Since it’s been a little rainy here in California, we took advantage of the sunshine this past weekend and enjoyed our time outdoors! Our friends over at Adelisa & Co gifted Emma a pair of their beautiful leather shoes. We received the Dalia’s and it is a mix of a t-bar mary jane and boot! These leather shoes are handmade by talented artisans in Nicaragua. I absolutely love Adelisa & Co’s mission statement on how they are creating jobs and paying artisans fair wages supporting their beautiful country. These shoes are made from high quality leather and can be passed along as heirloom pieces for generations to come! I will definitely pass these sweet shoes down if we have another baby girl in the future!
One of our family's goal this year is to be more intentional with the time that we have together, so I planned a fun little trip for our family! We visited the Noah’s Ark exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center this past weekend and it was absolutely amazing! Em and I have been squeezing in a bible story during our quiet times, so it was something I was really looking forward to! Though it was a manmade exhibit, it was mind blowing to visually see how we’d imagine Noah’s Ark to be in our minds. The exhibit is made up of many artists who've collaborated together and created this beautiful installation. A key part was that everything was made up of recyclables! Every aspect to the very minor details were very thought out.
We were allotted a two hour slot for the visit but it was more than enough time to explore all the spaces. They take you into the different sections of the ark where you can play with the animals, climb ladders and even traverse across bridges! What’s amazing is that all of the installations are very interactive and the kids are able to control the movements of objects and it can really bring out the creativity in them. We were also led out to the outdoor amphitheater where we joined in on making music, but most importantly, talk about Noah's experience as he built the ark!
Emma was so in awe that she was able to experience the actual story that we’ve read in real life and to see it unfold in front of her eyes was the most fulfilling thing as a mama. It was such an amazing experience and this has to be one of the coolest, interactive exhibits I’ve ever been to and would recommend it to everyone! Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Tracking toys have many great benefits for your little ones! It strengthens their eye muscles as they focus on the moving object, helps them build concentration, learn problem- solving skills, basic concepts of gravity and so much more! I love that it keeps my little ones occupied while I set up an activity for Emma. Here is the link to the ball tracker I recently bought on etsy.
1. Infunbebe Ball Drop Tower
2. HABA My First Ball Track
3. HABA First Wooden Ball Track Roll
4. EverEarth Jr. Ramp Racer
5. Amazing Track Ball Maze
6. HAPE Totally Amazing Roller Derby Marble
^ contains affiliate links
We’ve been cooped inside the house for a while since the kids have been sick back-to-back! I had to find activities to occupy my little babes so here are a few activities we did!
I’ve finally come around creating a toddler gift guide after all your DM’s! Here’s a mix of things we already own/things on my wishlist for Emma!
1. Geo Shape Lacing - I bought this for Emma a few months ago and has been our go-to activity during our quiet time! This is such a great toy that promotes fine-motor and sequencing skills.
2. Kinderfeet Balance Bike- Another favorite in our book! Emma loves riding her bike on our walks! I love how light it is and how low it is to the ground!
3. Petit Collage Wooden Puzzle- These have been on my wishlist for some time now! How cute are these wooden animals?
4. Plan Toy Balancing Cactus- We love this balancing game! It’s been such a great way for Emma to learn how to take turns!
5. Grimm’s Rainbow Stacker- This has been on my wishlist for a while now! Love how it inspires creativity!
6. Magna - Tiles- I absolutely LOVE magna-tiles! Emma could play with them forever! I especially love these ones because they give off a minimalistic look!
We've done quite a few activities that focused on ants. We've gone on nature walks observing our tiny friends, made an ant farm, drew and even painted the little critters. But one of Emma's favorite was building an ant's anatomy by using natural materials!
Whenever I prepare an activity, I try my best to set it up to look inviting. There are plenty of activities that don't go according to plan but this was definitely a hit! There were moments when she would get sidetracked, but I would just redirect her to concentrate on our activity. Excited to say, but this activity has been on repeat for the past couple of days!
We used a collection of skinner sticks we found on our walk as well as store bought thicker sticks. I also cut out wings from transparency paper.
Playing with sensory bottles is a great way to benefit your child's senses as they explore the bottle. It is one of the easiest DIY projects that'll keep your little ones in awe and wonder!
Emma was very excited for this project so she played a huge part in this DIY activity! Em picked out all of the materials during our daily walk, filled the bottles with the elements and water, and closed all the bottles all by herself! She was able to use a lot of her fine motor skills so this activity was great!
+ Learning as they engage their senses
+ Promotes Fine Motor Skills
+ Can provide a calm down effect
+ Get creative and add anything for your little one to explore!
+ Use super glue to seal the lid so the bottle won't open. I personally didn't do that because I like to change the materials every once in a while! I just made sure to close the bottle really tight to avoid any spills!
