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  • Play Today DC Birthday Party Guide

    posted on May 9, 2012
     

    Stressed about booking your child’s birthday party? Play Today DC has a variety of options to make your party planning simple and fun! Our partners have great birthday parties available on our site for you to book now.

    Click on images for party listings on www.PlayTodayDC.com

    Yoga Parties from East Meets West Yoga & Dream Yoga
    Eclips Kids Salon and Spa Parties
    Creative Kids Kitchen Parties
    ChildTime Magic Birthday Parties
    Pool Parties at the Herndon Community Center
    JW Tumbles Herndon Birthday Parties
    Martial Arts Parties from US Karate Center, Mt. Kim Martial Arts, & Enshin Karate

    Party Styling

    A local mom of three, Courtney, amazes me with her beautifully styled birthday parties. I don’t know if I have the creative eye to do anything quite as amazing, but I have been able to take one or two ideas from her parties and use them in my own. Courtney had a birthday party for her daughter’s fifth birthday and did a Little Red Riding Hood theme.

    You can find the items Courtney used from the links below…

    Fondant Cake ToppersLittle Red Riding Hood Paper Items and FabricFondant Cupcake ToppersFlower Cookies on Dessert Tree, Party Hats, Napkin Holder Flowers

    Easy Party Favors

    Homemade Play Dough

    We love this idea for homemade play dough. You can pick colors to match your theme and create personalized labels. Package the dough in bags or food containers with reusable lids, like these baby food containers.

    Here is the recipe (so simple you can have the kids help!)-

    1 cup flour

    1 cup water

    1/4 cup salt

    2 tsp. cream of tartar

    1 Tbls. vegetable oil

    food coloring (I used 4 drops)

    Just dump all the ingredients into your pot and give them a good stir.

    Custom Labeled Bubbles

    Have your child help you decorate paper labels or print them on the computer with
    your party theme details. You can attach them with double stick tape. These are also great for a Fourth of July bbq with friends. Make sure to put each child’s name on their bottle so they don’t get mixed up.

    Personalized Aprons

    There are a variety of aprons on Etsy.com for under $10 that you can have personalized with each guest’s name. These are perfect for a cooking themed party.

    We hope you have fun planning your child’s next birthday party and use some of these ideas and businesses to make it easier to plan!



     
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  • Guest Post from The Meanest Momma- Oxon Hill Farm Review

    posted on May 8, 2012
     
    Play Today DC is thrilled to have a guest post today from a friend of mine, Kendra aka The Meanest Momma. I don’t visit a new playground without checking her blog review first!
    Kendra is a native Northern Virgininan who has been blogging about family, food, and frugal adventures in Northern Virginia for over a decade. Check out her blog, The Meanest Momma, for recipes, menu plans, playground reviews and more. 

    Over spring break, I was looking for activities suitable for all three of my kids (ages 8, 6, and 4). I remembered hearing about Oxon Hill Farm, but didn’t know much about it. We decided to check it out one sunny spring morning and discovered a wonderful kid-friendly destination that everyone loved.

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    Oxon Hill Farm is a working farm, operated by the National Park Service. It is located in Maryland, just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It is easy to get to from the Northern Virginia suburbs and full of educational opportunities as well as plain old-fashioned fun.

    It is a charming property, dotted with various farm buildings. The first thing we saw as we walked in was the dairy barn.

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    At the center of the property, several buildings are clustered together, making for easy exploring with little kids. I’d recommend a jog stroller as the road is gravel and you’ll do a lot of walking on grass.

    The administrative office/information center/gift shop is the building on the left. Next to the windmill is a Farm Museum, and behind that is a chicken coop. Further back is the historic Mount Welby home, built in the early 19th century.

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    The windmill proved entertaining to my kids — they had a blast running around in circles, chasing its shadow.

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    Inside the farm museum, we found lots of interesting equipment from days gone by.

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    While climbing on tractors is fun, the real attraction at Oxon Hill is the animals.

    We were first drawn to the large chicken coop, where chickens ranged free, both inside and outside the fence.

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    One of the best features of Oxon Hill is that kids can actually get up close with the animals and “help” with the farm chores. Each day, there is an opportunity to feed the chickens and milk the cows. The daily schedule of events is posted on their website.

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    When it’s not too crowded, kids can even help collect the eggs. There were too many kids the day we went, but we were still allowed inside to check out the coop.

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    A huge Tom turkey shares the roost with the hens.

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    After we fed the chickens, we headed over to the dairy barn to help milk the cows.

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    Ranger Stephanie did a great job explaining how to milk a cow and assisting the kids who needed help. Every kid was thrilled — except my four year old, who had no interest in getting that close to the cow.

    We also took part in a wagon ride, which gave us an opportunity to tour the larger property (and wagon rides are just plain fun for kids).

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    Other things you’ll see on the farm include…

    A scenic pond with ducks and geese (fenced so kids can’t get into it).

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    A large pig pen with some of the friskiest pigs I have ever seen.

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    A cute pony mule.

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    A pair of beautiful (huge!) Belgian draft horses who were so gentle and friendly. My daughter was in horse heaven petting their sweet soft noses.

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    Goats and Sheep – the kids probably spent 20 minutes “collecting wool” from the fence of their enclosure.

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    There are also bunnies and a farm kitty.

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    When we got tired of exploring, we ate our picnic lunch on the grounds. There are picnic tables scattered around the property as well as a hay barn that has picnic tables inside. A standalone building houses restrooms and a water fountain.

    Inside the visitors center, there is a gift shop and a small interactive area for kids where they can draw pictures, handle nature objects, read books, etc.

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    There were many great educational opportunities at the farm, but the real treasure was simply giving the kids the freedom to run free and explore. As a mom, I feel like many days are filled with me telling my kids “No”. Oxon Hill is a wonderful, laid back environment, where it’s easy to say “Yes!”

    And the icing on the cake — everything is FREE! There is no admission to the park and no fees charged for any of the activities. In an area like ours where just about everything is so expensive, Oxon Hill was a wonderful find.

    Oxon Hill Farm and Oxon Cove Park
    6411 Oxon Hill Road
    Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745
    301-839-1176
    http://www.nps.gov/oxhi/

    Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25.

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  • Pinterest Recipes

    posted on May 4, 2012
     

    I have had so much fun with collecting recipes on Pinterest. There is nothing better than seeing a delicious picture of something to get you motivated to try a new recipe. I am not a great cook, and honestly my family does not reward me for the effort (picky boys and a husband that often works late), so I am usually reluctant to stray from my easy kid-friendly meals. But Pinterest has changed that in a way, cooking magazines and emails never did. And I have found fun kid food that other moms tell me are easy and their kids have loved. Nothing like the testimonial along with the picture! Make sure to follow Play Today DC on Pinterest. www.pinterest.com/playtodaydc

    Here are some of my favorites-

    Apple sandwiches with granola and nut butter

     

    Add food coloring to your boiling water to color your noodles!

     

    Fruit kebabs, rainbow style!

     

    Seriously amazing- you can make brownies in your waffle iron!

    Source: chow.com via PlayToday on Pinterest

     

    Happy cooking!

    -Christine



     
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