Learning: Frogs Are “Amphibianins”

I had an absolutely lovely morning with a friend of mine at Birdworld in Farnham. It’s a bit of a drive for us, but it was worth it. I’ve been before and had been underwhelmed, but today it was so much more fun. Aviya just loved it. It’s the first time I’d been to a city-farm style place with her, and she was so sweet.

We were walking around the animal farm section and she started singing ‘he-hi-he-hi-o’ and grunting like a piggy. I almost melted. So sweet. She can barely say any words, but she can sing. That’s my girl. Also, she has a thing about cups. That’s an empty coffee cup in the picture, but she carried it around for most of the morning. Watching her cross that bridge, she looks so grown up.

Birdworld and coffee

Back home I carried on with the Summer Camp at Home theme, and we made frogs. We chatted about the comparison between reptiles and amphibians – or amphibianins as Ameli calls them.

It made me realise I’m going to have to read up some of these topics before I lead discussions on them! We had so much fun though. I often DO things with  my girls, but I rarely PLAY with them. While we were waiting for the glue to dry on our frogs, we read a few books that happen to feature frogs – Quack! Quack! and Five Speckled Frogs* (the latter is great. It has a ‘croak’ button which Ameli likes pushing, and it leads nicely into the song, which we hopped around the living room to.)

Once the glue had dried we had frog races across the playmats, which was good for a giggle too. Who ever knew frogs could be so much fun?

Learning Points:

*though these are old books, not currently for sale, the links are still affiliate links. Should you purchase through these links, you will not pay any more, but Amazon will pay me a percentage of the sale price.

Andreas Summer Camp At Home: Week 8 – Dinosaurs

Colours: Green orange
Shapes: triangle, oval
Sensory: Sensory box
Playdough: Green and orange with course seasalt
Field trip: Museum/ Jurassic forest

Shopping list:
Eggs, food colouring, vinegar, potatoes, oatmeal cookie ingredients, raisins, clothes pins, cardstock, paint, googly eyes, old sock

I was a little apprehensive about this theme, my children are not all that into dinosaurs, I used to love them when I was little, so I thought I would see if I could spark a little interest! As usual we picked up a load of books at our local library, and that greatly helped!

  • Monday: Dino eggs , dinosaur track potato printing

Instead of playdough, I combined the sensory box with cloud dough, what a mess!! To make cloud dough, you need 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of oil. I used whole wheat flour because I had loads of it in my freezer. Now, the different blog posts all suggest your children wear old clothes when playing with cloud dough. How I wish I had listened to this little pearl of wisdom. We started off outside, but sadly our mosquito problem has gotten exponentially worse over the last couple of weeks, thanks to the heavy rain we’ve had, so the operation moved to the bathtub! We seriously have two seasons, snow and Mosquitos.

I served peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, but I cut them with this wonderful sandwich cutter I found at the local Walmart. It removes the crusts and cuts the bread into Dino shapes, without waste! The boys had dinos on a rocky beach for lunch!

I froze several small dinosaurs into a large Tupperware container and kept it in the freezer for two days. I gave each of the boys a small hammer and started praying for the safety of little fingers. They had a blast! They couldn’t believe that they had the green light to destroy something!

It quickly turned into a rescue mission, the poor dinos were stuck and they were they only ones who could save them. Then, being the geek I am, I gave them some salt to experiment with melting. They loved it.

We also made the dinosaur eggs today, it was surprisingly easy, and didn’t taste of food coloring or vinegar! I added them to the lunch plates. Below you’ll see dinosaur eggs and bones at the dig site.

  • Wednesday: Dino excavation from ice

Was spent in the park, we had a long play and picnic with friends, isn’t that the best part of summer? I added all the little dinosaurs that the boys rescued to the tub that night for bath time.

  • Thursday: Dino poop cookies (Oatmeal, raisin cookies)

We made the dinosaur poop cookies on thursday. No recipe here, sorry! We basically used oatmeal, choc chip cookie mix (I am a bit of a fan of cookie and cake mixes!) and added Skor (caramel) bits and coconut. Everyone loved these! I am sure this “recipe” will stick around, in fact I have already had requests to make them again!

