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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 | 5 comments

Games We Love to Play Again and Again

Games We Love to Play Again and Again

It’s often during the holiday season that we add to our collection of board and card games. We love playing games with the kids and grandparents, and the girls enjoy playing them together and with friends (although we have yet to get through a whole game of Yahtzee, I must admit). Last year, I bought one of the year’s most popular card games as a stocking stuffer, Spot It!, and the kids love it. It’s a simple game to play with 2-8 kids in which you put two cards down and have to quickly find the matching images on the cards. When you do, you add the cards to your pile. (Uno is another classic card game that the girls play avidly with their grandfather.) Another game I have on my shopping list this year is one our friends in Baltimore taught Ana and Nadja over the summer – Ticket to Ride. The objective is to see the most cities in the United States by rail in seven days....

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Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 | 0 comments

Happy Six Months, Little Free Library!

Happy Six Months, Little Free Library!

If you walked by the Little Free Library of Windsor and Dewitt yesterday, you were in for a treat. Proprietors Renee Adams and Elli Ludwigson hosted a fabulous garden party to celebrate the LFL’s six-month anniversary — complete with food, kids activities and plenty of books. Balloons on the library as well as signs posted in the immediate area welcomed anyone who walked by to participate in the festivities. Renee also promoted the event on the LFL’s Facebook page. Neighbors stopped by to drop off bags of books and to check out the overflowing selection, which Renee keeps inside her house and adds to the LFL as space permits. On the side of the house, hosts Renee and Elli shared a delicious display of sweet and savory foods. Guests meandered through the yard checking out the plants and whimsical decorations and kids headed straight to the table Renee set up for a fun autumnal craft — decorating foam leaf and acorn shapes with yarn. When we took a tour of Renee’s garden...

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Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 | 0 comments

Adventures in Apple Picking

Adventures in Apple Picking

The first apple picking excursion of the year means fall is right around the corner. We were in New York last weekend for a family reunion and wanted an outdoor activity to do with the kids before the actual reunion festivities began, so apple picking it was! The fun began with a tractor hayride from the parking area to deep into the orchard. We arrived early in the morning, so we pretty much had the orchard to ourselves. The best part of apple picking is taste testing, plenty of varieties to try too. There were two bag sizes, the smaller one was $10 and the larger one was $19, fill ’em up as high as you can. Apple picking wouldn’t be complete without a few farm animals. Many of the local orchards around VA also have animals young kids love to visit. Do you have any favorite apple picking spots in the Northern Virginia area? Here are a few places from the Washington Post that I’d like to...

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Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Wacky Wooden Spoon People

Wacky Wooden Spoon People

I love the idea of using everyday objects for kid crafts — especially simple projects using supplies around the house or that you can pick up anywhere. I saw this idea on Etsy for painting wooden spoons to look like people and knew it would be something my kids (age 4 and 7) and I would enjoy. We found a pack of four wooden spoons at Del Ray Variety and already had the paint, so this project couldn’t be easier or simpler. My kids picked two spoons each to paint as members of our family. I helped out with some minor details with a Sharpy — eyelashes, curly hair and accessories — but it was mostly all their work. The craft paint is chalky after it dries, so I applied a couple coats of Mod Podge to give the spoon peeps a glossy shine. I could also see using cotton balls, yarn and pom-poms to make the hair. Endless possibilities on a spoon. We all agreed who the girl was (me), but...

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Nature Weaving

DIY Kids: Nature Weaving

When we go on weekend getaways, I like to bring a craft project along for the kids to do, or at least some basic supplies – scissors, glue, yarn, wire, paper, and so on – so we can make something up. On this trip to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had an idea to weave found objects in nature like leaves, bark, and moss into a loom made from sticks. On Saturday afternoon, I found some perfectly shaped sticks near a swimming hole, with long handles and V-shaped openings. We strung the yarn from side to side to make the warp. I used gardening twine for mine. Then, we used the various nature objects to make the artistic designs, weaving them “over and under” the warp. Sometimes, we just pushed pieces in where they fit best. Here’s mine… Nadja’s… And Ana’s with a wire spiral as an additional flourish… We displayed them on our cabin porch until it was time to leave. Then, I carefully packed...

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