Category Archives: holidays

Fun Kids Activities for EARTH DAY 2016

Kid-friendly Earth Day events in Los Angeles area

Did you know…

  • an oil spill in California inspired Earth Day
  • the first Earth Day was 47 years ago
  • Earth Day was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin
  • the date of April 22 was chosen in part to commemorate naturalist and conservationalist John Muir, who was born April 21, 1838
  • Earth Day is now being observed in 194 countries, with more than 500 million people participating in events

April 22, Earth Day, is a party for our planet.  There are a variety of events celebrating Mother Earth over the next couple weeks in the local Los Angeles and South Bay area. Many of these are great, fun events for kids to learn how to be eco-friendly.

Here are just a few in the Los Angeles area:

STAR Eco Station Earth Day

Sunday, April 17 10am – 4pm
16th Annual Children’s Earth Day
STAR EcoStation
10101 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City
Activities include children’s exhibits, environmental presentations, eco-friendly food, arts a d crafts, games, celebrity guests, displays and more than 200 rescued exotic animal and eco-friendly vendors.

 

Saturday, April 23 8am – Noon
Earth Day Recycling Event
Toyota Employee Parkig Lot
190th and Van Ness Ave, Torrance
Teach your children to recycle.  Featured are free paper shredding, free electronics and clothes drop-off, and used oil recycling and filter exchange.

earthfest-604w

Saturday, April 23 – Noon – 4:00 pm
Earth Day Fest
Westside Park
3085 Clyde Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Activities for all ages, including these kid-friendly ones:

  • STAR Eco Station’s “Why it’s not cool to keep exotic animals in the home”
    Show times: 12:30 and 2:00
    Space is limited for these shows so RSVP here.
  • Face Painting
  • Earth-friendly arts & crafts

 

aquarium-great-hall-earth-dayWeekend of April 23–24 – 9 am – 5 pm
Earth Day Festival 
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 90802
Learn what you can do to help our ocean planet at the aquarium’s 15th annual Earth Day festival. Join us for a weekend of family fun celebrating the Earth while learning easy, everyday tips to protect the environment. Visit booths from various Earth-friendly organizations and participate in hands-on learning demonstrations for people of all ages. An aquarium admission fee will be charged, but the event is free for Aquarium of the Pacific members.

polliwog-park

Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Earth Day Celebration and Concert Earth Day
Polliwog Park
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach 90266
Enjoy live entertainment, speakers and presentations on the Eco-Education State, a composting class, children’s activities, an eco-shopping area, free bike valet parking, food and beverage vendors, an alternative fuel vehicle display, e-waste and printer toner cartridge recycling, and more.

Sunday, May 1 – begins at 10am
Long Beach Children’s Day and Earth Day
El Dorado Park
7550 E. Spring St, Long Beach 90815
The event, now in its 20th year, will be filled with fun, uplifting, and educational activities. Enjoy arts and crafts and lots of games, too. Guests can enjoy food booths and two entertainment stages. A children’s parade inside the park begins at 1 p.m.

 

Happy Halloween, Birthday Ghouls and Boys!

Happy Halloween!
Image from eurobricks.com

Was your child born on October 31? Throw a Halloween birthday party mash-up for your little ghoul or boy!

Add our secret ingredients, entertainment by playparty.net and DIY race car driver and LEGO brick costumes. Celebrate with a few tricks and lots of treats. Here’s how…

 

Race Car Driver Halloween Costume

Book the Ultimate Race Car Party.  Then, go from 0 to 50 in a jiffy with this easy homemade costume from Real Simple.

Materials

  • Track suit or matching sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • Baseball cap or painter’s hat
  • Black and white checkered duct tape
  • Black masking tape
  • Race car iron-on patch
  • Race car stickers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White ribbon (about 2 yards)
  • Black ribbon (about 2 yards)
  • Dowel

Jacket

Affix a length of the checkered duct tape down the middle of each sleeve. Use the black masking tape to make a horizontal stripe across the middle of the jacket. Glue the iron-on patch to the front of the jacket on the top left side.

Pants

Affix a length of the checkered duct tape along the side seams of each pant leg. Start from the waist and work your way down to the hem.

Cap

Decorate the front of the cap with the checkered duct tape, black masking tape and race car stickers.

Flag

Cut strips of black and white ribbon to the desired length of the flag. Weave the ribbons together and glue at each end. Cut off excess. Cut and sand the dowel. Glue ribbon flag to the dowel.

MetroWest-Mamas added a few special touches of their own.

More ideas for kid's race car driver costume
Image from metrowest-mamas.com

Shoes

Sneakers or slip-ons go great with this costume. Checkered duct tape and race car stickers are optional embellishments. Even better if your kid already has a pair of Lightning McQueen sneakers or slippers!

Trick or Treat Bag

As a birthday present for your little speedster, get the Neat-Oh! Hot Wheels ZipBin Wheelie Car Case. The perfect accessory, it completes the race car driver costume and holds plenty of Halloween goodies. When Trick or Treat is over, it’s a storage case and two-lane race track.

