Still Playing School: December 2013

Hersheypark Christmas Candylane

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

Hersheypark Candylane was E's first visit to Hersheypark!  We took her on the eve of her fourth birthday. We had our favorite babysitter come to watch D so we could spend individual time with our birthday girl! She loves Hershey's Chocolate World so when people asked her if she'd been to Hersheypark, she assumed that was the entirety of it and said yes.  Little did she know the fun and surprises that awaited her!  
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E's 4 Year Old Interview

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments

How old are you? 
Four

What is your favorite color? 
Blue
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Gingerbread House on the Light Table

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

Our gingerbread house on the light table was a recycled cake box from the kids' birthday party!  I look at everything before we recycle it now to see how we can use it in crafting or play.


We also discovered one of the best light table play tricks we've used so far!
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Egg Carton Snowmen on the Light Table

Egg carton snowmen on the light table are an opportunity to recycle and create simultaneously! Our preschooler also practiced drawing and tying while she worked on her snowman.

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Shaving Cream Peppermints

Shaving cream painted peppermints are the perfect craft to spice up our holiday decor! They were so simple and fun to make while handwriting skills.

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Sun Catchers on the Light Table - Coloring Holiday Ornaments

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!


Our holiday sun catcher ornaments were extra inviting to color on the light table!  
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Snacking Santa Game

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon from this page and purchase anything, we will get a small profit for referring you!
The Snacking Santa Game came about the same way most of my ideas do.  After E ate the candy from her Skittles Santa that her grandparents sent her I looked at it to figure out how we could use it in educational play.


I added in a bowl of Christmas colored pompoms and our tweezers and the Snacking Santa Game was created!
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Sight Word Busy Box - Fine Motor Fridays

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 7 Comments
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon from this page and purchase anything, we will get a small profit for referring you!

I'm excited to be joining with other kid bloggers in bringing you Fine Motor Fridays, a collection of weekly fine motor based ideas! All toddlers and preschoolers will benefit while being intrigued and engaged in the inspiring activities.


This week we used D's toddler busy box to play a sight word game, but this is easily adaptable for any recognition skill your child is working on mastering.  I love finding ways to make a toy engaging to both my kids simultaneously!  While E has fun opening these boxes for D to close occasionally, this activity made the toy much more interesting for her!

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Elf on the Shelf Successes

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Photo share of our calendar of Elf on the Shelf ideas that have been executed and succeeded so far!  Follow Still Playing School's Facebook page for more frequent elf updates!  















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Sensory Sink Play Indoors with Snow

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments
Sensory play in the sink allowed us to bring the snow inside! We explored with fine motor color mixing.


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Zipadee-Zip Zippy for Baby Sleep - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 16 Comments
On the twelfth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a Zippadee-Zip Zippy for baby's sugar plum dreams!


We use gentle ways to encourage our babies to sleep as they are developmentally ready to do so.  The Zippy helped D feel comfy and covered when he was too big to swaddle, yet reluctant to sleep in just his pajamas.  I would use the Zippy as his pajamas in the summer with just a diaper underneath!  He loved his Zippys and so did we!

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Five Stone Kids - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 8 Comments
On the eleventh day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, five admission passes to Five Stone Kids!


E & D just had their birthday party at Five Stone Kids yesterday and despite some wintry weather, it was a huge success!  Five Stone Kids is another one of our favorite places to play! 
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Heather Moore Jamberry Nails - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 5 Comments
On the tenth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, two sheets of Jamberry Nails from Heather Moore.

Pictured above is an example of one of Jamberry's Holiday Gift Packs which include "one retired Sister’s Style Exclusive, two current complementing designs and one exclusive accent sheet."

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Four Tips for Toddler Proofing Your Christmas Tree

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments

I'll admit that I was a bit nervous about how D would do with our Christmas tree this year.  He just turned one so he's walking and exploring everything.  So far, we've had great success with the tree and toddler co-existing!  Here are four tips for your mobile little one to interact with the tree this holiday season:

1.  Put the tree up early and in steps

We put the tree up one day, put the lights on the next, then waited several days to do the ornaments.  This allowed D to get used to each part individually.  It's a big shock for a baby if you put a sparkly, ornament covered tree in the room one day and expect him or her to understand not to touch it!

2.  Put the baby safe ornaments at the bottom of the tree

We started this ornament arrangement before we had kids because we have cats!  The plush and unbreakable decorations go on the reachable branches at the bottom of the tree.  The more delicate and sentimental ones (such as the ones in memory of D's sister) go where they are out of reach closer to the top.

This worked out really well this year because E wanted to help hang the ornaments.  I gave her the sturdy kid safe ones to hang where she could reach from her height as we hung the breakable ones up higher!


3.  Teach your toddler the One Finger Touch

As soon as my babies are reaching for things, I encourage them to touch with one finger instead of a grab. This compromise allows them to explore their world in a natural way without ripping and tearing down ornaments on the tree (or name labels on the mailboxes at E's preschool or groceries in the store or papers on our fridge, etc.)  Of course this takes practice, praise, and encouragement!

4. Provide decorations babies can manipulate for distraction

We have a few holiday themed stuffed animals that I put out with the rest of the decorations that I can steer D back to playing with if he is getting into other decor that isn't for play.  Our Christmas sensory bin has new textures that are safe for him to explore.  Here are 10 more toddler holiday activities to keep them busy!

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Let's Pretend - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 4 Comments
On the ninth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, four admissions to one of our favorite local play places: Let's Pretend



E has been a huge fan of Let's Pretend in Middletown since we started playing there together almost two years ago!  I can't believe how young she was in that picture!
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Barefoot Books with Carol Anne Friesen - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 8 Comments
On the eighth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a Barefoot Books Singalong kit!


We purchased several birthday and holiday gifts for both kids from Barefoot Books with Carol Anne Friesen.  D is getting new board books (Can I just say that my boy is way harder on his books than E ever was because wow!) and E received the Hoot Owl Hoot! game that was included in my Top Games for Kids Under 5 list, but she'd probably also really love Mermaid Island!
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The Little Pink Peony - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 5 Comments
On the seventh day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a $25 gift certificate to The Little Pink Peony!



We've been huge fans of Danielle's designs since the first outfit she made for E.
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Angel's Rainbow Bottoms - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 7 Comments
On the sixth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader cloth wipes and cloth nursing pads!

Today marks one YEAR that I've been nursing baby D!  I am still using my reusable breast pads including the ones I purchased from Angel's Rainbow Bottoms.


Michelle is ready to pop with her second rainbow any day now!!!  
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Ronice Kay Photography - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 4 Comments
On the fifth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a $25 gift certificate for a photo shoot with Ronice Kay Photography!


Baby D and I had our nursing memories captured forever by Ronice during our breastfeeding photo shoot.
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Mary Kay with Justine Zaccaria - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 7 Comments
On the fourth day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a Baked Eye Trio from Mary Kay with Justine Zaccaria!
If you're a regular reader, you'll remember my Busy Mom Makeover with Justine.  
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Izzy's Little Bowtique - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 4 Comments
On the third day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader a $10 gift certificate for Izzy's Little Bowtique!


E has been sporting Izzy's Little Bowtique bows for years!  She is growing her bangs out now, so they are super handy to keep the longer hair tucked back when she is at school or playing.


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