Showing posts with label Dress-up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dress-up. Show all posts

Halloween, Dressing Up, Pretend Play, & Friend Picture Books

Disclsoure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe it is already October. That means we need to think about Halloween. Now I have posted in the past how Halloween is not our favorite holiday and how Hazel hates October because of the gory and scary decorations in yards and stores. When Hazel was young we found some Halloween books she loved, but not too many. Today we are going to share two more Halloween books that are fun and two books that involve dressing up, being yourself and being kind and making friends. All of these books are for kids in the age range of 3 to 8. We will start with Skelly's Halloween by David Martin and illustrated by Lori Richmond. 

Non-Scary Halloween Part 1 -- Peanuts Party, Teal Pumpkin & More

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

It is October and this is Hazel's least favorite month. Many of the Halloween decorations and costumes scare her. In fact there are only a few stores she will go into with me this time of year. Yes, just seeing the Halloween displays can give her nightmares. But she does love to dress-up and loves to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood, so I always try to find a friendly way to celebrate Halloween. Last year we did a Christian Halloween party. This year Hazel discovered Snoopy and the Peanuts gang so thanks to Oriental Trading we are hosting a Peanuts themed Halloween party. 

Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party -- Book Review & Costume

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me an advance copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you discovered The Princess in Black yet? I wrote about our discovery of this amazing series back in July. Hazel chose The Princess in Black as her prize for finishing the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program. It had been a tough choice, but she was really glad with the outcome!! This became one of her favorite books ever. Then we discovered that a new Princess in Black book was coming out October 13th and from Candlewick Press--one of our favorite publishers. I asked for a review copy and they sent it right away. Can I tell you how excited Hazel was to have the second book in the series months early? Oh, my, she has been telling everyone about it. Anyway, today we are sharing The Princess in Black and The Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. 

The Story of Queen Esther -- Exploring Iran/Persia

Do you know the story of Queen Esther? Many people do not even though Esther is a book in the Old Testament as well as one of the great female Bible heroes. She even has a Jewish holiday where they celebrate her and her courage to save the Jews of Persia. Her story is Hazel's favorite Bible story and Hazel was very excited when I explained that Esther was Queen of Persia which is now called Iran and the country we have been exploring with Global Learning for Kids this month. 
Edwin Long - Queen Esther - Google Art Project
Queen Esther by Edwin Long 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dress-Up Dresses Resized--A Quick Fix

I only buy Hazel Disney costumes when they are on clearance or sale (post-Halloween). We have most of the princesses dresses now, but she has outgrown some. I should add that dress could also be a nightgown that looks like a dress. I figure if it looks like it we might as well use it as a dress up. (See the Ariel dress for an example.)

Last week Hazel wanted to put on her Snow White dress, but it was too small (especially over clothes). Now a month ago or so, I bought a pattern to make princess dress up aprons. I loved the idea since she wouldn't outgrow them  so fast. I of course have not had the time to start them yet. But taking that idea, I cut the back seam of her Snow White dress and added in ribbons at the waist and a piece of elastic for the top. I also finished the edges with my serger. I should have used less elastic, but wanted to make sure it would be comfortable on her with clothes underneath.

Then of course she didn't want to dress like Snow White anymore and brought me her Ariel "dress" which if I remember correctly is a 2T and she in now a 4 to 5T. This was a bit different since it has side seams and the back was very fancy. I cut the side seam up to the bottom of the sleeve on one side and put two ribbons in.
Again I finished the edges on my serger. Now she can still wear these two dresses that she has outgrown. 
And best of all I didn't have to spend money on new ones. I had all the supplies I used so it was very easy to do and cheap (much better than buying on clearance for $10-$20 in a bigger size).
And of course by the time I finished both dresses, she had moved onto playing something else. Here is a wonderful picture of her dressed up. She said she was the minister and was very excited to go to church every day. I sent the picture to our minister and let him know I wasn't sure what she is trying to say about his style.
He thought it was great and she should sell minister costumes.

A New Pirate Hat

As I mentioned previously, Hazel is going to a pirate themed birthday party this weekend. Since pirates scare her, I wanted to make a friendly pirate hat for her to wear. I used the tutorial on From The Hive. I sewed it on my machine and did the seam inside. Here she is modeling it.
My cute, friendly little pirate! What do you think?

