Sunday, June 30, 2013

parenting post round-up

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It's a busy week for many of us in the U.S. as we prepare for 4th of July get togethers to celebrate our nation's independence.  So, this week, I thought I would share with you past parenting posts from here on Crayon Freckles.


     

     

     

     






Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the bipolar mom....Perfectly Imperfect: Parenting with Mental Illness {Blog Carnival}

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This post was written as a contribution to the Perfectly Imperfect: Parenting with Mental Illness Blog Carnival.  The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, thoughts, and opinions on how living with mental illness affects their daily lives and parenting practices.


my name is andie.  and i'm bipolar and chronically depressed, with borderline personality disorder added to the mix.  going past all those labels, i'm also a mom.


depending on how long you've read my blog,  you may or may not remember my disclosure regarding my battles with mental illness.  ironically enough, some of my first posts were about it.  i've tried to be up front to all of you and whoever else asks me about it.  last year, i shared my feelings on an article in Parents magazine written about a worst-case scenario of a bipolar parent.  in response to that article, I wrote a letter to the editor that was subsequently publicized.  and a few months ago, i wrote i'm not sorry i'm depressed, a post sharing my current situation of being the wife of a deployed soldier and how it affected me.
these are just some of the ways i've shared this aspect of my life.  here's another...

during my teen years and early adulthood, i was out of control.  binge drinking, substance abuse, giving myself away freely, and cutting.  i'd bounce back and forth from the depths of depression and suicidal thoughts to the heights of mania where i'd reorganize, start projects, and spend excessively.  i was a textbook case of bipolar disorder.  this was finally addressed when i was 22.  at that time i was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which further explained my actions. 

after a year and a half, my medications were finally balanced and i was on an even keel.  but that's not where the happily ever after comes in. 

after that came the chore of rearranging my life, cutting out the things that triggered smaller episodes, and working to mend some relationships that i'd damaged.  i kept my diagnosis to myself for the most part as the few i'd shared it with responded in two ways: supportive or with an "oh, okay... {awkward silence}"  i quickly realized that i'd have to keep my "dirty little secret" to myself.

fast forward to my pregnancy with my son.  due to the fetal risks associated with my medications, i had to come off of them.  by the Grace of God, i was able to keep myself in control.  i had never been as happy as i was when i was pregnant.  i was so fearful of those dreaded three words: Post-Partum Depression.  luckily my doctor was supportive and understanding and got me back on what he could since i was going to be nursing.

it was 2.5 years before i was fully back on meds.  the time in between Bear's birth and that point was rough sometimes.  but i kept it together.  i had to...for my son.

when i see people from my teens and twenties, i can tell that they see me as my younger self... the hot mess that i was.  but how can i tell someone in passing the reason for my behaviors.  i can see how that would go. "hi! haven't seen you for years.  sorry i was such a b****y mess years ago.  it's because i'm bipolar."  yeah...

some of those who know about it seem to watch me closely when i interact with my son... as if they expect me just to wig out.  it's hard to beat the stigma.  so this is what i do... i write about it as i can.  share my story with the online world.  and talk about it with people i know as the opportunity arises.

i have faith that someday mental illness will not carry such a weight in people's perceptions.  the best way to do that is to break the silence that surrounds life with mental illness and all that it entails.

thank you for letting me share my story.





Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.


Read other posts from the Perfectly Imperfect: Parenting with Mental Illness Blog Carnival:

Krissy, a work-at-home mama of 3, shares her experience with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and offers 8 Tips (compiled from other moms who manage depression) for Moms Who Are Feeling Depressed. Find more from Krissy on her blog, Facebook, and Pinterest. 

PlayDrMom, Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT/S, shares her personal story about her lifetime struggle with depression spanning childhood through parenthood.  She hopes that with her post others may recognize similarities in their own lives (or the lives of their children) and not feel alone or helpless in their own struggles. She also writes a guest post on A Healthier Michigan about the importance of talking about mental illnesses in hopes to help end the stigma.  With openness of discussing the subject people will feel more comfortable with seeking help and continuing treatment.

Depression During and After Pregnancy: One Mum's Story
The mum of four beautiful children from What to Do With the Children, shares her experiences her heart-breaking struggles with antepartum and post-partum depression.  Find more from her on Facebook
Catherine writes on her sister's blog about parenting a toddler and baby as a mother with depression and PTSD, including steps she takes to cope. 

