Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Activity Rings

I recently purchased these little Activity Rings for our Learning Closet. I LOVE open-ended toys and this one seemed perfect for imaginative play. There are 6 different rubber rings about
3" in diameter. The bright colors help teach color concepts. We use them as "sorting rings". With Pom Poms and Mini Kush Balls we sort by color - she finds the appropriate matching rings. Sometimes we "throw" the balls in the right color rings. She uses them as "ice skates" and puts her feet in two of them to skate around the house in. She makes sure I have a pair as well. I love toys like this that are so simple and leave a lot of room for imagination because little ones have an endless supply of that. I can see us coming up with new ways to use these as she grows.

Monday, March 29, 2010

JDaniel4's Mom Blog Giveaway!

I recently signed up to be a part of JDaniel's blog giveaway. Feel free to participate in this great opportunity for a chance to win a Spin & Spell from my MamaMayiShop.

Perks to Living in the City

We recently went on our First BUS ride and Layla love, love, loved it. She just sat and watched the people come and go...put their tokens in the machine...listen to the bus driver...wait for our stop. What a great immersive teaching experience. Public transportation always scared me but I love that Layla is already getting familiar with this great way to get around the city. She thinks it's so much fun - and sometimes ASKS to go on a bus or train "ride." Needless to say, we have been singing, reading, and watching the Wheels on the Bus...a LOT.


She looks so urban chic in this video :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pound a Peg

I am always looking for good games and learning tools to pass the time. I am especially interested in making these goodies from supplies I have around the house - it's a fun little challenge for me to come up with things from objects we already have. This is a little such game that helps nurture fine motor skills. A plastic hammer we had from another toy, and little plastic pegs (you could use golf tees if you have those around), and a piece of styrofoam - you can find this in almost any box item you buy - this is left over from bookshelf packaging. There was an indentation, perfect for putting the pegs and hammer! Let your little one practice pounding the pegs into the styrofoam and taking them out again. I keep this in our Learning Closet and pull it out when I am making dinner and we need an independent floor toy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jungle Gym Climb

Layla conquered the Jungle Gym today !!! I can't believe how strong and fearless she is. She, by the way, has a REAL fear of heights....but she persevered and CLIMBED all by HERSELF! Yayyyy, Layla!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Puddle Jumping

Sometimes Rainy Days Just Lend Themselves To Good-Old-Fashioned Puddle Jumping Fun. Thanks Aunt Gayle and Caitlyn!!!


Friday, March 19, 2010

NEW Natural Play Toy

A beautiful addition to Mama May i Shop's Natural Play Collection, this colorful learning toy is the perfect open-ended set to add to your little explorer's Play & Learn medley.

A Rainbow fun and educational way to play and learn – colors! Your little one will enjoy picking and placing colored balls into their corresponding cups. This little set is great in enhancing fine motor skills and balance while discussing colors, numbers, and simple volume concepts. My little explorer loves to “scoop” and “pour” these cups over and over again. She is especially proud when she matches the colors together appropriately. This open-ended toy provides many different ways to play – tea party, kitchen accessory, rainbow stacker…with these “tools” and a dash of imagination the play possibilities are endless.

This toy can be found at Mama May i Shop for $23.00 - the set comes in a handy muslin drawstring pouch!

Garden State Discovery Museum

We recently renewed our membership to the Please Touch Museum and this time we decided to get the "big" package and upgraded our membership to include other museums in the ACM network. I am Super Excited to try more children's museums in the area...and may even make it my mission to go to each and every one on the list...some day.

For now, our first adventure was just across the bridge at the Garden State Discovery Museum. It is kinda small, and more Mom & Pop than the Please Touch Museum but it is SOOO cute!! Though it is much smaller I feel like they utilized every learning and playing opportunity they could. We had so much fun trying something new...and will definitely be ba
ck to explore some more. We loved the Tot Space. And I got so many new ideas for things I want to incorporate in Layla's room...some day !!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gramma - Gram

My Mom does a really good job at being a part of my little one's life - even though she lives an hour and a half away. During the week she calls, she sends notes in the mail, comes to visit whenever she is able and just recently started sending voice recordings. has a free service where you can send a recording of your voice to someone's e-mail. They call them YourVoice but we affectionately call them "Gramma-Grams" (Like a Telegram, but with Grandma's voice!) She leaves messages, sings songs, and reads books via Gramma-Gram. My little one LOVES receiving these little notes of love. Sometimes she tries to interact with the message, as if she is speaking on the telephone...she makes song requests and always asks for "More".


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Modern Number and Letter Nursery Art Debut

I am so pleased to announce the debut of these cute and colorful Number and Letter Nursery Art Prints for

Inspired by my little one and her VERY colorful room, these little prints are sure to gain some recognition by your own little learner. The perfect addition for any Nursery, Toddler, or Playroom, these colorful prints will get your little explorer's attention.

Each Print is only $16.00
or BOTH for $29.00
and can be found at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rice Bin

When Layla was younger...hahaha, "younger"...between 7 months and 15 months old we had a very large, under the bed, tupperware bin filled with Cheerios for her to sit and play in. As she got more and more mobile the Cheerios no longer stayed IN the bin. They were ALL over my floor - in my couch - under my rug - up the steps - in my shoes - EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, my husband made the executive decision to say goodbye to the Cheerio-Sandbox. Ever since then I have wanted to make its comeback but didn't know the best way to go about it.

