • Bend twisty ties into starfish or as kelp growing from the shells.
  • Use pom poms as fish bodies and tie the pipe cleaners around as fins and tails, you also can make octopus.

Stringing the “sea weed” is wonderful fine motor practice!

fine motor practice

Some of our plastic animals joined the scene.

fine motor small world ocean play

Things we practiced:

  • color sorting pom-poms
  • counting
  • stacking
  • fine motor skills – twisting, bending, threading

Small World Ocean Play (without Water)

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Read Along + Counting Printables

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Finding quality books, isn’t always easy but luckily the Caldecott Medal winners have a bright seal on them! One is One by Tasha Tudor is a beautiful book. Originally published in 1956, it retains an old school charm, reminding me of a simpler, more wholesome time.

One is One is a celebration of Tudor’s watercolor pictures of children, animals and common scenery. It is a lyrical story of counting thing found in everyday rural American life.

Read along and fine motor counting printables

What better thing to do than count along with the book? I just recently got my printer fixed and was delighted to find an opportunity to go through counting printables I’ve had my eyes on for so long.

We got busy with these counting printables:

These match-the-number counting cards are so cheerful and happy! They are designed from picmonkey icons! So clever 😉

matching numbers

We matched them together and then went through the book and found the corresponding icons for each page. And then repeated the process with the numbers and words.

counting book

The learn to count printable has bright exciting colors and is made for all sorts of materials. Use markers, stones, stickers or dot markers to color and count!

fine motor skills

These little houses were lots of fun to line up. We counted numbers, compared sizes, shapes and designs of the windows.

counting printable

The coloring pages are fun too. I have some adult coloring sheets to color while my little one tackles hers.

counting number printable

Check out the Little Bunny Series, scroll down past the letters to find the number coloring book. The author has made a beautifully creative collection of work here for little kids.

coloring number printable

The number sheets are nice to encourage hand writing practice, I slipped them into plastic page protectors and gave my Little Miss a erasable marker and let her have at them. The plastic sheets are a great way to reuse these printables, they will last a few cycles and save paper.

With so many different ways to count, we were busy for a few hours!

Happy counting!

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Read Along Fine Motor Activity with Stars

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I was first introduced to two-time Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee, through her book All the World. Upon finding Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, I was delighted to see more of the same beautiful illustrations paired with a sweet, short story about the mysterious stars shining above our heads.

Art and Craft Collage with Star Stickers

Making art with a young child is a fun time to help them explore their imagination and develop fine motor skills. My daughter likes to play the game called “follow and cut”. This means she makes up directions for me to follow as we cut along together. Once done, we open the paper and explore the possibilities of our new found shape. Our project began with paper coffee filters and after a series of dictations, this one turned into a peacock!

preschool art

We built a new world around this fine feathery bird. After reading Stars we of course wanted to create a night time scene with star stickers and a drawn in moon. We discussed what else this pair of peacocks might encounter in their night adventure and placed a bridge, river and assortment of blooming flowers.

toddler art

My favorite way of making art with little ones is allowing them to be fluid in their materials and concepts. Even if something doesn’t fit the reality I know, I accept its place in this made up world knowing that the child’s imagination is fueled and active.

Fine Motor Craft with a Star Wand

Our second craft was inspired by part of the story Mary Lyn Ray tells about these twinkling gems.

We first cut out a paper star, took a quick walk outside to find a stick, attached the two and tied ribbon on to provide a touch of colorful decoration.

fine motor activity cutting

There was much cutting, taping and measuring! My little girl festively wore a star printed sweater.

beading fine motor preschool

We found the bead bowl! Here we matched and compared patterns. I placed them in various piles and we counted out each different kind.

preschool fine motor art and craft

I love the look of intensity, such concentration!

fine motor star wand

Success! We read the book many times in the course of these art and crafts. I hope you all enjoy them too.

Other read along fine motor ideas:

This week’s extra fine motor ideas from the group:

Fine Motor Science Activities from Little Bins for Little Hands

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Read Along Fine Motor Activity: Swirl by Swirl

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The illustrations in Joyce Sidman’s Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature are stunning. The celebrated poet collaborated with award winning illustrator, Beth Krommes and together produced a book telling the story of a spiral.

Read Along Fine Motor Activity Swirl by Swirl

Swirl by Swirl reads like a simple story yet delivers poignant information and early learning opportunities. I love reading nature books to my Little Miss, it is like taking a field trip without leaving home. This book is a beautiful work of art and should be a welcome addition to any home!fine motor activity

Inspired by the bright, bold pictures, I went ahead and whipped up some of Nicci’s Quick No Cook Play Dough and we set to work rolling, cutting and making spirals. Play dough is one of the most versatile learning/play tools I have learned to make at home.

play dough fine motor activity

After reading the book, we went through each of the pages and examined the different spirals. We talked about where else we might find spirals around our environment.

toddler fine motor activity

We did our own versions and collected them on a tray. My Little Lady practiced her fine motor skills – it was the perfect opportunity for rolling, cutting, measuring, chopping, comparing colors and sizes.

play dough preschool activity

Lots of pretty spirals!

read along play dough activity

More read and fine motor ideas!

More fine motor ideas from our friends!

  • Lavender Water Fine Motor Sensory Bin from And Next Comes L
  • Painting Recycled Cardboard Bugs from Stir the Wonder
  • LEGO Mini Hearts from Little Bins for Little Hands
    99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Read Along Book and Fine Motor Activity

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Poetic, lyrical picture books celebrating our role as caretakers in the natural world are some of my favorite to read to my daughter. Joanne Ryder’s Each Living Thing, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, shares the important relationship a child can have with the animals in their world. Small, large and all shapes and sizes in-between are discussed as the story progresses through the day, ending at night.

fine motor origami Read Along Book and Fine Motor Activity

After reading this book my daughter and I discussed the importance of being good stewards in the world, caring and taking responsibility for the living things around us. Responsibility has been a common theme lately, as I encourage her to take responsibility for her toys, clothes and all the other things scattered on the floor.

Wolff has a variety of hidden animals, unmentioned in the text, living in her pages. We played a game of “I Spy” to find all the animals on each page and took notes on the ones we see often in our daily lives. Starting from the beginning, we made stories about what they might like to do during the day, what they eat, and where they live.

These are the animals we “watch out for”:

  • inchworm
  • spiders
  • birds
  • mice
  • ladybugs
  • insects
  • frogs
  • dragonflies
  • cats
  • bees
  • snails
  • worms
  • ants
  • scorpions
  • butterflies
  • rabbits

Now the fun begins…

Fine Motor Origami Garland

We hunted through origami videos on youtube and after a few false leads found the following resources to be helpful.

