Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. If you would like to learn more about this program, please click here.
Easy Plastic Easter Egg Crafts
Plastic Easter eggs are great for more than just Easter egg hunts! These fun Easter egg crafts use materials you probably already have in home, and are perfect for family members of all ages.
Activities you'll find in this post:
Easter Egg Process Art
This is a great sensory and art activity for children ages toddler and up!
What you will need:
What to do
This activity is simple. Just dip the Easter eggs into paint, coat, and then place on a paper lined cookie sheet (you may want to use tape to make sure the paper stays in place). Lift the cookie sheet and move so the eggs roll from side to side.
You an also use the eggs as stamps, or roll them yourself.
Plastic Easter Egg Stamps
This activity is great for kids of all ages. Older children can help you create the stamps before using them, while younger children will love using the stamps once they are done!
What you will need:
What to do:
Decorated Plastic Easter Eggs
Take it a step further! Using twine or ribbon and a hot glue gun, you can create garland out of the eggs by apply a dot of hot glue to the back, and affixing the eggs to the string. Or, if you have a cute basket, glass vase, or centerpiece bowl, place the eggs into that container as a decorative element you can use year after year!
Or, use the eggs for your Easter Egg Hunt!
Be sure to share this with someone who loves crafting, or pin it for other crafters to find!
You might also be interested in:
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
You loved my 10 Toys Your Toddler Will Love (it was one of my most popular posts of 2020!), so I'm back with a new post, almost a year later. My child is obviously a bit older now, and has some new interests. These are the toys my little one is obsessed with right now. Of course, he is still interested in the toys on that last list, so be sure to check it out, too.
This list contains a number of educational options, as well as fun movement and art options. With it being cold and snowy in my part of the country, having tons of activities to choose from has been a lifesaver. Where relevant, I've included some of the activities we do using these products. So, without further ado, here is the roundup!
10 of the Best Toys for 2 and 3 Year Olds
Melissa and Doug Train Sets
My little one has been loving playing with his train sets (we have both of the sets below, plus an activity table). The toys build fine motor skills (i.e. putting tracks together), STEM skills (testing how to built elevated tracks, learning about cause and effect through working with the magnets and the swivel bridge), vocabulary skills, and imaginative play skills, making them perfect as an educational toy, too.
Some of the best vocabulary these sets can be used for are teaching relationship concepts and words, such as over, under, in, on, etc. These are difficult concepts for young children to begin with, so having visual aides is a huge help! Plus, the sets have the quality you expect from Melissa and Doug toys.
2. Play Food Sets
My little one loves his play food sets. Along with the Fisher Price food truck and thekitchen set we have, my child has been loving his ice cream parlor set. We paired it with kinetic sand for extra fun!
My child loves all things dinosaurs, but his favorite by far has been this amazing, educational dinosaur toy from Learning Resources. The toy builds color awareness and vocabulary, shape awareness and vocabulary, and fine motor skills. Other dinosaur toys he is obsessed with right now? The Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Party set, and his big T-Rex stuffed animal (also from Melissa and Doug, predictably; it is currently out of stock, but you can check back if interested here).
Of course Play-Doh would make an appearance on this list! It is a great sensory activity for young kids, and this truck builds find motor skills, too! Play- Doh makes products for every interest; they have cooking sets, truck sets, and more.
5. Mega Bloks
I've written before about why blocks are a great educational toy, so it isn't surprising that we have tons of them in our home. This Mega Bloks Peek a Blocks Amusement Park was a Christmas gift from my child's uncle (an industrial designer and inventor, no joke!), and it is a great activity to help build awareness about several different simple machines (specifically a lever and an inclined plane)!
6. Magnet Toys
Magnets are an excellent STEM toy, and these PicassoTiles are a lower cost (but durable) substitute for expensive MagnaTiles.We love using them for testing cause and effect, working on basic engineering skills, and discussing relational, shape, and color vocabulary!
7. Animal Play Sets
My child is obsessed with animals, so our home is filled with tons of animal toys. One of my child's favorites is the Battat Big Red Barn. It comes with 4 animals and a farmer, as well as the barn. My child spends tons of time playing imaginary games with the set!
Another favorite activity? Playing vet! My child loves his Melissa and Doug vet kit, and "fixing" his kitty and puppy.
8. Reusable Vinyl Sticker Sets
Tired of buying stickers only to have your child go through them quickly and need to buy more? We love vinyl stickers for this reason! My child loves playing with stickers, which means traditional options are an expensive choice (if you don't have sticker piles on paper, are you even a toddler/preschool parent?!). And what about stickers all. over. everything. Vinyl stickers stick to a ton of surfaces, but come off. Plus, these Melissa and Doug sticker pads come with great scenes that your child can use to mix and match during play. Huge score for my kid, for me, and for my furniture!
