Category Archives: Mom Camp 2016

The Hogwarts Express: Mom Camp Day 23

How do keep kids entertained on the drive from Las Vegas to LA to visit Harry Potter world?

We started with printable tickets from for the Hogwarts Express. The fun thing about their printable is that its a one-way ticket to the World of Harry Potter in Universal.

Once in the card we started on the audio version of . I also cheated and purchased the digital version of the movie for book 2 and loaded on to the kid’s kindles.

I also got them each one of the trendy Harry Potter coloring books for the car: and ..

When we got to the hotel, it was time to go swimming and release all the energy built up on the long car ride.

At dinner we played a game draw your own Harry Potter character on the placemats.  Cinco was the judge and awarded ‘points’ towards the house cup based on our artistic skills. After dinner, we played a game of .

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Mom Camp Day 22:  Monsters, Wands and Quidditch


Today’s challenge was creating craft copies of a few of the props from Harry Potter: The Book of Monsters and Wands, plus a quidditch field.

We decided to tackle the Book of Monsters first.  This involved a trip to Hobby Lobby strolling through the aisles looking for the raw materials.  As always, glue gun sticks were at the top of the list.  We decided on faux fur, google eyes and two small hard cover unlined note books.

Cinco choose the traditional dark brown fur while The Princess went with the skunk like faux fur.  She tried to talk me into purchasing real rabbit fur but I politely declined.  They also choose different notebooks, Cinco’s had an elastic band that secured the book closed.

Cinco’s notebook required us to cut his piece of faux fur.  We added a darker strip of brown fur to the binding.  Then we cut the light brown fur into one large piece that covered the top of the book.  On the bottom of the book we hot glued a medium piece and then a separate smaller light brown piece, leaving a very small gap for the elastic closure.

The Princess’ notebook was much easier.  We simply glue gunned the skunk fur to the book.  Easy as pie.  One thing I did discover is that it is better to glue the top and bottom
first and THEN glue the edge.


img_3864Next we needed the embellishments to finish off the look. We added the google eyes to both books and used some creepy colored eyes to make the monster look a little nastier.

For Cinco’s book we glued two ivory colored oblong beads inside the cover of the sketch book.  To secure the fangs, we glued the first page of the book to the hardcover and horizontally sandwiched the beads between them.  That way, the teeth really stuck out.

The Princess wanted to use two smaller dark brown beads. We glued them to the underside of the cover as well. sadly, they were both smaller and glued vertically.We had a bit of extra dark brown fur so we decided to make Monster Bookmarks too.  Out came the google eyes, bead fangs and we added a red felt tongue to complete the look!


The next activity included making mini-wands.  Scout (my co-girl scout leader) made fantastic wands for her son’s birthday using wooden poles, A GLUE GUN and paint.  Both Cinco and The Princess still have the wands from the party so it didn’t make sense to simply copy her and do the same thing.  We changed it ever-so-slightly by making mini-wands.
img_3878Using Scout’s glue gun technic we created a few wands and then went to work painting them.  We got out a few wild paint colors to have a little fun decorating them. Some them had a base color and then we painted the glue a second color. Others were fully one color.  Cinco also decided that he wanted to add beads to the bottom of the wands to make it look like a handle.

img_3877But, the coolest part was the glow-in-the-dark glue sticks I purchased for the glue gun.  We used the glow-in-the-dark glue on two wands and they looked thrilling in the dark.
img_3879Our final project of the day was a papercraft I found online to make your own Quidditch Field. You can also find templated to build your own Hogwarts, but honestly we weren’t that ambitious.  We did add the quidditch hoops, which we fashioned out of foil.
After three crafts, we decided to call it a day.



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Making Magic: Mom Camp Day 21

It’s time to focus on our Harry Potter Days! We are getting ready for a trip to Universal Studio in LA and had to emerce ourselves in all things Potter.

Reading (or re-reading for some of us) was a no brainier.  Cinco read book onewhile all of us listened to the audio version as we drove around town doing chores and driving to and from places like the Eiffel Tower.

Our first craft was an adorable origami ‘sorting hat’ game on get away today’s website.  It’s an old school cootie catcher or fortune teller that has been revamped to help you find your proper Hogwarts House.  I got Slitheryn.

The Princess also led a potions class in the kitchen.  She added water, peppermint tea leaves, cumin, vinegar and heaven only knows what to her cauldron.

We also made our own mini broomsticks from string and straw. img_3881

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Bastille Day Part II: aka Mom Camp Day 20

The celebration of Bastille Day continued with a day dedicated to France’s iconic Effiel Tower.

As part of this project we crated our own towers. We started with two dimensional towers made of straws and pasted to card stock.

