Saturday, August 28, 2010

Groupon Alert: Camden Riversharks and Book Drive

Looking for a way to top off the summer? 

Why not a trip to the Camden Riversharks?

For just $11 a ticket, you get one field-level ticket, plus a hot dog, bag of chips, bottle of water, and five spins on The Shark Wheel, at an upcoming Camden Riversharks game (a $23 total value).  That's tickets to the game and lunch for $11 a person!  

This is a savings of $12 per person!! For a family of four Groupon just saved you almost $50!!!

This is a great deal!

The tickets you purchase are good for games on September 7th, 8th, and 9th, Camden Riversharks vs. the Long Island Ducks, game starts at 7:05pm.

Click  here to head on over to Groupon now to take advantage of this family friendly deal!

If you are headed to a Camden Riversharks game this weekend, today is their Summer Reading Weekend and Book Drive. Bring 3 new or gently used books and receive a free ticket! Books given this weekend are to be donated to Tree House Books, a non-profit organization on a mission: grow and sustain a community of readers, writers and thinkers in North Central Philadelphia. Books donated are good for tickets to games for Friday 8/28, Saturday 8/29 and Sunday 8/30.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Friday

1.Put down that game controller and turn off the TV! Promote a healthy and happy lifestyle with the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia Sunday August 29th with their Stroller in the Park. Following a 5k path through the park and ending at the Please Touch Museum, the event will feature a Family Fun Pavilion and Healthy Food Tent, activities to get your body moving, a special appearance by the Philly Phanatic, medals for all children participating along admission and morning access to the Please Touch Museum, for all participants, before it opens to the public at 11:00am.Nice. Stroll s tarts at 8:00am.

2. Trains, Trains and the Circus? It's Circus Week at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. From Saturday August 28th to September 6th stroll through the Arboretum and stop at the Garden Railway as circus trains take over the track. First Thomas, now Circus Trains? The fun just keeps on rolling through the Arboretum. Since visiting this a couple weeks ago, the Arboretum has become one of our favorite places to go. No wonder it was voted by Philadelphia Magazine as the Best Stroll Through a Forest, you'll have to visit to find out why. It's peaceful, beautiful and breathtaking. Fun for the entire family. Click here for admission and hours of operation.

3. Chocolate or Vanilla? Can't make up your mind? You can enjoy both this weekend at the Camden Children's Garden Chocolate and Vanilla Family Festival. This event is dedicated to two of nature’s most flavorful plants. Vote for you favorite flavor, and take a tropical smell test.  Make crafts, participate in educational activities, and enjoy the Flavors of the Forest concession stand.  Enjoy chocolate and vanilla treats as you learn about these tropical flavors. Event runs both Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm.

4."Well, Blow Me Down Matey!" Arrrrr...I can't believe me eyes!" It's Pirate Invasion Weekend at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair this weekend. Let the little pirate in your life polish their pirate skills. Learn how to talk pirate talk, brandish a sword, take part in treasure hunts and much much m ore.
"What is that you say Lass? Shiver Me Timbers!"

5. The Philly Phanatic really does get around! The Phanatic is at the Please Touch Museum Sunday morning and then later on you can catch the him at the Elmwood Zoo for Phillies Day at the Zoo. The Phanatic will join the All-Star Cheerleaders for a bash that includes a cookout and special activities for kids that include an inflatable speed pitch, tee ball batting cage and an obstacle course. Enter a raffle for Phillies tickets and a jersey and gift bags will be given to every child courtesy of Citizens Bank Park.Nice. The festivities run Sunday from 10am to 2pm. 

Looking for Free?
*Don't forget about the Lakeshore Learning Store's Free Craft at stores nationwide on Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Click here for a location near you. This weeks craft, a Royal Crown, fit for a king or a queen!
*And Lowe's Home Improvement Store is hold their Free Kids Build and Grow workshop this Saturday at a Lowe's near you. The wooden craft this week, A School Bus that can hold crayons, chalk, stickers and much more. Nice timing. For more information click here.

Looking ahead:

Your child's favorite little blue friends is taking over the tracks at the Strasburg Railroad. Join them in celebrating Day Out with Thomas September 11th-19th. Click here for more information.

*A special way to say thanks. I may be behind the boat on this one, but did you know that throughout the summer admission for Military Personnel is Free at  more than 700 museums across the country - including The Academy of Natural Sciences, the Please Touch Museum and the Brandywine River Museum, and many other area institutions. Participating -  in Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families (of up to five immediate family members). Click here for a complete list of participating museums.

