10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love

Learning with your child can be fun. Teach them in a variety of ways. Teach about art and reading with these 10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love - Tipsaholic, #art, #education, #kids, #books, #read, #kidsbooks, #artbooks, #preschool

 

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Art is an important and vastly under-appreciated element of education.  Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways you can supplement art education in your home.  Reading books to your child is one valuable tool for learning.  Children will become better readers and writers while having fun with you and learning about art.  There are so many different aspects of art education you could focus on – history, masters, colors, hues, composition, to name just a few – that it’s hard to know what your focus should be.  Here are 10 art education books geared to preschoolers that your 3-6 year olds will love!

Learning with your child can be fun. Teach them in a variety of ways. Teach about art and reading with these 10 Art Education Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love - Tipsaholic, #art, #education, #kids, #books, #read, #kidsbooks, #artbooks, #preschool

1. Art by Patrick McDonnell –

This cute picture book tells the story of Art and his art.  Art is a budding young artist – like so many children.  Follow along and watch as Art creates His fun masterpieces all over the pages of the book.  With rhyming verse and messy, colorful illustrations, this is sure to be a hit with young kids.

 

2. Mini Masters Board Book Series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober –

(Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, A Magical Day with MatisseIn the Garden with Van Gogh)

These books combine rhyming text, short and simple phrasing and beautiful works from master artists.  Young kids will learn about Degas, Monet, Matisse and Van Gogh in a fun, engaging and positive way.  The artwork is vivid and beautiful and sure to delight even older readers.

 

3. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds –

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” The art teacher says, but Vashti is not convinced.  She is not an artist and instead, she jabs angrily at the paper leaving an unremarkable dot.  That dot, however, leads her on a completely unforeseen adventure through self-discovery and creativity.  Children can learn right along with her as they recognize the value of each person’s unique, creative spirit.

 

4. Perfect Square by Michael Hall –

One perfect square.  But oh!  What a square CAN be!  This adventurous story shows kids how a simple square of construction paper can transform into unlimited possibilities.  Kids will be excited not only for the next page and the coming surprised, but will love applying this in their own creative lives.

 

5. Press Here by Herve Tullet –

This is no mere book about dots and colors, oh no!  Press the dot and the book comes to life, bringing with it a magical, tactile adventure!  Young kids will love following the instructions in this interactive book.  They’ll press, shake, blow, tilt and jab their way through the pages and find delight in the shapes and vibrant colors.

 

6. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg –

With endearing drawings, vibrant colors and beautiful text, this book gives kids a lovely life lesson.  Mistakes are ok.  In fact, mistakes are great!  They can help you learn and grow, lead to discoveries, and cultivate creativity.  A spill on your masterpiece doesn’t have to ruin it.  Look for a way to turn mistakes into art – when you’re drawing or in life.

 

7. Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka –

This hilarious romp through New York City’s Museum of Modern Art will have your kids begging for more!  When the main character loses track of his friend, Art, he is directed to MoMA instead.  He continues through the museum, looking for his friend, and in the process learns much about famous artists – Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso and others.  Your kids can learn right alongside him with these playful illustrations and clever, comical text.

 

8. Touch the Art: Count Monet’s Lilies by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo –

This is a wonderful introduction to impressionism for very young budding artists with paintings by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and Degas to name a few.  This book is a wonderful take on the average “touch and feel” genre and is a tactile experience for young kids who will love feeling bumpy bark on trees, patting fancy hats and counting fruit.  They’ll increase fine motor skills and learn about famous artists at the same time!  (See the other “Touch the Art” books in the series as well)

 

9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires –

In this creative tale with vibrant, quirky pictures, the unnamed heroine sets out to create the most magnificent thing.  She has a plan and knows just what she needs to do.  After trying and failing time after time, she decides to give up.  What will happen to her creative vision?  Is it lost for good?  Kids will learn just as much vocabulary from the witty text with fun and functional action words and trilogies of verbs as they will about perseverance, negative emotions and creation.

 

10. The Museum by Susan Verde –

This whimsical look at art is told through charming illustrations and simple, lighthearted text.  Follow the main character on an adventure through an art museum, where each piece speaks to her in a different way.  This playful tale captures the emotion and experience of art, and children will better understand how artwork communicates to others and how they can feel energized to create and express themselves.

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

For more educational ideas try these:

10 Hands-On Math Activities - Tipsaholic.com               tipsaholic-10-math-books-3-6-year-olds-will-love-pinterest-pic              hands on science

Math for 3-6 Year Olds              Math Books 3-6 Year Olds        Science for 3-6 Year Olds

10 Fun Family Activities for Fall

Fall is a great time to enjoy your family. For lots of ideas check out these 10 Fun Family Activities for Fall - tipsaholic, #fall, #familyfun, #autumn, #family

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As the air gets crisp and you don sweaters and boots, you may be lamenting all the fun your family had last summer!  Trips to the pool, beach days, afternoons at the park, running through sprinklers and fun in the sun dominated your summer days; it may be that family fun seems a thing of the past.  Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall as a family!  You may not be jumping into the lake, but don’t let the chilly weather bring you down.  Here are 10 fun family activities for fall.

 

1. Pumpkin picking.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s something satisfying about finding that perfectly shaped, perfectly colored pumpkin.  Running through the patch with your kids and helping them haul their treasures back to the car can create lasting memories.

 

2. Apple picking.  Much like pumpkins, picking your own apples is a fun and satisfying treat.  Find an orchard that will allow you to pick your own from the tree, rather than simply buy them by the bushel.  Show kids how to find the best apples, decide which varieties you all enjoy, climb and hunt for the perfect specimens, and most importantly make apple pie when you get home!

 

3. Bike ride of colors.  Look on the internet or on local maps to find the best public forests – try state and national parks.  Look for areas with many different trees so you can enjoy the various turning colors.  Pack your bikes and helmets and take a bike trail through the falling leaves.

