August 23, 2006

Bug Safari

Here's a fun thing to do when the weather's great and you want to take a nature walk... go on a bug safari! Fill your backpack with a few snacks and a couple of jars with lids.

As you walk, look for insects like ants, spiders, worms and beetles. Look under rocks and old logs. You'll be surprised at what you'll find!

Gently capture the bugs...

with tweezers, fingers, or gloves and place them in the jars you brought with you and take them back to your picnic area and observe them while you eat.

Watch out for bugs and insects that sting.
Make sure you help your child understand which bugs or insects will sting and which will not. Many times, a child will not grow to fear insects - especially stinging ones if they are taught to admire them in their individual beauty and industry. Bugs are fascinating to children.

The joy of being outside with your child is watching him or her experience the wonder of discovery. Children love to find things and watch movement and what better way to engage them in the process of observation than to go on a bug hunt. It's fun, it's educational, and your child will begin to appreciate the beauty and symmetry of nature.

It's good exercise too!


Want to learn more about making great paper airplanes? Check out the Easy Paper Airplanes website and download 10 Easy to Make Paper Airplane Designs today!

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Labor Day Party Games

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over and Labor Day is just around the corner. Alas, all good things must come to an end, or so they tell us.

Why not make the end of summer one to remember for you, your friends and family? Why not have a party to say farewell to lazy day activities and welcome in the fall season?

Here are some great tips for having a fun at your Labor Day Party. Try out some of these games. Most of them are for kids, but even adults like playing them sometimes!

* Have a water balloon fight. Not only cools everyone off, but kids and adults can both enjoy it!

* Guess how many candies are in a jar. Winner is the person who guesses closest to the actual amount. You can have a prize for the winner and another prize for the person who is the farthest off from the amount of M&Ms.

* Have bubble gum available and have a bubble-blowing contest.

* Have a stomp rocket or water balloon challenge - highest, farthest, slowest, etc...

* Have a paper airplane contest.

* Have a 3-legged race.

* If you have a pool, play Marco-Polo.

* Get a net for your pool, stretch it across the width and play water polo.
Play limbo. How low can you go?

* Play "keep away" with anything that you can throw (providing it's not something that would hurt you) like a plastic water bottle or a water balloon.

* If you are near a large enough area, play "Pickle". Everyone loves pickle!

* Another field-type game would be "Kick the Can" - an old favorite of mine from childhood.

If you think back, there are so many childhood games that can be taken out, dusted off and played with great delight. Think back to your own childhood, I'm sure the games you grew up with will come to light.

In the event that it's raining (oh no!) Get cozy with a bunch of fun and easy appetizers and play card games. There are two many to list here, but we all know a few. Cards bring people together and create a lively atmosphere - particularly if it's a competitive group.

Want to be the brain of the group? Read up on how Labor Day got started and impress your friends with your historical knowledge.

Have a great Labor Day celebration!

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August 13, 2006

More One-liner Projects

Every so often, I like to post a quick list of projects you can do within a moment's notice. It's simple. Print these out and have them handy for that inevitable time when your little one comes to you and says, "Mom, I'm bored. What can I do?" Have fun with these. Kids really seem to enjoy them and there's an educational value attatched as well without them even knowing it!

These fun, one-liner projects came home from school with my 2nd-going-on-3rd grader...

  1. Spread peanut butter on a large round cracker. Add raisins to make a face. Yummy!

  2. Keep track of the fruits and vegetables you eat in one day. How many kinds did you eat?

  3. Imagine that you have just discovered a new planet. Draw what you might see there.

  4. Listen to music and clap out the rhythm

  5. Write as many addition facts as you can in one minute.

  6. Tape a ruler on a narrow jar. See how much rain falls in the jar.

  7. What can you pack a raw egg in so that it will not break when it's dropped? Test your idea.

  8. Weigh yourself. What is the difference between your weight and a family member's?

  9. Trace around your foot. Make a picture out of the shape.

  10. Ask someone to draw a wiggly line. Make a picture out of it.

  11. Fnish this sentence with two words that rhyme: I'ts fun to see a ... (Example: ball fall.)

  12. How many water faucets do you have inside and outside your home?

  13. Pretend that you are a book character. Write a newspaper ad for an item you have lost.

  14. Make a wanted poster for a book you'd like to read.

  15. Estimate how long you can stand on one foot. Try it.

  16. Write words from the letters that go with these numbers on your phone: 9-8-3-2.

  17. Read an article in a newspaper or magazine. Tell someone about it.

  18. Draw a map showing the route ou take to go from home to school.

  19. Put an object in a lunch bag. Your family may only ask yes-and-no questions to guess what it is.

  20. Ask someone to give you three-step directions. Follow the directions.

  21. On a paper plate, glue on magazine pictures to make a nutritious meal for your family.

  22. Plant some flower seeds in a place that needs to be made more beautiful.

  23. Put an ice cube in a plastic cup, a can, and foam cup. Which ice cube lasts the longest?

  24. Look around with a magnifying glass for 15 mintues. What interesting things did you see?

  25. Read a book outdoors.

Have Fun!

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