People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have. ~John Holt

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pokepark fun

We recently discovered Pokemon and having fun with all the various ways to enjoy. Never knew there were so many Pokemon related things.
We decided we wanted to try finding a Pokemon video game and heard about the Wii game Pokepark  A couple of weeks ago we heard that Pokepark was one of the easier games for younger kids and decided to try it out. Luckily we have a really great library system and Pokepark was available for us to try.

The game definitely requires a lot of interaction on my part to help her read the different messages but it's been fun to help C progress. What I really like is that you're not constantly falling off a cliff or into the beyond and thus losing all the time. The general idea of the game is to  eventually make friends with all the Pokemon in the Pokepark by doing battles, challenges and solving riddles. Seems easy right? Well, I'm not a huge video gamer but I couldn't even manage to figure out the game. C's dad got a few Pokemon friends but was still having trouble figuring out the game. Enter a four a half year old who isn't reading much and after just a short time she had figured out how to reach new levels and win the mini games. Maybe she can eventually explain the game to me :)

So before we make Christmas cookies today, we are having some fun in the Pokepark!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Exploring reading

I happened upon a Magic Treehouse book at the library today and decided to bring it home and see how C liked it. She's always been fascinated by the words in my books and always wants to know why there aren't any pictures to which I reply that it's fun to imagine the details of the story in our mind (brain). So after reading a bit in the Magic Treehouse she decided it was time to go to sleep with the book on her head so she could imagine the details of the words...evidently thinking that through osmosis she would get more of the book :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kool Aid dyed playsilks

Playsilks are great fun for kids and can be used for everything from capes to tents to carry bags to dresses and just about any other use that a kid can come up with. We Kool Aid dyed our first two playsilks last winter and they've been used mainly as capes and blankets. When I recently came upon some playsilks I had put away I decided it was time to get some more Kool Aid and have some more fun 

Since I couldn't remember the entire process I decided to go searching on the Internet. We found so many sites together and Caitlyn had great fun typing the words into Google and getting to choose the pages we looked at. We found so many great blogs that detailed how to dye the silks but we really liked a few specific sites which I'm going to post below. And, since there are already so many sites that are posting detailed instructions, I thought it would be more useful to simply share the resources we found rather than reinvent the  wheel.  

But, before I get to the resource list, I wanted to off a couple of our experiments, including the one on the left that was dip dyed! We used silks bought from Dharma Trading and Kool Aid flavors in pink lemonade, orange, black cherry, and grape. The entire process took nothing more than silks, Kool Aid, vinegar, a few jars, the stove, water, and about an hour from start to finish!

Here are some of the resources:
Dharma Trading - source for silks
Artful Parent- Jean always has great ideas
Tried & True - nice detail of different color combos from Kool-Aid
Raising Olives - great photos and nice explanation of how to dip dye
Squirrel Acorns - includes instructions on how to make streamers

Have fun!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is a bittersweet, day for me. Sweet because I have a wonderful husband who is an amazing father to our daughter. However, it's also bitter because my own father passed away 16 years ago. I can't say we ever had the greatest relationship, it was often strained at best and I blamed him for a lot of things that went wrong in my life. I am sad to say that we were so estranged when he passed away that I never got to say goodbye or that I was sorry for the way our relationship had always been.  But instead of dwelling on what might have been, I focus on the good memories: going to my grandmother's in Vermont every summer and stopping to buy fresh bread, VT Cheddar and apple cider to eat along the trip, fishing and crabbing together at Hammonassett State Park, and going hunting together which although the hunting part wasn't okay for me the learning about nature part was. He was also one who really gave me the opportunity to ride ponies non stop and fulfilled my dream of riding a horse (which turned into 20 years of my own horses). It is also because of him that I love nature as much as I do. I can still remember hearing him calling me to come running to see some bird or animal and he would be standing there with his Golden Guides to show me what it was. So while life wasn't perfect, my dad did the best he could after having his own tumultuous childhood and it took becoming an adult to realize how much he loved me and simply didn't know how to show it.

I'm sad he's not here to see his grand-daughter. I'm sad he never got to meet my wonderful husband. And I'm sad he never lived to see me grow into the mother I am now, one who now sees her father in a different light. So this Father's Day is dedicated to you Daddy.  I love you.

Langlois. Paul L. Sr.

May 21, 1994
LANGLOIS. Paul L. Langlois Sr., 72, of Cooley Road, North Granby, died Wednesday (May 18, 1994) at Noble Hospital, Westfield, Mass. He was born Jan. 4, 1922, in Manchester, Vt., son of the late Wilfred and Lolita (Baker) Langlois. Prior to retiring, he was employed at Stanley P. Rockwell Co., Hartford, and was a U.S.C.G. veteran of World War II. He enjoyed time with his family, dogs, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; three sons, Stephen, Philip, and Peter; a daughter, Laura; a daughter-in-law, Norma; and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Paul L. Jr.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Favorite crafting and art blogs for young kids

Because Caitlyn is home with us we have the time to play as much as possible we can also spend as much or as little time on art or craft projects. The most important thing is that she has fun and enjoys anything we are doing. So for inspiration, I enjoy looking through books, websites, and of course other blogs. There are so many great bloggers out there nowadays that you don't have any excuse for not finding interesting ideas :). I look at things t that seem like fun and then we try them out. If, at any time, Caitlyn is not interested then we put things away to maybe try another time, or perhaps never.

So here are some of my favorite and inspirational craft and art blogs. If you have favorite ones as well, please share them in the comments section!

One of our favorites for art is The Artful Parent. Jean's blog is full of so many ideas for art and art resources that we always look forward to seeing what new ideas she'll come up with next. 

Another new favorite is Childhood Magic.  Ariella definitely draws many ideas from the Internet but what is magical to me is her ability to draw the reader in with her inspirational photographs! One of her recent posts was how to make a giant bubble wand which in itself was inspiring but when you see the photos it just makes you want to drop what you're doing and start making your own!

Of course many of us out there know Amanda Blake Soule of SouleMama. Amanda shares wonderful ideas for crafting, sewing, and enjoying life with kids. She is also the author of Handmade Home and the Creative Family.

Make Baby Stuff  is a fun filled site with great instructions to this home made playhouse.

Another link I like is AtoZ Kids Stuff that  several recipes for goop and playdough and other tactile recipes. Fun to make with the kids too. 

For Waldorf inspired crafts, The Magic Onions has beautiful ideas from a variety of guest bloggers. I particularly love all the felt ideas.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wordless Friday a step back in time

{a moment frozen in time}

wordless Friday... A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

a look back to when our daughter was only a few weeks old