Tag Archives: kids

Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

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Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

As a parent, you’ll want to do all you can to make your child’s (or children’s) quality of life the best it can be. This means you’ll have to put in work in various areas. Educating them is obviously high on the list of priorities. Keeping them healthy mentally, physically, and socially is also important, of course. You also must make sure that their minds are being stimulated every single day in a positive sense, too. Part of being a parent is helping your child to view life in an optimistic and positive light. There is very little point to life if we’re not enjoying every single day!

Your job is to raise them properly and ensure that they have every advantage going into their adulthood when they’re entirely responsible for their own life. No matter how old your kids are, they are never too old to do things together as a family. Here are some activities that you can do with your family that will be educational, productive, rewarding, and fun:

Family work outs and exercise:

Working out as a family is a great way of bonding as well as staying fit and healthy. It’s often tedious and grueling when you have to work out on your own – especially during the cold, dark, and gloomy days. Getting your gang to tag along with you can be so rewarding. Not only will you all enjoy it, but you’re teaching your entire family about the kinds of things they need to be doing in order to feel better mentally and physically. They could also pick up all kinds of sporting hobbies – which is, of course, an added bonus.

Extra curricular schooling:

Some kids may not like the idea of learning things when they’re away from school. Others, however, may find something they genuinely love and they may want to delve into it even further. The practice of learning from home has become a lot more popular due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it has to stop once life gets back on track again. One thing’s for certain; you’ll have a much smarter child on your hands than if you don’t bother with it!

Work on the house:

Nobody’s expecting you to behave like professional remodeling companies, of course. Even though that would be AMAZING if you could replicate that stuff! Doing some DIY and conjuring up little projects would be fun a place to start. You’ll get productive tasks done while teaching the kids (and yourself) all kinds of new, useful skills.

Travel to new places regularly:

Doing the same kinds of things over and over again, even if you find them quite entertaining, will end up being boring. You won’t stimulate your brain anywhere near as much as perhaps you should. Visiting new areas of the world definitely would. Even new areas in your home country need exploring! You’ll learn so much and your confidence would grow a lot. Plus, there are plenty of awesome memories to be made when traveling with your family!

Enjoy quality time all together with the ideas above for an even stronger family unit in the future.

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4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

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4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

As a parent, tutoring is automatically an additional responsibility once your kids are school age. Whether you are helping with homework or teaching them how to do basic research, you are engaging in some form of tutoring. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a real threat, many parents have taken on tutoring their kids full-time to keep up with the schoolwork they may be missing. Other parents have decided to co-tutor with teachers online using the various available technologies. This is the best time for you to step up your game as a tutor so keep on reading for our tips to help you improve:

Incorporate technology:

Technology is driving education, and you must find ways to incorporate it into your teaching. Students of all ages now have access to at least a mobile phone or a laptop – even if it belongs to their parents. There are tons of apps out there that can help you to deliver any conceivable topic from history, science, math, and English tutoring, the choice is yours. You can use these apps for your professional development or you may be able to introduce these apps to your kids as a fun way to learn and explore the subject area.

Be adaptable:

No two students are the same, so you must be adaptable and quick to realize your child’s learning style. Find a method that he or she identifies with and use that to teach them to increase their participation. Some students prefer to know the subject matter and prepare before the actual class. Others learn best when the teaching is interlaced with some activities that improve their retention. Another thing to improve upon is speaking in terms that will be understood and always encouraging questions when things aren’t clear.

Be patient:

Patience is key to understanding your child and finding ways to make learning easier and more fun for them. While some students are quick to understand certain concepts, others are not. Do not get flustered or impatient. Instead, take your time to explain and break down the idea so that they can grasp it. Other students have problems with retention, and this is quite common. If you do have a student that struggles with information retention, employ the use of memory retention techniques such as mind maps and acronyms, which can be helpful in such a situation.

Seek your child’s feedback:

If your child is struggling, ask for their feedback on what you can do to make things easier. It could be that he or she is not learning in a style that best suits them. Ask them how they feel about your teaching style or approach to a topic when you are helping with homework. You can also ask them how you can make the lessons more exciting or beneficial to them. This will help you improve your teaching methods while giving your kids the opportunity to voice their feelings and have a hands on experience with their education.

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2020 has brought parents directly into the classroom with at home learning. Help them be successful with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

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4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

Earlier in the year, schools around the world closed their doors for many months. At the same time, teaching still moved forward and kids still learned. It was all done at home, and there’s every chance we’ll see this again in the future. Nobody really knows what will happen with COVID in the next few months/years, but you could also look ahead to the distant future. Who knows, learning from home might be the common thing in ten years!