With younger kids, it is great to make the origami and give them free reign to decorate and color the paper creations. Add in googly eyes, glitter glue and feathers for an extra fun touch!

These videos are all very elemental, older kids (as in kindergarten if not late preschool aged) should be fine to tackle the task.

fine motor origami

My daughter followed along during the first two animals and then took off in her own direction. Inspired by the folding she started cutting and folding her own designs independently as I finished up the videos.

fine motor game

Clip the origami animals on a close line to practice the pincer grasp for extra fine motor fun!

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Fine Motor Oh Say Can You Seed? Garden Activity

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I love gardening with my little girl. There is so much to learn, experience, and observe. A family garden provides more than just food, abundant early learning opportunities, practical life skills and motor development are just a few important life skills children learn by watching and interacting with a garden space.

Watch a short vlog as we walk through our garden!

Oh Say Can You Seed? by Bonnie Worth is a fun tale told by Dr Seuss’ character, the one and only, Cat in the Hat. He leads two children through the wonderful world of a flowering plant. They discuss the life cycle, basic plant biology and provide many relatable examples that children will see in their daily life.

Fine Motor Oh Say Can You Seed Garden Activity

This book is part of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library which evidently are not all actual Dr. Seuss books but do carry on with his style of rhymes and use many of the same characters. Thing One and Thing Two make a special guest appearance!

fine motor garden

We really enjoyed learning about the biology of our garden plants! Our big bean sprouts (just like the ones in the book) go into a recycled tin can. The smaller ones are transferred to egg cartons.

Still more!

sprouts planting

We planted until sunset.

until sunset

Oh Say Can You Seed? is a great garden companion to colorfully illustrate useful knowledge about gardens and flowering plants. Read it in the garden or bring a bit of the outside in by reading it in a cozy indoor book nook.

More fine motor fun from our co-hosts!

Alphabet Tilt Maze Fine Motor Toys from Lalymom

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Fox in Sox (by Dr Seuss) Fine Motor Activity

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Fox in sox and knox in box Sound familiar? The infamous lines the Dr Seuss’ Fox in Sox ring in my head long after reading it out loud.

Inspired by the page with the gooey goo goose we whipped up some homemade oobleck, corralled some animals together and had some fine motor sensory play paired with early learning reading and rhymes!

fox in sox fine motor activity

How to make Oobleck

In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 part water with 1.5 parts corn starch. If you don’t have corn starch, use tapioca or arrowroot as a replacement. Mix it the ingredients together into a gooey thick paste.
homemade oobleck
I added a touch of glitter. If you have blue food dye, add in few drops to make it blue just like the gooey goose’s goo!
oobleck sensory
We casually went around the house naming and rhyming things. We talked about what letters certain words being and end with.
Finally settling up a group of very loved animals, we sat down and picked through our pile looking for rhymes.
We discovered the following:
– monkey, donkey, turkey
– giraffe, calf, giraffe calf
– cow, things that say “bow-wow-ow”
– duck, things that “cluck”
– sheep, chicks that “peep”
– cat, duck in a hat
Let the fun begin!
sensory fine motor idea
Oobleck is a wonderful medium that provides lots of fun for kids and parents alike. I enjoyed playing with the ripples that spread slowing over the animals. My daughter explored the stickiness between animals and the oobleck, the dried crusts on her fingers, and making designs by dripping the dough off a spoon.

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Hop on Pop (by Dr Seuss) Early Learning Activity

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Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss is a wonderful tool for early literacy! The simple, playful rhymes are easily understood and repeated back from little minds.

Hop on pop early learning activity

The inner cover has cheerful little creatures joyously holding up sheets of rhyming words. They are grouped together by “families” all of which share the same root. I took this a step further with some fun fine motor cards that illustrate the interchangeability of letters and roots.

hop on pop dr seuss

We picked out our favorite word groups and I made a sheet with the root and various letters that can belong at the beginning of the words. My Little Helper, who is always helping diligently began cutting up the squares.

hop on pop fine motor activitiy

As we read along in the book, I gave my daughter prompts like:

How do we make this word (indicate to card with finger) look like that word (point to book)?

What are the differences between the two?

What are the similarities between the two?

What can we add to this root to make it read differently?

Dr Seuss play activity

This game worked best when the squares were separated into two distinct columns. I made one of roots and one of the letters. The last prompt – What can we add to this root to make it read differently? proved the most successful.

Keep repeating the sounds to your child and eventually it will start to click in their brains. I like to approach reading in daily life – look at street signs, labels, recipes, etc – which illustrate the importance and usefulness of reading. I hope these activities foster a love of reading within my daughter that steams from within rather than imposed be myself.

Learning to read takes lots of practice and patience!

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I Love My Daddy Because… Fine Motor Activity

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We just picked up a copy of I Love My Daddy Because written by Laurel Porter-Gaylord and illustrated by Ashley Wolff.

The name Ashley Wolff graces our bookshelves as one of my favorite illustrator. Her books in the “Baby Bear” Series (Baby Bear Sees Blue and Baby Bear Counts One) were early discoveries of mine and have remained on the “favorites” list for some time now. I adore her use of bold colors which make the pictures come alive. The illustrations are more subdued and, let’s say more conventional or tame in I Love My Daddy Because, however, the story is one of endearment and it couples nicely with the loving Father-Child animal pairs.

I Love My Daddy Because Fine Motor Activity

I Love My Daddy Because tells a story of why babies love their daddies and provides examples from the animal kingdom. Each page depicts a different animal couple.

I picked this book specifically to fill the “Daddy genre” which for some reason or another is generally lacking. There is a great collection of mommy and child books but good father-child books are more rare. My husband was particularly delighted about this story and enjoys finding time to read it aloud, over and over again.

My daughter is entering official preschool years (now almost 3.5 years old!). I was inspired to make this fine motor early learning activity – a memory card game! This game has multiple applications of which promote learning about familial relations, different animal species and their respective habitats as well as fine motor skills, early literacy and phonics.

