Turkey Handprints!

It's that time of year again, time to share with the world all of the things you are Thankful for! I am Thankful for so many things in my life, my health, my job, my family, my Hubby and most if all our healthy happy growing boy! I just adore being his Mommy!

My son is 20 months old and this year I felt adventurous, we made hand print turkey's cards for all of my sons grandparents. As always I got everything set up before hand. I put a trash bag down as a drop cloth, set out all the papers that I wanted his little prints on and got the paint and brushes out ready to go. I sat him down and showed him the paint and opened his hand and rubbed the brush on his hand before I put paint on it. I didn't want to startle him.

What to do:
Paint your child's palm and thumb with brown and each finger a different color.

After the paint dries draw on a beak, feet and a 'gobble'

I wrote Happy Thanksgiving and my sons name and the year on each one and mailed them out to the grandparents! We also made another one on white paper that I put into a frame I had. It will get stored with all the Thanksgiving stuff and pulled out every year for wonderful memories!

The hand print on the pumpkin was from last year when my son was 8 months old the turkey hand print is from this month and he's 20 months now...I Love to capture his
little growing hand!

Baking with your toddler!

So first and foremost I need to address my son's ridiculous outfit...yes he is wearing stripped PJ pants, a batman tee and a crazy sweatshirt, and yes those are toilet paper rolls around his neck LOL but those I can actually explain it's a little project we did that will be in my next post but as far as the outfit as a whole I can't even say 'oh he dressed himself or he picked out that outfit out himself lol...nope that's just the kinda day it was lol

Anywhoo, back to baking with your toddler...I am by no means Miss Betty C. or old Martha what's her name but even I can do a little baking and make it fun for my little man.

This particular day we made Pumpkin muffins, I bought pre-made mix from Trader-Joes because I knew I wanted to included my son in this adventure and all we needed to add was water, oil and eggs.

I cracked the eggs in a big bowl first then pre-measured the water and oil out into measuring cups and lined it all up on our kitchen floor. I then helped my son poor each of the cups into the bowl and let him stir for a few minutes then we added the mix and I stirred it to smooth it out then let him take over again. This lasted for quite some time. He loved pulling the whisk up and out of the mix and watching it drip down. This is great for hand-eye coordination and the beginning concepts of cause and effect.

When it came time to fill our mini muffin molds my little man was not happy that he couldn't stir all day so I traded him for another bowl and put in a little water and gave him another spoon to stir his little heart out!

After the muffins were in the oven for awhile I turned on the oven light and showed my little man...he said 'whoa!' and he soon those mini muffins were all gobbled up!


Play dough and Fingerpaint

As parents of toddlers we tend to focus on communication, we are so focused on how many words our child is saying and labeling everything a thousand times! Don't get me wrong these are extremely important things to work on but sometimes with so much focus on language development, motor development gets put on the back burner. It is important to set aside a little time in your week to work on your child's fine motor development. Often times as children get older and start to 'write' letters or their name they struggle and it's not always for the same reason but the majority of the time it's because the muscles in their fingers are not fully developed and have not been strengthened. Play dough or clay is one of the simplest ways you can strengthen those muscles. The toddler age is the perfect time to start! In an earlier post I put up a recipe on how to make your own play dough, so if your toddler is at a stage of oral fixation, you won't have to worry about them digesting anything harmful.
This time we played with play-Doh brand.

Squishing, pulling, ripping, squeezing, poking and pushing objects into the dough is all contributing to strengthening those little muscles in their fingers. Just as we work on teaching the names of objects to help their vocabulary to grow in the future, working on strengthening their fine motor muscles now will help with their writing and penmanship in the future.

Now if your feeling a little more adventurous, finger painting is also a wonderful way for little ones to have sensory stimulation as well as strengthen their fine motor muscles. Finger painting also is great for improving hand-eye coordination. Finger painting isn't really as scary and messy as you may think. If your little one is still in a high chair then it makes things even easier. We do the majority of our projects in the high chair, it allows for easy clean up. Just put a piece of paper down on the tray and squirt a few drops of different color paint and let the fun begin. Finger-painting paper is the best to use because it wont tear but we just used regular white printer paper. If you see it starting to tear then just give them a new piece.

Life's to short! Don't stress the mess!