Motherhood, parenting

6 Ways To Build Your Toddler’s Vocab

One of the most exciting milestones, for both you and your child, is when your child learns how to talk. If you have a young toddler, chances are that they already know and use a few simple words. But more words mean more power— power to better understand the world and power to better understand themselves. Of course, most kids will learn more words naturally over time, but jump-starting your toddler’s vocab can’t hurt! Even so, there’s no need to break out the flashcards or buy fancy learning aids; the best and most effective ways of teaching your toddler are actually free. This list of 6 Ways to Build Your Toddler’s Vocab will show you easy ways to introduce new words to your young toddler, so that they’re chatting up a storm by the time they’re ready for preschool.

1. Lead by example.

To your young toddler, you’re just about the coolest person in the world. They want to dress like you, act like you, and yes, talk like you! Arguably the best way to boost your toddler’s vocab is to talk to them… a lot. Narrate what you’re doing throughout the day and talk about things that they are doing as well. The more you say any given word, the more likely that they’ll pick up on it too!

2. Introduce new experiences.

Narrating daily life for your toddler is great, but if you have the same routine day after day, the number of new words they’re exposed to will still be limited. You can expose them to even more vocab by going to new places and seeing new things with your toddler. You don’t have to completely give up your routine to do this either. Even something as simple as changing the route of your daily walk can give you tons of new things to talk about. You can also try going to a different grocery store with different products, going to a new park, or trying out a new kid-friendly restaurant.

3. Introduce new people.

Spending time around different people can be just as helpful as spending time in different places when it comes to learning new words. Make sure your toddler has plenty of opportunities to play with kids their own age as well as older kids and adults. Since everyone experiences life differently, words that you don’t typically use could be commonplace to others.

4. Read to them.

Another great way to help your toddler grow their vocab is to read to them, and not just before bedtime. Your toddler will have a better chance at picking up new words if they are awake and excited rather than tired and cranky. Try to pick books with fun, colorful pictures that you can talk to them about. Books with “sound” words (like “boom!” and “splat!”) or actions (like “stomp” and “clap”) are also great for introducing new words while having fun.

5. Limit TV time.

While watching television can be entertaining, it’s easier for toddlers to learn new words when they hear those words in real life. Because of this, you should try to choose activities that involve more interaction and cut down on screen time. When your toddler does watch TV, stick around to watch the show with them. You can turn it into an interactive activity by asking them questions, pointing out fun things in the background of a scene, and acting out their favorite parts with them. That way, your toddler can still watch the shows they love while also working on their vocab.

6. Encourage them.

When children are first learning to talk, you might naturally feel the urge to correct their mistakes. But unless they ask for help pronouncing something, you should let them stumble through their words at first. Constantly being corrected quite simply makes things less fun, and toddlers learn best when they’re having fun! Instead, try adding to what they’ve already said to show that you understand and that you’re interested too.

With so many fancy, expensive learning aids promising to help your toddler become a master wordsmith, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out because, of course, all parents want what’s best for their children. Luckily, in this case, what’s best is not what costs the most money. Keeping learning simple and fun (and free!) will not only ensure that your toddler is building their vocab, but it will also get both of you excited about the process again.

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Exercise, Motherhood, Uncategorized, yoga

5 Pose To Make Moms Happier

by Naomi Gottlieb-Miller

We’re told as moms that the days are long but the years are short.

I 100% agree with that. I’m literally writing this while my 2 ½ year old son is napping in my lap and thinking, when did he get so big that he can barely fit into my lap?

The days really can feel painfully long sometimes, especially if you’re not setting aside time to take care of you.

I’ve created a quick yoga practice that you can do every day to boost your mood and maybe even feel a little happier on those especially long days.

The practice is just about 10 minutes long, with 5 simple yoga poses for you to do.

Don’t worry: this practice is intended for busy moms of at all levels of yoga practice. If you’re newer to yoga, I promise you’ll be just fine. The poses I’ve picked aren’t super challenging and I give lots of modifications if you need them. Also, the more you do these poses, the more familiar they will become, and the easier they will feel in your body.

