Friday, August 31, 2012

Special Plate- Guest Blogger ♥

I don't usually do two guest bloggers in one week, but I had two wonderful people that I wanted to share with you all and just could not wait!!

Today I share my fabulous Aunt Alyce.  She is my Aunt through marriage, so I did not get to grow up with her...but over the past 11 years I have seen what a wonderful mom and person she is.  She always adds that extra touch to make you feel so special.  (like decorating the outside of packages that she sends us- and I am not just talking stickers ;) )

Here is Alyce, first she will introduce herself, and share a little about her website and group.  Then she will share one of my favorite activities off of her page.  We have actually started doing this in our house, and love it :)  Their group is in the process of starting a few very exciting projects, and we can't wait to have Alyce back to share some of them with us.

My best friend and I have started a Facebook page for fun, creative ideas, inspirational quotes and adapted recipes for young adults with special needs and their families. However, all of these ideas can be used anyone!! They are meant to spread a little sunshine, joy and encouragement to all families.... We are called Two Women and a Social group and you can find us at!/TwoWomenAndASocialGroup. Please check us out, give us a "like" on our page and receive daily creative ideas...We would love to have you follow us!!!!

A little about us...We are two Moms of young adult daughters with special needs. Almost eight years ago, we started a social group for young adults with special needs that met every Thursday evening. Nancy and I volunteered our time and organized the group called "Friendship Connections" and we were off and running. Twice a month we went bowling and then twice a month we had a cooking class at a local church. The church was kind enough to allow us to use their kitchen in order to teach these cooking classes. The goal of the classes were two-fold... first, to help create independence in the kitchen and second, to help develop social skills. While the members of the group blossomed with their cooking skills, communication skills and had a fun time, we also learned so much!!!! We would like to share our ideas, the recipes we adapted and fun we everyone....We hope you enjoy!!!!

Special Plate.....

Here is how it works: Each night at dinner one person receives an honorary plate that looks different from the rest. During the meal, each family member takes a turn to say something they appreciate about the person with the "special plate". It can be specific like "I like that you shared your Dvd with me today" or more general like " I think you are funny". Each night a different family member gets a turn...parents included...we appreciate compliments too!!! 

Watch and see how everyone looks forward to their turn (even your husband)...I promise you will love this! Give it a try :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little Orso Bookshelf- Bon Voyage!

Today I am sharing a favorite book series, instead of just one book.  We recently started collecting the "This is..." series.  The books are classics from the 1950's, and are the creation of the famous Czech illustrator/author Miroslav Sasek.  They take you on a tour of many of the most famous places in the world.

So far we have This is San Francisco and This is New York.  We have family in both places, and thought it would be fun to show our son where they live.  The illustrations are so fun, very retro.  Although these were intended to be sold as children's books, I definitely think that anyone would love them.  We actually have them out on our coffee table, instead of in his library.

The illustrations alone are so fabulous that I think it would be cool to color copy them or tear them out, (sometimes I buy a second book to tear up and use as wall decor) and decorate a library or den with.

Our goal is to collect all of the "This is.." series, and hopefully one day travel to each of the places featured....using these fabulous books as a tour guide:)  It would be really fun to get pictures of us at all of the places featured, and then make an album with us on one side and the illustration on the other.

There are 18 places featured, including Rome, Paris, London, New York, Edinburgh, Munich, Venice, San Francisco, Israel, Cape Canaveral, Ireland, Hong Kong, Greece, Texas, United Nations, Washington D.C, Australia, and Britain.

...Hint Hint for anyone wanting to buy us a gift:)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Butterfly Kisses and Rainbow Wishes- Guest Blogger ♥

Today I am sharing one of my good friends with you.  She is not only a beautiful person inside and out, but creates the most beautiful items.  If you are looking to decorate a nursery, child's room, or any room don't miss this post.  She has something for everyone, and every piece comes from the heart.

Without further ado, here is today's guest blogger and artist Antoinette Evola:)

I began painting and drawing as a very young child. Friends and family would always come to me to paint murals for them in their children’s rooms. I started painting murals in my own home. It was peaceful. It allowed me to escape into those paintings, and be part of a world I probably wouldn't be in otherwise.

In 2009, my husband and I were expecting our very first child together. Once we found out she was a girl the ideas for HER nursery were just out of this world. I had been on bed rest so all the painting for her had to wait until she was born. So instead I was creating sample canvas' to keep myself inspired.

