Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts

Famous Seaweed Soup -- Book Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I will receive a small stipend for participating in The Children's Book Review & Purple Butterfly Press's Virtual Book Tour with this post. All opinions are my own.

Spring is popping up all around me and that means summer is around the corner. Today I get to share with you a fun book that is perfect for those summer beach trips and more! It is Famous Seaweed Soup by Antoinette Truglio Martin and illustrated by Penny Weber. And there is a giveaway including the grand prize of an entire classroom set of this fun book!!

At the Sea -- New Picture Book with Flaps to Teach All About the Ocean


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

Spring is here. That means summer is almost here and that means the beach! With Earth Day last week, we need to talk about the ocean. Today I am sharing a beautiful, oversized picture book about a trip to the sea that even goes into the Earth Day topics! The book is At the Sea by Emma Giuliani. It has a reading age of 8 to 12.

Beach Art -- Crafty Sundays


Every summer we spend at least one week at Cape Cod. My parents live there and my family has a house that we rent out but we get a week at the house every year. We always try to have at least one beach day and sometimes walk on the beach in the evening. My favorite thing about walking the beach is picking up shells and rocks. I love finding the pieces of quahog shells which is what wampum is made from. We have a rock and shell collection. Some are found, some gifts and some bought. I took a combination of our collection from this year and past years and made some crafts. I started with one I was inspired by the Coastal Seashell Wreath over at Amy Latta Creations. I saw her creation last week on Facebook and fell in love with it. I headed over to Michaels and found the grapevine wreath and a wooden plaque for about $6 total. I also picked up some wooden framed shapes for my other project. They were 99 cents each. So I took our collection and created these fun pieces of beach art.

Outdoor School Series Review


Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I am going to continue sharing books to get your kids learning while having fun this summer. Today we are going to look at a series of books that no only is fun and educational but also gets your kids outside and enjoying nature! The Outdoor School series features three interactive nature guides as well as three sticker books, and two essentials guides. Whether your family is interested in animals, hiking, camping, rock collecting and more there is something for everyone and these books all start by saying step outside no matter where you live there is nature out there. 

My First Science Book Series Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review & Dover Publications by participating in this virtual book tour. I was sent copies of these four books in exchange for an honest review and a small stipend. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe it is June. Summer is basically here. For many this school year was a mess. I know many parents are worried about how much their kids learned with all the remote learning the past two years. Every summer kids lose some of what they have learned. This summer it will be more important to keep our kids reading and learning. I am going to be sharing books that will give you extra resources to keep the kids learning all summer long in fun ways starting today. Today I am sharing part of Dover Publication's My First Science Book Series and at the end there will be a giveaway!! 

Family Vacation Time During the Pandemic


Disclosure: I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It has been a tough year for everyone. Our world shut down during Hazel's new school's spring break last year. It was such a strange time. We didn't know what was coming. Here in Massachusetts at least things are far from normal. Businesses are opening up again but masks are mandatory in public. We have been lucky. Hazel's school has been open this school year. We have the choice to keep her remote whenever we want to but can send her in most of the time. The school goes remote after vacation weeks so it enforces self quarantines for people who have traveled. It truly amazes me when I look on Facebook and see friends all across the country traveling and going out socially. The idea of stepping on an airplane right now or eating in a restaurant scares me. Yet I know there are people who do it all the time and I'm friends and/or related to some of them. We have not left Massachusetts since our trip to Disney in February 2020. We are very lucky though that my family has a house on Cape Cod and we have gotten away there including this spring break. Hazel has been off the past two weeks for spring break and this past week we headed to Cape Cod to spend time as a family, get a change of scenery and see my parents. Since Steve is working from home he needed a change of scenery as well as some time off. Have you traveled during this pandemic?

Ocean & Beach Books Perfect for Summer!

Disclosure: We were sent these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are our own.

With the start of summer I am in the beach mood even if the temperatures here haven't been beach weather yet. At Crafty Weekends I shared a beach theme craft this week (have you shared your creations there yet?), and today I'm sharing some books about oceans, fish, sea glass and boats. Yup basically beach and boating themed!! So much fun. These books include picture books as well as nonfiction books. Let's start with the nonfiction books. We will start with a new one from National Geographic Kids. It is Captain Aquatica's Awesome Ocean by Jess Cramp with Grace Hill Smith and Joe Levit. 

DIY Beach Tic Tac Toe -- a Crafty Weekends Craft & Link Party

Summer began last week. I am guessing people are getting ready to go to the beach and on vacations. Today I am sharing a simple craft that can be planned with purchased sea treasures or with found ones. The idea for this craft came from a tic-tac-toe game that I saw at our local Hallmark store. I didn't want to spend the money but loved the idea. The one at the store used sand dollars and starfish.

