Friday, May 30, 2014

Makin' Mud Pies

Our "Ice Cream" Shop sensory play was such a hit that we tried another sensory play on the patio: mud pies.

Playing in the mud started off slowly. They were very unsure about it and didn't like getting their hands messy and sticky. After about an hour of light play, they really dug into the mud. I had to keep towels, baby wipes, and a bowl of rinsing water for easy cleaning.

The kids had fun making pies, stirring, and mixing the mud. While the kids had fun with this activity and enjoyed playing with the mud on and off throughout the day, it was not as big of a hit as the "ice cream" shop. The clean up wasn't too bad or overly messy with everything being quite easy to just hose off. Only the tables and little kitchen required a bit of soap to clean up the muddy spots. The worst part of this activity was the muddy towels and clothes that needed laundered! The kids weren't nearly as messy as I thought they may be with this activity, but we still went through several towels during "kid clean up" (hands, feet, faces, and even Harrison's belly required rinsing), lots of towels during the drying process of the items used (bowels, spoons, tables, little kitchen, etc.), and a couple of towels and numerous dish towels to wipe hands during play.

Stay tuned for our next sensory play activity: our backyard will be transformed into a farmers market for a day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

The three day weekend brought a bit of everything: lots of fun, a few tears, sick Miss E and hubs, but mostly extra smiles. We even crossed off a couple of adventures off of our To Do List. Friday night we went to the cemetery to visit Grandma Betty and Grandpa Brownie's graves (which is always followed by A LOT of questions) and fed the ducks at the cemetery pond. Saturday we went to the zoo and Union Park for our first carousel ride of the summer and ended our night with a sick Elizabeth. Sunday started with a sick hubby, a trip to the doctor, some errand running, but we ended our Sunday on a high note with attending my cousin's graduation party. Monday we went for a long hike at Jester Park and had a cook out at Grandma and Grandpa Sheaffer's house. I could have done without the sickness part of the weekend, but the rest was pretty fantastic. 

Here are a few of the highlights (that I managed to capture. I forgot to take pictures most of the weekend):

Feeding the ducks and they were totally uninterested! The kids were a little disappointed.

Saturday morning the kids and I headed to the zoo. The kids were thrilled to see that the rhinos were actually outside (every time we went last summer they were holed up inside).

Their favorite part of going to the zoo: feeding the fish. Max tried to pet on of the fish like he did last summer, but couldn't quite work up the courage. He informed everyone around him that "next time will be my time."

After an afternoon of errand running (just the 3 minis and myself--we won't go into detail about how "fun" that was....) and naps, we spent our evening at Union Park riding the carousel and playing on the rocket playground.

Run up to slide down.

After a night of getting sick, we were unsure of how Miss E would be feeling, but she woke up happy and with her typical attitude and appetite. Here she pouts when I told her to get off of the dare I get mad at her for being on top of the table she's not suppose to climb.
After good naps, we headed down to Cumming for my cousin's graduation party. We are so proud of her and the party was fantastic! Max got to play ladder ball before the storm rolled through.
Look at those cool clouds as the the storm rolled in. Good ole' Iowa thunderstorm.
Must have been some pretty awesome cake because Mr. Max ate his piece in 3 bites!
The graduate and me. My favorite part of the evening happened as we were leaving. I told the kids to go give out hugs and tell people goodbye. Apparently I needed to specify who to give hugs to because our oldest gave out hugs to EVERYONE (a lot of strangers that he didn't know!). Love my sweet, sociable Max.
We began our Monday with a long hike at Jester Park. We hiked a couple of new trails and went further along one of our favorites. I was shocked and so proud of our Miss E who hiked almost a mile and a half before her legs got tired (and then she required carrying which means mom and dad got an extra good work out).
Elizabeth insisted on crossing the creek herself.

They really do love each other!
Saying "yay! Hooray!!" for hiking.

Eating ice cream cones at Grandma and Grandpa Sheaffer's.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Week In Review: May 19 - May 23

It was a short daycare week due to sick kiddies. We got to spend some time outside, engaging in sensory play, painting, having a pancake party, and reading our new books. The other 2 days were spent outside, attending school activities, going to the park, and of course, doing yard work and laundry.

Here are the highlights from the week:

We tried out masking tape paintings. I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would be really cool to try out with the kids. The paintings should look like this:
They turned out like this:
I failed to take into account how much paint little kids use while painting. The paint soaked through the edges of the masking tape (this is one of the better paintings). They may not have turned out as I was thinking, but the kids had a blast painting their canvas and loved the colors of the new metallic paint I bought at Michael's.
Oil pastels drawings .
The kids ate a TON of food at our pancake party. See full details here:
A favorite sensory activity: cooked spaghetti. Read full details here:
I caught them in a rare moment cuddling together voluntarily. 
Water table play on a warm day.

We had a busy Tuesday night and Wednesday with school functions. For details, read this:

An afternoon at Greenwood Park to celebrate Harrison's last day of school.
Playing "King of the Mountain."

The ants came for the Ant Universe. The ants got busy building tunnels right away.

Watermelon is a favorite morning snack around here!
Thursday I got an unscheduled day off (due to sick daycare kiddos). I have to say, it was pretty nice to have a day with nothing scheduled, nowhere to go, and nowhere to be. It was the first day in quite a while that the schedule cleared and we got to lounge at home. The kids kept busy playing restaurant, playing outside, helping me get Friday's activity ready, and raking the leaves plastered against the house.

Paintings with the metallic paints.
Friday's all day activity: "ice cream" shop. See post for details:
A picnic on the living room floor. We had to suspend our picnics outside because the kids wouldn't eat their lunches. They were much more concerned with the birds, an airplane flying overhead, a fly on their water cup, an ant crawling near get the picture.

Next week we will be playing outside, jumping in the bounce house, and the big sensory activity for the week: making mud pies!