We began by folding a standard piece of paper into 16 sections (fold in half, half again, again and again). On one vertical half of the paper I wrote the names of the daddy animals (Penguin, Puffin, Bald Eagle etc) and one the other I wrote the corresponding baby names (Chick, Cub, Kit etc). Finally I drew a quick sketch similar to their depiction in the book.
animal names fine motor activity

My daughter studied the paper briefly and then went to work cutting out each rectangular cell.

cutting fine motor activity

Once they were all cut, we scrambled them up and sorted them out again, matching daddies with their babies. I brought out string and tape to give additional fine motor stimulation. Directions are to put daddy names on one side, babies on the other and cut the string, tape it to connect the appropriate pairs.

tape fine motor activity

Other ways to use these fine motor memory cards:

– Practice word recognition and match to the words in the book, located on the top of each page
– Line in 2 columns (daddy vs baby) and match them with string
– Match by picture
– Match by color clues or sound out the word
– Flip them upside down, lay out in rows and play the traditional memory game
– Keeping a card hidden, give clues about habitat or animal behavior to child and have them guess which card you are holding

Skills this activity teaches:

– Animal names and environment
– Early reading, spelling, letter and sound recognition
– Hand-eye coordination with cutting
– Coloring, copying animal anatomy
– Pattern recognition

More fine motor ideas:

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Renew Yourself with Herbal Tea

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You want to know what I turn to when I need a little pep in my step and patience in my words? An uplifting herbal tea. This is my go-to home remedy against daily stresses, acute impatience, and the onset of irritable sentiments.

We all want health and vitality.

The power of herbs should not be underrated.

Renew Yourself with Herbal Tea

Renew Yourself with Herbal Tea

Tea time is my special time, my personal high-five to life when I get a minute to meditate on things I am grateful for and intentionally put on a pot of nutrients for myself.

Combine a 3:2:1 ratio of the following:

Green Tea a slightly fruity flavor with high anti-oxidents and just a bit of caffine

Nettle vitamin and mineral rich, tonic for the whole body

Lemon Peel a zesty addition that helps digestion and is packed with Vitamin C

Steep 1 tbsp per cup of hot water. Store the remainder in a glass jar for tomorrow.

I love having a symbiotic relationship with the nature around me. When I cannot acquire local, seasonal herbs I turn to the trusty Mt Rose directory of bulk organic dried herbs.

Browsing through their selection for ideas, I found some inspiring blends that will renew your spirit and perk up your body. These are not to be missed out on!

Dawn Chorus Tea – Mineral rich with a soft girly scent of rose petals

Persephone’s Tea – A rooty bend that will help your body function better in life.

Vita-Blend – A vitalizing blend using of some of the most nutrient dense herbs.

Blossoms of Health – Drink a rich bouquet of nourishment!

This is the last post of my DIY Herbal Tea Series – I hope you enjoy sipping on these tasty and medicinally beneficial teas!

Looking for more?

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Herbal Teas for Digestive Support

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Gas, bloating and constipation is no fun! Herbs with carminative and anti-spasmodic properties can provide relief whenever digestive discomfort strikes. Homemade herbal remedies can alleviate the build up of gas, sooth and relax the intestinal tract, and serve as a mild laxative to keep things regular.

These teas are great for the whole family!

Honestly, dietary change is the best long-term solution to solve ongoing digestive issues. Food sensitivities can result in various symptoms such as gas, bloating, cramping, congestion, headaches, and even skin irritations. Playing around with diet can be quite a process, it is best to keep patient and stay attentive to the relationship between your diet and health. A food journal can be a good way to track what changes and outcomes. But for now, why not try these DIY Tummy Tea blends for immediate relief!

Herbal Teas for digestive support

DIY Herbal Remedies: Tummy Teas

To relieve gas and bloating:

Carminative Seed Tea

Mix equal parts:

Ginger – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, a carminative herb and digestive aid

Cardamom – anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and soothing to the digestive system

Fennel Seed – a carminative herb and digestive aid, even freshens bad breath!

Caraway Seed – popular for indigestion and flatulence, contains digestive, antioxidant and carminative properties

These are classic Ayurvedic herbs used for centuries for their soothing effects and healing benefits for the digestive system.

To relieve constipation:

Flax Seed Tea

Add 1-2 teaspoons flax seed per 1 cup hot water, let soak for up to 20 minutes and drink 1-3 times daily.

Flax provides a good source of dietary fiber that will help clean out the gut and get things moving in all the right ways. When flax seeds are soaked they produce a thick gelatinous slime that is very beneficial to the body. These seeds have a mild flavor and fun slimy texture. They act as a gentle, natural laxative soothing and hydrating the intestines as they move through the body.

Drinking flax seed tea is the easiest, quickest, and most economical solution I know of for constipation. I think it is an underrated remedy and more people should try this tea first before other measures.

Try my micronutrient rich flax crackers to get more of these helpful seeds into your diet!

Slippery Elm Bark Tea

Use 2 teaspoons (and up to 5 tablespoons) slippery elm bark per 1 cup of water. Drink as you feel necessary.

Once added to hot water, slipper elm bark produces a slippery and mucilaginous consistency similar to the flax seed. This gel is a gentle and natural laxative that nourishes and supports your GI tract. It is an herbal source of antioxidants that liberally coats the mouth, throat, stomach, and bowels with a soothing gel. The slippery elm bark tea has a delicious sweet taste and is extremely pleasing.

Slippery elm bark is a very safe herb if taken by itself but should be avoided if you are using other medications, as the mucilage can prevent proper absorption.

Unfortunately, these teas are just short-term solutions, you have to do the work to find the root of your condition. I hope these teas help you along in your journey of discovering the best foods and lifestyle adjuvants for optimum gut health. Hang in there, if you keep digging you will find the answers!

Drink Water

It can be amazing to realize digestive bouts have been caused by chronic dehydration. In addition to these teas, make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day! Before trying any remedies you should always first make sure you are drinking enough, at least half your body weight in ounces every day.

Apply an Elimination Diet

It may not immediately appeal to you but keep it in mind when you are ready for some real changes. As I mentioned earlier, dietary change is the best long-term solution to solve ongoing digestive issues

Pay attention to your diet and discover your trigger foods. Do you see patterns in your moods or physical wellbeing after eating certain foods? The idea behind an elimination is basic enough to understand; eliminate foods you think you do not react well with for a week or longer, then add one food back at a time and see the effects.

I would recommend practicing an elimination diet of the foods you think may negatively affect you. For me, this was not the easiest thing to do. I was not eager to eliminate staple foods I felt reliant upon and thought I enjoyed. But eventually, after enough chronic discomfort, I took the plunge and tried a few weeks without dairy and eggs. What do you know, I noticed a clear improvement. At first it was hard and I felt like I was missing out on culinary options, but the results are so worth it! Now I don’t even think twice about my choices. I have learned to enjoy my wellbeing more gratifying than a pleasurable taste in my mouth.

Best of luck discovering your true health and potential!

If you would like to learn more about the medicinal benefits and easy tea recipes you can make at home, check out the rest of this series on herbal teas!