It was on February 23,2010 that our worlds came crushing down on us. We learned our very much wanted, and loved baby girl had passed away. After she died I refused to paint. I didn't want to paint for anyone anymore. Something that once brought me so much peace would now be a reminder of what I was never able to finish for my very own princess.

Months passed and we were finally expecting our rainbow baby (pregnancy after loss), and unless you have experienced this type of tragedy and blessing, you can never really understand how stressful it can be. 


It came to a point where I needed to do *something* to calm my mind and soul. So I began painting...for him...for her....for myself, again. I knew I wouldn't be able to paint his murals as I wanted. But instead of "waiting" until he was born, I decided to paint my visions onto canvas' and frame them onto the walls. His theme was "Finding Nemo" because he was my very own "Nemo". In the movie the father loses all his children but Nemo and has to learn to not be afraid. He goes through many scary obstacles, but in the end he "just kept swimming" and that was what I was doing.

Many have asked me to sell my paintings. I never have. All the paintings I had ever done up until this point were always from my heart and given as gifts. Each painting I create carries a piece of my heart. I have never created any paintings that were identical. It would be impossible to do, but I refuse to do it. These paintings, these creations are my "babies" as well. Being a stay at home mom has been the most amazing experience of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And so my love for my children has grew more than my inability to not sell my paintings. Once I did and I seen how much JOY it brought to these people's lives I knew it was my calling. It was then I realized, in a metaphorical way, my paintings were just like my daughter. Created be me, loved by me, with me for a short time, and now shared with the world. If it was my choice I'd have a house full of my canvas', but that won't let me be able to raise my son 


So now I am here, offering my "babies" to those who would love to adopt one. Artistic freedom is always great, but I can make someone else's visions come true. I'm inspired by pictures, scenery, Disney, cartoons, nature etc. I am able to duplicate almost anything I am given. Custom orders are welcomed and LOVED! Please message me at my FB page, Etsy shop or directly to my email I look forward to meeting all of you and creating something special for your home.

Thank you to Little Orso for sharing our story. My children have brought out the best in me. Through having them I have been able to find myself.

Antoinette has announced that once she reaches 400 "likes" on her Butterfly Kisses and Rainbow Wishes Facebook page, that she will give away one surprise piece.  Head over and "like" her page today:)  I know I would love to win one!!  I am dying for a train or "wishbox":)

Monday, August 27, 2012


This is one of those items that I wish that I had bought when my son was born.  Anytime I feel that way, I know that it means that I should be sharing it with all of you!!

My biggest pet peeve with our swing, bouncy seat, or any other infant item was that the music would stop way too soon!!  I spent most of my time standing next to him, so I could restart the music on whatever he was resting in... And then those few glorious moments that I got to close my eyes next to him, were often cut short by the music stopping and him waking up.  Seriously who decided to make the music stop after 20 minutes??  Obviously not a new parent, that knows that once it stops the screaming usually starts!

My son is way too big for any of the items mentioned above, but we do still turn on music/white noise when he takes a nap.  It helps ensure our escape from his room, and drowns out the day time noise on our street.  However all of the items that we used, would end after 20-30 minutes.  One of the tools mentioned to correct middle of the night waking up, was white noise.  I decided that we needed to finally find something that played until I turned it off (aka all night long). 

After reading a ton of reviews, I decided on the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine.  And now is when I ask you, why the hell didn't I get this earlier??  It is fabulous!!  There are 12 sounds, some lullabies some white noise (such as a stream, storm, whales...)  If you push the top, a soft blue light comes on.  It is supposed to be soothing for them, but it is also great for checking on them during the night.  There is a timer that you can set on it, but otherwise it goes until you turn it off.  So exciting:)  Everything that I was looking for and more...including an MP3 plug and storage spot and the option to plug it in instead of using batteries.  I am so excited about the MP3 plug, because that means we can use it during the day too.  My son loves listening to music while he plays.

The Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine is very affordable at $40.  So far I can not find one thing wrong with it, and he has been taking 3 hour naps every day since getting it.  I actually had to turn it off to wake him up last week.  This is one of those times that I am happy to live in a small home, we can hear it in our bedroom too:)  ...and it is very soothing to sleep to.

