Friday, August 28, 2015

Kids Book Club

I don't know about you guys, but my little guy is ALWAYS ON THE MOVE! If he's not bouncing on the couch he's bouncing on me or chasing the kitties, or dancing, or knocking down his 'choo-choo blocks (towers we build with blocks around his train track), or throwing pillows of the couch, or climbing on the chair, or.....this could go on forever so I'll just stop here.  I've been trying to instill some quiet time and/or more structured play, mainly so I can just have a moment to sit down and breathe, but also to help him develop his fine motor, practical life, and creative and critical thinking skills.  One of the things I've been trying to remember to do is set aside some time each day to read with Weston.  Part of what makes reading to a toddler so fun is that they really get into the story and love to play along to whatever you are reading! Some days this lasts a few minutes and others we can read for an hour!  He's even starting to pick up books and "read" on his own!

There are a million children's books out there and it can be hard to choose ones that you think will really resonate with you and your kids, so I wanted to share some of the books we love to read!

I love You as Big as the World by David Van Buren
This one of our favorites. I probably like it more than Weston does. A little bear and his parent wander through nature while telling each other how much they love each other.  Bears, nature, and love.  What more can you ask for? We also like have Weston identify things in this book, like "find the moon," "where's the birdy?" and we always find time to snuggle and do nose-kisses while we are reading this one.

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak.
We love to make faces and demonstrate all our 'silly side, mad side, happy side, sad side' while reading this book.

Ten Tiny Toes by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak
This is such a fun read. It has definitely helped us teach Weston his body parts and we always end up in a tickle fight!

What are some of your families favorite books?
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peck Farm- Hawk's Hollow- Butterfly Garden

Peck Farm (4038 Kaneville Road Geneva, Il 60134), is another one of our favorite places to go when we're looking for some outdoor activities that can't be done in our backyard. Peck Farm also contains one of our favorite playgrounds- Hawk's Hollow and a beautiful Butterfly Garden.  If you live in the area and haven't been yet, this is a must!  And it's definitely worth the drive if you live further away. Bring a picnic lunch and sprawl out on the shady lawn of the Interpretive Center or eat under the picnic shelter.  Check their websites or the Geneva Park District's Programs webpage  for interpretive programs too! There is always something going on!

Peck Farm

Peck Farm has an interpretive center, nature and bike trails (both paved and unpaved), a sensory garden, a picnic shelter/amphitheater, a silo and a barn.  When Weston was a baby I used to love taking long walks around the lake while he slept. On the south side of the lake there is a wonderful overlook where you can sit and reax and watch the wetland wildlife (or catch a few Z's)!

Check their website for hours of operation as they change with the seasons.

Photo Cred: Geneva Il Website

Hawk's Hollow 

Hawk's Hollow located just

Monday, August 24, 2015

Red Oak Nature Center and Lippold Park

Hello friends!  We hope you are enjoying your summer!  Weston and I have been spending our days together blowing bubbles; throwing balls, playing in the sandbox; playing 'run', which involves running up and down the length of our yard well he yells "Mommy, run! Daddy, run!" and tackle, which involves Weston running around in a circle and then into our arms while one of us falls backwards; and exploring our side of the Fox Valley.  One of my favorite parts about living in this area is that there are so many fun outdoor activities to do.  We need to get our fix in the short 6 months we have before we batten down the hatches and hibernate during the Midwest winter.

One of our new favorite places to go is the Red Oak Nature Center and Lippold Park.  It's located on Route 25, just north of Route 56/Butterfield Road, in Batavia (2343 S River St
Batavia, IL 60510).  We love it here!  The Red Oak Nature Center

Monday Motivation

This week's Monday Motivation has been well played out, but if you haven't seen it yet, be prepared for a WTF moment.  I don't really understand metamodern performance art, but he's right.  We should all stop making excuses and just do it.