We change the kids into their jammies like usual, but before they climb into bed, we announce "Pajama Walk!" and herd them downstairs and out the door.
O, joy! O happiness! Bedtime; delayed! Mama and Dad-Dad are the BEST!
We throw the kids into the stroller with some blankets and lucky stuffies and off we go - around the block or down to the field for a 30 minute stroll. If they're super-lucky, cookies and juice may be involved... but this is a bit more rare.
Dusk is a curious and interesting time, and during these walks, the kids are usually very mellow and observant of nature and the sounds of the woods around them. They know they're on borrowed time, so they don't squabble and fidget, and are generally more pleasant to be around than they have been for the proceeding 12 hours. O, if only it could always be like this!
Two extra benefits of the Pajama Walk are that the evening air tires the kids right out, and I'm able to squeeze in some bonus exercise. I highly recommend the Pajama Walk. I also highly recommend bringing bug spray.
Last night, we went for our evening walk, but didn't bother with pjs because I knew the kids were just too rambunctious to stay sleepily inside the stroller. We explored an old overgrown path, and the children ran up and down the woody lane, collecting mini pinecones and tossing them into the stroller. By the time we headed home, we had a collection of 30-40 small pinecones.
Although I generally prefer to leave natural items intact and appreciate them for what they are, both of the children have been on a "fairy kick" for a few weeks, and I thought maybe we could use these pinecones to do something special for our fairies. I washed them gently to remove mud and bugs, and spread them out to dry overnight.
This morning I took a deep breath and broke out the sacred Acrylic Paint for the first time with the children!
Acrylic paint is some serious business. It has the potential to look great, has much thicker coverage than children's poster paints, comes in a beautiful assortment of colors, and is able to be more gracefully manipulated with a paint brush. However, acrylic is a little difficult to scrub off of skin and surfaces once dry, and god forbid you get it on your clothes - you'll just be living with that streak of paint, forever.
The kids did pretty well, and were both very careful with their paintbrushes...
until Mommy wandered off to grab some drying trays, and came back to find this:
|"Look, Mama! I's PINK!"|
And if you're going to paint something for the fairies, well, you best get out the glitter, as well. Mama was only brave enough to allow one messy activity today, so I managed the dispersal of the glitter with an iron fist.
We had to allow the pinecones to dry for a few hours, but soon we had a beautiful little assortment of glimmering fairy treasures! Fairies love anything that sparkles, don't ya know? So we left these pretty little fairy toys in a basket beside our Fairy House, for the fairies to discover when they come home tonight.
We also also plan on using them to play a kind of Easter egg hunt game in the grass. The kids adore any type of hide-and-seek game, and I know this will be a bit hit.