Tag Archives: activities

3 Delightful After-School Snacks

18 Aug

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The hustle and bustle of school starting can be overwhelming. With mile long shopping lists to check off, lunches to pack, and fresh, new outfits to pick out, providing healthy snacks is often low on the priority list. No worries, we gathered 3 easy after-school snack ideas to provide your little ones with yummy refuel after their long day of learning. Perhaps enlist their help in the kitchen for some special weekday bonding.

Peanut Butter Playdough

Fun to play with and good to eat!

You will need:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 cup honey or corn syrup

1 cup of powdered milk

1 cup of oatmeal

Coconut or powdered sugar (optional)

Large bowl

Measuring cup

Mixing spoon

Step 1. Help your child measure 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of honey, 1 cup powdered milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal.

Step 2. Once the ingredients are measured, help your child combine them in a large bowl. As they work with the ingredients, talk about how they are changing as they mix them. This is hard work!

Step 3. Once the mixture is dough-like, they can spoon out some of the play dough and mix it using their hands and fingers. Ask them if it is sticky. If the answer is yes, add small amounts of oatmeal and powdered milk.

Step 4. Encourage your child to explore this edible play dough. If desired, your child can make “snowballs” by rolling a rounded ball of dough in coconut or powered sugar.

Step 5. As they play with the play dough, remind them that it is okay to eat it as well!

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback 

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Yogurt Grape Treats

A refreshing snack for hot afternoons!

You will need:

Grapes

Yogurt of Choice

Toothpicks

Bowl

Baking sheet

Step 1. Destem and wash your grapes then stick toothpicks inside each one. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until fully frozen (should take a couple of hours).

Step 2. Once your grapes are fully frozen, dip the grapes in your favorite yogurt. Then place them back on the baking sheet.

Step 3. To add toppings, do it soon after you have dipped the grapes in the yogurt.  The yogurt will freeze pretty fast because the grapes are frozen. Some toppings we suggest are coconut, honey, dark chocolate, and caramel. Place them in a container in the freezer to store, or serve them to your little ones.

Source: Natalie Monson- Super Healthy Kids

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Rainbow Fish Fruit Snack

Read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister with your child, and then share in making this delicious snack.

You will need:

Banana Slices

Blueberries

Dessert Shells (Found near the fruit in the produce section of most grocery stores)

Green grapes

Orange sections

Pieces of cantaloupe

Strawberries

Toothpicks (3)

Step 1. Invite your child to put three to five pieces of fruit on each toothpick. Arrange the toothpicks in a triangle shape to create the fish tail.

Step 2. Place the dessert shell near one triangle point to create a fish body.

Step 3. Use the rest of the fruit to fill up the dessert shell, and you’ve got a rainbow fish that’s tasty enough to eat.

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback

Whether you choose to prepare these delicious snacks before they arrive home or have them help you whip up the recipe, these snacks are sure to please little one’s tummies!

Backseat Road Trip Fun

7 Jul

shutterstock_497794306.jpgOccupying children on a long road trip can often be challenging. From your youngsters asking the constant “Are we there yet?” question to them kicking the backs of the front seats, road trips can be incredibly frustrating. So, we have put together a list of ideas to keep your children occupied in the backseat.

Drawing

Art is always a great way to keep children occupied, but it is often difficult to do in the car. We suggest keeping the backseat art projects simple and sticking with drawing. The LEGO® Journal is perfect for car rides. Snap on a LEGO® Marker and your child is ready to go. If you prefer for your youngster not to use markers in the car, let him or her pass the time by drawing on an Etch-a-Sketch®. Your child will love drawing pictures for you on the long ride.

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Building

Building is also a fantastic tool for keeping children occupied in the car. Your child will love building with the Romper Room™ Popoids™ Building Set. The building pieces in this set connect to each other, so they are easy to work with in the car. If you have a little one that is not quite old enough for building, encourage him or her to crinkle Baby Paper with his or her hands. Your baby can bend and make noise with Baby Paper just as older children can with the building set. Encourage your child to explore with his or her hands to pass the time in the car.

