Cinderella Days! A Few More Of Grandma’s Favorite Things!

Cinderella Days!  A Few More Of Grandma’s Favorite Things!

Cinderella Days! www.mytributejournal.comI know as parents we all too often watch in disbelief as our children grow up too quickly…and now I’ve come to realize that this same fast forward phenomenon continues with grandchildren as well.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my granddaughters get older with the same wonder and awe as I did my own kids–but obviously, that means that I’ve had to do a little revamping of my playroom and some of the activities we do on our fun Cinderella Days!

First and foremost…I think we all recognize that whatever we decide to do with our children or grandchildren, they just want to know that we love them and enjoy spending time with them!

Making grandchildren feel special!

“Simple moments spent with grandchildren become priceless memories!”  Tribute Journal

Easy Bake Oven

I don’t know of too many little girls who don’t imagine themselves as the owner of a bake shop at some point in their childhood.  I know my daughters loved playing with their Easy Bake oven, but the new version of this timeless toy is streamlined, easy to use and most importantly to my two granddaughters, a delightful shade of purple!A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite Things...the new Easy Bake oven.

There’s a wide assortment of pre-made mixes you can buy to use with the Easy Bake oven, but using small amounts of your own cookie, bread or cake recipes works great too.

Grandma's Favorite Things...Easy Bake Oven

The look of joy on my granddaughter, Makena’s face whenever she uses her Easy Bake oven tickles me!

A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite things...Easy Bake Oven.

The end result is pretty tasty too…besides, eating anything in miniature size is always a lot of fun!  

“Accomplishment is a celebration of the human spirit!  Sebena White 

Kids Cookbooks

Another good way to have fun cooking with kids is with unique cookbooks geared to keeping things simple.

Cookbooks for kids.

I recently purchased this cute cookbook that also has tips on eating healthy.  The illustrations are darling and the recipes are made with fresh ingredients and are low in sugar as well.   

Caboodles Backpacks

I think it’s a fairly common habit among most kids, even if it causes some chagrin for their moms, that they seem to have an innate pension for wanting to take a few personal treasures with them wherever they go–but on the upside, these items can be a real lifesaver in helping kids from being bored or impatient when errands get delayed or sidetracked.Children's Caboodle backpack.

These backpacks are made of sturdy, colorful vinyl and are smaller than regular backpacks.  They provide a good way to keep little travel treasures contained. 

A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite Things...Caboodle backpacks.

Instead of an Easter basket this year, Makena and Marli collected all their Easter goodies in these new little backpacks; it’s been fun to see the assortment of special things they’ve put in them when they come to play at my home–my daughter says there seems to be fewer scattered toys in her car too!     

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent!”  Sam Levensen

Real Life Dress-Ups and Grown-Up Tea Parties

Who doesn’t love to get dressed up on occasion and go out on the town–I know I do!  This year, instead of having my usual Valentine’s Tea Party  at home with my two granddaughters, I opted for a fun outing at a local hotel that hosts a fanciful English Tea Party complete with finger sandwiches and fruit-filled scones!

Grandma's Favorite Things...Tea parties.

 My granddaughters were so excited to attend this special tea party! 

Grand America Tea Party.

This fun activity gave my granddaughters a chance to practice their best grown-up manners.  I’ve found that your city’s online community calendar is a good resource for finding out about these types of activities, including children’s museums, art fairs and theater productions.

“Grandparents are good at sprinkling stardust over the lives of little children!”  Alex Haley

Fun Bean Bag Chairs

It’s always amazing to see how one item can take on such a key role in the play life of imaginative children!

Grandma's Favorite Things...Bean Bag Chairs.

Snuggling up with a good book is just one of the many uses for our big bean bag chair…it becomes a bed for an array of assorted dolls and stuffed animals when playing house, a soft place to land while doing tumbling or gymnastics, or it’s a safe boat when the carpet around it becomes a shark infested ocean, but mostly, it’s a comfy lounger when watching a good show!  I bought this particular bean bag chair online at Land of Nod and love the sturdy broadcloth fabric, but ones very similar to this one are also available at Pottery Barn Kids and Target. 

Speaking of good shows to watch…one of my very favorite things has been that my granddaughters have discovered the old TV series “Full House” thanks to Netflix!