If your child isn't into dinosaurs or animals, Melissa and Doug also makes a ton of other varieties.
9. Active Movement Toys
My child is still obsessed with all the active movement toys included on last year's list, but we've added a few new items (including a Nugget couch and a new swing set!). Here are some of the other great new additions to our collection!
A balance bike can be a great way to start getting a child ready to move on to a real bike... and get moving! Make sure to get a helmet, too! My child absolutely love his Velo balance bike, and all his cousins have had one, too. While it is a bit too cold and snowy to use it at the moment, we look forward to spring so we can pull it out again!
PS: Nugget not in your budget? Check out the blocks I put on last year's list. We still use them a lot, and they are on many Nugget alternative round up lists I've seen! You can also add extra sets to get even more building capacity!
We also have a Little Tykes Mini Trampoline with a stability bar that my child absolutely loves. Why no link, then? Because the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend them. Not even mini ones! Why do we have one, then? In consultation with our child's therapy team, we decided (with adequate supervision and in following other recommendations for trampoline use from the American Academy of Pediatrics) that the risks of a mini trampoline were less than the risks of the other places my child was finding to bounce. Our home has specific factors that influenced our decision. Considering one for your home, too? Speak with your child's pediatrician first! There are many, many ways for children to stay active! .
10. Art Supplies
Looking to elevate your child's art supplies beyond the standard crayons and markers? My child loves his tabletop easel! It is great for painting, coloring, and comes with a white board, roll of paper, magnets, and chalk board! We have also paired Crayola markers, crayons, and finger paint, the Melissa and Doug vinyl stickers seen above, and Melissa and Doug animal magnets with the easel for even more fun!
Aside from fostering creativity, art activities are great for teaching fine motor skills, vocabulary, and color awareness, and this product offers letter magnets to help with teaching letter awareness and basic literacy skills such as phonological awareness!
I hope you'll find this roundup as helpful as last year's! Have an idea to add? Comment and share!
Love this? Be sure to share!
Or, check out other great content available from The Mindfully Scientific Mama!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more about this program, and all my site's terms and conditions, here.
Celebrating holidays with food allergies can be a challenge. Everyday foods and activities may not be safe, and hosting family can mean less control over what you child comes into contact with. Whether you are the parent of a child with food allergies, have food allergies yourself, or are looking to accommodate someone with food allergies; whether you celebrate Easter as a holy day, a secular spring event, or somewhere in between; this guide will help you celebrate Easter safely.
Basic Tips for Managing Food Allergies
Whether it is Easter, another holiday, or a regular day, there are several things that can be done to help stay safe when managing food allergies:
Decorate Easter Eggs (without real eggs!)
Eggs are a top 8 allergen, and that means many families feel dying easter eggs isn't an option. Luckily, I found these great Merry Art Dyeable Decorating Easter Eggs! I haven't used them, but the reviews look incredibly promising.
Dyeing Easter eggs not your thing? Try decorating fake ones with paint, glitter, or anything else your heart desires! You can find eggs made out of a number of materials, like thesewooden ones.
Or, create paper easter eggs using construction paper (and cardboard or cardstock if you choose), scissors, glue, glitter, and pom poms! Be sure to download my egg stencil and print it off to create the perfect Easter egg shape!
Fill Your Easter Eggs with Safer Options, and Use Plastic Eggs instead of Real Ones
Candy Free Trinkets for Easter Eggs
Candy free options are excellent not only for children with allergies, but those who are too young to eat candy (though be cautious, many small trinkets are choking hazards, so I recommend sticking to things like stickers). They are also excellent options for families who want to avoid too much sugar, have metabolic conditions, or food sensitivities.
Here are some highly rated options your family will love!
Allergy Friendlier Candy Options
Our family loves Yum Earth goodies, including their seasonal varieties! Here are some made especially for spring!
Allergy Friendly Easter Basket Ideas
Forget the chocolate bunnies! Keep kids with food allergies in you family safe with these food free Easter basket ideas! Here is a list to get you inspired about what to put in your baskets this year, plus a few highly rated products that your kids will love!
1. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are always an adorable hit in Easter baskets. We usually put at least on in our child's and our niece's!
Puzzles make great activities for kids of all ages, and fit nicely into baskets. We love wooden puzzles, and Melissa and Doug brand puzzles in our home! There are tons of great and educational options to choose from out there. Here are a few!
