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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Some Balloons, People

I knew that I couldn't handle something that I would have to clean up today during our Summer Vacation special activity/craft time.  So I ran to check out my Kid Activities file on Pinterest (seriously, if you haven't fallen into the addiction that is Pinterest, it's time to join).  I found a picture from The Weekend Homemaker of a balloon and two paper plates glued to tongue depressors.  So out come the balloons and paper plates.  I couldn't even get it together enough to glue on the sticks.  We called it Balloon Ping Pong.  And the kids loved it.
Penny liked the try-to-keep-two-balloons-in-the-air game, and Camden was just giddy about something that he was allowed to hit as hard as he could.  Poor boy, most of his favorite activities are forbidden in this house:  hitting, spitting, kicking, shrieking, pulling hair. . .
Fortunately, we fully support his habit of not wearing pants.  At least he has that.

And speaking of playing with balloons, check out these:

SDKdesign's Balloon Ball
It's a fabric balloon cover that you stick a deflated balloon in and blow it up.  Penny has had one for years and she loves it.  They're only $8.  They'd make a great special summer surprise.

Happy Day 8 of Summer Vacation!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Stuff Banner


Happy summer vacation, everybody!  We're super excited to be three days into the last summer we have before Penny starts kindergarten.  But we're also a little apprehensive.  And by "we," I mean "me."  And by "apprehensive," I mean "terrified."  Because between an almost five-year-old, a two-year-old, and a four-month-old, we have nap times scattered all the way through the day.  There is literally no time that somebody isn't down for a nap, until 5pm.  And if I've learned anything since I've had kids, it's that kids need to sleep when kids need to sleep.  It's not worth it to try to get everybody on the same schedule so we can leave the house if it means cranky kids.  Besides, this is such a short phase.  They'll be beyond the napping stage before I know it.  Well, that's what everybody tells me.  I have a suspicion that it's a big conspiracy.  Once your kids get into school, somebody pulls you aside to tell you that you'll be required to tell younger mothers that "it'll be over before you know it!" even thought it's not true.  But that's just my theory.

Since we're stuck at the house, I've been scrambling to plan fun things to keep the kids occupied and learning and using up energy and mostly not bored and throwing fits.  So here's the schedule we've been on:

8:00 breakfast and outside play time (Jordan's first nap)
9:00 reading and craft time (Jordan's still napping)
10:00  snacks and morning clean-up (yep, J's still asleep)
11:00 naps for the two bigs (Jordan wakes up)
1:00 lunch and TV time (Jordan goes down for his second nap)
3:00  playtime in bedrooms -puzzles, toys - and afternoon clean-up (J sleeps)
4:00 outside play time and trying to hold down the fort until D gets home

It's so helpful to not have to re-invent the wheel every day.  I (and more importantly, they) know what's coming next, and I know that I only have to put up with painting or whatever for 30 minutes, and then we'll be on to the next activity. 

Today's special craft was making a Summer Stuff Banner.  We got out Penny's old Highlights magazines and flipped through, looking for summer stuff to cut out and glue on little pennants that I had cut out of cardstock (4" wide at the top, 6" long).  We taped the pennants to kite string and stuck them up at the top of the chalkboard.

(By the way, see those legs up there?  That's Cam, throwing a full-on fit.  He is as thoroughly two years old as I've ever seen a kid.  Screaming, throwing, pouting, fit-having two.)

The banner was a good craft for a five-year-old.  Just long enough to fill out 30-minute craft time - Penny didn't get overwhelmed or bored, and most importantly for a kid-craft, it was free.  Yeay!
I'll keep posting the crafts that we come up with through the summer.