We went on a great hike this weekend.
But now, my sweet little explorer has a tick bite.
We found one tick several hours after the hike, crawling on Chris's shirt. And then this morning while I was cuddling with Avery and rubbing her back I felt a lump. I pulled her shirt up and instantly saw a large tick and a big red spot on her back.
I freaked Chris out by waking him up from a sound sleep with "Chris, she has a tick!" We tried our best to pull it out but Avery was squirming SO much and crying so hard that we didn't get the whole tick. Not good. Chris called the pediatrician and they wanted her to come in just to check the bite and remove the head if it was still in her back. Off to urgent care she went but then they said there was really no way to remove any more, put some antibiotic ointment on it and a bandaid.
Now, we wait and watch her closely. It was a wood tick, not a deer tick, so the chances of something serious like Lyme's disease is very slim but infection is still a worry. Not a big one, but we need to keep our eyes on the bite.
Things like falls, tick bites, mosquito bites and even more serious things like spider bites and snake bites can happen when you are on a simple family hike can happen. They do happen to people in the woods everyday. But they are no reason to not get your kids out on the trail. Avery will be fine. And the experience of letting her explore by the river, walk through the tall grass to feel the moss hanging on a rock wall and search through fallen leaves to find the best one, is all worth the risk. She is learning, growing and becoming connected to the natural world around her. 100 tick bites won't keep me from taking her out on the trail!! (okay, maybe 100, but the chances of that are slim!)
The Nitty Gritty!
Not sure what to do about tick bites? Heard crazy remedies about how to get the ticks off? Check HERE for exact directions on how you should treat tick bites on your children.
I really liked what they had to say about tick prevention as well...
"You can avoid ticks by wearing long sleeves and long pants, hats, pulling long hair back in a ponytail, using insect repellent and by wearing light colored clothing so that ticks are easily detectable."
Being prepared and educated about what might happen on the trail is the best way to keep your kids safe. Know the dangers, know what you need to bring to protect yourself and know what to do when you don't know what to do!
Sam slept today! She actually took a nap. This is groundbreaking news in my life! But since we were headed to the gym when she woke up for some family pool time and workout time her long nap meant no time today for crafting. What is a mom (and blogger!) suppose to do?
Have the 21 month old do the project!
You can kind of see the toilet paper tube and the small balloon in the picture. Those were our painting instruments. And a big bowl of orange paint! Her job was to use the two tools to paint a pumpkin patch.
I talked to her about what the pumpkin patch looked like when we saw it, just like I would have talked to Sam. But she had way more fun doing things her own way then sticking with just making the circle, "pumpkin" shapes.
Like watching the paint drip off the balloon.
When Sam finally woke up from her nap she was intrigued by the painting that her sister had created and I had to promise her that tomorrow she could try out the project too.
Really fun to let Avery experiment with new tools and just have fun with paint! And great to see her doing it on her own and not just following Sam's lead all the time.
The Nitty Gritty!
So there are tons of different ways you can create with the image of the pumpkin and pumpkin patches. The web and blog world is just FULL of them. But some of my fellow preschool and kid-friendly bloggers passed along their great ideas to me and I think theses are just so cute and clever that I had to share them.
Child Central Station - painting a pumpkin patch with plungers and my inspiration for one of today's tools came from pumpkin patch painting with balloons; they also sewed pumpkins with kids as young as 2 which I think is an awesome idea!
Mama Pea Pod - suncatcher jack o'lanterns; these are SO cute and I think could be age appropriate for a lot of kids.
Red Ted Art's Blog - jar jack o'lanterns; and it is a vlog so that is super fun!
Kreative Resources - paper mache pumpkin; an awesome big paper mache pumpkin!
Like I said there are tons more I could have shared but these are just a few that I really liked. Enjoy and happy crafting!
When you have two families over to carve pumpkins, plus your own giant pumpkin, you end up with LOTS of pumpkin seeds. What do you do with them?