What kid doesn't love bubbles? They are a great spring activity; a reason to get outside, enjoy the nice weather, and focus on the light spring breeze!
4. Art Supplies and/or Stickers
Art supplies and stickers are another option that we love for Easter baskets. Whatever your child's age, there are plenty of amazing options out there!
Click on the images below to view some fun options for kids of all ages, or here to find all sorts of amazing Crayola products!
Books are always a great gift, if you ask my family. We are all avid readers, and even my toddler gets excited when he gets a new book. Here are a few spring options, but if your child is older, feel free to opt for the latest chapter book in their favorite series, or another hot read for the year!
6. Other Fun, Smaller Toys
Easter baskets are an opportunity to give your child a new, fun toy to freshen up their collection. We don't always do a toy in our child's basket, but do sometimes give gifts to other children in the family (while aunts/uncles/grandparents do the same for our child). It is a way to add something special to the Easter basket they've already received!
And don't forget the basket!!!!
We prefer getting something that can be reused year after year. it is more eco friendly, and makes for a special tradition when my child gets to pull out their basket again from the prior year.
No matter what your Easter plans; whether you give Easter baskets, do an Easter egg hunt, go to church, or just have a nice brunch; when managing food allergies the most important thing is to be INCLUSIVE. Years from now child won't remember what was in their Easter basket, but they will remember whether they felt left out or apart of the fun and festivities.
Managing food allergies is difficult, but with a bit of creativity, you can celebrate holidays safely.
Be sure to share to help others make this Easter food allergy friendly!
You can find more resources for managing food allergies here.
Or, check out other great season activities for your family!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more about this program, and all this site's terms and conditions here. Additionally, I periodically receive gifted products from Yum Earth. All opinions are my own. We love their products, use them in our home, recommend them to all our friends and family, and genuinely believe in their brand!
Holidays can be tough for kids with food allergies, and Valentine's Day is no different. Here are some ideas to keep your Valentine's Day school card exchange or party food allergy friendly!
Tips for Food Allergy Families
1. Communication is key! Speak with the classroom teacher in advance. Discuss any concerns about food allergies, and offer to provide information about food allergies for the teacher to send home to other families.
2. Offer to do any baking for the class party, or send in special treats just for your child.
3. Plan ahead. Speak with your child about how to stay safe at school. Make sure your child's epi pens are not expired, and check in with the school to make sure they are up to date on the details of your child's reaction plan. This is good practice ahead of any celebration that may revolve around food.
4. Refer toFood Allergy Research and Education's website for tons more resources!
Tips for Non-Food Allergy Families
1. If you are sending in food items to share, make sure their are food allergy friendly. Or, better yet, provide nonfood treats!
2. Nut free doesn't mean the product will be entirely nut free, either. Always check if the product is from a nut free facility.
3. Nut free does not mean allergen free. Allergen/Classroom Friendly does not mean allergen free.
4. Ask your child's teacher if there are any food allergies in the class you should be aware of.
Ideas for Card Exchange Goodies
These highly rated Amazon choice products are sure to impress your child's classmates!
Allergy Friendly Valentines Candy
We love YumEarth products! They are Top 9 free, which makes them perfect for our family!
Printable Valentine's Cards
Feel free to download this cute food allergy friendly Valentine's card!!!
Or, download one that isn't related to food allergies!
Allergy Friendly Baking
Store bought baked goods are frequently come into cross contact with allergens. As a result, food allergy families like mine usually opt to bake our own brownies, cakes, and cookies. One of our favorite recipes is this nut free brownie recipe (we do not use the frosting recipe, but you certainly can if you choose). When made with your favorite safe flour, butter, and other preferred products, it is easy to modify to be cross contact free. It is not wheat,,/gluten dairy, or egg allergy safe, unfortunately, but I'm speaking to some of my blogger friends to get an amazing Top 9 option that I'll share ASAP.
You can check out our preferred products here, or visit myfood allergy portal to get recommendations for food allergy support groups where you can ask for recommendations based on your individual allergies and comfort levels.
We topped our Valentine's brownies with pink vanilla frosting, Valentine's sprinkles, and delicious Yum Earth Valentine's gummies!
Want more great food allergy content? Check out my food allergy family portal here!
Help keep kids with food allergies safe this Valentine's Day by sharing!
Being a mom is HARD. It seems like there are always competing responsibilities, social engagements, appointments, and activities, and no time to get half of them done. While I can't promise to help you find more time in your day, I can recommend strategies that have helped me feel more on top of life, and it all starts with organizing your schedule. Here is how!