Canvas Factory Canvas Print Review & #Giveaway

Disclosure: Canvas Factory gave me a coupon code to receive this canvas for free and is offering one to a lucky reader!!

So last spring my parents surprised us with the news that they wanted to move out of the house my grandparents built on Cape Cod. The initial thought had been to sell the house, but once we all worked on getting them moved and the house somewhat emptied my father changed his mind. It was his parents that built the house. This is a house we spent most of our school vacations and at least a week or more of the summer at while growing up. It has always been a second home to us. My parents moved there when my grandmother was not doing well and couldn't take care of herself. After she died, they stayed there. They had already sold their home in Connecticut by that point. So this was a bit of a crazy time for all of us. In July we went from get the house on the market to fix up the house for renters. One of my sisters, bless her, has been doing the majority of the work. She was trained to paint houses and has a bit of an eye for design. She is also the pickiest out of the three of us. Well we decided to decorate the house with non-personal photos and pictures of beach life. My other sister (who use to work for a photographer) happened to take this amazing photograph on the beach that you can walk to from the house. I approached Canvas Factory for help with some of our decorating. 

Summertime Family Fun

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. 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.

Can you believe summer began yesterday? We are getting ready for some fun family gatherings this summer. Hazel and I head to my parents for the Fourth of July since the fireworks are visible from my parents' deck and there is a fun parade in their town. My parents have the best view of the fireworks on their street so they invite their neighbors to come watch from their deck. There is always a group of adults and kids showing up to watch, so this year I thought it would be fun to have some activities for the kids while we are waiting for the fireworks to begin. My mother also hosts a family reunion for her siblings (she is one of five), their children and grandchildren. I always am her event planner/assistant hostess. Since I am one of thirteen in cousins and most of them have at least one child now, I figured it would be good to have some games and activities to entertain the kids and families at the beach and the dinner she hosts. So for these two big family activities we turned to Oriental Trading for some great summer and patriotic things to entertain the guests. After all they are a great place to turn for all summer and party needs.

Ocean Life Fun -- Summertime Fun

Disclosure: I was sent these books free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Have you seen Disney Pixar's Finding Dory yet? Hazel and I went to see it this weekend. We loved it. It has of course put us in the mood for ocean life!! Today we are sharing three different under the sea activity books/kits. But first a quick fun and easy craft that we did at Lakeshore Learning on Saturday before going to the movie. We made talking fish or fish clips. They had the fish shapes cut in two pieces to decorate and then glue to a clothespin. Hazel made the rainbow fish!!

Coastal Crafts -- Book Review

 Disclosure: Lark Crafts 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. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

We have been having a heat wave here in Massachusetts this week. It ended today with some much needed rain. However it made me not want to give up the feeling of summer. Hazel is back in school now and I actually took a part-time job to fill my days a bit while she is there, but I still want summer back. How about you? Well I found a wonderful way to preserve some beach memories and they are from Coastal Crafts by Cynthia Shaffer.

I fell in love with many of the crafts in this book. I love the candle on the cover, but could not find the right jar for it. I'm still looking. We do not need anymore pillows, so I skipped those for now as well. We did however enjoy making some stationary. Some of the book stationary are pictured on the back cover.

Sharing Saturday 14-27

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank you to everyone who shared last week. As always it is so inspiring to check out what everyone has been up to. If you have not had a chance to check out the ideas others shared, please do so and remember to leave some comment love! We had a two-way tie for most clicked.

From Crafty Journal: Aluminum Can Dimensional Star


For features I chose two categories. The first is summer/beach themed crafts and the other is some of my favorites!

Summer Features
1) From Kids Activities Blog: DIY Seashell Necklace

2) From Moosewood Connections: Shell Critters

3) From Stella123: The Perfect Free Beach Souvenir

4) From Kids Activities Blog: Butterfly Pasta Watercolor Art

A Few of My Favorites
1) From How The Sun Rose: Around the Sun and DIY Birthday Ring

2) From The Chaos and The Clutter: Create Your Own Babysitting Kit

3) From Jewelry Making Journal: Wire Angel Pendant Tutorial

4) From Felt with Love Designs: Reader Requested: Monkey with Blanket Stuffed Animal with Free Pattern

5) From Craft Ideas for Kids: Making Rain

6) From Mini Monets and Mommies: DIY Glow in the Dark Kids' Paint

7) From The Surly Housewife: 10 Everyday Chores Any Kid Can Do

8) From Wesens-Art: Recycling Art

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


Featured Button Code:

From Your Hostess:
This week we our Craft Stick Fish, Petrosinella: A Neapolitan Rapunzel, Sock Animals, our second Fractal Lesson and an Olaf craft and our Patriotic Necklaces.This coming week we will be hosting two giveaways, so make sure you come check them out!!

