It’s Memorial Day weekend and for some that means vacation or a trip to visit friends and family that entails a long drive. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool when you are asked for the millionth time “Are we there yet?”.
It’s seems like you were just bringing your baby home from the hospital and now she is graduating Preschool or Kindergarten! While she may not be moving out for college, Preschool and Kindergarten graduation is a milestone and a time to celebrate all that your little one has accomplished and all that is before her. Some simple ideas to celebrate:
- Ice Cream Social. Invite over a few of your child’s friends to celebrate by making sundaes. Create an ice-cream bar by buying a few flavors of ice-cream or sorbet, fruit (bananas and fresh strawberries are usually a hit), chopped nuts, whipped cream and other toppings. Let the kids create their own sundaes. They will have lots of giggles making their creations and fun eating their yummy concoctions.
- Park Play. Celebrate at your child’s favorite park by inviting some friends, preparing a few snacks and letting them play on the swings, slides, etc. It is a simple and free way to let them get together and just have fun. Buy a graduation button for your child at your local party store so he can feel like the “distinguished guest” at his party.
- Coloring Party. Head to your local Dollar Store and pick up some crayons and coloring books. Invite your child’s friends over to a coloring party. Cover the table they will color on with a disposable tablecloth so you don’t have to worry about your furniture being marked up and let the kids color away! End the party with graduation cupcakes.
We love Lil Sugar site for other graduation party themes and activities.
Is your child graduating from Preschool or Kindergarten? What ways are you celebrating?
Want a fun activity for your kids while teaching them how to be good neighbors? We love this easy 3-ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies that we are baking in our Kolcraft kitchen and bringing to neighbors. You can do this at home with your kids and teach them not only valuable lessons in the kitchen, but also the importance of checking in on elderly neighbors, family or even nursing home residents. Many communities have special outreach programs where you can visit residents in nursing homes or even “adopt a grandparent” in a nursing home. It’s a great way to teach your children valuable life lessons!
Join us in bringing kids into the kitchen and giving homemade goodness to someone who needs it most.
Easy 1, 2, 3 Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup Peanut Butter
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine & mix ingredients
- Roll into 1″ balls
- Dip fork in sugar
- Lightly press fork on peanut butter ball and make a cross pattern
- Bake for 6 – 8 minutes
Let cool and after tasting spread the joy & bring some to your neighbors, family, nursing home! (If the person you are visiting is diabetic, here is an alternative recipe.)
What ways do you teach your children to care for the elderly? Please share your ideas with us!
It can be hard to find family time especially when you have a myriad of different schedules, activities and places to be, but every so often you need to take a break from schedules and have family fun time – a family date night!
Family date nights don’t require a lot of money – just a willingness to have fun.
A couple of ideas:
- Make a pizza together. Arrange the toppings into shapes or a smiley on the pizza.
- Create a picnic made of your kid’s favorite finger foods.
- Have a dessert first night! We know it’s really off the norm, but it can be fun to shake up routine. There are lots of healthy desserts with fruit and no sugar options.
- Turn off the TV and introduce your kids to some of the games you played when you were little; kick the can, mother may I, red light green light, etc. (added benefit of exercise while you run )
- Have a dance party. Turn on your kids favorite music & dance away. You can even dress up and have your own “dancing with the stars” night.
- Build a fort. Get sheets & blankets, drape them over chairs and other furniture for a fun fort.
Family date nights can be inexpensive and fun! What ideas do you have for a family date night?
Yoga has grown in popularity these last few years as a way to de-stress, get in shape, improve concentration and increase flexibility. It’s not just for adults anymore! Yoga can be a great way to bring these benefits to your toddler. Between ages 3 and 6, your child’s movements become more coordinated which makes this a good age to try yoga.
You can start yoga with your own toddler or organize a fun yoga play date with your child’s friends. But where to start?
- Keep it short. Children’s attention spans are limited and they can become bored easily. Keep the session to 20 minutes tops with a mini-break at the 10 minute mark.
- Use your imagination. Call poses by an animal name or object such as frog pose, tree pose, boat pose (you will be amazed what shapes you see when you look at yoga poses with creative eyes). You can tell stories or fun facts about these animals or objects to keep the children interested. An added bonus is that your child can learn new words through the poses!
We love these books and resources to help get you started:
- Yoga for children with special needs
- The Yoga Zoo Adventure
- Storytime Yoga
- Yoga Fun for Toddlers, Children & You
Do you practice yoga with your children?
What ways do you foster flexibility, creativity, good posture and concentration with your children? Please share with us!
