Tag Archives: Play

Summer Summary

31 Aug

Since its Labor Day weekend it definitely feels like summer is over.  We had a fantastic summer but I’m looking forward to fall.  Here are pictures of all of the fun things we did in the summer of 2013.

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We spent lots of time in the backyard trying to keep cool.  There were many HOT days but Annaliese loves being outside so we made it work.

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Chris loves to grill so we had many delicious meals this summer, including lots of corn on the cob.

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Annaliese turned 2 so we had a party at the house.  Lots of family and friends helped us celebrate at her “Milk & Cookies” party.

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We celebrated a really fun 4th of July right in our neighborhood.  Its “Good Neighbor Day” so we got to watch a 5K and 10K race in front of our house, walk down the street to a festival, and watch fireworks right in our front yard.

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We announced to everyone that Annaliese is going to be a big sister in January!

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We attended tons of fun MOMs Club events like riding the train and visiting the fire station.

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We planted a small garden for the first time and had a little success.

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We traveled to Bethany Beach where Annaliese enjoyed spending time with her family.  She really loved getting to know her cousin Madison.

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Annaliese went to her first baseball game.  She liked the mascot and the food more than the actual game but it was lots of fun!

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Annaliese moved from her crib to a big girl bed.  She’s impressed us with how easy the transition was.

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Thanks to tickets and season passes, we went to many fun places:  Dutch Wonderland, Longwood Gardents, Camden Aquarium, Hands on House, and Balitmore Aquarium!  I don’t even think that is half of the list.  We were busy!

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We had endless fun playdates with friends!  Annaliese became a lot more social this summer and loved having people over as well as going to their houses.

Week 11

15 Apr

Getting closer to the finish line!

Day 70 – Today was gorgeous weather so we spent a lot of time outside.  We are going to try out a little gardening this year so Annaliese helped us to get started.  We planted a few of our veggies in egg cartons to get them started indoors.  Annaliese liked the dirt part the best.

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Day 71 – Today we played with Play-doh.  Annaliese still can’t really figure out if she likes it or not.  She mostly likes pushing her fingers or other objects into it.  Its definitely a good way to practice her colors though!

Day 72 – As I was throwing away an empty tissue box today, Annaliese protested.   I decided to let her play with it since she showed such interest.  I let her stuff and un-stuff her cloth wipes in the box.  She really liked it; especially taking all of the wipes out and throwing them around the kitchen.

Day 73 – This was Annaliese’s first year of actually being able to dye Easter eggs.  I bought a kit for $2 at the grocery store.  It was a little messy but the end result was pretty cool!

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Day 74 – Daddy’s birthday is also approaching so we decided to make a gift.  I used a recipe for finger paints that I have seen passed around on facebook and pinterest many times.  It turned out pretty well…here is the link.

Annaliese painted a beautiful picture for her dad.

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Day 75 – With the coming of spring we have had a huge increase in wildlife in the backyard.  The birds, squirrels, and rabbits are everywhere!  Today Annaliese and I pulled up our bean bags to the sliding glass doors and just observed outside.  She was fascinated with all of the animals playing in the yard and it was nice to sit down for a few minutes 🙂

Day 76 – We took advantage of the nice weather again and headed outside.  We brought some of Annaliese’s cups and tea set items and filled them with water.  Our “water tea party” was quite messy but lots of fun.  Why is it that toddlers like pouring water so much?

 

 

Week 9 & 10

25 Mar

It has been a really long time since I’ve written one of my “weekly” posts, and I’ve had an epiphany.  I’m not really enjoying this 365 Days of Unplugged Play as much as I thought I would.  I still love playing with Annaliese obviously, but its been a lot of pressure to try to come up with new things every day.  Each time I sit down to write the updated posts I end up doing something else because I just don’t feel like it.  Who wants to read unenthusiastic blog posts?  I’ve decided I’d like to alter my plans a little bit and make it 100 Days of Unplugged Play and then focus my attention on something else.  I started this blog as a fun project and its getting un-fun.  Time for a change!

Day 56 – Today, like most Mondays, we went to Storytime at our local library.  This is one of our favorite things to do each week.  Its 1/2 hour of singing, books, and finger play geared toward kids under 2.  It is free but you have to register ahead of time.  I highly recommend checking to see if your local l library offers anything similar.

