Fast and Easy Baby Shower Games

I love hosting showers, and today I’m hosting a shower with some bloggy friends of mine, for four blogging friends who are all expecting!

Super Easy Baby Shower Games

When I plan showers with friends, I’m almost always in charge of the games. I like to come up with games that suit the mommy-to-be. Since for this virtual shower we’re celebrating four different mommies, I thought I’d stick with some of the classics… which also happen to be my favorites.

First comes the safety pin game. This can also be played with clothespins, and is often called “Don’t Say Cute”. Everyone is given a safety pin when they come into the shower, and are instructed that they can’t say the word “cute”. If they do, the person who catches them gets to take their pin. The person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins! I like to add a little color to my pins with some ribbon. You could also use the big diaper pins, if you can find them.

safety pin baby shower game

Another classic is guessing how big mommy’s tummy is. All you need for this game is some yarn or string, and a pair of scissors. I like to use a piece of ribbon or a different color of yarn to measure around mom’s tummy. It makes it easy to see which is the “true” and which was the player’s guess!

guess mamas tummy shower game

Lastly, I love playing baby shower bingo. You can download my baby shower bingo card if you like, or make your own. I love that it livens up the gift giving! Instead of just watching mom open gifts, the guests become really invested on what will be opened next!

You can get instructions for my super-easy prize bags here, and find more great baby shower games here.

Be sure to check out all the moms-to-be

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… and all the other great projects included in this fun virtual baby shower!

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The Best Last Day of Summer EVER

We just celebrated my son’s very first last day of summer. He officially starts school on Monday, but with events going on this weekend, this was his true last day of “freedom” before he starts Kindergarten.

the best last day of summer ever

I thought that this was a fun milestone, and that celebrating the last day of summer in a blow-out fashion would be fun for the whole family. So I planned a day of fun, out-of-the-house activities for us to do. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some of the fun we were up to. I used the hashtag #FirstLastDayofSummer to keep track of all the photos.

We actually started the day off the night before. We set up the kiddie tent in L’s room so that he could spend the night in the tent. He’s been wanting to sleep in a tent all summer, so what better time to let him sleep in a tent than on the last day of Summer? This way, he got to wake up on his last day of summer in a tent!

wake up in a tent

We got in the car. There was a fair amount of driving, so I let L watch movies in the car as we drove around town. I don’t usually pull out the movies unless we’re on a long trip, so this was a special treat.

watching a movie in the car

We headed to our favorite pool. We call it “the Beach Pool” because it has a beach inlet on one side. Great for my youngest, because he can walk right in and play. And they both love the sand.

at the beach pool

After spending the whole morning at the pool, we grabbed lunch at McDonald’s. Like most kids, my son has a passion for chicken nuggets. This was not the McDonald’s close to our house, this one has a different playground that L caught a glimpse of through the windows one day and had asked to go. I had put it on our “someday” list, and this was the perfect day to go.

playing at the play place

Dad got off work right as we were finishing lunch, so we met up with him at mini golf. I got some work done on my phone (yay for smartphones!) while the big boys played a round of golf.

playing mini golf

The baby was asleep at this point (a big day at the pool will do that), so the boys hung out in the arcade for a little while.

playing at the arcade

Then, of course, we had to pick prizes. This was the hardest part. So many choices (and only so many tickets)!

pick a prize

We went by the bookstore so that L could pick a new book, and then went to the grocery store to grab a much-needed item for our next step in our blow-out last day of summer. While at the grocery store, we grabbed donuts. Yum!

getting a donut

We went home and filled the bath with as many bubbles as we could manage! Bubble baths are more fun when they are EXTREME bubble baths!

lots and lots of bubbles

We had L’s favorite dinner (Orange Chicken and Garlic Bread), and then sat down for popcorn and a movie. L was asleep before the movie ended… it was a great day!

I’m looking forward to celebrating the last day of summer every year… hopefully we’ll find some new things to add into the mix, but I’m sure that several of the things we did yesterday will stay part of the tradition.

Monsters University Game in a BluRay Case

Make a Monsters U game inside a BluRay Case

I bought the pre-sale of Monsters University on BluRay, and made some cute Monsters U Countdown blocks to go with it. I’ll be mailed the movie when it comes out… which leaves me with a BluRay case that has no movie in it. (PS – I also made Monsters U Juice Box Printables and a Mike Wazowski t-shirt if you’re into Monsters U crafts)

Monsters U Movie presale copy

I thought I’d turn the movie case into a little portable game in a BluRay Case. This is super simple to do, I’ve got all the printables ready to go… here is what you need.

