Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fishing Weekend

Spending one morning at Raccoon River Park on free fishing weekend has become a tradition for our family and also an early birthday celebration for the minis. In fact, it's one of our favorite weekends of the summer! Other than fishing it was actually quite the busy weekend. Hubs had to work on Saturday, so that left me in charge of shuffling the minis in between playdates, end of the year parties, and attending graduation parties. 

The weekend started with the oldest mini claiming to be out of deoderant. Turns out he didn't know he needed to turn it upwards to get more.

After a day of running around, we brought pizzas to the Museum where we hosted a Pizza Party for our volunteers. My minis enjoyed running around and having all of the toys to themselves. The nice part was that there was plenty of pizza leftover that we got dinner the next evening out of it too!

What's more fitting than ice cream after a dinner of pizza?? Our first visit to Snookies for 2018.

Sunday morning didn't go quite as planned. No one woke up in a particularly good mood, but the oldest had a meltdown because he couldn't find his Captain America hat. Full on crying, yelling, telling us he didn't want to be in our family anymore....one of THOSE meltdowns (or as I call them, the pre-teen tantrum). Things were scary in our house that morning. We were supposed to arrive at Raccoon River Park at 9 a.m. but didn't get there until nearly 10. For the sake of everyone, we waited until everyone was calmed down.

But once we arrive at the lake, everyone was (pretty much) happy and excited about fishing!

Fishing with a Starbucks in hand.

We managed to get a selfie with everyone in it!

We had a picnic at the park (which was interesting given the incredibly windy day we were given) and celebrated the minis birthday with deli sandwiches and their favorite cupcakes.

Yummy Scratch cupcakes!

After our fishing morning, we told the minis we'd take them to their favorite spraygrounds to play, but they chose to break in their new dino sprinkler in the backyard instead! 

Harrison displayed his new cat butt magnets proudly. This was just one of many interesting things he asked for for his birthday!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

4 Ways To Make Your Own Slime

We're kind of slime connoisseurs over here. We were waaayyy ahead of the recent slime craze, but we've enjoyed trying out new recipes along the way. This was the first time that I set out a variety of slime ingredients, posted a few of our favorite recipes for the kids to see, and let the kids make their own slimes. For the most part it was successful, minus a couple of recipes that turned out way too sticky thanks to not following the recipe (like at all).  Amazingly slime didn't end up everywhere on the floor, but a few shirts had to be washed.

Our favorite recipe for the day wasn't even one of our original recipes. It's something I created while trying to help another child. The best part of this activity is that it could easily keep kids occupied for 
an entire day!


Our ingredient list included: 
  • LOTS of glue. Some small bottles and one large jug
  • Baking soda
  • Corn starch
  • Liquid starch
  • Contact solution
  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter
  • Plenty of measuring cups and spoons

Our favorite slime recipes:

Recipe #1

  • 1 bottle of school glue
  • 1 cup liquid stach
  • food coloring and/or glitter (or any other add-ins you may want)
* This is the slime recipe I've used for years and love it!

Recipe #2
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of water (the kids needed a bit more water than this but not too much more)
  • food coloring and/or glitter
* This is actually the recipe we use to make goop

Recipe #3
  • 1 bottle of glue
  • 1/2 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp contact lens solution
  • food coloring and/or glitter (or any other add-ins you'd like)
Recipe #4

  • 1/2 cup glue
  • 1 1/2 cup shaving cream
  • 2 1/2 tbsp contact solution
  • food coloring and/or glitter (or any other add-ins)

* This was the recipe that came out stickier than sticky. I do not recommend this recipe

Recipe #5

  • 1/2 cup of glue
  • 3 cups shaving cream
  • 2 tbsp contact solution
  • 1 tbsp of corn starch
  • 1/3 cup of liquid starch (I had this sitting out for another slime recipe I was going to do next and accidentally poured it into this mixture)

* This wound up being the favorite recipe of the day! It was incredibly fluffy, not sticky at all, could stretch without breaking, and mixed together easily. We will be making this one again!

Each big kid had a little kid partner. This worked great for everyone! The bigs got to test their leadership skills and the littles got to feel like big kids for a bit.

The kids went a liiiittttle crazy with the food coloring. Everyone left daycare with this blueish, purplish color of hands. I would say this was a daycare first, but no.

Our one casualty of the day was the trash can lid. It required a good scrubbing (or two) at the end of the day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Lovin' We're Havin' A Blast

Summer is here and we've been having all kinds of fun! Kiddie pools, sprinklers, water balloons, paint balls, themes, and all day in the backyard is pretty much how everyday goes for us. Our big theme for the summer is 50 States. I wasn't sure of the kid's reactions on our theme for the summer and I really wasn't sure what they'd take away from it all, but they are loving it! The 50 States book we have has been the most fought over item at daycare. Everyone has poured over it while anxiously asking what we're doing for the other states. 

While our states activities have kept us busy and engaged, here's other happenings from our first two weeks of summer vacation:

First hours of the summer and there was already a stray booger on the side of my chair. Typical. And gross. But so typical that it didn't gross me out.

The weather has been so warm that that we've had water activities every day but one.

I still find it hilarious that the big kids love the toddler toys just as much (and sometimes more) than the toddlers do!

