LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis 2014 and a LEGO® Linky

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LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis 2014 and a LEGO® Linky

LEGO® KidsFest

LEGO® KidsFest

LEGO® KidsFest is coming to Indianapolis, November 7 – 9, 2014. I am so excited to be able to attend this year. The event is being held at the Indianapolis Convention Center. The Convention Center will be packed with tons of fun building opportunities and exhibits. There will be three acres of space providing lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO® models and displays and much more. Check out some of the awesome activities here.

Sometimes these events sell out so you might want to get your tickets early. As a matter of fact, at the time of this posting there is limited availability for Saturday, Session 2. To avoid long lines and sell outs click this link to purchase your tickets now: http://www.legokidsfest.com/indianapolis/tickets.html
There will be no tickets to sell at the door once a session is listed as “sold out”.

LEGO® Linky

LEGO® KidsFest learning fun.

Since my blog is all about fun learning activities, I thought this would be the perfect time to host my first Linky. LEGO® building blocks can be used for so many learning activities. They are great for developing fine motor skills. They can be used for sorting. I have seen them used for teaching and reinforcing math skills such as graphing or addition and subtraction. And let’s not forget they are great for learning to follow instructions and constructing things. You might have a budding architect on your hands.

For this link up I want to see all things LEGO®. Whether you are doing arts and crafts with LEGO® building blocks or doing math, please link your post here. Whatever type of learning activity you do with LEGO® building blocks, please share it. I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful ideas you guys have.

By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post to feature you on my site or through social media sites such as Pinterest. Pictures will only be used to feature the post that you shared and will always contain a link directly to your blog.



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Pumpkins are Orange; and Other Learning Concepts

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I thought I would take another object of the season and give you different learning activities that you can do while you are enjoying this time of year. Yes, some of the ideas are very basic and may seem obvious but sometimes when we are busy with house cleaning, cooking, baths, homework and may even work outside the home, a little extra help coming up with fun educational activities can be quite useful.

Learning Concepts: colors, senses, math concepts: size comparison, measurements, fine motor skills, biblical, reading

Colors

A lot of learning comes from simply talking with your child and challenging them to take a look at their surroundings. When you go to pick out your pumpkins this year discuss with your child the colors they see. The obvious color they will mention, when looking at a pumpkin, is that it’s orange but there are probably other colors on it too. Some of them have green spots or possibly dirt stuck on it. What color is the stem? Is it brown or is it still green? If you are in a pumpkin patch, the vines may still be laying around. Are they still green or have they turned brown? Possibly some of the leaves on the vines have turned yellow. Just keep talking and encouraging your child to take in the sights that surround them.

Pumpkins are Orange ')">

Pumpkins are Orange

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Arts/Crafts

Click here and you can get a template of a pumpkin to print out and have your child color or paint it. After your child has applied the color, cut out some eyes, noses and mouths. Let your child decide what kind of facial features they want to put on their pumpkin. If you have children that cover a wide age span, let the older ones cut out the facial features for the little ones.

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Size Comparison

Do you have more than one child in your house? Did you purchase more than one pumpkin for your front porch? Take the time to talk about the different sizes you have. Have your child point out the biggest one and the smallest one. Is there a middle size one? Even some of the fast food restaurants don’t realize that you can’t have a middle size if there isn’t a large and a small one.

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Biblical

There are many interesting ways to incorporate biblical lessons in the fun activities you are doing. Here is a fun one that you can do while carving your pumpkins this Halloween.

Materials
Large pumpkin and a carving knife.

Object Lesson on Prayer
{cut off top of pumpkin}
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about You.
{remove innards}
Remove the things in my life that don’t please You.
Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.
{cut open eyes}
Open my eyes to see the beauty You’ve made in the world around me.
{cut out nose}
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food You provide.
{cut out mouth}
Let everything I say please You.
{light the candle}
Lord, help me show Your light to others through the things I do. Amen

Inspired by the children’s book, “The Pumpkin Patch Parable”, by Liz Curtis Higgs

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Sensory Play/Fine Motor Skills

While you are busy carving that pumpkin, let you child have some fun with sensory play. Believe it or not squishing the slimy inside of a pumpkin and picking out the slick seeds are great for their senses and fine motor skills. Why is sensory play so important to children? As Amanda Morgan explains on her blog, NotJustCute, children are wired to use their senses from the day they are born. Amanda says, “The senses are their most familiar, most basic way to explore, process, and come to understand new information.”

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Measurements

Is there any better way to learn about measurements than by cooking with your family? And just think, when you are done with this math lesson, you get to eat the results!

There are many types of math skills involved in cooking. If your children are younger, just having them count is good for them. If you need 2 cups of flour, have the child count along. If your child is older, then cooking is a good way to introduce and strengthen their skills with fractions. If you need one cup of sugar, ask your child how many half cups would equal one cup.

The following recipe is one that my niece brought home from school when she was in the second grade. It became a family standard and we call it Stephanie’s Sweet Pumpkin Bread.

Stephanie’s Sweet Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
½ cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup cooked pumpkin
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 ¾ cups molasses
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions:
1. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat well.
2. Add the water, oil, pumpkin, molasses and brown sugar. Beat well.
3. Sift in the flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
4. Stir all the ingredients well.
5. Grease two loaf pans. Pour the batter into the pans. Be careful not to fill them more than 2/3’s full
6. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350°.
7. Let the bread cool in the pans for at least 15 minutes before removing.

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Great pumpkin books:

Speaking of great pumpkin books, how about the book about the Great Pumpkin:
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” by Charles M. Schulz
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is a wonderful book that should be shared from generation to generation.

