April 29, 2011

Mother's Day Craft Projects

Kids create Mom's favorite handcrafted treasures
for Mother's Day!
Stop in from May 5-8 at Tree Town Toys to make Mom (or grandma) her own birdhouse! This easy pre-assembled birdhouse craft allows the kids to paint and glitter to their hearts content. This extra special project only costs $6.00. And if the birdhouse project seems too expensive, wooden frames are also available for decorating for $3.00.This is a "while supplies last" project so be sure to create yours soon!

Area Michael's stores (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor and 41904 Ford Rd., Canton) have several Make-It Take-It events planned where kids can create a customized Mother's Day gift. That means no mess in the home and a semi-surprise for mom so long as dad take the kids to participate. All of their events are "while supplies last" events. Check out the Michael's Facebook page Mother's Day project video to see what's in store; The video has inspired me to take the kids to the store next week... I love the t-shirt necklace!
  • April 30: 10:00 a.m. - noon with the purchase of a T-shirt or apron, kids can create Mom a one-of-a-kind wearable. This is geared for ages 3 and up.
  • May 1: 1:00-3:00 p.m. Teens ages 14 and up can stop by to make Mom handcrafted jewelry by watching one of two in-store demos.
  • May 3: 6:00-8:00 p.m. purchase a flower and create a special Mother's Day card. This is geared for ages 3 and up. 
Several area libraries also have great free programs and craft projects happening. Bring Mom to the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) on May 2 or May 5, 6:00-8:00 p.m. and have your picture taken on a cute back-drop, then have it printed as a fun remembrance of your beautiful relationship! The program also is available on May 7, 3:00-5:00 p.m. and the YDL Michigan branch (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) and YDL Superior branch (8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti) 2:00-4:00 p.m. or stop by the Ann Arbor District Library (Pittsfield Branch - 2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) on May 7 to make a Mother's Day Card from 11:00 a.m. - noon!

Also on May 7, kids ages 5-12, can head to the local Home Depot (3300 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti or 45900 Michigan Ave., Canton) to make Mom a special Kids Workshop Tulip Planter from 9:00 a.m. - noon. - of course they'll have to head home to paint it, but i am certain Dad can guide them through this part of the process!

Mom will be grateful for the break as well as appreciative of the wonderful, thoughtful Mother's Day gifts designed especially for her!

April 28, 2011

Free Guided Bird Walk to Get The Kids Out in Nature

The weather may be wet, but it is finally getting warmer in the Ann Arbor area, and for that reason, it's time to get outside! This Sunday, May 1 is the First Day in May Bird Walk at the Leonard Preserve. bring your camera, binoculars (and possibly rain boots!) for a 9:00-11:00 a.m. romp throughout the preserve looking for many feathered friends. This is a free guided walk and beginner friendly!

Directions: From I-94: Exit #159 (M-52), southbound.  Take M-52 approximately 10.5 miles, turn right onto Main Street.  Turn right on Union Street.  The preserve entrance is at the end of Union Street, off Main Street/Austin Road in the Village of Manchester (west of the Manchester downtown area).  Head north on Union Street, when the street bears left and turns to gravel you will see the preserve entry sign. Keep going, parking area on the right.

National Mom's Nite Out

Next Thursday May 5, at the Briarwood Mall is a celebration just for MOM. No it's not Mother's Day, but it IS National Mom's Night Out!

From 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., local businesses will host mom with give-aways, gift bags, food, fashion, beauty advice/tips and more. This is a free event for local mom's, and is really a nice time out.  Last year a friend and I wandered the event and found many great freebies and samples, great munchies and iscounts to many of our favorite stores.

The event also awards an area Model Mom from nominated mom's.

April 27, 2011

Summer Camp at Liberty Athletic Club

Earlier this spring, I was invited to the Liberty Athletic Club to check out what they had to offer in the way of summer day camp experiences. The facility was impressive and and the camps they are offering throughout the summer sure sound fun!

Summer camp at the Liberty Athletic Club is a fun for all!

