Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Activities For Kids Reviewed

What to do with the kids home

Are you struggling to find activities for kids to do while they are out of school? Let me review some ideas I gave my daughter to help keep my granddaughter entertained that did not involve sitting in front of the television set. With the schools closed across the nation, you might be pretty tired of playing board games and need some fresh ideas.

activities for kids
Keep the kids entertained
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I was talking to my daughter the other day and she expressed her frustration over how to keep my granddaughter busy and entertained after she has completed her online studies for school. I'm guessing there are a whole lot of parents who are feeling the same way. My daughter said that she was so sick of the board games they had in the house and needed some ideas on other things to do. So here are a few ideas that I tossed out for consideration.

One of the things I tried to keep in mind as I offered some options was that the activities needed to involve things that didn't require going out to buy new things. For one thing, we are supposed to refrain from leaving our homes but more importantly a whole lot of parents aren't working right now and money is tight. 

A Few Ideas To Keep Your Kids Busy

I suggested that on some days, my granddaughter could do some crafty type things. She loves to create all kinds of things so, I suggested that she make some things with the supplies she already has. A card to send to my Dad (her Great-Grandfather) to help cheer up his spirits. Cards for elderly neighbors that could be left at their doors keeping social distancing in mind. Pictures for her wall and that sort of thing. 

Another activity that would take up a little time was to go on an exploration for some fun facts. Have your child think of something they would like to know more about. Perhaps they are fascinated with Giant Squids. Have them do a search for those interesting creatures and then check out some of the sites that come up. While they are looking those over, jot down some other things to look for on another day. Perhaps it could be areas where Giant Squids can be found. Make it something they have an interest in so that they find it fun.

As I write this we are in the season where a lot of Bald Eagle's eggs are hatching. I suggested that my daughter might find one of the many nest cams so that they could watch for a while each day to monitor the progress of those eaglets growing. It is an incredible sight to behold! 

If you are able to, let the kids go outside in your backyard to play for a while. It can be like recess at school without their friends. Toss a ball, kick a can, skip rope, play hopscotch...anything to get their little bodies in motion to expend some pent-up energy. 

Have a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. Hide some things around the house with clues to the next item and then let them spend some time finding the items. Another option is to make a list for them to find the items on the list. Once you have done this, another day can be spent with them hiding the items and you have to find them. 

Try to think of activities you did as a child and introduce them to your kids, who are just as bored as you are by the way. Some you will be able to do and others might just make you smile at the memory. 

If possible, let the kids have some face-time with their friends or perhaps a grandparent. I love those video chats! We did one with my Dad the other day and he was thrilled to be able to see my daughter's and granddaughter's faces. She even showed him her progress with learning to play the fiddle...he loved it!

Look for inspiration either online or in books. A good source of ideas would be an activity book that you might have laying around or can buy for just a small bit of money.




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Monday, March 18, 2019

Reviewing the DoBoard Dry Erase Chart

The DoBoard dry erase chart keeps me motivated. 
The large chart board by DoBoard is a great way to keep track of chores, appointments and goals at home or work. This magnetic dry erase board is also an easy way to display a menu at a restaurant or use in an office for lists that change frequently such as showing employees who are "in" or "out" and scheduled meetings. If you are looking for visual organization, this might be for you. 


DoBoard 12" x 17" Magnetic Dry Erase Chart Board


This dry erase board by DoBoard is magnetized and the entire back side is coated. No bumpy, annoying small magnets on each corner.

The chart board comes pre-printed with days of the week across the top and a chart grid to list 15 items. There is also room at the top and bottom to add a title, incentive agreements, reminders, and comments.

This board does not come with dry erase markers or erasers. I needed to use fine point markers for my list. I don't advise using regular, large tipped dry erase markers for writing the list. 

This board is very smooth and is easily erased - unlike my lower quality dry erase board I use at work.

DoBoard shipped this chart flat, in a large box. This avoided any crinkling or damage that may have occurred during the shipping process.


12" x 17" Chart by DoBoard



Why I ordered DoBoard's Chart


This is a perfect chore/incentive chart for children. No arguing about what needs to be done before they earn their goal - it is an ongoing check list of what needs to be done. This would also be a perfect way for our receptionist at work to keep track of who is in and out of their office.  But I ordered this for my own motivation and sanity.