  • Friday: Dinosaur sock puppet

A little bit of a craft marathon today! We started off with the bitey dinosaurs, which the boys have been playing with non stop! Later in the afternoon we did dinosaur track potato printing. My boys then surprised me by asking “which craft is next Mom.” I had nothing! So I quickly printed a very simple coloring page and gave them each a bingo marker with the instructions to try and stay inside the lines. It was a fun way to practice that concept.

We have a long weekend here, so on Monday we will head to a local dinosaur themed park for our field trip. They have a hike with several dinosaurs along the way, excavation sites and a Dino themed playground. I cannot wait, I am just hoping we will not be eaten alive by the mozzies!

Happy playing everyone!

Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home: Week 7 – Olympics (Part 2)

Please welcome Andrea for week two of the Olympics theme, but week 7 of Summer Camp at Home!

Colours: Black, red, yellow, green, blue
Shapes: Cirlcle, rectangle
Field trip: swimming/ spraypark
Playdough: red and white (Or whichever colour represents your country!)

Monday: Swim Goggles

Tuesday: Olympic Ring Printing 

Rainbow cake with the olympic colours

Wednesday: Ice Hockey (I know its a winter olympic sport!) , make little sticks

Thursday: Olympic medal chart , great math activity! We’ll follow the countries where our family lives

Friday: Opening ceremony, make and decorate a podium, raisin bread with strawaberries and cream cheese for snack (make canadian flag)

Big Shout out to Sun Hats And Welly Boots this week for her fantastic Olympics Themed ideas!
Hello campers!

Our second week of Olympic fun was a busy one. I am afraid that, once again I didn’t get to half the things I wanted to do with my boys! We did continue to eat our way around the world, and had a lovely stirfry for China, a beef roast with veggies and gravy for the UK and Omelettes for France.
I was also really fortunate to pick up a giant illustrated world map for $8 at our local wholesalers. It promptly replaced our little map and is now the feature of our “Olympic wall”

On Monday I surprised the boys with lovely raspberry flavoured, red glittery playdough. They loved it! My oldest immediately made a Canadian flag, he was so proud! I offered it with a variety of red and white objects.

On Tuesday we did the Olympic ring printing, I showed the boys a picture of the Olympic rings and they set about printing with loo rolls. It was interesting to see how the little one printed lots of rings practically on top of each other, as he wanted them to be interlocking. His older brother however, made sure that he used the colours in the right sequence. It’s amazing to see the world through their eyes!

Wednesday was a rainy, stormy day, so we made our medal chart and decorated it with shiny stars. We have already started tracking medals and decided to add china as the last country on our list. The athletes are doing great aren’t they?

My boys had an away day on Thursday, they visited their grandparents so that I could get a little bit of work done for my other job 🙂

Friday was a fantastically fun day! We started the day of with an Olympic breakfast, I made toast with strawberry cream cheese, and used strawberries to make a maple leaf pattern on top. And then I added sparklers. The boys we amazed! They ate every bit, and then asked for more!

We went for a long walk and then had a nice long nap, I wanted the boysto watch the opening ceremony with me, so we made sure everyone was well rested. We played a little bit of ice hockey, and then had an early bath. It was a combination of shot put and synchronized swimming as I added about 30 water balloons to their bath. It was great fun and we were all soaking wet!

We had our own little opening ceremony parade. I dressed the boys in a Canadian flag each, and they wore their crowns and torches. Quote of the day: little one: “are we superheroes?” big brother: “no, we’re Canadian!”

 I hope you have as much fun as we did, and good luck to all the wonderful men and women who are competing!
I hope you all have a wonderful week of playing and spending time together as a family!  If you want to share pictures from your activities, please add them to the Flickr Album!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home – Week 6: Olympics (part 1)

Colours: Black, red, yellow, green, blue
Shapes: Cirlcle, rectangle
Field trip: Olympic games (Playing sports)
Playdough: Gold, silver, bronze

Big Shout out to Sun Hats and Wellie Boots for all her great Olympics Ideas!

Monday: Olympic torches

Good morning Campers!

We are halfway! I can’t believe it! We are having so much fun in our house, every Monday morning my boys are very excited to see what the new theme is, and as an added bonus, they are really, really excited about the playdough. This is all new to me!

