Showing posts with label Game/Actvity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Game/Actvity. Show all posts

Fun Facts about Crayons and Our Exploration of Crayon Racing


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you have kids, you have crayons. Most restaurants give kids some crayons to keep them busy while their food is being prepared. I know we have quite a supply from over the years. But have you ever really thought about crayons? What are they? I decided to gather some fun facts for you about the childhood staple and then I have a fun book to share with you to give you a use for the crayons sitting around your house.

Cottontail Rabbits -- Who's In the Backyard? Series

I haven't done a Who's In The Backyard? Post in awhile. I had planned on doing my rabbits weeks ago but was having internet issues as well as a busy life. So here it finally is!! In our backyard we have cottontails. They are probably Eastern Cottontails, but there is a slight chance they could be New England Cottontails. So my focus is going to be on both species and the differences. 

Making Learning Fun for Homeschool or the Summer Slide

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from MindWare. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Now I have mentioned that I have not been posting since so much of my time has been going to homeschooling Hazel for the last six weeks of school. Her school year officially ends this Friday (at least at her old school). However the items I am sharing today we will continue to use all summer because they make learning fun!! Now we needed to continue with her spelling which we had from her school, her math workbook (which is really boring) to do money and fractions plus keep her addition and subtraction facts fresh, then in science plants and space and in social studies continue with the states which has been an on going activity and finish up Massachusetts history. Well MindWare came to my rescue to do some of these things and make them fun!! In fact Hazel wants to continue using these resources during the summer as well!! To start with learning about money we got the game Loose Change

Sharing Saturday 16-45

Wow, it is already November!! This fall is flying by. It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! This week we have two groups of features: Pumpkin Recipes and Lessons & Party Features.

Summertime Fun Supplies -- Where to Buy

Disclosure: I will receive thank you products for writing this post. All opinions are my own. I have not received or used any of these supplies, but am sharing ideas with you.
Where do you get all of your supplies for Summertime Fun? My go to place is Oriental Trading. They have great prices and lots of fun things. Many people know them for their party supplies, but they have so much more!! Of course they have everything you need for your picnics and barbecues as well as for any luaus you may want to throw. And of course they have everything for Vacation Bible School (or just some Bible learning at home). Every Sunday School teacher knows that Oriental Trading is the place to go for Bible crafts and religious toys.

However some of my favorite things are to get your kids active and outside enjoying the beautiful weather!! Perhaps you could set up an obstacle course with products like these Crawl Through Arches and Tropical Potato Sacks (there are many different designs to choose from but I liked these) which are available in the Games & Activities

Sharing Saturday 16-3

Last week we had many amazing ideas shared!! Thank you to everyone who shared with us!! Our features are just a sampling of the wonderful things shared, so if you haven't checked out the rest you should!! The features for this week include Holiday Features (Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US), Winter Features and Educational & Family Features. I have also host a craft link party (the crafts just have to be family appropriate and not necessarily kid related) and it is a place to share crafts, reviews of patterns, craft books, etc. and patterns. I hope you will come check it out SundayThis month's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is beginning Sunday morning for all your posts that are culture (multicultural) related!

Merry Chrsitmas, Hello Kitty! Activity Book & All I Want for Christmas Is You -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Are you getting ready for Christmas? Here are two fun books to help your little ones get ready. The first is a wonderful activity book, Merry Christmas, Hello Kitty by Leigh Olsen.

This sticker activity book is packed full of activities, crafts, games, recipes and more! It comes with a poster as well as postcards.

Monstrous Fun: A Doodle & Activity Book -- Product Review

Disclosure: Penguin Kids gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Well, Hazel is often scared of things like monsters, but there are some she likes (Elmo, Cookie Monster, etc.). This year her fears seem worse than usual, but this monster activity book she is enjoying! Monstrous Fun: A Doodle & Activity Book by Travis Nichols comes with a warning. It is for monsters only. Hazel finds the warning amusing. Once you turn past the title page with the warning the book is divided up into sections of various monster holidays. Each holiday has different activities, coloring, find the differences, matching, mazes and more! It begins with All Hallow's Eve of course. After all Halloween is a monster's holiday lately. The next holiday is Fangsgiving. It is a feast to celebrate when the Noobs and Lil'Grims met. 

