Kids

Simple ways you can build a closer bond with your children this week

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Closer Bond

When building a bond with children, it’s good to remember that it is a two-way street. We sometimes think it has to solely be up to us to keep our relationship with our children strong by finding activities to do, creating crafts they may like, sharing our childhood memories with them, taking them to fun places, and so on. Basically sharing with them pieces of us as little building blocks. This is not a bad thing as that is how we build relationships with people. Sharing what is important to us, what we have learned, and things we have discovered. We do that with friends and family all the time. We talk about old memories with our spouse. We take our friends to restaurants we have recently discovered. We share books and recipes. But, like with any good relationship, it goes both ways. We need to be the recipient of that sharing in order for the other person to also build a bond with us. We need to let them tell us stories and share what they have discovered. This is what we are going to focus on for this #WeeklyKidChallenge, letting our kids connect with us.

Simple things to do this week.

  • Let them choose
  • Let them decide
  • Let them pick
  • Let them take you on an adventure
  • Let them tell you stories
  • Let them read their favorite book to you
  • Let them tell you about their interests while you listen intently
  • Ask them questions about their favorite things
  • Let them pick out a meal and help cook it
  • Let them teach you something
  • Let them tell you jokes
  • Play their favorite games
  • Let them talk, and talk, and talk

Other important aspects to remember when building a bond with your children.

  • Be careful to not be insulting to them or what interests them
  • Try not to be easily distracted
  • Be encouraging
  • Be open to what your kids want to do (within reason, bungie jumping at 11 may not be a good idea)
  • Try not to cut it short, plan for the time to spend with them

I would love to hear what your children come up with. Let me know on here, FaceBook, or use #WeeklyKidChallenge on Twitter. I hope you guys enjoy your week!

                                                                                                                               

Manners, Compromise, Random Acts of Kindness and More!

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Mannors and More

Sunday was one of many bitter-sweet days I, as a parent, faced (as I’m sure many of you have as well). My oldest left for camp. For a couple of days before he left, he would just randomly give one of us a hug and tell us he will miss us. This is his third year going and even though it was easier this year than it was the first, it was still hard to tell him good-bye knowing it will be a week until I see him again.

For this #WeeklyKidChallenge, we will actually being working in a couple of different areas since I will have more one on one time my daughter. One being what she has come up with one her own. She wants us to tidy up her brother’s room while he is gone since he left it in a mess trying to get all of his stuff packed before he had to leave. She also wants to make him a world in MineCraft and have a huge “Welcome Home,” banner and fireworks in the world. I love that she is thinking of him and is willing to spend some of her time and energy doing something for him because she knows it will make him happy. It is good to teach kids to think of others and to do random acts of kindness. It helps them grow as a person and teaches them to be thoughtful of others. Something like this shouldn’t be forced because it may cause bitterness towards the idea. But it can be encouraged.

  • Tell them you are thinking of doing something nice for someone else, like a sibling or another family member, and ask if they want to help.
  • Do something nice for them.
  • Draw names out of a hat, like Secret Santa, and have them make a craft for the other one.
  • If you have followed along with #WeeklyKidChallenge and have made notebooks (CLICK HERE TO READ) then have everyone draw a picture or write a note in another one’s notebook.
  • Think big. Volunteer in your community as a family.

Another area we will be working on this week is teaching my daughter that she can catch more flies with honey than she can vinegar. My daughter is not only the youngest in our house, she is also the youngest out of her close cousins that she sees regularly. Sometimes it seems like she feels she has to be forceful, borderline rude at times, to be heard amongst the older kids. When she was younger, she followed along with whatever they wanted to do. Now, she has her own ideas and wants when they all get together. I’m hoping to work with her this week to teach her that being rude is not how she should go about getting what she wants. I’m going to give her tools and go over different situations with her.

