April showers bring May flowers…and so many fun FREE events!

May is here and as always, here are a couple fun and most free events happening in and around the Seattle area for you and your family! Enjoy!

As an animal love this event is an ongoing for the month of May…you can read with a kitty! Through the Humane Society you can sign up for 20 minute sessions if you are between the ages of 5-10 to practice reading and build your confidence and all while a little furball listens- I’m so jealous! If this is up your alley, check it out here.

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Or you could read with Rover…  Image result for reading with dogs

Looking for an activity for those who love the game of chess. How about joining this free chess club that meets on Tuesdays? Ages 7+ welcome! Detective Cookie’s Youth Chess Club  Image result for chess

 

Got an itty bitty who’s just starting to explore the world, Baby Gym on Wednesdays may be the answer you are looking for!  

Love nature and want to get outside. Toddler Time at ESC is an adventurers dream. Learn to love nature at a young age!

 

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Seahurst Park

Have a blast this May! Why not try out one of these fun activity and give yourself a little break this month?!

 

May Day Baskets to keep your cuties busy all day! Spread the love!

May is here and growing up in my house that meant May Day baskets! If you aren’t familiar with this tradition you may easily think “What?? Didn’t we just do the whole Easter basket thing?” but these baskets are just a little different…and way more fun in my opinion.Image result for may day baskets

I really didn’t know the reasons behind the baskets, I’m sure I was told when I was younger but I was too excited to make them to really stop and listen. So as I reminiscence on how much I loved this tradition as a kid, making baskets out of paper with handles stapled or taped on and filling them with flowers for the yard. Once they were filled we would sneak to a neighbor or friend who we cared about and try to hang them on the  door without being noticed. I remember the joy of every part of this silly tradition. I loved making the baskets “beautiful” by drawing on the paper before rolling it into a cone and taping it into a little basket. The adventure of finding the flowers could last for hours. The being super stealthy and doing detective work to find the perfect moment to hang the basket, what a rush! And all followed by this overwhelming pride for having put someone else first and with out reason or request. These are the memories I cherish from my Spring days growing up, a tradition lost in the wind to most.

Image result for may day baskets       Image result for may day baskets    Image result for may day baskets

This May Day, I challenge you and your cutie to deliver a basket made with no cost but the love in your heart to someone you think could use a little extra TLC today…

When you are done, send us a shout out and tell us how it went! Maybe we can start spreading the love and choking out the hate!

Happy May Day everyone! Image result for may day baskets

To learn a little more about May Day, NPR did a great article about the Forgotten Tradition. learn more here

Spring is almost here, how are you going to celebrate?

March! One of my favorites months because it’s when my favorite season arrives of course.

Hello Spring, I can’t wait to see what you bring us!

But, in case you are like me and March 20th just can’t come soon enough, here are a few ideas for you and your family to do while you pass the time.

-First off, if you missed this last month I’m here to shout it from the roof tops as an amazing way to spend a rain day in Seattle (with a few nearby cities listed as well), FREE FIRST THURSDAY. This link will take you to ParentMap which also has some awesome resources for local families and those who care for them. If you haven’t picked up one of their free magazines or found them online, I highly recommend checking it out.parentmap

THIS THURSDAY  (March 1st) IS THE 1ST OF THE MONTH!!!!! Don’t miss out on this offer, what is better than free when it comes to a day out and about?

March 2nd (This Friday) is Read across America day , better known as Dr Suess’s Birthday! Check out this link from the National Education Association for a little background on Dr. Suess and learn about having your own reading party! Image result for dr seuss birthday

-St Patrick’s Day is Saturday March 17th.

How great is that, it falls on a weekend? There are fun runs in Tacoma, Seattle, and Kirkland to get the whole family outside and active.

parade  in downtown Seattle to follow and keep the celebrating going. Don’t forget to wear your green!

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SPRING arrives March 20th, 2018! Find any reason to get out and enjoy, and no matter the weather you can be assured bright and sunny days are ahead! I’m a big fan of these urban hikes/walking trails: Lincoln ParkWeowna Park, Marymoor Park, Magnuson Park.

And when spring is in the air, so is baseball! Welcome home the Mariners vs. the Cleveland Indians for home opener March 29th, or for a Cano bobblehead March 30th!

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Hey, with all the fun plans…I dope you didn’t forget to Spring Ahead on March 11th! Change those clocks and stay keep the adventures rolling- on time!

Have a most Marvelous March!

 

 

How are you showing your love?

Valentine’s Day is almost here! How are you going to celebrate this day with your family? Still trying to come up with a plan? Here a couple fun ideas to get you started but be sure to check out Family Fun‘s Facebook page for many more ways to show and spread the love this year!

-Cut out paper hearts in different colors. Write little love notes and words of encouragement/motivation to each of your family members (have everyone do the same) between now and Valentines (next week!). During your Valentine’s dinner, pass out the notes and take turns reading them out loud together.

