Amy Beth

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cars Galore Birthday Party!

Charlie only says two words clearly and with any regularity. One is “Mama.” The other is “cars.” So when planning for his 2nd birthday party it only seemed fitting that cars should be the theme of the day. I wanted him to be able to tell us what a fun time he was having, after all.

For the most part we kept things small and simple – much like last year. Some family came. We opened presents. We ate cake. We did a couple car themed activities and then took advantage of a rare warm(ish) day and played outside. It was a lovely day!

The Cake

Race car themed birthday cake

The cake this year was actually brownies. This saved me from having to ice a whole cake. It also kept it to a reasonable size. I baked the brownies in a round cake pan and used some decorating icing to draw a road going around the cake. Green icing was applied to resemble grass and bushes, and matchbox cars were set on the road. I thought using the toy cars gave a really nice effect on the cake while keeping it super simple. And Charlie loved getting to play with the cars once we cut into the cake.

Birthday cake for a car themed party

Tire Track Painting

Our first activity was a painting made with tire tracks. Due to his love of cars Charlie was much more engaged in this activity than the finger painting we did last year. The main skill requirement for the craft was driving toy cars around on the paper, so he was already an expert in how to do it.

Tire Track Painting

We started with a long sheet of paper (with a plastic tablecloth underneath to cut down on the mess to clean up) and paper plates for each color of paint. To keep it looking somewhat attractive, I picked out four coordinating colors to work with rather than just giving him every color under the sun.

Tire Track Painting: use toy cars to create tire track prints on paper.

Then we ran the wheels of the tires through the paint and drove them around on the paper. I tried to find tires with interesting ridges and textures so the tracks would have some variety.

Tire Track Painting: make a fun abstract painting using toy cars instead of paintbrushes!

This craft resulted in a pretty fun abstract painting that I plan to hang on a big empty wall in his room.

Clean up was pretty simple. We threw away the plastic table cloth and paper plates, wiped up any smudges from the floor (we used washable paint) and moved the paint covered cars to our next activity – a car wash!

 

Shaving Cream Car Wash

The car wash kept Charlie busy for much longer than I expected. Everyone else had moved on and were visiting in another room while Charlie kept washing his cars.

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We started with two large plastic bins. We filled one with shaving cream and one with water. From there Charlie just moved cars back and forth from one bin to the other. He’s get a car all foamy in the shaving cream, then rinse it off with the water, lather, rinse, repeat.

Shaving cream car wash

 

Shaving cream car wash

 

It was so fun to see Charlie actually engage in these activities and enjoy his special day. It’s amazing how much he’s learned and changed in the past year. It makes me think that next year’s party will be even more fun!

For more party ideas and inspiration, check out my DIY Party pinterest board!

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Activity Advent Calendar

Our advent calendar.

Our advent calendar.

For about a year I’ve been planning to make an Activity Advent Calendar for Christmas. Despite the plan, I still didn’t get it done until 2 days after Advent had commenced, but no one but me really seemed to mind. So just in case you’re looking for some some late-start advent ideas, I thought I’d go ahead and share what I did. (Or maybe you’ll be cooler than me and tuck this idea away for next year and actually get it done on time!) Anyway, back to the calendar. I love the idea of being intentional about celebrating the season and creating family memories. I also knew that Charlie would be just old enough to enjoy some special activities each day. We are just beginning to form our family Christmas traditions, and I feel like this advent calendar is something that will grow with us through the years.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Make Your Own Menu Planning Board

Meal Planning Board

I’ve long admired those cute little menu planning boards that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest. I assume that people with such boards must be super crafty and organized and have some kind of magical craft-and-organize time in their days.

But it turns out that’s not really the case because I made myself a menu planning board. It is moderately cute and I got it done in one evening after my boy was in bed and before I hit my daily wall of exhaustion. Here’s how it went down.

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