Tag Archives: family

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

 

 

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!

 

 

Mom! You Rock!

MomAfter much debate as to what we would talk about this week, it was decided that Moms needed to have a little blog post thrown their way.  At first we thought about a craft, but then again that would mean mom would have to supervise.  We didn’t want to add any tasks on top of your busy day, plus it wouldn’t be a surprise for you either.  So it was decided to take a different route.

I’m sure many of you have seen numbers of articles about parenting, activities to partake in, places to go, doctors to see, and countless other subjects.  On a rare occasion you’ll see some articles about stepping back, taking a breather, and being less hard on yourselves… As WELL as on the other moms around you.

One thing that is so true, and I’ve heard a local yoga instructor say, “No two bodies are alike, as well as no two days.  It is not a competition, it is not a time for you to judge, but a time for you to focus on yourself.”  Even though it can be very hard to do this, imagine how much better we could feel if we weren’t comparing ourselves to other people.

10262175_10151958986340904_1332709282208785393_n
This picture popped up on Facebook, and I couldn’t help but use it for this post.

Making Comparisons

As our little ones come into this world, our lives are turned upside down to make adjustments to the schedule of a new precious baby.  Think of a purse that has been held upside down, and all the contents have been dumped out.  Some women would immediately pick everything up, and put it all back in place.  Another woman would possibly pick it all up at once and throw it in without a second glance.  Then there may be a woman out there reading this right now that is thinking, “I don’t carry a purse, so I wouldn’t have to worry about this happening.”  The point is woman are all different, and as we deal with any incidents (including parenting) we are going to react according to what we are most familiar or comfortable with.

Schedules, events, and daily activities are going to differ from one family to the other.   One mom may be great at scheduling.  She may thrive on having all her events properly placed on a calendar.  She is really good at it, and it may make her feel better about her day.   Another mom may find that a schedule just doesn’t suit her needs as a parent, and she enjoys spending her days with her kids and seeing what comes there way.  Either way… These women are awesome!

What one woman does will not be the same exact way you do it, and it shouldn’t be.  As the words above said we aren’t alike, no two days will be the same, nor should they be.  Just focus on the moment and do the best you can, confident in yourself as a mom.

Reaching Out

If you see a mom, that you think “I just wonder how she does that?” It doesn’t hurt to ask!  We have seemed to become more comfortable judging and not reaching out to one another.  If you decide to ask, you will most likely find her to be a woman that is doing her best to keep all the balls in the air like a juggler, and trying to not let one fall.  Or she might love to share information that helped her.  We all know that there is a mom out there that we watched and just wished we could be just half of the mom that she is to her kids.  Chances are she feels, or has felt, the same way about someone else.

Two moms connecting at the local Chehalis Mops group.
Two moms connecting at the local Chehalis Mops group.

Reaching out in your community is a great way to connect and learn about others and yourself.  Locally we have awesome opportunities for moms to meet up.  There are MOPS and local moms groups,  school PTA organization, and more.  If you are intimidated, find a friend to go with you, but go into it knowing that there is most likely a friend in there waiting for you to join her.

When things are looking bad… Remember… You can do it!

405455056a3ea3aada2a6fe0ca7f9916If we aren’t looking at other moms to compare ourselves to, we are looking at what we aren’t doing right.  We all struggle with wanting to do our best around our kids ALL day.  Well guess what…  We ALL aren’t going to be perfect.  We’re human, and again no two days are alike.  Life gets crazy, people get sick or tired, things get broken, food gets dropped or spilled, children will fight, and chances are Mom is bound to have her patience tested.

Understand that you will have a melt down, just like your little ones.  Take a breather… sit in the bathroom and lock the door.  Tell your kiddos, that you need to take a few seconds to yourself. Relish the time during their naps, so you can re-energize.  If it’s after nap time or they don’t take naps, find an activity that you know they enjoy doing  peacefully and let them do it to their hearts content.  Mine love to color or blow bubbles, so I let them have a good thirty minutes of that while I start dinner.  Which is my time, or I like to think it is!  If all else fails, everyone can have some room time, including yourself so you can get a break and come back with a fresh attitude.

Super Mom!

This is another little thing that we have seen pop up on the land of Pintrest, and we thought it was fitting!
This is another little thing that we have seen pop up on the land of Pintrest, and we thought it was fitting!

All these pointers may seem easier said then done.  There are moms out there that have expressed that they are afraid that their attitudes about themselves, or how they have behaved, will ruin their kiddos.  Just remember that your kids love you.  You are their super mom!  Not one that you have made up in your head as what you think a super mom should be or look like.  You ARE THEIR super mom, not like any other.

No two women are the same and no two days are the same.  You can only face your day as yourself and do the best you can.  Do so with confidence, because we know you can.

 

 

Some Inspirational Quotes!

  • “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”  ~ Anonymous
  • “The moment a child is born the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother… never.  A mother is something absolutely new.”  ~ Anonymous
  • “If we are not a little bit uncomfortable every day, we’re not growing.  All the good stuff is outside our comfort zone.” Jack Canfield
  • “The most beautiful necklace a mother can wear is not gold or gems, but her child’s arms around her neck.” ~ Anonymous

We wish all of you mothers a wonderful Mother’s day, and we hope you enjoy your time with your children.  Happy Mother’s Day Discover! Moms!

 

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/

 

 

 

 

 

Our Last Day at Discover! Pilot Children’s Museum

DSC_2096
One of our friendly visitors

We started Discover! Children’s Museum Pilot project, which was set to open at the beginning of February 2013 and close in July.  The purpose was to see how a small scale Children’s Museum would do in our community.  Operations went so well, that Discover! was able to stay open till the end of October… and then the end of December.  December became the final month, when enough data was collected to move onto the next leg of our project.  So on the last day we decided that it was a day to rejoice, invite everyone with no admission charge, and have a party!  Closing day was full of fun and celebration.  We were fortunate enough to have more than two hundred visitors, and many of whom were visiting for the first time.  We even had a tortoise visit us as well!

IMG_4556
The place is hopping

Even though many were a little sad to see us go, it was still fun.   Every exhibit was busy with little feet and little hands exploring the possibilities, which is exactly why our group wanted to open a museum for children in the first place.

Parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles followed their kiddos from place to place, and many joined in the fun.  Watching them laugh and work together as they built, created, and encouraged one another made us realize that yet another one of our goals had been met.  To see families come together, learn, and grow.  One family created this masterpiece!

One visiting family created this farewell message on Raygen's Amazing Heart exhibit.
One visiting family created this farewell message on Raygen’s Amazing Heart exhibit.

When it was closing time, our crew had a little bit more time to reflect and celebrate the success of Discover! Pilot Children’s Museum.  Lots of fun stories were shared, as well as goals reached, and visions of what we knew we could see in our future!   We are so excited to serve your families for years to come!