Erin from RoyalBaloo.com talks about mental illness, how it effects her as a parent, and what parenting with mental illness means to her.  She discusses some common myths regarding Bipolar and gives advice to what to say/not to say to a parent with mental illness.  Erin is a mother to 3 boys who blogs about parenting and their homeschooling journey.  Find more from her on her blog,  Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +

If you would like to share this carnival, you can use the hashtag #EndStigma

Depression During & After Pregnancy: One Mum's Story {Perfectly Imperfect Blog Carnival}

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f
 This post was written as a contribution to the Perfectly Imperfect: Parenting with Mental Illness Blog Carnival.  The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, thoughts, and opinions on how living with mental illness affects their daily lives and parenting practices.

This post was written by the mum at What to Do With the Children.  She is sharing her story here at Crayon Freckles.
 
I have never really had problems with mental health. There was one time when I was about 18-20 I struggled as I was in a controlling relationship, looking back on it now he manipulated me and emotional abused me. He didn't hit me apart from once but at that time in my life the mental part was worse as I didn't realize it was happening!!!

Because of this I couldn't see a way out. Luckily for me I met my now husband and he rescued me by making me see what love was and how he was manipulating me. The problem was it was not a fairy tail and he didn't vanish once the knight in shining armor saved me. Even though I left, he could still get to me. He told me he was dying and that I couldn't leave him he told me all sorts and he got back into my head again.

I was distraught why hadn't this knight saved me why was he back? I was so down I tried to take an overdose!!!again luckily for me my knight was there. He forced his way into the room I was in and saved me again.
It took me a long time to trust my knight as all I had ever known is manipulation. But I was happy and after a couple of months I realized my knight couldn't save me, I had to do it myself. It made it easier him being there. He was kind and patient and he helped me to see who I really was, even if I don't admit to it I know deep down inside.

So that was the main mental health problems I had until I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I could start to feel some of the old feelings coming back but only mild and only in my last 2 months of pregnancy. I told the midwife about my feelings mote than once and they did nothing. As soon as my daughter was born that was it. Just like with all the others I thrived after child birth and had no post natal depression.

When I got pregnant with my 4th I was ecstatic as we was trying for a 4th to finish our family off and even better there would be about 2 years difference the same as with my other children.

When it came to about 8 weeks the depression feelings started to come back. At my 8 week booking in appointment I told my midwife how I was feeling and that I had felt this way in my previous pregnancy. I was informed by my midwife (who I had seen and told about my problems in my previous pregnancy) that there was no record of depression and there was nothing they could do and go see the doctor!!! And that was literally the end of the conversation.

That is just what you want to hear when you reach out to someone.

But I was brave and I booked an appointment with the doctor. I told him how I was feeling and was again helpfully informed to come back when I was 12 weeks as there is nothing they can do until then. Well that was it I had had enough, I though what's the point of asking for help when no one would help.
Anyway the problem just got worse and worse.

When I was about 18 weeks I got a bug off my children on top of my morning sickness meant I had to have a stay in the hospital. To be honest this didn't bother me as I have been in hospital will all of my children apart from my first but I found out later I should have been admitted!

While I was in I told multiple midwives and doctors about my worsening depression, non of them did anything.

I started feeling very depressed at 20 weeks. I didn't want to be around my own children, I couldn't hug/kiss them let alone tell them I loved them which for me is unheard of as my children are my whole world.

At one point I even phoned child protection services so someone would take my children away from me, but I couldn't go through with it. At a routine midwife appointment, one of the ones that I actually attended I luckily had a different midwife and I told her how I felt. That the depression had got so bad I didn't even want my baby anymore. She was the one that finally did something. She organized an appointment with a consultant and phoned my doctor and told him I needed treatment and psychiatric help. I had to go into see my doctor and he gave me medication and arraigned for a phone call the next day for psychiatric assessment which resulted in 2 psychiatric nurses coming around the next day (a Sunday) to see if I was safe.

I didn't realize it at the time as non off this was helpful but it was the start of my journey to the actual help I needed.

The next bit is a bit of a blur like it was happening to someone else.

