Under The Sea/Ocean Animals – Kids activities at Home

OK, so here we go with Week 1! “Under the Sea”  AKA Ocean Animals.

Books we read:

Mister Seahorse
Commotion in the Ocean
Clumsy Crab
Rainbow Fish
The pout pout fish on the big big dark
A house for a hermit crab
Fish School
Little Shark
Way down deep in the deep blue sea

Songs we listened to:

“Under the sea” – Little mermaid (duh!)

Finding Nemo soundtrack (there’s a “finding nemo the musical” soundtrack that is amazing! My kids love it and know it by heart)

Baby Shark (also duh!)

Daily Activities:

Click on the activity title to be taken to the activity details.

Please Note: I have given credit to the original source where I got the activities from (If any). However, some of the activities were modified to meet our needs/resources :).

Day Activity Type
Monday Octopus Bead Counting Art/Counting
Monday Tissue Paper Seahorse Art
Monday Sponge fish target toss Gross motor
Tuesday Playdough Ocean Animals Art/Sensory
Tuesday Under the sea Stained Glass Art
Tuesday Seashell Dig Sensory Bin Sensory
Wednesday Paper bag jelly fish Art
Wednesday Frozen ocean Sensory
Thursday Paper Plate Jelly Fish Art
Friday Shaving Cream fish sensory exploration Sensory
Friday paper plate sting ray Art
Friday Hair gel sensory bag Sensory
Friday Ocean Sensory bottle Sensory

Octopus Bead Counting

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Paper Plate, beads, string, hole puncher, sticky eyes, paint

Description: This activity allows kids to use their motor skills and also their counting skills. It’s a win win :). Let kids paint the paper plate, count beads and place them on each tentacle whole, and glue the eyes.

Prep Work (if any):  Prep work is needed for little kids but older kids might be able to do all the presswork themselves 🙂

  1. Cut a paper plate in half
  2. Cut yarn/string
  3. Punch 8 holes and tie on yarn legs (AKA tentacles)
  4. For little kids you can write the numbers for each whole. For big kids, you can let me write the numbers and then add the beads

Photos:

2 year old vs. 6 year old
Finished Product 🙂

Tissue Paper Seahorse

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Seahorse cutout, Tissue Paper, Glue, Foam Brush

Description: Use a foam brush to spread water down glue (mix glue and water) to the seahorse cut out. Then have kids place the tissue paper on to the seahorse.

Prep Work (if any):

  1. Cut out Seahorse shape
  2. Mix Glue and Water

Photos:

Playdough Ocean Animals

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Playdough, Ocean Animal Cookie cutters, Beads for decoration

Description: Let kids cut out shapes on the play dough using the cookie cutters (Ie. Fish, sea star). Give them a bowl of beads to decorate. So simple yet so entertaining for the little ones.

Photos:

Sponge Fish Target Toss

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Sponges, scissors, buckets, water

Description: Allow kids to throw their sponges aiming for the inside of a bucket full of water. Kids will also love playing with the sponges and the water after. Be sure to be prepared for water play. This activity is best done outdoors.

Prep Work:

  1. Cut out fish shapes on the sponges
  2. Fill buckets with water

Under The Sea Stained Glass

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Black construction paper, Contact paper, Tissue paper, tape, scissors

Description: Cut out two rectangles from the black construction paper (cut the inside of the rectangle out). Then cut out multiple ocean animal shapes from the construction paper (3-4 per kid). Finally, cut out the contact paper to match the size of your construction paper rectangles. Allow the kids to decorate their contact paper with tissue paper and then glue/tape everything together

Prep Work( if Any):

  1. Cut out 2 rectangles from black construction paper
  2. Cut out contact paper rectangle
  3. Draw and cut out animal shapes from construction paper
  4. Cut tissue paper in to little pieces

Photos:

Seashell Dig Sensory Bin

Source Link: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/2017/05/tot-school-ocean.html

What you’ll Need: Bucket/Container, Sand, Seashells (you can buy sand and seashells from the dollar store!), kid’s tongs, digging tools like the ones that come with beach toys

Description: This one is pretty simple. Fill up the container with sand and throw/hide the seashells. Give the kids some tools to dig away. This will get messy so best to do it outside

Prep Work(If any):

  1. Fill bucket with sand
  2. hide seashells

Photos:

Paper Bag Jelly Fish

Source Link: https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/07/paper-bag-jellyfish-craft.html

What you’ll Need: Paper bag, paint, scissors, google eyes, glue

Description: Allow the kids to paint the bag first, then cut the bottom of the bag to reflect the jelly fish tentacles (or cut them yourself if they are still little and can’t work scissors yet). Finally, let them glue the eyes

Prep Work: None! Yay

Photos:

Frozen Ocean

Source Link: N/A

What you’ll Need: Container, Water, Ocean animal figurines, food coloring, Pipetes (like the ones that come with medicine)

Description: Fill up a container with water and add food coloring (preferably blue for Ocean water), then add ocean animal figures. Freeze overnight. Allow kids to melt the frozen ocean using pipettes full of warm water. Kids will be so excited when they start to ‘free’ all the animals.