I was greeted by a full tour of the facility and all it has to offer for the kids, from indoor fun, swimming (they have an indoor waterpark as well as an outdoor waterpark!), tennis, a rock wall, outdoor open spaces and a fun play-scape. The Liberty Athletic Club really does have a summer program that'll help keep kids (ages 5 through the teen years) active and make the most of summer vacation while putting the parents minds at ease.

Summer Camp Details:
Each day of camp, there are new activities and opportunities for fun with weekly themes for the half-day and full-day summer camp programs. A typical day might include an assortment of arts & crafts, swimming, fitness challenges such as obstacle courses, relays or use of the rock climbing wall and outdoor games and sports.

The half-day summer day-camp program (for ages 5-7) runs Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at $47/day for non-members, with the full-day camp (ages 7-10) running the entire week 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at $325/week for non-members. The Liberty Athletic Club also offers kids pre and post camp care options for working parents for an additional cost. Registration for non club members begins April 25, 2011;  Liberty Athletic Club members can register any time at a discounted rate for summer camp.

For specifics on summer camp options at the Liberty Athletic Club, be sure to check out the full program details on their kids summer camp page or call the club (734) 665-3738 for a tour and information packet.

2011 Weekly Summer Camp Themes:
• Movin' & Groovin' - June 20-24th
• Sports Extravaganza - June 27-30th
• Stars and Stripes - July 5-8th
• All-Ball - July 11-15th
• Superhero's - July 18-22nd
• Tropical Paradise - July 25-29th
• Welcome to the Outback - August 1-5th
• Sun, Sand & Water - August 8-12th
• Fear Factor - August 15-19th

The Liberty Athletic Club also has a Kung Fu Summer Camp (1:00-4:00 p.m. June 27 - July 1, July 18-22 and August 1 - 15. Cost: $168.75/week non-members) for kids ages 7 through 12 that will explore the fun of the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu while introducing proper form, training basics, two-person drills and physical fitness.  They also offer teens ages 10-12, a Pre-Teen Summer Camp ("Splish Splash" from July 11 - 15 and  "Got Game" August 8 - 12. Cost $325/week non-members) where they can meet new friends in a fun, action-packed, fun-filled week!  

Summer Camp Staff:
I was impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the staff members I met with. While I toured the facility, my daughter was invited to participate in one of the Liberty Athletic Club kids classes -Shake, Rattle and Roll playtime - and when I came back, she didn't want to leave! Actually everyone I met in the facility was helpful, friendly and ready to break into a quick smile.

The Facility:  
It's really hard to say anything except, it was beautiful, well maintained and very busy for the middle of the day! I received a complete tour that included where the kids would be rain or shine at any time throughout the day; I would feel confident knowing that my kids were someplace safe and fun no matter what the weather!

With a long-standing tradition of providing children with a friendly and safe environment, sending your kids to summer camp at the Liberty Athletic Club would be a great summer investment.For more information you can reach the club at (734) 665-3738 or by visiting the Liberty Athletic Club website.

Gowns Dressy Enough for the Royal Wedding

I'll admit, when Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married I was all in a tizzy with my mom watching the events, and wedding un-fold - it was a BIG deal for at least one 10-year-old who was one of over 750 million viewers of the wedding. The current Royal Wedding of William & Kate however doesn't seem as exciting to me. I haven't said much to the children and haven't gotten into much of the televised hype.

We will likely watch it on April 29, however the significance in my life seems to be at a much lesser value. That being said, I DID find this cute Princess Kate paper doll with full wardrobe of Disney Princess dresses. It's online. It might be nice for my 5-year-old daughter and most of all the download is FREE! I'm just wondering how much of my time will be spent cutting out Princess Kate and her good size wardrobe... 

MIA: Why So Few Posts

Hello Readers, I know I don't need to apologize for being light on the posts, however the past 6 weeks have left me feeling a bit crazy. Thankfully I had the for-sight to pre-post many of the events that did come up.To say I've been followed by a little black cloud would be an understatement, but I've been dealing with a lot including the loss of a dear family pet followed by the loss of my grammie. It's been especially tough on my 7-year-old and has led to many family discussions and a few tears. So bear with me as I explore better ways to help the kids, it may even fall into a post as I gather my thoughts. Expect several reviews of products and services though, as well as many great events for the family!