Day 57 – We have a few places in our house that are “off limits” for Annaliese.  Mostly the crawl space and attic.  Today, under close supervision, I let Annaliese explore this “forbidden place” in our house.  She loved running around in the crawl space even though she has to duck for fear of hitting her head.  We mostly use it for storage of her old baby gear and clothes so she was pretty excited when she found a few old favorites.   Here is a picture of her exploring:

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Day 58 – I got today’s idea from my friend Andrea.  She drove her 2 kids through the carwash one day and said it was a huge hit.  I decided to entertain Annaliese today while also giving my car a good $4 scrub down.  At first she thought it was hilarious that our car was getting wet.  Then it became not so funny when water started dripping into her carseat.  We have those sun shades that are clipped into the windows in the back and apparently they leave a tiny gap.  It was only a little bit of water so it was no big deal but Annaliese seemed a little confused by the whole thing after that.  Definitely fun, cheap entrainment though.  Thanks for the idea Andrea!

Day 59 – We had some semi-nice weather today so we decided to head outside.  We sat on the back porch to have an afternoon snack.  It was nice to switch things up a little bit and get some fresh air.

Day 60 – Today I needed some assistance while making dinner.  I put Annaliese on the floor with a colander and some dried spaghetti and let her go to town.  I showed her how to put the spaghetti through the holes and then let her explore on her own.  She played with this for a long time and it definitely bought me a few extra minutes to get dinner in the oven.

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Day 61 – Annaliese had a little accident on our comforter so we had to wash it.  Oops!  After it was dry I laid it out on the floor to put the duvet cover back on.  Annaliese immediately jumped on it and had herself a good old time.  We used it as a parachute, ran across it, and laid under it.  Didn’t know a comforter could be so much fun!

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Day 62 – Today we used some cheap Easter stamps to decorate pretty much everything we could find.  Perhaps the stamping got a little out of control but Annaliese had fun.  Stamp ink does come out of most clothing and wipes off of playroom tables 🙂

Day 63 – Chick fil a hosted a Daddy Daughter Date Night tonight so Chris took Annaliese out to dinner.  They had a great time.  Annaliese is a cheap date so this was a low cost way to get out of the house with Daddy!  Here they are before they left :

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Day 64 – It was rainy here today so Annaliese put on her rain boots and jacket and we headed outside anyway!  It was a little messy but Annaliese appreciates any time we can spend outside.  A little water never hurt anyone right?

Day 65 – Recently we discovered Springton Manor Farms here in Chester County.  It is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit.  It is a working farm open for free to the public.  I think Annaliese would spend all day there if we let her.  I highly recommend checking it out if you live in Chester County or looking for something similar in your area.   They have lots of baby animals being born over there and it couldn’t be cuter!

Day 66 – We got a little girly today and played “hairshop”.  Annaliese really wanted to play with all of her hair bows so we took turns making each other look beautiful.  As you can see, the end result was pretty great.

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Day 67 – Annaliese has recently developed an obsession with her sippy cups.  We joke that she is like the girl from the movie, Signs, because if she had it her way, all of her sippy cups would be filled with milk at the same time.  Today I gave her all of her cups to play with at once.  She actually really enjoyed trying to match the lids to the right cups.  I was pretty impressed!

Day 68 – We got a box in the mail today filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts.  You would have thought we won a million dollars.  Annaliese went crazy throwing them all over the dining room and stomping on them.  Here is some of the destruction :

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Day 69 – This activity was a little gross but went pretty well.  I put ketchup and mustard in two (very tightly sealed) ziploc bags.  I let Annaliese squish them around.  She was pretty into it and it was an easy clean up!  Sorry Chris, this is why we’re out of ketchup.

 

Week 8

3 Mar

So this week I was bad and took NO pictures.  Oops!  I guess this post will be a little boring.

Day 49 – During our trip to Chicago, Annaliese was very interested in all of the details of traveling.  When we got home we expanded on her interest and did a little pretending.  She packed up her purse and backpack with all of the essentials (snacks, maracas, an onion from her play kitchen, one of her doll’s shoes, etc).  She liked getting in and out of her cozy coupe and pretending she was leaving and returning.  When she got out of the car each time she ran to give me a hug and then left again.  Usually when I asked her where she was going she would say “Gaga”, her word for Grandma.  She likes going to Gaga’s house!