We started the week off by reading a book about the Olympics in Ancient Greece. My boys couldn’t stop giggling about the fact that the athletes didn’t wear clothes, are they ever going to be disappointed next week when the modern Olympics start 🙂

I made yellow, orange and grey playdough with glitter, to resemble gold, silver and bronze. I forgot that glitter goes everywhere and sticks to everything. My poor husband looked really, really pretty going to work all sparkly! We baked olympic torches in cones, decorated it with orange frosting and mandarin oranges. My kids were ecstatic! As usual I made an easy to read recipe for my oldest.

Tuesday: Flags 

We made our torches on Tuesday. We did bubble painting on loo rolls, and then stuck tissue paper and a glow stick inside. My children are addicted to glow sticks. We also started eating our way around the world this week, we had Greek, Italian, American, and Mexican (so far!) I added a world map to our kitchen wall and we add a little flag from each country we “visit” for dinner. My favourite part of this week was when I put the map up and my children started asking me about geography. After pointing out several countries and cities, my oldest looked at me and asked: “so, where would ‘off the map’ be?” he cracks me up!

Wednesday: Headbands

On Wednesday we made olive leaf crowns by Stamping circles with glue and the sprinkling glitter on top. Once again, glitter everywhere! But the boys were intrigued and excited!

Thursday: Olympic medal chart , great math activity! We’ll follow the countries where our family lives

We didn’t do much in the line of crafts on Thursday, but we did run hurdles in the living room. The picture is blurry, because my boys are SO fast!

Friday: Edible medals and Rainbow cake with the olympic colours 

We used Friday to catch up on a few things. We started the morning off by playing a little balloon tennis. Then we made Canadian flags with bingo markers, and then baked sugar cookies medals and decorated them. I totally cheated with these cookies and used a mix. The boys greatly enjoyed decorating these. 
I decided to extend the Olympic theme for another week, we will make the medal chart and a whole lot of other fun crafts next week, stay tuned!

I hope you all have a wonderful week of playing and spending time together as a family!  If you want to share pictures from your activities, please add them to the Flickr Album!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home – Week 5 : Vehicles

Colours: yellow, purple, black, red

Shapes: Oval, triangle, rectangle

Sensory: Black playdough with glitter, painting with hotweel cars

Field trip: Transport museum

Shopping list: Bananas, ingredients to decorate, balloons, soap boxes, pizza dough in a tube, cheese, pepperoni, pasta sauce, diet coke, menthos, paper plates, construction paper, paint, glue, toilet paper rolls.

Needless to say, week 5 was a big hit in our house! These boys are car crazy, or anything with wheels really.

We had a little mini field trip on Sunday afternoon to start off the week, by taking the LRT (Light rail train) downtown to a festival. My children love the LRT, and named all the stations.

I whipped up a batch of playdough, but, once again forgot to buy cream of tartar ( And it has been on my list for weeks!) I made the jello playdough, and subbed vinegar for cream of tartar, it had a bit of a weird consistency, but it turned out okay, in all fairness, it didn’t dry out as quickly as regular playdough, I will keep at it and hopefully my quest for the perfect recipe will end soon. I coloured pasta wheels, and offered them, along with straws, lolly sticks and vehicle shaped cookie cutters.

  • Monday: Banana Rockets

(Use 1/2 banana, wafer cookies, candy, choc chips etc to make a rocket snack)

We are experiencing a heatwave this week( Disclaimer: my children are wearing clothes in these pictures! I promise!) , I’m talking temperatures well into the 30’s. So on Monday (with a high of 39) we spent a lot of time playing outside in the water, crafts were put on the back burner this week! You know its crazy hot when you have this many pieces of clothing drying on the firepit!

On Tuesday morning it was still insanely hot, so we quickly made the banana rockets for a snack, and then headed outside. The boys did window painting (Mix regular poster paint with a few drops of dish soap) and then played cars in the pool. We spent most of our day out on the deck as it’s lovely and shady out there. I read my book while the boys gently dribbled cool water over my feet… Bliss!

Wednesday morning, we were a little tired, so I made and aeroplane out of card board boxes and the boys played airport until it was time to go to the park and meet our friends for a play and a picnic, I just love these lazy summer days!