Playing Games

Playing games is a classic way to pass the time on road trips. We suggest playing traditional car games, such as iSpy and 20 Questions, as a family. These games will keep everyone occupied for a while. Mad Libs® The Game is also perfect for long car rides. The game is fun for both kids and adults, so the whole family can enjoy making funny sentences and laughing together. Entertain your children by playing new and classic games while you travel.

Eliminate the headache of traveling and show your children how traveling can be fun with these road trip activity ideas. We hope you enjoy your road trips this summer!

What do the children in your backseat enjoy doing to pass the time on road trips? Share your ideas by commenting below!

All Aboard! Train Fun for All Ages

30 Jun

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All aboard the choo-choo train! Does your child love to play with trains? Although they may seem like basic toys to keep your child occupied, trains can actually boost your child’s development. The following are ways playing with trains can benefit your child’s developmental learning.

Teaches Traffic Safety

Playing with trains can increase your child’s traffic safety awareness. Your child will learn that cars cannot cross train tracks when the level crossing is down to indicate that a train is coming. The LEGO® DUPLO® Town Push Train Set has a level crossing as well as a car to demonstrate this traffic safety concept. Additionally, playing with trains on the Thomas & Friends™ Zipbin® Toybox Playmat™ will help your child visualize and understand traffic safety rules between trains, automobiles, and people. This play mat displays train tracks, roads, businesses, a hospital and more. Your child will love exploring traffic safety in a fun way.

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Strengthens Fine Motor Skills

Encouraging your child to play with trains will also strengthen his or her fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the control of the movements children make using the small muscles in their hands and fingers. These skills are important to many of life’s everyday activities, such as eating with silverware and tying shoelaces. Building a toy train set involves working with small objects to create the set, which develops fine motor skills piece by piece.

Develops Engineering and Problem-Solving Skills

Playing with trains also helps develop engineering and problem-solving skills. Building train sets requires innovative thinking and determination. Your child will learn to use his or her engineering skills to design and build train sets. Additionally, when a problem arises with the train or track development process, your child will use problem-solving skills to fix the issue. The Smartmax® My First Animal Train Set requires engineering and problem-solving skills because not only do children build the train set, they are also faced with the challenge of magnetism. Your child will love using engineering skills to build and problem-solving skills to understand how magnets attract and repel.

The skills learned from pretend play with trains are transferable across many age groups. Accelerate the developmental growth of your child by encouraging him or her to play with trains. Your youngster will appreciate learning from these classic toys!

Fun Ideas for Family Staycations

22 Jun

shutterstock_40209769Are you looking for enjoyable and affordable ways to entertain your child during summer break? Consider having a staycation and making your home the hangout. Staycations can be just as fun as vacations if you are equipped with fun games to play and have exciting activities planned. The following are cheap staycation ideas for your family this summer.

Family Game Night

Include family game night in your summer staycation! Playing games as a family is fun way to bond. Consider playing Claws, Jaws, & Paws during your game night. This two to six player game is simple and entertaining, and your family will love playing it together. Exit Games are also perfect for game night. These strategy games, including Secret Lab, Pharaoh’s Tomb, and Abandoned Cabin, are ultimate brainteasers. Tenzi is also perfect for family game night. Your family will be hooked on this speedy game! Game night is a fun family staycation idea that your family will love.

Minute to Win It Competitions

Host Minute to Win It competitions at your house. Consider having a bubble popping competition as the first Minute to Win It activity. Turn on the Mr. Bubble® Double Bubble Blower Machine and have everyone see how many bubbles they can pop in one minute. We suggest having a couple of rounds so that each participant can have a personal counter to keep tally of the amount of bubbles popped. The person who pops the most bubbles in each round wins. Then, have all the winners compete to see who the ultimate bubble popper is. Another game we recommend is seeing who can build the tallest tower possible in one minute with Click Builders. The person with the tallest tower wins! A final Minute to Win It game we suggest is stacking and unstacking a pyramid with Speed Stacks Rapid Stacking Game. The participant who finishes unstacking his or her pyramid first is the winner. These games are perfect for many ages, so invite all your family and friends!