The Princess added a cute little sun.

Cinco’s Tower

I really liked the less technical and more artistic version of the tower created by Cinco.

Then we decide to try a few 3D versions of straw towers.

Again we consulted YouTube and watched a few quick videos on the Effiel Tower. We learned a that the tower was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

Then it was time for a trip to the Las Vegas Effiel Tower at the Paris Hotel. After a trip to the top and a chance to see the Bellaggio water show with a bird’s eye view, we stopped for a little cream treat!


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It’s Bastille Day, Baby! Mom Camp Day 19

In honor of France’s Bastille Day Mom Camp decided to revisit one of our original themes: Bastille Day. *

We began with a few worksheets from one of my favorite Mom Camp sites: The one featured above is a cute and simple guide to the location of various French land marks.

The Princess and I walked in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette and made some French inspired jewlry.  I found these little charms at Michael’s and decided they would be perfect for a little Bastille Day jewlery making.

We created a lovely necklace using the colors of the French flag.  The red and blue peals were for the colors in the flag representing the revolutionaries.  Instead of Burbon white, we substituted a silver pearl.

We also decided to watch a few cartoons on the French Revolution on YouTube.

This one was only about 3 minutes. The other was a clip from an old cartoon called Histria. The kids really enjoyed this one and went one to watch a second one on the heroes of France. It even includes Joan of Arc.

To round out the day we played  .   Basically, you are the executioner during the French Revolution and you need to collect noble’s heads.  Different nobles are worth different points and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins.  The Princess really took to game.  I suspect because she is always trying to collect the queen.

*nb: When one has been doing Mom Camp for 6 years some times we need to recycle ideas.  Lol

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Mom Camp Day 18: 4th of July Fun

In preparation for the 4th of July, we did a few crafts, played some games and took a swim.

Our first activity was a silly quiz to see which founding father you are. I got George Washington.  The kids each took the quiz and they both got Roger Sherman.  Now, I can’t say I know alloys founding fathers. But, growing up in Connecticut I actually knew who he was and gave the kids a long explain action on the important of his role at the Constitutional Convention. He was responsible for the Connecticut compromise and is the reason we have a Senate and a House of Representatives.

Next we went to work on a shortbread version of the White House from Trader Joe’s.  When we opened the package it smelled great.. Sadly it didn’t taste quite as good as it smelled.  I know, I know you don’t actually eat the cookie kits but you can’t blame us for a having a little nibble.

The frosting in the kit worked great and held the pieces together well.  The only issue we had with the kit were the columns. You have to brake them apart and in the process we cracked 4 out of 8.  Two columns we pieced back together with some of the icing and two of them were beyond repair and we ate them!

Then I had kiddos play and online educational video game.  They both declared it was borrng and quickly walked away from it.

We closed out the day with family movie night and

Both kids enjoyed the movie.  Thank heaven it wasn’t another Titanic disaster.

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Titanic Day Part One (Mom Camp Day 15)

For the past two years I intended to do a few Titanic themed Mom Camp Days. And, every year we get to the end of the summer and it hasn’t happened.  Well, this is the YEAR people!!!

The kids on the other hand are less than enthusiastic about this little project.  We started off by watching a documentary on the Titanic.  From the start, no one was really interested in the show, including The Captain. The kids rebelled saying it was very boring and I shot back that it was educational and that we are doing our Titanic Days!!!!!  Cinco started saying the ship took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink and that was all he needed to know about the event.  LOL.

Not the best start to Titanic Day.  However, once I explained we were going to go to the Titanic museum, watch the James Cameron movie, make a mini-Titanic and do some science experiments they seems to be a bit happier about the experience.

Cinco started the day by making a mini Titanic paper craft.

img_3790The Princess created paper dolls with outfits related to the time period.  Technically, the outfits are from the Edwardian 1900s.  But between 1900 and 1912 the fashion didn’t change too much.  So I went ahead and used them anyway.

They also colored images of the Titanic sinking that I printed out from Activity Village. Download the picture here. Activity Village also had a fun worksheet that asked the kids what they would pack if they were sailing on the Titanic. 

Cinco completed a primary source worksheet from about two passengers from the ship. Download the worksheet here.

We ended the day with popcorn and the movie,Titanic .  Cinco and the Princess got a hand me down electronic keyboard and tortured The Captain and me with a Casio version of Celine Dion’s My Heart will Go On for years!  When Cinco finally heard it as the theme from the movie he asked if that was the original version.  How funny…

Although they have seen plenty of other PG-13 movies, this one turned out to be a mistake.  Both kids started crying about 2/3rds of the way through the movie. Too depressing I guess. 


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