Let It Snow! Winter Wonderland Tea Party

Ducky and Princess Teddy got seats of honor

So Hazel had her well doctor visit and I wanted to make the whole day special so she would have a positive memory instead of just getting shots. We started today having a Winter Wonderland Tea Party. First we had to do some crafts to decorate and then we had to get all the dolls and animals. Then Hazel had to feed them all and get dressed herself (in costume). Then we had some tea and read lots of snow themed stories. Below are the ones I let her choose from and we have read at least 12 of them in the past two days.

I promised at yesterday's Sharing Saturday (which is still open!), that I would feature some snow-themed crafts today. I knew we did this, so I knew it would be a perfect fit here. Plus we used some of the ideas for our crafts. Here are those features:
1) From Life with Moore Babies: Colored Snowballs and More Ice and Snow Fun
2) From Making Boys Men: Frost Writing (For those without snow around but cold weather!)
3) From Gift of Curiosity: Snowman Craft for Preschoolers (see ours below)
4) From ArtClubBlog: Paper Snowflakes Tutorial (see ours below)
5) From Little Wonders' Days: Glittered Peppermint Winter Play Dough

And here are a few from past Sharing Saturdays:
1) From Gift of Curiosity: Winter Printable Pack
2) From Organic Aspirations: Sensory Play with Snow Indoors
3) From Like Mama ~ Like Daughter: Winter Themed Week in Preschool

Also check out the features from past Sharing Saturdays here and here. Some of these would have been great snacks for our tea party!
3-D Snowflake

So we decorated for our big winter wonderland.  I made a simple 3-d snowflake using some foam snowflakes I bought. I was inspired by Paper Source and just cut a slit in each and fit them together. Then punched a hole in one and put a string through it to hang.
Paper Snowflakes = Placemats
We made some paper snowflakes using the tutorial from ArtClubBlog (see feature above). We decided to use them as placemats. I also tried to make some out of felt using the same tutorial but my scissors were not quite sharp enough to make it beautiful. I am going to make them into pillows.
Felt Snowflake
We made several snow angel chains. Hazel had a go at cutting some but cut their heads off, so she used her smiley face stickers for heads and then added smiley faces to all of them. For hers we used the template at First Palette. For the ones I did I drew my own template to make them look more like snow angels. Here is my template.
I folded one of her large pieces of construction paper in half the long way and then folded into eighths in accordion style and cut this out. This is how they came out pre-smiley face.
The Snow Angel (Adaptation)

I wish we had the book The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck, but the library did not have it in, so we will have to read it another time. We loved it last year.

Hazel also made a cotton ball snowman similar to the one shared by Gift of Curiosity (see feature above). We used a pipe cleaner for a carrot nose and stick arms.

Then we laid out some fake snow that I had bought last year for my friend's Winter Onderland party but it wasn't used. And I had bought a package of snowballs post Christmas for this and we pulled out the wool ones I needle felted for her last year.
Then she gathered all of her dolls and animals. After getting them all around, she needed to feed them all. Ducky and Princess Teddy got seats of honor on the table. (See top picture) And of course Hazel needed to dress-up. She wanted to do the tea party before she took her bath and got dressed, so we are still in our pajamas, but she added on her tutu, ballerina top, wings, and crown and was carrying her wand part of the time.
Finally we were ready for our party. We sat on the snow covered floor and read books while we drank tea and Hazel finished her raisin bread toast from breakfast. Then we had a snowball fight.
Gathering all the snowballs and making a snowball pyramid
Then she wanted to play with her white balloon, but since we only had one white balloon, she gave it to me and used a red one. 

Now it was time to take her bath and for us to get dressed so we could have a special lunch out before her appointment. We had such a fun day. We still have our winter wonderland set up, but will have to pick it up tonight or tomorrow since the cleaning people come Monday morning.

Snowy, Tea Party Kind of Day

Wednesdays are typically our day without many plans since it is the day between her two school days. I find it nice to have a day to play at home and spend time together. This morning was one of those days I was glad we did not have plans as it was snowing harder than they predicted. Our big plans for today was to have a tea party after breakfast and getting dressed. I made the tea during breakfast so it would be cool enough for Hazel by the time we got to the party.

