DIY Pretend Campfire

Mommy Camp started today! I decided that for each week I will be setting up a dramatic play area that matches the theme. The first week’s theme is camping so I gathered a few toys that are camping related like a flashlight, magnifying glass, bug collecting jar and binoculars. I also pulled out a diy tent from a few years ago, hid bugs and lizards around the room for my kids to collect, made camp themed felt board stuff and created this quick and easy campfire!
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Materials:
– 1 sheet red glitter craft foam = .99
– 1 sheet gold glitter craft foam = .99
– 3-4 sheets wood scrapbooking paper = .30 each = 1.30
– cardboard tubes (paper towel, wrapping paper, etc.)
– tape
– scissors
– stapler & staples
Directions:
1. Cover cardboard tubes with paper using tape. Cut the paper to fit if necessary. Use the end of the tube to draw circles on the backside of the paper to cut out and place over the end of each tube with tape.
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2. Cut red and gold foam to create flame shapes. Layer the two pieces together and staple. Then curve paper into a circle and staple again.
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3. Cut orange foam to form longer “flames”. Add leftover glitter foam to the backside of the orange flames and staple. Then staple into a circle that will fit inside of the gold and red foam.
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4. Arrange the “logs” around the “fire” and you’re done!
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It only took me about 20 minutes to create and both kids think it is pretty great. Because I chose to make it from foam instead of paper like other tutorials I have seen, it is much more durable. My tiny 1.5 year old tornado grabbed it as soon as he saw it but it held it’s shape perfectly. Also, by leaving the orange portion unattached to the red and gold the kids can take it apart and put it back together which they enjoyed. The “logs” actually held up pretty well once I established that they were not for eating.
I hope your kids enjoy this quick and easy pretend fire as much as mine do! Good luck!

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The FUN Jar

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I am always frustrated when it comes to finding things to do with my toddler. I save a ton of things to Pinterest but when I go to find an activity inevitably I don’t have what I need or it takes too long just to figure out and find all of the appropriate materials. So, I don’t get to even half of the fun things that I have pinned. So I came up with the idea for “The FUN Jar”. By spending a little extra time (ok not a little…it took me a couple of weeks) compiling all of the activities that I liked and creating a printable document with directions and materials lists I will be able to access all of the fun activities in a matter of seconds. You can also jump in on the fun by printing my FREE “FUN Jar” printable!!

How does it work?

First you have to print out the packet. Then, inside the packet are directions for 29 activity bags that you prepare ahead of time. I know that sounds like a lot but most of it is done for you. By creating these bags ahead of time for some of the more in-depth activities you can get started with your impatient little toddler more quickly and clean up is also fast. Keep in mind there are over 90 activities and you only have to prep for 29 of them. As long as you have purchased everything else that is on the materials list you will have everything you need to do each activity.

Once you have prepared all of the activity bags and have printed everything out you just need to cut up the different “activity cards”, fold them and place them in some sort of jar or container. I haven’t made mine yet but I would suggest making it really decorative and fun looking so your child will be eager to help you select an activity.

Now you are ready to select your first activity. You can use the color coded activities to make sure your child doesn’t draw an outdoor activity when it is raining. Let your child draw a piece of paper and then you can simply walk over to your box of activity bags and supplies and get the appropriate bag/supplies. Some of the activities don’t even require you to use anything special but are things we sometimes forget to do with our kids.

The goal of “The FUN Jar” is to make your life easier and to enrich your child’s life. Let me know what you think! I’ll be posting updates as I begin to use my own “FUN Jar”.

You can access the free printable here.