Easy Easter Bucket & Other Easter Activities

I’ve been looking for a small Easter basket for Emma but it seems like a lot of the ones sold in stores are big (Emma is really small for her age). I recently saw this easy diy one using a store bought pail from the $1 bin at Target.

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All you do is print onto sticker paper and cut out these cute easter stickers

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And stick them on the bucket!

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I should have taken a picture of Emma holding the bucket so you could see how small it really is. It’s the perfect size for her!

The same website, And We Play, provides the same pictures as coloring sheets!

Some other easy/fun Easter activities and links:
Easter egg coupons – Fill your plastic easter eggs with these coupons instead of candy!
Baby’s first easter basket – cute items to include in your little one’s first basket
Ice Eggs – this looks so fun! Hopefully where you live is warm enough for this activity
Natural Egg Dye Tutorial – I’m really interested in trying these out
How to host a glow in the dark easter egg hunt – um YES PLEASE! I can’t wait til my kids are old enough for this!

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Easter Events Around North Orange County

Last year Emma was a little too young to enjoy Easter so I’m excited to look for some fun Easter events for her this year. Here are the ones I’ve been eyeing:

CERRITOS:
Annual Easter Bunny Garden Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on April 2nd at the Los Cerritos Center. There will be an Easter Bunny, flower crafts, bunny snacks (provided by Red Robin) and it’s all free!

COSTA MESA:
8Th Annual Costa Mesa Easter Festival & Treasure Hunt will be at the Orange County Market Place Saturday, April 19th 9:30am – 2:30pm. There will be free photos with the Easter Bunny, Easter Brunch with gourmet food trucks (9:30am – 2:30pm), a Treasure Hunt (10am-2pm), face painting, a puppet show (11am & 1pm) and more. Click here for a free admission coupon:

FOUNTAIN VALLEY :
Fountain Valley Recreation and Community Services Department hosts the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19th at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst Street from 8:30am-11:30am. Event includes free carnival games, crafts, balloon artists, inflatable rides, and more! Enjoy a pancake breakfast for $5, elephant rides for $5, and take pictures with the Easter Bunny for $2 each.

GARDEN GROVE:
Eggscavation will be at Atlantis Play Center on Saturday, April 12th 11:00am-2:00pm. This event offers kid-friendly activities including arts and crafts, face painting, carnival games, a moon bounce and petting zoo. Egg hunts will take place in age groups and the event is limited to the first 300 children. Tickets are on sale at the Recreation Counter located on the first floor of City Hall: 11222 Acacia parkway. $7 for children ages 3-10, $2 for spectators 11 and up. Tickets will go on sale at G.G. City Hall March 24th.

HUNTINGTON BEACH:
The City of Huntington Beach Community Services Department will host their 24th Annual Easter Hunt 9:00am-2:00pm Saturday, April 19th at Central Park Sports Complex. The event will feature an egg hunt, game booths, entertainment, exhibits, pictures with the Easter Bunny and refreshments.

IRVINE:
The Rabbit Run 5K takes place on Sunday, April 13th 9:00am at Concordia University. Grab a few eggs and goodies along the way or linger your way through. Either run, hunt, jog, stroll, roll or trike it. Families can bring strollers, bikes, tricycles but kids must wear helmets. Kids can ride scooters, bikes or be pulled in wagons.

The Irvine Park Railroad is also hosting their annual Easter Eggstravaganza which includes easter egg hunts, photos with the Easter bunny, moon bounce, hay ride, easter cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting, and of course their train ride. Click here to see prices, the schedule, and coupons.

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For more events around OC, check out this list at Plan A Day Out

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Favorite iPad Apps For 1-2 Year Olds

I’m so conflicted when it comes to the iPad. Emma has always been super clingy and rarely plays on her own. The only time I can get her to do something on her own is either watching TV or playing on the iPad. So even though I hate being dependent on it, I’m simultaneously grateful for it. Part of me worries about her developing ADHD or being overstimulated from too much screen time but another part of me believes she’s actually learning something from some of these apps! Plus, they are honestly a savior on airplanes. Here’s a roundup of some of Emma’s favorite apps she’s been playing for the past several months:

Endless Alphabet ($6.99) – I got this one when it was free and I can see why they are charging for it now! It’s a very popular app with the kids and designed so well. The game is like a puzzle of a word and you have to drag the letters into their positions. While you are dragging the letters it makes the noise of the sound the letter makes and when you complete the word it plays a cartoon explaining the definition of the word. Emma loves this one.

