Autumn “Leaves” Fun Chores for My Little Girl!

“This is the best chore of the day, Mommy,” my five year old excitedly told me. It’s that time of the year where autumn is in full swing. Trees display beautiful leaves in hues of red, yellow and orange that we all gaze at and admire. Unfortunately, those very leaves eventually fall to the ground leaving behind that dreaded chore for many adults to continuously rake them all up for the next month or longer, depending on how many of these beautiful trees surround their homes.

I actually don’t mind it so much because I often daydream about when I was younger jumping in the leaves or just making that crunchy sound as I walked down the street stepping on leaves. My daughter has the same love for nature that I have. This morning, after getting home from my kickboxing workout, the sun was shining, and the leaves covered most of our grass and portions of our sidewalk, so I figured that I’d get a little more exercise by raking the leaves.

Automatically, Quinn said, “I want to help too, Mommy! I love raking the leaves!” My sweet girl has been helping since she was just one years old, and each year, she gets better and better. We made it a family activity along with her dad and spent about an hour outside clearing the colorful leaves. She even wanted to hold onto some of the leaves so that she could identify what trees they came from.

I love how we can have fun doing chores and truly enjoy each other’s company. These are the colorful moments we share together, and I will always cherish them.

All the best,

Tanya

Halloween & Fall Fun with My Little Girl 

I’ve always loved the fall season, and not just because my birthday is in October but because there’s so many wonderful activities and ways to have family fun. Last year, I did many activities with my little girl, and now that she’s three and in preschool during the week, she’s even more eager to have some autumn weekend fun. I didn’t want this season to go by without taking out some time to reflect on this fall and Halloween season.

Usually, I’d post separate entries on our adventures, but our new and very busy schedule has been an ongoing transition for us both. But I could not allow this season to go by without acknowledging all of the fun moments we’ve been having together.

This year, we kept with tradition, and my husband, Quinn and I went to a local pumpkin patch, Shadybrook Farms, to select pumpkins to decorate and to have some fun doing the different activities. Though it did rain a little, it was awesome seeing how much more involved she was in the pumpkin selecting process. She was so excited to get home and work on her pumpkin. Since Quinn loves Paw Patrol, we made a Marshall pumpkin, and it was actually quite effortless with the help of a kit from Target.

For the first time, we were able to attend the Harvest Festival in our township where there were hayrides, bouncers, face painting, treats and other activities. Though many of the bouncers were geared towards older children ,which was a bit frustrating for my little girl, especially since she wanted to follow behind her older cousin, she really enjoyed having her face painted like Hello Kitty.

While it does not involve what adults would be considered a “fun” activity, Quinn had a blast helping my husband and me rake leaves. Of course, she insisted on jumping in them after she helped rake a big pile of them together. Her laugh is absolutely infectious!

We couldn’t have Halloween and fall fun without visiting Quinn’s favorite amusement park, Sesame Place. We planned on attending last Saturday, but it was rained off and on all day. Though I had tons of papers to grade on Sunday, I carved out a few hours to take Quinn there so that she could see the Halloween version of the Sesame Place parade. We sat and waited on the parade route for over an hour to ensure that we had a good spot (it was already packed with people waiting). Just to see my little girl’s face light up with excitement made the wait well worth it.

Another “first” was attending the Halloween party at our local library for children five and under last Monday, October 24th. Even “Llama Llama, Red Pajama” stopped by to entertain the children. It was far more crowded than I anticipated, approximately 50 kids, but Quinn thoroughly enjoyed herself and didn’t want to leave. She’s always liked going to the library, but she now associates it with a fun-filled time.

This makes the third year in a row that we’ve attended the “Boo at the Zoo” event at the Philadelphia Zoo, and as always, it did not disappoint. Though I did not have Quinn wear her actual Halloween costume for fear of it getting dirty (It’s all white), she and my niece, who accompanied us, had a great time trick or treating, learning interesting facts, riding a few animals and seeing some of the animals as well. Plus, it’s always fun to see all of the children in their costumes.

Even though I haven’t been posting as frequently as I usually do, I am grateful for the moments I’m creating with my daughter. I love her so much and truly do enjoy our time together as a family. Here’s to autumn and Halloween fun! My fingers are crossed for good trick or treating weather tomorrow.

All the best,

Tanya

 

 

Autumn Fun with My Little One (Part Five) Let’s Make Like a Tree and Leave, Leaves!

