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Viewing Blog: LEAP!, Most Recent at Top
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Learn Explore and Play This is a site that I created for parents, teachers, nannies or anyone who spends time with kids. It's still new, but I'm hoping that it will give fun and inspiring ideas to encourage kids to LEAP and live.
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1. Loop the Loop

I thought I should put it down in writing, here:

I'm not going to blog anymore.

Please. No tears.

I've realized in my search for fun things to do with my son, that there are a lot of great Mommy blogs out there, doing a much better job at it than I am. So, why try to reinvent the wheel? Instead, I can use my extra blogging time to do what I really want to do - play with my son, and maybe even write more children's poetry.

So I leave you with some of my favourite, go-to Mommy blogs, that have inspired me to play with my son in countless ways, and to let go of documenting it for all to see.

Please check out and support the following (but not not limited to):

Dirt and Boogers (love!)

Fairy Dust Teaching

Momtastic

No Time for Flash Cards

Random Thoughts of a SuperMom

Sense of Wonder (love!)



Now, go play! That's what I'm going to do! 

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2. 5 Little Monkeys




Max and I were counting his animals and grouping them into piles. And we discovered that he has 5 stuffed monkeys (including a finger puppet). So we got them all on the bed and sang the 5 Little Monkeys Song.



Throwing them off, one at a time was Max's favourite part.

We tucked the monkeys into bed when they were done jumping.
Do this with 5 of any of your stuffed animals, making it 5 Little Animals instead!

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3. Homemade, Edible Play Dough

Max and I wanted to make play dough. Well, I wanted to make play dough. So I did and it was awesome.

This stuff is just as good, if not better, than the kind you buy. I originally got the recipe from Family Sponge but I changed it a teeny tiny bit.

So grab an adult, cause you'll need a little help on the stove.

Basically throw:


2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
4 teaspoons cream of tartar

packets of Kool-Aid 
(colours of your choice, about 50 cents each)

into a big pot over medium heat and stir.

This is what it looks like half way through

Once it looks and feels like play dough, it's done. Easy, right?
Then I put the dough onto a cookie sheet to cool a bit. When it was okay to touch, I separated it into 5 balls because I wanted 5 different colours.

Make little nests in the centre and add the Kool-Aid.

Fold in the Kool-Aid, kneading the dough. This was the most fun part. But while I was kneading, the other balls got a little dry. So I added a small dollop of oil to my hands while working with the other dough and it helped. Or else, keep them covered at all times - plastic wrap, tupperware, anything.


My finished play dough! 
I used the whole packets to get a the most saturated colours. You may add as much or as little as you want!
HAVE FUN!


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4. Water Balloons!

We needed a little colour and pizzazz yesterday...

So we made water balloons.
Just filled up some regular balloons with water and they were perfect for throwing, bouncing, rolling, bobbing - they even withstood a little biting!




The trick was to leave extra space for the water to move around - too full and they'd burst! The little ones were our favs so we ended up making two more. (They were easy to hold and not too heavy for Max).

Squishy, blobby, cheap fun!

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5. okay granola bars.

Max LOVES granola bars.
I thought I'd make him some - healthy, homemade, delicious, kid-friendly granola bars. YUM!

So... this is what I did:

MIX
2 cups of uncooked quick oats
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup raisins (though they were really stuck together so it could have been more)
1/2 cup honey and/maple syrup
1 egg, beaten (I'd do 2 next time)
1/4 mashed banana
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup of coconut flakes
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

I mushed it together with my (CLEAN) hands - fun :) - and it looked like this.



Then I spread it out on a cookie sheet about 1/2 inch thick and it looked like this.



Then I baked it for 18 mins in a 350 degree oven.  At least, I think it was that long. I forgot to put the timer on.
I took them out when the edges were golden brown.

Were they delicious? Meh.
I'm eating them as I type so they must be okay.  We'll see what Max thinks...


UPDATE!

Verdict:
The boss approves. Maybe they are worthwhile!





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6. Play Differently!

This might be obvious, but if your toys are looking a little blah, put some life back into them by changing the scenery. You don't need new toys at all...The best way to fall in love with your them all over again? Take them outside!



