Category Archives: Grandparents

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!