Join me every Friday for Fun Friday where I list my top things to do in the area for the coming weekend. 

Have something on the calendar you'd like to advertise? Or just want to let other's know about your favorite family friendly place? Send me a message or leave a comment below.

Also join me Sundays as we preview the week ahead!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day out with Thomas

It's that time of the year again!

Join the Strasburg Railroad in welcoming Thomas the Train to the tracks September 11th -19th. Bring the family to experience the railroad, see Thomas the Train and ride coaches pulled by the famous blue engine. We do this event yearly and it is always one of our favorite things to do.

I'm not sure if it is the beautiful ride the train takes along the country side, or watching our kids' faces light up when they see Thomas and the powerful Steam Engines, but my husband and I have as much fun as the kids. Tickets run $18 for ages 2 and up. Or you can purchase the Combo ticket and you can take two rides, on with Thomas and the other with Strasburg's own stream engine for $25 per person.

Click here for train times and to purchase tickets online. 
Tickets can also be purchase at the railroad, but purchasing them online guarantees you get the train at the time you want. 
Looking for ways to save money? 

Watch as Thomas pulls into the station and then hop aboard Strasburg's on steam engine, this ride is double the time of the Thomas ride and half the cost for children. The coach car is free for kids under 3. Admission for children 3-11 is $7 and adults just $14.

Why not make a day of it? 

Don't let the fun end there. Right across the street from the Strasburg Railroad is the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, home to more than 100 locomotives and rail cars on display. My kids loved this place. Many of the trains you can board and explore and in the back of the museum, kid's can explore the children's corner and learn more about how a steam engine works. Admission to the museum is children under 2-free, kids age 2-11-$8 and adults-$10.

If you aren't available to visit Thomas the Train at Strasburg in September, No worries! He'll be back
on the tracks from November 19th to the 24th.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Let them eat Waffles

I posted this on my other blog, My Life in Jenga, but in honor of National Waffle Day, I posted it here too.

Hot out of the toaster. Frozen or freshly made.

Today is National Waffle Day. 

National Waffle Day is the anniversary of the first U.S. patent for the waffle iron in 1869. Though they are mostly eaten for breakfast, waffles can be eaten any time of the day. And even though I don't make them with a waffle iron, the toaster or the oven will do, who can resist celebrating this breakfast treat. It's easy to make, fun to eat and minimal clean up afterwards, that is if my daughter doesn't get a hold of the syrup bottle.

When my kids heard that it was National Waffle Day and declared we should eat waffles for breakfast, why would I refuse making something I knew they would actually eat. (Now only if I could stuff them with waffle colored spinach!) 

What are our favorite ways to eat waffles you ask? We are the boring syrup and butter kinda but sometimes with a little twist. 

Here are ten ways to enjoy this versatile treat.

10. Plain. boring, but someone has to do it.

9. With butter and syrup.

8. Topped with a pie topping, like apple or blueberry

7. Lightly butter sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon, like cinnamon toast.

6. Butter and honey.

5. Eat 2 of them stuffed with egg and cheese, a waffle egg sandwich.

4. Butter, banana slices, brown sugar and cinnamon

3. Peanut butter and Jelly

2. My kids favorite way, topped with butter, syrup,whip cream and rainbow jimmies. 

1. As a kid my mom used to make my sister and I, a waffle topped with vanilla ice cream and syrup for desert! We loved it every time.

So in celebration of National Waffle Day, which  my son as been waiting to celebrate for the past two weeks since he heard about it on Sprout, and mentioning it to me over and over again, thanks Sprout. He had a waffle for breakfast fixed his favorite way with a little butter, light syrup and rainbow jimmies. Everything is better with rainbow jimmies, right?

And in true Sophia fashion, she celebrated National Waffle Day be having a celebratory.....Cheese Sandwich.

How do you prefer your waffles?

Have your child hop on over to Sprout to join the Wiggles and design their own waffle in celebration of National Waffle Day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Delaware Children's Museum Review

So can I say about the Delaware Children's Museum? The kids had a great time. The museum really has something for every onr with exhibits covering, the human body, contruction, transportation, money and art. We had a good time and so did the kids.

They loved the Stratosphere.

They spent a lot of time in Training Wheels, trains and cars, go figure.

And were preoccupied by construction in Structures.

My daughter, who has a love for everything she can create, had a great time in the Art Studio painting away.

