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April's Hands-on-Habitat - Our Pond Pals!

Well folks, it's April! Can you believe it? March was a busy one for us here at Fontenelle Forest, but the busyness definitely fell into the category of "good busy" – the kind that is satisfying, rather than draining.

One fantastic aspect of our past month was meeting so many of you at our first Hands-on-Habitat program! We explored life cycles, got glue all over our hands, worked on puzzles, created beautiful ground murals with chalk – and even explored a bit outside! It was a gorgeous day, and having you all come hang out made it even more wonderful.

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Categories: lifestyle,


We've been having lots of fun with eggs around here, painting them, experimenting with them, and of course eating them! So, when Tinkerlab announced that their creative kids challenge was going to center around eggs I knew it was something the kids would love to take part in! Each family chooses an egg themed activity that is to be child led, so this morning I set out the materials and let the kids get to work designing their own containers to keep an egg safe while being dropped from a height.

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Categories: lifestyle,


With Easter right around the corner, I wanted to make something fun for the kids Easter baskets and I thought that bath bombs would be a fun and practical Easter basket filler. And, because I always like to take things up a notch, I wanted to figure out how to make them glow! The mission was a huge success, our glowing fizzy eggs are full of fun and science, plus as a bonus, your kids might be cleaner!

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Categories: lifestyle,


Stressed Out!

I was a sociology major in college. Oh sure, that's probably one of those majors that you see in the top ten lists of what not to major in if you ever want to make any money. But to me, college was about expanding your mind and studying things that really interested you—where the money would come from and what I'd do with it wasn't exactly on the mind of my then 19-20 year old self.

My most memorable course was a seminar about women working while raising a family. We spent several weeks studying a book by Arlie Russell Hochschild called The Second Shift. (Read an excerpt of the The Second Shift.) This book was a study about dual-career households and how much work (childcare, housework, etc.) a woman actually does in addition to her paying job. In her research, Hochschild discovered that women worked 15 hours longer each week than their partners—thus the coining of the term "second shift" in how it related to dual-career families.

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Categories: parenting, parent-stories,


We really enjoyed exploring art this week when we made our art history Easter eggs, so I wanted to continue the fun and learn about another artist in a unique way. So, today, we're learning about Wassily Kandinsky and exploring his circle painting while performing a new science experiment. I just love when art and science combine, and this activity is full of colorful, fizzy fun!

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Categories: lifestyle,


Tom Fletcher and his Wife's Baby Announcement Video

Time lapse videos chronicling the 9 months before baby is born have become quite popular and for good reason. They're great a way to remember what life was like - and what you looked like - before baby was born. Not many of these videos get their own custom written song, but Tom Fletcher who is an English singer song-writer and part of the band McFly, did that for his wife and their baby. Take a look.

Tom Fletcher's Wedding Speech

After you've watched that video, check out the speech he made to his wife at their wedding. It's longer, but worth the watch.

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Categories: lifestyle,


Getting Your Toddler to Sleep

It's the end of a long day and you have finally sat down to unwind after getting the kids to bed when suddenly you hear that familiar patter of little feet. Oh no, you know exactly where this is going… "Mommy, I can't sleep."

Your first thought probably is, "You've only been up there for 5 minutes, no one falls asleep that fast. I just got on the computer/started watching my shows/etc... PLEASE go to bed." But you know that kind of reason doesn't resonate with a toddler. It's time to go into bedtime combat role.

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Even though my kids are young, I firmly believe that children are never too little to be exposed to advanced concepts. They may not grasp the information in its entirety, but giving them a taste of higher learning helps build knowledge, vocabulary, and self-awareness as they attempt to imitate new techniques. My husband is always really great at not dumbing things down when he talks to the kids and because of that Aurora and Grayson know lots of interesting facts! So, when I thought about how I wanted to dye our Easter Eggs this year, I decided to try and infuse a bit of learning in with the fun and teach the kids a few new art techniques.

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Categories: lifestyle,


How to Build a Dress Up Box

My daughter is quite the dress up fashionista. She has about as many pretend clothes as she does real ones, and goes through several costume changes each day to show them off! Her collection has been gathered from numerous sources, and it's always a bit nostalgic to sort through the pieces and remember the story behind each accessory. For those of you with your own tiny fashion gurus at home, I've put together some tips for curating your own magical dress up box!

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Categories: parenting, parent-stories,


We're kind of obsessed with sensory play in our house! So, when some other blogging colleagues wanted to get collaborate and put together a huge sensory bin filler resource I was ecstatic! Forty bloggers are sharing 40 different fillers over the next 40 days and you can find them all HERE! While doughs and slimes are fun to play with, these bins all feature materials that are "drop and go" so they're really easy to put together when you need a simple activity!

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Categories: lifestyle,


I love making homemade art supplies! We go through them so quickly that it has become a much more economical option for us. There are so many fun materials we want to try, so it has been really interesting learning how to make our own like the powdered paint and beeswax crayons we made awhile ago. This morning we added scented liquid watercolors to our repertoire of DIY art materials! 

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Categories: lifestyle,


The success of Disney's newest animated film "Frozen" is undeniable. Multiple individuals have covered the song "Let it Go" that actress and Tony award winner Indina Menzel made famous, but until Brian Hull got a hold of the song famous Disney characters haven't had their chance to sing it. And really why would they? But why not? This mashup is fantastic.

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Categories: lifestyle,


Hands-on-Habitat - Welcome Spring!

Today was our very first Hands-on-Habitat event at Fontenelle Forest. Lindsay with Fontenelle helped us to Welcome Spring by creating construction paper caterpillars and designing tissue paper trees. We blew bubbles and slid down the slide.

It was fun getting to see old friends and make some new ones. We hope you all enjoyed it! The next Hands-on-Habitat event is on April 18th. Lindsay will teach us about Our Pond Pals who live in and near water.

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Categories: lifestyle,


My husband always teases me for being a bit of a nut when it comes to the holidays, I just love to make a big deal out of them! Christmas and Easter are my two favorites, so as we head in to spring I'm already planning how to dye the eggs and fill the Easter baskets! Because we're trying to raise our kids in a Christ centered home, we want Easter to be about pointing our kids to the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross while still letting them partake in fun elements of the season. So, while eggs and baskets aren't part of the Christian narrative, we still enjoy getting creative with eggs and gifts!

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Categories: lifestyle,


To My Soon-to-be Kindergartner

To My Soon-to-be Kindergartner -

As I sit at the Kindergarten parent meeting, I have a mix of emotions. Where has this time gone? I remember very clearly holding you in my arms the very first time, and how I couldn't believe I was a Mom, YOUR Mom, and was overcome with excitement, love, and pure joy. Now 5 years later, you have grown to become a sweet, happy, caring, and fun little boy, who is about to start on a whole new journey.

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Categories: parent-stories,