Tag Archives: Business

Creating Crayons

It was one of those mornings.  You know the type, where the boys were up way before the sun.  So, after pulling out all the tricks in the box by 9, it was time for some sort of project to keep those little hands busy and minds occupied.

Looking at the box of broken crayons, an idea came to me.  Eureka, I found it!  Why not let them play with crayons in a way they hadn’t before.  So, like casting out bait to catch a fish, I asked them if they wanted to make crayons.  C grunted and B while bouncing up and down, shouted yes.  The bait worked.IMG_4217

I let them start to try to peel the wrappers off of them.  This task caused more frustration than fun, so I started thinking of other ways to do it.  I thought about soaking them.  A blog post by TimeForPlay assured me that it would work.IMG_4218

After a few minutes of soaking fun – the wrappers magically came off of the crayons.  So, it was onto the next step.  Taking them out of the water.  Both C & B loved this bit of sensory fun.  You should have seen their faces when they discovered that little bits of crayon had decorated their hands.  Pure amusement! It was like Crayon magic.IMG_4220

Then, B lined a mini-muffin tin.  Thank you OurBestBites for the idea.   The boys placed the crayons in the muffin-tins. And, we were well on our way.IMG_4229

After sitting in an oven warmed to 200 degrees, the crayon bits melted.  They cooled.  Such neat little —–crayon masterpieces!  Now, these artistic are B&Cs favorites for making masterpieces of their own.IMG_4239

Mother Nature’s Toy Store

photo(4)

Everyday, my boys and I check out a house that’s being built at the end of our street.  With diggers, cement mixers and tons of interesting gadgets, the site provides an endless source of entertainment and learning.

So, I came up with this idea that the boys could have their own “construction zone” at our house.  We gathered rocks, small pieces of brick and sticks.  The boys picked out a construction zone where they wanted to build.  Then, since the ground was a bit hard, I dumped out a bag of potting soil.  They’ve since spent hours building with these materials.  Putting their diggers to use, they’ve moved things around bit by bit.

With their imaginations running wild, Bobby started singing the Bob the Builder song, CJ hummed along.  Their sweet song was music to my ears.  Pure mommy bliss.

With two active boys, I’ve learned that the best toys are practically free.  More than anything, they’d prefer to play with sticks and rocks than nearly anything else.  It’s amazing how much they enjoy mother nature’s toys!  So the next time your wee ones want to hit the toystore, think about hitting mother nature’s toystore.

Sink or Float

With the summer heat comes extra time to spend outside, of course incorporating water as much as possible.  But there is only so long that a baby pool, water table and sprinklers will capture the attention of my boys.  So, I’ve been coming up with some fun games to prolong the fun.  We’ve done all sorts of things from building ramps between the water table and pool to practicing to fish.

But one game has stood the test of time around here.  We call it sink or float.  Wanna play? Here’s how.  First, we went on a hunt for objects around the yard.  CJ pulled a little red wagon which not only kept him engaged but also proved to be most photohelpful. Then both boys picked up various objects like rocks, leaves, moss – oh and their favorite — sticks.

Once all items were collected, we went to go test out to discover which ones would sink or float.  Before putting an item in the water, Bobby would guess whether it would sink or float.  Then he or CJ would toss it in (or slide it down the ramp). To build a ramp, just get some handy dandy hotwheels track.

You should have heard the cheers when Bobby’s guess was right.  Not only does this simple game provide loads of fun, but it also is an easy way to start talking about buoyancy .

Now, my boys are trained so that when they see the baby pool they start searching for materials to test out in it.

Bobby’s Banana Crunch Bliss

ice cream!My Bobby is quite a little chef. He’s always adding things to traditional recipes, like chamomile tea to banana bread. If you’ve been following my blog, then Bobby’s creativity isn’t new to you as I detailed the chamomile tea incident in my Mommy Manifesto post.

In any event, the recent weather has been another excuse to challenge Bobby’s creativity. It’s been hot out here in Sonoma. The 90 degree days mean something other than breaking out the kiddie pool. They also mean it’s time to break out the ice cream maker. Last year, I experimented with basic vanilla and chocolate creams. This year, I’m doing something different.

That difference is that Bobby is now in charge of picking the flavors. Our first batch of the season was banana cream ice cream. For our second batch, Bobby wanted to add ice cream cones and other goodies to the mix. So, we made a new flavor which we call banana crunch bliss. Basically it was the banana base plus a bunch of delicious toppings – sugar cones, marshmallows and chocolate shavings. Sound good? You can make it too!

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 super ripe room temp bananas
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • mixings ( 1/2 cup marshmallows, 3 mashed sugar cones, 1/4 c chocolate shavings)

Mix the eggs with a fork for a bit. Slowly add the sugar. Mix until blended. Add the cream and milk. Chill the mixture for a few hours. Then, freeze per the instructions of your ice cream maker. Mash the bananas. Do this right before you add them to the mix otherwise they’ll brown. After the ice cream firms, add the bananas, then the toppings. If too soft, then freeze.

If you’re like my boys, then this batch won’t last long in your freezer. So, get ready to get creative with the next one!

this recipe is adapted from the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cookbook.

20130626-191204.jpg

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish — Go Fish

There comes a time in every young boy’s life when he wants to try to catch something.  Sometimes it’s a bug, other times it’s a leprechaun, but more recently my young boy, Bobby, has been talking about catching a fish. fish So, after much debate about what the first experience should be like whether it should be out at a pond, or part of a camping trip, my husband and I decided to take the easy option.  We went to a trout farm to go fishing.   A trout farm provides a pretty fool proof way of providing a successful first fishing experience.  In fact, it seems pretty impossible not to catch a fish.

So, off we went to Hagemann Ranch in Bodega Bay.   This place is worth the drive.  Boasting two ponds, docks and little nooks and crannies, it was perfect.  Add to that, the convenience of rentable fishing poles and license free fishing, it’s the ideal destination for first time fisherman (and parents too).

So, we rented three poles, bought some worms and were off to fish. As we walked down to the pond, I was a little skeptical and wondering how long it would take Bobby to catch a fish.  Within minutes, Bobby had picked a little spot near the water.   Daddy cast the line, it was game time.  But before I could even start thinking twice about how long it would take and before any other poles were baited up and cast, Bobby had caught a fish.  Squealing with joy, he danced up and down as he saw his prize.  His little brother, CJ, celebrated by pointing and grunting.  Success!

Then, it was time to cast again.  Cast after cast, Bobby caught fish after fish.  Within a half hour, he caught 5 fish.  I never thought I would hope the experience would take longer.  So, we packed up, and had them clean the fish.  On the way out, the boys enjoyed some gummy worms.  Bobby laughed as he pretended to be a fish eating the worms.  It could have been the sugar, who knows, but the little gummy worm fish dance was priceless.

With time to spare, we ventured into a neighboring town to grab some homemade ice cream at Screamin Mimi’s .  For you locals out there, this place is worth a stop.  From the festive decor to the mouthwatering treats, it’s a delight.  I highly recommend the Mimi’s Mud, which is coffee ice cream blended with fudge and cookie love.   Total bliss!

After loading up on sugar, we brought our fish home, stuffed them with rosemary and grilled them over charcoal.  Of course, we let Bobby relive his first “fish story” and tell us all about how he caught fish after fish after fish.  The perfect ending to a (nearly) perfect day.