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This blog is dedicated to sharing our core values- Growing Smart, Growing Tall and Growing Fit. We hope that you will find some fun and creative ideas for bringing learning, laughter, good health, and character-building activities into your home.

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Create these colorful flowers using construction paper and markers. Just add doodles for a work of art!

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Here is a festive treat for your little Leprechaun! This easy St. Patrick's Day Popcorn recipe that features green Chocolate Covered Popcorn with white chocolate drizzle, sprinkles and M&Ms.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of microwave popcorn, light or regular butter (full sized, not snack)
  • 1 cup green chocolate candy melts
  • ½ cup white chocolate candy melts

    Coupons

  • St. Patrick's Day...
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Why is the sky blue? It is a classic question and one of the most frequently asked by kids.

Here is a science experiment that simulates how white light turns a white medium into blue. It resembles how sunlight passes through the atmosphere and turns a clear sky into a blue sky.

The science behind the blue sky is quite awesome.

What you need for the blue sky experiment

  • a clear...
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How do you educate children about constellations during daylight hours? Here's how! Check out this medallion-shaped pattern with holes to represent each individual star in a constellation. When light shines through the medallion the image of the constellation appears! This can be done indoors using a flashlight. The pattern contains:

  • Canis Major (the Dog)
  • Ursa Major (The Big Dipper)
  • Leo (The...
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1. Avoid giving children sweet drinks on a regular basis as it will make them less likely to drink water. They get used to the sweetness and won’t appreciate the clear, clean taste of water anymore.

2. Add ice cubes to their water. Some children love ice cubes in their water. A refreshingly cold glass of water may be just right enticement to drink an entire glass.

3. Be their role model. Each time you drink water say loudly...

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Here is a chance to experience some of the wonders of our world — just a click away! Check out these incredible pages, which include: Google Sky, Mt Everest, Anne Frank's house, Google Art, Rare Books, Inside NASA, the White House and more!

1.

The 7 Wonders of the World: panoramic views that...

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Research has shown that ‘don’t,’ ‘stop,’ and other forms of negative language actually do more harm than good. The reason? Discipline worded negatively is much harder to understand.

‘Stop’ on its own tells a child nothing. They are left to deduce what they shouldn’t be doing and what they should be doing. For preschoolers and toddlers, we are actually asking too much. Now, some may argue we should simply add...

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There is nothing that creates more laughter and positive energy in a home than the Minute to win it games! The materials needed are simple. So are the instructions! Check out these 10 great Minute to win it games at Happiness is Homemade.

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Here’s another 5 item science experiment for you, using items that you likely already have in your kitchen.

This one can be pretty exciting for young children because they get to bang on a pan like it’s a drum. Which also means you’ll get some major “fun parent” points.

Have fun with this one!

  • Large Bowl
  • Plastic Wrap
  • 1 teaspoon Uncooked Rice
  • Metal Pan (Cookie Sheets or Pans are good options, but...
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The sensory experience of mud without the mess? Yes! And your kids finish up smelling sweet and fresh and looking clean! What more could a parent ask for? Check out this recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose.

Clean Mud Recipe

  • 3 cups of baking soda
  • Up to 1 cup of water

Method

To make this clean mud all you need...

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Here is a terrific Valentine's Day Craft for the little ones. Kids can use this fun and easy art technique to make homemade cards or wrapping paper.

You only need a few supplies, and the process really fun but very simple. So simple that even your toddlers and preschoolers will have fun with it.

For stamping hearts with cardboard rolls, you’ll need:

  • cardboard rolls (kitchen rolls, toilet rolls or...
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Follow the simple instructions from the folks at The36thaveneue and make these colorful balls that actually bounce! Made of 5 simple ingredients, the creating process is as fun as the finished product.

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Tb Borax
  • 1 Tb of Cornstarch
  • 2 Tb White Liquid Glue
  • Food...
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Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are a healthy, filling, and absolutely delicious! With peanut butter, banana, honey, and oatmeal, these yummy bars will keep your family powered for hours. These breakfast bars are easy to make, can be frozen for up to four months, and are great for snacks too.

YIELD: 8 large bars

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 35 minutes

...

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The highly sensitive child (HSC) needs to be corrected and disciplined, but unless a parent know how to do it properly, a child is likely to take corrections as global messages about his worth. Sensitive children tend to be very self-critical, so parental criticism is an especially hard blow, though truthfully criticism isn’t good for any child and is one of four behaviors parents should avoid.

HSCs process their mistakes so...

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These craft stick exploding boomerangs and stars are SUPER easy to make and even more fun to play with! All you need are few craft sticks (also known as popsicle sticks or tongue depressors)! You can use either the regular size or the jumbo size. You can also use jumbo colored craft sticks which makes them bright and fun to...

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Don't let rain or cold temperatures stop your family from moving! Here is a fun new workout using the family favorite, UNO, as a way to spend time enjoying each other's company and to get your family moving. It is a fun and easy way to get your family active. You choose how much time you will “play” the UNO workout and off you go.

All you need is a stack of UNO cards and know how to do a squat, jumping jack, push up and a plank....

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Basic water color supplies, wax paper, and a white crayon results in some beautiful art work and great experiences in art making. The folks at the blog To be a Kid Again present some basic instructions and pictures that are sure to result in a great art session and projects for your kids.

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H.I.P. Pocket Change is a fun site sponsored by the U.S. Mint to educate young collectors about the history of coins and collectables. It includes interactive games, fun facts, and tons of information regarding U.S. coinage.

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Free materials from Standford University educate students to recognize the difference between real and fake news. Students can click on free worksheets to examine whether news is fake or paid advertisements. These worksheets are just a starting point for what should be an ongoing conversation about what sources of information should (and should not) be deemed trustworthy.