    SNOOZE
Plastic little animals sitting on the floor


WOO HOO! Way better!
Animals gather for an important meeting!
Giraffe playing hide-and-go-seek in the long grasses
Elephant stomping through the jungle looking for its baby
Camel in desperate need of a watering hole. "SO thirsty!"







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7. Puppets!!



PUPPETS! Need I say more?

SO much fun... If you don't own any puppets, they're super easy to make. Use old socks, paper bags, clothes pins. Get creative!
Then you can play for hours. Write stories for your puppet to act out, or just take your puppet around and show him/her/it all of your favourite things.

If you make any puppets, post pics on my FB page. I'd love to see them.
From Six Sisters' Stuff
keeping a car ride entertaining

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8. Making Music







Kids love music. We do a lot of singing and dancing, clapping and just generally making a lot of sounds.

A favourite thing to do though? Play musical instruments.
We're lucky enough to have a keyboard that I can pull Max right up to in his high chair. And he'll play for up to 20 mins (with the volume down low :). If you don't have that though - pots and pans work, or pill bottles with the lids securely attached can be the best shakers. Or buy a kazoo for 50 cents... Put on some music and go to town. We like Raffi best of all, and his album Singable Songs for the Very Young.


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9. Quote of the Day

From My Modern Met

Buy Prints at Tang Yau Hoong

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10. How to Keep Baby Busy

Here is a great video on how to keep your little friends entertained all day! Thanks Jen Warman, from the YummyMommyClub!

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11. SORRY!

Okay!
I feel like I owe you all an apology... or at the very least, an explanation.

Yes. I've been AWOL for the last year. Oops.
No. I didn't fall off the planet, or jump, or LEAP :)

I had a baby!





Max is now the star of my life and he gets 99% of my attention. But now that he's a big boy (a whole 7 months!) I will try to slowly get back to work. That means more LEAP posts! More poems! More Surprises in the Mail!  And maybe more DooPod podcast episodes... but I don't want to promise too much :)

Soooooo. The below post is my first of many more to come.

See you soon!

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12. Eyes! Nose! Mouth! Cheek!

Discovered a fun game with my 7 month old son, yesterday...

Cover your face with your hands, then separate your fingers to reveal a part of your face, while you say what it's name is.
It's fun to move the part too if you can (puff out your cheek or roll yours eyes or chomp your teeth... you get the idea!) Max thought it was hilarious!

NOSE!

EYE!

CHEEK!

MOUTH!

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13. Eeny Meeny Teeny Animals

These are just TOO cute not to share. Suami on Etsy :)







A very mini version of Stu, my Mini Whale.
Hootie, is that you?!

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14. St. Patrick's Day Treat Bags!

Stumbled on this idea the other day on Pintrest. I LOVE it :) Thanks, Our Best Bites!


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15. Bring your Drawings to Life!



Do you like to colour pictures of monsters, people, animals and crazy other things that no one has even thought of before?!
What if someone could bring your pictures to life?

Well, that's what Child's Own Studio does. Send in your pictures and they will create a stuffed animal or doll in the exact likeness of your artwork. I chose some of a few of my favourite examples, but if you want to see their complete gallery, check  out their flickr photostream.

 To turn your imagined creations into real toys, the price starts at $70 CAD. If you do this, please send in your pictures for me to see. I just LOVE this idea!











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16. mmmm! An Easy Valentine's Treat for Kids

One of my favourite treats is the Rice Krispie Square. It also happens to be one of the easiest things to make! So today I'm showing you how to make your own Valentine's Day Rice Krispies! (The recipe is on the cereal box.)

Put a bag of marshmallows and butter in a microwave bowl. Can you spot the  butter?

Nuke them in the microwave until the marshmallows puff up and the butter is melted (approx. 1 min). It will look like this when you stir it.  Then add  6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal and mix mix mix. At the very end, once the mixture has cooled a bit, add the WHOLE bag of  Valentine's M&M's :)

Grease your pan with butter before you press your mix into it. I buttered the flipper too, so the  Rice Krispies didn't stick to it!

Don't forget to clean up!


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17. Final Episode of Carrie's Clusters

Buy your copy of duck... duck... moose! here!

