Category Archives: Family Activity

Craft Time: The Thankful Tree

IMG_3361November! Leaves have changed into their brilliant colors and then made magnificent blankets underneath each naked tree. Temperatures are dropping, and many are donning their scarves, boots, or dare I say favorite spots teams colors. Fire places have began to crackle and ovens have started emitting the delightful fragrances of baked meals and desserts. Mugs are being held with both hands, and noses are breathing in steam.  Oh the loving traditions fall brings!

One tradition that seems to start in late October is hearing or seeing people talk or write about what they are thankful for. Now we all know that we should not just spout out our thanksgivings during one month a year and appreciate them through out instead, but lets face it… It’s hard! Especially when we get into the routine of waking, rushing kids out the door, do our duties throughout the day, come home, help with home work, make a meal, put a number of little ones to sleep, and then either crash on the couch or crawl into bed. While doing all these daily tasks it can be very difficult to shout out… “Thank you for the Sun! Thank you for the neighbor who picked up our trash can that fell over! Thank you that my child is learning in school! Thank you for freedom in this country! Thank you for health, love, hugs, music, rain, food, comfort, teachers, and so on.”

Part of why we have this month is to rejoice in our blessings. To share that we are thankful, and that luckily as humans we can have that in our nature. Children learn from those around them, and that is why teaching this particular trait is crucial. Pointing out the positive things on a daily basis helps children to learn to be optimistic and more positive.  When they say “I hate the rain!” A positive come back is, “But what does the rain help out with… Our planet, the plants, our food, and more!” Taking it further to point out a break in the rain. “Look at that, that cloud is letting us stay dry while we walk into school… Yay!”

Looking for the silver lining of any cloud is hard, but teaching our little ones will help them in the future with their feelings. It can help them get through tough situations and also help if they are experiencing depression.

So perhaps having a month to point out what good things are happening in your day can be a great way to start teaching your little one the lesson of being grateful.

IMG_3868There are many ways that people have done this.  We wanted to bring up just one this year and we’ll do more in the future to come! The Thankful Tree! This is a simple craft that requires some craft paper, scissors, and tape.

 

Gather your things:

  • This image above required the background to have (6) pieces of blue construction paper and (3) pieces of green.
  • The tree can be made up of one or two pieces of brown construction paper that were cut and taped together.
  • The leaves and sun were also made of construction paper, cut from a variety of colors.
  • You can also see that there are foam leaves on the example above. You can get them from a craft section this time of year, but make sure you get the kind you can write on, and it is also helpful if they have the sticky back.
  • You will also need tape and glue.
Tape the nine pieces of construction paper together three across and three down.  (6) blue and (3) green
Tape the nine pieces of construction paper together three across and three down. (6) blue and (3) green

Now get creative!

Let your kiddos help you to tape the background pieces together.  There will be three pieces taped together across and down, running lengthwise.  You will end up having a nine piece panel background that looks like a vertical rectangle.

DSC_5265Then start to make your tree.  I cut (1) piece of brown construction paper in half vertically.  then I placed the two short ends together and drew a tree trunk on it.  Afterwards, I let the kids cut out the trunk.  With the left over scraps, the girls cut thin strips for the branches.

DSC_5271Now you and the kids can glue down your tree trunk onto the background.  Remember to give some spacing between the branches for your leaves.

They can also cut out pieces to make a sun, clouds, flowers, grass at the bottom of the tree, or anything else their minds can come up with!

I cut out the leaves by layering four pieces of paper together, and then proceeded to make a simple leaf pattern.  I store them in a large ziplock bag, along with a pen and glue stick to we can add our leaves each day.  Sometimes there are days where we add a lot of leaves.

Now find a spot to hang up your tree and get ready to start posting your leaves each day!

Grateful Leaves

DSC_5279This part is where you start to see the craft come together, and many times you will be surprised what your kids might say.  Sometimes you may not like what they are, or wish that it was something bigger, but please don’t say anything discouraging.  You want them to willingly participate, and enjoy the process.  Also, it’s alright to be thankful for things you might not think are a big deal.  In his or her mind, small things can be BIG!  

You can leave up this tree until the end of the month or the end of the year. We left our tree up last year till the end of the year, and it was incredible how full it got, and really helped to make the holidays even more special.  IMG_3880

We hope that this craft is one that you will enjoy doing with your kids. We wish you the very happiest of November blessings Discover! Friends! Happy crafting!

For more Thankful Tree examples check out Discover! Children’s Museum Pinterest Thankful Tree board.