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins because she had to eat tons of pumpkins when she was young. She doesn’t even want to look at a pumpkin. So how does she end up with a yard full of pumpkins and what does she do with them? Read this fun little book and find out.

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is a light-hearted look at the life cycle of a pumpkin named Jack. The plant’s cycle throughout the seasons is told in a simple, easy to understand, way.

Dr. Pompo’s Nose by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is one of my favorite pumpkin books. I read this to my preschool classes every year and they loved it. It is written in rhyme, which I love. The way Freymann and Elffers carve facial features into the pumpkins, to give them personality, is absolutely adorable. Your child will enjoy helping Dr. Pompo figure out what the lost stem might actually be.

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Related Posts
A is for Apple: You Can Learn More Than Your ABC’s from Apples
Thanksgiving Learning Activities
Thanksgiving Fun with Turkeys

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October Family Friendly Events 2014

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October Family Friendly Events 2014

Here come the October Family Friendly Events. October is my birth month and it’s also my blog’s birth month. My blog is celebrating it’s third year….me?….well, I’m a little older. Thanks to everyone that follows me. I hope that I am giving you some of the help you are looking for while enjoying the children in your life.

Fall has arrived and, with it, many autumn activities; apple picking, choosing a pumpkin, jumping in leaves and so much more. Below are listed the activities I have found, for the Indianapolis area, for you to enjoy with your family. Be sure to check back often because I will add things as I find them. Follow Love to Laugh and Learn on Facebook for reminders and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions of things you would like to see me cover.

I’ve listed several of the orchards and pumpkin patches that I am aware of for our area. Just click on the name of the orchard or pumpkin patch and it will take you to their site to learn more about their activities for this month. If you aren’t from the Indianapolis area, please leave a comment about the pumpkin patch or orchard that you enjoy visiting during the fall. And if you are from the Indianapolis area and you realize I have missed a special place please let me know.

Fun Places to Go in October:

Beasley’s Orchard & Gardens Danville, IN
Kelsey Farms Whiteland, IN
Lark Ranch Greenfield, IN
Piney Acres Fortville, IN
Smith Family Farms Pendleton, IN
Stony Creek Farm Noblesville, IN
Stuckey’s Farm Market Sheridan, IN
Tuttle Orchards Greenfield, IN
Waterman’s Family Farm 2 locations: Indianapolis & Greenwood, IN

More Fun Things to Do:

October 22
Wednesday

Visit Peewinkles Puppet Studio and let Witch Gertrude introduce you to her ghoulish friends on strings. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Peewinkles Puppet Studio
25 E. Henry Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Tickets: Weekdays $10, Weekends $12, Under two, free.
Optional post show workshop $3 (purchase in studio after show)
10:00 a.m. & Noon

Crouching Tigers: Ages 2 to 7 years

Crouching Tigers: Ages 2 to 7 years

Free Martial Arts Class, Presented by Crouching Tigers
If you haven’t heard of Crouching Tigers, it is a mobile fitness and martial arts program for children 2 to 7 years of age. The program is dedicated to the physical, emotional and social development of children.
Today your child has the opportunity of experiencing the fun for free.
The event will take place at the College Avenue Library at 10:30 a.m.
4180 N. College Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46205
The classes fill up quickly so register now at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/crouching-tigers-7301359235
If you would like to learn more about Crouching Tigers, please check out my review: Crouching Tigers Review: Martial Arts for Little Ones

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:00 p.m.

October 23
Thursday

Visit Peewinkles Puppet Studio and let Witch Gertrude introduce you to her ghoulish friends on strings. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Peewinkles Puppet Studio
25 E. Henry Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Tickets: Weekdays $10, Weekends $12, Under two, free.
Optional post show workshop $3 (purchase in studio after show)
10:00 a.m. & Noon

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Recommended for children who dare to be scared
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

How about a visit to “Conner Scairie” this October? It’s time to elect a new mayor and they need your help. You can learn more about each of the candidates by clicking here: Meet the Candidates. You will have fun with each and every one of them as you decide who you want to vote for. Also, don’t forget the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride. If you have younger children, arrive early and take the hayride before the sun goes down. Once the sun sets, it adds a more chilling dimension to the ride (and I’m not talking temperatures). You will take a haunted hayride through the woods. Somewhere along the way the Headless Horseman will appear and ride up next to the wagon. Be sure to read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, by Washington Irving, with your child before you head out on this adventure. The story can be found written for many different reading levels.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

October 24
Friday

Sleeping Beauty at Beef and Boards. Are you ready to introduce your child to the wonderful world of live drama? Beef and Boards has an awesome children’s program. The classic fairy tale of a princess that is doomed to sleep for 100 years, until her Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss. The show is one hour long with no intermission. A drink and snack are included with your admission.
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Showtimes: 10:00 a.m. (doors open 30 minutes prior to show)
$15.50 per person

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Family Friendly Events - ZooBoo

Family Friendly Events – ZooBoo

Stop by the Indianapolis Zoo for their annual Halloween event, ZooBoo!
The event provides safe, family friendly Halloween activities. Their regular rides have been spruced up and decorated for the holiday. For added fun, have your little one wear their costume and bring a treat bag for some trick-or-treating. Everyone is welcome to dress up but
the zoo asks that no one over the age of 12 wear a full face mask. This is too keep from scaring the little ones.
1200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Recommended for children who dare to be scared
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

