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Kids and Math Not Mixing? Try THIS!

14 Apr

So kids don’t always care for numbers and they may be tired of their money sheets at school where they have to add the coins together. Well today I got a little one extremely excited about adding money.

All I did was give her a handful of spare change and told her she can have as much as she can count. This got her extremely excited. I gave her as many tries as she wanted and she ended up counting the correct amount of all of it and got to keep it! A whole .53 cents!!!! 🙂 She was pretty excited and learned how to count money a little better.

It was a good experience for both of us. She added money to her piggy bank and I got rid of change in my car.

 

10 Steps for Fun Camping, Even at Home!

22 Mar

This weekend I went camping and I had a great time. I also realized that camping is such a great activity for kids. While I think it is wonderful to take the kids for a weekend and go “for real camping” like out in nature, tent, fishing, in the woods, making fire with your bare hands (joke), this is also an activity that you can do at home. Maybe you don’t have the time to take the time off for the weekend and plan such a trip or maybe you are babysitting just for an evening camping can be for any one at any time. This can also be a learning experience for the kids. Here is how to camp at home.

Just take the basic ideas of camping and make them happen at home.

1. Collect everything you need including tent, food, bedding, fishing poles, flash lights, etc. This can be a learning experience helping them to understand what you need for camping. If you want to get really intense here is a fun check list that I found online. Intense Camping Checklist

2. Set up the tent either in the back yard or over their own bed. Tents can be found at Walmart for pretty cheap and they are super easy to set up or you can build your own out of sheets.  If you are building your own you can use chairs to hang sheets on outside or build it over their bed by attaching the sheets to the walls, connecting the corners with tough string and hanging the sheets over the string. Or just go here: Walmart Tents

3. If you can build a fire in your back yard GO FOR IT! If it is illegal, please don’t. Or you can get really creative and take a small fan and tape some red or orange fabric strips on it and turn it on to make it look like fire. If you have your own fire place, make some s’mores! If you don’t have a fireplace and can’t make one in your backyard, just throw them in the microwave. 🙂

4. Fishing poles. Get a little pool or a pretend pool and FISH! You don’t have to have real poles either. Just take a stick, string, and something small that could be used as bait and just pretend.

5. Decorate your surroundings. Get as many wild animal stuffed animals that they have and set them around. If you are in their room, turn the lights off and just have a flashlight on. Find sticks and logs if you are outside, if you are inside just make it dark and as nature like as possible. If they have a closet that you can all fit in, clear it out and make it a new hiding spot to camp in.

6. Tell stories! Either make up your own or look some up online. Here is a site with a list of camping stories. Make sure they are age appropriate. Don’t scare little ones too much. This site also has other camping tips if you want to browse around more. Camping Stories

7. Get a CD of nature sounds. These are easy to find either look on Amazon to find one you like or go on iTunes. But these sounds are fun to play while you are pretend camping.

8. Sing songs and tell stories about each other. This is a time to bond. You turn the TV off, no more video games, just each other. Take the time to learn something new about each other.

9. Play games. Now these games don’t have to be played while camping but I think these are fun. A favorite game of mine is called “Chubby Bunny” Now just a warning, please don’t make yourself sick from this game, because it is possible, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you. Chubby Bunny is a game in which participants place marshmallows in their mouth and try to say, “Chubby Bunny.” If you’re the one who can say it with the most marshmallows in you mouth, you win! Simple and hilarious. Here is a list of top 10 games and how to play them. Remember to choose age appropriate games. Campfire Games

10. Have FUN! Always a great rule. Go all out. Like I said before, turn off the video games and TV. They will not get bored with this but you have to plan it out in advance so you can keep them entertained. We are constantly competing with technology but I am a big advocate of turning that stuff off and finding something more productive and fun to do. A little technology is ok but camping is a great alternative.