Sharing Saturday 15-21

Thank  you to everyone who shared last week!! This week there were so many great ideas!! People are kicking into summer mode and I know this is a busy time around my house. How about with you? This week's features are Summer Plans & Travel, Art & Crafts and a few of my favorites. These are only a sampling of what was shared. Be sure to go back to last week's party to see even more great ideas.

Mermaid Play Date

So to end summer on a positive note, we had a Mermaid Play Date. Hazel originally wanted a mermaid birthday party, but had trouble choosing between Frozen and mermaid. We decided since we would only want girls at the mermaid one it was a better play date. (Several of her best friends are boys.) So we sent out an e-vite.  Yes, they have a free mermaid e-vite! We invited the three girls from Hazel's Pre-K class and her friend from gymnastics. We asked everyone to bring an 18-inch doll or stuffed animal. Unfortunately, only one of her girlfriends and her older sister could come, but the three girls had a blast. 

Hazel and I had big plans for the play date, but they did not all happen due to our busy schedule leading up to it. I did make all the 18-inch dolls a mermaid tail. We had them at the kids table with seats for the girls and the dolls. I provided a tutorial and pattern for the tail. I also cut out felt tails and sewed on ribbon for the girls. I estimated the older sister's size and guessed pretty well. The girls started by decorating their felt tails with glitter glue, stickers, shells, etc.

Next the girls had a potato sack/pillow case trial. We thought it would be like walking like a mermaid if she could leave the water. We just did a fun trial and no race since two of the girls were five.

Then the girls wanted a snack, so we headed back to the patio and to the snack table.

On our snack table are green grape seaweed skewers, oyster cookies, sand dollar cookies, and three kinds of Goldfish. Plus for decoration we have a foam mermaid castle. I bought the kit for the castle at Michaels when it was on sale. Hazel likes to pretend it is another dollhouse. We had planned to bake cookies, but with limited time, we improvised.

Our oyster cookies are Golden Oreos opened with a yogurt covered raisin in them. We added blue sugar sprinkles for looks and then closed them up. The yogurt covered raisins were the only white roundish things I could find at the store quickly. 

For our sand dollar cookies, we opened the Golden Oreos and Hazel ate the lids. Then we used a toothpick to trace the flower design into the filling. Hazel enjoyed making both of our sea cookies and the grape seaweed. She also loved picking out the Goldfish. We also bought some mixed berry juice boxes because they were blue. If I had time we would have made covers for them, but we didn't have the time. After a snack the girls did the final craft. It was a handprint mermaid on a little tote bag.

For the face we used a small play dough lid. Then the girls used the glitter glue for the faces and hair. While these dried the girls played in the yard and in Hazel's new clubhouse. Hazel was excited for her friends to see it. 

We did some quick decorating with green crepe paper. We made seaweed on the walls and stairs.

Hazel and I decided we would try this theme again for a play date and get more of our ideas completed!! Maybe next summer. 

For more mermaid ideas check out:

Virtual Book Club for Kids: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

Today we are going to share our April book for Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Denise Fleming. We had not read many Denise Fleming books previously, but found them to be fun. Her books have few words but beautiful pictures. She has a wonderful website full of activities to go with her books. 

Flamingo Friday--First Day of School Jitters with a Flamingo Book

Today we are sharing a book by Jamie Harper, Miss Mingo and the First Day of School. Now the teacher of the class is the only flamingo in the book, however this is a fun book with many interesting animal facts. Miss Mingo's class consists of many animals including an ant to an elephant and a giraffe. Plus she even has a narwhal and an octopus. The theme of the first day of school is to tel what makes you special. Miss Mingo starts with how she eats upside down and her food makes her pink. Slowly the students begin to share something special about themselves and warm up to each other. The day ends with a pool party in pelican's pouch and using giraffe's tongue as a slide. 

This book is a fun reminder how each of us is special in our own way. I know many students and teachers are anxious about the first day of school each year. I know Hazel is extra anxious since we are switching her school. This book shows how many are shy and that is all right and if you open up and are yourself you will have fun.

To go with this book, I made up a little memory game. Hazel and I had fun playing it. The cards have each animal on them with their special characteristic in small print. To download your own copy in Word, click the picture below.

I know many schools have started or are starting next week. Hazel's new school does not start until after Labor Day, so we still are enjoying another week of summer. The change of schools has caused quite a bit of anxiety in Hazel, but we know it is the right thing for all of us. She has been very clingy this summer because she is afraid of the unknown.

