Thursday, October 10, 2013

Paper Balloons

Rowan and I spent the morning making origami balloons. It's a pretty intricate craft, so she helped me with some of the folding, creasing, and, finally, blowing them up. It's a pretty hands-on craft for a grown-up, but now we have lots of pretty balloons that we can play with, decorate with, or use as packing material in special packages.

Here's how we made them. We used craft paper that we had lying around, but you can use old wrapping paper, magazine pages, or newspaper. Or paint & color your own paper!


1. Start with a square piece of paper.
2. Fold it in to a triangle.
3. Unfold it and then fold it in a triangle the other way.
4. Unfold it again and then fold it in half (into a rectangle).
5. Unfold the paper. It should be all creased like the picture below.


6. Fold the paper into the rectangle again. 
7. Using the creases as a guide, fold left flap over so the paper becomes a triangle.
8. Repeat with the right side. (When you do it to the right side, too, you'll end up with a triangularly folded piece of paper that could stand on its own like a pyramid.) 
9. Once you've got it, put your triangle down and get ready for the next step. 

10. You should have two 'layers' of triangle. Fold the bottom edges of the first layer up. You're going to want to leave a small space between the left and right folds so the last step is easy.
11. Repeat on both 'layers' of triangle.


12. You should have before you a little diamond shaped piece of folded paper in front of you. It should look identical on both sides. Fold the outer flaps of the diamond in towards the middle of the diamond.
13. Repeat on the other side.
 

14. You've made little pockets in  your diamond! Fold each of the top edges into the pockets. 
15. Repeat on the other side.

16. Your folded up balloon should have a little opening at the very bottom. Blow into it and Voila! You've got yourself a cute little balloon.

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It really does get easier the more you make these. It's kind of addictive. Once you have all of the balloons you want, you can play catch, soccer, have an indoor 'snowball' fight, or play a little sorting game like Rowan is doing in this little video. We made balloons out of 5 different patterns, so she sorted them out in different ways. The older the kid, the more challenging you can make the game. Can they balance it on their head or their hand as they bring it to it's basket? Can they throw it into the basket from across the room? Can they do it with their eyes closed? And, best of all, you can string them up after you're all done playing with them and use them as a garland in the kids room! 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aromatherapy For Kids!

A few weeks ago, I got an email from someone who is a good friend and a great massage therapist/acupressurist/aromatherapist. Her name is Sara Naomi and she's the owner of Therapeutic Calm, one of the practices that operates through the Rooted River Therapies consortium in Yardley.  It turned out that she was conducting her first aromatherapy class for kids! I was very excited to bring Rowan. She is already interested in 'good smells'. Lavender essential oils helped us all through some particularly rough sleeping patches, so she already had a bit of experience in her 4 1/2 years with the benefits of aromatherapy. 


We arrived at the class a little late. Am I the only mother who can never get anyplace on time? Anyhow, when we walked in, Sara was surrounded by kids ranging in age from 5-8 who couldn't take their eyes off of her. She was speaking to them in her gentle voice and showing them pictures of functioning and non-functioning cells. She taught them about olfactory nerves. She gave them tips on using scents to aid in studying and learning. She taught them about using oils to help with headaches and sore muscles. It was great. The kids and parents loved it. 


At the end of the class, each of the kids got to mix their own oil to take home. And Sara had made a delicious (and super healthy) coconut bar for a snack! It even had essential oils in it. 

This is the first time that I took Rowan to a class like this. It's actually the first time I've even heard of a class like this for children. I'm looking forward to attending more. It's nice to set a tone for holistic living at such a young age. And it was pretty great for her to be able to bring home a craft that wasn't made out of paper, straws & pipe cleaners. Nothing against paper, straws & pipe cleaner, but lavender-clove oil is a pretty nifty alternative. 

Here's to staying healthy & strong!

For more on Therepeutic Calm and all of the other cool things that Sara Naomi does, here's some links:
You can also follow her under 'therapeutic calm' on facebook, instagram, etsy and pinterest. Or if you're interested in setting up a class with her, email her at therapeuticcalm@gmail.com. It's a great way for kids to learn something new either as part of a home school program or as a fun after school thing to do.

Go say hi to her at the Rooted River Therapies booth at the Yardley Harvest Festival this weekend. She may even have some treats for you.



Friday, August 30, 2013

Bucks County Library Tour: Part 6 - Riegelsville & Pipersville

Here are clips from the final two library shows of the tour! We played my home town library, Riegelsville, a great little library at the tipity top of Bucks County. A perfect crowd came out and we had a great time. We were even able to bring the parachute out for a song.
For some reason, this video clip didn't come through:( But stay posted for pictures! We had some friends taking them while we were playing.

