Skip to main content

Weekend Activity Packs for Gray Days

It's been a gray winter 'round these parts. Between the dreary skies and endless rain, it's been tough to get out of bed in the mornings. It's so dark! The upside, I suppose, is any moment the sun comes out, we run outside like we haven't seen it in years. So that's fun.

Now that the kids are old enough for joint activities, we've discovered a few fun interactive things to do. My favorite - and something I don't remember being around when I was a kid - are ironing beads. I bought the space set by Hama (in the US, it's easier to find the Perler beads brand) along with a glow in the dark set to go with it.

The space set came with beads in all the colors you would need to make the mobile pictured on the box, with easy to follow patterns. The beads did not come sorted, but it wasn't a huge hassle to find the ones I wanted (the kids, however, quickly lost interest in this bit).  We got two sets - the Hama Glow in the Dark Ironing Beads and a space kit:

We've spent 4 mornings already, building pieces for the mobile while listening to NPR (now that's what I call STEM learning...). The kit has only whetted the kids' and my appetite for making more. There is something really calming about placing tiny beads on a pegboard - either at random or to a pattern. And I appreciate that the end result is a mobile we can hang in their room, and enjoy for years to come as something we did together - and that just required a bit of concentration and focused time together.

I was always a bit skeptical of craft kits - are they really worth the money? In this case, it's a resounding yes. It would make a great gift or 'winter blues' activity for the 3+ set.

Note - this post contains affiliate links


Popular posts from this blog

A Perfect Day in Baden-Baden

I just returned from a perfect Saturday afternoon spent in Baden-Baden, a well-heeled town nestled in the Black Forest, in the state of Baden-Wurttemburg. B-B is an easy 1.5 hour train ride from Frankfurt, and if you book in advance, can cost around 50 euros per person (you can also take 4 friends along via the budget/scenic route - 3 hours - on the Happy Weekend ticket, only 40 euros total).

The B-B train station is just outside of town. The 201 bus runs into town every 10 minutes, and it's a 13 minute ride to the main square, Leopoldsplatz. From there, catch either the 204 or 205 to Merkurwald, a good starting point for a Black Forest hike. As you head up the hill, take note of the homes - or rather villas - that pepper the side of the road, and the forest in the background! At the end of the line, you'll reach the foot of Merkur Mountain. You can pay 4 euros for a roundtrip ticket up the funicular railway (bergbahn), or hike up and train down, as we did (2 euros), so as to e…

Lessons...after the NY Bar exam

The number one thing I learned from this bar exam experience is that there is not enough information available about the "exam experience". Why law schools don't offer pertinent information on what to expect is beyond me... but I thought I'd document the few lessons I learned over the past couple of days. I took the NY Bar in Manhattan, at the Jacob Javits Center. It's a good 20-minute walk from Penn Station, so plan travel accordingly. The two days can be exhausting, even though it's broken up into 4, 3-hour segments of exams. Some random notes to know:
There is a coat check. It costs $3 per item. It is horrendously inefficient, so if you can avoid using it, your life will be greatly improved. Note, you can access your bags at no cost (how generous!) during the lunch break, but if you take your bag out, you will have to pay again. Ah, nickel and diming.There is a Starbucks in the Javits Center. One. The line gets long, the prices are jacked up, but it's c…

A Perfect Afternoon in Brussels

Brussels is a short 3 hours by ICE from Frankfurt, and a nice change of scenery from the big city. Although bustling in its own right, Brussels was peaceful at 9:30 am, when my train arrived. Most shops were closed, but luckily Dandoy's breakfast stand was open - perfect, to warm up and eat a waffle. Although I didn't taste their delicious-looking, but extremely pricey "handmade" biscuits, my waffle and fruit sauce hit the spot!

The Grand Place in Brussels, which appeared to be the centerpoint for tourists like myself, is simply stunning. Even on a dreary gray day, the gold-leafed buildings seemed to glimmer a little more brightly and were a nice change from the dark stone buildings in the Marktplatz of many German towns we've seen. I walked around the square to take it all in, snapped a few pictures, and headed up to see the Manneken Pis and his costume of the day. Definitely a tourist trap, but also only a 10 minute walk from the Grand Place, so why not?

On the…