Do you find yourself with a flurry of Holiday MomProblems on your hands this season? Between the Elf on the Shelf and the million gifts to buy, moms are finding that they are SLAMMED. The to-do list is never ending, and the requests to make more and more commitments seem like they’re never going to stop.
Between the Elf on the Shelf and the school functions, the gifts to purchase and then to wrap, and the endless amounts of cooking and baking that go on, you’re likely feeling as stressed as we are.
But never fear- you’re not alone. The Salty Mamas have been there and done that with pretty much all of the Holiday MomProblems you have. In no particular order, here are the things that are driving us crazy this holiday season.
We are getting into the Christmas with toddlers BIG TIME over here. My kids are all about Christmas, all the time. From the Elf on the Shelf to writing (and rewriting. And rewriting) letters to Santa, they’ve got the holidays on the brain in a big way.
So when I opened one of my (THOUSAND) Amazon packages from my Black Friday shopping and saw that it included this green bubble wrap, I knew just what to do with it- turn it into a process based Christmas art project for toddlers (which just so happens to include an ADORABLE product for you, too).
If you’re kids are as into the holidays as ours are, we know they’ll love this Christmas tree print-making activity using bubble wrap. Read on for the instructions on how to make it happen!
We’ve got this weird, love-hate relationship with playdough. The thing is that our kids love it, but the mamas? Well, we kind of hate it. But since there’s a ton of developmental benefits to playing with playdough (sensory experience, fine motor skill practice, hand strength, creativity, imaginative play)? The tie is gonna have to go to the kids on this one.
Because I personally get tired the squishy stuff, I try to step up my playdough game once in a while. I’ve found that homemade playdough keeps longer, for example, and that if I only make one color at a time my kids can’t drive me crazy by mixing colors together.
I change up our playdough activities regularly to keep things fresh, and this is so much easier to do around the holidays. From delicious scents to learning opportunities, there’s lots of holiday playdough activities for toddlers your kids are sure to love.
Growing up, one of The Salty Mamas (Christine) found her name on every pencil or bike license plate in town. While the other Mama (Jaymi) had more of a challenge. And while we didn’t veer too far outside of more traditional names, the internet means never having to miss out on awesome personalized gear. Which means amazing opportunities for personalized Christmas gifts for kids.
Here are some of our favorites, that might just be showing up under our trees this year.
My birthday is in October, and luckily for me, every beer garden in the world has decided to throw me a party complete with live music, tons of people and – of course – giant steins of beer. Now, I’m not delusional enough to think that every Oktoberfest in Long Beach is actually thrown in celebration of my birthday, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t spend many years taking full advantage of this easy to throw party. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Oktoberfest?!? But the harder question is, Who wants to go to Oktoberfest with kids?
Standing in front of a large crowd chugging a stein of beer just doesn’t have the same appeal when my three kids are part of the audience. But the truth is that somewhere along the line I ended up enjoying so much more about Oktoberfest than just the beer. And I found myself wanting to find a way to share some of that with my kids. Here are some cool ideas of ways to celebrate Oktoberfest with your kids.
This post was sponsored by Cool Cabins. As always, all thoughts and opinions are those of The Salty Mamas. You can read more at our legal page.
I don’t know why, but when it comes to kids’ Halloween costumes, my daughter can never choose something simple. I love her originality, but DANG does it create a lot of work for me. While all the other girls were busy being Sofia, she wanted to be Totoro. When Aurora was all the rage, she requested to be a “pink bakery chef.” And while I could easily have gotten a Moana costume off the rack last year, she insisted that I get her a kids’ Candyland costume.
And, as luck would have it, I DID find it on the rack. But it was more like Sexy Candyland Fairy, and she’s four, so that was never gonna fly with me.
Which means that, yet again, it was up to me to make it happen in the DIY toddler Halloween costume department. I typically sew her costumes (like Totoro), keeping it as simple as possible. But as (bad) luck would have it, my sewing machine broke down just before it was time to assemble her Candyland Halloween costume.
The good news is that this was actually a HUGE blessing in disguise. It forced me to get a little more creative with the costume (and, frankly, a little less crafty). Which means that anyone with a hot glue gun, puffy paint, some felt, and an Amazon Prime membership could make a kids’ Candyland Fairy Halloween costume, too. Follow along below for the instructions!
Another Saturday, another week of Mothering under our belt, another Saturday Six. Enjoy!
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1. Crafts and Cabin Fever
We’ve been housebound a lot recently thanks to rain, ear infections, and the dreaded flu. When we get cabin fever, we like to bust something out of our secret craft stash! This week, we looked forward to a break from the rain with this Hide and Seek Rock Painting kit that we can take outside when the clouds part! And you can’t go wrong with ANY of the craft kits from ALEX Toys! (But this one’s on sale for 50% off right now!)
