Activities and fun with Children of All Ages.

Posts tagged ‘grandparents’

Time is of the Essence

I spent last week with my daughters and grands in Colorado.  What a week!  DD2 and granddog, Fry, took us on a hike in the Cheyenne mountains.ImageImageImage

We spent the rest of the week helping DD1 and her family move from a very small apartment to a very nice home.  DH still has sore muscles from all the heavy lifting and hard work.  He and E., grand1, worked together to be sure the swing set is safe to play on, Image

and she helped paint the new dining room.

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N, grandkid2, is 5 months old now.  He is bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to soar!

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My own Baby (my dog) had a good time as well, hiking and playing with the grands.

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What have you been up to?  What kind of fun things are you planning?

A Fishy Situation

My DD and I went fishing today.  What fun, even if the biggest fish caught was about 1.5 inches in length.  This trip reminded me of all the times we took our girls fishing as they were growing up like the time DD and I were helping our oldest pull a fish out of the lake while keeping a close eye on the younger sitting on the grass.  Next thing we know someone is saying “Oh gross!” just when the younger daughter is slurping a worm into her mouth.  Ah… good times.

Fishing is a wonderful activity for most ages.  You might want to wait to take the grands until they are at least three or four.  There are pint sized rods for just such occasions.  Though their attention span is short, they can also catch crawdads, throw rocks in the water (don’t expect to catch any fish yourself), play in the dirt or water or what ever is around.

There is nothing more wonderful than seeing these things through the eyes of a child.  Today as I was walking around I met a beautiful 4.5 year old little girl on a fishing trip with her grandparents.  This was the first time she had been camping or fishing.  She was very busy putting rocks into a circle to make a fire ring that soon became a fairy ring.  She told me all about the bugs she catches to give her grandma’s chickens and we took pictures together.  Today she saw an osprey catch a fish and an eagle take it away from him.  Her grandpa caught a big fish and shared his knowledge on techniques with us.  She watched her dog chase chipmunks and dragon flies.  This is a day she will remember.

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June in Arizona means APPLES

June in the Sonoran Desert  means apple crisp, applesauce, apple leather, dried apples, frozen apples, apple bread, apple muffins, apple cookies….you get the idea.

Image  This is a picture of one of my apple trees.  We got a bumper crop this year from both trees!  With this wonderful crop there are a lot of activities that can be done with the grands involving apples.  This week I will blog about three.  Applesauce, apple leather and apple printing.

Apple sauce is a yummy, healthy, fun, easy food to make.  There are a few things that you will want the younger grands to sit out on.  If they are old enough and can handle a pairing knife they can help with all steps of making apple sauce.

Step 1 – pick and wash the apples.  Don’t worry if they have a little bruise or two.  It adds flavor.  Wash carefully.  If the apples are not organic put them in a sink full of cold water and about 1/4 cup white vinegar for about ten minutes.

Step 2 – cook the apples. If you have a nice colander for making applesauce you don’t need to peel them.  If you are not using a colander peel and core the apples  I like putting them in the crock pot with about 2 cups of water on high.  It only takes a couple of hours.  You can do apple prints or carve apple head dolls while you wait.   If you cook them on the stove it takes about 1/2 an hour.

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Step 3 – When the apples are done cooking they will be soft and slightly yellowish.  They will smell sweet.

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Put them in a colander or sieve.  If you have an applesauce colander, just use the wooden pestle to smush the cooked apples to get all the yummy juice and pulp out.

If you do not have an applesauce colander, put the apples in a regular colander over a bowl and use a wooden spoon to squish the applesauce out.  The kids LOVE to do this and watch all the sauce coming out the bottom.

4.  After all the applesauce is out of the peels just compost the peels or give them to the dogs.  You can add sugar and or cinnamon to the applesauce at this point.

One of my fondest memories as a kid is making applesauce and watching as my mom pulled the jars of fresh applesauce from the canning pot.  We took great pride putting them away knowing that we would have yummy applesauce to eat all winter whenever we wanted it.

What are some of your favorite apple memories?  Have you ever made apple head dolls?  Apple prints? Apple butter?

GF Homemade Playdough: Worthy of Play or DOH! ?

What a fun day!  At the request of my daughter I found then made two gluten free playdough recipes that I found on the web to see which one, if any, are worth the bother.

