Kids Party Theme Ideas

Kids’ parties don’t need to be outrageous and extravagant.  We love to throw easy and creative birthday parties and themed play dates (occasionally-themed days are NOT an every day thing.  Or even a frequent thing around here!).  Sometimes it is nice to celebrate the child and the excitement of youth with a special day.  Sure it can be easy to get out of control with themed days or celebrations.  But, childhood is such a fleeting time and being a mother to a child is such a thing to celebrate.  It is an honor to use creative ideas in celebration of the day…whether it be a birthday or a special play date.  Then there are the creative ways to celebrate neighbors or special people in you life.  A thoughtful special day would be a fun way to spend time and build memories with a niece or nephew.  Put together a quick and easy water bead tea party or a sleepover waffle bar for special time with your special little ones!




Party Theme Ideas for Kids

Party ideas for kids' birthday parties, themed play dates, and celebrating special little ones.


Some of our favorite ways to celebrate special times with our kids and nieces and nephews:
Kids party themes, games, themed food and snacks, decorations, activities, favors, and crafts can be found for each party theme.  Have fun planning your child’s party or themed play date.  Don’t stress about making the day extra special, just enjoy the being creative in honor of your special someone!

      
  
  
  


 
  

Cooking With Kids Recipes

We’ve been busy cooking our way through the alphabet with our Cooking With Kids A-Z series.  You can find all of the recipes here.  We love the learning and therapeutic benefits to cooking with kids so this series is a winner for us.  Try all of these recipes for tasty dishes that you can cook together as a family.

Cooking With Kids recipes for learning in the kitchen.  So many healthy meal ideas on this site that kids can make and learn while cooking.

Cooking With Kids A-Z Recipes

 Apple Dumpling Recipe  Banana Cheesecake Bites Veggie Puffs Recipe Homemade Pasta Recipe

A is for Apples: Apple Dumpling Recipe | B is for Bananas: Banana Cheesecake Bites Recipe
C is for Carrots: Veggie Puffs Recipe | D is for DoughHomemade Pasta Recipe

 Overnight Egg Strata Recipe   Strawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes  Fruit Pizza Recipe  Honey Peanut Butter Crispy Treats

E is for Eggs: Overnight Egg Strata Recipe | F is for FlourStrawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes
G is for Grapes: Fruit Pizza Recipe | H is for HoneyPeanut Butter Honey Squares
Wedding Soup Recipe  Jam and Greek Yogurt Dip Frozen Fruit Kabobs  Lemon bar Mason Jar Cookies
I is for Italian: Wedding Soup Recipe | J is for Jam: Jam and Greek Yogurt Dip
 K is for Kiwi Fruit: Frozen Fruit Kabobs | L is for LemonsLemon Bars Mason Jar Cookies
Vegetable Quesadilla Recipe   Honey Nut Popcorn  Antipasto Skewers
M is for Mushrooms: Veggie Quesadilla Recipe | N is for Nuts: Honey Roasted Nuts Popcorn | O is for OlivesAntipasto Skewer Kabobs

Stay tuned for more Cooking With Kids Recipes.
P is for:
Q is for:
R is for:
S is for: 
T is for:
U is for: 
V is for: 
W is for: 
X is for: 
Y is for: 
Z is for:

Holiday Themed Cooking With Kids Ideas

   

Book Related Cooking With Kids Ideas

  


More Cooking With Kids Ideas

   

  

Stop back for more Cooking With Kids Ideas.  We’re cooking up a storm all the time!


Some of our favorite tools for Cooking With Kids are ones we use every day. (Affiliate links are included.)
KitchenAid Mixer
Safety knives
Sturdy Cutting Board
Plastic Measuring Cups and Spoons


You will want to follow along on our Cooking With Kids Pinterest board, too:





Want to cook healthy foods for your family?  Grab Yum! Deliciously Healthy Meals for Kids, a cookbook for busy families that want healthy meal ideas. 

Healthy recipes for kids

Toddler Learning and Play Activities

These are Toddler Play Ideas for Kids from those fun years of 12 months to 3 years.  New ideas are being added all the time, so stop back often!

