New Homemade Game

Sometimes it takes every tiny bit of patience I have to play a full game of imaginary anything with the kids. My mind just wanders. It wonders. It tries to make me refocus. I do much better with games that have set rules. Today, I am glad I managed to sit and not only be with my daughter while she created a new game from a file folder and markers and buttons, but I sat the whole time we played the game even though the rules were fuzzy and made up on the fly. I was warmly rewarded and reminded of why I do such things when she climbed into my lap afterward and said how much she loves me and how much she loves playing games with me. Thank goodness for the extra patience I dug deep for!

Oldies, But Goodies

Well, at least oldies…..
We joined Netflix again for the month hoping we could use the “watch instantly” feature with our TIVO to see movies on our TV. It didn’t work out that way as out TIVO is too old and doesn’t support it 😦

Since we were locked in for the month anyway, I decided to expose the kids to the fantastic cartoons of our youth 🙂 The “Smurfs”, “Thundercats”, and “Dungeons and Dragons” were soon on their way along with a “Tom and Jerry” set and some “Super Mario Super Shows”.

While at the thrift store, I came across some “Thundercats” comics and picked those up as well.

It has been a fun trip down memory lane…

Stufftie Clothes

My daughter came to me and asked if we could sew an outfit for her stufftie, Couch (he is a Beanie Baby reindeer). After a sad looking joint attempt (it is hard to create a dress that goes around deer legs), she moved on and decided she would work solo. Here are the clothes she made using notecards and tape and a bit of imagination!

As a bonus, she made her own dog out of more notecards.

Goggles and a Haircut

The kids got to try out their teacher’s goggles at swim lessons today and decided they wanted some for themselves. When I was out at the store, I picked up a multipack of goggles and also a snorkel and mask. When I got home, the kids took turns in the bath trying them out. When my son tried out the mask, it got caught on his hair and wouldn’t seal. He decided he was ready for a haircut, so we jumped on the opportunity and grabbed clippers and his DS and got to work. J. did the cutting while I distracted and helped hold his shrugging shoulders…

When it was all done, he looked about an inch taller and a bit older.


Toys R Us

Today we headed to Toys R Us after gymnastics to get the newest downloadable Pokemon for the DS, Regigigas. While we were there, the kids finally decided to spend their Christmas money and each picked out a Lego set. My son got a Spongebob set and my daughter chose a Pirate set. She also picked out a cool “tentacle” ball that had a glowing light gizmo inside. It looks really neat in the dark.

Here are the Lego sets…

Magic School Bus

My son still really enjoys the Magic School Bus movies and games. Lately, he has been working his way through the PC games we own. His favorites are the “Inside the Earth” one about rocks and minerals and a new one I got at the thrift store, “Dinosaurs”. As he has been working on them, he has gotten to play mini-games, draw pictures, and earn “prizes”. In the Dinosaur one, he earned dinosaur masks which we printed out. Here is my daughter modeling 🙂

Here is one of the drawing parts.

Squirt Guns? It is only 50 degrees…

One of the neighbor boys came over today and dug for rocks in the back yard with the kids. They dug up lots of small colored stones and one bigger, mud covered, blue stone (at least they called it blue). They carried it around to the driveway and then asked for Super Soakers and bathing suits.

When I told them it was only 50 degrees and I didn’t think it was quite bathing suit/water gun weather, they were all quite sad. Then they changed their tune and asked for the Super Soakers to “wash off the rock”. Not entirely prepared for the Super Soakers in any case, I instead talked them into an alternative- a huge bucket of water, some empty Sunny D. bottles, and some old toothbrushes. My son was so excited by being able to make his own squirt gun out of the Sunny D. bottle, he said we should send the idea into one of the TV shows he watches sometimes (called Crash, Bang, Splat on Discovery Kids).

The kids had fun and didn’t freeze too badly 🙂

Wooly Willy

The kids had a friend sleep over last night and they wound up playing together really well for hours. At some point, they played with a toy from my youth, Wooly Willy, a face with a bunch of iron filings you move around with a magnet to create hair and other facial features. My grandma used to have this out for us when we went to her house as well as another magnetic toy that had little balls you could move around and drop into holes to make pictures. (I am still looking for that one)

He Found the Ancient Mother

My son has been enjoying the game “Endless Ocean” on the wii for months now. After completing numerous missions, making “friends” with dolphins and porpoises, and exploring undersea worlds, he won the game by doing enough stuff to find the “Ancient Mother”, a huge whale. It was pretty exciting to see him reach the end of the game! Of course, that doesn’t mean he is actually done with it. He is still trying to fill up the album full of species along with all their info.

One funny thing about watching him play was seeing him try to “cheat” by thinking outside the box. Sometimes you recieve photo assignments in the game, where they tell you a certain fish to get a picture of and you have to find the fish, take a picture, and send it in. Recently, the game started to ask for pictures of schools of fish instead of individuals. My son figured out an easier way to get the shot- You have access to an aquarium which you can fill with any fish you have found in the game. Instead of seeking out schools of fish in the wild, he filled the aquarium with all one type and took the shots. I thought that was pretty darn creative.

Crayon Physics

For all of you who have told me you found the “Fantastic Contraption” game I posted too tricky, I have another crazy game for you- “Crayon Physics“. Basically, you use the mouse to draw stuff to try to get a ball to a star. Sounds pretty easy until gravity kicks in 🙂 There is a free trial version which we did upgrade to the full version. The puzzles are quite challenging as you move up the levels and certainly get you thinking…Try It!

From Lego Contraptions to Balloon Swords

My son built one of the contraptions from the Lego Klutz kit today. It is supposed to be a vehicle that moves when you tuck a blown up balloon under one of the pieces. Unfortunately, all of the balloons in the house were either water balloons or those long, skinny ones for making balloon animals. We tried with each kind without too much success. In order for me to even get the big ones blown up, I resorted to using our water squirters because our balloon pump had broken long ago. With the very limited results from the vehicle, the kids moved on to trying to blow up the balloons too and then asked me to make stuff out of them, leading to short swords. My son also wanted some blown up just so they could “fart” around the room….

Update-When my daughter and I hit the library this week, she picked out a book on balloon animals and other creations, so I will probably need to pick up a new balloon pump. Doing it the way we did was not easy!