Toddler activities about color: Homeschool preschool curriculum

The other day I hosted the first meeting for our new toddler homeschool preschool. I wanted our first topic to be “classic preschool”—as well as something accessible to our 2-year-olds. I thought about doing a back-to-school theme but figured it was too abstract; instead, I chose to focus on toddler activities about color.

Kiwi is constantly learning about the world through colors. When she asks for a bowl, she specifies what hue she wants. She calls on things not just by their name (“dog”) but by what kind of dog (“white dog”). And about 100 times a day she holds up one finger and announces, “Blue. My favorite!” (Followed immediately by, “Purple. Peeper’s favorite!”)

A homeschool preschool curriculum filled with toddler activities about color, then, was right up these kids’ alley. They enjoyed the fine motor skills-tuning project, the sorting activity that works on pre-math skills, and of course plain ol’ art.

Do you have little ones that would love toddler activities about color? Try these! Even if your toddlers don’t know yellow from red, they’ll enjoy these activities—and learn at the same time.

These toddler activities about color, for your homeschool preschool or just a fun project, are a great way for kids to learn about colors—and to have fun! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Kids’ mini mural crawl in North Portland, Oregon

Kids’ mini mural crawl in North Portland, Oregon

This summer I’ve fallen in love with street art. I think it started when two blogging friends and I hit up some of our favorite murals in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Lisa from This Beautiful Day, Jenni from A Well Crafted Party and I caught up (and goofed off) in front of some of the city’s most dramatic street art. Just about every chance I’ve gotten since then, I’ve made detours and special trips to visit Portland murals—and have been bringing my kids along, too. One of my favorite trips was a mini mural crawl in North Portland that both kids joined me for.

This mural crawl for kids was one of the most fun family activities I’ve done recently, partly because it was even more enjoyable for me than it was for the girls. (Pretty sure I’m not alone in planning 99% of our family activities around what the under-5 set wants to do—but not this time!) That said, Peeper and Kiwi really got into the kid-friendly mural crawl in North Portland. (See the photos for proof!)

A mini mural crawl with kids in Portland, Oregon is an awesome family friendly activity when you travel to Portland. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis kid friendly mural crawl in Portland, Oregon is a super-fun outdoor activity for the whole family when you travel to the Pacific Northwest. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Part of the fun was the novelty of the family activity: We’d never done something quite like this. Peeper loved directing me and Kiwi so she could take a photo. (She has a good eye, doesn’t she?) Plus, the girls were fascinated by street art. Their wide eyes seemed to say, “Wait, you mean artists can paint giant pictures outside? I thought you said we couldn’t paint on walls!”

Uh-oh, I might live to regret this Portland, Oregon mural crawl. Oh well, it was worth it!

This kids mural crawl in Portland, Oregon is a great family travel activity! Plus, you'll get incredibly family photos in front of street art. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Handmade personalized baby shower book DIY [+ tutorial!]

A while back, a few friends and I offered to co-host a baby shower for our dear friend Rose. I’ve known Rose since we were in middle school, and it blows my mind that we both have kids now. (Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were listening to Smashmouth and playing Girl Talk?) For her baby shower, I wanted to do something special that would serve as a memory keeper for the party. So I made her a handmade personalized baby shower book—and I think it turned out beautifully.

This handmade DIY baby shower book is a sweet gift for a mama to be. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis handmade DIY baby shower book is a sweet gift for a mama to be. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis handmade DIY baby shower book is a sweet gift for a mama to be. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

With a little prep and planning, plus some after the baby shower effort, I put together this baby shower book. Because I never do anything on time, I have it to Rose when her daughter was like 4 months old. But that just means I threw a baby shower that kept on giving! Right?

This handmade DIY baby shower book is a sweet gift for a mama to be. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Camping crafts: Kids let their creativity go wild!

Back before we had kids, Eric and I camped regularly—and spontaneously. We’d throw the tent, sleeping bags and a cooler in our 1985 Volvo station wagon and head into the woods. These days, camping with kids requires a bit more preparation—including figuring out some kids activities that will keep them happy in the camp site. Since the girls love art so much, it made sense to come up with some camping crafts so they could create in nature.

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We haven’t gone camping with the kids yet this year, but we camped for Father’s Day last year—and the girls loved doing this camping craft. They did it one morning when they needed a little out-of-the-sun quiet time after hiking, sprinting around the campground, making friends and walking over hot coals. (Just kidding! We’re waiting until they’re at least 6 to walk on the camp fire.)

Camping crafts like this nature collage are a wonderful way to incorporate art into your family camping this summer. Read more

Keep your kids busy on the plane: DIY travel activity kits

The last time I flew with the girls, I was by myself. So I schlepped two kids, a couple of carry-ons, Peeper’s lovey and a whole bunch of anxiety onto a plane. I was, understandably, worried about flying with kids solo.

How do you keep your kids busy on the plane—especially when you only have two hands? I wondered.

With luck, and the kindness of a few understanding strangers, we survived that flight. I learned a few lessons, though, that I want to share here: tips on building travel activity kits we’ll be using when we’re doing road trips and flying with kids over the holidays. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and the busiest travel days of the year staring us down, we could all use some ideas to travel as a family.

Looking for ways to keep your kids busy on the plane, too? Want to limit their screen time? Want to survive the flight without the rest of the passengers threatening to throw your family out an air lock?

Learn from my experience—and be prepared. You’ll stress less at 30,000 feet in the air when your kids are happy with these travel activity kits!

Traveling on the busiest travel day of the year? Keep your kids busy on the plane—or on a road trip—with DIY travel activity kits. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more