San Diego STEAM Camp- Learning and Fun!

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.03.42 PM.pngMy friends Annie and Christine are hosting an awesome STEAM camp this summer, and Registration JUST OPENED!

They are very excited to be offering four summer day-camp sessions this year. Camp will be open for children age 5-10. We will be holding camp at two different locations in Clairemont and Kearny Mesa. Camps will be Mon-Fri from 9:00am-3:00pm and include free lunch. Lunches are provided by the San Diego City.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 9.54.50 PM.pngCampers will do daily art and science around a fun weekly theme. In addition to art and science, our days will also include interactive games, STEAM inspired stories, outside play time, free lunch and more. We will have an underlying focus on kindness and helping others. Each camper will put together a care package for Cali Kids Medical Foundation to give to a family with a child admitted in the hospital and will also make cards for kids in the hospital.

Be sure to submit your complete your child’s registration form.  You can learn more on their Facebook page.

Not only will your kiddos enjoy STEAM activities, but they’ll be helping a family and child during a tough time! I’ve known both ladies for many years and they love kids and they are passionate about STEAM education.

Advertisements

Craft Mornings: Creativity and Fun!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 8.29.00 PMFor the past few months, Bitty and I have been hosting Craft Morning at our house.  We set up a table (or two) get out craft supplies, invite mommies and their littles over, and we create.

Sometimes I have a specific craft in mind (ornaments in December), but sometimes we just look at what is available, and creativity takes over!

Tomorrow, we’re doing it again! I’ve got supplies for tissue paper stained glass and scrapbook paper wreaths, but my craft supply stash is pretty deep, so there will be other supplies out for whatever the mommies and kids want to make.

I’ve started a Pinterest Board with ideas here. If you are a San Diego area parent and you’d like to join us, check out the event page here.

February’s Craft Morning will be held at a park, and we’ll be painting and hiding rocks! All of our Craft Mornings are free to attend. Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 9.25.31 AM.png I get craft supplies for free from local swaps, Buy Nothing groups, Craigslist, as well as family and friends who are cleaning out their supplies.

I hope to see lots of smiling faces at our upcoming craft events!!

Summer Lunch Resources for Kids in San Diego!

file000671182294.jpg

School is out (for most of us, the rest will be getting out next week), and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.

Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area school, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.  For those of us in East County, here is a list of locations!

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 6.33.41 PM.png

Those of us in the greater San Diego Area, there are a lot of great options all over town!

There is a kick off BBQ at Skyline Hills Park 6/21/17 10:30am-2:00pm! Parents eat free at this BBQ and there are all kinds of activities!

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.53.16 PMLindo Lake in Lakeside is hosting a summer BBQ that’s free for kids, and only $4.00 for parents on August 15th! The best part is that each family leaves with 6 lbs. of fresh produce thanks to Feeding America! If the two lists above aren’t in your area, you can also turn to the USDA Find Summer Meals map here.

 

All of these programs are free and there is no proof of need and you do not have to sign up in advance. Just show up and hte kids get a tasty meal!

 

What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!

Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?

If you know of more summer lunch programs for kids in San Diego County, I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment!

 

 

Camping with Kiddos!

file4131336478643.jpg

As we prep for our annual family camping trip, I thought I’d share some of the fun things we do with the kids when we camp.

In addition to all of the usual camping stuff: Tent, blankets, pillows, air mattress, clothes, toiletries, Sunscreen, food, camp kitchen stuff…. You need stuff to do!

A friend and I made a huge batch of play dough last week, and we’re taking half of the batch, along with some cookie cutters, small rolling pins and other fun play dough stuff I got on my local Buy Nothing Group.

Games: High Ho Cherry-O, card games (like Uno, and a few regular decks of cards), lawn bowling.

We also have a craft box. It’s a large tote, like this one. I’ve filled it with all sorts of craft odds and ends. Mostly stuff leftover from other projects, as well as stuff I’ve gotten from Craigslist Curb alerts, and my local Buy Nothing group.  There is paper, scissors, glue, beads, pipe cleaners, paint, and so much more! The kids rifle through it and come up with some of the most interesting projects. I really believe that kids need to have free reign over creative play, so as long as I am there to make sure they are safe, they are free to create and play how they wish.

Bubbles. I make about a gallon of bubble solution, and we have all kinds of wands and stuff (Dollar tree and Target’s Dollar spot are great places to find bubble toys). We also make some out of pipe cleaners.

