3 Easy Toddler Activities For Indoor Play

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Our Nai having fun at Port Discovery Children’s Museum Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Any Mama with a toddler knows our kiddos need variety! And being stuck in the house during a major blizzard – bye Jonas – doesn’t help. 

But if we’ve learned anything over this past week in my house, it’s creative play to the rescue. 


Here are a few of our favorite snow day / cold weather activities:


Finger Painting  & Water Colors – 
Most kids love to make stuff, and get their hands dirty, right? Break out the finger paints and water colors. 

You can use this activity to teach your kiddo how to identify a variety of colors, complete a project from start to finish, and work on a team! 

Nai painting Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Sand Play – Think warm thoughts, right?  

Yes. I say this to myself a lot these days (as this is not my fav. season). Nothing brings summer within reach faster than playing with sand. 

A few weeks ago we headed up to Lakeshore Learning and picked up an awesome sensory sand play set for Nai. This moldable soft sand comes with mini castles and tools so kids can build their own village. 

This is such a fun and low-key way to work on those fine motor skills. You can also buy sand in numerous colors at Lakeshore so this hands-on-activity never becomes old! 

Lakeshore Mold & Play Sensory Sand Set Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Water Play – Grab a small bucket, fill it with water, and let your little one choose which toys should go for a swim! 

You can even add shaving cream in the mix for more of a sensory experience; its another cool way to let kids experiment with touching various textures.  

Nai enjoying water play Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

I hope you all are enjoying your little ones this winter! 

What fun activities do you all do when it’s to cold to head out? 

Loving Our Kids Takes Courage and Vulnerability

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Photo Credit: Kaboom Pics

“We cannot opt out of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure that’s woven through our daily experiences. Life is vulnerable… These are the challenges of being alive, of being in a relationship, of being connected.” – Brene Brown

When our babies come to us after hours of excruciating pain, we immediately pronounce them as perfect – those symmetrical faces, joyous smiles and spontaneous squeals of delight bring boundless joy. Then, little by little, as the pint-sized stage, peppered with milestones, fades, we notice imperfections; once cute gestures are annoying, and we long for simpler days. I know I do, especially when Nai is consumed by a tantrum, and my patience is frayed.

All I want in that moment, Mamas, is perfection – instant calm and compliance. So unrealistic, and yet I crave the easier, predictable path. You know, like in a nanosecond, she will simply “get” how to control her emotions. Ludicrous, right?

But in this era of social media, where nearly everyone’s smiling at us through filtered photos, it’s hard to face anything remotely perceived as imperfection in ourselves, let alone our children. The reality, though, is our kids are mirrors, through their struggles and imperfections we see ourselves.

This is the vulnerability and courage of authentic love, it calls us to accept the range of humanity – the beauty of light and hope, and the struggle of impatience, anger, aggression, and selfishness. Each challenge we face, as parents, changes us and our children in profound ways. Gradually, I am learning to surrender to gentleness, and stop harsh self-criticism. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day.

The other morning, while reading through my daily devotional, How Deep A Mother’s Love…. A Mother’s Journey, I stumbled across a scripture passage (Isiah 43:18-19) which so deeply connects to this season of my life: “Do not remember past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the dessert.”

Love, I am learning, is not a place of rest and complacency, but of trust and conscious bravery.  And, you know what, it grows not during times of ease or comfort, but struggle – those moments when your child is melting down in the mall, and somehow, you find the empathy to talk through it, or with a little one who faces daily physical, emotional or learning challenges.

When loving in these ways, you come to understand the core of love – no illusions, expectations, or prerequisites (e.g. if you present this way, I will love you).

You simply see with your heart.

Why I’m Crying and Not Apologizing (Guest Blog Post – Michelle Dowell)

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Photo courtesy of author, Michelle Dowell
Photo courtesy of author, Michelle Dowell

So I was watching a television show today, and it awakened the thinking bug in me. Now my juices are flowing, and I have to bring up something that has been bothering me for a while now.

There were two ladies on the TV show who were talking about the difficulties of juggling new motherhood, “Wife-Life” (as I so fondly deem marital bliss) and their careers. Then one of them, the new Mom, broke down in tears because she felt that she wasn’t enjoying being a new Mom, because all of her responsibilities were keeping her from being able to slow down, and take a baby breather, slowly adjusting to her new role. But here’s the thing that bothered me, and we all do it, too. She apologized for crying. She apologized a couple of times actually, while she explained away her tears to her friend.

As I felt my own tears welling up in my eyes (because c’mon, you know we moms have been there), in mid-sniffle, I realized something. Why was this beautiful, accomplished new Mamma apologizing for crying?