 

4. Fall picnic.  Picnics can be just as fun in the fall as they are in summer!  Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun so you won’t be too cold.  Dress everyone in layers for warmth, so they can remove clothing if they get too hot.  Be sure to pack all your favorite fall treats – you can use a thermos for hot chocolate or soup, take along pumpkin or apple pocket pies, and find fresh produce like pears, apples, squash and sweet potatoes prepared in a variety of ways.  Don’t forget to pack the flannel blankets!

 

5. Make your own cider or apple sauce.  It may take a bit of prep, but you can buy a cider press or check your local listings for options to rent one.  You could also call around to local orchards as some offer cider-making as an activity.  Making apple sauce is quite a bit easier, as you only need a stove and blender or food processor (try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman).  Cooking together can bring everyone closer and kids love to help creating in the kitchen.

 

6. Corn mazes.  This is likely only available in certain areas, but if you live within driving distance a good corn maze can’t be beat!  It’s a fun, lively activity they’ll love running through, and young ones will be amazed at the height of the corn!  It’s also a great way to get their brains moving as they try to solve the life-sized puzzle.  Plus, they’ll work on interpersonal skills like team work and cooperation.  Check out these famous corn mazes.  Or check online for corn mazes in your own state.

 

7. Leaf pressing.  Go on a leaf hunt with your kids.  Take them to a particularly treed park, or a state forest.  Find leaves of different colors and shapes and collect them gently in a box.  Be sure to collect leaves that are still pliable, not dried and crunchy.  Don’t crumple them in a bag or pocket.  When you get home, place the leaves individually between the pages of a large, heavy book (like a dictionary).  Keep them this way for for a few weeks, then take them out and use them for a mobile or other fun craft.

 

8. Leaf jumping.  Turn a boring chore into piles of fun!  Give everyone a rake and make a giant pile of leaves.  Take turns jumping and throwing.  Have a contest to see who can jump the farthest or fanciest!

 

9. Have a campfire.  If you’ve got a fire pit in your yard, now’s the perfect time to roast marshmallows or sing some camp songs!  A campfire is a great way to get cozy and warm on a chilly night.  Don’t have a fire pit of your own?  Visit a friend or family member with one – or spend the evening or weekend at a nearby campsite!

 

10. Make garlands of dried fruit like apples and oranges to string along the mantel, windows or doorway.  You can find directions here.  Or make pomanders with citrus fruits and cloves, as shown here.  It’s fun to create together, and it will make your house smell delicious!

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Photos        cricut-craft-chore-chart         kidskitchen2

Family Photo Tips                30 Chore Charts                    Teaching Kids in the Kitchen

6 ways to build a bedtime routine ~ Tipsaholic.com #bedtime #kidroutines        tipsaholic-5-tips-to-start-dinnertime-conversation-with-kids-pinterest-pic        10 Fun Chores for Toddlers via Tipsaholic

Bedtime Routine                 Dinner Conversations         Toddler Chores

10 Hands-On Math Activities for 9-11 year olds

10 Hands On Math Activities for 9-11 Year Olds - Tipsaholic

If you want to start supplementing your child’s math education, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place!  Hands-on math activities should engage your child in a multitude of ways — physically, verbally, aurally and visually, just to name a few.  By playing and sharing together, you solidify and reinforce difficult math concepts in a fun way that will help kids love math, not just tolerate it.  Here is a list of 10 great options for your 9-11 year old!

10 math activities for 9-11 year olds

Computer Games:

1. Fractions and Decimals – Topmarks

Here you’ll find great games to help your child learn fractions and decimals, including: Magic Math Market, Fraction Beach, Fraction Flags.

2. Shapes, Position and Movement – Topmarks

Activities like Shapes in Space, 3D Exploration, and Sorting on Venn Diagram will capture your child’s attention and imagination.

3. Interactive Tangrams – Interactive Tangrams

A tangram is a puzzle square cut into seven pieces that can be combined to create different figures or shapes.  On this site, you can solve different puzzles by turning the shapes, dragging and dropping them into place.

4. Online practice problems – Adapted Mine

Adapted Mine has a ton of practice problems broken down by category and grade. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this site for future use!

Printables, etc.

5. Tangram Zoo – Annenberg Learner

This link is for a group of printable animal figures to create different figures and shapes.

6. Oxford Owls Activity Sheets – Oxford Owl

Here you’ll find activity sheets on decimals, fractions, and place value. There are also several links to literacy eBooks for 9-11 year olds.

Game and Activities

7. Fraction Cubes, Math Fact Bingo and Dominoes – eHow contributor, Shannon Hill

Playing games like math bingo and dominoes will give your child a chance to have fun while staying challenged.

8. Dry Erase Decimal Activity – Snaps for Fourth Grade

This first-time teacher has some great tips and math activities for you to try with your child.

9. Temperature Card Game – Education.com

Your child will learn about negative and positive integers while determining the direction of temperature on a thermometer with this fun card game

10. M&M Math – Our Journey Westward

Who knew that candy could be such a good teaching tool? You’ll find a multitude of math activities your child can do with M&Ms.

Education.com has a ton of game ideas for this age range.  Check them out here.

 

Feature image via Tutor Nerds

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Math Books 9-11 Year Olds Will Love

math books your 9-11 year old will love

Math isn’t all worksheets and flashcards.  It can be a lot of fun, too!  Reading is a great way to learn together and reinforce concepts.  The following 10 books are a perfect place to start when you’re looking for math books for your 9-11 year old.

10 math books 9-11 years old will love

1. The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang

A book of riddles with tried and true, creative methods for solving math problems by the author.  The vibrant illustrations and fun games will be a hit with kids.  Using effective and simple methods to solve the riddles will give your child confidence.

2. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn

One morning, Ethan awakes to find an unusual cat – Odds, stuck on his head.  To get rid of the cat, Ethan must win a game of probability, such as pick out two matching socks from his drawer or pull a dime from his coin collection, or some other equally improbable feat.  If he can’t beat the odds, Odds won’t budge, and there’s a 100% chance that Ethan will miss his soccer game!  With this fun plot, entertaining characters and engaging illustrations, this is book is a surefire hit with kids.  It teaches a difficult to grasp concept in a fun way.

3. Math for all Seasons by Greg Tang

More fun riddles and problems to solve in mind-stretching ways.  Great for building Math vocabulary, creativity, and confidence.

4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Do you ever have one of those days where everything is a problem??  This book follows a girl throughout a day filled with “problems” – MATH problems!  A fun look at everyday math.  Charming illustrations with a fun and engaging plot line will have kids begging you to read it.

5. Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dods

Whimsical illustrations and a cast of hilarious characters flow through this book of rhyming text.  Miss Bloom runs the Strawberry Inn and loves to have visitors.  One night, she finds herself with a full house.  Sensing something is amiss, she discovers her guests hungry for a midnight snack.  Will there be enough cake for everyone?  A very inviting read for kids.

6. Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander

The Zills family is summoned to Egypt to aid in finding the burial chamber of an ancient pharaoh.  When the kids get trapped in a hidden tomb, they must use the geometric hieroglyphics and their knowledge of math to find the burial chamber and escape the tomb.  Will they make it out?  Do they know their stuff?  With a riddle, a mystery and plenty of opportunity for flexing math muscles, kids are sure to find this adventure fun, time and time again.

7. A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes

When a queen demands that her bugs march in even lines, it’s up to Private Joe to divide and conquer.  Can he split the ants into lines evenly, so he will not be left out?  How many lines will it take?  Fun little drawings will invite young readers in, while the story line engages and teaches a valuable lesson in division.

8. How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

The king wants to give the queen something special for her birthday — not easy when the queen has EVERYTHING.  Except…a bed.  You see, beds hadn’t yet been invented.  The king must figure out “how big is a bed?” – but no one knows!  A cute, fun story with quirky illustrations that will have kids guessing and estimating in measurements.

9. Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin by Pam Calvert

Follow Peter as he tries to stop Rumpelstiltskin and his multiplying stick.  Can he unlock the secret and rescue the kingdom from Rumpelstiltskin and his mischief?  A fun look at multiplication using familiar characters that kids are sure to love.

10. The Best of Times by Greg Tang

A fun take on the times table.  The author teaches innovative ways to derive solutions to multiplication problems without rote memorization.  The rhyming patterns are easy to remember and the cute illustrations are delightful.

(all photos and links via Amazon)

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Homework Station Inspiration: 32 Ideas for Organization and Order

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As the school year kicks into high gear, you’re bound to be inundated with homework, calendars, newsletters, flyers and all manner of miscellaneous supplies.  It can be hard to keep track of it all, especially while keeping schedules, activities, due dates and big days straight!  Keeping yourself and your kids on track all year long can see a monumental task: what you need is a homework station!  A homework station can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and should include all the items you and your kids need to stay focused on school.  If you’ve got the space, you can add hooks for backpacks, a calendar or a cork board so you never have to miss another important date!  Whatever your specific needs, there’s a station on this awesome list for you!  So take a look at our homework station inspiration and create a space that suits your family.

 

1. Desk Built-in with Hanging Storage from Better Homes and Gardens

This space is everything you could want in your home: clean lines, lots of storage, tucked into a little built-in.  If you’ve got the space for a built-in desk, you can’t beat it for homework management!

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2. Mini Homework Station in a Tray from House of Smiths

You can pick this tray up and take it with you!  Tucked inside the drawers and boxes are all the supplies your children could possibly need. This is perfect if you haven’t got a designated homework desk, or if your space is limited.  Plus, it’s motivational!

tipsaholic-mini-homework-station-in-tray-the-house-of-smiths

3. Rolling Cart Station from Smashed Peas and Carrots

The small kitchen cart from Ikea is cute, compact, and totally functional!  Cram it full of supplies for school and still have space left on the bottom to stack homework, worksheets, and books.  Then you can tuck it away and roll it out when you need it.

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4. Magnetic Back to School Station from The 36th Avenue

This magnetic back to school area can hang right on the side of your fridge!  You’ve got everything you need to stay organized right at arms length – including a handy dry erase/magnetic calendar, supplies, and “accountability clipboards.”

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5. Seat Sacks and Curtain Rod Storage from Scissors and Spatulas

If you’ve got a table or desk area, sew up some seat sacks to hang on the back of your chairs!  Kids can slip in all of their homework, books, and papers.  Add a curtain rod with hooks to store supplies they’ll need.

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6. Chalkboard Organization Station from Design Dining Diapers

This little chalkboard is a cute addition to a homework organization center!  The trendy baskets keep supplies within reach and you can write notes, reminders, and to-do’s on the chalkboard.  Get supplies and note clutter off the tables and counters and up on the wall.

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7. Tabletop Homework Station from Polka Dot Chair

This tabletop homework station can sit front and center on a desk or table and be removed during mealtimes since it’s so portable.  No need for a ton of space in order to keep everything looking crisp and neat – and readily available.

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8. Repurposed Crib from A Little Learning for Two

If you’ve got an old crib from your kid’s babyhood, repurpose it into a chalkboard desk!  The great part about it is that there’s a ton of built in space to hang supplies and needed items.  There’s room to spare on all the old crib slats and the desktop provides ample room to work.