Pick the Right Planner
The right planner makes all the difference! You can buy one, or make one quite easily using printables (such as those in my free resource library) and a binder, or a journal and bullet journal strategies. If you love graphic design and flexibility, choice a blank journal and create a bullet journal. Love the ability to change things up, but want to try a variety of templates? Use printables and a binder (like those in my free resource library). Like things neat, tidy, and easy? A traditional planner does the trick!
You can find many types of planners on the market. I recommend something that you can make your own. I usually pick something with plenty of room for notes, sections for goals and to do lists, and blank space for decorating.
I've found stickers to be one of the easiest ways to personalize my planner, and keep myself on track. With planner design becoming a true hobby (and not just a necessity), there are tons of options on the market. Here are two that I've used and love.
Get Your Key Words and Sections Planned
What key words will you use to keep yourself on track? I like separating my To Do list from my To Contact list and separating those from my To Buy list and appointments. I also like setting goals for the week or day. Sticking with 3 seems to be the sweet spot! I've continued this practice whether bullet journaling or using a traditional planner. Do what makes sense to you, but make sure it is something that is helpful. If you are new to the practice of organizing your week, play around with different ideas. There is no shortage of examples on Pinterest or Google!
Here is some examples of how I've broken up my responsibilities:
Need more inspiration? Here is a list to get you started!
And don't forget to take some time to celebrate your accomplishments or log memories! Think of including some of the following in your planner!
Make your planner your own! Add decorative stickers, washi tape, or draw designs or pictures! Here are some of the products I've used and designs I've done in my bullet journals/planners.
What About My Phone Calendar?
There are a variety of great apps for phones and computers available on the market, including the Google app suite. Don't get me wrong, the automated reminders are SUPER helpful, and I use them. I also use my phone calendar on the go. But when I get home, I transfer everything into my hard copy planner. Here is why:
What are your best planner tips for busy moms? Be sure to comment to share!
I'd love to update this article with YOUR tips! Not comfortable commenting? Feel from to use my contact me form, or reach out to my on social media!
Then, share this with a busy mom who would love these tips for staying on top of their schedule!
Find even more great ideas for your family on my Family Life page!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Association, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog (a small business!!). You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
Food allergies are tough to manage on your average day, let alone on holidays or during social events. And while this year holidays look a bit safer for those not having guests coming to celebrate (see the incident with my mother's lip gloss for all you need to know on this subject), even those who are celebrating with immediate family should still be concerned about things like season treats(which may be manufactured differently than the usual products), and potential for allergens in nonfood gifts (like lotions or cosmetics).
Whatever your holidays look like this year, here are some tips to help keep your family safe!
Read the labels, every time!
Even if you have used a product for years, manufacturing practices can change at any time. This is especially true for seasonal specialty products (think those Christmas versions of favorite candies). If you are concerned about cross contact or an allergen not in the top 8, be sure to contact the company directly! There is no legal obligation to list for these in ingredients. Furthermore, cosmetics and lotions may be held to a different standard than food.
If you are getting together with guests outside your household, volunteer to do the cooking, or host.
Even with clear communication, mistakes can happen. Ensure foods are safe by doing the cooking, bringing your own food to a celebration, or (best yet, if you are insistent on getting together with others), hosting. Hosting ensures that you are in control of procedures to limit cross contact (CC) in prep areas. You can also bring your own plates, utensils, or plan to use disposable products to further limit issues with CC.
Clearly communicate your comfort level with anyone you are gathering with; never assume others understand cross contact concerns!
Not comfortable with shared lines or facilities? Communicate this in clear language. Make sure to express concerns with cosmetics or body products that could transfer and cause a reaction as well.
Make sure anyone involved with caretaking has a clear understanding of the patient's allergy action plan.
Better yet, bring a copy as a reference as well as having clear discussions with all appropriate parties! Never leave your child in the care of anyone who does not fully understand the steps to follow in the event of a reaction.
Make sure cosmetics/body products are safe, not just food!
Food isn't the only thing that contains allergens. Many cosmetics and lotions contain nut and seed oils. Never assume a product is safe because you can't eat it!
Finally, always carry 2 epipens, and when in doubt, it is always better to epi than leave the reaction to chance*!
Always follow your individual action plan and listen to your doctor's recommendations first and foremost! Guides like this are great, but your practitioner will know the best steps to keep you or your child safe.
Looking for tips on Top 9 free holiday candy? We love YumEarth!!! Their products (other than candy corn, which is only available around Halloween) are free from Top 9, and their manufacturing facilities are free of Top 9 as well. Best yet? They are delicious!
Be sure to share this to help keep other food allergy patients safe this holiday season!
