The benefits of getting outside with your kids range from helping curb obesity, depression as well as spark imagination and other cognitive development. You also benefit from getting outside with your kids to relax and get some exercise. We recently went on a hide and seek activity with our Kolcrafts kids. It’s easy to do!
What you need:
- Research – Google the park, path or part of your neighborhood you are going to.
- List – Have a list of what you are looking for on your walk.
- Comfort – Be sure you and your little hikers have comfortable shoes, sunscreen and water. If you have a child who gets tired easily, be sure to have a stroller on hand.
What to do:
- Set out on your path looking for the “items” on your list. Tell everyone to be alert & look around. The items could be in the air, on the ground, in the water. Don’t be afraid to look under rocks or trees too!
- Talk about what you see. For example, hidden in the picture are two ducks we saw on our hide & seek walk. We talked about ducks liking water and why the mommy duck blended in more than the daddy duck. We also taught our Kolcraft kids how to say duck in Spanish.
Try a hide and seek adventure & let us know how it goes!
There are many benefits to reading to your child for developing imagination, speech, reading skills, etc. You can bring your child’s favorite books to a new level by turning them into real life adventures. All it takes is some imagination and fun. Today’s book we are bringing to life is I Am A Bunny by Richard Scarry.
What you need:
- I Am A Bunny Book
- Bunny Ears or make your own by cutting out bunny ears from construction paper and gluing or taping to a headband. You can even wear a yellow shirt & red pants/overalls like Nicholas does.
- Outdoor space
What to Do:
- Read I Am A Bunny
- Put on your bunny ears & head outside
- Since it is currently Spring, reenact the Spring pages of I Am A Bunny by going to a field to look at the flowers (we don’t encouraging picking them) and talk about the different colors. See if you can find dogwood or daffodils like Nicholas does in the book. Talk about how Springtime brings flowers after the long winter. Try to find butterflies & “chase” them like Nicholas. If you live near a butterfly garden or sanctuary visit it to see the butterflies (or build your own!).
- Take photos of your book adventure and put them in your notebook/journal.
- With each season do the activity Nicholas does & record it. It will take a year to complete your book, but at the end you will have a wonderful memory of your I Am A Bunny living adventure.
What ways do you bring your child’s favorite books to life? If you have a children’s book you want us to bring to life on a Fun Friday, leave us a comment!
We love how Spring brings new life and new opportunities to get outside and have fun. Equipped with an imagination, a child can see a backyard or a park as the door to hours of fun. We love the b Organic site for all sorts of wonderful tips on organic living. We especially love their mud bar. A mud bar is a fun place for kids to explore, learn and use imagination. It doesn’t have to be fancy by any means. A watering can full of water or a hose, a few pans and spatulas & TAH-DAH the mud kitchen is open!
Have you made mud pies with your kids?
This fun, easy Spring craft for kids gives you a keepsake of your child’s little fingerprints that you will cherish for years!
What you need:
- Craft foam or construction paper
- Non-toxic finger paints
- Pipe cleaner
- Non-toxic glue
- Scissors for adult use only
- Googly eyes (optional)
What to do:
- Cut foam or construction paper into simple flowers.
- Have your child dip their thumb or other finger in fingerprint.
- Put thumbprint in the petals of the flower and in the middle of the flower.
- Let dry.
- Glue pipe cleaner on back of flower to make a flower stem.
- Add googly eyes if you want.
Reading opens up worlds of adventure, exploration, education and fun. Your local library has books beyond belief, but also has so much more for your kids especially on rainy Spring Days! Not only can you check out great books at the library, your kids can join story hour, puppet plays, toddler music time, get free passes to your local museums and city attractions, get help with homework and much more.
If you haven’t been to your local library in awhile, google it online and check out the kids corner or events page and let the adventure begin!
Springtime brings a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids about flowers – the different colors, climates and cultures around them.
What you need:
- Little plastic flower pots (you can get these cheap at most nurseries or even the dollar store)
- Potting soil
- Flower seeds
- Popsicle sticks
- Non toxic glue
- Green construction paper
- Solid color paper cupcake liners
- Non toxic markers, paint or crayons
- Large white poster board or sheet of paper
- Clear plastic table cloth
- Various fruit cut into circles and ovals
What to do:
- Go to a local nursery, greenhouse or if you are lucky enough go to your Macy’s flower show.
- Talk to your kids about the different colors & smells of flowers. Explain how different climates have different flowers and how some flowers need more sun and warmth than others. Tell your children about how different cultures use flowers for celebrations and decorations. You may need to do a little research online beforehand if you aren’t sure about this.
- When you return home, give each child a flower pot. Have them fill up their flower pot with soil and plant the flower seeds. Put the seeds in a place where they will get necessary sunlight. Tell your children that these are their special flowers and they will have to care for them every day so they will grow. Let your kids name their flowers so they feel more attached to them and will care for them.
