Monday, 19 February 2018

Ready for Summer with Galileo Camps

Summer may seem pretty far away right now, especially for those of you in the colder parts of the country, but it's sneaking up on us and will be here before we know it. And that means the end of the school year and the start of long Summer break will be here before we know it. Time to start making plans for the Summer!

Growing up in Australia, Summer camp was only something I knew about from American movies and TV shows. I had no experience with it myself, but I always thought it looked absolutely magical!

Now that we're living in America, I love that my kids get to take part in things that I only ever saw on TV at their age. Trick or treating at Halloween, playing in the snow over Christmas, handing out Valentines to their classmates, and yes, Summer camp!

Last year Ava attended Camp Galileo for the first time and she had an absolute blast. At pick up on that very first day she was asking me to sign her up again for this year. Now that's a sure sign of a great camp!

Galileo offer a range of innovative camps for children from pre-K through to 8th grade. Their STEM focused camps teach kids to explore, create and make mistakes without fear, and I can tell you that Ava had so much fun with all of these aspects last year. She loved the medieval inspired projects that she worked on during her week at camp, and was so proud of the working catapult that she designed and made on her own, as well as her stain glass griffon (that still hangs in our living room window today). She brought home the skills she learned in making these projects and set about teaching both Lola and Mathilde - and even produced a stain glass DIY video to share on YouTube!

Ava not only learned new skills from her week at Camp Galileo, but also gained confidence. Confidence in herself and her own abilities. Confidence to try new ideas even if they might fail. Confidence to make new friends. That confidence that she came home with was so inspiring and I can't wait for it grow again this Summer.

That's the thing about Galileo. The camp curriculum sparks kids' imaginations and gets them excited to learn in creative ways. They focus on team work and build a camaraderie among the campers and staff through fun games, outdoor activities and spirit days. The staff are carefully selected and they're all great with kids, making the camp experience as fun as it should be.

Galileo offer two camp options for children of different ages. For kids Pre-K through 5th grade there's Camp Galileo, which Ava took part in last year. Kids work on art and science projects as well as outdoor activities. Through teamwork they create works of art such as spinning solar system mobiles and glowing neon signs, as well as engineering inventions like slingshot cars and rideable scooters. This year's camp will be organized around the following exciting themes:
  • The Incredible Human Body – The Art and Science of Being Human
  • Space Explorers – Cosmic Art and Astronaut Science
  • Road Trip Adventure – Art and Engineering on Route 66
  • Galileo Makers: Materials Challenge – Extraordinary Art and Inventions with Ordinary Supplies
For older kids, entering 5th grade through 8th grade, there's Galileo Summer Quest. Each week kids choose from 11 immersive majors for which they are mentored by expert instructors with professional tools and materials. Campers can produce YouTube videos, engineer robotic pets, create delicious confections and so much more. This year's Galileo Summer Quest majors include:
  • 3-D Modeling & Printing
  • Catapult Builders
  • Chefology: Breakfast Club
  • Chefology: Supreme Sweets
  • Go-Kart Builders
  • Mobile Game Design 
  • Mod Design with Minecraft
  • Mystery Room: The Great Escape
  • Robot Pet
  • Virtual Reality 
  • YouTube Producers 
Ava is super excited to take part in, well... pretty much all of these! The Minecraft and Escape Room camps are definitely at the top of her list.

Now is the time to sign your kids up for Summer camp with Galileo

Click here to learn more, find a camp near you and sign up. Little Hiccups readers can save $30 on one week of Camp Galileo or Galileo Summer Quest with the code INNOVATE18. Simply enter the code at the checkout. Discount is redeemable for one week of Camp Galileo or Galileo Summer Quest per family only. One-time use. Combinable with our Refer-a-Friend and Multi-Session discounts. Not combinable with any other marketing discounts.

Are you ready for Summer? It will be here before we know it!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Candy Heart Key Chains

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so the girls and I have been busy getting our craft on!

With dietary restrictions at school (no candy or nuts allowed) and several classmates with food allergies we decided to come up with a non-edible gift for the girls to give out on the big day. In the past we've made heart shaped bath bombs and packets of wildflower seeds, or "seeds of love" as we labelled them, and they've been popular with the kids. This year the girls wanted to make something inspired by the classic conversation heart candies. While the candies themselves don't taste all that great, they are rather cute and perfect for Valentine's Day.

We've been working with Sculpey Clay quite a bit lately and it's a medium the girls really enjoy playing with. It's also the perfect medium for making faux conversation heart candies! We thought about making badges or hair clips (similar to the ones we made for Pride and Fourth of July last year) but decided to mix things up a little and go with key chains. Kids at our school seem to love hanging decorative key chains from their backpacks so I'm hoping these will be a hit with Ava and Lola's classmates. They can hang them on their backpacks or use them to hold keys. Maybe even the key to someone's heart! It's Valentine's Day - I couldn't help but add something cheesy to the backing card!

Don't they look cute?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Museum of Ice Cream... Again!

A few weekends back we visited the Museum of Ice Cream here in San Francisco. It was the second visit for Mathilde and I (you can see you first visit before it was open to the public here) but the first time going for Ava, Lola and Kim.

It was much busier this time around, as I had expected, but we were still able to take our time and see everything at our own pace - it just meant waiting a little longer for photos every now and then. With plenty of fun stuff to see and delicious treats to eat, the girls didn't mind one bit! Although there were plenty of tears from Mathilde when she didn't get to spend as long in the sprinkle pool as last time! 