  • It’s all about compromise.  In any relationship, it is up to all parties to take the other one’s feelings and wants into consideration. On more than one occasion I’ve noticed with my kids and their cousins that they want to play together, but not do the same thing. One will want to play dolls, while another wants to go outside, while another wants to watch a movie, and another will want to play a video game. They all end up doing their own thing and are upset that at least one of them didn’t want to play with them. I’m going to go over this situation and teach her that as much as she may want to play with dolls that her cousin may want to go outside just as much and it is better to compromise by both of them playing outside for a while then playing with dolls later, or vice versa.
  • Ask, don’t demand.  Like in the situation above, how she asks her brother or cousins may determine how they’ll respond. I know personally I wouldn’t want one of my cousins demanding that I go watch a particular movie with them while what I want to watch gets put on the back burner until the next time. Neither would she, her brother, or her cousins. So I’m going to role-play with her some so it will become natural for her to ask rather than demand.
  • Don’t forget manners.  Another thing I’ve noticed with her is that when she starts to feel pushed aside by the older kids, she starts to get rude. She will tell them to move rather than to say “Excuse me,” and things like that. I know it’s because her feelings are getting hurt and she is still unsure on how to handle herself when she feels rejected. But, it is still not an excuse. So, we are going to work on her still keeping her composure and not forgetting her manners even if she feels hurt.

I hope you join us this week by either having your kids preform random acts of kindness for others in your family or community, or working on manners with them this week.

4th of July! Kids Activities and More!

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4th of July Activities and More

Image Credit: Katelyn Kenderdine via Flickr

We have just a few more days until the 4th of July! I love this holiday! I enjoy celebrating our county and the freedoms our brave soldiers fought for us to have so very long ago, and still do to this day. Independence Day is a such a fun time to decorate your home, fire up the grill, have friends and family over, get out the water guns, and watch a fireworks display to end the day. It is also a wonderful opportunity to throw in some history for the kids so there is a deeper meaning for them so they can appreciate the country they live in and Independence Day even more. Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge, we will be decorating our home, making some fun crafts and food, watching some entertaining and educational videos, and learning what Independence Day truly is about. Below are links to some fantastic crafts, tutorials, and activities we will be working on this week.

⇒Erica, over at Enrichment Studies, has put together an enriching list of YouTube videos (Including the links) of the science behind fireworks and several awesome fireworks displays. She also some great freebies including coloring pages and some very insightful information, as well as more YouTube videos on our National Anthem. You must check it out! Your kids will have a lot of fun watching the videos and coloring. This is defiantly on our list for this week! CLICK HERE to go directly to her link.

Enrichment Studies

⇒At Embark on the Journey, Tara has made an impressive, 25-page, 4th of July unit study perfect for your young ones, PreK-2nd. She has really out done herself with this free, very colorful, printable pack that includes:

  • -ar, -at, and -ag word family practice
  • handwriting practice
  • American flag report/research page
  • skip counting
  • odd and even sorting
  • and more!

Make sure to check it out by CLICKING HERE.

4th-of-July-FB

⇒When you think of the 4th, what is one thing that comes to mind? ROCKETS! Sheila, at Brain Power Boy, has come up with just that. She has an outstanding tutorial for making rubber-band powered rockets with items you have in your home. This will definitely keep your kids (and pets) entertained for hours. CLICK HERE for the instructions.

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⇒Another object that you may have thought of is Lady Liberty. At Teach Beside Me, Karyn has a fabulous instruction on how to make Lady Liberty’s crown that your kids will love. How about a patriotic shaker decorated in red, white, and blue, and ready to get the music started? She has instructions for that, too. CLICK HERE to go to her page.

4th of July Activities teachbesideme

⇒When your ready to take a break from making crafts and head outside, Karyn also has printable, patriotic scavenger hunt. CLICK HERE.

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⇒I LOVE wreaths! I love having them and displaying them, but never have I attempted to make one. However, after seeing Rebecca’s tutorial on how to make a patriotic rag wreath on Raven Threads, I think I might actually be able to pull it off. This looks like a great project the family could work on together. For instructions, CLICK HERE.

patriotic-rag-wreath

⇒Julia, at My Mundane and Miraculous Life, has a clever 4th of July activity to help your little ones work on their fine motor skills. I wish I would have known about this when my kids were little. It is such a simple yet brilliant idea. CLICK HERE to check it out!

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⇒At A Sip of Southern Sunshine, you will find an exciting unit study on American symbols and landmarks. She has listed a great collections of books to read, fun hands-on activities, and more to give your kids a more in-depth look into our history. To get started, CLICK HERE.

unit-study-american-symbols-and-landmarks

For more 4th of July crafts, activities, and food ideas, CLICK HERE.

I hope you and your family have a blessed week and Independence Day!