I saw counselor after counselor, even a psychiatric doctor. My doctor even arranged for my midwife and health visitor to come around to check on me. I told them all the same thing. "I have had enough and I want it to end NOW, if you don't do it I will do it myself". Worst thing is was I meant it. The midwife got me an appointment with a consultant the next day. When I went I told him how I felt about my pregnancy (it wasn't a baby to me anymore at this point) and how I had been asking for help most of my pregnancy an no one had done anything. At this point I was nearly 34 weeks.

Thankfully he admitted me as he was not willing to send me home. At the time I burst into tears. I was escorted into a side room and I just slept or starred out the window. And I was not board once. At the time I was told I would be in until I had delivered and they would induce me 2 weeks early. This was on a Friday. On the Sunday I saw someone from the psychiatric team and on the Tuesday I saw my consultant. He talked to me about how I felt and how he could help. My simple answer was induce me now (I was 34 weeks that day) his answer was obviously no and suggested in 3 weeks time. To me that was just to long and I started crying and shacking, it was just to long how was I going to cope?? He luckily Suggested an inducement in 14 days, a month early. But this came with the understanding that there needed to be a bed in scubu if there was anything wrong with the baby.

I was ecstatic with this and some of my depression started to lift. But a lot of the midwives was not happy with the decision and let it show. After just over a week in hospital I stated to feel better knowing that I was going to be induced in 7 days, so I was let home. I had the best week I had had for ages. I even started to get ready for baby but there was no excitement, and being around my children still didn't bring me any joy. Finally the day came of my induction I started the process of induction at 3 in the afternoon but as I was a month early it was slow going. I was in labor all night and all my feelings started to come back. Anyway the next morning I was taken down to the delivery sweet and given my epidural at 4-5 cm. the labor was uncomplicated and I even saw my baby being born. After he was born he was put on my chest and all my feelings of depression vanished and all I felt was love for my new baby boy. He was quickly taken off me and about 20 people came in to check him over.

Luckily he was fine and I got to keep him with me. And that was it I was cured with the delivery of my perfect baby boy. The only problem was he wouldn't breast feed and I battled with this for 3 day. Pumping and then feeding him with a syringe or cup every 2 hours. But even that didn't bring my depressive feelings back. I did not only love my baby but I loved and enjoyed spending time with all my children again. I was finally myself again. On day 3 I saw again the consultant that admitted me and when he walked in like any other doctor. He looked up and saw me holding my baby and his face just dropped and he said "WOW you look so much better" and I was.

Looking back on it now I was failed by the NHS. But my husband and I should also have fought harder at the beginning. Prenatal depression is not understood and some so called professionals do not even know it existed if my depression was postnatal everything would have been different and I would have had a lot more help.

Depression even in this day in age is still not understood. Even if you do get someone who listens to you, you gave to go through a long process before you can get the help you really need unless you are really lucky.

If you are reading this and you have got depression go get help, fight for it if you need to. It is a real illness just like any other (if it wasn't I wouldn't have been induced 4 weeks early as its unheard of unless it is for the health of the baby).

Just please what ever you do don't give up. Tell people, if they don't listen tell someone else as all you need is just 1 person to listen to help you get better.

Good luck. 
 

Read other posts from the Perfectly Imperfect: Parenting with Mental Illness Blog Carnival:

Andie from Crayon Freckles explores how living with bipolar disorder affects motherhood and the perceptions of those around her.  She also shares what she's doing to combat the stigma that mental illness carries.  Find more from Andie on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Krissy, a work-at-home mama of 3, shares her experience with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and offers 8 Tips (compiled from other moms who manage depression) for Moms Who Are Feeling Depressed. Find more from Krissy on her blog, Facebook, and Pinterest. 

PlayDrMom, Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT/S, shares her personal story about her lifetime struggle with depression spanning childhood through parenthood.  She hopes that with her post others may recognize similarities in their own lives (or the lives of their children) and not feel alone or helpless in their own struggles. She also writes a guest post on A Healthier Michigan about the importance of talking about mental illnesses in hopes to help end the stigma.  With openness of discussing the subject people will feel more comfortable with seeking help and continuing treatment.
Catherine writes on her sister's blog about parenting a toddler and baby as a mother with depression and PTSD, including steps she takes to cope. 

