Sunday, May 17, 2015

Water Table Fishing - Kids Activity

Now that the weather has really heated up around here I've been searching for some cooling off activities that all the kids will like. I saw this adorable idea on Buggy and Buddy.

I purchased the following items from either Lowes or Jo-Ann Fabrics: 

1 package of craft foam sheets
Wooden Dowels

The total out of pocket expense for this project was around $12. You can purchase sheets of foam on clearance right now at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $0.50 a piece.  

I had paper clips, a sharpie, rope and a glue gun already on hand in my home.  The first step was to cut out the fish shape in various colors of craft foam. Then I had Wynn write numbers on each of the fish. She is just learning to write the numbers past ten, and so I thought this was good practice for her. Then we slipped a paper clip on each of the fish.

Rob took a small drill bit and drilled a small hole in the top of the dowel. It made it easier to insert the screw eye hooks to the top of the dowel.

Cut a piece of rope or string about half the length of the dowel itself.  The tie it to the top of the dowel through the eye hook.  

Use a hot glue gun to attach the magnet to the end of the rope.  Then the rod is complete. You could even let the children decorate their fishing rod with markers or stickers. Wynn is still working on forward facing threes. :)

Place the fish in a water table or plastic tub if you have that instead. I let the kids fish together at first, and then Wynn had her own fishing experience later on. They all had fun with this activity.  Wynn just called out numbers, and the one year olds just simple fished and called out colors.

I was so happy that we found another way to use the water table this summer. Looking forward to finding or creating some new fishing activities. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Simple Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. Here are some simple ideas I have shared over the years that would work perfectly for this spring holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend celebrating a special someone in your life. We are celebrating both Mother's Day and Rob's birthday this weekend, and so we are celebrating times two. 

Hope you have found some inspiration here on the blog today. Enjoy your day, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Playroom Progress Part 3

The playroom is definitely getting a lot of use lately. It turns out it is nice to have a second play area for the kids. We are beginning to be down there every evening before bedtime now.  You can see that Wynn fixed up the room already as her movie theater.  Toy storage is definitely on the to do list next.

Rob installed these speakers that we purchased on Amazon while he was doing the drywall work for the room. He ran speaker wiring from each speaker to the unfinished side of our basement. We have four speakers, and this room is approximately 12 feet by 20 feet, and the speakers are more than perfect for the space.

We purchased this DVD/Home Theater combo to have a device for the sound to run through. We were looking for a typical receiver. The receivers we found we around $150 and up depending on what features you were looking at. Unfortunately, we did not want to spend that much money for a receiver alone.  Rob went to Target trying to price more items out and stumbled upon the DVD/home theater combination. We do not use the speakers that came in the set, but for $75 it was worth a try to see if we could hook up the speakers we installed to it. Turns it out it works out great! The sound is phenomenal as well.

The projector we ended up purchasing was approximately $320 on Amazon. After reading the many reviews on it we decided it would work best for our space.  It ends up being cheaper than buying a TV for the room in the long run, and we can are keeping the TV off the wall and the little hands that may want to touch it.  It is approximately seven and a half feet from the wall, and this means that we are getting a 65 inch screen on the wall. It is high enough where all the little people can move around without walking in front of the viewing portion of the projector.
The walls that Rob put up are smooth enough to end up not having to purchase any materials for an actual screen. I did find this great screen material on Amazon, but we ended up returning it after we realized it was not necessary in our project. We have not had cable in our house for two years, but we do have one cable box in the garage that Comcast sent with our wireless internet fee we pay each month. We mainly rely on our HD antenna and our Roku boxes. We opted to purchase an Amazon Fire Stick that could easily be placed in the back of the projector. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu available with many other options as well. Wynn has already learned to effectively operate the remotes for the projector and the Fire Stick.  
I had a gift card for Target, and wanted to find a rug on there so I did not have to spend actual money elsewhere. We have several indoor/outdoor rugs in our house already. I find that they are easy to clean and are pretty easy to clean up after spills or dog related issues. I found this rug on Target's site. It was 10% off with my Target Pharmacy rewards coupon, and then an additional 10% off with a promo code that Target's site had available. I ended up having to pay $35 out of pocket for this with the free shipping. It is 7 by 10 feet, and takes up most of the room. It is helpful because it helps with the echo issue we were encountering with three kids and the laminate flooring.
The most recent find was this couch from Craigslist. The funny part is that we actually purchased this from a family who have children that attend the school Rob teaches at. Small world indeed! I was looking at a cute gray love seat on Target's website, but we going back and forth on whether or not to pull the trigger on it. It was $377, which included a large oversized shipping fee. I thought it was a good price, but figured it would be a lot better to get a full size couch. I checked out CL that day, and found this six month old couch for $350. The people were getting rid of it in order to get a sleeper couch instead. My father in law and Rob went and picked it up two days later, and it works great. It was the same color as the original couch I had thought we would get from Target, and with an extra seat. It is microfiber and super soft. I am going to buy some pillow covers to cover the pillows the couch came with eventually.

I had a Home Goods gift card burning a hole in my wallet since Christmas. I wanted to find a large piece to put on the wall between the water main door and the fuse box. I was actually in Delaware, and found this adorable canvas artwork for $29. I love the no sales tax, and so the price is what was on the tag! Hooray! 

Next up on the to do list is a desk area, toy storage in the closet, and possibly a large chalkboard and art display on the wall.  Rob also may want to do some sort of framing around where the projector "screen" is at the moment. We shall see how much gets done before baby #4 comes our way.