Fill the Empty Space

I’ll be the first to admit that Tetris is pretty addictive.

There is something about mixing the sizes and spaces that keeps me up all night wondering how it all fits together. Call me crazy, but Tetris changed the way I see the area and volume of a shape.

So, when I first saw this idea on @bare.nutrients I knew that I needed to add it to our collection of Breakfast Invitations. There was something so compelling about finding the right sizes and shapes to fit into the empty space similar to a Tetris game. Talk about a game that generated thinking and conversation!

The Best Travel Gear for Spring Break

Do you have plans for spring break?

Traveling as a family can be tricky. How much gear is too much, and which essentials are needed so the suitcase will zip with ease?

What is it that helps spring break with young children go just a little smoother?

Which bags help store all the the things?

And which item helps your baby sleep a little better as they share a room with the entire family.

Now you know, I’ve got you.

I am going to compile this list with not only things you need for spring break, but items that will last all summer long. Items that your kids can use again and again and gear you can pass down to family members when your children outgrow them.

It would be crazy town to think you need this entire list!

Consider which items help your travel plans go a little smoother. Finding the right gear is everything and I want to make sure you buy one thing once rather than buying dozens in search of finding the holy grail.

Number Line; A Simple Counting Game

Remember the number line?

Here is a simple way to introduce, and play with, a number line at home!

If we begin learning math concepts by doing, the better they will stick. Here, your child can move and count the objects as they are placed. It’s a hands-on way to better understand the sequence of numbers.

And I know what you are thinking!

Here she goes with that painter’s tape again. Well, you’re right! Painter’s tape is my ultimate supply and can pretty much liven up any old game that used to be done with pen and paper. It is hard to pick favorites, but I am pretty sure it is right up there with the counting bears.

This number line game makes a fun Breakfast Invitation to help you drink your coffee and pop the bagels in the toaster in peace! Set it up in 5 minutes the night before and watch it unfold. Join Us!

7 Tips for Your Kitchen Renovation with Kids

I have 3 children, 5 and under, and I recently finished remodeling our kitchen.

That’s right!

For 6 weeks, we cooked dinner on a hot plate and ate breakfast in the playroom. The main floor pretty much looked like a college dorm room.

And guess what?

I am still alive to blog about it. - Yahoo!!!

As we were in the thick of things, I jotted down what worked, and how I can share these tips with you. This wasn’t a blog post I had planned on adding to the collection, but knew I needed to share once we were finished. Renovations can be chaotic and messy, and I am here to help you prepare. Extra perk? See the final product.

Conversation Starter Sticker Activity

Are you drowning in stickers?

Try this fun activity to use up all those half used sticker sheets stuffed in your junk drawer.

One of the main reasons I love stickers so much is that each one prompts my boys to tell a funny story. The boys are quick to tell me what’s on the sticker, or how they plan to use it. Stickers offer opportunity for conversation and this Breakfast Invitation is sure to get them talking.

It’s quick. It’s fun. And it offers an opportunity for a quick chat at breakfast that may surprise you, like it did me!

Rethink Your Playdough

Ah, Playdough.

We've all been here, right?

Mixed colors being stuffed back into containers, texture hardening because it was left out from the night before, and little fingers forcing endless amounts of Playdough into the cracks of our kitchen table. 

"Do we really want to take out the Playdough again?" 

Consider this.

What is a childhood without Playdough?

In my opinion, it is the foundation of every young blooming mind. I am not here begging you to mix your colors. To each their own on that. But what I am asking you to do is to break out your playdough and consider integrating some every day items to the mix.

Perhaps playdough needs a makeover.

Here's how to use it to boost creativity.

Build Your Name

Here is a fun, sorting activity that will also help your preschooler better understand which letters belong in their name. 

Why Practice Name Construction with your Preschooler?

  • By Kindergarten, children will be asked to write their own name, recognizing that it must begin with a capital letter.

  • They will also be asked to recognize (and print) upper- and lower case letters.

This is a great game that you can use to work with your preschooler when recognizing the letters, and order of letters, in their name. 

Begin to practice name recognition with this DIY Name Construction Game. 

The Sweetest Books for Spring

Yep, I heard it as well. The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter for us in the southeast. (sigh)

But who else has hints of spring trickling in their backyard?

Tulips are blooming, and the cherry blossoms are brightening up our walks. 

Those of you in snowboots, spring is coming! 

So, what better way to get excited about the warmer weather than to start reading about Spring?

Hot Lava Game for Kids

What do you do when your children love hot lava as much as they love snacks?

You make fine motor hot lava games, of course.

My boys love hot lava.

I find that it can sneak up into our living room, and also make it’s way into the cracks of the parking lot. Hot lava seems to be everywhere. And who knew? I am thinking that hot lava and kids seem to be this unspoken language that unites them all. Apparently, it’s a thing and I am determined to run with it.

How to Teach Your Phone Number

Want to teach your phone number?

Start with this simple and fun phone number activity!

I know the importance of my preschoolers knowing my phone number, and yet I continued to put it off.

Perhaps I was intimidated by the fact they would have to memorize a sequence of numbers, or if I felt like they weren’t ready. I am not sure why I was hesitant to start.

But you know what?

It literally took this introduction, plus a followup simple tactic to make it stick in a matter of days. Here’s what we did.

How to Train a One-Year-Old for Sensory Play

One-year-old sensory play.

Imagine an hour in your day that you can sit back, reheat that coffee, and finally get to read through that Athleta catalogue sitting on your kitchen table.

Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?

These are just some of the perks for mom after sensory bin bootcamp.

But it takes a couple training rounds before you can fully relax as couscous is being scooped and poured on your kitchen floor.

What’s involved in sensory play training?

Let’s dive in.