Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Holiday Fun: Easy Playdough Snowmen

December 11, 2014

Playdough snowmanKids love sculpting with Play-Doh, and it's easy to make at home for a fun rainy day activity. You probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now!

We whipped up a batch of white "snow-dough" to make some cute holiday snowman decorations. It was an easy and fun craft for the kids to make. This recipe makes quite a bit of dough—equivalent to two large cans of Play-Doh. If you don't need that much, feel free to cut recipe in half.

To make your own snow-dough, you'll need:

Pinkalicious: The Musical Opens Saturday at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley

February 8, 2012

Pink is not only my daughter's favorite color, but also the subject of her favorite book, Pinkalicious, the children's best-seller by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann. You and your children can see the story retold on stage in Pinkalicious: The Musical beginning this Saturday when the Bay Area Children's Theatre opens its Broadway-style production at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage.

For Pinkalicious Pinkerton there is “one color like no other”—pink! But when she eats too many pink cupcakes, she develops a rare condition that turns her that color. There’s only one known cure: a steady dose of foods that are green. Will Pinkalicious eat her broccoli popsicles and return to normal?

Pinkalicious: The Musical, with music by John Gregor and lyrics by Gregor and the Kanns, has all the ingredients for a wonderful family treat. This glittering stage adaptation bounces from one upbeat Broadway-style number to the next, with tap dancing galore, as the peripatetic Pinkertons pilot precariously through their peculiar predicament.

Novato's Studio4Art Celebrates Four Years with the Opening of the Annex

October 23, 2011

Studio4Art AnnexNovato's Studio4Art celebrates not only its four-year anniversary, but also the opening of its new Annex, located directly behind the main studio! This new space will be used for parties, summer and holiday camps, workshops, and classes for children two years and up. The Annex will also serve as a gallery for student-created artwork and student art shows. The main studio will continue to be the place for drop-in art sessions as well as the retail area where customers can continue to find quality art supplies and unique art gifts.

Studio4Art has been serving Novato and surrounding communities in Marin and Sonoma County since it was opening in September of 2008 by owner Kebby McInroy. Studio4Art has maintained a specialized niche within the community, serving schools, families, and civic groups such as scout troops and dens. Studio4Art continues to advocate for children of all ages and their creative needs by offering affordable and quality hands-on classes, summer and holiday camps and workshops, and drop-in art sessions covering a variety of media from acrylic, watercolor, and oil painting, to sewing, wheel-throwing, clay hand-building, silk screening, block printing and mosaic-making.

Make Some Brownies from Scratch—It's Easy!

March 19, 2011

BrowniesWhen it's cold and rainy out, nothing makes your home cozier than baking something delicious. It's a fun activity that kids love to help with, it fills the house with a wonderful aroma, and you get a treat to eat when it's all finished. Chewy, chocolatey brownies are a perfect choice. They're easy to make, tasty, and we don't know anyone who doesn't like them

While there are plenty of quality mixes out there that you can use if pressed for time, making them from scratch really isn't all that more difficult. In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. Making brownies from scratch also guarantees that you control what goes into them—no preservatives, chemicals, hydrogrenated oils, and other unnatural stuff.

Over time, I've been trying out different brownie recipes to see which one I like the best. Here's the simple, basic, brownie recipe that I came up with after quite a bit of trial and testing. It can be easily modified to make versions beyond your run-of-the-mill brownie, too.

Musical Playgroups at the Magic Bus Music Studio in Novato

December 14, 2010

Looking for something to do with your playgroup on a rainy day? Bring your playgroup down to the Magic Bus Music Studio in Novato for 30 minutes of singing, dancing, and instruments for newborns to 4 years. Cost is $10 per child. There is a minimum 6 children and a maximum of 12 per playgroup per session. If you're hungry after your musical playdate, Round Table Pizza with the Merlin's Magical Kingdom play area is right across the parking lot. Call Melissa to schedule your next musical playgroup at the Magic School Bus at (415) 721-1929 or email her at m1@musicwithmelissa.com.

Marin Residents: Explore the Aquarium of the Bay for Free This Week

January 25, 2010

Bat ray at the Aquarium of the BaySan Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay offers free admission this week for Marin County residents, from Monday, January 25 through Thursday, January 28, 2010. Aquarium of the Bay is providing free admission in celebration of its recent transition into a nonprofit nature center. As the only aquarium dedicated to showcasing the diverse aquatic life of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed, Marin County residents are encouraged to come out and meet their underwater neighbors.

To get free admission to the Aquarium of the Bay, Marin County residents must present one proof of residency: a valid driver's license or ID card with Marin County address, utility bill, or a bank statement that includes your Marin County home address, along with photo ID.

Go Swimming Indoors This Winter

January 19, 2010

I decided that I’m going to do something for myself this year—I finally joined our local health club and I’m going to get myself back into shape. I signed up at the Marin YMCA a few weeks ago, and have to say that it was the best decision I’ve made so far this year. Not only am I able to take advantage of the workout room, but our entire family can participate in the classes and programs they have to offer as well.

One of our favorites features so far is the indoor pool. Believe it or not, we have been making a lot of use of it during on these recent rainy weekends, and my kids are able to burn off some energy as well as brush up on their swimming skills. My son wants to join the swim team in the spring and he needs to be able to swim the length of the pool first, so we’re getting in some valuable practice time.

There’s something I love about swimming in an indoor pool on a rainy day. At first thought it seems a little odd to want to go swimming when it’s cold and wet out, but once you get to the pool it’s warm and pleasant and a contrast to the yucky weather going just on the other side of the windows and walls.

Cooking with Kids: Fun and Easy Applesauce Muffins

January 18, 2010

Applesauce muffins on plateWhen it's rainy and you're stuck indoors, it can be fun to get the children involved in the kitchen with an easy, kid-friendly recipe. My kids love to help make these easy applesauce muffins almost as much as they enjoy eating them. With a crunchy brown-sugar topping and a hint of spice, they're perfect with breakfast or an anytime treat.

Kids can help to stir and mix the ingredients together, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, and test the muffins to see if they're done. (Keep little hands away from hot ovens and pans, though—safety first!) One thing I often do to make the whole process go more smoothly is to measure out all the ingredients first and array them on the counter. That way they're waiting for the kids when they come into the kitchen to help.

Get Your LEGO Fix at Play-Well TEKnologies—Parties, Classes, and Drop-in Fun

January 11, 2010

LEGO creation at Play-Well TEKnologies“Wow!” my son shouted as we walked in the door and laid eyes on all the LEGO kits and pieces in the room at Play-Well Teknologies in San Anselmo. We have been trying to visit “the LEGO place” (as my son calls it) and try one of their drop-in open-play sessions for a while now, but something always seemed to come up. We finally made it there last week with some friends for a playdate, and we all had a blast.

Play-Well TEKnologies' Marin Engineering Center features a large area dedicated just for the drop-in play. In fact, it's the largest drop-in LEGO center in the country. My son was in awe—they seemed to have every type of LEGO imaginable. Dozens of bins keep the LEGO pieces, reportedly over a million in all, organized by color, size, type, or theme, including wheels, ships, planes, engines, pirates and much, much more.

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