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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekend Wander #98

Hey there, party people!  I hope you're enjoying the last weekend in September.  We've still got pretty warm temperatures during the day (most of the time), but it sure is starting to get a little chilly in the evenings and at night!  Time to bring out the scarves, jackets and boots!  Fall is a'comin'!  So, what have you been doing to celebrate Fall?  Lemme see it!  Link 'em up!











This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{Pin Testing} DIY Bouncy Balls


This was a project from our Science Experiments & Art Projects Book that I made Little Monkey for his last birthday. Okay, let me say this up front, I didn’t expect much with experiment and was hoping to be pleasantly surprised.


We found the directions HERE and HERE. They are the same directions at both links for the most part, just FYI. Little Monkey helped me make our ball and my mom and sister each made one too. Little Monkey and I used glitter glue, my mom used Elmer’s White Glue-All, and my sister used Elmer’s Blue Gel glue.


The balls were less bouncy than I anticipated. It was kind of disappointing. We also didn’t put them in baggies. I wanted to see just how hard they would get. Little Monkey ripped them apart the next day before they were completely dry, so… I don’t know how hard they would get if they’d dried completely. They made better marbles than bouncy balls though. Although the experiment didn’t work out like we were hoping, the balls were still pretty fun to play with anyway. We used them as marbles and rolled them down a racing road toy Little Monkey has. He is super competitive and loved having races. We will probably revisit this project and see if we can figure out where we blundered. Or just make more marbles…  




This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Wander #97

Happy Weekend, Everyone!  How have you all been?  Well, let's just get right to it this week, yeah?  Link 'em up!











This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Android Apps for Kids

A couple months ago I shared my top ten Android apps for kids.  I'm constantly on the search for more apps and since we've started Mommy school, I'm looking for apps that are worth my kid's screen time.  Occasionally, I'll give myself some crazy excuse and let Little Monkey play a good-for-nothing game, but for the most part, it's gotta have some sort of educational something behind it, even if it's just a little eye-hand coordination...  Ah, see, there's the crazy excuses coming out.



Some more of my favorite Android games for kids:

1. Spaghetti and Marshmallows.  My hubby introduced me to this game like two and a half years ago.  It was tons of fun.  Now, Little Monkey is getting old enough to understand the idea behind it and he enjoys it too.  He doesn't always play the levels, but he is building eye-hand coordination while building the towers.  And he thinks destroying the towers with the red blocks is the best thing ever.  Such a boy.  Using uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, you construct structures that will hold a marshmallow inside each ring on the level.  Some levels have multiple rings.  You battle gravity and greedy frogs while you build structures that will support your marshmallows and turn the rings gold.  In the Play Store for $0.99.  There is also a lite version of the game for free.  (Photo is from the Lite version.)

2.  Alphabet Find.  This is great practice with letters (both upper and lower cases), numbers and shapes.  There are two types of game play - timed and endless.  Start out endless for a little practice and then bump up the challenge with a timed game or two.  Free in the Play Store.

3.  First Words.  This is fantastic for practicing letters and learning how they make words when you put them together.  I really like this game because it's got multiple levels and skill ranges.  You can choose between spelling animals, fruits or colors.  You can also choose between uppercase letters, lowercase letters and cursive letters.  Then there are three difficulty levels to choose from as well.  The first level is more of a letter match, and the other two are more like a spelling game.  I love the diversity available with this app.  In the Play Store for $1.99.  There is also a free Lite version.  (There is also a French version for $1.99... Oui, c'est vrai.  And don't laugh too hard if that's wrong... Freshman year of high school French was a long time ago!)
 
Easy Level                                          Medium Level

4.  Greedy Spiders.  Basically, you cut the strands of the spider web to free the bugs before the spider can get to them.  I like this game because it's all about critical thinking and order.  The other day I caught my three-year-old putting undies on over his shorts because he "forgot to put them on first, so [I'll] just put them on now."  Hmm.  No, son.  There's an order to that sequence.  Undies, then shorts.  On some of the levels, you have to cut the strings in a specific order to keep the bugs safe.  There are two versions to this game: Greedy Spiders and Greedy Spiders 2 (shocker, I know).  They are both available in the Play Store for $0.99.  Or grab up the free versions for free and give the game a test run first.