For the past few weeks, I have been working on changing up Em & Grey's play area since Greyson has been more mobile now! Most often, when I'm searching for toys for Em & Grey, I always look for things that are open ended and serve more one than purpose. I have been looking for something for Greyson and stumbled upon Jellystone Designs and instantly fell in love with their products! Not only are their products made from BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic silicone but they're aesthetically pleasing which is a huge deal for me! Our favorite is the rainbow stacker that comes in two colors and we chose the pastel set. This stacker encourages hand eye coordination, creative thinking and also serves as a teether! I absolutely loveeee this product which is why I've teamed up with Jellystone Design to giveaway one lucky winner a stacker set!
I had so many people asking for the lesson plan so click HERE for your copy!
*This PDF document is for personal use only*
I know many of you also asked to see a filled out version so the copy below is what we'll be focusing on for next week! I focus my lessons on Emma's interest and expound on activities that'll nurture her curiosity!
Hope this helps you guys and please let me know what you guys have planned for your little ones! :)
My kids have been sick simultaneously for the past two weeks so we were basically on house arrest to get these little guys back to good health. I had to get really creative to keep my active girl busy so we did a painting activity using a syringe! She absolutely loves sensory activities so I had no doubt that she’d enjoy this!
^^^ Pure bliss! There's nothing better than seeing her enjoy an activity!
+ Color Recognition
+ Promotes Fine Motor Skills
+ Paint will fly EVERYWHERE so dress your child appropriately!
What I would do differently:
+ Do this activity outdoors! Haha!
+ Add more water to dilute the paint so it’s easier for child to suck the paint.
Happy International Ice Cream day!
What better way than to start out the day with a fun ice cream sensory activity! This activity took little to no prep and you might already have these items in your pantry! All you need is powdered sugar and frosting! Emma had so much fun scooping, packing and sprinkling sprinkles on her ice cream! This activity exercises many different fine motor skills! Hope your child enjoys this activity as much as Emma did!
Ice Cream Play Dough Recipe
- 1 cup of frosting
- 2 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
- Add powdered sugar to the frosting in slow increments and mix (you can use a mixer with a dough hook but I mixed it by hand).
- Continue to add slow increments of powdered sugar until the play dough doesn't feel sticky.
- Once you add all of the powdered sugar, the play dough will begin to look just like ice cream!
- Take some dough and roll it into a ball to see if it's crumbly or sticky (which can happen if you add too much powdered sugar). Add a drop of olive oil if you run into that problem!
- Enjoy and have lots of fun!!
A few months ago, we visited our friend Sara from Handmade by Sara Kim. Sara is known for her beautiful & intricate paper flowers. The details she puts into making these will make you believe it's an actual real one! I was SO excited when Sara was interested in doing a career day with Emma! Emma had the best time cutting, gluing and creating these paper flowers. Thank you Sara for hanging out with us and allowing us to see behind the scenes on how to run your amazing business!
I worked as a preschool teacher for a while before having kids. Being introduced to Reggio Emilia while I attended college, I learned the importance of finding different ways for kids to express themselves. For me, I knew art was a great way for Emma to express herself, so that's where it all started. There were so many times when I knew an activity would get messy but I trusted the process and let her be and she always created something amazing in the end. It's not easy to give up control in these areas and I too struggle with this but knowing that Emma benefits so much in these activities makes it so worth it.
Now back from our small tangent ~ Emma has been painting weekly already, so this made it a fairly easy process to put this art gallery themed birthday together. For the painting gallery, I introduced Emma to a different medium and had her paint with Sumi Ink on canvas. During this time, she is free to paint whatever she wants. I usually ask her questions about what she’s painting and that's how we come up with a story along with her artwork. Whenever she loses track of what she’s doing, I remind her of what she's working on and she usually regains her focus to finish off her artwork. It's amazing to see and hear what she comes up with. I love seeing her image come to life when she explains her story to me.
For the photography portion of the gallery, we showcased all of Emma’s photos she took by herself! She used her very own Holga Digital to take the photos on our daily walks. There are days when she goes on a hiatus and some days where she'll barely touch her camera, but most times she loves to take photos of random things wherever we go. It's a fun little camera because you get to build up excitement to see what photos you took only after uploading them to your computer. It's really so neat to see the world behind her lens.
For the color portion of the gallery, we've been using primary colors and discovering what colors come together when you mix them. She absolutely enjoys this activity because she loves getting messy haha!
For the nature portion of the gallery, I just laminated her treasures she found on our daily walks. I had her spread out her findings onto the plastic sheets and I laminated it. I loved how it turned out because each piece is unique and is exactly how Emma placed them.
