Archive for September, 2012

The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest begins this Saturday! Our family had so much fun exploring the pretty village last fall. This is the place to sample pumpkin soda, check out quirky events and see some seriously big pumpkins.

Our first pumpkin viewing of the day: a crab on the Newcastle Pub steps.


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CP#2 recently began Kindergarten. He’s a young five, so MP had some concerns about sending him to school all day. While CP#2 is tired when he arrives home, he has adjusted remarkably well the past two weeks. MP is so proud!

When he came home with this sweet puzzle on the first day of school, MP loved the idea.

All you need is a 5.5″ x 8″ plain puzzle, which you can find here, washable paint, and a paintbrush. To make this craft:

• Spread some paint on a paper plate using a paintbrush. Try to use just enough paint to cover your child’s hand

• Place your child’s hand in the paint, palm facing down and fingers spread wide

• Carefully place her painted palm on the puzzle

• Gently press your child’s palm down and lift it up slowly

• Go directly to the sink to wash off the paint

CP#2 let his handprint dry, and then added a little heart at the center using a paintbrush. The inspiration for the heart—and the handprint—comes from the book, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. In the book, a little raccoon named Chester is going to school for the first time. He doesn’t want to leave his mom, so she kisses Chester’s palm, and tells him:

“Now, whenever you feel lonely, and you need a little loving from home, just press your hand against your cheek and think, ‘Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you,’ and that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts.”

Illustration from The Kissing Hand. Art by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

MP plans to frame CP#2’s creation. The puzzle is a wonderful reminder that we’re always connected, no matter where our days take us.

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Every once in awhile, the Cute Potato team has the opportunity to check out a family venue that’s new and fun. Enterprising mom Kara Dowling, who we highlighted in the past for her handmade stationery, invited us to visit The Rumpus Room—a wonderful, indoor play space in Brunswick for infants through age 6.

Inside The Rumpus Room.

MP and the kids were instantly smitten upon arrival. CP#1 and #2 didn’t know where to play first. The main room alone has a dome climbing structure, a ball pit (which a professional crew cleans every day), a Cedar Works wooden gym, and an impressive pirate ship. This room alone could keep the kids occupied for hours.

A super cute ride-on toy for little ones.

But of course, we were tempted to visit the next room, which is filled with all sorts of fun play things. CP#1 and #2 especially loved the Farmer’s Market, which displayed all sorts of wooden fruits and vegetables for MP to buy.

CP#1 calls in an order at the Farmers Market.

CP#2 meandered over to the dress up box, while his sister ran off to give the castle bounce house a try. And if that weren’t enough to keep them busy, The Rumpus Room also has a playhouse, reading and puzzle room, train table, and coloring station.

CP#2 creates his own kind of super hero.

CP#2 also took time to play some musical instruments.

As you can imagine, it was hard to get CP#1 and #2 to leave this fun play space.  MP gave them the 5-minute warning, and took in the kinds of things adults notice. The Rumpus Room is remarkably clean, there are bathrooms easily accessible from the second room, and there’s a tidy snack area with kid-sized picnic tables. Parents will find a Keurig coffee maker, so caffeine is always available (thank you, Kara)! Healthy snacks, like GoGo squeeZ and Clif Bars, are also for sale in case you’ve forgotten to bring your own.

With all these enticing options available, the team is certain to return soon. And, oh, did we mention? Look to the right. The Rumpus Room is our sponsor all this month. We’re so happy to have them join us!

To learn more about this mid-coast play space, visit the Rumpus Room site or find them on Facebook.

The Rumpus Room
9 Cumberland Street

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