This is our very last show at the tiniest library we've ever been to. Yay Pipersville!
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We had such a great time over the past two weeks. Thank you to everyone who came to the shows. And we'll see you at all of our shows coming up!

Love Lolly & YoYo

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bucks County Library Tour: Part 5 - Morrisville, Fallsington, Southampton & Northampton

I can hardly believe that the tour is almost done! We lost our video from the Morrisville show. Booo! But we've got three cute videos from our other shows this week. Here they are!

We started with a small group in Fallsington, so we got to play one of our more intricate balancing and sorting games with noodles and baskets. Now if I can just use this technique to clean my house... video
Our Southampton show was in the midst of a crazy rain storm, but that didn't dampen our spirits. video
Northampton library was the first place that we ever played a kids show together! My, how things have changed since then. Anyhow, we visited a rainforest at this show since it was raining outside. YoYo is catching raindrops with the kids in this clip. video

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bucks County Library Tour: Part 4 - Wrightstown & Glenside

As we embark on our second week of the Bucks County Library Tour, we just wanted to share some quick shots from Saturday's shows!
Here we are at Wrightstown Library. There are some shots here of our 'moon rock hockey' game that we've been playing. The kids are learning about how to use equipment while YoYo is learning a little bit about outerspace!
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And here we are at the Glenside Library for their Summer Reading Wrap Party. It's not in Bucks County, but I wanted to share this clip along with the other videos we've been taking. What a great library! They have a vegetable garden outside. And there were all sorts of cool crafts and projects for the kids to do at this event. Fun! This video is showing a little bit of our 'rainbow fishing' game where the kids throw tie-died socks through a hula hoop. 
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bucks County Library Tour: Part 3 - Levittown, Yardley, Langhorne, Lower Southampton

We're having so much fun on our library tour! We did 4 shows in one day! Yikes! Thanks to all of the great venues and the lovely audiences, we were having to much fun to think about how busy we were. 
Here's a snippet from Levittown:
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Here's a clip from Yardley:
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Here we are at Langhorne:
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And, the grand finale at Lower Southampton:
We're still going! Doylestown and New Hope next. If you want to see any of our upcoming shows, check out our events on LollyandYoYo.com
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Bucks County Library Tour: Part 2 - Quakertown and Perkasie

Here 's a pic from our show at the Quakertown Library. Scarf games!:
And here's a video of our Perkasie Library show. Noodles!:
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buck County Library Tour: Part 1 - Warminster, Bristol (Grundy) and Bensalem

We have begun our 10 day whirl-wind tour of the Bucks County Libraries as part of their 'Kindergarten Here We Come' series. These are some of the craziest weeks that we have all year, but we love every minute of it. We thought that we would give you a window into our lives during these shows. Stay tuned each day for more pictures & videos.

Here we are at the Warminster Library! Our first show of the tour!
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This is from the Grundy Library in Bristol, PA. I always feel like I'm meeting James Bond when I come to this library because of it's subterranean design.
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And here is a snippet from our show at the Bensalem Library. video

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A California Adventure - pt 3

When I think of California, I think of the beach. We were staying about 15 minutes from what I'm told is the best surfing in the world right now. Although I've been itching to learn how to surf, I decided that it would be best to 'get my feet wet' in less intimidating waters. So check back next year for an entry about surfing. (And if anyone in the PA/NJ area wants to give me a lesson, let me know!)

However, we did get to spend a bit of time on the wild windy beach by the Natural Bridges (well, Natural Bridge these days). The waves were pretty intense, so we were happy to stay out of the water. However, nothing could keep Rowan from making another lovely sandcastle. But how do you do that with no buckets or shovels? We were across the country from her sandcastle supplies and we forgot to make our way to a store to get replacements. So Rowan, being a kid, and kids being the most resourceful things on the planet (when it comes to play), decided that a couple of empty bottles and bottle caps were just fine. We used the caps for digging & construction. She delegated water-retrieval to me. I had the task of repeatedly filling one empty lemonade bottle and two empty soda bottles with ocean water so we could construct our palace. The absence of our normal toys also made the seaweed, sticks, shells and feathers that we found that much more interesting and useful. 

Our cross-coastal beach trip made me realize that maybe I'm making too big of a deal of packing up for our own 'local' beach days. I'm sure that any parent has experienced that moment when they see their child transform the strangest and most commonplace things into the most wondrous toys. And, although I am fully aware and appreciative of the value of some of the wonderful toys, books & games out there, it's nice to be reminded that we don't need fancy things to have the time of our lives.


Love,
Lolly

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A California Adventure - pt 2

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Well, we're back home now. But our trip was so full of new and fun things that I still want to share some of the places we've been, things that we've done, and adventures we've had.