These worksheets serve as a pre-test of sorts to assess where...

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Dominos and fractions? Yes! Dominos are perfect because they are already in fraction format. Add a white board and you are ready to go!

Simply pick some random dominos from the tin and arrange in order from least to greatest for comparing fractions and finding common denominators.

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Find out how Christmas traditions and Christmas are celebrated in different countries and cultures around the world! This fun site has an interactive map as well as links to 78 countries, which includes information regarding Christmas traditions, regional culture, and pictures.

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Handwriting practice takes on a festive feel with this Christmas-themed sensory experience.

Salt trays are fun and easy. And, this one has the scent of peppermint!.

Ways to Use the Salt Tray

  • Practice learning letters and numbers for younger children.
  • Practice sight words for kids learning to read.
  • Practice spelling words for older kids.
  • As a sensory experience
  • Pre-writing skills for...
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It is a bit cliché to say that Christmas will be here before we know it, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Given the hectic pace of the holiday season, families who want to create meaningful memories have to be intentional and purposeful about their time between now and the New Year.

Here are some great ideas to create some lasting and meaningful memories for your family from the...

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Science and experimenting is just plain fun (even for grow-ups), especially when you add a little Christmas to simple science!

Here is Christmas-themed experiment that is fun and easy to orchestrate.

...

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Here is a messy, but fun art project! All is takes is a few bottles of Elmer's Glue, food coloring, some watercolor paints, and watercolor paper.

Mix a few drops of food coloring (neon colors are great) in the glue bottles.

...

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Here is a great article from KidsActivityBlog.com that will reduce power stuggles and create connections between you and your children.

Check out these 5 helpful listening phrases that will help you reconnect with your child and help your child want to listen.

“YOU WISH YOU COULD…”

Here’s the hard parenting truth: when kids act out it is...

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Watercolors and crayons are so experiment with — And, with some beautiful results! Here is a wonderful fall-themed art project featuring crayon resistant effects with beautiful watercolors. It's awesome!

Materials:

White Card Stock or Watercolor Paper

Crayons

Watercolor Paints

Brushes

Step 1: Draw leaf outlines on your paper with crayon. Children can look at a leaf or...

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Here is a novel way to encourage fitness for your family. It is as easy as spelling your name and following the directions. Watch the fun as family members compare (and sometimes complain about) the letters and length of their names. Once everyone has spelled their own name, have them draw names of other family members out of a jar to experience a different work out!

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Here is a fun and inexpensive game to encourage spelling skills. Letters are written on Lima beans...both lowercase and capitals and multiples of each. Cover an empty container with construction paper, attach a label, and you have a new game the kids will enjoy.

Kids can use an old medicine cup to scoop out some beans and then create words from the beans in front of them. This activity can be adapted any way you like. For example,...

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In the last decade, the U.S. has embraced the Day of the Dead with enthusiasm. Brightly colored calaveras grin from T-shirts and coffee mugs. Children, however, do not always see that behind the beautiful icons and festive atmosphere the Day of the Dead has great significance for many people. Multiculturalkid blog helps explain the...

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One of the first steps in teaching children about gratitude is helping them to recognize it in their daily lives. A great way to make gratitude a part of every day conversations are these Gratitude Conversation Starters created by Creativefamilyfun.net. Visit the site to read more about the project and access the downloadable conversation starter...

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Fall themed science is awesome and pumpkin themed science is perfect this time of year. Here are some simple experiments with fun fall twists! Explore the blog Little Bins for Little Hands for some fun pumpkin-themed science!...

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All you need are some glow sticks and toilet paper rolls to create this fun effect for your yard. What a great and easy project for the kids!

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Here’s a fun skittle science experiment to do with the little ones! They will watch in amazement as the colors spread!

Supplies Needed:

  • Skittles
  • Warm water
  • Cup
  • Plate (medium to large)

Have the children make a circle with different colored skittles on a round plate. (It works the best...

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What a fun and easy way to reinforce grammar skills, vocabulary, and sentence structure with your kids. Children can draw a stick from a parent's hand or pick a stick (word side down) off the table. They then place the stick in the correct pot. To further extend, they could then pick a word from each cup and create a sentence. This is great fun for the kids and a perfect tool for assessment. Having kids add their own words to the game is also...

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Looking to simultaneously creep out and impress your kids at the same time? Check out this great recipe for a Halloween party treat guaranteed to keep them guessing!

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces raspberry or grape flavor gelatin
  • 100 plastic straws (Be sure and get the bendy straws! They make cooler worms!)
  • 1 empty, cleaned 1-quart milk or orange juice carton to hold straws
  • 3 cups boiling...
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Yarning for a creative art project without the mess?

Use yarn!

This is a really low mess, easy art activity that is fun the older crowd as well!

All you need is clear self-adhesive book covering (which we call contact paper), scissors, some tape and some colored yarn. That’s it.

Tape the self-adhesive paper, sticky side up, to a sheet of paper directly onto the table. You just need to add a...

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Math is much more fun when it's interactive. Clothespins are a wonderful manipulative because they not only let a child experience math with hands-on activities but they also help to strengthen those little fingers each time the pin is pressed open! Duel learning!

A great clothespin activity is geometry = creating shapes!

Kids can clip them together to make squares, triangles, pentagons, etc.

It's easy to show kids that...

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It is always fun when math intersects with art to make something fun and awesome! Compass drawings are a great example.

  • Compass
  • Paint brush ~ with a skinny handle
  • Masking Tape
  • Watercolor Paint
  • White Paper

Simply find a skinny paint brush to insert into the compass and tape to hold in place. To begin creating, simply load the paint brush as you would normally, leaving it attached to the...

