Bowling Fun

Bowling on a rain day. It was a lot of fun. We rented a lane and shoes which was more that I thought it would be but I feel bowling is a right of passage. You have to try it once.


Bowlero


We went to Bowlero in Lynnwood. Each lane had it’s own large tv and ours was playing the Minion movie which we didn’t really have time to watch. After one game, all our wrists were tried. I didn’t really know we were going to exercise our arms when we went out there. It was a good workout.


Fun for the Whole Family


My toddler helped me with my turn. The bowling lane included a ramp that she could push the bowling ball down onto our lane. I had to hold the ramp because she would push it with all her might.

My 5 year old daughter didn’t use the ramp and actually got a couple of spares. Totally on luck. She won’t watch the ball going down the lane. She would walk back then wait until the pins fell before turning around. It was pretty cute.

With every pin that fell, there was adding and subtracting to learn or just counting. How many pins are left? Counting for the toddler and kindergarten.

Hope you find a fun outing for those raining days. Summer is almost here. I’m counting the days.

Putting Down The Golf Green

My daughters and my dad went to the mini putt putt golf course today. Beautiful outside and beautiful course at Snohomish Valley Golf Center. Win win. Here we are at hole 9 overlooking the pond.


Adding at Every Tee


This 18 hole mini golf course has a bridge, two ponds with a waterfall and vista of the Cascade Mountain Range. It is super busy on the weekend but they have extended hours with their new overhead lights. Also, there is a wonderful covered picnic area. Prefect for birthday parties or your next picnic outing.

Thanks to grandpa for helping the toddler with her form. She had a lot of fun. Whether she putted, threw or pushed the ball into the hole.

My favorite hole is number 5 where you can literally putt your ball into the pond if you aren’t careful since there isn’t a rail between the edge of the green and the pond. Luckily we didn’t take a swim today but very inventive for a mini golf course.

Both the kiddos helped move our balls into the holes. I think we all were under par on each hole but it doesn’t really matter since my oldest was in charge of the scorecard and beat us by at least 10 putts. I came in second so I can’t really complain. Lol.

This week I’ve been making a point to ask…

What their favorite moment of the day was? My daughters loved playing golf today.

Another good day! Happy Thursday!

Board Games with Math for Kids

To kick off spring break, Amazon dropped off our monthly subscription to their STEM club. Board games that promote math by adding and/or subtracting as your pawn moves through the game. These games we played with Alexa, whom kept my 5 year old honest and me too.


Math is Fun


We started with Ocean Raiders, a game designed for 2 to 4 players and ages 5 and up. My toddler and I teamed up against my 5 year old daughter but we couldn’t beat her lucky streak rolling the dice. She was able to move her blue barrel to the end without landing on too many whirlpools that suck you back to the beginning.

The second game in our Amazon box was Cloud Hoppers which is my favorite of the two. The objective of the game is to lead your two aliens to the ground level of a planet to retrieve a beautiful flower. By using subtraction, your aliens start at their spaceship on tile 50 and you have to subtract your dice rolls to make it to the planet’s flower on number 20. This is designed for kids over the age of 6 years old but with my help my girls loved playing this game too.

I look forward to sharing our spring break adventures with you tomorrow. Happy Monday!

Building Rollercoasters

For the last day of January, we received our Stem Club toy from Amazon. This month we received the Roller Coaster Challenge by ThinkFun.


Thrill Ride Building Game


Game time. My daughter loves this game. While playing, she asked me if I liked the game too since it is similar to my favorite game Mouse Trap. Not sure if it is my favorite game but I remember being obsessed with playing Mouse Trap as a kid. I recently gave my girls Mouse Trap as a Christmas gift.

This game was amazing because it is challenging and educational. There are 40 roller coaster challenges to solve starting at easy level going up to expert. My daughter completed the easy levels with little help from me. She is doing math and engineering problem solving to figure out the different post and track configurations.

Once she thought she constructed a successful roller coaster track, she gave the little roller coaster car a push and watched it go.