So give yourself 15 minutes, roll out your yoga mat, and make a date with yourself so that you can feel a little more satisfied and have a little more bounce in your step on those long days of motherhood.

About Author

Naomi is a mom, a yoga teacher, a self-care advocate, an activist, and a total star trek nerd. I’ve been practicing yoga for 19 years and teaching for 14. She is known for my creative and intentionally sequenced yoga classes, as well as my belief that laughter, sound effects, and animal noises that correspond with their yoga poses make yoga more fun.
She loves avocados, unicorns, and has been called a “crazy indoor plant lady”

Website: http://www.conscioushealthymama.com

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Beauty, Motherhood

Lilo Mooi – For Those Who Love To Look Beautiful

Being beautiful. Which mom doesn’t love the idea?

I was highly excited when Lilo Mooi invited me to come to their studio and try out their waxing services. And I have to say… It was awesome, and an (almost) painless experience for a first-timer and person who doesn’t stand pain, like me!

Here’s what I can observe from the visit!

1. An inviting welcome desk

Hey, everyone loves a great invite, and this desk works well! It also has some pamphlets for you to read, understand and share to the people who may need it!

2. A cosy waiting area

Look at how happy my mom was! That is before my toddler decided to run around the place while I discover the area & services. Thank you Ibu, I owe you a lot!

3. A great information of types of waxes and normal price lists.

Before I visit this place, I only heard of wax that use strips, and not much part of your body can be stripped. Boy, was I ever wrong. And look at those prices, affordable even for students!

4. Happy hour promotions and other package prices

As you can see, there are LOADS of happy hour promotions (including Saturday & Sunday!) as well as other packages if you decide to do more than one. Pretty awesome, right?

5. Relaxing treatment area

A bed, a good lighting and an air-conditioned room, together with the friendly companion of Halina (and your toddler who keeps checking you out every 10 seconds), you will have a perfect treatment experience!

6. Information on precautions after waxing

A great amount of information is available after waxing, at the waiting area. Do follow to ensure your experience is a great one!

7. Other products available

Looking for some crafts, cute tumblers, and small perfumes? They have it too!

Note: The small perfumes were located on the bottom of the shelf, before my toddler decided to pick it up, and we hid it away. Sorry Halina!

All in all, it was a great experience!Do come and visit Lilo Mooi Beauty & Waxing Studio, located in Cyberjaya. It opens daily 10am to 10pm. Just waze your way there!

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Motherhood, parenting

Learning to Cope With Post Partum Depression & Anxiety

By Jasmine Aranda

September, 2016. One week before my 22nd birthday. I got a gift I hadn’t expected to receive- a baby was on the way, and it was time to get my head on straight.

I spent each and every day of my pregnancy doing research. Having never grown up around babies, I wanted to make sure I knew everything there was to know, from schedules to milestones. I HAD to know what to expect. I had to have everything in order.

You see, long before I found out about my little tot, I had developed anxiety. I had become scared of life, fearful of Lord knows what every day. It was a miserable existence, and knowing a whole new world of challenges was coming my way, I had to figure out how to cope with it so I could be the best mom I can be.

I let the doctor know about my mental health issues. I had medication trial and errors, and evaluations at every visit. I did everything I could to stay excited about the little girl on the way and not fixate on all the things that could very well go wrong.

All seemed well, and in order, and when the time came, I was ready to be the mom I knew I was capable of being. I had the knowledge, the technology, and the support to keep myself together and take care of my child. I felt confident that even though I had suffered through anxiety and depression, keeping myself afloat would keep the PPD away.
Hahahahahahahahahahhahhahahahhahhaa.

I was a fool to think I could prevent the inevitable, and while I did my best to be prepared for it, it’s a bullet that is not easily dodged.

Post partum depression comes in shortly after birth, and while there is no definite cause, there are several factors that contribute to PPD. Hormones, exhaustion, and pre-existing conditions all add up to PPD and can happen to almost any woman who gives birth. Symptoms include your typical depression symptoms- crying, feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest or rage. These symptoms can also extend towards an inability to bond with the baby as well as feeling that the mother may harm the baby as well as herself. Post partum depression can last a few months up to a couple of years after birth, although this can depend on how soon the condition is diagnosed and treated.