April 24, 2011

Family Event: Rollin Hills Pond Discovery

Spring is in the air, the birds and frogs are singing and flowers are beginning to bloom. If you children are beginning to wonder about the outdoors and what happens there, then join in the fun April 30 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Rolling Hills for "The Ins and Outs of a Pond". This free Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation program is approrpriate for kids of all ages as they explore the pond to capture creatures and view a brief slide presentation.

Meet at the Rolling Hills Park in the lodge by the sledding hill.

April 15, 2011

Model Mom Contest at Briarwood Mall

Would you like to win your favorite "Model Mom" great gifts and prizes? Briarwood Mall can help you out!As part of the National Mom's Night Out celebration, May 5, Briarwood Mall will be awarding one mom admission to the Dior National Tour Master Class (valued at $100) and a $100 gift certificate for Dior products.

All moms are tireless and deserving of recognition - they tend to be the glue in any family, threads of the community, they do the most work, and get little least sleep. Moms have an enormous capacity for love and compassion, and Briarwood wants to give moms a night out that they deserve. To enter your "Model Mom", someone who stands out in the community and the eyes of so many, please enter a 350 word essay on your Model Mom on the Briarwood Mall Facebook Page - who manages to deal with the added pressures, take on the added challenges, that betters the home, the schools and/or the community as a whole. Posts must be submitted in the comment section of the Model Mom post. 

Of course the contest wouldn't work unless contributors encouraged friends and family to "Like" your posting as the submission with the most "Likes" wins.  If there is a tie, the Briarwood Mall Facebook fans will get to chose.

The deadline for essays is noon April 29th - Submit early to make sure you rally your friends behind you.

Weekend Event Round Up: April 15-17

There are lots of great events and activities happening this weekend from Easter Egg Hunts and Marshmallow Drops to juggling, story time events and Día de Los Niños, El Día de Los Libros celebrations - Something for everyone!

Celebrate Día de Los Niños, El Día de Los Libros at the
Ypsilanti District Library with great music, books, crafts
and snacks! It's a wonderful weekend event for
 the whole family.
On Saturday, 10:00-10:45 a.m. and 1:00-1:45 p.m., stop by the Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Branch (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) for Juggling and Jokes With Josh Casey Ann. This free event is geared for kids in grades K-5 and is in celebration of National Library Week. Expect a mash up of comedy, juggling, outrageous stunts and audience participation!

Also on Saturday is a spring story time at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) WITH live baby farm animals! From 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. visit with fluffy bunnies, chicks and other visitors from the farm-yard. For more information call 734-426-4477 or visit the Dexter District Library website.

Speaking of baby animals of spring, on Sunday from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Whole Foods (3135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) Kids Club members can participate in 'Mother Earth’s Baby Critter' Sculpture Workshop. The workshop is free and geared for kids ages 3-12.

Celebrate Earth Month by making a baby critter sculpture then entering the creation in the Mother Earth Baby Critter Sculpture Contest. Select from a treasure trove of recycled materials from The Scrap Box set up in our store front. Let your imagination take wings. Scrap Box volunteers will be here to help. You'll be amazed to discover what unique little critter will spring forth! Sculptures will be displayed in the store for customer voting from April 17 through ending April 23 at noon. The contest winners will be decided by customer voting.

Kids entering the contest have a chance to win Whole Foods Market Gift Cards ($35. Second prize $25.00, and third prize $15.00) for each age group (ages 3-7 and  8-12). Parents must accompany the children for this event.

Also on Sunday, stop by the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) from 1:30-4:30 p.m. to celebrate the Día de Los Niños, El Día de Los Libros. Enjoy a day dedicated to celebrating children and books. Folkloric dancers from Ann Arbor, Xitlalic, will perform as well as Mariachi Mexico 2000 will be on-hand with plenty of crafts, music, and refreshments available too!

April 14, 2011

FREE Mathnasium National TriMathlon for Students in 3-6 Grade

Mathnasium (2111 Packard Rd, Suite C, Ann Arbor) will host its first annual National TriMathlon Day on Saturday, May 14, 2011.  The free event is a  math competition for students in third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades attending public, private, or home school in the Ann Arbor area.

