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Happy Summer!!

The kids are all out of school!! Which means only one thing – IT’S TIME FOR SUMMER! Ready or not. :)

Here is wishing all of you a HAPPY SUMMER! What kinds of fun things do you have planned? What are some of your favorite summer things to do?

One of ours, apparently, is to wear goggles around the house.  Or our brother’s goggles, when he isn’t looking. Whatever the case may be. :)

 

The Piano Guys

The Piano Guys

If you haven’t heard these guys – I promise that listening to them will make your weekend. If you have heard them play, go and enjoy them again. They are so, so good.

John Schmidt (piano) and Steven Sharp Nelson (cello) have teamed up to create The Piano Guys. They take popular songs and put an amazing classical twist on them, or will take classical songs and put an amazing modern twist on them.

I am a little bit obsessed with them right now. To the point that I have had to limit my “Piano Guys” intake. But I still wanted to share their awesomeness with all of you.

 

These are a few of our family’s favorites:

A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) – this is their newest one and is beautiful

 

Peponi (from Coldplay’s “Paradise”) – my 2-year old says this one is her “favite” (favorite) – mine too.

 

Happy Together (we have watched this probably 20 times – it still hasn’t gotten old):

 

Bourne Vivaldi – they are on a TRAIN for part of it

 

You can go to their You Tube channel and watch/listen to all of their videos by clicking here.

John and Steve, thank you so much! Your music is incredible.

PD 6

BEST Playdoh Ever. Really.

The other day as the kids were playing with Play-doh and I was weeding out the Play-doh that had dried out from the Play-doh that was still good to use, I sighed to myself and wished that I could find a recipe to make playdoh that would yield results like the good, soft, freshly-bought Play-doh from the store.

Then I got my lovely recipe holder from my 5-year old, and the recipe that his pre-K teacher had attached was one for Kool-Aid playdoh. She had very thoughtfully also put a packet of Kool-Aid on the recipe holder as well, so we were set to make some playdoh at home.

A lot of the recipes I have tried before either are really salty and leave your hands dry, or the playdoh ends up dry and flaky – no good. This one was a little different than the ones I had tried, and it was SPOT ON. Wahoo!

Ingredients

1 c. flour

1/4 c. salt

2 T. cream of tartar

1 envelope Kool-Aid

1 c. water

1 T. vegetable oil

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, Kool-Aid and water in a medium saucepan. Stir in the oil.

Mix over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pan. This took me the full 5 minutes, and it takes stirring the whole time or it gets selectively clumpy – just a heads up there.

Remove from pan and knead until soft. I was afraid the dough would be hot, but it was just very warm and I could knead pretty much right away.

There you go! Awesomely perfect homemade playdoh. And the Kool-Aid packet makes very vibrant colors. I love preschool teachers – thank you very much!

CD 3

Cloud Dough (Homemade Moon Sand)

For those of you who have wanted to try Moon Sand, but maybe have wondered about the mess and have sat on the fence about it, this is a great way to try it out at home. I got this idea from Juggling with Kids.

Here is all you need:

4 cups of flour

1/2 cup of baby oil

That is IT, my friend. It makes a pretty good-sized batch, so you could even halve it if you don’t have a big container for your kids to play in.

Just mix them together in a large bowl, and you are good to go!

I was really impressed at how well this held up – when it was formed together, it stayed together really well, but it still held a good “powder” form when it was broken apart. My 5-year old actually wanted to make it all into balls at the very end when we went to store it in a gallon ziploc, and none of them broke on the way into the cabinet OR on the way out when he wanted to play again, until he was ready to break them apart.

Super fun! I will warn you, though, it can make a bit of a mess, so either have a sufficiently large container (mine was not deep enough t0 contain some of the overspill) OR just be ready to sweep up a bit at the end. To me, the idea of an “indoor dry sand” is totally worth having a bit of a mess at the end – my kids will play for a long time and love it, and that is awesome.

Enjoy!

We Give Books

I just had to share this website because it is pretty cool – wegivebooks.org.There are a bunch of books for kids that they can read online in their “print” format. I love that. A lot of these are the ones that you can find on the ever-popular book orders (especially the non-fiction), so you can even “test drive” some of the books before you buy. Or just enjoy them for free.

This is not only a great resource, but you actually GIVE a book each time you (or your child) reads one online – as in, Penguin Books and the Pearson Foundation will donate a book for each book read online. See? Super cool! There is no limit to your book-giving from your book reading, and if your child has a favorite that they read over and over again, each time they finish it counts as a new book to give away. (Here is a link to the FAQ.) They have given away almost 1,000,000 books since April 2010.

They have ongoing “campaigns” that you can support with your reading (here is a list of the campaigns, current and completed), so you can choose your “cause”, and you are free to switch at any time.

If you’re looking for a fun book to start out with, I would recommend Goodnight iPad. We just checked it out from the library and all got a good laugh over it. That grandma is great. The cultural references are hilarious too.

So – go read a book! And GIVE one too by doing it. It’s a win-win. :)

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