Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

June 19, 2012

That’s Not My Airplane

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 11:51 pm
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That's Not My CarThat's Not My Frog

Both my 4 year old daughter and my 2 year old son are both huge fans of this That’s Not My…series.  Ever since I’ve become an Usborne consultant I have been buying more of these books. My kids latest favorites are That’s not my car… and That’s not my frog…

If you haven’t checked out this series and have little ones you definitely want to pick one up.  The kids love the repetition in these books partly I think because they can “read” it themselves.  Each page starts off “That’s not my car…It’s windows are too shiny” or something along those lines.  That part of the car has some sort of texture on it for the kids to touch and feel whether it be something fuzzy, rough, bumpy, etc. and my kids love touching each page.  Sometimes they will even go back a page just to touch the page again. Even though the textures start repeating throughout the books the kids never seem to tire of them.

The books are targeted for 9 months and up but it’s funny that when I start reading them to my 2 year old my 4 year old will call out “wait for me before you read!”.  No matter what your child’s interest there is likely a book that fits the topic.

Purchase: That’s not my car…
Purchase: That’s not my frog…
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June 17, 2012

Kids Activities in the Bay Area #1: Children’s Creativity Museum

Children's Creativity Museum

As my daughter gets older I’ve been spending more time exploring what kinds of activities and places we can go to keep busy and let her explore the world around here.  One of my latest finds was the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco.  I had never heard of it before but during a lunch out with some co-workers I saw a sign for it and looked it up.  I was excited to see that my local library lets you sign up for one free pass for two people each year(check your library’s website. I’ve found that several of my local libraries offer free passes to a bunch of different places).  So a couple of friends and I took our kids to check it out.

Parking is horrible in the city so we decided to take the Bart train which the kids loved!  I think they would have been happy with just that ride.

Bart Ride

The museum was just a short walk away from the Bart station and on our way in we ran into a festival going on and found out they have these every Friday through out the summer.  There was also this awesome playground.

Yerba Buena Playground

By time we made it off the playground and  into the museum it was lunch time and the museum had this nice patio with both kid sized and adult sized tables to eat at.

Picnic

Once everyone was fed we started exploring.  First stop was this magnet building area.  My 4 year old daughter loved it!  All the kids had a ton of fun building things and we were there for a long time.

Magnet Building

There were also several “green” rooms that the kids could play on slides or dance in front of cameras and then see themselves on TV.

TVTV2

They also had a bunch of craft stations.  You could make cards or pictures with a bunch of materials laid out among tables, draw on the chalk board or play with some play doh.

CraftsPlay doh

They also had this cool wall where you could play with legos and this huge room with mushroom tables that each had an iPad attached to it.  There was some application that let you draw shapes that would turn into creatures that floated around large screens all over the ceiling.

Lego WalliPad play

We finished off the day riding their giant carousel and then riding the train back home.

Carousel

We were there from roughly around 11 until 3:30 and only explored maybe half of the museum.  If your kids are a little older there also was an innovation lab where they gave you a bunch of materials and let you create things, a recording studio where you could sing and have them add all sorts of backgrounds to your music video to take home, a Photoshop lab, an animation lab where you could create creatures/things out of play doh and then create animated videos with them and a few more things.  You could probably spend all day there and not get bored.  They even had this “dreaming” area with bean bags to recline on, books to read and neat origami mobiles hanging over head.

If you are in the area I definitely suggest checking this museum out.  I do suggest packing your own lunch as the museum doesn’t have any sort of concession stand.  Fortunately we had brought our own food.

Check back soon for our Chabot Space & Science Museum Tykes Class.

June 14, 2012

It’s Snowing…in June?!

Filed under: Rainy Day Activities — by dsuzuki @ 10:37 pm
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Growing up in California my 4 yr old has yet to see snow and is constantly begging to go to Tahoe because she wants to make a snow angel.  Since we haven’t been able to go I finally broke out the packing popcorn that came in this huge box when I ordered one OXO pop lid container (don’t ask me why it required the huge box and all this popcorn.) and the kids were busy for hours!

I had been storing it in this container and as soon as I took the lid off the kids were in it.

packing popcorn

Then they thought it would be fun to go back and forth from this container to the huge box the above mentioned OXO container arrived in.  I kid you not the only thing that came in that huge box was I think a 1 gallon storage container.

Boxes

Of course eventually everything got dumped and my daughter proceeded to make her snow angel!  My 22 month old didn’t have a clue what she was doing but figured it looked like fun.

