DIY Car Activity Mat

diy-car-activity-mat

car-activity-mat

DIY Car Activity Mat 

Want to know how I came up with creation? Well it’s pretty short story similar to my blogging style – LOL.  I had an upcoming nanny gig for two 3 year old boys who loved cars. I wanted to add something fun to my nanny bag so I created the mat out of  scrap felt and fabric. The crochet cars where  created by my mother’s dear friend Geri.  My mat is 24 by 36 inches but I would suggest making it 36 x 60 inch to allow for several children to play on the mat.

When I created my car activity mat, I didn’t really have a specific road map in mind so I winged it. Hence the reason for the limited lanes and direction options. Despite the lack of variety on the activity mat children love  driving the cars on it while making loud car noises.  The car activity mat has been helpful at  nanny gigs in hotels and weddings. It is portable with an easy set up. You can find cars at the Dollar Tree. In the future I would love to make a race car or drag racing track.

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DIY Pilot Hat and Goggles

diy-pilot-hat-and-goggles

In preparation for a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum with my little buddy I made the above Pilot Hat and Goggles.  The original pattern was made without a lining and my crafty self decided to adapt the pattern a little.

Click links for the free patterns from Parent Magazine

Pilot Hat Supplies:

  • 1/4 of yard of Brown Fleece
  • 1/4 of yard of Black Fabric

Instructions:

  1. Cut hat out of the brown fleece and black fabric.
  2. Place the brown fleece right sides together and sew the center seam of the hat.
  3. Place the black fabric right sides together and sew the center seam of the hat.
  4. Take the brown fleece and black fabric and put it right sides together.
  5. Pin the hat together leaving a gap at the base of the neck so you can turn the hat right side out.
  6. Sew around the hat leaving the gap open.
  7. Turn the hat right side out.
  8. Iron or finger press the seams flat.
  9. Fold in the unsewn edges of the gap.
  10. Top stitch around the entire hat

Although I love the look of my googles, I  suggest using foam per the pattern instructions. The felt and vinyl are hard to work with on such a small item. Blame it on my sewing skills but I promise you it’s not worth the headache.

 

 

 

 

Moon Sand

moon-sand

Moon Sand

Supplies:

  • Flour
  • Baby Oil
  • Sand Toys
  • Storage Container
  1. Measure out 8 cups of flour.
  2. Add one cup of baby oil.
  3. Mix the 2 ingredients together.
  4. Place the moon sand in your storage container.
  5. The moon sand will stay fresh for up to 6 months.

Help Tips

For toddlers:

The first go around you will need to model for the child how to build. Teach the child words like fill up, pat, pour, stack.

For preschool age children:

Ask the child to help with measuring out each cup of flour and baby oil. They will love to mix the ingredients together as well so be sure to have a deep mixing bowl. This encourages the child to practice saying their numbers.

How to Play:

  1. Allow the children to build and create sand scupltures in the moon sand.
  2. You can also add theme sand toys such as beach, cooking utensils or construction trucks. This provides the children with an opportunity to pretend play being either a cook, construction worker or a civil engineer.

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Superhero Pretend Play

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Pretend Play is one of my favorite activities to do with children. I love to hear children create a story and assign the adult a perfect role in the game.   Carrying dramatic play items in the nanny bag is essential. It encourages children to be whimsy and imaginative. I’m always on the hunt to find little gems I can add to my bag without putting a huge dent into my budget.

One day, I was shopping at Dollar Tree and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black cape and a blue with red trim cape hanging on the shelf and thought…..

BATMAN

CAPTAIN AMERICA

SUPERGIRL

It would be a great pretend play gift and would cost less than $3 each. SCORE!  My niece and nephews are going to love their little play date surprise.

Supplies:

Instructions

Download the logo template from Vanilla Joy here

Batman

Captain America

Superman

  1. You will need to decrease the pattern by 50% via a copier in order for the logo to fit perfectly on the back of the Dollar Tree size capes.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces and lay them out on the felt.  Be sure to notice where you need to line up the pattern on the fold.
  3. For the Batman and Supergirl logos, I hand sew the bat and S onto the yellow shape first. Then I placed the logo on the cape, pin it in several places to avoid slippage and hand sewn the outside of the logo.
  4. For the Captain America logo, I attached the red circles to the white circle first. I  suggest working from the inner circle to the outer circle.  Once you have completed the circle,  place the star on the cape and hand sew it on. Next place the stripped circle on the cap. Once again I  suggest working from the inner circle first to avoid puckering.

HELPFUL TIP: I used transparent nylon thread to hand sew the logos onto the capes. 

Masks:

Download the mask patterns from Cutesy Crafts Superhero Mask

  1. Lay out the mask on the felt.
  2. Cut out the mask.
  3. Base stitch the elastic on the mask. To give it a finished look, I suggest putting the elastic in the middle (front mask piece of felt, elastic, back mask piece of felt).
  4. Top stitch the inner eye hole of the mask.
  5. Top stitch the outer edge of the mask and the eye hole.
  6. For the Captain America mask, I add the wings on last.

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