Monday, August 30, 2010

Preschool Playdate at the Park

Today we met other preschoolers, their parents & siblings from our preschool at the park. We had 19 people show up, which is pretty good. I didn't have out my camera, because a photographer friend was there taking pictures for a project she is working on for the city. So, I just snapped this last picture when Isabel wanted to climb the big rock at the park. The kids had a good time playing on the equipment & playing with sand toys.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Firehouse Tour

This was by-far the largest playgroup I have ever set up. In total, 56 people attended this firehouse tour. It was incredible. I had 40 people rsvp they were coming and some maybes turned in to yesses and a couple other people invited friends to come along. The fireman, Cory, was fantastic and handled our big group wonderfully. The kids loved every minute of it. One mom even volunteered to have him dress her in full uniform, including the oxygen tank which he turned on. And the kids all got to use the house (a favorite) and climb in any of the trucks they wanted. They gave us a little speech about fire safety and then we toured the living quarters, saw the fireman's pole (which they really do use), as well as see the uniform, trucks & hose.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lake Kohlmeier

Science Playdate - Chemistry

We had a lot of fun with 5 different experiments. Below I will post the recipes we used. We were unable to do the sunprints because it was too windy & our papers kept blowing up.

We made volcanos, oobleck, slime, melting ice with salt, & learned about water soluble materials.
Plus they had some time to play in the backyard as well. I also explained in the simplest terms I could, how things worked and why. Most of these are early elementary science experiments, so these kids will be ahead of their classmates in learning about them. :)

We tried out most of the experiments beforehand to see how they worked and make sure the recipes worked properly. Actually, we did all of them.

Playing with Oobleck with Aleah.

Science Playgroup - Chemistry

Make a Volcano

2 T baking soda
4 drops of food coloring
½ T (approx.) dish soap
¼ C vinegar

Place baking soda in the bottom of the cup. Top with food coloring and dish soap. When ready, pour on vinegar and watch the fun! Point out how the baking soda & vinegar caused a chemical reaction that makes the two liquids turn into a gas (the soap is just for added effect.)

1/3 C Water
5 drops of food coloring
¾ C Cornstarch

Mix together water & food coloring in a dish. Slowly add cornstarch to water mixture. Do not stir! Let mixture stand for 2 minutes. Then pick up and play with it. Add a couple more drops if the mixtures doesn't turn from a solid into a liquid. Point out that this can be both a solid & a liquid. Tell them that corn is a polymer and polymers make it hard for liquids to move, so it acts like a solid until it is able to move and act like a liquid again.

¼ C Starch
3 drops food coloring
¼ C White Glue

In a plastic bag, pour in starch, put in drops of food coloring and squeeze to make starch colored. Next pour in white glue. Seal bag and begin squeezing the 2 ingredients together. When it makes a solid, you can take out slime and pour out excess liquid (which should be minimal). Have fun playing with your stretchy slime. Point out how when these 2 liquids are mixed together they form a solid.

Water Soluble Packing Peanuts
Tell them how water soluble means it can be dissolved in water. Demonstrate.

Melting Ice Experiment
1 tray of ice cubes (left as is)
1 tray of crushed ice
1 tray of ice cubes
1 solid tray of ice

Leave one tray of cubes as it is. Sprinkle salt on top of the other 3 kinds of ice. Tell how salt lowers the melting point of ice, so it makes it melt faster. Watch to see if different sizes of ice melt more quickly than other or in different ways when ice is applied.

Sun Prints
1 piece of construction paper
various items that will lay flat on paper

Lay items on top of contruction paper (darker colors work best) for 1-4 hours. Remove items and see the prints left behind. Talk about how the UV rays from the sun cause a chemical reaction in which the dye in the paper breaks down and causes it to fade in the spots that were not colored.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pool Time!

Here is a bunch of snapshots take in the Kiddie pool that my friend Sarah took. Although, our time was equally split between here and the big pool. The pool closes this Sunday, so we asked some friends if they wanted to join us. We had a good time. There will be more pool photos coming from earlier this week that Skye took (she is doing a project for the city.)


Yesterday, I took the kids to the SCFF for the third time. This time we took in 3 shows. The first one was a Kindermusick one, which you see here. Isabel is up on stage participating and enjoyed that. The second one was a Reptile show and the third one was a troupe of hula-hooping kids. Her treat at the fair this day was a Minneapple Pie.

We are heading back tot he fair again today, but this time daddy is coming with us. Should be fun. She has been talking about having a corndog with daddy all week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Steele County Free Fair

We have been to the fair twice so far and have plans to go two more times. The first night Grandma & Grandpa M. joined us so that they could see the artwork that the kids did for the fair. They each did an initial fingerpainting and Isabel also did an abstract dolphin princess sculpture.
The first night we also went on rides. We also visited the vendors in the 4-seasons building to see what businesses we were interested in and what kinds of free stuff they were passing out. Isabel says it is "summer trick-or-treating" and really enjoyed herself. She actually enjoyed it so much that we had to do it again the next day.

