Morning at Super Franks on a Stormy Day!

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We’re in the middle of a terrible drought. Having a stormy and rainy day isn’t such a terrible thing! Oops, except J hates thunder 😦 No napping today!!

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I’ve been wanting to take the kids to Super Franks since we’ve moved here end of last year. It is our local entertainment center for kids here in Pleasanton. AKA “soft play” in Australian lingo. Being that there’s a thunderstorm in the forecast….and that we temporarily have a second car, we finally made a trip there today!

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Here’s my review of Super Franks:

At a glance:

  • Clean
  • Affordable ($8 per child and 2 free accompany adult, additional adult $2 each)
  • Targets family with children 7 and under
  • Scheduled activities and entertainment each day
  • Starbucks on site
  • 6 themed rooms
  • Play equipment look fresh and clean
  • Lots of seating area throughout the establishment for parents and tired kids
  • Plenty of dining areas upstairs and downstairs. Here is their menu

We started off in the Farm. We were in there for almost an hour!! The kids loved it! It had a small infant/toddler climb structure with a slide and a larger (outdoors) structure for older and more adventurous kids. It’s one of the smaller rooms and it quickly got crowded. It was actually the kids who wanted to leave in the end to check out the rest of the establishment.

Here is the larger cubby with double slides. J had no troubles climbing but N needed some assistance.

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Josh wasn’t too interested in the Mini Gym and it does look like it would appeal more to older kids with a basketball court and zip line.

As you venture further, you’ll find two more rooms: The Arcade Room and Safari Room

The Arcade has roughly 30-40 rides, video, and redemption games. Our 2 and near 4 year olds loved the rides and games especially since they were catered just for their size and age. All games and rides range between 1-3 tokens. Each token is $.25. We were trying to start this one game and it didn’t seem to work. When I went to push the “eject coin” button, it spat out 4 tokens! Bonus. I guess other kids had trouble with the machine.

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We went into the Safari Room towards the end since they had “music circle” scheduled at 11am. I’ll come back to this room further into the review.

We went upstairs (yes this place is so huge that there is an upstairs too) and found The Fish Tank and Taught Town Village.

The Fish Tank is a dimmed room filled with black light and an (glowing) “Under the Sea” theme. The room has a foam pit with soft ramps for easy access, yellow submarine to play pretend with, a large jumpy, and other toys to play with. Just watch out for little ones in the dark!

The foam pit. The kids loved diving into it and N loved putting the foam blocks back into the pit. She a tidy little thing!

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We all live in the yellow submarine…the yellow submarine…

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Then I convinced the kids to check out what else the place had to offer and we went to Taught Town Village on the other side of the Fish Tank.

This room was fantastic! It had rides, a slide, and play houses that make up a miniature town! You can even play dress up as a fireman. A great room for kids with great imagination and have a love for pretend play.

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After spending a little bit of time here, we decided to go check out the Music Circle time at the Safari Adventure room.

Unfortunately, we missed most of the Music Circle time because we were having too much fun upstairs. Luckily we caught the end and Ne got to enjoy a quick song/dance and bubble time!

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J also braved the huge double slide! We saw one outside of our local theater the other day and unfortunately the little gnomes were too nervous to do it on their own. This time, I was able to accompany J once and he did it again all by himself. Proud mama! I think he was pretty pleased with himself too 😉 Just look at this tough guy here…

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There were tons of other fun toys to keep these guys busy too.

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This picture doesn’t do it justice but I just love the decor here. The kids loved it too….often pointing out the animals on the walls. The elephant was a huge hit with N of course!

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In a nutshell, today was a big success. The kids had a fantastic time and got to rid some of those beans. There were times where I thought I had lost N especially in the arcade area. That was a little scary. She’s a bit fearless and the room is quite open and it’s not enclosed by gates like the other rooms. She could have ventured into the restrooms or out the front. I can see this can be worse on a busy day or a busier time of day. I was amazed to see just how much people were there on a Thursday morning!

I receive regular special offers and programs via email after I had signed up on their website. I think they often have coupons for free Starbucks drink and tokens. So definitely worth checking out!

We didn’t buy their food but they have a pretty good range! Check out their menu in above link.

After we got into the car and onto the road, J already asked if we can come back tomorrow. So that’s his review for you there!

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Five Colorful Days – arts and craft

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Day 1: Robot and Clover Sun-catchers

A fellow Instagramer had trouble making a plastic robot out of plastic beads and metal cookie cutter. It inspired me to make more sun-catchers out of Elmer’s glue! Here are the instructions from previous post.

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Day 2: Lowe’s Build and Grow Monster Truck and Pull Back Race Car

I found these little gems at Lowes. They were only about $6 each and was quite easy to put together by my husband (with J’s help hammering)! The kids had a blast painting it and they are such sturdy toys.

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Day 3: Rainbow Pot of Gold – paint sample tiles

With St Patrick’s Day around the corner, here’s an easy project to do with the kids. If you child need some guidance with the rainbow colors, I’d start them off by putting a few color tiles on the paper for them. I even showed the kids pictures of rainbows on my laptop as a visual example. You can even draw lines across the page so the kids know where to glue their tiles in. Label each line with the colors of the rainbow if you are teaching them to read.

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Day 4: 3-D Hands Keepsakes

I saw this neat YouTube video showing you how to make 3-D hands! I’m sure you can do similar with other tracing like: feet, shapes, etc

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Day 5: Rainbow-Colored Finger PRINTING / Painting and ABC Stenciling 

The kids are loving their magnifying glass and I thought it’d be neat to have a look at their fingerprints with them. Then I had J tried fingerprinting! I let N go freestyle finger-painting 😉

Then we tried out the new stencils daddy bought for us to learn our ABCs.

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What will you do with your week??

Homemade Sand – natural ingredients and safe for tots!

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I found a great recipe for homemade sand on How Stuff Works

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups dried used coffee grounds (sun or oven dried)
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour (I used wheat for darker color)
  • 1/2 cup salt

I found it quite difficult to drink that much coffee at such a short amount of time so for my batch, I had less coffee. Maybe about 2 cups. Since this is reusable sand (if you don’t get it dirty or wet), I figure I can always add more dried coffee later on. I just couldn’t wait 🙂

Make sure the used coffee grinds are completely dry before you add it into your mix. It may get moldy and/or clump up with the rest of the sand mix.

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I’ve added some colorful beans to add to the texture for the kids to play with.

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Simply store it in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap for later usage!

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