So, for our next act, let me take you to the grand ol' California Redwoods. Rowan had never seen such a large tree in her life. I had been out to visit my brother in California before, so I had seen them in the past, but they never cease to amaze me. We couldn't help stretching up high like the trees or reaching our arms around the trees as far as they could go (which was not very far at all). The loop that we hiked was just over a mile, which was reasonable for an eager and excited 4 year old. But there are much longer hikes that we could have taken and other parks we could have visited. Next time. There were hollowed out trees on the trail that you could walk under. Perfect little nooks for a kid.

The thing that I loved about taking Rowan to this park was that, from the moment we walked onto the trail, she wanted more. She asked if we could camp there (again, maybe next time), and she wanted to explore everything. I'm glad that we could show her the largest trees we have ever seen. I hope that her love of nature grows each day.

Love,
Lolly

Monday, July 29, 2013

A California Adventure - pt 1

This has been quite a week! We have traveled to the other side of the country to visit family. This means that Rowan experienced her first plane ride and her first major time change. And she's been doing really well!

Even so, sometimes the best behaved kid has trouble with things like sitting still for hours or waiting patiently in line. So I've been falling back on some of my favorite games that we do at our shows to keep Rowan (and me) happy. 

Earlier in the week, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium is always an amazing place, but the sea otter exhibit and incredible interactive jelly fish and  sea horse exhibits were like nothing i've ever seen before. The excitement of the museums made the simple task of waiting for a table for lunch almost too much for a little kid. So we played Aquarium Freeze. After spending time seeing these animals in real life, it can be much easier and much more fun to come up with new ways to act like some incredible creatures. It's a game that doesn't take up much space, so you can play it even when you're in a crowded space. You just have your kid (or kids) dance around, then call out the name of an animal and they can 'freeze' like that animal. It's easy and fun for a variety of ages. 

Have a lovely day!
Lolly

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Goin' to the Zoo!

We played at Elmwood Zoo yesterday in Norristown, PA and made a new friend! Here's a little video of us and Tharubu the giraffe. You can come feed the giraffes while they're staying at Elmwood (through the beginning of September). 
We especially like going to the zoo because it's a place where you can get endless inspiration for games, movement, and songs. 
Have a lovely day!


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Lolly & YoYo

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Linen Ocean

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I sure do love forts. Today we set things up so we could pretend that we were at the beach. The 'ocean' was made out of three sheets, some binder clips and our living room furniture. Add a few fans for effect, and you're good to go! We've been playing for hours. We even ate lunch on the 'beach' (tuna salad, of course). Crawling under the waves all day is a sure recipe for a happy and tired family at the end of the day.

Have a lovely day.
Lolly

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Honey Lemonade

There's nothing like a nice cold lemonade to take the edge off of a hot summer day. Yesterday, after a humid day at the park, Rowan & I decided to try to make our own. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, so here are some pictures & a recipe:

4 lemons
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of boiling water
3 cups of cold water

Squeeze the lemons into a pitcher. Dissolve the honey in the boiling water to make one cup of honey water. Add the honey water to the lemon juice. Stir it all up. Add lots of ice and the rest of the water. Enjoy!

We hope you like it!

Love,
Lolly

Monday, July 1, 2013

Flying Around

Good evening! I'm just taking Rowan for a night time 'fly'. I vividly remember balancing on my mom's feet just like this when I was a little girl. And, thankfully, when I got a little too big for her feet, my big brothers were up for a challenge and would 'fly' me on theirs. Anyhow, happy bedtime!

Love
Lolly

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Laundry Basket Games pt 5- Hot Lava Boats


We're rounding out this week of laundry basket games by pretending that we're in boats! The floor is hot lava, so we have to scoot along the floor in our boats. I put towels underneath the baskets so the floors were safe and the scooting was a little bit easier. In our little video, I'm doing most of the basket pushing, but after playing this game for a few minutes, Rowan was eager to try pulling her own basket towards mine. Plus, it led to a hot lava game, which is irresistible to any kid.

Thanks for reading our blog this week! We hope that you enjoyed it and got some good ideas. Check back soon for more games, stories, pictures & videos!

Best,
Lolly

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Laundry Basket Games pt 4- Water Balloon Catch

We're joined today by our friend, Piper. Our version of today's game is with water balloons, but it's easy to turn it into an indoor game with regular balloons.  
  • One person throws the balloon. 
  • The other person catches the balloon with the basket.
If you're playing outside, be sure to collect all of the broken balloon pieces! 

