Showing posts with label duck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label duck. Show all posts

Freddy the Not-Teddy


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

Does your child have a lovey? Is it the typical teddy bear or a different animal? In this age of stuffed animals--where you can find a stuffed version of almost any animal--I think teddy bears are a bit passe. Hazel's lovey is a duck. We had a ducky themed birthday party years ago to honor her lovey, Ducky. Her pediatrician gave me the wonderful advice of buying several of the animal she chooses as a lovey. We are on her second Ducky and have a third. The second Ducky can no longer be washed as he is completely deteriorating, but if she is having a hard time, he can still calm her down. Today's book is about a stuffed animal that is not a teddy bear. In fact, no one really knows what animal it is, but he is Jonah's favorite animal. To be honest Freddy reminds me a bit of Ducky. The book is Freddy the Not-Teddy by Kristen Schroeder and Hilary Jean Tapper. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8. At the end of our post there is a round-up of ideas for a teddy bear picnic since Jonah and Freddy go to one.

Kid Made Mother's Day Card Ideas with Round-Up

Can you believe Mother's Day is only a week away? This year with remote learning going on the kids are not getting help from their teachers to make cards and gifts. That means it falls on the kids and the dads. Steve brought up the idea of shopping for Mother's Day cards with Hazel and whether it was safe. I reminded him that most of our stores here are closed and will be until after Mother's Day. I suggested they go to our local Walgreen's but when push came to shove Hazel did not want to go out. She has been home since this has started except for our walks when it is nice out, a trip to her school for her yearbook picture, a trip to a good friend's house who is also social distancing but we needed to exchange things with one another and trips to her grandmother's house with Steve. I went to Walgreen's and picked up a couple of cards for her grandmothers. She was afraid one of them would not like getting a homemade card. I found it hard to believe but figured it was worth getting cards for her to give them. She can make one for me. Then I got to thinking of the dads out there who haven't had to deal with this before. I got the idea of sharing some when I got an email from Crayola featuring a flamingo card. I figured we had to try it since Hazel LOVES flamingos

Fun Facts about Rubber Ducks with Rubber Duck Craft Round-Up

Did you know January 13 is National Rubber Ducky Day? In honor of it I thought I would share some fun facts about rubber ducks. (Did you know there are some people who spell them rubber ducky or rubber duckie?) There are rubber duck races around the world raising money for charities and it is considered a classic toy. Here are some interesting facts I found out about these little guys.

Picture Book Round-Up

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

Today I am going to share some new picture books with you. These books are mostly aimed towards preschool and lower. Each is fun and have good lessons in them. I hope you will read my reviews and check them all out!!

Summer Craft Supplies -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Oriental Trading sent me these products free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Looking for ideas of things to do with your kids on those bad weather days this summer? Or perhaps just some things to keep your kids using their creative juices and crafting? Now I am sure you know about Oriental Trading and their fun party supplies and perhaps even their various craft kits, but do you know they also sell craft supplies? Hazel and I checked out their craft supplies together and picked some out to share with you. We chose some basic supplies like paints and washi tape as well as some things to use the paints and washi tape on like frames, a tray, diy journal kits and diy rubber ducks. We have been having fun with all these craft supplies as well as some we already had. 

Spring and Easter Crafts, Ideas & More with Products from Oriental Trading -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

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 Easter is only two weeks away? I love spring and Easter and love making various crafts for this time of year. I also am always looking for some non-candy ideas for the Easter eggs and basket. I turned to my friends at Oriental Trading for some of all of these. I cannot wait to share with you what we have been making and what surprises Hazel will have on Easter morning. We will start with ideas for the Easter eggs and basket and our new Easter flag.

Make Ways for Ducklings Turns 75! -- Book Review & More

Disclosure: Penguin Random House gave me a copy of these books 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.

Ducks have been very important in our lives for the last seven years. Hazel's birth announcements were duck magnets. Then there is Ducky. Who knew her lovey would be a duck? After all this she has loved ducks all of her life. She gets very excited every spring when our spring visitors return to the brook that runs along our back yard.
Hazel has been going out every morning to feed her (and now her mate) as well as check on them after school. It is really exciting for her that the classic book, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey turns 75 this year! A special version has been put out for this anniversary. It includes the classic book, a CD and a poster.

Ducky Themed Birthday Party

This week we are getting ready for Hazel's birthday. Our tradition is to do a family/mostly adult party for Hazel on her birthday and then have a bigger kid oriented one later with her school friends since her birthday is always over Christmas break. This year she wanted her family party to have a ducky theme. I thought this would be easy. I had bought some duck printable paper ages ago so I used it for the invitations. I found a few cute ideas for wording on-line and combined the parts I liked.

