Toddler Activities

Butterfly Hospitality

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“A power of butterfly must be
The aptitude to fly,
Meadows of majesty concedes
And easy sweeps of sky.”

from My Cocoon Tightens, Colors Tease, by Emily Dickinson       

If it’s 3 things I’ve learned about doing fun activities with my young brood, it’s this:

  1. Keep it short.
  2. Keep it fun.
  3. And keep it free (or almost free).

Earlier this week we decided to take part in a free local activity which was…

Visiting a butterfly garden!

We had a blast.

And we weren’t there for long. Which is important, because little ones have short, oh so short attention spans. And I’ll be honest, I thought my 4-year-old might not understand how to be gentle with the butterflies. But he suprised me and did very well.

The lady who hosted the event was able to teach my kids a little about butterflies which was neat.

They got to hear…

  • That butterflies are different than wasps or bees because they can’t sting or bite you.
  • That butterflies are at the bottom of the food chain. Lots of creatures including many types of birds eat butterflies.

So many butterflies just chilling out and flying all around. Some magic was infused into the atmosphere. Not really, you know. But it felt that way.

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The garden was a screened in structure with potted and hanging flowering plants inside.
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Visitors had the opportunity to feed the butterflies with a q-tip dipped in watermelon juice.

 

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Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.
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Buckeye butterfly.
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Mourning Cloak butterfly on pink yarrow flowers.
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Unsure of what she thinks of these gentle winged creatures.

(Attempts to photograph my son were met with reluctance/cropped/blurry photos haha.)

I loved learning about the butterflies. I grabbed a handout while I was there. It listed the different kinds of butterflies common in our area as well as the types of plants butterflies like most.

I can hardly wait till my own garden blooms so the butterflies can come around more often 🙂 🌸

~Rachel

Photo credit: cover photo, second, third and fifth photos were taken by a family member. Design of the cover photo is my own.

Toddler Activities

Winter Blues…and Crafting With Toddlers

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Let me just start by saying. I hate January. There is something about this month. October is my favorite and this month, well, it has nothing but deep and utter loathing from me.

Winter really isn’t that bad. But where I live, it seems like it actually starts in November. So that we have precisely one month of Autumn and 4-5 months of Winter. It gets old by the time the Christmas/New Year’s spirit has worn away, come mid-January.

It gives me the winter blues. And the winter crankies. And the cabin fever. Thank-you pregnancy hormones for helping that along.

But the point of this post is that there are still things to do to keep your mind active. With a small child in my house, I really have to work to find activities that interest us both. And they need to be easy and cheap.

So this week we have been 1. Playing in the snow and 2. Making bird seed crafts.

I found this toilet paper tube bird seed craft idea awhile back. My friends, it is a match made in heaven for pregnant mamas of toddlers.

Lets face it, when you are pregnant you use up the TP. Plus little someones are either unfurling it everywhere or in the process of toilet training. Why not save all the empty tubes and use it to make a craft?

I love watching the birds nibble on these little feeders. I think J just likes the creating part but that’s ok 🙂

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Here is what you will need. I use Jif for the birds and Aldi brand PB for us 😉

 

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Helping me roll the tube in birdseed.
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After 5 rolls, we had an empty plate.
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Ready to go outside!
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Day #2 of playing in the snow. I made the snow towers and he knocked them down.
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This was the day after we put out the feeders.

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The birds love this little snack. I see a lot of sparrows and chickadees (I think?) nibbling away when I glance from my kitchen window. It makes me happy to do something kind, in the midst of my winter blues. And playing out in the snow was fun too. Ask me about how my snow pants wouldn’t zip up. Actually no. Don’t.

Enjoy your winter!

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Caught this little guy sharing the birds food!

 

~Rachel

Toddler Activities

Babies, Pumpkins and Toddler Havoc

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October is my favorite month. Hands down. The beauty of the season is astounding. And for us, good things have always happened in the month of October. My husband and I started dating in late September of 2009. We found out we were expecting our first child October 31st of 2012. And this month…

I’m lucky enough to say that I am expecting again. It didn’t feel so lucky, at first. I was so sick! When I confessed this so some of my female relatives, they said that a person is typically increasingly sick with each new baby…so if you have 3 kids you’re bound to feel like death with the 4th pregnancy? Thanks for that. I’m quite happy to have just two kids for now. Technically two.

We’ve had a lot of fun as a family lately. Got to enjoy a lovely vacation to Vermont last month. Go ahead and ask me why Vermont. “There’s nothing there,” said my husband, “nothing to do!” Oh darling, that is the point. My pregnant, introverted self just craved the peace and quiet that the state has an abundance of. Plus Ben and Jerry’s has their headquarters there. Need I say more? 🙂

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Vermont was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. Little J however, decided that he was going to go on a hunger strike of some sort. So our day in VT was a blur of fussies and trying to keep him entertained and pleading with him to try the most delicious macaroni and cheese in the whole entire world. And yes, it really was. But that’s life with toddlers. He enjoyed parts of our journey more than others.

But when we got back home we decided to do some fun local stuff. On a whim last week we decided to take a trip out to a pumpkin patch, so that we could pick our own pumpkin as a family.

It was a really neat experience. We traveled to a farm and drove a gator out to their pumpkin patch.

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We got to cut our own pumpkin off the vine with these interesting pruning clippers or whatever in the world they are called. J got to hold them most of the time. And was supervised. They were rather dull and he couldn’t open the handles. Although, that didn’t stop him from trying to smash every pumpkin within reach. He’s a riot, I love him.

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And here’s me.

There’s the baby (in my belly) in the pumpkin patch. (Yes I wore that orange shirt on purpose.) 4 months pregnant here. And the sun was in my eyes. But oh my word, what a gorgeous day it was!

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This was the pumpkin that we finally settled on. It was sitting in our car for about a week. And we will be lucky if it gets carved before Halloween! Haha that’s just how it is in our house.