Now I know I have not shared much as to why we have made the decision to switch schools. We had a bit of a discipline/communication issue last year. There was one student who had a few impulse issues and Hazel had a few run-ins with him. One being something inappropriate said to her. I found out about it from another child or that Hazel had cried quite a bit that day and it took me two hours to find out why from her. Then towards the end of the year she told me that the same boy was going under the snack table and biting her legs and pinching her. The teacher's response was that she thought it was only pinching but biting was unacceptable. Now pinching was unacceptable to me and the fact that it was happening quite often and I had not been told anything by anyone. Now many of the students had issues with this boy (one refused to come to school anymore even after he was kicked out). But what bothered us most was how it was dealt with and that we heard stories that it was not the only time where they had these kind of issues. We decided then that this was not the place for our innocent, shy, rule following (to a fault) daughter and looked for something else. We went to the opposite type of school and now she is going to be attending a traditional Christian school. She is excited that she will learn to read this year, but scared to be leaving what she has known. 

To ease this transition, we have read books about the first day of school, we have had playdates with a few of the students in the new school and we have had several visits to the school. Today she got to spend some time talking to one of the teachers when we stopped by for a visit. I think this helped. There are several blogs that have wonderful lists of books to read, so I am going to leave a few links for you in case you want to ease the day as well.

Lists of First Day of School Books
So that is our story on going back to school. We have truly found Miss Mingo and the First Day of School enjoyable to read and educational. Plus it has enabled me to have many conversations about the first day of school and making new friends. 

Easter and Spring Match Games & More!

Today I thought I would share some Easter and spring games I made up with free printables. The first is a sequence game of the Easter story.

Surviving Hurricane Sandy & More Crafts

Have you entered my Best Halloween Costume Contest yet? Please stop by to enter and to vote for your favorite!!
Today I thank God that my family and friends are fine after Hurricane Sandy.

Well, as you know I live on the East Coast so we have been hit by Hurricane Sandy. My dear husband is working like a madman to get people's power turned on in Massachusetts. The part I really hate about storms is how much he has to work and how angry people get about not having power. When I see how hard he and his colleagues work I realize that they are doing what they can. Anyway, that is another whole story. Today I will tell you about Hazel and mine experience of the storm.

It started sprinkling/misty on Sunday here, but really was not bad. The news said the worst part would start around noon on Monday. So on Monday morning we went out to run a few errands that we had to do. Now just about every school was closed and so was the library, state offices, etc. But most stores were not, so off we went. Then Hazel had an unheard of two hour nap. She doesn't usually nap anymore and when she does we pay for it at bedtime. I figured I would let her sleep since I needed some sleep and she hadn't really gotten to see Steve and he would be working late.

Shortly after she woke up, we lost power. And of course it was almost dinner time. Of course any problem with power here is dealt with a phone call to Steve. He called me back to let me know no one had reported it and gave me the number to report it. Then he called back to let me know it was a major area out (the local highway with all the stores were out as well) so I better figure something out for dinner since all the close restaurants were closed. I called one pizza place and was told delivery would take at least an hour, so I called another one and we got pizza in half an hour from the neighboring town. Hazel and I had a picnic in our family room. While we waited for the pizza to come we played many board games.

Normally after dinner we start to get Hazel ready for bed, however with her nap she was not ready for that step, so we did some crafts. We had candles lit for when it got dark outside. Then I remembered the lanterns and found them. The dark picture above is without the flash so you could get a sense of what we were dealing with as we crafted.  Hazel decorated some felt bags and a felt owl and pumpkin using stickers and glitter glue. Then I used two of the felt bags to make a tic tac toe board. I bought some wooden hearts and stars after seeing a tic tac toe board at the craft fair and loved the idea. I thought of the bags to hold the pieces. I had these felt bags for something (I think I got them on clearance). Hazel saw them and wanted to do some as well.

Then I liked this idea so much I went back to Michaels. They did not have anymore felt bags, but I found some canvas ones that had a pull string.  I bought some smaller wooden pieces for the smaller bags and used some fabric paint on them. I made a bunch for the Holiday Fair's Wee Folk Shop. Now I have all my required donations to bring tomorrow. Then I'll probably work on some more for them.

Teddy Bear Picnic Activities

Yesterday I shared our food preparation for our Teddy Bear Picnic. Today I'm going to share some of our activities. 