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One of the biggest frustrations parents of school-aged children encounter is the after-school conversation, which usually ends up looking a little like this:

You: So, how was school today?

Your kid: Fine, I guess.

You: Well, what did you learn? What did you do?

...

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Are you, as a parent, struggling to help your child with homework? The Best Homework Apps will help students in several subject areas and provide teacher help in some areas. If Algebra and Geometry are foreign languages to you, these apps will become your translator!

Students from middle school to grad school will appreciate the help these apps give and how easily transportable they are on a...

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It isn't too late to put something special together for those dedicated teachers in your child's life! Take a look at these fun ideas and see how easy meaningful and creative gift-giving can be!

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Chase away those Back to School jitters with this festive and fun drink for your kids. The poem and the drink combine to be an effective deterrent to those pesky stomach butterflies. The recipe is simple: only two ingredients (or three, add sherbet, if you are feeling fancy). To download the poem, click here.

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The school supplies are out, and Back to School shopping has commenced. It’s official! The kids are going back to school!! Another year to help their little minds grow! Whether you have one kid or several, it seems like everyone is always rushed in the mornings for school. The folks at Diary of a Recipe Collector have put together a list of more than 50 Back to School Breakfast Ideas to help all those families out with their morning rush....

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The first day of school is just around the corner! Check out these fun ideas using chalk, chalkboards, apples and books to joyfully capture this magical rite of passage.

10 Back to School Prop Ideas

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This is such a fun and entertaining list of backyard activities, makeovers, and ideas: most definitely worth checking out! Thanks to BuzzFeed for putting together such a creative and exciting way to utilize backyard activities to the fullest! Check it out!

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Beat the heat and avoid summer boredom with a few games of Squirt Gun Races. With a few simple items you probably already have around the house. A squirt gun obstacle race course can be created that will keep your kids and their friends entertained for hours. Watching your kids play through the course will keep you entertained as well!

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO GET YOUR SQUIRT GUN RACES GOING.

  • Sturdy string...
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If you’re looking for fun games for groups of kids, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand clapping games! Who would have thought that the hand clapping games of our youth could be just as popular with our kids! They also address so many different development skills: bilateral coordination, cognitive skills, midline crossing, motor control, posture, and social skills....

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On your next walk encourage your kids to create a journey stick. A journey stick is essentially a memento of a nature walk featuring items collected whilst on the walk; these might be things like leaves, twigs, flowers, feathers or anything else natural that you find along the way.

Younger children can use a piece of cardboard with double sided tape attached to secure the items to the card. Older children can make a journey stick the...

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If you haven't yet browsed Jean Van't Hul's Artful Parent blog you are in for a treat. Here is a recent post discussing the artistic merits of foregoing the tried-and-true coloring books of our youths.

WHY I DON’T BUY COLORING BOOKS FOR MY KIDS

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Do your kids like to use your phone or tablet like iPad to take pictures and videos? Why not take advantage of their interest and have them make some fun movies? Kids will have fun and without knowing it, they will be learning movie making and presenting skills and storytelling skills as well. Below are some apps that allow kids to create movies or presentations with videos. As most of them are so easy to use, young children like preschool...

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Looking for a fun way to cool off this summer. Have a Summer Water War with these DIY Sponge Bombs! These are a blast with or without a pool and guaranteed to ward off the summer heat and summer doldrums!

Supplies Needed:

  • large tub or bucket
  • scissors
  • small elastic rubber bands
  • sponges- a LOT (about 40 pictured) varied colors

Cut the sponges in half, and...

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Who wouldn't love to become art as you're making art? Kids love anything super size! Here is a fun project to engage gross motor muscles and creativity in one large colorful swoop!

This is an easy art project that only requires large paper, painter's tape, and markers. Grab a bunch of kids and make it a fun playdate or party activity! Guaranteed excitement and curiosity included!

Watch a video of the activity...

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Kids are obsessed by fortune tellers! Why not take advantage of the fascination to practice geography? Gear the contents of your fortune teller to your child. You may want to start with continents, and as kids advance move on to cities, oceans, or famous landmarks. There are just so many ways to add your own spin on it. Thanks to their fortune-tellers, your kids will easily find the countries you chose to include.

If you need to...

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It's always wonderful when the outdoors and technology intersect. These eight apps are a wonderful resource for kids and parents alike. Features include tree, wildflower, and leaf identification as well as the ability to share plant locations via GPS mapping on Twitter.

...

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Just when you think a family favorite can't get any better, it does! Next time you pull out Twister, try this added element of fun. Add food coloring to shaving cream to take Twister to new heights of fun, laughter...and (clean) mess!

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Learning word families is a fast way to help children recognize a lot of new words quickly because they are groups of words that share the same sound and spelling. By learning the ending {-og} for instance, your child quickly understands how to read and write {dog, log, frog, fog}. This fun, hands-on word family game will have your kids spinning with excitement.

Supplies

To play the game, you’ll need to gather a...

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The best activities are always the simplest ones! Here is an activity that takes nothing more than a cardboard box, golf tees, and an enthusiastic builder. Using a toy hammer, have little ones drive golf tees into the top and side of a cardboard box. Depending on the age of your little one, you may have to initially punch the holes to get him started. Lining up the golf tees uses hand-eye coordination to meet the hammer to the tee.

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One toy that all children are drawn to are balls. Big, small, textured you name it, balls are a sure hit with kids. Here are 6 Ball Games for your kids that they’ll love to play outside.

Make a Basket

A great way to have some fun is by using a large plastic tub. A laundry basket or any kind of large plastic basket will do the trick. Kids can practice making a basket with their balls large and small. Simple is...

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Tired of the breakfast struggles with your kiddos? Here are some great ideas from moms from the Kid's Activity Blog!

