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May 16, 2019

Making Memories and the holidays

Just a fun article about family memories
https://www.parkslopeparents.com/Newsflash/making-the-best-family-memories.html

My 0.02: Game for 4-7 yr olds: Outfoxed is great

This game is great!  My kids request to play it.  There's dice rolling which is fun, a little bit of strategy, teamwork, and a little bit of logic & problem solving.

Also, the foxes are adorable.

Buy the game by clicking here:



It's a multiplayer, cooperative Clue where you try to find the fox which has stolen the pie!

A quick playthrough which explained the rules in < 3 mins is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hU0yxolOk&t=

A Rest Stop for kids

My daughter's class has a great idea of a "rest stop" or a place that kids can go if they are feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

Here are some things at the rest stop which make it extra restful:






April 18, 2019

Make your kids' birthday a "Cardy" Party

At a recent birthday part for our 6yr old, we asked for no gifts.   This was in part inspired by a tradition in Canada, where they have a Toonie party, where each guest will bring a two dollar coin.

What we got was incredible - many of the children made their own arts & crafts birthday cards which were beautiful!  So wonderful - some had drawings, messages. 

I highly recommend a "Cardy" Party!

March 30, 2019

Game: Wooden doll (or robot)

Requires 2 people.  

The seeker covers and/or closes eyes.

The hider takes a toy or stuffed animal and puts it somewhere in the room.

Then, with the seeker's eyes remaining closed, the hider then has to give advice to the seeker on where to find the toy.  (1 step forward, turn right, etc.)

The game is more fun than it sounds :)  I hope you like it!

March 26, 2019

Rhyme time with Eggs to help reading


You can use Easter eggs to get kids learning how to read!   Write the end of the word on one side of the egg, and a few options for the beginning on the other side.

Kids then can rotate the egg and say the word - to make new rhyming words like below:


Shout out to Aunt Becky!

This reading trick is Wonder-Red approved!

March 20, 2019

Game: Release the balloons

Inflate a balloon, but don't tie it. Hand it to a kid - that kid can let it go. Watch in amazement as the balloon zooms around the room! Repeat! We had one go into a garbage can and still talk about it :)

March 4, 2019

Fun Easter Basket Ideas that aren't candy

Fresh Crayons!


And they can live in a bunny box.


Coins
You know, quarters and stuff.

Fubbles

Stickers

Play-Doh

Books

Sidewalk Chalk

Other fun ideas



February 24, 2019

My 0.02: Apps for kids age 2 to 5

2-5:
Khan Kids (educational game)
Scratch Jr.
Sprinkle Jr.
Fruit Ninja
FlightCtrl HD
Skee-Ball HD
Temple Run
Plants vs. Zombies
Digfender
Caroling with Santa
Color Switch
Trainyard

My 0.02: Apps for kids under 2 years old

< 2 years old:
Facetime (kids prefer this to the phone for talking with Nana and Grandpa)
Baby DJ
Sparkabilities (Babies 1 HD, Babies 2 HD)
Kid Art
Magic Piano
Itsy Bitsy HD
Old Mac HD
Sound Touch

PBS Kids

This is a great resource for parents:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/

There's craft ideas, games, and links to some wonderful PBS content.  

The mailing list also sends valuable emails periodically.

Khan Academy for Kids - Two Thumbs Up

It's a delightful app which includes games and puzzles.  It's for kids in preschool and perhaps a bit beyond.

When you do well, you get to give surprises to the animal friends, which itself is also just lovely.

My 3 year old loves this as one of his favorite apps / games, and one of his favorite ways to learn.

Google Play store:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.khankids.android

February 23, 2019

A quick guide to Disney

I'll start by saying that this was the first vacation we spent a lot on since our honeymoon - air travel for 4, many days at the hotel park tickets, $3.50 waters, etc.  But it was a great trip and we loved it.

I love taking notes, so here are some brief, hopefully helpful notes on seeing the mouse.

Dates:
6 months out you can make reservations for fun princess and character experiences.  We liked:
*Perfectly Princess Tea
*Cinderella's Royal Table
*Disney Hollywood Studios breakfast with Sofia and Doc McStuffins

Starting with this, I did it all through the Disney app (My Disney Experience), linked to our room reservation number (we stayed on resort - it's nice being on the monorail with the Magic Kingdom - you can do that with Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or The Contemporary)

Get the app.  You gotta just do it now.  We'll wait.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.disney.wdw.android


2 months out, you can start booking your Fast Pass.  Some rides that we really needed it for were:
*Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (this is amazing - was my kids' first fast coaster and they loved it)
*Space Mountain (Lulu went on it!)
*Thunder Mountain (lots of fun!)
*Soarin' around the world (Epcot)
*Toy Story Mania (really fun target shooting game at Disneyworld Studios - though Slinky Dog looked good too)

You can go from the airport right to resort with Disney's Magical Express.  It's great - do it.  They take your checked bags right from the plane and they magically show up in your room.

Once in Orlando, we enjoyed:
*Rides in the morning - if you're staying at one of those hotels, you can show up at 8am and the lines are short; it's also not too hot then
*Eating at our hotel - we loved Gasparilla Island Grill (we also picked up snacks from there - hard boiled eggs, apple slices, carrots)
*Napping during the day
*Pool, then park and rides (note that if you spend your 3 fast passes in the morning, you can sign up for another tough to get ride at night - refresh by clicking the time button on the app)
*Watching the fireworks (at 8pm)

We also really enjoyed this food:
*Dinner at Be Our Guest (with the Beast - the food is amazing.  And we got to be late for a Fast Pass with the receipt from there!)
*Churros
*Citrus Swirl ice cream in Adventure Land


Honorable Mention rides (worth doing once):
*Tea Cups (so much fun for our family!)
*It's a Small World ride
*The Carousel in Fantasy Land (Prince Charming Carousel)
*Peter Pan ride
*Dumbo and Aladdin Flying Carpet (very similar rides); spinning 15 ft in the air.
*Barnstormer (roller coaster for little ones)


We heard great things about, but didn't:
*Book a VIP Tour (front of line for rides, but super-expensive)
*Go to Animal Kingdom
*Spend a lot of time in Epcot
*Ordering food on the app and just picking up at the window
*Go to the castle just before the park opens for a daily princess opening ceremony

Other good things we did:
*Bought strollers
*Wore hats and sunblock (in February!)

Two mistakes we made:
*Polynesian luau dinner isn't the best for young mousketeers
*Epcot is a lot for little ones, especially in a day with other things.  It's also not super-easy to get to.

There are lots of other resources too, like:
https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/06/10-healthful-choices-at-magic-kingdom-park-at-walt-disney-world-resort/
https://www.dadsguidetowdw.com/
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2019/01/21/dfb-video-16-must-have-treats-in-magic-kingdom/
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2018/12/27/dfb-video-the-best-walt-disney-world-rides-for-toddlers/

x

February 3, 2019

My 0.02: Great goody bag items

This post is meant to house some of the best things we've ever gotten or given in goody bags.   Ages 3-5.

Legos


Melissa and Doug Stickers



Slap Rockets


Glow rings


Play Doh


Crayons


Inflatable Microphones


This magic trick


A small car or crane is always fun.

Game: Treasure Map

Kids love games, and they love puzzles.  So make them a treasure hunt!  Draw a map:


And lead them to a prize, which could include treats like Gummy Bears and Hershey Kisses.

I also taught Lulu some words, and gave her clues which required her to read to solve the puzzle :)