Sunday, November 27, 2011

Keeping Busy!

The kids and I have been having a great time this past week or so--Brooklyn had all of last week off of school, which I was so excited for!! Some days we did a ton, and others we did absolutely nothing. So in other words, it was fantastic! Here are some of the things we've been up to...

Bubba brought the kids some finger lights and I showed them how to take long exposure photos in our pitch black bathroom. I showed Brooklyn how to press the button to snap the photo...
...and let her at it...
...until the kids couldn't decide who was going to push the button and I was afraid my camera would end up in the Momma had to intervene. Done for today, kiddos!
Brooklyn saw a magic show at her school last month, and she LOVED it. She was SO excited to come home and show me how to bend a spoon...I had an inkling she thought she truly possessed the magic to do it, so hinted that magic isn't entirely real...but she HAD to show me how it was done.

The look of excitement on her face was heartbreaking as I knew it wouldn't last long. She waved her hand magically above the spoon and said proudly, "ABRACADABRA!!" First came the look of confusion, and then the heartbreaking, alligator tears streaming down her face. At that moment, I wanted to punch that magician in the face, lol. But she got over it and despite the trauma, she is still intrigued by magic.

There was a children's magician performing a couple of towns over this past week and both kids were SO excited to go! This theater was PACKED with kids under the age of 6 and their parents. Fun fun.
Here is the fantastic Zappo himself. I personally wasn't extremely impressed, but the kids adored him. I'll give him credit though--he did squeeze in all sorts of educational stuff: numbers, letters, colors, animals, countries, etc.

And he was really good with the audience--lots of of which was Brooklyn. And her mom... I KNEW I should have changed out of my breakfast stained shirt that morning. Sigh.

He had her draw a picture of what her mom looks like first thing in the morning on a piece of fabric. He then cored an apple, and wrapped the apple in a paper napkin. I was given the apple to hold on my head ala William Tell, while the magician made Brooklyn's picture turn invisible. She then took the invisible picture, and threw it at the apple on my head. The magician then pulled the picture out of the apple. Voila! Brooklyn was in seventh heaven, especially since she got to keep her picture. Then we got to go sit back down with Sam, who was expecting to be able to go up next...whoops, sorry dude.
The kids have been interested in video recording things lately. Well actually, Sam likes to record lots of things, but Brooklyn doesn't care to--she just likes to look at how things look in the camera screen. So be it. So we've been taking the camcorder to all sorts of things lately.
We made a trip to the Oakland zoo, which was great! Not too big, not too small, lots of big spaces for animals to move around, no crowd, perfect we got in for free instead of the 50% discount I was expecting. We had a BLAST running around, each of us taking turns choosing which way to turn and which animal to see next. It was actually really amazing--nearly all of the animals were out and about. The elephants were AMAZING. And the giraffes were RIGHT THERE. And there was this crazy monkey who was swinging all around the trees in his exhibit. And the bats! Wow! Way fun.
The local rock climbing gym was having a special for kids--$10 for 3 hours of climbing. And I've been wanting to let both kids try it out as I figured they would love it, with the way they whip across the monkey bars and shimmy up poles at the playground.

I assumed Sam would walk right up the wall to the top first thing, as Brooklyn is usually a bit more reserved about heading into something like this head on. This girl just WENT FOR IT. It took a time or two to get the feel for it...
And then there's this monkey who wasn't as crazy about shimmying up the wall as I thought he would be. He had a tough time figuring out that he needs to climb with his feet as well...he uses mostly upper-body strength, and then started using his KNEES to climb with, lol. Anyways, he spent the majority of the time scaling the smaller wall and dropping to the mat below. ...and playing with all of the other kids there.
Brooklyn went up this wall and run the bell at least 7 times before the volunteer told her she could probably do the next harder one took her a time or two, and a little encouragement from the volunteer who was belaying her, but she did it! And again. And again...
Sam would occasionally decide to give the big wall another try, and each time he would make it a LITTLE farther. Well finally, with a bit of help and encouragement from the girl belaying him, he made it!!! He got down and said, "I do it again?" Both kids closed the place down wanting to go again and again. And they have been begging to go back again...I would LOVE to get a family membership...if they offered one, and it wasn't a kazillion dollars. Alas, once or twice a month will have to suffice.
After rock climbing, we headed over to the library where Brooklyn was signed up with the Paws to Read program. Turns out it was Crafting Friday too! So my two turkeys got to make some turkeys. Aww...
Here's Brooklyn when she went to her first Paws to Read. It's neat--they have a large room int he back of the library and they bring in 6 dogs and their owners and the kids get to pick out 3 books to read to the dog. It's so sweet! And then at the end, they are given bookmarks with a photo and info about they dog they read to so that they can collect all of the bookmarks. She absolutely loves it.

I am an avid reader of the Play At Home Mom blog, and they are big on sensory development stuff. Although both of my kids are a bit older than theirs, I thought I'd try a few ideas, just to see what kind of curiosity it piqued in both of them...

The first thing we tried was shaving gel. I just squirted a bunch in the bottom of this bucket and let them do whatever. I thought it interesting that neither ever even touched the gel, or even wanted to after suggesting it. Sam quickly decided it needed ice and water. Brooklyn decided a bit later that it needed paint. Lots of paint. So they mixed colors and whisked and scooped and had fun.
After a break, I thought it would be fun to see how they reacted to vinegar and baking soda. Of course Sam loved it. I noticed that Brooklyn would get intrigued for a bit, and once she'd seen something, she was pretty much done. Occasionally she'll later suggest adding something else--usually paint.
I loved all of the bubbles that it made!! Russ and I had fun doing it as well--we got out funnels, vases, marbles, rubber bands...just for fun. We actually ended up using 2/3 a gallon of vinegar...hehe.
Sam had had so much fun that day doing the sensory stuff, Brooklyn and I took a trip to The Dollar Store to see what sorts of stuff we could find there. I was so excited to find water beads there! And food coloring! So we added the water beads to the bucket and I made some "spray paints" for Sam to experiment with. Russ soon suggested the garlic press...
SQUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISHHHH............ The end result of the garlic press-ing was a sloppy mess of gloop. Blech. But seriously, if you have the opportunity to play with water beads, do it! They are so much fun!
Haha, just had to show Russ's...invention, I guess? It worked pretty well, actually, lol.
"Mom, I need my OWN avocado."
More Dollar Store crafts...give the kids some popsicle sticks, some googly eyes, and some glue and you're good to go for a good while.
Of course you are required to see each and every creation...fortunately, when googly eyes are involved, they are quite hilarious at times.

Well, today was officially the last day of Brooklyn's Thanksgiving break, and I'm really bummed about it. We've been enjoying having her back at home with us SO much...15 more days of school and she's all mine! Yippee!!

1 comment:

  1. what huge pleasure and satisfaction kids can have when they can simply take the time to play and explore! it looks like a wonderful time was had!