Visit on Long Island: LI Children’s Museum

LICMWe’ve been taking trips to LICM (Long Island Childen’s Museum, Garden City, NY) since our oldest was about two. My sister in law used to take her kids here before I had my little ones and I couldn’t wait to explore it with my own children! It’s a bit of a hike from where we live but it’s a great place to spend the day when you have little ones. I used to have a membership until I realized our library gave free passes for up to four people. We can check them out once a month which is great. Check your local library to see what kind of museum passes are available in your area! The LICM museum has about 15 hands on exhibits. If you had all the time in the world you can definitely spend at least an hour at each exhibit. There’s just so much to do, lots of creativity to be had! Bubbles to blow, sand to play with, wood and blocks to build with, instruments to make music with. The creativity is endless! My kids love the big lunch room! They have plenty of tables and vending machines with drinks, snacks, ice cream and I believe they have sandwiches, I’m not sure though because we always bring our own lunch. I do love getting a cup of coffee there and we usually let the kids pick out a little snack.

There’s a cute Backyard exhibit right outside near the entrance to the museum. I believe they open it in the summer time. They have plants and sand and water play so be sure to bring a change of clothes for the little ones.

LICMLICM LICM cm14   LICM LICMLICMLICMAwww, I found a picture of them when they were little LITTLE!! Oh how I miss those days! We definitely have made many memories here!LICMlicm

 

Toy stragglers find a home

Nature centerYou know all of those little tiny toys you find around the house? The ones you get from kids birthday party favors, or Easter baskets, or the school prize box?
The little rubber duckies from the duck themed baby shower, or the little dinosaur from the neighbors birthday party? Or what about the little spiders from the kids Halloween goodie bags? The plastic fish? Pony? Turtles? Gems? Shells? Rocks? Cars? Are you following me yet? Well, alone they’re just little nic-nacks,  sprinkled around the house, that can drive you insane! But put them all together in a portable container, and you’ve got a Nature Center! A Nature Center that you can take anywhere! That’s what my kids named it since our collection is made up mostly of little animals, shells, and all the things I mentioned above. But you can name your bin anything you want. This bin has been played with over and over again, inside the house, outside of the house, with water, with blocks, the possibilities are endless. And like everything else, setting up their “nature center” is always the most fun! My favorite part? Cleaning up! It’s so easy, because  everything goes in one bin!

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One picture. A thousand words.

BeautifulmomI love how a picture can come to life, even if it was taken 38 years ago. Like this picture of my mother in law with my husband (what a cutie). Her smile, her hands locking with her sweet baby boy, I can feel her in the moment. The warmth of the sun on their skin. Her eyes say so much and he just has no clue yet! He’s just happy to have someone holding him up. Helping him to stand. He’s so happy just having his mom close to him. He doesn’t have a care in the world. She probably has so many, but right now all she cares about is keeping him on his two little feet. She seems so casual, so natural. Someone just caught her in the moment. What a beautiful moment.

I didn’t know her as a young mother, but this picture tells me so much. She was a happy mom, a beautiful, sexy mom. She was loving, caring and true.

I did get to know her as the mother of a grown man. She helped him to grow up and stand all by himself. Guiding him, but not controlling him. Loving him, but not smothering him. She held him close but knew how to let go.  She always stood beside him, never in front and never behind him. They were equal. He loved her very much and she the same.

Summer Fun: Shimmering Ice Cubes

glitter iceSpring is right around the corner, and summer is not too far behind. If you’re like me, you’re starting now to collect some fun spring/summer activities to do with your kids. My kids loved making glittery, shimmery ice. We did this last summer for my daughters’ Frozen birthday party but, it’s fun to do anytime. The girls had just as much fun making the as they did playing with it. After our cubes were finished the kids used shaving cream to play along with the ice cubes. You can even do this in the winter and have the kids play with it in the snow. It will definitely last longer in the cold!

All you need is empty ice trays, the more the better!Several bowls to make different colored water. Food coloring, glitter ( They make edible glitter if you want to use the ice cubes for drinks, but we used regular craft glitter) and Ziploc bags to store the ice that is ready so that you can make more.We filled several bowls with water and added a a few drops of food coloring to each bowl to get the shade that we wanted. Then we sprinkled some glitter into the bowl, mixed it all up and using a turkey baster we filled up the ice trays and popped them into the freezer. That’s it! I let them sit in the freezer over night and ,when they were ready, the kids popped them out and into a ziploc bag and we placed them back into the freezer and used the empty ice trays to make some more.

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DIY Table for two

Doll TableMy kids definitely all caught the creative bug from me and building and putting things together bug from my husband. They are constantly creating something and I love it! They are little problem solvers, always thinking of ways to make something out of nothing. The other day, my daughter Melina came to me and expressed that she needed a table for her dolls. She brought me a cardboard box and said “mom can you wrap this in fabric and turn it into a table for me?” I thought it was such a great idea and I honestly wouldn’t have thought of wrapping it with fabric myself. I probably would have suggested painting it or using wrapping paper! But using fabric is definitely going to make the table last much longer. We went through our scraps of fabric and Melina picked out the pattern she liked. I simply took a glue gun and used the fabric like wrapping paper and wrapped up the box, hot gluing as I wrapped. She wanted a trim of green at the bottom so I folded the edges of the fabric in an inch and glued it around the bottom onto the box. My oldest daughter suggested that I use old blocks as legs for the table. What a brilliant idea I thought! So we picked out 4 old blocks and hot glued that to the bottom of the box and wah-la, a table for two!

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hotglue Doll TableAll you need is an empty box, I used a cracker box from BJ’s (you can used any size box that’s perfect for your dolls), a glue gun, glue sticks, old wooden blocks and fabric. This was so easy to make and it’s so cute!