Well, we will be digging holes in our backyard (the VERY back of our backyard) and burying most of them to try and grow another pumpkin patch next year. We did this last year too and we did actually get a vine but it ended up not being in a great spot and was trying to climb all over our air conditioner (not cool!) so we had to pull it out. Luckily our compost pile produced a massive pumpkin patch for us anyway. We are hoping to grow pumpkins again next year and it would be great if they would grow from the seeds from this year. It is a great life-cycle kind of lesson for the girls to see.
But before we do that I thought it would be fun to try out a crafting project with them. My inspiration came from a picture that I saw on Pinterest but the link would not work so I had no idea how they accomplished it.
We started out by drying out the seeds in the oven just a bit (low temp and only a few minutes). Then I mixed some food coloring with vinegar, just like dyeing eggs, and dropped some seeds into each color.
You can see that some seeds are much brighter in color than others. The mixture of vinegar and color was not working out so great so for some of them I did just food coloring and mixed the seeds straight in the food coloring. Those turned out much brighter.
We used regular white glue and started creating.
What do you do with your pumpkin seeds?
The Nitty Gritty!
Of course I would suggest cooking some of your seeds too but I have yet to find a recipe/way to cook them that I really like. I did buy some roasted ones for the kids at the carving party to try. My girls seem to like them okay, so if you have a recipe that you use and enjoy I would love hearing it.
I found out later that the craft I saw on Pinterest was also listed on Hands On: as we Grow's Pumpkin Activities post. You can see the Autumn tree pumpkin seed craft here. On the hands on:as we grow post you can also see other pumpkin seed crafts, ways to explore the pumpkin guts and even pumpkin seed math! Love these ideas.
Lots more pumpkin fun coming!
The end result is fabulous!
It started out great, with helpful and happy kids.
It didn't seem to bother any of the adults too much. We all kind of got into the carving and creativity behind carving pumpkins. I tried out the cookie cutter and rubber mallet method. Awesome way to carve a pumpkin but my pumpkin was too thick so the cookie cutters could not cut all the way through. But they still provided a great starting point to do my carving from. I made a polka-dotted pumpkin!
And Chris did a great job on my super big pumpkin!
So, pumpkin carving was not much of a kid friendly activity tonight but they thought the end result was pretty cool.
What are you doing with your pumpkins this year?
The Nitty Gritty!
Need some ideas on what to do with pumpkins that is truly kid friendly? Check out all of these awesome idesa!
Critters and Crayons - pumpkin as vase
Toddler Approved - buttons and ribbons on pumpkins
Nurture Store - looking for a funkier pumpkin? check out this one with glitter, paint and push-pins
The Imagination Tree - beautiful drip-art pumpkins
The Outlaw Mom - no carve pumpkin decorating ideas
And lastly, if you are doing the old fashioned carving thing, like we did, might be a good idea to brush up on the How-To of pumpkin carving!
Quirky Momma - real instructions for carving a pumpkin. I could have used these tonight!
Wow. That is a lot of great idea, with TONS more out there to be found. Thanks to all the great ladies that passed along these fun ideas for me to check out and post for my readers. I hope you will click around and check out what other folks are up to this year with their pumpkins.
My inspiration for today's project came from Teach Preschool. You can check out her idea here.
I first cut out a whole bunch of orange circles. I tried my best to make them pumpkin-shaped but whatever, they are just odd shaped circles!
Anyway, then I did this to two of the circles.
Sam really liked this activity but did get frustrated that she couldn't draw the triangle correctly.
Then I drew complete faces on the rest of the pumpkins and cut them in half. Sam had to match up the faces. She liked this one a lot!
So, two pumpkin activities in one today! I didn't get a chance to try the second one out with Avery, but she has been so into puzzles lately that I am thinking she might understand it a bit. I will let you know how it goes!
The Nitty Gritty!
Okay, tonight I am linking to to posts that specifically deal with learning, puzzle, game or other pumpkin inspired activities. The craft links and pumpkin decorating ideas will come later this week, don't worry!
