FREE Doctor Play Set Printables

Does your little one love to play pretend?

It seems like everytime I come around a corner, there’s another set of dress-up or pretend play out of it’s basket in our home! We’re always using our imagination to be Dr.s, Astronauts, Construction Workers, Teachers, you name it! To make their set up more fun, I created this adorable Doctor play kit!

Add this free printable set to your little Doc’s kit for free!

*Laminate for best results!

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Download your free Doctor Printable Set HERE!


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The Happening Housewife Blog | copyright 2018 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com

FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern

Hey guys!

Did yesterday’s Secrets to DIY-ing Felt Food post have you itching to start creating your own?

Because our entire Mexican Felt Food set turned out to be such a hit, I knew a post all of it’s own would stand strong on it’s feet. So, scroll below to get your FREE Mexican Felt Food Patterns!

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Before you begin, make sure to read the entire post from yesterday if you haven’t already! (It will save you time + frustration!)


 

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what you’ll need:

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Next, download your FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern Set !

For any questions, comment below!

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Happy crafting!

 

 

The Secret to DIY Felt Food! + FREE Taco Shack Printable Set!

In recognition of Cinco De Mayo last week, the boys and I dedicated our lessons to all things Mexico!

We had tacos for dinner, salsa with lunch, and of course, what’s a little celebratory play without matching felt food?!

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After a quick trip to our favorite place, cough, Hobby Lobby, cough, and loading up on every felt color imaginable, I thought I’d be able to dive right in and come up with these really awesome, totally easy felt munchies in no time. WRONG. There were a few things I wish I’d known BEFORE wasting literally 10 sheets of felt. So, to save you from making the same small mistakes I did, keep reading!


  • Tip NUMERO UNO: SCISSORS. DAMN GOOD SCISSORS.

Before you even think about starting to cut your felt, for the love of all that is Holy, please invest in a good pair of scissors. I like these and these (<< Pinking Sheers) best! A good pair of fabric scissors will save you from hours of misery while trying to tear the felt apart with dull scissor blades, your children hearing you shout inappropriate words at said felt, and raggedy edges that make your food look more like frazzled blobs than tacos and burritos

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This is a life saver. When it comes time to sew your felt pieces together, this stuff works wonders. Cut a piece of Heat N Bond to the size you need, flip it onto the backside of your felt sheet, and iron with a home iron. Next, just cut your shape out from your felt and iron it onto your backing piece! (For the onions you see here, Heat N Bond went onto the white felt and the white felt was then ironed onto the purple and trimmed!)

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When creating felt anything for littles, I always spend the extra few cents on the heavier felt sheets (2mm-3mm). It stands the test of time, gives your food a more realistic and 3 dimensional feel, and of course, doesn’t necessary need to be doubled up if you’d rather not put a stitch in every single piece of food you create.

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There you have it!

Now, you’re totally prepared to dive in and make your own DIY felt food.

Actually, wait! I take that back.

First, download this FREE Taco Shack Printable Set: Taco Shack Play Labels   Taco Shack Menu  Taco Shack Open + Closed Signs to occupy your littles while you’re making their felt food! (*Print on heavy card stock + laminate for long lasting results!)

Next, grab this FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern to use as a guide when creating your felt masterpiece!

Alright, now you’re ready, and TOTALLY prepared to knock the socks off your kids’ feet when they see what you’ve made with your “I Can Do All The Things” mama hands!

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Pop-Oh-Ver | BEST Kids Toy for Pretend Play! + a GIVEAWAY!

Calling ALL parents of the world!

Role call, roll call!

I have come across something spectacular, something amazing, something that will make your kid’s pretend play hour 1 MILLION times better for YOU!

I know, you’re already dying to know what it is, sitting and waiting for me to tell you all about it. Here’s the thing: this magical chair-covering toy is so awesome that I probably don’t even need to tell you WHY we love it so much. Just look and see for yourself!

(enter the sound of ascending drums…)

Introducing, Pop-Oh-Over!

