Enchanted Mommy

Father’s Day Questionnaire

Father’s Day is so fun!  I make it a point to do something fun and creative for father’s Day.  This year I asked each of the kids a few questions about their Dad and wrote them down for them.  Some of the answers were pretty cute!

 

A fun picture idea to attach to your questionnaire

 

 

Love these little guys!

 

If you are interested in my template for the questionnaire, email Jamie@encahntedmommy.com and I can forward it to you.

 

A Fun Day at Frying Pan Park – Herndon, VA

Tomorrow my baby turns 3, even though she claims she is already 3 since she had her party last weekend.

Frying pan park

She's 3 tomorrow!

I wanted to do something fun with her today since tomorrow we are traveling out of town for a graduation.  I knew she would have fun at Frying Pan Park (located in Herndon, VA) and it would be a great spot for pictures.  It is also a great free spot (unless you pay for a wagon ride or carousel ride which is still very reasonably priced).

We were able to see lots of fun animals!

frying pan park herndon va

We saw goats!

Frying Pan Park

We saw baby pigs eating.

Frying Pan

Cows too!

We also saw roosters!

I also didn’t miss any photo opportunities on this beautiful farm!

A cool old truck!

Even the baby ran around!

It is such a great place for photos!

Sweet Girl!

If you are ever in or around the NoVa area, I highly recommend it here!  It is such a great family place and you actually feel like you’re in the country in the middle of a city!

 

 

Girl Baby Shower Success!

I have been working on this baby shower ever since a certain favorite mommy found out she was finally having a girl!  Like me, she has three boys and her and I have always joked and dreamed of having that little girl in pink and ruffles one day!  For her, the dream is coming true and I was all about having a fun frilly shower to celebrate!

I am moving in 2 weeks and didn’t have  a lot of stuff left unpacked, but needed some easy and elegant decorations to make the house look great for the shower.  I hung tulle up around the entry way stair case and put cute little flowers in it.  It turned out really nice.  I also have a fabulous friend who does flower arranging who put together a few gorgeous pieces to place around the room.

 

 

These cream puffs stole the show! They were awesome!

Personalized M&M's for party favors

Science Soap Clouds: An Easy Experiment to Do With Your Kids

Awesome science activity… all you need is a bar of Ivory soap.  Yep, that’s it!  Turn some Ivory soap into a fun fluffy soap cloud!  The kids will love this… trust me!  I did this today with 4 little boys and they were mesmerized!

Step 1:  Get your Ivory soap

Step 2:  Put it in the microwave on a paper towel or wax paper and microwave for a couple minutes.  Let the kids watch as it slowly fluffs in to a large poofy cloud!

 

Some very mesmerized boys watched as the soap transformed in the microwave!

Step 3:  Let the kids play!  This is a great sensory activity!  Have the children describe what it feels like and smells like!  Warning:  I wouldn’t let them crumble it up until you have it in a bowl.  It might look soft and squishy, but it is actually very crumbly and flaky when you brake it apart.

Don’t worry this is not wasteful, you can still use the soap when you are done!  You can throw the whole fluffy cloud in the bath tub with them or mold your own smaller soaps from the foam and use those!  I personally like letting my kids use the cloud to soap up the slip’n slide in the backyard!  It makes for some seriously slippery fun!

Tyson declared, “This smells like a bath!!!!”

 

Crumble it into soap snow flakes and have the kids describe the texture

 

Add some food coloring and a tiny bit of water to your flakes to mold into your own soap shapes!

 

A little clean up advice:  Vacuum or wipe up flakes with a dry paper towel or cloth.  Do not try to wipe with anything wet or you will have a much bigger, soapier mess to clean up.

Looking for more sensory activities?  Check out these links for more ideas.

Handprint Butterflies

Spaghetti Sensory

Turkeys 

Pinecone Turkey

Reindeer

Painting with Ice 

Cotten ball Bunny

 

Preschool: Introducing the Letter F

I’ve been working on the alphabet with my two year old!  Today, we focused on the letter F.  I am going to share all of our fun activities we did with the letter F.

