pretend play

Turtle World

So we recently created another animal playscape. Babs has been really into learning about turtles. We used the Rubbermaid under the bed containers for easy clean up. I dug through the small plastic animals we bought from Target last year and found some turtles. I love the mini Terra Animals by Battat. They have a great variety and I can make TONS of animal playscape with them. We picked up some shells, and green, black, and white sand from the Dollar tree to add some color. I used a smaller container to put some water in. Add some blue food coloring and gems and you have an ocean! 

What originally sparked her interest in turtles was the Zoobies book we got in the mail. 

It talks about different types of turtles and their life cycle. She was really interested in how they come to the beach to dig a nest in the sand for their eggs. I had to get creative with the eggs. I cut the tips of of some Q-tips and we used them for the eggs in the turtle world. Babs had tons of fun and was able to apply what she had learned to her play.

After playing with the turtle world for a while we also watched A Turtle’s Tale from Stepping Stones Entertainment. They make great family friendly movies for all ages.

Here are the  materials you will need to make your own turtle world. Feel freebie get creative and add some of your own ideas! 

Small plastic turtle figurines

Food coloring

Water in a shallow container




A book about turtles from your local library (optional)


What’s for Dinner Wednesday?

I don’t know about you but our family LOVES tacos! Chicken tacos are especially good and even better when you can make them in the Crockpot! All you need are chicken breasts, black bean corn salsa (we use Meijer brand because I can usually get it on sale for a $1), and a taco seasoning packet. Dump all the ingredients in and forget about it! Hope your family enjoys it as much as we do. Recipe is below along with a way to reinvent and stretch those leftovers into chicken burritos!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos


4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 jar of black bean corn salsa

1 packet of taco seasoning


Place chicken breasts in Crockpot. Dump the jar of salsa over the chicken breasts then add the whole packet of taco seasoning. Put the lid on and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. 

Serve with shells and your favorite taco garnishes. 

STRETCH THOSE LEFTOVERS! Add a can of pinto beans and white rice (amount depends on how much of the tacos you have leftover). Mix it all together with the chicken. Spoon mixture into the middle of a 10 inch round tortilla and sprinkle on some taco cheese. Fold opposite sides in until you have a square shape. Wrap each on individually in cling wrap and two layers of tinfoil and freeze. Then you can pull them out and microwave them (about 2 minutes depending on your microwave) for a quick meal. I usually top mine with some avocado. I use 5 chicken breasts in the initial recipe and I am able to get 15-20 burritos put of my leftovers!


Leaf Collage

Get outside and make use of some of those leaves laying around the yard! If you are anything like us then they are taking over your yard and you can’t keep up! We did this activity earlier in the season and are about to do it again. 

Grab a basket and help your little one collect some leaves. We made a scavenger hunt out of ours. I cut up different color construction paper into squares and Babs drew one out. Then we searched for that color. Once we had enough I gave her some paper and glue and away she went! 

Hope you are enjoying the Fall season!


Erupting Sidewalk Chalk Paint

So this is a project we did this summer, but I’m thinking of doing it again this weekend. The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend, especially for November in Michigan! 

You will need some condiment bottles to do this project. I found ours for $0.89 at Walmart. The amount you needs depends on how many different colors you want to make. Also make sure you set one aside to hold just vinegar. The rest of the ingredients include water, corn starch, food coloring, and baking soda. 

As you can see we made four different colors. Mix equal parts corn starch, water, and baking soda. Once mixed add some drops of food coloring. We used about 20 drops. The more you use, the more vivid your color will be. Note: This is not something you can prepare ahead of time! If it sits to long the corn starch will harden. After you have finished mixing, pour them into the bottles. Fill one bottle with vinegar and set it aside. Head outside and let your little one squirt the paint on the driveway or patio.  

Babs loved making cool designs! When the paint ran out she was bummed. So I handed her the bottle of vinegar and showed her if she squirted it on her creations they would fizz and bubble up! She loved it!  When your ready to wash it off your driveway use the strongest setting in your hose sprayer. A simple rain won’t wash these creations away!

Materials Needed:

Condiment bottles

Food coloring-20 drops

Corn starch-2/3 cup

Water-2/3 cup

Baking soda-2/3 cup 

Vinegar- one bottle full 

Hope you enjoy!


DIY Lip Gloss

Have any Kool-Aid packets leftover from this summer? Grab them and help your little one make some lip gloss! All you need is a small container with a lid, petroleum jelly, toothpicks, and powdered Kool-Aid. Stop by the Dollar Tree and pick up one these stackable containers.



Fill each container with some petroleum jelly and then let your kiddo pinch some Kool-Aid powder and add it to the container. Be careful not to add to much or your lip gloss will be gritty. We used what we had left in the cupboard, lemonade, which happens to be Babs favorite. However, if you use something like fruit punch your lip gloss will even have a hint of color to it. Give them a tooth pick for each container and stir it up. It’s as simple as that!

Babs loves having her own lip gloss she can put on before we head outside to enjoy this nice fall weather. Added bonus it helps keep her lips from getting chapped.


wp-1478259070807.jpgShowing off her new lip gloss! We had a serious case of bed head this morning! lol!

Materials Needed:

Small container with lid

petroleum jelly


Any flavor Kool-Aid powder