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More great homework spaces on the next page — >

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10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 3-6)

 

literacy activities 3-6

 

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Most preschool and kindergarten aged children are tactile, kinesthetic and visual learners.  Activities that engage these learning styles are the most effective way to supplement your child’s education at home.  Whether playing games, using flashcards, singing rhymes and songs or drawing pictures, using a variety of activities will engage your child so you keep their interest and have fun while learning.  Need some ideas for age and developmentally appropriate activities for your preschooler?  Here are  10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 3-6.

 

1. Online Games – Playing games on the computer has a general appeal for kids.  Using these resources teaches them technology skills, hand-eye coordination, gets their brain moving.  Check out these cool literacy building online games: Funbrain Reading and VocabThe Magic School Bus Gets An Earful Sound GameScholastic Building Language Game (Naming, Letters and Rhyming), pbs kids: Super Why Rhyme ‘n Roll Game

2. Board Games –  Board games can get the whole family involved!  Teach your kids valuable life lessons while learning about literacy – like taking turns, cooperation, being a good sport, supporting others, and social interactions/communication.  Try these board games: Alphabet Squiggle Game, Grandma’S Trunk Alphabet Game, ABC Cookies, Alphabet Memory, Spot It! AlphabetAlphabet Go Fish

3. Puzzles – Puzzles come in tons of variations, and get small motor skills going as well as improving cognitive skills.  Here are a few ideas:  Melissa & Doug Alphabet Letter Puzzles, Giant ABC & 123 Train Floor Puzzle, Spelling Puzzle Game, See & Spell

4. Flashcards - You can buy alphabet and phonics flashcards at many stores, even the dollar store.  Try Speakaboos online interactive alphabet flashcards.  OR, Course Hero is an awesome online source for creating your very own personalized flashcards!  It’s mainly used by older students as a study tool, but you can make them for your child and print them out or use them in conjunction with the free app.

5. Manipulatives – Manipulative are small items your kids can use in a ton of different ways to learn things from counting to upper and lowercase letters while developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  They usually come in fun, bright colors which are appealing to kids and teach preschoolers colors as well!  You can find manipulatives in lots of stores, and here are a few kits to try out: Alphabet Soup SortersAlpha Pops, Letter Construction SetABC Lacing Sweets

6. Colorful Catapult – Alter this catapult game from Spoonful by writing letters on plates instead of numbers.

7. Fly Swatter LettersDelia Creates shares really fun ideas for learning while playing outside.  In addition to the fly swatter game, she also shows how to play the letter game with squirt guns, how to write letters with a spray bottle, and how to play Number and Letter Twister!

8.  DIY Salt Tray – Check out This Mummas Life for directions on making this salt tray, a fun way for kids to trace letters and practice writing.

9. Letter Walk – This fun take on a scavenger hunt uses super simple, everyday items to teach kids letters and starting sounds, while getting them up and moving around!  Check it out on Learning and Playing in 2 Bedrooms or Less.

10. Flashlight Alphabet Game – If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll go nuts over this fun hide and seek game – played in the dark with the aid of an alphabet puzzle and a flashlight.  It’s super easy to set up – go get the details on Happily Ever After Mom.

 

Playing with kids is a great way for them to learn without even realizing it!  Are you looking for more fun learning activities for 3-6 year old kids? Try these 8 Hands-On Science Activities!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

De-Mystifying Math: 5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (Ages 6-9)

5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Math Education - Tipsaholic


Math can be a daunting subject, particularly when learning complicated concepts for the first time. Reinforcing math education at home is clearly important — whether your child is home-schooled, attends public or private school, goes to a charter school or does school online.  Helping your child develop good habits — not to mention a good attitude — toward math early on is key to success. Here are five tips to help your first through fourth grader get off on the right foot mathematically.

5 Tips fo De-Mystifying Math

1.  Always consider the individual:

Everyone learns in different ways.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.

Learning styles quizzes

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from Edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information for each style: Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz

2. Use all available resources:

In general, kids ages six to nine learn best visually.  There are so many different ways to make math appeal to your child. Technology is used in amazing ways in public schools, and you can take advantage of it too.

iPhone and iPad apps

Visual math 2 is a great option for first through third graders.  It uses pictures, sounds and lots of fun bonus activities that will make math more like a game.

Websites and blogs

Try the website Math is FUN.  There’s tons of information on different levels of math (i.e. geometry, algebra),  as well as different everyday math concepts (i.e. numbers, money, measurements).  Plus, there are puzzles, games, activities, and printable worksheets.  Do a search on Google and Pinterest and tons of blogs and websites will flood your search engine.

Books

There are tons of math workbooks or mind-teaser type books (like Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang) but there are also a ton of great picture books out there that can make math concepts easy to understand and much less frightening (like Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!  by Marilyn Burns).

3. Make it an everyday thing:

Practice number operations with household objects

Find things that come in groups and talk about how they can be grouped in different ways — for instance, a dozen eggs can be grouped in fours, in threes or in two groups of six.  Look for arrays (rows and columns) around the house, like floor tiles, a bookshelf with cubbies, or checkerboards. Have your child split them into smaller arrays — for instance a carton of eggs is an array of 2×6, but if you split it in half it’s two arrays of 2×3.

When you go to the store, have your child calculate how much you save by buying the cheaper of two brands of the same item.  Have him or her total as many items as possible on the receipt.  If your child likes sports, introduce them to statistics.

Find ways to collect, sort and organize information

Create a chart to track your child’s progress as they conquer math concepts.  Have them sort change into separate funds — tell them to put equal amounts of money in each fund but use different coins.

4. Make it a family thing:

Everyone can get in on the action

Make up story problems together.  Point out different opportunities to count, add, subtract or sort.  Play games together, such as board games, computer games, and riddles.  Get siblings in on the action!

5. Play:

Play lots of games

There are many different board games that use logic and strategic thinking: Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, and Clue are just a few examples.  Games that use flat manipulatives help develop deep logic as well as spatial reasoning – Tangrams, Logix, Blockus, or Shapes Up are all good options.

