Star Lamp DIY & Toddler Shedules

For the first 18 months or so, it seems every time we settled on a comfortable schedule for my baby daughter, it was already time for a new one.  But then for the last 2 years (she is almost 3.5 now), she was pretty much on the same schedule and so I forgot that I should just create a new schedule instead of doing everything to unsuccessfully try to get her to stick to the old one when her needs change.  Unless of course someone can give me a sure fire way to get her to nap 😉

When she started to randomly skip her nap, the days became a scramble because everything after the skipped nap was completely ineffective; she was tired and clingy and poised for hysterics when she was normally a pretty awesome kid.  And did I say clingy already?  Cooking dinner was a challenge again because instead of being my little kitchen helper, she might be a clingy zombie one minute, then a clingy Godzilla the next.  She was so clingy that even attempting TV magic didn’t work.  Everything was suddenly ‘scary’.

Bedtime might be suddenly shifted earlier (or she might even pass out at the dinner table) and then the next day is in a jumble as well, as the next morning she might either wake early, or sleep in, or she might nap for an extra long time and then refuse to sleep at her usual bedtime.

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So after my realization that it’s time for me to readjust our schedule to account for potentially skipped naps, I have been shifting all high priority errands and activities to the mornings.

We’re still figuring out what will work best but I’m thinking I need to add some high-energy activities, like her current favorites: crazy dance party, or laundry basket pulling race, to before lunch, to maybe tire her out more, so she will be more likely to nap in the late afternoon.

I’ve also started to gather some engaging yet quick and easy, and quiet or low-energy activity ideas for the extra hours we suddenly have on hand the days she won’t nap.  Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated! She is starting to suggest some too, like this star lamp.

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She saw a star lamp on TV recently so yesterday, instead of napping, we went around the house gathering supplies.

Star Lamp Supplies

  1. Clear Jar
  2. Paper
  3. Hole Punch
  4. String/ rope for handle (if Jar doesn’t have one)
  5. Light

star lights

Star Lamp DIY Steps

  1. Measure and cut paper to inner size of jar
  2. Punch holes into paper and insert inside jar
  3. Tie string around top of jar for handle
  4. Place light source into jar
  5. Close lid
  6. Turn off room lights to enjoy star pattern on ceiling and walls

star lamp

This was one of those times where nothing went right yet everything still fell into place.  The star lamp is not even remotely near Pinterest-worthy quality, but we ended up having lots of fun making it and she loves it.

How our Steps Really Went Down

She wanted to use blue paper, no surprise there, but we were all out of blue, except for a small scrap that wasn’t big enough to go around the jar, and so we used purple instead.  She wasn’t too happy about that but as soon as I showed her how to punch a star into the paper, she was too excited to start and forgot about her disappointment.

However, when she set out to punch stars and swirls and small holes into the construction paper, it turned out her little hands weren’t big or strong enough to do it.  It won’t do if she had to just sit and watch me punch paper so luckily she was content with (the added but unnecessary step of) cutting the construction paper into several strips.

As she was cutting the paper, I kept searching for the missing jar lid but after a few minutes, and despite her protesting, made the executive decision to stop looking and just use paper for the lid.  The scrap of blue we had left was big enough for the ad hoc lid so she was happy about the color again.

Then it turned out our trusty led lamp was dead.  In fact, all our flashlights were either dead or too big for the plastic jar, but as we were discussing putting the activity on hold for another day after the lamp recharges, we suddenly both had the idea of trying the flashlight app on my phone and it actually did the trick.

star lamp diy inside tee pee

As she sat quietly on my lap in the darken room inside her tee-pee, gazing up at the star patterns, I struggled to keep from falling asleep and don’t know how she has so much determination to stay awake.

The lamp is surprisingly like the Tranquil Turtle I had (unsuccessfully) used to try to get her to sleep as a baby, and like the turtle, the lamp seem to only stimulate her more than relax her.  I really miss my afternoon break while she was napping everyday but this was fun and I do look forward to all the extra activities we can do now.

blurry star reflections

What is your 3 to 4 year old’s typical schedule? Is it notably different than when 2?

