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Category: #schoolasummer (page 2 of 3)

31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 21: Traveling with Kids? Stay Cool With These Travels Apps

Summer is filled with fun and road trips! Check out this article from Family Circle about travel apps



31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 20: Dishes Kids Can Make Themselves

You advertised for a sous chef, and within moments your child volunteered. Your young assistant is certainly willing, but not exactly ready to take on all the dishes found in your cookbooks. All that dicing, measuring, and sautéing is tricky when you’re just barely counter height. It seems that some new recipes in order. These easy dishes provide a just-right starting point.

scrambled eggs (this is what everyone learns to cook first, right?)
cinnamon toast
egg salad
deviled eggs (these are a snap, once your child has mastered egg salad)

And don’t forget “put together” dishes like…
a hummus and vegetable plate
tortilla roll ups with turkey, cheese, and lettuce (or whatever your child prefers)
pasta salad

31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 19: 10 Favorite Books About Summer

Summer is a great subject for children’s books. Summertime means an extra dose of freedom and adventure for kids, so it makes sense that some of the best fictional tales of childhood are set during summer months. When you head to the library or the bookstore to stock up on books for the kids this vacation, consider these wonderful tales of summer.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
Holes by Louis Sachar
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
Pictures from Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
Beach by Elisha Cooper
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sarah Pennypacker
Like Bug Juice on a Burger by Julie Sternberg


31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 18: Build a Catapult

This is a great science and engineering activity that works with kids as young as 7. Here’s what you need to get started!

– 10 craft sticks (the thick kind work better)
– rubber bands (at least 5)
– a plastic spoon
– mini marshmallows

Take two craft sticks and rubber band them together at one end. Then take seven craft sticks and rubber band them together at both ends. Gently wedge the stack of seven craft sticks in between the two craft sticks that are rubber banded together at one end. Next wrap a rubber band crossways around the two stacks where they join to hold the whole thing together. You’ve just made the base structure for your catapult.

Lastly, use a rubber band to attach a plastic spoon onto the one stick that’s sticking up in the air. (We used two rubber bands to make sure it stayed on tightly.) Now you’re ready to launch! Grab a handful of mini-marshmallows and let them fly! You can have contests to see which catapult launches the farthest (try adjusting the crossways rubber band for more distance) or you can set up targets for the kids to hit.


31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 17: Take the Art Outside!

After being in school for nine months, outside is where we all want to be. Especially the artistic types among us. Because there’s no more inspiring place to make art than under the big blue sky. Here are a few ideas for bringing your child’s creativity out into the open air.

Take the easel outside. It’s that simple. Little painters really enjoy the change of light and sights and surroundings. And they can make any old mess without worry.

Gather rocks, flowers, pine cones, moss, sticks, and more for a still life. Have the children arrange their finds on an outdoor table and then draw together. Or the smaller ones may just enjoy making their “sculpture.”

Introduce the art of flower arrangement. Wild flowers are everywhere these days, and few little hands can resist picking them. When you get home, all you need are a few empty jars and cups of different sizes (just raid the recycling bin) and some water and scissors too. Let the kiddos experiment with different combinations of flowers and containers. Water and clippings will get everywhere, so this is a good one for the stoop or the backyard.



31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 16: Journaling

The day I gave my child an empty spiral, she started a journal. She would carry it in the car and whenever she had a free moment, she would write lists, create stories, and draw pictures. It started as a way to keep her busy, but it’s turned into a place where she can let her imagination run wild. She has stacks of them in her room now.

Journaling is one of the best ways to help our children’s creativity flourish. And it doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. Some of the best ways to journal involve sharing a notebook. Perhaps you write each other notes or one of you draws half of a picture and the other one completes it or maybe you co-write a short story.

It’s easy to get started with journaling, shared or otherwise. Here are the tools that will come in handy:
– a sketchbook (like a Moleskine) or a spiral
– drawing pencils, pens, and watercolors, if you wish
– a pouch to keep everything in, especially if you child wants to carry it around

Lastly, your child needs time. Journaling can’t be rushed. If your child feels that he or she has to finish quickly, they might get frustrated and say that they can’t do it. With time, though, their creativity will soar.



31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 15: Brain Teaser of the Day

Play detective and solve this crime!

Kelly’s purse was stolen one Sunday morning. The police know whom they are going to arrest from this bit of information:
Jasper was getting the mail
Andrew was doing laundry
Emma was cleaning house
Alex was planting in the garden

Who stole Kelly’s purse and how did the police know whom to arrest?

(Answer: Jasper because the mail isn’t delivered on Sunday)


#schoolasummer #brainteaser

31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 14: Must Read Article to Raising Awesome Kids

Great article about how to give your child a rich life.


31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 13: Chores Can Be Fun

The house is a mess. You’re exhausted, and the kids are running wild because they have nothing to do. It’s time for family chores! It can sometimes feel like more trouble than it’s worth to have the kids help out around the house, but remind yourself that you are building self-confidence, motivation, and a sense of belonging in your child

Preschoolers: Young children are fully capable of doing chores, and they are usually excited to feel grown up and help out. Some good starter chores are setting the table for dinner, clearing their dishes at the end of the meal, putting toys away after playtime, pulling the covers up on their bed, and putting their laundry away. Keep the task time around ten minutes or less, and make sure your children participate in a chore every day so that you build a routine.

Elementary school age and up: Our favorite method for getting older kids to do their chores is the stick system: Give each child color-coded sticks with daily chores written on them (tidy their rooms, practice piano, etc.) plus, if you wish, one extra chore stick that they get to choose. Some of the extra chores that we use are sweeping the porch, cleaning the handprints off the refrigerator, sorting and starting a load of laundry, folding a load of laundry, watering the plants, emptying the small trash cans, dusting, vacuuming the family room, sweeping under the breakfast bar…all the little things that help out during the course of the week. When the sticks are done, the kids move them from the to-do jar to the finished jar. Once all the sticks have been moved, they have earned whatever reward you offer (in our case, it’s screen time).

Chores are as important to childhood as band-aids and bicycles. You may not raise a neat freak, but regular chores build responsibility and give kids a leg up for the day when they finally are out on their own.


31 Days of Smart Summer Fun, Day 12: Audio Books for Road Trips

Are you gearing up for a road trip this summer? Summer break is one of those times
of year that almost inevitably requires a road trip, either to visit family. We can feel the open road beckoning us!

Once you’ve decided to hit the road, you have to convince the kids how much fun it
will be. And this requires strategy: How will we pass the time? How can we make the hours of stop-and-go travel into an enjoyable family time? Audio books are just the thing to cement that feeling of family road trip togetherness. We like the idea of putting the headphones away and listening to a story together. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Narrated by Jim Dale.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Narrated by the author.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Narrated by the author.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Narrated by Lynn Redgrave.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. Narrated by Tim Curry.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell. Narrated by David Tennant.
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Narrated by Anne Hathaway.


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