Now for This Week's Party  
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the Sharing Saturday button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest.

Starfish and Sand Dollar Wreath for a Touch of Summer

 Disclosure: I was sent these craft items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I added links to the particular products for your convenience, but not for any compensation.

So while at Cape Cod last week, Hazel and I were in one of our favorite shops and I saw a pretty wreath made with white starfish. It looked very simple. It was a chipboard wreath form painted white with white starfish glued all over it. I showed it to my mother and Hazel and said we could make that. The owner of the store even commented how he considered getting out his glue gun to make one. I think it was on sale for about $17 dollars. I remembered the wonderful starfish I had received from Oriental Trading and thought let's make one when we get home. 

An Easy Paper Plate Sea Gull Craft

Today I am sharing a quick craft we did at our local library. Every Thursday they have a free craft and Hazel loves to go and do it. This week's craft was a simple paper plate sea gull craft. To make the sea gull you need to cut the head and neck by making a somewhat squiggly line on each side of the middle. Draw it on first to get the shape you want. I also rounded the head on mine a bit. Then you fold the wings down and add eyes (either googly or drawn), beak (red or orange paper or draw it on) and feet (yellow paper). Then if you want you can add decorations like eye lashes or color to the wings and body.

Hazel's Sea Gull
I helped Hazel with the cutting since she is not confident at cutting yet. I also cut out the feet and beaks for her. She did the rest. 

My Sea Gull
I used the markers that were out to decorate a bit more. It seemed like the perfect craft since we had been taking a closer look at sea creatures and lately we have been reading about birds.

For more ideas on Ocean Life and Birds check out:

Jellyfish Crafts, Exploration and Book

Recently Hazel asked to explore under the sea creatures. I think this fascination comes from watching The Octonuats on Disney Junior. I am really excited to be reviewing an Octonaut DVD and book in the next few weeks and giving away a copy of the DVD. To build up to our reviews, I thought I would do some under-the-sea creatures first. Today's creature is the jellyfish.

Photo taken on visit to New England Aquarium

We started our exploration with the book: Nature's Children: Jellyfish by James Kinchen. Jellyfish have been in the waters for millions of years before the dinosaurs. They live in seas and oceans all over the world including the Arctic waters. They have no brains and no eyes and its body is made almost entirely of water. The various types of jellyfish vary in size with the smallest being about half an inch across and the largest being six feet across. The tentacles on the large ones can be 117 feet long. Their movement comes from their body opening and closing like an umbrella. They can shift their body into different shapes to get into tight spots. The book suggests using a water balloon to see what their body is like. We did this.

Jellyfish also can sting. The stingers come from the tentacles. A sting from a sea wasp can kill a human in less than fifteen minutes. Jellyfish use their stings to capture prey and to defend themselves against enemies. The book describes each sting like a hollow harpoon that uncoils itself fifty times the original length. Poison flows down to the harpoon. Adult jellyfish are called medusas after the Greek myth.

Photo from visit to New England Aquarium

The life cycle of a jellyfish is very interesting. A female jellyfish can produce thousands of eggs. Each fertilized egg becomes a larva. The larva has no mouth and looks nothing like the adult jellyfish. The larva drifts until it grabs hold of a rock or seaweed. It rest there and changes into a polyp. Now it can hunt and eat. It has tentacles and is building up its food reserves to see it through its final metamorphism. Each polyp breaks off like a stack of dishes and becomes many medusas. 

Photo from New England Aquarium Visit
After reading this book and doing our water balloon experiment, we made some jellyfish crafts. There are many out there, but we decided to try ones with clear plastic cups with sheer ribbons and large white cupcake liners with glitter ribbons. We started with the cupcake liners. I cut lengths of the ribbons and then we taped them at the half way point to the inside bottom of the liners.

We were happy with how they came out. I liked that you could see how they would open and close to move in the water.

For the cup ones I cut long lengths of ribbon and then gave Hazel the tape. She decided to tape them singly to the inside sides of the cup. I taped the middle of mine together and taped that to the inside bottom of the cup. They both came out nicely.

Afterwards I hung them from our kitchen light. The ribbons are a bit long, but I like them. I put the long ones to the middle of the table so they wouldn't get into anyone's food.