How about a visit to “Conner Scairie” this October? It’s time to elect a new mayor and they need your help. You can learn more about each of the candidates by clicking here: Meet the Candidates. You will have fun with each and every one of them as you decide who you want to vote for. Also, don’t forget the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride. If you have younger children, arrive early and take the hayride before the sun goes down. Once the sun sets, it adds a more chilling dimension to the ride (and I’m not talking temperatures). You will take a haunted hayride through the woods. Somewhere along the way the Headless Horseman will appear and ride up next to the wagon. Be sure to read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, by Washington Irving, with your child before you head out on this adventure. The story can be found written for many different reading levels.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Visit Peewinkles Puppet Studio and let Witch Gertrude introduce you to her ghoulish friends on strings. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Peewinkles Puppet Studio
25 E. Henry Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Tickets: Weekdays $10, Weekends $12, Under two, free.
Optional post show workshop $3 (purchase in studio after show)
6:30 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
William’s Comfort Air’s Xtreme Scream
This is not for the faint of heart. Only the super brave should attempt this feat.
Youth under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

October 25
Saturday

Sleeping Beauty at Beef and Boards. Are you ready to introduce your child to the wonderful world of live drama? Beef and Boards has an awesome children’s program. The classic fairy tale of a princess that is doomed to sleep for 100 years, until her Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss. The show is one hour long with no intermission. A drink and snack are included with your admission.
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Showtimes: 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. (doors open 30 minutes prior to show)
$15.50 per person

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Visit Peewinkles Puppet Studio and let Witch Gertrude introduce you to her ghoulish friends on strings. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Peewinkles Puppet Studio
25 E. Henry Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Tickets: $12, Under two, free.
Optional post show workshop $3 (purchase in studio after show)
10:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Family Friendly Events: Bongo Boy Music School

Family Friendly Events: Bongo Boy Music School

Kid’s Rhythm Club – Shake, Rattle & Roll – for ages from the Womb to 36 Months
Bongo Boys Music School has added a new event! Shake, Rattle & Roll for the little ones in your family. You are never too young (or too old) to get your groove on. All materials, instruments & drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parent’s are free)

Kid’s Rhythm Club for Ages 3 – 12 yrs old
Do your children love beating on pots and pans?…using your end table as a drum? Check out the Kid’s Rhythm Club at Bongo Boy Music School every Saturday. Children will explore rhythm making and rhythm making games. Recommended ages are for kids 3-12 but all ages are welcome. Older kids and parents play supportive rhythms while younger kids explore rhythm on various instruments. Parents must stay with their children and are encouraged to participate.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parent’s are free)

Free crafts for kids every Saturday at the Lakeshore Learning Store. This Saturday your child will be able to make a Spooky Sweets Holder. Lakeshore is an Educational Store that has wonderful toys and craft supplies for use at home or in the classroom.
1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free

Stop by the Indianapolis Zoo for their annual Halloween event, ZooBoo!
The event provides safe, family friendly Halloween activities. Their regular rides have been spruced up and decorated for the holiday. For added fun, have your little one wear their costume and bring a treat bag for some trick-or-treating. Everyone is welcome to dress up but the zoo asks that no one over the age of 12 wear a full face mask. This is too keep from scaring the little ones.
1200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Recommended for children who dare to be scared
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

How about a visit to “Conner Scairie” this October? It’s time to elect a new mayor and they need your help. You can learn more about each of the candidates by clicking here: Meet the Candidates. You will have fun with each and every one of them as you decide who you want to vote for. Also, don’t forget the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride. If you have younger children, arrive early and take the hayride before the sun goes down. Once the sun sets, it adds a more chilling dimension to the ride (and I’m not talking temperatures). You will take a haunted hayride through the woods. Somewhere along the way the Headless Horseman will appear and ride up next to the wagon. Be sure to read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, by Washington Irving, with your child before you head out on this adventure. The story can be found written for many different reading levels.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
William’s Comfort Air’s Xtreme Scream
This is not for the faint of heart. Only the super brave should attempt this feat.
Youth under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

October 26
Sunday

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Visit Peewinkles Puppet Studio and let Witch Gertrude introduce you to her ghoulish friends on strings. Lots of fun for the whole family.
Peewinkles Puppet Studio
25 E. Henry Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Tickets: $12, Under two, free.
Optional post show workshop $3 (purchase in studio after show)
1:00 & 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the Indianapolis Zoo for their annual Halloween event, ZooBoo!
The event provides safe, family friendly Halloween activities. Their regular rides have been spruced up and decorated for the holiday. For added fun, have your little one wear their costume and bring a treat bag for some trick-or-treating. Everyone is welcome to dress up but
the zoo asks that no one over the age of 12 wear a full face mask. This is too keep from scaring the little ones.
1200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Spooky Fun at Conner Prairie: Rhythm Collage

Spooky Fun at Conner Prairie: Rhythm Collage

How about a visit to “Conner Scairie” this October? It’s time to elect a new mayor and they need your help. You can learn more about each of the candidates by clicking here: Meet the Candidates. You will have fun with each and every one of them as you decide who you want to vote for. Also, don’t forget the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride. If you have younger children, arrive early and take the hayride before the sun goes down. Once the sun sets, it adds a more chilling dimension to the ride (and I’m not talking temperatures). You will take a haunted hayride through the woods. Somewhere along the way the Headless Horseman will appear and ride up next to the wagon. Be sure to read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, by Washington Irving, with your child before you head out on this adventure. The story can be found written for many different reading levels.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

October 27
Monday

Free Community Drum Circle for Special Needs at Bongo Boy Music School
This event is open to families, music and recreational therapists & their clients, and organizations working with children and adults with special needs. It is a requirement that caregivers/therapists stay with their family members/clients and that the ratio stay at one caregiver to two family members/clients. This is so the instructors can more easily lead the group and keep things fun and moving. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO. So beat a path to Bongo Boys Music School, on Monday, for a drumming good time.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
6:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Free