2. We LOVE Low Mess Meals
Have you ever noticed how many delicious “One Pan” dishes there are on Pinterest? But then they’re all “We SAID one pan, but that’s really only if you have a cast iron skillet, and if you don’t then you need to use a regular skillet and then transfer into a baking dish, and I realize this changes EVERYTHING because you were really planning on this dinner when you pinned it and we lied to you about that one dish thing?”
Yeah, we’ve noticed it too. So Christine finally bit the bullet and bought this cast iron skillet and now she’ll never get screwed by Pinterest again. Well, until she tries to do some “kid friendly craft” that proves to be anything but…..
3. National Puppy Day
Is it any coincidence that Chad sent Christine a picture of puppies on National Puppy Day and suggested that one join the family? Spoiler alert: She said No. Or, more accurately, “HELL NO!” I mean, they’re cute and all, but puppies? Stay tuned and she’ll fill everyone in on the ten reasons she gave him for absolutely, under to circumstances, adding another family member let alone one covered in fur that will never be potty trained.
4. Christine is Having MAJOR Problems with Co-Sleeping.
Mainly, her kids all want to and she doesn’t. It’s like having a newborn again with all the shuffling kids back to their beds all night long. Or they stay and rub their feet on her all night long, which is worse. Christine and Chad considered getting an obscenely giant bed like this one from The Ace Collection, but knows they’d still end up getting pushed off the edge somehow. The struggle is real.
And if you haven’t ready any of that, well, now you have something to do while you drink your coffee! Or wine. We don’t judge.
6. Tragedy at Jaymi’s House
We love Abram, we really do, but we were not loving the way he threw Little Blue Truck across the room when he was done reading it peacefully. And we especially did not love the tragedy that befell the TV screen when it happened.
Help Jaymi not feel alone! Comment with the biggest tragic accident that’s happened at your house! And have a great weekend!
2. You may have heard that we won free Chick Fil A for a year, but we ALSO won a free Valentine’s Day Meal. Seriously y’all, we are SWIMMING in free chicken. You may not be willing to sleep in a parking lot for free chicken (because…well…REASONS), but PLEASE tell us you have the Chick Fil A One app installed on your phone. All you have to do is scan when you order, and you’ll get points that add up to free items. And if you’re anything like us, those orders- and those points!- add up fast.
3. Have you done one of those kid interviews that’s been floating around Facebook recently? We did them with our kids, and the answers were equal parts hilarious (Q: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A: A grown up. So I can make the rules) and so sticky sweet we could die (Q: What Makes You Happy? A: Hugging You). Our friend at All in A Dad’s Work asks his kids questions like these on the regular, and their answers are super insightful, and also sometimes super funny. We particularly liked this week’s questions. Go check them out!
5. We busted out our Marbled Shaving Cream Art at a playdate this week and it was a HIT. Each kid made five or six hearts a piece, and it totally stopped them from fighting was a great way to get some art in. And can I say, I kind of felt like super mom handing it off to their Mamas when they got picked up. We recommend busting out the green paint and some shamrock-shaped cardstock to bring it into the new season.
6. Our cruuuuiissseee is coming uuuuuuup! Look for some themed posts that will be going up this week, and get your rainbow tumblers ready. We’ve got a fun DIY headed your way so you can either A.) Cruise with your momsquad in style or B.) Have a virtual drink with The Salty Mamas.
Valentine’s is just around the corner, and we’re gonna be honest…we’re just not as into it as we were pre-kids. Nowadays it’s more about cutesy crafts and heart-shaped snacks. We’re mostly fine with that- but everyone once in a while we want to kick up the romance, too. So this week we’ve got a few tips for your sweet, kid-friendly Valentine’s day- but we’ve also got a few ways to take it up a notch (if you’re into that kind of thing).
As a preschool art teacher, I have to say that I strongly favor process-based art for kids. The research all shows that the true benefit of art for kids comes from the process of making something- mixing colors, experimenting with lines and swirls, and getting hands-on experience with creative expression. Your average Valentine’s Day art projects for kids, with their prescribed colors and shapes and outcomes, are typically not in line with process-based activities.
I’m also a mother. I want some art for my dang refrigerator, gosh darn it.
So I’ve created this fun, process based art activity that will end with a product that you can display. By limiting the colors you present the kids with (pink, purple, and red for example), you can ensure that this process based Valentine’s Day art project stays on theme- and the kids will be none the wiser.