Need Some New Play Date Ideas?

Critters And Crayons is participating in a Play Date Blog Hop with a group of fantastic kid-bloggers!


All Done Monkey 

Learn with Play at home

Coffee Cups and Crayons 

Caution! Twins at Play 


Here are some of C&C’s ideas for themed play dates worth trying!

Try A Group Nature Hike…

Our family recently went on a nature hike with two other families and it is something we plan to do on a larger scale soon with several other families.  There is nothing like getting out into nature where discoveries and beauty abound.

The children are delighted by the simplest sights:  a snake trail across a dirt path, a rocky crevice swarming with giant ants carrying morsels half the size of their bodies, hardened tree sap, seashells on a hilltop or driftwood near the river.

For so many of us busy-folk, these things lose their magic.  But, children can teach us to view them with wonder again.

And this photo was taken on a different nature excursion but it is too cute not to share.  Our 5 year old daughter found those snails at a random rest stop on a road trip.

That adorable little snail in her hand wasn’t even the size of a pencil eraser.  He was just teeny tiny.  We were all surprised to find that all of the shells were filled with these cuties!  So, grab some baggies and some magnifying glasses and take your play date into nature!

 And There is Always Origami (Of Course)…..

Here, we made simple origami suncatchers in the hotel room.  But, you can see how we made origami into a play date and party theme here:  The $50 Origami Party!

 And How About All That Make-Up You Need To Get Rid Of?  It’s Totally Great For An Art Play Date!

Did you miss the post on using old make-up to make art?  Did you miss my hubby’s mascara grim reaper?

I made a huge purge of make-up in my last de-cluttering phase and it is all now in a tackle box we keep in the kitchen.

The kids make some pretty neat art with it.  Here, you can see our daughter’s work-  It reminds me of a Dia De Los Muertos exhibit.

Imagine how fun it would be to line a floor with unrolled butcher block paper and to see what the kids can do with that old lipstick of yours?  What took you 10 years to throw away will be gone in 2 minutes, I promise.


And What About Those Puppets?

We recently figured out that the best and cheapest puppet storage that places puppets right at a pre-schooler’s height for rapid fire puppeteering is a shoe rack.  Since then, we have been doing some serious nighttime puppeteering.

Sometimes, the kids put on the show for us or their “audience”.

Yes.  That is a T-Rex wearing pink Minnie Mouse undies.  We don’t discriminate around here.  All animals (living, extinct, or inanimate) have an inalienable right to modesty.

If your Puppet Show Play Date lacks humans, please feel free to borrow our kids’ solution.  🙂


And You Can Always Keep It Simple With a Sweet Family Pretend Pizza Party Play Date…..

This might be the best play date of all.  It is the “unwind and bond as a family” play date.

Mom and Dad might exceed the tensile strength of those Little Tikes kid stools, and we may have to shift our weight from side to side to keep parts of our body from tingling and falling asleep- but it is worth it.

These are the play dates that might be the most memorable- the ones where we stopped doing what we think we need to do to focus on what we really need to do.




For more fantastic ideas from other Kid Bloggers, check out the links below!  If you have a play date post, please feel free to add it!

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Origami Ideas For Family Fun, Gifts & Decor!

Last month, I ran a post on how we made an origami butterfly wall for our daughter’s bedroom.

Origami was such a prevalent sight in my early childhood in Korea that I am still surprised when someone asks me what it means.

So, I thought folks might be interested to see some of the ways that my kids and I use the origami we make together as gifts or as decor around our own home!

We recently made this Origami Butterfly “Specimen” Shadowbox for a good friend of mine who was leaving.  She plans to hang it in her play room!

For room decor, you can make large cranes and suspend them with thread in small bird cages or Wedding card holders-  like this pink one in our daughter’s room:

Or this white and gold one I gave to my departing friend to hang in her family room.

And for other rooms of the house, you can take things like that bird cage-inspired platter-topper and use it to hang cranes or other paper birds….

There are many tutorials available online and Hobby Lobby has a few books for beginners, too!  Other great places to check for deals on origami kits are stores like Ross, Marshalls or TJ Maxx.  I have seen expensive kits there for much less!

I admit, I keep a few sheets of origami paper in my planner for emergencies.

Sometimes a child nearby is crying or my kids are bored- and origami has a way of soothing them.

Maybe it’s the concentration on the folds, or the rote activity of repetition (like knitting) that does the trick.  But, there is usually some level of delight for a child to see a 2 dimensional piece of paper transform into a 3D figure.

The very best things about origami are that it is a simple way to bond with your kids and it is inexpensive.

Our four year old already knows how to make her own origami baskets!

The thing I am most looking forward to is seeing her and my son teach their own kids how to do this ancient paper-folding art that I learned in my childhood.

Those creations will be the most special of all, I think!



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