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!

Science Sleuths at the Urbandale Public Library

The kids and I checked out Science Sleuths Friday at the Urbandale Public Library. The Urbandale Public Library has become one of our favorite hang outs this winter. They have so much to offer!

Science Sleuths at the Urbandale Library-2

On the second Friday of every month, they offer Science Sleuths. This is a half hour program, that takes place in the story room. Each session has a different lesson. Friday’s lesson was ‘Sink or Float’. The kids had a blast learning about items that could sink or float!

We first listened to a couple of stories explaining why some items may sink or float.

Then we did a hands on activity to discover for ourselves, what sinks or floats. Our teacher brought in a large tub full of water and several different items such as: a plastic spoon, penny, balloon, CD, and more! She placed two signs up on the walls, in separate areas of the room. One sign read ‘sink’ and the other sign read ‘float’. Before she placed the item in the tub, the kids had to go stand by the sign that read what they thought would happen! Not only was this a good learning experience, but it also got the kids up and moving!

After the activity the kids were able to create their own sail boats using foam cups and/or trays, a dowel, paper, and tape. The kids enjoyed cutting and taping and creating their own boats that would sink or float in the tub of water. Some kids also experimented with placing items on their boats, to see if it would still float.

The kids were also given a worksheet to take home to extend their learning!

I highly recommend Science Sleuths! This is a FREE class! It is designed for children ages 3 years to 6 years, accompanied by an adult. I was also able to bring Amelia in with me. She enjoyed listening and watching 🙂 You must pre-register by calling 331-4490.

Do not miss next months Science Sleuths!

Playdough Mats

We LOVE playdough in our house and it’s another great activity to keep the kiddos busy during the blustery months!

Of course, I was spending my time on Pinterest and came across some great links for playdough mats! I could not believe I never thought of this! With how much we play with playdough, this is another thing they can use besides all of the cookie cutters and other toys we use.

There are so many different ones available for FREE to print off. All you have to do is print and then laminate! They have some where you decorate, like the gingerbread man below. I also printed off a snowman, Christmas tree, and Santa hat that could be decorated too.

They also have playdough mats that help with counting. Such as a tree and it asks to place three apples on the branches. This is great for the kids to work on counting and what color an apple is!

Here are some of the sites I used to print off playdough mats …

  1. Fall Playdough Mats
  2. Christmas Playdough Mats
  3. Christmas & Winter Playdough Mats 
  4. Alphabet Playdough Mats
  5. 100 Free Playdough Mats
  6. Turkey Playdough Mats
  7. ABC Tracing & Playdough Mat  
  8. Princess Playdough Mat 

There are so much more too! Make sure to check out Pinterest.

Also, do not forget my Easy Peasy Playdough to play with all these fun mats!

What fun things do you do with your playdough?

Tot Lot Waukee

We checked out another fun indoor activity last week!

Of course, Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls was behind this great find 🙂

Tot Lot Waukee

This place is perfect to let your little ones run around and burn off some energy and it’s FREE! We spent almost 2 hours running, playing, meeting new friends and did not want to leave when it was over.

There are several things available at Tot Lot.

The inflatable pool with plastic balls was a HUGE hit. It’s hard to believe something so simple, is so entertaining!

There were a bunch of tumbling mats, toy bikes, huge bin of legos, tunnels, and much more to play with!

They also had a bouncy house available to play in. I am not sure if this is always available, but the kids had an awesome time bouncing around!

Monte also loved the basketball hoop, shown above. There were also ball hoppers that the kids could bounce around on.

The Tot Lot is located in Waukee at the Public Works Building and is available Mondays 8:30-10:30 am & Wednesdays 8-10 am. The times are kind of early, so make sure you plan for it!

I highly recommend Tot Lot for these upcoming winter months. A perfect place to for the kids to burn off some energy, bring a snack and make a morning of it!

Marbling with Shaving Cream

I came across another fun and easy activity on Pinterest … Marbling with Shaving Cream!

There are all sorts of tutorials on Pinterest for this activity. I used this site as a guideline. This is what we did!

Supplies

  1. Foam shaving cream – I always have several cans on hand because there are so many activities that use shaving cream!
  2. Shallow dish – You can use a 9×13 glass dish or pan. I have some foil ones, I have kept for other activities I’ve done.
  3. Food coloring – You can use water color paints, tempera paint, etc. Whatever you may have on hand.
  4. Thicker paper – You do not want to use regular printer paper, otherwise it wont hold up well. We used 8×10 white card stock.
  5.  A wooden dowel – I happened to have this on hand and it worked really well for swirling, You could also use a plastic knife, popsicle stick, a finger (that may get messy). Whatever you think is best!
  6. Butter knife – You use this to scrape off the excess shaving cream off the paper.

Directions

  1. Squirt shaving cream into your shallow dish and squirt several colors of food coloring into dish.
  2. Give child a wooden dowel or whatever utensil they will be using for swirling.
  3. Swirl away!