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Check this out- all you have to do when your kids are ready for pretend play is grab a couple dining chairs from your kitchen table, tie a few bows, and voila! You have a mess-free, space-saving, mythical creature of a toy!

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So, what did I tell you? This thing is awesome, right?!

SAVE the space a huge, plastic, noisy kitchen set would make with this simple, easy to store, folding kitchen!

Not only does this adorable set fold up and install with ease buttt (HUGE BUTT-see what I did there?1 bahaha) it’s made with high quality fabric, magnetic doors for the microwave and oven, clear pockets for all of the appliances, and it keeps the littles entertained for seriously long lengths of time. Yep! You’re welcome, I’ve just turned your 60-minute max pretend play distraction into several hours of busy fun!

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So, what’s our scoop? Do our kids prefer it over the bulky kitchen set they’ve had for years from IKEA?

Well, does an image in your mind of it currently sitting at the end of our driveway with a sign that says FREE on it, answer your question?

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We’ve had this beauty for about 2 days and K has woken up and gone to sleep standing in front of it SINCE DAY 1. At this point, I think I may actually need to get a set of chairs to delegate for his kitchen play since I don’t see us using the space-saving option any time soon!

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Now, I know you’re convinced and any parent-kid duo would love a FULL set of their own!

Want to know how you can win the Pots + Pans set, Oven + Stove Pop-Oh-Ver, and Microwave + Countertop Pop-Oh-Ver?!

(*Chairs, food, and other items not listed on the pop-oh-ver website are not included.)

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First, make sure you comment on this post and tell us the single most reason you would like to win!

Second, grab additional entires by following all of the Pop-Oh-Ver and The Happening Housewife social media pages via the Rafflecopter link below!

Third, for even MORE entries: See that Pin down there? Give it a click and save it to your favorite Pin Board!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER! Pop Oh Ver | Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Disguise Learning with Play using STEM! (+ A Snapology LEGO GIVEAWAY!)

I’m so excited to be partnering with Nakturnal for a giveaway! Read below to find out how you can enter to win a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot- Sebastian Gator! Find a full disclaimer on the sidebar of my blog!


It’s no secret that we eat, breathe, live LEGO and all things STEM-based in our home. Not a day goes by that one or both of the boys isn’t stimulating their brain with those small colorful blocks, folding a paper airplane out of an old piece mail, or manipulating K-Nex into crazy, crime-fighting vehicles and winding roads.

When we realized that Col was a little different than other kids, it took no time at all to see the potential benefits of what STEM-based learning could do for him. Writing, Reading, and Speech as separate subjects are definitely a must-have in your child’s learning plan but, for kids like Colin, a science and mathematical learning environment is the most beneficial way to grow their unique little minds!

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Fast forward to when we had K! We were quick to realize once he was at a play age that typically developing kids thrive in the same STEM-based environment as well! Which made play time between the two of them a bonding experience and way to encourage them to teach each other new ways of learning!

Now that you know our little back story, let’s get to why you’re really here: “How do I disguise learning with play using STEM and what exactly is it?”

  • What is STEM?

STEM is a way of learning based on the idea of educating children of all ages in four specific areas — Science, Technology, Engineering, + Mathematics in an applied, hands on approach. Rather than teach the four subjects separately, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

Pretty cool, huh?

  • What are the benefits of STEM?

1. It’s CURRENT!

In a technology-based society, science is forever changing and growing. As work places change by frequently updating their software, and equipment that we use in our daily lives becomes more advanced, STEM knowledge is vital. Staying up to date on the latest techy trends is a must in today’s world!

2. GET CREATIVE!

Creativity is one of the many benefits of a STEM education by implementing the idea of “Learning by Doing!”

Ironically, creativity is also the result of a STEM-based education ! STEM-based learning encourages students to get their hands ‘dirty’, solve problems, create new designs and functions, and make tools out of something that otherwise wouldn’t be!