When I become over-worked and super stressed, I start to become ineffective. I eventually stop doing anything because I'm not keeping on top of everything. In reality, I'm still doing a great deal of things. I'm working my butt off. But I begin to tell myself that I'm not doing enough. As those thoughts increase, my productivity decreases and eventually stops.

After seeing this brand of "chore chart" at my son's home, I ordered one for myself. I really liked that it was pre-printed with everything except my list of to-dos. Some of the things I have listed are things I do on a daily basis (such as keeping the dogs and cat fed, walked, and watered), things I want to do on a daily basis (crochet and exercise), and chores that I hate (washing dishes and laundry) but have to do to avoid being referred to the television show "Hoarders". 

I definitely function better under stress with seeing a list of things that have been completed - I feel accomplished. As I'm checking off things, or adding tally marks for the things I do multiple times a day, that little nagging voice has a harder time sneaking in to tell me that I'm not doing enough. It also encourages me to not give up on my goal of building a small home and moving to my land. For example, I've added "go to work" at the top of my list to remind me that I'm not yet allowed to quit my job - yes, things are that bad right now. 

If you are looking for a chart, for whatever reason (yourself, children, or employees - menus, chores, or goals) this board by DoBoard is a great choice.






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Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Moms Song for a Child Leaving Home

If I Could by Barbra Streisand
A Further Review about the Song Meaning Here

One of My Sons is Moving Out in Two Days & the Lyrics to this Song Say What We Moms Feel

I've been one of those lucky moms; all four of my sons still live at home.

Yes, that's right, and we love it that way.

But my second boy, a guitarist and artist on the rise in a band called Coldfront, is moving out on his own. He's anxious to fly, but I'm not ready to let him. I'll never be ready.

Totally biased I'm about to blurt out all the cliches moms say: He's smart, organized, gorgeous and talented. I guess that's suppose to bring a measure of comfort.

But really, how did all the moms of the world get through this part of life! It's hard.

He's turned out to be a wonderful young man, and he's ready. The high point is what he's given me; the proof that he's ready.

After our son explained his plans to his dad and I on how he's going to manage this big step, we were so proud. Later that night we were lamenting on how hard this is, and how much we would miss him. But then his dad said, 'he's just like you! he's so much like you, and for that reason, I won't worry so much'.
"I've Watched You Grow So I Could Let You Go" (Lyrics)
Most of my friends have had their children move out already.

Looking back, I know I'm feeling my own mother's heartache as my brothers and I moved out.

At 19, mom and I drove to Toronto where I would start University and share an apartment with a friend. Mom helped me set-up the place, spent two days with me and after hugs and kisses, I remember standing at that apartment door watching her walk down the hall towards the elevator where she waved a final goodbye.

This coming Monday, I will understand what my mother felt that day. I'll say goodbye to my boy, my life, and pretend he's just going away for the weekend and that he'll be back in a few days. Without doing that, I'd be a mess, and on such a milestone for him, don't want him to feel my pain.

Right now I'm lucky. I can hear the boys laughing and talking to each other from their bedrooms. My dad used to say to me that he was happiest when all of us were home safe and sound. I miss my dad. I sure could use a hug from him right now. Dad would be so proud of him, of all the boys.
(Lyrics)
If I could, I would try to shield your innocence from time
but the part of life I gave you isn't mine
I've watched you grow so I could let you go
if I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
but I know that I can never cry your tears
but I would
if I could
If you're looking for lyrics that say exactly what a Mom wants to say to her children, this is the perfect song - Get the tissues ready - I'm spent after listening to it <3



Things I'll have to deal with in the coming days:

  • How will I handle walking by his empty bedroom?
  • Missing the big glorious mess he leaves in his room
  • His cooking for us once in a while
  • His smile
  • His hugs
  • His brothers will miss him too
That's it, we're going to visit him - did I mention he's moving 5 hours away.

Yesterday he was just a baby.



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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday & The Bunny

Happy Easter! Whether it's the Easter Bunny or the Traditional Christian Holiday You're Celebrating, Enjoy and Have a Wonderful Easter Sunday
We know many children will be enjoying a feast of chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and baskets filled with other treats, gifts and goodies.

As Christians attend mass today, many will be dressed up with seasonal Easter Bonnets and kids in their Sunday best. It's a day as important as Christmas to Christians, and some feel even more so, in that it represents the rise of Jesus into heaven and eternal life.