Scooping Ice Fine Motor Play for Toddlers

Fine Motor Pincer Grasp Color Match for Toddlers

Baby Play Ideas

This is a space where we share our favorite play ideas for babies.  The youngest kids can have fun while learning through play at home, too!  
Babies are such an amazing miniature human.  They are developing at a rapid pace and taking in the senses of our world with wide eyes.  Simply holding and talking to your baby is such a wonderful sensory experience.  Then there is the sensory overload of bath time.  We’ve got some easy play ideas for babies and young toddlers here, as they take on and take in the world around them.

activities for babies. Learning through play for baby.

Resource for New Parents

Many people think new parents are the only ones that need baby advice. Maybe you found yourself as a new mother who suddenly had a lot of questions on sleep patterns, eating and childhood milestones. But, if there is one thing that therapists wish they could tell new parents, it’s that parents could have a better understanding of how movement plays into development.

Therapists are many times, seeking resources to share with parents to support a family through the first year of baby’s development so they can thrive.

Remarkable Infants is a great opportunity for parents and professionals alike to educate more people on how to support a baby’s first-year development for future learning development.

Yes, this course does provide information on helping a baby sleep and eat, but this course is the other more comprehensive sections. The pieces most other baby trainings don’t provide.

It’s a 5-step, all-inclusive online training for new moms focusing on the development of the whole child from birth through 12 months of age. It includes the following:

  • Language Development (Talking with your baby)
  • Healthy Sleep Habits (Understanding baby sleep)
  • Cognitive Development and Motor Development (Playing with your Baby)
  • Reading with your Baby (Vocabulary, visual-motor, speech and language)
  • Infant Nutrition (Feeding your baby)

Even though this course is geared to moms, it’s also great for professionals. It can be a HUGE help to clients, expecting moms you work with and those that have kids with learning challenges. The more we can help educate parents on the necessity of building a baby’s cognition, speech and language and motor movements in their first year, the further ahead that child will be later in life.

The 2 best parts are:

1. Each section is taught by a specific professional (Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Pathologist, Pediatric Sleep Sleep Specialists and Registered Dietitian) with evidence-based research. So you know you’re getting advice from the pros!

2. If you are a professional, you can get CEU credits/Certificate of Completion for taking this course.

You can also get an additional 10% discount when you use our coupon code “COLLEEN10.” To join the Mommy Academy, click here. Don’t forget to enter the discount code!

 
This spatial awareness for babies post shares tips and tools for promoting child development through play, especially tummy time for babies.
 
For more information on development, check out this development of eye-hand coordination information post to better understand how fine motor skills and visual processing develop in babies and toddlers.
 
Additionally, the baby stage and development is an important time for the integration of primitive reflexes. Check out some of these books on primitive reflexes to read more on child development.
 
Also important in the baby stage is the development of oral motor skills. It’s through the mouth that babies explore their world around them and gain the skills needed to progress from liquid feedings to more complex foods.
 
Typical baby development from 0-12 months with creative play ideas.

Typical Baby Development:

Baby development begins before birth and continues to evolve into functional skills each and every day.  From birth, a baby typically demonstrates random limb movements and a rounded back with drooped head.  Asymmetrical postures dominate and no weight is bared through the legs when a baby is held up.  By one month, baby is able to rotate their head and lift their head momentarily.  Asymmetrical postures continue to dominate At three months, baby holds their head mostly in midline and is able to bob their head in supported sitting.  At three month, baby can visually follow a dangling toy from side to side. Baby may roll to either side from their back.  At 4-5 months, baby kicks and waves arms and shows excitement with movements.  They are unable to typically manipulate or purposefully grasp items.  However, baby will demonstrate a strong grasp when an item such as a rattle is placed in their hand.  They are unable to let go of an item in their hand. By six months, baby will demonstrate a greater variety of gross motor patterns.  You will see movements of elbows and knees and they follow objects with their eyes in all directions.  At 6 months, object exploration begins with crude manipulation.  At 7-8 months, baby will take objects out of a container and drop them with crude manipulations and exaggerated movements.  Baby is typically able to sit up by leaning forward for support.  At 9-10 months, baby will explore more of his environment and will show isolated movements of fingers as they poke and explore items.  They can pick up small items and begin to demonstrate purposeful play.  
Note: This is not a complete list of Baby’s development.  There are stages of typical development and changes in each skill area, as well as positional developmental changes.  Watch this space for more baby developmental play and information.
Beyond this, baby is continuously developing in their gross motor, fine motor, hand dominance, language, and visual perceptual, skills.  All of these areas can be built on with stimulating and encouraging play environments.  Try some of these play ideas with your baby: 
                          Baby play ideas for developmental learning and occupational therapy in birth-2 years
 