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Dance Parties

Everyone loves dance parties! Get your children moving and grooving with a dance party during your summer staycation. What’s a dance party without music? Make and build your own speaker with the IllumiCraft™ Light-Up Cell Phone Speaker Dock STEM Kit, then turn up the tunes! You can even download Kidz Bop 25 to your cell phone to play the biggest hits through your speaker. The next most important part of a dance party is the lighting. Jazz up your dance party room with the LockerBrightz™ Geometric Room Light. The whole family will love the good music, good lighting, and good times.

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Backyard Campouts

Make a backyard campout part of your family’s summer staycation. First, you’ll need to pitch a tent right in your backyard. Your family can spend time telling ghost stories and making s’mores by a fire. However, it will get dark outside, so make sure you are prepared with outdoor lights. You can even put BugBrightz™ Magical String Lights in a jar to make your own lantern. Your children will love exploring new adventures with you during your backyard campout this summer.

Make this summer one to remember with family game nights, Minute to Win It competitions, dance parties and backyard camping. The memories your family will make participating in these affordable activities will prove to be priceless. Your child will love enjoying fun family staycations this summer.

Do you have any family staycation ideas to share? Let us know by commenting below!

 

 

Having Fun with (Play) Food!

9 Jun

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The change of season brings yummy summer foods that everyone loves! From food trucks to summer cookouts, your little one will love eating delicious food with you. Exploring different foods can be a learning exploration for your child. Allow your little one to experience making his or her own summer (play) foods.

Food Trucks

Food trucks are a fun part of summer that many people look forward to! Your little one can participate in food truck fun with the Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Food Truck Kitchen Set. This food truck set comes equipped with the tools to make burgers, which is a classic food truck item. However, nowadays many different types of foods are served out of food trucks. Consider allowing your child to think out of the box with a sushi or pasta food truck. Vamp up your child’s food truck set with the Roll, Wrap & Slice Sushi Counter. Serving sushi out of their truck is sure to bring in the crowds. The Prepare & Serve Pasta Set could also be a great addition to your child’s personal food truck. Pasta is always a hit! From burgers to sushi to pasta, your child will love the food truck experience.

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Summer Grilling

Cookouts are so much fun in the summer sun! While experiencing an enjoyable evening with family and friends, your little one is sure to want to join in on the cooking. New Sprouts® Grill It! allows your child to have fun grilling alongside you. Equipped with steak, chicken breast, and burgers, this grill set will help your child learn to be a master griller this summer. After supper, dessert is always served at cookouts, and your little one will definitely want to help with the cake baking. Your child can make his or her own (play) cake in the oven of the Chef’s Play Kitchen & Bonus Accessory Set. Your little one will enjoy getting to be just like you with their personal play kitchen. Playing a part in the summer grilling fun will make your child feel like he or she is an excellent helper.

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The different experiences your child can have with food this summer can serve as teachable moments for you to use as a parent. Introduce your child to different foods by allowing him or her to taste and pretend to make them. Making the experience of trying new foods fun is sure to make your little one more excited about preparing and trying new foods in the future. Your child will love having fun with (play) food this summer!

What’s your child’s favorite (play) food dish to make? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

Memorial Day Fun with Your Little One

19 May

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Memorial Day is quickly approaching! What better way to spend the long weekend than quality time with your little one? Explore the outdoors during Memorial Day weekend and show respect to those who have lost their lives while serving our country with the following Memorial Day activities for children.

Outdoor Adventures

Pool

It’s the end of May, the sun is shining, and a day at the pool has never sounded better! Your child will love relaxing in the pool with you on Memorial Day, but what’s a pool day without toys and floats? Your little one can float the weekend away in the pool on the Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon Inflatable Ride-On Float or Jumbo Flip Flop Pool Float. Your family can also enjoy some fun in the sun with the Big Kahuna and Lil’ Kahuna Ball Set.

