Blowing Giant Bubbles – Week 5 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo

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Seriously, guys, this is awesome! I love how this project makes me step out of the comfort of doing the same things every day and try out new things.

If you haven’t joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post.

WEEK 5 - Blowing Giant Bubbles

To see all our experiences, click here

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This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Blowing Giant Bubbles – Week 5 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

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Fort Building – Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo

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If you haven’t joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post.

WEEK 4 – Puddle Splashing and Fort Building

To see all our experiences, click here

Continuation of our Week 4 where we managed to do two activities in one day, thanks to the rainy day. See Puddle Splashing here

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Fort Building – Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

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Puddle Splashing and Fort Building – Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo

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If you haven’t joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post.

WEEK 4 – Puddle Splashing and Fort Building

To see all our experiences, click here

This week we have all been sick, still recovering so not much was done. I was hoping to go on a family bike ride through the woods but it couldn’t happen cuz we were miserable. But just as it would happen we got a rainy day. YAY! And rainy days mean two things: indoor activities and puddle splashing.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Puddle Splashing and Fort Building – Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

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2nd Birthday: The Morning of

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo

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So it’s end of March. It’s been two months and I am ready to do a recap of Lexi’s 2nd birthday. Not too bad, considering my track record. At least it’s not August :) See? I am trying to catch  up.

The series of posts on her birthday will be similar to last year:

  • Birthday Morning
  • Decor, Planning and Favor Bags
  • Main party (several parts)
  • Pool party (the pool part of the party)

I have very fond memories of the first birthday party and the second one, too. You’d think that with all the stress of planning, stress would be all that I would remember, but it’s really just so much fun!

I will talk about planning and the theme and how the thought process evolved for the party in the Decor Part.

So on the eve of her birthday, our friends who were visiting us for Lexi’s birthday from Ohio stayed up late helping us assemble her gifts (thank you, guys!) and blow up balloons. The next morning, we were up very early with Lexi and went down to the living room after I dressed her into a black swan dress for the pictures. Gabby, our friends’ daughter and our first love, who was sleeping with us in our bedroom, was up as well (Lexi gets pretty chatty in the morning and she woke her up).

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 2nd Birthday: The Morning of

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FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS – Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

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If you haven’t joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post.

WEEK 3 – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS!

To see all our experiences, click here

This last week we technically completed quite a few things off the list.

We went to a county fair and rode a pony and visited a petting zoo, had a picnic during the St Patrick’s parade, went to the zoo,  had a movie night with snacks,  and almost rode a rollercoaster (yes it was a busy week), but ONLY one activity was intentional. Since the 52 weeks of experiences isn’t about crossing stuff off your check list, but CREATING experiences, I do not count any of these but the movie night. The rest just happened on their own. We didn’t talk about it, we didn’t discuss the activity, they just kind of happened as a part of something else. I want to do all those things again focusing on that activity alone.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS – Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

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Enchanted Tales with Belle

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Disney, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, travel, VIDEO

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Recently we came back from another short trip to Disney and there was something I wanted to write about. I usually don’t write “short-ish” posts like this, especially about just one topic, but this one impressed me so much I feel it warrants its own post.

Up until now we have always skipped one attraction at Magic Kingdom, “Enchanted Tales with Belle“. It’s a new attraction, a part of the Fantasyland redesign, it always has insane waits and up until now it was not included into the FastPass program. So we had skipped it every time.

This last time, however, it was one of our three FastPasses that we are allowed per day under the new program that we got. So we went.

This attraction was a complete shock to me because I was going there expecting it to be a waste of time for a 2 year old and two adults. As an adult, I don’t care to go there again ( or really see it the first time), but for children it’s magical, and that’s all that counts.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Enchanted Tales with Belle

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Kite Flying – Week 2 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo, VIDEO

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If you haven’t joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post.

WEEK 2 – KITE FLYING!

