Thursday, May 5, 2016

Special Projects

Olive and I have been enjoying doing some special projects together over the past several weeks.  It was the perfect way for us to do something while the baby slept and to get a little one on one time that she was used to.  These projects took very little prep on my part and were really easy to get started and clean up.  They could all be completed in 15-30 minutes and sometimes she did them independently while I cooked dinner, sometimes we did them together and then sometimes it was a combination of independent play and do it with mom.  

All that to say, we have had a blast doing special projects and learning together.  She now asks what special project we're going to do each day.  Some days I choose and other days she chooses from 2-3 options I give her.  If she really loves something she will ask to repeat that project and I'm totally fine with that.  You'll notice she's often in her pjs/a costume, hair is only sometimes done, and things are often messy, but we are learning a lot and having a great time together.

Here are 6 of our favorite special project options:

// Baking //
We've been baking together and learning a lot.
We practice baking/ingredient vocabulary,
practice following directions,
clean up and reading recipes.

She'll now ask me what the recipe says, count as we're adding ingredients and can describe the ingredients we're adding.  She often sneaks chocolate chips as we bake, but I don't mind.  I know she's learning a lot because I overhear her practicing all of her new baking words and techniques in her play kitchen.  We usually bake together in the real kitchen and she likes some space when she's cooking in her kitchen.  

 She got a Mini Murph pizza kit from a friend and we learned how to make a pizza together.  I talked her through the steps and she was pleased as punch to learn how to make it.  Now she asks to make pizza all the time :)

 // Big Sister Training //
We've been working on learning about how to take care of a baby.  She's got lots of baby dolls in addition to her baby brother so she's really interested in all things baby right now.
We've learned about diapering, feeding, bathing, comforting, dressing, bottles, pacis and more.  It's been fun to do all these baby things together.  I over hear her being the cutest little mama to her babies.

 // ART //
We are doing a lot of coloring and painting.  Both are easy activities to pull out for her and I keep crayons and a note book in my diaper bag when we're on the go.  Most of the time she wants me to get everything out for her and then leave her alone to create.  It works great as an activity for her to do while I prep dinner.  I have her use watercolor paints, washable crayons and she has markers but hasn't quite mastered using them on her own (read: she always colors her tongue instead of her paper when she has some alone time with markers... #oholive) 
 And sometimes Fletcher is afraid he'll miss out on something so I wear him while fixing dinner and we check in on Olive while she's doing her art.

// Play-Doh //
 We practice colors, counting, shapes, following directions and baking pretend cakes.  We have played with play-doh enough that she can play with it on her own.  She no longer eats it (yuck!) and knows that it stays up on the table.  It took several times of playing with it together to establish our play-doh rules and work up toward independent play.

 // Science //
A friend just sent Olive these fun little sponge pills that pop up into different little creatures when they're soaked in water.  So I filled a 9x13 pan with warm water and we 
made predictions
talked about colors
sorted the creatures
and she's continued to play with them ever since.
She really loved matching the creatures to the key that was on the package.  It was her first time looking for specific features and matching so we had a great time together.  We did the majority of this one together and then she had free play with them at the end.

 // Reading //
We love reading together so it's been fun to keep that up.  Sometimes we have Fletcher join in the fun and introduce him to a new book.  I let her pick the books we read and then when she says things like, "Oh Mama, I just love reading books with you!" I can't help but read the whole stack of books with her.  We usually read together and then she goes back through and looks through the books on her own at the end.

We just got this book in the mail this week to review and it was really sweet.  Counting Blessings is another great book by the famous Eileen Spinelli.  We are always big fans of her work.  The illustrations are great, the story rhymes and is easy for little ones to follow.  I love that it works on counting, but wish that they'd added a picture of the number to each page instead of just the number word.  There are tons of things to talk about on each page and it's a great book to remind your little people that they're surrounded by blessings.  We try hard to talk about blessings and to be thankful for our blessings so this book is going to be a great help in facilitating those conversations about blessings with our kids.  
*This book was gifted to us in exchange for an honest review of it for BookLookBloggers.

What fun things do you do with your kids as special projects??

Linking up with Beth for Teaching Together today.


  1. You are seriously an amazing mom!!! I love all of the special projects you are doing with Olive. Such a wonderful way of spending some "intentional" time with here!!

  2. They still make those sponge pills??? I had some of those as a kid and I loved them!!! I remember keeping the sponges as part of my bath toys!! You do such a good job keeping Olive occupied and encouraging her creativity!!!

  3. You're such a sweet mommy!! My mom always did projects like that with us and it made every day fun. Olive is too cute in that purple apron! <3

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

  4. Is that an Eric Carle "I spy" type book!? Looks like a good one! I don't think I've seen that before! May have to add that to our list!

  5. So fun! Jack has just discovered Playdoh (probably because I've kept it hidden) and we have a lot of fun with it. We also do lots of art, reading, and baking. I found one of those small cake mixes that comes with its own pan. We really enjoyed baking that and then it was a nice treat for us to share. It makes enough for 2-3 people. Now he did add a bunch of sugar from the sugar bowl that I had to scoop out but it worked out. At least it wasn't the creamer!

  6. Love the little projects!! I remember we gave Peyton some of those science pill sponges and she loved them! This is something she'll look back on and remember!! :)

  7. Precious! I remember when my little guy was brand new my daughter and I did A LOT of baking and planting during nap time. She adored it as did I. Many times we would have "girl time" and get chips and salsa and watch Giada on Food Network! My little girl loved Giada!!! Fun memories. xoxox - Amanda

  8. You are an amazing young woman...Kevin is lucky to have you for a wife and your babies are lucky to have you for a mom and oh yes you are a great granddaughter!!! Love Grandma

  9. This is going to sound like child labor haha, L thinks doing any "big people" stuff is fun so she helps me unload the dishwasher (silverware sorting is her thing) and she loves stuffing clothes in the washing machine and pushing the button to start it. haha She also "helps" fold clothes. In the non child labor department, we do lots of sidewalk chalk together and have tea parties.

  10. Intentional time is the best way to make the adjustment to a new baby just a tad bit easier! Olive looks like she is having some great mommy time & fun. Loving all the costumes! ;)

  11. This is a great post, Whitney! I am in love with that first picture of Olive in the rain boots :)

  12. Oh Olive, you are just too sweet! Connor and I are big on themed lessons. We love having a movie, book, craft and food (if possible) that goes hand and hand.

  13. These are sweet activities for the two of you. I remember the early days of adjusting to two babes and PJs were our best friend! Actually my oldest still prefers them to regular clothes haha. Your two are such cuties!

  14. I just love that you are being so intentional to keep doing special activities with your big girl. Olive is just the most precious little girl and is going to be the best big sister ever.

  15. These are so fun. I love that you do certain things as one on one time with olive. We we're better in the beginning, but now life happened and people expect you to have your life together three months post baby so we've fallen away from that. Need to use some of your ideas so Olivia doesn't start feeling like Emma gets all the attention.


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Smiles, Whitney