Prep Work:

  1. Freeze water container with animal figures inside (add food coloring if desired)

Photos:

Shaving Cream Ocean Sensory Exploration

Source Link: N/A

What you’ll Need: Shaving cream, food coloring, ocean animal figurines

Description: This one very simple. Fill a container with shaving cream, then mix in blue food coloring. Place the animal figures inside and freeze overnight. Have the kids dig into the container and find the hidden animals. Great sensory experience for everyone. You can even have the kids do all the prep work too if you’d like.

Prep Work:

  1. Fill container with shaving cream and add blue food coloring
  2. Place/hide animal figures and freeze

Photos:

Paper Plate Sting Ray

Source Link: https://www.theidearoom.net/ocean-crafts-treats/

What you’ll Need: Paper Plate (by this time you’ll realize all you need for a week full of crafts is paper plates), sponge paint brush, paint, construction paper, google eyes, glue

Description: Cut out tails made of construction paper. Allow kids to paint both the plate and the tails. Then with a different color, let the kids use sponge paint brushes to decorate their sting rays. Finally, let the kids glue the google eyes

Prep Work:

  1. Cut out sting ray tails

Photos:

Hair Gel Sensory Bag

Source Link: N/A

What you’ll Need: Hair gel, beads, glitter, zip lock bag, good coloring

Description: This one is easy. Just grab a zip lock bag and fill with hair gel. let the kids fill it up with glitter, food coloring, and all the beads they want. Once done, I used tape to secure the opening of the bag to avoid any messes if kids try to open the bag

Prep Work: None

Photos: Couldn’t find any on my phone :(.

Ocean Sensory Bottle

Source Link: https://happytoddlerplaytime.com/ocean-sensory-bottle/

What you’ll Need: Plastic bottle, ocean stickers, glitter, water, baby oil, food coloring, sea creatures, seashells, funnel, measuring cup

Description: Allow the kids to use the stickers to decorate outside of the bottle. Then let them fill the bottle sea creatures, glitter, and seashells. Then have the kids add the water and baby oil (half and half) using a funnel. Add a few drops of blue food coloring. Close the containers and shake.

Prep Work: None

Photos:

Ocean Graham Crackers Snack

Source Link: https://thefirstyearblog.com/under-the-sea-graham-crackers

What you’ll Need: Graham crackers, blue food coloring, cake frosting can, a bag of gold fish, kids knives, cake sprinkles

Description: Mix the food coloring with the frosting to create blue frosting (ocean color). Let the kids spread the frosting on the crackers using a knife. Use sprinkles and gold fish to decorate. Let them eat and expect a full on sugar rush 10 minutes later 🙂

Prep Work:

  1. Mix frosting with blue color

Photos:

Paper Plate Fish

Source Link: N/A

What you’ll Need: Paper plate, tissue paper, glue, construction paper, google eyes

Description: Use watered down glue to glue the tissue paper on to the plate. Allow to dry. Then have kids glue the eye, fins, and tail. Some kids opted to add a tongue so feel free to do so :).

Prep Work:

  1. Cut out the plate to create the fish’s mouth in a triangle shape. This will become the fish’s tail
  2. Cut out fins and tongue from construction paper
  3. cut Tissue paper into small squares

Photos:

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Summer Camp at Home – Tips and Themes

It was May 2020, the end of the school year was approaching and we were still in the middle of a pandemic. I never thought it would last so long but it’s been 6 months and it’s still pretty much here all around us. Specially in Miami. Yes it was/is hard; we (parents) were forced to entertain our kids much more than usual.  A daunting task if you as me, but one I still feel lucky to be able to do (meltdowns and all). 

Right after my daughter finished her kindergarten school year, she asked where she was going for summer camp. Hmmm, well, hun, how do I explain this. You’re staying home for God only knows how long. She did not look happy about that. I went to bed that day with that thought in my mind. I woke up the next day with an idea. I got on my pinterest account and entered “summer camp themes and ideas”. Guess what, pinterest was full of those! And immediately I thought, I can do this. My kids have always been my greatest motivation to do anything in life. And this time was no different. I wanted her to have her summer camp. I casually mentioned it to her to test the waters. She jumped at the idea and said she was sooo excited and couldn’t wait to start. At that point, there was no going back. I HAD to plan a summer camp at home.