The New York Times is looking to capture a global moment in time this Sunday. The idea is to take a photo of wherever you are at on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 hours (U.T.C.). This invite is open to expert photographers and amateurs. You only get to submit one photo so the NY Times encourages you to put thought behind the picture. You are asked to list your location and subject and a short caption. You will then be able to see a world-wide mosaic of what humanity was doing at that same moment in time. You can arrange the photos by country or topic as well as by how readers ranked them.
We think this is a fun activity to do as a family. You can teach your children about different parts of the world as you look at the global mosaic. Here at Kolcraft we will be joining in the “awe” of being part of a global mosaic. Feel free to post your moment in time in our Magical Moments section so your Kolcraft family can share your moment in time.
Will you be participating in the Global Mosaic?
Who hasn’t grown up having hours of fun with play-dough? Here at Kolcraft we were talking about all the “works of art” we made out of play-dough so we had lots of fun “test driving” today’s fun Friday activity; edible play-dough! This simple activity is easy to do, edible and good for the environment!
What you will need*:
- 2 cups of peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons of honey
- Nonfat dry milk or milk plus flour
- Cocoa or carob for chocolate flavor (optional)
- Edible treats for decoration (we used strawberries)
*We used organic ingredients
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix adding enough dry milk or milk plus flour to reach of the consistency of bread dough.
- Add cocoa or carob if desired
- Shape, decorate and eat!
Share your fun play-dough ideas with us in the comment section or post your edible play-dough art in our Magical Moments Gallery!
Teaching your child about the environment and caring for the earth helps shape their perspectives, values and how to interact with the environment. It also nurtures a sense of wonder, imagination and creativity. It exposes them to beauty and helps them remain active. A few simple ways you can start teaching your child about the environment while having fun:
- Gazing – Grab a blanket, lie on your back and look up. Ask your child what he/she sees in the clouds. Ask him/her why they think the sky is blue. If you want a night adventure, ask what stars your child likes. Look on the internet what planets will be out that night and see if you can find them. You may even see a shooting star while you are gazing!
- Wildlife Habitat - Create a wildlife habitat in your backyard for your children, grandchildren or neighbor’s children. Invite them over to observe changes in the wildlife refuge especially with the different seasons.
- Explore – Check out the bugs, butterflies and birds in your own backyard or neighborhood. Grab a magnifying glass and notebook and let your child record her/his findings in their very own bug adventure book!
What are some ways you educate your child about the environment?
Here is what you need:
- Empty container with a secure lid. We suggest an oatmeal or grits container.
- Piece of white paper
- Broken crayons
- Non-toxic paint
What to do:
- Put the piece of paper inside the container.
- Take the broken crayons and dip them in paint. (They don’t need to be dripping in paint. A little will do.)
- Put the crayons with paint in the container and put the lid securely on the container.
- Let your toddler take the container and shake it up and down, roll it or even kick it to make the crayons move around inside.
- After a few minutes take off the lid and see your toddler’s masterpiece of modern paint splats!
If you try this activity with your toddler, feel free to post pictures of it in our Magical Moments so everyone can see your child’s masterpiece!
Some of my best childhood memories are from our rock hunting days with mom. The older I get the more I appreciate how creative my mom was. She had two little ones at home and didn’t have a lot of money, but what she did have was creativity. When we were getting restless she would announce a rock hunt! We would walk to this abandoned lot full of rocks about 7 blocks from our house and start our hunt for our “treasures”. Once we had a bag full of rocks we would return home, dump them on the picnic table and sort through them. We would imagine what these shapes could become; ladybugs, bears, dogs, a sun – there were no limits! Once we decided what we were creating, we would paint the rocks, add wiggly eyes and mom would glue it on a piece of wood.
My favorite masterpiece was a panda. I remember finding a smooth rock that I thought would be perfect for his body. I picked out 4 little rocks for paws, another smooth rock for a head, painted them black and white, added wiggly eyes and gave it to mom to glue onto the wood. I was so proud of my panda that I gave it to my pre-school teacher the next day. Several years later I saw her while I was running wedding errands near my childhood home. She was about 75 years old. We were chatting and she said she still had my rock panda! I was stunned that she still had my “masterpiece.”
You can do this easy and inexpensive activity with your children.
All you need is:
- A park, field or abandoned lot where rocks can be found
- A container to collect rocks
- Non-toxic paint
- Wiggly eyes (not recommended for children under 3 yrs old)
- Wood for mounting
- Gorilla glue (to be used by adult supervising the activity)
- A sense of adventure
What “cheap and easy” activities do you do with your children?