Friday, May 31, 2013

Dig into Reading

Now that school is coming to an end here, we will be taking time during the Summer to keep up with our learning. We joined two different reading clubs to help keep the reading skills fresh as well as, reading independently and, as a family.

Here in Maryland, our public library has a program called Dig into Reading. It has a couple different components to it.  The first is to complete each burrow of 6 reading activities. Once finished and crossed off,  you can bring in your sheet and receive a prize. There are 3 rows of 6, resulting in 3 prizes.  Another component is, each participant is to try and read 600 minutes or more in 3 months to earn an additional prize. Lastly, there are 8 different libraries within our county. If each participant visits all 8 they will be entered in a drawing to win a grand prize.

Both of my boys are signed up for this program for the first time this year. We look forward to visiting each library for events/programs.  It will also be the first time Carson will have a library card! He is very excited to be able to check out books.

There is also a free program being offered through Barnes and Noble. Each child (grades 1-6) is asked to read 8 books and record them in their journal (downloaded) and to let them know to whom you would recommend each book, and why. Once you have done that, you can turn in your journal for a free book of your choice. (Off the suggested list)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Outdoors Month: June

June is Great Outdoors Month!

Governor O'Malley's Partnership for Children in Nature kick off in June. He invites everyone to discover the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.

"June marks the end of school, the excitement and anticipation of summer, and the perfect time to encourage our children to connect with nature through outside activities,” said Governor O’Malley. “Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days reminds everyone to take the time to enjoy and explore the unique sights, sounds and recreation our natural world provides.”

The activities start off on June 1st with National Trails Day!

It continues with free days of Fishing on June 1st and, June 8th.  During a free fishing day, a person may catch and possess fin-fish in the tidal and non tidal waters of the State for recreational purposes without an angler's license, Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license, or any fishing stamp normally required by the State, but shall otherwise observe all fishing laws and regulations.

Also on June 8th is National Get Outdoors Day!

Rounding out the Great Outdoors Month is The Great American Backyard Camp Out on June 22nd.

Check out more events going on in June in the State of Maryland here and here!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Bucket List: Slip N Slide Fun!

The weather was finally warm enough to enjoy some play in the water. It was humid and the kids were playing outside, sweating. I recently bought a Slip N Slide to try out and thought it would be a perfect time to try it out. We could also cross something off our Summer Bucket list!

The kids, and a couple of their friends had a ball on it, once we figured out how to get the slide nice and wet!! (Soap works wonders too! ;) )

I want to look into getting another one so they can race each other. (I am loving this one!) The one I bought was just a cheap one from 5 below. It ended up breaking at the bottom by the time we were done. We followed all the rules and limits but, I guess the kids were just a bit rough.

It gave us a good hour of fun with friends. Even I wanted to jump on it and try it. They should make these for adults too!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Park Quest 2013

Excitement has hit the Giggles and Grass Stains house! Once again we have made it in to the Park Quest Program that Maryland Department of Natural Resources puts on every Summer.

Park Quest is a free program where families sign up to participate as a team (Needs to be at least one adult and a child under 16) to complete at least 10 of 24 different quests at different State Parks located in Maryland. The "quests" consist of activities like, canoeing, how to use a compass, learning Maryland's history during different periods, hiking, learning facts about flora and fauna in Maryland and, so much more. They only allow up to 1,000 teams enter the program. Registration took place last Monday at 6pm and was filled up within the first hour.

We have participated in Park Quest for 2 Summers now. It has been such a fun way to get the kids active and learning during the Summer.  We can't wait to start again. We have decided to add some additional activities to Park Quest this year to really expand our fun.  We are even hoping to add a couple minor league ball games to our trips this Summer. Visiting some local ball parks we haven't been to yet.  Here's a list of activities we hope to do before during or after park quest this year.

*Make Team T-Shirts
*Start a Park Quest Journal
*Visit Local Ball Parks
*Go Geo-caching
*Collect State Park pins/patches
*Iron on patches/pins to Park Quest duffel bags.

Here's a couple pictures from our favorite quests last year! 

Do you Park Quest? What's your team name?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Minor League hitting and Gardening!

This past weekend, the boys participated in a fundraiser for their baseball league. For every $5.00 they earned for the team they received "a hit" at The Harry Grove Stadium: The home of the Frederick Keys. Conner earned 10 hits and Carson earned 4. They both were to hit the balls into hula hoops strategically placed around the outfield. Each hoop had a designated prize! Conner got two of his 10 balls to hit hoops. He received an ice cream token and, a local bagel shop gift certificate. For Carson's league we moved up the hoops a bit, since they had a hard time getting them into hoops. Carson received an ice cream token, chips, a gift certificate to McDonalds and, free registration to Spring ball next year!! Wahoo!! What great prizes!

What fun we all had. A 5 hour day at a Minor League team's field, while seeing your boys light up every time they cracked that ball. Only thing we will remember next year, is sunscreen. We did get a little red.

We also had a great time working in our garden. We have all our vegetables in and are ready for them to grow and help us stay healthy. In our garden we have planted broccoli, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. We also let Carson go to the store to pick out some container veggies/fruits he wanted to plant. Carson has had the most interest in gardening. Conner likes it but seems to get bored fast. Carson picked out raspberries, snap beans, lima beans, and peanuts!! I was shocked when my husband showed me the peanuts! I am actually pretty excited to see how those turn out. We have done some research on the plants and think we are good to start planting them and see how they take off. We don't have the best green thumbs but, we are going to try and get better at it! It will be a learning process for us all!!

I will continue to check in with everyone to show you how our container garden and, garden bed are doing. We are also looking into joining a CSA. Do you know what a CSA is? Are you a part of one? How do you like it if so?