  • Thurday:mini sailboats, pepperoni bread spare wheels

Instead on building the soapbox cars and the looroll train, we used tea boxes to make buses on thursday, The boys painted them and when they were dry, we added pictures of the “drivers” (For identification purposes!) and wheels. My boys love hoarding little bits and bobs , so they love the fact that these have storage space! While the boxes were drying, they used some hotwheel cars to paint. They were thrilled and greatly loved this activity. After craft time, we made the pizza “spare wheels” Boy did they ever love that!

  •  Friday: Paper plate space crafts, space helmets

Our Friday field trip had to be postponed (Dad will take them while mommy works on Saturday!)  So we made a Menthos and diet coke rocket, which was a little anti-climactic, as I am a giant wuss, and angled it away from us. I think I angled it a bit too much, as it didn’t shoot at all. We may need to redo this one! We spent the rest of the day inside reading books and watching mighty machines, there is a wild fire burning near our city and the air quality is dreadful!

Well, that was our week in a nutshell, I am really having a whole lot of fun with my boys, I am learning things about them and myself and I’m just so amazed at how smart they are! My highlight of the week was definitely hearing my older son (5) reading a story to his brother.

I hope you have fun this week!

I hope you all have a wonderful week of playing and spending time together as a family!  If you want to share pictures from your activities, please add them to the Flickr Album!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home

How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer

I’ve often said that I’m not very ‘crafty’ and don’t really enjoy too much ‘messy’ play, but any parent to a toddler knows that that just comes with the territory – either that, or your child’s not having much fun. It’s been a learning experience for me, and I must admit, it’s growing on me. Now that Aviya is getting a little older and is able to do real crafts, it’s almost fun.

I started a series recently called Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home. It came about when an old friend of mine, who now lives in Canada with her two boys, aged 5 and 2 decided that to survive the 12 weeks of summer holiday she would need a plan. Others quickly jumped on board and soon Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home was born.


Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



There’s a theme for each week, which has been awesome, and an activity for each day, and the best part of it has been the flexibility. We’re really enjoying it.

Here are some of our activities from week 1: Ice Cream.

Our home made ice cream truck, painting with water beads in the bath, decorating ‘ice cream’ cupcakes, (Bottom left:) making ice cream balloon shakers, cut and paste water bead ice cream cones and glitter pen ice cream, coloured popsicles. 

And here are a few activities from week 2: Wild Animals  (We actually did very few of the week two activities, and added a few of our own out of our craft box!)

Home made playdough, painting toilet rolls with glitter glue, decorated and drying, (bottom left:) painted frog, looking at the frog through the now dried binoculars, give a child two cups – one with animal shapes, one with bells – and sit back and watch what they get up to. Amazing. 

We’re now in week 3: Ocean theme and so far we’ve had two fishy-dinners this week. I work the first half of the week, so crafty fun has to happen towards the end of the week, but we’re looking forward to it. You can see what we’ll be doing though and feel free to join in! If you want more information on ASCAH, read the first post about it. You can join in at any point, too!



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon July 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children or all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


Andreas Summer Camp At Home – Week 4: Camping

Shapes: Circle, triangle
Sensory: Finger paint camo bandanas
Field trip: Picnic
Shopping list: mini hot dogs, dough, graham crackers, choclate, marshmallows, paint, cardstock, tape, canvas or heavy card stock, ingredients for bird feeder
I cannot believe we are in week 4 of the summer holidays! (only 8 to go!)
  • Monday: Mini hot dogs (buy the pilsbury dough, wrap hot dogs, bake, could double as lunch)
We started this week with a public holiday, so our little family headed to the zoo! It was kind of like 3 field trips in one. We had our picnic, we saw wild animals and explored the new marine life exhibit. It was great fun! We made the Hot dogs on Monday night, and they were a real hit, but sadly this Mama didn’t take pictures. The boys were very reluctant to touch the dough, they were much happier about eating the final product!
  • Tuesday: Tent ( Fold  a triangle in half, open, cut half way up the middle line, and fold flaps back) and full moon picture (would be nice with glow in the dark paint). 
 On Tuesday we were invited to a friend’s house for lunch and a play. How do I know we have wonderful friends? This Mom knew that it was camping week in my house and set up a tent in her back yard (once again I did not get pictures!) Later that afternoon we had a huge thunderstorm, so I set up a little tent in our living room with a “campfire”. The boys had their dinner in the tent and “grilled” their kebabs. It was so adorable.
I completely forgot to buy cream of Tartar for the playdough this week, so I made a big batch of grey salt dough, and the boys made rocks. We baked them and they loved playing with them. I think they will make a nice addition to our Dinosaur sensory box…

On Wednesday morning I surprised the boys with little campfires for breakfast, complete with a mini marshmallow to grill. We also made the bird feeders on Wednesday. The boys really liked stringing the cheerios onto the string, and using the cookie cutters to cut the toast. My sister bought me a box with 100 different cookie cutters (I know, she’s awesome! ) and the boys have been fascinated with it. They were thrilled to be able to use them!