I fed the kids supper before we went the first night & packed a lunch for the 2nd day so that we wouldn't go broke and completly balloon up eating fair food. I told Isabel she could pick out one fair treat each day we went. The first night she picked out cotton candy and let Henry & I sample some. The 2nd day she picked out a sno-cone. She has plans for what she will get as her treat the next 2 days.

On the 2nd day, we went to see the Exotic Animals petting zoo. Isabel hates the smell of the manure in the animals barns and so we can't go in those. :( (Maybe the day we go with daddy she can stay out with him so I can take Henry in.) But the Exotic animals don't have all that smell, so she will go in there. And then I lose quarters buying feed so that she can feed the animals.
The 2nd day we also saw a magic show. We went to the fair for 3 hours each time. There are some things we haven't seen yet, so we will catch those the next couple days.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Camping in Iowa

Community Pool

Great Harvest Bakery Tour

The first part of our preschool playdate with several of her friends from preschool was to go on a tour of Great Harvest Bakery. I love this place! Their bread & cookies are so yummy. Everyone had a great time and I introduced a bunch of moms who had no idea about this place to some wonderful bread.

Crystal Lake Beach

The second part of our preschool playdate was at Crystal Lake Beach. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand & the water. Isabel really enjoyed collecting snail shells.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MOA: Dora Toddler Tuesday

We called it "Dora Day" because it was Dora & the Pirate Treasure Hunt Toddler Tuesday at the Mall of America today. We have been waiting for this all summer. I have not stayed at the MOA this long with both the kids before. They both fell asleep within minutes of getting in the car to go home.

Isabel was so thrilled to meet Dora (again) and she went by her twice today. Each time the attendants working with Dora pointed out how Isabel was wearing a Dora dress and Dora sandals. Isabel felt pretty special that Dora saw that she was wearing her on her clothes.

This time we were able to go on the rides, not as many as we would have liked to because it was CRAZY busy. We have never been there when so many people were there. People must have not liked the morning rain and were sick of the hot weather and extreme humidity and wanted to be inside. Isabel went on the Wonder Pets ride 6 times. It's her favorite. She wanted to try the bumper cars again, but still doesn't like them and looks like she was on the verge of tears every time someone would hit her.

As part of Toddler Tuesday, they showed a Dora video on the screen & kids could meet Dora. They also had pirate hats to make and a map to go on a treasure hunt in Nickelodeon Universe (which at the three treasure chests they got a chocolate gold coin, an eye patch, and a periscope), and Underwater Adventures was there with a table to explore some living & non-living sea creatures. I still have not take the kids to the actual Underwater Adventures; it's just so expensive, even the yearly pass is kinda spendy. Maybe when the kids are a little older we'll get the family pass (since Henry would be free) and they can both appreciate it more.

It was a pretty great day!


She did really well and enjoyed herself, even if she didn't want to listen to me on how to hold the club. We wanted to go this summer and then Adventure Greens posted on their FB status that they would have 1/2 price golfing on M & Tu. SCORE! Plus, kids 5 & under are free. I will definitely take her back again this season if they offer half price golfing again.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Pool Time!

I thought I needed to get a collage of some pictures from the pool since we have spent a majority of our summer there. We are so lucky to have a community pool so close to our home.

Insects on the Prairie

We had a ton of fun doing this "class" at RBNC, called "Insects on the Prairie". We caught bugs ourselves and learned about them. Some of them that we saw (plus many more I am forgetting) are: stink bugs, katydids, grasshoppers, hopping spiders, tree insects, plant insects, crab spiders, inchworms, some kind of wasp, a couple kinds of butterflies, dragon flies and we even caught a tree frog, which they said is really hard to do.

Let me tell you though, it was FREAKIN' HOT there. Well, anywhere outside it was. It was over 90 degrees with humidity in the upper 70's, so the heat index was in triple digits.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Paper Garden

We took a break from real gardening and did some gardening stuff inside. I first had her tell me from memory 10 different fruits & 10 different vegetables, which she did a really good job at. Then I gave her a seed catalog and told her to plant her own garden (cut out pictures & glue them on) in the dirt (brown paper).

This was a good activity to work on memory & naming and then good fine motor skills with the cutting & gluing. She had fun with this simple activity.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Coke Cake

Isabel loves to cook and bake with me. She is very handy & helpful in the kitchen. This weekend we made chocolate zucchini coke cake. It is very tasty and she had fun making it and dusting it with powdered sugar. The zucchini was one that we grew in our garden.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Frbo Waterpark

These were from our visit to the Frbo waterpark on Friday. I have more, but my editting program was acting funny, so I will have to try to remember to finish making collages (hopefully!) We had a good time and spent 4.5 hours here.

Busy Day Out & About

The pictures you are seeing only tell (less than) half of it, the last half. She started out the morning going fishing with daddy for a short while, then home for lunch and then to the pool. After the pool it was going geocaching with mom, to the library (to pick up new chapter books in the series) and to Target, then back home to get daddy & Henry to go to a park to play and have a picnic supper and finally out for some ice cream (see Henry's blog).

Today will be a much more relaxed pace. We picked veggies from the garden (wholly cow there was a lot of yellow squash & zucchini since we had neglected it for almost a week) and will go swimming later and probably do some kind of kid's activity, but that's about it.