Spread the ♥ LOVE ♥ Saturdays!

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 Spreading love, one amazing blogger at a time!


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There are so many amazing and wonderful blogs and bloggers around on the internet, people who inspire me on the regular and teach me new things everyday.

The connectedness that exists through social media allows such an amazing platform for idea sharing and discussion, and has been a gold mine for me in regards to early learning and the birth of Mommy School.

To show my appreciation and gratitude, I plan to highlight an awesome blog each Saturday, in hopes that others will read and draw from these amazing people some inspiration of their own!

 


 

This week I have chosen Kristina from Toddler Approved ~ she is one of the earliest bloggers I stumbled upon in web searches for activities to do with my littles. And when I was contemplating a blog of my own, I was inspired by her great ideas, enthusiasm for children’s literature and allowing her kids create (even if it means messy!). And she also has 3 kids….so there’s a certain kinship there too 😉

 


 

Previous Love:

Postcards from the Mothership

No Time for Flash Cards

Bandmaster Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!

Our second visit was to BANDMASTER PARK

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Location: 230 Mistral Way in Stittsville – a cute island of fun tucked within the Mattamy homes development. Lots of street parking available, however being a newer area there is not much in the way of shade, so bring an umbrella!

Featuring: A garden of giant flower sprayers that dump varying amounts of water into the center.

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and a few smaller fountains and sprayers.

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How to turn the water on: By placing your hand on the black sensor button on top of the green post.

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Most Favourite: The smaller fountains, which are perfect for splashing and filling buckets, especially for the younger (or more timid) crowd!

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Least Favourite: The distance to the playground {although I’m sure this was intentional in its design} makes it impossible to enjoy both areas simultaneously, which is our usual preference.

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Verdict: ∗∗∗∗ {4 out of 5 stars}

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Andrew Haydon Park

Cooking with Kids: Rhubarb

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I love baking with my kiddos! Yes, it’s messy and makes WAY more dishes than if I just do it myself, but their excitement for the process and pride in the finished product is TOTALLY worth it!

This week, the weeds in our yard are out of control, and that means our rhubarb plants are also growing wild!!

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And so, while Baby Girl took a much needed nap we headed out for some fresh air with scissors in hand {and a bowl of sugar on the ready!}, off to harvest us some rhubarb!

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And by harvest, I mostly mean coat the stuff in sugar and eat it raw!

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Once we had had our fill we headed inside to wash and cut up our rhubarb so we could get to baking!

Turns out cutting rhubarb doubles as an awesome fine motor activity, allowing for cutting practice and proper scissor holding reminders, as well as working on developing some fine motor strength!

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And here’s what we made with our yields:

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~Rhubarb Lemonade~

A few weeks back we had some rhubarb lemonade at a local Farmer’s Market and we all LOVED it! So when I came across this recipe I knew it was one we had to try!

I began by making and straining the rhubarb syrup, by boiling rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon. {We saved the pulp that we had after straining and added it to our muffin recipe (see below)!}

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Then using our favourite homemade lemonade recipe, I had the kids help me squeeze the lemons and mix in the sugar and water.

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We split the syrup between the 2 pitchers of lemonade we made and the result was delicious!

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 ~Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins~

Next up, at Little Momma’s request, were some yummy Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins.

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When I do baking with the kids, I like to have everything out and ready to be poured and mixed. While this does create a lot more dishes, I enjoy the freedom it gives the kids to really be involved and hands-on in the process.

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Recipes with 2 or more eggs are our favourite, seeing as cracking the egg is everyone’s favourite part! Just be sure to use a separate bowl, since shell pieces are frequent, and easier to pick out pre-batter!

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Then the kids took turns mixing in all of the ingredients one by one, before scooping into the muffin tin. I always use an ice cream scoop for our muffins. Perfect size and helps to minimize drips!

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Sprinkling (and sampling) the cinnamon/sugar topping was a close second favourite to egg-cracking with this recipe!

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And voilà – snack is served! And boy was it tasty!

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Happy Sign-Off Sunday!

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 Every Sunday our family goes screen free, in an attempt to tune OUT some of the noise and be present IN the moment with the amazing people in our lives!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday! 

Enjoy a magical day with the awesome people in your life ♥

Spread the ♥LOVE♥ Saturdays!

Standard

 Spreading love, one amazing blogger at a time!


valentines

There are so many amazing and wonderful blogs and bloggers around on the internet, people who inspire me on the regular and teach me new things everyday.

The connectedness that exists through social media allows such an amazing platform for idea sharing and discussion, and has been a gold mine for me in regards to early learning and the birth of Mommy School.

To show my appreciation and gratitude, I plan to highlight an awesome blog each Saturday, in hopes that others will read and draw from these amazing people some inspiration of their own!


 

This week I have chosen Dani from Postcards from the Mothership ~ hers was one of the first local blogs I read and admired and her beautiful pics in her posts are captivating and inspiring!

 


 

Previous Love:

No Time for Flash Cards

Fairy Tale Week ~ The Gingerbread Man

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Our third fairy tale adventure was The Gingerbread Man.

I love this one for read alouds to littles, the repetition allows for lots of fun chanting together!

Skip Counting

Using a baking sheet, some magnetic numbers and mini-gingerbread cookies, we arranged the cookies by 2’s and counted by 2’s to 10. Being able to manipulate both the numbers and the cookies helped Little Momma and Mr Man to understand the concrete meaning of 2.