Buy one today!!  If you are expecting you will love me when your baby arrives, and you actually can sit for more than 20 minutes.  If you have an older child you will still love me, when they actually sleep through their nap/the night.  And if you don't have kids you will love me too, because this one is just as great as an expensive well known brand's sleep machine (actually better because of the light and MP3 plug).  And it is literally half of the price. (as you can see above they didn't make it very "baby" looking either)

Sweet dreams!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

"You Wanna Make a Memory?"

So we already shared great school supplies and cool lunch time it is time to hold on to the memories made this school year.  I still am a huge fan of these from Papier Coterie, but here are two other fabulous items for recording the big events.

School Years Memory Book

I love this School Years Memory Book from Land of Nod.  It has a page for every year from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  You can record the name of their teacher, friends, favorite subjects...and there is a place for the school picture.  The book also has pockets to store important things, like rewards or report cards.

I love the idea having all of the main details written and stored in one easy place.  It is like a "big kids baby book" :)

My Keepsake Portfolio

This item you can buy before they even start school.  It is called the My Keepsake Portfolio from Lakeshore.  It is a giant cardboard accordion folder, that is divided into sections (one for each year). You can save their artwork, and bigger projects in here. 

Since they start creating beautiful artwork before Kindergarten, you can get this one right away.  What a fabulous way to keep all of their artwork safe, and keep your home from getting cluttered.  I plan on ordering one of these today.

Lakeshore has a promo code for free shipping, when you spend $79+.  Just enter the code FREESHIP at checkout. This offer is good until 9/4/12.  They have a ton of other great back to school supplies!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips for Feeling "Well Kept"

Just because you stay home changing diapers, making lunches, scrubbing toilets etc...doesn't mean that you can't still have a little luxury in your life.

These are a few of my favorite tips for feeling like a "well kept woman", while being a stay at home mom on a budget (these work just as well for stay at home dads)...

Washington Post

1.  Put on a hair mask first thing in the morning, and leave it on while you clean and get ready to go.  By the time that you rinse it out your hair will be soft and shiny.  I don't buy hair masks or deep conditioner anymore, because I realized that I kept getting them as samples when buying other items.  Now I keep a little basket in my bathroom filled with my "emergency look like I live under a rock collection."  Basically the basket is filled with hair masks, face masks, eye creams...  I just use one whenever I feel blah.  The best part is they are perfectly portioned out, and they are usually products that I could not afford to buy the entire container of.

2.  This one is really fun. Did you know that you can afford your own stylist?  J Crew offers free styling online or by phone.  Just call this number, or fill out this form and book your appointment.  A stylist will ask you a few questions, and then come up with an outfit (s) that works for you. 

The best part is that you get free shipping on all of the items that they pick out for you.  You do not have to buy anything!! You can use your styling appointment to make a J Crew wish list, or just to get an idea of what type of clothes work best for you.

3. Don't have time to get a pedicure??  Before you go to bed wipe your feet with an acne pad. (yep the type that you probably used to fight pimples back in junior high)  Then slather a think lotion (like Eucerin or Aquaphor) on your feet.  Throw on a pair of socks, and when you wake up your feet look like they have been scrubbed and massaged all night.  They are soft and callus free:)

4. Did you know that you can get your groceries delivered to your door??  This service is not available in every area, but Safeway is expanding it more every day.  Head over to their website to see if they deliver to you. Where I live (Southern California), their Vons stores deliver to us.  The delivery cost is $12.95, but they make it so easy to get it for free.  Typically you can buy 5 items off of a weekly list, and your fee is waived.  They also have a baby section, where if you buy 1 item from it your delivery is free (I just stock up on wipes..can't  imagine a day that I will not need these).  Delivery is free for all first time customers, by using the code EASY7.  I can't tell you how much I love this service. 

I go online right after putting my son to bed, by the next morning my groceries are at my door.  They even offer to bring them into the kitchen for you.  You get all of the same in store promotions, and they usually offer a special free item with promo code for home deliveries.  My husband and I have discovered some great new items this way.  Another reason that I love this service, is because they keep a history of what you buy online and in store (when you use your rewards card).  So you can shop from this list, and easily get all of your favorites.  I use this list to remember what I need.  With everything going on in my life, I do not have time to run back and forth to the store for items that I forgot.  Their trucks are refrigerated, so items arrive in great condition.  This is such a luxury, I used to get paid $20/hour to be a personal assistant and do things like this.  Now you can get it for free:)   [My husband and I placed an order when I had my son, we came home to a house filled with groceries. Recommend this to friends that do not have family close by, and are expecting.]