First, we colored the uppercase and lowercase F which I got the template here.

learning the letter F

Coloring her "F"

Next, we colored a fish bowl and colored the fish, template found here.

learning the letter F

Coloring her fish bowl.

learning the letter F

She's proud of her fish bowl!

We (mommy, daddy and Ella) also used our hands to make Flowers!

leaning the letter "F"

She also made flowers out of hands.

She even helped mommy water her Flowers.

learning the letter f

Ella helped water flowers.

We used finger paint to incorporate the letter F.

She also painted with her fingers.

Lastly, we used our magna-tiles to create the letter F.

learning the letter F

We made an F with the magna-tiles.

Each letter has so many ways to learn it!  Check out some of the other letters on this site!

Letter B | Letter C | Letter H |  Letter I  |  Letter K |  Letter L  |  Letter Q  |  Letter R  |  Letter W | Letter X

Spaghetti Sensory Acitivity

Sensory activities are soooooooooo good for kids!  They help promote social, emotional, and intellectual development!  There is even a positive correlation between sensory development and a reduction in biting in toddlers.  Very interesting!

During my turn to teach preschool we did an awesome sensory activity using spaghetti noodles.   They were so silly about it!  They told me how their parents never let them play with their spaghetti!  I think that made the activity all the more fun for them!

First the kids squished the noodles between their fingers.

 

Next they tried to make letters with their spaghetti

 

After that they wanted to paint the noodles!

 

They painted...

 

and painted some more!

 

In the end, all that was left was a big pile of painted noodles!  The kids really liked seeing what colors they could make the noodles when they mixed the colors!  This is a great way to incorporate science into your sensory project!

If you liked this activity you may also like these sensory activities:
Handprint Butterfies 
Painting with Ice
Hand and Foot Print Reindeer
Pine Cone Turkeys
Hand Print Turkey Feathers
Hand and Foot Print Creatures
Sensory Table Activities
Sensory Play 

 

What To Do When It Rains!

Cute girl playing in rain

It is also a great picture idea!

I often thought that my two (almost 3) year old would enjoy playing in the rain.  Boy did she ever!  She had so much fun that she cried when she had to come in.  You know… that thing called my little sibling just woke up from a nap screaming.  She was soaked head to toe by the time we came in, but I repeat, she had so much fun.

Loving the rainy weather.

One of the most fun things she's ever done.

I encourage everyone to let their kids play in the rain.  It will definitely be a memory.  It also makes that dreary day seem fun.  My daughter couldn’t wait for her dad to come home and tell him how much fun she had!

Playing in the rain

Just a little puddle jumping!

Then, they have to come inside and take a bath.  Make that a fun experience too!

Preschool Letter Ww Activities!

We are getting down to the end of our alphabet here and seems like the last few letters are the trickiest to find activities for.  This week was my turn to teach and we were on Ww.  It took a little extra thought, but we ended up coming up with plenty of fun activities!

We had a very silly circle time for Ww.  We first reviewed past letters and sounds, then introduced the letter Ww.  There are a ton of gross motor activities associated with W so we took some time to do them during circle time using role playing.  Here are a few of the things we did:

  • Wiggle like a Worm
  • Pretend to be blowing in the Wind
  • Swim and splash in the Water
  • Pretend to eat a big piece of Watermellon
  • Use a magic Wand to turn each other into a Whale, Walrus, and Worm.
  • Lay down to make the shape of a W with our  bodies

We made cute watermelons out of paper plates, construction paper, and paint.  These are really easy and do not take a lot of supplies.  The kids really liked making them, especially after we had just pretended to eat watermelon during circle time.  This is a great cross curricular activity as well since you can incorporate both science and math into your art by teaching about fruits and having the kids count the watermelon seeds on their project.

First let the kids paint a paper plate green.