Toward the end of the easy level, the challenge includes a loop the loop. I think my daughter finished the first 9 challenges so she can try the loop the loop.

We didn’t get a chance for free-form play yet but I’m sure my daughter will be excited to mix tracks up and be creative.

Octopus Activity and Book

It was octopus day at our house which was inspired by a trip to the local library. I love going to the library. You never know what you are going to find or learn.


Eight Arms


Today my toddler and I visited our local library and it inspired me to write this blog about octopuses. The librarian at storytelling spoke about the importance of introducing math to toddlers. Story time focused on practicing counting forward and backwards which helps build number sense and teaches children to see relationships between numbers.

Then the librarian suggested this book, My Octopus Arms by Keith Baker, which is pictured below.

The first page references the octopus’s 8 arms; otherwise, there isn’t any other reference to numbers. Though as we read the book, we would count the octopus’s arms on each page. Thus making the storybook a little longer (always trying to go over that 20 minute benchmark).

Did you know that the octopus has existed longer than dinosaurs? As well as octopus have arms; not legs or tentacles.

After we were done with the book, we created an octopus out of a paper plate and scrap paper. One of my daughters drew the face on first while the other scribbled a shape at the end. Either approach is fine.

Supplies:

  • Paper plates; cut in half
  • 8 strips of paper (preferably different colors and marked 1 through 8)
  • Glue
  • Markers

Counting the arms over and over again will help my kiddos with number sequence. I’m interested to see how long it takes my toddler to destroy the octopus’s 8 arms. She is notorious for ripping up paper.

Do you have a fun octopus craft or fact?

Please share in the comment field below.

Piano Lessons

This time of year, I reminisce about my childhood as well as plan for the year to come. A new hobby for our family is playing the piano. My kids didn’t take notice of the piano until I began to play again.

Joy of Music


I remember when I took piano lessons as a kid and my mom would take me to a strangers house for my lesson. My mom would sit there waiting as if I was giving a performance at each lesson. Then my mom reminded me to practice at home and all I wanted to do was play with my toys or friends; not practice piano, especially practice songs I didn’t even know. I feel bad for my mom. I’m sure I didn’t make it easy for her either.

I don’t remember having the most fun however I do have a strong desire to want to relearn the piano as well as teach my daughter. So as one of my New Years resolutions, I began to play the piano again. My eagerness to learn is rubbing off on my daughters. As soon as they hear the keys they come streaking over to play with me which sounds like rubbish but we are having fun. When I really want to play, I have each of us take a turn. Each person getting 3 songs to play. Even the 2 year old daughter has a turn. We are loving it.

“Research proves learning musical instruments makes kids smarter… overall better rounded people” states Math Matters 101.

Parents magazine research says there are 6 benefits for children to have music lessons.

  1. Improved academics especially in subjects of math and science.
  2. Improve physical skills in gross and fine motor skills.
  3. Cultivates social skills with speaking volume and speed.
  4. Teaches delayed gratification and patience.
  5. Boost self-esteem
  6. Understanding of our cultures.

Most studies on this subject observe 6 year olds as their test subjects. With my daughter’s 6th birthday around the corner, no better time than now to learn. Plus we were handed down a piano from a family friend whom kids have grownup. Now with the instrument, I just have to find a book we both will enjoy and is easy to understand. So I was on the lookout for a book to teach and relearn the piano. I found this book on how to play the piano at a Usborne Book Fundraiser. Also available on Amazon. The book has a built in keyboard so we can practice anywhere but I really enjoy the songs. My favorite song is swan lake. Usborne has a full series of similar books.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Instead of using the keyboard built into the book, I wanted to my daughter to play on the piano so I purchased matching sticker shapes from Amazon. Trend Enterprises Basic SuperShape Stickers match the book almost perfectly. The book is wonderful but she is playing with both hands and improving everyday. I’m very proud of her.

I hope music blesses your life like it has ours.

