La Habra Children’s Museum

I forgot to post about our trip to the La Habra Children’s Museum last Saturday.Thanks to Target, on the first Saturday of every month they open their doors for free. We hadn’t been in almost a year and they changed one of their rooms so we weren’t really sure what to expect but for the most part it was just as awesome as before. 

When you first walk in there is everything from a dinosaur dig area, a car with different kinds of fuel to learn about, a play kitchen and bathroom to see how water gets to your bathroom plus other things. M was in heaven with the car.
The dig area which is awesome since we’ll be doing that later this week.
The kitchen area
The bathroom area watching what happens when you flush a toilet
Of course… the car
Some gears to turn
We spent some time in the Pre-school Playpark where there is another kitchen mock-up, riding toys, blocks, legos, a train table and more. M found the train table and probably could have spent the rest of the day there if I hadn’t pulled him away.
The rest of the room
Then we checked out the other side where the carousel is. It has a little market you can pretend to shop at and a real OCTA bus to play on.
Shopping
Riding the bus
We visited their new water exhibit room but it was a little over their head. It’s all about learning how water works and learning about water conservation.
A lot of the time was spent in the Kids on Stage (dress up) room. There are TONS of shoes, hats and clothes to try on with a stage and microphone to perform on. They even have a lighting/sound booth to play with. O loved this.
They also have a train room, a nature room, a cultural room and real trains you can take tour through but we didn’t get to those. After spending lots of time inside we took them to the playground outside.
Lots of fun was had and if you are in the Southern California area, this place is wonderful.
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Preview For This Week

This week is all about the letter D. Or at least it is supposed to be. I say that because we are battling some issues that may hinder our learning abilities.

D’s family is sick so more than likely we won’t see them this week, or at least till the end of the week.

In addition to that gem, O and M are both stuffy and runny. If that weren’t enough O is having some sleep issues. Or maybe I should say, waking issues. The kids normally sleep from 7:30-7:30 give or take about 30 minutes. O has been waking up before 6am. I convince her to stay in her bed but by 7 she is calling my name. This led to her passing out on the couch yesterday at 5:30pm. I was just barely able to wake her up by 6pm. Although I’m thinking I should have just put her to bed because she was up till 9pm, still waking up at 6am this morning.

If you have some advice, I would appreciate it. I understand kids change and a lot of kids normally wake up early but such an early wake up time has never been the norm for my kids so I know this is different. But I don’t know what is causing it.

Anyway.. so not feeling the greatest plus being tired is going to make activities a little more tiring. For all of us.

At this point I am just going to take it day by day. The ideas we had for this week included feeding ducks at a pond, playing drums and dancing and having a dino dig. That stuff plus the little daily activities.

I’m thinking this afternoon will include some drumming and dancing along with some kind of D craft. But, we’ll see what happens and how the kids are feeling.

More than likely we’ll do our duck pond tomorrow, some painting on Wednesday then our dino dig on Thursday. That will give me time to find the dirt and dino bones.

One day I’ll be organized enough to be ready for the whole week.

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Color Hunt At The Park

Friday we kept it easy and simple. I really just wanted to let them play and it was a gorgeous day so we went to a park nearby. I brought along a plate for a possible color hunt if they were interested and Olivia was so we went to it for a bit. We’ll do it again during review week, this was just for fun more than anything else.

We didn’t find a whole bunch of colors but I didn’t expect to so that’s fine.

Picking the purple and white flowers
Placing everything on the correct color (don’t mind the green Starbucks straw)
Everything we found. Not too bad actually.

The kids had a wonderful time and so did I. I even got my first sunburn of the season.

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Caterpillars and Color Mixing

Unlike Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were actually fun and somewhat successful. Thursday we were at D’s where we finished up our caterpillars and played a bit with them. We also read The Very Hungry Caterpillar about a dozen times throughout the morning as it is a favorite and D had the gigantic pop up book. And pop up books make everything 10x more fun.

D’s boys were having a rough week so we just let the kids take it easy for the most part. After lunch we read Mouse Paint, a favorite in this household. That set up our color mixing lesson perfectly.

We didn’t expect the boys to get the concept but it still gave us a chance to go over colors, let them practice pouring and Olivia got to work on her color mixing concepts.

Putting the colors in the glasses
We did the initial mixing of colors because the glasses were… well, glass and they weren’t ours to break.
But after that was over we let them pour themselves

They had a great time so I’ll probably do it again with just O and M during our review week.

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Sometimes Mommas Need a Time Out Too

Today ended up being a crappy day. I got to bed extra late on Tuesday and I didn’t sleep well because the kids didn’t sleep well. I decided not to get up at 5am for a workout thinking the extra couple hours of sleep would help my ability to think and cope with the day. I was half way right.

We all got up and got ready to go. The plan was to get to Target for a few needed items then we could start our crafts and fun for the day. We got to the car and lo and behold….

no key.

I had keys, just not my car key. We had an incident a few days ago with a key being broken in the car door so we had to switch around car keys. Then we had another switch-a-roo last night trying to figure out other stuff and the hubs accidentally took both of my car keys.

To put it mildly, I was pissed. I wasn’t mad at him or me or the kids, just the situation. I was upset because that meant no park, no doing the activities I had wanted/planned for. It meant the kids would be cooped up at home. With me. It didn’t help that I had a giant headache and I was tired. And so were they.

Once back upstairs I put on some cartoons and stewed in my annoyance for a while. The kids got whiny and I was too annoyed to deal properly so I gave them lunch and told them I was taking a time out.