Anyway, you might worry about kids not being in school, but there are actually a few benefits of learning from home like the following:

You get to monitor their work:

When your child is in school, you have to assume they’re paying attention in lessons. You put blind faith in the idea that they are working hard at all times. Realistically, this could be far from the truth and they might mess around a lot. But, if they learn from home, you can monitor their progress. You can check that they’re paying attention and being a good student. Effectively, you make sure they do the school work and actually learn while in class!

They develop better computer skills:

All schools will have a system in place where children can speak to teachers as they learn from home. Typically, this is some kind of cloud based teaching software. As such, your children spend a lot of time working on a computer and using different applications. In this day and age, that can be extremely beneficial. They develop better computer skills, setting them up for better job prospects. You pretty much need to be a computer expert if you want a job in the next decade or so. So, while face-to-face learning may be better in some aspects, studying via a computer doesn’t come without its strengths.

Much better school lunches:

Let’s be honest, school lunches are terrible. They might be good in some schools, but they generally reach a very low standard. By learning from home, your child will have access to the entire kitchen – and your cooking. Therefore, you can make them a much better and more nutritious school lunch. This will definitely help fuel them for the rest of the day.

Fewer distractions and more help:

Your child has fewer distractions when they’re learning from home. This is mainly because they have no classmates causing disruptions. As a consequence, they might be able to focus and get through their work a lot quicker. Plus, the other benefit of not being in a classroom is that they can get more help. If they struggle with something, they can ask you for assistance. There’s no need to wait for the teacher to help twenty other kids before eventually getting to them!

See, learning from home isn’t as bad as you might think. So, you shouldn’t worry if schools close again, and your child is back in this situation. Like everything in life, it’s all about finding the positives out of a negative situation. 

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Barbie Dreams

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Barbie Dreams

Hello! I don’t know about all of you, but when I was little I love, love, LOVED to play with dolls. Any kind would do – Barbie, Polly Pocket, Bratz and whatever else I could dress up and create stories with. Dolls always helped stimulate my imaginative play and I couldn’t wait to take each and every doll out of my toy box and change their outfits, careers, names, and story lines.

While my sister and I were in Pittsburgh visiting our cousin at her amazing microblading studio, Kristen told me the platforms that I had on looked like Bratz doll shoes:

It was basically the best compliment ever and it brought me back to the hours on end that I would spend playing dolls in my youth. I absolutely think that my love of dolls helped stoke the coals of the burning passion I have for fashion today. I have also always loved to write and my ever changing plots for all of my dolls definitely helped with that, too.

It has been literal decades since I’ve played with dolls but, now that I have a little niece (Valerie), I cannot wait to instill the joys of story telling and dress up with her. I was adamant about buying Val her first baby doll for her first birthday and it makes me so happy when I see her snuggling up with her gift from me.

My late grandma had the most divine collection of Madame Alexander dolls – many of which I have today. I love having these special, beautifully costumed dolls that my grandma held so dear and I still admire them as if I was seeing them for the first time. I am so thankful for my mom and grandma for helping develop my love of dolls because it impacted my adult life so positively.

Here’s to looking forward to many hours of playing dolls with my niece as she continues to grow and to looking backward at the favorite toys of my youth that I will always love. ❤

What was your favorite toy growing up? How did your favorite activities in youth impact your adult life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

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There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

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Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

The responsibilities you take on when you become a parent seems almost endless, and it can often be hard to keep up with their various needs and demands. One area which you may believe needs little intervention is their education, as many parents feel relief dropping their child off at school, knowing they’re in ‘good hands’. This isn’t always the case, and your child should not have to struggle through their education all alone with nowhere to turn for support or guidance besides their teachers, who are commonly too busy to help.

Ensuring your child can get the best education needn’t be difficult, as there are a few key areas in which you can focus your efforts to encourage them to thrive. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today to help your children thrive:

Make Things Fun:

One big issue that mainstream education can’t seem to overcome is the fact that learning must be fun. Children will never develop an interest in the topic that they are being taught unless they are somehow inspired by the process, as their imagination is at its peak during early school age and this should be taken into consideration. Turning learning into a game is such a great way to motivate your little ones to get more involved with schoolwork. Getting crafty is also a super immersive tool as well as just being a blast!

Create a kind of reward board for school homework and extracurricular activities that can fill up with gold stars as your children progress, as this is a great fun way to keep them interested and motivated. Rather than simply sitting around the table to complete homework on a sheet of paper, incorporate other materials into the mix which can help them to visualize – this is especially good for mathematics, as things like playtime building blocks can be a great representation for counting and other simple maths.