I will be sure to post some pictures of my camping experience soon enough and tell you all about it. 🙂

Go Green with the Kids

2 Mar

The trendy phrase “Going Green” is something that kids hear about frequently but what does it mean to them. Take a day to spend outside and explain to them what it means. Two girls that I babysit wanted to go down to the creek. I was excited to take them because so many kids forget about “The Great Outdoors.” Children are so consumed and more excited and entertained by technology than they are about the outdoors. So we went to the creek and we cleared out the leaves and the trash so the water would flow. They were so excited to hear the water. Everything was so quiet and you could hear the trickling of the creek. We found treasures (fun rocks, pretty leaves, etc) and hid them in a special place. Next week we are going to build a box, decorate it, and paint it to hold all of our treasures. Do some research on leaves, trees, dirt, etc. and teach something new to the kids. Take the time to look at all of the unique lines on the leaves. The great unknown of the earth is full of new experiences for the kids who have grown up with a cell phone in their hand. Plant something with the kids. Buy some seed and either get them a pot to grow something in their room or have them plant something outside. Teach them how to take care of the plant just like they would a pet. Teaching them appreciation for the earth will stick with them for a long time to come.

Activities for a SNOW DAY!

1 Feb

SNOW DAY!! You may be home today with the kids and you want to enjoy this beautiful snow. So far you have already done snow angels and you have just put the finishing touches on the snowman. Fresh out of ideas. Well, you’re in luck! Here are just a few snow crafts and activities that you can do today. Click the link at the bottom for even MORE snow fun! Make sure to bundle up and take frequent brakes so you don’t get too cold and get sick. Drink water. Be safe today. Watch out for ice and be careful where you step. The snow can be fun but also dangerous. BE FUN SAFELY!! These activities courtesy of TLC.

Snow Boot Two-Step

What You’ll Need:

Snow boots
Winter clothes

This tough-to-master version of follow the leader requires 2 or more players. The leader makes a path in freshly fallen snow.

His or her teammates must try to step in exactly the same spots. The object of the game is to make it seem as if only one person has taken a walk through the snow.

Can you pull it off? It takes balance and agility! Be sure to bundle up to stay warm and dry.

Snowscape Stomp!

What You’ll Need:

  • Snow boots
  • Tablespoon
  • Paintbrushes
  • Food coloring
  • Paper cups
  • Water

Does it look like winter weather has put a freeze on creative fun? Think again! Grab your gloves and your paintbrushes, and that snowy hillside becomes an artist’s canvas.

Mix 2 tablespoons water with 10 drops food coloring in a paper cup (make as many colors as you desire).

Go outside and march out a playful pattern of footprints in the snow. Splatter splashes of color in each frosty track, and watch the magic begin.

Be sure to check for chilly changes later as the snow begins to melt and the colors soften.

Remember that food coloring stains if it gets on clothing or light-colored boots, so be sure to wear old clothes your mom won’t mind getting splattered. And don’t forget to bundle up.

How to Make Frozen Bubbles

What You’ll Need:

Measuring cup
Soap powder
Sugar
Hot water
Bowl
Spoon or whisk
Bubble wand

This is an activity for a cold, cold (below freezing) day when there is no wind in the air.

Start by making a strong bubble solution. Mix 1/2 cup soap powder, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 cups hot water. (This mixture will help the bubbles last longer.)

Take the bubble solution and a bubble wand outside. Blow a bubble, and catch it on the wand.

Let the bubble sit resting on the wand in the cold air. In the below-freezing chill, the bubble will soon freeze into a fragile crystal ball.

Making a Snow Snake!

What You’ll Need:

  • Snowy field
  • Warm clothes and gloves
  • Bits of food

Everyone’s heard of a snowman. But making a slithering snow snake is ssssserious fun.

Instead of making a snowman of 3 large balls, try a snow snake made of as many ­basketball-size snow sections as you can make. Once you’ve lined your snow snake balls up, carve out a pointed head and rattling tail at either end of the snake.

Decorate your snake with bits of food, such as raisins. These will be good treats for hungry birds and squirrels.

MORE SNOW CRAFTS FOR KIDS!!! CLICK HERE FOR MORE CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN DO IN THE SNOW!

I hope you enjoy these unique crafts!

Take pictures of the snow, your crafts, or funny pictures of the kids and e-mail them to babysitterblab@gmail.com and they will be featured in the next post!!

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