And be sure to check out Food Allergy Research and Education's webpage to learn more about food allergies. Or check out my food allergy portal for even more about managing food allergies, including recipes, other blog posts, great lists, product recommendations, and more!
I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been a difficult year. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are just as ready to end the unpredictable chaos and monotony of social distancing as I am. I also won’t pretend we are all in the same boat in this storm. While my boat has been turbulent, we aren’t taking on water. I know many have not been so lucky.
So this holiday, I've made the decision to recenter, and focus on the gratitude and joy, instead of self pity.
I should offer the disclaimer that I wrote this piece from where I have existed during this challenging year, and I acknowledge that is a place of privilege. I know it is not everyone's story, and while I hope this will not happen, some may even feel I am out of touch. I also live in a community of immense privilege, and for those of us for whom the year has been shaky but not catastrophic, I think a healthy dose of reality and gratitude is exactly what we need this holiday season. That is why I wrote this piece. If your year has been like mine, one of discomfort and inconvenience, but not tragedy, I hope you will join me in being grateful this holiday season.
You can read my entire post for Westchester County Mom here.
You can also find inspiration for new holiday traditions to help make this challenging holiday more special here.
Or, check out my entire Christmas Guide for great crafts, activities, printables, gift guides, and more!
If this spoke to you, be sure to share the mindfulness!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. Commissions earned help support this blog, and my participation in the program comes at no added cost to you. Want to learn more? Click here.
If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love DIY decor projects! So this Christmas, I had lots of fun putting together several projects that are perfect for the entire winter season. If there were any year where cheery decor were necessary all year, it would be this one, right? Check out these gorgeous farmhouse designs, plus tips for recreating the looks!
Dining Room Table Centerpiece
Using the same off white recycled jars from this project (see the Thanksgiving jars), I was able to create a beautiful centerpiece! I traded out the autumn foliage for faux pine branches, pinecones, and berries, and used a gold metal tray as a base. I then wrapped twinkle lights (with leaves attached) around the vases, and placed the battery pack in the center vase (beneath the greenery). The finishing touch was the addition of a few pinecones on the tray. I paired the centerpiece with a table runner, plus white and gold candles.
Farmhouse Style Wreaths
These wreaths are super basic and easy to make; just purchase a faux pine wreath and use a hot glue gun to add a few pinecones and a burlap ribbon (the ribbons I used had gold thread intertwined). Because there is no red, no ornaments, and no other holiday related additions, I'll be able to keep these wreaths up all winter!
Birdcage 'Potpourri' Light
I loved the birdcage decor I used for the fall so much that I repurposed the item for winter! I wrapped evergreen garland (which had bells attached) and twinkle lights around the cage, and then filled it with some scented pinecones. This farmhouse style DIY piece is a huge upgrade from your grandmother's potpourri dish, and made for a festive addition to my foyer.
Products You'll Love
Want to try one of these great projects? Here are some products you may love!
Love this? Be sure to share!
This craft is super easy, and loads of fun for toddlers and preschoolers. You probably have all the supplies necessary already at home:
To create your Santa, follow these simple steps:
That's it! Be sure to check out my Christmas Guide for other activities, gift ideas, personal stories, and other holiday inspiration!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
With 4 stars or higher, these toys for kids of all ages are sure to impress!
~5 Stars with over 900 reviews!
~5 Stars with over 1400 reviews!
4.7 Stars with over 300 reviews!
4.6 Stars with over 1500 reviews!
4.6 Stars with over 93,000 reviews!
4.4 Stars with over 95 reviews.
4.1 Stars with over 270 reviews.
4.9 Stars with over 75 reviews.
4.6 Stars with over 290 reviews!
4.7 Stars with over 5700 reviews!
4.7 Stars with over 3400 reviews.
4.8 Stars with over 950 reviews.
4.6 Stars with over 1,000 reviews and 4.7 Stars with over 850 reviews for the ready for school dolls, and 4.5 with over 120 for thefinger paint doll.
4.6 Stars with over 5800 reviews.
4.8 Stars with over 840 reviews!
4.7 Stars with over 750 reviews!
More Gifts by Age!
Get even more gift ideas for kids!
And see my Holiday 2020 Gift Guide for gifts for the whole family!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
Find more recipes, product recommendations, activities, and more!
View my author page for Westchester County Mom here.
Disclaimer: Content on this website is meant for informational and educational purposes. Nothing found on The Mindfully Scientific Mama constitutes medical or psychological advice. Always consult a profession in the respect field for advice specific to your situation. Read more about this site's terms and conditions here.