Around DC – The National Museum of the American Indian

2016-05-21 18.16.35That rain I wrote about has still been going strong in our part of the world. Considering that kids’s baseball and soccer games got canceled we decided to make the most of the day (and after all, it was a Saturday, weekend, yeah!) , as it was and head to DC to see the National Museum of the American Indian. What a treat it was! Great place for kids to explore. The Inka trail was particularly interesting. For me, it was wonderful to admire the architectural design of the place and then of course the exhibits. Vivid colors of hats, national costumes and many interactive features, knowledge quizzes and a great play area for kids.
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Preserving kids’ childhood memories

So once a child is born, lot of parents keep a baby book with mementos of the first baby years. As kids grow (and once they are out of the first three years, I feel like they start to grow at a faster pace!), and memories and keepsakes multiply, it is sometimes a challenge to find ways to capture the moments, keep some of the precious reminders of the childhood and declutter at the same time. About what we do with the best drawing we decide to keep, I wrote here. For other keepsakes and memories, here are a couple of ideas:

  • MEMORY BOXES
    I bought a couple of transparent 13x7x16inch plastic boxes and labeled them with my sons’ names. Now once a “life” of a “really cute 2nd grade art project or a medal” displayed in their rooms is “over”, it goes into the box. Also medals from skiing competitions, special cards, bday crowns, farewell notes from class mates, team photos, letters and such.  I hope these will make them laugh or remember more vividly special childhood moments.
  • BIRTHDAY BOOKS
    So when my older son was about three years old, I came up with the idea to make a special birthday album with few pictures from each of the birthday celebrations. I thought it would be fun, especially since he has been celebrating his birthdays in different countries, often with new friends. So we bought a scrap-book and started filling each page with few photos, decorations, noting places and friends. When my second son arrived, we got another book for him. They love going through their books from time to time, and I keep thinking and hoping they will get a kick out of it showing it to their families and loved once sometime in the future.

 

 

Jurassic world mini succulent garden

Jurassic world movie series have been one of my kids, especially older one’s, favorites. To my kids’ amusement, the latest trend (at least here in the U.S.) of planting succulent gardens have inspired us to create a little piece of Jurassic park world here at home. All you need is semi shallow planter (anything would do like this thrift store find I used), three succulent plants (you can do more and make a real jungle), some soil, few rocks or pebbles and of course mini plastic dinosaur toys. Here is the end result!

 

 

Organizing kids’ toys – part 1

Our older son Sasha loved playing with cars as a little boy. We kept all of his precious trucks, cabs, racing cars even once he stopped being interested in them around age 7-8. Once his little brother arrived, and showed not a slightest interest in playing with them (he has been way more curious about insects, animals and spiders, talking about difference in interests..), the challenge was what to do with the big pile of now “abandoned” but still so “precious” automobiles.
So we came up with an idea, but we also needed some professional help to make it a reality. Enter our amazingly talented carpenter Ceda in Belgrade, Serbia, where we lived for a while. Here is one digression – living overseas provides great opportunities to for instance, have things made at much more affordable prices than in the U.S.
I gave Ceda the drawing and measurements and he did the magic. Here is the result, which not only helped us preserve but also display the favorites that Sasha decided to keep so they are this really nice wall decoration in his room. 

 

Preserving kids’ art and more…

Our boys love to draw. I think they took after their awesome aunt. In our daily life this means tones of papers everywhere, surplus of mismatched color pencils and crayons, some drawings abandoned half done, others finished and amazing! The challenge was what to do with those master pieces and how to reduce all the clutter. Here are some ideas that worked for us. And some that others came up with.

  • Make little booklets

Sort the drawings, pick the ones you want to keep, write the name and age of the “artist” in a bottom corner. Take the stack to get color copies made and binded together in a little booklet. I also added the front cover page, with the “artist’s” photo and noted ages when the drawings were created. That way I could toss the originals and still keep the art. Boys love to flip through their booklets occasionally. I actually have another stack to go through and make another round of booklets.

 

Here is the pile waiting to be sorted out and made into new booklets:

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  • Frame and hang on the wall

Some ended up on the kid’s room walls as pretty art decoration.

  • Make virtual gallery

Speaking about that “awesome aunt”, here is what my sister does with all the great art she makes with her little daughter Mila.

If you have new ideas to share, please do.