Herbal Tea the First Line of Defense

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DIY Rest and Relax Herbal Tea

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Certain herbs have special medicinal properties that sooth nerves, calm the mind, and reduce stress. After a night of little sleep or at the end of a hectic day I love turning to my trusty teapot and filling it with a relaxing herbal tea blend to help me recover.

DIY Rest and Relax Herbal Tea

DIY Rest and Relax Tea Blend

In a 1:1:1/2 ratio mix the following,

Lemon Balm – a soothing herb for the digestive and nervous system, calms the mind and supports memory and cognitive function.

Chamomile – a cure-all type of plant offers assistance in calming the mind and alleviating tension. It also acts as a mild sedative promoting good sleep and peaceful mood.

Lavender – the aromatic flowers reduce anxiety, calm the mind and body and produce overall well-being.

Steep for 15 minutes in hot water. This tea is also suitable cold. It has a wonderful delicate, sweet taste.

relax herbal remedy

Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite source of bulk organic herbs. They offer some really great pre-made blends as well. I love experimenting with new flavors and discovering new herbs, these mixes are a wonderful way to experiment without ending up with a yucky result.

I recommend these pre-made blends when you are in the mood to relax and recharge.

21st Century Tea – made specifically to mediate the stress and detoxify from our modern world.

Evening Repose Tea – similar to my own blend but adds the zest of various mints.

Peace Tea – comprised of gentle and calming nervine herbs that support a peaceful outlook.

Read more about the medicinal benefits of tea and other DIY herbal tea blends of this series!

Herbal Tea the First Line of Defense
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3 Herbal Home Remedies Against the Flu and Other Nasties

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Whenever I see symptoms of a stuffy nose, itchy throat or feel the early signs of a headache coming on I immediately make a tea with immune system supporting herbs. As you well know, as a mom there is no time to be sick and having sick kids is no fun. In my three-step herbal attack against colds, flues and other viral infections, I rely on the power of homemade herbal remedies. Homemade herbal teas are my first defense.

herbal home remedies against the flu

Immune Defense Tea

I love the spicy flavor the tea produces.

immune support tea

Mix 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp nettle leaf, and 1 tsp rooibos tea and steep for 10-15 minutes in one cup of water.

Turmeric – An anti-oxidant rich, adaptogenic, immune suportive and potent anti-inflammatory medicinal and culinary root

Nettle leaf – An immune supporting, anti-inflammatory herb and rich in nutrients, contains a number of essential minerals including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Roobios – A delicious red tea from South Africa that is very high in anti-oxidants, trace minerals, and nutrients

Drink 1-4 times through out the day.

Mushrooms for Immune Support

Wild chaga mushroom tea is a popular favorite around my house. A friend recently introduced me to this specific mushroom and I have really enjoyed the sweet robust earthy flavor! Chaga has been used in folk medicine for centuries, most notably in Russia, Poland, China and various Baltic countries. Reishi now has a lot of interesting scientific studies to support the 4000 year old historical claims of its herbal superiority to improve health, resistance to disease, and promote energy and longevity. Both are powerful tools in my medicine cabinet.

herbal remedies for flu 

Reishi Mushroom – used for centuries to boost the immune system, combat viral infections, and promote lung health

Chaga Mushroom – an adaptogen, immune system supporting, gastrointestinal aid, and genoprotective agent (DNA-shielding).

Both of these teas are so delicious! I immediately feel better after these warming and very nutrient rich decoctions.

If for some reason making a tea does not suit you, these medicinal mushrooms are also available in tincture form.

Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano is a very potent herbal remedy sometimes referred to as “nature’s antibiotic”. It is known to combat respiratory, yeast and parasite infections, support skin health and ease sore throats. It is a wonderful healing herb but has an extremely strong taste making it difficult to get kids to drink it. I find this topical treatment is a great solution for getting the medicinal benefits without the shocking taste.

I combine oil of oregano with a few drops of the essential oil of lavender. Lavender is calming for the nerves, which hopefully equates to a better nights sleep for you and your little one. Lavender also promotes respiratory health, supports the immune system, is a mild pain reliever and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

In about 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil I dilute 3-5 drops of oil of oregano and mix in 5 drops essential oil of lavender and rub generously on the bottoms of feet and chest. Put socks on to ensure the oils stay on the feet, not your sheets.

Gel capsules of oil of oregano look like another way to sneak this medicine into the body. I have not tried these yet but am very interested!

If you are curious about more herbal home remedies, check out the other DIY herbal tea blends in the series Herbal Tea: the first defense.

Herbal Tea the First Line of Defense 

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DIY Longevity Tea Mix + Fun Tea Time Activity for Kids

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In my recent trip to the farmer’s market I encountered this particular item of delight, a mixture of local herbs called horchata. I’m not talking about the sweet milky Mexican drink made from rice. This is a deep red, mineral rich, infusion of herbs. Sold by the Saraguro Indians, this speciality mix has a long established use within the local culture and is customarily used to promote well-being, longevity, and immune strength. How could I say no?

DIY Longevity Tea Mix

This bounty of benefits found in local plants has brought the importance of using locally available plants to boost your health and well-being to my attention. It is important, no matter where you live, to strive to be connected with the land you live upon. For me, one way to do this is preparing and working with local organic plants.

local farmers organic market

Every Sunday I visit the local farmers market to buy eggs, uvillas (the popular golden berry), veggies and fresh herbs for the week. This is a mother-daughter pair that I frequent. Their herbs are always fresh and they have the best eggs – the yolks are orange!

Mineral rich tea

The deep red color is so pretty! The taste is light and lemony.

How make a Longevity Tea blend

Here is the recipe for a nutrient filled tea that has literally stood through the test of time:

½ cup of:

  • Lemon grass -anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Lemon balm – promotes relaxation, anti-anxitey and anti-viral properties
  • Nettle – anti-inflammatory, useful for allergies and extremely rich in minerals
  • Alfalfa – extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, also cleanses the blood
  • Mint – soothing for the digestive system, associated with positive cognitive functioning such as enhanced memory and uplifted moods
  • Chamomile flowers – anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory

1/4 cup of:

  • Plantain – very high in vitamins A and C, also a rich source of calcium.
  • Borage – nutritionally packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids, soothes the nerves and eases depression
  • Horse-tail – digestive aid, diuretic, promotes milk-flow in nursing, soothes the nerves
  • Fennel – antidepressant, promotes milk-flow in nursing, digestive aid
  • Oregano* – anti-microbial and anti-fungal
  • Thyme* anti-bacterial, anti-septic and antioxidant
  • Amaranth and blood leaf – provide the deep red color and an array of vitamin and minerals

*Oregano and thyme are herbs I like to add for extra immune support. Oatstraw and red clover are two other important mineral rich herbs that carry a nice flavor as well.