It’s Pumpkin Time

Have you been to the pumpkin patch yet this year!  Some may be saying yes, or you may have had some keepers in your very own garden, or perhaps you were given some from somebody.  All of which leads to one very fun event!  Pumpkin carving!  We thought we would create a fun board on Pinterest that is full of pumpkin fun!

Come check them out by clicking on the green link below!

Halloween Pumpkin Fun

Here are some pumpkin patches too, in case you are still looking for a place to pick that BIG pumpkin!

DSC_4860
The BIG one at WillyTees Pumpkin Patch

WillyTee’s Pumkin Patch ~ 3415 Jackson Hwy. Chehalis, Washington 98532. Open from 10 am-6:30 pm Monday through Sunday.  (360)880-5411

 

WillyTees
Get a free Caricature to remember your visit

At WillyTee’s the kids will have fun going through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin.  They will be able to explore a fun farm where they have face cuts out and even several spots set up for you to take some fun fall photos.  Plus Moms… there is a wonderful area that is full of holiday decor that you can’t help but want.  You also get to leave with a special souvenir to remember your visit with, a custom caricture made just for you… for FREE! The staff is awesome and the prices are family friendly.

 

IMG_6817[1]
These adorable minions welcome you on arrival
The Pumpkin Patch~ 518 Goodric Centralia, Washington 98531. Open from 10 am-6:30 pm Monday through Sunday. (360)736-8603 or (360)269-1783

At the Pumpkin Patch, your kiddo will find a pumkin and also be able to explore the grounds.  There are many fun face cutouts, huge hay bale art, corn maze, straw pit, and a few animals that they can check out.  A hay ride is available, which gives you a tour of the fields.  At the front of the farm, you will find an area set up where you can purchase gourds, squash, and cranberries.  They also have some beautiful potted arrangements, that include sunflowers and winter cabbage, to spiff up  and brighten your fall arrangements on your porch.

DSC_0077506Parkerosa Farms Pumkin Patch ~ 292 Chilvers Rd. Chehalis, Washington 98532. Open from 2 pm-6:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 9am-6pm Friday through Sunday. (360)269-2861

DSC_0082511
One of the little critters from a few years back

Parkerosa offers a field of a variety of different pumpkins.  There is a petting zoo, corn trails, and refreshments available.  There is also a wagon ride that give you a tour of the Parkerosa farms, where you will see some themed buildings to spark the imaginations of your little ones.  There is also some holiday and rustic themed decor available in their gift store too!

 

Flannery Publications
Area pumpkin patch open and ready for the Halloween season ~ Flannery Publications

Story Book Farms Pumpkin Patch5050 Jackson Hwy, Toledo, WA 98951. Open Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.  (360)864-4388.  

Rows upon rows of pumpkins are available for you to choose. Story Book also offers a hay ride, bounce house, and games.

Please feel free to suggest more local pumpkin patches as well as pictures.  Also we’d love to see your carved pumpkins.  Send us some pictures!

We hope you have a fun time celebrating this spooky time as well as fall harvest with your kiddos!  Happy carving time Discover! Families!

 

 

Come and Visit Us This Summer!

Well we just can’t get enough of our fans!  So we decided to make sure that we are out and about this summer to see you again, again, and AGAIN!  Check out what event’s we’ll be at!

DSC_0251July 19th: Napavine Fun Festival

August 2nd: Mossyrock Blueberry Festival

 

August 12th – 17th:  South West Washington Fair

garlic festAugust 23rd – 24th:  Garlic Festival

September 20th:  Wellness Roundup in Centralia

October 4th: Onalaska Apple Harvest

Onalaska apple harvest

We hope you are having a blast this summer so far, and keep an eye out for us!

Bees Buzzing in the Breeze

DSC_3393Honey Bees, the awesome little critters that keep many plants on this earth growing.  What would we do without these little wonders…  It is certainly not something we want to ever happen, therefore there are thousands of people that have become assistants to these incredible creatures.  We had the opportunity to meet one such family, that we are sure many of our Discover! friends may know… The Boyd Family! DSC_3349During our visit the Boyds had eighteen hives started.  The number can fluctuate depending on the queen and the strength of the hive.  By fall, many hives are combined in order to increase their chances of surviving throughout the winter.  After suiting up, we visited a large hive first.  After using the smoker to take a peak inside, Brandon’s first tid bit of information became very apparent!  “Honey bees are called social animals because they live in colonies and rely on each other.” Within the hive, there is a division of labor among the various kinds of bees in the colony.  A colony can include a queen, drones, and worker bees.

