Posts

The Easiest DIY Box Fort for your Toddler

,

I can’t think of anything better than to bust out a box fort for your toddler when you’re trapped in the house during the cold months. I am not a big DIY person so this will be the easiest DIY box fort you can make for your toddler. 🙂 I would guess if you have a big box, then the rest of the needed items are easily found in your house somewhere!

We have an ice storm headed our way this weekend so I wanted to get some activities planned with Bubby (besides our faithful movie Charlotte’s Web!). I thought a fort would be fun but couldn’t afford one like this, so I started to do some thinking about what we had in the house.

I remembered we had these two huge boxes in our attic that we got from Home Depot when we first moved into our house and they’re just sitting in our attic because we didn’t want to get rid of them. They are of good size and we needed them for the move at the time. Little did I know that I would be using them this weekend to make a box fort for my son! Funny how life works out that way!

This post may contain affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

Easy DIY Box Fort to make for your Toddler. Toddler Box Fort. DIY Fort for your toddler.

 

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • Scissors or Box Cutters or a good Pocket Knife
  • Masking tape
  • and your Box or Boxes!
  • any other decor you might want to add to make it fancy, but we kept it pretty simple. 🙂

STEP ONE: CREATE YOUR DOOR
We had two boxes and wanted to side them up next to each other so he could crawl through both of them. So we created two front doors first.

  • Leave at least three box flaps on the bottom so you can have a base for the fort to help stay stable. We taped them together once we were done.
  • Keep it simple! We just folded the top of the box like you would any normal box to make his “roof.”

STEP TWO: This applies if you’re making two entry ways to your box or if you are putting more than one box together and need to create your passage doors.

  • Since you want to keep your three flaps for the base, make sure you don’t cut all the way through the bottom when you make your “adjoining” doors or extra entry way. See pictured below how we did it.

 

STEP THREE: MAKE THE BASE OF OF YOUR FORT

  • We put the single flap below the two aligning flaps so the fort had a smooth floor for him to crawl on. See picture below.

 

STEP FOUR: We added Christmas lights to his little fort. I didn’t want to make the lights a big deal because I knew we would be moving it around the house some, so I just fish lined them through the top middle hole, hung them around the corners inside (used a little tape to help hold them up there too) and then fish lined it back out the top to take to the second box. See picture below. If you want to add pillows or lights, go for it!


This was how I hung them on the inside of the box. I just added a little masking tape over the seam of the box to keep them stable enough, but easy enough to remove if needed!

STEP FIVE: Have fun and start playing!

When I started looking on Pinterest for box forts, I was surprised to find so many that seemed complicated to me or required more tools than I had on hand. The Christmas lights are even done simply and add a nice dim light inside for when he wants to read books. I found some online that punctured a hole all through the roof of the box and stuck them in there one by one. I ain’t got time for that with my toddler running around me! Plus, we wont always use the lights.

I’m not gonna lie, my idea to create this for him this weekend was to “trick” him into not being so sad to see his own little Christmas tree go away. We had his own, small tree set up in his room for the holidays and he just loved it. I figured this fort was a nice transition to say bye bye to the tree. Oh parenting. Don’t even get me started.

There you have it! The easiest DIY Box Fort you can make for your toddler!

If you want to see a few other toddler ideas, click here. Better yet, PIN this one for later and follow me along the process to stay up to date with all the toddler fun around here!

What other fun ways have you made a fort with your littles? I would love to hear about it below.
Peace Mamas,
Glo

Toys That Will Develop Your Toddler’s Motor Skills

,

Bubby has really exploded with his gross motor skill development and his ability to manipulate items with the dexterity in hands. He’s progressing so quickly that I can hardly keep up! He is 18 months old now and I am finding he is walking that line of toys that are either too advanced or toys not advanced enough.

I am always looking for toys that can be used for a long time as he discovers new ways to use them and I like toys that are a sound quality that will last a long time. So when I came across a sale at Melissa and Doug’s and discovered I could peruse toys based on age, category, or skill development, I immediately whipped out the credit card to make some purchases. I even bought a small round to keep for Christmas morning and for his 2nd birthday next summer! Bonus points to me!

What I love about Melissa and Doug

  • Many of their toys are made of a nice solid wood that hold up really well with a rambunctious boy who may or may not throw things a lot.
  • I love how they have toy descriptions and learning opportunities detailed on the back of many of their toys so parents can easily see the multiple ways to teach skills to their children.
  • Several of their gross motor and dexterity toys are basic colors so you can reinforce color recognition with your child.
  • They have an amazing customer service for any questions you may have about a product.
  • They have awesome resources directly on their site to give you ideas on how to incorporate their toys with your kids.

What I don’t love about Melissa and Doug

  • Most of the time I’m OK with their pricing because I know the toys will last forever, but sometimes it gets a little high for my pocket.
  • I wish they had more of a variety of toys for children before the 12 month old range.
  • They don’t offer rain checks during sales. So if you really want a particular item during one of their sales and it’s out of stock, then you’re out of luck until it’s available again.

Here are some of our favorite toys that have gotten reused in different ways since Bubby turned one and still uses today at 18 months and I know will still get used until he’s at least two years old, if not until later!

(This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are always my own. See full disclosure here.)