Recipe 1: from the Celiac Disease Foundation

Ingredients

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup salt

2 tsps cream of tarter

1 cup water

1 tsp. cooking oil

food coloring if desired

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Directions

Mix ingredients in medium sized saucepan.  Cook and stir on low heat until it forms a ball.  Cool completely before storing it in a seal-able plastic bag.

I made the mistake of doing this on a day when the arthritis in my hands was acting up.  It hurt to stir the dough in the pan.  If you have a similar issue either wait for a less painful day or have someone (an older grand?) stir it for you.

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This is where my hands started hurting.  It gets very sticky.

This recipe required some tweaking on my part to make it playable.  After in cooked as much as it could before my hands gave out, the dough was still too sticky to use.  I kneaded the warm dough in some cornstarch I put out on the counter; the warmth felt good on my hands.

The final results.

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Recipe 2: I remember making this when I was a kid.  The recipe came from the cornstarch box.  I found this in my search for GF playdough recipes.

Ingredients

1 cup baking soda

1 cup water

1 cup cornstarch

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Directions

Mix ingredients in saucepan over low heat.  Stir until mixture become very thick.  Mix in liquid watercolor or food coloring if desired.  Remove from heat, knead until smooth.  Store in Ziploc bag in refrigerator for up to a month.

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I let it cook just a little while longer from this point.

I did not need to add cornstarch when this was finished.  The texture was nice and it was not too sticky.

I made small roses from each kind of dough to see which one I liked better.  I needed to dip my fingers in water to work with the cornstarch (recipe 2) dough because it started to dry quickly.

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Recipe 1 has a grittier texture.  It feels and works more like conventional playdough.  Recipe 2 is smooth as silk.  You can do finer work with Recipe 2.  I’m not sure how important that is for young kids but older kids might prefer it.  I know the artist in me prefers Recipe 2 but the Grandma in me thinks Recipe 1 is better for younger children.

I had fun playing today.  I can’t wait to find some kids to use the playdough with.  Here’s a challange, make the playdough for yourself!  It’s a blast letting the creative, unassuming child out to play.  You will understand better the delight your grands and or children feel when they get their hands in this wonderful squishy stuff.

Have you played today?

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Making the BLOB or Making Fun Healthy Drinks

Mac-n-cheese, cookies, cupcakes, krispie treats, all fun foods. Healthy? NOT.

Make Kombucha, grow your won SCOBY (the blob) and give your grands something wonderful and healthy to boot.

Kombucha is fermented sweet tea. During the fermentation process most of the sugar is consumed and during the second fermentation a nice fizz develops; taking the place of obesity causing soda pop. Komucha provides healthy yeast and bacterium that your body needs to stay healthy and combat everyday exposures to environmental toxins.

To make Komucha you need a SCOBY or Mother. You can order a SCOBY from Cultures for Life or you can make your own with these instructions. If you make your own do this activity with your grands. Bring them back a few weeks later to see the blob they have helped create. Let them help you with the next step, making the kombucha by following the link. Make sure they get to drink some with one of your wonderful, only-at-grandma’s-house meals.

This activity takes time and lots of visits from your grands to complete but it is totally worth it. Continue making the kombucha and giving yourself and your loved ones the nutrients they need.

What kind of healthy and fun foods or drinks do you make with your grands?

Next post we will make all sorts of play dough.

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Hello world!

Hello! I recently got to spend six weeks with my grandchildren in Denver. What a blast! E is 20 months old and N is 1 month. E is an absolute delight! She wakes up in the morning smiling and ready to take on the day. She loves to paint, color, run, slide, and paste things; especially herself. While I was visiting we made Mommy a mother’s day present, created a painting on canvas, made a travel journal, colored ourselves (more than once), played with play dough; every day was a new adventure.

The purpose of this blog is to help other grandparents and parents come up with fun activities to do with their little ones. They only stay small for a short while. They want to hang out with us for only a few years. Let’s make the most of those years and the rewards will be reaped in spades when they become adults and start doing fun things with their own children.

I will be posting ideas and instructions for fun things to do as well as inviting others to post and join in on the fun. I tend not to endorse any one product, however, some products may be suggested when I know the quality is better for that particular project. There will be blog hops, games, crafts, arts, book reviews and activities to go with them, messy activities and clean activities too.

I love comments, opinions, suggestions and ideas. Bring’em on! Post, re-post and share all you like as long as I get the credit. I will give credit to others too.

 

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