I knew I had PPD after just a few weeks. My doctor knew to watch for it, and I gave myself time immediately after to heal and try and get settled into a groove to see if I was just feeling bad or if there was actually something wrong. I found myself bawling my eyes out as I fed my baby, and completely flipping out on my boyfriend for leaving a wrapper on the couch. Getting rest was hard, and I felt I had no escape. I began having panic attacks, once a month, then multiple times a month. It was terrifying feeling so emotionally out of control. So I knew I had to come up with some ways, in addition to what I was already doing, to help ease the suffering and confusion.

Some of these things were pretty obvious, others worked by trial and error. The main thing is that it helped, and still helps now. So here are a few things I have done to help cope with PPD in the first year…

1. Being Knowledgeable

I tend to expect the worst of everything. Of course, this probably stems from the fact that I really don’t know enough about some things to know that it’s not as bad as I am making them out to be. Knowing a step beyond the basics goes a long way towards peace of mind. Take milestones for example- knowing that the timeframe for babies to learn things can be relieving because usually there is more leniencies than expected. Also knowing that children go their own unique pace, so just because Johnny down the block can roll over already doesn’t mean he won’t be eating glue with your kid come kindergarten. It’s all going to turn out ok in time.

2. Making Things Easy For Myself

If you are easily overwhelmed, remember that there is no problem whatsoever with making things as easy as possible for yourself. Don’t let others interfere with your schedule- if you need to feed or put the baby down for a nap at a certain time, stick to it. It makes things easier for the both of you in the long run. It also helps to keep everything organized and within easy reach. In the beginning I had a tendency to bring everything I needed into the living room- bassinet, swing, diapers and wipes, and since I was breastfeeding that was one more thing I didn’t have to prepare. I could do everything I needed to in one area, and not have to run around with a grumpy baby.

3. Talking To The Doctor

From the beginning, I knew I would need help. Coping with my anxiety was difficult from the beginning- I couldn’t figure out why everything was so overwhelming, why nothing I did ever seemed to work out. Just before leaving school I found that speaking to a counselor combined with medication actually did make a difference. I knew it was something that I had to stick with, because let’s be real here- face masks and essential oils are only going to get you so far. I needed REAL help, so keeping my doctor in the loop on how I was feeling went a long way towards helping me overcome my PPD by the end of the first year.

4. Me Time

Motherhood feels like it swallows our whole identity. We live and breathe our children, we’re always talking about our children, planning a future for our children. Sometimes we forget that before we were moms, we were just… us.
Carve out time- an hour at least- to get into a hobby you enjoyed, or create a new one. Call up a friend and catch up. Do something that is entirely a YOU thing, not a mom thing. Being a mom is the greatest thing in the world, but you gotta remember- you are still you, too.
I personally enjoying doing something artsy, and blogging has been a good medium for that creativity. I can create things and I can write out my feelings. It is terrifyingly public, yes, but if this story helps somebody then hey, it’s worth putting it out there.

5. Ask For Help

There’s a lot of pressure to be the mom who is on top of her game. However, being a mom with PPD means there’s an extra layer of challenge on top of everything. Please don’t try to do everything on your own; it will not work.
We all want to be great mom’s, but it can get tiresome. Between being exhausted from depression and sleep deprivation, it’s hard to keep going 24/7. Ask a sibling to come by, they would love to see their little niece or nephew. A close friend would always be down to come play with the baby for a bit. And you already know grandma is more than ready to get hands on with your little one- just reach out and ask.

6. Get Rest

My mom was dropping hints for months that she wanted to babysit overnight, and I brushed it off because I didn’t want to seem like I was abandoning my child. She finally told me straight, “You are tired. I see it. Let me take her for a night and you rest.” It was horrifying initially, but the sleep that night… Yes, please.
Having adequate amounts of rest makes a huge difference. Being sleep deprived will make your more susceptible to irritability, moodiness, and a full blown mental breakdown. Always, always, always rest whenever you get the chance (don’t forget- you can ask for help anytime!).