I definitely want to give a shoutout to my generous friends who've inspired me and contributed their amazing talents for this party! My kind friend Genie from E2 Beauty let us use her space for the party! My amazing sister-in-law Hanna did all the florals and decorated the balloon garland. My sweet friend Tesia actually made the amazing balloon garland and provided her photo booth for the party. (Who knew these kids would be so obsessed with taking photos?!) Lastly, my beautiful friend Danni provided the decals that really brought the gallery theme all together! Special thanks to my brother Eric and husband David for helping with setting up the event!
This was definitely a special day for not only Emma but for all our friends and family that made it out. Hope you enjoy the photos!
While I was at Daiso the other day looking for craft materials, I spotted some dot stickers! I picked it up not knowing what I'd do with them and began thinking of an activity Em could do.
We could always sort the dots by color but I wanted to do something a little more fun this time! So, I thought of Yayoi Kusama aka "Queen of Polka dots". I remember seeing photos of her exhibit the last time we were at The Broad but sadly we weren't able to get tickets for it. Since we couldn't experience it in person, I decided to bring it home! ;)
I showed Emma some of Yayoi’s art work and then she got busy stickering (totally made up a word 😂) away. This was such a fun fine motor activity. It worked her little hand muscles as she focused on peeling each sticker off! She had so much fun! Obviously, it didn't just stay on the wall, but ended up on all our faces! As you can see by these photos, a lot of laughs were included as well!
Emma has always loved flowers but ever since we spent a day with Hanna from Echo Floral, something sparked in her. She calls herself "floyist" and mentions how much fun she had at the flower market. I never thought that this career day would have so much impact! This definitely gets me so excited to do many more creative career days with her.
Most of our activities are inspired by what she's interested in. One activity leads to another and that’s kind of how I base all our activities at home. If she shows interest in one thing, we build upon that and find ways to explore that idea.
Our next activity came about while we were taking a walk. During our weekly walks, Em would always pick up leaves and flowers on the path. I thought it'd be fun to see her interpret the way she sees a leaf and flower through a painting activity. We brought the leaves home and set them up on the overhead projector (btw, it’s one of the best purchases ever with endless activity ideas you can do with your little one) Before we started painting, we talked about the different colors we saw, felt the textures of each leaf and had the chance to smell them as well. She had a blast painting the flowers and leaves she gathered herself!
Below, you’ll see some of my favorite photos I captured during this activity. Hope you guys enjoy and have a happy Tuesday!
Many of you guys have asked me to do a blog post on some of the activities that I do with Emma. I’ll try my best to post these when I can document them! :)
Not many of you know, but I studied child development in college and was actually a preschool teacher for three years! It comes to no surprise, art activities with Emma gets me really excited!
This first activity was inspired by the artist Bobby Clark. I stumbled upon her work through Instagram and that's where the inspiration hit. Emma works with different mediums during her art activities and water-color is one of her favorite things to do so it was a win win situation.
I started the activity by actually showing her Bobby Clark's art. We talked about the different colors she used in her art pieces. By showing her this, we were able to decide what colors she wanted to use.
Once she chose the colors she wanted, I gave her water color paper and let her do her thing. After she was finished, we let the paint dry and I cut out the different shapes I saw from her artwork. Lastly, I laid out all the shapes and told her to glue away! It’s so amazing to see how much creativity this little girl has and what she can bring to life with just her imagination!
I am so excited to share with you a new series I will be starting with my little girl! It will be called “A day in the life of…” Growing up, I must say I’ve gone through so many different stages in life trying to figure out what I wanted to do in the future. (btw, I’m still soul searching) So, I thought it would be a great opportunity to help Emma discover herself and find out what she loves to do. This isn’t a means to pressure her in anyway, but to open her up to new experiences and involve her in the process. I want to show her that there are so many unique and creative careers out there in this world.
I never grew up thinking that photography could actually be a career path for me, but I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded people and found a passion for what I love doing. The biggest thing for me is to be able to provide Emma with all the resources she needs to experience life to the fullest. I think its very important for us as parents to involve our children into our every day lives. Even through these moments I share with my daughter, I can see myself growing as an individual and am so blessed to be able to do life with her.
With that said… For our first series, Emma had the opportunity today to live the life of a florist. My very talented sister-in-law is the owner of Echo Floral and she joyfully took Emma through her weekly schedule. We started off by visiting Mayesh, a floral mart located in Orange County. Emma learned the different floral names and loved smelling the different flowers. She kept on repeating, “butterflies eat nectar”, every time she touched a flower. Hanna was so great involving her in the process by asking about the textures of the flowers and how they looked. Emma is totally a hands-on type of girl so she had so much fun feeling the bumpy, spiky, soft and smooth flowers. She was so excited about being able to choose her favorite pink flowers to take back home with her. The best part to end the day was when she was able to make her very own flower arrangements!
Check out some of the photos of our trip below! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.