50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids - Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent a this ebook to review free of charge from Georgina Bomer. 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.

Continuing on our theme of National Craft Month, we are reviewing another wonderful craft book, 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids by Georgina Bomer. This book is available in now out of print.

Easter Baskets for American Girl Dolls

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.

We have been getting ready for Easter with Hazel's dolls. We had a lot of fun filling baskets for them. Most of the supplies including the baskets came from Oriental Trading. We found a few other items elsewhere. Hazel kept making baskets while I took some pictures. She really was enjoying making them. 

Lucky Ducky Valentines with Free Printables

Now I know I have talked about Hazel's Ducky before. When I saw this idea for a Valentine, I knew we had to do it. Of course, I cannot find where I saw it. Sorry!! However, I found red and pink mini rubber ducks at Michaels and bought two packages of 8.

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Duck on a Bike

This month's author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is David Shannon. Now I must admit, I was not too thrilled by this since we did not find too many of his books we liked, but we have found a few. His writing does not match our favorite type of stories and I personally see it more geared toward young boys. That being said we did find a favorite, Duck on a Bike. It has a duck in it, so Hazel loved it. She also loved that the duck rides a bike. I may have to get her a basket for her bike so Ducky can go for a ride as well.
For those who are not familiar with the Virtual Book Club for Kids, I have joined a wonderful group of bloggers to present books by a picked author for the month. We present a book (or books) by this author with an activity, craft, etc. to go along with it. Then we have a blog hop so others can join us. I have to admit I have discovered some amazing children's authors from doing this.  Here are the amazing bloggers who host this great book club.

Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book
- This Reading Mama - Fantastic Fun and Learning

  Now onto our book. This book is about a farm where a little boy leaves his bicycle out and the duck decides to go for a ride on it. The duck rides past all the other animals and says hi. All the other animals have different thoughts about seeing the duck on the bike--from he's crazy to I wish I could go on a bike. Then a large group of children come to the farm and leave their bikes outside and head inside. All the animals then give bike riding a try.

Now I must admit, Hazel and I have a cold and I was in hurry when we did this craft, but we were inspired by a craft Hazel made at our public library which was a plate with a slit and a duck on a popsicle stick that swam around the duck pond (the plate) by moving the popsicle stick in the slit. We cut a curve and put the duck on a bike and used stickers for the animals though we couldn't find any cat, dog and mouse stickers quickly so we drew them. Then after making one together, Hazel wanted to make her own. I had to run to church for work, so I cut the slit and helped draw the bike, and then she was on her own. We found one dog sticker after she drew one, so hers has two dogs. Not that you can tell the drawings are cat and dog.
Overall it was an easy fun craft to go with this fun book. She loved moving the duck around the "farm". We put the animals in the order that the duck passed them in the book.

In the next couple weeks we will share two more books by David Shannon. Now it is your turn. Have you done an activity with a David Shannon book? It is your turn to share here.

Spring, Flowers and Wildlife

Now one of my favorite types of days is where you do not have to worry about getting somewhere by a certain time, so when you open your garage door and see a turkey, you can take the time to try to see it and get a picture of it--oh, and of course try to feed it. Yesterday was one of those days and yes, when I opened my garage door there was a turkey right there. Hazel and I tried to get a good look at it, but it ran away. We left it some cracked corn, but it was a few houses away by then and I do not think it came back.
Then today after I picked Hazel up from school, we ran to AC Moore for some craft supplies and stopped at KMart for some plants. It was unusually warm here in Massachusetts (20 degrees higher than average) so we spent the afternoon outside. Hazel could not wait to plant some flowers.
We bought an English daisy and three six-packs of pansies. We also bought some lettuce, sugar snap peas, basil and some tomato plants (which we will keep inside for another couple of months). 
Doing the Gardener Dance
Hazel planted the pansies with a little help from me, but actually did most of it herself!
We decided to plant some in a pot on the front steps and some around a tree in the front. Then Hazel also planted some in her garden (my old garden that we are letting her play in). I planted the vegetables there as well since Daddy hasn't dug me my new garden yet. 

