Friday, August 31, 2012

Sand Castles

As summer winds down, some of us are heading to the shore to squeeze in a few last days at the beach. There  is something magical about the ocean. It inspires your imagination, incites you to play, and sets you at ease all in one fell swoop. One of our favorite things to do at the beach is to build sand castles. And when we build sand castles, we like to make them BIG.  After building one castle that Rowan could use for her dolls, she tried to climb in and use it herself. I thought to myself 'Self, what prevents me from making a sand castle so big that she can play in it, too?' And, from that day forth, we've made it a goal to out-do ourselves in the sand castle building department. 

The most functional interactive sandcastle design that we've come across is to dig down into the sand (as opposed to focusing on building up) and create a bit of a bridge for Rowan to crawl under. This method creates two "rooms" on either side of the bridge that, if you make them wide enough, can be pretty great little hang-outs on their own. I don't think that you can see them very well in the pictures below, but we built small sand shelves, stairs and stools in each of the "rooms". One particular set of stairs collapsed, but we just turned them into a slide instead. The bridges themselves collapse from time to time, too.  Whenever that happened to us, we would just turn each side of the bridge into a mountain, which I think Rowan liked just as much.

Rowan loved decorating  the castle walls with little spires made out of drippy, muddy sand. We mix equal parts sand and water and drip the mud in little piles any place that needs a little decorating. We also enjoyed finding sea shells to adorn our fortresses. And, once in a while, we'd find a little crab and let him frolic in our castle. 

Before you go off an try this yourself, here are a couple of pieces of advice. First of all, make sure to always keep an eye on your little one in the sand castle. It is sand, of course, and anything you build out of it will be temporary by nature. So make sure that you're with them all of the time (naturally). Second of all, it's easy to get wrapped up in your project. I mean, who doesn't feel like they're a kid again when they're playing in the sand? So enjoy! But make sure that they're having fun, too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shake Your Silly Illy Willies!

We all get the case of the sillies from time to time and we were inspired by the children around us to shake those crazy silly illy willies out from our feet to our head.  Go on... we know you want to give it a try!

Big hugs and thanks to all the kiddos for their playful and sweet hearts who made this video such a blast to make, and to Scout for a fabulous production.

Yvonne and Lolly

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kazoos! Make your own with toilet paper rolls.

For the last several months, we've been collecting empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls from friends and family.  Thanks to everyone, we now have hundreds, and you might have noticed in our previous post for Olympic games that we used some as pretend torches.  Well, we still had a ton left, so we decided to create musical instruments.  I was a bit sceptical and not quite sure how well little ones would be at making the sound...but it was a huge success at our latest concert.  We gave everyone a chance to color and construct their very own kazoos to play along with us.  It's a super easy craft and a great way to recycle, too!  

You will need:
  1. Toilet paper roll or paper towel roll sans paper
  2. Rubber band
  3. Wax paper
  4. Scissors
  5. Crayons or stickers to decorate
  1. Decorate the toilet paper or paper towel roll
  2. Cut a small hole about 1 inch below the end of the roll.  ( I used one part of a scissor and twisted it to make the hole).
  3. Cut a square piece of wax paper roughly 3.5" x 3.5" and place around the top of the roll (same side with the hole)
  4. Adjust the wax paper so the hole is not covered.
  5. Play!  Hummmm or sing into it!