The TriMathlon consists of three challenges:  The Counting Game (tests student’s ability to count from any number, to any number, by any number), Magic Squares (students are awarded points for creativity in developing their own math problems), and Mental Math Workout (evaluates student’s Number Sense by asking them to solve given problems the ‘smart’ way without pencil and paper). Questions become progressively more difficult for students in higher grade levels.

Students will compete locally at Mathnasium of Ann Arbor. Along with medals and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, each participant will receive a certificate of achievement for their involvement. National TriMathlon winners will be selected from the top three scorers in each grade level from all participating Mathnasium locations.  The 12 national winners will receive honors and more than $10,000 in cash prizes.

Login to Mathnasium for more information and to register for the event today!

April 13, 2011

Ann Arbor Kids Art Fair Submissions Are Due!

Hey kids, it's time to submit your art for jurying for the 2011 Kids Art Fair at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor). This Sunday, April 17, 2:30-5:30 p.m. interested young artists in grades 1-8 can bring samples of their work and talk to judges.

Please plan to arrive at least an hour before the session closes to make sure you have time to show and discuss your art work with each Juror. To find full requirements for the youth art fair, make sure to visit the  artfair.org website or call 327-4555.

The Kids’ Art Fair provides young artists from Washtenaw County with the unique opportunity to learn how to showcase and sell their original artwork in an art fair setting. Jurors from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original will score the work. Artists will have ample opportunity to show and discuss their art work with each Juror. This is a great chance to see the jurying process at work – and a unique opportunity (if yours is chosen) to be able to actually sell your art!

April 7, 2011

Friday: Spring Break Activities Round-up

After a week of complete craziness - TGIF! It's the last day of spring break... I've posted a daily round-up of events for tomorrow, or you can read more detail on the original spring break activities post!
  • Open bounce sessions are available from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) or at Jump City (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) 10:00 a.m - noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. standing bunny craft at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor)!
  • 11:00 a.m - Pippin Puppets Presents ‘Bunny Funnies!’ at Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter).  
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Pinckney Community Public Library (340 Mower Rd., Pinckney) kids ages 5 and up can participate in a Minute To Win It Party.
  • 2:00-3:30 p.m. the Ann Arbor District Library (3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor) hosts a free paper beads craft class.
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m. Spring Break Extravaganza at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti).
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m.group gaming at Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti).

April 6, 2011

Thursday: Spring Break Activities Round-up

And we're breathing - It's almost over folks. There is just today and tomorrow left of spring break! Here's tomorrow's daily round-up of events and activities throughout the area.
  • Open bounce sessions are available from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) or at Jump City (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) 10:00 a.m - noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Create individual terrariums at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor)
  • 1:00-2:30 p.m. Teens can make their own altered Journals at ing the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter).
  • 2:00-2:45 p.m. See the SWild Swan's Frog and Toad at Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor).
  • 2:30-5:00 p.m. teens can participate in gaming at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti).
  • 3:00-5:00 p.m. hey kids there is only today and tomorrow to participate in the Spring Break Extravaganza at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti).

April 5, 2011

Spring Break - Wednesday Events

Relax parents, the spring break week is almost half over...  So what's to do today? Today's round-up includes fun crafts, free movies and lots of great activities!

  • Open bounce sessions are available from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) or at Jump City (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) 10:00 a.m - noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m.

  • 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Head to Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) to make a friendship bracelet or two!

  • 1:00-3:00 p.m. See Tangled at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter)

  • 3:00-5:00 p.m. kids can watch The Karate Kid with Jaden Smith.

  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Kids can make mini Monster Stuffies at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor)
  • Spring Break - Tuesday Events

    "Mom, we're bored, what can we do?"

