J Shallow

J Shallow

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Monday, 17 January 2011 03:24



What a fun experience it is to try kicksledding, or Spark as it is called in it's originating countries. This was actually our 2nd time kicksledding, but this time it was part of a class that my daughter & I took with another family from our playgroup. We learned a little bit about the history of kicksledding, how to put it together & how to store it, and how to care for it after you are finished. Then we headed outdoors to try it out. The pictures above show the kid size kicksleds, but there are adult size ones as well, which us moms had a chance to push each other around on.

I have to admit that it was more of a workout this year doing kicksledding than last year because the trails still had a lot of snow cover on them and they were not iced over. A kicksled is much easier & faster to use when it's on ice.

As a group we went through the nature center on some of the trails so that we could get a feel for how to maneuver it and control the speed down a hill.

If you get a chance to try this out, you should. The availability of kicksleds seems to be low, so if you get the chance, take it. And if you live in our area, you should check out Winterfest at the nature center where they will have the kicksleds out again. There will also be horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow shoeing, sledding, games, and a bonfire (roasted marshmallows!) It is a lot of fun!


Tuesday, 09 November 2010 22:20

Fairgrounds Park

fairgrounds park

We went to the Fairgrounds park for some playtime and a lunch. It was such a pleasant surprise to be having a picnic on the ground when we almost 1/3 the way through November. This park is special because it's the only city park with climbing walls for the kids. Plus they have very separate little kids play equipment and big kids play equipment. And actually, some of the equipment here is meant for even older kids, so it's a good park to grow with your kids.

Tuesday, 09 November 2010 22:17

Farm Equipment Store Tour

tractor             This morning we went on a tour of a farm equipment store. The kids had a lot of fun getting to climb in a combine, a tractor, on a flatbed, and on some of the lawn & utility tractors. It was such a great day to be outside for a tour.
Thursday, 04 November 2010 01:36

Halloween Party

Halloween Party      During the school year we have a weekly standing playdate at an area church nursery. So, during the week before Halloween we had a Halloween Party there. Attendence was good with 9 moms and 16 kids.

The calendar for November is finished and we will be touring a Farm Equipment retailer and a radio station, trips to the RADZoo and MN Zoo, ice skating at an arena, a visit to a large outdoor sporting goods retailer, a couple visits to McD's playland and our weekly nursery playgroup. Also, be sure to check the playgroup forum online (members are given access to this) to get more details about each playgroup and for impromtu park playdates.

Work has begun on the December calendar and so far includes a holiday party, a grocery store tour, a Little Ones storyhour, an ECFE party and a couples holiday party. 


Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:02

Monday Park Playgroups

Every Monday we have a park playgroup in the morning. This week we had a decent turnout of 6 moms and 13 kids. With some moms being back to work as teachers and kids going to different preschools, it's hard to get a time for everyone. But the Monday park playgroups are weekly, as well as Trinity Church Nursery playgroups on Friday morning. We try to schedule in another playgroup some other time during the week as well.

Other upcoming playgroups will include a Halloween Party, a trip to the Children's Museum, and indoor swimming playgroup, & a birthday playgroup.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010 14:40

Nature Hike & Picnic Lunch

 Nature Hike

Today we met some friends at the River Bend Nature Center to hike around, play a little bit and have some lunch. It was great weather when we arrived and it didn't start to rain until we were finished & already in our cars. Lucky timing. Although, many other families let the threat of isolated showers scare them away today, so it was just 3 families there.

The kids really wanted to build a fort, but it looked like someone had diverted the stream into many other little streams down into the valley where the kids play area was, so it was kinda muddy there and it didn't seem like the kids were too into mud today.

But we did see may different types of fungus, so that was neat to point out to the kids and let them toucch them to feel the differences.

Later this week, we will be attening the SORC Open House. Lots of fun & actvities outside for the kids. And it's all free. Hope you can attend!


Friday, 10 September 2010 15:06

Back to school Parkdates

Today we had our first back to school park playgroup. There were 10 kids there today (sorry no pictures this time) and 5 moms. There seems to be smaller turnout when we are back at school since there are many different preschools to choose from and all have different schedules.

So, if you missed us this week, be sure to get in touch with me about next week. I have scheduled a weekly (varying days so that everyone has a chance to make it to some) park playgroup. I have the playgroups scheduled to begin mid-morning. Pack a lunch & eat there before you head home for an afternoon nap or afternoon preschool.

Next week we will be heading back to the nature center. It is always a good time there. And something to look forward to is the Visit to the RADZoo (Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo) in October and a pumkpin patch visit during October as well.

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 19:31

Preschoolers in the Park

Today we met other preschoolers, their parents & siblings from our preschool at the park. We had 19 people show up, which is pretty good. I didn't have out my camera, because a photographer friend was there taking pictures for a project she is working on for the city. So, I just snapped this last picture when my daughter wanted to climb the big rock at the park. The kids had a good time playing on the equipment & playing with sand toys.

Friday, 27 August 2010 20:43

Firehouse Tour

Firehouse Tour This was by-far the largest playgroup I have ever set up. In total, 56 people attended this firehouse tour. It was incredible. I had 40 people rsvp they were coming and some maybes turned in to yesses and a couple other people invited friends to come along. The fireman, Cory, was fantastic and handled our big group wonderfully. The kids loved every minute of it. One mom even volunteered to have him dress her in full uniform, including the oxygen tank which he turned on. And the kids all got to use the house (a favorite) and climb in any of the trucks they wanted. They gave us a little speech about fire safety and then we toured the living quarters, saw the fireman's pole (which they really do use), as well as see the uniform, trucks & hose.