Saturday, September 16, 2017

Easy Acorn Art for Kids

When we take walks, I like to have something in mind for Aiden to do besides simply walk, or in his case run. Most of our walks become nature walks and we look for certain things together (sticks for throwing into the creek, bugs, cicada shells, leaves, etc.) On this particular day our focus was acorns. Aiden had so much fun and collected so many acorns that I thought I should use them for some type of activity, hence this post.

Originally I thought we would just dip them in paint and use the tops as stamps, but then I remembered doing marble art and thought why not try it with acorns. I love the art Aiden created with the acorns and it was a fun and easy process.

Here's what you need:
-Washable paint
-Egg carton to hold the paint (or other paint container)
-A container deep enough that the acorns won't fall out when your toddler shakes it
-First place a sheet of paper in the bottom of your container.
-Then have your child dip acorns in different colors and place them on the paper.
-When you have a good amount of acorns in the container, have your child shake the container back and forth so that the acorns slide all over the paper. Aiden needed help shaking the container at first, but by our 3rd attempt he was an expert shaker.
-Remove paper to let dry and replace with a new one. Repeat!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Potty Training Tips from a Mom in the Bathroom Trenches

We are a few weeks in to potty training and it has gone really well and I'm feeling confident that Aiden has grasped using the big boy potty. (Insert all the praise hands!) Quite a few of you asked what we I did so I thought I'd share a few potty training tips from the bathroom trenches...

1.) In the words of Scar from the Lion King, BE PREPARED. Don't just decide you are going to potty train your kid that day and just make things up as you go along. (Or do and if it works, I'm jealous!) We included Aiden in everything we did to prepare for potty training to get him excited and anticipating it. He helped shop for the undies (Lightning McQueen and Thomas for the win), he helped taste test the "pee pee" and "poo poo" reward treats, he picked out stickers for his sticker chart, etc.

When you think your child is ready, mark dates on your calendar that you are designating only for potty training and don't plan to leave the house for a few days! And before those dates arrive, make sure you have a potty seat (we bought this one) and have a basket of potty related things in the bathroom for easy access (wipes, stickers if you are doing a sticker chart, extra undies, etc.)

2.) PLAY IT UP-Potty training is a big milestone and should be celebrated. It is a big deal to your kid so play it up before, during and after! Don't hold back the celebrations when your child uses the potty and I'm not just talking about the first time they go. We set out his reward treats in a clear container a week before he could actually start earning them. We told him what they were for and he asked about having a potty treat daily. We read the potty books over and over again and talked about how cool big kid undies were! Your kid will play off of your enthusiasm!

3.) READ THIS BOOK-Potty Training in 3 Days. It will change your life. Haha. Don't just skim this book or read it and implement it half heartedly. Read it, highlight in it, talk about it with your potty training support team (husband, grandparents, babysitter, etc.) Use the language in it, it works!

A few other helpful tips:
-Have your child watch the Daniel Tiger potty episode (Season 2, episode 1) It's free if you are an Amazon prime member! The songs in it are wonderful and will get stuck in your head. "Flush and wash and be on your way!"
-Buy an extra potty seat
-Buy a potty chair to keep in the car for emergencies (we bought this one)
-If your child can't reach the sink to wash their hands, buy one of these

And this is where my potty training knowledge ends. Wish me luck as I navigate public outings with a newly potty trained toddler and a baby!