Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stay Cool!

With the record-breaking heat, we are living in our basement (the only cool spot). How are you staying cool? Here are some random ideas from various sources:

Things we've tried
  • Sprinkler in the shade
  • Downtown library
  • Bookstores
  • Frozen grapes (and any other fruit)
Restaurants with A/C:
  • Top Pot donuts
  • Buca de Beppos
  • Tutta Bella
  • Whole Foods food court
  • Spagetti Factory
  • McMenamins
  • Any big chain

Fun places to hang out

  • Today's Farmer's Market (has gelato)
  • Blue Highway Games
  • Science Center or Children's museum
  • The squirting frogs/turtle fountain at Uvillage
  • The Seattle Center fountain
  • Wading pool
  • Salmon Bay park is mostly shaded (and has a zipline!)
Any other ideas?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 5 Birthday Gifts for 1 Year Olds

It's Top Five Friday so here are our take on (kid powered) birthday presents for that big 1 year old milestone:

  • Pull along zebra: Made from natural rubberwood recycled from rubber trees no longer able to produce latex. Non-toxic, water based dyes to add accent colors to products. But the cutest part will be watching the your toddler waddle along with her new friend.

  • Jumping Rody horse: Made of super strong, latex-free vinyl, this jumping horse inflates to a saddle height of up to 12 inches with a hand or foot pump. Not only a great friend, this horse will help learn balance and coordination while having a grand ole time

  • See Kai Run Shoes: These are just cute, cute, cute!

  • Dress up clothes by Sarah Silks: If you've ever been to our story time with Moon Paper Tent, you know that the first thing the kids go for are the dress up clothes. You can get these for only a few bucks at thrift stores, too.

  • Oval Xylophone by Plan Toys: An enjoyable way to exercise eye-hand coordination. To reinforce your children natural sense of harmony and rhrthm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ideas to Calm Your Crying Baby

We all know that tantrums represent real emotions and should be taken seriously. We previously posted some tips for car seat crying. Now, here are some ideas for those tantrums we all know and (try) to embrace:
  • Identify the trigger and keep a diary. What set your child off? Was she hungry, tired, over-stimulated, sick, bored?
  • Stay cool. It’s hard not to panic, especially when in public. So when your child is out of control it’s very important that you stay in control. Carry them away and let them blow off some steam in the car or a private area.
  • Plan ahead. Well-rested and well-fed children make activities and errands easier to accomplish. The morning is the best time for outings, during the afternoon one can become tired and cranky.
  • Create a list within your diary. “my child behaves best when…” “my child behaves worst when…”

Anything we've missed? We'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Activity: Make Some Music with the Gathering Drum

Most kids seem to be music fanatics (or at leasting banging fanatics) and that is why our activity suggestion for today is the Kids Gathering Drum. No instructions needed. No music to read. Just bang away. These drums can be played by one, two, three, or more players at a time with hands, mallets, or sticks. If you have more than one, you can create a drum circle. And it's a great activity for big and little kids to be involved in together.
You can even join in the fun. You'll love to see your kids inventing cool rhythm patterns all on their own. Add one of these basic beat egg shakers to the mix.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Product Review: Automoblox

We had fun dressing up and hanging out with the neighborhood an the annual Community Center festival and Helpline Kid's parade. Unfortunately, it is raining today so I thought I'd share a great product for adventure imagination play. Mix the fun of zooming around a wooden car with the fun of putting together car models and you get Automoblox.
Automoblox was designed to inspire creativity in children by allowing them to visualize and assemble cars of their own design. The Automoblox X9-X Sport Utility is a perfect mix of style and utility. It has running boards, front and rear skid plates, a roof rack and spare tire and is equipped to tackle the craggy mountain trails and stark canyon floors at the far edge of imaginations landscape.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Whale of a Sale and Other Activities

It's a whale of a sale on the sidewalks of Queen Anne on Saturday July 11th. We will have great deals on many items including shoes, toys, clothing and gift items! We will also be having some great giveaways, so come on by and join in the fun!

Also, take the family and get a move-on in the 24th Annual Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run/Walk or join in the children's parade (make sure you decorate your bike) sponsored by Queen Anne Helpline.

And, don't forget that today is Thursday and that means Moon Paper Tent story time at 10:30 in our store. The kids love to dress up and imagine they are in a magical place.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Baby has arrived!

On July 4th my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our third child and first boy, Jax Goodrich Kingrey. Like our other two children, he was late in his arrival, born on a weekend, and right at about 7 lbs and 10 oz's, the consistencies are amazing! As I reflected on the past five years with my two girls while waiting for the delivery, I also was thinking forward about what life will be like with not only a third child but a boy as well. He will definitely be taken care of by his big sisters, as evidenced by the fact that Macy, my 5 year old, has held him twice as much as I have since his birth. She demands holding him constantly, and does a wonderful and safe job of it I might say. Elly, my 2 year old, has been super sweet and always wants to get into the mix.
Everyone keeps telling us how different boys are than girls. I like to look at it like how different each child is regardless of gender. My girls are very different in many ways, and very alike in others.It is interesting how much more relaxed I was for this birth, before and after. Knowing what to expect is such an advantage for any parent. I think about the uncertainties and anxieties before and after the birth of our first child and how much more protective and worried I felt. I still feel protective, but with much more serenity and clarity.

