Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Have a Heart! (100+ Heart Projects!)

          Are you looking for some great inspiration, say like, over 100 ideas of things you can do with hearts? AND as an added bonus, be supporting a collaborative effort of over 70 bloggers to raise money for the American Heart Association?  Well, you've come to the right place!

(Isn't this an amazing sneak peek preview!)


This wonderful collaborative ebook which includes over 100 heart based projects/activities made by and with children from around the world, can be yours, FREE! Simply by donating $5 to the American Heart Associaton! 

Add to Cart

 OR you can purchase a hard-copy of this great book for $20 (softcover book)! $5 from each purchase will be donated directly to the American Heart Association to support continued research.

US $20.00

          This project, spear-headed by Jamie over at Hands On As We Grow has an amazing story of inspiration behind it. Make sure you grab some tissues, and take a few minutes to read about Ellie, a very brave little four year old girl who was born with a heart condition over on Jamie's blog. 


           For those of you who know Dane, you know he loves animals, and he was super excited to put together a heart collage to be submitted. We actually had to choose between quite a few animals he put together (giraffe, rhino, and lion). I'm sure there will be many more heart collages in our near future.  You can find this wonderful lion on page 39 of the book.  AND... If you are local, I'm sure the artist would be more than happy to autograph your copy! (Dane would really like to keep a running tally of how much $$ he has raised in this effort, if you donate for an e-book or order the hard-copy of the book, will you please let us know!)

That's not all!!!
Jamie has been a busy woman! In addition to collecting ideas, submitted by all of these folks:
hands on : as we grow
A Little Learning for Two Among Many Blessings
Angelique Felix
At Home with Ali Broken Treasures
Busy at Home
Busy Kids Happy Mom Carrie Saindon's Photo Journey
Child Central Station
Classified: Mom Classroom Magic
Creative with Kids
Creativity My Passion Critters and Crayons
De Tout et de Rien
Dilly-Dali Art Dinosaurs & Octopuses
Excited 2 Learn
Hand Over the Cookies Handprint & Footprint Art
Happy Hooligans
Heart Journey Imagination Soup
Jamie's Jumble
Kitchen Counter Chronicles Kreative Resources
Let Kids Create
Little Illuminationss Living Montessori Now
Loudness of the Lambs
Love and Lollipops  Mama, hocemo nesto da pravimo
Mama Pea Pod
Mama Smiles  MemeTales
Messy Kids
Mindful Meanderings  Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Mommy Labs
Mommy Perks  Mum Paints Lives
Mummy Mummy Mum
My Creative Family  NurtureStore
One Artsy Mama
Peace Love & Rainbows  Play Dr Mom
Putti Prapancha
Rainbows within Reach  Reading Confetti
Ready. Set. Read!
Red Ted Art  Sense of Wonder
Share & Remember
Stacy Molter  Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
Teach Preschool
The Artful Child  The Chocolate Muffin Tree
The Craft Barn
The Educators' Spin on It  The Golden Gleam
The Imagination Tree
ANDThe Iowa Farmer's Wife  The Joy of My Life
The Kids Fun Review
The Outlaw Mom Blog  The Preschool Toolbox
The Seeds Network
Toddler Approved

She has also solicited sponsors!

craftprojectideas.com showing the love

Craftprojectideas.com is contributing $1 for every ebook sold this month! That means in addition to your $5 donation by purchasing the The Heart eBook, Craftprojectideas.com will donate another $1 on your behalf (up to $500!)!  (You can visit them on Facebook- please take a moment to thank them for their 

There are also a couple special giveaways from Melissa & Doug, Fudoo Boards and CraftProjectIdeas.com! Be sure to check back each over at Hands On As WE Grow each day to enter that day's giveaways!  

          AND there are GIVEAWAYS!

There is at least one giveaway per day through February 14, 
supported by many of the heart project collaborators:

AND there are Auctions!

Fundraiser Auctions:
♥  All proceeds of each auction will go to the AHA  

Melissa & Doug -  4 Trunki with Teddy Bear Auctions!

