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Oct
6
2015
Oct 6, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - kids creativity 2015

Open a package of something or another and there’s usually junk left over. What do you DO with that junk? Most of it ends up in recycling but sometimes, just sometimes, it gets put to really good use.

Take this piece. I don’t even know what it’s called. I think it’s made out of foam? I have no idea but it was there and I was about to dispose of it. Right at that moment, the big kid stops me in my tracks and asks if she can keep it. Of course, I had to ask, “Why?” – Continue Reading

Aug
27
2015
Aug 27, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - angry bird lego

I think it’s safe to say almost every home with a child has Lego in it. I have a love-hate relationship with Lego. On the one hand, I love the creativity Lego can foster in children when they’re encouraged to build to their hearts content without following any pre-determined instructions. While I’m not a big fan of those instruction booklets, I can also see their worth and how they can also nurture a child’s ability to follow two-dimensional instructions to create a three-dimensional representation.

Well, on this particular day, I am reminded once again of how much I love Lego.

I go in to my child’s room and this is what I’m presented with. Any guesses what it is?
It’s her version of Angry Birds! Cool, huh?? If you look closely enough you can see in this pic the slingshot and the red bird perched on top. You can also see the other Angry birds (the black one, yellow one, and the green one that boomerangs when you toss it) resting on the bottom waiting for their turn in the sling shot. – Continue Reading

Aug
4
2015
Aug 4, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - face plateThere we were eating dinner at the restaurant, chomping away at our meals when suddenly my child notes a very specific design on her plate. Then came the “mom, get your phone. You have to take a photo of it and put it on the site.”

Sure, why not?

Thus the question: do you see it?

Take a closer look and you might see more than a few slices of cucumber. You may start to see those cucumber slices as eyes followed by a nose and a ketchup smile and contained within an oval shaped plate for a face.

On any given day, had it been my plate, I probably would have missed it. Such is the beauty of creativity and the mind of a child who’s been encouraged to think outside the box.

Things to do: challenge your brain to see beyond what’s there. New shapes, new designs, new patterns, new solutions to old problems. Who knows what we might come up with?

This post is dedicated to that big kid of mine: thank you for being who you are! You never cease to amaze me!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only and reflects the opinion of one wee small family. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Jul
8
2015
Jul 8, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - pancake dog

There we were chomping away at our breakfast. It was a pancake feast! Pancakes are super easy to make and are always comforting.

As we continued to chew away, the big kid exclaims, “Hey mom, look!” and shows me her half chewed pancake.

Do you see it?

What first appears to be a half chewed pancake actually resembles the silhouette of a little dog (or so my big kid envisioned). I couldn’t see it from my angle so she adjusted her fork and this is what I saw.

thingsthatwedo.com pic - pancake dog

Ah…I do believe I see it now.


You see, that’s the beauty of creativity.

Truth be told, I’ve never been one to appreciate the art that sits in art galleries around the world. I don’t understand why they’re so valuable when children seem to produce masterpieces on a daily basis. In this one moment, I’m reminded of how creative young children are. They see the world with open eyes and an open mindset. They often see more than what we adults do because their minds aren’t preoccupied with conforming or with the daily grind of ‘to do’s.

Left side of the brain says: it’s a pancake.
The right side quickly challenges with a ‘hey wait a minute! Take a look. NO, take a closer look. That pancake looks like a little dog. See see??’

Use both sides of the brain and you truly have a masterpiece.

Now that’s something you can’t get at your local art gallery (according to humble little me, of course).

Things to do: given that today is Wednesday and Friday seems so incredibly far away, I think today is the perfect day to channel our inner creativity. See the world beyond the obvious. Take time to laugh, take time to ponder, and most importantly, be creative!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Jun
15
2015
Jun 15, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - polar bear

You may or may not see it. Not everyone does. We all see things from different angles and different perspectives. So, what do you see?

Do you see a chunk of half eaten pita bread?

Yep, that’s what I saw at first too. Then, my big kid pointed out that said pita bread resembled a particular object. She then flipped it upside down and said it resembled another object. I asked her to do a little snippet for our site. Here’s what she had to say: – Continue Reading

Jun
2
2015
Jun 2, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - birthday hummus cake

Take a good long look at that photo and tell me what you think it is.

If you think you see hummus and rice crackers, you’re only partially correct.

Give up?

That, my dear folks, was my birthday cake from my pals at work and it was by far one of the best cakes I’ve had in a very long time.

Why?

a) I’m not a big fan of overly sweet cakes (most icings gross me out)
b) I love dips and spreads (as if you didn’t already know that)
c) This ‘cake’ came from my pals at work. This is why I love this cake.

You see, all my friends at work, like me, are insanely busy. Most days, we don’t even have time to eat lunch so we’ll often eat at our desks in front of the computer (don’t remind me, I know it’s not a good thing to do!). Yet, on the day of my birthday, they all somehow managed to decorate my office, make me a homemade card (super fancy, I might add), think of my likes, treated me for lunch, concocted this hummus ‘birthday cake’, AND we all ate lunch together.

I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that.

This moment in time reminded me of what’s truly important in life. Sure, we all have bills to pay and there never seems to be enough money EVER. I think that’s a universal feeling we can all relate to. Having people that care about you: that’s priceless.

