5 ways to play with ice

Hi! I'm Sarah from Spoon Fed Baby! I blog about homemade baby food, play time ideas, and surviving motherhood. I am thrilled to be guesting for Lydia as she welcomes her new sweet baby!

Heelllooooo summer!!!! I am over the top in love with summer (especially with a toddler in the house) because it means that we can get out of these four walls! Here in MI spring flirted with us for quite a while and it seemed to be taking forever to get here. So yeah, I'm ready for warm, sunny, summer-y days!

vacation with a baby

I have a almost 2 year old that is a bouncy, curious, giggly boy that we call P-buddy over at my blog. We have done the whole spectrum of inside winter activities from sink sensory bins too cool whip bath times, that it is finally time to take our play outside!! One thing that I am excited to bring into our play this summer is ice! It's the perfect sensory experience for little hands AND it's a great way to keep cool in the heat.

5 Ways to Play With Ice!

To make the perfect size ice cubes for little hands I have found that plastic baby food containers work wonderfully! They stack up nice and neat in the freezer and are bigger than a standard ice cube tray. I only needed 1 drop of color for each ice cube. If I added too many drops they all started looking black!

Ice play

  • Ice and water. So simple! Not too much explanation here obviously! A bin outside on the grass is a great way for toddlers (or infants!) to explore with the ice. Add some scoopers, bowls, and cups in and you are set to go!
  • Salt and ice. Sprinkling some salt on top of the ice cubes creates a fun crackling sound that the kids will enjoy listening to and watching! A salt shaker at the Dollar store is perfect, or for something bigger you can try a Parmesan shaker.
  • Theme ice bins. The Dollar Tree (I'm a bit obsessed - our bath toys come from there!!) always has cute seasonal ice cube trays that you can use to make a theme ice play bin. An example might be some frog ice cubes, green water (cold so the cubes don't melt as fast), craft foam lily pads, leaves, and rocks. You will have a perfect frog pond sensory experience! Great for learning new vocabulary also!
  • Ice balloons. Take a balloon and fill it with colored water and freeze. Peel the balloon off and you have very cool looking ice balls! Throw them, hammer them, or drip warm water on them to melt them. Lots of possibilities!
  • Ice treasures. In a bigger container put some trinkets or mini treasures with the water and freeze. After they are frozen give your child some tools to start digging away at the ice to get to the treasures!

Have fun outside this summer and keep cool!! Thanks for reading! You can find me here: Spoon Fed Baby, facebook, pinterest, google+

Entertain a Toddler on a Rainy Day

It rained for two days in Alabama. It rained and it rained and just when I thought it would stop it rained again. The sun briefly peaked out this morning, but I fear it will begin to rain again. But we need it, so I really shouldn't complain. 

However, I am left with a dilemma. How to entertain an active toddler on a rainy day? We don't call him busy britches for nothin'!

After reading almost every book we had and playing with all of our trucks it became clear, mama needed some ideas. 

1. Buckets of fun. Place some objects on a table or the floor near a bucket and let your baby "sort." My little fella can put things in and out of a bucket for hours. 

Clearly he loves it, he filled and refilled that bucket over and over again. 

And when he is finished sorting he has something fun to put on his head. 

2. Hide and seek. It's never to early for a little hide and seek. This is especially great if you are looking to tucker out a child before nap time. I just let him have free range of the house, walking and crawling wherever he wanted. Then I would "hide." 

3. Refrigerator alphabet. Last year I invested in some Melissa and Doug Alphabet Magnets. Money well spent. 

I place them on the fridge or the dishwasher while I am working in the kitchen and little boy loves to move them around. The downside is I find alphabet magnets ALL OVER THE HOUSE. 

4. Laundry unfolding. This one was not intentional. I had a basket of folded clothes on the floor. They quickly became unfolded clothes. But every house needs a master unfolder. Right?