Brandon placed a little yellow mark on the back of this queen so she could be more easily spotted.
Brandon placed a little yellow mark on the back of this queen so she could be more easily spotted.

The Queen

The Queen is the only bee in the hive that is sexually developed.  She is the largest, and can be recognized by here elongated abdomen. She lives longer than all the bees in the hive.  Some say she can live years and years, but she is most productive the first two years of her life.

On the far right, you can see the undeveloped heads of two drones.  There cells stick our further than the rest of the larvae cells.
On the far right, you can see the undeveloped heads of two drones. There cells stick out further than the rest of the larvae cells.

 

 

The Drones

The Drones are the male bees in the hive.  Their job is leave the hive and to mate with a queen from another hive.  They do not collect food or pollen, nor do they tend the babies.  Sadly, in the winter time they are often kicked out of the hive because resources are scarce.

DSC_3392
Here you can see the girls busy at work. See all that honey!

The  Busy Workers

Workers are all girls!  In a colony there could be as many as 50,000 to 60,000 bees! Worker bees pretty much work themselves to death.  In the beginning of their lives they are nurse bees, then they graduate to field and scout bees.  They also protect the hive and make comb.  They are very busy, and live only about a month or less.  In the winter, they can live longer. 

Bee Facts

The worker bees keep the hive at a steady temperature all year round with their wing flaps.  They would like it to be 92-93 degrees.

Here is a worker bee arriving back to the hive with her legs covered in pollen
Here is a worker bee arriving back to the hive with her legs covered in pollen

Honey bees fly in a radius of about 3-5 miles from their homes to forage for flowers and food. Bees gather both nectar and pollen from flowers and trees. They bring the nectar back to the hive and regurgitate the nectar into a honey cell.  Then through flapping their wings, the bees evaporate some of the liquid in the nectar until it is honey. Then they cap it with a thin wax cover and store it for later use.

Bees use pollen, which is really sticky, and combine it with nectar to make bee bread.  They feed this bread to the baby bees.

Baby bees are called a brood.

Bees preform an essential act by moving pollen and nectar from one flower to another.  They pollinate the flowers and trees which allows fruits and vegetables to be created and to grow.  A hive can make 50-200 pounds of honey a year, and it takes over 150 trips to a flower or tree to make just one teaspoon of honey.

Hope you enjoyed our first blog post about bees.  We are hoping there will be many more.  Thank you Boyd family, we will check in with you again soon!  Happy honey making Discover! friends!

SUMMER VACATION IS HERE!

SOME DAYS “HORRAY!” and OTHER DAYS “HELP ME!”

Now that school is out everyone is pretty excited about the prospects of some fun and free time.  No more schedules, getting up early, or homework.  Time instead for playing outside, visiting friends, going to the pool, or maybe a family trip.  But eventually you start hearing those little voices:  “Mom!  There’s nothing to do.” or “I’m bored!”  It’s moments like this that strain our patience and cause us to count the days till the first day of school.  While errand jars are great and cleaning your room is always an option, there is another terrific resource available.  It’s close, it’s kid and family friendly and best of all it’s FREE!

TIMBERLAND LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM

“Fizz, Boom, Read!” 

This year the theme for children is “Fizz, Boom, Read!”, and is designed to complement the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program which has been adopted by local schools.  Specifically the summer program promotes excitement about reading, learning and exploring new characters and discovering new places – through books.

There are numerous activities planned throughout the Timberland Library system.  Just to get you enthused, here are a few that are happening in Chehalis

library front“Summer at the Library”

Fun bags will be given to children when schools let out.  These include event calendars, puzzles, word games, book lists and entry forms for prizes.

“Weekly Coupons” –at the library while supplies last, pick up coupons for  Quiznos, Rollerdome, Twin Transit, Northwest Trek, Point Defiance Zoo, Fairway Lanes, Papa Murphy’s, Centralia Ballet Academy, Hands On Children’s Museum (Olympia), Book n’ Brush, Southwest Washington Fair

“Wacky Wednesday” – Find four strange things in the library, and receive a small prize. Sponsored by the Friends of the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library.

529629_4076593189207_811326620_nReptile Man” – Thursday, June 19th at 11:00am – See and learn about 15 exotic reptiles from around the world. Scott Petersen, a zoologist and educator, shows turtles, an iguana, an alligator and numerous types of snakes. He also talks about each animal’s importance to the balance of nature. Certain animals will be available for petting after the performance.