For more on ocean life crafts and lessons check out:

Beach Trip and Beach Play Mat

Last week we visited my parents on Cape Cod. Now I headed up on Friday so my mother and I could drive to Connecticut for a family wedding. Steve brought Hazel up on Sunday when my mother and I were returning. He stayed for the day and Hazel and I stayed until Wednesday. I promised her we would go to the beach. On Monday Hazel and I took my mother to her rehab class (post heart surgery) and my sister and nephew came up. My sister was dropping my nephew off for his summer visit with my parents. They live in North Carolina and usually come north twice a year--for his July visit and Christmas. So with all the excitement of the crowd and everyone's ideas for what we should do each day, the beach did not happen until Wednesday morning. I knew we would only have a couple of hours there since we had an appointment at home at 3:15. And of course it was low tide that morning. Normally we go to the bay side beach near my parents house so Hazel can swim and play without much fear or waves. However at low tide you can walk for miles before being able to swim on the bay side. So we headed to the ocean side for her first time swimming with waves. She loved it!! Since I was holding her hand or her while we were in the water, I did not get any pictures of her in the water, but got some of her playing in the sand.
Now I have had an idea for quite awhile. I was inspired by crafts at the Jo-Ann Fabric's Cape Discovery Summer Craft Challenge. You may remember the jungle diorama I shared at the end of May. They had some beautifully crocheted sea shells and other sea things. They inspired me to make a beach play mat. With this in mind we have been gathering small sea life toys and shells, etc. My idea changed form several times and then I saw a large, stiff piece of sand colored felt at a craft store. I bought it and some blue felts. Then that night I pulled out my needle felting roving and decided to needle felt the water to the felt. My original plan was to glue actual sand onto the sand part of the play mat, but I never did and I think I like it this way (mess free) instead.
Now the felt was not wool, but it was easy to needle felt to it. I tried to use different shades of blue as well as make some texture for waves. Then I put the shells and animals on it and left it for Hazel. She loves it!!

I am happy with how it came out and am glad we have been collecting the various sea animals for it. I am thinking I may make her some peg dolls in bath suits next.

Wild and Free: Dolphins, Whales and Manatees

Have you ever just loved a CD and have the music inspire you to be creative? This happens to me and Hazel all the time. The CD is from Daria and it is called I Have a Dream. Daria had been kind enough to send me this wonderful CD last year so I could review it here, and we followed her instructions to make a quilted rainstick. Now this CD lives in my car for the most part, and it is what Hazel and I tend to listen to while driving. Even when Hazel is not in the car I tend to listen to it. We both know the words to almost every song on it. As I have been listening to Hazel sing along I have had all sorts of creative ideas flowing through my head. Today I am going to share one of them with you. I am thinking we will do something with almost every song on the CD, so stay tuned for more music inspired songs.

 The song I am sharing today is Wild and Free. With Daria's permission I am sharing her YouTube video of this song with you.

Now I will admit this song is the first since we just got back from Florida. Every time we heard this song, Hazel would ask me what a manatee is, so we did some research and came home with many library books plus I realized SeaWorld Orlando has manatees (as well as dolphins and whales), so I knew this was the perfect time to talk about this song and the animals in it. Now the manatees are endangered and need the help of humans as we are their only enemy--if you can call us that. They do not have natural predators due to their size. They have been hunted as well as hurt by boats and nets and of course their food supply is dwindling due to development. For more information on how you can help, check out Save The Manatees website.

The dolphins they play in the ocean...
Blue Horizons Show at Sea World Orlando
The whales (beluga and killer/orca), they swim in the ocean...
Beluga Whales on top in Wild Arctic Exhibit and Orca Whales in One Ocean Show
The manatees play by the bayside...

Manatees outside Turtle Trek Exhibit
While at SeaWorld, I bought Hazel small plastic versions of each of the animals. We also bought a Sea World Rescue Barbie that came with dolphins as well. Plus we pulled out the whales I made when we read The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson for the Virtual Book Club for Kids.

Then I set up the entire zoo for Hazel, but more about that later.

We also made an ocean interactive box. We took a shoe box and lined it with sky blue paper and then cut a strip of dark blue paper to be the ocean and glued to the front. We cut a slit on the bottom of the box. Then I printed out pictures I found on line of each animal and we cut them out and glued them to popsicle sticks. 
Then we acted out  the song while we listened to it. (I think we probably should have lined the bottom of the box with the dark blue as well.) I had all sorts of other craft ideas, but they did not happen. I am also working on sewing some felt creatures for her. I have started the manatee. I'll share it when we finish. I have found patterns on line for a dolphin and killer whale as well. I think I may try to make my own beluga pattern. 

Some final pictures to show you. Above is a picture of Hazel at SeaWorld looking for beluga whales. Below is the zoo I set up for her. As she was looking at it, she was mentioning that we had an Australia section with kangaroos and a wombat and an African section with the lions, giraffes, zebras and elephants. I mentioned the panda bear being from China and she started asking where the other animals were from. I guess I'm bringing her up to notice the animals of the world at least.

Finally here is a collage of the books we have collected on manatees, dolphins and whales. We have not read them all and many of the manatee books are more picture story/fiction ones, but I always find those fun to include. Manatee on Location is non-fiction though. Also you can purchase Daria's CD at her store for $10 with free shipping!