There are also a wide selection of video games that teach math:

  • For Nintendo DS: Junior Brain Trainer, Math Play, Challenge Me Math Workout, Brain Quest
  • For Nintendo Wii: Reader Rabbit, Smartypants, Think Smart
  • For a PC: Knowledge Adventure – Math Blaster

You can also find many free games online.  Playing lots of games as a family not only makes math tons of fun, but learning together reinforces the importance of math and gives your child confidence.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

7 Simple Meals Kids Can Make Themselves

7 Simple Meals Kids Can Make Themselves ~ Tipsaholic.com #kidfood #kidscooking #kidrecipes

kidfood2

 

Evenings are often full of homework, extra-curriculars, laundry, and a whole lot of busy. Is it any wonder that it can be difficult to find time to make a meal? Give yourself a break this week! With a little bit of planning and preparation on the weekends, your home can be stocked full of ingredients for simple meals kids can make all on their own.

 

Chef Salad

Prepare salad ingredients for the week and store them in plastic containers in the fridge. Whenever the kids need a quick meal, they can pull everything out, build a salad, add a bit of dressing, and voila! Instant dinner.

 

Simple Sandwiches

Everyone has to start somewhere, and putting together a good old-fashioned PB&J is a great way to learn. Using a butter knife to spread ingredients over bread is a fabulous fine motor skill that even the smallest children can develop. And hey, the kids can get even more creative trying new combinations like peanut butter and bananas, hazelnut spread and sliced strawberries, or even something new like cream cheese and veggies. And don’t forget old favorites like ham and cheese; pre-sliced ingredients make for even easier prep!

 

Microwaved Bagel Pizzas

The microwave is usually an appliance older kids don’t need to be afraid of. Teach your children how to use your particular model and leave sticky notes with heating directions whenever necessary. Keep a few simple pizza ingredients in the refrigerator – sauce, pepperoni, shredded cheese, and bagels – and kids can make their own bagel pizzas and heat them in the microwave for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

 

Quesadillas or Nachos

Plain cheese is nice, but if you plan ahead, you can provide the kids with shredded chicken, peppers, and other tasty additions they can place between a couple of tortillas (or layer on chips) and warm up in the microwave. Don’t forget to keep a bit of salsa and sour cream around for dipping!

 

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

It doesn’t get much easier than this – a little frozen fruit, yogurt, and some granola to top it off make a tasty parfait. Kids will love layering the ingredients and won’t need to come running to mom and dad for help!

 

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Purchase a simple Caesar salad kit from the grocery store, then spend a little time cooking chicken breasts and slicing them lengthwise. Kids can make a wrap in minutes with a tortilla, chicken from the fridge, and lettuces and dressings from the salad kit.

 

French Toast Skewers

Cut your next batch of French toast into cubes and store them in the freezer. When you’re busy and the kids get hungry, they can take some out, warm them in the microwave, layer them on a skewer with fruit, and drizzle with syrup. Yum!

 

Sometimes a busy parent just has to let the kids feed themselves! Try these ideas for no-cook breakfasts if your mornings need to be simplified.

 

 Featured image via 

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

5 Kid-Friendly Papier Mache Projects You Can Decorate With!

5 kid-friendly papier mache projects to decorate with - tipsajolic, #papiermache, #crafts, #kids #decor, #DIY

 paper mache divider

 

Who remembers making a papier mache art project back in school?  It’s such a fun craft and popular with kids, but there are only so many papier mache bowls you can make before you run out of reasons to use them in your home!  Try these 5 papier mache projects with your kids and you’ll be able to decorate your house in style.

 

1. Papier Mache Alphabet Letters

Large alphabet letters are a popular decor item in kids’ rooms, but use them in nearly any room of the house.  Spell out your child’s name, a catchy, room appropriate word or make a simple monogram by doing this papier mache project that makes letters out of cereal boxes!  You can use any font you’d like to make them.

 

2. Papier Mache Mounted Animal Heads

Faux taxidermy mounted heads are all the rage right now.  Check out this really great looking papier mache zebra head mount! If your kid loves zebras, they’ll love making this… and you can mount it over their bed or dresser in their room. But you can do this papier mache project even if your kids aren’t that fond of zebras – simply modify it to turn it into another animal, like a rhino, a horse, an unicorn, or a lion. Use your imagination… or your kid’s!

 

3. Papier Mache Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are always enthralling for kids to see in the air, so why not put one up in their bedroom for them to stare at every night as they drift off to sleep? This really cute papier mache project is even sweeter with the addition of hearts all over it. Instead of paint, this project uses blue and green colored tissue paper, but you can use any color tissue you’d like to match your decor.

 

4. Papier Mache Pumpkins

Buying seasonal decor can be a drag because they cost so much money and are then displayed for such a short time. For most of the year, your seasonal decor items are stuck in a box in the garage or attic.  Why not make your own seasonal decor and turn it into a fun activity with the kids? Since fall is fast approaching, make a couple of papier mache pumpkins and paint them! Put them up in your home before Halloween and leave them out until Thanksgiving.

 

5. Papier Mache Pinata

A pinata isn’t exactly a decor item, but it can certainly be used to decorate a party! Make a papier mache pinata with your kids for their next birthday party. You could have a lot of fun with a completely customizable piñata. Maybe you could make a beloved cartoon character, a favorite animal, or something else that fits into the birthday party’s theme. Fill the pinata with your kids’ preferred candies or skip the sweets and use small toys instead!  Then watch all the children smash away at your hard work… it’ll be worth it.

 

Hopefully, these papier mache projects have sparked a few ideas of your own!  A moon and a few stars to hang in your child’s nursery? A papier mache Earth to spin around in the playroom?  The possibilities are endless!

