Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rainbow day 2012

This year's rainbow day got rained out twice, so D and I just did my crafts at home instead. We started by reading Elmer and the Rainbow,  and Duckie's Rainbow, and watching the videos ROY G BIV by They Might be Giants, and the Rainbow song from Cat in the Hat.  I then set out newspaper on the table, pulled out the paints, and sponges, and set off.

Supplies needed (Elmer):
white paper
many colors of paint
Elmer or elephant shape
paper plate (for paint)

I started by tracing the picture of Elmer from the book onto a thin sheet of paper, cut it out, and traced it onto thicker paper so that the paint wouldn't soak through. Then, I cut some cheap sponges into little rectangles. Squirt different colors of paint onto the paper plate (for easy clean up), and place recatngle sponges into each color. I showed D how to dip them in the paint, and stamp them in the Elmer shape. Let dry. I had intended for us to cut him out and made a background scene, but D had different ideas so we just rolled with it.

My Elmer

D's Elmer. She added the tree tops, waterfall, and lion from the story.
Next up we did a sponge rainbow. I have noticed these all over pinterest, and knew we needed to try.

Supplies needed:
white paper
different colors paint
cheap sponges (I found these in a large pack for only $1 at Dollar Tree)

Start by drawing a line of paint on the sponge in the correct order of the rainbow. Remember ROY G BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). Sorry indigo, you got left out this time.  Then take the sponge, place it paint side down on the bottom left edge of the paper, and slowly wipe to the other side. It makes a wonderful rainbow. I just wanted to keep making these!!

It was so fun hearing, Oh WOW, while she wiped the sponge across!

She made sure hers went all the way across.

Mine, I went back later and made a nice arc in it.

We finished off the day with an afterschool snack with brother of a rainbow fruit skewer! Yum!!
Need more ideas? Check out what we did last year: 2011

Mother's Day tea party

Every year I try to have a tea party around Mother's day, and last year I found a local Irish pub that offers to do this for a small price. I love having it there! They do a great job, the place is so family friendly, and the atmosphere is perfect! Normally I just do this with D, and let Adam and L have fun time. But Adam was out of town that weekend, so I brought both kids. We were joined by a small group of moms and kids as well, all dressed very nicely.

There were pots of tea, juice or root beer for all, finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, homemade scones with jams and clotted cream, and cakes with powdered sugar. Very yummy! I already can't wait to do this next year!!

Afterschool Zoo Trip

One of the hot days I decided to surprise L when I picked him up from school, and take the kids to the zoo. I grabbed a backpack full of drinks and snacks, and hats, and packed him some shorts and sandals to change into in the car. Off we went! I really like going to our zoo later in the day. Not only has the temp cooled a bit, and the place has found some shady spots, but most of the crowd has gone away. Especially at this time of year, in the mornings, there are tons of school field trips before school lets out. Our first stop was to the tigers. We love starting with them!

This guy was sleeping right up next to the glass, just like how we left our cat at home. The kids had fun pretending like they were petting him. That is until he twitched and D freaked a bit.

Both warthogs were actually out, I think in our years of visiting this zoo, we have only seen these guys once. So of course the kids thought that was really awesome!

This little guy is a honey eater. L can tell you all about them, all thanks to the Wild Kratts! So he was really amazed that we could see this one up close, and eating an apple slice. 

This troublesome Kangaroo had gotten into the little pond they have for some water fowl, and refused to get out. Until the zookeeper came up and was rubbing it's back trying to get it out. Then it took off hopping, looking back to make sure she was following her, and started to chase this poor little wallaby. 

I make sure I get a picture of the kids on this giant turtle every single year, and have for years! It's so fun to look back every year at how big they have gotten, plus this one shows off the missing teeth!

We capped off the visit with a stop at 7's (7-11) as my kids call it, for slurpees, on our way to pick up Adam from work. 

I call that a fun day!!!