While planting in the back we had a sure sign of spring. Our ducks returned. They came up looking for food, but when we moved to get them some, they flew back in the water.
We threw some of the cracked corn into the water for them. Then after dinner I looked out and saw two males. Now we had this problem last year. Some other male comes and attacks the female trying to mate with her. Her mate does his best to chase him away, but it can takes days until he leaves them alone. Anyway, I went out to see what was going on. The extra male flew away, but he started flying circles as I kept seeing him come back. I think he was checking to see if I was gone yet. Then he landed back in the water and went after the female. She kept trying to hide in the tunnel (the creek goes underground on our property), but he followed her. Her mate chased him out and down the creek by the bend where their nest is. She came out and I stood very still waiting to make sure she was safe. She must have decided I was safer than the water, because she came up and sat about 7 feet from me. I stayed for awhile and then slowly moved far around her to check on the males. The attacking male flew away and her mate same down to where she was and came up. They stayed there for quite some time. It looked like she was sleeping some of the time and he was guarding her.
The last time I looked out, they were gone--I'm guessing back to their nest. All I cared about was they were safe and she was not being attacked/raped. (I know it is natural for ducks, but I don't think the female should be attacked when she doesn't want to be with him and she is happy with her mate.) So that was our duck drama and our fun day outside! Tonight the rain will come and bring the temperatures down again, but at least we got one day outside in the warmth.

Getting Ready for Easter with Peg Dolls

I like to give some non-candy items to Hazel in her Easter basket. Her grandmother (my mother-in-law) tends to give her a lot of candy and the truth is Steve and I end up eating most of it since Hazel eats healthy and is usually full after a bite or two of the candy. This year we are planning on getting her a book about Easter and I am making her some peg dolls. I made her a duck, bunny and chick for her basket.
Since her favorite toy is Ducky, we always seem to gravitate to ducks. This is my little duck that I made her.
An Easter basket is not complete without a bunny, so here is her pink and white bunny with a sparkly pom pom tail.
And of course we need a chick for her basket. Next maybe I'll make a lamb. I'm also going to maker her some spring flower fairies. I'll share those a different day though since they are not done.

What do you do for your child's Easter basket?

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Waddles by David McPhail

If you are looking for my Fairy Tales in Different Cultures for this week it is here!

I join many other wonderful bloggers to bring you the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month we have picked David McPhail as our author. So each of us has chosen a David McPhail book to feature and do an activity with and will share it in a blog hop. If you have an activity to go with a David McPhail book please join us in the hop this month!

The host blogs are:

Now I must admit I had not checked out David McPhail previously. After looking at some of his books we fell in love. I also am happy to find he was born and grew up on the North Shore of Boston in Newburyport and is still a New Englander. That makes it all the more special for us!
Our Waddles
This month we choose Waddles as our feature book. After all I have a daughter who loves ducks so it only seemed fitting. Waddles is an adorable book about the life of a raccoon who waddles due to his size and therefore is called Waddles. He lives in a park near a pond where his best friend, Emily lives. Emily is a duck. (Did I mention that Hazel's latest new doll is named Emily? She got her shortly after we read this book a few times.) Waddles and Emily spend each day together until one spring Waddles finds Emily sitting on a nest. She has laid her eggs. Since Emily cannot leave the nest, Waddles brings her food each day. Then when Emily is yearning to swim, Waddles sits on the nest for her. That is the point a red fox decides to come and get an egg. After Waddles scares the fox away the eggs hatch. Waddles now has six best friends--Emily and her five ducklings. Life is wonderful until autumn arrives. The ducks need to fly south for the winter. Waddles is heartbroken throughout winter. Of course spring does return and so do his best friends.

For an activity we decided to make some finger puppets. I had seen this duck finger puppet at I thought it would be perfect to make finger puppets and use up some old pill bottles. We found different size bottles for the different animals and used some felt. Now I am going to say that I let Hazel decorate them for the most part and let her choose colors. She cannot wait to play with them. For the heads of the bigger ones we cut felt and used a bit of stuffing. We tried to make the fox and raccoon noses as well, but they are not perfect. She loves them just the same.

Our Emily

Our Ducklings
Apparently all the ducks had to have red feathers. Now I will admit we are a bit low on feathers, but she for some reason really liked the red ones.
I had a bit of difficulty with the fox's head and didn't get it glued or stuck as well as I had hoped. I'll try some more later. Hazel is very excited to act out the story now.

Now it is your turn to share any David McPhail book activities you have done. Or if you haven't, visit the ones shared here so you can learn about some more of his books!

More Holiday Fair Crafts

Today I thank God for my faith because I know with it all things are possible!

