Activity – Rain Sticks / Sound Sticks

Yay! It is time for a new activity.

This is one we also did on our Snow Day 2015! You can see the others here and here.

Today, I will show you how to make your own rain stick (or sound stick)!

This activity was slightly more time consuming to make (about 20 minutes total), so I squeezed this one in while little Mark napped on the couch with big Mark 😉

First, all you need is an empty tube, short nails, tape, beads, rice, or dry beans, and colorful paper. I used a toilet paper tube and a paper towel tube, but you can use any cardboard tube, the thicker the better!


Poke the nails through the tubes. You need to use quite a few nails to get the desired sound effect. This was the most time consuming part. You can also use toothpicks, just cut them to size.


This is what it will look like once you have all the nails in. I did them in two spirals and then straight down the sides.


Next, tape one end off of the tube, so that you can add your noise makers.


I also taped over the nails to make sure none popped out!


Then, add in a handful of your noise makers. I used glass seed beads for the small tube and pearl beads for the big tube. I tested each one out by flipping it over onto my hand to make sure I added enough to get my desired sound effect.


Once your beads, rice, or beans are added, tape of the open end.

I then covered both tubes in some left over colorful craft paper I had. You can use any colorful paper!


Ta-da! Finished product. I would recommend putting a layer of clear tape or laminating paper over the craft paper, as these will, without a doubt, end up in your little ones mouths.momtogwithablog_0189

And now for little Mark’s review!

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Straight into the mouth.


I then gave him the big one. I showed him how it makes noise a bunch of times.

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But, it went straight into his mouth. So, I tried my demonstration again…


This did motivate him to inspect the rain stick more closely…


Alas, it ended up right back in his mouth.


He seemed to enjoy watching me play with it, and he definitely liked the bright colors! I will be laminating it for future use, so he doesn’t gnaw off the craft paper.

To see more activity ideas, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog, and like me on Facebook 🙂

Happy Half Birthday Little Mark


I can’t even believe as I am writing this that my little teeny tiny baby is already SIX months old. Seriously, it feels like just yesterday I was waking up big Mark at 6AM saying “I think this is it!”

I am so happy that I have documented as much as I have (I’ve only blogged a fraction of what I have on this kid). I get to look back at all my time stamped photos and I can literally see the leaps and bounds he has made in just these six short months.

I remember when I used to think he was never going to smile. He was such a serious little thing. He was not amused by anything. Now its a rare occasion when he is grinning ear to ear.


I remember when I thought, my god, he’s never going to roll over. And just this past week he actually rolled off the bed! (He was unharmed during this incident)


I remember thinking he would be walking before he would sit up, or that he would never reach for toys, or that he would never reach out for me.


And now, in hindsight, I realize just how fast he has accomplished all of these things. And I wish nothing more than for time to slow down. My little bean is growing up so fast. I start to think about how all of these firsts, first smile, first reach for mama, first roll, will soon be lasts. Last time he nurses, last time he looks for me when I drop him off, the last time I need to hold him up. Of course, this makes me incredibly sad to think about.

So instead, I am focusing on the now. Now he is six months old and we had a tiny celebration. Just Mommy, Daddy, Baby and a blue frosted cupcake.

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He totally knew something was up!


Such an inquisitive little thing.

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Are you SURE this is for me Dad?

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In the end we had one messy, sticky, drool soaked baby. He definitely enjoyed that half a teaspoon of cupcake he managed to get in his mouth before he smashed it into obliteration.

Happy Birthday Little Mark. Mommy and Daddy love you very much! Please stop growing up so fast!

sensory activity textures

Sensory Activity – Feel the Fabrics

Activity #2 of our Snow Day adventure was a touch and feel activity. I am fairly certain these are his favorite activities. He definitely love to feel things in his hands and he loves petting the dog and feeling his fur. I figured this activity would be fun, easy, and keep him entertained for a while (and it was!)

#1. Gather up several different fabrics. I happened to have a bunch that I use for photography props like a white hairy pillow, blue microfiber fabric, white silky fabric, blue tulle, and a soft fluffy blanket where the ones I went with. Feel free to use anything you have around your house. A clean bath mat, a clean welcome mat, a shower curtain, silky bed sheets, a soft blouse or shirt, a towel, felt, a velvet skirt, corduroy pants, seriously anything with different textures will work! *Bonus points for throwback photos featuring velvet skirts or corduroy pants 😉

sensory activity textures

#2. Next, place the different fabrics on babies lap one at a time and let them explore. Use as many descriptive words as you can and have lots of fun! (I love easy peasy activities). We did the hairy pillow first.

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This. This is new.

sensory activity textures

Next, we tried the super soft microfiber fabric.

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He wasn’t really into this one as much, so we moved on to the silky white sheet.

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As you can see, that one spent most of the time in his mouth. We then tried the fluffy white blanket.


This didn’t quite go over well in the mouth haha!

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Finally, we had the blue tulle. This was hands down his favorite and he spent most of the time playing with this fabric.

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Feel the Fabrics was a huge hit in our household! This easily kept him entertained for about 45 minutes. Serious. Whenever he started getting fussy, we changed to a different “feel” and it basically started the process all over again!

For more baby activities like this, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog and be sure to like me on Facebook and Instagram.

diy discovery bottle

DIY Discovery Bottle Activity

As you know, we were snowed in yesterday, so we got in a bunch of activities to keep little man occupied. The first activity of the day was a Do-It-Yourself Discovery Bottle. It was quick and easy and I am 99.99% sure you have everything you need to make this already in your house! Little Mark’s review follows below 😉

#1. Find an empty water bottle. It can be any clear, plastic bottle with a cap. Rinse it out and shake out all the water if necessary.


#2. Using a funnel (I made one out of a scrap of paper), fill up your water bottle half way with rice. If you don’t have rice don’t worry! You can use dried beans, lentils, coffee beans, etc. Get creative!

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#3. Find small, colorful objects to put in your bottle. I had some red buttons left over from a Christmas craft, a box full of different beads, and ribbon, but you could really use anything. Different dried foods like beans and lentils, little foam letters, legos, barbie shoes, loose change. Really anything that they can look at and you can describe to them!

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#4. After you put your objects in screw the cap on super duper tight. If you want, I have seen people glue the caps on with super glue or a hot glue gun, just use extra caution and make sure the glue is completely dried before giving it to discovery bottle activity

#5. Finally, hand it over and let them discover!


What? What’s this?


Okay, now what lady?


I bet I can…yep…yep, I can definitely fit this in my mouth!


Nom, nom, nom!


Tinselman definitely enjoyed playing with his discovery bottle. He actually sat here next to me and played with it for a while after we were all done. I loved that it was so easy and I didn’t have to run out and get any supplies (which I couldn’t have done anyway thanks to the snow!)

For more baby activities like this, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog and be sure to like me on Facebook and Instagram.

cutest baby ever

Snowed In! Quick Update.

Today we got 8+ inches of snow here in Northern Virginia, which meant Tinselman, Daddy, and I all got to spend some quality time together. We did several activities and tried a new food. I am working on creating the step-by-step instructions for the activities we did, so you can try them with your little ones! 

Just wanted to give you a quick update 🙂 I’ve also been taking photos of this handsome little face all day long, so I will just leave this here for everyone haha!

See you all tomorrow. Stay warm!

cutest baby ever