Friday, August 30, 2013

back to school

I thought I'd share some photos from our back to school dinner/first day of school. We had our traditional back to school dinner with homemade alphabet soup, letter breadsticks, and pencil push up pops.  We used the chalkboard placemats that the children made earlier in the week and I hung their new backpacks on the backs of their chairs and put a few small gifts inside their lunchboxes.

The next morning I had bought alphabits cereal for a quick, but fun breakfast.  We didn't really care for them, but did have fun looking at all of the letters in our bowls!  Then we took lots of pictures.

We put heart tattoos on the children's hands to hold our kisses and represent the "kissing hand." Thanks for that great idea, Krista!!!

And got the mini apple pies ready for their teachers.

And then we put them on the bus.  Sniff.  Sniff.  I thought it would be a fun treat to make them some homemade chocolate chip cookies for when they got home so we could sit and they could tell me all about their day.  I drew a message for them on the driveway that pointed the way to their treat.  They came off the bus with huge smiles and my son said: "school wasn't long, it was awesome!"  All in all I was over the moon happy that they had a great day and made a smooth transition to a new school year.

Now we are going to relax and have some fun over this long weekend!  I hope that you all have a fun and safe weekend too. Thanks for stopping by.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

getting ready for back to school

These are some of the activities that we did last week to prepare for our first day of school, which was today!!
We did an alphabet search.  The children took these magnets and first put them in alphabetical order.  Then they had to search the yard and house to find one or more items that started with that letter and place it in front of it. A for acorn, B for bubbles, C for chalk and so on.
Finding things that the kids will eat for snack and lunch can sometimes be a challenge, so I had the children go through our local grocery store fliers and cut out the healthy foods they would like me to buy for their lunch.  This was a great activity because we talked about what was healthy and what would be considered a sometimes treat.

I saw the idea to make chalkboard placemats on Pinterest.  I went to the local dollar store and couldn't find any placemats so I grabbed some chopping boards, 2 for $1, and had the children paint them on one side with some chalkboard paint.  We used them at our back to school dinner last night!  The kids had fun decorating them while I was making dinner.

And finally, we read "The Kissing Hand" and made some kissing hand cookies. I tucked them into their lunchboxes this morning.

I hope that everyone is having a smooth transition back to school and that you might try one or more of these activities. Getting kids excited about school will make the transition back much easier.  My son's kindergarten teacher sent him a letter, that we got a day or two before the first day, with some "Jitter Glitter" and the most adorable poem. The directions were to put it under his pillow before the first day of school and it would help him get rid of any jitters he might be having about school.  It worked like a charm!
I am in the middle of baking some chocolate chip cookies right now because I think that nothing beats warm cookies and milk after a long day of school, especially when its the first day.  I will share more about our dinner and the first day soon!
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

thats a wrap



Today is officially our last day of summer and I am running around trying to get everything ready for our back to school dinner!  I will share pictures from our back to school activities and dinner soon.  For today, I wanted to share the gift I just dropped off at some friends house to welcome their new baby girl.  When I had my third baby, thanks to the kindness of friends, I didn't have to cook for the first few weeks!  It was such a luxury.  If you know someone who just had a baby, make them dinner, they will love you for it.  Of course, I wanted to get them some gifts to go with dinner so I ordered an LL Bean bag (our go to gift) embroidered with the baby's name on it.  I also gave them a beautiful ribbon photo album and some stickers that you can put on the babies onesie and photograph them throughout their first year.  There are many different options and colors available on etsy. For the big sister in the family I gave her some of these adorable tiny books to "read" to her new baby sister. 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

dinosaur days

Last week we had fun learning about dinosaurs.  We made some dinosaur eggs with mud, sand, flour, salt and water and hid some plastic dinosaurs inside.  We made edible "digging for dinosaurs" desserts.  We made sugar cookies with dinosaur footprints and we made dinosaur terrariums! The kids were very cute playing with their "pet" dinosaurs.  I found most of the supplies at the dollar store and all of the ideas from my "summer fun" board on Pinterest.  This week we will be doing some back to school activities.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

fairy fun

As promised here are the pictures and activities we did last week for our fairy week at stay camp. This summer my daughter decided to make a fairy garden between our shed and garage.  It is so cute!  She leaves the fairies messages and they write her back.  We know when the fairies have come  to visit because they leave gold pixie dust all over the garden.  Once the pixie dust grew into pixie stick candy and the children were thrilled with that discovery!  This garden was inspired after our visit to the Florence Griswold Fairy Garden last fall.  I can't wait to go again this year!
This is a photo of our fairy garden, it's forever changing.
This is a picture of the children making fairy soup! I found the activity idea here.  The  children loved it!  I put out colored water, glitter, fresh herbs and flowers.

For making fairy dust you can find the directions here.  My son, who is entering Kindergarten this year, worked on writing the letters of the alphabet in the fairy dust.  My daughter, entering second grade, wrote her sight word list in the fairy dust.

We made pretzels shaped like fairy wings.

I had the idea to make edible fairy houses. After looking around on Pinterest I found this idea to use sugar cookies with candy glass windows, but I wanted ours to be a little more simple and made just out of graham crackers.  Did you know that if you put a graham cracker in the microwave for 30 seconds you can cut shapes out of it?!  I made a door and some small fairy windows.  The children used royal icing to stick on the candy and I choose to use a simple green and white color scheme. I think they came out really cute and were fun for the children to make.

We played some fairy games and read lots of fairy books.

We had a very rainy day here in Connecticut on Friday so to culminate our fairy week we watched Peter Pan, which the children had never seen, and made some pixie popcorn.  It was a really fun week and we are excited about starting our dinosaur week today.  Stay tuned for all of our activities.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

our summer in pictures

I can't believe it's already August and we only have a few short weeks of summer left.  I thought I would share a few pictures from our summer.  They are all from my Instagram account.
This was our view from the Cape in July.

I tried making cold brew coffee this summer.  This was some cinnamon iced coffee that I made, which just seems to taste better in blue mason jars.

We have done a lot of swimming.

                                                 And have had a few picnics at the lake.

On hot days, the children love to play with water balloons.

Of course we have eaten lots of ice cream and even made our traditional ice cream sand castle.

I like to have summers where we have some things planned and then a lot of unstructured time where we don't have to be anywhere.  After a week at the Cape, two weeks of swimming lessons and then a a little bit of camp, we are spending our last few weeks doing themed activities, like I did with our stay camp a few years ago.  The children asked me if we could do it again and I was happy to oblige.  This week is fairies (my daughter's choice) and next week is dinosaurs (my son's choice).  I also planned a surprise "back to school" week which will get us right up to the first week of school.  I will share the pictures as we go.  Hope you are all enjoying your last few weeks, or maybe days, of summer!
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

that's a wrap

This is a fun gift for anyone on your list.  My daughter LOVES ice cream and is always drawing pictures of ice cream cones. I loved the one that she drew above so I took it to Staples and they were able to turn it into postcards!  They were having a deal where I was able to get 100 for $20. At then end of the school year we wrapped up some to give to her teacher and for her first grade buddy.  We also used one with a gift certificate to cold stone creamery attached for the bus driver!  I still have plenty on hand to use attached to gifts or for her to use as thank you gifts. I love this gift because it is personal and useful.
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