To see all our experiences, click here

So this was fun! But also tricky!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Kite Flying – Week 2 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, photo

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If you have not read the Experience Scavenger Hunt post, go there first and then come back to participate.

So the 52 weeks of Childhood Unplugged experience poll is now closed and I have assembled our list of experiences. I decided that going by the majority vote wasn’t fair because many great suggestions were added late and didn’t get a chance to be seen and voted on as much. So instead I took ALL of the suggestions and compiled my own list out of it and left the rest below for you guys to pick and choose from.

The way I see this happening is everyone either makes their own list or goes off of the one I compiled, if your toddler is similar in interests. I would love it for us to find a way to do the same thing on the same week so that we could share the experience, but of course it’s not going to be possible for everyone, so do what you feel like doing each week.

We’ll review the week each Monday. This week Lexi and I will be doing: Jumping on the bed and couches like 5 Little Monkeys 

Must do's for toddlers and preschoolers

Again here are the suggestions(all are voluntary):

  1. Have a toddler/preschooler
  2. Do one of the prompts once a week. The key is to really do it. Decide on the experience for that week, designate a day and just do it!
  3. Take a photo of your child experiencing it (or not. It doesn’t matter). It doesn’t have to be anything great! Just something to remember that week by.

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4. Make that week, and especially that day, ALL about the event. Hype it up, get your child excited about the experience. Read them books that involve a similar experience before and after the “event”. It is important that the child has something to build on. If they know a bit about what you’re going to do, especially if it involves their favorite character, they will be much more excited and thus more open to the experience, increasing the learning (and fun) potential. Show them books, videos, movies of the event to get them to want to do it as well (ME TOO!). Talk about it all week (without saying “we are going to do this!”, because younger toddlers don’t have the capacity of understanding time and therefore will just get frustrated that they can’t go do it right then). Instead just introduce them to the concept.

I am going to try to find books and shows that explore each concept so that we could all use them as prep. Please help if you know of a book or an episode or a good video that deals with either one of these items on both the lists. I will add them below each entries. A great idea would be to have a library visit before each week or a few weeks before the prompts and ask the librarian for books that deal with the same concept. It will not only introduce them to the experience but get them to read new books.

For example, whenever we read Curious George books, Lexi gets super excited about whatever it is they are doing there, whether it is coloring eggs, looking for tadpoles, skiing or anything else. She constantly says “Yaya do it too!” while we read. If we continue reading the book, she gets more and more familiar with the concept, so when we actually have a chance to do it,  she is so excited and can actually understand what is happening. Since most little kids are impatient, it is hard to try to explain to them how certain complicated things work on the spot and they are often not interested . That’s why showing books and videos will get the concept through their head and then the experience will reinforce it further. Our brains build and strengthen neuropathways through multiple experiences- that’s how we learn and remember. So consistently reinforcing it will just help them remember and understand it better.

5. Submit your day to the linky below each one of the weekly posts I will be posting. You can just submit a photo, but of course if you add a description, it will be much more interesting to other participants. Use whatever means you want: Blog, Flickr, Photobucket, it doesn’t matter. Just share. Or not. Again, this is all voluntary, so share if you want to, don’t share, if you don’t. It’s that simple.

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Here is our list (printable version of both lists)

