IMG_8118

Every Family Rocks 2015!

We checked out Every Family Rocks! this past weekend and well, it ROCKED!

Monte and the entire family had a blast! Not only was the entire Science Center open to roam through, but there was also live music, crafts, jugglers, balloon animals, face painting and more!

Every Family Rocks! is a family fun event and concert for all ages. This event benefits EFR Employee & Family Resources. It was free for Science Center members, $8 for ages 2-12, $13 for Adults & $8 for Seniors.

There were some awesome bands and singers. I loved all the upbeat music and all the movement, from all the kids! Everyone was dancing and hula hooping around 🙂 Artists included:

Monte loved the Sparkle Hula Hoop dance, balloon animals and magic from Jonathan May, and trying all the different instruments available from Rieman Music Interactive Music Booth.

There were also some great craft stations such as a DIY yarn streamer and animal rocks.

We had so much fun and Monte was definitely exhausted after we left! We are looking forward to next year’s Every Family Rocks!

IMG_8118

I Love Busy Bags!

Have you heard of Busy Bags? They are amazing! I was introduced to this whole concept last summer. One of the many Facebook groups I belong to, created a small group of mothers and we all took part in the Busy Bag project.

Pretty much, if there are say eight mothers in your group, you choose one activity and make eight of the same activity. You then all come together, swap activities, and you end up with eight different activities for your Busy Bag! It’s very similar to a freezer meal swap, but you get fun toddler activities instead!

Not only will these activities keep your kiddos busy, but they are awesome to use for a learning tool too! A lot of these activities incorporate matching colors, practicing numbers, fine motor skills, matching, and more.

Here is a snap shot of just a few activities I received from the swap. Sorry this isn’t the best picture! 🙁

These are also awesome to place into activity stations during the day, to keep the kiddos busy!

I just participated in another one a couple of weeks ago, but instead of just swapping we made a night of it. We came together with all of our activities we chose and decorated a small bag to keep all of the activities in. Of course, there was food and wine! It was so nice to get out, without kids!

I love keeping all the activities in a bag. You can throw this in your car, if you are going out to eat, going to a friends house, or anywhere you may need to keep your kiddo busy. This is a much better solution then handing then a smart phone, tablet, etc.!

There are ideas for Busy Bags all over Pinterest. Literally, probably hundreds. Here are some links to ones I like and some that I have in my Busy Bag!

  1. The Princess and the Tot – Toddler Busy Bags – Family memory game, finger puppets, lacing cards, matching colors, and more!
  2. Busy Bags for Teaching Colors
  3. Clothes Pin Number Match 
  4. Pattern Matching
  5. Popsicle Stick Puzzles
  6. The Rigneys – Toddler Busy Bag Swap – Velcro Mr.Potato Head, Button Turkey, Brown Bear Head and Tail matching, upper and lower case matching, and more!

Have you participated in a Busy Bag Swap? What activity did you make?

IMG_8118

Holiday Pinterest Crafts

This past weekend one of my good friends came to town with her kids and we did some FUN Holiday Pinterest crafts! Every year we get together before Christmas to have a gift exchange and do fun crafts. Here are a few things we did, that I highly recommend checking out!

Fleece Christmas Tree

I came across this idea, last year, but never got around to doing it, because I was so nauseous with baby Amelia 🙁 But I finally got it done and Monte loves it! The daycare kiddos also enjoy it so it’s a win-win!

Canvas Snowflakes

This was a perfect project for the older kids. They got to choose what colors to use and had fun painting! Monte always loves painting and the hardest part is to tear him away from the paints when we are done. All you need is paint, canvas, and masking tape. Place the masking tape on the canvas so it looks like a snowflake. Then let the kids paint …

After they are done painting and the paint is completely dry, slowly remove the paint …

You end up with a pretty snowflake! An awesome decoration for the home that can be used all winter long!

Mistletoes

I absolutely loved this project and it turned out great. It is very easy to do with a baby and even easier if you have a helper to help place the painted feet on the canvas. We made one on a canvas for a decoration and made more prints on card stock for the Grandparents.

What holiday crafts are you doing this season?

IMG_8118

Thanksgiving Crafts 2014

It’s November! Which means it’s time for fun turkey activities!

Last year we had lots of fun celebrating Thanksgiving …

1. We made Fall Scented Playdough. Which we used to make cute and fun turkeys!

2. I also made a trip to our local library and checked out a bunch of fall and turkey books! Here is a list of some festive books.

3. Turkey Handprint Plate! I made one for us, that we will use for decor this Thanksgiving and also one for Monte’s grandparents. We had a lot of fun getting messy!

