Tuesday, February 2, 2016

~*Pillow / Blanket Forts!*~ (Indoor Activity : All Seasons)


      I was really stumped on where the idea for pillow / blanket forts first came about, I am sure reflecting on my younger days, it was an idea presented to me by an adult or another child, but where did they get the idea? What I do know is that they possess a certain magical and charming appeal and something so simple and creative can be so exciting every time you crawl into your fort. I personally think it is the mystique of "bigger on the inside" or the hideaway escape where you can create your own little world. I have read a theory on how for children it symbolizes a womb, or it goes back to our primitive cave dwelling days, either way most of the time if you ask a child what they like about it, the responses will be simple: "It's fun!" 

     It is fun, and the magical aspect comes in when you take ordinary furniture, blankets, and objects and wrap them all together to make a completely different space! It's suggested that this is a fun activity for both a parent and a child to experience, although supervision when handling heavy objects just makes sense. So, if you need an escape and something fun and magical to spritz up your day, make a pillow / blanket fort! Some people even add in a string of lights, or special lighting, with different colours, you can make it whimsical, invite all your stuffies for a sleepover, or even adjust for a special setting. 


     Here are some ideas on how to make blanket forts: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Blanket-Fort. Interesting fact, a blanket fort was mentioned in an older children's storybook from 1968 called "Corduroy's Sleepover". Who knows, maybe even pets would enjoy a blanket fort! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

~*Bring the Stars to You!*~ (All Season) Indoor Activity

   
     The night sky is a glittery backdrop full of twinkling stars, and though you can look up and view them with the naked eye, or an instrument such as a telescope, here is an activity to bring the stars right into your home! With a shoebox, some paper, a flashlight and some books you can create your own planetarium to bring the night sky to life! Learn about the patterns of the constellations, or create your own designs to name, however this activity is constructed is sure to be both fun and educational,

     There are a lot of constellations with stories behind them, for they were named long ago in ancient cultures. Here is a list of constellations and descriptions: Constellation List. Humans have always looked towards constellations and here are some reasons why: 

      1.) Since stars have been grouped in constellations, they help humans recognize them 
      easier and quicker!

      2.) In Ancient Times, constellations served as a way to keep track of the calendar and 

      when to plant and harvest crops.

      3.) Ships used them and the North Star to navigate the seas by figuring out the latitude 
      due to the season and position of the constellation.

      4.) Ancient civilizations also used the stars to align their architecture to, for it had
      significant meaning. 

So for instructions on making this shoebox planetarium check out this website, which also has other scientific activities for kids! Make a Planetarium! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

~*Puppets!*~ (All Seasons) Indoor/Outdoor


      Many people have been charmed by puppets, and throughout the ages too! Puppets have been around for thousand of years, thought to have originated in either Egypt or India, they have been the actors and source of entertainment for many cultures. Puppets could really bring a story to life, and they would act out different tales for enjoyment, to teach, to warn, to preach the morals of the culture. Sometimes the puppets would act the tales of heroes, Gods, evil, just about anything could be and was illuminated by these charming dolls. 

      I believe storytelling is an art in itself, and if you find an amazing storyteller, you will hear some of the best stories! True one will find a great story in a book, but to have puppets act out that story makes it all the more magical! Puppets come in many forms and many cultures have their own style of puppets and story-telling, for instance Vietnam have their own water puppets that were adapted to be entertainment for the villages when the rice fields would flood. 

     Puppets can be made out of almost anything, it just takes some materials and creativity, mostly anything lying right around the house! Puppets can be made out of paper, socks, shadows, wood, felt, they can be small like finger puppets to giant ones like Jim Henson's Muppets! They can also be simple as masks, but those normally take on a more ceremonial purpose. Either way, making your own puppets and putting on a show for your loved ones will create cherished memories. Here is a lovely instructional on how to make some easy puppets: Let's Make Puppets!~ 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

~*Picnic*~ Outdoor version, (Summer, Spring, early Fall) Indoor version, (Winter)




     This is a staple activity that goes along with the presence of good weather, and beautiful sunshine! PICNICS!!! Who doesn't love a picnic! I did some research into the history of the picnic, and I received quite a confuddled answer. Some were saying it derived from the French word "piquenique" but there really isn't any assurance of that. The word was mentioned in some letters in the 1700's and throughout middle-aged documents, from England, and Spain, and Germany. Basically, what I have gathered is that picnic, was a word to associate a social gathering. I believe it really became popular during the upper English class during the hunts, where the ladies and gents would sit outside and eat a meal, as the hunt progressed. The whole idea of eating alfresco, outside in a garden was an appealing idea nevertheless, that we still do to this day!

So, what about a picnic makes it so much fun? Aside from being outside with the good weather, good food, and great company, a picnic can be as fun as you make it! Designing and planning the location, and food, and invitations, can be so much fun if you let your imagination take over, but what really makes a picnic a wonderful summer/spring memory, are the picnic activities!

