Creativity with Thomas the Tank Engine

thomas-the-tank-engine

My sister’s kids had out grown there Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train set and have passed it on to me for my kids. I never had a chance to play with these growing up, but my youngest son at the age of 2-3 at the time was immediately drawn to it. Initially he would build simple configurations, but as we began to add more pieces he would build more interesting formations.

It was great to see him develop, everyday I would come home from work and he would have a new layout with some creative solutions. I can clearly see his problem solving and even engineering skills develop. This was at an age when Lego pieces were too small for him as he did get a piece stuck up his nose once before. So one way to stimulate your young child’s mind can be with Thomas the Tank engine wooden train sets.

Tip: Definitely get the wooden sets for your kid. They cost more but the quality and compatibility will get more uses out of it. Many of the Thomas plastic set toys utilize smaller trains/tracks and are not always compatible with different sets.

Papa Bear

Papa Bear is constantly trying to keep his family entertained. He loves sports, martial arts, and any physical activity. Always looking for an opportunity to take his family on a road trip and build bonds through shared experiences.

Pancake Panda

Weekend mornings are a great time to cook with the family. For breakfast you can cook and decorate your own pancakes which can be creative and fun with the kids. Simply get a couple of bottles with nozzle tips that can be found in most bakery or cooking department.

Make your pancake mix and fill 1 bottle with normal pancake mix. The 2nd bottle I like to mix in hot chocolate powder and this will become a darker batter that you can use to outline your drawing. Use the lighter/normal pancake mix to fill in your design. You’ll find that your kids will enjoy both making and eating their breakfast, but make sure there is always an adult supervising when cooking with hot food.

It’s a great way to start the day and please share pictures of your pancake designs.

Panda Pancake

Mama Bear

Mama Bear loves food and Korean dramas.

Kid’s Blog: The Love of Hermit Crabs

I love that my Hermit Crabs are great pets. They are really nice to look at and study. Hermit Crabs are found to be really active at night. This information is gathered from my 3 hermit crab helpers Jaws, Rosie, and Newbie. This is dedicated to Jaws who just recently passed away, he was a loving pet and my favorite hermit crab.

Hermit Crabs may not be active if they are new. Try to get Hermit Crabs that are about the same size so they don’t bully each other. There is one thing that you have to beware of is when they change shells they may fight for the same shell. So try to get shells that are similar so they can each have a new home.

Hermit Crabs are great climbers when they get active. I recommend buying plastic plants and sticks for your hermit crabs to climb. You need plastic plants because they may eat the real ones and you don’t want that. I don’t recommend rocks that are smooth because they won’t be able to climb it but you can put some smooth rocks in to stop them from digging a certain area.

Even though the hermit crabs have shells, they still need shelter to hide. I recommend getting a small cave or a dome shape home that can fit a hermit crab. You can even make them a homemade home with Legos or any building blocks. Remember they can also climb on top of their homes for more climbing space.

Taking care of a hermit crab teaches me responsibility and how to care for others. For instance on normal weekends, it is easy because all I have to do is change the food, change the water, give my hermit crabs a bath and then I’m done. On other weekends, it gets hard when we have to change the dirt and sand in the tank. I recommend changing the water when it gets very sandy as well. The reason it is sandy is because when the hermit crabs go into the water to drink it brings sand with them.

Tip: If the Hermit Crabs are shedding their skin leave them alone. Unless another hermit crab is attacking it then move the hermit crab away from the shedding hermit crab as they are vulnerable.

Hermit Crab

Ace

Ace is a 11 year old blogger who loves pizza and Dr. Who. He loves family time at home which can be anything from playing card games to watching a rented movie. An avid reader he also enjoys basketball and football, but sometimes forced to play baseball.

Kid’s Video Blog: Minecraft Intro and Fireworks Display

This is my first blog , and it is about Minecraft. Watch the video and If you try to make the rapid fire fireworks try to follow the directions. The Slimes start large, but when you attack them they become medium size, then finally small. The small ones can’t hurt you. Good luck!
minecraft

Sonic

Sonic is a Lego and Minecraft aficionado. At 10 years old he is currently our youngest blogger but already an expert at climbing and sneaking snacks from the top of the refrigerator.

Kid’s Blog: The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is very educational for kids and good exercise for your family. The wall is thousands of miles long but I recommend walking 2-4 miles when visiting. We visited the Mutianyu location here. The souvenirs we bought there were awesome because it was a wooden sword that I could battle with my brother.

There is a fun entrance and exit. The entrance is a ski lift that is kind of scary but also very exciting. The view has beautiful trees and mountains to look at and admire. Remember do not wear Crocs because mine almost fell off on the way up.