“Family Program, Making Sense of Your Five Senses” – Wednesday, June 25th, at 11:00am -Explore the ways your five senses work both separately and together with games, activities and experiments that thrill the senses. Take-home crafts and activities will keep the fun and learning going.

fluffy dog“Stuffed Animal Sleepover” – Thursday, June 26th, all dayBring a favorite stuffed toy animal for a sleepover at the library. Tuck your animal in and say goodnight. Come back the next day to pick up your friend and find out what mischief the animals got into during their night at the library.

“LabARTory: DIY Craft” – Friday, June 27th, all dayDrop by the library any time during open hours for an arts & crafts activity.

Also be on the lookout for other fun, educational programs, such as;

“Experiments of a Mad Scientist” – Wednesday, July 2nd at 1:00pm

“Chris Fascione: Stories, Clowning & Mime” – Thursday, July 10th, 11:00am

“Rhys Thomas: Science Circus” – Thursday, July 17th, 11:00am

“Shaver Marionettes” – Wednesday, July 24rd, 11:00am

“Mad Science’s Spin, Pop, Boom!” – Thursday, July 31st, 11:00am

With all that’s planned by the Timberland Regional Library, and the events at the Chehalis Vernetta Smith branch – you can now prevent ever hearing that oh, so common summer cry: “Mom!  I’m bored!”

 

For more information, check out the Timberland Library website at:

http://www.trl.org

Or better yet, go on over the Chehalis Library and discover for yourself:

http://www.trl.org/Locations/Pages/LibraryInformation.aspx?lib=ch

400 N. Market Boulevard
Chehalis, WA  98532-0419

360-748-3301

For Timberland’s complete Calendar of events for all of Lewis County  (and more) Timberland Libraries.   http://events.trlib.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp

 

 

Kids Helping at Garage Sales

Last week, we talked about helping children to let go of unused or outgrown belongings.  If you were successful, you may have found that you created quite a pile of belongings for them to either donate or put out for a garage sell.  This up and coming weekend has many in our communities starting to pull out tables and stickers to price.  So we thought why not include your kids in the process!

How to Start

Gather the Items

If you haven’t already done so, go through each room and create a pile that is garbage, one that could be donated, and then a pile of items to sell.   Don’t forget a room!  Closets, attics, basement, pump houses, and garages can be full of items.  Don’t think that people won’t buy your belongings.  You would be amazed what people might want, and if they don’t then you can haul it off after the sell is over.

This is a great opportunity to talk to your children about making money from selling belongings as well as  encouraging them to give to others.

garage salePrepping for Sale

Advertising

After you’ve chosen your date, you can start to spread the word.  You can place an add in the paper or online.  It’s amazing how many group pages you can find on facebook, created specifically for your community.  We found Lewis County Baby and Kids Site, Lewis County Furniture and Home Decor for Sale/Wanted, and Lewis County Area: Free, Wanted, For Sale as well.  There are so many, for examples: sports equipment, farm equipment/supplies/livestock, antiques, and more.   Craig’s List is also a great way to post about your garage sale too.   Make sure that you list the date of your sale, as well as location, and time.

“I saw ALL of your signs!”

IMG_5713[1]This is one of the most important things.  A small little paper, being batted around by the wind and possible rain, may do you little good.  We found that having a large sign, and a lot of them, makes a huge difference.  We used boards cut to  2′ x 3′ and some 12″ x 24,” and painted them white.  We simply placed the word “SALE” with an arrow on them.  Then put them at the head of each road to guide people there.  The days of the sale, they were set up in the mornings and taken down each evening.  We heard more people say “The saw the signs,” over reading about it in the paper or online!  The nice thing about these signs too, is you can use them for years to come.  These particular signs are twenty years old and are pulled out for any garage sell we hosted or for friends that needed them too!

Have the kids help paint the boards and the arrows.  They can even come along with a parent to set them up!

Garage Sale Essentials

IMG_5686[1]Stickers for Pricing

This particular task is great to include the kiddos.  Especially when it is for their own items.  They can decide how to price things, with guidance of course as well as putting each sticker on their own belongings.

Bins and Boxes

These can be very handy when you have a lot of things that are the same price.  Put a sign on the bin or write on the box the price you would want per item ($.10, $.50, $1).  Have your kids help sort the toys according to what each bin is marked at.  These worked great for all those toys that manage to make it home from McDonalds, the fair, school, as well as old stocking stuffers, cars, stuffed animals, barbies, and more.

Tables and Placement

Having table space makes it easy for browsers to look around.  You can use your own, borrow some, or make them.  One way to create more table space is by setting two tables three to four feet apart, lengthwise, then bridge the gap in between with a board that is about the same width of both tables.  You can also use sawhorses with a board on top to make a large table.  Table clothes can help to make the display look a little more put together, as well as conceal any items not included in the garage sale below.