  1. Make: use ½ cup measurements of dried lemon grass, lemon balm, nettle, alfalfa, mint and chamomile flowers. Mix with 1/8 cup measurements of dried plantain, borage, horse-tail, fennel, oregano, thyme, red amaranth leaf and blood leaf. I suggest you buy herbs in bulk as it is more economical and very practical. Store your pre-made tea in a glass jar for easy access.
  2. Steep: 1 tsp per cup of boiled water (or one generous handful per liter/quart) for 10 minutes.
  3. Drink: it’s great warm but if you have the patience to chill it, the taste is even better! Traditionally, a lime is squeezed in and a spoon of honey or panela (evaporated cane sugar) is added to the cold tea.


Horchata is so refreshing on a hot day! Never before have a had such an array of nutrient rich and medicinally beneficial herbs all in one tea!

Tea Time Sensory Ice Play

For some fun sensory ice play, I froze tea in a little ice cube tray. While my daughter and I drank tea together we heated up a cup of water and retrieved the ice cubes from the freezer.

sensory ice play fine motor skills

I lay the ice and cup of warm water out on a towel and let her explore.

The frozen tea made nice trails of color in the clear water. Slowly the ice dissolved and we talked about temperature, different stages of water, and benefits derived from medicinal plants. It was a great early science experiment!


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Herbal Tea the First Line of Defense

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I have turned to the benefits of herbal teas many times in recent years. Not only do I love the inviting scents, the cozy feeling of a warm cup in hand but the myriad of health benefits associated with herbal infusions and decoctions are really something to celebrate.

The history of tea is long and complex, spreading across multiple cultures and over thousands of years. The cultural, medicinal, and economic interests of tea are plentiful, heck, there have even been wars over these delicious dried materials.

But beside just the feel good aspect of slowly sipping a cup of warm liquid on a cold day, are there any physical or physiological benefits to be gained?

I say – YES! The infusion of leaves and flowers and decoctions of roots and barks deliver lovely benefits through the extraction of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds through hot water.

Herbal Tea the First Line of Defense

Benefits of Drinking Herbal Tea

  • Hydration You need to constantly be intaking liquids, especially on a hot day or breastfeeding. It is recommended to divide your body weight (in pounds) by half, convert that number to ounces and drink that much daily. Ex: I am not more than 140 pounds, divided by 2 = 70. I should drink 70 ounces every day. There are 32 ounces in a quart, therefore I need (at least) roughly 2 and 1/4 quarts a day.
  • Sensory Pleasure Warm, colorful, steaming, and flavorful all describe my favorite teas. Drinking in all this positive sensory stimulantion brings such pleasure.
  • Social Interaction Going out for coffee, but don’t drink coffee…tea is your answer! I always like offering a cup of fresh tea to friends that come to visit.
  • Steeping herbs in hot water releases nutrients and provides medicinal benefits to the body that are easily recognized and absorbed.

Medicinal Benefits of Herbs

Herbalism, the study and use of medicinal plants, is long established across the globe and many traditional medicine practices continue today. I find it interesting to note that many pharmaceuticals are based on the medicinal healing properties of plants. They isolate plant-derived compounds, package them and try to scientifically prove that the processed isolated part is the better version. Who is it better for? The customer (you) or the business (them)? Herbs are accessible, affordable, and easy to handle. In any event I may need a sort of medicine I prefer to work with herbs first before turning to over the counter medicine and prescription drugs. You may or may not agree. Everyone is prone to their own opinion but as long as decisions are made honestly and with an educated point of view, they should be respected.

Herbal tea benefits

Herbs are generally classified as culinary, aromatic, and medicinal herbs. While there are strictly medicinal herbs, culinary and aromatic herbs also offer health benefits. The versatility is evident when we look at basil, for example. Usually seen as a culinary herb, basil is a remedy against stress due to it being a nervine (meaning it has a beneficial effect upon the nervous system). Mint is an aromatic herb but commonly known to be a useful digestive aid. So you see, people can use plants for different purposes. Tea can be a tool to change your mood, your digestion, your skin, your sense of well-being and energy.

DIY tea blends are so much fun because you can customize them to your needs. I like buying dried organic herbs in bulk and having them on hand to mix and match when the moment of desire strikes. It only takes a quick look at popular brands like Traditional Medicinals, Yogi Tea, and Earth Mama, Angel Baby to see that awareness of herbal teas is growing.

No matter what your ailment there are herbs out there that can help. I frequently drink herbs for the vitamin and mineral contents, I think of these as providing a sort of daily multi-vitamin protection. Whenever the flu or other illness affects my family I immediately go to my drawers of herbs and whip up a special mix to ward away the nasties that try to come.

Casually drinking tea gives me a special time to reflect and take some moments to recollect myself. As a mom, these moments are priceless! I make tea when I am happy, sad, healthy, sick, grumpy, groggy and tired – no occasion is off limits. Tea is my special “mom treat” that I truly do cherish.

medicinal herbs in bulk

Here are my five top DIY herbal tea blends:

  1. Longevity Tea
  2. Immune Defense Remedies
  3. Rest and Relax Tea
  4. Digestive Supporting Tea
  5. Self Renewal Tea

Check out these fun Tea Time accessories and be on the look out for upcoming tea recipes!

Unbleached reusable muslim tea bags are great for steeping your own loose tea blend.

Stainless Steal Loose Leaf Tea Infuser with saucer look like my kind of tool.

The Perfect Tea Maker – such a beautiful presentation!

A glass tea kettle and infuser looks fancy as well.

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DIY Easy Felt Board

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We are having more felt fun!

DIY easy felt board preschooler


Can you believe that even after making a DIY no-sew felt playhouse, recycled toilet paper tube dollsand a felted dollhouse I still have felt left over? Slowly but surely I’m making a dent in my pile.

arts and crafts recycled felt for kids

I had a felt board growing up and loved it! The construction of a felt board is really very simple.

How to make a DIY Easy Felt Board

  • Find an old cardboard box. Cut off the top flaps, one side panel, and the bottom. This leaves three side panels attached together. I chose one long and two short panels so that the board can fold up neatly.
  • Measure your felt strip so that it is long and wide enough to completely cover your cardboard, give approximately 2-4 inches on all sides to glue to the back.
  • With a hot glue gun, carefully apply glue on all edges.
  • Wait for it to cool and… TA-DA!
  • Cut whatever felt shapes tickle your fancy – abc, animals, flowers, geometric shapes, eyes, noses and lips…

TIPS: I always recommend a low-temperature glue gun whenever working around kids given the fact that it is likely they will want to either touch or help you with the gluing. Alternatively, you can use felt glue and avoid the hot issue all together. Lastly, a pair of sharp fabric scissors will come in handy with all this cutting!