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PBS Kids Video (Free) – This is hands down Emma’s favorite app. It’s probably my most hated app because it’s not very educational in my opinion. It’s just an app that plays a bunch of PBS shows. Emma’s favorites are Daniel Tiger, Caillou, Syd The Science Kid, and Martha Speaks. The cool thing about this app is it’s very easy for kids to navigate between the different shows. Emma mostly loves watching the opening credits because she loves songs and they are so catchy.

Kids Game Club Apps By TabTale (Free/$3.99) – This company makes a ton of apps…they are all pretty similar with different theme songs. Emma loves them all but she especially loves Wheels On The Bus, one of her favorite songs. The app also includes a bunch of mini games that Emma enjoys.

Zoo Train ($1.99) – I don’t know if it’s Emma’s male cousins influence on her but she loves trains! This one also has a couple of train themed mini games.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox ($1.99) – This is a great app that teaches counting, shapes, colors, and matching. I have to help Emma with some of the games but she mostly gets it.

Kids Beat Baby (Free) – This music app comes with 2 songs with the option to purchase more. Again, if your child loves songs they will love this app! It has cute illustrations and instruments your child can play along with the song.

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Elmo Calls ($.99) – What kid doesn’t love Elmo? This one is so cute…Elmo pretends to call or facetime you with cute little messages.

What are your kids’ favorite apps?

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2 Videos You Should Watch

This first video speaks so much to me. Lately, I have just been feeling so frustrated about my lack of good parenting skills. I think us moms are a lot harder on ourselves than we should be, right?

A New Perspective For Moms from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

And Jimmy Kimmel’s kid videos always make me laugh. This one is just as good as previous years.

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Emma’s Favorite Books At 17 Months

So sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted…My husband and I got addicted to Breaking Bad and were binge watching the show whenever we had any free time!

Anyways, back to the topic of this post: Emma’s favorite books! It’s really important to me that Emma loves reading. I love it when we are able to find a book that she enjoys and wants me to read again and again. When she says “again?” it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. I have noticed she is picky about which books she likes and I’m not even sure why she will like one book and not another book. I do notice she likes books that rhyme or have pictures of things she can name. She doesn’t like super wordy books or “artsy” looking books. Here’s a sampling of her favorites right now (you can click on the picture to go to the Amazon page to read more about it):

1. Dr Seuss’s ABC – This has been the only Dr Seuss book she has any interest in but she loves this one. I do notice she loves the alphabet and she particularly likes the pages where she can name the items. Sometimes she gets too bored before we make it to the end though since this is a more wordy book than she usually enjoys. But whenever she sees it she says “ABC ABC” to get me to read it.

2. Brush, Brush, Brush! – I was desperate to get Emma brushing her teeth (she refused for the longest time!) so I thought of getting her a book about brushing her teeth. This one is read to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and Emma LOVES it. She always asks me to read this one over and over again. And it worked in helping her to brush her teeth! So we really love this book in our house. My only complaint is the last line in the book is always awkward for me to sing…it never sounds right!

3. Goodnight Moon – Every kid seems to love this book. This was one of the first books I noticed Emma had an interest in and she still likes it to this day! She loves saying “shhhh” when we get to the part about the old lady.

4. Pat The Bunny – Another old favorite of Emma’s. She just loves going through the motions of each page. I wish there were more books like this!

5. Dear Zoo – Emma LOVES animals and she loves lifting the flaps in this book

6. Where Is My Bellybutton – Another flap book that Emma loves. She loves lifting her own shirt up to find her bellybutton too! This book is also great for learning body parts

7. Munchkin Traveling Flash Cards – This is not a book but I thought it was worth mentioning since Emma loves flipping through these cards and learning the names of different animals. She also loves the counting pages!

8. Lastly, I wanted to mention the book that is probably Emma’s favorite right now. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anywhere to buy it online and I’m not sure if it’s sold in any bookstores either. I got it from Target in the $1 bin. It’s a Sesame Street book called Eyes, Nose, Fingers & Toes and it’s got the different characters telling you to do something different with your body parts like “wiggle your fingers”, “touch your nose”, “count your eyes”….which Emma enjoys because we all go through the motions together. She calls this the “nose” book!

