Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fun things to do with your Kids

I like to plan.  As a matter of fact, I LOVE to plan so planning some fun activities for our family to do is right up my alley!  I thought I would share a few things that we've done recently in the greater Grand Rapids area that you might want to enjoy too!  (For those of you not in this area - just do some searches on line - I know there are Splash Pads many places now and you may have some similiar options in your area that you've never explored!)

1) Millennium Park in Grand Rapids - This park has an AWESOME splash pad!  We visited a month or so ago and had a blast.  I love it because it is clean (the water is chlorinated), there is no sand, there is no deep water or waves for my kids to wander into and there are lots of things for kids of all ages to do.  Besides the splash pad, there is also a lake (it was once an old gravel pit) and a nice beach, lots of walking trails, picnic tables, and nature areas.  You only have to pay if you enter the swimming area - but can enjoy the picnic tables and trails for free.  A little history - my husband's Grandma lived across the street from this park - this area was all bought out at one time and used for gravel - she was allowed to live in her home until she passed away. I hear it is supposed get up in the 90's again this weekend - I think we might be making a trip back to the Splash Pad

2)  Frederick Meijer Garden - I posted a picture in my photo challenge of a sculpture from the gardens but for your kids - there is an awesome Children's Garden area.  There is a whole water "table" (it's huge) that represents the great lakes - you have to stand back and really look and you'll notice the states surrounding the great lakes and all of the lakes as well.  There is a cool waterfall for the kids to stink their hands into, a huge tree house to run around in with all kinds of neat cubbies to look into, a teepee, sand pit, and lots of walking trails with little creeks, birds, and a hedge maze to wonder through.  If you have never taken the time to go - I encourage you to do so.  We could have spend all day there and not seen any other part of the park.

3)  Local Parks - We found a great one in Lake Odessa but I know there are great ones in the Grand Rapids area too.  Just go and play with your kids, sit on a bench and relax while they play, and don't forgot to stop for a Dairy Queen Ice Cream too!

4)  The Mall - I know, what am I thinking?  Well, my kids enjoy those play areas.  I know - how unsanitary LOL  Well, my kids are healthy from all those germs!! :-)  On a HOT day, the mall is our option - we can have a nice lunch in the food court, play for awhile in the play area, and than walk around the mall before getting a pretzel. 

I have more places to visit . .. I'll let you know how it goes :-)

31 in 31 - Day 15

So, here it is day 15.  Isn't this ugly? LOL  Do you know what they are?  BEETS!!  I went to the farmers market on Monday and she had 3 quarts of beets; that's it.  I was "lucky" to get them since they usually sell out first thing in the morning.  Why beets?  Because I love pickled beets and that is one of my canning projects to complete!  I grew up with a mom that canned lots of stuff and her recipe for the beets were the best . . .granted now, as I read the Ball Canning Guide, I realize she got it right out of that cookbook! Anyway, I have tried store bought and cannot find any that taste nearly as good so I'm going to make my own.  My husband hates them.  So I really just would like to get 12 jars - one a month for me :-)  It will be interesting to see if the boys like them - if they do, I might have to try for 24 next year.  Anyway, right now the beets are enjoying my counter.  I haven't had a chance to do anything with them yet.  I'm aiming to get them down on Friday or Saturday . . .than you'll see another picture and they will be "pretty" :-)

31 in 31 - Day 14

I spend some time on Tuesday re-sorting the toys. This is something I try to do once a month.  Why? This allows me to check for any dead batteries, broken toys, and to match up pieces to the correct toy.  Personally, if a toy has batteries, they need to work or it is a wasted toy. I don't mind the noise - it tells me my children are enjoying themselves.  I do have a bag that I keep "dead toys" that need batteries and keep a list of what batteries I need so, when the budget allows, I can pick up a pack and put the toys back into circulation.  Josh is learning to put toys back in the "right" bins so I am also starting to work on labels for the bins as well but really, I don't care what bin toys go in, as long as they all get picked up before bath time :-) So my picture shows my organization and yes, it makes me happy!!

And for the record, it does actually bother me that all the bins don't match but I used what I already owned to save money. 

I did actually take this picture yesterday, on day "14" but never had a chance to post it due to company coming over.