Explore Alternative Methods:

Many education facilities simply don’t provide their students with enough teachers and resources to inspire them to truly thrive, so it’s a good idea to explore a few alternative or additional methods that might be of benefit. There are many extracurricular activities that your child can explore, from exciting STEM clubs that take part in cool experiments to platforms which offer online resources that can be utilized by you at home! Alternative home schooling is constantly growing in popularity, and this added interest is allowing for continued investment into fun opportunities that your children can make the most of.

Help your children continue to blossom in their education with the tips above. You can maintain ultimate peace of mind that they are receiving all of the help they need and you will bond as you play a bigger role in their school experience.

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Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

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Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

Hello! Halloween is right around the corner and, unfortunately, it’s going to be very different than in 2019. No trick or treat for my niece, no big parties, no Halloween concerts with Johnny – just lots of scary movies and fond memories of when COVID didn’t exist. If you’re a huge fan of Halloween like me and Johnny, this might have you feeling down and out about the lack of activity going on. So, why not give these spooky and safe ideas a try?

Trunk Or Treat:

In my neck of the woods, they are doing a trunk or treat program for the little ones getting in the Halloween spirit. This involves picking up a treat bag at ten different, driveable locations and, afterwards, your name will be put in a drawing for more goodies. My family plans on piling up in Johnny’s mini van so we can all enjoy seeing our little niece dressed up in her Halloween’s best… And all from the comfort of our car! Nice. 😀

Shudder Screening:

Johnny and I have been watching nothing but scary movies this entire month and we have the streaming service, Shudder, to thank for that. In fact, we’ve had so much success that we plan on keeping the service beyond our free month long trial. From exclusive content just for Shudder, scary shows, movies, and the fact that they are constantly adding more programming I can’t believe we haven’t gotten this service sooner! The first show I recommend? Creepshow! It. Was. AWESOME.

Costume Contests:

If you’re used to having a yearly Halloween party with your friend group, how about hopping on Zoom to have a little reunion? Create costumes from what you already have at home and award a prize to the best look. Maybe that will be Cash app-ing some moolah or ordering a pizza for the top winner? Don’t forget “raspberry” prizes for the worst costume!

Spooky Scavenger Hunt:

A super fun way to celebrate Halloween night is with a spooky scavenger hunt. Limit yourselves just in your home and backyard and, once it gets dark, let the games begin. Fun for people of all ages, use clues and hints to help direct the participants to the items being collected. Mini pumpkins or ingredients to a “potion” perhaps? Once the hunt is complete, celebrate with candy, caramel apples, hot cider, and a movie.

Jack-O-Lantern Contest:

Jack-O-Lantern contests are a great way to get the whole neighborhood involved in some Halloween fun. Have everyone vote for the best pumpkins on your block and see who comes out on top. You can also have contests for best decorated house, cutest pet costumes – you name it! Then, everyone in your area can get in on the Halloween spirit, too. 🙂

How are you safely celebrating Halloween this year? What did you dress up as last year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Every Family Dinner Special

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Making Every Family Dinner Special

If you want to spend more quality time with your family but you’re struggling to figure out how to do it, one way is to start making your family dinners special. If you all sit down for dinner and ignore one another while scrolling on your phones or watching TV, of course it’s going to feel like you don’t have enough quality time together.

Similarly, if you all eat dinner separately, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to catch up with one another. It might not be possible to do this every day, but there are all kinds of benefits to having dinner together each night. If you want to make the family dinners that you do have together more special, then read on for some advice:

Make It A Ritual:

Start by making it a ritual. Try to do family dinners at the same time, wash up beforehand, and name three things you’re grateful for before you begin to eat. Of course, your ritual may differ – but it’s definitely worth coming up with one that means something to you.

Set The Table:

Set the table for your dinner with nice plates and cutlery, place mats, a tablecloth, and even candles. Make it look fancy. This is especially important if you don’t get to have many family dinners together. Setting the table nicely can make a huge difference to the atmosphere.

Have Themed Nights:

It can be really fun to have themed dinner nights together. You could have Mexican nights, Italian food nights, and even nights based around Porter & York meats. Having themes can keep family dinners exciting and give some structure to your week if you have one every few days.

Turn Off The TV:

Ban phones from the table and don’t watch the TV, either. Enjoy one another’s company. Listen and concentrate – these could be the most meaningful moments of your day! This is so much better than spending hours sitting together while not really concentrating on one another at all.

Prep Together:

Involving your family in the preparation of the dinner can help everyone to get more invested in the meal and bond beforehand. This is especially great for younger members of the family, as they tend to enjoy helping and will learn a lot from it. They are also far more likely to eat different foods if they have had a hand in making them!