And even though they don't sell food, they do have an area you can sit in to catch your breath, and grab a snack and a drink. We really enjoyed this museum, anytime the kids have a good time, its worth it. And it's nice to have another museum in the area to visit. Even though the floor plan is spacious yet crowded, if that makes any sense, there is room for the kids to run around. The only thing I would watch out for is the water table in the ECOnnect section. Unlike the Please Touch Museum, where the water section is sectioned off, this one is not. It is open and you have to walk through it to get to another area, and several kids that day slipped in fell, including my son.

If you go to visit this museum, I suggest making a day of it. The Wilmington Riverfront has a lot of places to enjoy and tons of place to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Check out there website here.

In fact, today they are having, a Riverfront Family Fest, from 11am to 4pm and admission is free. Spend the day exploring Riverfront attractions, while participating in the "Amazing Riverfront Wilmington Race." Fun begins in the Chase Center with programs and entertainment on the "Get Up and Move Stage" or play on moon bounces, slides and a jumbo obstacle course, while visiting with exhibitors at the "Back to School Fair" marketing their services and selling their products. Stroll along the river front and enjoy the attractions, grab some food and make it a day.

All and all, its a good place to visit and nice to have it as an addition on the list of children's museums in the area on your reciprocal museum membership, which I know you all have. Admission to this museum is $12 per person, kids 12 months and under are free. If you purchase a membership, you definitely save. It's $120 for a family membership for the year, or $220 for the reciprocal membership for the year, which gives you access to children's museums across the contry including the Garden State Discovery Museum, but not the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. My recommendation is to go to the Garden State Discovery Museum in New Jersey, purchase the reciprocal membership for $149 and you save $71 and this gives you access to all participating children's museums around the country including the Delaware Childrens Museum and the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.

And right now, through August and September, buy a membership at the Garden State Discovery Museum and you get 3 extra months free. So your membership is good for 15 months instead of 12.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Friday

It's Friday. 

Let's jump into some weekend fun before school days are here. And back to school seems to be a theme so let's roll with it....

1.Join the SMITH Kid's Play Place at the park for thier Back to School Party, Saturday August 21st from 10am to noon.Children 10 and under and this caregivers are invited to this FREE event, that features foam notebook, pencil case, and bookmark crafts; a hands-on demonstration on how to make healthy snacks; and lots of outdoor playtime.

2. I'm noticing a theme here. Join the Brandywine Zoo Saturday for their Back to School Blast from 10am to 3pm. Celebrate the start of the new school year with games, crafts and activites geared towards new learning opportunities.

3. Join Linvilla Orchards for their Annual Tomato and Pear Festival, Saturday from 9am to 6pm!

Join them for real pony rides, games and contests, enjoy some tunes by Makin’ Music, or play on our world-class playground. Get messy at the Tomato Toss, then enjoy some savory salsa, juice, pies, and other sweet treats in the Farm Market made from their very own tomatoes and pears!

You can pick your own tomatoes and pears from our beautiful fields. A wide variety will be available including heirloom Brandywine and Pineapple tomatoes or the unusual pear shaped Japanese Black Trifele tomato straight from the vine!

Enjoy real pony rides, hayrides throughout our beautiful orchards and fields, face painting, ice cream sundaes, and the Linvilla Grill.

Piccirillo Sciencetelling will be performing during the festival!And a Scienceteller will teach you all about the concept of matter by using the two “coolest” things in the world…dry ice and imagination.
Chef Michael Falcone from Funky 'lil Kitchen will also be performing a FREE cooking demonstration in the Linvilla Kitchen during the festival. Come learn some of his easy cooking tips featuring Linvilla's very own fresh tomatoes and pears!

4. Jam to the beats of the 60's and 70's at Norriston Farm Park's Free Concert at the Park. Flower Power Band kicks off the jams this Saturday at 6:00pm. All concerts are Free! Yep, I said Free! Just bring blankets and a lawn chair and some snacks! Sounds good to me.

5.Make it a musical weekend by visiting the Garden State Discovery Museum and rock out to the beats of Music Together with Madeline Saturday at 11am and 2pm. Join them as their favorite songstresses stop by to share their musical talents. Music Together is a time for children and their parents to make music of their own, as Madeline strums the guitar and leads a sing-along spectacular.

Don't forget to check out the free craft this weekend at the Lakeshore Learning stores nationwide, Saturday from 11am to 3pm!! Check their website for a location near you.

Join me tomorrow, I'll give you my review of the new Delaware Children's Museum and stroll by on Sunday and I'll give you a look ahead to great things to do with the family before the school grind starts up again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Treehouse Fun at the Morris Arboretum

        We love The Morris Arboretum!

