Our Gender Reveal Party for Charlotte

On February 26,2015 when I was 19 weeks pregnant we went for our first ultrasound. That itself was exciting enough, but we were also finding out the gender of our baby. Steve was determined it was a girl and I was thinking boy. As soon as the technician began, our baby appeared on the big screen and it was very clear what we were having!Baby Gender Reveal PartyWe found out on a Wednesday afternoon and had our gender reveal party that Friday. It was hard to keep it a secret, but we did! We decided to find out the gender before family and friends so we could have that special moment just the two of us. I’m so glad we did!

On that Friday evening we invited over our closest family and friends. We had all the pink and blue decorations up and had our guests predict the gender. I also tested all the old wives tales and made a poster to help guests predict. According to the old wives tales we were having a boy.Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party. Old Wives Tale Gender Prediction poster for party Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party. Pink and blue ribbon garland Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party. Chalkboard voting sign

We had pink and blue drinks, treats and appetizers for guests to snack while we waited for everyone to arrive.Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party Pink and Blue Party Food and lemonade. Pink and blue drinks Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party Pink and Blue Party Food Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party. Pink and Blue Party Food, snacks and treats Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party Red and Blue Velvet Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade FrostingThen it was time for the big reveal! 11 people guessed girl and 15 boy. I bought a large shipping box and assembled it inside out so there were no logos. Then I used acrylic paints to decorate it. I filled the box with balloons to announce the gender.Pink and Blue Gender Reveal DIY Painted Party Balloon Box for Balloon Gender Reveal Pink and Blue Gender Reveal Party. Chalkboard voting sign With our guests gathered around, we opened the box and pink balloons popped out! Everyone cheered – my mom cried!
Pink and Blue Gender Reveal DIY Painted Party Balloon Box for Balloon Gender RevealOn our drive home from the ultrasound we finalized the name Charlotte Rose. We both loved the name and wanted to call her Charley. I can’t believe all of this happened two years ago!

I originally posted the gender reveal on my old blog, but since it is no longer up I wanted to repost it. Please update any Pinterest links to this post.

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Valentine’s Sensory Bin

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin Table Filler for Toddlers - White and Pink Dyed Beans, Heart shaped pasta, pink dyed and strawberry scented rice. Ikea Flisat table. Montessori, RIE, and Reggio Inspired ParentingThis pink and heart filled sensory table is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any time of year when you are full of love. Inside our table is white beans (plain and dyed pink), heart shaped pasta from Aldi and rice dyed pink and scented with strawberry extract. To dye the beans and rice I put some in a bag, added some red watercolor and extract and gave it a few hard shakes. Then laid it out on wax paper to dry. Easy as that. Valentine's Day Sensory Bin Table Filler for Toddlers - White and Pink Dyed Beans, Heart shaped pasta, pink dyed and strawberry scented rice. Ikea Flisat table. Montessori, RIE, and Reggio Inspired Parenting Valentine's Day Sensory Bin Table Filler for Toddlers - White and Pink Dyed Beans, Heart shaped pasta, pink dyed and strawberry scented rice. Ikea Flisat table. Montessori, RIE, and Reggio Inspired Parenting Valentine's Day Sensory Bin Table Filler for Toddlers - White and Pink Dyed Beans, Heart shaped pasta, pink dyed and strawberry scented rice. Ikea Flisat table. Montessori, RIE, and Reggio Inspired ParentingOn the one side of our table we had the beans/rice/pasta with heart measuring spoons, a heart cookie cutter and a heart silicone mold. On the other side of the table Charlotte and I added some other containers and scoops. She really loves to scoop and transfer lately so that is how she’s been exploring this.

This sensory bin is so sweet we will be keeping it up after Valentine’s Day!

Toddler Themed Valentine’s Day Activities

Toddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Tray Work
Toddler Valentine’s Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Tray Work

We have been celebrating Valentine’s Day with a lot of themed activities. A lot of these are fine motor focused due to a Montessori Challenge I have been doing on instagram (see here). I am now hooked on challenges. I’m finding them very inspiring and helps with planning new and exciting activities for my toddler. Here is some of our latest fun:

Toddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - matching heart pasta in a silicone moldplacing heart shaped pasta (bought at Aldi) into a silicone heart mold (we used it to make crayons too!) – instagram pic hereToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - transferring pink dyed beans with tweezer scoopsusing a tweezer scoop (what is the proper name for this anyway?) to transfer white and dyed pink beansToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - practicing pouring with pink watershe really likes to pour these days so we did some practice using pink waterToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - paper straw postingposting paper straws in an oatmeal canister – instagram pic hereToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - creating valentines with crayonscreating messages with crayons in a variety of pinks, reds and purples Toddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - pasta and play dough threadingthreading heart pasta onto a spaghetti noodle held with chocolate play dough – instagram pic hereToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - stickerspeeling and sticking stickers to card stock Toddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - markers and heart papermaking heart cards using pink, red and purple markers
Toddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - beading on pipe cleanersbeading a Charlotte bracelet- instagram pic hereToddler Valentine's Day Theme Activities and Montessori Inspired Work - red dyed and strawberry scented rice for transferring scooping and transferring pink dyed and strawberry scented rice with a heart teaspoon – instagram pic here

Holidays sure are more fun with children!