Find Something To Celebrate:

It doesn’t need to be a special occasion for you to find something to celebrate. Has somebody in the family achieved something? It doesn’t matter how small – find something and celebrate it! At the very least, this will make each dinner a cheery event and teach everybody to look for the good, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant!

Family dinners are tons of fun and helps bring you and yours closer together. Bon appetit!

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

Hi! One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween. I love the spooky atmosphere, the weather, and all of the promises of scary fun activities. The best part of Halloween for me, though? Haunted houses, of course! I told Johnny I wanted to go to a new one every year and he was game, however, with COVID it will be impossible to attend one this year.

After making the disheartening discovery of no haunted houses, I just had to start brainstorming for new ways to enjoy the Halloween season safely. I came up with the following:

Pumpkin Patches:

Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkins to decorate, carve, or paint is something that can easily be done social distanced style. Many pumpkin patches often have other attractions like hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and specialty shops to participate in too.

Making an afternoon at the pumpkin patch and then going home to get your jack-o-lantern on sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day. Get creative and competitive and see who in your friend group can carve the best pumpkin!

Apple Orchards:

I freaking LOVE going apple picking, as does my entire family, so I am sure we will end up at an apple orchard this fall. My favorite one in Ohio also doubles as an ice cream parlor as well as a novelty shop with all apple everything. There is nothing better than filling up a bagful of crisp apples and grabbing a dish of ice cream as a treat. And, can you say social distanced?!

At Home Trick Or Treat:

Trick or treating is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind right now but the little ones love it. Dress up as a family and hide candies all around your house and yard. Dim the lights for some added spookiness and give hints and clues as necessary. Wrap up the activity with a fun Halloween movie like Casper or Hocus Pocus and have a piece of candy… or ten. 😉

Scary Movie Marathon:

Johnny and I have already decided that a scary movie marathon is how we are going to celebrate Halloween. We will be watching everything from the classics and foreign films to our present day favorites. I plan on having caramel apples (My favorite!), candy, and popcorn handy. I also would like to make some spiked apple cider with salted caramel vodka for a delicious hot or cold drink to sip on. Yum!

Halloween is definitely not going to be the same this year but it can still be fun! Use the ideas above to help get you started. 🙂

What is your favorite Halloween activity? How do you plan on safely celebrating? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

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5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

As a parent, you’ll want to help your kids with their education as much as you can. When you’re teaching them at home, it can be hard to know which resources are the best. There are many educational apps which can be used as learning aids at home. To get you started with a few of the best, try these five:

1. Teach Your Monster To Read

This fun-filled app is the perfect tool to teach your kids to read. It’s both simple to use and engaging. Teach Your Monster To Read was created based on the early phonics curriculum, so you can be sure that they are learning everything they need. It’s an award-winning game which takes your children on an exciting journey (with plenty of monster friends)! Kids get to match letters and sounds, blend, segment, master tricky words, and work towards making full sentences. The app is the perfect after school activity for a little extra learning!

2. Moose Math:

With the Moose Math app, your kids can learn all about geometry, sorting, subtraction, addition, and counting to 100. The activities make sure that learning about math is super fun! Your kids get to run their own juice shop, search the lost and found box, and meet plenty of cute and kooky characters. Your kids will just love the ‘pet bingo’ game and ‘paint pet’. Here they’ll learn plenty of skills, including:

  • Using algebraic thinking to solve word puzzles
  • Practice their pattern recognition skills
  • Recognize and identify shapes
  • Compare different lengths

3. Busy Shapes & Colors:

With the Busy Shapes & Colors app, learning colors and shapes has never been more fun. Here you’ll find plenty of cute penguin characters to entertain your children through the process! It’s a simple app to help little ones improve their fine motor skills. Each level brings a new challenge so your kids will never get bored! Further features of the app include four different play modes; the choice of fifteen languages; color and shape ‘makers’; multi-touch play and more!

4. Hungry Caterpillar Pre-School:

Based on the famous book by Eric Carle, this app is the perfect tool for preschoolers. The activities guide kids through math concepts, language, and literature too. Here your kids will learn about phonics and build their confidence over time. There are science topics, puzzles and reasoning, and plenty of fun songs!

5. ABCmouse:

ABCmouse is a fantastic learning program which covers music, art, reading and more. The app was designed for 2-8-year-olds, and is based on the pre-school and school curriculum. With so many fun activities your kids will have tons of options! Using the app, you’ll boost your child’s development across all their subjects, giving them a great head start.

All of these apps follow a pre-school and kindergarten curriculum. Choosing the right kindergarten is an important part of your child’s learning journey. If you’re looking for a top-quality kindergarten, be sure to check out jennys kindergarten and early learning. Ready, get set, and learn!

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