 

LEGO Brick Halloween Costume

LEGO Brick Costume
Image from countryliving.com

Book the Best LEGO Birthday Party.  Then, check out Country Living‘s directions for turning an ordinary cardboard box into a fun costume for the LEGO brick lover in your house.

Materials

Cardboard box, about 16” W X 29” H X 11” D
Utility knife
Packing tape
8 round craft boxes, 2” H X 4” diameter
Wood glue
Spray paint

Instructions

1. Cut off the bottom flaps of the box with a utility knife. Tape down the top flaps.

2. To create openings for your child’s head and arms, trace a dinner plate on the top of the box and saucers on each side of the box. Cut out the holes with the utility knife.

3. Place the box on a flat, hard surface. Use wood glue to affix the round craft boxes — without lids— in a 2 X 4 arrangement, as shown. Make sure the bottoms of the craft boxes face out.

4. Allow the glue to set. Then, spray-paint the entire box a bright, glossy color. Let dry and apply multiple coats as necessary.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

Visit us again soon for more kid’s birthday ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Birthday-mas?  The Joy of Holiday Birthdays

If your child was born between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, you’ve probably encountered at least one Scrooge who considers holiday birthdays a curse or a tragedy.  Pay no mind.  Holiday birthdays are delightful!

christmas-birthday-cake

Remember:  We celebrate birthdays to rejoice in the life of someone we love.  So, focus on your child’s preferences and make the occasion memorable.  Establish your own family
traditions.  Let your kid shine on his or her special day.

Keep reading for ideas wrapped up just for you, courtesy of Playparty.net, about how to make holiday birthdays magical.

Rituals are important

H. Ann Myers advises parents to “make birthdays equal”, especially when there are two or more children in the household.  Be sure to include the rituals that are part of all other family birthdays.  Serve birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday”—even if it’s December 25th.

Allow the birthday child to set the menu for the birthday meal.  Linda DiProperzi has two rules for post-Thanksgiving birthdays:  (1) no leftover turkey; and (2) no pumpkin pie with a candle stuck in it.

Create a “Birthday Zone”

If you’ve decked the halls with boughs of holly, create a “Birthday Zone” somewhere in your home.  Linda suggests hanging  banners in the birthday child’s bedroom, or putting balloons in the bathroom and writing “Happy Birthday” on the mirror.

Time shift the party

It’s not easy to plan a birthday party at the end of the year.  Some of your child’s friends will be away on vacation or busy with Christmas festivities.  Sarah Dees recommends “having a party a few weeks before or after the birthday” to avoid the holidays.

A half-birthday party is another option.  Some parents have a small family celebration on the birthday and a bigger party in the spring or summer.  Rose Richmond has three
children, all born in December.  When they were old enough to make a decision, Rose permitted each child to choose when and how to celebrate his or her birthday.  Rose’s kids
enjoyed planning their own birthday activities.  You might find that your daughter wants a June swim party while your son hankers for a backyard camp out in September.

Laura Amann provides perspective. “No one solution is perfect for everyone. Some kids resist celebrating on any day but their actual birthday, while some enjoy having a day that doesn’t involve the holiday.  It may take a few years to get it right.”

Consider other activities

Sarah believes that “kids don’t need a party every year”.  She “saves the big parties” for when her sons are five- and ten- years old.  Other birthdays are celebrated with a fun,
casual outing such as a visit to the zoo or lunch at a favorite restaurant.

Sarah also describes a tradition of family members gathering to view photographs and home videos.  Each person in turn shares something he or she loves about the birthday child.

Rose takes the birthday child to his or her favorite place and invites friends to join them there. “One year we took all of the kids ice skating.”  In lieu of gifts, Rose asks “everyone to come and spend time with the birthday person.”

What about gifts?

Gifts can be tricky.  Some December-borns feel that combination Christmas-birthday gifts are unfair.  On the other hand, receiving two rounds of gifts within a few weeks can be overwhelming, especially for younger kids.  Every family eventually finds a way to resolve the gift-giving dilemma.  Here are a few examples.

Laura says, “Everyone deserves separate birthday recognition.”  Never use holiday wrapping paper for birthday gifts and don’t put birthday gifts under the tree.  If the birthday falls on a gift-giving holiday, Linda suggests, “Carve out some special time when only she will be opening presents.”

For Christmas, Ann and her husband give smaller gifts to all of their kids.  In their household, birthday gifts are larger, more personal and more meaningful.  “The birthday gift has to be thoughtful, an expression of love, a message that we understand our son’s individual personality.”

Sarah keeps all of her kids’ birthdays “simple as far as gifts go.”  With her youngest son who was born on January 3rd, she planned a family activity for his birthday and postponed gift-giving until his half-birthday in July.

You may need to intervene if Aunt Mary gives a combination gift to the child with the holiday birthday while siblings receive separate gifts.  Sarah suggests tactfully asking Aunt Mary to combine gifts for all of the children in the family.

Wrapping it up

Celebrate your child’s birthday AND the holidays in the way that’s best for your family.  As Ann says, what’s most important is to “put your child first and make him or her feel
special.”