I went in their room (since that’s where time outs are taken), closed the door and laid on M’s bed. After maybe 5 minutes of quiet and dark (their room stays dark, it’s awesome), M started looking for me and I felt rejuvenated so I got up.

It’s amazing what a time out for ME can do. I get overwhelmed by sounds, especially when I’m annoyed, angry, etc and if I can’t get away from the noise I will probably have a nervous breakdown. At least that’s the feeling.

After I got myself back together and lunch was over, we painted our egg cartons for our caterpillar’s.

The rest of the day was spent trying to keep them happy and busy so they would have the least amount of time to think about whining at me. I was half way successful.

At least I didn’t need another time out. I’m desperately hoping tomorrow will be easy.

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Good Idea, Bad Idea

Tuesday we spent with D and K. After letting the kids play for a bit, we got them started with Cheerios. They wanted a little snack and Cheerios are little circles! So we talked about the word cereal and how these are little circles and we practiced counting them. We showed them the words and had them point out the letters the recognized, it was good.

Then we moved to the backyard for a circle hunt. The kids found lots of circles in the tables and wheels and other things. Definitely a win.

Finding circles in the wheel of the (evil) popper and the (taken apart) fountain

After that we did circle stamping. My kids were not that into it. Probably because they had already done it the day before and probably because they just like making messes. Oh well, it worked well for us on Monday so it wasn’t a big deal. However, K’s came out great! He did really well with the stamping and D helped him practice drawing circles.

D and K – K is OBSESSED (really… he is. no exaggeration) with baseball so he was drawing the lines in the circles to make baseballs
 O choosing to paint the cup opposed to stamping with it. I think we’ll have to do a figurine painting soon.

After that we had lunch, or at least offered them lunch while we ate. We offered macaroni (they look like C’s), a cucumber caterpillar (oh so cute, I should have gotten a picture), carrots and corn. D and I thought it was awesome but alas, our kids are picky eaters.

After that we did one more project that we should have just left alone. We were trying to incorporate celery somehow. My kids know what it is (thank you Wonder Pets) but they don’t like to eat it. I don’t blame them. So we thought we would let them paint with it.

Worst.Idea.Ever.

EVER!

We had to set them up inside because it was starting to get windy and cold. Not a big deal, we have painted inside before. It was fine for about a minute. Then K slapped the celery down on the paper. Wouldn’t have been a big deal but then M did it too.

Again, not a big deal usually.

But he had a huge glob of paint on his celery. Can you guess where this is going??

Paint went a-flyin’. I was standing by the boys. Therefore, I went a-runnin’. I got paint splatters on my shirt, chest, face and hair. D and I were smart and wore black shirts.

Again, not too big of a deal. All 3 kids were doing it at this point and there were paint splatters everywhere. But they were having fun and nobody was crying.

But then…

D’s lovely hubby came home. I am smiling just thinking of this because as much as it was a pain in my butt, it was hilarious and the kids LOVED it.

He prompted M to put his (now painted) hands on his face. At first he wasn’t so sure but O changed all of that. She needed no other ok to get her hands covered in paint and proceeded to slap her face with said hands. I lost it. Laughing so hard I had to leave the room. M joined in and once I pulled my crap together I showed K how to do the same.

Sorry D… I know you were the one to clean him up. But I blame your hubs.

Not our best idea. However, the kids had a blast so it wasn’t terrible.

After the paint flying incident
You can guess. M had it all over his face, ear and some on his hair. O kept it to her cheeks and dress
K took some prodding to get this done but it was cute.

We were thoroughly exhausted after cleaning them and everything else but it was definitely a successful day.

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C is for….

Monday was kind of a haphazard-ish day. I started a new schedule that required my getting up super-de-duper early for working out (such a love hate relationship with that whole early thing) and I thought more was planned out but I was wrong.

So I just threw some ideas together and it worked out kinda sorta. I had wanted to introduce the long C sound first and just work through that. But, we had planned on doing that Tuesday with D and K and I didn’t want to duplicate everything. That sound doesn’t have much to work off of (celery – which my kids hate, cereal, circle, circus – which I’m not willing to deal with, and centipede) though.

Instead I decided on a couple of things I thought they would like and went with it regardless of sound.

To introduce the letter C, I decided on caterpillar C’s. Once again, another great idea from the wonder woman over at No Time For Flash Cards. I tried to have them sort the colors out but they just wanted to squish them in their hands so we’ll try that another time. I know they can do it but it’s always good practice.

Our C caterpillar C’s (sans antennae)
 They turned out super cute. I really have to get some pipe cleaners though.
They wanted to do more so I gave them strips of paper to rip up to make a Colorful C. They did pretty well with the ripping this time and they really like filling in the letters with the pieces (we did this for B too).
 The end result

After lunch we did a painting project. My kids could paint every day and they would never tire of it, I’m sure. They love getting messy. This time I had them start with circle stamping. I gave them different things of varying sizes to use (a mini pot for plants, a bowl and a couple lids). They weren’t too excited about trying the different things. M took to the mini pot and only once changed to something different. O was ok with trying a few but she got over the stamping pretty quick. She just wanted to get her hands in there to make me a “pretty mess”.

I love how M’s came out (his hand prints next to it)
M’s work including her “pretty mess”
They seemed to do well with the concept and as we read our books we pointed out C’s and other letters. We also did a puzzle that is a city scene which worked well. M is starting to really get the concept of matching puzzle pieces and O is pretty darn good at them (I adore puzzles so this makes me happy).
Definitely a productive day.
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