 

Cheers,

with love charlie

 
Shop Amazon – Father’s Day in Handmade

Crocheted Bunny

So as soon as I said that maybe I would try crocheting a bunny next year, I thought, why not this year?  Why do something later when you can do it now?  That was my OCD speaking.   When I get an idea in head, I run with it, sometimes, and then over-analyze it to death.  A bit of a contradiction, I know.  I am complicated.  Anyhoo, the crocheted bunny was born.

This bunny has been through a lot – multiple amputations, transplantations and eye surgeries.  One foot is bigger than the other.  The ears are not symmetrical.  The Virgo in me wanted it to be perfect, but no one’s perfect right?

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When I showed him/her to my blog buddies, Stephanie asked if that was Miffy, and Charlie asked if it was a boy or a girl?  Who is Miffy, I asked?  This is Miffy:eeHXgd6O

Aside from the ears, I can see the resemblance.  Miffy is a female rabbit created in the 1950s as the main character in a series of books written and drawn by Dick Bruna, a Dutch artist.  She has starred in two television series and one movie.  Have I been living under a rock?  My husband also does not know who Miffy is, so I don’t feel so dumb not with the times.  You learn something new everyday….

Initially, I was going to make a flower to put on my crocheted bunny’s head and make it a girl, but when Charlie asked me if it was going to be a boy or a girl, it got me thinking.  Who am I to decide what it “should” be?  Why does it have to be a girl or a boy?  So, I’ve decided that I’m not going to make the flower and leave it as is.  I’ll let my daughter decide (when she’s old enough to know the difference).  Simple.  And done.

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I got the free pattern for this bunny from Happy Berry.  It was easy to follow and she even has 3 youtube videos for you to follow along if you want.  I used a thicker yarn, so I used a bigger hook.  But in hindsight, I could’ve used a smaller hook so that the stitches are tighter.  You can see the filler in some gaps between stitches.  All in all, I’m pretty happy with this second amigurumi project.  I already have the next one planned. 😉  In the meantime, this little bunny is going into my baby’s nursery.

For more Easter crafts, check out Charlie’s post on how to make a paper mache Easter egg pinata.

Happy Easter!

Paper Mache Easter Egg Piñata

PaperMacheEggPinata_5A few weeks ago, my daughter told me, out of the blue, that she really, like reeeeeeaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy wanted a rainbow Easter Egg Piñata. My automatic response to her dragged out pluuuuuuueaseeeeeee Mommy, please, was “we will see”.  But then as soon as the words left my mouth, I thought, wait, why not? I’m always looking for crafts to do with her and it can be easy to make simple paper mache piñatas, especially an egg shaped one.  We had almost everything necessary for the project on hand.

PAPER MACHE EASTER EGG PINATA SUPPLIES

  • hand torn newspaper (we used cut white printer paper at my daughter’s insistence; I pick and choose my battles and this was not one of them)
  • paper mache paste
  • balloon
  • paper clip
  • ribbon or string
  • paint or tissue paper

Ultimate Paper Mache has three different recipes for the paste and we used the raw flour and water one – no glue, no boiling, easy-peasy and ready in less than a minute.

NO COOK PAPER MACHE PASTE RECIPE

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • optional: 2 tsp. salt (to help prevent mold)
  • optional: dash of cinnamon to enhance smell
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My daughter loved playing with the squishy paste so much that I thought we would never actually get to making the egg, but we did, and she was more methodical than I imagined she would be at three.  So much so that I didn’t have to help her.

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Paper Mache Easter Egg Pinata

I only intervened when she started grabbing fists full of toilet paper and dunking them into the paste and then flinging the globs off her fingers.  I suppose she had wanted to remind me she is only three after all.