    Yes indeed, although this is only Tuesday this will be heard in households throughout the Ann Arbor area...  Here are the daily activities for today - For a full list of activities this week, be sure to check out my spring break activity post...
    • Open bounce sessions are available from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) or at Jump City (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) 10:00 a.m - noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m.
    • 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - create psychedelic tie-dye flowers at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor).
    • 11:00 a.m. - noon - Spring Break Crafting Fun at Pinckney Community Public Library (340 Mower Rd., Pinckney).
    • 1:30-3:30 p.m. - Day 2 of the Make-a-Zine Workshop for teens at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti).
    • 2:00-3:00 p.m. - Jenga Tournament at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor)
    • 2:00-3:00 p.m. - 'Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back' at Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter)
    • 3:00-5:00 p.m. - Spring Break Extravaganza at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) .
    • 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Toy Story at the Superior YDL branch (8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti)

    April 4, 2011

    Teens Take Back The Night

    I wanted pass along information for an upcoming event called Take Back The Night. While it isn't a "child" focused event, it might be a powerful event for teens to be exposed to - Especially teens headed to college soon.

    Take Back The Night is a rally and march to raise awareness about sexual assault and to give survivors a voice. It is held on the campus of U of M on the Diag and starts at 7:00 p.m. on April 7, 2011. There will be musical and dance performances, readings, local organizations tabling and then march through the streets of Ann Arbor, followed by a brief candlelight vigil.

    For more information on Take Back The Night Ann Arbor, be sure to check out the organizations website.
    You can find out more info on our site at.

    Spring Break Activities Monday

    Need some fun ideas for this rainy first day of spring break? Last month I listed an entire spring break activity post, however here are highlights for today...
    • 10:00-noon head on over to Pump It Up (46090 Michigan Ave., Canton), 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) or Jump City (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) 10:00 a.m - noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m. for open bounce sessions.
    • 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) and Aboriginal dot paintings! 
    • 1:30-3:30 p.m. Teens can Make-a-Zine at a 2 day workshop at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti).
    • 2:00 p.m. - Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) free drawing workshop.
    • 3:00-5:00 p.m. - Spring Break Extravaganza at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) where kids can do a variety of crafts Monday and Tuesday.
    • 7:00-8:00 p.m. - Craft: Origami 101 at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor).

    April 1, 2011

    Library Scavanger Hunt for Youth & Teens

    Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) youth and teens can challenge themselves with a scavenger hunt adventure testing their clue-hunting ability! The event is bound to have a few surprises for everyone, so put on your thinking caps and sniff out the clues.

    Meet in the Community room.

    Weekend Events Round-up: April 1-3, 2011

    No foolin, there is a lot happening this weekend around town. There are so many great events in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti that I thought a quick events round-up might be the best way to share the information for families.

    Friday April 1:

    There will be many fancy hats and tea attire during the Garden Tea Party in Ypsilanti's historic Depot Town tonight starting at 3:00 p.m. - The event is the grand opening for Ypsi Garden Fair that's happening throughout this weekend where the entire family can learn about gardening or participate in many great activities.

    From 8:00-11:30 p.m. Bring your luminary (or kazoo / chicken suit / saxophone / what have you) to one of our three “Constellation Stations” (aka starting points), and join fellow frolickers for the Foolish stroll to W. Washington Street for Ann Arbor's FoolMoon - Gathering will begin around 7:45 p.m. with processionals setting off at 8:15 p.m.

    Saturday April 2:

    Starting at 10:00 a.m., kids can build their own planter basket at Home Depot - Be sure to get there early for the free kids building clinic though, so that supplies don't run out!

    On Saturday families can join in on a Fancy Nancy Party at 10:30 a.m. where kids can dress in their fanciest attire and hear a Fancy Nancy story, make tissue paper corsages and a princess necklace and take part in a fashion show. Of course it wouldn't be a fancy party without cupcakes and punch too! This free event takes place at the Ypsilant District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti).

    Kids and older teens can test their clue-hunting ability by participating in a free scavenger hunt at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti)at 1:00 p.m.

    Sunday April 3:
    Start the day with a leisurely stroll around Ann Arbor checking out Ann Arbor's famous fairy doors and trolls during Fairywalk 2011. Then at 4:00 p.m. check out the giant puppet happening at Festifools. The parade happens on Main Street (between Washington and William)  and is a great way to celebrate the beginning of April!