Thursday, August 19th at The Morris Arboretum:

Join The Treehouse's Own Melisa Mons to sample our new

"Signing Time" Class!

Your child will have fun and learn sign language, too!!


and stay for

Miss Amy's Fitness Rock and Roll!

Miss Amy offers the perfect fusion of music, fun and fitness!



While you’re at the concert, be sure to check out Out on a Limb at the Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibit!Visitors will get a bird’s eye view of the forest from 50 feet up as they stroll along the 450-foot canopy walk. From there they can cross a Suspension Bridge to climb into an enormous Bird’s Nest, scamper onto the Squirrel Scramble’s rope-netting skirting two towering trees, or head to the top of the Wissahickon Vista platform for sweeping views.

Free with regular admission.

For more information about Morris Arboretum please click here.
Enroll by Labor Day and receive a free 10 visit card!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Target Community Night

Don't miss this one!

This is perfect to take advantage of before the summer ends...

Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 18th is Target Community Night at the Franklin Institute. Enjoy FREE membership for everything the museum has to offer, including: 

FREE access to all of The Franklin Institute’s hand-on exhibits, like Sports Challenge and The Giant Heart!

FREE tickets to the IMAX Theater!

FREE 3D Shows in The Franklin Theater!

FREE  LIVE Science Shows!

FREE Fels Planetarium Shows!

FREE access to the Joel N. Bloom Observatory!
Nice. Now only if they had free parking!
All you have to do is enter and register at the front desk, registration is open at 4pm.
Can't make this one?
 Don't fret! The next one is September 15th!
Check out their website for more information.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Groupon Alert: GYMBOREE

I would have mentioned this earlier, but we were at the beach so game on....

The deal is on!!

Get a one month membership at Gymboree for just $32! Not only do you get a one month membership, you get waived initiation fee, plus unlimited open gym attendance, a $130 deal for just $32, this is a savings of a whopping $98! Definitely worth the price.

This is an amazing deal!!

It is eligible to be used at Gymboree locations at Cherry Hill, NJ, Philadelphia, North Wales, Wilmington, DE, King of Prussia, Wynnewood, Collegville, and Lancaster!

This deal has just 4 hours left! So click here to take advantage of it and fast.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fun Friday

1. Who doesn't like Free? I'll do anything for free, well...almost anything. How about visit some of our National Parks for Free? No problem. In one of "America's best idea's yet", entrance to over 100 national parks that usually charge admission is free this weekend, August 14th and 15th. To make it an even better deal, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors on this summer’s fee free weekends with the their own special offers.

So that means in the following parks are free in New Jersey:
 Edison National Historical Site
Morristown National Historical Park.

And in Pennsylvania visit:
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Johnstown Flood National Museum
Steamtown National Historic Site
Valley Forge National Historic Site

You don't live in this area, check out their website there are still 92 National Parks on the list! Click here to check out the U.S. National parks website. Can't make it this weekend? They are offering fee-free weekends in September and November too! Nice.

2. I know I mentioned this one a couple days ago, but I didn't want you to forget. Visit the Reading Terminal Market, one of my favorite places, for the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival this weekend. Celebrate the traditions, foods, and crafts of the Pennsylvania Dutch including handmade quilts, cedar chests, and wooden toys, as well as delectable treats like homemade ice cream, donuts, fudge, and funnel cakes.

On Saturday, the market's Arch Street sidewalk is transformed into a petting zoo with sheep, goats, chickens, donkeys, calves, horses, pigs, and other farm animals. Amish buggy rides and horse-drawn wagon rides around the market are offered to all at no charge, and country and bluegrass bands round out the entertainment.   

For a fun idea, make a day of it and take the train into the city.    

George and Sophia with cousin Thomas
waiting to catch a glimpse of
Thomas and Friends at the Garden Railway.
3. Looks like our little blue friend is back and he's making his appearance at the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania.  Thomas the Train and friends will be riding the rails at the Garden Railway at the Arboretum's Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday. We saw this about a month ago, the kids loved it and so did we. The Garden railway has amazing bridges and architecture, as it makes intricate turns around and down the hills of this garden section of the arboretum! Definitely worth the trip. This weekend, the weather is supposed to be beautiful so while your there take in the sites of the arboretum such as Out on a Limb, The beautiful Rose Gardens,  The Summer Palace and much more.                 

