Entertain My Toddler

Play, Learn & Motherhood

  • Kari McManamon

Making your own sensory bin can be a fun way to change things up! This one was super easy to make and was perfect for holiday sensory fun.

What you need to get started

  1. hot glue gun

  2. paper towel rolls

  3. scissors

  4. large box (the ones from costco work great!)

  5. paint and paintbrushes

I started off by painting a Christmas tree inside the box. I like using the crayola acrylic paints as they are vibrant and dry quickly. As it dried I cut up a paper towel roll to use as "ornaments" for the tree. Once it dried I hot glued the paper towel circles all over the tree.

Then it's time to play! Grab your sensory fillers and go crazy!! Have your child fill the ornaments up with different colors or however they would like to play. We chose to use red and white colored chickpeas with some snowflakes added in.

To make the colored chickpeas you need

  1. bagged chickpeas

  2. acrylic paint

  3. ziploc bag

Making colored chickpeas is very easy. Pourr the chickpeas into a ziploc bag and then coat with paint. Shake it around until they are colored to your liking. You can open the bag to air dry or lay them out on parchment paper to dry. I personally like to lay them out as I feel they dry faster that way. The snowflakes were found at Michaels craft store. I usually set this up in whatever tray I can find around the kitchen.

*Always supervise with small pieces

*Need wooden scooping tools? Chickadeeswoodentoys has some great ones!

*Looking for other sensory fun? Check us out on instagram!

#sensoryplay #holidayactivities #toddleractivities


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  • Kari McManamon

We are huge fans of magnetic toys! There are so many more than just magnet tiles. Which are still amazing! These are our top 5 magnetic toy picks!

  1. Smart Max Safari Animals

These magnets are great for working on fine motor skills and coloring matching. The kids also enjoy getting creative with them by mixing and matching. We have this safari set but there are also dinosaurs and farm animals.


2. Magnetic Robots

These robot magnets are great for creativity. You can mix and match them sooo many different ways! Pieces are a little small so I keep an extra close eye on Eveyln (2) when she plays with them. Max (4) plays with them the most and he really likes them. Its fun to watch him create and then listen to the story he makes up about the robots he creates.


3. My Family Builders

The family builder magnets are a great diversity toy addition. You can mix and match their heads, tops and bottoms. They have very distinct negative and positive magnetic poles and it's been fun talking with Max (4) about that. Evelyn (2) doesn't understand and will get frustrated when they don't go together the way she planned. MyFamilyBuilders.com


4. Magnetic Dress up

This toy is fun for both kids! They are able to dress up "Joey" into a fireman, superhero and much more. They can mix and match him to look silly too! We have this one and Santa is getting a princess one for Evelyn for Christmas. There are many different ones to choose from. I've even seen a dress up horse!


5. Createon Magnet Tiles

Now I know I said there are more magnetic toys than just tiles but these tiles are much different! These tiles aid to tell the story "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?" Which happens to be a favorite story in our house. We have found so many ways to play with these. Color matching, story telling and even a fishing game! There are multiple Eric Carle stories created into these tiles including "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"


I hope you enjoyed our magnetic toy picks!!

Check us out on instagram for more play ideas!


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  • Kari McManamon

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Do you need simple Elf on the shelf ideas? Don't worry, I got you!! Here are 3 simple ideas to help get you started!

  1. Minion bananas

If your kids love minions you have got to try this one! Max thought this was hilarious. All I did was take a black marker and draw minion characters onto bananas. Then I made it look like it was all Yellow who did it (Yellow is our Elf's name) This barely took anytime to set up. And after a long day home with kids, I need simple!


2. Elf in underpants

This one would be fun no matter how old your child but even better if you're in the midst of potty training! We had a shelf above our toilet and I put Yellow in a pair of Max's underpants. He saw him first thing in the morning and was cracking up!


3. Ribbon hanging

You can tie ribbon to almost anything and get your elf to hang. Our old house had two lights above our counter which made for a great hanging spot. Keeping him up high is key with little ones. This year is gonna be hard with my super climber of a 2 year old! She's not quite old enough to understand not touching him and she climbs on everything! Wish us luck!


We will be posting all of Yellow's adventures this year on our instagram page. Be sure to follow along!


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