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Vintage Virginia – Fun for the Whole Family!

The 34th Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival is coming to the Bull Run Special

Events Center May 30th & 31st! For all of you wine-lovers out there, this is the perfect opportunity to taste from nearly half of Virginia's homegrown wineries - from the oldest & largest to the smallest boutiques & newest vineyards.

While the wine tastings are for adults only, Vintage Virginia has fun for the entire family. Parents and children will find plenty of entertainment in and around the Family Tent.

Kids Activities & Attractions at Vintage Virginia will include
  • Becki the Balloon Lady – a 7 time award winning balloon artist extraordinaire
  • “Gravity Check” – a new, energetic, & highly technical juggling act
  • Hula Hoop Contest with Hulafrog
  • Face painting
  • Moon bounces

and…

This year at Vintage VA, ASAP Sitters is very excited to be hosting a Kids’ Play Area! 

There will be hands-on activities for the kiddos, as well as a Nursing Station for mamas with the youngest festival attendees. Our nursing station will include a comfortable place for mommies to sit, feed, or nurse their baby, change a diaper, or just relax.

We’ll also have samples of delicious Go-Chews available from our

 friends at momme meals! 

 

 

So grab the family & come out to try the Commonwealth’s best wines, delicious food truck fare, and groove to a top-tier musical lineup (including Big Tony & Trouble Funk & Love Canon. See you there!

See you at the Barre!

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Hanna Dobbels - the owner of barre.d studio in Charlottesville, VA. If you haven't heard of "barre" before, it's a fitness routine derived from Lotte Berk’s barre techniques, (a "barre" is the horizontal bar on which dancers rest a hand for support during exercises ). barre.[d] incorporates extensive high rep strength training for a total body workout yet keeping the flow low impact, balancing isometric with full-range movements, and adds a bit of a cardio kick to each class. They create an environment that encourages clients to find balance in every breath and strength in their own body.

Hanna moved to DC to start a career in management and instead, began teaching and training barre under a few studios. Since then, she has taught every type of fitness class you can imagine: from cycling, to bootcamp, to boxing, to barre. Hanna says, "My passion is teaching teachers, students, athletes; giving them solid classes that focus on form, technique, and offer a challenge they haven’t felt before. I love the energy and the joy students feel right after class, it’s rejuvenating and uplifting as opposed to further draining the mind and body....I teach for the moments that make people’s days so much brighter. "

Barre.d is all about the whole body, about the fitness community of Charlottesville, and about the love of movement. They are also about moms and families which is how we found each other. Barre.d is now offering childcare for selected classes throughout the week, which we think is really cool. Their playarea has a mini "barre," a changing station, books, blocks, and a place for moms to relax. It's safe to say, they are raising the barre [hahaha]. Hope to see you there!  

ASAP Sitters and Green Kids Crafts

We are so excited to be teaming up with Green Kid Crafts just in time for‪ ‎Earth Day‬!

Green Kid Crafts is an award winning, earth friendly monthly craft subscription service for kids that sparks creativity and cultivates respect and love for the environment. Each month, kids receive boxes filled with fun projects that challenge creativity, develop new skills, and extend into creative play.

Get 30% off boxes with code: EARTHBOX

Green Kid Crafts Earth Friendly Craft Kits

Be a Green Babysitter! 10 Activities to do with Children in Nature

Board games and coloring are fun but with winter behind us, kids are aching to get outside!  Here is a list of nature-based activities with babysitters in mind – they require little prep, most can be done almost anywhere, and they are fun, educational, and easy to do. Show children the amazing world we’re a part of! 

1. Nature hike – plenty of fun with no planning. Walk. Observe. Explore. Play “I-Spy” or try to find something every color of the rainbow.

2. Birdwatching – easy to do with or without binoculars. See how many different kinds of birds you can find. Write down what each one looks like – you can try to identify them later – count how many of each variety you see; try imitating the sounds and calls of different birds.

3. Scavenger hunt – come up with a list of a few things to find; 5 or so for younger children (you can use drawings of the objects), and 10+ for older kids. Grab a bag and go on your scavenger hunt! Once you find most of your items, you can get even more creative: make a mobile with your natural objects or glue them together into a sculpture.

4. Flower/leaf identification & pressing – find interesting flowers, leaves, and plants and try to identify what they are. Show kids how you can press & dry flowers and leaves in a book. You can even help kids start their own Nature Journal!

5. Gardening – this can be as simple as planting a lima bean in a cup or as fancy as you want to make it. Fun and inexpensive ideas include starting a salsa garden or a butterfly garden.

6. Bug hunt – there are a lot of these little critters out there. See how many you can find! What are some of their similarities and differences? Which bugs are predators and which are pollinators? If you have enough time, you can even construct an Insect Hotel!

7. Creek hike – ok, so this one requires a little more prep because you’ll need to bring galoshes or ratty sneakers and there has to be a creek nearby. You’ll also have to check with mom or dad or guardian to make sure getting really wet and dirty is ok – it’ll be worth it. What is a creek hike? It’s literally walking in the creek, in the water, and seeing what you can observe and find – keeping an eye out for small fish and frogs, peeking under rocks to discover crayfish, looking for animal prints on the banks. Be mindful, however, because there are regional poisonous water snakes – information about Virginia’s venomous snakes can be found here.

8. Nature Centers – if there is one nearby and transportation isn’t a problem, these are well worth a visit. Places like the Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, VA have a children’s discovery and play area, live animals (think turtles, snakes, and spiders), gardens, a viewing pond, and more. Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale, VA has an amazing unstructured woodland play area. Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, VA has a thriving pond and pond-explorer kits for rent great for toddlers and up.

9. Rock Garden – find cool rocks. You can color, or paint, or decoupage them and create a special rock garden.

10. Fairy Garden – create a space a fairy couldn’t resist! Use stones, flowers, sticks, everything else and your imagination.

11. Nature stationary (ok, 11 activities): Go exploring and find an interesting plant. Use crayons or colored pencils to draw it however you want to. Cut out the drawing and glue it to a construction paper card. Write (or have a grownup write) a note and send it to a friend or loved-one.

(For more fun nature-inspired and outdoor activities and crafts, check out our Pinterest Board.)

Spending time outdoors supports children’s development intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005). Get kids outside, get dirty, have fun. Their parents will thank you. 

-By Ewa Harr, CEO of ASAP Sitters

 

Tips for Finding a Babysitter for Valentine's Day

Romance! Candles! Wine! Dinner! Dancing! – but what about the kids?  To truly enjoy some grown up time together, you’ll need to make sure the kids are taken care of, too.  Valentine’s Day is coming up... soon. It’s one of the hardest days of the year to find a babysitter, and even with ASAPSitters here to help, it’s good to remember to:

Plan Ahead (as much as possible):  The sooner you find your babysitter the better. ASAPSitters starts getting requests for Valentine’s Day at the beginning of January! But even if you are inspired to plan a last-minute romantic rendezvous, we will do our best to help make sure the kids are taken care of.  

Be Flexible (and creative): A dinner out at a crowded restaurant isn’t the only option for romance.  A gourmet meal at home, brunch, or a late night date – with a babysitter to watch the kids – are great ideas, too.  Work with your babysitter’s schedule too - sometimes a half hour one way or the other will make the difference in their availability. If you are going out with friends, sharing a babysitter may be the best solution.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year with ASAPSitters and request your babysitter today. You deserve it!

 

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