Frozen toys sensory bin

This activity turned out alot differently than I had it worked out in my head.

I thought Pickles would enjoy a super fun frozen ice activity.
The goal was to educate Nik about a little water and ice. 

The only thing I actually accomplished, was to give Nik 

just one more list item he will have to tell his therapist later in life. 

I pulled out the craft muffin tin and filled it with
 some of Nik's favorite little toys and water. 

 I had cars, rocks, a wax number three
and a bunch of other fun little toys. 

I threw them all into the freezer overnight. 

The next day I pulled out a big tub, filled it 1/2
way with water and started throwing in the frozen toys. 

Nik was puzzled and clearly displeased with what I had done with his toys.
Not the reaction I expected.
He started to liberate the toys from their ice prisons,
while fussing and saying things like "No... Lambie. Not Lambie!!"
"Those were my favorite toys. Goodbye toys"

It was dramatic and quite the show. 

At one point Nik's uncle showed him how to
smash the ice to get the toys out faster.  
Then it just became a fun ice smashing game.

After all of the ice melted from Nik's possessions
 he gathered them all up and went to hide them from me.
I assume to prevent this sort of tragedy from occurring again. 

TIL: Do not encase Nik's toys in ice as it causes
 weird Han Solo in the carbonite fridge flashbacks.


Citrus Lane review April 2014

Did I skip the March Citrus Lane review, yes.
Is there a reason for this anarchy?
Nik was wearing his super reflective fireman jacket and
the resulting pictures were hard to look at.

Overall Nik liked the March box.
dough, a puzzle, a present for mommy and a first aid kit. 

Let's just move right on to April's box.
Pickles was so excited that he could not wait for me to take pictures.

The box contained  quite a few awesome things.

When Pickles realized one of those awesome things
within the box was big boy cups he was super excited.

These are great cups.
Easy for Nik to hold, and still nice and sturdy.
A great addition to the box.
I love when the box contains
kid kitchen-ware.

No, this is not the face of a disappointed child,
but that of a child concentrating on the different types of tools in the Tools 'N Things bag. 

Pickles is obsessed with tools. He loved this set.

I love that the tools have their respective names on them.
Very cool for preschool age children. 

Aprils box also came with a free card from Treat.
It appears Treat is Shutterfly's greeting card service.
Shutterfly is awesome and so are free cards. 


I have a Meyer's counter spray that I just love. 
The lemon dish soap is definitely another Meyer's product I wanted to try,
but it's so expensive.
I didn't want to try a large bottle of soap
and end up hating it and wasting it..
This was the perfect chance to try it out.

The smell is amazing.
I cleaned my tub with it just so I could smell it in my bathroom.

Ok this is the part of the post where things may have a different tone.
I'm just going to break this down.
Citrus Lane promised me that I would get to try
new products from lots of different brand partners, etc..
However 2014 has been a big year for Bear Foot books in Citrus Lane box's.
Zig Zag Zebra, I took the moon for a walk, Skip through the seasons and now The Prince's Bedtime.
Don't get me wrong Barefoot books are lovely, but where is the variety?

The Prince's Bedtime is a read along. I was excited because
I had something similar when I was younger. 

The story was read by Jim Broadbent.
Jim was in a few of the Harry Potter
 movies as
Pickles enjoyed turning the pages when the chime would ding,
but it was a long and hard story for a three year old to follow. 


Overall a good box.
Perhaps I should start a CL rating scale for the box's.
The 1 to 10 scale perhaps, with 1 being
 "what were you thinking CL?". And 10 is "the coolest CL box so far!"

 On that scale this box would be an 7,
simply because of the Barefoot Book saturation.
This scale don't mess around.

Do you want to try Citrus Lane for yourself?  Link here
 Get a surprise box of the best products for your child every month


Firefighter Party signs

The signs were not as cool as cardboard firetrucks, but I just loved them. 
I liked making them too. One of my favorite parts.

I found some fire fighter type buckets at a local craft store.
Red, of course.
Using a letter stencil I placed the word "Fire" on the buckets.
I have no idea if firefighters use these buckets and if so for what, but I saw it in a Handy Manny episode and that's good enough for me.

The local craft store also had a fiery selection of papers as well.  