3. INNOVATE, INNOVATE, INNOVATE!

With the growth of technology, is the freedom to invent and engineer almost anything you can dream of! Starting at a young age, we can encourage our kids to use their minds and create the impossible with STEM.

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1. OFFER THE RIGHT TOYS

I’m totally not suggesting that you go out and spend hundreds on an entirely new toy collection but, when birthdays and holidays come around, encourage friends and family to give more significant gifts that stimulate learning rather than the typical stuffed animal or piece of junk that will end up in a garage sale pile a few months later!

Some of our favorites:

  • LEGO
  • Magna-Tiles
  • Tegu Blocks
  • KIDS FIRST Engineering Tubs
  • Marble Run
  • Lincoln Logs

When choosing toys, try to make sure they incorporate and/or encourage one of the following: tinkering, building, circuit creation (adding pieces and parts to the toy that make it GO! or turn on and off), problem solving, or tech-based growth and learning.

Does the anticipated and totally loathed “LEGO dump” have you resisting adding them to your STEM collection?! Check out my post to help with that!

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2. ALLOW UNINTERUPTED + FREE WILL TINKERING

Sometimes, regardless of the mess it makes, you just have to let your little ones free with their tinkering toys without borders. I know, I’m with you. Walking into our home to a ‘road’ of K-Nex that stretches from the front door to, well, I don’t ever really know where, can be super annoying and seemingly pointless but, they’re actually using their little minds to create something super awesome and through the mess is some really great learning!

3. HELP + ANSWER WITHOUT FRUSTRATION

I know this one can be a bit difficult, especially when your knee deep in your own project but, when your little comes to you for advice or answers, they’re seeking you out for a reason! Curiosity is natural for growing minds and by shooting them down or showing frustration when they’ve asked the same question every single day for a week, you’re discouraging one of the greatest forms of learning. If you don’t know the answer to a question yourself, let them watch as you figure it out. Whether it be from a book, video, or the internet, seeing you seek out an answer encourages them to continue doing so through you.

4. ALLOW FREE PLAY WITH CRAFT SUPPLIES

Yes, for real. I mean, don’t give your kid all access freedom to liquid glue and finger paints but, offer them a bucket of dry supplies! Rubber bands, tape, twine, paper clips, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, clothespins, dowels, empty toilet paper rolls can all be used in creating some really awesome things. Change it up every other week or so with fresh supplies and new tools!

5. TRY A “BUILDING SNACK” TRAY

Similar to free play with random craft supplies, you never know what your little one will come up with when you offer them a tray of “building snacks” at the table! We love pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, grapes, sliced olives, cheese cubes, and cheerios. You’ll be amazed at their first cheese cube-pretzel stick car with grape wheels!

6. INCORPORATE EDUCATIONAL SHOWS DURING SCREEN TIME

If you allow screen time in your home, there are a TON of education shows that go hand-in-hand with STEM-based learning! One of my favorite things as a mom to my littles is walking in on them super indulged in old school Bill Nye and The Magic School Bus. I love when they approach me to spill their guts about friction or some other super sciencey topic three days after watching an episode. It’s always a proud moment for us, even if they got it from a screen!

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We use all of these tools in our day to day life as a family and although it took a little practice, it’s now just routine! Our family truly enjoys play time together AND apart because of this method and as parents we’ve learned to embrace the repetitive questions and constant mess of LEGO!

 


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Giveaway closed.

Congratulations to Jenna!


Want to win a Snapology Sebastian Gator LEGO Set?!

(Recommended for ages 6+)

As parents of special needs + typically developing kids, we know from experience that every child is different and so is their preferred method of learning. So, as a soon to be family of three crazy boys, all different and unique, we’d love to know: Which of the ideas in this post is your littles’ favorite way of STEM-based play? (Haven’t tried one yet? Answer: Which idea are you most likely to implement first?) Comment below to be entered!

*Winner will be chosen at random 10 days from the post date on July 23, 2017 and will be notified via email. US entrants only please. Prize is a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot, Sebastian Gator, mailed directly to your home!