 

Then have them glue a red circle in the middle and have them glue black "seeds" made from construction paper onto the red circle. This is great for fine motor development also since the seeds are so small!

Don't forget to have a little mini lesson on what a fruit is and have them count the watermelon seeds so that it can be a cross curricular activity for science and math as well!

We also let the kids paint W’s with Watercolors.  This is a simple, but fun project.  It also looks great as a finished project to add to their alphabet books they have been making!

Painting with Watercolors!

Perfect letter page for our alphabet books!

 

To finish our obsessed Ww preschool day we ate yummy snickerdoodle cookies topped with Whipped cream!  Make sure to emphasize how whipped cream starts with W!!

To see more preschool letter activities we have done, check out the links below!

Letter B, Letter C, Letter H, Letter I, Letter KLetter L, Letter Q, Letter R.

Seven Uses for Plastic Easter Eggs After Easter

(Note from Dana: My sister in-law sent me a text stating she had some great uses for leftover Easter eggs and wanted to guest post.  I was like for sure!!!!  Read the post and check out her own blog here!)

Well the Easter bunny has done it again. I’m not quite sure how it happens. Especially since I am very close with the Easter bunny and monitor her spending habits very closely. It seems at some point in the preparation of Easter baskets, the Easter bunny placed a “bunny” blessing on our plastic eggs because they seem to be multiplying faster than bunnies do.

Just when I think I’ve tracked down every last plastic egg, I find another one in a couch cushion or my shoe. This wouldn’t be so annoying except for the fact that it’s usually not an entire egg: just half.

As a mother of three preschoolers, we accumulate a lot of plastic eggs. In addition to the Easter bunny, we have church egg hunts, family egg hunts and preschool egg hunts. This amounts to roughly 5,000 plastic eggs (maybe I’m exaggerating, but only by a little).

What to do with leftover Easter eggs

My kids' leftover eggs!

In the past, I’ve saved the plastic eggs for the following year. In five years, I’ve accumulated quite a stash of eggs. There is no need to keep new ones this year. Instead of throwing them away, I’ve found several uses for the plastic eggs.

  • Use them as bath toys. Most eggs have a little hole in the bottom of the egg. My kids love to fill them up with water and watch the water drain out.
  • Make an Easter egg wreath. There are a million ways to make these and they are all over Pinterest. This is a perfect time to make an Easter wreath because any additional accessories you might need (i.e. ribbons, additional flare, etc.) will be on sale.
  • Make a set of “play” eggs. The next time you buy real eggs, save the container and fill it with plastic eggs. Your kids will love this new addition to the play kitchen.
  • Use them to teach your child to read. Check out this recent post that uses eggs to help new readers learn new words.
  • Use them as prize incentives. One thing I love about plastic eggs is their size; they perfectly hold a temporary tattoo or sticker. My kids love rewards and they love surprises. Keeping some eggs year-round to fill with little treats is a great way to motivate your kids.
  • Donate them to your local Humane Society. Apparently, cats love to chase around plastic eggs filled with food. This helps with their mental stimulation and development. Not all Human societies collect plastic eggs so make sure you call before you show up with your bag full of eggs.
  • Give them back. If you attended any community egg hunts, you might be able to donate your eggs back after Easter. Not all organizations want to store the eggs for a whole year but some might. It takes a lot of eggs to host a community egg hunt, so if they are accepting eggs this is an easy way to get rid of your entire stash.

Having trouble deciding which one to choose? And this list is just a start. There are a ton of craft ideas that use plastic eggs. The good news is you probably have enough eggs to do them all. Twice.

Tips to Navigate the Magic Kingdom at Disney World!

Planning a Disney trip this year?  We just got back from Orlando and I wanted to share some tips on how to navigate the Magic Kingdom.   We had so much fun even though we went during one of the busiest weeks of the year… spring break!

It was crowded, but I was really impressed with how well Disney manages such a large crowd.  I did talk to one of the employees on the tram back to the parking lot and he told me that the best time to come is late september and October.  He said that spring break, summer, and the month of December will have the biggest crowds there.