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Body Awareness

Draw and label the body parts of a gingerbread man (or lady!) – head, arms, body and legs. {We also ate the corresponding part on our cookies for reinforcement  ;)}.

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Then we had fun singing some of our favourite body awareness, action songs!

  • Head and Shoulders

  • Hokey Pokey

  • Tony Chesnut

  • Button Factory Joe

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The -an Word Family

Word families or rhyming words are great for developing pre- and early- reading strategies. I  printed all of the 3-letter -an words on gingerbread man cut-outs, then using our  letter magnets we found a and n, I would then ask Little Momma to find the corresponding letter for each of the words. After reading only 2 or 3 together, she was able to string the letters together and read each of the words independently!

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Gingerbread Playdough Activity

Using gingerbread playdough, which we made by adding ginger and brown food colouring to our  favourite playdough recipe, and rolling pins, cookie cutters, cookie sheets and some decorating materials (googly eyes, beads, pipe cleaners), the littles were invited to create their very own gingerbread peeps! Weren’t they sweet??

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“Catch the Gingerbread Man” Obstacle Course

I set-up a simple obstacle circuit for the littles, including a gingerbread cookie prize upon completion.

Our course consisted of:

  • throwing a football through the swing

  • jumping inside of  2 hula hoops

  • putting a golf ball into a hole

  • hitting a “homerun”

  • throwing a yoga ball into the baby pool

  • kicking the soccer ball through the pylons

  • and sliding down the little slide

It was simple for the kids to complete each task, but combining them and having them complete a few circuits and they were {finally!} beginning to slow down {a small miracle in our world!}.

Also, they chose to dress as a horse and a fox before we went outside, apparently the success rate for catching the elusive Gingerbread Man is better in costume!!

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Bubble Painting a Gingerbread Cut-out

Bubbles have been a big hit around here recently and so I thought we could paint a gingerbread man using bubbles.

It’s really quite easy and worked well; you pour your bubbles into a small, easy for wand-dipping container (we used a popsicle mold, which allowed for some variety in colours) and add a few drops of desired colour (liquid food colouring) to each compartment. Then have the children dip their wands and blow bubbles onto the sheet of paper. I opted to use cardstock , as I wasn’t sure how wet the papers would get and wanted them to hold up well.

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 And there you have our Mommy School adventures with the Gingerbread Man!

A related tale we also read and loved:

The Gingerbread Cowboy – a cute Western take on the original tale {especially well received when Daddy it in a John Wayne voice!!}.

Have you read this fairy tale yet? Do you have any other activities to add? Would love to hear and see what you’ve been up to! 

Andrew Haydon Park: Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


Our first week brought us to ANDREW HAYDON PARK SPLASH PAD

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Location: 3127 Carling Avenue – Just East of Andrew Hayden Park and backing onto the Ottawa River, this splash pad had lots of room to roam. It featured lots of mature trees with many shady spots, picnic tables, benches, adjacent bathrooms and a parking lot.

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Featuring: There were 3 main water attractions housed in the sandy playground, definitely not your typical splash pad per se, but lots of opportunity for water play. There were also a couple of springy ride-on toys and a small boat structure, perfect for containing the likes of Baby Girl!

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1. The Pirate Ship

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A wonderful structure with lots of opportunity to climb, crawl, dig and play!

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And the old school metal slide keeps from burning bums with a steady slow stream of water that trickles down.

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…leaving a perfect puddle for splashing at the bottom!

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2. Water Run

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Children can explore the flow of water as it moves from the tap up top down various paths. My kids were a bit young for this one, but enjoyed watching the bigger kids climb to the top and pour buckets of water down the little rivers!

3. Water Wheel

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Here water runs out from a shower head propelling a water wheel into motion and then flowing down the various channels.

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How to turn the water on:  Each structure had a button with a bolt lock to keep it held down. These were already all turned on when we arrived, but could easily be switched over.

Most Favourite: The water slide off of the pirate ship was by far the most loved of the attractions.

Least Favourite: Many of the water channels had been blocked up with sand by previous users, which made them difficult to use (and 2 year olds lack the patience necessary for constant sand removal prior to play!).

Verdict: ∗∗∗ {3 out of 5 stars}

Sign-Off Sundays

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 Every Sunday our family goes screen free, in an attempt to tune OUT some of the noise and be present IN the moment with the amazing people in our lives!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday and a Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddies out there, too!

Enjoy an amazing day with the amazing people in your life ♥

 

Spread the ♥LOVE♥ Saturdays!

Standard

 

 Spreading love, one amazing blogger at a time!


valentines

There are so many amazing and wonderful blogs and bloggers around on the internet, people who inspire me on the regular and teach me new things everyday.

The connectedness that exists through social media allows such an amazing platform for idea sharing and discussion, and has been a gold mine for me in regards to early learning and the birth of Mommy School.

To show my appreciation and gratitude, I plan to highlight an awesome blog each Saturday, in hopes that others will read and draw from these amazing people some inspiration of their own!

 

First up, Allison McDonald of No Time for Flashcards  

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I stumbled upon her site back when I was teaching Grade 1/2 and looking for activities that were more hands-on, that relied less on textbooks and worksheets.

I have since returned frequently and always love her activities and adore that she doesn’t hold back in fear of getting messy {clearly a woman after my own heart!}! 

Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