Tag Archives: activity

Messy Morning

1-IMG_0532I’ve been loving many of the mom blogs I have recently found (many through BloggyMoms) that are devoted to activities with/for your little ones (see a very short list below).  Don’t get me wrong, we do our share of arts/crafts/games/activities over here, but every once in a while I get motivated to get a little dirty!  (For those of you who don’t know me – I’m a pretty organized, Type A person, so this is a big step for me!)

Thanks to these 4 sites for mutual likes, for the encouragement to try some new activities with me kids, and for constantly coming up with new things!  It’s so easy to get started looking at one of their blogs, then get directed to another, and another, and forget where you started!  The blogging community, I’m learning, is an amazing one, full of great connections.  So check out these sites and they will open up a whole new world of not only activities – but new blogs too!  So thank you all for great blogs – I’ve enjoyed them so far and still have lots I want to try!

P is for Preschooler
Where Imagination Grows
Wildflower Ramblings
Happily Ever Mom

After some time browsing online, I laid out the big checkered plastic table cloth I picked up awhile back (for just this type of day!), put a smock on LL, took off LM’s shirt, and set to work.

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I did 3 activities, which I don’t have a specific link for, as I kind of combined them from common sensory activities found around different blogs.

1.  Some sort of play dough/cloud dough.  I saw one that was just cornstarch and oil, but I didn’t have enough cornstarch, so I saw another that used flour, so I combined cornstarch, flour, oil, and then LL even added in a few little containers of play dough we found around the house.  I’ve made my own “official” play dough before, so that wasn’t my goal here.  My goal was simply to create a “product” that felt different and see where it took the kids.  LL definitely had more fun with it.  LM just wanted to throw it.  (And Baxter just wanted to eat it!)

2.  Sensory bottles.  Again, there are a million different ways to do these as well.  I opted for a few plastic containers I had in recycling, add in water, a little soap, food coloring, then whatever I could find to put in – rocks/pom-poms/toys/beads (I did wish I had glitter though!)

3.  Lastly, the tried and true finger paint.  Usually done outside (see chalk paint here from over the summer), and a bit of painting here from last February, it was raining out (thus another good excuse to find activities inside!) so I held my breath and gave it a try.  They do say they are waterproof – right!?
I tried the baggie approach again but LM wanted nothing to do with it.  So they used fingers, brushes, q-tips, and whatever else we could find around the kitchen to paint with.  LL also found some squeezable t-shirt glitter paint I had stocked away – so she had fun with that too.

About an hour later (which I would have sworn should have been 4 after all that work), I put projects out to dry, shook out the table-cloth, cleaned up the kids, and went on to paint some toes, listen to some Pandora, eat lunch, then nap time (blog time) for us all!

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Thanks to all the bloggers out there that come up with these crafts for our little ones.  Next time I think I’ll plan a little ahead and maybe tackle something harder.  But the kids had fun, maybe learned/felt/did something new and that is all that matters!  Please let me know of your kids favorite activities!

3-IMG_0534So blessed and thankful for each day, each hour, and each minute I get to spend with these 2!

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Look to the Sky!

I believe I have mentioned how much I enjoy Fall!!??  These last two weekend did not disappoint.  My mom (Grandma/Grann) and I headed up to downtown Atlanta last weekend to take the kids to Disney on Ice’s “Let’s Celebrate” and afterwards we headed to picnic in Centennial Olympic Park, right underneath the new SkyView Atlanta.

skyviewI guess Atlanta needed one of these?  To put them in lines with London and whoever else.  Although it was randomly erected in the parking lot of a music venue downtown across from Centennial Olympic Park.  Great views south and west of the city, not much of a view north or east.  And not cheap (see here!)  Thanks to Grann, we took a trip and it was quite enjoyable, but definitely a one-time thing.  It said we would get 4 rotations, due to it not being too busy on a Friday AM, we scored an extra loop!  Nice enclosed compartments to fit up to 6 people, so the 4 of us were very comfortable.  All climate controlled as well, although the day we went it actually would have been nice to have it open-air!  I would maybe would go again at night, but we can check that Atlanta to-do off the list.  Check it out if you are in the area, but nothing to rush downtown right now to see!

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ggaslogoaIn keeping with the “looking up” theme, on Saturday (the 12th) we headed to Peachtree City for the Great Georgia Air Show.  Thanks to a Groupon, we scored a pretty good deal to get in, way below door prices.  It included parking (off-site with a school bus shuttle), 4 admissions (under 5 was free), a program, 4 hot-dogs, and 4 drinks.  We were able to take advantage of the first few, but my biggest complaint was they had 1 (ONE) tent to pick-up food, and when I inquired how long it took to get through, I was told 45 min!  No thank you.  Being the diligent consumer that I am, I did send them an email with “feedback”, not negative, but just an honest opinion of my experience, and they were very receptive and made it right – so kudos to their team on that!