We also cook a lot when we are camping. We use dutch ovens to make all kinds of baked goods, including our favorite: Beer Bread. My dad has a cool clay Pizza oven (it’s this one), and we make pizzas in the late afternoons to snack on. Our favorite pizza recipe is here.

Here are a few pictures of our adventure last year:

We also of course, play at the campground play ground, go on nature hikes (and do some fun nature scavenger hunts- check out Pinterest for a bunch). We spend time with family and friends, and of course, check out all of the events and fun at the big camping event in which we are participating.

Camping is a great family activity, and here in San Diego there are so many places to camp! From the beach, to the mountains, to the desert, there are campgrounds, both private and public for low prices!

If you are a camper, where is your favorite place to camp?

10 Great Stocking stuffers for kids under $15

With the Holidays approaching, most of use have either stocking stuffers to purchase of at least one gift exchange to attend. I’ve collected 10 great frugal gifts that would be a great addition to any holiday! Most of these gifts call for creativity and imagination. They won’t need batteries or make horrible sounds (for the most part). These are all gifts I would buy (or have bought) for my kids.

  1. These hair bows for babies and toddlers are perfect for the little girls on your list. Bitty Bird loves hers.
  2. If you’ve got a crafty kiddo, this craft kit is a perfect choice. None of the crafts require scissors, just a little imagination and glue (we use Elmer’s white glue).
  3. Speaking of crafty kiddos, if you’ve got one on your list that likes to make jewelry, this Melissa & Doug bead set has over 200 beads, perfect for hours of creativity.
  4. Is your kiddo a budding scientist? We have this science kit and Lil’ Man LOVES it. There are 11 scientific experiments for kids to conduct (all with grown ups help).
  5. No science experiment is complete without a lab coat. Lil’ Man has this one. He even wore it at Halloween. He was Dr. Doofenschmirtz from Phineas & Ferb. You can see photos on my Instagram feed.
  6. Lil’ Man got this set last year for his birthday. It’s an awesome set. It’s super fun, and you can hatch and raise Triops. Think Sea Monkeys on steroids! And you can actually see the trips grow and live. It’s nifty. I think everyone in the family enjoyed it.
  7. These cool interlocking blocks. They are little man approved.
  8. Magnetic Mini Tile Kit. They would make cool refrigerator magnets!
  9. This super cute (and mess-free) stained glass set. I love anything by Melissa & Doug. They make very well made toys and their craft kits yield great keepsakes!

 

What kinds of stocking stuffers do you buy for your kids?

Help kids play with Ikea’s Let’s Play for Change!

play_for_changeIf you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you saw all of my crazy posts this morning from Ikea San Diego. A group of bloggers (and our kids) enjoyed breakfast in their cafe and learned out Ikea’s winter Good Cause Campaign, Let’s Play for Change, which highlights the benefits of play for all Children.

Honestly, the best part of being a kid is free time to play and learn. Children learn through play: social skills, emotional development, and so much more. Anyone shopping for the holidays at Ikea stores world wide can help the cause! For every children’s book and toy sold through November 20- December 24, 2016, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of €1 (that’s about $1.10 USD) to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world. And you can help twice- Each store has a drop box where you can drop off purchased toys. If you buy toys at Ikea, that’s a double dip for the cause!

You can learn about the campaign by watching the video:

Ikea has partnered with Handicap International Federation, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. You can learn more about the Ikea Foundation by visiting their website.

And if you hasn’t visited Ikea lately, check out their awesome Ikea Family savings card! It’s free to sign up and you score all kinds of great deals and perks every day!

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-3-50-18-pmIn addition to those perks, you score family only prices on tons of items each month. It’s definitely worth signing up. It’s free and easy to do.

Give the Gift of love each month with GrandBox!

It’s hard to buy gifts for Grandma and Grandpa. What do you buy for someone who has everything or limited space?  You only need so many sweaters, boxes of candy, or books…. right?

GrandBox is the original monthly subscription box customized and curated specifically for seniors 65 and up. It’s the perfect gift to bring a smile to the older loved ones in your life.

GrandBox, the subscription box for the ones who cared about you. Order yours now for the Holiday Season!

My readers get to save!
GrandBox perfect Holiday Gift for your loved ones! Save on your first purchase! Check out their website and save!

I think this would also be a great gift idea for those other older relatives that you may not be able to visit often due to distance. I know my Great-Grandmother would have loved to receive a box with a small snack or gift each month and photos of my brother and I!

I’ll have some feedback (fingers crossed) from a loved one to share soon. Who will receive it… SHHHH!! It’s a secret!

 

 

 

@usfg