1.  Get there early!  Plan to be there at least 30 minutes before the park opens.  The parking lot is very intense and it will take you that long to get to the gate.  You have to first take a tram from the parking lot to the kiosks.  There you can buy your tickets and then hop aboard a ferry boat or a train that will take you to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.  If you get in the park right as they open all the Disney characters are right there doing a welcome song and dance as you walk in.  It is pretty cool to see, plus you can get a lot of your pictures done first thing without having to hunt for the characters through out your day.

2.  Let them take your picture!  They will hand you a card when they take your picture at the entrance.  You can use this same card the entire day each time you want a family picture.  You just hand them your card and they scan it, take the picture, and hand it back.  After you get home there is a website on the photo card (disneyphotopass.com) you can go log in and view, share, or order any of the pictures you want.  There are employees all over the place and they do not mind taking pics for you from your camera or iphone either.

3.  Bring lots of snacks and drinks!  Besides glass bottles, you can pretty much bring in whatever you want.  I packed a backpack full of bottled water and snacks and passed them out to the kids while whenever we were in line somewhere.  It kept the kids busy while waiting in line, plus it kept them full and we avoided buying food at the park.  If you want to buy a meal at the park I would suggest doing it around 345pm.  The dinner prices start at 4pm so that is your last chance to get a big meal for the lunch price.  It is late enough that you can make it the rest of the day with just the snacks you packed.

4.  If you need to bring a stroller make sure you distinguish it somehow.  There are gazillions of strollers in the stroller parking area and sometimes the disney employees even move them around a bit to keep them organized.  Our stroller was not always in the same spot we left it when coming back from a ride.  We got some bright orange ribbon for 75 cents at the craft store and tied a bow around the handle to make it stand out.  Some people bought balloons and tied that to their strollers too.  The last thing you want to do is spend 10 minutes looking for your stroller in the crowd of strollers!

This is actually one of the smaller stroller park areas we used near the Haunted Mansion. Ours is the stroller with the orange ribbon tied to it. You can easily see how useful this was!

5.  Use the fast passes!  Here is how the fast passes work.  In front of the major rides there is a fast pass kiosk.  You put your admission ticket in and it prints out a ticket with a time printed on it of when you need to come back.  Come back during this time and you enter a fast pass line that is dramatically different then the regular line.  For example:  We used a pass on Space Mountain.  The regular wait time was 85 minutes and we only waited 12 minutes using the fast pass line.  Don’t waste your fast passes though…  once you have printed a fast pass you cannot get another for a couple hours so pick the rides you want to use them on wisely.  I would suggest using them on the mountain rides (Splash, Space, and Thunder mountains).

This was our 2nd round of fast passes to Space Mountain. As you can see, we got the tickets at 1:50pm and were not able to get any more fast passes until 350pm

6.  Use the free Disney app to estimate wait times.  This was incredibly useful and helped us decide which rides to go on and when.  We used the Disney World Wait Times app (has a picture of a frog on it).  It was easy to use and also has a map of the park on it.  You can also make lunch or dinner reservations and find where you favorite disney character is using the app.

6.  I strongly recommend hitting up the classic rides in Fantasyland first.  These are the famous Mad Tea Party,  Flying Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Railroad, Prince Charming’s Carrousel, etc..  If you dont do them first thing then you may not get to later on.  They are very popular and the lines get pretty long later in the day.  With all the other rides at the park I didn’t want to wait 40 minutes just to ride the tea cups if you know what I mean.  Plus it gives you something to do while you wait to use your fast pass to nearby Space Mountain.  :)

7.  Stay for the parade and fire works.  It makes for a long day, but you wont be disappointed.  They really put on a great show.  Dont underestimate the day time shows either.  They give you a time to sit and relax for a bit and they really are well done.  We went to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Show.  It was pretty funny.  I think I enjoyed it as much as the kids.  You can text a joke into them on your way in to the theater and they  really do try to use them in their act.