Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Letter of the Week - Uu

U is for Underwater 
Here's what you need for this project:
- cardstock (blue, green and white)
- blue marker and crayon
- underwater stickers (I found mine at Walmart)
- glue

Click here for free printable Upper Case Letter templates.

U is for Umbrella
Here's what you need for this project:
- cardstock (5 different colors)
- black marker
- glue

 Clara checking in on Sidney work
(wearing her FAVORITE shirt, a Halloween shirt with a skull and cross April)

Click here for free printable Lower Case Letter templates.

Sight Words
This week's Sight Word is:
- up


Here are some library books we reserved to go along with our theme:

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Monday, April 20, 2015

A - Z Guide for Summer Fun in St. Louis -- 2015 Edition

Hello St. Louis!  Get ready to have some fun this summer!  If I've left anything out (or if the links don't work), please comment at the end of this post :)

ABC CHEFS COOKING ACADEMY – Lots of fun summer cooking camps for kids located at Honey Kids Kitchen in Chesterfield Mall.
AMERICAN GIRL STORE – Visit their website to discover why American Girl is more than just a store!
AMTRAK TRIP  Kids love trains!  Start at the Kirkwood station and take a day trip.  The train stops in Washington, MO, Jefferson City, MO, Lee's Summit, MO, Independence, MO and Kansas City, MO.
AQUAPORT – Aquaport is a great place for the entire family to cool off and enjoy the summer! Be sure to check their website for family coupons.
ARCH – The Arch is open during construction! In addition to going to the top of the Arch, the website offers lots of other fun things to do around the Arch grounds.
ART FAIRS – The St. Louis African Arts Festival will be held at the World's Fair Pavilion May 23-25.  Art&Air is scheduled for June 5-7 in Webster Groves.  Let them Eat Art is scheduled for July 10th in Maplewood.  The St. Louis Art Fair and Art Outside will be held September 11-13.
ART HILL OUTDOOR MUSIC & FILM SERIES – Come and enjoy free music and movies Fridays in July on Art Hill.
BALLPARK VILLAGE  Check out the Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum, enjoy some Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and visit Busch-II-Infield for family friendly events and festivals year round.  Also, Free Movie Mondays start April 20th!  Check the website for the kid-friendly movie line up. The first Family Fun Day will be held on June 21 from 12 - 4pm.
BIG JOELS SAFARI PETTING ZOO  See all types of animals from "wild to mild"
BOATHOUSE BOAT RENTAL – Rent a 4-person paddle boat for $17 an hour.  Also, the boat house has live music most Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7pm throughout the summer.
BOB KRAMER'S MARIONETTES  Get your tickets to see the Summer Follies puppet show.
BOY SCOUTS – There are lots of great summer camps available.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF GREATER ST. LOUIS – Check out their website for summer camp opportunities for kids ages 6-14.
BUDWEISER BREWERY TOUR – Everyone is invited (even kids!) to a complimentary tour of the brewery.  Come on Clydesdale Camera Day to get a picture of your family with the Budweiser Clydesdales!
BUTTERFLY HOUSE – Come to see the butterflies and check their calendar for special events. The Butterfly House is located in Faust Park with the Carousel and a fun playground.
CAHOKIA MOUNDS  The site is named for the Cahokia tribe as the city's original name is unknown.  Visit the museum to learn more about the most important center for the peoples known today as Mississippians.
CARDINALS AT BUSCH STADIUM – Come see a game with the whole family and visit the new Ballpark Village.  Check their website for the special promotions and giveaways.
CARDINALS ALUMNI KID CLINICS – Learn baseball fundamentals the St. Louis Cardinals way! 
CELEBRATE WILDWOOD – The festival will take place August 28-30 and will include a parade, music, art and a car show!
CENTRAL PUBLIC LIBRARY – Come explore this beautiful building and read some good books.
CHAIFETZ ARENA – Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate will be at the arena September 24-27.
CHILDREN'S GARDEN CLUB – This is a free club focused on getting kids interested in gardening. Click on "Calendar of Events" to see what's going on.
CIRCUS FLORA – The circus is in town!  If you have little ones, the one hour Little Top performances at 10am are perfect.  Hurry, it's only here from May 28-June 28!
CITY GARDEN – Come on a warm day with a change of clothes and plan to get wet.  Then cool off with a treat from the ice cream truck.
CITY MUSEUM – The best kids museum in town and it's fun for adults too.
COCA PRESENTS – Sign up for a summer camp or just enjoy the family theatre starting in October.
CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM  Free Family Day Block Party will be held on Saturday, June 20 from 10am - 12pm.
