Thursday, 28 August 2014

DIY Baby Toy

When I was working at the early years centre (go there, it's great!) we used to make a lot of the baby toys in the classrooms. In fact, they were so popular a co-worker and I actually created a touring workshop all about making your own sensory toys for children of all ages. It was pretty cool.

Anyway Iris is getting to that age were she's super into anything you put in front of her. I'm sure lots of parents have noticed this but most of the time it's the non-toys that are actually more interesting for them. I'll be waving a Sophie in Iris' face trying to get her to calm down and then in an act of desperation will grab a discarded sock on the floor and she'll be all smiles, like I've just given her the most amazing toy ever. Such is life of a parent.

I thought I'd share how I made this super easy DIY sensory bottle.

What you need:

  • some sort of plastic bottle with lid (I looked through the recycle bin, but we didn't have anything that was small enough to use for Iris. Instead I picked up a little bottle of honey and poured it into a jar so I could use the bottle)
  • water and vegetable oil
  • glitter and/or sequins
  • small clear jewel rock things (you know what I mean right?)
  • hot glue
Make it
  1. Clean out your bottle, removing all stickers. If there is some glue residue left over on the bottle, just use some Pam, or other oil and scrub it with a paper towel, it should come off pretty easily.
  2. In a small bowl/dish, mix the glitter and oil together
  3. Pour glittery oil into the bottle and top it up with water
  4. Add sequins and rocks
  5. Hot glue the lid on so your baby can't get it open

 Pretty simple right?  This looks really cool when you shake it up and because of the rocks in it, it makes noise too. Iris was pretty into it, although it's still a bit hard for her to hold on to it. Next time I would try to put it in a smaller bottle, like those Chubby Soda bottles.

This is totally the ECE in me coming out, but these would be great for older kids too; you could add a whole bunch of stuff to them and do a Look-and-Find type game. If you're into this kind of thing, you should check out our Pinterest Board of DIY Sensory Activities for kids ;)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Making Things Look Pretty: The Shelves

One of the first things we did when we moved into this space was put up shelves. So many shelves. I had visions of expertly styled shelves with colour organized books, art, gold book ends ect. Well we ended up just kinda throwing my thrift finds and books up on them instead. And then I had a baby and pretty shelves fell to the very very bottom of the list. Womp womp. After staring at them for hours on end each day feeding Iris I decided to finally tackle them. Wanna have a look?

 Ta-da! I'm still not 100% happy with it, but it'll do in the meantime. I started by taking everything off and placing things up in groupings. A few of the things that were really bright like picture frames and some vases I spray painted a matte black to make everything a little more cohesive. I also got a lot of the photos we had on the computer printed and put into frames which I just got at garage sales and goodwill and spray painted black.

 Gumball Machine (thrifted) / Animals (dollarama) 

 Lyric art (diy) / Landscape (by one of my old art teachers Jason Fallaise) / vase + plant + pot (thrifted)

This guy I found for $2 and just spray painted him red

 quartz & frame (thrifted)

Now to tackle the many other shelves in the apartment! Oh dear. 

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