IMG_5688[1]Now that you have your tables set up, call the kids back out.  This is another task where they can help! Have them pick a spot to put all the toys that are for sale.  Some kids may love setting them up to be displayed.  We found that they even gave pointers as to what level they should be placed… So kids coming in could see them.  Their sales skills are already blooming!  

Don’t Forget the Change

Find a money box or deposit bag to use.  Make sure to have fives, ones, quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies.  Chances are you will get a lot of people that will bring large bills.  Periodically take out the larger bills or when you start collecting a large amount, and set it aside in a safe place.

If you feel your child is ready, have them help to collect the money and count change back.

Ask for Help

It doesn’t hurt to have more than one adult present to help out with the garage sale.  It’s nice to have an extra hand to look out for sale itself and your kiddos if they are outside with you.  That’s why having a couple families doing a sale together can help make it be a lot less stressful for both families.

Time to Conduct Business

When the big day comes, prepare to have a smile ready,  hear some low ball offers, see many things go, and even…. talk your kids through saying goodbye to some of their well loved belongings.  Yes, they still might want to hang on, and you may need to pull out some tips from last weeks blog post.  ( http://discovermuseum.org/blog/2014/05/teaching-the-little-ones-to-let-go/ )

If they are still resistant, this could be a moment when you offer to match your child’s funds, or offer a reward with the earnings.  You may find that with a little bit of encouragement your kiddo may become a great salesman.  It’s also a great opportunity for them to count change, and add up how much they’ve made.

The most rewarding part is being able to free your house of clutter, and who wouldn’t want to cut some chaos out of their lives?  So if you are planning on having a garage sale, good luck to you Discover! friend!

IMG_5714[1]Discover! Crew Observations

  • Kids were somewhat resistant until they saw that they had money to spend.
  • Kids had fun when other children visited and played with them.  “The Perk” was that it relieved parents and grandparents a bit while they looked around.
  • Kids started demonstrating what the toys did while visiting children watched, which at times convinced parents to buy them.
  • Kids even went back into the house to grab more items to sell.  BONUS!!!!
  • Kids can help put things in the free box, as well as set up a lemonade stand.  If you have the time you can even make some cookies to sell!

Teaching The Little Ones to Let Go

SPRING-CLEANINGFor many, this time of year means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.  Emptying closets, putting away winter gear and pulling out the summer garb, and deep thinking sets in.  You may find yourself staring at the things that you haven’t used in months or years.  A list of people come to mind that could use them, or you may wonder how much money you could possibly get for your once treasured (fill in the blank).

Taking your items to friend, donating them, or putting together a garage sale all require time and patience.  No matter who you are or where you live there are nooks in every home where things sit and collect dust over a period of time.  Children’s rooms are no different. Most everyone, at some time in their lifetime, has gone through their belongings and rid themselves of items that don’t fit anymore or are no longer needed for that time in their lives.   What we take for granted is how healthy that is for us.  Learning to “let go” of stuff is a healthy habit for people to learn.

Involving-Kids-in-Daily-Cleaning-Chores-300x213Children learn their habits from those around them.  The way they treat their belongings, clean up after themselves, and eventually dispose of these items is also learned from their peers.  As adults we teach them how to take care of their prized toys, clean up with the multiple storage options we buy, and gently nudge them to donate/sale their outgrown toys to another kiddo that would love to play with them.

One sentimental blogger said that he would personify his belongings which made it hard for him to let go.  So when he started to get rid of things that he thought he could still possibly need in the future, for example his truck, he turned the tables and asked himself this:  “If my truck really were a living creature, it’s purpose would be to be used. Not to weigh me down. I realized I am disrespecting my things by leaving them laying around, dormant, trapped merely to serve my memories. They have a purpose that I’m holding them back from.” ~ Nicky Hajal

This advice can be easy for an adult to understand and try out, but how do you teach your kids to let things go?

pile_of_toysStart to Talk

  • Too much stuff can not allow enough room to play.
  • It’s hard to find the toys that you really want to play with.
  • Tripping isn’t fun!
  • “There are little kids that would love to play with the toys that you don’t play with anymore, and you feel so happy when you give.”  Share stories of toys you gave to younger kids when you were little.
  • It’s a sign that they’re growing up.
  • Have them pick their ten favorite toys that they love, and then let find ten toys that they don’t play with anymore.

