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Frozen Summer Fun

Since our last trip to Disney World, a new Frozen ride opened in Epcot, plus there’s For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration in Hollywood Studios. Not to mention character meet & greets. There’re so many opportunities to live the magic of this movie in the parks, but I also want our children to live this magic at home!

While watching this movie, we all joined in singing along, we also tried playing a song or two on the piano (okay Ella did, I did not)! The songs are so fun and catchy to sing, I can hardly wait to sing along in Hollywood Studios!

Winter activities for Frozen are easy to find, but at first I couldn’t think of good summer activities. I even added ice skating to our list at first, until I remembered we did that last time. Then I had a delicious idea!

These Frozen Summer Fun activities are so much fun and so delicious, they’ll have you wanting to watch Frozen all summer long!

 

Our first two activities were all about the frozen treats! I used to love ice cream cakes when I was younger, but we haven’t been able to have one since going gluten-free 8.5 years ago. I figured it was about time I made one!

I love Neapolitan ice cream, but rarely have it (I’m a vanilla girl at heart), so I decided this cake would be Neapolitan, but really, you could use any flavour you wanted! I made some homemade fudge sauce for on top and used whipped cream to decorate. The bottom layer is made from gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies with the cream scraped off, and the cookies crushed then mixed with the fudge sauce.

We also made homemade frozen drinks. I know they look like Starbucks,

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but these ones were made at home. Of course we got the cups from Starbucks because our kiddos like to go there all the time. Since I had the cups on hand, and also had fudge sauce and whipped cream I was able to talk them into staying home for their frozen drinks. Ella also had milk shake recipes in her most recent American Girl magazine, so she decided to make one of those instead – I love watching her discover things on her own and decide to make them!

Our last activity took a bit of advanced presswork. It also involved a LOT of clean-up, but it was well worth it!

The night before I froze some water balloons, I also filled a few larger balloons with water and froze those. The next day we brought those and some washable paint to the driveway and got to work.

There were so many awesome pictures, it was hard to choose just a few! This activity kept everyone busy for a few hours, honestly it could have kept them busy much longer, but I needed to clean everyone up to make supper. You could use any paint, but I don’t like my driveway stained for very long.

The large balloons were the best, they were only partially frozen, so they ended up with ice caverns as they melted. Also because there was a lot of water at once, the colourful rivers running down the driveway were a lot of fun to watch. It was also really neat to see how the paint either slid off the ice, melted into the ice, or highlighted the different features of the ice.

 

 

 

 

Not only was this activity a lot of fun, but there was also so much to learn from it. A few we talked about include:

  • Colour theory
  • States of matter
  • temperature
  • fractals/ice crystals
  • global warming/polar ice caps

 

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Activities

Beauty and the Beast may be Agatha’s favourite movie right now – though I think she prefers the live action to the animated, but that’s okay. For these activities either will work.

It took me a bit more time than usual to get the post ready, mostly because there was serious, but fun, work involved in these activities!

The first two activities weren’t actually time intensive. I had us read a book for the first activity. If you follow along on youtube, you’ll know Ella loves to read, and Agatha’s not far behind her. Ryan read, several dozen, stories to Cordelia and Brom, Ryan and I even managed to read something for ourselves as well. Though I don’t think either of us finished a book in one day! lol

Imagination is so important to me. We imagined what type of item we’d become if we lived in the Beast’s enchanted castle. I’m not sure what everyone decided in the end, but it involved a lot of giggling and plenty of imagination!

Our third activity took a bit more planning and a lot more work, but the payoff was priceless!

The kiddos all became inventors tasked with creating something useful.

Ella took to pinterest and decided to make a solar oven. She wanted to make s’mores. We made the oven as directed at first, but we decided it took too long to cook, and even after 40 min the pan wasn’t even too hot to touch with bare hands. So we decided to amp it up a bit!

