Camp Sofia

last years' Giant Cupcake Cake

last years’ Giant Cupcake Cake

Here I am… I’m over here; as my daughter would say in her cute little voice as she pays attention to pronouncing each word with purpose.
With Easter, a short week and my daughters birthday plans in full swing; I have been missing in action from my blog.

I started my week by making a 20 page, 8×8 photobook courtesy of a special I got from Shutterfly. That’s one Father’s Day, Grandad, gift done.
Next was a final run through of plans I decided on for the TURNING 2 birthday party for Sofia. The party is two weeks away. So, six or seven toddlers will be attending a Camp Themed party where they will decorate a tent(a ‘wardrobe’ box from Uhaul), do shadow puppets(cut out animals on sticks and puppets), have a drum circle(on a big blanket with a tin in the middle filled with glowsticks for fire) and eat cupcakes with a campfire on them made out of pretzel sticks and dried mango slices. If the weather is nice, we’ll send all those little legs across the street to the park while a craft clean up and food set up take place. I’m keeping the food simple; sandwiches, fruit salad, s’mores, pasta salad and crackers. Of course I have made shopping lists, activity breakdowns and ‘to do’ lists so I don’t miss anything…. In theory.
I used my ‘Instastory’ app to make the invites on photo paper. Very cool! With stickers, watermarks and text boxes it worked out perfectly, and didn’t take as long as I thought it would. All for free. Those were sent out yesterday.

We are going to do a party for her little friends with the fun and activity at home. The next day will be a more low key get together for family, big kids and adults at my Dads place. This one will be for a Giant Cupcake Cake with the blowing out of candles; which she will be able to do this year, yeah! Boy is it ever going to be a busy weekend.

All I need to do now is shop, cook, decide what I’m getting as a gift and for the favors and charge my camera. So, the busy bulk of the work. I think her and her friends will enjoy it. My mom is going to help with craft time, tent, and I’m going to talk my husband into leading the drum circle; wish me luck!

I have a number of ideas for favors but it’d be ideal to buy one packaged item for each of the kids.

Anyone have any favor ideas?

Spring Treasure; Spring Ahead

This past weekend was daylight savings. The third sign of warm days and prolonged outdoor fun to come. The first, a melting thaw with fresh breezes. The second, finding fuzzy buds on tree branches.
It is just days from the First Day of Spring. The sun seems to have a renewed purpose as it shines brighter than ever. I’m finding more tracks in the snow than previous months. Just yesterday we heard migrating geese passing by. Are we really that close to walking around, in public, with tshirts and shorts??!

The first day of Spring is March 20th, the March Equinox, which is observed around the world by means of cultural celebration, religious events and historical tradition. I once worked with a woman who was from Iran. The Persian New Year, Nowruz, started in the March Equinox and lasted 12 or so days. She would get everyone in the family new clothes and clean the house from top to bottom. I remember her bringing in fantastic spiced lentil dishes for lunch.

The Spring Equinox is a fascinating time; globally, spiritually, culturally, traditionally and in a general sense of needing to take care of an earth that has provided in all aspects of life but is in trouble of not being able to sustain this healthy cycle.

In community guides and newspapers alike I am seeing trash pickup events, growing food seminars and conservation workshops. Earth day, which is observed on March 20th or April 22nd, was first observed in 1970.

I am going to see how tree planting goes with a toddler. Obviously our home garden will be a daily activity. The forest and conservation areas are great for learning, observing and teaching little people how to tread lightly in a fun way. I’ve got to find an Aquarium nearby. Plus, Local farms; here we come!

Let’s try to do our part in preserving the life of our world, creatures, plants, friends and family.

Spring Treasure; Sensory Play

For toddlers, sensory play is never ending and easy to compile. As adults it’s difficult sometimes to think so simple and uncensured in our imagination spectrum. It dawned on me during a warm Saturday afternoon walk… We were on a sensory play adventure.

From the moment we left the house our senses were tantalized with each step. The snow was crunchy and sparkling but when held we had little salt crystals; wait they melted into our hand. The water droplets plopped into a puddle. Ooww, a puddle. What does a toddler love about puddles? EVERYTHING! The sounds, reflection, splashes, they submerge part of your foot, a twig floats and this particular puddle turned into a stream. Let’s see where that twig goes!
So, we set off…

I started teaching my daughter how to cross the road a few months ago. When the grey squares stop and the black road starts we stop, then wait. “Do you hear any cars or trucks driving?”, asks mommy. “Let’s look all around the road. Do you see any cars, trucks or bikes driving? No, ok we can walk now.” “Go”, yells my little girl.

The sensory journey continues. The birds are chirping, yet we can’t seem to locate one until a few fly by and land on a budding tree branch. One of the branches are low enough to reach without “hurting” the tree. Sofia giggles as I tickle her forehead with the fluffy bud.

I notice how quiet it is. The air is so light, fresh and warm. It reminds of my 10 year old self; climbing trees, searching forest trails, sitting on the farthest rock in the river, skipping rocks and lying in the bushy field grass. All those beautiful feelings come back and all it took was a mild, sunny day in March.

SPRING is close! I can smell it. The wet dirt waking up from burial. The tree branches reaching to touch the soft breeze.

As we continue up the hill then down, Sofia takes notice to different textured bushes. We finish off our adventure in front of a neighbours house. Sofia watches tentatively as three older kids play street hockey in their driveway. The red ball rolls, bounces and goes into the net over and over again.

Hopefully, sooner than later, we can collect things on our walk like a treasure hunt. In the meantime I’m making a trip to the dollar store for items that pertain to this change of season. Plastic flowers, windmills, topiary foam, seeds, water play with squirt bottles and colours; that’s all I got off the top of my head.
Of course when we can be outside we will play in dirt, explore the forest and in the sandbox as well as go for picnics and picking fruits and vegetables at the farm.

What sensory play do you do with your toddler for spring?