29 April 2010

Photo Friday #22

Spending a lot of time in the pool. Of course.

Exploring the incredible beaches in the area including the discovery of small, interesting caves.

Designing roller coasters in the sand.

Strolling and noting the incredible flora of the area.

Going on kid-directed photo shoots.

Enjoying our favourite lunch spot, Ruby's Autodiner
50s style Burger joint (with decent salad options). Food the way kids like it, a characaturist on hand that works for tips, and a cool keep-the-kid-busy-until-the-food-shows-up pack including 3D glasses.

And our favourite dinner spot, Avila's El Ranchito. It's worth it just for the guacamole.

Hey, why not share your travel pics on Fridays too ... at Delicious Baby.

26 April 2010

Birthday Party: Egyptian Theme


Yup, that's Spud in robber garb, inviting his wee friends to raid tombs and build Ancient Egyptian stuff with clay.

Note I took a few liberties on some of the hieroglyphics; balloons, the number 6, a birthday cake. Hee.

We booked the party at a local kids art studio and they led the kids in each making a clay sphinx.

The studio is going to fire them and we can pick them up in a few weeks. Can't wait!

Photos of all the little fired sphinxes are up!

Desert and Water Colour Inspired TABLE SETTING
Golden, sandy coloured tablecloth and water blue napkins. Some of the cups were blue and some jewel encrusted [re-purposed from a pirate theme]. Spud's Playmobil Sphinx and loot bag containers as a centrepiece.

Happy Birthday BANNER
For the banner I alternated the backgrounds between papyrus, water, and an Egyptian stripe motif [I photographed the black and gold stripes on Hubs headdress modeled below] on triangles. We cut out each one, punched two holes on the top, and simply strung them on some twine.

Treasure Birthday CUPCAKES
Each of the wee guests' blue or beige [water and sand coloured] cupcake had a shiny new quarter hidden in them. We slit a hole on the side of the cupcake paper, at the bottom, and inserted a quarter that was wrapped in a small square of wax paper.

Nile Water PUNCH
Organic Pomegranate Blueberry juice with raspberry sorbet added.

Treasure-themed LOOT BAGS
1. Candy Bag. Each child took a turn raiding the pyramid.

· chocolate gold coins
· gold chocolate ball
· silver heart chocolate candies
· gold and deep blue MMs [found at bulk candy shop]
· candy ring [not shown here]
· gummy snake protecting the loot

2. Treasure Bag

[Spud worked very hard drawing the Nile on his little tomb container here. At some point he declared "I've just about finished colouring the longest river in the world!". [He started to complain about having a sore hand from colouring so much and Hubs stepped in to finish it up.]

Spud and I took some books out of the library that taught us a bunch about hieroglyphics in a kid friendly way. We shared the task of decorating the treasure bags, each one totally unique.

· Glow in the dark bracelet
· Gold bead necklace
· Play snake
· Craft gems
· Egyptian play figures

Personalized THANK YOU CARDS
I took notes of what Spud said when he opened each present and added a quote to each thank you card.

· Party food idea for a Paint Splatter Party
· Jungle Party inspired by Curious George
· Indiana Jones Party activities and food
· Robot Party Activity: Control Panel Craft

16 April 2010

Our Egyptology

Two more sleeps until Spud's buddy birthday party. This year's theme: Ancient Egypt. It all started when his great aunt gave him some of the new Playmobil Egypt set for Christmas.
Check out this little animation.

He quickly became smitten with the idea of discovering hidden treasures and thwarting robbers trying to steal them. This led to this year's theme and I thought, also a great opportunity to learn more about Egypt in the weeks leading up to the big day. First we went to the library to learn about hieroglyphics. Here's a sneak peak of our work on the goodie bags.

You might notice that we took some liberties with the hieroglyphics, adding some of our own, like the birthday cake! We also found this great book filled with all sorts of Egypt themed activities.

We had fun making papyrus boats out of bendy straws.

· 16 bendy straws
· tape
· twine/string
And a few nights ago, Hubs showed us a documentary about the Nile which inspired Spud's work here ...

"Hey, look Mama, I'm almost finished colouring in the longest river in the WORLD!"

11 April 2010

The Making Place

Finally. I found the time to check out our city art gallery's new and improved family-centered art programming, known as The Making Place. [I posted on its ancestor, Super Sunday, here].

With an enthusiastically engaged staff and 3 well thought-out projects, each carefully relating in some way to an exhibit or specific piece in the art gallery itself, there was bound to be something of interest to Spud. And, as it turns out, he had the time of his life. And therefore, so did I. He really focused on just one of the projects; the collaborative reinvention of a map of our province. What a treat to be able to work in a such a large format.


· Black construction paper, spanning one end of the room and so tall the children needed to stand on a stool to reach the top
· scissors and magazine clippings from tourist and city magazines
· white chalk and oil pastels [with a few other colours tossed in]

Each child was asked to add a place that meant something to them [either draw or glue magazine clipping or both] and draw a road or river or some other connection to the Art Gallery, situated in the centre. Spud spent 2 hours doing just that! The amount of love and focus that went into it was astounding.

He really made sure the province had an extensive [and terribly complicated] road and transit system.

Well. We'll be doing that again.

10 April 2010

Kid Driving the Bus

Spud had some pretty grand ideas of how he wanted to spend the afternoon with his dad; "I want to build carts that work in a factory and move gold and treasure".

It sounded a little intimidating but Hubs decided to let Spud drive the bus, so to speak, on this activity. It turned out to be 80% Spud with about 20% dad [eg the operation of the oven when baking the fimo clay and dissuading Spud from putting the contraption over his bed so he could "play with it all night"].

Each cart, carefully planned. Luckily we had fimo, wire, yarn and hooks on hand.

I was completely smitten when I saw what they created. So simple and elegant in its execution. Spud was happy-happy with it and spent hours carting treasures back and forth.

07 April 2010

Happy Birthday Spud

Seen here decorating his new Hens + Chicks and cactus garden with the various rocks and shells he's collected over his little years. He even buried some pirates' gold.

06 April 2010

Home Made Oreo Cookies

Ridiculously easy recipe over at Group Recipes

Spud and I are going in to work today to share some of our Chocolate with Cream Cheese filling sandwich cookies.