As the children arrived we gave them a teddy bear frame to color. I found this great picture at Twisty Noodle. I resized it and put two on a page and then added Teddy Bear Picnic 2012 onto it. I Mod Podged it to cardboard and cut them out and cut out a circle for the face so we can add the kids' pictures. My plan was to Mod Podge over their coloring, but none of them really finished them. Then I planned to add a magnet to the back.

We also had music playing. I burned a CD with any song I could find that mentioned teddy bear or just bear. Most of them came from Teddy Bear Tunes by Georgiana Stewart, and then we used some from The Wiggles (Let's Wiggle, Racing to the Rainbow, Pop Go The Wiggles, Go Bananas! and Hot Potatoes: The Best Of The Wiggles albums),The Countdown Kids; 150 Fun Songs For Kids (Disc 3), David Polansky's Animal Alphabet Songs, and VeggieTales' 25 Favorite Toddler Songs! We had these songs playing but we also used them for some games.

Another activity was to decorate teddy bear sugar cookies. The kids had a great time with this. I shared this yesterday as well. The decorated cookies above are Hazel's. We also dropped those capsules that melt into sponge animals into cups of hot water. Each one was a different teddy bear sponge. Each child got to do four.

Then the kids sat in a circle (a few of us moms also did since we only had three kids) and we played Teddy Bear to the Wonder Ball game. (If you do not know the Wonder Ball Game you can check it out here.) We changed a few words and used a slightly different wording of it to be:

Teddy Bear (to Wonder Ball pass teddy bear around circle)
The teddy bear, goes round and round
To pass it quickly, you are bound
If you’re the one, to hold it last
The game for you has surely past, and you are out
O-U-T spells OUT!

And we passed a teddy bear around. The person who won the game got to keep the teddy bear. I had bought it at Ocean State Job Lot for $3 or $4.

Next we played Pin the Tail on the Teddy. I hand drew a teddy bear in a sideways position and penciled in his tail. We blindfolded the kids or had them close their eyes (the younger ones did not like being blindfolded) and spun them around and had them tape tails onto the poster. I had written their names on a tail. Hazel won this one! She already got her prize which was this purple teddy sippy cup.

Then we played a game of Musical Teddy Bears. Everyone brought a teddy bear to the circle and placed them in the middle and then we removed one. I played music and had the kids walk around the blanket. When the music stopped they had to grab a bear (it did not have to be their own). If they did not get a bear, they were out. The person who won this one got the same sippy cup Hazel did. I found them at CVS Pharmacy.

It worked out that each child won one game. I love when it works out that way. Then we gave each child felt pieces to put together a two-dimensional teddy. They each got two colors of bows and could make boy or girl teddy bears. Each child also got two teddy clips.
The kids of course also played tag and on the swings. They had a great time! 

We had a few more activities to do, but didn't get to them. One is the Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around Dance. There are several different versions on-line. A couple can be found at Can Teach with some other teddy bear songs/poems. Songs for Teaching has Jack Hartmann's version. I also had a couple of books including Michael Hague's Illustrated The Teddy Bear Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy. There are so many great teddy bear books out there that there a lot from which to choose.

So now I need to start planning our butterfly party. Stay tuned for what we do at that.

Happy Family Times--Family Game Time

Did you do something fun with your family this week? Kelly at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are hosting a link party to share them. Scroll down to share with us!! And make sure you visit Kelly to see what fabulous thing her family is up to this week!

Family Game Time was the motto of our weekend. Hazel has been a bit sick so we needed to take it easy. She wanted to play everyone of her games this weekend (both days). We played seven games many times this weekend! 
Candy Land
 The first game we ever got her was Candy Land (well actually we have a Memory Game but we didn't play it this weekend).  Candy Land is great at practicing colors and teaching them how to take turns and follow the path. (We often have difficulties with which way to go on the board.) She loved playing it when she was younger, but she didn't really get it. Now she gets it a bit better.

