Happy Spring!

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Happy first day of spring, everyone! However, here in Pittsburgh, we had snow flurries today – what a great way to kick off spring, thanks, Mother Nature. I like to think that it will get warmer any day now though, so, in honor of the nice weather that will grace our presence soon enough, here’s a couple of activities to do with the kiddos outside!

1: Scavenger Hunt

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Here’s the great thing about scavenger hunts – you can create whatever theme you want and adjust the difficulty for different age groups. If you want the kids to find items from nature (like the example above), then send them outside to play in the yard, and if they’re old enough to send around the neighborhood, have them collect items from neighbors and neighborhood locations; you can customize a scavenger hunt however you’d like. If the kids are old enough, you can even have them collect photos with their smart devices rather than items. Since the weather is getting nicer, and people are going to start going on vacations, create a scavenger hunt that the kids can complete at the beach or at Disney World. This activity will keep them entertained and engaged in friendly competition.

2: Agility Competition

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Set up an obstacle course in the front yard and include different stations that they have to perform tasks at, too. This could be entertaining for not only them, but for you as a spectator. Not only is this fun for the kids, but it makes them get up and move around to get a little exercise. Here’s an idea: offer a little prize or treat at the end of the obstacle course for more motivation – maybe a popsicle to cool them down, my nieces and nephews go crazy over popsicles.

3: Mud Pie Bake-Off

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Use sandbox toys or throw-away pie pans and let the kids get a little dirty and play in the mud. They have to use grass, flowers, stones, etc. from the yard as the decorations for their pies. After they are done, get them cleaned up and maybe make them a treat, because I don’t know about you, but all this talk about pie makes me hungry.

4: Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contest

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Even at 21, I still love drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. More great thing about chalk – it’s very affordable, and it’ll keep the kids entertained for hours, not to mention, you’ll have a beautiful chalk mural to admire until the rain washes it away. Print off pages from the internet of their favorite characters and let them try to recreate them in chalk.

If you want more great ideas on spring activities, head on over to Premeditated Leftovers and explore her site, there’s a lot of great ideas. Also, the pictures in this post contain click-through links to some other great blogs, including Only From Scratch, A Girl and a Glue Gun, and Hostess with the Mostess.

 

Guess What!

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I was waiting for the expecting mommy and daddy to break the news to everyone, and they did today, so I get to reveal the secret I’ve been holding in for two weeks now: I’m going to be an auntie for the fifth time! Little Teagan is going to be a big brother come October. Another baby to spoil and love, can’t wait!

Happy Birthday, Gavin! (a day late)

Oh gosh, I can not even fathom the fact that you turned 15 yesterday – so crazy (and it makes me feel so old). What a witty, funny young man you have turned into. Yes, you still drive me crazy at times, but that’s because I’ve always viewed you more as a little brother than a nephew, seeing as we are only 6 years apart. I hope you continue to share your sour patch kids with me and think I’m cool enough to drive you to the mall – at least for the next year, because next year you’ll be 16 and will be able to drive yourself (insane!).

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Happy Birthday, Gavin! Here’s to many, many more.

Kids Say the Funniest Things: Part 3

Hello Everyone! I am back from spring break and some much needed time with my family – and of course the little ones. I got to spend some quality time with my niece, Abby, and my nephews, Teagan and Gavin. This weeks story is about my niece, Abby.

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My nephew, Gavin, is turning 15 on March 17th. So, Abby got her big brother a present for his birthday and couldn’t wait to give it to him. My sister let her give him his present a little early – it was a willow tree angel statue with a big brother and a little sister – (so sweet!) and Gavin told Abby thank you after opening it. My sister asked Abby to give her brother a hug, and she responded, very sternly, “I don’t have time,” and walked off into the other room. I couldn’t help but laugh, because what prior obligations did my three year old niece have that we didn’t know about? Obviously, she had to tend to something very important if she couldn’t even give her brother a hug. She went into the living room to cut up some paper on the floor, so I guess that was really important – for the sake of art.

Later in the week, Abby and I were enjoying some cheese balls at her Lego table, while she made the dog some treats (a.k.a. cut up cardboard into the shape of dog treats). I asked her if she needed a napkin, because her fingers were all cheesy. Her response: “No, you just have to lick them off and wipe them off here,” as she wiped her cheesy fingers on her pants. Great advice – who needs a napkin when you have your pants? – save the trees.

Some other highlights from my trip home: Buying the nieces and nephews new outfits, listening to Abby make up songs and sing about everything (literally everything), taking Abby and Teagan to Chuck E. Cheese, having Teagan make me ‘eggies’, creating outfits for Barbie with Abby, creating sticker masterpieces with Teagan and Abby, and Teagan discovering how the camera on the front of my Iphone works and making a video for Aunt Jackie and Ireland.