We added more insulation inside, and more foil aimed toward the plastic cover. She also decided to wrap the entire outside in black paper, but hasn’t actually done that yet. After adding more foil and insulation, she was much happier with the results! She also changed the container she used, from glass, to metal.

 

Brom and Cordelia created chocolate chip dispensers to help make s’mores.  They used marble run pieces and held them over the marshmallows and let gravity do the rest. They were very happy with how their inventions worked!

Agatha wanted to work together with everyone else to make the s’mores as well. She decided to make a marshmallow dispenser. This took much longer than one day to make. She created it on her own, with only minor help from Ryan and I to problem solve or poke holes.

 

She started by finding a candy dispenser and looking to see how it worked. She noted there was a container on top to hold the candy, a gear inside to move the candy, and a chute for the candy to fall down and out.

She had a wheel for a toy paddle boat, she took parts of it and used it to create the mechanism that opens the door inside the machine. She attached an ice cream container and an inverted sour cream container together with he bottom cut off the sour cream container, and a trap door that opens upwards in the ice cream container. When she turns the handles on the outside of the sour cream container, the gear pushes the door opens and marshmallows fall out! Look at that joy!

 

After all the projects were finished being created they tried them out. The s’mores were good, but they much preferred the chocolate and marshmallows mixed together without the graham crackers. Ella then shook up some whipped cream to put on top their yummy confections.

 

 

I’d love to hear about any inventions your children make! Share links if you’ve blogged about them!

 

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Movie Night: Up

I’ve been so excited to write about this movie, it holds a very special place in my heart. <3 I could talk about the details and nuances for hours, but tonight I’m going to talk about how much fun our family had watching this movie and the activities related to it.

We pulled out our trusty “wilderness Explorers Handbook” from Animal Kingdom and used that as a guide for some of the activities. 76CEEF3F-59F8-48CB-A799-5844B8719AF6

We started by looking at old pictures of the adventures our family’s been on together. We told stories of what we wanted to do, and we talked about the big dreams we have for our futures. My dream is to live at Golden Oak. drive a Tesla X, and have enough money for both Ryan and I to be home daily with our children while living the Golden Oak lifestyle. Our children’s dreams were pretty awesome too, but they’re not for me to share right now. IMG_4673

We had fun teaching our dogs new tricks. ‘Speak’ was not one of them (they know that already, but they don’t know quiet lol). Instead we worked on ‘crawl’ and ‘hug’. Moana was better than Chester at both new tricks. But Chester did learn ‘lay down’ followed by ‘sit’. He’s always just laid down and refused to sit, so this was a HUGE improvement!

But the most fun we had was creating string can phones and playing with sound waves! Bright and early one morning, before anyone was even dressed, Ryan and Cordelia sat down with the supplies and made some phones, then we all tested them to see how well they worked.  You’ll notice Go-Go (our black kitty) thought they worked beautifully!

 

Since we were playing with sound, we also made musical water glasses and had fun seeing if we could play any songs on it.  Turns out our glasses aren’t in tune 😉 but we did manage a couple off key versions of twinkle twinkle. 😀

Our last sound project was a HUGE hit! We created a colloid with cornstarch and water. Everyone had a blast playing with it. Then we covered our speaks with plastic wrap and saw what happened when you put music under the colloid. If you check out our Instagram, you’ll see a short video of one of our experiments.  You may have guessed, but the subwoofer created a better effect than the smaller front speakers. 😉 But I couldn’t get a good video of that one. I was too busy dancing with the kiddos to the fun songs! lol

I’ll probably have more activities to add to a different post later. The girls are so excited by these activities and want to keep doing more. Until next time, “Adventure is out there!” But don’t forget, adventure is right at home too!

 

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Big Hero 6 Activities

Big Hero 6 is a huge favourite in our house! Not only is it a great movie, but it also holds special meaning to our family. When I went into the hospital to have my surgery, and stayed overnight, the first time I was away from my babies overnight since they’d been born, we watched this movie ‘together’. I watched it on my iPad in the hospital, they watched it at home. We cried together while we watched. We loved it!