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 6-9)

10 hands on literacy activities for ages 6-9 ~ Tipsaholic.com #literacy #games #kids

 10literacy6to9

No matter how old your child is or what type of schooling he or she receives, supplementing literacy education at home is super important.  If you want your child to be a life-long learner, enjoy reading and get the most out of their language and literacy education, you need to be an active participant in teaching them.  It certainly doesn’t have to be a chore and should feel like fun to both you and your child!  If you’re not sure where to start, here are ideas for 10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 6-9.

 

1. Board Games

From ages 6-9, kids are more interested in structured games with specific rules and have better attention spans and strategizing skills.  Capitalize on these developments when you plan learning activities for your child!  Here are some board games that focus specifically on language acquisition skills: Silly Sentences, What’s Gnu?, Pop For Sight Words, Tell Tale, Brain Quest.

 

2. Flash Cards 

While flash cards aren’t ideal teaching tools for every child, they’re an excellent way to switch up activities, take along when traveling or waiting for appointments, or for solo play time.  The good news is that flash cards don’t have to be boring!  Here are several sets that are sure to spark interest in kids: Spelling Flashcards, My Favorite Things Flash Cards, Alphabet Animals Flash Cards, Alphabeasties, Rhyming Words Flash Kids Flash Cards.  There are also some great DIY flash card tutorials: Tactile Sight Word Cards, Free Alphabet Flash Cards, Wooden Alphabet Cards.

 

3. Storytelling Bag

Put many different small objects/toys/cutouts in a bag.  Sit in a circle and begin your story with “Once upon a time…”.  Take turns drawing an item from the bag without looking and fitting it into the story.  Pass the bag around the circle to continue the story until you run out of items.

 

4. Word Family Portraits

A word family is a group of words that share a common combination of letters and sounds.  This game is an example of successfully scaffolding and building from what your child already knows.  Use pictures from a magazine or your own family photos with words attached and have your child group the individuals into family units within a “photo frame.”

 

5. Read and Find Game

This is a mash-up of an “I Spy” book and a sensory bin, with practice on reading, hand writing and motor skills thrown in.  You find actual toys with names your child could read, throw them in a bin, make a list of them, and have your child read the list, find the item and write the item down on their own list.  Easy to recreate and easy to learn.

 

6. Rhyming Jars

Gather a few jars and write a simple word on each.  Write words that rhyme with each jar on craft sticks and have your child choose which jar the sticks go in.

 

7. Sight Word Parking Lot

Create a “parking lot” on a piece of poster board with a sight word in each parking space.  Give your child cars and direct them to a spot by calling out a word.

 

8. Sight Word Soup

Using materials from the dollar store, you can easily create this tactile game where kids scoop words out of a “bowl of soup” and identify them.  It’s a fun way to work on letter or word recognition, spelling, reading and fine motor skills.

 

9. Fiddle Sticks

Directions and a picture can be found here.  To create the game, write sight words on the end of craft sticks.  Color the tip of one or two sticks a bright color.  Put the sticks right end down into a cup.  The players take turns drawing one stick at a time and reading the word out loud.  If they can’t read it, they put the stick back in.  If they draw the stick that’s colored, they must put ALL of their sticks back.  Play continues for a predetermined amount of time and the player with the most sticks when the time is up wins.

 

10. Multi-Sensory Activities for teaching Sight Words

Basically, have your child create the sight word with any number of different “sensory” objects.  They can start by copying the sight word from a flash card and move on to spelling it out by themselves after you say it.  Different sensory items they can use to create sight words: play dough, shaving cream (spray it out and have them trace into the cream), sand or salt (have them draw the letters in the sand or salt), pipe cleaners, or yarn.

 

Looking for more ways to engage your 6-9 year old? Try these tips for supplementing your child’s literacy at home.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

 

7 Ways to Teach Kids in the Kitchen

7 Ways To Teach Kids in the Kitchen ~ Tipsaholic.com #kidsinthekitchen #parenting #teachingkidsathome

 

kidskitchen

Children are constantly looking for opportunities in which to expand their independence. Parents are constantly looking for ways to help their children grow and develop knew knowledge. If you’re wondering how to fill both of those needs, look no further than your own kitchen! There are many things you can do to make your kitchen friendly and inviting for kids. Bring your little chefs into the kitchen today and check out these 7 tips for encouraging new skills and independence while planning, preparing, and serving family meals.

 

1. Invite kids to help in meal planning and grocery shopping

Rather than just writing everything down yourself, why not involve the kids in the meal planning part of your month? Kids definitely have an opinion when it comes to the food they like to eat, and making compromises on your end – such as chicken nuggets and fries every other Wednesday – is apt to make them more likely to compromise when it comes to that green bean casserole you keep trying to get them to eat!

Sit down together and make a list of everyone’s favorite meals. Talk about the food groups and how each meal is best if it has lots of color and a variety of foods. Help them select foods from each group to make up each meal, then make your grocery list based on the meals you have created. Kids are great at helping find and retrieve shopping list items while in the grocery store too! Involve them in as many ways as you can.

 

2. Give them choices when it comes to snacks and lunches

Encourage kids to take the lead on their snacks and lunches by creating “stations” in your kitchen that set healthy boundaries while also allowing for individual choice. A basket full of healthy snacks in the pantry is a great option for when children come home hungry from school. Another idea worth considering is a “build-your-own-lunch” station. You can provide the sandwich fixings and lunchbox essentials, but allow the kids to choose and create a lunch all their own from those options.

 

3. Provide them with their own set of (safe) kitchen tools and an apron

What could be more fun than having your own set of tools when it’s time to help mom or dad in the kitchen? Kids will love having their own special utensils, bowls, and an apron. Try this fantastic set – it’s got everything those little hearts could desire.