Quinn Loves Raking Leaves

                                 Quinn Loves Raking Leaves

All this week, I’ve been posting blog entries about the autumn fun my two year daughter and I have had thus far this season. While going to a pumpkin patch, the zoo for a little trick-or-treating and putting on a festive Halloween outfit have all been fun; there’s one activity we just did that may not necessarily be delightful for adults but certainly is for most young children. It can be labor intensive and sometimes feel never-ending for some adults; it’s raking leaves! Yesterday, as we were returning from The Little Gym, and going up the steps to our home, my daughter turned to me and said, “Look at all these leaves, Mommy! We have to clean up all these leaves! Please!” Wow, now that is delightful: a child who is eager to help do a chore. I promised Quinn that we’d clean up the leaves today when I got home from work, and she was elated. It actually was the perfect day for raking leaves: a comfortable 77 degree autumn day. While I had the big rake, Quinn had her little rake helping to build up the pile of leaves. “Oh boy; that’s a huge pile of leaves,” she said with jubilation as she got ready to jump in the leaves. Unlike last year, when she threw the leaves everywhere, she actually tried to keep them all in the pile together. After about an hour, she was ready to call it a day, but she had a great time. When my husband came out on the porch to see how she was doing, with a big smile on her face, she screamed out, “Daddy, I was working! Look at all those leaves in the huge pile!”

Let’s hope this activity continues to be fun as Quinn gets older and that she holds on to that excitement when she rakes up that “huge” pile of leaves.

All the best,

Tanya

Just a Sprinkle Left of Summer Fun with My Little Girl!

Quinn on her favorite ride: the carousel (or horsey ride as she likes to call it)

Quinn on her favorite ride: the carousel (or horsey ride as she likes to call it)

Fun in the sun, giggling and being silly while splashing in the water or riding on the carousel at Sesame Place, enjoying daily trips to the park and the zoo: alas there’s just a sprinkle left of summer, but the fun was just beginning! Three weeks ago, my summer break ended, and while I am extremely grateful to have had so much free time to be with my daughter, I already miss it. Though I love how she is maturing and don’t want the time to fly by too quickly, I find myself longing for the next summer break when she’s just one year older and can do even more than she can at two. In the meantime, I’ll hold on to the summer memories we’ve created in 2015 and welcome the cool breeze of autumn as we play in the park or visit the zoo. I look forward to the colorful leaves that beg to be trampled on or tossed in the air by Quinn so they can crunch loudly or flutter about and make her squeal with delight. I invite the picturesque scenes  that will surely captivate her as we go on a hayride or to a pumpkin patch or are simply playing in the front yard. Here’s to a great summer and an even better autumn!

All the best,

Tanya

It’s a Real Zoo Out There! Fun Activities for Toddlers

Quinn and the Lion

Quinn and the Lion

My little two year old has always been fascinated with animals. She loves to mimic their sounds and look at pictures of them, so of course one of her favorite outings is going to the zoo. What a wonderful way for her to learn and even develop her vocabulary by telling me what she sees and for me to engage her even further by asking questions and telling her what I see too. Since the weather has been nice, we’ve been able to take advantage of our membership to the Philadelphia Zoo and visit once and sometimes twice a week for the past few months. While one may think going to the zoo this frequently would become boring, it does not because it just one more way for me to not only bond with my little girl but to observe how much she has learned and grown. I am amazed at how she is able to retain the names of the animals and some of the little facts we have learned along the way. For instance, initially she said, “I see turtle,” but when I explained that he was a tortoise, the next time we went to the zoo, she said, “I see tortoise.” She knows the difference between a lion and a tiger, but thought a cheetah was a tiger until I gave her the name of the animal and discussed how one has stripes and the other has spots. Now she gets excited and points out the cheetah. I just love how she greets each animal bellowing out, “Hello Lion!” or “Hello Sheep!” Sometimes it’s as though they have been waiting for her because the lion or polar bear will be resting or sleep, but after she says hello, they will come closer to where she is standing. If you haven’t taken your child to the zoo as yet, I highly recommend it. A wonderful adventure awaits!

All the best,

Tanya

“Falling” in Love with My Baby

Quinn Having Fun in the Leaves

Quinn Having Fun in the Leaves

When I was younger, I loved jumping in the leaves, taking in the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges, listening to the loud crunches as I stumped my feet. Though my fun has now shifted to work as I rake up piles of leaves that surround my home, I have managed to fall in love with autumn all over again through my little girl. Initially, she was seated in her trike, but overtime, she made it very clear that she wanted to get out and enjoy nature. As soon I got her out of her trike, she headed for the leaves and could not resist jumping in them and throwing the leaves everywhere. She was absolutely tickled as she tossed the leaves all around her, as was I.  In that moment, I was not thinking about how she was slowing down my progress with getting all of the leaves to their designated area for the leaf collection or the dirt and other germs that might have been in those leaves. I just smiled and thought about how carefree she is and how grateful I am to have her in my life. Quinn continues to leave me in awe, and I am looking forward to more simple yet memorable moments in the near future. Here’s a brief video below that really captures the fun Quinn was having. If only we all could have this much fun playing in the leaves.

All the best,

Tanya