  • Thursday: Smores

We love S’mores in our house, if you don’t know what they are, you need to find out! Honey flavoured crackers, melted chocolate, marshmallow, simply delicious! We made some for dessert on Thursday! 

  •  Friday: Starry night tape resist picture 
My boys were out all day Friday, so I decided to do just a little bit of Science at breakfast time. I made blue and yellow triangular ice cubes, and we watched them melt in glasses of water, the boys chose how many of each colour needed to go in each glass and made predictions about the outcome. The little guy was facinated by the colour mixing!

I hope you all have a wonderful week of playing and spending time together as a family!  If you want to share pictures from your activities, please add them to the Flickr Album!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point!

If you’re a blogger and you want to participate, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At HomeAndreas Summer Camp At Home

Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home : Week 3 – Ocean Theme

Colours: Blue and yellow, purple (explore colour mixing)
Shapes: Circle, oval, star
Sensory: Whipped foam and sea animals (use a squirt of foam, a drop of food colouring and about 1/2 cup water in the food proccessor. I use baby soap)
Field trip: Zoo, aquarium, swimming

Monday: Tuna sanwiches/ tuna melts, rainbow fish water bottles 
Tuesday: Sock sea creatures (Use in the coloured foam)
Wednesday: Pop up shark card (With foam sheets)
Thursday: Jello aquariums
Friday: hand print crabs

Shopping list:
Bread, tuna, mayo, star cookie cutter, cheese slices, tissue paper (different colours) tin foil, old socks, pillow stuffing(Or more old socks), wiggly eyes, foam sheets, blue jello, gummy fish, red paint

As I sit here and think about the week, all I can say is that I’m grateful it’s over!

As usual I had high hopes for this week and my plan was in place, but, I’m sure you know, things hardly ever go according to plan when you have kids.

We started the Ocean theme this week on Sunday afternoon, with a yummy cheese and egg croissant, shaped like a crab. My kids (and daddy!) loved it. I think I may be winning them over, they are much less picky than they used to be.

Monday morning started a little slow in our house, so we read some rainbow fish stories and played playdough. I used the kool-aid recipe , this is a no cook one that works really well. I provided star shaped cookie cutters, pompoms, foam shapes, googly eyes and ribbon for the boys to play with. It was so hot in the morning, that I thought we would do some foam and water play after nap time, as it happens, it started raining the minute we went outside. Thankfully part of our deck is covered, so our fun wasn’t spoiled too much.

On Tuesday we did a lot of activities. We made the sock creatures, and then went outside for some fun. It was a beautiful day! I spread some bubble wrap on the deck, and covered it with shaving foam, it was really slippery (I think it may work better on grass!) the little one wiped out pretty early in the game and decided its not for him, he retreated to the rock pool to play with the sea creatures. His brother could not get enough, he simple loved the feeling of the slippery foam and plastic bubbles as he was running across the sheet!

After a quick shower, the boys decided they needed a hot drink, so I invented sea turtle milk. (boiled milk with a little cinnamon and honey).

For lunch, I made an easy to read Tuna Melts recipe for my little reader, and we were off. The boys loved keeping an eye on the sandwiches as they were grilling.

They reported every single change they saw. I surprised them with “sushi” made from cereal treats and gummy fish.

Wednesday was a fun day! We had a great field trip to our local mall. We are lucky enough to have an aquarium and sea lion show, all under one roof! We had a yummy lunch of calamari and chips, and then went to see the animals. My boys were thrilled, they loved the sharks and penguins and were quite surprised that they were allowed to touch the anemones and stingrays.

My oldest loved the sea lion show, he was laughing out loud at their antics. The little guy is a little more suspicious, he was very unsure of the large slippery creatures. It was a great outing!