Now for the fun part – your felt pieces!

I cut alphabet letters from each color. We have a few store-bought alphabets but they never have enough letters to spell my daughter’s name (she has three As). Here is my solution! Now we will never be limited. There is so much to do with these! I like that A can pick them up and feel the letters in three dimensions. We spell, match letters, and match colors. She also likes looking at books and putting the felt letters into the pages with corresponding letters.

early learning felt letters abc

Warning – Proceed with caution: there is a big pile, it is easy for them to get spread around the house. This may result in finding felt letters in miscellaneous places.

felt letters abc early learning

I also did some geometric shapes. I originally put them together as flowers, stars, and people.

diy felt board preschool craft

These pieces were great for free pattern making – I actually liked that even more!

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DIY Recycled Cardboard Dollhouse

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What are DIY recycled toilet paper dolls without a DIY recycled cardboard dollhouse?

DIY recycled cardboard dollhouseAfter studying cardboard construction tips from Ikatbag and seeing the epically beautiful cardboard barbie house (with working lights and an elevator!) I hunted around for my box and got busy.

With humble beginnings, my recycled house soon took form. I cut and taped pieces of cardboard together. The windows were poked with a knife and then finished off with scissors. Everything else is cut with scissors and attached with masking tape.

cardboard DIY doll house

I had extra felt from our DIY no-sew felt playhouse, I cut and hot glued it onto the cardboard shell.

homemade doll house

With construction advice from my little one, the top balcony, doors and slide were all made to her specification. The balcony on top is made from a small scrap of cardboard and stuck on with tape.

DIY recycled doll house cardboard

It is so great having this part that swings open! I completely separated the side part from the box body and then reattached it with a simple hinge of many layers of tape.

Even if you do not have felt (or the time) a cardboard house can still look very pretty! If this is the case, I would use clear tape and make little embellishments around the doors, windows, and roof with markers or pen.

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DIY Recycled Toilet Paper Tube Dolls

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Toilet paper tubes are a never-ending supply of fun, I love finding new ways to use them! I didn’t know where we would end up when I first pulled them out of my stash of recycling, these dolls are a result of playful exploration.

Recycled Toilet Paper Tube Dolls DIY

I brought out a little craft box of felt and yarn and let the play unfold. Do you know the story When You Give a Mouse a Cookie? It’s going to want a glass of milk…then a straw…then a napkin…then a fill-in-the-blank. Our morning went sort of like that. One by one, I brought new crafty accessories until we had a nice selection to build our little people.

Toilet Paper tube dolls recycle craft

My little blossom enjoyed picking out the materials, cutting, and helping to place them on the rolls.

Recycled Toilet paper tube dolls

We made friends in pairs of a man and lady and talked about activities they might like to do.

recycle kids craft toilet paper tube dolls

Things you need to make DIY Recycled Toilet Paper Tube Dolls:

  • cardboard tubes – the more sizes the more possibilities
  • miscelaneous craft supplies: googly eyes, pipe cleaner, tissue paper, wrapping paper, pom-poms, glitter glue, confietti…anything that is glue-able (this giant jar has it all)
  • markers for older children to draw on the details of a face or outfit
  • one hot glue gun (this child safe glue gun is awesome!)
  • a playful imagination!

My daughter and I talked about hot glue gun safety; how and why we plug our gun into the outlet, how it works, and where it gets hot. Having a low-temperature kid-friendly glue gun really comes in handy when little hands want to contribute also. Generally, I find it easier to incorporate my Little Blossom into the making of a project rather than separately preparing something to present to her. Through this approach she has learned the appropriate ways to use and handle scissors, glue, hot water, permanent marker, food coloring, and paint from an early age.

DIY art and craft kids recycled dolls

Hope you enjoy the time with your child(ren)!

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DIY No Sew Felt Playhouse

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I want to give a big “thank you” to Sew Can Do who inspired me to crafty action with this post about her own no-sew playhouse, her idea is brilliant!

DIY no sew felt playhouse

This playhouse is made to fit over your table.

Some things I learned:

  • you need a good pair of sharp scissors
  • the measuring process is made easier if you have basic sewing supplies like a cutting board, measuring tape, and yard stick. The right tools make measuring quick and keep your fabric from sliding around.
  • A hot glue gun works better than white glue. A kid friendly design is essential, otherwise I stress out about burns.
  • A Cuttlebug makes really cute designs!

Can you see the blue chalk lines? I didn’t have any sewing chalk so what can I do? Use sidewalk chalk. Yup. That’s what I did.

More detailed creation instructions here.

Diy no sew fet playhouse steps

What a fun surprise to make while a child naps!

no sew felt playhouse details

This no-sew felt playhouse is doable in just a few hours.

DIY no sew felt playhouse side view

I took a break after the initial construction and paused until I had sharper scissors. I was almost getting blisters from trying to force a dull pair through the felt!

DIY no sew felt playhouse window

In the last stages, I went to work cutting balloons, flowers, and letters. I also made a few adjustments to the ties. I increased the length of the original incisions and retied the two colors together to make the fit more tight.

DIY no sew felt playhouse front

Mommy and daughter both had a nice time making it together!

Some other no sew projects to try!

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Storage Ideas For Your Toddler Room

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Are you looking for storage ideas for your toddler room? Fed up with tripping over toys in your littlie’s room, or having every toy in the house unpacked by lunchtime? Well worry no more, we have some handy tips for sorting and storing those toys and structuring their room, that’ll leave you smiling, and your toes bruiseless 😉

Storage Ideas For Your Toddler Room from PowerfulMothering.com

Toy Storage For A Toddler Room

Unpack your giant toy chest where everything lives, and sort toys and games into their original groups.

Then pack each type into it’s own container, and label. Each time your child needs an activity or game, you give them just that one container. The room always (almost always..) stays tidy and tidy-up time is quick.

DIY Storage Bins

Fabric drawers are a classic solution for organizational needs, use them anywhere – on the floor, bookcase, and in closets.

Or if you like color, bright and cheerful folding fabric bins may be what you need.

This 3 Sprouts storage bin is adorable, nice for nursery decor as well.

Get busy making DIY recycled cardboard toy bins.

For small bits, something like this vertical rainbow organizer can really make a difference.

Don’t forget about under the bed space, utilize this often over looked space with a DIY rolling storage cart.