Game night

Tonight we had game night at our house. My husband, daughter and I played the game of Life for the first time. We have a collectors edition which isn’t much different from the original Life game. Check out The Game of Life: Collectors Edition Tin on Amazon.

This is a great game to practice counting, addition and consequences. My daughter didn’t want to pay insurance for her home (mobile home) but still a home until her dad landed on a tile where he would have to pay $40,000 for flood damage if he didn’t have insurance. So she quickly bought some insurance too.

Besides her poor home choice, she was making the most money as a rockstar until she lost the career and turned into a well paid computer technician.

I thought for sure I had a million dollars when I got to the end but sadly only $785,000. My husband had slightly more. Though my daughter had the most cash at $1.3 million. Guess who had the best Life cards, it’s was my husband. His cards were mostly $200,000 plus. What luck.

At the end, my daughter said she never wanted to play this game again which I was surprised because it looked like she was having a good time. I will never know exactly why she didn’t like it but I enjoyed playing with them both. Even if we’ll have to find a different game next time.

Living Well Spending Less has an article about their TOP 10 FAMILY BOARD GAMES for AGES 3-8. For the list, Candyland was the only game that I recognized. I’ll need to find it and add it to our collection. Happy gaming!

Art n Chemistry – Cooking and Meal Planning

Review

4H’s daily challenge is to plan, shop and prepare a meal plan. My daughter loves to help in the kitchen and is very interested in cooking.

If you have missed the other 21 daily challenges, check out my earlier post that includes a link to each post as well as more information about the $10,000 scholarship offered by 4H.

The Activity

So last week we tried Sun Basket because I was feeling overwhelmed with going back to school and our youngest daughter was given the recommendation to eat dairy-free (which dairy is staple in our household).

I found a offer for 60% off your first basket which is smart because once you try it you are hooked. I love how easily it is to identify if a meal is paleo or dairy-free or soy-free. It encourages us to try new recipes, like this week we are trying shrimp on glass noodles and cabbage.

Why is it great for kids? Each recipe has a portion that kids can assist with you.

The kids portion include pretty easy steps of the recipe but still a great way to get the kiddos involved. Lastly, some recipes include ingredient IQ which can explain the chemistry behind the cooking or food facts. This is a great educational addition that make my experience with Sun Basket that much better. Definitely 2 thumbs up!!

If you are interested in checking it out, click here.

Mathematics – Lemonade Stand

Review

4H challenge today’s challenge is to raise money and give the profits to a charity. Great experience for kids. If your little one is unable to raise money with a lemonade stand like us, 4H recommends doing a car wash but if you live in a rainy climate like us in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe car wash in September won’t workout. Surprise it didn’t rain on our lemonade stand.

The Activity

So as you can probably tell we raised money with a lemonade stand during our neighborhood’s annual fall sale.

We sold donut holes for 25cents or 5 for a dollar and lemonade 50cent a cup. I have to say my little salesperson was not afraid to ask strangers “would you like lemonade or a donut.” She would look so sad when people said no, some individuals (mostly grandparents) would just give her a quarter. If she doesn’t become a salesperson I would wonder if she missed her true calling.

A recommendation before doing a lemonade stand or any sales activity, PBS.org has some great math activities. An easy activity is to practice the difference between coin values. A quarter equals 25 pennies or 2 nickels equals a dime. This was a hard concept to understand that difference in the value of a nickel versus dime because the value does not reflect their size.

Daughter – “why isn’t a nickel worth more than dime, it is bigger.”

We didn’t tackle dollars but my daughter didn’t have a lot of challenge understand the difference between a five dollar bill versus one dollar since the value is printed directly on the bill.

The Donation

We decide to give the profits to Alex Lemonade Stand. It just felt right. We know a little girl who had cancer when she was a two year old. Happy to report she is in remission but knowing her made the concept of donation for my 5 year old. Thus any support to help kids going through such a difficult time is important to me and hopefully my kids now too.

We encourage you to donate too. Check out their website here.

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