Kid Zone

PJ Mask Bean Bags and Target

For KM’s second birthday, I invite family and friends to celebrate with us. Because I know children of all ages are going to be at my house, I want to keep games and activities fun for all.

Much to my dismay, barely anyone showed up. Read Disappointment at a Child’s Party for the details. However, that did not stop the children who were there from having fun. I created masks and bean bags with targets for the children activities.

Working full time and having children, I know that I need time and help when making the bean bags and the target. I start two weeks in advanced to ensure I have enough time to get everything done, as well as being considerate of my help’s schedule.

First, the target:

For the target, I reused the props I had for WP’s party this year. He wanted a Fireman’s Party, so I made buildings and used streamers to represent fire.

KM’s party is PJ Mask themed. I use the burning buildings and turn it into the City Night off of PJ MASK. I replace the fire streamers with solid yellow to represent the lights.

MATERIALS:

  • Sheet of Plywood
  • Black Paint
  • Paint Roller or Paint Brush
  • Yellow Streamers
  • Tape
  • Someone who knows how to work a saw in order to cut out the buildings

With one sheet of plywood, I am able to make 3-4 buildings (Depends on how big you want your buildings)

I give JT the instructions on what I am looking for (squares and/or rectangles that will represent windows on a building). He gets to work and makes my buildings. Afterwards, it is up to me to finish.

I buy a quart of black paint and a paint roller and I get to work. Once all of the buildings are painted, I cut the streams to fit the size of the windows and proceed with taping it as needed.

VIOLA!! You now have the City Night off of PJ Mask!!

pin-target

Next, the bean bags:

Please do not be fooled by the name. Yes it is called BEAN bags but you DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, want to use actual beans as a filler. Two problems with using beans: 1) over time, it will attract bugs 2) if it gets wet, it will swell.

MATERIALS:

  • Fabric color of your choice ( I used Green (Gekko) Blue (CatBoy) Red (Owlette) and Black (the Villians)–I bought a half for each.
  • 25 lb bag of Aquarium Rocks
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine or someone who knows how to sew.

So, one year for Christmas, after hearing me say I wished I knew how to sew using a machine, my mother sporadically bought me a Brother’s Sewing Machine. It has a DVD Tutorial on How to Use it and everything… THANK HEAVENS!! Between my mom and I, we were able to make the bean bags.

We cut the fabric into 16 even strips. (Each color made 16 bean bags)

We sewed three of the four ends together completely and the fourth end we sewed half way across. Once the “bag” was formed, we turned it outside in–because when you will sew it, your finished product will have the inside of the bag showing on the outside.

Then, I filled the bags–Thanks to my dad’s creativity, I used a cut water bottle as a funnel. Standard funnels are too narrow for the rocks to pass through without getting stuck and requiring work. the mouth piece to a water bottle is wide enough to allow the rocks to pass through easily.  You will want to cut your water bottle so that you can pour a scoop of rocks in it. I also used a measuring cup to help cut back on the mess that pouring it directly from the bag causes. Using a measuring cup also gives you a more consistent fill. I used my half cup scoop and fourth cup scoop.

Once the bags are filled, you need to sew the opened end closed.

SEWING TIP: When you sew your bags, make sure to double or triple stitch so the bags don’t bust open when it hits a solid surface. I had a 13 year old and 11 year old throwing my bean bags with all of their might and the bags never once bust open.

pin-beanbags

TAH-DAH!!!! You now have your own bean bag and target prop. One thing I learned with my children, they LOVE to throw. This is perfect for them to throw and having the target allows for hand eye coordination.

What do you think? I would LOVE to hear from you! Leave me your comments and suggestions!!

With Love Sign Off
With Love,
Elizabeth

 

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D.I.Y. P.J. Mask-Masks

DIY Children's Masks

For KM’s second birthday, I invite family and friends to celebrate with us. Because I know children of all ages are going to be at the party, I want to keep games and activities fun for all.

Much to my dismay, barely anyone showed up. Read Disappointment at a Child’s Party for the details. However, that did not stop the children who were there from having fun. I created masks and bean bags with targets for the children activities.

Thanks to the wonderful website of PJ Mask, I was able to print out PJ Mask masks. The website is full of wonderful activities, color sheets, and props for the children. There is an adult site and a kids site. I used the Adult Site to print the PJ Mask masks.

Once I printed what I needs, I then set forth to cut out the faces.