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Looking for a fun activity for the gang? A robot station is a great idea that is guaranteed to get those creative juices flowing! Using blocks of wood and miscellaneous metal pieces, including hardware, will give the creations an industrial look that will appeal to your builders, both young and old. Taking the time to gather interesting building materials will make this an activity a favorite of your kids.

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What a great idea for teaching fractions to your children. It is visual, fun to create, and fun to use.

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Floam is so fun! It can be molded and shaped but is also squishy and gooey. It has a really unique texture that is irresistible to touch. The process of making play materials at home is fun and educational, and kids really enjoy playing with materials they make themselves.

...

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Are you looking for an app to help your beginning speller? You may not know where to begin. How are you to know which of the gazillion apps is the worth your money? And, more importantly, your child’s time?

Designed by a reading specialist, they were created using the principles of word study, a research-based approach to teaching spelling. So far, the series includes two awesome apps: the Short Vowel Word Study App and the Long Vowel...

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Are you looking for an easy, no prep way to get kids to practice their spelling words? Try this fun Finger Spelling Hopscotch game. One of the best ways to help kids remember how to spell words is to get them using their words in hands-on and meaningful ways. This may mean ditching the traditional practices of teaching spelling and...

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You don’t have to be a professional artist or illustrator to create a 3D drawing! By following the simple instructions below, your kids can make their art "pop".

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Parents are, by job description, arbitrators of the highest order. Yet, often in our zest and desperation to put in end to ongoing disagreements and battles among our children, we inadvertently take sides.

Penny Alexander of ParentShaped blog shares her perfect recipe for peaceful and non-biased resolutions.

...

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By helping your kids make a small space in the yard specifically for them, you can keep them entertained this summer, teach them responsibility, increase their confidence and keep your plants intact. This project is very simple and completely customizable to your budget and your space ( you could even do it in a pot or planter box if you don't have a yard).

1. Choose and paint fencing for the garden.

2. Mark out the spot...

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Spring is in the air and for many spring cleaning is well under way. Use this time to implement some tips with your little ones to help keep them nice and organized!

5 Tips to Teaching Children to Keep Their Room Clean

Tip 1: Everything In Its Place

It is imperative that you start the teaching by giving everything in their room a place that it belongs. Using cubicals or fabric drawers are great ways to...

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Here is a fun idea to incorporate into your next grocery store visit. Learning where our food is grown and harvested is a great way to introduce geography to your kids. Whether it is the abundance of produce from the Central Valley or specialty produce that is transported, discovering the location and then charting it on a map at home is a great learning experience. Many markets label the origins of the produce they carry. The kids can...

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Whether for mom or grandma these tile photo coasters are the perfect gift! They turn out beautifully and are only about $5 to make! The square tiles from your local home goods store makes this a unique way to showcase your favorite pics and Instagram snaps.

All you need is some Mod Podge and a bit of felt to complete this fun project. Stack and wrap the finished photo coasters with a ribbon, and you've got the perfect gift for...

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How can you burn off some of that youthful energy when your kids can't be outside? It can be as easy as calling upon some old favorites from your youth. Here are 15 games that you enjoyed that may have totally slipped your mind! Introduce your family to these tried and true games if they are not already a part of your routine.

1) Simon Says- Such a classic game and such a wonderful way to burn some energy...

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Here is a simple physics experiment you can do with your kids. You can bend water using static electricity in a balloon. Try it!

What you need

  • kitchen faucet
  • inflated balloon (or a plastic comb)
  • your own hair (or a dry microfiber towel)

Steps

  1. Turn on the kitchen faucet to get a narrow, continuous stream of water.
  2. Rub the inflated balloon on your hair or comb your hair using the...
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Here is a fun, easy and effective way to help your learners understand the significance of numbers in their lives. Children can create a poster or a book featuring the numbers that are important to them. This is a fun activity that will get them thinking in both pragmatic and creative ways.

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Who knew that craft sticks, blocks and cups could be so interesting? Extend the play and learning with these fun engineering challenges. Stacking craft sticks on top of plastic cups allows you to build a much more vertical structure than what you can make with cups alone. Add blocks to learn about balance and defying gravity!

Plastic Cups 3 oz. size

...

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Combine science and art to demonstrate the force of gravity in a fun art project for kids. This STEAM-filled activity will have your child thinking creatively and becoming a problem solver.

What is STEAM?

STEAM is the combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Art is the addition to the acronym that we have come to associate with the sciences and is an important part in the quest for...

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Sometimes learning new Math skills is only cupcake liner away! This easy game is fun for the kids and is great to teach or reinforce money counting. Adapt it for the age of your children. Older siblings may find this game fun if there is a speed element involved. Add a cupcake to the mix and you have a fun and memorable family activity!

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THE COUNTING MONEY CUPCAKE LINER GAME:

...

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Whether you’re stuck inside because of the weather, you just need to change up the tone on one of THOSE days at home, OR you’re looking for brain break ideas for your tribe, this collection of YouTube channels includes plenty of inspiration to get kids moving, grooving and having fun. They’re just perfect for a re-set, whether you are at home or at school.

For those of you wondering, what is a brain break? It’s simply a short (under 5...

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While these are not giant volcanic eruptions, this is a great project that feeds the senses, is easy, and fun! The colorful eruptions are created through harnessing the chemical reaction of citric acid and baking soda. Agitating the reaction by stirring it causes frothy fun!

Materials

  • Lemons I recommend 2 lemons per volcano
  • Baking Soda
  • ...
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Too much writing freedom can make reluctant writers feel adrift in the middle of the sea. When you hear your children complain: I can’t think of what to write about, a simple idea may be all they need to set them on course again.

