Baseball Wall Hook Decor

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Kids Baseball Room Decor

Kids Baseball Room Decor

My most recent project has been making a “Baseball Themed” bedroom for Boytactics. I am really trying to stay away from little kid themed baseball stuff, as I would like this makeover to last for at least a few years anyways!

One of the ideas I came across was these really cool themed wall hooks. I decided to try my hand at it, and I think it turned out quite nicely!

This was a bit of work, but totally manageable.

I picked up a slab of wood from the hardware store and had them cut it into two even pieces. I bought sample size paint (blue, white, brown).

I painted the wood the blue first and then once dry rubbed it in spots with a candle. I then painted white over top. Once it was dry, I sanded and used a metal brush to distress the paint. I then painted on the baseball stitching. I used red mixed with brown for a great colour. I then sanded over top to make it look worn.

I purchased wooden letters from the dollar store and painted them brown. Once dry I hot glued the words onto the board.

Baseball Wall Hook Decor

Baseball Wall Hook Decor

I added 5-6 hooks on each board so Boytactics can hang hats and gloves.

I ended purchasing a stud finder, so I could drill the boards directly to the wall.

It turned out fantastic, and Boytactics loves it!

The best part is it works as artwork, but is also really functional!

 

Advent Drawer Calendar

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Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

I found this Advent Calendar in plain pine at my local Michael’s store. I decided to paint it a “blueish green” with a white top coat. I then sanded it down in spots to make it look weathered.

I covered the drawers with scrapbook paper and added number stickers.

This was a fun and relatively easy DIY craft. The kids look forward to the new surprises each day of December!

What you will need to complete this project:

Advent calendar, paint, sandpaper, scrapbook paper, glue stick, scissors, number stickers.

I hope you can use this idea for one of your own advent traditions!

 

Getting the miles out of your “Elf on the Shelf”

Here we are, early November, coloured leaves still on the trees..the remanence of Halloween pumpkins still on front porches…But here at the Momtactics household, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….. well not really!

Last year after much debate between my rational self, and my slightly insane “this would be fun” self, we welcomed Toby, our very own Elf on the Shelf! At first it was exciting finding fun places to make him appear each morning, then as time went on the fun became more like a “holly shit, I forgot to move the creepy doll, and Boytactics is going to realize that this is all a hoax” kind of feeling. I’m still not sure if it scared me more that he may be disappointed or if the near heart attack feeling was caused by the fact that if he figured this out,  I was going to be out of ways to threaten him to behave until Christmas!

Thankfully I managed to come up with excellent reasons in my non caffeinated state, as to why Toby was still in the same spot as the day before. Some of these reasons included, but were not limited to…”It was really stormy last night, so he decided to stay here”, or “Wow Toby must really like that spot”, or “oh well that must be a good spot to keep an eye on you”, and my personal favorite… “well sometimes even a bloody Elf needs a night off!”

I figured after getting through last year ok, we could maybe have Toby arrive a little earlier this year so I could get as many miles out of this creepy doll as I could. So, Toby arrived on November 3rd…and this year he has gotten much more creative in how he appears…

We’ll have wait and see how long these creative ways of appearing last…but for now it’s still fun, so why not!

The Growing Pains of a Control Freak!

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clockpictureIt’s official, Boytactics has started school this year.  With this new milestone, I have come to realize my mistake in doing so much for him, rather than letting him do it himself.  Part of this came from me thinking of him as my little boy, but most came from the fact that I am a control freak, and it actually pains me to watch him try things on his own.  Not for fear he can’t do it, I know he can.  Rather because watching him try things like open a board game, or open his snack or even trying to pull his own pants up, take a painful amount of time.  I am all about time management, and efficiency, and did I mention I’m a control freak?

Today I could actually feel sweat forming on my brow, as I encouraged him to try just a little harder to get his foot in that last running shoe, the whole time glancing at the clock, knowing that even though we started this process 5 minutes early, we were still not going to make it out the door on time. Oh yeah, I should mention I hate being late. Let me be clear, it really does not bother me when others are late, just me. However I am working on that with the help of my sweet little boy! We are late for a lot of things now….!

Each day I encourage and guide Boytactics to do more things on his own, all the while forcing myself not to help. The pain I feel from wanting to get it done in a more timely fashion, quickly evaporates when I see the joy that lights up his face when he has accomplished something new on his own.

We are both making progress each day, him learning to do new things and building confidence in himself, and me taking the time to enjoy the little things, even if it does take a few extra minutes!

Stop Judging…Toddler Leashes Included!

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This is a guest post, written by my sister. I would like to thank her for guest blogging on Momtactics. I hope you enjoy her rant as much as I did! You can follow her on twitter @MommyTwoShoes.