October 29
Wednesday

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Recommended for children who dare to be scared
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

October 30
Thursday

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Recommended for children who dare to be scared
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

October 31
Friday

Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Creepy Carnival Haunted House
IPL’s Lights On Hours
Recommended for children who scare easily.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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Related Posts

Spooky Fun at Conner Prairie, Review
The Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie, Review
Love to Laugh and Learn at the Apple Orchard

 

 

 

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Crouching Tigers Review: Martial Arts for Little Ones

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Crouching Tigers Review: Martial Arts for Little Ones

I was given the opportunity to observe one of the free classes that Crouching Tigers is currently offering at local libraries. If you haven’t heard of Crouching Tigers, it is a mobile fitness and martial arts program for children 2 to 7 years of age. The program is dedicated to the physical, emotional and social development of children.

I must admit to you that I have never been particularly interested in the martial arts. I never considered getting my children involved with them and have watched very little of it, but I realized that some of you might be interested, so I headed off to Glendale Library to observe the free class.

First Observation

If you are interested in your child participating, register them as soon as possible. These classes are popular and have been filling up.

Second Observation

Olivia Spahn, Founder, President and instructor, of Crouching Tigers, is AMAZING with children. She possesses the love, understanding and enthusiasm that few have when it comes to young ones.

Third Observation

The curriculum is well written for the young child. Each class is 30 to 45 minutes long. It is broken up into 5 sessions:

  1. Fitness and stretches
  2. Life-skills
  3. Martial arts
  4. Awareness and self-defense
  5. Games involving current lesson

There are a few brief instructions with demonstrations given of each session. Then the child is able to use the skill just taught. The sessions move along quickly which helps to keep their attention. It is emphasized to the children that these new skills are not to be used on friends and family.

Pictures from the Event

Crouching Tigers Review: Ages 2 to 7 years

Crouching Tigers Review: Ages 2 to 7 years

 

 

Ages 2 to 7 years old enjoying the class together.

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Kicks

Crouching Tigers Review: Kicks

Crouching Tigers Review: Kicks

 

Crouching Tigers Review: Punches

Crouching Tigers Review: Punches

 

Learning Punches

 

 

 

 

My Conclusions

Olivia Spahn has done an outstanding job in the writing of the curriculum for Crouching Tigers. She obviously has an understanding of the young child’s short attention span and has effectively used that in the creation of her program.

Although, I can’t say I have found passion for the martial arts because of what I observed, I can say I am quite interested in the offerings of Crouching Tigers. I would love to get my great-nephew and, eventually, my grandson into one of their learning cycles. I believe they would have a lot of fun and would come away with some great life skills.

Your Opportunity

Currently, Crouching Tigers takes place in childcare centers, elementary schools and community centers in the Indianapolis and Cincinnati areas. If you do not live in one of those locations then you can check into starting your own franchise. Click here for more information on franchising. Classes start at just $45 for a four-week session, the program allows children to study eight styles of martial arts over the course of a four-year rotating curriculum.

If you live in the Indianapolis area, you still have a few more opportunities for your child to participate in one of the free classes they are offering at local libraries.

  • The Learning Curve@Central Library on Friday, October 17 at 11:00 a.m. (40 E. Saint Clair St.)
  • College Avenue Library on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. (4180 N. College Ave.)
  • Fountain Square Library on Monday, Nov. 10 at 11:00 a.m. (1066 Virginia Ave.)

Classes fill up quickly so register now at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/crouching-tigers-7301359235

I enjoyed my experience with Crouching Tigers. I’m sure you will too. Please stop back by and share your child’s experience.

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LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis 2014, Ticket Give Away

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LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis 2014, Ticket Give Away

 

***Update 10/17/14 Congratulations to Tania. She is the winner of the 2 tickets to the opening night of LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis, Friday, November 7, 2014, 4-8:30pm. For anyone still wanting to attend the event, tickets are selling out quickly. Get yours today. http://www.legokidsfest.com/indianapolis/
Indianapolis Convention Center
Halls I, J & K
100 S Capitol Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Disclaimer: I was given 4 tickets to attend the opening night of LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis as well as 2 tickets to use in a give-away. However, I was not influenced by the promotional materials. All opinions and insights are my own.

Please excuse my formality as I will be calling our beloved building toy by their formal name: LEGO® building bricks. This is a sponsored post and I have been informed that these wonderful little pieces are not called Legos or LEGOs but LEGO® bricks. Of course, those of us that grew up playing with them and watching our children and now our grandchildren play with them; we know what they are REALLY called. As stated above: “All opinions and insights are my own.” :)

I am very excited to have the opportunity to attend the LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis. Have you ever been to one of their events? It is packed with tons of fun building opportunities and exhibits. There will be three acres of space providing lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays and much more. I am amazed at the creations that people build out of these little bricks.

LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis

LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis

Sometimes these events sell out so you might want to get your tickets early. Click this link to purchase your tickets now: http://www.legokidsfest.com/indianapolis/tickets.html

One of MY followers will win (2) tickets to for the opening night session on Friday, November 7, 2014 (4-8:30pm). I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities. Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

Click this statement to enter the drawing for 2 admission tickets: I Want to Win 2 Tickets to LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis!

Good luck! I hope to see you there!

Fun Trivia

More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949. (These little building bricks are just 11 years older than I am. How’s your math?)

The LEGO minifigure represents the world’s largest population of people! More than four billion minifigures have been produced in the last 30 years. This is almost 12 times the population of the United States!