Day 50 – We got creative today and made our own scratch and sniff papers.  I scrounged up some random soaps and things from around the house and drew a few pictures on some pieces of paper.  I drew a picture of a lemon and put a few drops of a lemony perfume on it.  I also drew a picture of a cookie and dropped little bit of vanilla extract on it.  Many of the  scents we used were from delicious smelling soaps I have around the house (apple, cucumber melon, etc)  Annaliese really liked smelling each of the pictures.

Day 51 – Today we had a good old fashioned dance party.  We put on the radio and busted out our best moves while we were getting dressed for the day.  Now it has become a morning tradition for us, and I love it.  I am a terrible dancer, but Annaliese doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

Day 52 – It was a rainy today so we felt a little trapped inside.  We decided to switch it up and sit on the porch to watch the rain.  Annaliese loves being outside and we are both excited for warmer weather to come.  Even though we didn’t leave the covered porch, it was nice to get some fresh air.

Day 53 – Remember how I taped up those empty boxes last week to use as big building blocks?  This week we used them to play grocery store.  It was so much fun.  Annaliese has a shopping cart so I set up her playroom as the “store”  I used some of the food from her play kitchen so she had lots of choices.  She liked throwing everything in the cart.  Cleaning up…not so much.

Day 54 – Today I used some of our furniture and some of her toys to set up an obstacle course.  I used our couch cushions to make a ramp for her to climb over, set up a tunnel for her to crawl through, and used some blankets to make an obstacle she had to jump over.  This was a great way to burn some energy inside!

Day 55 – My friend Jeannette, a fellow blogger, gave me this idea.  She posted one time about reading books with similar subjects so we decided to give it a try.  Annaliese loves reading and dogs so we picked out all of the books we could find about dogs.  She liked reading about her favorite topic!  We are definitely going to try this one again with different topics.

 

Hopefully I’ll have more pictures next week!

Week 6 & 7

22 Feb

I am combining Week 6 and 7 in this post because I am a little behind!  We were in Chicago for part of this time so some of the activities were hotel friendly as well.

Day 36 – My mom brought over some Valentine’s window decals for Annaliese.  We stuck them all over the playroom windows.  These are really cheap and can be easily used over and over again.

Day 37 – Today I let Annaliese play with some of my jewelry.  She is starting to really enjoy dressing up so I let her use some of my necklaces and bracelets.  Here she is deciding what she wants to try on next.

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Day 38 – Annaliese has been very interested in babies and pretending lately.   I let her lead the way today and she decided instead of taking care of her babies today she wanted to pretend to be one.  She liked trying to fit into her doll’s stroller and cradle, putting the blankets on herself, and even crying.  Her imitating a baby crying is pretty hysterical.

Day 39 – Today I went through some of my crafting supplies and found some big chunky beads.  I let Annaliese thread them onto yarn and we made some little bracelets.  This was sometimes hard for her but the beads were big enough that she could mostly do it with a little assistance from me.

Day 40 – Today we did a Window Tour.  Annaliese takes after her dad and likes to look out the window, so we decided to look out of every window in the house.  This was pretty fun and took up a lot of time.  We went from room to room looking out the windows and talking about what we saw.  She liked trying to look for birds and deer but we didn’t see too much wildlife.

Day 41 – Lately we’ve been working on labeling colors.  Annaliese pretty much guesses first that everything is blue, and her second guess is always yellow.  We’re working on it…. To sharpen her skills a little we went on a color scavenger hunt around the house.  We tried to find blue things first since it seems to be the color she understands the best.  Then we tried yellow, red, and green.  This was fun and active!

Day 42 – This awesome suggestion came from my wonderful, creative friend Taylor.  She suggested that we collect empty boxes (cereal, crackers, etc) and use them as building blocks.  We had a blast with this one.  Annaliese’s favorite part was stacking them up and knocking them down.  Typical.

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Day 43 – Aunt Hannah requested some refrigerator artwork from Annaliese.   We got out our sticker collection and Annaliese made two excellent pictures to send.  She is always captivated by stickers so today was fun.

Day 44 – Today we did a Sound Search.  We live on a pretty busy street so we were able to go to the front of the house to listen for cars and trucks.  We also heard geese, the fish tank filter, the heater, and a dog barking.

Day 45 – Because Annaliese is getting good with her colors we did a Sock Matching game today.  I took out pairs of her socks, Mommy’s socks, and Daddy’s socks.  I scrambled them up and let her find the matching pairs.  She liked this one!