Games

Spend some quality time with your child on Memorial Day by playing games together. Do you have a favorite game to play with your little one? It can be as simple as game of tag or hide-and-go-seek. You could even make a dodgeball tournament a family affair with the Coop Scatter Dodgeball Game. Making time to play games with your child during Memorial Day weekend is a great way to get the quality time in you both desire.

Grilling Out

After so many activities, bellies will be rumbling! Though there isn’t much for little ones to do while you cook on a hot grill, New Sprouts® Grill It! will allow your child to participate by working alongside you and making pretend burgers for the crowd. As you know, every moment counts, so embrace your youngster’s desire to be just like you.

Showing Respect

The purpose of Memorial Day is to show respect to those who have lost their lives while fighting for our country. It’s important to teach your child the value of showing respect for those who have died while serving the U.S. Armed Forces. By participating in the following activity together, you and your child can show respect to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

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Wave the Flag

Materials:

  • Small American flag

What to Do:

  1. Recite the following rhymes, modeling each line’s appropriate action.
  2. Have your child practice the rhymes several times.

Wave the Flag

Wave the flag high, (wave a small flag or hands in the air)

Up to the sky, (point to the sky)

Red, white and blue, (show one finger for red, two for white, three for blue)

We salute you. (put right hand over the heart)

See Our Flag (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)

See our flag wave

In the land of the brave,

Red, white and blue,

To our country we are true.

More to Do:

  • Art: Have your child make copies of the original American flag. Give each child a 4” x 6” piece of white paper with a square in the upper left-hand corner and 13 uncolored stripes. Starting at the top, have the children color every other stripe red and the square blue. Give them 13 silver adhesive stars to place on the blue square. Help the children tape a craft stick to the backs of the flags for a flagpole.
  • More Art: Have your child cut out pictures of red, white, and blue food from old magazines and use them to make collages.

Source: The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities

 How do you plan to celebrate Memorial Day? Share your plans by commenting below!

Stargazing: Ways to Encourage Children To Look Up!

5 May

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As the weather warms up, the opportunities for activities in the great outdoors increases. It also creates the perfect time to lie down and look up at the sky. Generally loved by all, the popular subject of space and the act of stargazing and planet observation is free and accessible to everyone. Between all the family adventures to the lake, car trips to far away theme parks, and weekly visits to your neighbor’s pool—there are those “normal” nights that create the perfect time for making family memories. So be sure to leave some SPACE in your family’s free time to explore the great night sky. Here are some of our ideas to get your family looking up in wonder!

Introduction to the Stars

Stargazing starts with opportunity. Camping is a fantastic way to combine family time with star exploration, but we understand it is not for everyone. If you live in a brightly lit area, move to a darker venue by asking around to friends or families whose houses may have a better view of the sky. If your backyard is already a perfect fit, create a “viewing lounge” by placing pillows and blankets into the back of a pickup truck, a blow up kiddie pool, or even lay out on a Star Wars™ Millenium Falcon Float. Remember to provide your family with the viewing tools they need like a telescope. Set the stage for relaxation with a playlist of space themed music playing softly in the background. Remember that every child has different interests and attention spans, so try to keep the activity age-appropriate. For younger children, stargaze for shorter amounts of time and provide them with general information. For older children, introduce them to a few easy-to-spot, major constellations like the The Big Dipper/Ursa Major and Orion. For those scared of the dark, stargazing can be done during the day by exploring eclipses and the sun (a giant star) cycles. Just don’t forget your sunglasses!

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For the Current Space Fanatic

If your child already has a love for the stars, you can keep that passion alive by giving them lots of astronomy resources. Be sure to provide your space lover with plenty of space related reading material. We suggest The Solar System and Beyond set and The Solar System Book Set. It is likely that if your child loves stargazing they may enjoy Star Wars. While stargazing, let them play with a Star Wars Lego Set or even a Light-Up Death Star Beach Ball. Star location apps are great for both parents and children, as you easy find position of stars and constellations in your piece of the night sky. With the official NASA app you can see current mission photos and even track satellites! Finally, we suggest hosting a stargazing party with plenty of space-themed snacks like this galaxy popcorn. Follow up by watching a space related children’s movie outdoors (like Wall*E or Muppets from Space).