Our Garden

Adam had asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's day, and I said, "Work in our garden!" We finally have a garden this year, and the plot is on Notre Dame's campus. We were some of the lucky few to get into the garden plots this year, and we had felt bad about not getting out to work the garden at that point yet. The kids had gotten Adam plants for his birthday, plus we had started some from seeds, but they were all cluttering up our small back porch at the apartment. Luckily we had great warm weather to get to work. When we arrived our plot was over grown with grass, covered in straw and cardboard boxes. We thought it was going to take us forever to get it cleaned up, but set right to work. There are tons of tools in a shed for us to use, so we loaded up a wheelbarrow and cleaned it up. It actually didn't take as long as we originally thought it would.

The kids helped load 3 wheelbarrows full of fresh top soil to cover the ground again.

Once we got the ground back into shape, the kids helped us plant all our plants! L is helping to plant one of the tomato plants he got Adam.

 D had to get in on the planting action as well. Here with some marigolds in the middle to break up some of the veggies.

We also planted some broccoli and carrots that the Easter bunny had brought the kids in their baskets that we started from seeds. 

Our finished work after the first day. We also planted peas and made a kind of climbing triangle out of branches we found on site. I think it turned out amazing. 

Lakeshore Learning: Animals Match-Ups

Our good friends at Lakeshore Learning sent us a wonderful package with some great educational supplies in it to help with summer learning! Thank you! I have wanted to get these out sooner, but life has been busy with parties, and typical end of school events. School doesn't let out until June 5th, but this past Saturday we had attended a hot, sugar filled, fun friend's birthday party, so I figured this was a great way to cool down in the a/c and calm down with relaxing learning fun! This great set of puzzle cards is the Animals Match-Ups set. This is only $12.95 and says for ages 7-8. Now my kids are almost 5 and 6, but I knew they would really get this. Between L's school, watching Dinosaur Train, and many many trips to the zoo, they were already familiar with all the words in the set. The set comes with 12 three piece puzzle groups. Each one has a large animal picture card, a word card, and a definition card.

I opened up the box and separated into 3 piles, and then spread them out so the kids could see each card. D does not read yet, and L is still in the very early stages (plus they were all hyped up on fun still), so I read the definition cards to them. I had each kid take turns picking out a picture card, and then we picked the word card, and I read out numerous definition cards until they picked out the correct ones. Even though they know all the words, they sometimes had trouble picking the right ones. I think this is great, because it means that we can get so much more use out of these! Plus I am hoping that by the end of the summer, L will be able to read them all by himself. D on the other hand, picked up right away how to look at the puzzle parts to figure out which card goes to which set.

The kids and I all had a great time with these cards, and we can't wait to play again. I have actually started to keep them on the coffee table, so that way the kids can play with it whenever they like! Interested in getting this for yourself? Check out the Lakeshore Learning website, and don't forget to use our special coupon! The coupon is a Buy one get one 50% off and it expires on June 29th!

This post was brought to you by Lakeshore Learning. I was not paid, but was given free product for this review.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lakeshore Learning!!!

I was contacted last week through my blog about a really fantastic store opening up this weekend in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, I can't make it down there this weekend, but I am just itching to get down there and explore! If you are around the Indy area, you should head in there today! There will be free crafts, product demonstrations, contests, giveaways, and 50% off some products! How fun is that! Did you know that during the summer break from school, students loose up to 2 months of the skills they just learned? Why not pick up a few things to help your kids retain that info over the summer, and have it be a really fun thing to do! Don't live near Indy? You can always check them out online at As a special treat to my readers, they have offered you guys a great Buy 1 Get 1 50% off coupon!!! Just go to to use!

Here are some great pictures of the new store, provided from the company. Just looking at all the pictures, I am getting so excited to visit the store. Look at all that fun learning stuff!!

I don't know about your kids, but mine would be in heaven right here!

I see some of my favorite companies here.

 Please check out the new store in Indy! 1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
This post was sponsored by Lakeshore Learning Company. The pictures were provided by the company.

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