4. Jam to the beats at The Garden State Discovery Museum's Mad Hatter's Music Jamboree Saturday August 14th at 11:00am and 3:00pm. The event formerly known as Kidsrock takes on a magical Wonderland theme this year. Special guest Larry the Hat Man, armed with a zillion chapeaus and a single guitar, blends crazy comedy and standard sing-a-longs into a show for all ages. Also watch a roaming musician, sing some karaoke and make magical crafts.

5. Don't miss The Annual Montgomery County 4H Fair at the 4H center in Creamery, Pa. Friday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 9:30pm and Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:00pm. Enjoy crafts, animals, baked goods, contests, demonstrations and much, much more! Check out their website for a fun filled schedule of events.

Looking at the Week ahead:

Free Summer Family Movies at Regal Theatres Tuesday and Wednesday.

Free Summer Family movies at Frank Theatres on Tuesday and Thursday.

Milk and Cookies variety Show on Monday and Tuesday.

Mommy and Me Morning at Kidz Rule on Wednesday's.

Bounce U in Cherry Hill, NJ is having fun some events, Tell a Joke Day and get $2 off open bounce admission on Monday August 16th and August 19th is Aviation Day, special cosmic bounce. Check out their website for more information.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Frank Theatres Summer Movie Series

Take advantage of the Summer Kids Movie Series at Frank Theatres around the country on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Movies are $1 per person, show starts at 10:00am, don't be late.

Ice Age 3 is showing tomorrow at the Montgomeryville Theatre in Lansdale.

Frank Theatres has locations around New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, so check their website for locations near you and a schedule of showings.

Wordless Wednesday: Fun at the Please Touch Museum

What was I doing last year around this time you ask?
We took one of our many trips to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.
 The kids had fun running and around exploring the exhibits.
Here are some pictures from our visit that day.

Sophia making music.

Lily pad fun.

Sophia favorite place, shopping in the market.

Daddy and George joining in on the fun.

Their beautiful carousel, always a big hit with the kids.

Day Trip

Head on over to the Reading Terminal Market from 8am to 5pm, Thursday August 12th through Sunday August 14th for their Pennsylvania Dutch Festival. Complete with traditions, foods and crafts of Pennsylvania dutch including handmade quilts, cedar chests and much more. Treat yourself to homemade ice cream, fudge, donuts and funnel cakes. Yum.

Stop on by to join the celebration on Saturday and the fun will flow out onto Arch Street right outside the market. Enjoy a petting zoo with animals from chickens and donkey's to horses and pigs, jam to the beats of country and blue grass bands and take an Amish buggy ride or horse-drawn wagon ride around the streets of the market for free.

Making it a day? Add to the excitement by taking the train into the city.
Looking for more to do this weekend, stop back on Friday and join me for Fun Friday!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kindergarten Rules.

I posted this on my other blog today, My Life in Jenga, but considering school is almost here, I had to share it on here too.

George on his first day of Pre-k.
My sons first day of preschool was traumatic, for me, not him. He was fine. I was a nervous wreck. Since I was staying home, it was really the first time I had to "leave" him somewhere. I was ready for him to cry, scream and grab onto my leg, refusing to let go. So, when he shyly yet excitedly walked in, gave me a kiss, said goodbye and took his spot on the mat without looking back, I felt lost and then separation anxiety set in, my separation anxiety.

What do I do know? Is he going to be ok?

And then, in my mind, I ran through the list of "What If's". What if he pees his pants? What if he gets picked on? What if he gets pushed? What if? What if? What if?

Lucky I had my daughter with me, who was an infant at the time, because that forced me to leave the parking lot of the preschool instead of becoming a stalker, sitting in the lot for the 2 1/2 hours while he was there. Pre shool was a great experience for my son. It taught him the stark cold reality of the real world, in 3 year old terms. He learned to pay attention to other people. Clean up time, means clean up time. He learned to hold his own on the play ground. And these days, bullies start young.

So now that he has conquered pre-school and pre-k, he is moving onto the big league, elementary school. The kids are bigger, the bullies run harder and the rules are meant to help you learn, have fun and survive. When I went to kindergarten, things were different. It was just a couple of hours a day, a couple days a week. Bullies, were just kids that butt in line. Sticking my finger in my nose was the norm. And if I could sit through story time without peeing my pants, well, that was a big success.

But that's no longer the way it goes. Kids are cruel and more is expected of him now, than ever before. But before I push him out into his first experience with elementary school, there are some things I want to him to remember.

10. Know when to be goofy. The key to being the class clown is knowing when to be funny. Put on limitless acts of goofiness and you risk becoming the class pest.

