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 Visit to the Euro Space Center!

A friend recently moved to Belgium and suggested we meet a little over halfway to his place, at the Euro Space Center in Libin, Belgium. I couldn't tell what to expect from their website, but the good news was kids under 6 were free, and an audio tour was included in the basic entry price. Also, at about 2 hours from Mainz, it met our 'stop for gas and food' requirements.

After 2 enjoyable hours touring the Center, I highly suggest a visit! The audioguide was very engaging. The story focused mostly on the Western history of space travel, with bits of culture and historical context woven in. Somehow, miraculously, the whole tour captured & kept the attention of 3/4 of the kids (ages 2-4)! There was a nice mix of video, audio, and tactical components, and enough space for little people to run around. We found a very light crowd at the time we went - late afternoon.

A couple of school groups had formal tours arranged and got to try some of the interactive simulations, whi…

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…

3 Perfect Days in Porto

We recently returned from a very relaxed 5 day trip to Porto, Portugal. Although flight times were a bit on the odd-hours side, we chose Ryanair - 50% cheaper than any other airline to fly, even with car park and seat reservations! We used the extra savings to rent a car & car seats (I'm quickly becoming a fan of Enterprise. They consistently have the lowest prices, and this time even installed the car seats for us!). For 700 euros, we had flights and a car for a family of 4, not bad.

The car came in handy as we stayed a little outside of town at a gorgeous apartment by the marina. There was plenty of parking and a Lidl within short driving distance - plus the hosts left us a few bites & port, a fun surprise!

You can easily Uber around as well - it's by far the cheapest and fastest method of transport, even compared to driving in and paying for parking. Porto really felt like a great value for excellent food, tourist activities, and parking in town. If we'd had mor…