The suggestions below from Writeshop.com offer loads of writing ideas for kids. For added fun, print them and let the...

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Making sure your kids know and follow basic Internet etiquette while online will not only keep them safe and happy, it will also provide you some peace of mind. This easy to remember acronym is a great reminder for kids as they spend time on social media and surf the net.

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Here is a list of 12 awesome free kindle apps for kids! Many of these are educational, all of them are awesome!

12 Free Best Kindle Apps for Kids

  1. ...
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In the story, Ish, a little boy named Ramon loves to draw, but loses his confidence when his picture is laughed at by his older brother. Over and over he crumples his drawings and tosses them on the floor and is ready to give up on art. But, his...

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Multiplication Circles are a tool used to create a visual representation of the pattern created when you multiply numbers by the same factor. Often times you might find them made on paper, with chalk, or on a wood board.

While it is not developmentally appropriate to teach multiplication to young children, they can still do these patterns, because they are simple and can be done in a modified format! You can use them as skip...

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When the rain keeps kids indoors... fun can be just a few packages of plastic cups away.

Pull the cups out and let the creativity begin!

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Robert Frost, in fact, defined poetry as “serious play.” "Play is what we want to do. Work is what we have to do.” said W. H. Auden. Poetry is both of those things.

Surely no parent or educator feels that children must be force-fed Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein, or Mother Goose for that matter; children love rhymes, word games, and the magic effects of verse. At...

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Convincing your children to do things they don't want to do can be challenging. And making them stop doing the things you don't want them to do can be even trickier still. Parents.com offers some great suggestions!

We asked experts who have cracked the code of what does (and doesn't) drive kids to improve their behavior to share their wisdom.

#1- Reconsider Rewards

When my friend Jeff was toilet-training his...

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Making invisible ink is a lot of fun...and easy. All you need to spur your young secret agent into action is some basic household objects and the hidden power of lemon juice.

What you'll need:

  • Half a lemon
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Cotton bud
  • White paper
  • Lamp or other light bulb

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze some lemon juice into the...
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Children tend to follow a constant genetically determined percentile curve on the growth chart. Growth occurs at a rate of about 2 ½ inches per year until early adolescence, when preteens achieve a peak growth velocity of about 4 inches per year. The growth spurt starts at about nine to 10 years in girls and peaks around 11 ½ to 12 years. Peak growth velocity typically occurs about 18 months before the first menstrual period; at the time...

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Here is a rundown of the most common childhood maladies and the best treatments for them via Parent Magazine.

Common Cold

Chances your child will catch it: 99 percent. Young kids typically get three to 10 colds every year.

Symptoms: A runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, sore throat, headache, and mild fever.

Contagious? Yes, for...

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The most wonderful time of year has come and passed and it’s finally time to get back into the swing of things. As adults, we know how much we dread that first Monday back to work after a couple of weeks away. For kids, the feelings are similar and the change can result in some unwanted behavior. Here’s a few tips for getting your children back into their regular routine as painlessly as possible.

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Looking for some great ideas after the presents have lost their novelty? When you live in the Bay Area, fun is just a short drive away. Take a minute to look through the suggestions of Bay Area Kid Fun. The site is filled with ideas for day trips, fun events, and museum visits: all things sure to beat any vacation boredom! Be sure and check out the Best of the Bay Area!

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Goggle launched their new and improved Santa Tracker this year.

Along with its tracker, they also opened Santa Village, where users can play coding games, learn about various holiday traditions across the globe and “get into the spirit of giving” with an entire page devoted to charitable organizations like the Jane Goodall Institute, the Nature Conservancy and...

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Here is a fun way to put that Christmas candy to use! All you need is a bag full of Hershey Kisses and some small stickers to place on the bottom. This is sure to keep them busy and happy for a long while!

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This Candy Cane salt tray writing activity is a fun way to practice writing letters, numbers, and sight words for young ones. Bring in the Holiday spirit while encouraging your little ones to practice their literacy skills. It is a great sensory activity for children.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salt
  • red food coloring
  • peppermint extract
  • large plastic zip-lock bag
  • large candy cane for writing...
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Sometimes Santa requires more than a Christmas "list", sometimes he requires an entire story! After your children have made their Christmas wish list for Santa, encourage them to write an original story using the items on their list. They can highlight the items by underlining them or writing them in color. Of course, the catch in this exercise is that the longer the list—the better the story!

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You don't have to wait for a trip to the mountains to catch a glimpse of some beautiful snowflakes! Learn how to make a snowflake using borax and a few other easy to find household items. Find out how crystals are formed in this fun crystal activity, experiment with food coloring to enhance the look and keep your finished crystal snowflake as a great looking decoration!

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You must visit the DIY Enthusiast to see some of the best pasta ornaments ever to grace a tree! This is a project that is easy, inexpensive, and fun...with an impressive outcome. These projects range from simple to complex. Take a visit to the site and you will be rummaging through your pantry or taking a trip down the pasta isle in...

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The "Four Gift Rule" is making the rounds on the Internet as the economical and responsible solution to addressing your child's Christmas list. The list contains four items: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Although it may not be the first thing that is appreciated on Christmas day, having a book to curl up with later in the evening or during Christmas vacation is a long lasting investment....

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Here is a fun way to work on reading comprehension with your kids. Each stick has a different comprehension question written on it. Have your child draw one stick and read it. (Some questions are answered BEFORE reading, some are DURING, and others are AFTER. With training, they can quickly identify when they will need to answer their question.)

They are already things you would discuss, but simply allowing your child to...

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Here is a fun game pre-or-post Thanksgiving dinner! It's a great alternative to a full-fledged Turkey Bowl if you have little ones. For the game, the goal is to be the last person standing with at least one turkey pin (clothes pin) still on. Use the craft supplies you have on hand to make the fun "turkey pins".

