🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pumpkins from Thailand

Yes, you read that correctly.

I ordered pumpkins from Thailand. Teeny tiny miniature pumpkins from etsy for a new pumpkin patch play mat.

I love the etsy community. Where else in the world can you find all these artisans in one place? I have always had great experiences both selling and buying from etsy.

Have you bought anything from etsy?

Have a fun and playful day

A Snail as a Pet

 I admit that I watch Nick Jr.'s Peter Rabbit without my nanny girls.  I do.  I adore this show.  The other day, Benjamin Bunny (Peter's cousin) had a pet snail.
 Benjamin fed his snail...

 ...and did art with his snail...
 I was a cute story.  Then, Benjamin ought he lost his pet snail and was so sad.  Peter and Lily Bobtail had to help Benjamin find the snail.
I just love the art in this show - the scenery is amazing and life-like.  The stories are always encouraging - "Never Give Up!" Peter Rabbit says at least once a show.  I want to travel to England to see the countryside and farms and stone walls and...But until then, I will watch more Peter Rabbit.

Have a fun and play day

Friday, May 29, 2015

Horse Obsessed

Greta is a little horse obsessed...okay, a lot horse obsessed. Breuer, Schleich, Safari, Palo, generic...she plays with them all.

And I do mean all. All of them - all 78 - have names! Today, we HAD to write down their names on "name tags". Yes, it did take hours :)!

What is your child's obsession?

Have a fun and playful day

What do they have in common?

 What do these toys have in common?
At first glance, nothing maybe.
Pose this question to the kiddos with a random grouping of toys.
See what they come up with.

have a fun and playful day

Orange Twist

 Have you ever been on a Color Hunt?  It's where you say, "Find me something...orange!" (any color will work). The kiddos go on a hunt for anything that color.
Once you have all the orange things, have the kiddos sort those items into like things.  So fun! It's a fast, easy activity.

Have a fun and playful day

Bird Sensory Table

 On Wednesday, we added birdseed, Easter grass, yarn, eggs, a mini birdhouse, and Safari Ltd. Backyard Birds Toob to our water table.  The girls had a ball with it.  I posted a few pics on Wednesday, but I wanted to share more.

Wild About Sorting

 You don't have to have matchy-matchy counters that come from a teacher store. Just grab a handful of your child's toys. You can see that there are 2 monkeys, but they don't look the same. Same way with the rabbits and ladybugs.
Here, we are sorting by animal. Sorting is a math skill. Categorizing is a science skill. This fun, 5 minute activity covers TWO learning areas!

Have a fun and playful day

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon Play Mat

So, Greta comes up with a request. "I need to make a moon play mat, because I have a story in my head about a rabbit getting stuck on the Moon."

So we made her a moon play mat. She helped sew the whole thing! We made it smaller than my etsy ones and used cheaper materials, but she loved it. We took all the sewing supplies to the front porch.  It was a good outside project to do together.

Have a fun and playful day

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bird Sensory Table with Safari Ltd Bird Toob

The girls are napping! A morning of art and visiting our favorite toy shop Naturally Curious Kids wore them out!
I set up this Bird themed sensory table while they are snoozing.
We had the supplies here:
Yellow Easter grass
Yellow string
A nest made in preschool
Twig trees borrowed from the Rainbow Forest
Plastic eggs
Birdhouse borrowed from the Fairy Garden
And Bird Toob from Safari Ltd

They are going to be sooo surprised. I brought the Step2 water table into the sunroom, because it is supposed to rain today.

Have a fun and playful day

Toys at the Table are Okay

Does your breakfast table look like this?

Do you ever have extra "guests" at your table?

What is your rule about toys at the Table?

I, for one, have always allowed toys at the Table. I allow it as a nanny and allowed it even when I had 24 preschoolers in my classroom. I have only had positive outcomes from having toys at the Table. I have found that toys are a positive motivator and encouraged for getting kiddos to eat in a timely manner.

Have you have a similar experience? I would love to hear from you.