7. The Dishes Can Wait

I wouldn’t call myself OCD, but when things are out of order it does trigger my anxiety. Within the first year there is a lot of changes going on with you and your little one, which means a lot of schedule changes. Once you get something down, it’s on to the next thing! This makes it difficult to hold down the fort around the rest of the house, and while having a perfect home seems necessary, in reality it’s not. There are way more important things that you are doing- parenting and maintaining your mental health. It may be a day or a week before those dishes get done, but they will get done on your time. For now, just take a deep breath, and enjoy each day watching your baby grow. A little mess is hardly worth the stress.

8. Talk To A Professional

As much as we want our friends and family to understand us, there are just some things they can’t get no matter how you explain it. I can’t explain why a plate on the counter can make me crumble to bits, or why I feel so hopeless when I seem to have everything going for me. Having a counselor to talk to helped me in a different way- I was able to vent my frustrations and express myself to someone who wasn’t biased. It was a short escape every other week where I had someone who could help me reflect on what was truly bothering me so I could learn how to deal when I got all worked up.

9. Recognize Triggers

While there wasn’t any specific thing wrong, there were little things that didn’t really help my mental state. I was so easily agitated it was ridiculous. Through my counseling, I began thinking about what it was that was getting me worked up most of the time. Disorganization was a major one, so I did my best to keep what I could straight and tidy, and getting my boyfriend to lend a hand when he could.

10. Keeping Cool

When something did trigger tearfulness or rage, and I recognized it, I then had the opportunity to stop and calm myself before I let myself get too frazzled. I know that 95% of the things that bothered me only bothered me because of my depression, not because it was an actual issue. It’s important to remind yourself that you’re just tired, it’s just a plate, and there are way more important things- like baby snuggles- that your extra energy could be going towards.

Being Patient
Overcoming post partum depression does not happen overnight. It will be many long months before you start feeling yourself again. My daughter is 15 months old at the time of this writing, and while there has been significant improvement, I still slip into bouts of hopelessness and sadness. Remember that you are stronger than your conditions, and even when it’s rough, there’s a little one who can’t wait to see their mama every day. Baby steps are for moms, too.

About Author

Hello! My name is Jasmine and I am a part time blogger at Rise and Blossom and a full time mom to my little girl, Tate. I currently live in West Texas with my daughter, husband and two dogs. When I am not writing I am often found drinking coffee, chasing my toddler, or trying my hand at something artsy.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/riseandblossom

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/riseandblossom/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/riseandblossomofficial/

Website: http://www.riseandblossom.com/

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Exercise, Motherhood, Prenatal Exercise

3 Best Pregnancy Exercises That Will Make You a Fit Mom

By Tori Levine, creator of Mommy Barre

Ever wondered what exercises are safe during pregnancy or some quick and easy exercises for pregnancy you can do anywhere? Well, I’ve made up a list of the three best pregnancy exercises that will make you a fit mom based on my work with prenatal clients over the years. These exercises will keep you in shape and feeling good throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Not only are these exercises great for pregnancy, they are great to do with your baby and for some quick strengthening and toning wherever you are!

  1. Squats – These are a great way to keep your legs strong so help support you as you gain the necessary weight during pregnancy and to help prepare you for birth.

How to perform a Squat – Stand with your feet a little further than hip-width apart. Inhale and as you exhalesqueeze your belly button to your spine and keeping your back flat, stick your rear back like you are about to sit on an imaginary chair. As you stand up engage your glutes (your buns) and keep your core tight and engaged until you are standing again. Repeat 10-20 times a few times a day.

Pro Tip: This is a great exercise that I often do while brushing my teeth.

  1. Clams – These exercises work your core and the muscles around your hips to help maintain stability in your pelvis and core.

How to perform a clam exercise – Lay on your left side with right shoulder and hip directly above your left shoulder and hip. Bend your knees so that your shoulders are in line with your hips and your feet. Inhale in this position. As you exhale lift your right knee toward the ceiling but be sure keep your hips and stacked on top of each other. Each time you lift your knee you should exhale and each time you bring your knees closed you can inhale. Your feet should stay together throughout the exercise. Complete 20 on each side.