5.  Rope Rescue.  This game is another critical thinking game.  You have a spool of rope, a variety of wheels   and a caged baby bird.  You have to take the rope, touch all the wheels and then hook it to the cage to free the baby bird.  You get a set amount of rope on each level and the less rope you use the higher you score.  There are also a variety of dangers or obstacles to maneuver.  Knives, fire, and darkness are just a few.  This is a game for the kiddos and Momma and Daddy.
The full version is a bit steep ($2.99) in the Play Store, but there is a Lite version for free if you don't mind dealing with a little advertising.  Word of warning... there are in-app purchases with this one and they do have purchase pop-up screens.  Ask me (and my credit card) how I know... If you let the little ones play the lite version, sit with them or turn off your mobile data connection.  I got the full version of the game a while back for free with the Amazon App Store's Free App of the Day.  It's worth checking out if you haven't already.  A lot of them are kind of mediocre apps, but every so often a screaming deal comes along (multiple versions of Angry Birds, Where's My Water, Greedy Spiders, Router, Router Aqua and Asphalt 6: Adrenaline are just a few apps I've snagged full versions of for free).

6.  Router and Router Aqua.  Little Monkey likes the colors mostly, but he is getting old enough to actually understand the concept of the game as well.  He can complete the first few levels on his own and he enjoys watching the other levels.  You have a set of dots on the screen and the objective is to connect the dots of the same color with the shortest lines possible.Router Aqua is in the Play Store for $1.99.  There's a lite version for free as well.

7.  ShapeBuilder.  This one is a combination of letter and shape practice mixed with puzzle building.  Little Monkey doesn't totally adore this one, but he will play it for 5-10 minutes, which is sometimes all you need.  In the Play Store for $0.99. (I saw a banner on the app in the Play Store advertising half off, but I couldn't tell if it was $0.99 at the half off price or if it was half off $0.99 and since I'd already bought it, it didn't even display the price.)

8.  Tracing ABC.  This is good practice with shaping letters.  It's not the same as writing with a pencil or pen since it uses the touch interface (unless you use a stylus), but it does a great job at helping Little Monkey learn how to make each letter.  I can tell he's learning from it in Mommy School when we work on his writing.  He has a better idea of how to form each letter.  It works on both cases of letters and numbers as well.  It's recommended for children 4 years and older, Little Monkey just turned 3 at the end of July.  It's one we can sit down and do together or he can work on it alone.  In the Play Store for $1.99 or check out the lite version for free.

9.  Aces Traffic Pack.  It's the classic traffic game.  The graphics and animation is great.  The sound effects are fantastic.  The puzzles are a little hard for Little Monkey to actually beat very often, but he likes to slide the cars around the board.  When he gets tired of that, we can play the game together.  In the Play Store for free.

10.  Spinballs.  This is an app that I really enjoy playing too.  You have seven discs with six balls of varying colors on each disc.  The objective is to spin the discs so the colors match up.  The matching color balls then explode and are replaced by new balls.  This one is a little difficult after a while, as it is a timed game, but the first three or four levels Little Monkey can do mostly on his own.  In the Play Store for $1.49.  There is a free version, but it will give you the basic idea of the game and that's about it.  This is another Amazon App Store Free App of the Day for me.


Do you have any other favorite Android apps for kids?

Don't forget to check out my first set of Favorite Kid Apps.  You may also be interested in Must-Have Social Media Apps, and my favorite Apps for Momma: Part 1.




This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

{Pin Testing} Make Your Own Beef Jerky

We love beef jerky.  Mr. Napping takes it on his trips, Little Monkey loves it for snack time and I enjoy it as well.  It's a spendy little snack though.  Jerky isn't cheap and we all like different flavors.  It's quite a costly little venture to get flavors for everyone.  I came across a post on making your own jerky from Primer Magazine... in the oven!  Who doesn't have an oven, right?!  No crazy expensive dehydrator needed?  I was game to try this out.


You'll need some strip steak, marinade, a sharp knife and a large bag or bowl to put your meat in.  It's quite a simple process and is a great little project to do on a day you'll be home.  It takes about half an hour to slice the meat up, you let it marinade for a few hours and then you cook it in the oven on low for an hour to an hour and a half.  That's it.  Check out the original post for more detailed directions, but I'd call this a win.

The break down -
My favorite part: You can marinade your meat in whatever you want.  You control the ingredients.  Love.
The down-side:  You do need to keep the meat refrigerated.  The original post mentions the meat gets a little soft in the fridge.  We didn't have that problem.  I wrapped ours in foil and they kept just fine (for a day or two.  That's all the longer they lasted.).  I'm not sure this is really any more cost-effective, as steak isn't cheap, but it sure was yummy.






This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekend Wander #96

Welcome back everyone!  Can't wait to see what you've got to show me this week.  We've been busy here with house projects, organizing projects, Mommy school - we learned about scarecrows this week and built on last week's farm unit a little more - and the air balloon races last weekend.  They were fun.  This weekend we've got the air races going on and Little Monkey and Mr. Napping are in HEAVEN.  So, show me whatcha got!











This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.


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