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Jul. 30th, 2007

hands

sassy_red_head

The Job Jar

This idea is inspired by this post.

Basically, the idea is that when your kid is misbehaving, in addition to a time out they must do a chore that they wouldn't normally be required to do.  I say normally required because I think kids should have age appropriate chores to teach responsibility such as cleaning up after themselves, separating their laundry etc.

Anyways, the jobs would either all be written on paper and chosen at random out of a jar or I would just pick one based on what needed to be done around the house.

What types of jobs would you include in this (feel free to specify age groups)?

Jul. 29th, 2007

hair

sassy_red_head

Cheap Entertainment for kids

I'm compiling this list primarily from this article.  Please leave more ideas in the comments and I'll edit the list!


  1. Large cardboard boxes - Perfect for making houses and small castles. A large cardboard box can entertain an imaginative child for hours. Make sure you are nearby to take pictures and plenty of door knocking. Hint: look for an appliance store in your area. They often have many of the large boxes they are willing to give you as opposed to putting in the trash.
  2. Rubber band and pencil crazy bot - A simple toy you probably remember from elementary school. Take two unsharpened pencils and wrap a rubber band around the center. Twist the pencils lengthwise against each other (as you would wind a propeller on a toy plane). Set down flat on a table and let the jumping begin. Teach your child not to twist the rubber band too tightly or it will break. Make sure to have plenty of extra rubber bands handy just in case.
  3. Origami - Find patterns on line or from a library book and use up scrap paper
  4. Home Depot Kids Workshop - The huge hardware conglomerate is a great refuge for Dads everywhere, but now they offer kids workshops one Saturday per month (check your local Home Depot for time and location). At the workshop kids learn how to build birdhouses, bat houses, stock car racers, airplanes, wooden flowerpot holders and more. It's a great Saturday morning activity where your kids can learn the skills necessary to fix your roof when you get too old to climb up there.
  5. Plant something - A simple way to teach young children how to take care of a living organism is to plant something. You can use containers made of old plastic cups with holes in the bottom or you can plant outdoors depending on the season. Digging in dirt is great fun for a child. They are also thrilled when the little baby plant awakens from the soil. Suddenly, they have something fragile to take care of. Hint: I find that planting green beans provides the quickest results. Bean plants begin to poke their heads through the soil in just a few short days.
  6. Water sprinkler - While watering the lawn, water your kids too. On a hot summer day, your grass needs 30 minutes of water. Send your kid out in a bathing suit and you'll kill two birds with one stone.
  7. Bubbles bubbles everywhere - Kids and adults alike love to blow bubbles. Mix up your own batch by pouring a teaspoon or so of dish soap into a cup and adding approximately 3 teaspoons of water. Stir and then test. You can make a free bubble wand by unbending a large paperclip and folding it back into a triangle with a small handle. You may need to add a little more soap or water to get the perfect bubble. Hint: pour the bubble solution into a small plate so it's easier to get the bubble film onto the bubble wand.
  8. Catch Fireflies - As a kid, I remember fond days of catching fireflies and putting them into a mayo jar with holes punched in the lid. Your kids will love it too. If you don't have wooded areas in your yard, you can find a park. The fireflies should begin to light the sky around dusk. Teach your kids how to gently catch them by letting them land in their hand. You can collect them into a jar, but please be sure to let them go at the end of the evening so they don't die. (This teaches responsibility and respecting nature.)
  9. Tin can and string telephone - You don't necessarily need tin cans for this project. Two plastic or styrofoam cups and some twine will do.  This project gets your child's physics education off to a great start by teaching vibration and harmonics. Hint: Try the phone under doors and around corners of your house. If you keep the string taut it will still work.
    1. Using a tack or the end of a pin, punch a hole into the center of the bottom of each cup.
    2. Cut a piece of light string 25 feet or longer.
    3. Feed one end of the string through the hole of one of the cups
    4. Tie a large knot on the string so it doesn't fall back through the hole.
    5. Feed the other end of the string through the other cup and tie a knot like you did for the first cup.
    6. Now give the cup to your child and walk away from each other until the string is tight.
    7. Now you can whisper back and forth into your child's new telephone.
  10. Make Playdough - See this entry for instructions
  11. Do science experiments - There are a bunch of ideas on this site.  Any other good resources for this idea?

Jul. 20th, 2007

burn

sassy_red_head

Creating deep connections through crafts.