Valentine’s Day Toddler Yumbox Lunches

I have been sharing all of Charlotte’s Valentine’s Day themed Yumbox lunches on my instagram feed. It has been fun finding different pink foods or things I can cut into hearts. I find that themed lunches help give her a variety of food, we try new foods or ideas, and it makes lunch packing a little more exciting. Here is a round up of all her lunches:

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Breakfast for today’s #yumbox❤️ lunch with kiwi, strawberries, yogurt, bunny graham crackers with craisins, banana oat muffin and eggs.

A photo posted by Melissa – Motherhood Blogger (@love.joy.wonder) on

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Experiencing Winter with a Toddler

Toddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspiredOur living room toys & materials shelf was winter themed – all the details here.Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table.Winter sensory bin – post hereWays to experience and celebrate the winter season with toddlers. Playing in the snowSadly, we haven’t had much snow at all which is uncommon for our area. We got a little bit that stuck to our deck so I quickly got Charlotte ready and out we went. Snow sensory table. Ikea Flisat. Ways to experience and celebrate the winter season with toddlers. Snow in the sensory table. She loved this one (and so did the dog)Making snow ice cream. Ways to experience and celebrate the winter season with toddlers.Making snow ice cream with sprinklesWinter and snow themed toddler board book shelf. Front facing bookshelf. Montessori inspired bedroom. xWays to experience and celebrate the winter season with toddlers.Her book shelf displayed our winter book collection. The Snowman and Biscuit’s Snowy Day were favorites.

Toddler Winter Themed Materials Shelf

Toddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspired Toddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspiredCharlotte’s current shelf has open ended materials in a winter palette. With the current season, we have been focused on the color blue, snow, snowmen and cold. I set-up her toys and materials shelf with a focus on those themes.Toddler winter themed blue and silver loose parts. RIE and Reggio inspiredLoose parts for open ended play: giant snowflake sequins, paper straws, pom-pom yarn, silicone cups and a capToddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspired. Blue bristle blocks.Blue bristle blocks. Charley mainly uses these as hair brushes! Toddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspired. Blue mega blocks.Blue Mega Blocks for her interest in stackingToddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspired. The Snowman bookStuffed snowmen & lady and her current favorite book, The Snowman lift the flap book. I got those cute little handmade crocheted snow people from our local Serrv store during their overstock sale – $1 each! Charlotte plays with them often.
Snowballs made with blue pom pom yarn. Toddler winter materials and toys shelf. Snow, snowman, blue, stainless steel loose parts. RIE, Montessori and Reggio inspiredSnowballs we made from blue pom-pom yarnStainless steel loose parts. RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) materials for toddlers. Stainless steel loose parts: measuring cup, heart shaped tablespoon, shaker ball and utensil holderWinter Sensory Bottles with snowflakes, sequins and water beads.Sensory bottles made with giant snowflake sequins, sequins, gems and water beads.

See more of our winter themed activities here.

Winter Rice, Pasta & Sequins Sensory Table

Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. After Christmas I stocked up on wintery craft supplies on clearance at Michaels. We’ve been using these for crafts, sensory bottles, loose parts and now this sensory bin.

Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. I added a bag of expired rice I’ve been holding onto, a handful of sequins and gems, cut paper straws and a few snowflakes. For scooping and transferring, I included silicone cups, a Voss water bottle cap, and sugar spoon to start.

Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. She was drawn to this invitation and ran her hands through the rice – then threw it everywhere. I reminded her, “the rice stays in the table.” She used the spoon and her hands to fill up the cups and dump them. She would dump them into the table and then on the floor. She squealed at the sound of it hitting the floor.

Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. From my observations, I realized she needed something else to dump the rice into. I gave her a large bowl and she sat it next to her. She worked hard at filling it up with the rice and sequins.

Winter Themed Sensory Bin with pasta, rice and sequins. Sensory table for toddlers. Snowflake sensory table. Blue, white, and silver sensory bin table. Ikea Flisat sensory table. While she was working I remembered we had some leftover Christmas pasta. Included it in were some mitten, snowflake and snowman pasta that was not dyed red or green. I picked those out and added them to the mix. We also added a funnel that she enjoyed watching the rice fall out of. When she was all done we spent plenty of time sweeping up all that rice!

See all of our winter themed activities & adventures here.