Thankful for Precious Moments in Disguise: Turkey Day with My Little Girl!

My four year old smiled saying, “I want to disguise my turkey as Princess Poppy!” Last week, my daughter’s preschool teacher assigned a special Thanksgiving project to the class: disguise the turkey who fears being eaten for Thanksgiving.  The instructions encouraged family involvement, which was fine by me, especially since I love doing crafts. We discussed exactly how Quinn wanted her turkey to look, rounded up the supplies, most that we already had since I am a crafter, and got to work!

It brought back memories of before Quinn was in preschool and was home with her father and me. We would do fun projects all the time. Though we still do them now, it is not as frequent as it once was. When we finished the project, Quinn said, “Thank you so much for helping me, Mommy!” Our turkey looks just like Poppy! She was so excited to show Princess Poppy, the turkey, to her teacher and friends and even asked me to take her picture once all of the disguised turkeys were on display.

Since I teach college courses, the last couple of months in the semester get hectic, and it is difficult to carve out the extra time to just do a fun activity and enjoy each other’s company. Even knowing that this is my first blog entry for this month is a reminder that time gets away from us all, so it’s moments like this that are so precious to me.  I am grateful to have Quinn in my life and am glad for this memorable moment in disguise.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

All the best,

Tanya

 

My Little Pumpkin at the Patch: Fun at Shadybrook Farm

Though she struggled and let out a little grunt, my daughter’s eyes were filled with joy as she attempted to carry her huge pumpkin she selected with her daddy. After searching for about fifteen minutes or so, she beamed and said, “That’s the one I want!” It sure was a big one, much larger than the ones she’s selected in the past few years. Since Quinn was one years old we’ve been taking her to Shadybrook Farm to pick out a special pumpkin to decorate and to have a little autumn fun. It’s now a four year tradition we all look forward to doing, and yesterday was no different.

Even though there was major overcast and cloud coverage, the weather was perfect: not too cold and not too hot with the sun peeking through the clouds on occasion. We enjoyed the hayride, and this year Quinn eagerly navigated through the pumpkin patch with a pep in her step alongside her dad, nana and me not too far behind her. After selecting her pumpkin, we enjoyed some treats, did many of the activities and headed home ready to decorate our pumpkins.

Yes, we could have simply went to the local grocery store to get a pumpkin, but having this family tradition and experiencing family togetherness is definitely a better and far more memorable experience.

If you live in the Philadelphia area near or in Bucks County, I urge you to consider taking your family to Shadybrook Farm to not only pick your pumpkins but your apples too at a nominal fee. We actually paid half priced by bringing in non-perishable canned goods. There’s so much to do for children and adults of all ages. I’m sure you’ll have a great time just like my family does every year.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Little Scientist: Never Too Young for STEM

She put on her white lab coat and selected the experiment she wanted to conduct. I assisted her with arranging the items needed, and she then smiled and said, “I have to out on my science glasses for safety before we get started!” We first saw the “Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set (12 pieces)” in the Franklin Institute Gift Shop, and my four year old just had to have it. The price was $30, but upon checking through Amazon.com, I saw that I could get it for just $18.11. Though there were some tears shed and a fit or two had, I eventually convinced my daughter that it was better for us to order through Amazon so that we could save some money and have a little left over to get the lab coat too. 

Quinn loves doing projects, activities and games, especially STEM related ones. Though I have a Liberal Arts background, I too enjoy these projects and was just as eager for the package to arrive. The kit is for children as young as three, but I must say that some adults could benefit and have fun from these science experiments that are not all that time consuming and require items that most people already have in their household.

Though my little girl is not writing as yet, we were able to discuss what she thought would happen before starting a project. I even taught her the word: hypothesis. We enjoyed doing the primary color experiment together, and days later she still talks about the primary and secondary colors and how red and blue make purple. Quinn’s Nana thoroughly enjoyed doing the volcano experiment with her so much that they did it two times.