So, it takes a fair amount to get me all up in a tither!  But an article I read in Today’s Parent, June 2013 issue, got my blood boiling.  Enough that I actually took to pen and paper to write this response, something new to me. The article is titled, “Should you use a leash to control your toddler?” and took up both sides of the argument, yes and no.  It’s not even the issue of using a toddler leash that got me so riled up.  It was the judgment passed on those that do.  Even the author of the “yes” argument admitted that although she wanted to, for fear of being judged for her decision, she chose not to use one and avoided situations where she might have benefited from using one. 

When is this unnecessary judgment of all things parenting going to stop?  We are all great, and we all have our low moments too.  In this world of unrealistic expectations, we need to start supporting each other, not pass judgments simply because we choose to parent differently.  Quite simply, my way is no better or worse than yours.  My way is perfect for my family, and your way is perfect for your family. 

I chose to use a toddler leash for my son.  I received quite a few disapproving looks too.  But I did it for my sanity and his safety.  He started running as soon as his little legs could figure out how to go one foot in front of the other and he hasn’t stopped.  He didn’t want to hold my hand and I feared sometimes I might hurt him trying so hard to hang on to his sweaty little fingers so he didn’t dart into the street.   I could have used a stroller I suppose, but he wanted to walk.  In our society filled with cautions around getting enough exercise and tips to conquer obesity, I think walking, even with a leash, is a better option, for us.  And I may use one with my daughter too…

This is me…I didn’t say, “no” to my son for probably the first 3 years of his life.  Instead, I gave him a solid idea of what he should do and distracted him from what he shouldn’t.  My children didn’t sleep in cribs, they sleep (present tense…yup…that means last night, and tonight too!) with me.  (Gasp!)  I am still nursing my daughter and she is almost 18 months old. (Double gasp!)  I don’t make my children say sorry, I help them make amends.  My son had a bottle until 4 years of age.  And he has perfect teeth, because we also brush them!  My house is not spotless.  We talk about our day.  We read every night.  We hug…a lot!  And all of this works for us! 

And I am raising creative, smart, kind, social, healthy (yes they eat broccoli…by choice!) children.  The kind of child you want your child to be friends with.  And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. 

So please, STOP JUDGING!  Let’s form a circle of support around all of the moms you know and have yet to meet out there.  Give a kind, knowing smile to the mom dealing with preschooler having a temper tantrum in the grocery store.  Don’t give “that” look…you know the one…to the next parent you see keeping their child safe on a toddler leash.  Because parenting is hard.  We all do the best we can with what we have.  In the end we are all just trying to survive another day in paradise. 

 MommyTwoShoes

Make your own board game.

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I usually would not be posting indoor activities in the summer, however, we have been experiencing a lot of rain and short power outages this summer. During these power outages we usually play board games.
That being said, Girltactics had an end of the year assignment to make her own board game. I thought this would be a fantastic idea to do on a rainy day with your own kids.

Homemade Board Game

Homemade Board Game

Materials:

  • Bristol Board (board game base)
  • Construction paper (money)
  • Cardboard (draw cards)
  • Dice
  • Broken Crayons (we used these to make the game pieces)
  • Post it notes (theses are for the board game spaces)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Steps:

  1. Decide on a game ( Candy Craze was hers)
  2. Make your board game with the post it notes on the bristol board.
  3. Type up or write the actions on each space
  4. Print off money on different coloured construction paper (or use $ from another board game)
  5. Make game pieces (we uses recycled crayons, see post here, or you can use anything from buttons to pins)
  6. Decorate your game board
  7. A spinner is optional, as well as the draw cards.
  8. Come up with your rules and game play, and have a blast!

This is really just a basic how to. Have fun with it and be as creative as you want. I hope you find this a fun and educational activity to do on those less than perfect summer days!

Clock Picture Frame

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I came up with this idea when Girltactics had to take a clock apart for a science project.  We ended up having just the shell of the clock left over so I decided to make a mini picture frame out of it! This was one of the easiest DIY’s I have ever done, it literally takes a few minutes!

 Clock Picture Frame

Clock Picture Frame

Materials:

  • Dollar Store Clock
  • Scissors
  • Picture
  • Screwdriver
  • Glue or Tape

clock materials

Steps:

  1. Take clock apart (removing all the working mechanics)
  2. Pictured above are the parts you will use for your frame
  3. Use the paper clock face as a template to cut out your picture
  4. Glue picture to clock face. 
  5. Snap clock back together
  6. Enjoy!

 

The Joy of a Boy!

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When did I go from walking past a construction site and being annoyed by the dust and noise, to actually seeking them out just to see the smile on my little boys face?

I don’t know when it happened, perhaps it was a slow build up, but I have gone from blowing past the truck section in the toy store to stopping and looking to see what latest models are on the shelf. I somehow have become that mom that goes out of her way to point out fire stations, police cars and cement mixers, making our daily errands just a little more exciting!

