Brrr! Let’s craft!

This winter has been awesome so far. Not only have the temperatures been tolerable but the snow has been great for sledding and the roads have been pretty dry and safe. That being said, my kids don’t like to stay outside for very long play sessions even on the warmest of days. Enter craft time.

Today we broke into something I purchased well before Christmas but never found the right time to play with it – Crayola Air Dry Clay (<– That’s an affiliate link. See my note about what that means on my “About Our Days” page). When I bought it, Amazon was running a sale so I actually got it for a little less than what it is listed for through that link. Shop around if you are interested in buying it.

I was so impressed with this clay! It is very similar to the clay I used in my art classes but this is designed to just air dry. So today I sat the kids at the island with a bucket of beads, some rubber stampers, a few lumps of clay and their imaginations. They both loved it! Hudson’s creation was a little more like a lump of clay with a bunch of stuff, including crumbs off the floor, stuck into it. Lucy, on the other hand, made some great little “clam shells” as she calls them. Now we wait for them to dry. Down side = It takes like three days to dry. BUT! In three days we will have another fun activity of painting our creations! Double whammy of fun activities with one very simple, easy to clean up, material. That to me is a serious winner!

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Lucy was also gifted some Sculpey clay for Christmas so she also made some things with that after her clam shells were done. She was on a clay sculpting roll today! That stuff is great because there are a million colors so the kids can create anything they imagine then once it’s baked and glazed, it lasts forever. Hudson did not do as well with that stuff though. This type of clay is best for the 4 and up crowd. The Air Dry clay is great for any age as long as your kid won’t eat it! If they do like to eat their molding material, ask me for my play dough recipe! It’s edible! 🙂 Perhaps I will share that on here someday too. What indoor activities have you all been up to this winter?

It’s HOT! Cool down with these fun activities.

This week is supposed to continue to be hot hot hot! It’s probably going to be some of the last hot days we have left this year so I figure we should take advantage. I did some Pinteresting, and found some really great ideas to keep our kids busy and cool while they play outside. These are all activities that use items you most likely already have around the house. If not, the dollar store probably has whatever you need for cheap.

Freeze Dough – This is a great craft that uses shave cream and your very own freezer.

Lego Excavation – Super fun for the lego lover. They have to melt or chisel their way into the ice to save their favorite lego guys. Careful with the little babes during this craft. While I think Lucy could handle this with supervision, I’m not sure Hudson could…Even if I was standing right there. Stinker.

Fizzy Ice – I love this one because everything is “edible”. My little man puts everything in his mouth so with baking soda, ice, and vinegar as the main components to this activity, it seems like a winner to me.

Sharpie Mugs – This one is not so much an activity to keep cool as it is an activity to keep busy. My kids love to draw and paint on anything that feels forbidden. This feels like the perfect way to combine their rebellious natures with a productive craft. Productive because these would make great gifts for various holidays and would be nice to have on hand when the need arises.

Now it also seems that the remainder of this week calls for a bit of rain. The good news is that most of these things can be done indoors as well. So beat the heat. Do something crafty and fun to make some last minute summer memories!

Have fun!

 

Christmas Magic

Anyone else feel like they are constantly redecorating their Christmas tree? Toddlers are worse than cats (from what I hear) with robbing the tree of it’s lovely decorations! Every time I turn around there is yet another ornament on the floor or I spot Hudson running full speed toward the toilet with one! What is it about little boys and the toilet!?

Other than toilet shenanigans, we have been busy enjoying the holidays. We’ve had our decorations up and Christmas music blasting (Check out the Pentatonix new album, It’s our fav!) since before Thanksgiving but we decided to visit the place where Christmas is exploding from every angle. Frankenmuth!

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Magic

We started our visit with a trip to Bronners, of course! There, we picked out a great personalized Santa ornament with the kid’s names on it. I love it so much! Twelve bucks is a little steep for an ornament (tis the season) but I felt better about it once I saw how great the personalization looked on it.

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Justin insists that Hudson’s name does not belong on this list… 🙁

So after Mr. Bronner (RIP), took advantage of our Christmas spirit and stole our money, we headed to the place where juicy fried chicken is served by the platter and the beer is so authentically German, you can’t read the label.  Bavarian Inn. It was better than I remembered.  I could have eaten a lot more of that chicken. Like a lot more… It was that good.