Stack & Sort Board
I purchased this for Bubby back when he was around 12 months old. I noticed he really started getting into stacking and I thought this would be a good place to start. You can click on pics to enlarge them. 🙂

This stacking toy is great because now he uses it to focus sliding the small blocks on the rings and as he grows, we can continue to work on his color recognition AND work on his numbers by counting the correct number of blocks on each specific ring. I like how they have the numbers color coded on the front of each stacking pillar. This is a toy that will certainly last until his close to three years old. You can see it here!

Pound & Roll Tower
This has been a fun toy that has required me to be patient and just let Bubby explore his dexterity development a little bit. I gave this to him when he was about 14 months old and he really wasn’t quite ready for it. He just wanted to walk around banging stuff. BUT I gave it another go a month later and modeled for him how to use the toy and he started to catch on. You can look up the tower here.

Chunky Puzzle
I seriously love M & D’s chunky puzzles. They have a great variety that works for the varying stages of toddlerhood. We have animals ones, a body part one and one I bought and saved back that is the left and right hand with parts for each finger that are numbered for counting! The one below is a current fav with my pre-toddler as he likes to try and get the shapes to fit in the correct spots. I love the colors and how each shape is labeled to0! Check out the puzzles here.

Caterpillar Gears Toddler Toy
This was a fun toy to introduce as Bubby started developing his gross motor skills. He was really into turning knobs and rotating objects so I was excited to pull this one out. He loves it. It’s another one that will be great for when we are really working on color recognition. The gears easily come on and off so he can start to practice matching the colors as he places them on the gears. Check out the gears here.

Toys I’m saving for Christmas and his birthday
* I’m excited to give him this specific Shape Sorting Cube Classic Toy . It’s a little different than a traditional shape sorter with more of a 3D effect and I love the basic colors to reinforce his color recognition.

*Deluxe Pounding Bench Toddler Toy This pounding toy is a little different than the tower. I like that he has more to pound and can work on his pencil holding skills to fit the pegs back into the hole before he can start pounding again.

*We got him these nesting and stacking blocks that we plan to give him for his 2nd birthday. I think he’ll enjoy the race cars that come with it! Check them out here.

*My favorite item I’m most excited about are these toddler stainless steel pots and pans! We have a little play kitchen for him and plan to throw this in with the 2nd birthday party! Woohoo!

So that’s my fav list for toddler toys from Melissa and Doug that I think are perfect to use with your 18 month to 24 month old! What about you mamas? Have any Melissa and Doug favorites or Toddler Favs for this age range?

Toys for Two Year Old. Toys for 18 to 24 month old. Toddler toys to develop motor skills.



45 Daily Activities to Do with a PreToddler (12-18mos)

,

What are some daily activities I can do with my pre-toddler (ages 12-18  months)?

I wake up with my coffee and think to myself, “What should I do with my boy today?” What activities do we have available to do with my 12 month old pre-toddler? Then I realized I should ask YOU GUYS what you do with your pre-toddlers and compiled some great responses.

If I am being honest, there have been times when I twiddle my thumbs trying to think of things to do with my 12 month old boy. I tend to be the obsessive kind who is always checking to see if I’m “stimulating” his development appropriately and all that nonsense. Thank God for my patient husband who is there to humor me when I get this great idea to model rubbing my tummy and patting my head and recording my singing voice so Bubby can hear it when I’m not there. OK, maybe I don’t go that far…or do I? But nevertheless, I needed a simple, basic list to reference for our daily schedule at home and it dawned on my that I should just write down what we like to do and post them in the house. Then, anytime Husband or I or a sitter need a quick idea, BAM we got one. We have plenty of blank space too so we can add more as he grows.

45 Daily ActivitiesPIN

I am sure I will make another one as he gets older and his abilities change, but for the short season of pre-toddlerhood, this list works just dandy in our house. Feel free to print this off for your household or Pin it for later!

I would LOVE to hear other ideas from you guys so give a shout out in the comments. 


PRINT THE LIST HERE. You can see the printable form below to see if it’s something you should have around the house. Cheers!

*Go to the pool.
*Play make believe with stuffed animals
*Walk on some trails nearby.
*Blow bubbles.
*Play-doh!
*Look at books.
*Go for a walk.
*Go to the park.
*Sidewalk chalk.
*Pack a picnic lunch in the park.
*Picnic in the backyard!
*Play in the water outside.
*Sing songs. Clap with baby. Act them out with baby. Raffi is my fav 😉
*Go to the local library.
*Rec classes for babies.
*Sort blocks.
*Stack cups.
*Use non-perishable food for sensory activity bin (beans, pasta, etc).
*Flour in a bowl for sensory fun!
*Play hide and seek.
*Put clothes in the basket and take them out, repeat.
*Rotate favorite toys to keep them favorites!
*Play with any of these favorite toys OUTSIDE!!!!
*Play in the grass! Feel the leaves and trees!
*Pull baby around on carpet in laundry basket.
*Bring the pool into the bathtub on the rainy days!
*Pick baby’s favorite book, make your own cut outs and act it out. Or just act it out!!
*Make a pillow fort!
*Play with puzzles. Chunky puzzles are the best for little’s  hands!
*Crunch alllll the paper!
*Organize toys.
*Color.
*Make an obstacle course in the house.
*Make cookies.
*Play Dates!
*Play peek a boo.
*Did I mention dancing???*Stickers are fun!
*Roll a ball back and forth.
*Finger paint.
*Race cars in the kitchen. (These ones with lights are pretty awesome!)
*Bouncy balls on the floor.
*Sort craft pom poms in muffin pan..
*Sort anything, anywhere!
*Build with blocks.

DailyListforPretoddlerJEG