If you watch the video above, the last poem is about Wishies! They are the stars that we wish on in the sky, and now you can have your very own, made by me! This is a picture of my bunny, Harry, holding his Wishie!
 Click here to get your own Wishie!!


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18. Easy Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

Share the Love!! Click the links below each picture to see how to make the crafts! They're all pretty easy :) 
Valentine's Book Marks from Lu Bird Baby
(for this one you'll need a heart hole punch).

On-a-Roll Scroll @ Family Fun



Valentine's Day Hat @ Kaboose
Gnome Sweet Gnome from Family Fun
Love

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19. Let's Colour!

Image from: The Design Tree


I Love Colouring. I always have.
It's relaxing but fun, and you're making something beautiful for your fridge or walls or for a gift!
So grab your crayons, markers, pencil crayons or anything else you use to colour with, and check out The Coloring Book. It has tons of printable pages for you to choose from - lots of your most beloved and favourite characters (from Alvin and the Chipmunks to Barbie, Franklin to Shrek, Piget to Tarzan... and SO much more). There's something for everyone.

And why not listen to my poetry podcast as you colour? :) It's called the Carrie Heyes DooPod: poetry for kids
The poem below is called Smelly Markers. It's from my first book, Doodads!

Thomas and Friends
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20. Carrie's Clusters - Episode 9!!

I don't know if you know this, but I'm a children's poet and I have 2 books out! So I've been reading through my newer one, duck... duck... moose! 5 poems at a time. (That's what the clusters are). So I hope you like them and then share them with everyone you know. EVERYONE! :)

Get your copy of duck... duck... moose! so you can read along with me. Or, just listen. That's good too :)

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21. Rock, Paper, Scissors? Or... Ninja, Cowboy, Bear!

Image from Apps for Facebook
Image from vimeo

We all know the good old game Rock, Paper, Scissors.
But now there's a WAY more fun version - Ninja, Cowboy, Bear*!!
I learned about it over the Christmas break and I will never go back. I mean, common! Which would you rather play?!

Image from Langaria
Image from  Solar Navigator

Image from Wild West Gunslinger Statue













How to Play
stand back to back with your partner
walk three paces (each) away from each other
on the 4th beat, jump to face your partner, doing a pose of either a Ninja, a Cowboy, or a bear

Poses
Ninja - Arms crossed in read

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22. Nidhi Chanani

I found a new artist on Etsy, who I just LOVE!

Nidhi (rhymes with Kitty) Chanani is based out of San Francisco and she creates the most whimsical and fun, quirky and sweet artwork. (I found it hard to just a few prints to show you).

So check her out at her Etsy Store, her website, or flickr!!

Jazz Tree
Up and Away - Giraffe and Elephant Hot Air Balloon

Pandas

Finding Friends

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23. What to do with leftover Candy Canes!



Candy Cane Hearts!
From Cute Food for Kids

A Valentine's Day Candy Cane Card!
From Family Fun


White Chocolate and Peppermint Popcorn!
From Ski p to my Lou



Or you can just make more Peppermint Hot Chocolate! Or dip them in melted chocolate and let them harden. Or crush them into tiny bits and sprinkle them on cupcakes, ice cream or in brownies :) 

What are you going to do with your left over candy canes?

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24. XOXO

Image from Debbie's Blog

I'm back to blogging and I am welcoming 2012 with an age-old question:

Are the Xs the hugs, or the kisses?

I have never questioned that they are, indeed the hugs. For 2 reasons:

1. Xs always come first, and you say "hugs" first
therefore it must be the X

2. When you cross your arms in a hug, they kind of make an X. When you pucker up for a kiss - you make a O shape. Not the other way around.

So, there you have it. A life mystery is solved...

Or not. What do YOU think?


Listen (below) as I read The Smooch Moocher from my podcast - the Carrie Heyes DooPod: poetry for kids! It was first published in my poetry book, duck... duck... moose!

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25. Signing off for the Holidays!

Image from: Operation Letters to Santa
This is a very busy time of year, so I don't have time to do posts and I know you probably wouldn't have time to read it anyway!
So, I wish you all a very Merry Holiday filled with family and friends!
See you in the New Year :) 

~Carrie

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