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The New York Hall of Science has a handful of apps for students including Playground Physics. Designed for middle and high school students, Playground Physics helps users explore physics in the real world. Students record a video of someone moving and tap points to trace a path of motion.

With Playground Physics students can take their own videos or use stock videos to trace paths of motion. Users can add measurements to their...

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Whether you are exploring symmetry, parabolic curves, tessellations, or Fibonacci number sequences, using art as the vehicle is a great idea. The What We Do All Day blog has some great resources for creating beautiful art projects that incorporate STEM principles.

Math Art Projects

Tessellations. We’ve done this several times, and somehow it never gets boring.

  • See our...
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Making delicious homemade butter is quick and easy! All you need is a clean jar (the Ball Jars are perfect for this), glass marbles, heavy whipping cream — music, and man-power, well, child-power!

Fill the jar about 3/4 full of cream.

Add two marbles to help with mixing and put the lid on. Double-check to make sure that the lid is on REALLY...

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Indian corn makes a lovely seasonal appearance this time of year. What happens if you put Indian corn in a pan of water? Indian corn is a decorative hard shelled and colorful corn that is available in the fall at grocery stores, orchards or farmers markets. Place a cob in water and let your kids watch the wonder of nature in action!

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Share the meaning of gratitude with your children. Krista Gilbert shares wisdom and concrete advice about how to "reclaim gratitude" in our lives and extend that important attribute to our children.

“Children in other countries would be happy to have this for dinner,” I heard my daughter say to her brother. She was bothered by his lack of gratitude. In the next breath she complained that her phone wasn’t working right and what...

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Here is a fun exercise in creativity that can emulate the beauty of fall right outside your front door. This fabulous fall tree craft uses techniques that simply call for a straw and a tooth brush...(and a little something to keep the paint in the right places).

Start with a piece of art paper and black or brown ink. Add several drops of ink to the paper then invite your kiddos to use their drinking straw to blow the ink around,...

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Your child might not know where Greece is on the map, but teaching about culture is as close as a game away! These games from different countries are a great and fun way to introduce your children to traditions and cultures different from their own. Playing games is a great way to make the world a "smaller" place!

Chile: Corre, Corre la Guaraca

The fun-to-say game name translates to "Run,...

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It's hard to imagine a single career that doesn't have a need for someone who can code. Everything that "just works" has some type of code that makes it run. Coding (a.k.a. programming) is all around us. That's why all the cool kids are coding . . . or should be. Programming is not just the province of pale twenty-somethings in skinny jeans, hunched over three monitors, swigging Red Bull. Not any more! The newest pint-sized coders have...

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Mummies made from rubber coated flexible wire and strips of muslin are easy to make and are a blast to have hanging around the house for Halloween.

The bendable wire frame allows you to position your mummy any way you like; they take on personalities of their own as the kids position and re-position them over and over!

To make these you will...

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Whether it be science, history, math or literacy, here are some clever ways to infuse some seasonal fun into learning. Kid World Citizen has some great ideas to turn pumpkins into learning. They also provide links to other interesting pumpkin tidbits!

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Looking for a way to interject a little anatomy lesson into backyard fun? Try a Halloween-themed skeleton scavenger hunt!

Have kids roam the yard or the house on the hunt for skeleton parts (plastic ones purchased from a toy store or craft shop). Discovering the bones is not enough: they must assemble them the best they can. If you are working with a large group of kids, have enough complete skeletons for each group. Kids will be...

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School is well underway. It is an exciting time filled with new beginnings, new school supplies, and new friends. But it is also a time when germs reemerge and get passed around from one child to another. Here is a great way to illustrate how germs are spread in a fun and engaging way that will hopefully help your children to remember to practice healthy hand hygiene!

How Are Germs Spread?

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When it comes to fall service projects Reverse Trick or Treating is always a favorite. Make it even more memorable this year by visiting a local Assisted Living facility with the little ones in full costume and bags of goodies and tokens they have made themselves. It will be one of the greatest gifts your family could give this fall...and one of the greatest experiences you and your children will have as well.

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It's the little things that plant a big memory in your child's mind. These creative and fun ideas to spark up October breakfast, lunches, and dinner will be a huge hit with your family. Check out the Dating Divas blog for some great ideas to make this a memorable Halloween!

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Sometimes math is just plain fun...and delicious! Take advantage of the month of October to introduce this fun pumpkin candy building challenge to your kids. It incorporates STEM concepts in a fun and challenging manner. Grab a bag of candy pumpkins and some toothpicks and let the building begin!

This fun project comes way of...

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Even in our own “cosmic neighborhood,” distances in space are so vast that they are difficult to imagine. This activity is a great exercise to help young learners comprehend hard-to-imagine concepts. Kids build a scale of model of the distances in the solar system using rolls of toilet paper.

This fantastic activity outlined by Susanne Chippindale provides...

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The foods our children eat have a profound effect on their behavior. Aggression, lack of focus, restlessness, irritability — can be linked to the intake of certain foods. Mother blogger, Jacqueline, of Deep Roots at Home offers parents some food for thought when it comes to additives, preservatives, and sugar.

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Kitchen Table Passport provides an innovative way to teach your family about different cultures, countries, tastes, and customs. Subscribers are treated to a new gift box every month featuring a new country. The box will contain everything from mementos and interesting facts to beautiful images and quizzes. Especially fun is the inclusion of recipes from the chosen country, complete with ingredients such as hard-to-find spices specific to...

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Meditation and children may seem like an odd combination, but remember, those little minds need some cooling off and de-stressing too! Sharing these techniques with your kids may be helpful in warding off anxiety. Practicing these techniques will provide children tools for self-soothing and self care.