A few days ago, I made my way to Pinterest, of course, to find some new and fun turkey activities we could do this November! Here are some ideas, I hope we will get a chance to do …

1. Toilet paper roll turkeys! These look so easy to make and I have all the supplies. I have been saving toilet paper rolls for arts and crafts. This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of them!

(Image Source)

2. Another super easy turkey craft! Scrapbook paper turkey. This is another project I already have all the supplies for!

(Image Source)

3. Of course, you need a cute and fun festive snack!

(Image Source)

4. A cute craft that you can add to every year and can also be Thanksgiving decor, a turkey table runner.

(Image Source)

These are just a few of the projects and activities I came across. Check out my Thanksgiving Pinterest board for even MORE ideas!

What fun turkey projects and/or activities are you doing this year?

IMG_8118

2014 Fall & Halloween Activities

Here are some 2014 Fall & Halloween Activities to mark on the calendar for this year!

1. Deals Orchard Fall Festival

Saturday & Sunday October 11th & 12th

This is one event we are for sure checking out this fall! Located in Jefferson, Iowa this apple orchard will not only have apples to offer! They will have a jumping pillow, horse-drawn hayrides, giant slides, sand art, corn pool, corn maze, petting zoo, yummy goodies and much more! Check out Deals Orchard’s website for more details!

2. Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo

October 16th – 19th & 23rd – 26th

Even though we went to Night Eyes last year, we WILL be attending again! Night Eyes is a wonderful, kid-friendly event where your kiddos dress up in their costumes and trick or treat their way through the zoo. Some of the animals are out, train rides are available, and there are always some kid friendly characters making an appearance.

3. Great Pumpkin Party at Valley Church

October 21st – 23rd

I have always heard great things about this event and I am excited to take Monte this year! There are inflatables, pony rides, petting zoo, carnival games, food, and more! Tuesday, the 21st, is specifically for families with special needs to enjoy. For more information and to keep track of the event, “like” their Facebook page.

4. Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa

October 25th

Dress up in your costume and come out to the Science Center! Enjoy spooky flashlight tours of the dinosaur exhibit, participate in the costume contest, meet creepy crawly critters, experience live science experiments such as a pumpkin explosion, and get candy of course! Check out the Science Center of Iowa website for more details!

5. Pumpkin Walk at Valley Junction

October 26th

Trick or treat through Valley Junction in your costumes, enjoy fun children’s activities at Green Grounds Cafe, and get a free pumpkin at the Swander Gazebo. Chillin’ in the Junction will also be going on where you can sample great chili’s and play Bingo! Check out their website for more details and times.

6. Valley West Mall Trick or Treating

October 28th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Who knows how cold it will be the week of beggars night? This is a great opportunity to trick or treat, indoors and get lots of candy! Not only is there candy, but free inflatables to bounce on, crafts, balloon animals, and more! This is the last family fun night of the season, so make sure not to miss it!

7. Living History Farms Family Halloween

October 18th – 19th, 23rd – 26th, & 30th – 31st

We attended this event last year and had so much fun! Trick or treat through the old town, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, storytellers, pumpkin bowling, roast marshmallows (Monte’s favorite part), and more! Check out the Living History Farms website for more details.

What fun events will you be attending this Halloween?

IMG_8118

Pumpkins Patches, Apples, Crafts and More!

It’s cooling off, the leaves are changing colors, and everything smells like pumpkin!

That means it’s FALL! My favorite time of year!!

This time of year means pumpkin patches open, apples are ready for picking, farms open with lots of fun activities, corn mazes, and it’s time to do fun crafts! I thought I would share some previous posts from Midwest Mom and Wife to give you ideas of what to do in the Des Moines area to celebrate this fun time of year!

1. Check out my Top 10 Pumpkin Patches & Orchards post!

2. Center Grove Orchard is one, of the many listed, pumpkin patches and orchards we visit every year. We already made our visit early this year. Check out last years post on all of the fun they have to offer. They are also offering season passes if you think you will visit multiple times this year!

3. Monte and I checked out Wills Orchard last year and had lots of fun picking apples. Make sure you visit when they have Apple Pumpkin Fest going on. This years dates are September 27 & 28, October 4 & 5, and October 11 & 12. Check out their website for even more information.

4. Looking for fun snacks and activities to do with your kiddos at home? Last year I made a fun Halloween goody box and festive treats!

5. If you don’t want to make a Halloween box, here are some ideas of creating a Fall Sensory Bin! You can continue to use this beyond Halloween!

Keep your eyes open as we check out some new pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and new crafts for this fall!

What is your favorite fall activity?