  1. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  2. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  3. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  4. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10

Fudoo Boards - 3 Fudoo Board Kits for Auction!
  1. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10
  2. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10
  3. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10

If you would like to donate to the cause, without participating in any of the other activities, You Can Donate HERE:

365 Days of Play!

Well, we made it through our second week of the 365 photo challenge!

Here are the glimpses into our playful days from the past week:

Day 8: "Writing" in our journals

Day 9: Budding Buddies

Day 10: Tunneling!
Day 11: Family Portrait in the snow

Day 12: At the Gym

Day 13: Teamwork!

Day 14: Keeping Shop

Have you been playing?
Are you up for the 365 Challenge?

We are joining in on the challenge proposed by Donna over at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning on their Facebook page. 

We are capturing one photo, one second a day to share with you our 365 days of play! Each day, the photos are being posted to our Facebook page, and once a week, I'll share updates here on the blog.

Monday, January 30, 2012

PreK+K Sharing

PreK + K Sharing

It's the 30th!
That means, I'm posting over at the PreK + K Sharing Blog today!

Hop on over to enjoy my round up and linky party of PAINT!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Winter Sledding Fun!

It's the weekend. There are a ton of things we could be doing....
like dishes, 
laundry, cleaning, etc...

BUT, it is winter, and we only have sunlight for so long....
and honestly, time flies way to fast.... So instead, we went to the park!

We took about a "zillion" new family portraits in the snow.
(A zillion according to Dane that is)

We rocked the hill! The snow was well compact
due to heavy use yesterday in the warm sunshine.
With today's cooler temperatures, the hill was slick,
and our afternoon was filled with giggles!

Here is another video of the same run from another perspective:

I even "got some BIG air!"

We sure had a lot of fun!

The hill takes less than 30 seconds on a good sled on the way down, 
no guarantees on how long it will take to climb back up!

We'll be at the park again tomorrow (Sunday) around 3!!!
It's a public place, you're welcome to come and play too!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Welcome to "Frogger" the Restaurant

I've eaten at a few "exotic" restaurants in my time, 
but I don't think I've ever seen a menu quite like this....
If you are feeling adventurous, perhaps you could visit
 "Frogger" the new restaurant at Child Central Station.
Have you ever tried a giraffe sandwich?
Or perhaps butterfly is more to your liking?
Elephant Stew?
Both African and Indian are available.
They have a full photo menu, so you don't have to worry about any language barriers.
 Dining In is available, and so is Take Out. 
However, the management requires that you remain seated while eating, 
otherwise there is a possibility that you might choke.

Don't forget to save room for dessert!
Each one comes with a "surprise" inside!

Bon Appetit! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

365 Days of Play!

We are joining in on the challenge proposed by Donna over at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning on their Facebook page. 

We are capturing one photo, one second a day to share with you our 365 days of play! Each day, the photos are being posted to our Facebook page, and once a week, I'll share updates here on the blog.

Here are our first 7:

Day One:
Pulling all of the mega blocks out.. one by one!

Day Two:
Sometimes, you just have to dance!

Day Three:
Changing and dressing babies!

Day Four:
Sledding with cousins! (Remember the childcare is only open Monday - Friday!)

Day Five:
Auntie Penguin! 

Day Six:

Day Seven:
Big Bilibo Bellies!

Are you up for the challenge?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Snow Day!

We had our third snow day of the year today!
Unlike a few nights ago, when it was well below zero, today was much warmer.

The snow that keeps falling is heavy and sticky!
It is perfect for sculpting, rolling snow balls, and building forts.

A question was posed on my Facebook wall today:
"What "tools" do you make available for the children to use?"

I'd love to give her more input, than just my own.

What is your favorite thing to do in the snow?  Please join in on the discussion.

You can:
2) Post a Comment Here

Join the Snow Day linky Party!!!!
Do you have a GREAT idea of how to play in the snow?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brrrrrrrrr..... Explorations in the Cold!

It is midnight, and the temperature is negative 2 Fahrenheit.