I want to say a special thanks to all the wonderful mommy bloggers listed above who so willingly let us into their world and bring us such fantastic craft and activity ideas to keep our little ones busy and engaged!

Wondering what #WeeklyKidChanllenge is and why your should follow along? CLICK HERE to learn how it can be beneficial for your whole family.

Father’s Day! Make him a craft!

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Blog Father's Day

Boy, Daddy has really been getting a lot of attention around here lately. He has been doing even better than he was last week, walking around with a cane now and many times just on his own. I’m sure in a few more weeks he’ll be able to get back to work. But, in the mean time, we are going to take advantage of him being home. Yes, home, completely stuck at home to where if the kids want to tell him hour long stories, he has no were else to go. It is great.

Father’s day is coming up real soon, so we are going to make him some presents. CLICK HERE for some great ideas. I’ll post a new blog featuring what we make along with the tutorials. I would love to see what you guys make! Post your pictures here, on my FaceBook page or on Twitter using #WeeklyKidChallenge.

Entertaining Daddy

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Entertaining Daddy

My husband is doing much better than what I had expected him to do only a week and a couple of days after surgery. The first day in the hospital they had him up and walking around just eight hours afterwards, though it was very painful for him. He has been getting himself around the house with the aid of a walker and doing better every day. However, he is starting to go stir crazy. He has not left the house since we got home last Sunday. Even though it has only been a week, he is starting to throw words around like ‘cabin fever.’
Last week we took a break from school work so that we could be readily available to help him. The kids were extremely helpful by getting him drinks, ice packs, keeping him company, and helping me move his knee bender on and off the bed when needed. Even though this week they need to get back to hitting the books, we are going to make this #WeeklyKidChallenge a week to really spend time with daddy by playing games, talking to him, and my daughter will continue to read him bed time stories. Last week we were really more concerned with his physical health. This week we are going to concentrate on his mental health by keeping him entertained and engaged. Today, while I had to run a couple of errands, he stepped up (figuratively speaking) and helped the kids with their schoolwork. I’m going to also get him more involved with what we do during the day on top of the games and that we will be playing with him in the evening.
If you have been keeping up with our #WeeklyKidChallenge, this will be a great week to spend time playing games inside or outside as a family.

Notebook of Love

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Make notebooks for others to leave messages in! #WeeklyKidChallenge
Make notebooks for others to leave messages in! #WeeklyKidChallenge

If you’ve read my other post, As Simple as a Note, then you know my daughter LOVES writing little “I love you,” notes all the time. It’s hard keeping up with the little post it notes, or ones ripped out of a notebook. In the last few days I’ve received several little colorful “I love you,” pictures. Just the other night, while the kids were having quiet time in their rooms before bed and I was winding down in the living room, my daughter brings me one of her lovely notes. After thanking her and giving her a hug, I sat it down on the coffee table intending to take care of it when I got up again, but forgot. The next morning, she discovered it on the floor under the coffee table. I could tell it hurt her feelings even though she did understand it just fell off. So, I’ve decided for this week we are going to make our own notebooks. We are going to take copy paper and cover it with construction paper which we will color and decorate. Click here for ideas. The notebooks are for others to write or color in and the pages are intended to stay in the notebook. This will be a great way for us to still exchange notes, but it will be easier to keep up with.
If you guys also make your own notebooks, I would love to see them! Post your pictures here, on my Facebook page or on Twitter using #WeeklyKidChallenge.

Image Credit: Geneva Vanderzeil via Flickr

Staying Focused

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Staying Focused

Image Credit: ThomasLife via Flickr

We are getting closer and closer to the end of our school year. The kids are getting more restless waiting for their summer break to start. The results? Not staying focused while doing school work. We’ve already made some adjustments since the weather has gotten warmer by doing school work outside and having more frequent breaks, but they are still loosing focus when they are looking at their books and the pencil is in their hand. So, for this Weekly Kid Challenge we are going to be working on staying focused.

We will be incorporating a stop watch to make it a little more competitive for themselves by trying to beat their own time and also a bell they can ring once they are done with a page as an incentive. We will also be doing more writing, mostly just handwriting pages, so they can have more practice of keeping their eyes on their page rather than looking around. I’m hoping these little changes will make a big difference. If you have any tips on keeping kids focused while doing school work, I would love to hear them.