The most recent surprise to me is Boytactics newest love, BASEBALL. I have to say I played baseball as a child, but since then it has become my least favorite sport to watch, until recently that is. I now know every player on Boytactics favorite team. I mean I can recognize players in the outfield before I even see the back of their shirt. I am actually interested in watching the game and find myself literally on the edge of my seat when the game is tied up in the 9th inning!

I think these feelings are less for the actual team and more for the joy it will bring Boytactics when his team wins. It doesn’t seem to matter, that I have gone from not caring about who was playing a few months ago to now knowing the teams schedule, injured players, starting pitcher and the batting line up!

When did this happen? When did his joy become mine? How did I get from dolls and dress up to trucks and baseball? I guess the answer is, that this is just one of the many joys of having a boy, and I guess I am one of the lucky ones to get to have these experiences.

I would love to hear from you. Have your interests changed since having a little boy?

Photo credit: theseanster93

Electrical Circuits

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This is a guest post written by Girltactics. This was a grade 6 Science Project on Building Electrical Circuits.

Flower Night Light

Flower Night Light

Materials:

The materials and tools needed for this particular electrical project are:

  • A small, round cardboard box.
  • 7 small clear light bulbs with bases
  • About 6 feet 4 inches of wire
  • 3 9 volt batteries
  • 27 1 ¼ inch alligator clips
  •  An electrical drill
  • 1 basic ON/OFF switch
  • Wire cutters (or scissors)
  • 1 butter knife (or wire stripper)
  • Electrical tape
  • Acrylic paint (optional)

Procedure:

1) Firstly, take the lid of the cardboard box, one of the light bulbs with a base, and lightly trace the bottom of the light bulb in a circle with a pencil. Continue tracing the light bulb in different places. Arrange the circles so that there are six petals (make a hexagon) and one bulb in the very center. This will be the template.

2) Next, take the electric drill, and drill holes where the bulbs are penciled in. Afterwards, you can place a bulb in each hole, just to make sure they are the right size.

3) For now, you will only need to cut 14 pieces of wire, each about 4 inches long. After you have all 14 cut, take the butter knife, and cut the plastic insulator off of the ends of the wire, leaving about 2cm of the wire exposed on either end.

4) Now that you have the wires for the light bulbs ready, place all of the light bulbs in their hole. There should be two prongs on either end of the bottom of the light bulb base. This is where the wire will be wrapped. There will be three circuits in total of this device: Two consisting of three light bulbs each, and one (The center bulb) lone circuit. The first one to wire is the center circuit; which also happens to be the simplest. Wrap one end of one wire around one prong, and attach another wire to the other prong as well. Make sure that the very tip of the wire is touching the metal of the prong, otherwise the circuit will not work, as the electricity has nowhere to travel to or from.

5)  There are still two more circuits to wire. However, they are both identical. The end bulb in the three bulb circuit will need one wire attached to each prong. The outermost prong will have a loose wire attached to it; meaning it will only be wired to the light for the moment. The other prong on the bulb will have the loose end of the wire attached to the closest prong on the neighboring light bulb. This will be repeated until wire is attaching all three light bulbs. Then, repeat for the remaining three lights, but do not attach the two circuits of three.

6) You will now need to cut three more wires, and repeat the method of removing the plastic insulator. Take each wire, and wrap one end of each together, so that they are all attached, and the three ends become one. Next, wrap the bundle of wires around one of the prongs on the switch, as you did the light bulbs. Secure the ends with electrical tape, using tweezers to wrap the tape tightly.

7) Now take one of the loose ends from each circuit, and do the same as you did with the wires you attached to the switch; intertwine them into a bundle. Then, secure the bundle to another prong on the switch using the same method with the tape as in step 6.

8) Now all there is left to do is add the batteries to the circuits. There should be three loose ends left: one in each circuit. Attach one battery to each wire. Then, attach one loose wire coming from the switch to each battery. Make sure the switch is off to avoid danger.

 9) Turn on the switch, and watch the lights turn on! Enjoy!

Picture Board

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Making a “Picture Board” is a  fairly easy DIY for the home.  I have used cork board in the past, but thought I would try it with an old canvas painting that I was no longer using. I love how it turned out and the bonus was something I was going to throw out became something I love again!

Materials:

  • Painting Canvas
  • Fabric (I found mine in the “As Is” section at Ikea)
  • Ribbon
  • Push Pins
  • Staple Gun/Staples
DIY Picture Board

DIY Picture Board

Steps:

  1. Measure fabric to fit Canvas
  2. Lay the canvas face down on fabric and staple fabric tightly to the back frame of the canvas.
  3. Add the ribbon in the diamond pattern, (I started with a large X in the middle and went from there)
  4. Fasten ribbon to the canvas with the push pins.
  5. Hang your picture board and add your pics
  6. Enjoy!

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