Posted in Babies and Toddlers, kids, parenting, Preschool, Sensory Play, Tot School

DIY Dinosaur Movement Game

Dinosaur Game

I sometimes struggle with trying to find good, engaging, active, and fun indoor activities for my kids that I know will burn off a lot of their built up energy.

Basically, I wanted to find a quick, easy, go-to activity that I know my kids will love each time I pull it out. So I began brainstorming. I know that if the topic is about something they love, then the battle will already be half won. Enter dinosaurs.
What I love about this activity?

  1. It is free
  2. It is engaging
  3. It teaches a little bit about dinosaurs
  4. It only requires a little bit of space
  5. And it burns off a TON of energy

Materials needed: 

  • Paper plate
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Paperclip
  • Brad
  • Dinosaur stickers (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Use the ruler to help yourself draw lines to section off the parts of the plate. Decide how many sections you want. My sample has 8 sections.
  2. Write a movement in each section.
  3. If you have stickers, match them to the movement; this way your little one can use it on their own without needing to be able to read yet.
  4. Put the brad through the paperclip and through the center of the plate.
  5. Game time!

List of dinosaur movements: 

  1. Chomp like a T-Rex
  2. Stomp like a stegosaurus
  3. Twist like a tricerotops
  4. Fly like a pteredactl
  5. Spin like a spinosaurus
  6. Shake your tail like an albertasaurus
  7. Stretch like an apatosaurus
  8. Show your claws like a therizinosauraus
  9. Run like a velocoraptor
  10. Swim like an elasomasaurus

Do any of you have any dinosaur movement suggestions? Comment below!

Posted in Activities for Babies and Toddlers, Babies and Toddlers, kids, School Age Kids

DIY Mini Dinosaur Play Set

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My son LOVES dinosaurs. He also has a birthday coming up, and since he is turning 3 we decided it was okay to get him a pack of mini dinosaurs.

The problem is that his little sister is only 10 months old, so the dinosaurs are VERY much still a choking hazard for her. So, I wanted to make a fun place to play with them, and also an easy way to clean up and store them in a safe location.

Thus, this dinosaur play set. My favorite part about it is that it is a shoe box, so it can close and store all of the dinosaurs inside it.

Materials Needed: 

  • Shoe box
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun
  • Mini dinosaurs

Directions: 

  1. Cut out felt land forms (mountains, grass valley, river, lake, volcano)
  2. For fun, add texture by snipping the top of the grass and making the volcano lava be loose strips of felt.
  3. Glue it all down

I hope your little paleontologist loves their new play set! 

Posted in Babies and Toddlers, kids, parenting

DIY Baby Photoshoot- For Us Non-Photographers

Disclaimer- There are no affiliated links in this post.

Yes, I am aware that “non-photographer” is not a word, but like my husband always says, “I teach English, so I’m allowed to make up my own words,” just ask Shakespeare 😉

Anyways, for those of you wanting to have awesome photos of your little one, but don’t want to pay for a professional photographer, I’m here to help you out.

Some things to know before getting started: 

Posed photos, especially those of babies and toddlers, require a lot of time and patience. Try not to go into it with any expectations. You may get some amazing shots, and you may do a photoshoot for a couple of hours and walk away with nothing (just look up  Pinterest Photoshoot Fails to see what I’m talking about).

It’s not uncommon to get only one good shot out of 20+ photos. It’s all about timing and a little bit of luck, so just keep taking shots during the shoot. You can always delete the ones you don’t want.

Have fun! The more relaxed and into it you are, the more your child will be into it too.

Supplies: 

  • A camera- These days it doesn’t have to be something fancy. Most Smart Phones have pretty good cameras.
  • Sheets in whatever color you want your background to be.
  • Any special outfit/outfits you want your child to wear.
  • Any props you want to try to use.

Prop ideas- Some common props are:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Special toys
  • Large letters (such as their monogram)
  • Baskets
  • Seasonal items such as a pumpkin
  • A chalkboard or whiteboard sign
  • Special jewelry
  • Hats and accessories
  • Flowers (real or fake)
  • Baby blanket

Setting the Scene: 

When doing an inside shoot, I recommend using a bed sheet as the backdrop. Make sure anything that is in the camera’s view is covered. This may mean tacking the sheet on the wall, or using furniture to hold it up.

For newborns I recommend using pillows such as a Boppy under the sheet to help position them.

Lighting is key to a good clear photo. Natural lighting works best, because it disperses more evenly than a lamp does. Open up the blinds, and if that is not enough then also turn on as many lights as you can.

Last Tips: 

  • Do the shot when your little one is in a good mood (not sleepy and recently fed)
  • Be silly, make funny sounds and faces, or hold up loved toys to get them to look at the camera

Good luck with your photo shoot; have fun!