This quickly became a sensory activity 🙂 Monte really enjoyed the feeling of the shaving cream. Good thing I put them in their painting shirts!

4. Once they are done swirling and creating their design. Take your piece of paper and place it down into the shaving cream. Press it down with your hand. Then slowly pull it up.

5. Flip it over, take your butter knife, and scrape off the extra shaving cream over the sink.

6. Set it to the side and let dry!

This is one Pinterest project that was easy and actually turned out how it was supposed to! I also had everything on hand!

What is your favorite activity to do with shaving cream? Besides shaving 🙂 

Urbandale Public Library

It SNOWED this week! The first snow has really put me into the holiday spirit now. That’s probably a good thing, since a bunch of holiday events are already starting THIS WEEKEND!!

Since it was snowy and cold, we decided to check out the Urbandale Public Library. I am so happy we did, I have REALLY been missing out. We had a blast!

Urbandale Public Library

The main reason we went is for the Toddler Story Time! Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday they offer a special Toddler Story Time. Each week is a different theme. This week was Eric Carle where we read, sang and played different activities incorporating all of Eric Carle’s famous books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There is also story time offered Wednesday and Thursday’s, they are not toddler specific. They also offer story time for babies too! Check out the schedule here!

The Story Room is such a cute and fun area. There are windows with cute little loft areas where the kids can climb up into. There are large doors that are closed when story time begins, which I like because Monte sure does like to run sometimes! My favorite part was the cute, wooden chair that the story teller sits in 🙂

We showed up a bit early, which is okay, because there is so much more then story time that is offered! We played on the computers for awhile, which were awesome! The computers are programmed for a certain age range. They have one computer specifically programed for ages 0-36 months! You can wear headphones, listen, and play along. Some of the screens are even touch-screen.

There are also building blocks, magna tiles, puppets, a coloring station and tons of books of course!

The Urbandale Library not only offers the fun story room, toys, books, DVD’s, CD’s, Chapter’s cafe, free wi-fi … they also offer some fun classes.

  • Lego Club
  • Reading Pals
  • Mothers & Others (great opportunity to meet some other mothers!)
  • Brown Bag
  • Minecraft
  • Tuesday Night Movie
  • Teen Yoga
  • Music Together
  • Science Sleuths
  • Teen Book Club

All of these things are FREE and most do not require registration, but make sure to check the calendar for details!

What is your favorite thing to do at the Urbandale Public Library?

 

Dinosaur Exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa

We had Family Night, Friday night and it was a blast!

We began our evening at Zombie Burger. If you have not been, you definitely need to check it out! They have awesome, crazy burgers and even crazier, spiked milkshakes. I enjoyed a Cinnamon Toast Crunch shake spiked with Rum Chata … delish!

Travis ordered the Undead Elvis … which includes peanut butter, fried bananas, bacon, american cheese, egg, mayo, and somewhere on there … a hamburger patty!

(Image Source)

After dinner, we made our way to the Science Center of Iowa! They opened the Dinosaur Exhibit during Family Night. Family Night is the second Friday of every month 5 pm – 8 pm and it’s only $5. It’s a great thing, when you cannot make it to the Science Center during the day and it’s an awesome family night activity. As a Science Center member you can enter in at 4 pm to see the exhibit early, before the crowd hits. Also, as a member, the $5 entrance fee is waived. You also get free registration on monthly member family workshops. You can view upcoming workshops here.

We started out exploring in the Small Discoveries area. Monte loves this area and it’s perfect for toddlers. He loves the fruit and vegetable activity AND the bubble activity.

The dinosaur exhibit was pretty awesome. There is something for everyone, it does not matter your age! Monte was pretty much only interested in the large dinosaurs and hands on things.

The exhibit does a great job explaining everything with videos, pictures, and large dinosaurs! If there are questions there is someone available to ask.  There are a lot of hands on things for the kiddos.

Monte’s favorite were the stamps. At the beginning of the tour there are sheets of paper with six squares to fill. Each square is a different type of dinosaur. When you walk through the exhibit you look for that type of dinosaur and somewhere near by is a stamp to stamp your sheet. Each stamp is white and looks more like a fossil then a stamp.  It helps keep the kids involved and interested.

There were also smaller, toy dinosaurs you could play with!

After we toured the exhibit, we made our way upstairs to check out the When Things Get Moving area. You could spend hours in this area. You can build cars with legos and have races, build rockets and launch them, wrap an “egg” and drop it to see if it will break, dominoes, and much more!

If you have young kiddos and are not a member of the Science Center of Iowa, I definitely recommend becoming a member! I love taking Monte when it is cold and dreary out. We can spend a good 3 hours or more keeping busy with all the activities. It definitely pays for itself quickly! You get a discount on IMAX films, discount in the store, discount at the Food Chain Cafe, and more!

There are also events that happen which are included with your membership. One event that is coming up on October 25th is Spooky Science. A perfect event for your kiddos to get dressed up in their costumes and check out the Science Center of Iowa.

For more information about becoming a member, check it out here!

What is your favorite thing to do at the Science Center of Iowa?