-Do a Valentine’s Day telephone relay. Call up a family member or friend with all the members of your family. Each member takes a turn telling the person on the other end one reason they are loved. The last person asks them to pass it on! Maybe your phone will ring by the end of the night!

-Valentine’s Day falls mid week this year, why not pick out a favorite feel good movie and enjoy some cuddles? No need to work to hard, just enjoy the gift of time.

-Make a coupon book for free back rub, night off of dishes, extra 5 minutes of story time…what ever it is that makes the receiver smile and relax is sure to be a fabulously accepted gift!

 

The answer to your burning question- What is in that giant “purse?” Only everything!!

This past week has had me wishing I was still a nanny…or that I still carried around a purse like I did then. Sure, there are perks to having a desk at work that holds most of the same things but there is nothing like being as prepared as when you’ve got your “nanny purse.” When the week faces a true Seattle weather pattern (all the things in a day), doctors appointments immediately after work,  evening community advisory meetings, and one or two speed bumps at work- a nanny purse would have been a life saver more then once! Instead, I’ve got this now…

little purse

 

Which fits about this much…

little-purse-open.jpg Which is clearly, very little of my go-to’s of the past.

What is a “nanny purse?” We’ve all seen them. The giant bag that nannies carry that isn’t a diaper bag but could (and certainly does) double as a carry on at the airport. They’ll still call it a purse. Secure closures and zippered compartments to separate “my life” from “work life,” keeping nosy kiddos at bay. It’s half the size of the kid and carries the secret to their big smiles. It’s a bag of amazing and the answer to almost any problem, although sometimes only temporarily.

I’m sure I will over look at least 2-3 items I found essential to my nanny survival but here is what I consider pretty important and so wish I had with me this week:

-The basics: ID, money, card, and coins

-Keys/Cards for work (their house key, debit card, garage door opener, etc.)

-Tissues (if kept with sealed baggy, you have a portable garbage and germ holder)

-Wipes (they can clean near anything, even your leather purse!)

-Sanitizer

-Medications: headache, tummy, allergy, eye drops

-Sunglasses

-Umbrella in a plastic sealed bag (return to bag when done using and purse won’t get wet)

-Stain stick

-deodorant

-snacks (quick energy fixes like bars or nuts)

-pen and paper (a melt down can be avoided with a little drawing time or game of tic tac toe)

-hair ties

-book (you’ll need this when waiting in carpool lines)

-gum/mints

-band aids

Oh for the days of this guy…

big purse open

 

What’s in your nanny purse? What’s the one item you can’t you leave home without? Did I forget your favorite?

 

 

Might I suggest snowmen? Inside??

Every where I look I’m seeing the signs of the season and loving it! What makes it better, in my humble opinion, is letting the little ones help out with the decorating in their own special way!

December is such a great month of crafts it’s almost hard to decide. I like to pick a theme and go from there.

Today’s theme is: SNOWMEN- when it’s cold enough for snow, why not start dreaming

Great gift for the parents or grandparents! 

NEED I SAY ANYTHING?? Love may not melt but this sure melts my heart!

gift snowman

For those who like to use a little of everything!

dolie snow man

How much fun is this, and how cute! The ideas on how to decorate this guy (or gal) is endless! I love the idea of using paint, craft sticks, pom poms, and more. Any craft that can include up to 7 items, none of which are glitter, is an A+ in my book. It allows the artist to incorporate thought and planning into their art. It also allows for many interpretations. Show your kiddo this finished product, give them the same materials, and I dare you to see what they create. Art is beyond fun, it is also window into the mind of the artist- make sure you take time to really observe.

 

Snowmen ornaments…using tealights?!?

I just think this one is cute. and how adorable to turn into a little gift for classmates or stocking stuffers for parents/siblings? Of course I also see endless possibilities for materials and outcomes which ups the fun-o-meter by quite a lot.

tealight snow man

 

Snowman for the older kiddos-  or a patient and loving adult who is willing to get messy and work on these over a little time. It’s a super way to throw a little science into the mix too. Who knew yarn, balloons and glue could do this?? Well, maybe you did but it’s always fun to see the reactions of some else as they learn the magic.

older snow man

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, check out pinterest for these and many more amazing crafts! Until the next artsy craving comes along, I think I’m off to watch me a little Frosty the Snowman! Happy crafting all!

-LS

 

Halloween crafts…time to decorate!

It’s already halfway through this spooky month that kicks off fall and a domino of holidays. I thought it’d be a fun time to share a couple super quick and easy crafts you (or your nanny) could do with your little one to get into the Halloween mood…these are kid friendly, not crafts to spark fear and nightmares.

