• Camp Covid,  Camps

    Entrepreneur Camp

    With the exception of 2020, every summer, the kids start a summer business. This week we will work on developing an idea, building a stand, marketing, and selling their product during Entrepreneur Camp. In the past, Jackson has run “Pop of Jacks,” a popsicle stand that usually brings in roughly $75-$100 every day he goes out. From an early age, he learned how to use his charm and a few signature popsicle recipes to rake in sales, donations and create repeat customers. Due to probable concerns over the safety of homemade products, we will use those skills to launch a new business run by Jackson & Ansley. David and I…

  • camp toying around,  Kid Activities,  Reviews

    A Black Mom’s Review Of Babyland General Hospital

    Growing up playing with Cabbage Patch Dolls, I am sure I was more excited than Ansley to visit Babyland General Hospital, a showroom of original cabbage patch dolls, a birthplace for new dolls, and a store. While the visit started great, my excitement waned when I discovered one very disappointing fact: on the day of our visit, there was not a single doll of color in the Babyland Exclusive Cabbage Patch Doll Collection. We took the hour and fifteen-minute trek to Cleveland, GA, to visit Babyland during Camp Toying Around. Babyland is located in a picturesque southern white mansion sitting against the backdrop of the North Georgia Mountains. The grounds…

  • Kid Activities

    Tie-Dye Beach Towels

    Tie-Dye is definitely trending this summer. We decided to jump in on the fun by making our own personalized tie-dye towels. Using a spray tie-dye kit, large white towels, and craft vinyl, we were able to create colorful and fun beach towels that the kids couldn’t wait to take to the pool. Important Tip Using 100% cotton towels will ensure the brightest and most vibrant colors. The lower the cotton percentage, the more dull your final towel will be. Avoid polyesters as it does not absorb the ink as well. Directions Wash your towels before tie-dying. New towels are often treated with chemicals that may alter the dye’s ability to…

  • Kid Activities,  parenting,  stem

    Why Failure & Success Should Be Treated The Same

    As parents, David and I consistently push the boundaries of our kid’s self-perceived capabilities. This is especially the case when they take one look at something and decide it’s above their skill level. We gently remind them that they don’t have to succeed, but they have to at least try. And almost every time, they live up to the challenge. I will often present Jackson, age 10, and Ansley, age 5, with the same project. It seems a little daunting to Ansley at first. But, I think the challenge of keeping up with her two older brothers, coupled with our encouragement to try new things, motivates her. She more often…

  • parenting

    Preserving Boyhood

    A few weeks ago, we visited the Mini-Me factory where Jackson had the opportunity to memorialize himself as a 3d printed character.  After some careful consideration, he chose to dress up like Miles Morales / Spiderman from Into the Spider-Verse.  We were excited about this decision because we wanted to make a 3d rendition of him for two reasons.   First, making a personalized action figure during Camp Toying Around is seriously one of the coolest things ever.  Second,  these days, we are looking for any way we can to preserve something that is slowly slipping away… Jackson’s boyhood.   If you have a son, you understand that certain idiosyncrasies…

  • Camp Covid,  Camps,  water fun

    Camp Splash

    In the summer, water makes everything fun. Camp Splash is all about getting wet. We are looking forward to bringing out some of our favorite water toys, playing games, and having a blast. Because we did not finish making our short film during movie-making camp last week, we will spend our indoor time filming and editing. However, indoor time could also be spent watching some of your favorite summertime movies or playing classic board games that remind you of your own childhood summers. Plans for the week include a wide age range of activities, including: Slip N Slide Kickball Water baseball Running through our human carwash Making some fun 4th…

  • Camp Covid,  Camps

    Movie Making Camp

    This week is film week for Jackson. He is co-starring in a short film this weekend which means our days will be interrupted by Covid tests, fittings, production meetings, and everything else required to get ready to be on set. We decided to mirror the movie-making process in our downtime this week and host Movie Making Camp of our own. Each day will focus on a different aspect of the filmmaking process. While we are still deciding whether to use a script the kids drafted last year or to draft a new one, we will spend the other days shooting, editing, and having an outdoor screening of the movie when…

  • Kid Activities

    Taking Toys Apart

    If I knew that giving my kids a few tools, some old toys, and permission to take the toys apart would lead to hours of engagement, I would've done it years ago. Following along with this simple book Taking Toys Apart by Kristin Fontichiaro we learned how to safely disassemble some old toy cars. From removing the outer carriage to extracting the circuit board, this highly educational activity exposed us to the inner working of circuits, motors, resistors, capacitors, switches, and overall how electricity works. The kids were super pumped about this activity and asked if we can do it again soon.

  • Kid Activities

    How to Make Lego Gummies

    I find myself often surprised at how simple certain things are to make. Seriously, who knew with only 4 ingredients, you can make your own gummies. All the credit for how to make this fun food you can play with is given to the late Grant Thompson over at the King of Random. Unfortunately, Grant passed away a few years ago. I hope his family smiles knowing his awesome ideas are creating lasting memories in the hearts of all his fans. Grant gives some great tips on leveling up your lego gummies. He suggests adding vitamins to your mixture to make your gummies healthy and using real lego plates to…

  • Camp Covid,  Camps

    Historical Times

    Can History Be fun? We are about to find out as we explore a few exciting time periods of the past. These time periods were chosen at random and are not at all in order. Our plan this week is to explore some key times in history, learn a little, and have a lot of fun! The time periods we will visit are The Wild West Pre-Historic Age The Colonial Period The Pre Colonial Americas Plans for the week include a wide age range of activities, including: Visiting Gold Mines and Panning for Gold & Gems Excavating Dinosaurs trapped in Ice Creating Pueblo Style Pottery Making Nordic Stone Age Bread…