Baby Play Ideas

 
  
  
 

How to Make Homemade Blender Baby Food | Baby Safe Waterbead Sensory Play | Baby Mirror Play | Learning Activities for Babies Aged 0-2

 
  
 
 

More ways to play with your baby…

 
 
 
We’re adding new and older posts every day to our collection of baby and toddler play ideas.  Be sure to stop back and see what’s new!  As always, keep a close eye on little ones while playing with babies and toddlers with any activity.  Children should always be supervised while completing any of these activities.  Some children may be able to participate in a particular activity, while others are not developmentally appropriate.  Please use your judgment and adjust the activity to meet the needs of your child.  Or, pull out these ideas in a few months when it is safer for your child to participate.
 
 

Visual Motor Skills for Kids

When it comes to vision, there is so much to learn! Here we are covering visual motor skills for kids and the specific activities that empower development through visual motor activities for kids. Start by checking out Visual Motor Integration developmental milestones for age-appropriate skills that children typically master from age 0-5.  

Visual Motor Skills for Kids

Visual motor skills are made up of many areas related to vision and the ability to perceive sight with relation to movement of the hands and body in functional tasks.   Visual perceptual skills in kids are necessary for so many things…from self-care to fine motor skills, to gross motor skills…all parts of a child’s development require visual perception.  There are many pieces to the giant term of “visual perception”.  

Visual motor skills are needed for coordinating the hands, legs, and the rest of the body’s movements with what the eyes perceive.  There is more that plays into the integration of visual motor skills into what we do and how we use our hands in activities. Read on to find out more about how visual perception, eye-hand coordination, and visual processing skills play a part in the overarching visual motor skill development so we can perceive and process visual information and use that information with motor skills to manipulate and move objects in tasks and activities.

Visual Motor Activities

Kids rely on their development of visual perceptual skills for so many functional tasks.  From handwriting to self-care, visual motor skills are important!  This blog has so many ideas for activities to work on visual motor and eye hand coordination with kids!

Activities to help develop visual motor integration:

Looking for TONS of information that really explains how visual motor skills and visual perception are part of the whole visual processing system? All of these pieces play a part and work together. Join us in the Visual Processing Lab, a free email series that covers everything you need to know about visual motor skills, visual perception, and what you see in eye-hand coordination.

Visual processing lab and free email series that explains visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and eye-hand coordination.
 

Hand-Eye Coordination Activities for Kids

Hand-eye coordination is using the information received through the vision system to coordinate the hands with control, in order to complete a task, such as handwriting or catching a ball.

Below are TONS of activities designed to promote this skill.

 

Hand-Eye Coordination for Babies and Toddlers

The activities below can be used with all ages, but may be a great way to promote fine motor and visual motor skills in kids through eye-hand coordination tasks. Be sure to use supervision with children during these activities and remember that all activities should meet the individual child’s needs. Activities can be modified or adjusted as needed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Visual Perception and Visual Motor

We have shared quite a few posts relating to vision and visual perception! 

Visual Spatial Relations is organizing the body in relation to objects or spatial awareness.  This is an important part of handwriting.  Spacing pieces of a puzzle amongst the others and writing in relation to the lines is one way to work on this skill.
 
 
 
 
 

Concentric Circle Painting

Line Matching with pipe cleaners

Color matching Elmer Activity

Word building with nature

Line awareness heart maze

Finger dexterity exercise

Winter scissor activity-cut icicles

Pencil Control candy cane

Sight word match with string

Giant motor planning maze

Line awareness bead picture

Create your own race track

Letters on the garage door

 
Visual Discrimination is determining differences in color, form, size, shape. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Visual Closure is the ability to fill in parts of a form in the mind’s eye to determine shape or a whole object.  
 
 
Visual Figure Ground is the ability to locate objects within a cluttered area (think “I Spy”).  Finding a red square among the pile of foam pieces is one fun way to work on this area of visual perception.