Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Backyard Camping - Staycation!!

My husband works overnights (well, evenings too - he works a lot of overtime) and holidays are very busy for him.  He can't generally get any vacation time around a holiday, such as Labor Day (yesterday) - he works like crazy.  This weekend was an exception.  A lot of work leading up to Labor Day, but he had Sunday and Monday off!!

We went to the State Fair (I decided I am NOT a fair person and don't really like people much), the Minnesota Zoo (see my post on our scavenger hunt), and did backyard camping.  2 days does not allow us to leave town, really, and neither does our budget, but we can still have fun for (almost) free! (We are zoo members, bought our fair passes early at a discount, and got the food for camping on sale with coupons, of course).

Camping seemed like a great opportunity to get in a little science lesson for the kids since we've been studying the moon and planets. We made these oreo cookie "phases of the moon" - a total winner with my preschooler.  He really understood better after this!


It happened to be a new moon that night, so we looked for the moon, which could not be found, and Dean was just amazed at that concept - and understood it was the black oreo!  We got creative and made some oreos with Neil Armstrong's footprints as well! 

We studied constellations (thanks, wikepedia!) and each kid picked a favorite star.  I thought that was a bit pointless but I didn't tell them. :)

Julia thought cooking s'mores was amazing! She was blown away that heating the marshmallow properly would then melt the chocolate - but not the crackers.  She had never really understood that you can't melt the chocolate (too messy, fall off stick) or crackers (don't melt) but the marshmallow is the key ingredient.  

We listened to crickets, explained why the grass was wet even though it didn't rain (dew), played 7 rounds of Uno and 11 rounds of Boggle.