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Up to the Highest Heights

We do plenty of open-ended art projects around here. “Here are some watercolors; let’s paint!” Or “I brought home a big package of pipe cleaners. What should we make?” But the kids, Eleanor especially, really like having a project with step-by-step instructions to follow. I think they feel good about having made something themselves by following directions, so they love kits.

Kiwi Crate Craft Kit

I was given the opportunity to test out Kiwi Crate, a monthly subscription service, and I let E choose which craft we should try. They have different themes each month, like gardening, dinosaurs, and space, and Eleanor picked Fun with Flight because she wanted to make kites. Once she knew I’d ordered it, she asked “is it here yet?” every day until it arrived.

Eleanor and August

Each kit comes with all of the materials you need to make two or three projects (depending on which theme you choose), along with Kiwi Crate’s explore! magazine. Their monthly subscriptions start at $16.95/month with free shipping, and they also sell supplies like pipe cleaners, felt, and pom-poms, or party favors like capes, wands, and wings.

Making a Kiwi Crate Kite

Making a Kiwi Crate Kite

After finishing up her first kite, she and August both made rockets that launch with a rubber band. Kiwi Crate offers a “no fight” option with extra materials, so E and A were each able to make a happy-face kite and a grumpy one, and two different rockets. The both got the bonus paper flyers that were included and their own copies of the explore! magazine, too.

Making Kiwi Crate Rocket Ships

Kiwi Crate is offering a discount for my readers right now. Join their Time Traveler Series with projects to fall back in time! The promotional code excludes sibling add-ons, but you can save 25% on your first month subscription with code LOVELY25.

Making Kiwi Crate Rocket Ships

So cute. I love a good craft project that comes to my door, with all the guess-work and supply-shopping taken care of. And the kids loved making everything!

The 4-6 Weeks Project (Week One)

I did this project the last time I was pregnant, too. The idea is to take a daily photo in the 4-6 weeks before the new baby comes, celebrating our time together as a family of four, and eventually I’ll turn the series into a keepsake book for Eleanor and August. Last time I started 4 weeks from my due date, thinking I might go to 42 weeks like I did with Eleanor, but then August came a few days early. This time I’ve started 6 weeks out, and hopefully baby number three won’t turn this into The 8 Weeks Project!

{ Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeView All }

August 15

Six weeks from your new little brother’s due date. Six or so weeks from becoming a family of five. Eleanor, you talk about the baby constantly, offering to share your bed & getting excited about how we’ll have so much to do because we’ll get to teach him everything. August, you mostly just like to bonk into mama’s big belly!

August 16

You both had fun making these paper kitties before bed tonight, & then you tried to have a sleepover in August’s room (as we have been doing a lot lately while working on the hallway). It ended in tears with Eleanor back in her room after August told her she was “fired from making paper cats EVER EVER AGAIN.”

August 17

Eleanor, you carried a rock with you to meet Sir Topham Hatt at our first “Day Out with Thomas” two years ago. This year, you made it into what must now be a tradition, and August, you got in on it too. You guys rock.

August 18

After a Thomas-filled day yesterday, you both had renewed interest in your toy trains. We made a huge track on the floor of the newly opened-up hallway, adding bridges and making everything connect. It was so cute to hear the stories you make up for the different engines! Pretty sure there was a wedding involved at one point.

August 19

We have a desk in the playroom, but you both gravitate toward spreading everything out on the floor instead. Mama’s happy to oblige, even if it is getting harder for her to sit down there with you as her tummy grows!

August 20

When mama started this photo project, she hoped to get at least a few pictures with both of you in them. She thought it might not be easy, but really, you two are together more often than not. Eleanor and August: siblings and best buddies. And soon you’ll have another pal to play with!

August 21

August, ever since you were little, you’ve been into cars and trucks — basically, anything with wheels. Monster trucks have been a big hit for a long time now, and your love for them doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. I wonder if your little brother will be the same way.

Another Day Out with Thomas

We first met up with Thomas, the cheeky blue engine, two years ago. We missed it last year because we spent the summer up in Wisconsin while we waited to move into our new house, but we went again this weekend. I don’t know if you know this, but carrying a big rock to meet Sir Topham Hatt? It’s a thing.

Meeting Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas travels around North America through the spring and summer, and the event is held near Chicago each year at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL. It’s a cool place, with an impressive collection of “rolling stock” (locomotives and cars). Eleanor and August are still afraid of the biggest engines, but the smaller, friendlier ones are much less imposing.

Horse-Drawn Railroad Car
Old Railway Signs
Checking Out the Old Trains
IL Railway Museum

The kids got temporary tattoos, played with train tables, and climbed on a giant sand mound. Not sure how that last one was train-related, but they enjoyed it.

Thomas Activities
Sandy Sand

And of course, there was the obligatory Thomas train ride.

Thomas Ride

The kids waved at him and thanked him for the ride every time we saw him puff by. My goofy little cuties.

Rockin' Out!

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