5.  Do your hands feel like sand paper, and look like they have aged 100 years since staying home??  Mine did, until I started microwaving Olive Oil for 5 minutes (make sure it is not too hot) and then massaging it into my cuticles and hands.  I like to soak my nails in it for a few minutes, before massaging it in.  I do this a few times a week.  Don't worry a little olive oil goes a long way.  The best time to do this is before bed, then you can wake up with soft younger looking hands.  You can wipe the excess off with a towel, and it still works.

Now I just need to come up with a good trick to emulate sleep;)

Do you have any great tips??  Share yours below.  
I will send the best one posted today (8/23) a $10 Shutterfly giftcard:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jackson's Make a Memory Collection

As you know, I love to share great infant loss resources when I come across them. My hope is that by sharing these, I am helping out fellow grieving parents.

Recently a fellow Baby Loss Mom, reached out to me.  Her name is Courtney, and she lost her son Jackson 2 months ago.  Although she is pretty new to the loss community, she has already started contributing and helping other families.  Her main focus right now, is her Jackson's Make a Memory Collection.  This is a charity that she started to collect books for her local NICU.  When Jackson was in the NICU, she found a lot of comfort in reading to her son.  She wants other parents to have this opportunity available to them. 

Her organization has already collected over 207 books. They are planning on installing a shelf in Jackson's honor, later this month. 

If you are interested in donating books, please contact Courtney at They need continuous donations, because they want the parents to feel free to take the books home with them.  They not only give comfort in the NICU, but in some cases become a physical item to hold on to.

Courtney has started various other activities, to help raise money for Jackson's Make a Memory Collection.  She has an infant loss store on Etsy called Jack's Boutique.  One of the neat things that she offers is "Graffiti Art".  People that have lost their child love to see their name written in different ways and places...Courtney has found a new beautiful way to do that for other families.  She writes your child's name on various locations in nature.  No two names are done the same...

Recently she did her own candle lighting, on August 19th (Day of Hope).  People were able to send in their child(ren)'s names, and she wrote them on individual candles.  At dark she lit each one, and captured the event beautifully.

She plans on doing another candle lighting on October 15th (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day), and on all other major Infant Loss dates.  If you would like to have your child included in the next event, please contact her through her email address (seen above) or through her website.  A dollar donation is required, and will go to putting more books on their shelf.

Please take a moment out to read about all of Courtney's beautiful work.  Also consider making a donation, or starting something similar at your local NICU.  This is a great way to clean out your own library, and make a huge impact in someone else's life!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lunch Time!!

So I already shared my favorite back to school supplies!!  Now it is time to focus on my favorite part of the school day...Lunch!!!

Let's start with the actual lunch box.

In the past I have mentioned my love for these and these (and the love I had for my own Dukes of Hazard lunchbox, back in the 80's).

However here are some of my other favorites:

Brown Paper Bag


Carried Away Lunch Bag

Rover Complete- I love how you can customize this one & it keeps everything separate

Sandwich Lunchbox

Then you need some great accessories to make your lunch with...

Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bags

Hold The Crust Sandwich Cutters

Personalized Thermos- "Traditional thermoses" are not easy to find

Made with Love Sandwich Bags

Dino Freezer Friend

I don't know about all of you, but all of this talk about lunch has made me hungry!!

Bon Appetit!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun Summer Hair :)

Little Orso Council Feature

What's one of the best perks about lugging the kids, their toys, the umbrella, beach chairs and etc to the beach other than a day of family fun???  The way the beach weather gives your hair the perfect waves. A nice soft wave that when pulled up falls nicely into place, or left down for that summer casual look. 

Bumble and Bumble came out with a terrific product called Surf Spray, I love it but it retails for 24.00 for 4oz. Being a stay at home mommy we had to cut back on a few things, and some splurges.

A few weeks ago, one of my clients walked in with the most amazing waves. She shared her simple way of making the waves at home

... A "Beachy Wave Spray".

Here is the recipe

2 cups of hot water
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of conditioner or hair gel

Spray on your hair, and twist into 6 or 8 sections and let dry. 

You can also spray it on braided hair.  When you take the braid out, you will have gorgeous waves:)

Her hair is typically stick straight

Every client that I have shared this with, has gotten big beautiful waves.  I have been using it myself a few times a week.

Now we can make summer last that much longer!