Day 46 – Today was the day before we left for Chicago so Annaliese got to play in the suitcase.  Honestly if I had let her she probably would have played in there for hours.  She liked just sitting in it, buckling and unbuckling the clip, eating a snack in there… I guess its kind of like playing a big box.  She was very sad when I actually wanted to pack things in the suitcase.

Day 47 – Today we had to get creative with some downtime in our Chicago hotel room.  With some inspiration from Aunt Lauragrace’s younger years, I created a pillow path for Annaliese.  I laid all of our pillows out on the floor and let her run along the path.  This could easily be done at home too.

Day 48 – We were also in the hotel today so we had some fun with the wheely (not a word) desk chair.  It was pretty much like riding a roller coaster for a toddler.  This could be done at home too if you have a fun chair.

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That’s it!  I’ll be better about posting instead of waiting for 2 weeks to build up!

Week 5

8 Feb

I am a little bit behind with my weekly posts, but I did take lots of pictures this week!

Here is the link to my 365 Days of Unplugged Play.

Day 29 – Valentine’s Day is coming up and Annaliese got invited to her first party.  Today we made Valentines for her friends.   I gave her paint and paintbrushes.  We even tried out an idea I saw online where you crush a toilet paper tube into the shape of a heart and use it as a stamp.  She really like the painting and was surprisingly not messy at the end.

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Day 30 – Chris had to buy a bucket from Home Depot so that inspired our play today.  Annaliese was so curious about the bucket so she was the guide.  She liked crawling in and out of it and being carried around in it.

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Day 31 – Today we did some good old fashioned puzzles.  It has been a while since we’ve played with our wooden puzzles and I was blown away by how good Annaliese was.  She really understood how to match the shapes to their correct places.  She even did the sign for ‘more’ because she wanted me to keep bringing out more puzzles.

Day 32 – Today’s activity comes with a warning.  It definitely requires adult supervision at all times.  We played with our coin jar and coins.  Annaliese really liked the sound that the coins made when they dropped in.  It seemed like a good activity for building fine motor skills because she really had to work to get those coins in the slot.  I realized that coins could easily be swallowed by little ones so use this activity at your discretion.

Day 33 – Because Annaliese loves to help and loves to be outside, she got to help pick up sticks in the backyard today.  We had some strong winds a few days prior so there were many sticks to be collected.  We bundled up and took as many sticks as we could back to the woods.

Day 34 – Today’s activity came from a Busy Bag party we attended in January.  One of the moms brought a snow day kit and we had about an inch or two of snow.  The kit had food coloring and squirt bottles, so Annaliese and I “colored” the snow.  We both enjoyed it.  Thanks Melissa D!

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Day 35 – Today we pretended to be ballerinas.  Annaliese has been able to pretend lately which is pretty cool to see.  She likes to walk on her tip toes so I taught her a few ballet moves (its been a while…I’m a little rusty).  She even got to wear a Tu-tu.  Luckily I was able to pry it off of her before we had to go out.

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See you in Week 6!

 

 

New Year’s Resolution

31 Dec

I hardly ever set New Year’s Resolutions because I’m just not good at thinking that long term.  I feel like if I do set them, I will just be setting myself up to fail.  I do like the idea of starting fresh though!

I’ve decided this year I’d like to try something fun.  I saw an idea last year that I thought was pretty cool.  The person took 1 picture every single day of the year.  The picture summed up something that was happening that day, and at the end of the year they could look back at all 365 days of pictures.  Cool right?  I’d like to try something similar this year but I’m going to do 365 Days of Play.  Since I stay at home with A, we are together and playing A LOT.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but some days I feel like the things we do get a little stale.   I am hoping to find 1 new thing each day for us to do together.  Here is how I would like it to go:

365 Days of Unplugged Play

-Each day after nap time I will have an activity planned for A.  It will be something simple we can do around the house.  It will not be expensive or take a lot of time to set up or clean up.

-The activity won’t involve TV or the computer.  I think both of these things have value but in moderation.  A likes to look at pictures of dogs on the computer and she likes to dance along with the Fresh Beat Band, but we keep screen time at the minimum over here.

-I will update about once a week on here with what activities we did and post a few pictures.

I am really looking forward to this challenge.  I’m a little anxious about coming up with 365 different things for us to do but it’ll be fun to push myself!  I like to do creative things with A, and she always appreciates the effort, so we’ll see how it goes.  I am also open to any suggestions you’d like to send my way for what fun things you like to do with your kids that are low cost and unplugged.  Wish me luck and Happy New Year!

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