 

4. Invite them to cook with you

There are many things children can help with when it comes to preparing food. Depending on a child’s age, mixing, pouring, cutting, and measuring are just a few of the skills that can be developed. If you need some ideas for age-appropriate tasks kids can complete in the kitchen, check out this infographic from Cooksmarts. If you want a few great ideas for simple foods you can make together, try these kid-friendly recipes.

 

5. Give them the reins for dinner once a month

Whether it’s macaroni and cheese from a box, peanut butter sandwiches, or something bold and adventurous, just go with it! The kids will love having the freedom to choose what, when, and how to get food on the table. If they ask for help or want to give you an assignment you can join in as “sous chef.” If they don’t seem to need you, be sure you still stick around to supervise and always follow safety rules for tools and appliances.

 

6. Consider growing a small garden

Showing kids where their food comes from and teaching them how to be part of the process is a great way to get them interested in new foods and trying new things. If you don’t have the room for a garden plot, growing herbs in old soup cans or keeping a tomato plant on the porch can bring just as many benefits. Not sure what to grow? Try a few of these ideas for plants you can grow indoors if you’re really stumped! Allow children to help plant, feed, and water your little garden, then show them the many ways you can use your homegrown “ingredients” in everyday family cooking!

 

7. Teach kids how to set the table and serve themselves

Every kid has seen the table set, but not every kid has learned to set it. Teach them the basics of table-setting etiquette – it will give them something to think about the next time they sit down to a nice meal! If you like, you can spend time making a simple table-setting placemat like these made from construction paper, or this one created from dollar store placemats.  And don’t be afraid to let children serve themselves in the right settings. There might be a few spills and plates piled high with Jell-O, but often children just need opportunities to show you what they’re capable of!

 

Did you enjoy learning ways to teach kids in the kitchen? Looking for more great ideas for kids? Try these tips for raising kids who love learning!

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

 

10 Hands-On Math Activities for Ages 6-9

10 Hands-On Math Activities (for Ages 6-9) - Tipsaholic.com

 

As your child advances through elementary education, math concepts–even the basics–can become confusing, even frustrating to some.  At ages 6-9, kids are not only fine-tuning basic addition and subtraction and continuing with multiplication and division, they are also learning time, measurements, fractions and more.  It’s not merely important to supplement their math learning at this point in their education, it’s crucial.  Here are some excellent math activities from around the web for making math fun and exciting!

10 Hands-On Math Activities

Computer Games:

Math Lines – at different levels this teacher’s basic math equations, but in a cool, fun way.  You shoot a canon with a specific number ball at the number balls moving around the canon in a line, making sure the balls add up to the target number.

Lemonade Stand – helps teach number recognition, addition and counting money.  You create the lemonade based on reading a recipe, set up and manage your stand, and sell lemonade for a profit.  Come to think of it, you could just set up a real lemonade stand!

Fraction Beach – use your knowledge of fractions to build awesome sandcastles at the beach.

Do a Google search to find many more free computer games that are age appropriate for your child.  Try pbs.orgcoolmath.com or topmarks.

Active Games:

Chalk Clock – use the kids as the hands of the giant clock to work on telling time.

Skip Counting by Hand Outlines – hand outlines are perfect for teaching how to count by 5’s, plus they make for wonderful turkey-themed math activities around Thanksgiving time.

Water Balloon Number Target Practice – learn number recognition through play with water balloons and a chalk target board.

Props and Manipulative Ideas:

Golf Tee Math – use golf tees and play dough to work on creating and solving addition and subtraction equations

Addition Number Family Eggs – put leftover plastic Easter eggs to use by building numbers and solving equations

Coin Value File Folder Games – these file folder games are quick, easy, and cost nothing to make.

Free Printables:

Fraction Bars – practice fractions with these color-coded strips.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Hands-On Science Activities (for 3-6 year olds)

8 Hands-On Science Activities for 3-6 Year Olds - tipsaholic, #scienceactivities, #scienceexperiments, #scienceforkids, #kids, #science

 

 

science title

 

Take the dreaded work out of learning science concepts!  Science doesn’t have to be dull and boring or difficult to grasp, even for young kids.  Cultivate a love for learning early on! Interested in teaching your kids all about science?  These 8 hands-on science activities are a great place to start.

 

1. Water Science Activities – The Measured Mom

Very young children will love these activities with water (they’d even be appropriate to do with toddlers)  Water play is great for tactile learners.  Not only will they learn about sinking vs. floating, repelling vs. absorbing, dissolution and various scientific properties/effects of water, they’ll also work on motor skills (large and small), develop critical thinking and learn to make hypothesis and test theories.  Plus, they’ll have a blast splashing around!

 

2. Bubble Science – Scholastic

Making your own bubbles can be a great learning experience in Science (and math too!)  The link has tons of great ideas for science-related topics to cover as you measure, pour and mix up your own solutions and then try them out in different ways!  Even babies love bubbles!  Another plus?  Your kids will get all their wiggles out chasing bubbles around the yard!

 

3. Bug Watch - kidspot

This old classic is still a hit with young kids!  Find instructions for creating your own bug sanctuary out of a plastic bottle… then let your little ones find some critters to place inside and watch for a while.  Check on the bugs at intervals and record findings.  Be sure to talk about their natural habitats and that bugs and insects (along with all animals) belong in the wild, then have a celebration for the grand release into the backyard!

 

4. Fossil Cookies – Martha Stewart

For help explaining paleontology and fossil records, make these awesome cookies with your kids!  The link includes a recipe and the full instructions for making fossil imprints.  When your done with the learning, your kids can have fun chowing down for snack time!

 

5. Borax Snowflakes – Delia Creates

Make your own sparkly, white crystals in the shape of snowflakes!  Delia Creates gives you the recipe for this super fun craft to do with your kids.  While you’re waiting for the crystals to form, you can explain why and how they do so.  Check out the science behind the craft here.