Have a fun and playful day

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little Stinker Small Motor Skills

 I found this adorable little stinker at Oh, Know! Educational store last week. He is basically an over-sized pair of tweezers.
 He is great for developing those small muscles in the fingers. Kiddos have to punch or squeeze his paws together in order to pick up the pom pom ball. It's a great workout for those fingers. Strong finger muscles help Kiddos control and grip a pencil.
I will see if I can find out who makes this little stinker, because I didn't think to look when I posted this. Oops!

Have a fun and playful day

Back and Forth Journal Summer Writing Activity

My nephew and nieces live near Cleveland. I am always trying to find new ways to stay connected with them.

Two years ago, my nephew and I started the Back and Forth Journal. I took a picture of a scene like the one above and asked him to write me a story. Then, he would mail it back to me. I would add another photo to the folder and send it back to him.

Mail is fun for kids to receive. And my nephew was writing for fun! It wasn't like a chore or boring school assignment. Sometimes, the journal came back with a photo or drawing from him and I had to make up the story.

My sister asked me if I would start it up again this summer. Sure!  I already have ideas for photos. It's a great way to do something educational disguised as fun.

It is a great bonding project if you have kiddos that don't live close. Maybe for grandparents whose grandchildren live out of town or out of state. Of the kiddos are young, they could dictate their story to their parents who could write it down.

Have a fun and playful day

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to you!

Today, I spent the afternoon with my wonderful mother in-law. We visited the cemetery to visit family graves. It wasn't a sad day. On the contrary. She shared with me stories and memories. Some of the family members passed before I came into the family, so it was good to hear their history.

Today, I think how great our country is, how do many men and women have fought and died for our freedoms. I think of school friends who served their country. Some came home. Some did not. Some came home but weren't the same. I say a prayer for them all.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Inspired by Childhood Playscapes

 Every summer (and l do mean every summer), my family of 5 would cram into a mid-sized car and trek from Ohio to Florida for summer vacation. I fell in love with the ocean, collecting shells, reading high tide low tide charts, combing the beach for treasures, etc.

Sometimes, I get homesick for the salty see breeze and the sounds of the surf. Two week vacations to Florida were a big part of my childhood.
When I think of Summer, I immediately associate it with water. That's where the inspiration for this playscape play mat developed - rooted in childhood memories.

Whether it's see animal play or pirates & treasure, the play possibilities are endless for this felt play mat new in my etsy store.  www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com

Have a fun and playful day

Sorting So Many Ways to Do it Right

 As a preschool teacher, it was always interesting to me how children categorized items. Gather a random bunch of small toys. These are Safari Ltd Toob toys.
 Kiddos can sort into pairs or like items - pairing the birds together or partnering up the bananas.
 Here, fruits are separated from animals.
Here, it's green things vs. Non green things.

There are many ways to categorized items. Try it with your kiddo.

Have a fun and playful day

Friday, May 22, 2015

Learning Resources Modern Preschool Math Counters

This morning has been a good one!

We visited the Johnny Appleseed Play Garden then happened upon an efuctional store called Oh, Know! Ahhh the smell of teacher supplies filled my nose and I was instantly blasted to the past when I was a preschool teacher on the hunt for new and amazing teacher stuff.

I used to love Going up and down the aisles of the teacher stores or leafing through pages of new education catalogs.

This morning, I discovered these Learning Resources Modern Preschool Math Counters. Not longer primary colors (can I get a Hallelujah for that!) they are colorful with modern shapes. So cool. They have people, dinosaurs, farm animals, zoo animals, bugs, transportation, and more. Yes, I bought some!

Have a fun and playful day

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today is a new day

I have been quiet.
I have been busy.
I have been very busy.

In just under 34 hours, I completed 3 (yes, 3!) new playscape play mats. My fingers are stiff from hand-stitching all if them, but we'll worth the aches. I hope to have them photographed and listed today.

Preschool is out for the school year. So G and Roo and I have been busy playing, painting, exploring. College is out. My oldest daughter moved home for the summer. She cooks and does dishes! I love it when she's home :) And today, my high school junior took her last final and is now a senior. Ahhh!

