Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dinosaur Camp

This past week we've had the honor of having three more dinosaurs added to our household- my nephews on my husband's side. It was a fun time of arts and crafts, exploring, creating, and probably the least favored activity- school work. Yep, my dinosaurs do school work in the summer; it's a year round affair in our house. The only difference between the normal school year and summer time is that school work is generally done while Alexsaur is napping, in the summer, versus during the daytime the rest of the year.

My brother in law dropped his boys off, Hadrosaur (10), Corythosaurus (8), and Segisaurus (6) off on Tuesday afternoon and then the fun began. We started off with the greatly loved (I hope you can sense my sarcasm in text) school work. The boys have some catching up to do, but for not doing school work in months they did well enough. I had to teach them a lot of things to help them get the work right, however. After school was over, we were ready to have some real fun. And what Dino Camp would be complete without a lot of crafts!

Tuesday we decided to make our own crystals. I got two different kits, at the Dollar Tree.

I got the green, pink, and purple kits. I only got 4 of them, as I had already bought the trees weeks ago, thinking to do them as a science experiment during school with my kids.

The Crystal Tree. I had these on hand already.
There wasn't a whole lot that the kids could actually do with these. Alexsaur and Segisaurus got to put together the paper part for their trees, but the liquid gel said that it should only be handled by an adult. With the crystal rock kits, Jackasaurus, Mopsy, Hadrosaur, and Corythosaurus got to help mix the crystal gel and place their rocks in the trays. As I was the only adult there, I wasn't able to take pictures of the during process, but the results were kind of cool!

 Alexsaur and Segisaurus' trees and Mopsy's rocks

  Corythosaurus, Hadrosaur, Jackasaurus' rocks
One thing I will caution you with, if you do decide to get the tree kit. They can not be moved. Those 'crystals' just flake off. The kids loved watching them grow, but they had to stay in one spot the whole time. I ended up going back to the Dollar Tree and buying two more packages of the rock crystals, so that the two boys could have them to keep.

A note, about the rock crystals, is use less water. I followed the instructions perfectly for Mopsy's and Corythosaurus' rocks, and they didn't have as many crystals on the top as Hadrosaur and Jackasuarus' did. I used less water and mixed in only about 1/2 of the crystal mix, then poured the rest of the crystal mix onto the rocks themselves, for Jackasaurus and Hadrosaur's crystals. The effect was more crystals on top, and less goo on the bottom.

Wednesday we decided to take it outside and just explore, after our schoolwork was done. Boy, did they explore! They found cool, dead bugs, and learned all about teamwork!

Hadrosaur found a dead cicada, which he named "Dave". The only way I was letting that creepy thing into my house was if it was in a clear, sealed container! Cicadas creep me out!

You can't see the rest of them, but everyone worked together, as a team. to move a huge branch that had fallen last week, during a storm. I was very impressed how they decided to work together and move as one unit to get it moved!
Thursday we did more arts and crafts. I know that everyone had a blast with all the cool stuff we were making! For starters I had them make posters, for their rooms, to remind them how awesome they were. They really spent a lot of time decorating their posters, and adding lots of stickers to them!

Sorry, but even with the extra kids here I'm not showing their faces. Call me paranoid, but I refuse to do it!
After the schooltime, came the moment that they had been waiting for. Making our own erasers! I found this incredible kit at Wal-Mart for $5 on clearance. Man, I love clearance! It was fun to watch their imaginations soar and make some really cool looking erasers.

Corythosaurus and Jackasaurus made me a snowman eraser. Jackasaurus made a Legoman (he's laying down, but it does look like a Legoman. Alexsaur made his own thing (kind of looks like a brown ear drum, but hey! He's only 2!) Segisaurus made a cupcake, Mopsy made the butterfly. Hadrosaur made an alien and Corythosaurus made a skeleton.
I did end up baking these a bit longer than they said; about 20 min, at 250* F total. I found it necessary, since there were some pieces that were bigger than the others. They still turned out great and the kids were so excited to have them!

Friday was another fun day, in our Dino Camp. A wonderful friend gave me a lot of scrap fabric. I really had no clue what to do with it, until I heard the boys were coming up. I let them pick their own fabric, and we made pillows! I had no idea how much of a hit it would turn out to be! The kids adore their pillows; the nephews have carried them everywhere with them. They got to pick out the fabric themselves, the older kids got to hand sew their pillows, and I sewed up everything else on the machine. Then they got to stuff their pillows themselves. Boy, they loved stuffing those pillows with poly fiber!

They are absolutely in love with these pillows, and I'm glad they had so much fun!

I was praying last night, after everyone was asleep, I started praying for all of the kids and I felt impressed that I needed to make sure that the boys went home knowing that they were loved. As great of a week as we have had, there have still been times when I had to discipline wayward boys, and even though I've always followed it up by telling them how much I do love them, and I only discipline them so they know how they should behave, the truth is that they live over 4 hours away. I don't get to see them much. So I made them these.

Each one is different, for every child. I'll show close ups down below. I'll admit, these aren't the most crafty things I've ever made. I literally made these in Photoshop, printed them in black and white, and hand colored them in with markers (our printer only does black and white for right now). Then I bought some cheap frames, again from the Dollar Tree, and framed everyone. They loved them, and were so touched by them. Segisaurus wanted to carry his around everywhere he went. It might not look like much, but my hope is that, when they go home, they remember how loved they are and how special they are to our prehistoric family. Here are the close ups.

Tomorrow my nephews go home. We'll miss them, and wish them the best when they start school on Monday. I know it's not the last time they will be over, but next time I think I'll have them stay one at a time, for some one on one action. As much fun as it was, going from 3 to 6 overnight was overwhelming!

Until Next Time,

1 comment:

  1. I love this! My nephews come over often. They love to come over and be with Aunt May. It's great your doing the projects with them as well. Mine only want to come over and work outside with my animals... of course I let them! :D


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