So there have been several emails about the shortage of things for the Holiday Fair at Hazel's school. Even though I have done more than what was asked of me for donations, I figured I would keep working until the fair next week. I made a felt bird similar to the one I made last year with the pattern from Living Crafts Magazine. I didn't take a picture of it. Sorry! I'll have to find the one I made last year for Hazel and get a picture at some point.

Then I made a felt duck. I used the free pattern Lucky Ducky from Nosey Nest Pattern Shop. Hazel of course loves this duck and wants it. I promised her I would make her one after the fair.
Next I made for the Pocket Lady a small felt bunny. This was so easy and quick. I will probably make some more of these and maybe put some on barrettes for the Wee Folk Shoppe. I got the idea from Artemis Moon. I just drew a quick pattern for myself.
Then I made a baby penguin with the tutorial on Holloughby. I printed the picture of the shapes pinned on the felt full size and used that as my pattern. I sewed everywhere and did not use glue.
I have a feeling I will be making another one of these as well after the fair. Anyway, I chose to do some hand sewing since I can do it in front of the television without disturbing Steve as well as while Hazel plays. I figure I will keep making things until the 17th. If I do one or two a day, at least it will get them closer to their goals.

Happy Family Times #21--A Trip to Boston

Have you done something fun with your family this week? Kelly at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are collecting everyone's activities to inspire all of us to spend more time with our families! Please share your story below.

This past week we spent lots of time together as a family. Steve had the week off and we planned several day trips and things to do locally. The one we all looked forward to, especially Hazel, was going into Boston. We took the subway in (Boston has America's oldest subway but parts of it are above ground--you can read more about the history here). It was Hazel's first time on the subway or a real train (besides the small ones at the zoo and malls). She was so excited. The picture above is on the first train. The picture below is waiting for Daddy to purchase the Charlie Tickets so we can get on the train.
We took the train to The Public Garden. Hazel could not wait to get there. I had promised her a ride on the Swan Boats and to see the Make Way for Duckling statues. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey is one of our favorite books and we feel so lucky to live near where the story takes place!

Pond in The Public Garden

We walked around the pond to the Swan Boats and got in line. We stopped on top of the bridge to check out the island and we stopped to check out all the mallards (including ducklings) all around the pond! After waiting a short bit in line, we got on the swan boat. One of the other passengers had brought bread and fed some of the ducks who followed us for a bit, but the passenger was informed by the driver that you are not suppose to feed the birds, so she stopped. A pair of swans live in the pond each summer. They are named Romeo and Juliette. I couldn't tell you which was which, but we saw both.

After the ride we walked over to the Make Way for Duckling statutes. Hazel could not see them at first, but then she saw them and asked to run to them. She had to first touch each one. Then she asked for a picture by each one. I think she got bored part way through of the pictures though.
Then we walked out of The Public Garden and went across the street to Boston Common (known around here as The Common). We were more walking through, but I wanted to show her the Frog Pond which had many kids playing in the water and sprinklers. Next to the Frog Pond there was a carousel set up, so Hazel and I went on it. It was the first time she wanted to go on one of the horses that went up and down so I held her. We also ran into a friend from our parent/child class this past year who also rode on the carousel.
Then we went to find a restaurant to have lunch. We had two requirements: a bathroom and some place to sit down inside. We found a burger place (after saying no to two places due to our requirements). It was good. We had mentioned possibly going to the aquarium. Hazel really wanted to go, so we did, even though we were all a bit tired. Our thoughts had been that the aquarium would be a good choice, since it is mostly indoors and air conditioned and it was hot. Also Hazel loves looking at the fish at the pet store, so I thought she would really enjoy it. Now, I should add that I have never been impressed with the New England Aquarium. I have always thought it was overpriced for what they offer, so if you are visiting Boston, it does not need to be on your must-see list.

Well once again I was disappointed. I was a bit shocked at how much it cost for the three of us to get in. The lines were very long to get in and then it was so overcrowded that it was hotter inside than outside and you really couldn't get close enough to see much. Plus the one spot we got close to the big round tank Hazel got scared of the sharks. Hazel enjoyed the jelly fish and the penguins, but by this point the crowd and heat were getting to us all and we were all very exhausted. We headed home. Oh, and if you are going to the aquarium in Boston, don't go in the summer. The clerk at the gift shop told me the prices are raised and it is always that crowded in the summer. She said it was much better in the fall once people are back at school. I was a bit surprised by this since I remember coming from Connecticut to go as a kid with school, but I don't remember it being so crowded then either.

We hopped back on the T (the subway) and went back home. Well we stopped for ice cream and then went home.

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

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