Teaching them these habits will help them to continue to donate or get rid of things in the future.

family fun with cleaning upMake it Positive

One big thing you want to avoid is a negative experience.  There are several ways to do this.  When you are going through the process encourage them to talk about the space.  “Look at all this space, you could set up your hot wheels track now,” “Look, you have a whole cubby to put whatever you want in!  What do you think you can put in there?” Let them talk about what they can do differently in their room with the new available space.  Kids may be inspired to make their room more grown up, or the idea of donating may make them happy, and some might just love to spend the time with you.

toy storyLet it Go

There will be times during the process that they will cling to a toy that they haven’t played with in eons, and it’s your job to stay calm and walk them through a process of letting it go.   When they’re crying.. let them, sure it sometimes feels very sad to let go of something that used to be so fun to play with.  Explain that it will continue to have a good life giving the same pleasure to another happy kiddo and let them say goodbye and wish it a great life ahead.   You can do this with your own things too.  “Oh I love this hat… I wore it to Elsa’s and Jack Frost wedding, what a wonderful ceremony it was!  It’s such a shame I never wear it anymore!  I think I’m going to give it away to the little shop, where someone wonderful can wear it again!”  You showing this simple habit will be a great lesson, and is a truly good gift for their future.

Overloaded with Stuff

toy-donationWhatever you decide to do with your much loved belongings is up to you.  It may take time to build up a worthy amount of items to have a garage sale.  If you decide to donate your items there are many options.  You can ask churches if they or members of the congregation have specifics needs, local shelters (especially women’s shelters) welcome clothing and toys, and there is also a visiting nurses in Centralia and Chehalis.

Next week we will write something for throwing a garage sale with help from your kids.  Stay tuned!

Places to Donate

Visiting Nurses Centralia 222 S Pearl St.

Visiting Nurses Chehalis 749 Market Blvd.

Human Response Network (360) 748-6601

Salvation Army (360) 736-4339

Lewis County Shelter (360) 736-5140

Lewis County Women’s Shelter (800) 244-7414

Longview Housing Authority (360) 423-0140

Don’t forget to reach out to any church!

 

 

May Day Fun!

May-Day-Basket-TemplateRemember making a paper basket, adding a few flowers (real or paper creations), sneaking over to the neighbor’s porch, ringing the bell and running away?  Such exciting stuff and lots of fun!  We loved the creating, the anticipation, and the thrill of seeing happiness on another’s face.  What a tender memory for us to pass along to our children today.

In order to continue this tradition, Discover! has gathered a few resources and links.  Here you will find a short history of the day, simple crafts and other activities related to this spring celebration.  Our hope is that you will find time to involve your little one(s) in creating a May Day that will be remembered long into their adult years.

History of May Day

Many years ago, May 1st or May Day was a magical time to welcome spring.  On the night before May Day, children danced in the moonlit woods. They gathered spring flowers and  made crowns of daisies.

Some countries still celebrate May Day.  In France, May Day is a flower festival.  Delicate white flowers called lilies of the valley are believed to bring good luck.  In Denmark, sweethearts give each other bouquets of lilies of the valley.  Holland celebrates May 1 with a tulip festival.  On May 1 in Greece, the schools are closed.  The students trek into the woods to gather flowers.  In some other countries, May is a day of parades.

 

Make a Simple Basket – like the one pictured above

A May Day basket is a fun activity, because when you are done making it, you can go look for flowers to pick and put in your basket.  Kids love to display their handy work for decorations!

Supplies:
  • Construction paper
  • Tape, Glue or stapler
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or foam pieces (if you would like to decorate the outside of the basket)

Steps:

  1. Cut one of the pieces of construction paper into a square.
  2. Cut a one inch thick piece of paper from another color for the handle.
  3. If you want to decorate your basket, color or glue on your items on the square paper
  4. Loop square piece of paper around to make a cone
  5. Staple or tape together to keep it a cone
  6. Staple one inch piece of paper to top of cone to form handle
  7. Pick or make flowers to place in your basket.