On Thursday, my husband and I had to take our oldest for an appointment, so the little guy stayed with his aunt and cousin, and oh my goodness, did he ever have a good day! My niece helped him make a texture book with ocean creatures. My sister made him fantastic “Nemo” sandwiches and an ocean scene dessert! It is true that it takes a village to raise a child, and I am so thankful that we are a part of this one! We also watched “Big Miracle” for family movie night, what a beautiful inspiring movie!

Friday we read some more stories, and we made some lovely “Rainbow fish” from empty water bottles! The tissue paper worked much better than regular paper to cover the bottles, the boys also loved to glue the one “special” scale to their fish

I wish you all a wonderful week full of fun!

Shopping List for NEXT Week: mini hot dogs, dough, graham crackers, marshmallows, paint, card stock, tape, canvas or heavy stock card, ingredients for bird feeder

Andreas Summer Camp At Home: Week 2 – Wild Animals

  • Colours: brown, yellow, black,green
  • Shapes: rectangle, oval
  • Sensory play: finger painting
  • Field trip: Zoo

Shopping list: Ingredients for meatballs/ meatloaf and salad buffet. Choc chip cookie mix (and whatever you need to mix it with) paint, glue, fancy scissors, construction paper, clothes pegs, split pins.

P.S.: Save some Mismatched socks, and empty water bottles for next week!

From a procrastination point of view, this week went spectacularly well! For some reason, we got very little done.
Monday kicked off with a slight change in plans. Originally the theme for this week was “wild dogs”, at the request of my 5yr old. He changed his mind on Sunday night and together with his brother decided that they would prefer “safari!” That’s okay, If there’s anything this Mama knows, it’s rolling with the punches!

Monday: Potato printing tracks/ spots, backpacks

The potato printing did not work out! I had the best intentions of turning a cardboard box into a jeep, and have the children do fingerprinting and potato printing to decorate it, it sadly never happened. We did make the back packs! I used brown paper bags instead, and it worked great. We used a wall hanging we had and did wax crayon rubbings. The boys were fascinated with the process.

Tuesday: meatballs/ meatloaf (Children measure and mix ingredients), binoculars

Tuesday we tried our hand at the binoculars. I think I slightly overestimated my children here. If anyone tries this at home, I would suggest finger paint or tissue paper for covering the loo rolls. Our regular paper, wouldn’t stick and it turned into a decoupage activity. No fun with preschoolers! I also made a few fresh batches of playdough. I added course lemon lavender sea salt to the yellow batch to make sure it was a little more tactile. I provided feathers, googley eyes and other bits and pieces. My little guy decided to make an “animal” I thinks it looks pretty scary, if I met this creature in the middle of the night, all bets would be off!

For dinner on Tuesday we made meatballs, I wrote a very simple recipe (click here for the printable recipe) for my little reader and we were off! My children greatly enjoyed this activity. We served the meatballs with a salad buffet, everyone started with a base of lettuce and I made a variety of toppings and dressings available. I have never seen my boys tuck into their dinner like this meal, I am sure my 5 year old ate at least 6 meatballs and the little guy loaded up on salad toppings and dressing, he tried everything we offered. We talked about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores during dinner, and the boys decided that they are carnivores and proceeded to show us their ferocious teeth!

Wednesday: “Nature” walk and collage with found objects ( my boys will want to take binoculars)

We were supposed to go on a nature walk, but instead rescued several animals from our playroom, and set up an animal hospital on the deck. We discovered that coffee filters make wonderful cones and that everyone feels better when they recover in an outdoor fort! The children bandaged, fed and cared for those animals all week. There are still a few with bandages that no one is allowed to remove. I made a yummy snack by cutting animal shapes out of watermelon using teeny tiny cookie cutters and combined it with “Safari mix”

Thursday: Choc- chip cookie wild dogs (circles with ears), elephants

We made the Elephants and the boys insisted that they are kissing elephants. We also discovered that our library has free family story time so we headed over there and picked up a few new story books for next week. We did actually read a lot of books about animals this week and I’ve found our local library to be a great resource. My children love when I read them stories.

Friday: Handprint Lion Craft

We finally made our choc chip cookies this morning, the boys were so excited. The little one got to crack his first egg and then wanted to add several more, I had to explain that we only needed one, he was not best pleased!