1. Chakra Breathing:

Kids do not have the idea of ‘seven chakras’ present within our body. So, start by showing them those 7...

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Use this fun idea to encourage creativity at home. Storytelling prompts can provide just the right amount of motivation to capture your kids imagination and attention. Clink the link to access some printable story prompts or create your own. Individualizing them for your family can be especially fun.

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Here is a great project to help little ones with addition and subtraction. Trace your child's hand, write out the addition and subtraction math problems and watch the fun as those little paper fingers bend with each attempt. (And, of course there is the "High 5" at the end of the activity!)

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Time to put that Ipad to great use for your kids! Here is a list of some great Ipad apps to help increase your kids vocabulary that are effective AND fun!

iPad has made teaching vocabulary to young learners way easier and much more fun. There are now a wide range of fabulous iPad apps to use with your kids to get them to improve and enrich their vocabulary and move to the next level of their language learning. I have been curating...

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Technology can work against us when we are trying to raise active kids. Here are some simple suggestions to help get those screen-obsessed young ones to get moving!

Find what they love

Trial and error of trying out activities until something sticks is a great approach to creating life long habits. Don’t make a big deal out of the experience just simply say “I thought we could all go and...

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Often, we equate the term “discipline” with punishment. But the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina,” which means “teaching, learning.” That’s the key to correcting our kids’ behaviors – giving them the tools they need to learn a better behavior. Parenting expert, Amy McCready shares the following advice:

When we discipline in a way meant only to punish and have the child “pay” for their mistake, it doesn’t help...

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What is an easy way to keep a toddler busily engaged for hours? Lay down some masking tape roads! Whether on hardwood, carpet, or meandering up your sofa, masking tape provides creative opportunities for parents and kids.

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Here is a fun way to encourage your kids to learn their states: State Quarters! All you need is a good US map and handful of quarters to start. The best part is that the US Mint has a page H.I.P. Pocket Change that gives a little history behind the image on each of the commemorative coins. Physically placing the coin on the map while identifying the state with its history will help...

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Oil and Water experiments have been around for a long while, but when you add glow in the dark paint in the mix, it becomes really interesting and way more memorable. Here is what you need:

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Science has yet to prove that the earth’s core is not made up of gooey marshmallow crunchies! Take advantage of this shortcoming to teach your children about earth layers, via rice krispie treats.

Fun Quotient: Let’s see. Frosting, sprinkles, krispie treats, and a molten core that looks a little bit disgusting. (The only thing missing to make it kid heaven is a giant trampoline to bounce on while you eat...

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When reading is a chore for a child, it loses its enjoyment. Here is a lighthearted approach to helping a child who finds reading tiresome and frustrating.

The article comes via Just a Touch of Crazy blog.

I wish I could say that JJ loved to read. But he doesn't. In fact, if you ask him if he likes to read, he definitely...

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Here is a beautiful watercolor project guaranteed to bring smiles of satisfaction to children and parents alike. Techniques taught culminate in a beautiful image.

What it will teach

This project will help master the crucial skill of watching paint dry… and thereby teach when to apply more paint and how much water to use! The project also offers the opportunity to consider ways of applying the paint, and the...

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Generosity is a wonderful trait to develop year round. As the Holiday season slowly encroaches it is nice to focus on “giving” during times and events when the family (and much of society) is tempted to focus on “getting.”

Here are five ways to add an element of generosity into birthdays and holidays:

Children’s Birthdays

Hold a service-themed birthday party, where party guests bring a donation (monetary...

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Does the thought of cleaning out uneaten sandwiches from backpacks and lunch bags for another school year make you feel less than enthusiastic about the start of school? Well, feast your eyes on some of these great and easy lunch ideas! Scroll through these many suggestions and let some of these lunches spark your...

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As your kids are gearing up for the new year, take the opportunity to share with them what the first day of school looks like around the world. Anna Watt shares experiences from her students from the International English Center at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA.

A while ago I came across a fun article about...

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It doesn't get easier or simpler than this! Whether indoors or outdoors, young or old, this old standby is just your pantry away!

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As the start of the school year approaches, have you seen your first grader go into meltdown mode at the mention of school, or watched your soon-to-be kindergartner regress back to baby talking and thumb sucking? Rest assured that you’re not alone.

Dr. Joan Simeo Monson shares this advice with parents regarding the first of the school year.

Each fall, millions of parents deal with their children’s beginning-of-the-year anxiety....

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Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, your favorite pet, and even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud. Words are individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.

This is a fun and educational site for kids. It is a great tool for leisure activities, but also a great resource for the school...

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Composting teaches very valuable lessons to children. They learn to recycle and reuse materials in an earth-friendly activity. It also involves dirt, digging, and water–favorite children’s activities.

Composting truly is one of Mother Nature's most miraculous processes. Using only natural means, you're able to turn "waste" into one of the most beautiful and productive growing mediums.

If you haven't experienced it for...

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Do you or your kids struggle with how to sleep better? Kids go through a phase where they struggle with activities as they go to sleep or struggle to stay asleep. It is frustrating.

Here are some of ideas via the Kid's Activity blog to encourage sleep in your kids (and yourselves!).

Sleep Solutions

Use a weighted blanket. If your child (or you) are a sensory aware individual,...

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This is an amazing drawing activity that activates both sides of the brain. It is fun, relaxing, and an incredible way to exercise both sides of the brain simultaneously! Kids find this activity mesmerizing. It is guaranteed to keep parents actively engaged as well! (Start easy: a heart is a good choice).

This video from The Artful Parent shows the process in action.

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This paper plate sundial using straws, markers or crayons is an easy, fun, and effective way to help kids learn about time. Take the sundial outside at noon and let the kids mark the hours.