I decided I wanted to make the signs 8 1⁄2 in × 11 in.
Why? That's standard and I hate cutting, so that made step 1 easy.
The other colors I cut exactly 1 1/2 inch smaller.
I used 4 colors.
I think it's fancier that way

The stickers were also obtained from the local craft store(s).
I scoured all of the local crafts stores as most of them
had a severe shortage of firefighter-looking stuff.

On the "grab a hat and badge" sign,
the word "kids" is made out of chip board letters.
I wanted to use stuff I just had in the craft closet so
I spray painted the letters to match and bam!

This one caused controversy around the house.
I ran out of letters and did not want to get more,
so I decided to get creative.
The sign made perfect sense to me,
but the hubs saw to it that I catch hell for it. 

I loaded the bottom of the buckets with a
hot glued foam piece, a dowel and rocks from Nik's rice bin. 
I decided to cover that rock foam mess with something fun.
I had recently dyed some rice with kool-aid for another project and still had rice and kool-aid.

I dyed a red and an orange and let Nik help me scoop it into the buckets. 

He loved the signs. He touched all of the letters
 and told me what he thought they said. 

Nik kept saying things like "wow it smell good in here".
He discovered the rice was what smelled good and that it tasted good as well. Mmm Kool-aid
Unfortunately we had to release Nik from his scooping duties.

The bucket signs turned out fantastically,
and no rice was swallowed in the making of the bucket signs.

In addition to the bucket signs I made a folded table sign as well.
Cheeky fireball jokes. 

I searched the web for a free fire template as I
 was sucking in the drawing fire department.

I cut out a ton of the fire's in red, orange and yellow construction paper.
I glued them to the inside of a piece of cardboard.
This cardboard was the piece cut from the top of the firetrucks.

I used my remaining letters to spell out a
message to the parents of the party.
No worries mom's and dad's,
let them drive it, kick it, drag it and just have fun. 

I wanted the kids to have a sack to take their firetrucks home in.
And in a lot of cases, fireballs too.

I let Nik stamp the bags with a kid and a dog in a play fire truck. 

Home depot has free wooden flooring samples. 

I glued a rubber stamp to the wooden
side of that sample and let Pickles get to stamping.

I really like the firefighter feel the signs gave the party.
Overall a firefighting party success. 


Cardboard Fire trucks

I loved this project.
The best part about it was all the children's reactions to the trucks. 

I went to Home Depot and purchased three large cardboard boxes.
I was not about to ask my friend's kids to sit in old garage boxes. Eww.
So I bought some. 

I had to enlist the hubs for this one as a box-cutter was needed, and he is far more proficient with a box-cutter than I am. Or I have a tendency to cut myself, could go either way.

I love when he helps because he always adds a little something
extra, above and beyond what I asked for.
I asked him to cut the tops off of the boxes.
He gave me that, plus as an added bonus windshields AND doors.
I used painters tape on the edges of the boxes for stability. 

I spray painted all of the boxes red.
I will spare you all of the pictures of me in the backyard cursing the wind, the boxes, the neighbor's dog, the spray paint, etc...
I ran into a few speed bumps, most of which were self-inflicted bumps. I neglected to buy a red with a primer. What was I thinking?

I used random thick card stock to make the window templates,
and cut out black and white windows of the two sizes.

I used Modge-Podge to put the windows on as well as the head lights.
The headlights are made out of a yellow construction paper circle.

I put the Modge-Podge on and let it sit. 

 I made the ladders out of tongue depressors.
I glued them in a ladder-like pattern and spray painted those white. 

I wanted to make sure some part of the truck was jazzy in the sun.
My original thought was to use black glitter paper on the windows but that seemed excessive, so I opted for glitter on the hub caps instead.
The hub caps are caps of Gatorade bottlecaps spray painted gray.
Modge-Podge on the tops and sprinkle with a fine glitter.
Press the glitter down...

And Ta-Da!
Twinkle twinkle. 

The "wheels" are little foam circles from the dollar store.
Two circles for a dollar. 

I just glued the caps onto the foam circles.

I used a large stencil to paint the word fire on the back of each truck.
The steering wheels are made from green foam wreaths.
I wrapped a black ribbon around the wreaths and
glued them to the inside of the boxes. 

These were a hit.
The kids were all using their imaginations and having so much fun.