Still Playing School: March 2014

Bird Nest Weaving: A Pretend Play Prompt

Imaginative pretend play is not one of my strong points yet the other day something magical happened. I gave my preschooler a pretend play prompt to introduce our new homeschool preschool science unit of bird watching. We spent the afternoon weaving a birds' nest!

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Literacy Easter Basket Ideas

Looking for ways to include a few educational items in Easter baskets for kids?  Here is a list of our favorite literacy toys and materials!

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Spinning Straw Spellers

Make your own spinning straw spellers for word family work and fine motor practice! 

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Construction Truck Small World Play

If your kids love digging with construction vehicles, we have the perfect substitute for gravel, dirt, or rocks. The idea came about by accident but it led to the most wonderful construction truck small world play!

I would have never thought to use this for construction vehicle play but it's taste safe and easy to make for kids!
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Cupcake Liner Flower Craft: Fine Motor Art for Kids

In order to hurry spring along we created our own indoor cupcake liner flower garden using fine motor art techniques!



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Jello Ocean Sensory Exploration

Ocean animals live at different depths in salt water. We used animal figures, light, and gelatin to explore this science concept in a hands on sensory activity for kids.

Jello gelatin sensory ocean exploration for kids!

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Spring Sensory Bin

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , , 2 Comments
Isn't this just one of the most colorful sensory bins you've ever seen? Any kid will want to play right away but some adults may not be able to resist either.

What an inviting and brightly colored sensory bin for Spring! Kids will love this play idea inside or outside!
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St. Patrick's Day Literacy and Math on the Light Table

To add a festive St. Patrick's Day spin to our light table play I created some DIY transparent letter manipulatives for literacy that we called gold coins!  We also found some holiday themed ways to explore math, too!

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20 Ways Siblings Can Help with a New Baby

For this Fine Motor Fridays post, we highlight 20 ways a sibling can help with a new baby!

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Violet Marie: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments
And finally, on Trisomy 13 Awareness Day 2014, I share details about our time with our Violet Marie once again.  Thank you so much for your love, support, and comments during this series.  It has been so healing to all of us to share our babies with you!

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Chace: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!
Ashley introduces her son Chace in this continuation of our series on 13 Babies with Trisomy 13.


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Peeps Play Dough Recipe

When your littlest learners are still sometimes putting things in their mouths you might be worried about giving them sensory recipes to explore. That was certainly the cause in our house when we created our Nutella play dough. Excited to experiment with other edible dough recipes, we headed to the kitchen cabinets again and voila! We created a recipe for edible marshmallow Peeps play dough.

Kids will love making and playing with this Peeps play dough!
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Hannah: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 4 Comments
Heather shared with strength and grace the story of how a rainbow baby isn't guaranteed.  Their rainbow, Hannah, had Trisomy 13.   

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Jaxon - 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!
I volunteer as a penpal for other bereaved mothers through Faces of Loss Pen Pal program (highly recommended if you have experienced the death of your baby).   This program was how I "met" Shane.  We were assigned to each other since my Violet and her Jaxon had the same diagnosis. Jaxon's story is tragic but his little face will steal your heart.

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Musical Water Experiments on the Light Table

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , 4 Comments
This month's theme in the Light & Reflections Series is Music & Movement!  We experimented with water to find ways we could make music on the light table.

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6 Rainbow Crafts & Activities for Kids

It's no secret that we love making rainbows at Still Playing School!  In fact, D is our rainbow baby!
Here is our collection of six fun and education rainbow activities to explore color with your child!

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Flora: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 1 Comment
Flora's story is so important to tell.  Her strong mother Maggie says it best, so eloquently, and full of love.



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Joshua: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments
The moment I laid eyes on Joshua I was smitten!  Heather and I were pregnant at the same time and connected online.  Her son was born a few months before Violet so watching the time, love, and photos he had with his family had me holding my breath as I wished for the same with our daughter. His life was beautiful and his smile and eyes had me no longer afraid of meeting my own baby with Trisomy 13.  I will forever be grateful that his family shared him with the world because of the comfort and peace he brought me as we anticipated following in the same bittersweet footsteps mere weeks late.

Heather also quickly crocheted us several small hats for Violet and the one that fit, the infamous white hat with the pink flower, was the exact same size as the one that fit Joshua.

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Make Your Own Light Table Numbers

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , 2 Comments
We are so excited to show you how we made our own transparent numbers for the light table!  My preschooler enjoys playing with these colorful numbers as we work on math concepts.


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Hallie: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 1 Comment
Following Hallie Green's time with her family over the Christmas season of 2011 was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time!  The Green family did a tremendous job sharing valiant Hallie with the world.  Today Katie joins us to add Hallie's story to our series of 13 Babies with Trisomy 13.

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Leprechaun Bait

When our Window Rainbow failed to immediately lure in a leprechaun we knew we needed to kick it up a notch!  We decided to mix our own leprechaun bait!

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Owen: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments
Next in our series on 13 Babies with Trisomy 13 is precious Owen.  Sara and I were pregnant with Violet and Owen at the same time. We found each other on a message board for families carrying to term despite a fatal prenatal diagnosis. 


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Savannah: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 5 Comments
Amber virtually introduced me to Angie and her charming baby Savannah.  Savannah has the same middle name as my Violet so with all the shared names and being born within 3 months of each other, we felt an immediate bond in imagining our girls all together.

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Quinn: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments
Courageous Quinn was so full of personality!  She let her family know her so well in her brief time with them. Just like her momma Meghan, she was strong and impressed us all with her determination! Meghan tells Quinn's story in this continuation of our series about 13 babies with Trisomy 13.


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Sephora: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments
Bethany is the mother to the exquisite Sephora Angeline.  In addition to Jenn who had Noah a year before our Violet, Bethany and I also live close to each other.  Bethany was pregnant with Sephora mere months after our quick hello/goodbye with Violet so we were put into contact via the palliative care team at the hospital where we both chose to deliver.  The rarity of a Trisomy 13 diagnosis and yet here were three babies within 3 years.  We've had the pleasure of getting together to visit with our rainbow babies!

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Color Sorting on the Light Table

After we created a color wheel and experimented with color mixing with our new favorite light table material we gathered toys to do color sorting on the light table!  

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Noah: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments
Next in our Trisomy 13: 13 Babies, 13 Stories series we have the strong and handsome Noah Alexander. I was first told a bit about Noah's story by Shannon, the ultrasound technician who worked with Noah's family. When she heard about our daughter Violet from a mutual friend she realized the comfort Noah's family and ours could bring each other in the common thread of missing our darling babies.

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Violet Evelyn: 13 Stories of Trisomy 13

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments
Beginning our Trisomy 13: 13 Babies, 13 Stories series we have the beautiful and lovely Violet Evelyn. Violet was born to our (now) close friends Amber and Felipe and because our girls share a name and a diagnosis, we've always felt extra connected.  I found her story on Faces of Loss.



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