Curious about Snapology?!

Snapology is a STEM-based kids’ facility that hosts totally rad play dates, birthday parties, field trips, workshops, + summer camps where littles (ages 1 and up) use LEGO, K’nex, art + mosaic, code, robotics, and more to learn through play! Sounds super awesome right?! Well, they’re looking for someone interested in becoming a franchise owner in the Central Florida region! Give them a call or apply online today if this sounds like the spot for you!

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stem, autism, special needs, homeschool, LEGO, giveaway, win, LEGO giveaway

AWESOME Kid Sneaks from George & Georgette!

Happy almost FriYAY !

We’re super excited to share one of our favorite new brands with you and they’re all about giving back WHILE rocking cool sneaks!

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Back to school season has come and gone (all too fast I might add) but, a kid can NEVER have enough killer sneaks, right? How about a pair that allows your child to slip them onto the right feet without mom or dad’s help and also encourages lifting up others and giving back to the world?!

That’s right, a shoe bigger than the shoe itself! George & Georgette has branded their kid shoes in the most unique way we’ve ever seen! All the way down to the packaging, they’re thinking of our children’s future and how to shape our littles into kind, compassionate, and giving human beings.

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Each sneaker in a pair designed by George & Georgette is slightly different, yet resembles the other. We LOVE the Catfish pair! They’re cool, comfy, and easy for Col to recognize which shoe goes on each foot! The left is a bit different from the right but, they live in the same color family and coordinate with the same theme! So cool right? They’re basically fraternal twins!

GNG 2.jpgSpeaking of twins, meet Daphne and Christelle!

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Daphne and Christelle are twins, separated in their later years when Daphne and her husband moved from Brussels to New York!

“As kids, their mom would buy them the same shoes but, often in different colors and they would sometimes switch them to create an extra level of twinitude.”

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In order to keep their twin connection alive from miles apart, they would create #twinning shoes: “shoes that are not identical but, complement each other. Shoes sometimes very similar, sometimes not..just like real life twins!”

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Daphne and Christelle knew that when opening their business, giving back would be a KEY ingredient to their plan! The WALK IN MY SHOES program was created to hire people in need and to encourage their customers to complete random acts of kindness all over the world!

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“Our little shoe box has been designed as a tool and a symbol. It contains very original, visible shoes and claims to serve very original, invisible people – the homeless people. The goal here is to inspire, remind, and create opportunities for small actions. We hope to plant a seed in our customers’ minds so the next time they pass by someone in need, they think: “hey, what could I bring him/her next time…”. It’s our little contribution for a better world where homeless people are properly acknowledged.”

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Teach your kids kindness & awareness:

Use this shoe box as a lesson on helping others, making them aware of others in the world or your community who are less fortunate. It’s about modeling the empathy our society will be based on tomorrow. Why not have your kid draw something to put into the box? Cultivate respect and not ignorance. Don’t treat homeless people as if they were invisible, it’s not okay to stare but it is okay to say “Hello.” Let kids be kids and exercise their curiosity and empathy, they’ll surely find ways to “save” others and teach us adults something on their path!

A few steps to getting started on giving back with George & Georgette:

  • Open your box and put away your NEW beautiful shoes once they arrive (or just pop open the box and rock them till’ your heart’s content!)
  • Replace them with something useful (juice pouches, water bottles, snacks, loose change, old toys, socks, etc.)
  • Build up the handles of your box (SUPER easy!)
  • Take it on your next trip (To the store, bus stop, playground, etc.!)
  • Find someone in need (a family, homeless person, a crying friend, or a neighbor)
  • Make eye contact, say hello (Be careful if it’s a stranger! Always stick with your parents!)
  • Extend your arm & let it go (Share your box full of goodies!

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Grab your pair from George & Georgette and follow them on Instagram & Facebook to see all the cool styles! (I can’t forget to add that they always have FREE SHIPPING! Who doesn’t love free shipping?!)
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*All opinions are my own and are not persuaded by the companies I work with financially or through product.