9. You may not always be the first in line and that's okay. I know "the early bird gets the worm", but I don't think this applies on the walk down the hall to the classroom to take you assigned seat.

8. No one likes a bully, not even the bully. No bully looks back and was glad he was a bully, well, not most bullies.

7. If someone pushes you, push them back. Give them a taste of their own medicine, and then tell the teacher. No one likes a tattle tale, but if you push them back, you're letting them know who's boss.

6. If someone takes your ball on the playground, take it back. Same goes for your book, scissors, glue, place in line and anything else that was rightfully yours.

5. It's okay to cry. Cry all you want at home. Crying at school is an invitation to be picked on and adds fuel to the fire.

4. Don't hold it in. If you have to go, go. No better reputation to have then the kid that pees his pants.

3. Get your finger out of your nose and pay attention. I understand there is a lot to do up there, but while your finger is shoved up your nose, that's all you think about and information goes in one ear and out the other.

2. Size Matters. Half of the CEO's in the US reach 6 feet plus. Same goes for successful athletes and politicians, lucky you are tall. Now it's what you do with that height that matters.

1. Advice from Dad, "Be the Alpha Dog". According to Urban Dictionary, the Alpha Dog, a.k.a, pimp, boss, don, hustler, baller, "is the leader of the pack that rolls several dogs deep" and "no leash can hold him back, his tail wages or no one".

Sunday, August 8, 2010


We recycle. And I'm not going to lie, the reason we recycle is my 5 year old son. I was fine with throwing everything in the trash and then last year in pre-k my son paid attention to one thing, recycling. Every time I would throw something in the trash, he would inquire, "Shouldn't we recycle that? We can make new stuff out of old stuff." So, to begin with, we started to recycle to please him and then the more we did recycled, the more I really started thinking about the stuff we throw in the trash.

Now that he's got my mind thinking and the summer his here and almost gone, my quest to do crafts with the kids, and find new things to keep them busy these last couple weeks before school is in full effect. As I go to the recycling bin, to put things away, I keep wondering what kind of crafts can I make with paper towel rolls, toilet tissue holders, milk jugs and egg cartons.

Honestly, I'm not the craftiest person.

I don't know if I lack motivation or the chaos of my daily life interferes with the thought process for me to even come up with an idea. But I search, find things to do, and carry them out, so that counts for something, right?

So, I've searched long and wide and here are the top crafts I found that use things around the house:

1. I think this idea is really cute, especially with the holidays around the corner. Making cupcake for a neighbor, family member or friend? Use the old carton crate as a cupcake holder, decorated by your kids. Let them paint, sticker and draw on the outside. If you make your own chocolates or candies, you could probably use this too. Line the spaces with cupcake liners and fill with the candy of your choice.

2. I know I did this as a kid. And I will be doing this craft this week, as my daughter would love this one. Use and old tin can, chenille stems and the egg carton to make Egg Carton Tulips! Cut out the individual cups of the carton, cut the ends into tips or scalloped edges and let your child paint, color on or even apply glitter. Poke a hole at the bottom and run your chenille stems through the bottom. Make a bouquet, gathering them together and tying with a ribbon. Or make a pot of flowers, use an empty decorated soup can or a small plastic flower pot, add some foam at the bottom and stick them through for your own flower pot.

3. This very easy craft, and it's the easy stuff that usually keeps them occupied for a while. Make Binoculars from toilet paper holders. All you need is 2 toilet paper holders and some string.Staple the two together at the top and the bottom, punch a hole in either side and attach  with some string, long enough to go around your child's neck. Your child can even decorate the binoculars if they wish. Once done, let you child roam around and see things through his new point of view!

4. A little princess of diva in your life? Make bracelets from toilet paper holders. Cut the toilet paper holder the width you want with a slit in the back for the opening. Use glitter, construction paper, markers, sequins, ribbon, stickers and whatever else you can find around the house. Let them decorate the bracelet as they wish.

5. This is something my mom always did for the kids when they were younger. Kids, especially infants and young children, love music makers. If you have any plastic jugs around the house, once empty, fill them with rice or noddles, make sure to tighten the cap securely and let the child shake, rattle and roll about. This idea is so incredibly simple and easy to do and it always them happily entertained. Just be prepared for noise!