5. Behold the power of the shopping bag. At one point I just handed him a reusable shopping bag. It was a huge hit and entertained him for a SOLID HOUR. He put it on his head. I put it on my head. He put all of the remotes in the house in it. He carted it around while he played with his other toys. Who knew? 

6. Coloring in the high chair. If you are certain your child won't eat the crayons, tape some paper to the high chair tray and see what he or she develops. 

7. Sensory play. I gave sweet boy some pom pons and a toilet paper roll. I saw this on Spoon Fed Baby. She taped the paper towel roll to a door and let her boy play away. My little bits loves it. And he doesn't eat the pom pons. Best part!

How do you entertain the kiddos on a rainy day?  

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Life's a beach...

For a long time I was afraid to take the baby anywhere. I had all these really dumb ideas of all these things that were going to go wrong.

What if he gets hungry? Feed him.

What if he gets a dirty diaper? Change it.

What if he has a melt down? Ignore the glares of the ignorant and go home.

So slowly we have been venturing out of our home. Very slowly. My son is 7.5 months old. I know shame.

Friday we slathered him in sunscreen and took him to a local pier. And he loved it and it was free! He loved looking at the people, the flowers, the boats, the water, the birds and of course his Daddy.

On what adventures have you taken your children?

Summer Lovin' Baby Love

Mister Mister in his Summer outfit.

Every Friday the meteorologist on our local NBC affiliate says, "it is Friday, we have made it everyone." I used to roll my eyes. But now that the baby is old enough to really have fun, I get it. 

Weekends are family time and I love them. Beardface usually gets home early on Friday, if he doesn't stop to fish on the way home. It's a hard life. 

A couple weeks ago my sister was in town and we took the baby to swim in my mama's pool. He absolutely loved it. 

Bathing suit courtesy of Aunt E.

My sweet boy will be eight months old next week. I cannot believe it. He is sitting up, eating table food, desperately trying to crawl and he says "Mama." 

How are you spending you summer weekends?

Keeping a baby entertained

Last Wednesday night my son laughed for 15 minutes at the spinning Lazy Susan on our kitchen table. He belly laughed as he watched our napkins spin round and round and round. It was delightful.

Babies are just delightful, aren't they.

Babies are many things.

They are fun (most of the time).

They are charming.

They are delightful.

But keeping an infant (or toddler) entertained is not always fun, delightful or charming. And while puffs can buy you a good 20 minutes before the screaming starts, food is not always the answer. (I know, even I gasp as I write that.)

So how can you keep a baby entertained on a weekend, or how do you fill the day if you're a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Or how do you keep that kiddo happy on a long car ride? And how do you keep all of this entertainment stimulating and engaging?

Here are five tips from the experts. (Notice I am not an expert.) Best of all- these ideas are either free or can be made from things you already have around your house!

Photo credit

1. Water Sensory Bottles Sarah Eleanor over at Spoonfed Baby shared this idea on her Facebook page. It's brilliant and Little Bits and I will be trying it this week. She combined oil and water with food coloring and all sorts of shiny things in a water bottle for endless infant fun.

2. Baby Core exercise. Okay, the first time I saw this I thought, "this woman is crazy." But when I tried it with baby boy, he loved it. I mean LOVED it.

3. Edible Sensory babies love two things, putting everything in their mouths and then trying to eat whatever it is they just put in said mouth. Why not try a little Edible Sensory Activity?

4. It keeps going and going! Let's add a third thing babies love- pulling on things. Hair, jewelry, food bowls. Why not engage them in some pulling that won't hurt your head or leave your floors a mess. I Can Teach My Child (my sister's favorite blog -other than this one of course) had this great pin worthy idea of putting scraps of fabric in an old wipe container for hours and hours and hours of fun.

5. Touch book. If you love to craft this one is up your alley. I found this idea on Pinterest. It's a sensory book you can make yourself. Out of scrap materials. Think: soft, smooth, rough etc. etc.

Do you have any ideas to share? I want to know how you keep your baby engaged.