 

6. Carnation Colors – Spell Out Loud

Your kids can have a ton of fun making a rainbow of flowers!  All you need are plain white carnations, some jars, water and food coloring!  Place freshly cut flowers in the mix of water and food coloring and watch what happens!  Kids will love watching the transformation happen right before their eyes.  Have your kids guess what will happen to your flowers ahead of time and compare their findings to their hypotheses.  Have a discussion about how flowers and other plants “drink” in order to survive.

 

7. Balloon Blow – My Kids Guide

Did you know you can inflate a balloon using a water bottle and some simple household items – no breath needed?!  It’s true!  Show your little ones how to blow up a balloon the “normal way” before doing the experiment.  Then use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in an empty water bottle, stretch the balloon around the opening and watch it expand!  No kid can resist the fun factor of balloons!

 

8. Primary Science Kit

Get started with some easy Science projects with this primary science kit!  The kit includes all the tools you’ll need for some groundbreaking experiments – tweezers, beaker, test tubes, flask, funnel, magnifying glass and more!  There are several sturdy activity cards included and an activity guide for parents.  The pieces are durable plastic, brightly colored and created with little hands in mind – making it not only appealing but perfectly designed for preschool kids.

 

For tons more science ideas and activities for little kids, check out the Activity Corner on Kid Spot.

 

If you want some ideas about hands-on Math activities for your preschooler, we’ve got you covered.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Find more fun for kids here:

pool pic        tipsaholic-frozen-water-beads-play-ice-activities-mess-for-less         tipsaholic-8-hands-on-math-activities-for-preschool-and-kindergartners-pinterest-pic

Pool Activities for Kids         Ice Activities for Kids            Hands on Math Activities

How to Encourage Independence in Your Children this School Year

independentkids

 

independentkid2

As children get older they tend to develop a strong desire to spread their wings a little more and test new boundaries. As school begins again, you may find that it’s a great time to start giving them opportunities to grow by allowing them to take control of some of the tasks, habits, and personal items they require. Assess the needs of each child and use these suggestions to start encouraging independence in your children this school year.

 

Let them take responsibility for their breakfast

Breakfast is something parents often take care of but can easily be entrusted to the kids. You can set the boundaries by choosing what foods go on the table, but most school-age children are ready to start serving themselves. If you want to get creative, consider a “breakfast station” like this one, full of breakfast options like oatmeal packets, bagels, and cereal that they can make on their own. Be sure to include some grab-and-go foods like fruit and granola bars for mornings when there are a few kids in a rush.

 

Allow them to choose their own clothes each day

Help the kids figure out a system for choosing school clothes each day so mornings don’t become too hectic when socks and underwear are nowhere to be found. Will the choice be made right before bed each night? How about choosing five outfits at the start of the week? A simple daily label placed on a hanger – like these free printables from Sweet Bella Roos – with each outfit can eliminate a lot of confusion. It’s likely the kids will become more confident in who they are as they find ways to express themselves through their clothing choices. Let each child find what works best for them and help them stick to it.

 

Put them in charge of their own lunch

Delegate the morning task of lunch-making to the kids! Set out the ingredients in a way that works for your family, with options from each of the food groups. You can see an example of a lunch station here. Every child can put together a lunch they actually want to eat and you can have more time to sign permission slips and comb hair. And if a child doesn’t get up on time, consider letting the natural consequence of missing out on lunch that day be a lesson to him or her. You can practically guarantee they’ll wake up tomorrow!

 

Make them responsible for their “stuff”

Allow each of your children to inventory their own backpacks when they walk in the door. Being in charge of their jackets, school papers, and sports gear takes a load off of your plate and uses natural consequences to teach kids why it’s important to keep track of those things. A family command center is the perfect way to give kids the reins but still provide a bit of guidance. There are many ways to create one and you’ll want to customize it to suit your family’s needs, but some basics might include a coat hook for each child, a calendar, a chalkboard, and a basket for each child’s shoes or loose items.  Keep chalk or pens nearby so the kids can write down project deadlines and things they need to remember. Make it clear that they will be responsible for their own gear, and this is the place to keep it if they want to have quick access to it in the mornings. You can see more great command center ideas on Remodelaholic.

 

Allow them to choose their snacks

Fill a basket (let the kids help too!) with healthy snacks your kids can munch when they get home in the afternoon. Here’s a great example from I Heart Organizing. Kids can choose what they will eat from the basket, but you are in charge of the options that go into the basket. It’s a great solution when trying to balance responsibilities between parent and child.

 

Put them in charge of some things at home

Including a few household tasks on their list of to-do’s is a good way to keep kids involved at home. Assign simple, age-appropriate tasks that they can choose to do before or after school or use a chore chart or chore wheel like these and perhaps a rewards system to help them start to understand the value of contributing within the family.

 

A few tips for children who are less enthusiastic about becoming independent:

  • Create routines – a routine establishes a predictable pattern that a child can learn and become confident in. Guide them through the first week of a new routine and then slowly begin to withdraw, allowing them to take responsibility for following and completing the routine.
  • Ask questions – when your child comes to you with a problem you think they can handle on their own, ask questions that will get them thinking for themselves. For example, if your child tells you a friend is talking and disrupting things at school, you might ask, “What could you say to your friend to help her focus on what the teacher is saying?” Or if a child keeps forgetting their homework, “What could you do to help you remember to put the papers in your backpack each night?” Many children can solve their own problems with a bit of encouragement.
  • Believe in them – it can be difficult to step away as your child learns to take care of him or herself. They’ve needed you for so many things for so long! Trust them. Trust that they can make good choices. Trust that they can figure things out, and tell them you trust them. It may be just the thing that gives them the confidence to take the next step

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.