***Misty (The New Mom)- Misty gave birth to her first child, a daughter in January 2012.  She is a new mom, but has already discovered so many amazing items. She keeps me up to date with the current hot baby items. I also love the local hidden treasures that she has shared with me. She is a fabulous hair stylist, and former Disney Princess, so she has so many fun things to share with us :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rainbow Pixie Dust Kisses... Handmade from the Heart ♥ Giveaway Post!!!!

Last week I featured a Super Why beanie, in my Love, Love, Love- Tv Edition post...

Evidently there are a lot of Super Why fans, because the post got a ton of traffic and I got quite a few messages about it.

I figured if you were all impressed by the Super Why beanie, then you would love the rest of the items that Nikki has at her Rainbow Pixie Dust Kisses Store.  Nikki opened her store in March of 2011 (ohh that is when I had my son :) )  She features beanies, bows, jewelry, and a bunch of other adorable handmade items.  Her grandmother taught her how to crotchet when she was 7, and she has been making beautiful things ever since:)

Nikki plans to add some new holiday items and baby blankets, in the next few weeks.  I am really excited to see her Halloween beanies, they are a great idea for those kids that are still a little young for costumes. You can buy the Brobie beanie above, and then dress your baby in a green onesie.  Cute, easy, and a great way to keep little heads warm on those brisk October nights!!

Now let's get to the exciting part...the GIVEAWAY!!!  Woo hoo:)

Nikki has offered to give away a beanie of your choice.  The winner will be able to pick any beanie (current or future item) from the Rainbow Pixie Dust Kisses Store

To enter the Giveaway:

1. You must like Rainbow Pixie Dust Kisses on Facebook

2. You must like Little Orso on Facebook. If you already like us then you must send 1 friend.  Have them put that you sent them on our Facebook wall.

...and Nikki has said that if she gets 150 new "likes", then she will give away a 2nd beanie!!! 

2 chances to win one of these fabulous beanies, and all you have to do is share this fabulous store!!

The Giveaway will run from now, until Monday 8/20/12 at midnight (pst).  Winners will be chosen randomly with, and will be posted Tuesday 8/21/12 on both Facebook pages.

Head over and enter now!!  Good luck:)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Love, Love, Love- Get me off of Etsy Edition!! :)

I have a serious addiction, and need help!!  I can not stop browsing Etsy, and putting things in my cart. One of my favorite things to do is put items in my online shopping cart at my favorite sites.  I know I could make wishlists, but there is something so much more enjoyable about actually putting them in your cart.  I am not buying most of them, but I still get to have fun shopping!!  I think it stems from my mom giving me catalogs when I was little, so I could circle what I wanted for Christmas.  There were 7 of us, so the catalogs came out a little earlier each year.  She had a lot of shopping to do:)

Here are some of the things that recently made my cart.  Don't blame me if Amazon and Etsy crash one day from over use;)

What a cool Tooth-Fairy pillow!!  And the Tooth-Fairy will have no troubling finding the teeth in the dark, with that big red "X" over it:)

Pirate Tooth- Fairy Pillow

These were made for Sesame Street Birthday parties.  You can have the street personalized, with your child's name. However I want one for the entrance to my son's play area.  How cute would it be in a yard, or next to a swing set too??

Personalized Sesame Street Sign

I have mentioned a few times that I am not a huge fan of baby leg warmers for little boys, because they always make them so cheesy.  However these are fabulous!!  I actually want a pair for me.  Seriously how cute would these be if you wore them like "80's leg warmers"??  Ok back to kids...I want these for my son, and wish I found them when he was still wearing onesies everyday.  I think they would be cute  for him to wear to his gym class, since they can't wear socks.

Football Striped Baby Leg Warmers

Ok so I may not have cured by "shopping addiction" today, but I did stick to the "rules" of my Love, Love, Love posts...3 items.  Baby steps people, baby steps!! Not to mention if I stopped shopping, then I would have nothing to share with you guys:)  See I have justified another evening of online browsing:)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Little Orso Bookshelf- Sleep Sanity Edition

When I was pregnant I received "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley, as a gift.  We never had to use it, because we were one of those "lucky people" that had a baby that just started sleeping through the night right away. (I know you hate us).

Well things changed a lot when my son hit 16 months.  He stopped wanting to take a nap, and starting fighting off going to bed.  It was a nightmare, and we had no experience with what to do (because of him being so easy when he was born).  I started asking around and realized that many parents with kids 15 months- 4 years, were experiencing something similar.  We all had our own tricks to help, but no one had any definite answers with why this was happening, or how to fix it.