Toddler Room Storage Ideas (in toddler language)

Label your toddler’s storage containers with words (or pictures) of what’s inside, and make their shelves and drawers accessible by tiny heights and hands. Large messy games/crafts can be stored out of reach for sanity purposes 😉

DIY Storage Labels

Wow – reusable sticky labels that look like chalkboard! You can use liquid or dry chalk to write on them, erase, restick, and try again. I know I’ll bring my extras to the kitchen! So classy, nifty, and multi-functional.

TeachingMama laminates these free printables for kid-friendly plastic toy bins.

The Golden Gleam did this clever trick with actual pictures so her kids can easily recognize the contents.

Here is more colorful cheer for your toddlers room! Try these happy looking customizable stickers (free printable) from IHeartArtsAndCrafts.

In A Toddler Room – Systems are key!

Living by the old adage ‘A place for everything, and everything in it’s place’ helps keep your toddler’s room organised and neat! With a neat place for legos, books and toys, you’ll be well on your way to having an organised toddler room where you can find any toy at a glance!

DIY Toys Storage Solutions

No doubt about it, LEGOS are the toy that is most often in need of an organized storage system. A craft cabinet with various sized sliding drawers is makes a special home for all sizes and accessories.

An extra large play/activity mat looks like a sanity saver, follow a simple DIY plan or buy one.

This custom DIY lego shelving unit is AWESOME! I love seeing the pictures of son and dad working together.

For even more ideas about preserving instruction booklets, color coding, and tool box tricks hop over to CarrotsAreOrange to read about lego storage in action.

If Legos aren’t threatening to take over your floor, stuffed animals may very well be. A mesh hammock elevates the furry friends up off the floor and makes use of corner space.

Smaller soft buddies and baby toys can be clipped on a vertical chain.

For a quick hide-away solution with easy access, ComeTogetherKids has a great suggestion.

Feeling thrifty? A DIY hanging basket is a beautiful project you and your child can do together.

Books are next on my list of things that need a special place in my toddlers room. I really like this 3 Sprouts hanging wall organizer, it has such a nice, friendly print.

This is a really clever DIY shelving project that makes use of a dresser wall, I could totally do this!

A stand up book sling shelf look nice and offers lots of space!

Fun Helping Hands

Have your child tidy up after themselves. Sounds impossible? Turn it into a game to see who can put away the most toys, or throw lego into the lego bucket, or plastic rings onto their stand. Kids seem to love plastic animal bins; who doesn’t love a panda bin who ‘eats’ garbage?

Get kids to clean up toys

I can see these small storage caddies being a great tool in a race to pick up as many toys as possible.

Feed the duck! He’s hungry 😉

A timer is only the first game idea from TheresJustOneMommy.

Here’s a successful idea with kitchen tongs!

Try singing a clean up song to inspire your little one to action.

Storage Ideas – Out with the old, in with the new

To avoid collecting up an enormous collection of toys that your toddler never uses/outgrows, get into a habit of giving to charity/friends toys that your child doesn’t play with anymore. Keeping your toy collection to a decent size, and able to fit neatly into the toy storage space you have, goes a long way to creating a neat, organised toddler room!

How to toy purge

TheJennyEvolution shares her favorite places to donate old toys after the holiday season.

Check out these Mom tips about keeping your toy collection small:

Teaching Kids Not To Trash – Graham And Parker

Less is More – Nurture Store

To Keep or To Toss – Peace but Not Quiet

How to Involve Kids in a Toy Purge – Best Toys for Toddlers

20 Reasons to say “YES” to Fewer Toys – Best Toys for Toddlers



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The Ultimate Organizational Resource for Moms!

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Here is the ULTIMATE organizational resource for moms! Broken into sections about the kitchen, bedroom, kids area, etc there is a special bonus of SANITY SAVERS linked up at the end. There are a wide range of examples from simple and quick fixes to full room makeovers to inspire your task at hand. Scattered throughout are some posts about the mentality and philosophy behind staying clutter free and organized in the long term. It is just as important (and sometimes just as challenging) to keep a clean focused mind as it is to keep a clean organized home.

These mom’s know their stuff! I’m now in the midst of revamping the craft area, cleaning up the pantry, purging old clothes, and making my kitchen more kid-friendly. It is so refreshing to have a freshly swept floor…but a neat and tidy closet, a freezer I’m not afraid to open, googly eyes with a proper home! Oh MY! So precious! The best part about this round up are the reminders to encourage children to get involved and help with the cleaning and daily tidying up. I hope you enjoy these tips and tricks and successfully motivate yourself and family to live in an appropriately tidy and peaceful home!

The Ultimate Organizational Resource for Moms! on PowerfulMothering.com

The Ultimate Organizational Resource for Moms!


  1. Kitchen Command Centre – a must!
  2. Kitchen Evaluation – Get ready to dive in to the nitty gritty
  3. Quick to Clean Countertops – This makes it so easy
  4. Quirky Kitchen Tips – Reuse and recycle to keep the clutter at bay
  5. Make a Pretty Freezer – Let no nook remain unturned
  6. Tidy Up Your Spice Section – This is my guilty pleasure
  7. How To Tackle an Open Pantry – Its out on display, might as well make it look nice
  8. Organize your Pantry with Labels – Go on, I dare you!
  9. Dry Erase Board for Pantry Organization – Such a simple trick to stay on top of your pantry stores
  10. Make a Kids Pantry – Genius!
  11. Organizing Kids Plates and Bowls – Give them a special place!


  1. One Rule For Keeping A Clean Bedroom – A secret, fool-proof rule to have kids keep their space clean!
  2. 5 Steps to Having a Peaceful Bedroom – I think something we all want
  3. Create a Content Closet – I had to go read what that is! Further proof of my need for these
  4. Clean Up Your Closet – Every nook is ready for a makeover, don’t forget this one
  5. Fix Up a Closet in 30 Minutes – Quick and easy zoning
  6. Tricks for a Kids Closet – Inspiring!
  7. Best Places to Give or Sell Old Clothes – Share the love!
  8. Clothing Dividers – Great for a family with multiple kids
  9. Hat and Mitten Storage – For all of you in the cold
  10. DIY Jewelry Organizer – What a great project to DIY with your daughter


  1. A Montessori Inspired Bathroom – A kid-friendly space
  2. 4 Tips for an Organized Bathroom – The secret of success is getting your children involved
  3. Whole Bathroom Facelift – An inspiring show of DIY dedication + tip for bath toys
  4. Stream Line Bathroom Storage – Just do it
  5. Store Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Out of Sight – So innovative and economical
  6. How to Use Magnetic Strips in your Bathroom – Perfect for little things that like to get lost
  7. Mason Jars in the Bathroom – Mason jars…a homemakers best friend
  8. A Tip for your Toilet Scrubber – Very elegant
  9. Upcycled Hair Accessory Organizer – Get crafty and organize, I love it!
  10. DIY Hair Bow Organizer – Beautiful presentation