Some of the other experiments involve learning about how plants sprout from seeds, examining different insects and determining what sinks and floats, and we’re both looking forward to doing them too. I was so impressed by the twelve piece kit that I ordered the Learning Resources Primary Science Deluxe Lab Set, 45 Piece set so that we can do more experiments in the weeks to come.

These experiments remind me of how much I enjoyed going to science class in grade school and how I wish these at home kits existed when I was younger. Of course, there’s no absolute science to raising children and making sure they have a perfect childhood and have a solid foundation for learning, but I’m so grateful to be creating these memories with my daughter and hope they stay with her for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

Winter Fun in the Summer at the Philadelphia Zoo

 

“Can we go down the snow slide again, Mommy?” my daughter pleaded. A couple of weeks ago, she had a playdate with her friend from school at the Philadelphia Zoo. Even though I have a membership, somehow I didn’t know about the fun interactive winter exhibit that’s absolutely perfect during these hot summer days. We actually stumbled upon it while looking for Bear Country and to see the flamingos and couldn’t resist getting a feel of the snow in the the summer.

Even though there is an additional fee on top of general admission or a membership (which Alison, the mother of Quinn’s friend kindly covered), it was well worth it. The girls had so much fun. Actually, we all did! They excitedly went up the long and steep staircase several times trying to help carry their snow tubes to slide down “the Snow Leopard Slope, a 120-foot-long, 20-foot-high, snow-covered incline.” They made little snowballs to throw at the targets, made a couple of snow castles and slid around trying to maintain their balance as they climbed the little snow mountains. It’s good that we found the winter at the zoo area after seeing most of the animals because getting the girls to leave this area was no easy feat.

If you haven’t been to the zoo in a while, just would like to go again or want to do an outdoor activity and still keep cool, take advantage of Winter at the Philadelphia Zoo. It’s. fun for both children and adults alike. I’m tempted to take Quinn back before it ends on August 20th so that I can go down the slope a few more times too.

All the best,

Tanya

Splishing & Splashing: Backyard Fun in the Summer

“You want to get in too, Mommy?” my little girl asked as she splashed around in her brand new wading pool. “No, I think I’m too big, honey,” I informed her. With a smile, she quickly slid over telling me, “There’s plenty of room for you right here, Mommy!”

When I was a little girl, I loved getting in the wading pool with my sister. We’d sometimes be in there for hours until we were shriveled up like prunes. “Look at me, I’m swimming, Mommy!” Quinn excitedly told me as she got down low and stroked her arms in the water.

Watching her brought back so many wonderful memories and also reminded me that while going to a water park or a large pool can be fun, sometimes it’s nice to have a little fun together right in our own back yard.

All the best,

Tanya

Kick it up a Notch: Mommy’s Little Karate Kid!

With her legs moving quickly and some rhythmic arm movements, my little girl implored me, “Check out my karate moves, Mommy!” For the past year, Quinn’s been taking dance at The Little Gym but has been asking about taking karate for months. So when I saw that it was being offered this summer, I thought, “Why not?” Her dance class was all girls, which was fine, but I wasn’t too sure if she would be the only girl in her karate class and if the boys would be a little too rough for her since the age range was from four to six, meaning that she would be one of the youngest having just turned four nearly two months ago.

Last Wednesday was her very first class, and the anticipation was building for the both of us. She was excited to wear her karategi, and I, being the proud mommy, was excited to take pictures and offer praise. As we waited for class to start, I was pleasantly surprised to see that her karate class was a nice mix of boys and girls, and Quinn was able to hold her own even with some of the boys who were a bit rough at times. The Little Gym offers a good balance of instruction and fun as my daughter learns to “block, kick, and punch her way through this positive, noncompetitive twist on the ancient martial art.”

After class ended, Quinn came out smiling, “Did you see me, Mommy?” I responded, “Yes, I saw you, sweetheart.” Though I knew the answer, I asked, “Did you have fun?” “Yes, I had a lot of fun! I can’t wait to show Daddy some of my karate moves I learned.” I always get a “kick” out of seeing my daughter not just learn something new but to have fun along the way.

All the best,

Tanya