Here are just a few quick tips on how to get your little one prepared for reading and writing. The first tip is to teach children to recognize letters. A great way to do this is to point out the letters when doing something as simple as the ABC’s. If you do this children learn that those letters they are saying actually mean something. After going over the alphabet I like to have children point out the letter that starts their name.
Another helpful tip is to have additional activities that contain letters. For example it’s great to have letter cookie cutters for baking or even play dough. This way, again, children can find their letter and you can help them create their name or simply make words.
Tracing names is a great activity for learning to write and recognize names especially if you cannot be hands on showing your child how to write the letters on their own. If you would like to add something extra, you can give your child letter cut outs to glue under each letter to match up the letters of their name. They will learn to really recognize and look for the letters of their name.
Many activities can be created with the letter shaped cookie cutters. Your child can paint with them too. Also alphabet magnets do not only have to be used for refrigerators but also for magnet boards. This is another way to allow your child to work on their own. If you don’t have a magnet board, a cookie sheet works just as well.
So we finally made it to Six Flags after planning for the past 3 years… We had a great time! The lines for the rides were somewhat long but not too bad. Unfortunately, the weather was close to unbearable.
Luckily, the park sells large souvenir cups that can be refilled at various concession stands throughout the park… This was an awesome purchase! I highly recommend it. Since the weather was so hot, me and the kids would have never survived without having a drink every few minutes. There’s even an express line just for refills.
In addition to enjoying fun rides, like my all time traditional favorite, the bumper cars, the kids also loved the Monster Mansion… Pretty cute. We watched the Looney Tunes talent show… which was an adorable performance… They played songs that the kids knew and could sing along to. The characters kept even the smallest of the viewers tuned in and dancing to the music..
Last and certainly not least, Mitchell Musso (who plays Oliver on Hannah Montana) performed. The kids had a blast! What better way to wrap up summer vacation than rides, water fun, and a kids concert…
Yesterday me and my daughters enjoyed a super fun 4th of July. We started our day at 9am by heading down to the neighborhood parade. It was great. We were able to say thank you to the war veterans, police officers, and fire fighters… Also, there were marching bands, floats, horses, clowns… Even local puppy groomers flashed their dogs and threw doggie treats into the crowd.
My daughters had a blast catching all of the candy that was being tossed from the floats. I thought it was perfect that some of the companies gave out Popsicles and water bottles for everyone to cool off while standing outside in the 80+ degree weather. What a great event!
Next we headed over to my Mom’s house where we made our anual 4th of July flag cake… The girls did everything from cracking eggs and mixing the batter to lining strawberries and blueberries up on the top of the cake to create the flag. They LOVED helping with the cake especially because they knew it was the center dish for yesterday’s holiday…
After a fun day of cooking on the grill and hanging out with family, me and the girls headed over to the lake to watch the fireworks with my sister and her family… The weather was great and we sat in the perfect spot. We were very close but we were also where the noise wasn’t so loud. Two years ago when we headed out to see the fireworks for the first time my kids cried because of the noise and because of fear that the sparks would land on us. After waiting about 2 hours for the fireworks to begin we only wound up staying for about 5 minutes… :) Well this year they were finally able to enjoy it…
What a great 4th of July!!!
Surviving the economic recession is tough right now and everyone is trying to cut back on expenses. Well one area where money can be saved is for diapers. Now is a great time to potty train your child. Potty training a child requires dedication and consistency. But, it doesn’t have to take up all of your time. Whether you are a stay at home parent or a working parent, you don’t have to stress yourself out when the subject of potty training comes up. It actually just requires a weekend to get started. Check out these potty training tips .
Okay, I absolutely LOVE to make Play Dough from scratch! I have always felt better about making it than buying it at the store. This is for a few reasons… First of all it’s a great project for kids to do. Second because I have spent so much time trying to stop young kids from EATING IT… :P
Anyway, here are two cool recipes…
Ingredients for #1:
1 cup of flour
1 Kool-aid packet
2 tbsp cream of tarter
1 cup of water
1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup of salt
Mix ingredients and cook over stove top on medium heat. It takes about 3 minutes… Be sure to let Playdough cool before play.