Because I've already shared our original visit here on Little Hiccups, and a more detail "what to see and do" post on Mommy Nearest (which you can see here) I won't go into too much detail this time around and will just let the pictures speak for themselves. There are a lot of pictures so grab yourself a coffee, or an ice cream, and enjoy!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Valentines Day Style for Kids

Dislaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Valentine's Day is coming up in just a few weeks so today I'm sharing my favorite small brand kids' clothes and accessories for dressing the part on the big day.

I love dressing my girls up for specific holidays but I'm not a fan of buying clothes that are only worn once or twice. All of these items are perfect for Valentine's Day but they can also be worn as everyday outfits too. Even better, most of these items are from small businesses run by super talented mamas. It's a total win! 

Lots of hearts, lots of red and pink, a few gender neutral pieces for both boys and girls, a super cute book and some sweet lunchbox notes. A little something for kids of all ages! 

❤️️ Whistle & Flute Kawaii Heart Top
❤️️ Freshly Picked Moccasins
❤️️ Primary Reversible Twirly Skirt
❤️️ Pocket Kisses Mini Notes
❤️️ Whistle & Flute Je T'Aime Beanie
❤️️ Rags Valentines Romper
❤️️ This is Not a Valentine
❤️️ Rags Valentines Baby Pouch
❤️️ Small Lot Mary Janes
❤️️ Hello Shiso Heart Headband
❤️️ Hello Shiso Sweetheart Clips
❤️️ Hello Shiso Mini Heart Hair Tie Set

Do you dress your kids up for different holidays throughout the year? I'm a total sucker for it!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ladybug Migration at Redwood Regional Park

We get some pretty amazing animal migrations happening here in the Bay Area.

There are the monarch butterflies that call coastal areas such as Pacific Grove and Santa home during the Winter months. There is the ever so creepy tarantula migration around Halloween on the aptly named Mount Diablo just east of the Bay Area. Seriously, that's a real thing! There are the majestic grey whales that migrate along the California coast from Mexico to Alaska. And right here in Oakland there is a ladybug migration! Ladybugs! Can you think a cuter animal migration to witness?

Yesterday we decided to go check out the ladybugs for ourselves after seeing a few friends sharing about them on social media. I knew that there were going to be thousands of ladybugs, but I really wasn't prepared for just how many we would see. It really was amazing.

Every Winter huge numbers of ladybugs make their way to a particular spot in Redwood Regional park in the Oakland Hills. They come here in swarms. Thousands and thousands, maybe even millions, of ladybugs all in the one spot. It really is a sight to see.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Look Back at 2017

Each year around late October or early November - or who am I kidding, sometimes December - I post a recap of our past year in America. Ava, Lola and I moved here from Australia on October 25th 2011 and I like to share what the past year has held for us in our adventure living half way across the world.

This past October marked our 6 year anniversary of living in America. I fully intended to share a recap post as I have done in the past, but time slipped away and here we are, the second week in January and I still haven't even started it. So instead, of sharing a post with the highlights of our 6th year in America, I thought I'd be a little more conventional and share our highlights from 2017. After all, one of my absolute favorite things from 2017 didn't even take place in the country!

Here's a look back month by month at some of my favorite moments from 2017. It's a long one so you might want to grab yourself a hot drink and a snack to enjoy while you're checking it out. And maybe a bathroom break. Ha! As always, to read more about a particular event or place we visited click the bold and underlined link for a more detailed post.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Elf on the Shelf Week 3

We've been away on vacation and I've gotten a little behind with my blog posts. Let's just pretend I posted this last week when I planned to...


Christmas is just a few days away - can you believe it?

Another week with Elfie Pokie Nokie in our home (or hotel room) has gone by and he has been up to all sorts of crazy things. Let's take a look...

Day 15
We woke up to find that Elfie was helping some other elves make their escape from our kitchen. He had opened a new pack of elf cookies as well as the cookie jar which had a few in it and led them to safety. Or at least he tried to! We caught him in the process and put all his delicious elf friends right back in the cookie jar. Sorry Elfie!

Day 16
The girls couldn't find Elfie at first - until they looked up. There he was laying on top of the ceiling fan in the living room. I wonder if he took it for a spin overnight. Looks like fun!

Day 17
Another day when the girls couldn't spot Elfie for quite some time, but when they did find him they couldn't stop laughing. Elfie had gotten his hands on a pack of candy eyes and a glue stick and made a little change to our family photo.

Day 18
Snow angels are fun, but Lego angels are even better. Actually, I couldn't think of many things more painful than laying in a pile of pointy Lego, but Elfie seemed pretty happy with himself. It did make for a much more colorful angel than show.

Day 19
Looks like we have an award winning elf on our hands! Wait a minute... those are Ava's triathlon, karate and cheerleading medals and trophies. You almost had us fooled Elfie! You may not have really won any medals or trophies (or at least none that we know of) but you're still the best elf in our home.

Day 20
We woke up early the morning of our road trip to Utah for Christmas break and found that Elfie had packed himself in one of our bags. Whenever we travel over Christmas he always comes along with us. I guess it's easier for him to stow away in our luggage rather than fly to find us.

Day 21
Elfie couldn't resist testing out the make up mirror in our hotel room. We found him perched on the wall bracket checking out his face up nice and close. Ready for you close up Mr Elfie!

I'll be playing catch up over the next week with lots more Christmas posts to come.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the break!

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