Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda White is a wonderful ebook that teaches the Christmas story of Jesus birth through 24 advent activities. If the craziness of the holiday seems to sweep you away and you sit there on December 25th and say, “Wait. Did we even talk about Jesus the last 24 days?”. This book is for you!…
If you need simple fall activities for a crowd of children, here are two for you! These two activities are literacy related and were my contribution to our Fall Frolic at the local library for children 6 years and under. They are simple and inexpensive to create for a crowd or at home.
Leaving the kids at home while you travel can be stressful but unavoidable at times. As parents we didn’t leave our kids home often but when we did, we worked hard to make it a pleasant experience for them and their grandparents who were caring for them. Taking time for some advanced planning will give you peace of mind, and help make your time away fun for them, you, and the grown-ups caring for your kids. Here are some tips and ideas to make your travels special for you and your children.
Creating peace of mind for you and your child when you travel:
1. For medical care leave phone numbers for your health care provider and copies of your insurance cards. Complete a medical release form for your child so that medical decisions can be made in the event of an emergency. Include in this document a list of medications, allergies, and diagnoses for each child. Check with your local authorities or personal lawyer for further details and what would be needed in the area that you live.
2. Print a calendar and note when you are leaving and returning. This will help your child visualize when you will be home. At the end of each day they can mark off the day.
3. Create a schedule so that the folks who are providing care and your child know exactly what to expect each day. Include the times of events and activities along with address of locations so they can find their way.
4. Make an outline of the daily routine with the times to get up, go to bed, when school begins and is out, and anything else that is unique for your family.
5. Provide a list of favorites: foods, toys, blankets, games, pacifiers, and any other favorites that will help your child and the care provider have a good day together.
6. Describe bedtime routines. Bedtime can be such a challenge for young children and sharing expectations and routines will make the end of the day more enjoyable.
Making Each Day Special for Your Child
We thought it was important to make each day special for our kids. Choose one or two of the following ideas to create something for your child to look forward to each day:
7. A short daily letter to describe what you are doing on that day and what they have on their schedule for the day. The letter might include one of the following:
- An inexpensive gift card for a treat such as going to Sonic for ice cream or a soda
- Hints to find a gift that was hidden in the house (see number 8)
- Tickets to a game or movie
- A coupon for an activity such as going to the pool or park
- A book
8. This is a great time to crack open a new app for the iPad, x-box game, or a new movie for an evening of fun. We would often hide these in the house and leave a hint in their letter.
9. Hide post-its around the house and in their drawers with encouraging notes for them to find throughout the week
10. If possible, schedule a time to call, Facetime, or Skype with your children. Having a predictable time to chat with you and share each others adventures.
Wishing you safe travels and your children a fun time at home!
My husband, Doug, is a creative builder. He found a log and made this cool log walk for our granddaughter. I grabbed my camera so I could share the process with you. It really isn’t that hard if you have the equipment or someone to do the cutting for you. This outdoor play area cost us nothing except the energy to gather the supplies. Our city produces the mulch from trees trimmings and gives it away for free.
Spring has arrived early in Missouri and we’re ready to start planning and planting a little flower garden. I have a cute little place for flowers. I want to start the seeds by planting them in eggshells.
Gardening with kids teaches science, fine motor, and responsibility. Using eggshells is definitely for older children as they are easily crushed. If your child is younger, small paper cups work just as well.
Supplies for planting seeds in eggshells:
- Seeds of your choice
- An egg carton for storage, ours just happens to be plastic but any will do
- Potting soil
- Sharpie markers as they don’t bleed when wet
About the eggshells
When breaking the eggs open, break off the narrow top. Rinse out the residual yoke egg to prevent them from becoming smelly.
Poke a hole into the bottom of the shell for drainage. It was easier to push the toothpick from the inside to the outside. Eggs are an amazing feat of engineering!
I’ve always wanted a flower garden of zinnias and poppies. They bloom all season, are perfect for cutting, and their colors are gorgeous. My grandmother always grew moonflowers. They are also known as the evening morning glory. I remember sitting outside with her on Sunday night smelling those sweet flowers. Their blooms open at sundown and the aroma is amazing.What a wonderful memory!
Both of my grandmothers were excellent gardeners out of necessity, let’s see what happens!
It is fascinating how different flower seeds can be and it is fun topic to explore with kids. Discuss their size, count them, touch them, and review their planting instructions. Questions to ask:
- “What do you notice about the seeds?”
- “How are they alike? How are they different?”
Start by spooning dirt into the clean eggs shells. This is fine motor at it’s best. It requires gentle hands to hold the egg and eye hand coordination:
Label the eggs with sharpies:
…and then sprinkle in the seeds. More fine motor. 🙂
Tuck them into the dirt at the recommended depth on the instructions and spritz them with water:
Store them in a safe sunny place. This plastic container has advantages because the lid can cover and help contain the eggs. If they are covered they need time to air. Leave the cover open a bit or they might retain to0 much moisture, mold can grow, and the seeds might rot.
I wish I could say this has project has been successful, but we have to wait and see. I’ll keep them in a sunny spot and sprinkle with water as needed. I’ll post more picture in a few days to update the post. Hopefully, I have inherited a bit of my grandmothers’ green thumb and we’ll have some sprouts!
Twelve days later….
Twelve days later we have zinnia and moonflower sprouts!
More gardening posts from CCK:
This year we wanted a simple method for decorating Easter eggs and went with decorating them with stickers. Our little Sweetpea is twenty months old, and with some help she was able to place the stickers on the eggs and loved every minute. Not only is sticker decorating easy for little kids, it is an inexpensive way to decorate eggs for large groups too.
The Garden Game is an easy, noncompetitive math game that is fun for spring. It teaches counting with one to one correspondence, numeral recognition, turn-taking, game and social skills. It is extremely easy and frugal to make.
Supplies needed for the Garden Game:
- Foam garden pieces – I found these at Walmart
This year we are decorating easter eggs by painting them with tissue paper. The effect is soft, gentle, and so pretty. It requires basic supplies that most of us have on hand.
Now, it is important to be aware that all tissue paper is not the same. For this activity you want tissue paper that “bleeds”. If it is the kind of tissue paper that bleeds, it also stains. Please take precautions to protect surfaces, clothing, and etc. Some tissue paper is colorfast and doesn’t work. I had both types stashed in my drawer and learned from trial and error that some just doesn’t work.
This sensory box is cheap and fun, and is in cool wintry colors. Your preschoolers can help make it by cutting up the paper, perfect for scissor skills. I used old blue tissue paper and happened to have some silver tinsel for gift bags which had a “Frozen” feel. Sensory play is important! You can learn more about it at this post on the importance of sensory play.
It is mitten season! This is a quick and easy craft that even toddlers can make. Choose favorite colors and stickers to decorate these simple mittens. Read a mitten story for a literacy connection too!