The exit is fun too because you can ride on a “cart slide” called a Toboggan down the mountainside. Please be careful because you can crash if you go too fast. I recommend having adults with you if you are under 12 years old and use the double-seater. For older kids and adults you can use the single-seater.

Everything at the Great Wall of China was very magnificent. There are many old buildings and towers there to explore. I also saw some cannons too which were used hundreds of years ago to defend against the Mongolians. My favorite part was the Toboggan and I wish I could ride it again.

Battle on the Great Wall

Tips: Be warned there are many bugs. Most of them you can’t see and may attack you. So bring bug spray just in case of mosquitoes and other insects.

More info: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/scene/beijing/mutianyu.htm

Ace

Ace is a 11 year old blogger who loves pizza and Dr. Who. He loves family time at home which can be anything from playing card games to watching a rented movie. An avid reader he also enjoys basketball and football, but sometimes forced to play baseball.

Llama Chase Set to Yakety Saks

How do you explain the hilarity of the Llama chase to your kids? Easy, watch this video set to the famous “Yakety Saks” music that will entertain you and your bored family. We find watching together in the living room is great “family-time” and allows us to have a shared experience. So hookup that Smart TV, Xbox, Chromecast, etc and watch this clip on your big screen. Run free Llamas!!!

Papa Bear

Papa Bear is constantly trying to keep his family entertained. He loves sports, martial arts, and any physical activity. Always looking for an opportunity to take his family on a road trip and build bonds through shared experiences.

Kids’ Blog: Los Angeles Zoo Experience

The Los Angeles zoo is a great place to boost your kid’s happiness. Surprise your son by going to the reptile exhibit or surprise your daughter with the Gray seal exhibit. Or give yourself a boost.

The only thing you should worry about is the traffic. I recommend leaving 10:00 AM or sooner. If you live farther away then I recommend 9:00 AM. So remember to come to the zoo early.

If you live in California then I recommend one of the memberships. If you have a family then try the Family Membership which costs about $126. With the family membership you can grab discounts and get free 2 day guest passes. So you can grab a friend or a relative to come with you.

I would recommend visiting the African Alligator they have. The only sad thing about this alligator was it doesn’t move much. My favorite exhibit was the reptile exhibit, called the Lair. Watch for the snakes, they look really cool. One animal surprised me though it was a funny looking turtle.

One of my favorite parts was the petting zoo where I got to pet the animals. Be careful, do not make them get mad or else they could bite or attack. Also, remember to not step on their poo or pee. It’s disgusting!

My favorite part is when I get to spend family-time with my family. And don’t forget, as your leaving the zoo visit the alligator again to see how much he had moved since you came to the zoo.

Parent Note: We went around noon time and the traffic was jammed. Took over an hour to find parking which is why the Author is suggesting you go early morning. Also, I think early morning animals will likely be more active.

Ace

Ace is a 11 year old blogger who loves pizza and Dr. Who. He loves family time at home which can be anything from playing card games to watching a rented movie. An avid reader he also enjoys basketball and football, but sometimes forced to play baseball.

Lego Travel Adventures is Worth the Visit at Discovery Cube

The Discovery museum  in Orange County is a fantastic place to get a family membership to keep the kids entertained.  They have new exhibits every 2-3 months and definitely worth considering the membership.  As with most kid-crazy place you want to get there early in the morning to avoid parking and crowd headaches.

Currently they have a Lego Travel Adventures exhibit that runs through May 2, and if your kids need to get their Lego fix, or secretly you need a Lego fix, this is a average size exhibit that will eat up about 30-45 min of your visit.  The theme is traveling and most of the displays are of popular transportation methods set across different cities throughout America.

Lego by land, sea, and air

There are a couple of interactive areas where you can build cars and race them down a track similar to what is found outside many Lego stores.  These however, use Duplo blocks so they are bigger and more friendly to younger audience.  Most of the other Lego displays are mainly used for photo opportunities.

The rest of the time can be spent exploring the myriad of learning and discovery exhibits and can take hours of your time. My kids really enjoy the upstairs grocery shopping experience and the recycling contest. The Dino discovery outdoors is decent but you will need to pay an additional fee.  We go every couple of months so I like to spend about 2-3 hours there and then head home with plenty of time left in the day for myself or the fam.

Tip: Construction is still in progress as they are expanding and parking lot is limited. Save yourself some time and money and just park at the Santa Ana mall across the street and walk over.

http://www.discoverycube.org/oc/

Papa Bear

Papa Bear is constantly trying to keep his family entertained. He loves sports, martial arts, and any physical activity. Always looking for an opportunity to take his family on a road trip and build bonds through shared experiences.