As our family expands and the trivial things change like the number of car seats, sleep times, getting out of the house, etc... our focus remains the same, which is raising healthy, compassionate, happy and responsible children.
Queen Anne Sidewalk Sale Saturday July 11th

It's a whale of a sale on the sidewalks of Queen Anne on Saturday July 11th. Take the family and get a move on in the 24th Annual Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run/Walk or join in the children's parade (don't forget to decorate your bike). Urban Kids Play will have great deals on many items including shoes from our great summer selection, toys, clothing and gift items up to 75% off! We will also be having some great giveaways, so come on by and join in the fun!

Healthy kids recipe: Disappearing Zucchini Muffins

Are you looking for something healthy that the kids can grab on the way out the door? Try these tasty muffins. And, you don't have to peel the zucchini before shredding it for this recipe. It won't affect the taste and the peel will provide some extra fiber. I've noticed that when my kids help prepare it, it automatically "tastes great" and they get a little math lesson to go along with it!

Prep time: 30 minutes


1½ cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
2 cups whole-grain pancake or biscuit mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice powdered sugar (enough to dust the muffins)

Equipment and supplies
bowls — one large, one medium
grater — a plastic grater is safest for kids
measuring cups and spoons muffin tin and paper liners


Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Wash zucchini and remove ends. Shred zucchini using largest holes on grater. Place grated zucchini on paper towels and squeeze to remove water. Measure 1½ cups of squeezed-dry zucchini.

In a large bowl, mix whole-grain pancake mix (or biscuit mix) with spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, and lemon juice. Fold the egg-sugar mixture and shredded zucchini into the pancake-spice mixture; do not overmix.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake 10–15 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle muffins with a dusting of powdered sugar.

How much does this recipe make?About a dozen muffins.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Top 5 Baby Shower Gifts

It's Top 5 Friday and time for our list of baby shower favorites:

  • When it comes to swaddling a baby in comfort and supreme softness, it doesn't get any better than the Original Muslin . Swaddle your baby in natural softness and breathability. Reduces the risk of SIDS, colic and fussiness. 4-packs are available in a variety of colors and patterns.
  • Pronto Mini Changer : Change your baby on the go with this sleek portable kit that holds everything moms and dads need to keep their baby clean, dry and happy.
  • Feed your baby safely in style with the melamine striped plate by They come in four different colors and are BPA-free.
  • Candela : These fun LED lights provide 8 hours of soothing light, plenty of time to make sure that even the most restless of little ones are off to dreamland. Lights automatically when lifted from the charging base or if there is a loss of electricity. Simply place on the "Safe-Charge" base and lights recharge for the next use.
  • An expensive-but-worth-every-penny option is the Ergo Baby Carrier : This special ergonomic design supports a correct sitting position for the baby's hip, pelvis and spine growth. It disperses most of the baby's weight between the hips and thighs, which helps to eliminate compression of the spine when hanging by the crotch which most other designs require. The ERGO also balances the baby's weight to parents' hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Get Active: Homegrown Obstacle Course

Here are some ideas for building your own outside (or inside) obstacle course. We've tried this and the kids love it. You can even recruit those curious kids from the neighborhood who ask "what are you doing?"
  • Lay a jump rope on the ground for a balance beam element. Racers must complete the balance beam before moving to the next station.
  • Arrange shoe boxes in a pattern for either zigzagging around or jumping over.
  • Create shapes and colors out of construction paper and then lay them on the ground to hop from shape to shape.
  • Use a laundry basket or bucket and balls for the ball toss
  • Hula hoops or old bike tires can be used to either to hold for your child to crawl or jump through, or laid flat for a jumping obstacle.
  • Try a ring toss activity for a fun hand-eye coordination station.
  • Set up chairs in a pattern to zigzag through or crawl under.
  • Add a pop-up tunnel or create your own tunnel system by laying a sheet over chairs.
  • Blow up balloons and use a baseball bat to keep them in the air for 5 hits.
  • Set up a sprinker to run through.

Don't forget your stop watch and water!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Healthy Kids Recipe: Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

Are you trying to satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthy way? Try these Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars. The recipe is versatile enough to substitute different types of nuts and fruits. We make them and then use them as a snack when we are out and about. It takes about 30 minutes and makes about 12 bars.

  • 1 C quick cooking oats
  • ¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ C toasted wheat germ
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ C honey
  • 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ C canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ C dried chopped tart cherries (we love Chukar Cherries)
  • ½ C finely chopped walnuts
  • cooking spray
  • ¼ C “fruit only” apricot preserve

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl whisk together honey, applesauce, oil and eggs. Fold in cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and spread the dough out evenly. Bake in center of oven for 30-35 minutes. Or, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.

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