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Cheapest Places To Find Your Halloween Costumes

I’m on the hunt for Halloween costumes. Not ready to share our theme for this year yet since I’m not 100% sure we are doing it but I thought I would share my experience with finding cheap Halloween costumes.

Of course I check Craigslist first and then Ebay. If I don’t find what I am looking for there, here is a great link to 12 Halloween websites you can peruse. They even have a handy dandy chart comparing the prices with all of the stores!

12 Sites To Find Your Halloween Costume Cheap

Wholesale Costume Club looks to be the cheapest in general but you will want to look up your specific costume to find the cheapest price.

Lastly, if you have any consignment stores nearby…those are worth checking out too!

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Emma’s Favorite Thing Right Now: Munchkin Bath Letters & Numbers

We’ve had our ups and downs with bath time. Sometimes she goes through phases where she loves it and sometimes she hates it. I think she started hating it after realizing she hates getting her hair doused with water and having it get in her eyes. Man for the longest time she was dreading it and would want to get out of the bathtub as soon as I started soaping up her hair. Recently we figured out a routine that has helped and she is loving bath time again. She has always loved bath toys. One of her favorites was this windup dolphin we bought from the aquarium. I can’t find it online but it’s tiny and swims in the water. She would always try to catch it with her hands. We played with it so much that finally one day it just up and died on us. RIP windup dolphin.

Recently, I bought these highly rated bath letters and numbers made by Munchkin. Oh my goodness….she LOVES these things! She spends the whole bath time sticking them on the wall. I have been trying to get her to sort them by colors since we are working on colors right now. While she is busy sticking them on the wall, I quickly scrub her down.

(Only $6.99 and totally worth every penny!!!)

They are AWESOME! She looks forward to bath time now. When I start running the water, she tries to climb into the tub before I even have her diaper off! hehe. As for her hair, we’ve discovered it takes a team to wash it. Husband will hold her with her head back while I douse it with water. She is starting to learn that when we do it this way the water does not get in her eyes so she just whimpers a little…but no more tears!!! Yay!

BTW, if you are looking for a true tear-free shampoo…I highly recommend California Baby

This would be a great gift for a 1 year old’s birthday. Throw in a cute animal towel and you’re all set!

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Some Lego Hot Deals

I’ve been meaning to get Emma her first Lego set. Luckily I saw this Lego Duplo set on sale for $16 (regular $25) and it’s ZOO themed!!! Emma loves animals right now AND we will be going to the Wild Animal Park in SD next month so this is perfect for her. I can’t wait for it to arrive so she can play with it. I love Amazon Prime!

I am also very tempted to get Emma these Mega Bloks….it’s only $10 at Toys R Us!!! But I’ve been wanting to get her her first baby doll to play with and I don’t want to be spoiling her with all of these new toys. What to do! I think I will hold off on these for now and just let her play with the Zoo set first.

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Things To Do This Weekend (9/27) With Kids in LA/OC

There’s a lot of fun activities available this weekend. Can’t decide what we’ll be doing!

1. LA County Fair – It’s the last weekend for the LA fair. We went to the OC one awhile back and Emma had a blast, especially at the petting zoo so we definitely want to hit up the LA one before it’s gone. They have tons of events for the kiddos!

2. The Orange County Children’s Book Festival – I’ve never been to this but it looks fun and it’s FREE! There will be storytelling, crafts, and even a train ride.

3. Tanaka Farms – This is where we’ve been going for our pumpkin patch Halloween outing and it’s always tons of fun. Their opening weekend is this weekend and they are giving free wagon rides (normally $5) if you bring 2 canned goods!!

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OC Playgrounds To Visit

Just a note to myself of some playgrounds that I’d like to visit:

1. Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park in Irvine – Voted 2nd best park in Orange County (1st was Atlantis). One review said that it has a lot of ramps instead of steps and since Emma is just learning how to walk it might be more safe for her but I do see steps in some pictures in another review. The equipment looks nice, new, and well designed. The park itself is very expansive.

2. Fullerton Sports Complex – This is the first fully covered playground I’ve seen in Orange County. If anyone knows of any other ones please share! It has a lot of contraptions for climbing. Check out the pictures here. I wish other playgrounds had a covering like this!!

3. Irvine Regional Park – A very popular park that we haven’t visited yet. It includes a zoo and a train among other interesting features! From now until Halloween they also have their pumpkin patch/halloween event so it would be a great time to check it out.

Any socal parks you love and would like to share with me? We are always looking to explore new, fun spaces to play at!

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