Make a Spring Flowers Mobile

Contributed by Leanne Guenther

This is a simple mobile made up of single and double spring flowers.  We usually create our mobiles by using one paper towel or gift wrap roll with all the pieces tied to it. You can also criss-cross straws, or use a large plastic lid.

spring mobile
Instead of fish, you can use flowers instead.
Supplies:
  • some crayons, paint, markers or pencil crayons,
  • scissors, glue, string or yarn
  • paper towel roll
  • printer and paper
  • link to flower pattern template:

http://www.dltk-holidays.com/t_template.asp?t=http://www.dltk-holidays.com/spring/images/bdoubledaisy.gif

 Steps for Paper Towel Roll Mobile:

  • Print out the template.  You can print out as many as you want to fill up your mobile.   You can mix and match the double and single flowers.
  • Color (where appropriate) and cut out the template pieces along the dotted lines.
  • You can color the decorations with sparkle glue or sparkles if desired or use paint, crayons markers or pastels.
  • Fold the flowers in half and glue the back and front together.  Let dry.
  • Poke a small hole in the top of each piece and tie with yarn or string to the mobile you’ve chosen.
  • Decorate your paper towel roll as desired:  You can use paint, paper, stickers, etc to match your theme.
  • string each mobile piece from the paper towel roll
  • Put a piece of string or wool right through the paper towel roll  to use to hang from the wall or ceiling

 

Links to More May Day Ideas

http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/may/index.htm

http://www.toddlercraft.net/preschool-crafts/day-basket

http://www.pinterest.com/wonton37/may-day-ideas/

 

Always keep in mind that the most important goal is to have fun spending time with your child. So relax, and enjoy being together Discover! crafters!

Activities for Grandparents!

One of many things we loved to see happen at Discover! was watching grandparents bring in their grand kids.  Some would comment that it was a fun place to award them with during their stay, others said that they didn’t have near the amount of toys to entertain them with at home, and it was also mentioned how busy their little one’s were and they needed some extra fun!  We were happy to provide so many grandparents and their grandchildren with a fun place to play together, and we honestly feel a little guilty that we’re not open right now.  Therefore, we thought we would make up for it by doing a post about some great ways to entertain the grand kids when you have them over!

blog 1Have a Tea Party: Invite the kids to bring their best friends (stuffed animals) and dress up in their finest clothes.  Set up your china and tea cups and serve kid friendly drinks and snacks.  Some great Tea Time snack suggestions are PBJ sandwiches, veggies and dip, decorated cookies, and fruit.  The more involved they are in preparing the tea party the better.  You can have them help you prepare the table and snacks, as well as create a center piece!

119Go on a Treasure Hunt: This activity allows you to include the little ones too.  First make your treasure chest.  The sky is the limit in the materials that you use.  Look for buttons, bows, tape, paint, glitter, and wrapping paper to create a lovely masterpiece.  The kids will have a ball and remember the time they made an awesome treasure chest with Grandpa/Grandma.  Then comes the fun part, figuring out where to hide everything, and writing the clues to find each item.  After all of the treasures are collected, have the kids draw each item on an index card, then you can play a memory game with them.  They can also write down a story about each one, so the memories can be written down forever!

Get your Hands Dirty:  This was one of my favorite memories with my Grandmother.  Plant seed in pots and let them grow, when they are ready to transplant, let the kids help you pick a spot to plant them.  This will become a repetitious activity to do, each time they come over.   Little by little they’ll see what the plants are doing, and you can give each kiddo a journal to write down their observations.  The journal entries can be about how tall the plant is, what bugs they found, if it was hot or cold outside, was there any flowers, and whether or not the fruit/vegetable were ready to harvest.   If they do plant a vegetable, they can take the bounty home to mom and dad to share.  They’ll be a green thumb in no time!

Make a Jigsaw Puzzle:  Have them help you pick an image to print off, then glue it to a piece of cardboard.  You can use cardboard from a cereal box.  On the cardboard, trace out or draw puzzle piece shapes, then take an X-Acto knife and cut out each shape.  Now the kids can put it back together.

blog 2Have a FUNdue party:  Kids love this!  Melt chocolate chips and gather a bunch of yummy morsels: strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, and whatever else would strike your fancy.   Dip in and have Fun!

 Fruit Smoothies:  The kids love these, and it taste just as good as ice cream.  All you need is to add your fruit, frozen yogurt (your choice of yogurt), and orange juice to a blender.  You can go online and see hundreds of kid friendly recipes.

Sing Like a Rock Star:  Make your own instruments and become a band.  The internet is full of ideas for making some home made instruments.  Here is a link for five simple instruments: www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Simple-Musical-Instrument

blog 3Take a Trip to the Library:  Some children aren’t exposed to this until they are in school. So take the opportunity to show them what fun it is.  Many libraries have a children’s program once a week that you can attend.  Each time a story is read and followed with a craft.   For local story time in Centralia, Chehalis, Mountain View, Packwood, Salkum, Winlock, and Morton go to this link: www.trl.org/Locations/Pages/LibraryInformation.aspx?lib=ch

During your visit, you can pick up books that you placed holds on in advance, or let the kids pick some out.  Then take the time to sit and read to them. You can read at the library or outside, either way your grand children will start to be able to have some fond memories of reading with you!

carnival-109Bubbles:  This is by far one of the funnest activities that seems to make time pass by.  You can purchase large bottles of bubble liquid at local stores, which typically come with a bubble blowing wand.  Or make your own! However, you can use different types of things to blow bubbles with.  Straws make lots of little bubbles when you blow quickly through them.  You can also use your hands by putting the soap on them, then make a circle with your thumb and pointer finger.  When a film is over the circle you just made, blow and make giant bubbles.  You can also use tennis rackets, hangers, and more too!

