Tag Archives: fun things to do with kids

Sanbox List Adventure 29: Meeting Your Hero

14 Apr

We have 13 of them.

Over the past year we’ve collected 13 of them. We started with three and now we have 13. I’m sure the count is gonna keep on rising. Apparently the Cape Crusader is the best superhero on Earth, even though he doesn’t actually have superhero powers, he’s super skilled in martial arts and has all kinds of gadgets to assist his crime fighting capabilities.

So it was of the utmost important that we didn’t miss meeting him.

At last year’s Festival of Books, we witnessed the awesomeness of The Justice League read one of their adventures on stage, but failed to meet them in person, which did not go over well with the kids. Luckily I was able to distract them with snacks, samples, superhero books, Captain Underpants, Scooby-Doo, and other scavenger hunt prizes.

I was packing light this year, and didn’t think sandwiches, Cutie oranges, cheese sticks, and graham crackers would cut it. So I was determined to weave my way in and out of the overheated masses and their cranky parents to reach the Meet-and-Greet line. I was on a mission to make the introduction. I was on a mission to make a Sandbox List Adventure come true.

So I was a little worried when a guy wearing a batman t-shirt and cap came on stage to read Skyscraper Showdown. I didn’t see Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, or Batman. Don’t get me wrong the guy was quite animated and very into the story, but he had nothing on the Cape Crusader.

I began to worry as my son asked me for the third time where Batman was and my daughter was wondering when Flash or Wonder Woman were going to show up … but then just as the Joker was about to escape … he showed up and the crowd went wild. Apparently it was one of the best readings we attended. And even though Batman was the only superhero there, my daughter followed her brother’s lead and enjoyed the book.

But the magic of reading didn’t stop there.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the books, going on adventures that can only happen with literary magic, listening to music, and meeting all kinds of authors. It was one of the best Sandbox List Adventures this year. I know that because they’re still talking about it.

 

We got there early and saddled-up for an awesome adventure.

We got there early and saddled-up for an awesome adventure.

 

One of our first stops was the checking out the featured band ... that woke everybody up with their awesome jams.

One of our first stops was checking out the featured band … they woke everybody up with their awesome jams.

 

We followed that up by adding our names and favorite books to the wall of inspiration. My son of course chose Batman :)

We followed that up by adding our names and some of our favorite books to the wall of inspiration. My son of course chose Batman 🙂 My daughter chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. I decided to add The Alchemist, Eat Pray Love, and The Life of Pi.

 

We managed to play a few games before we went to the main event.

We managed to play a few games before we went to the main event.

 

Then we headed to the children's stage to check out our main event.

Then we headed to the Children’s Stage to check out our main event. We got front seats and enjoyed the reading of Skyscraper Showdown.

 

This is when all the kids went crazy ...

However the crowd went wild when this guy showed up …

 

However this is when my son was starstruck. He could barely contain himself. He was so excited to meet his hero and have Batman sign his book. It was his cartwheel-worthy moment of the week.

My son was starstruck. He could barely contain himself. He was so excited to meet his hero and have Batman sign his book. It was his cartwheel-worthy moment of the week.

 

When the awesomeness of the Cape Crusader was done, we explored the rest of the festival and discovered new authors.

When the awesomeness of the Cape Crusader was done, we explored the rest of the festival and discovered new authors.

 

During our exploration this was one of the funnest books and booths we discovered. My daughter did her best surfer pose and joined the characters ofthe book.

During our exploration this was one of the funnest books and booths we discovered. My daughter did her best surfer pose and joined the characters of the book.

 

During our browsing session, I found this book that caught my eye. The fact that Diego Luna read it aloud intrigued me.

During our browsing session, I found this book that caught my eye. The fact that Diego Luna read it aloud intrigued me.

 

After we picked up all of our books, from new and established authors, we headed home with all kinds of inspiration and new ideas.

After we picked up all of our books, from new and established authors, we headed home with all kinds of inspiration and new ideas.

