Category Archives: kids

Great apps for toddlers and preschoolers May 2014

Hello! Still in the process of transferring the information from our older (but well-loved if my ability to read web statistics is correct) website to our new WordPress / Community based layout.
What better time to stop and share with you what apps my toddler is enjoying the most right now. I have set up parental controls and limit his access and the apps chosen have been based on two things: educational appeal (to both him and myself!) and price. I can’t be ordering any $10 children’s apps that don’t work for all 6 of our kids. You read that right!

(Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation from any products here, these are really my opinions!)

I use an app to tell me when apps are free or on sale. Everyday lots of apps are put on sale to generate interest or to encourage in-app purchases. In another post I’ll tell you about the app finder apps I use!

I always test them out before he does, that’s a no-brainer. But here’s something a little shady. I downloaded one that was so fun! We both enjoyed the colors and interactions. I felt fine setting him up with it while I got dinner on. I was doing just that after updating my apps the other day and lo and behold, it’s just terrible. Really bad. Every time my boy clicks a button, an ad pops up. We are a pretty technically inclined family so my two year old knows to “push x” to get out. But it is intrusive and I’ve noticed advertisers are using new, non-“x” functions like having to choose between the small font, grey button “No thanks” and the LARGE font, green button “Check it out!” So check them when you install them and when you allow them to update. What they mean by “bug fixes” may not be what you think.

First on my list is Endless Reader. Right now it costs more than it does when I grabbed it on sale. I downloaded the free version which gives you a very good idea of what you’re getting. When I saw the upgrade go on sale at 0.99 cents, I grabbed it. He loves it! So do I. No ads. He knows the alphabet and this is a great way to expose him to how it’s used.
The entire series is pretty entertaining and educational.
The other two we use are:
Endless Alphabet
Endless Numbers

This one adheres to my privacy rules and is both engaging and restful as a calming time app.
Goodnight Safari

Enjoy and I’ll post more later on!

Great 10 year old birthday gift!

I was worried this year! We are all teched up and out so what am I going to give my 10-turning-11 year old?

Phew!

She actually asked for what she wanted this year!

Heelys. I bought a pair for my now 13 year old when she was 9. Loved them, and I loved the idea!

Aren’t they gorgeous? And you can take the wheel out and make them into regular skate shoes!

Best part is they make them in adult sizes too! And for preschoolers…

Of course, I have to get all the safety gear as well. But all in all, not expensive for a birthday gift and she will be getting outdoors and off the devices! 😉

Shrinky Dink style DIY Shrinking plastic fun! Free!

I don’t know what the rules are but I suppose it’s only fair to say Shrinky Dinks exist as an item you can buy.
Now that I’ve said that, it’s possible to make them for free – better than free, you use stuff from your recycling bin! I know I used and recommend using #6 plastic. I’ve seen other sites stating you can use other numbers but you probably have enough #6 (which works spectacularly!) to achieve what you want.
This is not a toddler craft! It’s best for 8 years and up, I’d say. But with proper parental supervision, it’s your call. If the child is not using the oven, the permanent markers are your biggest concern. And if your child mouths things still, this is for later in crafts-years.
I used the tops from two store-bought sushi lunches.

These have the little #6 … I’m going to try with a white plastic #6 single yogurt container and let you know later.
Draw what you’d like on there with a Sharpie. Great idea is to trace an outline from a picture. You can colour in the outline with other permanent colour markers.


If you want a pendant, punch the hole in there before you out it in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I did everything on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper on it – just in case.
Here is another amazing fact: it’s free AND fast!
The largest ones we made took 1:45 (one minute and forty-five seconds). The smallest were 1:00 (one minute).
So, once your oven is the right temperature, open it up and slide in the baking sheet with your plastic shrinking pieces on it. Watch with the oven door closed – or if you have to (like me) take pictures, open it up a crack.
You’ll be able to see that they’re done but first you’ll probably have that moment of “oh my god, what’s happening in there?” as they curl up. Don’t freak out! They curl up and then they lay flat – smaller and thicker! Then take them out.
*I actually remembered to get a measuring tape out for some of the pictures so you can get a good idea of the shrinkage factor.
Look at the pictures below for proof and for fun! Then go make yourself something unique and cool! Post your comments or pictures, I’d love to hear what you did with the idea.


Curled up and flattened out! It’s like exercise for plastic!




by Mostly Mommy

New tools for parents! Continuous monitoring fever stickers? YES!

Alright, who invented these and didn’t tell me? I mean really, a cute sticker I can leave on to monitor my wriggly baby’s fever? Genius. I just wandered across it like that but it makes me wonder “what else am I missing?”
Physio Logic Fever-Bugz Stick-On Fever Indicators – I don’t want my son to get sick but I do want to try these so…. 😉

Activities for autistic children online and offline – UPDATED

Hi Mommies! (mostly)

I feel bad when I see our visitors return and find no new activities posted! So this morning, I am putting in some time to list for you my favorite activities (both online and offline) and crafts. While they are fun to do with all your wee ones too, these can be especially fun and stimulating for autistic children.

This Sparkly Alphabet Water Bottle craft is fun to do and you will keep coming back to use it. The letters spinning and sparkling in the glittery water are sure to delight. 