- Make your own flowers by taking a popsicle stick and coloring it green. Cut out two green leaves from the construction paper and glue them on to the popsicle stick. Take the cupcake liner and glue that onto the top of the stick for the flower.
- Have your kids color the white poster board making it into a garden. They can add grass, flowers, trees, bunnies, birds, the sun, etc. When they are done, place it on the kitchen table & cover it with the clear plastic table cloth. You now have a garden table.
- Take your cut up fruit, place it in the center of the table. give each child a plate. Let them arrange the fruit into a flower. Have them show it to everyone before they eat it. Even better take pictures of their creations and scrapbook them! We found that grapes, bananas, strawberries and raspberries worked well.
Our Kolcraft kids not only had fun at their flower party, but learned so much about flowers, colors, climates and cultures in the meantime!
This week is National Wildlife Week which is wonderful week to get outside with your children and teach them to appreciate nature. A child is never too small to be in wonder and awe of the wonderful world around her.
- Participate in the NWF Wildlife Watch Map
- Join others celebrating National Wildlife Week by tweeting your sightings on #wildlifeweek on Twitter
- Enter the National Wildlife Photo Challenge. Encourage your kids to take photos too. You will learn a lot about how your child sees the world when you look at his photos.
- Go for a hike with your kids and point out all nature that you see: birds, fish, trees, flowers, bugs, etc.
- Have a meal dedicated to talking about nature and ways you as a family can respect nature and spend more time outdoors.
Spring cleaning can be a daunting task especially with children, but with these easy tips you and your kids can have fun while you clean!
- Set the mood – Make spring cleaning fun by anticipating the day and talking about how fun it will be. Have a countdown to your spring cleaning day by putting up a number on your fridge as to how many days are left until spring cleaning. Have a special spring cleaning breakfast that day. Don’t forget to put on their favorite music!
- Keep it simple - Give your children simple tasks to prep for the heavier spring cleaning work. Let them move things – pull the cushions off the couch, bring laundry downstairs, bring rugs outside, pick up toys – whatever preps the area for the bigger job you have to do.
- Channel Harry Potter’s sorting hat – Buy an inexpensive witch hat that looks like the sorting hat in Harry Potter. Put it on your child & tell him he gets the job of being the official “sorter”. Have your child group items together in piles. Your child can learn categorizing while cleaning by grouping things that go together. Have him start a pile for things that go in the kitchen, things that belong in the basement, things for the closet, etc. This will save you a step to putting things away.
- Play detective – Have your child find expiration dates on items in your fridge and cabinets. It’s a great way to learn numbers while she cleans!
- Baseboard race – Give your child a rag to wipe baseboards. Have a race to see who can clean the most baseboards in the least amount of time. They can’t cut corners because you can only win if the baseboards are truly clean!
With a little preparation and patience, your spring cleaning can be a time of learning and fun for you and your kids!
What spring cleaning tips do you have?
Spring gives ample opportunities for you to get outdoors with your kids to have fun and learn! In Chicago we are fortunate to have a butterfly garden right in our city! We brought our Kolcraft kids there for a field trip and completed the day with crafts and building our own butterfly garden. Today’s post is all about the butterfly fun you can have with your children!
Butterfly Garden Experience:
- Google butterfly gardens in your area. Many zoos or nature centers have them.
- Prep your children by talking about butterflys – how they start as a little caterpillar, build a cocoon for a nice nap and when it’s time come out as a beautiful butterfly.
- Research butterflys online & assign each child a certain butterfly or certain color butterfly to look for.
- Read about what they eat, how they migrate, etc. Tell the kids to see if they observe the butterflys eating, etc. (Most gardens have fruit open where the butterflys will land & eat.)
- Bring your children of all ages, even babies. They will love the colors and activity of the butterflys.
Make Your Own Butterfly Garden:
- Butterflys love a mix of bright, colorful, strong scented wildflowers and other planted flowers. They especially love day lilies, marigolds, daisies and butterfly bushes. Be kind to caterpillars who will be butterflys and include milkweed and hawthorn.
- Butterflys need to drink. Put a shallow pan or birdbath in with your flowers. Soak red or orange sponges in a solution of sugar and water to refresh your little butterfly friends.
- Make a little colorful butterfly house where they can hibernate. You can paint and decorate a wood birdhouse with your kids and put it among the flowers.
- Spend some time with your kids in your butterfly garden, watching, listening and making friends with your butterflys.
- Grab some colorful tissue and a black pipe cleaner.
- Fold the tissue back & forth like an accordion.
- Wrap the pipe cleaner around the mid point of the tissue leaving about 2 inches of pipe cleaner on either side forming the body of the butterfly.
- Curl the remainder of the pipe cleaner into an antenna.
- Fan out the the tissue paper to make the butterfly wings.
Butterflys can be a great way to teach your kids about nature, colors, life cycles and more!