Joyfully Weary - Fridge Jack O'Lanterns
Hands On: As We Grow - 40 pumpkin Activities this one has lots of ways to decorate pumpkins but it also has lots of pumpkin activities, pumpkin math and games too.
Living Montessori Now - Pumpkin Unit there are LOTS of great pumpkin inspired activities
Learning for Life - Pounding Pumpkins okay this one isn't puzzles or anything like that but I thought it was so different and creative for a pumpkin activity that I just had to include it today!
Teach Preschool - magnetic pumpkin play this is a really cool way to let kids explore making pumpkin faces
Okay, this just scratches the surface of all the awesome ideas that I have to link up to this week but I wanted to start you all out slowly!
Be prepared to be overwhelmed tomorrow!!!!
Starting a week on pumpkins! And get ready for some awesome ideas! No, probably not the things that we will be doing that are MY ideas, but the TONS of links I am going to pass along this week of all the amazing pumpkin themed stuff that other incredible preschool and parent bloggers are doing out there. I can't wait to share with you all the stuff that I have found.
But first, here is what we did today.
I was really impressed with how well Sam took to this project. She loved finding the orange and green pages in the magazines and then cutting the small pieces. She also worked really hard to make sure that the whole thing was covered. And I think the pumpkins are super cute too!
The Nitty Gritty!
So, I want to start this week of pumpkins and sharing ideas off with sharing some of our favorite pumpkin ideas from the past.
Just recently we made some really cute 3D pumpkins that are still hanging up in my kitchen.
A great toddler pumpkin book and activity - Five Little Pumpkins.
Something fun to do when all the halloween fun is over and your pumpkins are a pile of rotting mush! Plant them!
And of course we have carved them!
Now you can see why we need to have a pumpkin themed week, we clearly have not done enough stuff with these things.
Stay tuned this week for LOTS of great ideas from around the web. And if you have an idea that you would like to share or have blogged about please leave a link in the comments so I can check it out and share it with my readers (if you have already told me on Facebook you do not have to share the link again!).
We met up with some new friends this morning for a hike at Indian Lake.
We had a great and will hopefully be hitting up some trails with them soon!_________________________________________________________________________________________
The Nitty Gritty!
It is also really fun because she is a green blogging mama too. I forgot to ask her if it was okay to post pics of them so I decided not to but if you want to check out her adorable boys and hear about the very cool CSA style food company that they are starting up you can head over to Our Urban Homestead.
We picked up The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle at the library and the girls are really enjoying it.
You know the Carle style, with the amazing pictures and fun text. This one also has lots of great information about how a seed travels, what can happen to seeds to make them not grow into plants and then finally how a seed grows into a BIG plant.
After we read the book we headed outside to hunt for seeds. When we saw the big flowers in our backyard Sam instantly got excited that they were like the ones in the book.
Then we saw the seed pods and had a lot of fun pulling them off and opening them up. We tested out whether or not the wind would carry them away like in the book, but the wind failed to move these seeds.
Sam still wanted to look for more so we looked more closely around our yard and found some pinecones. We broke these apart and found the seeds inside here too.
It was a fun little backyard adventure and a great way to compliment the Carle book.
To expand on this more at home or in the classroom you could:
Have fun with seeds!
The Nitty Gritty!
I get asked all the time how I have time to think and plan the activities that I do with the girls. The fun part for me is that I don't really plan at all. Like for today, Sam found the book at the library and we really enjoyed it. So I thought about how we could expand on that. The outside part of our learning only lasted probably 10-15 mins. Sometimes what we do lasts much longer but I never force the girl's interest and try my best to follow their lead with what they want to do. When the pull of the swings takes over and they run off I don't yell for them to come back. I always want them to have fun with our learning and if it doesn't last that long I am okay with it.
So, don't ever feel like a failure if your outdoor learning does not last that long. Even the shortest of moments can make a big impact on your little one!