COOKING CLASSES  Schnucks and Dierbergs both offer cooking classes for kids.
CREVE COEUR DAYS – The event will feature a carnival, parade and musical entertainment for the family.
CREVE COEUR LAKE – There is so much here to offer including boating, fishing, biking, playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic grounds and beaches!
CRITTER LANE PETTING ZOO –  A different kind of zoo with over 300 exotic animals on display where visitors are encouraged to feed and pet the critters.
CROWN CANDY KITCHEN – Opened in 1913, they are famous for their candy, but also serve lunch and dinner.  They also have the oldest soda fountain in St. Louis!
DRIVE-IN MOVIES @ SKYVIEW – This may be the only drive-in theater left near St. Louis.
ECKERT'S FARM –  Visit one of their 3 locations to pick your own fruit this summer.
ELEPHANT ROCKS – Tire out the kids by climbing rocks all day!
FAIR ST. LOUIS  Celebrate the Fourth of July in St. Louis!  Sign up for the one mile Family Fun Run on Saturday, July 4 to kick off the holiday.
FAMILY MUSICAL THEATER – Come see a show with the whole family.
FARMERS MARKETS – Visit one of the many farmers markets around St. Louis for some fresh food straight from the farm.  Click here for a map of farmers markets in your area.
FAUST PARK  There are lots to do here in the summer including Olden Days of Summer, Historic Village Open House tours, Feast in the Park, Summer Concert Series and the Faust Heritage Festival.  Click here for the 2015 Summer Brochure.
FAUST PARK'S ST. LOUIS CAROUSEL – This carousel was built in 1920 and nearly lost to a fire in 1963, but it still operates today for $2 a ride.  Also, check the website for special events and summer camps. Click here and scroll to page 13 to find out about Play & Ride.
FEAST IN THE PARK – Have dinner in the park provided by local food trucks while you listen to free live music. The event is open from 5 - 8 pm, bands play from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
FESTIVAL OF THE LITTLE HILLS – This festival will be held August 21-23 along Historic Main Street in St. Charles.
FESTIVAL OF NATIONS  The festival will be held August 29-30 at Tower Grove Park.
FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS – Bring your picnic blankets to Tower Grove Park and enjoy the food and entertainment with your family.  Beginning May 8, more than 20 trucks park it every second Friday of the month through October for one of the best outdoor food events in St. Louis!
FOX THEATER – The shows continue through the summer  and you can also take a 1.5 hour backstage tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30am.
FOREST PARK – Pack a picnic lunch and explore all the park has to offer.
FRISCO TRAIN STORE - The kids can play with the trains in their free play area while you shop. Be sure to check their calendar for Family Fun Night.
GATEWAY GRIZZLIES  Come watch a minor league ball game with your family in Illinois.
GIRL SCOUTS – There are lots of summer camp opportunities for Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts.
GRAFTON ZIPLINE ADVENTURES – 9 zip lines cover 1.75 miles!  Call to reserve your 2 hour tour.
GRANT'S FARM – Admission is FREE!  Come see the Budweiser Clydesdale Stables, feed the goats and enjoy complimentary samples of Anheuser-Busch beer (21 and older of course!).
GREAT SKATE – Check their website for family nights!
GREEK FEST – Experience a taste of Greece without the airfare May 22-25 and be sure to check out the Kids Corner.
GREEN CENTER – Located in Kaufman Park in U City, The Green Center offers classes for kids, guided field trips and summer youth camps.  
THE HILL – Enjoy the many bakeries and gelaterias as you tour this historic Italian village. You can even play Bocce ball!
HOT AIR BALLOON RACE AT FOREST PARK – The 43rd annual balloon race is September 19th.  And come to Balloon Glow on September 18th to see the inflated balloons up close.  
INNSBROOK INSTITUTE MUSIC FESTIVAL – Enjoy Innsbrook and a concert.  The musicians come from all over the US to perform at Innsbrook. 
INNSBROOK SUMMER CAMPS – Summer camp opportunities are open to kids and grandkids of Innsbrook property owners aged 6-15.
JEFFERSON BARRACKS  Explore the former military base including the National Cemetary, the Civil War Museum, Powder Magazine Museum, the Laborers House and the park grounds.  The JB Blast will be held on July 3rd at 7 pm at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in Jefferson Barracks Park. Live music and concessions available.
JEWEL BOX – Located in Forest Park, the Jewel Box is open after a $3.5M renovation.
KATY TRAIL – Bike the Katy Trail and stop by a winery or two along the way.
KIMMSWICK STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL – Visit Kimmswick for their annual Strawberry Festival on June 6th and 7th.
