Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mommy to Mommy QA Playing with Kiddos

Welcome to Week 3 of Mommy To Mommy Thursdays Q&A!  This week we are discussing Playing with Kiddos! 

Here are the lovely ladies answering questions this week!

SaraFrom Confessions of a Redheaded Mama

Sara started blogging because she just needed an outlet for her thoughts.  She mainly blogs about her every day life and include some of her favorite recipes and random thoughts on reality tv etc. 

Hi!  I'm Brittany!  I am married to my amazing husband Shawn & am a working mommy of one!  God blessed our family with our beautiful & amazing daughter, Leightyn, in September 2011!  I am blessed with an amazing job as a Speech-Language Pathologist in our local school district.  The Denny Buzz details the life of our family, our loves, crafts, recipes & more!  

Renee is a coffee drinking, Iphone addicted mama of a 1 year-old girl who just returned to work after a years maternity leave. She blogs about everything to do with baby from labour and delivery to favourite books and art projects. 

Q- In our house it seems to be a free for all play all day kind of thing - though we have somewhat of a routine we don’t have any kind of schedule.  What does play time look like at your house? 
Sara: We don’t have a very structured schedule.   We just play with whatever is fun.  Sometimes it’s going outside and blowing bubbles or running through the sprinkler and then sometimes it’s playing with blocks. 
Brittany:  During the summer when I am off, play time starts in the morning after she eats breakfast.  I have a large basket of toys in our living room and she loves to sit by it and pull out various toys to play with.  I like to give her some alone play time first & at various times throughout the day.  I've always done this and it really encouraged her to learn to entertain herself at times which allows me a break but she's still having fun!  She loves to look at books, talk to her babies, push her walking toy around, etc.  Then we will play together either on the floor or in the kitchen on the floor with tupperware.   
Renee: Pretty much when Princess Peach isn't sleeping or eating it is playtime in our house. I do try to include different types of play within her playtime such art or gym type play but often it's a free-for-all.

Q- Play at our house usually results in a massive mess!  What about you gals?  I have tried the only getting one toy type out at a time kind of thing but it always ends that we have a million and one toys all over the house!  How do you keep playtime from being a destructive time?
Sara: Yes  my house usually looks like a tornado hit it.  I try the whole we need to put a toy back before we take one out and it hasn’t really worked.  I’m a softie.  Since Little Bear has started his toddling classes at the YMCA I have noticed a huge improvement in him being more willing to clean up.  If he is done playing inside we need to clean that up before going out or vice versa.
Brittany: I honestly do not mind play time resulting in a mess!  It's natural for kiddos to move from toy-to-toy & a mess to me means a happy baby!  I actually rarely notice the chaos on the floor because that's what my job entails during the school year!  During nap time or when she goes to bed is a great time to gather everything up and place it back in the basket for the next play time!  
Renee: It's a mess in our house too but so far it's contained to one room. So if she makes a mess in the morning before daycare we can always shut the door and deal with it at the end of the day.

Q- I have been trying to do different activities with my kids lately and have found tons of ideas and websites through pinterest!  Where do you go for new ideas and inspirations?
Sara: Inspiration from other mommy blogs and of course Pinterest.  Seriously,I saw Misty let her kids draw on her and do finger painting with pudding and one day I will get brave enough to try those.
I love the site Hands on as We Grow.     I think they have some great ideas and one of my favorites was promoting fine motor skills. 
Another site I like is I Can Teach My Child  They have educational printables and good craft ideas.
Brittany: Pinterest and simple google searches are a great place to start!  Being a SLP I have a lot of ideas in my mind of fun things to do because my job requires constant activities to make learning fun!  To brainstorm some of your own, think of a subject or theme, think of basic materials you have around to make it, and then test it out!  Lots of times I'll start to make something & realize it's not going to work or it will turn into something even better.  It's all about trial & error!   
Renee: I love pinterest! I've gotten some amazing ideas from people's boards. I am compiling some great ideas because Princess Peach is almost 13 months old which is too young for many of these activties/ideas.
Here's is the link to my arts and crafts board on pinterest:

Q - Do you have any good organization tips?
Sara: I do strive to be organized I really really do, but with playing I am relaxed.  As long as all the toys make it back to the toy box I am happy.
Brittany: My best organization tip is a huge basket!  It's a great "catch-all"!  Find a cute one that coordinates with your room decor and it will be a great accent piece to your room!  I found an oversized picnic basket that's the perfect shade of yellow to match our living room.  As she gets older and toys get bigger and more prevalent, I am thinking of getting a cabinet and sprucing it up to match our living room décor
Renee: In our playroom we have an entire closet devoted to all of baby's toys. I purchased two huge buckets that were orignially meant for drinks from the seasonal section. They are soft rubber and hold tons of toys. It's easy for clean up and having a door to hide the toys at other times is great.
As I'm starting to introduce puzzles keep puzzle pieces when not in use in a plastic ziploc style bag velcroed to the back. This way all of the pieces won't get lost when you aren't using them.

Q - I want to do family game nights but my kids are so young! Do you guys have them? What do you guys like to play? Any suggestions for toddlers?
Sara: We don’t have game night, but we do play games  together.  Little Bear  is getting better at understanding Candyland and we have a Toy Story memory game that he is quite good at.  Next on my list of games to purchase is Hungry Hungry Hippos.  I think that is a fun game for young kids.
Brittany: A fun game for toddlers is a magnetic fishing set from Lakeshore learning (  They also have letters and numbers you can "fish" for when they get older!  
Renee: Not game nights for us yet. Baby is too young! I can't wat to play fun boardgames with her!

Q - what is the 1 toddler toy that you say every kid should have?
Sara: A Fisher Price Little People’s set.  My son loves to play with the zoo and I like to watch him make the animals “talk”.  It really does help spark their imaginative play.
Brittany: I think every toddler should have dot painters (!  They are so much fun!!  Not only is it a fun art project it's a great fine-motor activity!  
Renee: Sounds silly but balls. My daughter absolutely loves them and she could stay busy playing with a ball for a very long time! There are some many fun things you can do with a ball like kicking, throwing, catching, hiding it, rolling it. It is also a portable toy and can go anywhere with you.

Q - Do you have any creative play ideas you would like to share?
Sara: Umm, this isn’t very creative , but we love to have dance parties.  I blast (not enough to hurt his ears) some fun music and we jump around the room and dance.  It gets his wild energy out and this mama gets some exercise.  Ashamed to admit I get out of breath.  The best part is we just act silly and giggle a whole lot.  No fancy, expensive toy needed!
Brittany: Two fun activities you can do at home are (1) get a cookie sheet and any fun magnets you have!  I had some ABC magnets and put those on the sheet and she really enjoys it!  (2)  another fun idea is to take a flashlight into a dark room and turn it on.  The first time I did this, Leightyn was just mesmorized by it!  She was able to discover things when the light would shine on them & it was a great time for vocabulary exposure.  Take glow in the dark items into the room and have fun!  I saw glow in the dark balloons at Walmart the other much fun!!   Another fun activity I ran across on a blog is this Toddler Activity Table!  Such an awesome idea!  (please link the highlighted words to this:
Renee: I have done two really fun art projects with baby! Here are the links to my blog so you can try them at home too!
Edible finger paint

Thank you so much girls for your asnwers!  They helped me tons! Especially to know that I am not alone! My house isnt the only one that gets chaotic from time to time!
Here are 2 of my pinterest boards that are filled with tons of toddler crafts, activities, blogs etc! Love me some Pinterest! Ha
I hope you enjoyed todays Mommy to Mommy and come back next week for some fun with Eating with Kids!
I am looking for October Topics, Question Ideas and Participants! Email me at if you have any ideas or want to participate!


  1. Oh man, our house totally turns into a disaster zone, um, ALL DAY! I try to get the kids to help pick up, put away most things before dinner so that after dinner we have more quiet activities, some TV time and reading before bed without tripping over everything else.

  2. You are the featured blog on this weeks TGIF Blog Hop

  3. This was a fun read! I LOVE reading about other Momma's!!

    p.s. new follower :)

  4. Family game night is one of our favorite times! We even try to invite other friends, both bigs and littles.. our little is five and loves Trouble, Headbandz and Operation. (And the bigs are pretty fond of them too!)

  5. This is a fun idea, it's always great to know what other mama's are up to. I'm here from the TGIF hop. Glad to meet you, and following too.


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