These are some of my favorite crafts I’ve done year after year with my clients at work. Some of these do require a little more supervision (think paint or scissors) but all in all can be completed fairly independently. I find having one example done ahead of time helps little crafts understand the crafts at hand.

Spider Web– this requires some fine motor practice from little hands and a tiny bit of prep from the adults. I would do the paint in phases, this could be a multiple day projects or be used in a home “lesson”…incorporate a web hunt in the back yard, read some stories about spiders, sing itsy-bitsy spider. spider wed *Don’t forget to add the age of those hands on the back…it’s fun to watch the spider grow each year if you repeat this craft.

Mummies!– this one is super cute and gives use to those condiment jars that are almost empty after all the summer barbecues. With very few materials needed yet painting with glue!- this slightly mess is craft is hit for kids and parents alike. Who doesn’t like one more light by the door on these dark, windy nights? I recommend using the battery operated tea lights for added safety (and they won’t get blown out).

mummies

Monster – so you may notice a theme with my crafts…if it can be done with recycled products that I have laying around the house, that’s my preference. Here’s one that is fun to do during a play date or with siblings. Get all the materials out, show them the picture, and see what kind of monsters your little monsters come up with. I love seeing how creative young minds can get.

monstersI think this is also a great craft for ridding your craft drawer of tiny bits of left over materials from past projects. It doesn’t have to look like much to you, it’s what it becomes in the hands of the artist that matters!

 

 

 

 

Candy Corn handprints– If you are one of those types who look at those tiny hands and can’t imagine that they will one day be as large as yours…this one is for you! It may take a tag team effort to avoid a paint-tastraphy (one holding hand, one prepared with paper towel to immediately wipe hands). Again, this craft leans toward the side of me who likes to repeat projects and see the growth…you could even start with year one on one side and add a candy corn each year to see the side by side comparison. All too often, we look down and realize we are staring at the heart of our “little” ones, not into there eyes- the grow sooooo fast!

 candy corn

As I always recommend, Pinterest! It has endless ideas for crafts, decorating, teaching, learning…it’s an amazing tool to help any one turn a craft into a lesson, or a dream into reality!

Happy not so spooky October to you! Enjoy the changing of the seasons and all the fun of fall!

 

 

 

 

my “nothing” sunday

It’s been a really busy week for me. The time flew by and although I know I enjoyed it, it’s all a bit of a blur. I do know that I feel like today I got my feet back under me…chores are tackles, food is prepped, family time has been abundant. I love a good Sunday with “nothing” on the books!

My nothing started with a cup of coffee and cuddles with the cat. Which quickly was joined by the husband and the morning football games (we’ve got the red zone and a surface that bridges what might be missed by only one TV). As I felt the caffeine kicking in I was able to persuade my man to head to the store with me and get the last items needed for the week-went far better then anticipated. Home by noon.

In my need to pile as much into as small a time frame as possible, I got the Sunday brunch of home made biscuits and gravy going, prep for a soup to simmer, transfer now frozen pineapple into the smoothie container, hard boil eggs, and start the laundry…ALL before kickoff!!

I’ve got lunches and dinners for days, a clean bed to retire to, a happy husband and self (Thanks for a crazy game Seahawks), an empty sink…I think it’s time for a little me time! A really long and hot shower, my favorite bands playing in the background, and a evening of relaxing feeling set for the week.

I call today my “tornado” day…my one day a week where I go nuts, start as many projects as I feel confident I can complete before bed and just check of my to do list like I’m leaving town for weeks. When those long work days hit, and traffic slows my progress, I’m going to go home guilt free, slip into my cozy sweats and be grateful I was given time on the weekend to be lazy during the week…or at least have plan b and c in line to ward off stress!

 

What’s happening in Seattle this October…

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A new month of fun is upon us! Thankfully the weather is being somewhat cooperative so here’s my list of just a few of the fun things going on in the Seattle area.

Corn Maze! Fun at any age and a great way to practice those team building skills. Go as a family during the day or get a sitter and make a date night of spooky fun for just the grown ups!

Bob’s Corn Maze : Pumpkin patch, corn maze, fire pits, cow train, apple cannons and more!

bob 2

 

Carpinito Brothers: Pumpkin Patch, corn maze, hay rides and snacks! Carpinito

Haunted Houses: Need I say more?

Georgetown Morgue: Open Thursdays-Sundays all October, VIP tickets available to skip lines, great food/bar scene in the neighborhood for after! GT morgue

 

Nightmare at Beaver Lake: An indoor/outdoor experience, the largest in Seattle area!beaver lake

 

Other not so scary events:

Issaquah Salmon Days: Carnival, music, and a parade?!? This sounds like too much family fun. Check it out October 7th and 8th! Great event on the eastside!

Costume Carnival : Another family friendly and probably pretty adorable activity to end the month with. CC

Heard of any other awesome events?? Share it here!