Laid end to end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times around the world.

With a production of about 306 million tires produced a year, the LEGO group is the largest producer of tires in the world.

LEGO is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”. (Sounds like the LEGO® Corporation has the same feeling about learning that I do. It should be fun!)

“Leg Godt!”

LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis

LEGO® KidsFest Indianapolis 2014

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Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival Review

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Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival Review

Are you looking for some fun fall activities; apple picking, some interactive fun, a wagon ride or a pumpkin patch? How about all of that in one place? You will want to check out Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival Collage

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival Collage

Stuckey Farm has been one of my favorite apple orchards for many years. I first started going there on field trips with preschool classes. My husband loves it because he can pick his favorite apple there; the McIntosh.

This is Stuckey’s second year of celebrating fall with a Harvest Festival. We missed it last year but are really glad that we were able to attend this time. With our 3 year old great-nephew in tow, we headed off to the festival. The weather conditions weren’t the best. As you can tell from this picture it was a “little” windy, which made it very cold (therefore the expression on our great-nephew’s face).

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Riding the Wagaon

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Riding the Wagaon

We decided to grab a couple of bags for apple picking. Then we climbed onto the wagon, looking forward to a ride around the orchard. As we sat waiting, something to the left of us caught my eye. It was a tree with moving eyes. The tractor driver told us it was a talking tree, and we had time to go check it out before the wagon needed to leave. We went to investigate. The driver wasn’t kidding. It was definitely a talking tree. It asked Jeremiah his name and carried on a conversation with him. Jeremiah was very impressed and quite fond of the tree. As a matter of fact, he liked the tree so much we had to go back two more times.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: The Talking Tree

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: The Talking Tree

We went back and hopped onto the wagon for a ride around the orchard. On our ride we saw the fun play area, Adventure Acres, and a pumpkin patch. I had no intentions of going to the pumpkin patch because it had rained the night before, but once Jeremiah saw it he said he wanted to go. I told him we would wait until after we picked the apples to see how he felt, because he was pretty cold. He looked up at me and said, in his sweet 3 year old voice, “I’s okay now.” Of course, he was still shivering but I realized he really wanted to go to the pumpkin patch.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Adventure Acres

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Adventure Acres

Once we dismounted from the wagon, we walked into the orchard to pick our apples. I was after Red Delicious and Jonathan’s this day. I love watching my husband and great-nephew interact as they pick apples.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Picking apples

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Picking apples

Once the bag was full, Jeremiah wanted to carry it. He assured us he was strong enough. My husband gave him the bag and he made it several steps before he decided to give it back to Uncle Pat.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Carrying Apples

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Carrying Apples

After both bags were full, I asked Jeremiah if he wanted to go play or was he too cold and wanted to go home. I bet you will never guess what he wanted to do. My husband took the apples back to the car while Jeremiah and I warmed ourselves in the store. There are so many wonderful things to look at and purchase. We were able to watch some ladies make apple cider donuts (of which we bought a half dozen). They were delicious. There was a large variety of jams, jellies and honey. We even watched the bees for a while.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Inside the store

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Inside the store

Then we headed out to the play area. We were told that everything was adult friendly so one (or both) of us could ride with Jeremiah. There was a huge slide, decorated like a caterpillar. Jeremiah and my husband both went down it.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: 35 ft Tube Slide

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: 35 ft Tube Slide

Jeremiah and Uncle Pat raced on some pedal carts. Big thanks go out to the young man that pushed Jeremiah around the track. His little legs weren’t long enough to reach the pedals but the young man offered to push him. Jeremiah had a blast racing his Uncle.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Pedal Cars

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Pedal Cars

Next, the guys rode the barrel train which is pulled by a tractor. The cars are decorated to look like farm animals. They received a nice long ride around the outside edge of Adventure Acres.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Barrel Train

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Barrel Train

There were a couple of great climbing areas; some old tractor tires and some bales of hay stacked to look like a tractor.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Climbing

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Climbing

There were several other fun activities that we didn’t get to. There was an electronically timed maze game, for the kids, called Punchin’ Pumpkins.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Punchin' Pumpkins

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Punchin’ Pumpkins

There was also a large corn maze, which I wanted nothing to do with. I am no good with directions and get turned around easily. Associated with the maze is a fun “Secret Agent” challenge. If you kids are a little older, than Jeremiah, they would really enjoy it. Here is an entertaining video that explains more about the challenge. It’s worth watching even if you don’t plan on going through the corn maze.

Last but definitely not least, we headed to the pumpkin patch. I’m really glad we didn’t skip that part of the trip. The ground was packed fairly hard so we didn’t have a lot of mud to contend with. I enjoyed watching Jeremiah’s reaction to the vines. He was quite interested in the vines and what they were used for. My husband explained that the leaves and vines help bring food to the pumpkins so they can grow.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Learning about Pumpkin Vines

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Learning about Pumpkin Vines

Jeremiah wanted a “big, huge” pumpkin but we told him that he would have to carry it. He ended up choosing an adorable little one.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch

There were still plenty of pumpkins throughout the large patch. You won’t want to miss out on that part of the trip.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch

Stuckey Farm is located just north of Indianapolis, in Sheridan, Indiana. It sits right between Sheridan, Westfield and the Indianapolis Executive Airport. The Harvest Festival goes through October 26th. The cost to enter the festival is just $5 per person. That price includes all the rides and activities at Adventure Acres. You will want to bring some extra money for warm apple cider donuts and other yummy treats. Don’t forget you can also pick apples and pumpkins for all your special fall activities. If you aren’t interested in attending the festival, but still want your apples and pumpkins from Stuckey’s, then come on a weekday or during their special Saturday picking times. The special Saturday times are between 7:00am – 10:00am and 5:30pm – 8:00pm.

