Showing posts with label picnic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label picnic. Show all posts

Spring Picture Books

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

It has not felt like spring here lately. We had snow falling on Monday, but I keep trying to think it is coming. Today I am going to share three new picture books having to do with spring and animals. The first is Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic by Alexandra Boiger. I had the pleasure of reviewing the first Max and Marla book already

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.

Teddy Bear Picnic Food

Special announcement: I was quoted in an article at Ballooning Nest Eggs. Please go check it out!! I'm so excited!

Well we hosted our Teddy Bear Picnic the other day. It was so much fun. The idea came to me when we went to one at a local museum, and I was not very impressed. It was too large, loud and chaotic for the kids to focus. Hazel enjoyed visiting the museum but really did not enjoy the picnic. So I told her we would have our own. We did. We e-mailed some invitations and two of her friends were able to come (three if you count the three-month-old sibling). I made teddy bear ears for all the kids and the moms. The tutorial for them can be found here. I have to admit that one of the other moms and I were the only ones who wore them the whole time. Hazel and I spent a lot of time preparing for it. We made some sugar cookies in bear shapes. We used a mix. Then left them for the kids to decorate. Hazel had a bit of fun with the frosting and decorations. She always overdoes it!

We also made some bear paw cookies. We were going to use bear claw cookies, but I found this easy recipe on Disney Family and I liked that they actually looked like the bear paws. Since the two friends coming are allergic to nuts I had to find something to replace the almond slices. We used freeze-dried banana slices that I cut. It worked and it gave a nice taste to the cookies. Aren't they cute?
We also served some food we could buy that were teddy bear shaped. We used Teddy Grahams and gummy bears. It is not easy to find gummy bears that have no nuts or were not prepared where nuts were. I ended up with some without any, but they were prepared on the same equipment so the friend who is deathly allergic could not eat the gummy bears. 
Our final food was a fruit arrangement. We love Edible Arrangements, but I do not like their prices. My mother-in-law often buys these to bring to Hazel's party. I have kept all the containers and sticks, so we reused the small one. We used our cookie cutters to cut teddy bear watermelon and cantaloupe (Hazel did this with the slices I cut). Hazel also put the berries on the sticks. She also chopped the banana for me and put the slices on sticks. We then froze them and dipped them in chocolate like we saw at Sharing Saturday from School Time Snippets (we just put them on sticks as well). I also dipped some strawberries in chocolate. The only problem we had was that it melted a bit outside, but it was enjoyed by everyone!
I should also add that I asked everyone to bring their own lunch and let them know we would provide the dessert and drinks. With everyone's food allergies and what they eat, I figured this was easier. Tomorrow I will share some of the games, etc. we played. And now I will start planning our next mini-party with a butterfly theme. I hope you are enjoying your week! Happy Family Times is still open if you would like to share your family together time this week and inspire all of us to have more time with our families!

Pond, Nature, Teddy Bear Picnic and Museum

We had a very busy day today. We had our Nature Adventures with Picture Books at the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary this morning. It is hard to believe there is only one more of them this summer. This week's theme was ponds! She read us a book about a walk around a pond and seeing animals and signs of animals. Then she showed us pictures of the animals we may see and off we went. Since it was hot and sunny when we started out, our instructor chose the pond in the Rockery, so we would be in the shade for the most part. Along the way we saw many dragonflies and damselflies. I did not take any pictures of them this week since we had so many last week. There were many steps to make the hill easier to get down and up, however one of the moms had her youngest in a stroller so she required some help getting back up.
We stopped along the way to look at scat (at least that is the official term for it--in house it is poop) and discuss which animals may have left it. She also pointed out a beaver boundary mound. Then we saw the water and the water lilies. We also saw a frog, but my pictures did not come out well of it. We saw a blue heron but we saw it when it was flying away from us.
Then we went over a bridge and our instructor took some water samples for us to explore. The first find was a snail. Then we found a baby dragonfly. It was hard to believe this ugly water bug turns into the beautiful dragonflies we were seeing everywhere.
We also found some baby damselflies. It was hard to believe how different they look from the baby dragonflies when they look so much alike as adults. (To tell the difference, damselflies land with their wings folded and dragonflies land with them open.)
Then we found an even smaller baby damselfly!! This was my find, so I'm proud!

Here are all of our finds or at least the ones we could get to stay in something. Several of the waterbugs took off on us when we put them into the ice cube tray. Apparently the whirliwig bugs or whatever they are have wings.

Then she showed us a rana slyvatica (a wooden frog that you rub with a wooden stick to make frog sounds). The kids all tried it out.
She also showed us models of the stages of a frog's life. The kids got to hold each one.
On the way back up the hill, I went with the kids who were walking to get them to stop every once in awhile to wait for the other adults who were helping with the stroller. At one point we stopped and the kids pointed out an animal down the road. The deer was kind enough to wait until everyone joined us and got a good look at it before running off.
After getting back to the nature center I realized we needed to get going so we could meet Hazel's friend at the Wenham Museum for a Teddy Bear Picnic. We got there late. Hazel went over to our friends while I went in to check in and pay for us. It was a little chaotic and the kids did not stay focused too well. I did get some pictures of Hazel doing the Teddy bear, teddy bear dance.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Touch the Ground.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Show Your Shoes.

Then they pretended to be bears with one child the mama bear to lead them in their behavior. Then Hazel wanted to go inside. The museum is on a main street/state highway so it was loud. They had read some books while the kids ate their lunches and had coloring sheets, but it was too large of a group and too spread out to keep them all focused with the noise from the road. So we took our teddy bears and picnic stuff back to the car and went inside to the museum.

I had only been to the museum once before. I know they have some old house as part of the museum with certain times to tour it, but we have not done that part. The rest of the museum is very kid friendly. It has toys, exhibits of life in the U.S. during the 17th-19th century and clothes for them to try on, toys that can be played with and then their are the dollhouses, dolls, and the trains with the buttons you can push to get them all moving. Needless to say the kids had a lot of fun. I did not bring my camera inside thinking a museum doesn't allow pictures to be taken. Our friend however did and sent me some.
Hazel is wearing a dress fashioned after the 19th century and a 17th century style bonnet. Downstairs where the model trains are there is also an interactive room for the kids to play. It includes a large model train engine you can sit in.
First they sold tickets since other kids were on the train.
Then Hazel loved pulling the suitcase around.
Then they got in the train. After this we each went our own way. Hazel was obsessed with a model house they could play in. She put Ducky to sleep in the bed and then took a basket to go to the market or churned butter. It was really cute!!

Overall a wonderful busy day!! We are going to plan a teddy bear picnic for the near future and invite a few friends.

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