 We also bought her Chutes & Ladders around the same time, but I put it away since I knew she wasn't ready for this one. This one involves counting. You could also easily do some addition and subtraction problems while playing since the board is numbered 1-100 for each square.
 This next game I first learned about from I Can Teach My Child. After reading this lovely post, I put several of these games on my wish list and finally bought Hi-Ho-Cherry-O for Hazel. She loves it! We have modified it a bit and play the version where we work together. The goal, in our modified version, is to pick all the fruit before time runs out. The time is based on how you spin. If you get the bird on the spinner you have to pick a piece of puzzle. If the puzzle gets completed before all the fruit is picked you do not win. We work together and do not keep track of which fruit is whose. She loves to play it. The highest you have to count up to is five in this game. (NOTE: I recently saw this game at Ocean State Job Lot so if you want it and have one near you check it out before buying it elsewhere!!)
 The same day Hi-Ho-Cherry-O arrived from Amazon, we had bought Count Your Chickens! at Drumlin Farm. This is another cooperative game. There is only one playing piece--Mother Hen. Your job is to get all the chicks back to the chicken coop before Mother Hen gets there. You get a chick for each square you move and there are some special ones where you get plus one to the number you moved. However on the spinner is a fox. If you get the fox you have to take one chick out of the chicken coop. Again Hazel loves this game! In it you work on counting. The most we have had to count up to I think is twelve. She is definitely better at counting out things. Before she would just say the numbers all together and not count each individual item.
 This game we bought at a discount store. (I think it was Christmas Tree Shops.) It is put out by Cranium and is called Duck, Duck, 1-2-3. The object of this game is for each player to move around the board picking up their matching ducklings which fit (somewhat) into the parent duck's back and then get to the center for the duck party. There is no winner. The game is over when all the ducks are at the party. We got it of course for Hazel's love of ducks! Needless to say she loves it because of the ducks. She is always deciding which color is the mother duck and which is the father duck.
At one of the discount stores (Ocean State Job Lot, I think), we picked up a set of Disney Princess dominoes. They did not have any without characters or I would have gotten them, but these also do not have dots or numbers on them so I think it is a bit easier for the first domino game. She loves it. We have not made a domino train to knock down yet, but will.
We got this one with the dominoes. It is called the Birthday Party Game. Since we celebrate someone's birthday just about every day in my house (often my third but sometimes it is Ducky's), I thought this might be good. You spin a spinner and have to get the invitation first. Then you spin to get all the party supplies: dessert, hat, gift, drink, favor, and noisemaker. The first person to get all of his/her wins. We of course usually play until everyone has all of their supplies since Hazel doesn't like there to be a winner.

 The final game to share is another one I learned about at I Can Teach My Child! I happened to see Zingo at Michaels and was able to use my 40% off coupon to buy it. Hazel loves it. It is a matching game. We play a modified version since she is not quick enough yet to beat us. We help her notice if her board has one. She loves moving the zing piece as well as matching and picking out the card, etc. We all seem to enjoy this one very much.
Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

~ please link up (family time oriented giveaways are ok, but please no Etsy shops)
~just crafts will be deleted since this is to share family times ~ use our button so others can join the fun


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~ check out our Happy Family Times Pinterest board where we will be pinning some of our favorite ideas

Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

Today we started making some Valentines to give to family and friends and perhaps for the Kids' Valentine Swap. Are you interested in joining us for the swap? Tomorrow is the last day to sign your kids up, so please let me know.
We started by arranging hearts into different shapes. You can definitely tell which ones I made and which ones Hazel did on her own.
Hazel decided I made this one above for her. I was thinking I would send it to my nephew, but we will see.

Then I pulled out some of the cut hearts and pictures from the scrapbook paper I got (I got a great set at Target for $1 for 8 sheets including some with glitter) and my handmade paper collection.
We also pulled out the other stickers and rubber stamps. I made sure each one got stamped on the inside with the Happy Valentine's Day stamp.
Hazel had fun making different ones. Here is one for Daddy who loves turtles.
Then on the inside Hazel had fun with the stamps and stickers.
I'm not sure why she thinks it is good to put all the stickers on top of each other but she always does this. Here is the only other inside she decorated. Then she wanted to do a clean sheet of paper and cut and glue, etc.

Then last night I gave Hazel a game to play that she loved! I poured some conversation heart candies into a bowl and gave her some tongs that I bought at Lakeshore Learning Store and asked her to sort them by color into an egg carton.
Daddy and I helped and enjoyed eating them. She decided it was easier to use her hands, but we rewarded her for using the tongs by letting her eat one after she had done a few with the tongs. After the hearts are gone we may try it with M&M's. Those are her favorite candy.
She wanted to do it again after she had sorted them all. You could also sort them by sayings, but we aren't teaching Hazel to read yet so I didn't try it.

Hope you have a great day!!