Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ice Skating in Lamorinda!

This week we continued our winter celebration as we ice skated to some beautiful music.  Moms and little ones had fun skating and twirling together!  We even had a snowball fight without getting cold hands!  Next week we will begin looking for signs of Spring.
Join us for our next session beginning April 14 at the Lamorinda Theater Academy.

Spring Has Sprung - Hands and Feet Art

Spring has Sprung with a ton of cute crafts using hands and feet.  I was a bit overwhelmed when I researched what my boys could do for April's project.  Initially I thought of a handprint bunny - "Some bunny LOVES you!"  I painted my son's pinky, index finger and palm white and pressed on blue paper.  However, it came out too light.  So I tried brown paint.  Looked messy.  Next I thought of a cute yellow chick and the wings would be handprints.  However, no yellow paint.  So finally, I decided on a footprint butterfly. What was great about this project was that I was able to use colors I had and my older son got involved by painting my younger son's foot random colors.  I put my 18 month old in his high chair (confined) and my 6 year old "tickled" his foot as he painted it.  I poured out three colors on a paper plate and used a sponge brush to paint his feet.  You can use one color or multiple colors.   Don't forget your wet wipes!  Once foot is painted press on card stock.  You want the feet to be facing out so the big toes are to the edge of the paper (opposite).  Leave just enough room between foot prints to make the butterflies body.   Once dry, use a Sharpie to draw the body and antenna between the two footprints.  Have your child press their thumbprint at the end of each antenna.

I found this quote that describes my 18 month old perfectly:
  "I'm like a butterfly; pretty to look at, hard to catch." 
 I hope you enjoy getting crafty this month.  Happy Spring!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

100 Lego Pieces

The 100th day of school homework assignment:  Bring in 100 like items in a bag. Easy...time to count out some Lego pieces. The first step was creating a 10x10 grid from a folded piece of construction paper.  Use a ruler to draw in the lines.Count each line and write the 10's numbers. Then place one Lego in each square to show your collection of 100!
One of my favorite stories about the 100th day of school is 100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler.  Happy counting!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Swappable, Unstoppable...Celebrating Shay's 6th Birthday

Swappable, UnStoppable! Without a doubt, this year’s birthday theme would be Shay-Force Adventures after his new favorite video game Skylander, Swap Force.  I immediately looked on Pinterest to find party ideas and mainly found Skylander Giants theme.  So I used some things I found and created other ideas to make it an action packed birthday for his 6 best buddies!
Invites: I sent out an evite using a SwapForce image I found online and wrote: Young Portal Master,
Your presence is requested for Shay's Skylanders Swap Force Adventure.  Come celebrate his sixth birthday and help us restore the core of light as you master the elements.
Pizza and cake will be served.  We will not be playing the video game, but will be recreating "special" adventures.
Activities:  Thank you to my husband and his Photoshop skills, he created a “passport” with the 8 elements and Shay-Force Adventures logo for each guest.  We played 8 games to represent the elements.  After each game/mission, the boys had to return to the starting point and get their passport checked off.  If they worked as a team and complete each mission they would “level-up” and receive their grand prize.
1. Boom Jet Rocket - I make 2 beanbag "rockets" that they had to throw them into a hula hoop. Everyone had to make it into a hoop and earned points depending on which hoop it landed in. Once they earned the points, they returned to the starting location and got their passport checked off.

2. Chompie Stomp - I blew up around 30 balloons and put them into large boxes. We had two rounds. When the balloons were released, the boys had to pop the balloons. It was hilarious to watch. Some kids sat on them while others stepped on them. Once all the balloons were popped, they had to collect ALL the broken pieces and throw them away before they got their next check on their passport.

3. Hunt for Tree-Rex - The boys went on a hunt for Tree-Rex. I left clues which led them to the next location. At the end, Tree-Rex was hidden in a tree with gold chocolate coins. They "leveled-up" and got their coin and another check on their passport.

4. Pin the Eye on Eye Brawl - Thank you to my husband for creating this game

5. Ice Block Smash - I froze colored water in plastic ups with two small prizes inside. They had to smash the ice to get their "treasures."

6. Pop Fizz - Each boy got two cups. One with vinegar and the other with baking soda. I put different colors of food coloring under the baking soda. On the count of three, they had to pour the vinegar into the baking soda. The boys reactions were great! We also did the Mentos and diet soda experiment.

At this point, we came inside for pizza and cake. While they were waiting for their food, we did some magic tricks at the table.

7. Disapearing Character / Magic - I had 3 different Swap Force characters on the table, the boys closed their eyes and I took one away. They had to figure out which one was missing. As simple as this was, they loved it! We added more characters and played it over and over.
After dinner....cake

8. Fire - Shay was instructed to close his eyes as they kids sang happy birthday and make his wish. If he blew out all the candles there would be a surprise. I switched out the character on the cake for a new Swap-Force character. He was so happy when he realized there was a new one!

MISSION COMPLETE - time for goodie bags. Luckily, I found lots of treasures in the Dollar Bins at Target. There were socks, stickers, and roller stamps. I got tubes on Mini M&M's and glued a note around it saying, "Thanks for helping Shay complete his Shay-Force Mission!" Shay added Swap-Force stickers.

It ended up being a great party. The games took about an hour to complete. It was the right amount of kids and enough activities to keep them engaged and having fun! There was time for the birthday boy to open presents too!