What's Your Easter Sunday Tradition?

Our kids are mostly grown now, but the memories of our Easter Sundays are forever etched in my heart. While the kids slept I would fill a very large basket with toys, clothes and candies and place the basket on their dressers. Of course, they'de wake up excited to see what the Bunny brought! But the best part was always watching their happy faces.

Of course, what's a bunny day without an egg hunt! We'd leave a trail of chocolate eggs all over the house and they'd run around full speed collecting as many as they could in their smaller basket.

Til this day, I still picture them in their PJ's sitting in the family room sorting through their goodies and stuffing their precious little faces with chocolate.

I can't believe how fast they grow up - sure do miss those days .... Great memories that I'm hoping they'll be making with their own families some day. Our family moments are forever etched in my mind, and I'm grateful we took the time to carve them out.

My kids inspired me to write this poem - a funny take on a child's perspective about the Easter Bunny!

Buy Me The Easter Bunny Poem & Video on Drageda.com


Happy Easter, and whether it's a religious day for you or a Bunny day for you, I hope you're making lots of precious memories ... no matter your age.


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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Safety Floors that Are Practical and Decorative

Read More About Interlocking Foam Wood Flooring
I Was Introduced to this Idea by Accident .... Watching a TV Show! 

Safety Flooring with Style

The TV Show featured a family preparing to cover their gorgeous hardwood floors with safer hardwood look-a-like interlocking foam tiles.

When they opened the box and started pulling out the pieces, I was impressed by how closely the color matched the actual hardwood floors in their home.

After seeing it completely placed over top of their real hardwood, I was convinced I missed out when my kids were young! What a fantastic safety solution for kids without compromising design style!

These safety floors did not detract from their stunning decor. The playroom looked like any one of the other main rooms in the home, except it was filled with toys.

Choose Interlocking Foam Floor Tiles that Match Your Existing Flooring

You can find light, dark, grey, black and more colors of hardwood look-a-like foam flooring. When you've spent a great deal of time and money decorating a room, foam tiles help to maintain the look and structure of your space while simultaneously serving as a safety feature.

Given the growing number of people caught in the 'sandwich generation' (those caring for both kids and seniors at the same time), safety flooring can certainly go a long way as an investment. Best of all, when you're finished needing it, simply remove it.

We're no longer limited choosing those multi-colored ABC interlocking foam floors for protection and safety; now we have this incredibly practical look-a-like hardwood foam as an option.

You can read more about Interlocking Foam Floors here at Funkthishouse.com.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Owner, Funkthishouse.com


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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reviewing Trunki A Suitcase For Kids

A Suitcase that does more...

Our four year old grandchild just recently did an overnight with Grandma and Grandpa and we had so much fun! She had borrowed a suitcase from a little friend and I was quite impressed. The one she used was the Harley The Lady-bug Trunki Suitcase and it was adorable and also roomy. It is made of plastic and sturdy enough that a child can actually ride on the suitcase. She didn't need to ride it at our house but it did get me to thinking about the usefulness of something like this for vacations.

A small child will struggle with carrying their own bag through an airport but with a Trunki, they can sit on it while Mom or Dad pulls them along to board the plane. It would also be helpful at the hotel when you have to park quite a way from the door. The kids think it is fun while Mom and Dad get a break from having to carry their own luggage plus a child's. There are only so many hands and it is pert near impossible to carry adult bags, kid's bags plus hold on to your child's hands as you maneuver to the current destination. Am I right?

So, our grandchild expressed the desire to have her own suitcase like the one she had borrowed. She said that maybe Santa Claus could bring her one of her very own. Naturally, Grandma began to look at the options. I know she thought she liked the ladybug one but I doubt that she has seen the other characters available. Grandma plans to get her this one:


The one above looks kind of like a cat but I think more tiger and since she lives in Cincinnati and is a Bengals fan, I know she will love this model better than the ladybug.

Another feature of this suitcase for kids is that there is a strap that they can pull it on their own if they want to. They can also sit on it and push it around with their own feet.

This little suitcase had quite a bit of room for her clothing and there was a little pocket for keeping her little treasures in. There are straps that can hold items into place which comes in handy. The manufacturer calls them seatbelts for Teddy and a child could strap in their favorite stuffed animal to keep it safe in the suitcase during travel. I think that is adorable but also see the functionality of those straps for clothing, as well.