Don’t forget to stop and say good-bye to the talking tree. You might want to show off the cool pumpkin you picked.

Stuckey Farm's Harvest Festival: The Talking Tree

Stuckey Farm’s Harvest Festival: The Talking Tree

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Love to Laugh and Learn Turns 3 Years Old

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Love to Laugh and Learn Turns 3 Years Old

Love to Laugh and Learn: Celebrate

Love to Laugh and Learn: Celebrate

Please join me in celebrating “Love to Laugh and Learn’s” 3rd year in existence. I want to thank my followers. I look forward to sharing many more fun learning activities with you.

This has been a big growth year for my blog. I had heard that once you reached 50 posts your blog would start growing exponentially. Well, they weren’t kidding. In January of this year, I was excited that my blog finally reached 1000 followers; and just a couple of days ago I reached 5000. It took me two years to get to 1000 and in less than a year, look how much more it’s grown.

Thanks to Bob Lotich and Jonathan Milligan from Blogging Your Passion. I have received so much valuable information from those guys. I first stumbled across, Bob and his blog, Christian Personal Finance.  I was searching for articles on how to make money with my blog when the results led me to this article: How to Make Money with a Blog.  I found a lot of free information on that site. I also received a lot of free information from Jonathan’s site, Blogging Your Passion. Shortly after that, they introduced some blogging courses they had created. Because I so appreciated the free, valuable advice they had shared, I had begun to trust them so, I decided to sign up for their video lessons. I have been very happy with the vast amounts of information I receive from Blogging Your Passion University (BYPU).  I am constantly learning new things that help me with my blog. Click here to learn more about Blogging Your Passion University

If this is your first time to visit my blog, you may not know this about me but I love children. I love talking to them, playing with them and teaching them. My favorite thing is teaching them new things without them even realizing they are learning. They simply think we are playing!

Here are the things I have covered over the past 3 years. (Click on the collages and they will take you to a page that will link you to the posts.)

Love to Laugh and Learn: Colors Craft Collage

Love to Laugh and Learn: Colors Craft CollageColors

 

 

 

            Colors

Love to Laugh and Learn: Shapes Craft Collage

Love to Laugh and Learn: Shapes Craft Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Shapes

Love to Laugh and Learn: Fun with Music Craft Collage

Love to Laugh and Learn: Fun with Music Craft Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Fun with Music

Christmas Posts Collage

Christmas Posts Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Christmas

Love to Laugh and Learn: Review Posts Collage

Love to Laugh and Learn: Review Posts Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

And the series I am currently working on is Community Helpers.

I also post a calendar, of Family Friendly Events, that are happening for the month. Currently these activities are for the Indianapolis, Indiana area but I still plan on expanding to other cities.

I love interacting with my followers and their children, so don’t feel bad about stopping me in public to say hi. I would love to connect with you through my Facebook page, Love to Laugh and Learn or my Twitter account. Please stop by and let me know what you think of my blog (positive and constructive criticism welcome). Also, please let me know what other learning activities you would like for me to cover.  Thanks, again, for all your support.

Posted in Articles, Learning Activities | 4 Comments

Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers

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Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers

Do you know when your child should have his or her first dentist appointment? I thought it was around ages 3 or 4 years old but I recently found out that it’s supposed to be by the age of 1, or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in. With that in mind, you should help your child learn about the dentist so they will be more comfortable when they go for their appointment.

I always like to start my learning activities with a book. There are a several listed in the Story Time section below. If you know of another great book please share it with me.

Below you will also find a craft and some ideas for pretend play. Be sure to enjoy this time of exploration and learning with your child.

Content:

Playtime
Craft
Fun Sheet
Snacks
Story Time
Related Posts
Acknowledgements

Playtime

Dress up is a fun way to explore the world of dentists. The same lab coat your child used for doctors can also be used for the dentist. Dress up is fun for boys and girls alike. I like to look for costumes after Halloween. You can find them really cheap.

I found a couple of blogs that had some really cute creative ideas. I love the the activity I found on Preschool Playbook. They used play dough and white navy beans to represent a child’s gums and teeth.

There are a couple of great activities on Sense of Wonder: Let’s Play Dentist. My favorite is making a set of teeth out of a cardboard egg carton and using green tissue paper as the “food” caught between the teeth. The children get to use dental floss to remove the “food”.

What other activities do you and your children enjoy?

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Craft

Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers - Materials Needed for Tooth Craft

Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers – Materials Needed for Tooth Craft

Materials Needed:

Tooth template
Cream colored construction paper or cardstock
White paint
White glitter
Inexpensive toothbrushes
Plate to put paint on

Instructions:

1. Print off the tooth template onto a cream colored cardstock or use the template as a pattern to trace onto a cream colored piece of construction paper. The reason I am suggesting cream colored paper is so that the child can see the difference between the cream colored “dirty” tooth and the sparkling white tooth after it gets “brushed”.
2. Pour some white paint onto a paper plate.
3. Mix some of the white glitter into the paint.
4. Use the toothbrush to “brush” the tooth with the white paint and glitter.

Dentists: Love to Laugh and Learn about Community Helpers - Tooth Craft

Dentists: Love to Laugh and Learn about Community Helpers – Tooth Craft

5. Now you have a sparkling white tooth. I added a little more glitter after I painted it, to give it just a little extra sparkle.