KIRKWOOD PEACH FESTIVAL  Enjoy peach samples from local farmers as well as peach related treats and menu items at Kirkwood Farmers' Market starting at 8am on July 18th.  Check out Kirkwood's Calendar of Events page for more festivals in downtown Kirkwood, such as Mayfest, Tunes at Ten, Summer Concert Series, Great Race and Sidewalk Sale.
KIRKWOOD GREENTREE FESTIVAL – The festival will be held September 18-20 in Kirkwood Park. There will also be a parade at 10am on the 19th.
LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMP  French and Spanish language camps are offered for kids ages 5-10.
LAUMEIER SCULPTURE PARK – Entrance to the park is free and open year round.  Art Fair will be held May 8-10.  Click here and scroll to page 7 to find out about their Free Family Days.
LONE ELK PARK – Drive around Lone Elk Park and see bison, turkey, elk, deer and other wildlife up close.
LYDIA BUDER PARK - Come watch model airplanes take flight.  The park is also located near the World Bird Sanctuary and Lone Elk Park if you have time to visit.
MAGIC HOUSE – The first interactive children's museum opened in 1979 and has grown substantially since.  Check their website for special events and free days!
MERAMEC CAVERNS – You can take a cave tour or relax on a riverboat among many other things.  They also have a zip line tour.
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN – Visit their website for a list of summer events and classes for kids. From May 23 - August 23 you can experience the Lantern Festival. And the Whitaker Music Festival continues this summer on Wednesday evenings from May 27 - July 29.  The Children's Garden stays open late on concert days and is free after 5pm. Bring your swim suits if you want to get wet in the sprayground.  
MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM – Check their website for the free Summer Family Fun Series events, including story time, make-and-take workshops, Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series and the History Clubhouse Grand Opening Celebration on June 27-28.
MISSOURI WINE COUNTRY – Most wineries have live music on the weekends starting around 1:00pm - the perfect time to enjoy a picnic lunch with some wine.
MUNY OPERA – Their summer shows include Hairspray, Into the Woods and Beauty and the Beast.
MUSEUM OF TRANSPORTATION – Kids 5 and under will love visiting the Creation Station.  You can also explore trains and ride on the Miniature Train.  Check the website for train riding hours and special events.
MYSEUM - This is like West County's smaller version of the Magic House. The interactive exhibits are scientifically fun and unique.
NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS – Visitors of all faiths will enjoy seeing the largest outdoor shrine in North America.
NEIGHBORHOODS – St. Louis has so many great neighborhoods to explore including Central West End, Clayton, Downtown, Kirkwood, Lafayette Square, Soulard, The Hill, The Loop and Webster Groves.
OLD WEBSTER COMMUNITY DAYS  Celebrate the Fourth of July in Old Webster.  Visit their website for a schedule of events.
OUTDOOR CONCERTS – Outdoor concerts are offered all over St. Louis.  And they are FREE!
OUTDOOR MOVIES AT CHESTERFIELD AMPHITHEATER – The Chesterfield Amphitheater is showing a free movie each month of the summer.  The 2015 summer movies are: "The Lego Movie" (June 5), "Planes: Fire and Rescue" (June 12) and "Big Hero 6"  (July 17).  Movies start at 8pm.
PAGAN PICNIC  The 23rd Annual Pagan Picnic will be held June 6-7 in Tower Grove Park. Check their website for the schedule of events and info about the Kids Corner.
PEABODY OPERA HOUSE – I didn't see any family-friendly events scheduled yet.  Be sure to check their website throughout the year.  They typically have a few events for kids. 
PICK YOUR OWN FRUIT – You can find all the local farms in your area that offer fruit picking.
PLAY YOUR ART OUT – Hands-on play and crafts using recycled materials.
PLAYGROUNDS AND WATER PARKS – This website has a great, comprehensive list of playgrounds and water parks throughout St. Louis with pictures.
PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTIONS  The 2015 Summer Season schedule is now available.  Come see Seussical The Musical June 11-14 and An Evening with Children's Theatre July 9-12. 
POWDER VALLEY CONSERVATION NATURE CENTER – Explore the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center then hike along the many trails.
PURINA FARMS – Animal lovers can get up close and personal with barnyard animals and everyday pets.  They also have free dog shows.
QUEENY PARK – There is a fun playground and lots of hiking trails that are paved and good for strollers.
RENAISSANCE FAIRE – Children will love the petting zoo, games, and daily free activities. Adults will enjoy beer, wine, and mead at three thematic pubs.  Open weekends May 16 - June 14 @ 10am - 6pm in Rotary Park.