Kids areas

  1. Making a Kid-Friendly Home – It’s all about perspective
  2. How to Organize a Play Room – The secret of zoning
  3. Tips for Organizing Preschool at Home – I just love those jars!
  4. Learn to Design a Learning Space – One of the most important spaces
  5. Toy Room Organization & Free Toy Bin Labels – Grab the free printable too
  6. 5 Easy Steps to Toy Rotation and Organization – I am a big fan of toy rotation!
  7. Toy Storage Ideas for your family – Need somewhere to put things?
  8. Quiet Boxes – I love these and they seems to simple to utilize
  9. DIY Mudroom Bench – A great place to unload AND be orderly
  10. Managing Outdoor Toys – Nothing like bins and vertical storage in action

Craft Area

  1. 10 Ways to Display Art – Such beautiful ideas that really spruce up the home
  2. Managing the Mess: My Art Supply Shelf – A few key elements from an elementary art teacher
  3. Organizing Art, Drawings, and Other Paper Projects  – Use binders to catalogue school art, tests, and other papers
  4. End of the Year School Organization – A spring clean for summer time
  5. Recycled Glass Craft Containers – Everything in its own place
  6. DIY Invention Box – The solution for odds and ends!
  7. Over the Door Shoe Caddy for Craft Supplies – I love this!
  8. Repurpose Drink Carriers – A popular idea
  9. Make a Bucket Boss – This is…AWESOME
  10. More Ways to Recycle Food Containers – Have you thought of them all?

Living room

  1. 4 Things to Think About – Sound advice about living in small spaces with children
  2. Declutter Your Home in One Week – See real-life changes that start in the living room and spread throughout the house
  3. Get Your House Company Ready in 10 Minutes – Sounds like a challenge!
  4. Organize Toys in the Living Room – A secret hide-away, no one will know
  5. Lego Solutions – Great for when they threaten to take over your house 😉
  6. Toy Storage Solution – This tip keeps toys on the floor to a minimum
  7. Use Laundry Baskets for Storage – baskets and shelves for a quick updo
  8. Accessorize with Wicker Bins – It helps to have something you like to look at + bedroom tips
  9. DIY Cubby Unit – This was done in a bedroom, but could easily be converted to the living room
  10. Create a Book Nook! – Give the kids a special space and set a zone for books

Laundry room

  1. 3 Day Laundry Solution – A life saver?
  2. Why You Should Love a Full Laundry Basket – A must read 🙂
  3. Teach Older Kids to Launder – Not exactly organization of physical things but rather who does the washing
  4. 5 Things You Need – Use free vertical space and set up a basket system
  5. 7 Awesome Tips for the Laundry Room – I would use these all to transform a drab room into a happy functional space
  6. Cleaning out the Linen Closet – No more dirty secrets
  7. DIY Laundry Rack – Pull it down or tuck it away
  8. THIS IS STUNNING – A rags to riches laundry room makeover under $160

Mothers sanity savers

  1. A Three-Step Plan for Home Organization – Get the right mentality…to CONQUER
  2. Daily Cleaning List for the Whole Family – Use this to work together with your children for a clean home
  3. 15 Tips for Getting the Kids Involved – It is possible!
  4. Family Command Center – All your necessities to run the “family business”
  5. What is in a Command Binder? – A real view inside a WAHM’s household binder
  6. Supply List for Everything You Need – Take this with you to the store!
  7. Multi-Tasking Cleaning Tips For Moms – Pay attention to maximize efficiency
  8. Meal Planning Made Simple – Helps organize the kitchen, dinner table, and your shopping
  9. 10 Simple Steps to Make the Morning Easier – I’m all about number 7
  10. How to Get More Done in Your Day – A goal for everyone, I’m sure
  11. Printables for All Your Organizing NeedsLiterally for all your needs and probably some you didn’t know you needed

Pin and share to come back to time and time again!

The Ultimate Organizational Resource for Moms! on PowerfulMothering.com

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35+ Simple Activities for 0-6 Month Olds

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It can be perplexing to know just exactly what to do when your new baby is not sleeping, nursing, crying, or getting a diaper change. Soon enough they start looking around and trying to move, this is when you begin the a special time of first discoveries in the world.

It is amazing to witness such deep joy come from such simple activities. Enjoy the different ideas here for 0-6 month olds, each topic covers a different way to gently engage with your baby and bond through exploring new experiences.

Simple Activities for 0-6 Month Olds

35+ Simple Activities for 0-6 Month Olds on Powerfulmothering.com

Gross Motor: Exercise, Movement, and Tummy Time

These mamas remind us that even when it looks like nothing is going on, our little babies are always developing and working hard to grow. Encouraging their movement and showing them different ways to feel their bodies has an important role! Enjoy the simple motions, babies don’t last forever 🙂 Tummy Time Baby's First Play

Soft Play Ideas

These simple sew ideas give a baby something soft to play and teeth with and keep your hands busy!Soft Baby PlayCollage

Music Inspired

Excite the ear with your beautiful, loving voice! Sing-alongs with hand action are great to introduce fine motor skills and rhythm at an early age.


Early Art and Crafts

Colorful keepsakes and other bright ideas are a nice way to pass the time while your little one remains little. It’s never too early to start crafting!

Baby Arts and Crafts Collage

Discovery Bottles, Busy Baskets and Boxes

Recycle old containers, baskets, and cardboard boxes for baby’s first discovery play. It is nice to have a go-to basket collection of easy access baby friendly toys. Pick out baby safe objects with intriguing textures, colors, and shapes to make a treasure box or put them in a bottle for some floaty fun.

Discovery Bins Baskets Bottles Collage

Fine Motor Play for Baby

OoOh sensory! These easy projects with bring many ‘coos’ and ‘oohs’. Simple and affordable activities that use upcycled or recycled materials, you can’t go wrong!


Kitchen Inspired Taste Safe Sensory Play

Here’s some sensory play right from your kitchen! Each recipe is “taste-safe”, made from food ingredients and non-toxic if it is accidentally ingested. Get a little messy and have a lot of fun!!

Sensory baby taste safe

 Need more awesome Play ideas?

Check out our Zero to Two the book of play ebook!

zero to two the book of playYou Might also like:


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Essential Oils 101
Perfect for beginners to Essential oils to find out what oils can do!
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