Erin from RoyalBaloo.com talks about mental illness, how it effects her as a parent, and what parenting with mental illness means to her.  She discusses some common myths regarding Bipolar and gives advice to what to say/not to say to a parent with mental illness.  Erin is a mother to 3 boys who blogs about parenting and their homeschooling journey.  Find more from her on her blog,  Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +

 
If you would like to share this carnival, you can use the hashtag #EndStigma

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: What is your favorite song?

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What is your favorite song?

The New Kids and Veggie Tales.
Bear {4.5} Crayon Freckles

Gruffalo.
Cakes {2.5} Learning to Play and Playing to Learn


Nasa Johnson Style.
Tessa {4.5} Creative World of Varya

Little Red Corvette {Prince}
Micah {8}

 
Silent Night.
Emma {7} Mama Smiles

Wrinkles on an Elephant, that we sing in school.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}
 
Firework {Katie Perry}
Savannah {8}

All the songs.
John {5} Mama Smiles

Disney Make Your Mark CD since it has all my favorite Disney girls on it.
Elizabeth {6} Enchanted Homeschooling

ABCs and The Octonauts theme song
Linden {4.5}

Somebody That I Used to Know {Gotye}
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo
 
Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Tristan {5}

{started singing his own words to "You Had a Bad Day"}
Aiden {4.5}

Just put Pirates of the Caribbean since we listen to it so much, Mom.
Beck {8} Enchanted Homeschooling

Oh, I'm a Gummy Bear...
Carter {6}

Gentleman. {Psy}
Royal {4} Royal Baloo
 
 
if you'd like to participate in this series, leave a comment below and i'll get in touch!
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

when mommies don't play nice

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this post was inspired by a recent comment from a fellow mom on facebook that I was not meant to see, but did. 

ever had a tiff, a beef, or a disagreement with a fellow mom?
 
yeah... i've been there, done that.  nothing is worse than feeling as though your parenting views are challenged or disapproved of by other moms.  or to deal with passive-aggressive remarks or behaviors.  or to experience downright snarkiness face-to-face.
 
this head-to-head competition and criticism starts as early as the elementary years and seems to come to a head in the teen years.  for many, it carries over into womanhood and subsequently motherhood. 
 
which leads me to these questions... 
 
as women, why don't we support each other?  why do we criticize, pass judgment, or give those sideward glances towards others?  does it make us feel better about our parenting choices?  more superior?  i'm guilty on all counts.  what it all boils down to is that we're all facing the same challenge:
 
we all want to have healthy families, committed relationships, and foster successful, loving relationships with our children.

 
there are so many contradicting reports on the benefits/drawbacks of controversial parenting topics such as: breastfeeding vs. formula, co-sleeping vs. sleep training, circ vs. un-circ, vaccinations vs. autism risk.  with all those issues and questions floating above our heads, many of us question the choices we make in what we feel is the best interest for our children.  so why make it worse by making each other feel bad and question our decisions further? 
 
 
my answer is in the form of a challenge:
the next time you come across a mom whose views differ from yours, ask questions, try to see things from her point of view, and accept her choices based on her desire for a positive relationship with her child.
 
the next time you get that nasty look, the critical comments, or the not-so-subtle attack, take a breath.  remind yourself that you are capable, that you come from love,  and that you are deserving of respect for your parenting choices, no matter what anyone thinks. 
 
the only thing that matters in all of this, is that our children can look back and say:
wow!  my mom really loved me.
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY Wood Planter turned Transportation Book Bin

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I was so excited when we were invited by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores to participate in a craft challenge based on the 72 kid-friendly crafts in the Cape Discovery catalog. After looking through all of the great crafts, we decided to create our own version of their Jungle Window Box. After we got our $25 gift card from them, we set to shopping and picked up our supplies {below}.
 
 

Confession: If it's green and in dirt, I'll kill it.  I am a certified, self-proclaimed black thumb.  I loved the idea of decorating a planter, but wanted to make it something that we could use everyday, since our crazy Midwest weather goes through so many extremes. 
 
So we decided to turn the planter box into a book box for our favorite, everyday reads.  
 
