Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dinosaur Roars!!

We’re buried elbow deep in boxes and the kids are bored with the unpacking! I decided to go back to my old idea of picking a “theme” to focus on with them to help keep them busy and me organized. I sat with the kids and we discussed certain topics that they are interested in and they agreed that Dinosaurs is what they wanted to learn about. They’re completely OBSESSED with PBS’s Dinosaur Train cartoon (which we stream through Netflix).

OFF TO THE LIBRARY!! We got each of them their own library card and we set out to pick dinosaur themed books! I got an activity pack from the library that includes 6 books, 3 toy dinosaurs, and an instruction sheet full of ideas to help keep kids interested. For the past two weeks we’ve been having circle time after breakfast, doing an activity and a craft and setting our days around dinosaur “things”.

Seriously, at this age anything goes. We made green Jell-O one day and instantly it was “dinosaur Jell-O”. We had yogurt covered raisins for snack another day and they were “dinosaur eggs” etc. See? Easy!

I found some cute educational activity sheets that had cartoon dinosaurs on them, so that counts! Find them on a cute blog called 2TeachingMommies.  Here’s a few pics of them doing the activities we printed:

I also found this really cute idea to make dinosaur feet at ItMom: With all this cardboard laying around, I knew this project was meant for us! I grabbed some green tempra paint from Hobby Lobby for $1.77, got the ribbon from my current (overly abundant) ribbon stash, threw the kids in their old preschool shirts and went for it!

What made it more awesome, is we already had a book called “Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp” written by Carol Diggory Shields. You can check it out at your local library or buy it on here:
We strapped on our new dinosaur feet, read the story and had our own dinosaur stomp in the livingroom!!

One afternoon while running through Michael’s craft store, I saw these really cool dinosaur eggs for $1.50 each (I forgot to take a picture of them in their packaging). They’re like compressed dirt and inside are miniature plastic dinosaur bones that you can put together and display when finished. We set up our dig site out back and the kids pretended to be Paleontologists for the morning. It took about an hour total with both kids and me helping them back and forth but we successfully dug out the “bones” and got them put together. They’re now proudly being displayed on their dressers.

Last event to close out the theme was a trip to Jurrasic Park here in Copley. I have to tell you, I was ecstatic to learn that we had a Fossil/Science center so close to our house! We chose to just do the park only so the fee was just $3.00 each. The park is a cute little area full of different activities for the kiddos. They rode cars in the Dino 500, they shot balls in the ball toss at dinosaur cut-outs, they climbed across a shaky bridge, they played in the sand dig area, they played on the swings and the slides and the most fun of all, they rode on zip lines! They had a little 12ft (I’m guessing…) long “baby” zip line that Ryan loved and then they had a 200ft (not guessing, ‘cause I asked) long zip line that Ash LOVED!!

While a lot of the learning was pretend and we were being silly, I was surprised to find out how much of this information stuck in their brains. One day while out, Ashlynn was holding onto one of the toy dinosaurs from the library. A lady said to her, “I like your toy, what is that?” To which Ash replied “a Brachiosaurus.” The lady looked at her shocked and said “well, I was expecting you to say dinosaur but Brachiosaurus will work!” :)
Also for those of you who know about Ryan’s speech issues… he says Stegasaurus clear as a bell!! Crazy!

Whew, learning about dinosaurs and pretending was great fun. We’re off to a new activity for the next few weeks.


Wow... here's an old post from LAST YEAR that was in draft mode... never finished. Sound familiar? Anyhoo, here it is, unfinished and all!
I'm SO far behind on posts (what's new) but several of you have asked about seeing pics from Ashlynn's birthday party. If you didn't already know, my daughter is a pink, glittery hot mess. The brigher, shinier more ridiculous it is.... the more she LOVES it. Since April, she had been asking me to throw her a Pinkalicious Party for her 4th birthday.
We had the party at the Chesapeak Children's Museum in Annapolis. The "party room" is also the employee breakroom area and is less than appealing to look at upon first glance. However, we quickly transformed this place into a Pinktastic Mess which all the other little-girl guests loved.

A: Watermelon cut into heart shapes

B: Pinkalicious Cupcakes - made by Lisa Z. They were very good. Her site here!

C: Pink Strawberry Lemonade w/ sliced lemons

D: The cupcakes on the decorated table

E: Custom "Ashlynnlicious" embroidered dress for the event. Buy one here!

F: Pink goodie bags, w/ pink ribbons and Pinkalicious stickers.

G: Dipped strawberries in white candy bark and pink sprinkles

H: The lil' man enjoying his cupcakes

I: The birthday girl wearing her Pinkalicious Tiara (of course).

J: The decorated birthday area - PomPom's hanging by ceiling were homemade.

K: Homemade Stick the Cherry on the Cupcake Game - Everyone who played won Pink coins!

L: The Pinkalicious Invites!

M: Green food to cure Pinkatitus!

For me, it's all in the details... I started preparing for the party late May. Sadly, many of the decorations I had made didn't get used. My intentions were to have the party at home initially, but having family from out of town come her birthday weekend was more exciting so we changed the venue to the museum. I hadn't seen the birthday space until the day we arrived and there just wasn't room for all the decorations that had been made.

My first mission: THE INVITATIONS!

Papercrafting is my thing so I new exactly what I wanted to achieve. I ordered most of the supplies from my Stampin' Up! demonstrator here. I went to michaels to buy red glitter paper and adhesive (Tombow Refills). I only needed 15 so this was an easy one.

... see, undone. I had all these intentions of showing step by step the card, the goody bags... ugh! Oh well.

We're baaaack!!

It's been almost 1 year since my last post. Wow.  I'm going to try and sum up the last year in 100 words or less:

This parade has packed up and moved again!

Last summer we moved to Kent Island. LOVED it there! DISLIKED commuting & disliked my dysfunctional employer. Seeing my kids only a few hours each day was awful. Those hours spent rushing, arguing and exhausted - only to do it over again the next day left us wondering "Is this really worth it?" The hubbs was still longing to have a cleaner house and home cooked dinners again (heehee). Happy wife, happy life right?

Fast forward: An opportunity to be transferred to Ohio came up. Yes, OHIO. So, we took it. The worst part for me? Leaving D.C.… the area I’ve dreamt of living for MANY MANY YEARS. The area that I feel at HOME. *Sigh*. Also, leaving good friends we had made during our time there and also taking the kids from the preschool they LOVED attending.

The best part for me now? I’m home with my kids again, I LOVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD and I can start creating again in my very own craft room. I think that is all a fair trade. Don’t you? Oh and the hubs, has gotten his dinners back (we’re working on the cleaner house part!).