Our next step was to get dressed and accessorized and then we had to dress all of our guests. Hazel wore her favorite pink dress and then piled on the jewelry. I told her she looked like she was from the 80's with all the bracelets (think Madonna or Cyndi Lauper). She basically put on every bracelet she could find and every ring. You cannot see it, but she did pick out a tiara which I am wearing in the picture above.

Then we poured the tea for our guests and got ours and our real snack (corn muffin top) ready. She loved this part. We even got a special guest who we gave a plastic cup to since she probably would have broken one of the porcelain ones.
I think she was a bit more interested in the pom poms and wands Hazel insisted we carry to the tea party. We had put them on the floor by the table and Fluffy was definitely keeping an eye on them. Of course her favorite part was that we would choose one of the dolls or Ducky to need more tea. Then after the corn muffin was gone she wanted me to cut up some apple. Needless to say it was a very fun morning.

After lunch we changed and put on our layers to go outside. Now the snow had turned to rain and it was wet and very heavy outside. However she really wanted to go play in it, so we did. After all, she has been wanting to make a big snowman for a couple of years now and we have not had a good snow for it. Well we did some shoveling and made a snowman and she made many snow angels. I think this might have been her biggest snowman yet. We used almost all of the snow that was on the driveway next to our garage. It made shoveling much easier after rolling it all into the snowman.
She also loved making footprints and dropping her shovel to make its footprint and handprints too in the snow. Afterward we came in for hot chocolate (well I had tea) and warmed up. By then the roads were clear so we went out to run some errands as well. We spent some time doing some crafts together, but I will share those another time. Have you done anything fun this week with your kids?

Happy Family Times #35--Thanksgiving

If you want to share a child-oriented craft please visit Sharing Saturday!!
 Did you do something with your family that was fun? Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are collecting family activities. Our hope is to have a fun list of activities to inspire all of us to have more quality family time. Please share yours below.

Well seeing how our Thanksgiving was last week, I cannot think about sharing anything other activity this week. To me Thanksgiving is all about the family. The food is great, but we focus much more on being together. I also decided a long time ago that I love to host Thanksgiving more than travel for it. Plus we always invite Steve's mother--though she never comes for the actual meal, but stops in to say hello later in the day. We at least feel like we are trying to include her.
Playing "This Little Piggy"

My parents and one of my sisters came. They came Wednesday and stayed until Friday. Hazel was so excited. Once she saw my sister, she did not want to let her out of her sight. My father had a new position as second best. Hazel helped me make the beds on Wednesday and clean the guest bathrooms. She also helped with some of the cooking on Wednesday.

My sister worked Wednesday so she came after Hazel's bedtime. Hazel did not get to see her until Thursday morning. She could not wait to go down and see her, but we did not let her wake her aunt up, however, my sister heard her talking to my parents and came to see her.

Now I cooked the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thursday. Hazel and I had made cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie on Wednesday and I bought an unbaked apple pie at the church fundraiser which I baked on Thursday. My mother made roasted vegetables and a salad (though actually all three of us helped with the salad) and my sister made her favorite squash dish. Hazel helped her.
Scooping the squash
Hazel got quite upset when my sister wanted to help in the kitchen rather than play with her. My sister always makes the gravy. Well my turkey cooked like my mother's always did and was done at least an hour before scheduled. Overall the meal went well and so did the food prep. We decided to use our good china since there was only six of us. (We have to hand wash it so we do not use it very often.) We cleaned up and went for a walk around the block before having dessert. Then I made some whipped cream and Steve's mother came over.

Hazel and my sister were planning a ball and Hazel got us all costumes to dress as princesses. Everyone had a piece of fabric for a dress, a crown, a wand and a necklace. When my mother-in-law came, she searched for enough things for her. Even my father got to dress as a princess. We did let Steve dress as a knight, but I did not get a picture of him.
My sister decided to tease Hazel and tried to walk in her princess slippers. It was rather funny. She kept pretending that they fit perfectly like Cinderella's.

After dessert, Hazel decided all the princesses needed to get married and the ball became a wedding. For Hazel the most important part of the wedding was walking down the aisle. Hazel's prince was her pink dog named Frenchy and their aisle was the entire family room.
My sister got Fluffy as a prince. My father and I came late and we decided that my father could be my prince. My mother already had one of Hazel's stuffed animals as her prince.

The next day my sister left early, but my mother, Hazel and I put up our Christmas tree while the men went to the shooting range. We had such a lovely Thanksgiving and I am very thankful!

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

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