Snow piles

Snow angels

Snow angels

The kids also used their trucks, bull dozers, etc to make roads through the “snow”, used washed strawberry containers as scoopers and just enjoyed tossing, pushing, squashing their “snow” around.

Isn’t it amazing the fun kids can have with things you would normally just toss out?  Who needs toys?

June 13, 2012

I Can Be Anything! by Jerry Spinelli

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 11:36 pm

I Can Be Anything! by Jerry Spinelli

I just picked this up at the latest Scholastic Warehouse Sale and you know those books that make both your kids AND yourself laugh?  This was one of those.  It’s a fun tale about all the things a person could grow up to be but it’s not the type of jobs one would expect.  There is a pumpkin grower which my daughter immediately nixed-too hard! She says.  Or you could be a puppy snuggler which she said- yes, yes that’s what I’ll be (and if I couldn’t agree more that it would be an awesome job.).  There were other fun things like puddle stompers, paper  airplane folders and a host of other jobs listed in a fun rhyming list.  In the end it emphasizes that really you can choose to be whatever you want.

What made this book a lot of fun was it was filled with all of my four year old’s favorite activities.  Whenever it rains she can’t wait to pull on her rain boots and go stomping in puddles, she’s a natural cuddler and would make a great puppy snuggler and though I don’t let her chew gum she’s a huge fan of bubbles and says her first choice would be to go around popping bubbles.

This is a cute tale that will encourage your child to let their imagination go wild and think about what they want to be when they grow up.  I’m not sure if any of these will bump out her desire to be an astronaut but she had fun thinking about them.

June 9, 2012

Tinker Lab #2: Recycle Robot

Filed under: Arts and Crafts — by dsuzuki @ 10:11 pm
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If you saw my first Tinker Lab post you know we’ve been doing a lot of recycling/upcycling of materials for our projects and I’ve been trying to let her do her own thing instead of me giving her instructions so she can just let her imagination run wild.  My daughter has been having a blast and here was the second project she did.  She used the materials to make her own “robot”.

What she started with…

Tinker Lab

She had made a beaded headband that she put on her robot, used the cap from a Go Go Squeez applesauce pouch, some googly eyes left over from previous projects and a couple straws I got on clearance at Michael’s last Christmas for $.25 a pack!  The body is an empty baby formula can I kept.

Robot

The only thing I helped with was punching the holes in the can for the arms. I had thought she would use the pipe cleaners for the arms but she surprised me picking out the straws.  She said it’s because the bendy straws would let the robot’s arms bend, duh!

Robot arms

After her experience with trying to glue the nose on and it’s constantly sliding around until the glue dried she decided to use scotch tape to tape on the mouth. (FYI-I found right after the back to school sales is the best time to stock up on scotch tape. Last summer I bought a bunch of tape for about $.20 for the 3 pack at Target and that was the Scotch name brand tape.)

Robot Mouth

She wanted a hat for her robot and was getting frustrated trying to make a cone so she finally asked me for help making it and then she taped it on.  Here’s the finished robot.

Finished Robot

I loved how she insisted the eyes had to be two different sizes and here she is hamming it up with her robot.

Robot Fun

I’m loving these projects.  They are no money out of pocket, lets her decide what she’s going to do and she never ceases to amaze me with what she comes up with for a 4 year old.

June 2, 2012

A Baseball Story by Richard Torrey

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 10:18 pm
Tags: , ,

A Baseball Story by Richard Torrey

I tend to think I have an open mind about books and try not to stereotype them but I realized tonight that although I’ve had this book sitting on my desk since I bought my Usborne Books kit but never read it to my daughter.  I saw “baseball” and I guess I categorized it as a “boy book” but when she asked me if I had any new books to read tonight I decided why not read it to her?  At least give it a try and what do you know?  She loved it!  We read it twice and she asked for it again but I had to put my foot down that twice was enough for now but she still kept talking about it while we chatted before bed time.

The story follows a young boy who has his first baseball game that day.  The illustrations are cute and have a lot of little things going on in the background that you can discuss or have fun with.  We liked that one of the other players is preoccupied the entire book pretending to be an airplane instead of playing the game and there are silly scenes like the main character being so busy smelling his new baseball glove he doesn’t watch where he’s walking.

My daughter couldn’t stop giggling as we read and looked at each page.  And yes, there are girls on the baseball team as well but really even if there weren’t I think this is a book that both boys and girls would enjoy.

Purchase a copy

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