6. I got this idea from a friend of mine who is a teacher. If your kids are anything like mine they constantly ask, "When is my birthday?" When is Christmas?" "When does school start?" They ask enough to drive it into the ground, where I can't wait until the even comes and passes so they don't ask anymore. Well, my friend suggested I take construction paper, make rings and loop them together in the amount of days until that certain event or holiday. Then number the rings and swag it in a doorway.  Then everyday, the child removes the rings and see how many days are left until the event or holiday. We did this with the pending birth of our third child, because every morning they would ask if the baby was coming today. I used blue, yellow and green construction paper decorated by the kids, and we assembled it together. It was something we could do as a family and removing a ring and seeing how many were left satisfied their inquiry and put the amount of days into a little bite more of a perspective

What are your favorite crafts to do with items found around the house?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tennis Anyone: Teens Rally For A Cause

Tennis Anyone: Teens Rally For A Cause: "On Friday, August 13th at 9:30am the Upper Gwynedd Tennis Camp with be holding The Upper Gwynedd Open Teen Tennis Tournament. This just isn't ..."

Keeping Kids Safe

No one wants to think of what could happen, but in the unfortunate event that your child is lost or abducted, and your mind goes blank, wouldn't it be nice to have a photo id. on  hand with your child's picture and statistics.

Safe Kids will be at the A & T Chevorolet in Sellersville, Pa, today from 10am to 4pm. Bring your child down to have their photo taken, receive a Free I.D. card to keep in your wallet and have your child registered with Safe Kids.

There will also be a table by United Way with information on the volunteer center, early childhood education, and The Stuff Bus, a backpack drive providing backpacks and school supplies to children who need them.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun Friday

The summer is almost over so why not get out and enjoy yourself.
Here are some fun events happening around town this weekend!

1.Does your Baby Love Disco? My baby loves Disco. Announcing the Baby Loves Disco Lemonade Tour 2010, this Saturday in Lancaster, Pa at Park City Center from 1pm to 4pm. Celebrate life, lemonade and everything in between as you and your kids rock out to an acclaimed mix of music, fun and activities for children. This is a great event to celebrate and a great way to raise money and awareness for Alex's Lemonade Stand a non profit organization devoted to finding a cure for childhood cancer. This event is Free and for ages 7 and under.

2.This one sounds like fun. Join the Philadelphia Zoo for their Sunset Safari-Pajamarama. Wear your PJs, stay up late, check out animal feeding, witness their bed time routines and then wish them all a good night. Then stop by the Impala Lawn to jam to Starfish, a New Jersey based children's music group. The Sunset Safari takes place Saturday from 4pm to 8pm and is Free with zoo admission.I wonder if their parents yell at them when they get out of bed, over and over and over again? hmmmmm......

3.I had to mention this one. This is one my daughter would love. Saturday, August 7th, Angelina Ballerina visits the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia as part of the museum's dancing days program. Are you a museum member? Attend a special meet-and-greet and  song with the PBS character at 10:00am. Sessions at 11am, noon, and 1:20pm are open to all visitors.

4.Who doesn't love a good Farmer's Market? Stroll on over to the Lansdale Farmer's Market and check out the fresh goods from local vendors. And from 10:30 to 11:30 bring the kids and enjoy story time hosted by LFM and the enjoy a craft! Fun for everyone.

5.Inspire summer reading with a craft at Lakeshore Learning Stores Nationwide. Stop on buy  Lakeshore Learning Stores nationwide on Saturday from 11am to 3pm and make a super cute book mark. Check out their website for locations near you.

6.Grrrr! Tools, wood, glue. Grrrr! Pop on over to the Home Depot for their Kids Workshops, nationwide. Get ready for school with a School Bus Pencil Organizer. The Kids workshop runs Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Can't make this one? They have one more kid's workshop scheduled before school. Join them on September 4th to make a football display. Yep. I said September, it's right around the corner! Grrrr...Make sure you call your local Home Depot to make sure they are participating before showing up! Which I am sure they are, but not everything goes as planned, even at The Home Depot!

The week ahead:
Morris Arboretum holds the WXPN Kids Corner at the Morris Arboretum Summer Concert Series Thursday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm with Miss Amy's Fitness Rock and Roll . Prior to the concert The Little Treehouse will be on hand to introduce their play cafe with discount cards and host a tot's sing a long.

We always like to watch the rowing events at Cooper River in New Jersey and next weekend August 12 to the 14th watch the US Rowing Masters National Regatta. Cooper River is home to NCAA Rowing Championship and a number of other huge rowing events that take place year round.

Don't forget Milk and Cookies Time!  Get them dancing and singing and grooving to the beat in theses weekly events for children. Mondays take place in Ardmore at the MilkBoy main stage and Tuesdays take place in Bryn Mawr at MilkBoy Acousitc. Check out their website for a schedule of events.