I snagged some awesome art supplies at IKEA when we went to Minneapolis in May (read about that weekend getaway here). This tub of beads should last us all summer (and maybe even next!).

The end of the school year/first day of summer vacation has always been marked by a silly string fight. This year's did not disappoint. The minis had friends from school come home with them and along with the daycare kiddos, it was one massive "fight." We even gathered up the silly string and rolled it into balls that they've been playing catch with!

Another day, another sprinkler (and a few pools).

We've had to ban riding on top of the Cozy Coupes already. And we still can't have hula hoops or jump ropes. Maybe next year???

June 1st was National Donut Day. We celebrated the sugary holiday with donuts for breakfast, donut cereal for morning snack, and homemade mini donuts in the afternoon. I set up a donut shop for the kids to play in all day. The tables had Play Doh to make the "donuts" and the shelf had a cash register and boxes to carry the "donuts." The kids got really creative with their Play Doh donuts and had a great time pretending to sell donuts, deliver donuts, and display them for all to see.

The big kids were in charge of making the mini donuts while the littles were all asleep for naps.

Friday lunches are spent discussing the next week's menu. I ask the kids what they want for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches and decide which day they best fit in. The kids have all been eating really well and it hasn't been all chicken nuggets and pizza. Our newest favorite lunch is sun butter wraps with jelly to dip. 

Lauren scored this in the Target Dollar Spot for us and it fit right into our States theme. The kids love this and play with it daily!

The kids all left with bruises all over their legs after this pool day.....they got a running start and then threw themselves into the pool (essentially slamming themselves onto the ground). Kids are weird, but I don't really argue with anything when something so simple keeps them laughing for over two hours.

Alaska was "salmon" fishing in the water table. This magnetic fishing set was perfect for this activity!

For Arizona we took a morning hike down by the creek in our neighborhood. While we were just at the end of our street, it felt a world away while the kids explored, examined rocks, walked along the creek, ran through the field, climbed trees, and watched the birds. I made all of the kids wear pants because I wasn't quite sure what all we were stepping in. By the time we got back home (close to lunchtime), we were all sweating and ready for an afternoon in the sprinkler.

But before the sprinkler came Goblies Paint Balls. These wound up being great and washed out of hair, clothes, and skin easily. The only thing I didn't like were the little pieces of plastic they left behind that the kids had to pick up before the sprinkler went on.

Our United States rug. The first few days the kids were all so confused because when it's time to "learn the states," they all want to sit ON the rug, while I want them to actually SEE the rug. They're getting the whole "sit on the carpet around the rug," thing down now that we're several days in.

When we (as in the five of us) went to Arkansas we spent an afternoon at Crater of Diamonds State Park, which is the only open to the public diamond mine in the U.S. We grabbed a couple of bag of lamproite to sift through at home sometimes. Obviously we forgot about it because we were able to use some of it for our Arkansas day!

A water balloon fight took up one afternoon.

In true summer fashion the kids have been outside before 9 a.m. pretty much daily.

Kid: Ash-wee, can I have a tortilla?
Me: Are you hungry?
Kid: Ahhh, yeah, I'm hungry.

Kid takes tortilla and promptly gives it to the doll because "the baby is really hungry." I had to laugh.

My kids asked if they could take a video of their friends playing in backyard. "Sure!" I said, handing over my phone. What I got was a hundred little selfies on my phone.

The kids have been really big on their bars for meals: waffle bars, yogurt parfait bars, and this week a baked potato bar.

Our California day was Hollywood themed, with a talent show and a fashion show (later in the day). All of the kids but two froze as soon as they were on the "stage," so it definitely wasn't the hit activity I thought it was going to be, but that happens occasionally. 

These are the shots I get when they convince me, again, to take videos of their friends. Insert eye roll here.

Since we already went on a hike for Arizona, I wasn't quite sure what to do for Colorado. After brainstorming a bit I came up with an obstacle course. It was fitting that the minis got this dinosaur sprinkler for their birthday's (hello, Dinosaur National Monument is in Colorado). They had to climb up the rock wall, slide down the slide, jump over and go under the pool noodles (in between two Cozy Coupes), climb the cube climber, run through the mist (coming from the dinosaur's nose), jump up onto the Little Tikes slide and jump into the middle of the hula hoop. Everyone took a turn then it was free reign. Most of the kids did the obstacle course over and over for the next two hours, while others just ran through the sprinkler.

100 degrees and the kids were in costumes for the "fashion show." It was pretty much them playing with the dress up clothes.

Storms moved in after daycare, but we were treated to tornado sirens for 45 minutes before the storm blew in. This was the calmest the backyard had been since summer started!

We celebrated Elizabeth's 6th birthday. Read more about her day and everything we did here.

For Delaware we made lady bugs (the state bug). I laid out a ton of craft supplies and told the kids to create their own lady bugs. It was fun to see what the kids came up with and the supplies they used (spoiler: a lot of tape was used).

The days can be long and sometimes trying, but we manage to have tons of fun as we go through them! It's always interesting to me to see how things change summer after summer such as the activities that we can do easily now that everyone is older, the activities that no longer hold their attention, and how they love theme activities.