She has EVERY right to cry, she just had a baby, for crying out loud! She’s worrying about: breastfeeding on time, sleep schedules, pumping milk, getting back to her career after her maternity hiatus, appearing sexy to her hubby again, finding time to do “the do” with her hubby, and then getting her home in order, laundry done, pets groomed, etc. As a matter of fact, if she wasn’t crying, I would be worried. So why apologize for showing emotions, especially to another woman?

Getting deeper into my thoughts at this point, I realized that, as a woman who cries at the drop of a hat (no, seriously, I do) and as a mom, wife, pet owner and entrepreneur, I know what its like to feel overwhelmed. It’s not just a Mom thing, though. I tend to think that all women get harried at the prospect of their hectic lives and the insurmountable tasks that loom before them, needing to be done a.s.a.p., simultaneously, and perfectly.

But since I AM a mother, I’m going to focus on us mammas right now. Why is it, that as a woman, I am expected not to utilize all of the perks that come with that title? After all, the whole women’s lib movement was birthed out of the fact that women were seen as the ‘weaker’ sex. It was proposed that we were the gentler, sweeter half of the human race, and therefore should be treated accordingly.

Now I’m not condoning all pre-women’s liberation-attitudes, albeit not wholly. I agree with some gals who think that in asserting our independence, we’ve also slid under the rug our femininity, which grants us the privilege of the “little things.”

What are the little things, you ask? Well, crying at the drop of a hat for one. Being emotional, high-strung beauties, was our role in the past, and while I don’t condone flitting around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, and acting nonsensical, I do think that we should have the right to display our emotions at will. We don’t have to replace the “I am woman, hear me roar” saying, but maybe we can make an addendum and add “or cry.”

Other niceties that are now pegged “old school” for a man to afford a female are holding the door open for us, holding our hands, picking up the check at dinner, taking off their hats around us, letting us walk on the inside of the sidewalk when walking down the street with us. When a guy does all of those things women go insane, and label them a great guy, when this is the treatment that men should be granting us anyway because we are ladies.

Being a lady, one should be able to express emotion at random, don’t ya think?

And being a woman, we certainly shouldn’t be apologizing for displaying those great qualities that make us the femi-feminists we were born to be. In other words, I have the choice and the right to be a lady, and show off any form of my femininity at all times.

And yes, as moms that right comes with the territory. Cry if necessary;be late if you need to because your little one pooped in their outfit right before you were leaving the house for a play-date. Laugh out loud at nothing because your life is so crazy that if you don’t laugh for a minute right now, you’ll be laughing for years in an asylum.

Get angry at your kiddo in public and threaten them with NO TV in front of the entire supermarket. I am a phone call or email away if you need someone to back you up to complete strangers in the potato chips aisle.

Ladies, let’s stop trying to match up with everyone’s idea of the perfect mom or woman and just be yourselves. Because guess, what? It’s who God meant us to be.

The next time you feel like breaking down, and sobbing in your SUV because your laundry room looks like a mini landfill, your pets have chewed or peed on your sofa, your little one is screaming for chicken nuggets in the backseat while your hubby asks you on the phone to buy a car thingy that you have no idea what it is or where to purchase it, do it.

Cry, sob, scream, laugh like Daffy duck, turn the music up, dance, turn on the DVD player; let your kiddos zone out to cartoons. Just be a woman! Who cares who is looking? Blame it on your cycle, your birth control, or menopause (yes, even if you are 20 years old).

So no more apologizing for being a female, gals. Embrace your irrationality and hormones. Flaunt your feelings as you would an economical (but HOT) outfit or a new pair of heels. Tell your hubby where he can go if he looks at you wrong (just kidding, maybe). Strut your stuff, because when you’re a woman, you have options.

We are women, hear us roar, or cry. No apologies needed.

About Michelle:
I’m Michelle, owner of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique on Etsy and mom to a 5-year-old boy & 4 crazy cats. My hubby and BFF of almost 7 years is my biggest supporter, encouraging me to keep at my craft.

I am currently writing a period-play set in 1939, two novels, and a children’s book series. We reside in Frisco, TX. I’m inspired by Harvey the White Rabbit & Elwood P. Dowd to always remain myself.

This post was originally published on E-Zine where Michelle shares some of her writing.
Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Im-Sorry,-Im-A-Woman:-The-Crying-Game&id=7010341

Here are some awesome sites that further expound on some of the post:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/good-to-cry
http://blog.kyria.com/giftedforleadership/2007/11/what_our_femininity_means.html