Tons to do, very spread-out.  I think we only grazed the surface of all their was to see and do.  According to their website they offered hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, Warbird rides, monster truck rides, a wind tunnel, rock climbing, simulators, a 4D Theater, and so much more.  Many activities geared towards the older kids, so definitely something we will revisit when kids are older.  And this year they offered a night show with fireworks that I was told was AMAZING, again something for maybe next year.  They offer many VIP packages as well, which may be worth it.  It was pretty warm for October, and all the seating was in the direct sun, so that could be nice!

Overall a great event in Peachtree City, GA and something that should be on everyone’s to-do list.  Bring chairs/blankets and prepare to stay awhile.  The show was so much fun to watch.  It didn’t hold the interest of the young kids as I hoped it would, but my husband pointed out they may just think that is normal from all the cartoons they see doing similar things!  Good point!

And while we’re on the topic – I can’t NOT (yes I know double negative!) post a few pictures from Disney on Ice.  Not exactly a Fall Fun outdoor activity, but fun nonetheless, and the kids really enjoyed.  A good preview to the real thing…someday (maybe next year!)  And a fun way for Disney to be brought to you & your city!

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Thanks for stopping by!  (Did I mention I love fall!

Other activities have been:
Pumpkin Patch
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Carl Miller Park
Doggie Walks

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Scarecrows, Ogres, and Shaggy Dogs!

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What do all those have in common?  Why they are all fun things to view this fall at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens!  We packed a picnic and headed up there this past Sunday AM.  (Another item to add to our Fall Fun list!)  Right now, two fun events are going on, as it looks like they change seasonally.  (We checked out the Garden Lights a few years back and it did not disappoint!)

First is the Imaginary Worlds | Plants Larger Than Life.  This included:

“The sculptures – ranging up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide – include a gazing unicorn, a friendly ogre, a pair of gigantic cobras, a group of enchanting rabbits, and a couple of flighty butterflies. The largest piece, a 25-foot-tall representation of a goddess emerging from the earth, greets visitors in the Cascades Garden.”  (Description from website)

Here are some of our pictures.  The kids favorites were the Shaggy Dog and the bunnies (I think LL found 6!)

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Second was the annual Scarecrows in the Garden were various companies, organizations, and school from around Atlanta participate in constructing their own scarecrows.  These were SO fun to look at as they lined the trails throughout many parts of the garden. I just noticed a Scavenger hunt on their website – we’ll definitely have to print that one out for next year for the kids! Here are a few favorites: (the first was named BooBee for Breast Cancer Awareness – by far my favorite!)

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Another big highlight was the Children’s Garden.  A surprisingly large section of trails with a variety of activities for the little ones.  It included (but is not limited to); a treehouse, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, digging for dinosaur bones, a sunflower splash pad (we’ll have to go back in the summer to check this out!), a little house, a little cavern, and just lots of “little” places to crawl/walk/whatever through!  Definitely need to go back and spend some more time there!  And bonus this weekend, they had little stations set up where kids got the hands painted, made a hat, and went pumpkin bowling – extra fun!

After taking in all the kids could handle (and actually joining for only a little bit more plus free tickets to bring friends!), we walked right into Piedmont Park and set up to picnic.  Did I mention how pretty the weather was?  Then we went to the playground, which I was very impressed with, and then strolled around a little.  The AIDS walk was going on, so we walked over to the main green space to observe and dance to a great band playing some of our favorite songs (Moves Like Jagger, Don’t Stop Believin’…), before calling it a day.

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Kids both fell asleep on the way home, and we came home exhausted, but refreshed from a perfect Sunday morning together and outside!  The perfect way to celebrate God’s glory and rejoice in it!

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On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

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Happy Fall!

Love cool AMs spent outside with the pups.  This AM I took 2 of the 3 (on the PTC golf cart paths – it just isn’t wide enough for all 3 to come) for a 5K walk followed by a brief dip in Lake Peachtree!  I love taking pictures although they are all from the iPhone – but I was pretty proud of these few today and just wanted to share.  What are your favorite fall activities with your furry friends?

More to come from these 3 this fall!

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Zevon

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Baxter

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Just before they ran off to chase some squirrels!

And don’t worry about Devon – we go for lots of walks at home and I’ve been rotating them each Friday (mommy’s morning out!)

Check out Devy Weather for a whole post dedicated to her!