To start out, Bear painted the inside and outside of the box with lime green acrylic paint.   It took two coats, plus some spot touch-ups by me.  I used frog tape to mark out the lines for the gray paint to create roads.  The hardest part for Bear was deciding which of the wooden vehicle decorations we bought to use on the side of the box. He laid them out and rearranged them several times until he got them just right.  I also used some black paint and buttons from Jo-Ann's button selection to create a stoplight for the working trucks to stop at. 


It might not grow plants, but it will grow literacy skills, right?

 




And if you sign up for the Jo-Ann Crafts newsletter, they'll give you a 20% off coupon.

 

You can also find Jo-Ann Crafts on Pinterest.

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores.
All opinions are mine. The only compensation I received was a $25 gift card for supplies.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: 3 Words that Describe My Dad

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What are 3 words that describe your dad?

He's stinky and he's healthy and he's taking me to the horses.
Bear {4.5} Crayon Freckles

Strong, smart, drives Lady. {Lady is a VW Bug}
Micah {8}
 
Fun, handsome, loves me to bits.
Tessa {4.5} Creative World of Varya

Like an airplane pilot, like a Star Wars goner guy, and like an angry bird because he has an angry bird phone that he plays Star Wars Angry Birds on with us.
John {5} Mama Smiles

Strong, loyal, AWESOME!
Savannah {8}

Soft, player, silly. {when asked what a player was he said, "someone that plays with you"}
Linden {4.5}

Funny sometimes,   he's a good fixer, and he likes movies.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo

Funny, fun, silly.
Emma {7} Mama Smiles

Smelly, fun, and play.
Cakes {2.5} Learning to Play and Playing to Learn
 
Kisses, and hugs, and winks.
Tristan {5}

Silly, strong, sometimes he stinks.
Aiden {4}

Likes pizza, he's strong, handsome.
Carter {6}
 
 
if you'd like to participate in this series, leave a comment below and i'll get in touch!
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ann Voscamp One Thousand Gifts review & giveaway

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of One Thousand Gifts via Shelton Interactive.

As a mom that home-preschools, takes college classes, keeps house, creates art, and writes this blog, I often find myself short time to do things that I enjoy doing just for the sake of doing them.  So when my beautiful friend Kerry from my life (his mission) gifted me Ann Voscamp's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I read page 44 (my standard test for book interest).  What I briefly read on that page, made me dive into the book later on that night. 

Not even halfway through the book, I was moved to begin my own list. And what I found was amazing. Things like being thankful for dirty clothes to wash when others have none, enjoying time with my children when there are thousands of orphans in the world, and seeing a simple smile on my son's face when so many have lost their children put things in perspective for me.

Ann's words are eloquently phrased. This is not a simple, easy read. Through her prose, she gives brilliant mental images of experiences, which challenges readers to delve deep into her words. She offers a biblical outlook on how to maintain a Christ-like life as we tally up the gifts that are bestowed upon us by God. She not only inspires, but provides an indepth look at how we can overcome our thoughts and emotions in the face of tragedy, personal struggles, and the general darkness of life.    

 
In the book, Ann challenges readers to chronicle God's grace in their lives, to literally list each one as we experience them... both big and small. 
 

So, here's this:  I would like to give away a copy of Ann's One Thousand Gifts book to one of you.  In addition to the book, I'm adding in a lovely journal for you to get started exploring the 1000 gifts in your life. 




Enter through the rafflecopter form below to win the book One Thousand Gifts and this beautiful Tree of Life journal.  
 
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of One Thousand Gifts via Shelton Interactive. All opinions are mine. The only compensation I received was the One Thousand Gifts book to giveaway to a reader.  Other giveaway items were purchased by myself.

