Mom Camp Day 33: Water Day Part Two!

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We took a trip back to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum to take a look at some more sea creatures. This time the focus was on the new Seahorses they have added.

I could have stood looking at them all day. Cinco and the Princess liked them as well, but not as much as I did!!!

Then is was back to the pool for more swimming practice, not exactly glamorous, but necessary!

Back at home we reading again. A bunch of aquatic books.

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Mom Camp Day 32: Water World!

In preparation for a long weekend of boating in Catalina, we decided to embark a few ocean inspired activities.

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We began by taking a trip to Las Vegas’ own Shark Reef! Cinco and The Princess end up going there all the time. But, if you want to learn about life in the water, it’s a good educational spot. Cinco got a hold of my camera phone and took a number of photos of our visit.

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As you can tell, we also got the chance to see the scuba divers cleaning the tanks. Always a little treat… But a fairly typically experience.

We also purchased some grow kits!

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The Princess choose the dolphin and Cinco went for the ray. We places them in the master bath and waited … And waited … And waited…. As we waited Cinco periodically took size measurements and recorded them in a small journal.

We also hit the pool to practice a bit of swimming. If you are going to jump off a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you better be ready! As it turns out, we did jump off the boat in water that was more than 1000 feet deep. And yes, it was cold!!!

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Dino Day Part 2: Mom Camp Day 31

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There was simply too much to do in only one day of Dinos so we added a second day. After all, who can say no to Dinos.

We started off with several of PBS’ Dinosaur Train episodes that we watched on Netflix.

Then it was time for a little learning. We consulted a number of dinosaur books laying around the20140731-170105.jpg house. The family favorite turned out to be an old 3D T-Rex book. We enjoyed a pseudo dissection of a T-Rex. The book took us about an hour to get through as it had little activities and experiments to do in each section. We measured out 40 feet to understand the scale of the T-Rex. We also conducted balancing exercises to learn how the T-Rex made use of it’s tail. You get the idea.

20140731-214701.jpgWe took the left over wooden frames from the wooden Dinos we made and used them as stencils. The 20140731-214729.jpgkids used all the different body parts in both ‘stencils’ to create their own new dinosaurs and color them in.

 

 

 

Then we embarked on making our own wearable Dino feet, too. Here’s what you need:

  • Cardboard (I used a Costco sized cereal box and that was enough for both kids or two pairs of Dino feet)
  • Paints
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paper Towel Tubes
  • Feathers (optional)
  • Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: 20140731-170702.jpgHave the kids draw an outline of Dino feet on the cardboard. You can use a show to draw around to make sure the foot dino is large enough to wear.

Step 2: Cut out the feet. Depending on the age and skill of your child, you may want to do this yourself.

Step 3: Cut the paper towel tube length wise. You will glue these onto the feet so the kids can slip on the feet.

20140810-194408.jpgStep 4: Let the kids paint the Dino feet. Both kids enjoyed this part and used their creativity.

Step 5: Glue the long strips of paper towel tube onto the feet, making a slip-on for the kids.

Optional Step 6: Glue a few feathers onto the Dino feet. Let the kids choose the placement. I like a few coming off the back, but adding them to the sides or drought is fine too.

This helps the kids understand that scientists are starting to believe some Dino’s beyond those that fly maybe have had feathers…

Have fun playing!

 

 

 

 

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Sense of An Ending: Booky Mom

The Sense of an EndingThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Memory, reality and personal history converge in Julian Barnes’ Sense of An Ending. The story is told to readers through the lens of a sixty something man looking back on his youth. As a result, we are treated to the memories of Tony told to us through his clouded mind and left with a highly unreliable narrator.

Barnes introduces the tale with descriptive fragments of memory and moves through the story fleshing them out to a greater or lesser degree. It is part of Barnes plan that these introductory fragments are equally illusive at both the beginning and ending of the story.

Youth and aging come to play in the story as do life’s attempt to grapple with death. None of the concepts are earth shattering or new, but Barnes humanizes them for the reader through Tony.