And finally while on the topic of dogs – here is a fun one from yesterday after the kids went to bed:

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Kid’s Book Review: Hocus Pocus Takes the Train

Hocus Pocus Takes the Train
by Sylvie Desrosiers (Author) , Remy Simard (Illustrator)
Book provided to me free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Second installment of Book Reviews with LL (Little Lady).  (First Installment Here!)  This book presented a little bit of a challenge because it has no words!  But actually that ended up being a good thing to spur the imagination.  Which by this picture below you can see is a big one already (my little princess!)

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I asked LL if she liked the cover: Yes.  What do you think this book will be about?  Hocus Pocus the bunny, or is it two bunnies?  Hocus and Pocus – there are two bunnies on the cover.  But I guess they will take a train.  But there will be a mean lion on the train (which I believe is actually a dog!)

The book is 36 pages, all pictures, a few sound words.  Rather than the story being laid out for you, each page provides guidance and a general story-line, but allows the readers to make up additional details and story-lines that may or may not have been intended.  For instance – do you think the magician wanted coffee or tea or hot cocoa?  And what kind of bone was the dog going to get?  What do you think the purple bunny’s name is?  What about the baby?  Then sometimes I don’t prompt a question and see what details she came up with.

More questions to ask are; What do you think they are thinking/saying/going to do?  How do you think they are feeling?  Why?  It allows the children to make predictions and then see if what they predicted happens on the next page.  Then the end brings the story-line back the beginning and allows the children to recall what happened at the beginning that was then being resolved.  Lots of cause and effect.

Great pictures and a fun type of book to really engage with your children.  Definitely will check out others in the Hocus Pocus series and in this genre and you should too!

(And side note – happy 100th post to me!!)  More kids books to come!

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Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Halloween by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Halloween
by Melanie Watt
This book was provided to me free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Finish Time: 25 minutes.  We’re trying something new today.  As LL is weaning from her naps, she is more and more interested in just what exactly I am doing on my computer (and none of her toys!).  As I was browsing titles on NetGalley today (a new free book service I’ve recently discovered), I found a whole Children’s Books section, and figured that my 3 (almost 4) year old can help me review a book or two.  So let’s see how this goes!

A little longer than I initially expected – 8 chapters!!  While intimidating at first, and not having an actual book to hold and know how long we were expecting, at just a few pages to each chapter, and mainly pictures, not that bad.  Definitely intended for a little older age range (although Amazon does suggest 4-8 years old), or maybe a few more Halloweens under our belts could have been beneficial!  I like the character of Scaredy Squirrel, he’s a planner like me, so this is right up my alley!.   And I’d be open to reading more of his adventures as it looks like he has many.  The pictures were the best part.  Even if the words were too high level for LL, the pictures opened up dialogue and made the book interactive for us, especially liked all the costumes.  The quiz at the beginning is good too for interaction.  Our favorite pictures were princess squirrel and all the doggies dressed up towards the end!

LL’s thoughts included that the cover had a silly squirrel with triangle teeth (vampire squirrel!)  And liked that whenever we read the word “squirrel” that all 3 of our dogs ran outside hunting for said squirrel.  She did not like that she thought some of it was scary (although it really wasn’t and definitely intended not to be!) and there were too many words!

Cute Halloween book overall and good one to get into the season!  Definitely a good one for maybe 5-8 year olds who are familiar with the holiday and traditions!

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April showers bring….fresh strawberries!

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I love fresh fruit.  Not only do we get the benefit of straight off the plant fruit, it is also an enjoyable outing for the kids and myself.  Yesterday, Danette from Mercy Drops and I headed over to Adams Farm in Fayetteville, GA, to pick some fresh strawberries.  A little bit of chill in the air meant we basically had the whole place to ourselves.  LL and I managed to pick 5.5 lbs.  At $2.15/lb – that isn’t too bad!

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Now, what to do with those strawberries?  I felt like Forest Gump yesterday listing out the possibilities, you’ve got strawberry smoothies, strawberry muffins, strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie…I’ll spare you my whole list, but we started yesterday with strawberry smoothies:

IMG_2837I love smoothies, kids love smoothies, win-win for all of us.  For these I used strawberries, vanilla greek yogurt, almond milk, and honey.  I may try it later today with some fresh spinach too.  Then I washed the rest to store for the timing being, and had a little strawberry monster pop up and tell me she was going to eat all 5.5 lbs!  I should have taken a picture of the WHITE shirt she wore yesterday – stained with streaks of red by the end of the day!  Good problem to have though!

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We will be back weekly.  As the summer goes on Adams Farm will also offer pick-your-own blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, as well as a variety of pre-picked fresh produce, mixes, nuts, and candies.  The combinations and recipes are endless!

What is your favorite way to use fresh fruit?

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Filed under Children, Clean Eating