Pro Tip: Don’t roll onto your back and then do a sit up to switch sides. Stay on your side and push yourself up sideways to avoid causing or exacerbating a diastasis recti. Watch our video on how to sit up the right way.

  1. Wall Push Ups – these are great to work your upper back muscles to help counteract postural changes that occur during pregnancy as well as after having baby.

How to perform a wall push up – Keeping your body straight place your hands on the wall in front of you. Walk you feet back a few small steps so you are slightly angled. Inhale and begin to bend your elbows and lower yourself toward the wall as you exhale and engage your core. Keep your core engaged and supporting your baby bump while you press your arms straight. Make sure your shoulders are pulled down and you are also engaging your upper back muscles between your shoulder blades. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 10.

Pro Tip: Start with your feet closer to the wall and as you get stronger you can begin to walk your feet further away from the wall. You can also do a set of 10 with your elbows out and parallel to the floor as well as a set of 10 with your elbows pulled tightly into your sides to work different muscles.

For a demonstration of these and more exercises you can do at home for pregnancy, with baby, and beyond subscribe to the Mommy Barre™ YouTube Channel and join our private community of supportive moms at www.facebook.com/groups/themommybarre.

About Author

As a certified pre/postnatal fitness educator, former dancer, and mom, Tori Levine developed Babies at the Barre™ to get moms back in shape without damaging their healing bodies. She has been featured as an expert in SHAPE, fitPregnancy, Parents®, and SELF Magazines. Babies at the Barre™ has grown into Mommy Barre™ which encompases, Bellies at the Barre™ (prenatal), Babies at the Barre™ (postnatal), Toddlers at the Barre®, and Moms at the Barre® so we can assist you during and long after your pre/postnatal seasons!

Copyright 2018 Babies at the Barre, LLC

www.mommybarre.com

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breastfeeding, Motherhood

Three Things Every New Breastfeeding Mama Needs to Know

By Lynn Turcotte-Schuh.

I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. Not because I judge those who don’t, but because I know that those who do need a lot of support. If you choose not to breastfeed (or can’t breastfeed) I am happy to be first in line to help you correctly prepare formula. However, if you choose to breastfeed let me be the first in line to encourage you, support you and help keep you on track. Here are three very important things you need to know about breastfeeding.

#1: Breastfeeding is natural, but it is NOT automatic.

Breastfeeding is a LEARNED SKILL for both Mama and baby. Both parties have an instinctual drive moving them towards each other. The newborn baby, if left alone, will crawl up its mother’s abdomen, search for the breast and latch on to the nipple all on its own. The Mama’s body produces breastmilk that changes with the baby’s age, will be different for a boy versus a girl baby and is chock full of immunity. I mean, does it get more amazing than this?!? Mama and baby are truly a dyad. Here’s where the instinct ends…logistics. The first three weeks of breastfeeding are REALLY HARD. There is a steep learning curve and it can be very overwhelming if you’re on your own.

Look at these two photos. The one above shows a baby that is tummy to tummy with Mama with hips and shoulders aligned. This baby has a good chance at a proper latch. The baby on below has hips and shoulders that are aligned, but their body is turned out slightly. This slight change in position will not allow this baby to latch properly…which means they don’t get the nutrition they need and Mama’s nipples get shaved down (OUCH!). If I hadn’t pointed out this difference, many of you may not have even noticed there WAS a difference. This is where LOGISTICAL support is vital in your breastfeeding journey. You can find a list of certified breastfeeding counselors here. (link is https://www.alpp.org/search)

#2: Your tribe will make or break your breastfeeding experience

Breastfeeding can be one of the most deeply connected experiences you will ever have, or it can be one of the most trying challenges you will ever face. What makes the difference? Your tribe. Let’s look at two Mamas facing the same obstacle – breastfeeding has been painful. One Mama is surrounded by a supportive tribe of Mamas who have overcome the obstacles of breastfeeding. The other Mama is surrounded by an equally supportive tribe of Mamas who chose to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. Neither group is right or wrong, in general…but one group is right or wrong for you and your goals.
If you are a Mama that wants to work through the struggles and come out the other side, surrounding yourself with Mamas who have done just that is going to be imperative. You need voices to counter the well-meaning loved ones who tell you to “just stop”. You need voices to cheer you on, to motivate you and give you confidence. You can find your tribe locally or online…whichever makes you feel more comfortable. If you are looking for an online tribe, I would be honored to invite you into mine. (Link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/HappyMamaVillage).