I was impressed with the construction of this small little piece of luggage for a child. It seemed pretty durable and is so darned cute!






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Friday, February 21, 2014

Imagine, Create, Inspire!

Today I'm going to talk about why it's so great to share your crafts for kids online, and the best ways to do it!

First off, crafting for little ones is so very important, because it encourages them to be creative and imaginative from an early age, makes for great messy play (also very important!) and can benefit them in a number of other ways, ranging from fine motor skills to learning counting, colours and shapes.

It can be hard to know where to start for new parents, so anything online that can help inspire moms and dads is a wonderful thing - it's where I started when I was a new mama! Reviews of books and kits, ideas for resource materials and basics, and step-by-step tutorials for different age groups are all so very helpful to your readers! And even when you're a crafting pro, fresh inspiration for your kids is always welcome, so any more complicated crafts and fabulous ideas you may have are perfect for young crafters as well!

Remember, everything that you do with your kids that makes them happy, could make other children happy too! Sharing resources with other parents means you are inspiring others to imagine and create their own crafts and fun ideas.

As the Little Crafty Kids Contributor, writing about kids crafts comes easy for me because, chances are, we'll be doing crafts weekly anyway, I'll be taking photos anyway, and I'll be wanting to share them online anyway! So it's really easy to find things to write about each week. Plus I love doing it, so hopefully that shows in the writing! Be inspired by the seasons, festivals and events, what you can find in your recycling bin, or the story you've been reading together at bedtime. What can you make today?



To write a great article or tutorial about what you're doing with your kids, make sure you take nice, clear photos of each step, as well as the finished result! It can help to have a not-too-cluttered background, but hey, this is parenting, so that's not essential! Take some colourful pictures of the materials you're using, too. Pictures of your children actually doing the crafts are fab, but if you prefer not to put pictures of them on the internet, then take back-of-head shots of them crafting, or shots of each stage on the tabletop. If you're a wiz in a photo editing program, then you could make a montage of some of the photos with a tagline like "How to make a Toy Oven out of an Old Box" or "10 Great Crafts to Make with Pine Cones"! You could use this as an intro photo and also to promote the article on social media, especially great for visual ones like Facebook and Pinterest.

Think about niches and keywords, and how to get traffic for different kinds of craft articles. Individual how-to's might not get many searches, especially if your tutorial is something unusual, but if you can slot it into a niche phrase that is searched for, then write a piece that incorporates it - for example, you might have a review of an Easter Make and Do book, a tutorial on how to make an Easter bonnet, and a how-to on different ways to dye and decorate eggs, and so on. Write a lens or blog post on "Fun Easter Activities for Preschoolers" or "Easy Easter Crafts for Toddlers" and link to each of your related articles!

How else can you help other moms and dads? Last time I talked about reviewing craft kits. Craft books are also great to review - most parents will want to buy at least one or two of these, but there are so many out there, a really good selection of reviews can help them choose. If you put effort into your reviews and really show your enthusiasm or passion for the book (along with things you've actually made) then your readers will turn into shoppers!

Share your thoughts on:
  • The ease of instructions for each craft
  • Age suitability
  • How clear/inspiring/beautiful the photos are
  • How many projects and ideas there are
  • Levels of difficulty
  • Do they work? Are they easy to make? Are there good challenges? 
  • And most importantly - do your children enjoy making the projects? 
 I created a list of craft books suitable for under-fives here, which you can use as a starting point for writing a book review. There have been some fantastic reviews written by Squidoo'ers in the last few weeks, such as this review of Show Me a Story by MeltedRachel, which shows the passion she has for the book as well as lovely photos of how she used inspiration from it to make story mats and maps from her leftover textiles. Meanwhile, tonyleather shared this bumper binder of books for making things from household items, which gets his granddaughter in the creative mood! Finally, CorrinnaJohnson gives a great example of how to review a seasonal crafts book with her take on Valentine Things to Make and Do.



Of course, when it comes to crafts for little ones, you don't have to just stick to basic crafts - you could also come up with recipes and ideas for materials (home-made paint, play-dough and so on), crafts to create toys and other items (we've been making rainbow rice for sensory play, and we've saved an enormous cardboard box to make a rocket out of!), and crafts for grown-ups to make things for preschoolers. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity!

Next time I'll be looking at making recycled crafts from household items. Happy crafting!








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