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This was actually quite delicious. Those Germans know what’s up!

After strolling around the quaint village and admiring the Christmas lights and decorations, we headed home. I always forget how magical that place is this time of year. If you haven’t gone yet this season, definitely go check it out.

Just a word of advise though… Leave the stroller in the car for Bronners! What a mad house! Oh, and get your Santa Sticker as soon as you get there.  It can take a few hours to see him and they call you up to the line by your animal on the name tag they give you.

We also stopped by to see Santa at the Twelve Oaks Mall. If we are being honest, we stopped by to see the Frozen exhibit and Santa was an added bonus.  Lucy’s exact words while running through the fake snow blizzard were: “Mom! I could stay here all day!”. So mission accomplished Twelve Oaks! Way to repurpose your old set up to capitalize on the Elsa Phenomenon! It was a hit!

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They would have stayed in that snow dome ALL day!

Some items that are still on the to do list:

1. Picture with Santa OR just a home staged Christmas photo in the even the kids aren’t feelin’ the Santa pic.

2. Drive around to see all the fun Christmas lights on people’s houses.

3. Watch Christmas Vacation like 100 more times because it’s hilarious and deserves to be seen as much as possible.

4. Make Christmas cookies with Lucy.

5. That’s probably enough! lol BUT we did make a gingerbread village!

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If I were teeny tiny, I would live here..

I think we have already been enjoying this holiday season quite a bit! In the age of Pinterest, if you don’t do absolutely everything Christmas related all while making everything by hand, you are a failure of a mother. As far as normal standards go, though, we are doing alright!

If you want to check out the Pentatonix new Xmas CD, here it is:

Let’s play!

This time of year has always been my favorite.  Cooler days that don’t make you want to jump in the closest funky puddle of water to cool off make playing outside way more fun!

A few places that we have visited lately are our local parks, Green Field Village and the St Pats Fair.

Here are some pictures from Clara Miller Park in Commerce Twp.  I’m not sure if anyone has visited this park in a while.  It’s older and not as shiny as some of the newer parks but it has a little more to offer.

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Lucy has been really into “tennis”. I put the quotations marks on there because her idea of tennis is just whacking balls around and when she can’t hit it, she just kicks it. So it’s “tennis”. Clara miller has a large basketball court area that is perfect for Lucy’s “tennis” as it is a large paved area.  The true beauty of Clara Miller is that mid week during the day, you basically have the place to yourself. While I like the kids to have other kids to play with, it’s easier when I don’t have to worry about Hudson getting plowed down by a 7 year old who is playing on the toddler structure. Seriously parents, respect the TODDLER structure. They put those large magnificent play structures next to them for a reason. For your LARGE kids to play on those and NOT the TODDLER structure! *end rant* Anyway…. After school hours and on weekends it’s full of baseball practices but it should still be a fun place.

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Now, if you are looking for a shiny new play area, Greenfield Village is the place to be! There is an entry fee but there are so many great things to see and do there that it is worth it for a fun day out with the kids.

We visited GFV last week on a nice cool, cloudy day. It was perfect. The place was ours! It was so nice to not have to worry about crowds with the stroller.  I could let Hudson walk around and we were able to take our time in some of the historical homes and buildings that caught Lucy’s attention.  They also had the brand new park to themselves. We were literally the only people in there for most of our time there.  Aunt KK came over to play with us too so it was extra fun!

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Just a side note for those thinking to go up there mid week.  The snack stands are all closed so pack some snacks to munch and throw some waters in a cooler bag too.  We ended up having to get some fudge to hold us over until we left.  Now, it was chocolate salted carmel fudge which was probably the best fudge I have ever had…. but still it was not a good snack and we were starving! oh well!  Still a very fun day!

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We also attended the St Pats Fair. It’s a smaller fair and we probably would have skipped it if wasn’t basically across the street from us, but we had a nice time. Great corn dogs! It’s not something that you can go to after reading this so I’m just going to show you a cute picture and call it a day on this activity!

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Our busy life continues but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Check these places out.  They are all super fun!