Friday, June 14, 2013

delivery truck words: milk cap phonics

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Bear {4.5} can sometimes be hard to get involved in learning activities.  to meet this challenge, i have to create activities that center around his favorite things: anything with wheels.  we have used our alphabet milk caps and simple word flashcards to practice the alphabet and spelling words in our Little Blue Truck and Garbage Truck phonics activities.  however, using just the milk caps alone has become boring to him.  a few months ago, he made a moving truck at The Home Depot's free Kids Build It seminar.   his joy over his creation inspired me to create an invitation to play and learn utilizing the truck.
 
i pulled out some of our simple word flash cards and set I out the milk caps that corresponded to each card on a baking sheet.


for the activity, our dining room table bench seat was used as a delivery route for the truck to follow and "deliver" the letters to each card.  i placed the cookie sheet at one end and the flash card at the opposite end.  this allowed Bear to chose a card, "drive" the truck down the the milk caps on the cookies sheet and fill the delivery truck with the letters corresponding to each word on.  due to his age, he went from the word's beginning to the end, choosing one letter at a time. 
 
 
then he "drove" the caps to the cards and spelled out the word. he really seemed to enjoy this activity and completed about fifteen cards.  we have also repeated this activity a few times since then. 
 
 
because i used my son's current interests to introduce a learning activity, he was able to enjoy imaginative play while practicing literacy skills.  it's a win-win situation.
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kitchen Science BabbaBox Kit and $10 Off Code

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BabbaBox.

I was so very excited when BabbaBox offered to send us their Kitchen Science kits to explore and share with you.  Awhile back, we had the opportunity to check out their Sun, Moon and Stars activity box.  Knowing how amazing that box was, we were excited to explore all of these materials.



Magic Mud
The Magic Mud aka Ooblek was a great experience for Bear.  The preparation only took 5 minutes and yielded a super fun result. 


Initially, he was hesitant to touch it. So I stuck my hands in and dug around. Curiosity eventually got the best of him. So he dropped in some of his favorite vehicles and began some imaginative play. 
 
You'll notice that around the 17 second mark, he makes a reference to Joey McIntyre, one of the New Kids on the Block {my favorite music group}.  The fact that he incorporated something about me in his imaginative play totally cracked me up.

 

We ended up making a second batch after the first one had dried up.  I left it out overnight and ended up with a cracked pan, as all the water had evaporated.  I was curious and broke it up.  It turned into gravel similar to what is put in the bottom of fish tanks.  The new found gravel turned out to be a great sensory bin for imaginative play with construction vehicles.
 
 
 
DIY Bouncy Ball
Making our own bouncy ball was yet another activity that I've been wanting us to try.  The directions were straightforward.  The toughest part was getting the right amount of water added.  A tip if you make this, you have to let it set for a minute for some of the water to do...whatever it does.  After that, we were able to form it into a ball and bounce away!
 
 
 
DIY Lava Lamp
Now this was cool!  Using simple household items, we created something that just amazed Bear.  Am thinking that we need to get a real one for the play room.  I foresee lots of quiet time watching it. 
 
 
Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcanoes- Slow vs. Fast
This had to be the most mesmerizing activity in the box.  Though it focused on an activity that we've all done, it also suggested adding another household item and looking at the difference in the end reaction.  It provided a wonderful opportunity for Bear to practice his prediction and observation skills.

 
The great thing about BabbaBox is that each box comes with activity cards.  After you receive a new box and complete the activities, you can add the cards onto one ring to create a great "toolbox" of fun activities that you can draw on in the future.

You can go to the BabbaBox site and use the coupon code BABBACO10 to get $10 off New Monthly or Annual Membership.

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BabbaBox.  All opinions are mine.  The only compensation I received was the free product.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

car bocce ball

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i don't remember how exactly this game came about.  it was an uneventful day when Bear {4.5} was bored beyond belief and not at all interested in playing with any of his toys.  at the time, we were playing with Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars and our Fisher-Price Little People Garage .  then the idea popped into my head....we could play bocce ball with the cars. 
 
we set up the Little People Garage so that the ramp was pointed towards a shelf.  we each picked out 6 cars to use. 
 
 
 
here are the rules for car bocce ball:
  • set up a ramp approximately 3 feet from the end mark.  (ours was a shelf, but you could also use a piece of masking tape)
  • players take turns sending their cars down the ramp, with the end mark being where their car must pass.
  • when the player's car reaches the end mark, they receive one point.
  • player's cars may bump into the other's car, sending it forward
  • if a player #1's car bumps and moves the other player #2's car (or vice versa) across the end mark, the player's car that crossed the mark gets a point.
  • if a player's car makes the end mark in one move, they get 2 points.
  • whoever has the most points after all cars have been played, wins that round.
 
 
 
 
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