Monday, May 29, 2017

Field Trip: Phoenix Children's Museum

 We got to spend a few days after Thanksgiving with our family in Gilbert, AZ. While we were there they took us to visit the Phoenix Children's Museum. It was SO much fun!  ***Warning, lots of pictures coming your way! :) 
 One of the first things you see when you get past the admissions desk is this amazing climber. It is huge (at least 2 stories tall) and full of fun and wacky things to climb over, under, around, and through.
 It was so big that it was not too difficult to get somewhat turned around in there. I was glad we had enough adults to stick with our two older kids so they didn't get lost and panic.
 Once you're all climbed out, you can head farther into the museum to see all the other amazing places to play. Things like this kid size grocery store.
 One of our favorite rooms (and it's pretty hard to pick) was the Texture Cafe. An awesome kid-size "restaurant" where you kids can dress up and create yummy fabric culinary masterpieces. There is a seating area where moms and dads can wait for their meals to be brought to them.

 There was also a little baby area so little sibling could be corralled and entertained while the big kids played.

 In the art studio there are several different art projects the kids can choose to take part in. They had a lot of fun in here!
 The tricycle car wash was super fun. The kids kept going around and around through the whole thing.

 Sharli loved the face painting station, where each kid can paint their own master piece on them self or anyone else they can con into sitting still for them.
 And, if you somehow manage to get tired of the rooms and rooms of fun things to do inside there are some fun and unique play structures outside.

We had so much fun here, and look forward to going back someday!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Painting on Foil

 I found this fun idea on Pinterest for a new medium on which to paint. These kids love to paint and always jump at the chance to do so. I love trying to find new ways to make it interesting for them without breaking the bank. Painting on aluminum foil was perfect!
 The feel of the paintbrush sliding along the foil is quite different than painting on paper. 
 It's also fun to have the light reflecting off the surface anywhere where the paint was thin enough. The paint colors really popped and it looked neat.
While this doesn't really make a work of art that you can hang on the wall forever, it is a fun process art project. You can pick up a roll of aluminum foil at the dollar store, so why not give it a try?!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pom Pom Sorting

 I was looking for a way to keep Sharli busy for a while and decided to go with one of my old stand-byes. Pom poms are good for SO many things, and most of them require very little prep work on my part.
 This day I grabbed a few small bowls out of the cupboard and set them on a tray with a set of tongs. I picked through the bag of pom poms to find only the ones that matched the colors of the bowls, and put those on the tray as well. I didn't give any instructions, just put the tray in front of Sharli and let her decide how to play with it on her own.
 She fiddled around with color sorting for a little while, and really enjoyed the challenge of using the tongs. 
 It didn't take too long before this turned into a game of "Ice Cream Shop". She would ask me what kind of ice cream I wanted, then scoop up a bowl for me. This kept her busy for as long as I was willing to sit and play along.
I picked these pom poms up for a dollar at Dollar Tree, and we have really gotten our money's worth out of them!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Water Painting

 Okay guys, I am so woefully behind in recording all our fun. These pictures will celebrate their first birthday next month and here they are just barely making it on to the blog. Oh well, better late than never, right?
 What do you do when you have three bored kids on a hot summer day, and no A/C? Anything involving water, right? My mom and my nephew Darrow were staying with us for a few days, and we needed to beat the heat, so we headed outside. We started small, with bowls of water and paintbrushes. The kids loved it! They painted the porch, the front door, the house, each other, etc...

 Our front porch gets some nice shade in the afternoons, and add in a light breeze and it becomes much more comfortable than the house. We all love to be outside, and this day was no exception.
 Of course, as always happens around water at our house, it was only a matter of time before the hose was running, clothing magically disappeared, and everyone was soaked from head to toe. It's just water though, so no big deal!
If this activity doesn't top the list of low-prep, no clean-up actvities than it's pretty darn close to it. Give it a try!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Flour Finger Painting

 Sharli and I had a Saturday afternoon to fill while our guys went fishing. I wanted to bake some bread, but wasn't too excited about little fingers "helping". I put Sharli in her highchair and sprinkled some flour on a cookie sheet for her to have. She thought it was great!
 I let her just draw in the flour with her fingers for a while, and that kept her busy for several minutes. When that started to lose it's appeal and grabbed one of the tooth brushes that was left on the counter from our coin cleaning activity a few days before and let her see what happened with that.
 By the time my bread dough was ready to rise Sharli was covered in flour from head to toe. She had a marvelous time and I got to get some work done so it was a win for us both!
This wasn't the first time we've done this activity in our house, and each time it's been a hit! Here is Erik doing the same thing when he was little (also while I was baking bread...).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Cleaning Coins

 This simple activity was another one that we got out of our Preschoolers Busy Book. It has so many fun ideas! You can also find instructions here.
 I needed to get some stuff done around the house and needed to keep the kids busy. I dumped a large handful of coins in a pan with some soapy water, handed each kid an old toothbrush, and there you go!
 When I had finished up the stuff I was working on we broke out the vinegar and salt to really put a shine on some of the coins. This was a fun way to work on fine motor skills, and the kids love anything that has to do with water and/or bubbles. If you're worried about messes, you can place a towel under the pan of water to make cleanup quick and easy.

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