A few days after that, I mentioned it to a couple of my neighbors who were also trying to find an option for their kids, and they also jumped at the idea. I also mentioned it to my sister because I would probably need help if I was supposed to entertain more than one kid at a time. Within 2 weeks of planning, our neighborhood summer camp was born. It went on for 8 weeks, and we hosted 6 kids. Ages 1-6. How did we survive you ask? A lot of coffee, lots and lots of pinteresting; oh, and the weekly trip to the dollar store of course.

As the ‘themed’ weeks rolled by, I started posting all the activities on my IG account, and so many moms were interested in sending their kids. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the space, help or mental sanity to do so. In an effort to help those moms and probably a thousand others out there, I am putting together a series of blog posts highlighting the activities week by week. Each blog post will cover a week of activities including books we read, songs we played, and as many pictures I can find on my phone.

Feel free to save the post for now if you are currently looking for activities for your kiddos or for later when your kids have a week(s) off from school and you find yourself struggling to figure out what to do with them.

So before I dive in, let me give you a high level view of what our days looked like. Here is a sample daily schedule. Camp was open from 9-3pm. Monday to Friday.

Time Activity
9:00-9:15 Drop off
9:15-9:30 Circle time/go noodle
9:30-10:00 Stations/Sensory/playdough or Story time
10:00-10:15 Gym time/Yoga
10:15-10:30 Snack
10:30-11:30 Arts + crafts
11:30-12:00 Reading/open play
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:15 Arts + crafts
1:15-2:15 Outdoor time/water play
2:15-3:00 Group game/doodles/drawing/coloring/legos

Here is a list of the 8 weekly themes (I’ll be updating the links to each blog post as I go…). Click on the Weekly themes to see each blog post.

Week No. Theme
1 Under the sea
2 Dinos
3 Bugs + Reptiles (and Amphibians)
4 Wild Animals/Safari
5 Space
6 Superheroes
7 Farm Animals
8 Fairies and Dragon
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Mama Mini Sessions – Miami

Miami mini sessions

My Mother’s Day mini sessions are here!

Join me for this lovely event where we celebrate the gift of Motherhood. Take this opportunity to get behind that camera and allow me to capture magical moments with your littles (or not so littles). This is a chance to capture your story as a mother because your story -mom- is worth telling!

These session are designed to be quick and easy, and are focused on mom and her connection with her children.

Please select a time slot below from the available date (April 25). 40% of your session fee is due in order to complete your booking. Once you submit your selection below, you’ll receive an email from me with all the details, the contract, and payment information regarding your session.

MINI SESSION DETAILS:

  • 15 Minutes Session
  • $135 Session Fee
  • Private Online Gallery
  • 10 full res downloads
  • Location: Enchanted Forest Park
  • Date: April 25

 


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Tips for photographing Kids

I’m showcasing another maternity session at the beach today because why not? 🙂

Despite the very windy day we had on the day of this session, these trio rocked their session like pros! Photographing a two year old is never easy, especially when said two year old has skipped a nap. But, there is nothing bribery can’t fix. Don’t you think?

My main trick when I get a challenging kiddo who won’t follow directions (which let’s face it, it’s all of them hehe) –> NEVER STOP SHOOTING. I keep my camera close and my finger on the shutter ALL THE TIME because you know what? They’ll give you the pose you want when you least expect it. And let me tell you, if you missed the shot, you missed the shot :(.

Here a a few pointers I live by when photographing kids during any type of session. I live by these rules and if I keep them close to my heart during a session, I’m telling you, they make my sessions go a lot more smoother. In my opinion, if you, as the photographer, keep your calm, parents can keep their calm, which in turn transfers to the kiddos.

  1. Never rush a Kid. Plan to have more than enough time for a session where kids are involved. There could always be delays and/or meltdowns that you did not account for. Therefore, give yourself extra time. A rushed kid is not a happy kid. Trust me. If you don’t, go ahead and try it, and let me know how it goes ;).
  2. Never force a kid into a certain pose. This one is gold. If the kid does not want to do the pose, the kid will not do the pose and It is not worth insisting if you’re going to upset him/her. Just find another pose. This is a case where bribery could do the trick. Try getting the pose through bribery, but if it still not happening, MOVE ON. If you see an opportunity later on in the session where you could probably try again, do it! But again, if its not happening, don’t stress it.

Ok, enough writing for now. I’ll come back to this topic on another post. Now on to the photos! Check them out and feel free to leave a message below to let me know what you think.

want to book a session with me? fill out my contact form and let’s make some magic!