Life is busy. Etsy orders to fill. Field trips to plan. A home to maintain. It's fun and busy and full of possibilities. Every. Day. More fun stuff coming soon.

Have a fun and playful day

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cooking with Kids

This morning, we decided to make carrot cake cupcakes and watch Spring into Adventure Peter Rabbit movie. I actually didn't an on being "theme-y" - it just sort of fell into place that way.

So when cooking with a 22 month old and a 4 1/2 year old, I expect mess. That's part of the fun - that and licking the spoon!

As a mom, I didn't cook or bake much with my children. One reason is because I don't do either very well. I thought if I can't cook, I shouldn't pass my unluckiness into them.

But that was wring. Lesson learned. Cooking is like seeing it like Life or...You just have to do it, just get in there, don't be afraid. If your cake flops, oh well. Cover it with icing and sprinkles and celebrate.

The cake is cooling. I will ice it at nap. It will be a tasty snack this afternoon.

Have a fun and playful day

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Ever had one of those days where you just want to grab a teddy bear and head back to bed? Yeah, me too. Today, in fact.

I knew something in my car was just not right. I made an appointment for 7am this morning (wayyy too early for me on a Saturday!) Well, it's gonna cost hundreds. Ugh. AND 4 hours. Yikes. Double wammy! Money and time.

Luckily, my husband was able to pick me up. We had a good conversation - catching up on each other's weeks. It's the last week of school for him, so he is super busy. And I have a ton going on this weekend. Two times this weekend, I am supposed to be in 2 places at the same time!

Yes, I know the car is going to cost me, but it's almost paid off (happy dance) and it allowed my husband and me a little time together - stolen time - that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

And I got to play around a little while in my studio. The rain stopped and Sun filled the room like God was saying, "You're welcome!"

The day is looking up.

Have a fun and playful day

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Etsy Flash Sale Today

Head over to my etsy shop for a one day only sale.


Have a fun and playful day

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shhh...Flash Sale coming soon

I know, I know. Flash Sales are spur of the moment without warning kinds of things but...

If you are a planner like me, you want a little heads up, right?  So let me give you the skinny.

On Wednesday morning, I will be putting all of my playscape play mats on sale for one day only. Just Wednesday May 1380th!

Stay tuned for more details.

Have a fun and playful day

A Little Obsessed at the Moment

I am a little obsessed over these adorable Dress It Up buttons. I have been using them on my etsy playscape play mats AND as counters and play things with the girls. You know that I love all things teeny tiny and these buttons are just that!

Sometimes, buttons aren't just buttons. Sometimes, they are tiny animals to fill a whimsical stick forest. Sometimes, they are the components to an invented fairy tales. It all depends on the imagination.

Have a fun and playful day

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I Love You To the Moon Play Mat

 It has taken me a while to get back in the swing of things since my "work-cation". But Friday evening, I found myself home alone and was able to complete my latest playscape play mat.
 It's a moonspace. So many children are curious about space and planets. So many children's books are about the Moon. I decided to create a unique play mat - different from what I have done.
I love you to the Moon. It's something my daughters and I have said to each other for 20 years. I know many parents say this. I love that. Eric Carle wrote a book called, Daddy, Can you Give Me the Moon? If your child asks that, you can answer yes with this play mat. A wool felt full moon that is full of play possibilities.

Have a fun and playful day

See www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fairy Garden and Fairy Hunt with Safari Ltd Toob

 After weeks of planning...ta 's! Our Fairy Garden is complete.
 The Welcome banner is metal and came from Joann as did the fence, wishing well, Fairy house (aka bird house).
 The pond came with the new house, so we didn't do anything but add our Fairy stuff. The fairies come in a Toob from Safari Ltd and our perfect for our little garden.
 I hid some fairies in the flowers for an impromptu fairy hunt while I cleaned up. The girls both loved it.
G is pretty proud of her garden, but..."as soon as Mommy sees it, I am bringing everything in do l can play with it ALL the time."

Have a fun and playful day