Some More Fun Activities!

Make: sock puppets, kites, cookies, scrapbook, works of art, or crafts.

Go out and about: picnics, visit a pet store, local parks, trails, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.  Go a little further to the ocean, the zoo, or aquarium.

I see a bear!
I see a bear!

No matter what you decide to do, the most important part is spending time with your grandchildren.  The time that you spend makes an incredible difference in your grandchild’s life.  From you they learn to enjoy different things, they observe how you interact with them and others, and ultimately make numbers of memories to last their life time.

We hope this is helpful while we are shut down temporarily, and we are excited to see you again when we open our new museum!  Happy memory making Discover! Grandparents!

 

 

 

Kids and Kites

Windy Weather Family Activity!

Spring and wind supply an opportunity for fun with your family!  Let's Go Fly a Kite!
Spring and wind supply an opportunity for fun with your family! Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Kids and kites go together like peanut butter and jelly!  They’re a perfect match!  Since spring has officially arrived and wind is a sure thing this time of year, we think flying kites make for a perfectly fun family activity!  While you can purchase a kite (which can be a little or  a lot), it is still satisfying to make your own.  There are many kite making directions available, some that are easier than others.  We have included directions to get you started!

Gather your materials
Gather your materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you’ll need:  You will need one piece of paper, crayons and/or markers, a ruler, a pencil,  some yarn or string, a stapler, and a hole punch.

 

Use any colors you want, and make your creation a true piece of art!
Use any colors you want, and make your creation a true piece of art!

Color to your hearts desire!  One side or both, the side that will fold in on it’s self will be the top of the wings.

Tip: You know all those coloring sheets your kids love to color on.  This project is one way you can take those coloring sheets to a whole new level!

Kite 2
measuring points A and B on the folded edge

 

 

 

 

 

Fold the paper in half.  Using a ruler, place it along the folded side of your paper, measure and mark off at 2 1/2″ (point A) and at 3 1/2″ (Point B)

Get a small piece of tape to place over the fold at point B.  Then punch a hole through the tape.  (The tape helps to reinforce the hole where you will tie your string)

Roll the corners of paper to the
Roll the corners of paper to point A. Make sure not to bend your rolled paper.

Roll the top corners together to meet at point A.  Being careful to not crease the rolled edges, staple the top corner’s to point A.  These rolled wings help to catch the air, which then helps to lift your kite up into the air.

 

 

 

Here you can see where we stapled our corners, as well as where we added a ribbon!
Here you can see where we stapled our corners, as well as where we added a ribbon!

Tie string or your through the hole at point B.

Option:  You can add a tail to your kite by taping ribbon to the bottom center edge.

You may look at it and wonder if it will really fly, but rest assured… They really do fly, even in light wind or when you run!   Happy flying Discover! Friends!

Things to talk about when doing this

Wind!  What causes it?  Why it’s all about the sun – which warms the air.  And when cool air (which is heavy) meets warm air (which is lighter)  the result is wind!  The greater the temperature difference – the greater the speed of the wind.  From a gentle afternoon breeze, to a devastating tornado – it all depends on air temperature  – which goes back to the sun.  This is why wind  is often a sign that the weather is in the process of changing.

We can have lots of fun with wind.  Our breath is the wind that blows  dandelion seeds.  Wind blows leaves off of trees in the fall, creates sand dunes, and makes tumble weeds tumble!  What other examples of wind causing things to happen can you think of?  Of course, one of the most fun things is flying kites!!

Being Careful!  Make sure you watch where you are going while running with your kite, and make sure where you are playing with your kite isn’t near any power lines.

kite 8

Did you know that each August our state hosts the Washington State International Kite Festival?  Truly, this is a treat for your eyes. Kite professionals from around the world display their passion in the air for all to see.  Take a trip to Long Beach anytime during the 3rd week of August, and you will be amazed by unimaginable color and beauty. You can even wander through the kite museum.  Check out this website and make plans to attend:

 http://kitefestival.com/