Even without the unique significance for our family, it’s a great movie! It’s one of the only movies our children have actually watched over, and over, and over again!

This time we made donuts to eat while we watched – and for the next three days every time the kiddos went to eat anything they’d loudly proclaim, “I’m stress eating! These are so good!” (Aunt Cass in the movie).

For our other themed activities we talked about the kind of super hero we’d be if we used science. Turns out our children’s idea of Science more closely resembles Fred’s idea of science in the movie. hahahah but they still had some pretty fun ideas. 🙂

Brom’s is the blue squiggly design. He refused to share his superhero’s secrets. He didn’t want me to know too much! lol Cordelia’s picture focused more on the outfit vs what the super hero actually did. But she did share with me that her super hero had a supercharged marshmallow shooter, that shot hot marshmallows at the bad guys, and then the marshmallow froze as soon as it hit the bad guy so they couldn’t eat their way out hahaha (I love it!)

Ella’s creation is pretty epic. There’s a button in the centre of the hero’s chest that allows the hero to open a dimension that allows ghosts to fly freely into our world. There’s mind control, electricity, and a dead head. Watch out for the dead head, it’s still bleeding. 😮

Agatha decided her cat would be super rather than her. By the end her cat could counter every single attack anyone else could think of. We tried tot ell her we were on the same team, but she was having none of it. She won. 😉

Of course, who can watch Big Hero 6 without having bot fights? We had fun building and designing bots with our MOSS robotics set, Then we put it against Sphero and BB-8. Really we knew who’d be the only one to come out in one piece; the robot that only has one piece.  😉 But it was still lots of fun. Check it out:

 

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Fostering Connection

It’s not always easy to foster connection with the people we love. Sometimes we’re tired, hungry, stressed, or just worn out. Connection isn’t always easy, but it’s always important.

This week I’ve found myself connecting more by stepping back than by stepping toward my children.

We went swimming this week. Brom wanted to learn to dive. He’s 3 and he wants to dive. I wanted to tell him no. Instead I told him not in the kiddie pool.  In deeper water, he climbed up on the edge, sat on the side of the pool, put his little hands over his head, then rolled, hands and head first, into the water. I stood by, telling him I was there if he needed me. I encouraged him, I cheered with each dive and was suitably impressed when he swam the 3 meters back to the edge each time. Over and over again. After about an hour and a half he began to tire, he couldn’t quite swim all the way back to the edge on his own. He floundered. I did not rush to grab him. I did not save him (though my hands were under the water to catch him if he needed me), I simply told him I was there.

I waited to see what he’d do.

He rolled onto his back, into his safety float. He relaxed, caught his breath, then rolled over and swam the rest of the way to the edge.

I cheered and congratulated him for his quick thinking and staying calm! I was so proud of him, and so was he!

Connection. It’s such a weird and interesting concept. By stepping back, being close, but not interfering I strengthened the connection I have with Brom more than if I stepped in, took charge, or directed his actions.

The same holds true for the older kiddos too.

Ella received a Kano kit for Christmas. It’s a build your own computer kit that uses raspberry pi as the base. (It looks awesome and she’s had so much fun using it!) She built the computer and was playing a game, but couldn’t figure out what the command prompt meant, she asked me for help. With some trial and error I helped her figure out what she needed to do. She deleted what I’d typed and re-typed it herself. It didn’t matter whether she needed help or not, she wanted to do it on her own.

 

Had I typed and hit enter, had I been the one to actually complete that step, I’d have taken away her sense of accomplishment. By answering her questions, showing her how, but not actually doing it myself I gave her the information she needed to move forward. When she ran into a similar problem later, she completed the steps on her own. I received the biggest smile ever for giving her that moment. I know Ella, if I’d stepped in and completed that step for her, she’d have been hurt and upset.