Join me for Fun Friday every Friday!

Do you have something to advertise that you know is happening nationwide or in your area! Leave a comment and let me know. I'll give you props along the way!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guess who's turning 10?

I can't take credit for this find,thanks to a new blog I came across through Follow me Tuesday, Student Saving Bucksbut I had to share.

Who knew Dora was almost a tween?

Help Dora celebrate her 10th birthday at Wal Marts around the country Saturday August 14th  from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

This FREE Dora event will be hosted in the toy department of Wal Mart Super Centers with bakeries. Enjoy a cupcake and bring your favorite photo to make a super cute Dora Photo Card...for FREE!

Check out Wal Mart's website for participating stores near you. And for some super great savings check out Student Saving Bucks.

Thanks Ai Mei and Happy Birthday Dora!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Boredom Busters

There is a month of summer break left and the time has flown by. I have no idea what to do with the kids for the rest of the summer. And quite frankly, hearing them say, "I'm bored!" leaves me speechless and cringing for something for them to do. It's hard to keep them completely entertained, and it's even harder to keep my son from getting roped into his video game. Every time, I search on the web for things to do this summer, or easy boredom busters, it's always thing to do at the beach. We aren't at the beach all the time and at the beach they are entertained by the sand and the water. So what are some things we can do at home? I'll give you our top ten boredom busters and after you read these, leave a comment and let me know what you like to do around the house or to break up the boredom routine.

1. Sidewalk Chalk goes a long way. I back the car out of the driveway and let the kids have their way with the concrete. A little sidewalk chalk and their very imaginative minds , go a long way. Join in on the fun and draw a hop scotch game. I often find that once I get drawing, it's hard to stop.

2. Stage a movie day/night. Rent a movie or even better check out a free one from your local library, heat up some popcorn and watch a movie with the kids. They always love this one.

3. Make pizza. Not necessarily from scratch either. You can buy already made pizza dough from your local grocer or pizzeria, and then the sauce and cheese. The kids love flipping it,  rolling it out and putting on the topping. Get creative and use some meat and veggies, most kids are almost certain to eat what they make.

4. Get a blank canvas or poster board and let your kids make artwork for their rooms. They can splash the canvas with paint brushes, or even using their hands. This one can get messy and is a great one to do outside, but usually makes a fun craft project.

5. Play board games. If you have younger kids you may have to let the rules go out the window and just have fun. But there is nothing like breaking up the monotony of the summer with family game night, my kids love memory, and trouble, but they aren't great a rules so letting go is key! And this is a great way to create life long memories and maybe a weekly/monthly family tradition.

6. Create a scavenger hunt. Write clues that send them around the house, inside and out leading them to a small prize, like stickers or small pieces of candy.

7. Make tents of out blankets. I used to do this as a kid and my sister and I had so much fun playing in our "secret hideaway", so when my kids got to the age they would enjoy this I couldn't resist. They love this one and literally keeps them entertained for hours.

8. Create a boredom box. Use an old show box or tissue box and have it decorated by your child. Put small slips of papers with activities for them to do, as easy as ride your bike, put together a puzzle, color a picture or read a book. And when they get bored have them pick an idea from the box.

9. Let your kids play photographer. My daughter loves to take pictures. So of course, supervised, I let her walk around the house or the yard with an old camera taking pictures. We download them onto the computer and print some out. She then takes construction paper and yarn and makes her own little photo book.

10. Print out pages to color. This one is easy. There are a lot of websites that have printable color pages. I have a basket that we use for these pages and when I have time, I print a couple out and add them to the basket, so they always have some to choose from. Some of the ones we use are Coloring Book Fun, Kids Color pages, and DLTK-Kids.

What are your ways to beat the summer boredom?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What dreams may come...

I had posted this on my this blog in May, but I thought with the summer here and signing our kids up for sports and activities, this would be fitting.

My husband’s sport to play, watch and breathe is baseball.
He played baseball throughout his school years and even now plays on a Sunday Softball League. So when our 5 year old was finally old enough to be signed up for t-ball, you could only imagine my husband’s excitement. And when it came time to hand out uniforms, it warmed my heart to hear him say, “I want to be number 5 like daddy”. Upon sensing George’s excitement to play, my husband enthusiastically signed up to volunteer, and who could imagine,not even himself, that he’d end up being the head coach. He researched drills and coaching practices found on blogs ironically titled, Pray for Rain.

Read more at Mama Buzz.