DIY Toy Work Bench…Didn’t think the hammering noise through!

My husband and I decided to make our son’s birthday gifts this year, a sandbox and a work bench. Having a construction themed party and knowing he loves helping daddy build and fix thing we thought he would love his very own work bench.

We got a few ideas from Pinterest, mainly getting our inspiration from Finding Joy’s design. My husband, with the help of my dad set to it! Together, they had it built in a night!

They got the wood, measured and cut. We decided to have the table 2 feet high, 2 1/2 feet wide and 1 1/2 feet deep because our kiddo is pretty tall and we wanted him to use it for years to come. It also suggests you add wheels on it in a few years as your child grows.

We had bought a tool set for him and voila, his very own work bench like daddy’s! The only thing we didn’t think through is having a toddler hammering in the family room constantly isn’t ideal, it’s actually pretty awful! Our house came with a playhouse on top of the shed which we are going to fix up this year but right now it’s full of flies and the stairs aren’t safe for young children due to a lack of railings. But I think, when the play house is finished and he’s old enough to spend time playing in there, the work bench will definitely make its way out there, I might even try to make space in the garage in the mean time!

I also want to paint it but didn’t get chance to do that before his birthday so we’ll see what happens! With the right tools this was so quick and easy to make, doesn’t cost a lot of money and it’s personal and sentimental because it’s handmade!

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Having a Boy…

I have a son. I love him more than life itself and wouldn’t change it for the world. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up and never super girly so, if I’m honest, I was kind of relieved when we had a boy, I’ve spent a lot of time with young boys and know what to expect…up to a point.

Let’s get the negative bit out of the way because there are, of course, some downsides to having a boy. Every time you walk into a clothes shop, you literally have half the selection that you would have if you were shopping for a daughter. There are way more reasonably priced cute outfits for little girls, than little boys. It’s just not fair. But I think the biggest downside, is that you really have to be on guard for those first few months when changing diapers, look out! My husband and I each got sprayed a few times, yuck!

I hear rumours that little girls are more likely to sit quietly and play with dolls or take their baby for a walk while boys, and especially my son, run around the house, struggling to keep an inside voice and anything that has wheels around is RACED around the house at full speed. They love to climb, want to get into everything and are just so so busy. I mean nonstop busy. I get tired just watching him. Thankfully, when he eventually gets sleepy he loves cuddles and cuddles with my little guy are my favourite!

Having a son is so much fun. We get to be silly together, stomping around like big dinosaurs, roaring like a lion, snorting like a pig. We drive trucks and tractors around the living room making loud vroom noises. We play in the dirt, well I garden with gloves on and he gets right in there! Having a boy is literally having constant noise in your house, covered in dirt…no matter how many times you seem to wipe their face and wash their hands, they always seem to be filthy!?!?!

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Having a son has taught me so many things I never knew, and so many things I never cared about. I know about diggers and bulldozers, backhoes and cranes. When we’re out in the car, I’ve become almost as excited as my little guy when we spot a school bus or tractor digging dirt…what’s happened to me? What’s happened to me is my son, I am a mother of a little boy who is obsessed with all boy things, therefore boy things are suddenly the centre of my world too, whether I like it or not. Having a son is amazing, it definitely keeps you on your toes, often gives you a headache and is the best thing that ever happened to me!

Dump Truck Photo Booth

Last week, with your help, I planned out the design for the Photo Booth for my son’s Construction themed birthday party. So I decided to get to it. The box we had wasn’t as big as I had in mind and Costco’s selection was lacking on the day I went to scout it out. So I made do with the box we had.

First, I got my supplies:

  • Picture of a dumptruck
  • Box
  • Exacto knife
  • pencil
  • Yellow, black, white & grey paint
  • Sharpies
  • Paint brushes
  • Strong Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Circlular things to trace because I’m no good at freehand!

I started by roughly drawing the window, front grill, lights and tires. Unfortunately, I forgot to draw the steering wheel! Ugh! So I made that seperately and have glued it on with super glue, hoping it will withstand a bunch of toddlers trying to turn it and drive the dump truck. Learn from my mistakes, leave the steering wheel on from the beginning!

   

 After drawing my dump truck and cutting it out with an Exacto knife, I was starting to see it all take form! The easiest way to cup cardboard it to lightly trace your outlines with the knife, but don’t cut all the way through. Then hold the cardboard up vertically and the knife will cut easily in the pre cut grooves.

I started to paint the truck. I use acrylic paints from the Dollar Store, nothing fancy because it’s not art, it’s a cardboard box, but use whatever kind of paint you have around the house or like to work with.

 Once the first paint is dry, move on to the next colour and so forth, colouring in all the parts of the truck.

When I was finished, I stepped back and my dump truck didn’t look like a dump truck!!! I thought it looked like a semi, my son called it a bus. Epic fail in the cardboard vehicle world.

  So after asking for your help yet again (THANK YOU!), I made some alterations and I’m starting to see a dump truck. WOOHOO!

I did some finishing touches with Sharpies and made it a bit sturdier by super glueing cardboard around frame and on tires. I also made a stand by glueing 2 cardboard triangles at the bottom. At first I was just going to leave it as an open box but to make alterations work and to make it more versatile for people of all heights, I decided to make it just a stand/frame. I am confident that the stands will not withstand toddler “gentleness”.

   

So here’s the final product. I don’t think it’s obvious that it’s a dump truck, but it looks more constructiony and dump truck like than it did before. I’m happy with it and I think it will make some fun pictures that capture the fun at my son’s 2nd birthday party. Now to hide it so my son doesn’t destroy it before his birthday!!!

Travelling with a Toddler

$25.00CDN for 1 sided $40.00CDN for double sided

here’s hoping for smooth travels with a toddler!!!

This is my 3rd airplane activity tray cover and I think the 11th flight with my little guy.  We go very prepared and so far (touch wood!!) he’s been pretty good.  I made this with my little guy in mind, he loves vehicles, especially buses! Whenever he sees anything to do with hockey he yells “GO GO GO!”. He loves dinosaurs and animals…especially if they roar and he loves playing peek-a-boo.

I make these custom to order in my Etsy Shop, I usually need about 2 weeks to complete and I love to make them as personal as possible for each individual child.  They are $30.00CDN for one sided covers or $50.00CDN for double sided as shown above.

My son will be testing this one out on our flight to Mexico in March, I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂 Fingers crossed!