I did my very best to prepare Hannah and Ethan for our time away. They knew they would be staying with my parents for a week and then Andrew's parents would be coming and staying with them at our house. To say that they were excited was an understatement. Andrew and I explained countless times that we would be gone a long time but that we would be back and that we loved them very much. I even told Hannah that we would be bringing her presents back too. It was kind of inevitable that there would be times of tears and sadness. But both Hannah and Ethan did very well.
For the time away, I wanted to prepare something to remind Hannah and Ethan how much we love them and as a special activity they could do for fun. I decided to use the book "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn as the spring board for all the activities. If your not familiar with this book its about a young Raccoon who has to leave his mommy and venture off to school for the first time. It is very sweet and the pictures are adorable. Here is a link if you like to hear the story. Andrew and I took a pen and "changed" the story so that it was a raccoon who was going to be with his grandparents while mommy and daddy were away. It was really minor changes and the sweetness of the story stayed true. Each activity was put in a package and the kids received one each day. When we got home Hannah said she loved getting her mail from China.
GIVE AWAY-Do you want to win a copy of "The Kissing Hand", enter to win here.
Getting their first package with the book inside.
Andrew and I outlined out hands and put a foam heart sticker in the center. Then I cut them into puzzles. This was my inspiration.
Swinging at Gama's and Papa's.
Coloring their raccoon coloring page.
Apparently, they got into a sand fight and needed to washed in the laundry room sink.
Raccoon Masks. You can find the printable here.
Heart counting. I'm told this was a favorite and that they both enjoyed sticking the hearts on.
Here is where I found the printable.
Playing a matching game. Found here.
Kissing Hand cookies. Looks like Hannah may have tasted the frosting. :D
I bought the cookie cutter off of amazon for almost nothing.
Hannah and Grandma made some special art.
Hannah had so much fun while we were gone she even napped.
Andrew and I recorded ourselves reading the story for Hannah and Ethan.
Raccoon mittens. I made these out of felt and foam stickers.
They made raccoon puppets, which I cannot for the life of me figure out where I found.
I found two little raccoon figurines at Michael's. The best part was I found one bigger than the other so they made a perfect mommy/baby pair.
Pin the Tail on the Raccoon. I found this here.
Once I had all the activities ready I put them in individual envelopes along with a ziploc bag of the art supplies needed; crayons, glue, scissors etc and even a camera so that I could see how much fun they had. I am really gratefully for all the pictures of my smiling children. I know they had lots of fun and enjoyed themselves immensely.
If you missed it I posted the pictures from our trip here. Writing a post proved too difficult.