Thursday, September 29, 2011

General Conference with Toddlers

The LDS General Conference is this weekend. I am excited to hear our prophet speak to us. I've been getting ready, trying to figure out what to do with two toddlers as we watch 8 hours worth of general conference over two days. So, here is what we've done to prepare:

*Family Home Evening: Monday we talked about General Conference and what would happen. We posted the picture of the prophets and apostles from last conference's Ensign on our wall and we've talked about it every day this week.

*My daughter loves her Gospel Art Picture Book. I'm hopeful that we can use that during conference. Perhaps have her listen for words and try to find a picture that matches (like, He's talking about Jesus. Can you find a picture of Jesus in your book?) or us finding a picture of a story that's being told so she can look at it.

*Each of my girls has a lap table. I hope this will keep them sitting while they do their activities. (Okay, I know that's very optimistic... I don't expect them to sit for two hours... maybe 15 minutes at a time, though. )

*I love this conference baggie idea. Janna puts a picture of each of the apostles on a different treat or game. When that apostle speaks, her children get that treat. Love the idea, but my oldest is 3 and the only one she recognizes is the prophet. So, I adapted it slightly. I have a bag of treats. Each time she sees a member of the First Presidency, she can pick a treat from the bag. I'll also have her repeat their name. My goal: By the end of conference, I'd like her to be able to recognize and name each of the three members of the First Presidency. Snacks in our bag include:
-Capri Suns
-Fruit snacks
-Hard candy
-Cheerios (with dental floss to make them into necklaces)
-Yogurt-covered raisins

*I have another bag full of (rather) quiet activities. As the kids get antsy, I can pull out a bag and hopefully entertain them. Our quiet activities include:
-A set of magnetic fishing poles and fish
-A set of lacing beads
-A set of tupperware containers the girls can push pom poms through. Idea from here.
-A pair of balloons we can blow up
-A new coloring/sticker book

*And my favorite idea for watching conference with toddlers..... I traded babysitting with a non-LDS friend earlier in the week in exchange for her watching my kids during the Saturday afternoon session of conference. Two less hours that they have to sit quietly and at least my husband and I will get to listen to one session uninterrupted!

I'll be back after conference to post my thoughts and the answers to these questions.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Toddler Treat Boxes

I keep seeing treat boxes like this one popping up on the internet. It's such a cute idea to fill a craft organizer with treats, but my children (ages 3 and 1) are a little young for it. It would make a gigantic mess because they'd open the box and stuff would fly everywhere.

So, I set off in search of something that would work. Disclaimer: Use this idea at your own risk.

I found....

Pill organizers! See what I mean about use at your own risk? They work well for us, but use your own judgment about whether this is a good idea for your children.

If you get the extra large size (referring to size of compartments not number of compartments), they fit snacks and little fingers perfectly. The best part about it is that only one compartment is open at a time so you don't have to worry about everything spilling. Bonus: We can work on letter recognition.

This one worked the best for my kids. It's a 7-compartment organizer with standard lids. My 3-year-old can pop them pretty easily and eats one compartment at a time. She does eat through the compartments rapidly, though, so two or three of these are better than one with more compartments because I can give the boxes at intervals. My 1-year-old can't open the lids so I'll open one, she'll sit quietly and happily eat her goldfish or cheerios and then bring it back to me when she wants the next one opened.

This was my next choice. It has 14 compartments and locking lids. Neither of my children can open it, which gives me a little bit more control.

This one has arthritis-friendly lids that are very easy to open. I didn't like it because they got bumped in my bag and spilled.

We've used these for church and in the car and my kids have loved them. I'm excited to take them on our plane trip in November. Here are a few ideas of things to put in them:

Goldfish crackers
Dried blueberries
Hard candy
Fruit Snacks
Yogurt-covered raisins

So, after trying out a variety of containers, I liked this style (less than $3 at Amazon). Here is what worked for me:

*an extra large pill organizer was the perfect size for little fingers and snacks

*seven compartments was the right size for us (for most things, that was plenty of snacks, but for very long trips two or three of these were better than one larger organizer)

*the large letters for the days of the week were nice because we could work on letter recognition

*2 kinds of snacks (like goldfish and cheerios) worked better for me than filling every compartment with something different

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank You Card (CAS Sketch 158)

Here is my card for Clean and Simple Sketch 158 using leftover scraps. I have about 40 of these little cards with this flowered paper on them (leftover from my purse cards). This card turned out okay, but I think I'll keep looking for a design to use for the rest of them. If I could find a cute design or two, I'd package some of these up for my ward's service auction that is coming up.

Halloween Cards (CAS Sketches 156 & 157)

I made some little Halloween cards using leftover scraps. I am planning to tuck these into little envelopes (the cards are 2 inches by 3.5 inches) and then package them up in a cute box. I'll come back and post pictures of the boxes when I get them done.

I love Clean and Simple sketches. I did two sets using Sketch 157.

...and one set using Sketch 156.
I think I'll take these to my ward's service auction that is coming up. Wouldn't these be adorable attached to some neighbor treats or tucked into a lunch box?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September Visiting Teaching Message

A quick visiting teaching handout in Word or PDF. This is the front, there is also an optional back with the full text of the message.

You can find the official visiting teaching message here.

I try to make these quick, cheap, and easy to print and cut because I make them for all the sisters in my ward. We put them on a table and visiting teachers can just grab what they need for their ladies and take them or mail them or add a plate of cookies, treat, etc.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunflower Candy Sticks

I love these little candy sticks! Aren't these sunflower perfect for fall?

I used 1-inch by 8-inch lip and tape cellophane bags. I ordered mine online, but last time I was at Expedex, I saw 100-packs for $5.95 which is cheaper than ordering online by the time I pay shipping.

One 12.6-ounce bag of M&Ms made about 15 candy sticks (possibly more, I tasted and dropped quite a few)

The sunflower is a 2-inch scallop punch that I used scissors to cut between the scallops. Technique from here. The 3/4-inch brown circles were cut with my Silhouette because I don't have a 3/4-inch punch. I stapled the scallops to the bags then used a 1/2-inch glue dot to stick the brown centers over the staple.

Wouldn't daisies be adorable for spring?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Card Club

Here's the card I made for card club tonight. I put them in vellum envelopes.

Our challenge was to do something 3-D.

I got the idea from here. Since it used a stamp set I already owned, I decided to go with it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ribbon Storage

I love quick and easy storage solutions so when I saw this ribbon organizer, I knew I had to try it.

I picked up this container from Smith's from $1.25, had my husband cut some dowels that I already had on hand (you can see the leftovers in the center of the basket, not sure what to do with those, but I should have pulled them out for the picture), and started filling the basket with ribbon. I cut up some toilet paper rolls to provide spacers where I needed them to keep the ribbon in place.