10 days to go

I’ve got 10 days until my scheduled c-section. I thought this little one might be coming earlier, but it looks like she may hold on until the bitter end. She is scheduled to come on her due date, a full, looong, 40 weeks. It has been a rough road for me this pregnancy, but the one constant is that she has always looked healthy and strong. I have that to be incredibly thankful for.

This morning I was able to take my youngest son to Gymboree. Now my oldest son and I are getting ready to go to a puppet show at the local library. I can see how these one-on-one times with my boys are going to be fewer and farther between, so I better take them while I can get them! But man, am I tired….

Wall-E with kids

I love movies. I love going to see movies at the theater. There is something so fun about buying a ticket, getting snacks that you would never get at home, and sitting in a huge dark room watching a huge movie. I want to share that with my kids, even though we haven’t gone to see too many yet. Wall-E is one that I thought would be fun for the whole family.

My husband and I took the boys to see Wall-E this weekend. Even though I had already heard good things about it, I was still pleasantly surprised at how good it really was! I think this is Pixar’s best movie yet, plus I love the underlying message!

My 4 year old is not exposed to a lot of tv or movies and tends to have trouble watching anything “scary”. We had to leave Horton Hears A Who after the mayor slammed his hand in the door. It was too much for him to take. So I was worried he wouldn’t be able to last through Wall-E either. Wrong. He loved it! He can’t stop talking about it. He even told people at the store yesterday that he needed to build Wall-E grabber hands so he could save the planet, lol.

All in all this was a great movie day for us, even though my 2 year old seemed to think that running out of snacks was some sort of horrible tragedy. And if my kids, or anyone for that matter, can walk away thinking about how our life on this planet is worth protecting then great! I don’t think that is the whole message of the film however and I don’t think that it is too dark or dreary for kids. I think that the whole film has more to do with love and the need for human (and robot) connection, and really who can argue with that?

Summer activities for big kids

This can be tricky, especially if you have a world wise kid. It’s all in the presentation. Make simple activities seem even more fun by presenting them in a creative way.Then let them be, let them explore, let them create, and allow some time to get messy!

I like the idea of making cards, one for each activity, and then having you child randomly choose one when you need something to do. Or let your child take their pick from three that you have already chosen earlier.

I have also seen dice with pictures on the sides depicting different activities to do. I bet you could easily make a version of dice out of paper.

Think outside the box!

Here are some things to add to your list:

  • Color- make it simple or add some spice by making your own crayons first!
  • Check out crayola.com for a whole list of summer craft ideas
  • Blow bubbles and make your own bubble solution:
  • 1 Cup Water, 2 TBSP Light Karo Syrup or Glycerin, 4 TBSP Dishwashing Liquid

  • Hide-and-Seek
  • Play Chase or Tag- older kids will probably like coming up with variations like these
  • Put on plays with finger puppets or hand puppets
  • Make sock puppets or paper bag puppets
  • Sing songs
  • Make a band with different instruments- make what you don’t have
  • Collect rocks or seashells- sort or decorate them
  • Make an obstacle course- use furniture, blankets, whatever you can find
  • Make a fort
  • Go for a Nature Walk- Make a list (or pictures) of what you might find and check them off as you go
  • Make a car, rocket ship, house out of a big box
  • Read!! Join your local library’s Summer Reading Program
  • Picnic in the park
  • Fingerpaint- use things like shaving cream or pudding for something different
  • Make your own play-dough
  • Make a bean bag toss game
  • Dance to music- older kids can create routines and put on a show
  • Make your own puzzle
  • Pasta necklaces
  • Dress-up
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Make and frost cookies
  • Make juice popsicles
  • Record each other on a tape recorder
  • Make paper hats
  • Give piggie back or horse rides
  • Collect flowers- we love picking dandelions around here!
  • Make paper flowers out of coffee filters- from the easy to the more difficult
  • Play with squirt bottles filled with water
  • Make binoculars and go bird watching
  • Use a magnifying glass and go bug hunting
  • Act out a story from a book
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Make a superhero costume out of what you have on hand
  • Play “Red Light, Green light”
  • Play “Simon Says”
  • Check out Regal’s Free Family Film Festival
  • Check out one of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks for kids from the library and try some yummy recipes- we are huge fans of Salad People!
  • Fly a kite
  • Make horseshoe game

This is just the start, there are so many things you can do this summer! Encourage those imaginations and let the creativity fly!

Summer is here, activities for babies

It’s official. It’s summer! And it actually feels like summer here the past couple of days. I even had to break out a fan the other night for the boys’ room. Luckily my kids aren’t really at an age when they get bored easily, but it can still be hard to come up with ideas for fun things to do, whether or not they are all that creative. Sometimes even taking the time to do something simple can be the most fun! Here is a list I have accumulated over the last year or so… Enjoy!

Fun For Babies:

  • Blow Bubbles- love the Gymboree bubbles, they last and last!
  • Peek-a-boo- use your hands, a hat, a scarf or blanket
  • Finger Puppet play- use stickers on your fingers if you don’t have traditional finger puppets
  • Sing songs- especially songs with hand or body movement, like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”
  • Go for a walk- point out fun shape, colors, animals
  • Read a book
  • Dance- while singing or to a CD
  • Roll a ball back and forth
  • Play with pots and a wooden spoon
  • Play with texture- a small paintbrush, a loofah, a silky scarf, etc.
  • This Little Piggy
  • Put safe objects in a drawer or cabinet to play in- just watch those fingers!
  • Stacking games- boxes, measuring cups
  • Massage
  • Flying Baby- for when baby can hold her head up by herself
  • Balance Ball- put baby on his tummy and gently roll back and forth
  • Flashlight Fun- turn out the lights and shine flashlight where baby can see it, older babies can chase the light
  • Check out storytimes at your local library or bookstore.

But the best thing to remember about playing with your baby is to have fun! Get excited, talk to her about everything, reward her with lots of smiles and enjoy your baby. This is just the start, what do you love to do with your baby?

Tomorrow we’ll talk about activities for toddlers and up…