I opted, due to time constraints and blistered fingers, to hot glue tongue depressors to the back of the masks. Another option is to laminate the masks in order to use stretchy string so the children can wear the masks instead of holding it to their little faces.

Below is a list of products that can be used to make the masks, as well as a picture of my final product.

The list represents affiliate links, which simply means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the site, at no extra cost to you

Printer– I LOVE this printer. I have been using it for a few years now and would never buy another one. The print quality is AMAZING and the print speed is great! You cannot go wrong with this printer.

Color Ink– With the printer mentioned above, this is the ink that is needed.

Paper– I am not picky when it comes to paper. I feel as though they all do the same thing. I LOVE shopping Target so I stick with the target brand.

Tongue Depressors– I used what I had on hand left over from other projects. I always use the natural color because you can always paint or design it if you choose. However, if you want it to blend in, I recommend going with the colored sticks.

Hot Glue Gun-I am a DIY Crafter. I love using my glue gun for my crafts. I love this gun because of the dual temperature control, as well as the kick stand for it.

Glue Sticks-Again with the, a glue stick is a glue stick. I am not picky. For me, the cheaper the better. I use this one.

Laminating Machine-Yes, I do have a laminating machine. With all my children, it was cheaper for me to buy one than to keep paying a local company to do it for me. Plus, I can do it on my own time from the comfort of my home. This machine is very compact and easy to use. I LOVE IT!!

Laminate Paper– Ok, so if you don’t have the machine and don’t want to buy it but still want to laminate stuff, feel free to use the self-laminating pouches and sheets by Scotch. However, since I do have the machine, and I think the heat and press makes it last longer, I use these sheets by Scotch. Completely up to you!

Stretchy String-Elastic string is the best to use in order to fit most sizes around the head. It can easily be found in any of your craft stores or craft section of your favorite store!

Scissors- Ya’ll, scissors are scissors. It does not matter which ones you use. Honestly. I really prefer the Scotch brand but I love Scotch brand for most products! And this one is a GREAT deal. 2 for 1 pack!!

 

So, if you want to stick with the tongue depressors, then there is no need for the laminating machine, lament paper or stretchy string. From my experience with younger children, the tongue depressor route is the better route because children tend to get fussy about having elastic around their heads/faces.

However, if you prefer to laminate, you must first laminate the masks ( I recommend laminating the whole sheet–saves your hands on cutting). Cut the masks, make little holes and attach the stretchy string.

 

I’d love you hear from you! Please leave your comment!

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Disappointment for a Child’s Party

Saturday was KM’s 2nd birthday party. He LOVES Gekko off of PJ Mask, so why not go with a PJ Mask themed party! I spend two weeks gathering and buying materials to create games, make decorations, and provide food. I invite about 25-30 guests (adults and children) a month in advance so everyone can mark it on their calendars. My baby boy will have an AWESOME party!

Games, Decorations, and Food

Since so many children will be at the party, I aim to keep things fun. It is a child’s birthday after all. I make masks for the kids to where. My mom and I team up to make bean bags. I create “the city” like on PJ Mask. I make sure all of my children’s ride on vehicles are charged and ready to go. I order a cake. I buy hamburgers and hotdogs and the garnishments to go with it. I buy balloons, a Happy Birthday banner, plates, forks, spoons, knives, napkins, cups, everything essential for a party where guests confirm they are coming. I spend the rest of my Friday, after working all day, making cookies and cake pops. Two weeks worth of planning and preparing so my guests and KM have a wonderful time.

No one showed up.

I am VERY, VERY happy that my baby doesn’t know better yet. I am disappointed for him but I plaster a smile to my face and push forward. I have to. He does not know any better and I refuse to show him any differently. Out of EVERYONE that is invited, KM’s Godfather, his wife, and their son show up. My brother, MJ, who lives in Lake Charles is also there, and my cousin, who is like a sister to me, along with her two sons (my Godsons) are there. KM’s Godmother shows up, as well as my parents. I am heartbroken. I am devastated. Not because I spend all of my energy and put forth so much hard work, but because people cannot get out of their own way to support and celebrate a CHILD.

Those who matter are there

I have to keep reminding myself that the ones who matter are here. I know that statement to be true, it just hurts my heart that he doesn’t have more people to care. Seriously, out of the 25-30 people I invited, only 10 show up. TEN. And honestly, three of those are children who don’t really have a say-so. So, technically, seven. SEVEN people show up for my sweet baby.