Print the new BluRay Game Cover on standard paper
Print the BluRay Game Pieces on cardstock
Sharp scissors with a pointy end (or scissors and a craft or hobby knife)
Double-sided tape
Paper fastener (aka a Brad)

After you print out the Monsters University Game pieces, cut them out.

Open up the BluRay case and pull out the old cover, slip the new BlurRay Game Cover into place.

Monsters U Game made from BluRay Case

Leave the case open so that you can see the inside. You’ll want to use sharp scissors or a craft knife to cut away the raised lip on the left side. It is about 3/4″ down from the top. Just trim it down as close to the base as possible. Now you can slip the game board in on the left side.

On the right side, use the point of your scissors or the sharp point of a craft knife to carefully make a circle in the very center of the circle that holds the BluRay movie. You’ll want your hole to be about 1/4″ in diameter. Carefully cut away any plastic that gets pulled up when you make the hole. Be careful not to damage the cover or plastic on the other side.

Cut a hole in the center of the large numbered circle so that it slips over the raised center, and use double sided tape to stick it in place where the DVD would go. Use the tip of your scissors or the brad itself to make a hole in the center of the spinning arrow. Insert the brad into the arrow, an then into the hole you made in the raised center circle. Fasten the brad on the back LOOSELY. You want to make sure it still spins easily.

Fold your game pieces, and use a small piece of double sided tape to stick the bottom flaps together.

You’re ready to play your game in a BluRay Case!

Monsters U Game inside a BluRay Case

Monsters University Count Down Blocks

I picked up the pre-order copy of the Disney Movie Monsters University as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®. Yes, Monsters University is still in theaters, but you can reserve your BluRay Combo pack copy already! The movie won’t be available on your home screen until this fall, but you can buy it now and have it mailed to you when it is officially released. You can see my whole shopping trip here.

Monsters University Count Down Calendar

Before we count down the days to the movie release date, we’ll be counting down another special milestone in this house… my oldest is off to Kindergarten! I made a simple Monsters University Count Down Calendar that I can use with him to count down the days until he starts his first day of school… and then we can reuse it to count down to the movie release date – and lots of other special days!

count down block suppliesSuper simple to make, here is how you can make your own. You’ll need:
4 – 2″ wooden blocks
Small Wooden Plaque
Printed numbers (download my Monsters U numbers 1 through 6 and numbers 7 and up and print out.)
White Paint
Paintbrush
Mod Podge

 

Paint the wooden pieces white. I painted each with 2-3 coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry.
Cut out all the numbered pieces. Use Mod Podge to adhere a number to each side of the blocks.

mod podge onto blocks

Add a coat of Mod Podge on top to make sure that the numbers stick well.

Use the numbers to count down to whatever special day you have coming up – school, vacation, a special trip… or the release of Monsters University on BluRay!

stacked blocks

Find out more about Monsters University on the Monsters U site or
Monsters U site or on the Disney Pixar Facebook Pagee.

Ever-changing Wood, Nail, and Rubber Band Maze

My son is a maze savant. Yes, I’m his mom and I’ll brag about him even if nobody is listening, but at not quite 5 years old, he totally rocks mazes. And he loves doing them. We’ve gotten him maze books, which he loves, but I wanted to do one better. I wanted a maze that could be fully customized, changed, and never get boring. So I came up with the idea to make a maze board out of wood and nails. Now he has a maze that can be changed in a nearly infinite number of ways! And, it was super simple and easy to make. It took us less than an hour. Totally my kind of craft!

First, we started with our supplies:
18″x18″ square of 3/4 inch plywood
Box of nails
Quilting ruler
Pen
Cordless Drill
Hammer
Rubber Bands

I picked up the plywood at The Home Depot, and had them cut it to size. Having them cut it on their giant saw is so much easier than trying to cut it at home.

Using my quilting ruler, I marked a grid on the board, spacing the lines 1.5″ apart. Once I had my grid marked, it was time to drill pilot holes into my wood. I made sure that the drill bit I was using was a couple sizes smaller than my nails.

The idea is to drill a guide hole, but you still want the nail to be super snug when it gets hammered in. I made sure not to drill all the way through the wood.

Then it was time to hammer in my nails. As I hammered them in, I tried to keep them about the same height. This isn’t essential, it just looks nicer.

I hammered…

And hammered…

It took a while.

Once all the nails were in, I double-checked that they were all pretty much the same height.

Then it was time to add the rubber bands! We stretched the rubber bands along the nails to make the “walls” of the maze. We were so excited about this part, we didn’t bother washing all the black from the nails off of our fingers… we just went for it!