Some questions to ask the kids might be: Were the marks at regular intervals?...

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Like to snack at the beach? Easily remove sand from your hands by "washing" them with baby powder! This works great for cleaning kids up after playing in the sand box as well!

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Don't tell the kids that these little dots of frozen, creamy, deliciousness are actually good for them! These frozen dots are a welcome addition to summer fun — they are easy to make and healthy. They look like they could be candy and the kids eat them like they are candy!

(Oh and they freeze SUPER FAST!) So if you’re in a hurry for a frozen snack, pop some dots in the freezer and in less than an hour from now...

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We love Pool Scrabble! What an easy and creative way to combine learning, fitness, and fun!

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If you have an early reader in your house this phonic flip book will be a great addition to your took kit! These are so easy to make and to use.

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Kids love treasure hunts. They also love anything related to pirates and the "search"! Here is a fun way to make a pirate treasure hunt map for your kids using Google maps.

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Sometimes "simple fun" is the best! Turn a couple of crates into backyard laughter!

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Look at the fun that can be created with a printer, watercolor paper, a straw, and watercolors!

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Summer doesn't mean the learning stops! Start saving your recyclables, zip ties, play dishes, and plastic cups, and let the kids have at it!

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Teaching kids to channel their "big" emotions to alternative activities or pursuits is a great way to help them discharge emotions in a safe way. Here are some easy ways to encourage self-regulation without hurting themselves or others.

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Looking for a fun way to entertain kids for about 30-40 minutes? All you will need is a good size watermelon, a large package of rubber bands (300-425), some goggles or protective eyewear, and something for clean up. Set this up where it is easy to clean up: It is messy! (But that is what makes it fun, right?)

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With childhood obesity increasing at staggering rates, parents and caregivers must play an active role in protecting children’s health. Eating healthy foods is a key factor in maintaining their overall well-being. But, this has to be balanced with regular physical activity.

Children who are physically active on a regular basis will reap enormous benefits. Studies have shown that they:

  • Are less likely to become...
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Those terrible Twos can be just that! Toddlers can test our limits for patience, but that's often a good thing because the stuff that makes us batty is integral to their mental and emotional development.

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Baking soda dough is easy to make, easy to handle, and holds up well. Here is a great baking soda dough recipe and fun craft idea with an ocean theme. Perfect for summer!

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Here is an awesome experiment that will most likely see you go through an entire box of tea bags! *Definitely one that requires adult supervision, but sure to be a favorite with kids of all ages.

*make sure this is supervised by an adult at all times, is done in an area with no wind &​ that you have a fire extinguisher on hand.

To do this yourself you will need:

Tea bag

Scissors

Lighter or...

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Looking to raise socially responsible and compassionate children? Seek out service opportunities for your family. Providing opportunities for children to volunteer alone, or as a part of the family, instills a broader sense of purpose; it connects them to their world in meaningful ways. Volunteering instills a powerful message in children, empowering them to understand that their actions can have a profound impact on someone or...

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This Montessori-inspired salt tray is easy to make and very effective! The sensory play aspect of the project makes it especially appropriate for toddlers and young learners. It is as simple as finding an suitable tray (the one above was from re-purposed from a Doug and Melissa lacing card toy) and making the alphabet cards. A little bit of effort will create a learning tool that will add up to many hours of fun and learning.

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A ruler is a great tool to help children visualize and conceptualize symmetry. Using geometric blocks, children use their ruler to create a line of symmetry. The results will be varied and spectacular!

...

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Sometimes an innovative approach is all that it takes to motivate a less-than-enthusiastic child. "Make and Write a Story Roll" is a great way to encourage writing at home. It is a happy activity that gets children excited about creating books. By using both hands and heads children will invent something that is uniquely their own. This is fun to share and a great gift for grandparents or teachers.

It is as easy as collecting...

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Use this model to create an age-appropriate grammar lesson for your kids!

Write in parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, prepositional phrase, and interjection. Hopping through the boxes gives your child a chance to think of a correct example word to give when he stops to pick up his...

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Never before have parents had to navigate the waters between teenagers and technology as they do now. It is new territory for both parents and teens: teenagers are exerting some independence;, yet, at the same time are seeking to maintain connections with their parents.

The following is an article written by middle-school teacher, Diana Graper. Her daily contact with students provides insight that she hopes to share with...

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Jumping rope is a fantastic way to burn calories and promote cardiovascular health in your children. Jumping rope will also strengthen bones and increase balance. Encouraging kids to jump is as easy as purchasing a durable rope in the appropriate length: combine that with some fun jumping rhymes and games, and you have an activity that will ward off boredom and provide great health benefits!

Playing different jump rope games keeps...

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The best way to teach service to our children is to model it ourselves. One great way to do this is to make our homes a " service laboratory." The lessons children learn at home within their families are the ones that will live within them and spawn a lifetime of giving. One such activity that can be easily engaged in at home is A Giving Box.

For every dollar a child earns, a designated portion goes into the Giving Box. If a child earns...

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Playdough is a great medium to help children remember their United States geography. Many children are tactile learners and tend to "remember with their hands". Finding a map and allowing younger students to create their own state will do much to help them recall the location of the states. This is a great recall activity for adults helpers, as well...especially when your focus moves to the Northeastern states!

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This is a project that will definitely motivate your child to take pen to paper. The result is incredible! With this project, you can teach that shad­ing and care­ful use of line can give a 2D draw­ing the "illu­sion" of being 3D.

Mate­ri­als:

  • White paper
  • Black "F" Sharpies
  • Col­ored pen­cils

Direc­tions:

1. Draw a curvy line across your paper.

2. Make about 8 dots, unevenly spaced, on...

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