Sunday, February 28, 2010

EtsyKids Team Design Challenge WINNER!!

I am so honored to announce that MamaMayiShop WON the EtsyKids Team February Design Challenge. Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to vote. I truly appreciate your support!

The really nice announcement and shop write-up can be found HERE

Now for next month's challenge...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Biggest Snow Storm EVER!

We recently had the biggest snow storm in Philadelphia history. It was BIG. We went to a nearby impromptu sled-park for Layla to have her first sledding experience. She was wooed more by the trio-of-slides toddler park so we played there for a bit. She thought it was hilarious when I went down the slide too. She would have played here ALL day. It's the little things in life - big snow storms make you stop - whatever you are doing - and take time out for the little things. A lesson we should remind ourselves of every day.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Fruit Loop Activities!

Fruit Loops are a TREAT in our house - not a breakfast. But they certainly attract my little one's attention and, because they are a rarity, she gets so excited when they come out. We use them as lacing "beads" and sorting tokens and sensory tools. Here are a couple activities using this crunchy, colorful cereal.


After we sorted them out into the bowls, we then poured them into a larger bowl, color by color. She likes pouring - the sounds it makes, trying to get them all go in the right direction, seeing what happens when you pour the colors on top of one another, seeing how the volume changes when you add this to that. Never underestimate the value of play - There is so much learning going on EVERY day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

EtsyKids Team Design Challenge - Outer Space

I recently became a member of the EtsyKids Team! This month's CHALLENGE is Outer Space and I entered my Make a Match Memory - Space Edition.

Go to or check the SIDE BAR on this Blog page to vote for your favorite Design in this month's Challenge! :) Mine is listed under MamaMayi

If you are interested in purchasing this set for your little one or gifting it they can be found at for $21.00 a set.

Valentine's Heart Crayons

I have had this project in queue for quite some time now. Maybe I am a little obsessive compulsive, but I hate having so many broken crayon nubs around. And don't get me started on all those crayons that Layla has decided to peel the paper away from - these poor, nameless crayons! Needless to say, ever since we have had a box of broken, paperless crayons around the house I've wanted to melt them down into nifty-shaped chunkies to explore with. With Valentine's day here I had the perfect excuse - heart-shaped chunky to give to
little friends.

1. I started by taking all the papers off the broken crayons.
2. Then I arranged the broken chunks into the silicone heart-shapes
3. Put them in the oven at 225 degrees for about 15 minutes - until the crayons were JUST melted. Because I used multiple colors I didn't want to move them, for fear of the colors running into one another. I just turned the oven off until they set completely.
4. Then I pulled the hearts out of the cupcake shapes
5. I packaged them in individual cellophane wrappers with a note that said: "You make my heart scribble!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Creative Capsule - Crayon Caddy

I love how intensely she is doodling!
A girl after my own heart -
She realizes the importance of every scribble,
every line.

This is one of the many little loveys I sell in my shop - the Creative Capsule. As you can see it is totally kid / toddler friendly. Layla loves being my little product tester! It is basically a wallet that unfolds to a scribble pad with pocket, where you can store drawings and doodles, and a place for 8 crayons. It folds up nicely and closes with velcro - totally little-finger-friendly. It is the perfect size to fit in a diaper bag, book bag, or purse and has saved us from boredom MANY times!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Birthday Playset

Layla has been SO excited about birthday's since Grandma's birthday in January. Since then, Happy Birthday has been a common song in our home. With her snowed-in birthday on Wednesday, she has been talking about birthdays ALL week. When I saw this Birthday Playset at the learning store I had to get it. We opened the box this morning and have been eating cake, drinking tea, and singing the song since...with all these birthdays she sure is going to grow up fast!


Learning Resources Birthday Set - about $20

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2nd Birthday

My Little one's Second Birthday - Breaking Snow Weather Records....never a dull moment. I can't believe two years has come and gone....730 days of living in the world, wow. It's amazing.

She insisted on candles, the Happy Birthday Song, and wanted cupcakes. We made the cupcakes yesterday and decorated them today as it gave us something to do in this blizzard.

She loves singing Happy Birthday right now - the other day we were in Target and she was in the shopping cart. She was singing Happy Birthday and I asked her who's birthday it was. She said "Self Birthday." I asked how old she was and she said "Two" so matter-of-factly.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Parents Magnet School

I finally found a used version of this discontinued toy! Parents Alphabet Magnet School. It comes with 26 card puzzles - letters - and numbers too. You have to match the letter with the correct card and fit it in. Layla doesn't really know her letters yet, but she has fun flipping through the pictures, finding the letter SHAPE that matches the card puzzle SHAPE and fitting them together. (Letters are shapes so you can "match" without actually knowing your letters.) The letters themselves are also magnets so you can play with them on the fridge, too. I love how brightly colored the card graphics are and we have fun talking about the alphabet and the pictures. It's a great game for building fine motor skills, too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Cut Watermelon

Every time my cousin comes to visit I buy watermelon for her because she loves watermelon. Recently she shared with me that my Mom is the BEST watermelon cutter....Ever. I didn't realize this was such a trick but apparently she can cut a watermelon without making a big mess and she gets great results. As I now realize this is a Kitchen Trick, I've decided to post about it - just in case you would like to know a Wonderful Watermelon Cutting Technique in just 5 easy steps. Thanks, Mom!

1. First, section the watermelon in quarters - cut it in HALF and then cut that in HALF. I started with a quarter that I purchased from the grocery store - sometimes I find this to be the best way to buy watermelon because you can see what's inside.

2. Cut the watermelon in one direction. Slice down to the rind, without cutting through it.
3. Slice down to the rind, in the same fashion, going in the opposite direction so that you form a grid.
4. Now slide the knife along the rind as if you are "scooping" the whole quarter off. Go as close to the rind as you want the watermelon to be cut. This part may take a little practice, but it sure is worth it!
5. Dump the watermelon "cubes" onto your cutting board or into a bowl. If there are some that are too long (the very middle of the grid), you may cut them in half-but it's not necessary. Enjoy!
This is what the rind looks like when you're finished.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Melissa & Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks. Melissa and Doug makes a great wooden Tangram set for toddlers - it's the same concept as tangrams but for beginners. These wooden shapes have pictures to show the overall "answer" and little slots for the shape puzzle pieces to fit.

A great toy for understanding color and shape concepts as well as continuing the development of fine motor coordination and problem solving skills.