Here is a list of 10 Gross Motor Activities for Autistic Children from the LovetoKnow Autism site. These will help maintain muscular stimulation and brain-body connection.

Drop me a line with your favorite activity and I will include it in the next update!

 

Free home safety starter kit – still child proofing after all these years!

From HomeMade Simple, visit this page for a free starter kit as well as several videos and tutorials on home safety for children. There are First Aid kit lists too and I absolutely have to put together one for the car.
I am amazed child proofing doesn’t seem to end at any age!

What’s the last thing your wee (or not so wee) one got into?
HomeMade Simple free home safety starter kit

Homemade Halloween costumes

Sure, it sounds easy enough and oh-so back to basics, making your child a Halloween costume at home. Obviously, you want one that stands out and makes your child proud! Don’t even get me started on the whole “inappropriate costumes for girls” concept here… I can dedicate a whole post some other time. Suffice it to say, none that you’ll find here will add “tartification” to your family’s Halloween.

I’ve been searching for years – YEARS – for the best costumes that I can make at home. I am not an advanced seamstress but I can and do sew and I am a wannabe master at papier mache projects. (Art Attack – still my favorite craft site after all these years!) I also like knitting but I can’t complete projects in a timely manner!

This is a great find –
Homemade Halloween makeup, blood and bruises
– I hate putting on waxy, mystery substance makeup on the girls’ faces. They get rashy a little too easily for that. I think I’ll feel better about this kind.

Bubble bath costume
– awww…. I hope I can get one of the girls to try this one out in 2008. It looks easy and unique. I think if I really promote the glitter and balloons, I may be able to get my 8 year old girl to take this one on.

Dresser or chest of drawers – as long as it’s not too heavy, this could be cool. I don’t think it would be school friendly though. The school bus ride alone would be awkward, never mind navigating such a boxy costume into a desk! But – for around the neighbourhood – a rockin’ idea.

Okay, saving the best for last – or should I say – what MOMMY can do at the last minute to get dressed up for Halloween, too! One year, I was invited to a family friendly Halloween party and I got the girls’ costumes all together and done up and we were all set to go when I realized I didn’t have any costume for myself! I had seen it once at a party when I was in my… hmmm… younger years let’s say ;-)) – I raced to the kitchen, grabbed the tin foil and wrapped my arms and torso – if you DO have a minute, get a friend to help. Then I fashioned a hat (you know, one of those “aliens are beaming thoughts into my head and this stops them” kind of caps?) and set it on my head. Voila – I was Leftovers. So fitting for a non-stop mom! Alright, it was kind of cheesy, pun intended, but it was a costume and I partied with my kids and friends. I couldn’t ask for more.

More homemade costumes to come…

MostlyMommy

Halloween is coming!

Okay – THIS is the year. The year where I finally get my act together in early…ish September and start planning Halloween. Costumes, candy, timing…

With 3 kids to consider now, it won’t be easy but with this much time, I should be able to… right?

I’m posting some links to costumes here but I need more help – got any info to share? I’m putting in links to Homemade costumes below and have included “pre fab”, arrive at your door, ready to go costumes here: (Definitely, if you’re at all crafty, scroll up or down (depending on when I got time to actually go through with the promise) for some great homemade costume ideas.)

Costumes for an 8 year old girl:
Asian princess – super cute
Cute Little Mermaid costume
Costumes for my 8 year old daughter that are age appropriate are hard to find. Even more so if I let her have TOO much say in the choice. I’m “short listing” costumes and then she can choose from the ones I’ve chosen. {please, let that work!!!} Again, I’m looking at homemade as the best response to the “tartification” of available costumes.

Costumes for a 6 year old girl:
(My 6 year old daughter is not a girly-girl so I don’t need to worry that she’ll be in something I won’t approve of – she’s more into being Spiderman or Scooby Doo but I imagine most people are looking for something at least a little girly…) As far as more feminine (but NOT inappropriate!) costumes go, I’ve found a couple:
Barbie as Mariposa
Sleeping Beauty – girls costume

Costumes for an infant boy:
You HAVE to check this one out – you won’t be sorry – it’s that funny! And, ahem, I won’t tell anyone if you make it yourself…
Best baby boy Halloween costume – promise!
Now you see what I mean, right? Maybe your guy isn’t quite as “windy” as mine but if my guy manages to be his usual gassy self while wearing that, it will all be part of the fun instead of … having to blame the dog!

Our new neighbourhood is “the” Halloween place locally. I’m already researching how to take part in the neighbourhood festivities and while I didn’t find costumes I’m interested in, I did find some amazing ideas at this site: Coolest Halloween Party Ideas – I like the Floating Ghosts idea and the Hands Floating in Blood beverage idea. The ghosts I may even try on my front lawn with an anchor of some sort. (Take helium balloons and drap a sheet over them, loosely tie the bottom of the sheet – TA DA – instant floating ghost… don’t need to store one of those inflatable jobs over the year and I think it could be super effective if you paint the sheet with some glow paint … or something!)

PB (precious boy) is waking up so I’d better get a move on if I want to eat something myself before the day is officially launched!

Homemade costume post will be up later on! Famous words… they won’t be my last!
MostlyMommy