Have fun!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Laundry Basket Games pt 3- Monkey Feet

Today we put scarves all around the room and used our feet like monkeys to put them into the laundry basket! Give it a try at home! If you don't have scarves, you can use socks. Or you can use this as a fun way to clean up your room.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Laundry Basket Games pt 2- Target Practice

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In today's episode of Inventing Games (a.k.a. 'how else can we avoid doing housework?'), Rowan and I have come up with, for lack of a better term, a 'target practice' game. 
  1. Make sure that you're in a good place to throw balls at laundry baskets. This would be a great outside game, too. But we decided to set it up inside today. That being said, make sure that the basket isn't near anything breakable. 
  2. Balance the laundry basket on it's side.
  3. Try to knock the basket over using a ball, rolled up socks, or, if you're outside, a hose!
Have fun!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Laundry Basket Games pt 1- Turtle Tag

We've been busy bees over the past couple of months finishing up our new CD, so our blog has become a little neglected. Unfortunately, so has me little house! As I was digging my way through lots and lots of accumulated laundry, I thought that it was high time that I start up the blog again, which means coming up with fun kids games.

So this week, I've come up with FIVE different games to play with an ordinary household LAUNDRY BASKET! Here's our first one:


TURTLE TAG:


1st variation:

We tried a few different versions of this game. One was kind of a red-light / green-light game where Rowan crawled around with the laundry basket on her back. When I called out 'Turtle', she had to stop moving and hide beneath the basket. This seems like it would be more fun with a few kids. So we tried another variation.


2nd variation:

This one is more of a hide and seek game and was our favorite version of the game. We put a few laundry baskets upside down around the room. I counted to 20 while she hid (someplace other than a laundry basket). When I was done done counting, I went looking for her. When I found her, she had to run to a basket and hide under it (like a turtle hides under it's shell) before I caught her and tickled her.

It's a great day to play!
Love,
Lolly


Here's Rowan playing Turtle Tag!

Here's a picture that Rowan drew of us playing Turtle Tag. Our dog, Sunny, was playing, too!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Croquet!

The sun is out! The sky is blue! We're getting ready to have some friends over and I thought that it would be a good day to introduce Rowan to croquet. It's a pretty easy game. It involves colorful balls and decorated mallets. And she already been introduced to it in pop culture by Alice in Wonderland. It's also a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so it's perfect to set up today as we wait for our friends to come over. Although croquet is not necessarily the most active game, it does help teach coordination, good sportsmanship, sharing & taking turns, and how to use equipment, which are all very valuable.
Rowan is having a lot of fun practicing before our friends get here. She can't wait for the games to begin. Now off to brew some good, strong tea and make some cucumber sandwiches before our friends arrive!



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Up! Up! And Away!

This past week, I was talking to a parent of a very creative and energetic kiddo who takes a fitness class with me, and we started talking about the adventurous and funny movie Up.  She sent me this picture of her son's homemade Up house with balloons and a tissue box and I thought this was way to cute not share with all of you. So, I started wondering, how many helium balloons would it take to lift an adult or child, because this would be a really sweet way to fly.  After some research and careful calculations, I've determined for a 40lb child it would take about 142 balloons.  Now that would be a fun way to get to school! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Egg Art

To celebrate our recent appearance on the Sunny Side Up Show on the Sprout Channel, I made this delicious and I must say pretty adorable egg breakfast the week before the show aired!  Research tells us a few things - breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when we make food look 'fun and yummy' kids are more likely to eat it!  Happy cooking!


Egg Art Recipe:
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (organic, unrefined) in the pan.
- 1 red bell pepper - cut into horizontal strips. The bigger cut peppers held more egg. 
- Eggs 
- Extras: cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomato, cilantro, paprika spice, Himalayan sea salt

Directions: Just cut up a few peppers horizontally and place on pan for a few minutes first.  Then add the egg and any other toppings!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Walking Sticks

Rowan and I went to our favorite story time this morning at the Riegelsville Library. After reading stories about going for walks, Miss Julia announced that the craft today was making walking sticks! What a great idea for kids! They decorated the sticks with markers, bells, buttons, pipe cleaners & ribbons. Now all of the kids are eager to get outside and try out their brand new, hand made walking sticks. How's that for inspiring kids to get out & play? Thanks, Miss Julia!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rowan's Exercise

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My daughter likes to play 'fitness instructor' sometimes. Here's an example of one of her 'workouts', which I think is adorable. I remember making up exercise routines when I was little. It's nice to know that health & fitness are entering her world of play!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Little Things

Even in the middle (or the beginning) of an insanely busy week, the simple request for an indoor picnic is impossible to turn down. 

Rowan & I packed our basket full of random sundries from the kitchen: pickles, pumpernickel toast, cheese, wildberry tea, and some fresh pressed juice (a special request by Rowan). She decided to add a few party umbrellas, too. And there you have it! A perfect way to have a little imaginative picnic adventure. 

Have a healthy & happy day!

Love,
  Lolly

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow-sketball

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Whether you got a couple of inches or a couple of feet of snow, it's a great day to be outside playing in the wintery weather in the northeast! We made up a little snow game today and wanted to share it with you. Have fun & stay warm!

Love, 
 Lolly.