Disappointment

My aunts and uncles that I invited did not show up. My friends that I invited, did not show up. All of these people who have children and who would want and expect me to be there for their children’s events did not show up for my child. My heart is heavy enough for KM. He will probably never have a birthday party where both of his biological parents will be there. This year, he had neither one. I know he has been given the shit end of the stick, but I refuse to ever let him know. The benefit of him being so young is that he will never remember any of this. Also, he will grow up learning his own version of normal. While I am disappointed in my family and friends, I will make sure he never knows how he was passed over.

Why I don’t blast my children all over Facebook and Social Media.

I am asked quite often why I do not put pictures up and share stories of my children on Facebook or Social Media. The simple truth, I believe if people want to know about my children and be a part of their lives, then they need to do so physically. If you want to see how my children are growing, then come visit them or ask me about them. Pick up a phone and call me. Be a part of their lives. If you cannot do that, then you do not need to know via Facebook or any other Social Media outlet.

Now for the fun and games

Below are the pictures from his birthday party. There are links to separate posts for the HOW-TOs on making the masks, bean bags, buildings, cake pops, cookies, and icing. Please check it out and feel free to leave me comments and suggestions!

 

 

With Love Sign Off
With Love,
Elizabeth
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Bullying isn’t Right: My Sleepless Night

 Bullying isn’t Right.

 

Last night, I’m sitting in the bathroom while WP is taking his bath (he’s only 4.5 so I sit in there to make sure he is cleaning himself well). I helped him wash his back and that’s when I saw it.

BRUISES in the middle of his back. I don’t make a big deal of it at that moment. Later on in the night, I asked him, again, how school was going. Then I start talking about bullying and telling him what to look out for and what he shouldn’t do so he doesn’t bully. That’s when he tells me… TWO of his classmates have been bullying him. So I asked him to tell me what they have been doing. PUNCHING him. Knowing exactly where he has been getting hit, I started pointing to different areas of his body. I went from his arms, to his legs, all around his back, and finally landed on the spot. He said no to all other areas and yes to that spot! At this point I am highly upset because he never told me anything before and his school did not even report this to me. I continued on and asked him what was going on, if he was doing anything, and how he reacted to being hit. He told me that he started off telling his teacher but that the two students kept doing it so he started hitting them back. I do not advocate him hitting or using his hands in a harmful manner. It upsets me very much; however, in this situation, I was happy that my baby boy was standing up for himself. I did not condone him hitting his classmates though. I told him he needed to continue to tell his teacher and if she didn’t do anything, he needed to tell me immediately.

My goal in life for my boys is to teach them violence and retaliation does not solve problems. I do want my boys to know how to defend themselves if they are backed into a corner and have no other options, but I always want their first option to be looking for a peaceful way out.

MY SLEEPLESS NIGHT:

Due to seeing all of that and the conversation that ensued, I was very upset. I want WP to know that it is ok to stick up for himself and to defend himself but I don’t want him thinking that violence solves everything. It is very hard to keep that balance sometimes. Taking  the higher road is not the easy road. It took me a LONG time to be comfortable travelling that road. I know it will be just as hard for him to learn about that road and to be courageous enough to walk it. People already make it difficult. They pat him on the back and tell him he is doing a good job by hitting his classmates back. People tell him that it’s ok to hit someone as long as they hit him first. I get criticized and told that I am raising a P**** (another word for a cat) because he’s a boy and he needs to stand up for himself. Hello higher road. I just sit back and listen to what they say. And then I enforce, yet again, to WP that as long as he has a peaceful way out and alternative, he needs to take it. The world has enough hate and violence; his choice to not participate is a ripple effect that can make a huge change.

The next contributing factor to my sleepless night was TWO MONTH OLD SHOTS and a teething almost 2 year old… The picture speaks for itself:

But I am happy to report that both are well and doing just fine.

FOR THE COMIC RELIEF…

I have figured out the best solution to help with any babies that need assistance in pooping. GIVE HIM/HER A BATH!!! With my littlest love still being on the new side, I only bathe him every 3 to 4 days. I look forward to his baths because, if only for a minute, I get that fresh, new baby smell. With EJ, that is all I get… a few minutes. It never fails, about 10 minutes after his bath, I am changing a ferocious POOP diaper… Bye Bye fresh baby smell!

 

With Love,

Elizabeth

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