Most people are snuggled inside, many are sleeping.
If you haven't figured it out yet, we aren't most people.
Where are we?
The world around us is covered in snow, but we thought we would try to make some more.  Allan read or saw this idea a while back and we were waiting for just the right moment to give it a go... and well... tonight was the night!
I apologize for my lack of ability when it comes to good night time videos! I hope you can still see how this works. You need to use extremely hot, boiling water. We brought a pitcher of it outside and poured a small amount into a glass. Then we sent the water flying high into the air... and POOF! It freezes and turns to snow in seconds!

Now, I'm not a fan of extremely cold temperatures... but part of me CANNOT wait until we have temperatures this low during the day so that we can try this activity when the children are here!

Another fun activity for freezing cold temperatures is blowing bubbles! Did you know that they freeze? Unfortunately, none of the photos of the bubbles in the dark turned out. I'll post a few when I capture a good one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


We've been hacked. Apparently, our site was hacked and was causing unintentional malware to be downloaded to folks. This may take a little while to sort out.

All of the posts have been removed for your protection.

If you are looking for something specific, please do not hesitate to email: amyahola@hotmail.com

Each page/post will be restored when it has been found to be virus/malware free.

Please be patient as we work through this issue.

Thank you!



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wintertime Snow -GET OUT and GO! New Professional Development

Winter has finally arrived in the U.P. of Michigan and it looks like it is here to stay!  Are you having a hard time getting excited about being out in the snow? Are you looking for some new ideas and ways to energize the children and your staff about outdoor winter play? 

Well.... you're in luck! Because I am SUPER EXCITED to share my ENTHUSIASM with you for outdoor winter fun!   So, I have created a brand new professional development session:

Wintertime Snow- GET OUT and GO!

We live in a winter wonderland. Let’s face it, getting outside and staying energized in the winter can sometimes be a challenge. Join in for an interactive session packed with activities and tips to get you re-energized about outdoor winter play! We will spend time exploring activities and discussing ways to energize yourself, staff, and the children you work with about our wonderful winter!

So far, I am scheduled to present this session on the following dates and places:

February 13, 2012 - Escanaba, Michigan
February 15, 2012 - Menominee, Michigan
February 20, 2012 - Ontonagon, Michigan
February 21, 2012 - Ironwood, Michigan
February 23, 2012 - Marquette, Michigan
February 28, 2012 - Manistique, Michigan
March 13, 2012 - Iron Mountain, Michigan
March 14, 2012 - Iron River, Michigan
TBD - Houghton, Michigan

Please visit www.4c-up.com for more information and registration.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter is Here!

It appears that winter has finally arrived here in the U.P. of Michigan! Last week, we had some warm sunny days where much of the snow melted. The snow was great for sculpting. The children around here aren't much for making snowmen. They like to be more creative and create snow creatures, aliens, and animals.

The warm weather of last week has been replaced, and rather than a thaw, we are now in the middle of major snow accumulation. The snow is no longer sticky and mold-able, but now it is deep, fluffy, and easily blows around! The cooler temperatures, drifting snow, and constant accumulation have caused a couple of snow days this week, but that sure hasn't kept us inside!
We've made some daily trips to Harlow Park (right down the street), our favorite spot to sled when our sled run is still under construction.
When you live in a climate where you experience an average of 141 inches of snow each year, you find all kinds of ways to enjoy it! After awhile, you also become an expert in choosing the right type of sled for the type of snow and current temperature!  The children love cooperative sledding or "caterpillar" sledding where they sit on one sled, put their legs on the next and each child holds on to each other.

It is kind of like a train of saucers and sleds.... They love it!  When the snow is a little more compact and there is a bit of ice glaze over the top, swimming pools are definitely the way to go for cooperative sledding! (You can learn more about this by clicking on this post from last year.)
Mr Allan has been working to stock pile snow off the end of our parking pad. I'm sure the neighbors are enjoying the extra help he has been giving while removing the snow on their sidewalks to add to our hill! A couple more days of snow like this, and our sled run will be in business!

Now that winter has finally arrived... LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!

My friend died

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