#3: Breastmilk is produced via supply and demand

This is important to know for several reasons. First, breast pumps (even the really good ones) are only about 40% as efficient as baby (on average). Unless you are a Mama that HAS to pump (i.e. baby is in NICU and can’t latch), it will behoove you to stay away from the pump for at least three to four weeks. Let’s add some numbers in to illustrate (and these are totally random numbers BTW!). Let’s say your baby needs 30 oz of milk per day. If your baby is on the breast 100% of the time, your body will produce 30 oz of milk. If your baby is on the breast 50% of the time and the pump is on the other 50%, your body will produce about 21 oz. If you only pump, your body will produce about 12 oz. There is a HUGE disparity here. Once your body is a milk-making machine (usually about 3-4 weeks out), then you can start adding in the pump if you need to build up a store of milk.

Second reason to remember this fact is so that you don’t freak out when the cluster feeds come. All babies will cluster feed at some point and most cluster feed on relatively predictable time tables of growth spurts – see the infographic. Cluster feeding is NOT happening because you are not making enough milk. It is happening because your baby is giving your body a heads up that they will need more milk as a baseline in the coming days and weeks.

Remember that 30 oz example? If your baby is approaching a growth spurt, they will cluster feed, telling your body “you need to start making 40 oz per day please”. And your body will respond. Your body will elevate your baseline to meet the demands of your growing baby. It is very rare that you truly have a low milk supply. If you have any concerns about that, speak with your lactation counselor.

Breastmilk is the best nutrition for your baby. We CANNOT replicate it. We come as close as we can with formula, but it will never be the same. Formula will not change as your baby grows. It does not have the immunity in it that breastmilk does. Just as your body knew how to grow and birth this baby, your body also knows how to feed it. Trust yourself and your baby. Ask for help when you need it. Embrace and enjoy your breastfeeding journey, but begin it with realistic expectations.
In Gratitude & With Love,

Lynn Turcotte-Schuh, CCCE, CLC

About Author

Lynn Turcotte-Schuh is a Childbirth Educator and Parenting Mentor, Children’s Book Author, Baby Sign Instructor, and the Creator of Happy Mama Wellness where she helps Mamas prepare for their new role, break through their parenting challenges, operate at their highest potential and create a positive and nurturing family dynamic. Lynn is highly passionate about helping Mamas find their power and be a role model they can be proud of.

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Arts Project, Motherhood, parenting, Toddler

How To Have Fun With Toddlers – 5 Art Projects To Do With Kids

By Samantha Gonzalez.

Kids love to create. It’s in their nature. My belief is that we can all benefit from a regular dose of creativity. So here are 5 projects you can do with your kids to get those creative juices flowing!

*Note these were designed with toddlers and preschoolers in mind, but older kids would love them too, as well as their parents!”

1.) Crown decorating
For this you’ll need:
Paper (construction or printer paper works fine, but for sturdiness, we used poster board)
Paint supplies
Glue
Rhinestones/Glitter/Sequins/Anything sparkly!

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Start by making a quick measurement of your child’s head. Cut the paper or poster board that length, plus 2-3 inches. Add paper with glue or tape as needed.

Then cut a few points at the top of the rectangle. You can let your child dictate how many and what size to you if they are old enough. We want to give them as much involvement as possible!

Let them paint away!

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Wait for the paint to dry (maybe try out another project while you wait!)

Glue on the shineys

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When it’s dry, tape, glue, or staple the crown together and bow to the royalty. This is a great prop for dramatic play as well as a fun art project!