Full House TV Series.

Listening to my granddaughters talk about the antics of Uncle Jesse or Michelle brings back a flood of memories from when my own kids loved this show.  My daughter and I laugh when the girls seem so surprised that we know so much about the show and all the characters!  Yep, this tops my favorite things list! 

“Love is the greatest gift one generation can leave to another!”  Richard Garnett

Since my youngest daughter just had a new baby, it’s still nice to know that my favorite things for younger kids will still get some good use.  You can check out that list here. 

Please share some of your favorite things that you love for your kids or grandchildren?

–Mary

 

Christmas Cinderella Days! Holiday Activities and Goodies!

Christmas Cinderella Days!  Holiday Activities And Goodies!

My husband and I always love spending time with our two granddaughters, but it’s especially fun during the holiday season!  Lately, we have really enjoyed some neat Christmas “Cinderella Days” together!  Children always have a way of spreading a special Christmas spirit!

Special Christmas Activities And Goodies For Children.

It’s good to be children sometimes…but never better than at Christmastime!

Fun, Simple Activities And Goodies For Kids!

My husband is the ultimate tool guy, so it’s fun to see him nurturing the inner DIY personalities of our granddaughters, Makena and Marli!

Simple, fun activities with kids.

As I mentioned in this earlier journal entry, on the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot provides all the supplies for a fun kid’s craft.  It’s neat to see how excited my granddaughters are about making something with their grandpa…and the finished project makes for a fun holiday decoration for their rooms.  

One of my favorite Christmas memories with my own children was stacking up all the Christmas books and then piling on the couch to read them together.

Christmas books.

My granddaughters love doing the same thing now.  A favorite new book this year is Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse, about a mouse family who moves into a warm spot beneath the kitchen stove of a big house one cold winter.  Soon Mr. Mouse and his family learn about a baby born long ago, and a jolly man named Santa who brings gifts to celebrate the special child’s birth on a day called Christmas!   

Although kids usually love games of any sort, funny made-up Christmas games are always a big hit!

Fun activities for kids.

My husband got these large, puff dice at a work event he attended.  I made up a Christmas game where there’s an activity associated with the number that’s shaken on the dice.  For example, sing a line or two from your favorite Christmas carol, what’s a favorite gift you’ve given, or how have you been nice this year…etc.   

(Amazon carries these dice.  They are fun to play regular games like Yatzee too.) 

I think anytime children can attend any formal Christmas programs, or better yet, participate in them, it can’t help but make them feel the spirit of Christmas!

Makena playing her violin.

A highlight for our family the last few years is being able to watch our oldest, granddaughter, Makena, play her violin at various Christmas programs around town during this special time of year.  It’s a nice reward for all the hours she practices to see how much people love seeing her perform the beautiful songs she plays!

Baking with these two, cute girls always provides a great time, but making holiday goodies doesn’t have to be too complicated to be fun!

powdered_sugar_snowmen2_340x280_1_

These darling powdered-sugar donut snowmen are so easy to make!!  All you’ll need is some skewer sticks, mini chocolate chips, and a few gum drops.  Marli said it was kind of hard to eat their cute faces! 

Christmas goodies for kids

Kids love fun goodies that are served in miniature size.  I’m excited to have individual chocolate fondue plates for Christmas Eve dinner.  So yummy, and yet so easy to make!  Just heat up some ice cream hot fudge in small bowls and serve with any fruit and cake bites. 

I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of children–they have such a unique way of reminding us what this special season is really about!

Celebrating Christmas with children!

My granddaughter, Marli, has always been drawn to the little figure of Jesus in the wood nativity I have displayed in my family room at Christmastime–she tells me that she just loves Him so much!  Such a wonderful sentiment from this sweet, wise soul! 

I hope everyone takes time to really enjoy the rest of this Christmas season with all your family members–young and old alike!

What are some fun activities and goodies you enjoy with the kids in your family?

–Mary

Cinderella Days! The Great Read-A-Thon!

Cinderella Days!  The Great Read-A-Thon!

It was all about gearing up for back to school (where did summer go…) with my granddaughters for our latest  “Cinderella Day” together!