 

 

FREE Thumbprint Activity

What you’ll need:

  • Tiny fingers
  • Washable stamp pad
  • Counting in 5’s Thumbprint Activity printable

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Grab yours here: Counting in 5’s Thumbrint Printable

The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

Why I Chose NOT To Share My Special Needs Child’s Swimming Success On Facebook

Okay, I know what you might be thinking by the long title up there…”uhh, it doesn’t make a difference to us either way…” Maybe, maybe not. But, if you’re interested in knowing why, I’d love to share with you.

So, I am totally the type to post all of my kids’ success stories on Facebook. I mean, I’m obviously biased when I say that i think I have the coolest 4 year old on the planet but, hey sometimes we’ve got to keep a bit of their coolness under wraps so the other little tots don’t get jealous, right? Totally kidding.

Okay so, rewind three weeks back when hubby and I were almost ready to give up this summer on teaching the little man to swim this year. We’ve had that kid in the pool EVERY SINGLE DAY. Once the pool was warm enough-ish to swim, he was in the pool with a cheer squad rooting him on at the side lines and GUESS WHAT? He DID IT! Right as we were ready to stick him on a noodle for the rest of the summer, HE DID IT.

I could already see it: long Facebook post about how incredible it was to see him swimming before his 5th birthday, tears rolling down my face as I shared our success with the online world, and all of our friends and family commenting their praise. It would be perfect.

Why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I share our triumph on the one platform that we knew everyone would see? It’s simple really: SOME THINGS ARE MEANT FOR US & ONLY US.

There are so many things we, as “millennial parents” share with the world. What we eat, where we vacation, our good and bad relationships, our stance on politics, the things we think are funny, hell, even the things we see in our most private moments…you know, on the toilet. BUT, sometimes there are things that should just be kept sacred. Maybe not forever but, at least enough time to embrace the moment without a phone in your face or a camera strap hanging over your shoulder. Do I have photos and video of that day? Duh. I mean, I’m not saying that I don’t want to remember this amazing moment but, am I going to share them with you? Not right now, maybe not ever because this is something I want to keep to myself.

Now, cue the tears. There are so many things we question in our life with Col. Will he grow up to live on his own someday? Will he have successful friendships and relationships when he gets older? Will he get married some day? Shit, I even question (and secretly hope) that he will become the next Bill Gates, seriously.

One of the things we have recently questioned is if he would swim before he was in school…before he was surrounded by other kids his age who would or just had another possible reason to bully him. At the beginning of the summer, I remember specifically telling hubby that I thought for sure the little would swim before Col. I was wrong and I feel so guilty for it but, I am SO happy that I was WRONG.

I wish I cared a little less about being so selfish and keeping this moment to myself…actually, no i don’t but, I am sorry that I won’t be sharing this HUGE moment for our family with you and I hope more than anything, this post encourages you to do the same with some of your kids’ major moments in these few little person years that you have with them.

So, to end this…I would tell you to comment your recent kids’ success story below but, that would end this post as an oxymoron so, instead, I want you to remember it a little longer with your family and embrace these moments that you have with them!

 

 

 

 

FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt Printable

Going hiking? Sometimes it’s hard with kids! Make it interesting and purposeful for them with this FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt!

Download your FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt here!

 

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Hiking Scavenger Hunt

The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

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FREE Doctor Play Set Printables

Does your little one love to play pretend?

It seems like everytime I come around a corner, there’s another set of dress-up or pretend play out of it’s basket in our home! We’re always using our imagination to be Dr.s, Astronauts, Construction Workers, Teachers, you name it! To make their set up more fun, I created this adorable Doctor play kit!

Add this free printable set to your little Doc’s kit for free!

*Laminate for best results!

Doctor Play Set Image

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Download your free Doctor Printable Set HERE!


pin this

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The Happening Housewife Blog | copyright 2018 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com