Things to do: Make memories with loved ones near and dear. It doesn’t take very much to remind others of how important they are to you.

This post is dedicated to all the pals I have at work. I know how busy you all are (we certainly sit in the same ship. How could I not know?). Taking time to have lunch together doesn’t nearly happen often enough. My hummus birthday cake was delicious but most importantly, our time together – that was exactly what I needed!

p.s. photo credit – pal “ND” who took the photo and then sent it to me. I obviously was too busy eating to take the photo myself!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

May
13
2015
May 13, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - creativity - eatI took this photo a while ago. I can’t even remember what we were doing or eating. The spoon in the cup has a creamy colour so I’m wondering if we had been eating ice cream. I honestly can’t remember.

What I do remember is noticing the particular shape the cream made on the side of the cup. I called my big kid and hubby over to take a look and they both agreed.

Yep, they saw it.

Do you?

There, stuck on the side of the cup is a creamy smudge that looks like the word ‘EAT’.

It was too cool! So, of course, my big kid enthusiastically tells me to ‘GO GET THE CAMERA MOM! YOU HAVE TO POST IT!’ So, while I may be a few weeks late, at least I did hold true to my word and am now posting about it.
As a family, we love finding little patterns or images in unsuspecting places. It’s a skill, really. You can’t notice anything if you’re always in a rush so at some point, you have to take life a little slower. Only then, can you pay attention to the subtleties of life.

Things to do: take life a little slower. Then take a good look around you. You might be surprised at what you’ll discover.

thingsthatwedo.com pic - creativity - eat

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Apr
21
2015
Apr 21, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - kids game 2015

Yes, it is a sheet of paper with circles and some numbers but it is so much more than that.

One random day as my big kid is playing, she decides to do this. She then informs me that it’s a game involving a coin of your choice. The idea is to toss your coin and you get points based on where the coin lands. That’s the basic premise of this game. I think she may/not have told me the name of the game but of course, I can’t remember that bit of information now when I need it most.

What’s fascinating about this one sheet of paper is the brain power involved. There was a distinct choice to put the circles in the middle of the paper. There was a distinct choice made to assign points in such a way so that the bigger spaces would have only 5 points while the small tiny center location is worth 100 points.

Now, as an adult, you may think, ‘Yeah, but I know a ton of kid’s games that are just like this” and that may be true. However, all that being said, it takes a lot of brain power for a child to then to be inspired by those ideas to come up with another version. The brain has to remember what those ‘other games’ are based on, how those point systems work, make decisions on how you want your game to look like, while assigning your own set of rules. To do all that juggling effectively means the child is really tapping in to their working memory, holding a number of details together, juggling all those thoughts, to achieve an end goal.

Once my big kid was done making her game, she then explained it to me and to her grandfather so that we could play along. That takes on a whole new skill set because it’s one thing to have the ideas in your head, it’s a completely different process to organize your thoughts and express them in a way that the other person will understand. That’s a skill we adults are still learning to master and we’ve had years of experience doing it!

That’s what this paper represents – brainpower.

Things to do: give your child the freedom to create, to explore, to discover. Empower your child to be, to live in the process, and to be proud of all the learning that takes place along the way.

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Feb
20
2015
Feb 20, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com - chima lavals royal fighterCopyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Today my big kid and I watched our first episode of Lego Chima, Legends of Chima. It was a random episode and we sort of understood the plot but we spent most of our time becoming acquainted with all the different characters.

In this episode, we saw Laval, Flinx, Lavertus, the Phoenix tribe, Mungus, the ‘horned heads’, Cragger, and a number of other Lego Chima characters. It was fascinating to see them all come to life and to see the storyline unfold.

After the episode was done, my big kid spent quite a long time digesting what we watched. We talked about the different plotlines, noted that Laval and Cragger are friends in this episode but that in the past they had been friends but then became enemies, and laughed at how funny Lavertus was….or is he? (you may not understand that last comment unless you know Lavertus and that he often ends his statements with comments like “or am I?” “or did I?”). There was a lot of discussion, from the voices and personalities of each character to the actual timeline of the story.

Later on this evening, my big kid made the following comment, “But I think this is the only episode I’m going to watch.”

Puzzled, I asked why. – Continue Reading

Feb
8
2015
Feb 8, 2015

thingsthatwedo.com pic - snow 2014Copyright© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

You did what?

“I did laughter yoga.”

Yoga, what?

“Laughter yoga.”

You’re just making that up.

“No, I’m not. It’s real and I went to a laughter yoga session.”

I still don’t believe you.

“Well, it’s true.”

Yes, I did go to a laughter yoga session. Talk to me a few weeks ago and I didn’t even know laughter yoga was a real thing. Then, I learn from a friend that she’s been going to laughter yoga and she convinced me to try it out. If you follow ThingsThatWeDo.com, you’ll know I’m incredibly lazy so it’s not easy to get me to try new things but I have to admit, I was intrigued.

My friend told me laughing, even fake laughing or laughing that  you make yourself do, generates all this goodness inside your body. Stress levels are reduced, your mood gets lifted, and apparently, there a lot of health benefits to laughter yoga. The best part is she always has a great sleep after laughter yoga.

The laughter yoga session was affordable and children were welcome so I decided to go with my daughter.

Can I tell you, we had a blast!!! – Continue Reading

© 2015 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.