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Like a lot of kids, my granddaughters will be starting school again in a few weeks.  Since it was a little stormy and overcast this past week, we decided to venture out to our community library to check out some good books in anticipation of having a fun Read-A-Thon!  (Besides, everyone needs a little breather from all the busy, summer activities once in a while!)

I was delighted to see the look of excitement on my two granddaughter’s faces as they anticipated the adventures they knew they would have inside the library!  I have often thought of libraries as being the “secret gardens” for books!

The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

“Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers, and the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open!”

Laura Bush  

Of course, the girls will tell you that the very best books are always found on the top shelf!  Ha!

The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world, the love of books is the best of all!” 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 

It has been fun to watch Makena become immersed in a good book since learning to read; she likes reading to Marli too!

The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

“Oh, to witness the magic when a child first knows she can read the printed word.”  

A Tree Grows in Brioooklyn

Here then are some of Makena and Marli’s new favorite books from…

The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

How the Ladies Stopped The Wind  by Bruce McMillan

Children's books. (How The Ladies Stopped The Wind!) www.mytributejournal.com

The cover picture of this cute book caught Marli’s eye right away.  When I read her the title, both she and Makena said it was a “must read” for us, since where we live is well-known for the strong winds that hit our community on occasion!

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This fun book tells the story of some rosy-cheeked ladies of Iceland and their plan to plant trees to help buffer the strong winds that blow through their village.  But despite their best efforts, the sheep keep eating all the newly planted tree saplings.  The folk art in this book is bright and beautiful, and I love how the story emphasizes the fact that you can never underestimate what can be accomplished when everyone, including children and animals, works together towards a common goal!  

Ella Takes The Cake  by Carmela and Steven D’Amico

Children's books. (Ella Takes The Cake!) www.mytributejournal.com

This book is just one in the series written by a husband and wife team about the adventures of Ella the Elegant Elephant!  In this particular book Ella really wants to help out in her mother’s bakery!  Marli informed me that she picked this book because she loved Ella’s red hat and cute bike!

Cinderella Days! The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

The events that take place in this book are described on the cover page:  Ella may be little, but she still wants to help.  Only her mother says she’s too small to slice the cakes and too young to bake the cookies—so how in the world is she supposed to do anything important?  When Ella’s mom finally does decide to let her make a cake delivery, it’s not without a few obstacles in the way!  Ella better hang onto her good luck hat, because it looks like she might be in for a bumpy ride!  Besides the colorful illustrations, I like the neat lessons about trust, responsibility and completing a job that are taught in this darling book!   

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I couldn’t help but grab a quick shot of the girls as I read to them during our Read-A-Thon!

Kika The Upside-Down Girl  by Jessica Tudos

Children's books. (Kika the Upsid-Down Girl!) www.mytributejournal.com

This book was being showcased on a feature shelf the day my granddaughters and I visited the library…..they were immediately drawn to this book since their mom had recently signed them up for gymnastics–we decided we had to sit right down and read this book while we were still at the library!

Children's books. (Kika the Upside-Down Girl!) www.mytributejournal.com

Kika is the happiest when she is active and upside-down.  This makes her different, but she is a cheerful child and accepts that being a little different is okay!  Kika is even happier when she learns that her mom has signed her up for classes at the big Gymnastic Emporium where she meets other children who love being upside-down too!  This is such a fun, action-packed book with adorable characters.  What really makes this book special is that it’s about gymnastics, and was written by an Olympic gymnast!     

The Rainbow Magic Fairy Series  by Daisy Meadows

Children's books. (Rainbow Fairies!) www.mytributejournal.com

I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled Makena was to discover the Rainbow Fairy Book series for young readers during her wanderings at the library.  I’d imagine that any of us would love it if some brave, valiant fairies came to our rescue when things didn’t go according to plans–but for young girls with keen imaginations, these books are a wish come true!

Nothing quite matches the limitless adventures that are at your fingertips within the walls of your local library!  If you haven’t been in a while, my granddaughters and I would highly recommend it!

Cindereela Days! The Great Read-A-Thon! www.mytributejournal.com

“Books are portable magic!”  Stephen King

Any good children’s books you’ve read lately?  What are some of the creative things you do to help your kids get lost in a good book?

–Mary