There were no characters in the book that I was drawn to in sympathy. Rather its a train wreck of competing impulses acted upon without much concern for the vibrations created they create. The selfish vibrations slowly play out into earthquakes that the narrator is emotionally incapable of addressing.

The writing is good and flows well and the story dispute so many layers is rather tight.

I read the book in the summer and I sometimes think our state of mind truly affects the understanding of the book. My point here being, this is a fall/winter time book.

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Let the Dinosaurs Roar: Mom Camp Days 30

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After all the traveling and the days of real camp, Mom Camp is back in business.  The kids actually complained that they have been too busy this summer and that they haven’t gotten enough “TRUE MOM CAMP” days.  To be fair, we have been doing a LOT of other things and our traditional mom camp activities have taken a backseat.

We all agreed on getting back on track with a few days dedicated to our favorite prehistoric pals, Dinos!

20140731-153637.jpg We started the day off with some arts and crafts.  Even before school gets out I am on the look out for anything I can use during mom camp.  I got the wooden dino puzzles from the Target dollar section and the fold your own dino kit from Michael’s.  20140731-154403.jpgBoth sets were easy for Cinco and the Princess to put together and provided plenty of entertainment.  They not only assembled the kits, but then enjoyed some play acting with the toys that they created.

20140731-153656.jpgNext, we attempted to make our own dino fossils.  On pinterest I found a recipe using coffee grounds, salt and flour to make a sort of cement.  I was surprised to find I had no flour in the house, so in my typical mom camp way, I substituted pancake mix for flour.  I am not saying that definitely ruined the mix,20140731-155701.jpg but our mix simply did not “pan-out” the way it should have.  It was a shame because we gathered some really fun items to make into fossils.  We were going to use a glow in the dark dino skeleton head and bone-shaped dog treats to make the impressions.

20140731-153847.jpgThe kids were somewhat disappointed by the failed attempt so it was time to hit our local natural history museum. They have a pretty elaborate room dedicated to large-scale dinosaur models.

20140731-153739.jpgPlus, the museum hosts traveling exhibits every few months.  It just so happened we got lucky and the current exhibit was all about dinosaur eggs!  Lucky us.  I didn’t even plan it that way…although the kids thought I did.  Shhhhhh….. don’ tell them.

There were a number actual fossilized eggs on display.  Additionally, there were tons of hands on experiences for the children.  Lots of displays for them to touch so they could get the feel for the texture of the eggs.  They learned that different dinosaurs had eggs with different shapes: some oblong, others more oval, some large, some small.

20140731-153757.jpgThe Princess and Cinco also had the opportunity dress up in dino costumes.   There were two sets and one of them even had feather on costume, which was fun! They spent quite awhile in that section of the museum laughing and playing at being dinosaurs.  20140731-153824.jpgThey wiggled the dino tales and played in the dino nests.

We also played a few of the computer games set up at the exhibit.  Cinco and I played dino hangman and The Princess made a series of cute little dino pictures.20140731-153903.jpg

All and all a productive day!

 

 

 

 

 

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July 30, 2014 · 12:07 am

The Lemonade War

The Lemonade WarThe Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Lemonade War is a clever book about sibling rivalry that plays itself out through a lemonade sales competition.

Each chapter opens with a the definition of a “business” term that relates to the plot of that chapter. Additionally, the book highlights the math used in the business, simple addition, subtraction and little bit of multiplication and division. The book tries to sneak a little more education in the story– which of course appeals to a mom!

Both of my kids liked the story (5,8yrs)and were interested to see how the challenge ended. All and all a good book for some summer reading!

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Another Judy Moody Review

Judy Moody, Girl Detective (Judy Moody, #9)Judy Moody, Girl Detective by Megan McDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is our second Judy Moody book. It’s based on Judy solving a mystery as if she were Nancy Drew.

Personally, I have never read a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys story in my life. Do kids today still read that? Do kids today know who that is? For me the book was less-than-exciting because of the Nancy Drew focus. But, my kids seemed to roll with it.

My five year old daughter and 8 year old son were at least paying attention to the same book. Finding common ground for them can sometimes be a challenge.

I continue to love Stink better than Judy and may try reading the kids one of his books next. Still, it’s better than Junie B. Jones!

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