On Saturday Daddy played cricket and there’s a lovely park by the field, so we took our binoculars and backpacks and went on our Safari walk! We make a nice collage while watching the match!
If the weather holds we might head to the zoo sometime this weekend.
Have a great week of play everyone!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point! If you’re a blog it, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home

Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home: Week 1 – Ice Cream Week

Welcome to week 1 of the summer camp, or as I like to call it… Super awesome Ice cream week! 
Week one focuses on: 
Shapes: Circle, triangle
Colours: Brown, green, pink (Think neopolitan)
Sensory play: icecream sensory box (She has a great recipe and ideas for play dough too)
“Field trip”‘: An Ice-cream shop
Shopping list for week 1: muffin/cupcake mix, frosting, bananas, honey, peanut butter, cones, sprinkles, popsicle sticksballoons, card stock, paint, salad spinner/ marbles, glitter glue.
Outline of the week: 
  • Monday: bake muffins or cupcakes in cones
We kicked off the week by reading “Ice-cream cones for sale” by Elaine Greenstein. (This book seems to be largely unavailable to buy. There’s a long list of other ice-cream related options though!)
It was wonderful, a little whodunit explaining the history of the ice-cream cone. My 5 year old was all over it, he made predictions, he guessed, he couldn’t get enough!
Since I had them all psyched up, we decided to do some baking. I prepared an easy to read recipe with pictures, seeing as my oldest is just starting to read. We made carrot and pineapple muffins and iced them with green cream cheese frosting.
And sprinkles, lots and lots of sprinkles!
Useful tip: do not overfill the cones, ours looked a little wonky, but they tasted great! The rest of the day was a lot of fun, we did some spray painting outside and then played with our playdough and sensory box.
  • Tuesday: children punch circles from paper, stick onto triangle cones ( you can use scrapbooking paper, sandpaper for cones)
We have a climber and slide that looks like a school bus, somehow the boys decided that it should partner with the sensory box and become an ice cream truck. That got me thinking and on Tuesday morning we painted butcher paper panels to decorate our truck.
Just in case you were all thinking that I am a supermom, with perfect children, we are totally not. My children were in a foul mood on Tuesday, they did the crafts, but were not enthusiastic. Our soccer game was interrupted by a huge thunderstorm, so we made it field trip night. The boys were thrilled! We have a local ice cream store where you can choose your ice-cream and then a very wide selection of toppings. It was great fun!
  • Wednesday: cut large circles from white card stock, put in a shallow tray, children use brown, green and pink paint, and roll marbles around in the tray with the paint.
Wednesday was a little better, we decorated our truck with the crafts and butcher paper panels, and had a lot of fun doing role play. I think my favourite part was hearing my 2.5yr old say “what will it be sir?” as he was serving his brother!
My original plan included marble painting, but I seemed to have lost mine (my guess is it was somewhere in my first year of motherhood! Lol) So we opted for salad spinner art instead. (We’ve done this with waterbeads too!)
Useful tip: your paint needs to be very thin! I turned the circles into cones, added some rice to mini balloons and taped the inflated balloons to the inside of the cones. Noisy but fun!
At lunch time I got a little creative and made an ice cream cone out of an omelette and made “scoops” from apples and cucumbers.
  • Thursday: make “ice-cream” from frozen bananas with peanut butter and honey.
  • Friday: Cut popsicle shapes from heavy card stock, children decorate with glitter glue and sprinkles, glue popsickle stick to the back
On Friday we read some more stories (I found quite a few at our local library!) and then made the frozen banana “ice-cream”(we ended up not doing much of anything other than going to the park on Thursday!)
My children couldn’t believe their luck, they were allowed to use (butter) knives! Judging by the silence at my table when they were eating the “ice-cream”, I would say this recipe will stick around as a family favourite!
After snack, we made our Popsicles with glitter glue, it was the first time that my boys ever buckled down and really got into the activity.
I really had fun this week, and my children did too! I wish you every success as you play together this week!

If you participate and would like to share your projects on our weekly project wall, you can upload your photos to our Flickr album. They stay your photos, but will appear in our album. You can remove them at any time. We’d love  to see how the projects inspire you, even if you just use it as a starting point! If you’re a blog it, you can use this button to show you’re participating in Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home

Andreas Summer Camp At Home