I think these activities are so important to a fantastic picnic, like lawn games, such as croquet or bocce!  You can bring binoculars and go bird watching, bring along a sketchbook and do nature drawings, or a camera for taking photos, or just laying back in the grass watching the clouds, or taking a nap! A picnic can be simple to extravagant! Now some people will sit on a bench or some sort of seating, but I have to say the picnic blanket is my favorite for seating! :P


Oh, and one more thing if it is raining, or too cold to go outside, make a meal special by having an inside picnic, with board games or puzzles or something else fun!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

~*Fairy Houses*~ (Full Spring to Full Summer Event)


 So, I am SUPER excited about this activity, and I really can't wait to share, so...here I go! It's all about Fairy Houses! Apparently, building fairy houses, is a long-aged tradition of New England, and it was said, that individuals made fairy houses to invite fairies to stay in order to attain their help, so islanders would make these small houses in Nature, from the very things in nature, and would  leave a coin inside as an offering for their help! Read more, here!

So, what's so cute about this, aside from the enchanting idea and creativity? It's being outdoors, and being close with Nature! It helps build a strong connection to the very Earth that houses us all, and being holed up in a technological world, this is such a wonderful remedy, and I heard it's quite addicting! What's really interesting about this activity, is that it sparks curiosity and creativity in others, and passerbys can't but help to add their own touch to the houses too!

 

In New England, they even have small festivals for fairy houses! In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they have Fairy House Tours! And town dwellers will dress up as fairies too! How darling is that!?! Read more on this, here! There is even a book series about these houses, written and illustrated by Tracy Kane, you have to check out her books too, it'd be so much fun to look over all the houses she's captured! Check out her website....here!

Okay, okay, now a brief description on how YOU can do this! First, you want to think about the type of fairies that live near you, now fairies exist everywhere, so don't be sad if you're in the city, because fairies do travel and they made need an overnight stay on a long journey! After you think of the type of fairies, pick a secure location, in the base of a tree, under a shrub, in a garden, keep in mind to keep the houses away from being trampled or weathering elements, like flooding from a rainshower! After you pick your location, GO GATHERING!~ It depends where you live, beach or a forest, if you live near a beach, collect shells, seaglass, seaweed, if you're near woods, acorns, mushrooms, stones, petals from a flower, pinecones! Then, construct away! Remember, different seasons yield different materials!
 
Once completed, take a picture to share, and remember to leave a sweet treat for your new neighbors, berries, nuts, or honey! maybe even a little cream, or a cube of sugar! maybe you can get your human neighbors to make more houses! Either way, create and have fun, and don't go wandering off by yourself too far, make sure to have an adult, or someone know where you are, if you're going to be off on a Nature walk, gathering! Hope you enjoyed this article, as much as I did! ^-^


Saturday, February 16, 2013

~Four-Leaf Clover Hunting!~ (Spring, Early Summer Event)

   
      Now this is a popular activity, but I don't think it's an activity that we should stop doing as we get older!~ We all could use a little luck and some fresh air, after being cooped up inside all winter! So, I want to share some thoughts/facts on four-leaf clovers! I'm going to start by asking, if you ever wondered where the idea of four-leaf clover hunting came from? It hadn't really occurred to me before, who started this activity, but I can bet you, that it is a tradition from the old country, long before we settled this one! Now, onto the facts about four-leaf clovers, there are a lot of ideas, why three-leaf clovers will spawn a rare four-leaf clover, also called shamrock, whether it be mutations, environmentally influenced or a semblance of a lot of factors, four-leaf clovers, are rare, and even rarer still, can have more then four leaves, the highest number ever recorded is 18, found by Shigeo Obara. Now, why is the four-leaf clover considered lucky, aside of it being a rare find, well, it's because the druids highly regarded four-leaf clovers, as a lucky charm to ward off evil spirits! It is said that each leaf represents, faith, hope, love, and luck, and according to St. Patrick, in the catholic faith, it represents, the father, the son, the holy ghost, and god's grace. I didn't realize there was so much behind these cute little leafy greens. THEN, there's a kicker, the "true" four-leaf clover is supposed to be of the white clover family, but there are 3 other "four-leaf clover" look-alikes that are mistaken identities, but they still seem accepted. Either way, here's how you do this activity!~~~

1.) Pick a nice spring day for hunting!
2.) Bring along a magnifying glass! (but be careful not to let the sun shine through it)
3.) Bring SNACKS!~ (hunting these leaves can use up a lot of energy)
4.) Decide how you will keep the four-leaf clover, picture, pressed in a book, in a vase!

5.) If you don't find any, don't be discouraged, you can always try another day! And luck
isn't only found in four-leaf clovers!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

~*Photo Fieldtrip*~ (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)


     Nowadays, a digital camera is pretty handy, and you don't have to be a super savvy photographer to enjoy this activity either!~ Basically, the idea of this activity, is to gather up whomever you can, friends, family, co-workers, and meet up at a pre-designated area, such as a park, or trail, it can even be indoors, (as long as you ask for permission)! Then, everyone who has a camera (if need be, you can partner up into teams, if everyone doesn't have a camera, that way no one feels left out!) and the host of the event, will either pick a theme, such as (color, feeling, free-for-all) and everyone will go and capture photos, but the TRICK is not to show anyone what you take until the very end. After everyone is done taking photos, you can set an hour, or so for the timeframe, everyone can go to a retail store to get their photos printed digitally, then from there, it's all about SHOW and TELL!~ It will make for fun discussions, or creative ventures, if anyone wants to put together an album! And in nicer weather, vouches for a nice day out!

What you will need:
- A place that is good for photos
- A camera
- Friends!

::Just Remember Please:: It is considered rude to take photos of people or inside businesses, without them knowing, so please just ask first!