Friday, April 26, 2019

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was about as perfect as it could get! Perfect weather, perfect adventures, and perfect people to spend time with. We had another full weekend, but my sunburned shoulders and happy adrenaline rush tell me it was worth it.

The minis got their first sugar rush of the weekend at our Saturday morning donut stop at Donut Hut. Not only did we get a dozen donuts to bring into the Museum, but the donut shop also handed out Easter eggs to all kids filled with candies. 

Easter AND Earth Day activities brought us to the Museum to help set up and get the day started. The minis helped hide Easter eggs around the Museum and made a few special items in the makers space.

Our next stop was to Pearson Park for a vEggan egg hunt. All candies were soy, nut, and dairy free (that's a big one for my allergy kid). This was the first public egg hunt the minis had ever done. I prepped them about pushing kids, kids taking away candies, etc. Well, let me tell you, this was the calmest public egg hunt I've ever seen! The minis grabbed some eggs, but were more excited about the playground. We spent quite a bit of time playing before stopping by home for a refill on our water bottles. Then we were off to the Blank Park Zoo for their Eggstravaganza.

When you're kids are finally old enough to do these things by themselves, mom enjoys sitting in the shady shelter waiting!

The boys didn't care about opening up the eggs (and how awesome that the hosts of the egg hunt requested the eggs back so they could be reused next year!), so Elizabeth and Dad sat on the playground and opened them all.

A quick stop at home meant doing arts and crafts quickly.

The closest I've ever been to a lion!

Collecting eggs around the zoo and riding the train for the first time this season were top highlights from the day.

Truth time: I volunteered to make the dessert for family dinner on Saturday. Of course, because I'm me, I left dipping the strawberries in white chocolate (dyed orange) until the last minute. It would have worked out fine and I could have gotten it done in the morning, but when I pulled the strawberries out of the refrigerator they were moldy! So, after the zoo (and right before family dinner) we ran to the store quickly for fresh berries. The boys were then in charge of dipping the berries. They set while we enjoyed Easter festivities at my parent's house and dinner.

Another egg hunt and baskets. This is where they got nearly all of their candy.

My mom showed Harrison how to use a Whopper egg to color his lips (eye roll here). We then realized my kids have never had Whopper eggs and they thought "the lipstick trick" was "sooo cool!"

Carrot patch brownies: brownies with frosting, smashed Oreo's, strawberry (dipped in white chocolate dyed orange) acting as a carrot, and M & M eggs. The boys were disturbed that the white chocolate I dyed wasn't a bright orange like a carrot. This really bothered much so that they refused to call the dessert carrot patch brownies.

Despite our busy day, the Easter Bunny and her helper stayed up laying out gifts and hiding eggs in the backyard well past dark. Thankfully, no ankles were twisted in the dark yard!

Since our Saturday was so buys, the minis were perfectly content to let us sleep in so they could watch a movie on the couch. Then we got moving! The minis opened their baskets, ate bunny butt pancakes, and did their egg hunt in the backyard (they actually failed to inform us they were starting so we made it out to take pictures just as they were finishing up). 

At the oldest minis suggestion, we walked the High Trestle Trail Bridge in the afternoon and ate a picnic lunch along the trail. Between the weather, the minis in good moods, and a true Sunday Funday, we really couldn't have asked for a better Easter Sunday!

Know how the Easter Bunny hid her eggs??? She grabbed handfuls and randomly threw them around the yard. Her helper was a bit more articulate hiding the eggs in drain pipes and tall grasses.

Meats, cheese, crackers, and Lunchables (for the minis). I absolutely detest Lunchables, but the minis enjoy them. Sometimes it's just not worth the fight, especially during picnic lunches. I'm going to venture that a fair amount of these will be consumed during our road trip this summer.

Not a booger but a piece of cheese that wound up in her nose. I've learned not to ask questions about these things.

The wind in the middle of the bridge was intense. Harrison got a good laugh at his shirt being lifted up by the crosswinds.

Once again (as with our time the previous weekend at Jester Park) we were surprised by the high water levels. We were able to see the damage done by flood waters (minimal in this location) as well.

This just might be my favorite Easter weekend we ever had!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Easter Celebration at Daycare

First ever outdoor egg hunt (at this house). The kids had a great time!

We did a lot of Easter activities throughout last week at daycare. While most of the celebrating was done on Friday, we started our week dying eggs naturally, which the kids had a lot of questions about. The rest of the week we also did a parent pleasing craft, spring time sensory goop and baking soda snow, and a simple Seder plate to learn a bit about Passover. Friday was our day to eat bunny cake, do an egg hunt in the backyard, play games, and do one last craft. In the past, I've tried to fit a lot in in one day (see a past Easter Party here), but I've learned the kids have a better time if we go slow and spread out our fun.

The kids really got involved in the natural egg dying process. This is my favorite way to dye eggs now. Read more about it here.

Our Easter/spring time craft: carrots with hand prints for the stem. We call these Parent Pleasers (those crafts that are cute and memorabilia), but the kids enjoyed doing these too. They were excellent when I traced their hands and they loved gluing the orange pieces of paper to the carrot. 

These kiddos love sensory activities! The mud kitchen is a favorite outdoors, but since it was a rainy day, we brought our mess indoors. I made goop (cornstarch, water, and bright green food coloring) and baking soda "snow" (baking soda, cold water, purple food coloring). The kids played with it for the last hour and a half of the day. Even the littlest daycare kiddo got to play too! What I love about both of these sensory activities is that they vacuum out of carpet really well!

Thursday was our day to do TWO Seder meals, one with the littles right before lunch and the second with the bigs after school. I had our Seder plate set and each child had their own plate with items to try it. One of my daycare families made unleavened bread and brought it to share. Without a doubt, the hit of the day was the Matzo. Hearing the kids ask, "can I have more matzah please?" was the cutest thing ever. While they sampled the various things on the Seder plate and drank sparkling grape juice, I told a kid friendly version of Passover (I found this site to be extremely helpful in telling the story).

Friday morning we kicked off our Easter bunny themed celebrations with the annual bunny cake.

Our next activity was a egg toss game. The kids had to stand behind the pink bucket (filled with eggs) and toss them into the Easter baskets. If they made one in, there was excessive cheering. If they didn't, there was still plenty of cheering, excitement, and encouragement. All kids got to pick a prize from the prize bucket. There was plenty to choose from too: beads, whistles, stampers, rubber ducks, silly string. I decided not to do gift baggies this year and go for the prize bucket instead. The kids seemed to love picking out their own goodies.
Now, the biggest thing with this egg toss game is that we used the colored hard boiled eggs we made earlier in the week! The kids thought I was legit crazy for letting them use the "real eggs." Sure most were cracked, but it made for a memorable game!

Another memorable activity: an egg hunt! The eggs weren't filled at all (I let the kids pick out another prize after the egg hunt), but that didn't bother the kids one bit. As soon as I said "go!" they were off and found all 170 eggs hidden around the backyard. I put a giant Easter basket out on a chair in the yard that they put the eggs in when their hands got too full. We'll definitely be doing this again!

Our movies for the afternoon: Charlie Brown Easter and The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town. The second is kinda creepy, but the kids enjoy it every year.

To end the day, the kids decorated "Easter eggs" with crayons, markers, colored pencils, glitter glue, and anything else they dug out of the art supplies. The kids absolutely love "arting" (as they call it). Now that I have a group of (mostly) preschoolers, it's fun to get out out glue, scissors, and the like and not have to worry about anyone hurting themselves.

I really enjoyed the 'celebrating all week' rather than just one day. I'll have to remember that for next year.