I decided that I needed to find a book, that seems to be my answer to most things that I can not fix (blame it on the fact that I grew up without the internet).

I was so excited to hear that Elizabeth Pantley had written a sequel to "The No Cry Sleep Solution", called "The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers".  Like I mentioned before I had never read or used her earlier techniques, but had heard that she was amazing from those that had.  So many friends swear that without her book they would have gone crazy.  I figured it was worth a try, and ordered a copy.

I quickly started reading the book, and within 9 pages...yes 9 pages!!! I had solved a lot of our issues. It was shocking how many things that we were doing "wrong" and hadn't even realized it.  They were so obvious, such as playing with him before bed etc...

I am not going to go into her tips or anything like that, because we all have our own different sleep issues. ( I would have to copy the entire book here...which I am sure is far from being legal)  However I am going to say that this book has really helped us (my son has been taking three hour naps since getting it...knock on wood). It gives me the feeling of having an expert on hand to help me at any hour.  For me the worst part of his sleep issues, was feeling helpless.  I felt like I could not help him, and overwhelmed by it all.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy.  If you already own either book, please feel free to share your experiences below.  I would love to know if they have worked for any of you!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Be Prepared!!!

After our earthquake last week, it reminded me that I need to check my emergency supplies.  I tend to be one of those overly prepared people, but it doesn't hurt to double check;)

In California, we are always preparing for an earthquake, power outage due to heat, or to escape a wildfire...however I know that every area has their own things to prepare for, and most include power outages. 

I figured that I should do a post on children's flashlights, and hopefully remind people to check their own supplies.  Everyone should have a flashlight next to their bed, including children.  Even if they are too young to use them now, you may be in with them when the power goes out.  That is why I bought my son one, the week that he came home from the hospital.

Flashlights are also great for night time reading, ghost stories, making shadows on the wall, and exploring:)  Basically you can't go wrong with buying one or a few of these!!!

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bibi Bee (This is the exact one that my son has)

Fisher Price Kid Tough Explorers 2 in 1 Lantern

Little Tikes Glow & Speak Animal Flashlight (these actually make animal noises)

V-Tech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight

Learning Curve Chuggington Flashlight

Ecotronic Hand Crank Children's Flashlight (these are great because you power them up yourselves & they do not require a battery)

John Deere Roll N Go Flashlight (these make noise and move)

There are so many basic options out there too, in case fun flashlights are not your thing.  Just make sure that you take a second to grab one for every room in your house, and if you already have them check your batteries!!!

Be safe!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Going on a Dino Hunt...Gonna Catch a Big One!!

I received a few emails asking me about the "dino hunt" that I do with my son, on my "Tech Free Tuesdays".   I figured I would share it with you guys:) 

Let's start with the dinosaurs...they are small hard plastic dinosaurs (they are the size or "Army Men Toys").  I bought a bag of 12 for $1, at a party store.  I plan on going back for another bag, so we can expand our game. 

We actually play two different versions of our game. 

The first version is more of a dino dig.  I bury dinosaurs in his sandbox, and then we dig and search for them together.  He loves looking for them, and screams when he finds one.  The best part of this game, is that it teaches him how to count.  We have 12 dinosaurs, so after each hunt we have to count to make sure that we have found all 12.  He is really starting to understand the concept of numbers, and when we don't have all 12 he immediately starts to dig again.

Our second dino hunt game, is more like a treasure hunt.  I quickly hide dinosaurs along our walk route, so that we can hunt for them as we walk.

He loves searching for them, and filling our bucket.  It helps keep him involved in the walk, and looking at nature.

Both dino hunts are fun for both of us, and teach us a lot. (before the show "Dino Dan" and our hunts, I never knew the name of most dinosaurs) 

I have already come up with a few new versions of our favorite game.  I will share them with you guys if they are a hit!!

In the mean time give these two games a try!! 

If your kids are not into dinosaurs, or you can't find them... don't worry!!  You can use anything,  Playmobil People, Lego People, Squinkies...  

You can also make your own items, such as clothespin people, painted rocks, coins....  The options are endless, just like the games are.  I promise you that games like these (that are inexpensive and that you create with your child) are the ones that you will have the most fun playing, and that they will most likely remember and some day play with their own kids :)

Have you created any inexpensive games/activities with your kids?? 

Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook page:)

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