  1. Backwards Day
    (Daniel Tiger episode tie in, Backwards Day book tie in)
  2. Ride a pony/horse
    (Berenstain bears book tie-in)
  3. Go to the airport and watch the planes land.
    (Curious George episode tie-in, Curious George book)
  4. Go to a music shop and explore the instruments
    (Daniel Tiger episode tie in)
  5. Go to a train museum
  6. Jump in Puddles (Weather contingent) (Hello, Fiends book)
  7. Feed ducks at the park (Curious George book)
  8. Dance in the rain (Weather contingent) (Olivia book )
  9. Plant something from seed and watch it grow.
    (Curious George episode tie in, Little Critter book, Curious George book)
  10. Climb a tree
  11. Gather shells (Berenstain Bears book)
  12. Ride a trolley (Daniel Tiger themed)
  13. Go to the lake to look for tadpoles
    (Curious George episode tie-in, Curious George book tie in)
  14. Go on a scavenger hunt in the woods
    (Curious George episode tie in, another Curious George episode tie-in Berenstain bears: nature’s guide (this is a great book for a scavenger hunt and it rhymes)
  15. Fly a kite
    (a great rhyming Berenstain bears book, Curious George episode, Little Critter book)
  16. Roast marshmallows by the fire
    (OLIVIA tie in)
  17. Play in the snow (Location contingent)
  18. Go to an aquarium
    (Berenstain Bears book, Little Critter book, Curious George book)
  19. Have a picnic – complete with basket and red checkered blanket. (Berenstain Bears book - another great funny rhyming book)
  20. Lay out and look at stars (Curious George episode tie-in)
  21. Go camping unplugged (phones turned off)
    (Daniel Tiger episode tie in, Curious George episode tie in, Little Critter book tie in, Curious George book tie-in,  OLIVIA book tie in other camping books)
  22. First movie theater movie (Curious George book)
  23. Go to a petting zoo!
  24. Listen to a thunderstorm (Weather contingent.)
    (Daniel Tiger Episode tie in, Little Critter book tie in)
  25. Have a Family Movie Night with snacks
  26. Run around the grass in a park, barefoot, as a family
  27. Pick fruit at a farm
    (Daniel Tiger episode , Curious George book)
  28. Make Snow/Sand Angels
  29. Make pinecone and peanut butter bird feeders and hang them in the yard
    (Curious George tie-in)
  30. Draw with chalk on the driveway/sidewalk
  31. paddle a canoe down the river
    (Curious George episode tie-in)
  32. visit a tidepool  (Weather contingent)
  33. Egg Dying (Curious  George book)
  34. Go to see a boat show (at Christmas)
  35. Go on a sunset cruise on a boat
    (Curious George episode tie in)
  36. make giant bubbles in the yard
  37. go to a waterpark
  38. go to  Botanical gardens
  39. Go bowling
    (Curious George episode , Curious George book)
  40. Jump on the bed/couch/furniture together (5 Little Monkeys book)
  41. Get long newsprint/butcher’s  paper and trace/color your hands, feet and bodies!
  42. Make cookies together
  43. Play Hide and Seek
  44. Build a fort out of blankets and pillows (The Fort that Jack Built book)
  45. Go to the Zoo
    (Curious George episode, Curious George book)
  46. Go on a family bike ride through the woods
  47. Make newspaper planes
  48. Get a few giant cardboard boxes play pretend with them!
  49. play tennis
  50. play miniature golf
    (Curious George book)
  51. Ride a roller coaster
    (Curious George episode , Curious George book)
  52. Ride a train
    (Berenstain Bears book tie-in)

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The rest of the entries

Almost all of these entries is something I want to do with Lexi, but she is either too young for them and would benefit from them more next year, or it doesn’t work out because of where we live, or something that we’ve done many times and isn’t special anymore, or something I simply could not fit it into the 52 because there were others I wanted her to experience. Please feel free to use any and all of these to customize your list.

