Outdoor Toddler Learning Activities

It's summer and my busy toddler loves being outside.  We are in the process of selling our home and try to keep it in immaculate condition most of the time.  This can be challenging with a little boy who just wants to have fun and play with all of his toys.  I have found myself trying to keep our little guy out of my way more often so I can focus on a spotless house.  I have realized that I need to get my most important focus back on track and plan daily activities for us to do outside.  This way our house will stay clean and Rylan will be happy he gets to be outside.

Here are a few fun activities:

1.  Water balloon Fun:  Blow up water balloons in different colors.  Talk about the different colors of balloons while playing.  Play catch, throw them through a small basketball hoop, see how high in the air they can go.  Skills: Colors, gross motor
2. Car Painting:  Tape down a long sheet of paper.  I used the back side of wrapping paper.  Have your child dip the cars into the paint and drive around on the paper.  You can create a car track around the paper or a start and finish line.

3.Ice Cube Painting: Fill ice trays with water and a drop of food coloring in each cube.  Once they harden, let your kids paint on paper with ice. Skills: Colors, fine motor, written language

4. Fishing for Letters: Fill a kiddie pool or large bowl with magnetic letters.  Let your child fish for the letters with a magnetic fishing rod.  Skills: Hand eye coordination, concentration, letters, colors

5. Chalk: Talk about the colors, what you are drawing, and write letters or names.  Skills: Fine motor, written language, colors, numbers, words

6. Bubbles: I never understood why bubbles were so popular until I had a toddler of my own.  I am amazed at the love children have for bubbles.  We incorporate counting by counting each bubble that Rylan pops.  Skills: Gross motor, counting

7.Water bombs: Cut up sponges and attach together to make balls that you can soak up with water to make water bombs.  Throw them at targets or play catch.

8. Water beads: You can buy water beads at The Dollar Tree.  There are so many different things your child can do with these beads that will him or her busy for hours.

What are some things that you do to keep your active toddler busy and out of trouble?

Pizza Pizza! Easy Homemade Pizza and Mountain Mike's Pizza

This pregnancy I have had one main craving and that is Pizza.  I haven't given into that craving too often, but when I do, my favorite way is by making homemade pizzas with my little guy and my recent discovery, eating at Mountain Mike's Pizza.  My little guy is almost 2, but he sure loves to help in the kitchen and making pizzas with his mommy is a great way for him to help.  While we often end up with clumps of olives and piles of cheese, that's just fine because my little boy is having a blast and learning how to help in the kitchen.

My cute little pizza chef.

Easy Homemade Pizza Recipe
1. Rhodes Rolls, thawed to room temperate. (I usually leave them in the fridge over night and then about 30 minutes before I make the pizzas I take the rolls out of the fridge and let them get to room temperature.
2. Can Pizza Sauce/ Pasta Sauce
3. 2 cups grated cheese (your favorite kind)
4.  Meat toppings such as: Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, Sausage
5.  Vegetable toppings such as"  Onions, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, tomatoes
1. Spray baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.
2.  Depending on your preferred pizza size, combine 2 rolls together or use just 1 roll per pizza.  Roll into a circle and place on baking sheet.
3. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
4.  Remove plastic wrap.  Spread sauce over crust.
5.  Add cheese and all your favorite toppings.  We have each family member make their own pizza just the way they like it.
6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and cooked all the way through.

Our homemade finished products.
Making homemade pizza is a lot of fun and tastes great, but it is also a lot of fun to go out with the family for pizza too.  It's nice not having a mess to clean up after.  Going into a sit down pizza parlor always reminds me of trophies and my early years end of sporting season parties.
Mountain Mike's Pizza in South Jordan, Utah
       I was invited to an event at Mountain Mike's Pizza this week and brought my little family with me.  I've had friends mention how much they like eating at Mountain Mike's, but never checked it out myself.  I am glad I got the opportunity to see for myself how great Mountain Mike's really tastes.  Not only is their food delicious, but they have great service too.