Then my son got to find his way through the maze. Once he figured it out, I adjusted a few of the pathways by moving around rubber bands, and he got to do it again. I kept switching them to give him new routes through the maze. He LOVED it.

I know we’ll be using this toy a lot this summer – such a fun boredom buster!

I might still give it a coat of paint… I haven’t decided yet. But for now, it is getting plenty of use!

Parachute and Landing Pad Toy Craft


My husband just had his birthday. I was badgering him for weeks to find out what he wanted for his birthday. He didn’t have an answer. Until the day before. The day before his birthday he told me, “I’d really like to go skydiving for my birthday.”

I wasn’t completely shocked. Skydiving has come up before… but not in an uber-serious way. I’m not completely thrilled with the thought of the love of my life jumping out of an airplane… but he really wanted to go, and without resorting to extreme hypotheticals – why not?

As a fun way to actually GIVE this gift to him, I made him some parachute super heroes and a drop zone. The drop zone was on the bottom of a box that opened up flat, so that it was easy to fold back up and wrap with the parachute men inside. And it was a fun thing for him to pay with the boys as well.

If you want to make your own drop zone parachute toy, here is what you need:
Box that opens flat
Pencil or Pen
Several sizes of plates
White paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Red paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Paintbrush
Plastic grocery bags
Small toy men
String
Black paint pen or marker (I used a DecoArt Glass paint pen, which is great on glass, but worked well here as well… I love getting multiple uses out of products!)

Start by tracing your plates on the flattened box.

Paint the entire circle white. Let it dry. Paint every other ring red. You should be able to see your pencil lines through the white paint. Allow to dry. (You can see I like to pour paint into disposable cupcake liners – they work great!)

While the bullseye is drying, lay out your bags. I used these plastic bags from target. Lay them out flat, and cut squares as large as possible from the plastic. I used squares from both the front and back – one side has the bullseyes, one side is plain white.

Cut two lengths of string each 3 feet long. Tie one end of a string to one corner, and the other end to another corner. Repeat with the second string.
Line up the corners of the parachute, and pull the strings so they are parallel, then tie around your toy. Trim any excess string.

To store, I folded the plastic parachute into thirds, and then wrapped in the string so that they wouldn’t get tangled.

By the time I finished making the parachutes, the paint on my drop zone was dry. I used a black paint pen to trace the circles, and then added the words “drop zone”.

The parachutes were a hit with the boys! This is the least blurry of all my photos of them playing – they had a ball!

And skydiving was a hit with my hubby!

Dinosaur Smash Cake

For Little Moore’s first birthday, three and a half years ago, I made a small car cake for him to smash into. He doesn’t remember, but he has seen pictures. Quite a few times he has requested that I make him a car cake again. I’m sure I will… but before then I had Baby B’s first birthday cake to make. For Baby B, we were throwing a Dinosaur Birthday Party. I had all kinds of fun ideas planned (I’ll share more with you soon – I promise!), but the cake really had me stumped. Dinosaur cake. How was I going to make this happen?

Sure, I could make a traditional cake and slap some dinosaur toys on it. But I really went all-out for his brother’s birthday… and being a second child myself (and my mother was a second child too), I’m very conscious of second-child syndrome. Yes, some things are going to be different for Baby B than for his big brother… but I’d like to have some things the same, too. So I got baking.

I used one boxed cake mix to make 2 round cakes in 6″ cake pans. I’ve had these cake pans forever, and love them. I used them for Little Moore’s first birthday as well. I got them my last semester in college when I lived in a tiny apartment with no oven. When we were first dating, I used them to bake a birthday cake for my husband in a toaster oven!

I covered a small cutting board to use as the base. I then cut a slice off the bottom of the first round to make the bottom of his legs, and cut off each side to make the front and back of the body. I cut a notch in the middle to make the legs.

From the second cake I cut an arch to make the head, and a pointy bit for the tail, and then put them by the body piece like so:

Yup! Already starting to look like a dinosaur! I then cut the top so the cake was level. Now he looks like this:

I used canned frosting, and gave him a thin layer of frosting. This is called a “crumb coat”. I didn’t worry about crumbs everywhere, because this is getting covered up later. I just wanted to seal everything in. At this stage, he looks pretty ugly.

I tinted frosting green until I got it the right color, and then put it in a piping bag. I grabbed the largest tip I had, which happened to be a star tip. I then piped the green all over every inch of the cake.

With a knife, I smoothed out the frosting.

I added a couple touches later with a contrasting color, for fun… but that’s optional. This is really a simple cake to make – I promise! And, he had his shining moment in the sun… before he was reduced to this…

I hope that in four years, Baby B will look back at photos of this cake and ask for a repeat as well!