RIVERBOAT RIDES – Enjoy a guided tour on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel boat.
RIVER CITY RASCALS  Come watch a fun minor league ball game with your family in O'Fallon. 
ROCK SHOW ACADEMY – Check out the website for summer camps for musical kids.
ROCKING J RANCH – The ranch offers trail riding lessons and summer camps for kids.
SCIENCE CENTER – Fun for kids of all ages and admission is free.
SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Anthony & Cleopatra will be performed in Forest Park from May 22 - June 14.  Come early for the Green Show at 6:30pm to see local musicians, jugglers and clowns and a family craft area, and a 20-minute adaptation of the evening’s mainstage production (except on double feature nights).
SHAW NATURE RESERVE – The Nature Explore Classroom and the Whitmire Wildflower Garden are perfect for kids.  There are also lots of hiking trails to explore.
SIX FLAGS –  Enjoys rides and entertainment for kids of all ages.
SLU SUMMER CAMPS – There are lots of camps to choose from for kids age Pre-K through high school.
SOULARD FARMERS MARKET  This is the largest farmers market in St. Louis and there is a fun playground right next to it!
SPRAYGROUNDS  Spraygrounds are a fun way to cool off and are great for little ones and big kids. 
ST. LOUIS ART MUSEUM – Summer classes are available for kids ages 3 and up.  Check the website for more family programs.
ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY FAMILY CONCERTS – The Family Concert series starts back up in October. Check the website for more info on purchasing tickets.
STAGES – Purchase tickets to see "Disney's The Aristocats" June 3-28.
STORY TIME  Pottery Barn Kids, the Library and Whole Foods offer free story times for kids.
STL ADVENTURE PASS – Fun and easy way to get to all your favorite St. Louis attractions.
SUMMER READING PROGRAMS – Check out all the summer reading programs available in your area!
SUSON PARK & ANIMAL FARM – Farm Fridays will be held on 5/22, 6/5, 6/19 and 9/11 from 10am - 1pm. Admission is $10 for kids ages 12 and under (adults free).  Hayrides, pony rides, barn tours and games for kids!
SWIM LESSONS – The YMCALittle Fishes Swim School and Ackermann's Swim Program are enrolling kids now for swim lessons.
SWING-A-ROUND FUN TOWN – Lots to do including Mini Golf, Go-Carts, Bumper Boats, Batting Cages and Arcade Games.
TASTE OF ST. LOUIS – The event will be held September 18-20 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.  Be sure to visit Kid City!
TED DREWES – Perfecting frozen custard since 1929!
THIRD DEGREE GLASS FACTORY – Visit their website to find out when their next Third Friday event will be held.
TOWER GROVE PARK  This park hosts tons of great events and activities including Children's Concert Series at the Piper Palm House, Picnic in the Park, Festival of Nations, Food Truck Fridays, Farmers Market, Pagan Picnic, carriage rides, pony rides, a playground and wading pool and docent-guided tours of the park.  It also has great paved paths to get around with kids.  Click here for their 2015 Calendar of Events.
UNION STATION – Sample fudge from The Fudgery, play mini-golf, visit the Memories Museum or take a ride on a paddle boat.
UNIVERSITY CITY LOOP – See the St. Louis Walk of Fame, listen to live music at Blueberry Hill, enjoy a Root Beer Float at Fitz's, browse the shops and enjoy the food. Plans are currently underway to return the fixed-track, vintage trolley system to the neighborhood!
VARIETY ST. LOUIS – Visit the website for information on camps and events for kids with physical and mental disabilities.
VINTAGE BASEBALL  See baseball as it was played in the 1880s as the Perfectos play the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
WABASH, FRISCO AND PACIFIC RAILROAD – Take a 30 minute ride on a live steam railroad on Sundays.
WEHERENBERG THEATER FAMILY SUMMER SERIES – See 10 great films for $1 each this summer on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am.
WORLD AQUARIUM – Explore the wonders of water at the World Aquarium, located within City Museum.
WORLD BIRD SANCTUARY  The World Bird Sanctuary features free seasonal shows, nature trails, educational programs and picnic pavilions.  Check their Calendar of Events for more info on Camera Day, Amazing Animal Encounters and Birds in Concert.
XCEL GYMNASTICS – Lot of fun camps for kids are offered in the summer.
YMCA BOOK FAIR  The 36th annual book fair will be held the week of August 13th at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
YMCA SUMMER CAMP – Visit the website for a list of summer camp options for kids.
ZOO – Summer activities include Camp Joey, Camp KangaZoo, Prairie Farms Summer Zoo Weekends and Jungle Boogie.  Also, the 30th Annual Run/Walk will be held on May 17th.  Kids of all ages can participate.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Summer Family Fun Passport -- 2015