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Fun Sheet

Dentists: Love to Learn about Community Helpers - Dentist Fun Sheet

Dentist Fun Sheet

I have created a fun sheet to do with your child. Have your child color the dentist and then color only the items that the dentist would use. Don’t color the items that the doctor would not use. Click on the picture to get the downloadable fun sheet.

The fun sheet is a great way for your child to develop their fine motor skills, as they color. They will learn to follow directions and will also reinforce what they have learned about dentists.

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Snacks

Make snack time a fun lesson time. Have some snacks that will make healthy teeth and some items that aren’t good for the teeth. See if your child can tell you which ones are good and which ones are bad. Of course you child will probably want some of the “bad” snacks as well as the healthy ones. Just explain that a little “bad” food (on occasion) is okay but be sure to brush your teeth as soon as snack time is over.

I am including a happy tooth and a sad tooth template. You can use these as a hands-on activity and actually sort the foods that are healthy and unhealthy.

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Story Time

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
Sister Bear has her first loose tooth and, what luck, Brother Bear has a dentist appointment. Brother Bear like to tease Sister Bear so he tell her that she better wiggle that tooth until it comes out or the dentist will yank it out. Mama Bear assures Sister that the dentist is gentle. Sister gets to watch while Brother gets his teeth cleaned and a cavity filled. Then it’s Sister’s turn. The dentist takes a piece of cloth (not the “yanker”) and gently grasps Sister’s tooth; with a gentle tug it pops right out. The book gives a fun introduction to the dentist office.

Dentists (Community Helpers) by Dee Ready
Reading Level: Ages 4 and up
This is a great book to introduce your child to the responsibilities of a dentist. The illustrations are actual pictures of dentists doing their many jobs. The text is simple; just a few clear sentences to each illustration. Once you share this book with your child, they will have a better understanding of what dentists do and the things they need to perform their jobs.

Going to the Dentist by Helen Frost
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
This wonderful little book will introduce your child to the dentist and his/her office. The text is simple and the illustrations are of things you will see in the dentist office. Your child can see the dentist using his different tools to look inside the mouth. I would use this book before a child’s first trip to the dentist.

Going to the Dentist (My First Time)
by Kate Petty, Lisa Kopper and Jim Pipe
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
Sam and Jenny take their first trip to the dentist. Jenny is little enough that she sits in mom’s lap while the dentist counts her teeth and takes a good look at them. Sam is a little older and he gets to sit in the dentist’s special chair. The dentist cleans his teeth and takes pictures of them. Sam has a small cavity that the doctor fills without any problems. The majority of the illustrations are drawings but there are a few actual photos inlaid on some of the pages. This book is a fun way to introduce your child to the dentist.

  Just Going to the Dentist (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
Little Critter gets to take a trip to the dentist. He describes what it’s like in the waiting room. He is big enough that he gets to go back and see the dentist all by himself. I like that Little Critter uses descriptions that children will relate to such as the room he goes too looks like a spaceship because of all the weird machines. Little Critter even has a cavity and it describes a bit of what it’s like to get a tooth filled. This is a fun light-hearted way for children to learn about the dentist.

Meet My Neighbor, the Dentist by Marc Crabtree
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
This book has large simple text so it is good for an early reader or for a young child just learning about the dentist. I love that the illustrations are actual pictures of Doctor Meisels, both with his family and performing the duties of his job. Your child will get to see the dentist at work in someone’s mouth and the different tools he will be using. This would be a great book to share with a child before their first trip to the dentist.

Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer) by Christine Ricci
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
Do your children love Dora? If so, they will enjoy making a visit to the dentist with Dora. Dora explains her appointment from the visiting room, through her exam, concluding with the special treats she receives at the end of her visit. The illustrations are bright and the text is easy to understand. A must for any child that loves Dora and is getting ready to visit the dentist.

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
Reading Level: Ages 2 – 7 yrs old
What is there to say? It’s Dr. Seuss! I love rhyming books so, of course, I love Dr. Seuss. In this fun rhyming book, we learn all about teeth. We see people and animals that have teeth; and some that do not. We will learn about things we should not do with our teeth, if we are going to keep them. And don’t forget to be nice to your dentist, because he is the one that takes care of your teeth.

We Need Dentists (Helpers in Our Community) by Lola M. Schaefer
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
This is a simple little book that will introduce your child to the dentist. It talks about the different tools dentists use and the various things they might do to your teeth. I like the illustrations because they are actual pictures of children at the dentist. This would make a good book to read to your child before their first trip to the dentist.

What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist by Heidi Murkoff
Reading Level: Ages 4 – 8 yrs old
This book has some heavy duty reading, so it would be better for a little older child. I love the way it covers the things a child will see and experience while in the dentist office. The information is shared by, Angus, the Answer Dog. On each page there is even a game or idea to think about to prepare for a trip to the dentist. If your child is a little older and would like some more detailed information about the dentist and how to take care of his/her teeth, this will be an awesome book.

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Related Posts

Community Helpers – Overview
Doctors: Love to Learn About Community Helpers

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Acknowledgements

Cara's Clips Credit Button
Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Cara’s Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Cara-Taylor-8656

Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Charlotte’s Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Charlottes-Clips-4150

Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Lauren Thompson
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lauren-Thompson

Whimsy Clips
Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Whimsy Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Whimsy-Clips

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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

I was very excited for the opportunity to take my great-nephew, Jeremiah, to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s (ISO) free community day. We have been taking him to outdoor concerts since he was a few months old. My husband plays in a couple of concert bands and big bands so it’s been fun to have the little one with me to enjoy the music. Outdoor concerts are great for kids because they don’t have to sit perfectly still and quiet; they can get up and move to the music.

