Category: play

Make a DIY Water Table for Less than $15

diywatertable

One of our sweet toddler friends received a water table at his birthday party this past spring, and every kid from 10 months to 6 years old was instantly obsessed. The Bear talked about it endlessly after we left, so we looked into buying one. The plastic ones we found online ran anywhere from $30-50, and sturdier wooden ones were much more expensive. Jed knew he could build one, so we headed out to pick out materials. Below you’ll find a tutorial for our simple and sturdy DIY water table, perfect for water play and sensory play. You can make it at home for less than $15, and is sturdy enough to put up with the abuse preschoolers can dish out. We still plan to paint it with outdoor paint, but haven’t gotten around to it yet because the kids use it almost every day.

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20 of the Best Beach Activities for Kids and Families #BareFeetontheBeach

beachactivitiesfamilies

Welcome to the #BareFeetontheBeach series here on Bare Feet on the Dashboard. We’ve been taking family beach vacations for over 30 years (since I was a toddler) and are now taking the third generation on beach trips. I’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best beach activities for kids and families for your vacation or staycation this year (some are perfect to do at home). Read more below and don’t forget to pin this post to find it later.

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Easy Firework Finger Painting for Toddlers and Preschool Kids

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Finger painting with toddlers and little kids may sound like a total disaster waiting to happen, but I promise it can be fun and painless. All you need is construction paper and washable paint. For this project, I offered the kids a red, white, and blue palette and asked them to create fireworks. Pearl girl obviously had no idea what I was talking about, but Bear knows what they are and went for it immediately. You can read more about stress free finger painting with toddlers here, and read on to learn how we made this project flow with minimal chaos and only a minor mess. 🙂

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This was the Pearl Girl’s first foray in to finger painting, and she did well for about 10 minutes. I feel pretty great about that for a 14 month old. She really liked the feel of the paint on her fingers and patting it down on the paper. I set out four color options on a disposible paper plate. Only put out as much paint as you think they’ll need for one painting at a time. I gave each child a piece of paper and had Bear show PG how to do it. I guided her first few strokes and then she got the hang of it quickly. The Bear will paint happily for about 20 minutes now at age 3.

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Let go of any image of Pinterest perfection and let your kids have a blast being creative. We’ve been reading a book about Franklin the Turtle being an artist, so the Bear believes he is one. I think every kid does until someone tells them different. Artistic expression is important for development and doesn’t have to be difficult for parents and caregivers to execute.

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Clean up is so easy during the summer. I turn on the hose and let the kids splash the paint away, then turn the hose on our mini picnic table to wash it down. Leave the paintings out to dry and head in for a snack. You can find one of the ways we preserve kid art at no cost here. Happy Independence Day America!


Teaching Courage with the Help of Disney Planes #PlanestotheRescue

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

#planestotherescue#shop#cbiascouragewithplanes

Kids are funny. Just when you think you have them figured out, they throw you for a loop. Our son recently developed a fear of shadows in his room at night. I’m talking a wake up screaming bloody murder, wake the neighbors and his baby sister, traumatizing for everyone involved fear. It came out of the blue and we had no idea what to do about it. We prayed with him and snuggled him and tried to reason with him. Nothing worked until we decided to talk about courage. Being the Disney obsessed family that we are, we used his current favorite movie, Planes, to help teach him to be brave and courageous like his buddy Dusty.

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Play Outside: Tips for Taking Your Kids on a Nature Walk

This play idea is brought to you by Knoala – Raise Happier Kids. Knoala is a free app that offers activities for parents to enjoy with infants to preschoolers.

naturewalkswithkidsknoala

 

We love to go on nature walks with our kids. Playing outside is a daily activity at our house, and we try to make everythine we do an adventure and a learning experience without making it complicated. Recently I downloaded the new Knoala app and used it to take our nature walks to the next level. Don’t worry, I wasn’t on my phone during our walk. I clicked on to Knoala before we left and found a few ideas for our walk to get the kids to notice everything around me. They responded really well, and we felt like super fun parents.

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How to Host a Creative Playdate #UltimatePlayDate

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. Ready to host a playdate where the kids get to explore creative activities and have a blast? I’ve got a few easy tips and ideas to share with you so you can host the #UltimatePlaydate. I love giving kids room to create and express themselves artistically, so we hosted a group of sweet little friends and their mommies for a lovely morning of creative play. Creating your own artsy playdate is easy and so much fun.

#shop#cbias#ultimateplaydatekids

 

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Play Outside: Five Fun Uses for Sidewalk Chalk Paint

sidewalkchalkpaint

Summer is here and we are ready to play. We were recently send a set of the new RoseArt Washable Sidewalk Chalk Paint
to try. We had a blast with it, and were able to use it for quite a few different activities. I love that you can mix up only as much paint as you want your child to use each time, and save the rest indefinitely. The paint washes off so easily and gives you a clean slate each time.  I thought I’d share five fun uses for sidewalk chalk paint to help get your kids playing outside and learning this summer. (more…)

Play Outside: Five Fun Games for Your Backyard Kiddie Pool

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To kick off the summer I’m celebrating Backyard Games Week with a group of fabulous bloggers and sharing our ideas for playing fun games outside with your kids. We love to spend time outside playing our yard, and as soon as it is warm enough we break out two little inflatable kiddie pools. Most of the time the kids splash around and create their own fun, but occasionally I add a game in to the mix to keep them entertained longer. Mama needs time to drink her coffee, right? All of my game ideas are simple and geared towards the 0-3 crowd.

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Play Outside: Five Ideas for Playing Outdoors with a Baby

playingoutdoorswithbaby If you follow me on Instagram, you know we love to play outside. We spend as much time as possible playing in our yard, at the park, and exploring our world. My kids ask to go outside immediately after breakfast if not sooner, and they both recognize the sound of the door opening and come running. Playing with a baby outside can be a challenge because there are dangers to avoid and they can’t do what their toddler friends are doing. I’m sharing five ideas for playing outdoors with a baby, all of which are super easy and simple. You can read about our discovery garden ideas here. (more…)

Create a Discovery Garden for Your Kids to Explore

discoverygardenforkids

My kids love to explore and play in our yard. We’ve been hard at work on our massive yard project trying to get our yard to look better and be more functional. On a whim I decided to dedicate a space for the kids so they could dig in the dirt and play without destroying any of our new plants. This little discovery garden has become one of our favorite daily play spots and it cost nothing to create and took about ten minutes.  Both kids love it and it gives them a sweet little place all their own that has become a home for all the treasures they find as well as the perfect spot for imaginative play.

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