  My family enjoyed the all you can eat buffet that includes pizza, soda, salad bar, pasta, garlic sticks, and dessert pizza.  I love that they provide the option of a buffet.  My family always has the hardest time deciding on what pizza to buy, especially since there is just two adults and a toddler, we only really need one pizza.  A buffet allows us to each get the pizza we want and try a few different types of pizza.  While at Mountain Mike's my family each had their own favorites.   My husband definitely  loved their dessert pizza which has cinnamon on top.  My favorite was the Chicken Club pizza and cheesy garlic bread stick.  My toddler enjoyed the cheese pizza and mandarin oranges off the salad bar.
I love having an assortment of pizzas to try.
The dessert pizza is so delicious.  It was tempting to not eat it first.
Mountain Mike's Menu
 My family went to Mountain Mike's a second time to get a Medium Pizza. We went with the Diamondhead (Hawaiian Pizza).  It was so delicious.  While we were waiting for our pizza to bake, an employee brought us out some extra bread sticks that they had and told us, "They're on the house."  It seems like most places you go to these days will just throw out any extra food or messed up orders. It was great to see them making use of left overs and establishing a great relationship with their customers.  What a fun and delicious surprise.  Thanks Mountain Mike's for the delicious food and great service. 
    Right now through August 31st they have a birthday special going on.  You can buy any medium or large pizza and get another one for just $7.  Grab your family or a few friends and try them out.  Mountain Mike's address is 2785 W South Jordan Parkway.  Go check them out.  You won't be disappointed.

Mountain Mike's website:  http://www.mtnmikesutah.com/

*Mountain Mike's provided my family with delicious food, but all opinions are mine.  Thank's again Mountain Mike's Pizza.

Baby Sprinkle

I learned something new.  Did you know that when you have a baby shower for somebody that already has a child it is called a "Baby Sprinkle"?  I threw my first Baby Sprinkle in February (I know, I am way behind) for my friend who was having her first boy.   A baby sprinkle usually isn't as "big" of a party as a baby shower.  The day of the baby sprinkle I was extremely busy and had a toddler to chase around, so I didn't do a very good job taking pictures.

    I had a bunch of circle cut outs that I used to put on a plain white table cloth.  The color scheme I used included different blues, greens, and cream.  The circles kind of gave you a "sprinkle" feel.
Ignore the wrinkled tablecloth :(

     We had ice cream sundaes as treats that included vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, crushed strawberries, bananas, crushed oreos, cookies, brownies, and of course sprinkles.  I was in such a hurry that I didn't get any pictures of the food or final baby sprinkle decorations.
     For drinks I covered water bottles with labels.  I just sliced some scrapbook paper into strips and added a sticker to the center.  Then I taped a strip onto each water bottle.

I put sprinkle streamers on the wall.  I made these by sewing a straight line of circles together, leaving a little room in between each circle.
We didn't really play any games, but did a fun little activity.  We explored a variety of gender wives tales to see if the mommy to be "really" was going to be having a boy.  Luckily, according to the wives tales, she was having a boy, only by one extra wives tale.  Here is a list of wives tales that we asked and checked with her.  

Carrying the Baby
Carrying low
Carrying high
Morning sickness
Not a lot
A lot
Face shape
Gets longer and narrow
Gets fuller and rounder
Carrying the Baby
Carrying in front
Carrying horizontally
Getting wider
Staying the same
Ring on a string
Swings in a circle
Swings back and forth
Dreams about a boy
Dreams about a girl
Sleep preference
Prefer to sleep on left side
Prefer to sleep on right side
Dad’s weight
Stays the same
Shows hands
Shows hands palms down
Shows hands palms up
More clumsy now
Nothing changes
Picks up a key
Round part
Narrow part

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich "BLTs"

 Something about BLTs scream summer time to me.  It seems like most people who have a garden always have way too many tomatoes and don't know what to do with them all.  BLTs are a great meal to use up some of those garden ripe tomatoes.  

Bread, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Ranch dressing, Mayonnaise, Avocados (optional) 

1. Fry the bacon. 
2. Cut the lettuce and tomatoes.
3. Toast the Bread
4. Spread mayonnaise or ranch dressing on the bread.
5. Make your own BLT just the way you like it by adding your preferred amount of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes.
6. Enjoy!