Last winter I was playing with the idea of taking Jeremiah to one of my husband’s indoor concerts but since he was only 2 years old I was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to sit still and stay quiet. When I heard about the ISO’s free community day, I thought this was just what I was looking for.

Interactive Opportunities

The ISO offered an afternoon of entertaining and interactive events. The activities started at 2:00 p.m.. As we walked towards Hilbert Circle Theatre we could hear the ISO percussionists demonstrating their drumming skills.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

There were drums, scattered around on the sidewalk, for all to join in. Jeremiah was not impressed with the drums but this little girl really seemed to have fun. She got a kick out of my husband squatting down and playing a drum next to her.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

As we entered the theatre, we received free tickets for an ISO concert that would start at 5:00 p.m.. They also gave us raffle tickets for several giveaways.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day: Playing the violin

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day: Playing the violin

There were so many activities going on that it was hard to choose where to start. We decided on heading to the Wood Room on the 2nd floor. There we were able to try different string instruments. My husband tried the cello while Jeremiah learned about the violin. Jeremiah so loved the violin that we went back to that room 2 more times. He even “played” with a group towards the end of the day.

 

 

 

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Communit Day: "You Conduct"

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Communit Day: “You Conduct”

Next we went to “You Conduct” with Adam Bodony. Jeremiah was not interested in trying his hand at conducting, but we stood in the back and followed the directions we were given. Here is one brave young man that took the opportunity to conduct the string quartet.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

Listening Opportunities

There were several different ISO ensemble performances happening throughout the venue. We listened to one performing on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage and then headed outside to listen to another. We were please to see our dear friend and principal trumpet for the ISO, Chappy Perry, playing with the brass group.

Since the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performance was at 5:00, and it was general seating, we headed into the main theatre at 4:00 p.m.. The brass group was now playing inside, on the stage, so we had the pleasure of listening to them again. Pat took Jeremiah up on the stage so he see what it was like to be up there. Jeremiah also needed the signature of a trombone player on his “Meet the Musician” activity sheet; now he was in reasonable proximity to get it.

The Concert

The concert was the one thing that I wasn’t sure we could get through, with a 3 year old, but I wanted to give it a try. We sat up towards the front because, from my experience, the best way to keep his attention was to have him where he could actually see what was happening on stage (with as few distractions between him and the musicians as possible). I let him stand up, squat down in the floor, climb up into the seat and then repeat the process several times, prior to the concert. I explained to him that once the concert started he would have to sit quietly and only whisper when he had something to say.

Once the Concertmaster entered the stage and starting tuning the orchestra, I told Jeremiah it was time to get up in his seat. He climbed right up and turned to listen. I was actually very proud of his behavior for the 45 minute concert. He wiggled in his seat a little but nothing too distracting and he remembered to whisper whenever he had something to say. He clapped each time it was appropriate and even stood with us during the standing ovation.

Secondary Lessons

Besides learning about the symphony orchestra, I had some secondary lessons I wanted Jeremiah to experience. We got dressed up to attend the event. It was not necessary, we could have worn blue jeans and tee shirts but I wanted Jeremiah to realize that there are some special occasions that we should dress up for. I believe some other parent’s had the same idea from the looks for these two well dressed youngsters.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

Jeremiah’s mom has taught him well, in using please and thank you, but an additional lesson we worked on was to look at the person he was thanking. We also taught Jeremiah how to shake hands and say, “Pleased to meet you.” He did a wonderful job and seemed very proud of his new skills.

All in all, I thought the day was a complete success. I was happy to see so many families with young children; although you wouldn’t have to have children to enjoy this day. I can’t wait until next year to do this again. I hope to see you there!

Families at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Community Day

Families at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Community Day

Related Posts

Fun with Music
Meet the Musicians
Fun with Music: Percussion Instruments
Fun with Music: Brass Instruments
Fun with Music: Woodwind Instruments
Fun with Music: Voices
Fun with Music: String Instruments
Fun with Music: Keyboards
Music at an Early Age by Mamamusing
Generally Having Fun with Music
Review: Rhythm! Discovery Center
Review: Peanut Butter and Jam Concerts

Posted in Articles, Music, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smithsonian Magazine’s, Museum Day Live!

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Smithsonian Magazine’s, Museum Day Live!

In 2012, my niece made me aware of the Smithsonian Magazine’s, Museum Day Live. This is an awesome, nationwide event. It occurs annually and is hosted by the Smithsonian Magazine. In their tradition of offering free admission, other museums have joined them, for this special day. All you have to do is go to the Smithsonian Magazine’s website and print your pass. Each pass gets two people into a participating museum, for free. To see the list of museums included in this event, click here.

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live: Conner Prairie

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live: Conner Prairie

Two years ago, my niece and I took three very young children to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. I was actually amazed at how many things there were to entertain young children. You can read about our experience at Conner Prairie, in this post: “Review: Conner Prairie with Young Children”.

 

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live: Rhythm! Discovery Center

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live: Rhythm! Discovery Center

Last year, my husband and I took our great-nephew to Rhythm! Discovery Center. We really enjoyed playing with the different percussion instruments. Check out the size of the drum that greeted us at the entrance. You can read about the fun we had at Rhythm! Discovery Center, in this post: “Review: Rhythm! Discovery Center”

There are several museums in our area that participate in Museum Day Live. Be sure to find out which museums participate in your area. We haven’t made our decision, as to where we are going to go this year, but we are definitely going someplace.

Have you participated in the Smithsonian Magazine’s, Museum Day Live, in the past? We would love to hear about your past adventures and please let us know where you’re going this year.

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