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections

Between work and school, music lessons, and sports practice, there is less and less time to connect as a family. Those few moments together are often spent making meals, doing homework, or watching TV. In this inspiring book, Amanda Soule, a young mother of three, presents simple ways to use arts and crafts and other forms of creativity to deepen family connections.
For parents of all backgrounds, The Creative Family offers unique creative activities for the whole family. The range of projects includes: imaginative play such as dress up, home theater and parlor games; arts and crafts such as family drawing time and knitting with children; nature explorations such as creating garden journals and making natural toys; and family celebrations that include making music and displaying children's art. These fun and engaging alternatives to television, video games, and the computer are meant to captivate children´s imaginations, celebrate their achievements, and express love and gratitude as a family.

Jul. 19th, 2007

bridal

sassy_red_head

Crafts

When I have a kid of the appropriate age, I will make them play-dough and hide the colour in the middle.

INSPIRATION FOUND HERE
Tags: ,

May. 21st, 2007

vintage

sassy_red_head

DVD players in cars.

Here is a link to a great piece about the use of DVD players in cars for the entertainment of children. This mirrors my own views. An excerpt:

"No one said that parenting was supposed to be easy, but parents are taking the easy way out when they plug their kids into a DVD. Instead, parents should be willing to do the extra work, choose the route and travel times carefully, and do the extra planning that’s required for a long road trip."

Mar. 20th, 2007

moppet

sassy_red_head

Early Concepts on Death

When your kid asks you what being dead is, what are you going to say?

Feb. 16th, 2007

mom hair

sassy_red_head

A Healthy Apetite

Last night Brent and I were hanging out with his sister at their parents' house while they were out for dinner.  Her kids were "sleeping" in the master bedroom (I don't know why) and Heather would got tell them to stop goofing around during commercial breaks in Grey's anatomy (first time I've seen it).  

One time she went up and we heard a bit of a commotion and she came down silently laughing her ass off.

What happened?

She went up and saw her daughter was chewing on something.

H - What are you eating?
M - Marshmellows
H- WHERE did you get that?
M- Points to dresser
H- Spit them out!...Looks in her hand to find her fathers ear plugs....USED ear plugs...

Feb. 6th, 2007

moppet

sassy_red_head

Birthday Presents

I know that any kids we have won't be in want of anything.  They will have many hand-me downs from their cousins who are already swimming in excesses of 'stuff'.  They will have at least one set of grandparents who will spoil them with gifts all year round.  I'm sure of this, which brings me to an idea I read about in another community.

No-gift birthday parties.  Sure gifts are great but a party with all your friends running around and being crazy kids is pretty great too.  And I'm sure that the parents will be relieved about not having to buy gifts for the classmates of their children.  Obviously, family would still give gifts (like I could stop them!)

There are many options that can go hand-in-hand with this:

  • no gifts at all
  • gifts will be donated to a local charity (children's hospital, foster center etc)
  • specify a type of gift (ex: please bring things we can bring to the animal shelter)
  • organise party activities that revolve around giving and being good citizens (ex. get older kids invovled in making food for a homeless shelter)

Do you folks have any ideas on ways to get a birthday away from being excessively materialistic and more about having fun, sharing positive experiences and growing good humans?

Tags:

Jan. 23rd, 2007

hair

sassy_red_head

Personal Space

I will not shove/shake toys in my baby's face.  I will let them take in their surroundings without treating them like they have an attention span of an MTV viewer.

Dec. 14th, 2006


metahara

Parenting styles

simply put:
Imagine a Bell Curve that reads
STRICT  FIRM  PASSIVE
the three variations in parenting
  • Strict parenting results in deviant behavior as the will of the child will prevail/rebel or it results in a weak diminished/suppressed  child who can't think for herself. A Strict parent stifles and stunts the growth until the child acts out or caves in.
  • Passive parenting results in a child having to  find the boundaries in any situation by herself. A parent who tries to be their child's friend has boundary issues that could harm the child and adversely affect the development of the child. Passive parents are like time bombs. They, "let it go, it's ok, so what, haha, no big deal" - being passive, passive, passive about everything can only last for so long before - kaboom they blow- usually over something that is not worthy of half the response. It's crazy making and paranoia inducing. Passive parents are also those parents that are raised by their kids...the roles are reversed.
  • The Firm parent has certain limits set for the child for protection and to aid the child in  assimilating into society with consideration and awareness of others. I've witnessed children of firm parents thrive knowing someone is there looking out for them, setting the reasonable limit, watching out for safety and guiding the big decisions. Within the firm parenting style are many situations that allow the child to make decisions and learn to trust themselves without endangering or infringing on others rights, disregarding others property, time, space, etc. They know they have back up, they know what is and is not negotiable, they don't have to be the adult, they get to be the kid. It's a safe place to grow from.

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