Here’s how our most recent batch came out using strawberry kool-aid mix…
The last recipe is made of peanut butter so please do not use this one if anyone has peanut allergies…
Ingredients for Recipe #2:
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of honey
Mix with your hands and you’re done… Quick and easy :)
Here are some pictures of our peanut butter playdough…
Home with the kids… This is a topic that causes stress for many parents because they feel that they can’t get things done with the kids around. Well, you would be surprised how many things you can do with your children that are simply things that have to get done around the house. Kids love to do what adults do. That’s what dramatic play is all about. When you allow them to be a part of the things that they see you do everyday, they are extremely happy. Here are some examples of regular tasks that parents have to do that the kids will see as being fun.
Your kids see you clean up all the time. My kids absolutely love to help clean. The funny thing is, they don’t like to do it as a chore. They like it when I am doing it along side them and when it seems like it’s for fun. If I say “okay go clean your room”, they will not be interested but if I say “I’m going to clean the living room, who wants to help?” it turns into something totally different. Most kids enjoy simply being helpful and it makes it twice as fun because they are spending time with you.
The first example is washing the dishes… My daughters are a little older now so they are able to (for the most part) wash the dishes or load them into the dishwasher. When they were smaller I would let them wash the dishes and I would help them along. I would really be doing most of the washing but they didn’t mind as long as they were helping. As for the dishwasher I always let one put in the dish detergent while the other turns it on.
The second example is when I am washing and folding laundry. I don’t like to let my kids touch the clothes from the hamper, but I let them help put in the detergent and press the buttons (taking turns of course). When it’s time to put the clothes in the dryer, I let them help switch the clothes, add dryer sheets, and again press the start button. Once the clothes are done, they sometimes like to help fold them. Even if your child does not fold them properly just stack them up and continue folding the rest and let them put them away how they folded them. You can re-fold them later if need be. ;)
On the days where they are not interested in the folding part, I give them their own clothes to put away. My kids love to race so they try to see who can do it first. I usually have to call them in several times throughout laundry day, and surprisingly they are still just as excited to put their clothes away.
Cooking is also something you can let your kids help you with… When I cook I often call my daughters in to help. If I don’t they are usually right there asking. They are not allowed to really cook like as far as touching the stove or using knives, but I let them do as many little things as possible. When I am making something I let them add seasonings. Also I let them crack eggs into the bowl or stir things. They love to help with any and everything.
Another example is letting your kids help clean around the house. When my kids were little I would let them help me clean things around the house like tables. I wouldn’t give them actual cleaning products, so I’d put water on their paper towel and they would think they were really cleaning with something. They were so proud…
These are just a few examples to give you an idea of how to let your kids be helpful around the house. Just think when they are older, cleaning won’t seem like such a miserable task.
All kids love a good movie. But parents get tired of having their kids stare at the TV all day. Why not make movie night fun?
The first thing is to pick a movie. How can you get into a movie? With tickets of course… Using paper you can cut rectangle shapes and you and your children can make movie tickets. If you want, you can number the tickets so that people can “find their seats”. Next you can make your movie aisle. You can either get some red velvety fabric, simply use red construction paper, or even use a sheet, curtain, or blanket. If you choose to use fabric, cut it and make it like a red carpet. If you choose to use paper you can simply tape the pieces together.
Make the long carpet go right down the middle of the room towards the TV like a movie theatre aisle. You can put some folding chairs (or even kitchen chairs) lined up on either side of the carpet to make the room look like a theatre. Don’t forget to number the seats… You and your child can write large numbers on paper and tape them onto the seats to match the numbers on the tickets.
For food you can serve meals that are offered at movie theatres like nachos with cheese, hot dogs, popcorn and drinks. You can also buy some white lunch bags and as another project in preparation for the movie night use crayons, colored pencils, or markers to draw and color the red vertical stripes on the bag. This is to make them look like popcorn bags. If you’d rather not do the project you can simply buy popcorn to make and serve it in a bowl. It’s great if you have a popcorn maker because kids can actually see the popcorn popping. Another cool popcorn idea is to get the large popcorn bucket that they sell in the stores. You make the popcorn right from the bucket and it looks just like at the movies.
Now that you’ve got your movie theatre set up…Take your seats and enjoy the show…