I updated last year's Summer Family Fun Passport.  We are officially ready for summer now!

They are very easy to make.  Start by clicking the link above to download the file on Google Drive.

I printed the front/back cover in colored printer paper and multiple copies of the inside pages in white printer paper.  Then I used my paper cutter to cut the inside pages in half.

I folded the front/back cover in half, inserted the inside pages, and stapled them together along the fold.

Then the kids can document our summer fun on the pages - where we went, who went and when we went - and draw a picture of the what we did on the field trip.  For little ones, you can print out a photo from the day and tape it to the paper.

I have a some summer-y stamps (flowers, sun, butterfly, etc.) that I'll use to stamp the back of the page (like getting a stamp in your passport) once the girls are done.  My kids still LOVE stamps!  

PS - I found another fun St. Louis Passport from stlMotherhood.  Click here to see!

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Shrinky Dink Jewelry

I just had to share this AWESOME craft that Ava got for her birthday from a school friend.


I can't even remember the last time I did Shrinky Dinks...maybe when I was 7 or 8 years old??  The magic of how this thin piece of flimsy plastic can shrink down into a fat, tiny exact replica of itself can only be appreciated by adults.  I was totally mesmerized by the process.

But the main bonus is how long this project kept my girls busy! ALL DAY!  They got right to work coloring the Shrinky Dinks with the colored pencils that were included in the box.  

Then I got to work shrinky  Dink-ing!  I cut up a brown paper bag to fit over my baking sheet. I have AirBake Insulated Baking Sheets (which I was told - and can confirm - works well with Shrinky Dinks). You can use the same piece of paper bag over and over.  They say to space them three inches apart so I only did 6 or 7 on a baking sheet.  Then it said to bake the Shrinky Dinks for 1 - 3 minutes.  This is what they look like mid-shrink:

 They curl up a bunch and then start to flatten out.

After the Shrinky Dink has flattened out, leave it in the oven for another 30 seconds and then remove.  I let them cool on a cutting board.

It only took them a minute or two to cool down and then the girls could turn them into JEWELRY!!!  Ava immediately made BFF necklaces for her and the friend that gave her this birthday gift.

This was by far the best arts and crafts project we've done in a long time!  I will be keeping my eye out for more Shrinky Dink crafts from now on!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Letter of the Week - Tt

T is for Turkey
Here's what you need for this project:
- cardstock (8 different colors including red, orange, brown and white/cream)
- googly eyes
- glue

Click here for free printable Upper Case Letter templates.

T is for Turtle
Here's what you need for this project:
- cardstock (3 different colors)
- small googly eyes
- glue

Click here for free printable Lower Case Letter templates.

Sight Words
This week's Sight Words are:
- the
- to


Here are some library books we reserved to go along with our theme:

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