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2.) Caterpillars and Butterflies
I love this project because it does so much in one activity! Art, Fine motor skills, the science of a butterfly’s metamorphosis, and a fun toy. For this you’ll need:
Pipe Cleaners
Coffee Filters
Washable Markers
Beads
Spray bottle of water

Make the Caterpillar
First loop one end of a pipe cleaner and twist to keep the beads from falling off, then thread beads on. How much help you give will depend on the age and maturity of the child. I love teaching threading with pipe cleaners because they won’t flop or fray like string and thread will! Threading is an important fine motor skill for toddlers and preschoolers, and even older kids have fun with choosing colors and experimenting with patterns.
Once your child is satisfied (or bored) with the threading, twist off the end like you did before and bend another pipe cleaner in half around the loop and twist to make antenna. You can get creative here too by either cutting them short, twirling them, or keeping them long!
Make the Cocoon
Now take out your coffee filters and markers and let your child color and scribble. The more colors the better! If your caterpillar is longer, you might need two coffee filters.
Help the child roll the caterpillar up in the cocoon. Now is a good time to talk about the metamorphic process!
Spray the wrapped caterpillar with water. Make sure the filter gets really wet.

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I did this right before nap time so we told the caterpillar goodnight, then I came back out to spread the coffee filters back out so they would be dry by the time she woke up.

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Make the Butterfly
This part you can do alone with smaller kids so they can see the “magic” of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Or you can let older kids try it on their own.

Once the coffee filters are dry, twist a third pipe cleaner around the middle of the caterpillar the again around the coffee filter. And you’re done!

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3.) Love Is… Painting
This one requires a little more prep and artistic work for mom. But you’ll not only have a fun project to do with your little one, but also an adorable keepsake or gift that’s perfect for Mother’s day, Father’s day, or Grandparents.

Begin by painting a canvas a solid color. You can have the toddler help!

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When it’s dry, write on the canvas with a sharpie or paint pen.

Now paint your child’s hand and feet a contrasting color to the background and make prints in the spaces you left. For mine, the feet became the “V” and the hand stood in place of the “A”

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Let it dry, then display!

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4.) Rock Painting

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Paint is fun. But younger kids will often lose focus quickly, making you wonder if it was worth the prep and mess clean up. However, the more senses we appeal to, the longer toddlers and preschoolers will stay engaged. So for this project, we’re just going to paint. But instead of paper, pull out those river rocks you collected from your last vacation! The bumpy and rough texture combined with trying to get the smooth, wet paint to cover it, will keep the little ones much more focused. You can also provide some shineys to stick on and make some treasures to hide and search for later.

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You might even find a local rock hiding group and use the rocks there!

5.) Foil painting
This was a Pinterest find that I wanted to try. Literally, all you need is paint and foil! you can also add a little dish soap to the paint to keep it from flaking when it dries.
The foil has a fun texture and sound when touched, so it keeps toddlers engaged for longer. Remember, the more senses we can appeal to the more toddlers and preschoolers will have to keep their focus. For my little one, this quickly turned from traditional painting, to finger painting, to a full sensory exploration! Just be ready for the mess afterwards!

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Bonus Project!
If all this painting makes you think of one thing
“All. The. Mess.”
Then here’s a bonus project for you!
All you need is a zippered plastic bag and some paint. Tape helps too.
Pour a few colors of paint into the bag. I like to choose colors that mix well.
Zip the bag shut.
Tape it to the window, table, or just hand it over to the child.
Viola! Mess-free finger painting!

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Hope you enjoyed these five art project ideas for you to do with your toddler or preschooler! Check out my blog for weekly project ideas for your kids and for you. Whimsyroo.wordpress.com

ABOUT AUTHOR


Samantha is the owner of the WhimsyRoo blog and shop. The mission of WhimsyRoo is to spread creativity and whimsy to mothers and their children, no matter their skill level or time constraints!

Samantha is also a dance instructor for ages 2-18, and the mom of a beautiful three year old girl.

She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Facebook – @whimsyroo
Instagram – @whimsy.roo
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