I found some really cute little insects toys which specifically sparked my imagination for a pretend "excavation". I knew she didn't have to have a HUGE tub to play in to have fun, so I kept it simple. While perusing Target I found a Rubbermaid clear tupperware - shallow enough for her to dig around in - deep enough to have some substance. So the Sensory Tub is BACK!! We started with RICE because I had a bunch in my cabinet. I found a set of Cups and Spoons in the Target Dollar Spot and the archeological dig was ready to go. She had so much fun scooping, pouring, spilling, searching, counting, and sometimes eating the rice.

I like that it's easy cleanup - everything goes back in the box with a clear lid that snaps into place.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Dot Painting

We have been looking for another fun medium to use for art time. I came across these Dot Painters and thought they were a perfect solution! I read that they last a long time and work on an easel, too. She loved being able to explore another type of art and I love that it's LIKE painting without the MESS of painting (more the equivalent of a marker-mess). It certainly does not substitute FOR painting, but a fun alternative. She certainly enjoyed herself!


Oh, and look at her little Artist Hairdo!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easy Birthday Invitations

I made these little birthday pictures to send out as Layla's Birthday Party invitations. It was very easy, but looks really cheerful and modern. I found a picture I liked of her and converted it to black & white in Photoshop. I enhanced the hat and made it "color" and upped the brightness and contrast. I added some graphic information: "2" and her birthdate. I had the pictures printed at a local store - 4x6.

1. I then made the invitations on a 4.5 x 6.5 inch rectangles with all the relevant information. I printed them and cut them out.

2. I put the double-sided tape on the back of the photos.

3. I put the photos onto the backsides of the invitations.
4. Voila! I put them in envelopes and they were ready to send.
Now, if only the party and food prep would be that easy...

Monday, March 8, 2010


Looking for a fun way to get your little ones to eat something fruity?

Kiwi is a great snack. This little fruit has more Vitamin C than oranges; as much Potassium as bananas; and a good bit of Beta-Carotene. It contains a significant amount of Vitamins E and A and is a good source of Fiber.

*If your little one has never had a Kiwi fruit before be sure to keep an eye out for allergic reactions - as you should when introducing any new food*

When I was little my Mom used to peel them and put them on popsicle sticks for us - what a clever idea! I tried this with my little one and she loved the idea of a Kiwi-sicle. Yum!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rainbow Garden Soft Book Debut

I am soooo excited to announce the debut of my very first Soft Book. I actually made it a while back for Layla but after much toting and love I wanted to make it available for your little one, as well!

Layla and I love to read together - We have ALWAYS loved reading together. I found early on that books with stacked pages attracted her because she could flip on her ow
n! I am all about fostering independent reading and building self-esteem so I wanted her to have this "I can do it all by myself" option in a handmade creation as well.

Just in time for Spring...

Rainbow Garden Soft Book

This little reading lovey was made for my own Little One and has been waiting to make its debut. Inspired by Nature, the bright colors are sure to entice your little readers’s imagination and nurture a conversation perfect for Spring. This 17-page soft book is filled with vivid colors and patterns sure to pique your little one’s interest. The story of love and care will be a favorite for days to come. Each page has fabric-cut illustrations, appliqu├ęd and collaged together providing texture, depth, and intrigue. The Rainbow is a collection of stacked pages making it easy for the littlest fingers to thumb through.

Each page is made of Recycled felt and stitched together. The cutouts are brightly patterned fabric pieces perfect for teaching beginner color concepts. The book is bound with rings and a Rainbow of Ribbons lovingly tied to add an elegant and playful touch. Truly a Sight and Textural adventure, this hand-held lovey would make the perfect Baby Shower or Birthday Gift for the special Little Love in your life.

"Sow some seeds in the soil.

With some water,


And a little love,

Watch the Rainbow Garden Grow.

Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Purple."

Spot Cleaning is the best way to ensure the longevity of this hand-pieced lovey.

Rainbow Garden” Soft books are hand-made-to-order. Please allow about a week for this little lovey to be sent out.

Copyright Jessica Perkins 2009

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


We finally got an Easel!!! It is something I have wanted to get for some time... They had them at IKEA for $14.99 and I thought: "Even if this falls apart in a couple months...for $14.99 we should give it a try." So we did. And so far, we LOVE it! Sturdier than I expected. I haven't figured out the best way to attach the paper roll yet. For now, I just taped the paper. She loves the idea of standing and drawing. I love that it opens up her writing strokes - they are bigger and freer. It's amazing how a difference in posture or positioning can effect your drawing and your movements. I can't wait until we try other tools - like the Dot Painting or Paint Brushes!!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Kitchen Present

Look at this AMAZING kitchen Grandma built for Layla for Christmas. I have been wanting to do this for a long time when I came across some inspiring homemade kid's kitchens online. We talked about dimensions, components, colors, sizes, etc...and talked some more. I drew up some plans. My Mom repurposed this old entertainment unit she found in the garbage! ( person's trash...) Due to weather, sick, and life, I was unable to help her saw, cut, paint, and put together. But she persevered! She wanted to make sure Layla had this for Christmas. And it was ready. It turned out wonderfully! And Layla just adores it - there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't whip up SOMETHING in her kitchen.

The microwave and toaster are from Pottery Barn Kids - there was a store going out of business so I bought both pieces for about $38.00 I think. I think it's a perfect little edition.

It is still a work in progress - we want to add a back-splash window with a cabinet or something. Maybe convert the under-sink to a dishwasher and pantry. And I would like to have a fold-out counter for eating or food prep. These additions are probably more for me than for her, but it's so much fun to create!

Layla making and sharing "Carrot Soup".