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Why you must plan a lifestyle newborn sessions and how to prepare for it

So let’s start from the very basics. What is a lifestyle newborn session? In short, this is a session that takes place in your home and its primary focus is to document the connection and love that the family members have for the new member of their tribe. This can include human and furry siblings, parents, and even grandma if she’s around! These type of session have limited posing (but plenty of guidance) and the emphasis is in displaying (as the name implies) your lifestyle while you’re still getting used to this new normal. Makes sense? ok, great. Let’s move on.

Now, why must you have one? Ok, fine, you don’t HAVE to, I lied. You don’t have to do anything you don’t like to do ok friend? But let me try to convince you :). Let me tell you why I love these type of sessions. But seriously, how could I not? What is not to love about documenting your new bundle of love in its very own home and the place where they probably spend most to those first 3(or so) months of life?…that is, until that day when you’re brave enough to take him/her out into the wild world full of germs and people who want to touch your baby no matter what kind of face you’re making. But let’s not go there (today). Back to the question at hand. I looooove lifestyle newborn sessions (and you should too) because:

Less stress for the fam. You don’t have to worry about leaving the house or making sure you brought the one million things a tiny person needs when leaving home. Think about it, you can stay cozying up with the babe and the photographer will come to you!

No restriction on newborn’s age. It can take place even when babe is a little older. Since there is no intricate posing going on. It doesn’t really matter if the babe is sleeping or not. So, you get to take your time to feel comfortable enough to allow somebody into you home :). I will mention though: If you want pictures of the sleeping babe, you’d definitely want to schedule the session within the first 10 days of life. Newborns are just so much more sleepy during those days. So, keep that in mind when you schedule your session.

10 day old babe showing off his gorgeous eyes!

You capture the essence of your family. This is probably my favorite one and the reason why I do what I do. When I think of the photos I want to look back on when I get old and wrinkly (many years from now), it always comes down to these type of shots. The ones that give me all the warm and fuzzies because I can just be transported to that moment when I’m looking at an image. You know, the one where I’m rocking my baby on the rocking chair where I spent countless of hours on. The one on his crib, where he also spent so much time on (or your bed if the crib plan did not work out for you :)). Those shots of us in the couch learning to navigate life with the new family member. I mean, those are the shots I want. And yes, I get it, the curly, Ann Guede-like shots are absolutely adorable (and I have nothing against those), but they are just not MY preference. I want to remember my babe just as he/she was, in the most natural state.

lifestyle newborn session

Ok, so if I convinced you already, please go ahead and send me an email or leave a comment below. Let’s start planning that session! In the meantime though, here are also a few tips to keep in mind while you prepare for that lifestyle session:

PREPARING YOUR HOUSE: Please do not worry about making your house spot clean! You just had a baby, I get it. Just try and make sure the clutter has found its way to a closet (any closet!). Focus on your master bedroom and/or nursery (if there is one). I love capturing your new family snuggling up on your bed together! Please make your bed (just this once :P) and tidy up your bedroom. Clear nightstands and counters of clutter or distracting elements. I like to use the nursery too whenever possible! I typically shoot a good portion of the session in the nursery.

BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL LIGHT: I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This enables me to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that I can set up in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible 🙂

HOUSE TEMPERATURE: Babies are usually happier when they are warm. A few minutes before I arrive, turn up the thermostat a bit so that the baby can be comfortable for any naked/diaper pictures or if/when there is an outfit change.

BABY FEEDINGS: Please try to feed and burp the baby shortly before your session time. We can absolutely take a break if the baby needs to feed once the session started but feeding the baby before can set us up for a great start

WHAT TO WEAR: I’ve found helpful to tell moms to pick their outfit first and build the rest of the family’s outfits around that. Although I do encourage moms to wear something comfortable and flowy so as not to constrict on their fresh postpartum body, this is definitely up to you. Whatever you feel most comfortable and beautiful in. If you are relaxed and comfortable, the rest of the family will be. As for colors, I find it ideal that colors coordinate, but don’t necessarily match. Since your sweet little baby will be the focus of the session, I suggest neutral colors. Steer away from logo’d t-shirts or bold patterns. Casual clothing is perfect and bare feet look most natural in a home session

PROPS: Lifestyle sessions are mostly prop free and I generally do not bring props with me. However, I encourage parents to have out and ready to use any fuzzy blankets, swaddles/wraps, onesies, headbands, special plush toys, special baby outfits, etc.

–>Are you expecting and considering a newborn session in your home?Please allow me to photograph this very special time for you and your family! Contact me now to book your session!<–

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