  • play in the mud
  • paint fingernails/toenails for the first time
  • Carve a pumpkin together
  • cook and eat something outside
  • Attend a church service
  • ride an exotic animal (like a camel)
  • play in a creek
  • go bird watching 
  • Build a tree fort together 
  • take a cooking class
  • go ice skating
  • try a new type of cuisine
  • visit a circus (one that doesn’t have animals if you’re concerned about cruelty is Circus Vargas)
  • Bring a yummy snack to your neighborhood firemen (and get a tour of the fire station!)
    (Tie Ins: Curious George episode ,Curious George bookLittle Critter book)
  • Take them to see where you/your husband work
  • Shaving cream slide
  • Sledding
  • Visit the puppies and kittens at the local Humane Society/Rescue center
  • Mani/pedi date
  • Build a birds nest
  • Paint the sidewalk or driveway with water
  • Go to Disney
  • Inside Beach Day (Daniel Tiger themed)
  • Crazy hair day: use colored hair spray/color (temporary), lots of hair spray and have silly hair for a day!
  • Play beach volleyball
  • Build a bird feeder
  • Jump off the dock into the lake
  • Go for a walk in the moonlight (Harold’s Purple Crayon-themed)
  • Catch fireflies (and let them go)
  • Wearing matching outfits with Mommy for a day
  • Play dress up
  • Fly on a Plane
  • Go to a fair
  • Spend all day in pajamas
  • Say a word or phrase in a second (or third) language.
  • Watch a parade (Curious George book)
  • Make newspaper hats
  • Paint on canvases to hang on the wall as art
  • Swing in the swings together
  • Make a snowman (Little Critter book tie-in)
  • Find cloud animals in the sky
  • Pack into the car with treats and take a tour of local holiday lights.
  • Toss coins into a wishing fountain
  • Watch fireworks
  • Make a pizza together and put on whatever toppings you want
  • Get a professional haircut
  • Play in the sprinklers together
  • Stay up late and have a dance party (Curious George book)
  • Build sand castles
  • Do something charitable for others – example- take unused clothing / toys to shelter.
  • Bake something together
  • Story Time at the Library
  • Baby’s first McDonald’s!
  • Easter Egg hunt (Curious George episode tie-in)

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If you’re going to do a few of these above, check out these book collections that have several of the stories that fit into the themes we are doing. 
Curious George storybook #1
  includes Snow Day, Boat show, Build a Home, Mini Golf and Tadpole tie ins
Green Light Readers Level 1 boxed set includes  Kite, Roller coaster, Mini Golf, Boat show stories.
Curious George Big Book of Adventures includes: Kite, Planes, Roller coaster, Boat show, Mini Golf, Library


Any books or videos you know of that we could build the experience upon? Add links to those books/shows in the comments.

The first week starts today, so go plan something fun and build your list or copy off of mine. With St Patrick’s Day, it should be easy to make a special trip somewhere, see a parade or do something fun along those lines!

You can enter your and your child’s name/age below and where you’ll be posting about the experience (If any, it’s not mandatory) if you’ll be participating and hope to see some great experiences next week. Make sure to let the world know about your participation by using the tweet and facebook buttons when you enter yourself.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Toddler classes and activities

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Daily, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, VIDEO

Toddler classes and activities

Toddler classes and activities

One of my long time readers, Irina, suggested that I write a post about the classes/activities Lexi takes/attends and the effect that it has on her and her development.

I thought that would be a pretty fun topic to discuss since I love going to organized activities with her, just like I did when I was a kid myself. Usually , most of our mornings are taken up by these activities and evenings are full of free play and book reading at home. I should do another day/week in life post, now that I think of it.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Toddler classes and activities

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

The girl in the red dress- Vday style

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, FUN Times, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, photo, VIDEO

Valentine's Day

Two days before Valentine’s Day, we went to our weekly Kindermusik class V-Day style. We had put together little valentines for everyone in the class to exchange with, pulled out a perfect red dress from the closet that had been waiting to be worn on this holiday… The class was a lot of fun and Lexi enjoyed exchanging valentines with her friends.

We hadn’t done anything special during the week because she still doesn’t get the point of crafts aside from scribbling or drawing and has no interest in trying it, and she is too active to cook V-Day themed recipes with me, so I didn’t want to even attempt any of it till next year. Besides, with our anniversary falling on Valentine’s Day, I wanted to keep this holiday for us, adults, without catering to kids too much, like we do for pretty much every other celebration.

After class, we spontaneously took pictures (we had no plans to do so) and those were our only V-day inspired photos this year. Later, Andrew drove up while we were taking pictures and brought some roses. Unprompted. :) Sweet!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: The girl in the red dress- Vday style

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