We ran out of paper (hence the grab for toilet paper) at around the same time she started to lose interest and while there were still a few holes, it was time to stop and clean up.

The paper mache paste was fairly easy to clean up.  The real added bonus of this activity was that she gladly jumped into the bath without me having to beg or bribe her.

That was a few weeks ago and I had almost forgotten about the egg that we had hung up to dry.  Then today, she refused to nap, and by 4 PM she was starting to get clingy and fussy and I figured it was time for some messy crafting.

By the way, at what age should I stop dismissing negative behavior as just fussy?

As I looked around the room for something we can do together, I saw the unfinished egg.  We should probably add a few more layers of paper but with Easter being only a week away, I asked if she wanted to paint her egg piñata.

The ecstatic cheers and leaps into the air suggested the answer is yes.

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She popped the balloon with a paintbrush and immediately asked for chocolates to fill it with.  Luckily she was receptive to the idea of painting and letting the egg dry first before adding the treats.

As she painted (she choose neon green, blue, and black, and then as an afterthought added glittery purple, orange and yellow for the glitter), she went on and on about how she and her friends are going to have so much fun trying to break the egg open.

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Then she went on and on about the chocolates and candies she wants to eat and I made a mental note to get some bottles of bubbles, tiny cans of PlayDoh, erasers, stickers and (more) temporary tattoos for her piñata.

The cutest little chick erasers ever!

The cutest little chick erasers ever!

What are good/ safe candy substitutes in a piñata?

Paper Mache Egg Pinata

I have a few non-candy ideas for the Easter Basket, but what other non-candy treats would you suggest for an Easter Egg Hunt?

Happy Easter

Hope you and your loved ones have a happy Easter!

Crocheted Easter Eggs

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Crocheted Easter Eggs

Since my daughter is only 11 months old, we will not be doing much with her to celebrate Easter this year.  There will be no Easter crafts or games.  She’s too young to dye Easter eggs and join in on an Easter egg hunt.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get into the Easter spirit.  No, I did not go out and buy a ton of chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies.  Instead, I decided to try my hand at amigurumi.  Say what?  I know, I can’t even pronounce it myself.  Let’s call it ami for short.  Ami is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed dolls, which can be animals or inanimate objects.  As you know, I crochet during my spare time, usually when baby is sleeping.  I actually began crocheting as a hobby about 6 months ago and have been “hooked” ever since.  So, I still consider myself a beginner, even though I have a massive yarn stash that can revival those of long-time crocheters, I’ve spent many, many hours crocheting (late at night, instead of sleeping) and made many, many hats, scarves and headbands.  I thought, crocheted Easter eggs can’t be too difficult to make.  It’s just a round ball, really.  And ami is usually crocheted with just one stitch, the single crochet stitch, which I already know how to do and I already had most of everything needed (yarn, G hook, stitch marker, yarn needle).  All I had to buy was the polyester fiberfill to stuff the inside of the egg, which can be found at any craft store or online.  Alternatively, you can also stuff the insides with scrape pieces of yarn.

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These eggs are super easy to make.  I followed the free pattern from Petal to Picots.  She gives great suggestions on how to change yarn colours to make striped eggs.  But if you’re lazy, I mean, short on time like me, just use multi-coloured yarn and let the yarn create the pattern for you. 🙂  I whipped these little eggs up in no time!  Aren’t they so cute?

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Not bad for my first go at ami, right?  Maybe next year, I’ll try crocheting a bunny. In the meantime, this little guy is going to have to fill in.  😉

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You can include these crocheted eggs in your little one’s Easter baskets.  Or why not include them in your Easter egg hunt as decoys?  You can also use them as centerpieces to decorate your coffee or dining table.  Whatever you do with them, the best thing about these eggs, is that they’ll never go bad.  Use these handmade mementos again and again. 🙂

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Looking for other things to put in your little one’s Easter basket?  Check out Charlie’s post on 7 Non-Candy Easter Gift Ideas for Toddlers.  Have a wonderful day!

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