 

 

 

 

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Sandbox List Adventures 26: Secret Agent Spies and Love

15 Feb

It’s always about hiding in corners, tip-toeing so they don’t hear you, sneaking up, finding the antidote, having MacGyver moments with a stick of gum and two toothpicks, fighting the bad guys, and saving the world.

This is the life of Little Guat 007 and his sidekick 008, who is still in diapers.

In truth I had no idea where he got this concept as I’ve never exposed him to James Bond or Mission Impossible, but I can guess that it’s a combination of his love for the Justice League and the Playing Spies episode of Word World. Either way, there’s always espionage-like missions where they crack the Jenga code, solve the ABC Alphabet Foam Floor Puzzle, tie me up with the purple Minnie Mouse jump rope, rescue Dora The Explorer, and save the secret Hungry Hungry Hippos Marble Treasure.

It’s pretty intense.

We have these secret missions at least once a week, sometimes more when it rains over here. I really didn’t think I could add any more juice to these missions, but then my son saw the commercial and then it was on.

For a limited time only. Limited engagement.

That always seems to add a sense of urgency and so … it was on. In our latest Sandbox List Adventure, we mastered our spy skills and became the best 007 secret agents we could with the help of the Spy Exhibit at the Reagan Museum. Overall it was an awesome way to spend Valentine’s Day … taking down pretend bad guys and celebrating with chocolate afterward. Lots of it.

 

I knew President's Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we'd be spies on Valentine's Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

I knew President’s Day weekend would bring in the crowds to the museum, so I thought we’d be spies on Valentine’s Day and it proved to be pretty sweet.

 

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate handshake and headed toward the exhibit.

Once we got our tickets we did our Wonder Twins activate toe tap and headed toward the exhibit.

 

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

We got our secret agent stickers and prepared ourselves for the movie and spy history lesson.

 

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

First we were informed of some rules, which my son took pretty seriously.

 

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

Then we got a few lessons from a couple of real spies.

 

Then we learned about secret compartments.

We learned about secret compartments and listening devices.

 

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies.

And then we learned of even sneakier ways of spies … never knew a glue stick could be so versatile.

 

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist briefcase. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

Then we realized that we had to beef up our criminalist kit. My son informed me we needed to go buy more spy tools as we only had our plastic screwdriver and wrench.

 

After the tool lesson,  we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

After the tool lesson, we went to the technology area and checked out the satellite spy cameras. It was my favorite exhibit.

 

My daughter's favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

My daughter’s favorite part was the laser used to eavesdrop on people. She was there awhile.

 

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

My son got a kick out of the voice changer and hearing all his secret identities.

 

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the lazer maze was their favorite.

They enjoyed all the exhibits, however the laser maze was their favorite. We did all our secret agent Mission Impossible Ethan Hunt moves to get passed the green lasers you always see in the movies.

 

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it's no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

With this museum having all kinds of spy history it’s no wonder that they also had information about The Berlin Wall.

 

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

Being able to touch this was a pretty special moment.

 

After soaking up that very special part of history we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that going inside Air Force I was pretty cool.

After soaking up that very special part of history, we ran across another exhibit and decided to keep exploring. However, no pictures were allowed inside, but I can say that being on Air Force I was pretty cool.

 

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we'd stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired lunch.

After all that spy stuff and airplane business, we thought we’d stop to rest. Seeing this pub-like eatery next to the exhibits inspired snack time.

 

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine's Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

It also gave my son a chance to give me his Valentine’s Day surprise. His handmade I Love You card rocked.

 

But him telling me "I have a surprise for you. I made it myself." And then me seeing it. Dude. "I give you my heart, mom"  Duuuuuude. That was the best ending to our 007 spy mission impossible kind of day.

But him telling me “I have another surprise for you. I made it myself.” And then me seeing it. Dude. “I give you my heart, mom.” Duuuuuude. That got him some extra pieces of chocolate. Yeah most definitely. It was the best ending to our 007 Spy Mission Impossible kind of day.