Frolicking About with Bubble Wrap

posted by Gina

First: a disclaimer. I don’t have kids. You likely gathered this already from previous posts, featuring myself and Larry the Cat as Play-Doh and macro lens beta testers, rather than the small folks for whom this blog is intended. This week’s post is not cat-friendly, so I’m afraid my images will feature some other people’s kids, gathered from my trolling about the internets compiling festive bubble wrap ideas.

What’s that, you said? Bring on the festive bubble wrap ideas? Ok then!

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from messforless.net

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Some Thoughts on Rocks

posted by Gina

So, I like rocks. A lot. What’s not to like? Rocks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They’re accessible. They’re inexpensive. They’re versatile. And they’re friendly. Anyone else have one of these as a kid?

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Mine was called Stanley.

Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Rocks”

Finding Your Way: Maps, Compasses, and Treasure – Oh My!

posted by Gina

When I was a kid, there was no internet and there were no smartphones. The same is true for when I was a high school and a college student. The practical upshot of this meant that I was lost a lot of the time.

Turn right, then left. Second street over.

Continue reading “Finding Your Way: Maps, Compasses, and Treasure – Oh My!”

Get Outside!

The grip of winter has left New York.

Mostly. It was kind of chilly yesterday.

BUT! The flowers are blooming, the cats are sneezing, and I can leave the apartment without 20 layers of clothing. Bliss!

Which gets me thinking about spring time, and the start of summer, and how those of us living in the cities can get that desperate craving to reconnect with something green. As I was scouting about these internets, continuing to put off the massive, massive research paper I have due next week, I found this nifty website. And you should scope them out.

To get you started, here’s a page I particularly liked, especially in light of needing to commune with trees again. Have you ever hugged a tree? For real? I did it in a college science class, and I will tell you, it was actually kind of amazing. Go hug one. And then adopt it. Then do some of this other stuff.

Happy Spring!

ENVIRO KIDS Games & Activities

Kids living in urban centers, or even suburbs, are often disconnected from the nature. Here are some activities you can do with kids with nature and our environment:

Outdoor activities for kids and parents

Adopt a Tree

While taking a walk or hiking, have your child to pick out a favorite tree in a  park or forest and “adopt” it. Essentially, your child will take on the role of being   the tree’s caretaker. Do bark rubbings with crayons and paper; leaf collection and pressing in the fall; and look for flowers and fruit in the summer. Each year, take pictures of your child standing beside the tree. You can even bring   along measuring tape to track the tree’s growth. Kids can also research the tree on the internet: where the tree is commonly found, usual life span, height, etc.

Clean Up the Earth

A good way to teach our children about taking care of our…

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Maybe the Best Book Ever

posted by Gina

You guys. Seriously. This is the most amazing, fabulous, wonderful, crazy-pants-happy-making thing I have ever read. Or read recently. How has no one told me about this book? How did it take me almost ten months to find out about it??

Fear not, those of you who have also been in the dark, I bring you the joy, the wonder, the THIS-IS-SO-AMAZINGNG-NESS of …

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

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Smart Phone Macro Lens

posted by Gina

Who knew there were so many ways to hack your smartphone? If you missed Beret’s Smartphone Projector, you’ll want to go straight to that post and catch up.

Are you back? Great. So, you know what’s neat? Super close up stuff. Like this photo of a coffee bean:

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Daruma Dolls

posted by Gina

You know what’s fun? Goal setting. No, really – bear with me for a second. You know how you get all excited in January to do your resolution? You know those fun little color coded spreadsheets you make for yourself, with benchmarks and rewards and motivational quotes? Well, some of us do that. But I’m betting you can join me in relating to just about now, when we’ve pretty much abandoned our resolutions by the wayside.

Seeing a goal through is a rewarding experience, and – frankly – we could all use a little motivation and encouragement. And a nifty gimmick with interesting historical roots.

So let me introduce you to the Daruma Doll.

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Life After Harry Potter – Part Three

posted by Gina

Brace yourself, fantasy lovers – for this, the third post-Harry installment, I’m throwing a lot at you. Ready? Fabulous.

We’ve mentioned the majesty that is Jane Yolen before, so perhaps you’ve had a chance to explore the wonder that she has bestowed upon the world. If you haven’t come across Wizard’s Hall, however, now is the time.

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Life After Harry Potter – Part Two

posted by Gina

Let’s take a moment and talk about this woman:

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Julie Andrews. Actor. Singer. Movie Star. Broadway Star. Golden Globe, Academy Award, Emmy, and Grammy Winner. Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trapp. Also … author.  Did you know?

If you’re looking for fabulous fantasy, look no further than The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.

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Life After Harry Potter – Part One

posted by Gina

I know you’ll be shocked to hear me say this, but we will not speak of the films here. I am not a fan of books made into movies. I will not tire you with my various rants (way to take away all of Ginny’s awesomeness, movie people) or go on a teacher tirade (nothing’s better than a series that inspires struggling readers). We will merely discuss the BOOKS.

Now that that’s out of my system, let’s chat.

Not all readers embrace this genre, but for those who found themselves captivated by all that is wonderful about Hogwarts, let me help you out with what to give your magical reader next. Continue reading “Life After Harry Potter – Part One”