Tips and Advice

Reading Fun

Reading Fun
Of course, there are lots of fun active things to do all summer, but to keep your kids ready for school work, there are a few fun reading activities you can do with them throughout the summer. The key is to make it fun, and not have them realize they are doing work! Who knows, your kids might even enjoy reading (I did)!

– Create a bucket list. Start by brainstorming. If they are at a loss for books they want to read, take them to the library and bookstore, and let them roam until they can find 10-12 books that sound good to them. As they complete the list throughout the summer, give them a small incentive for completing each book. (Customize the incentive to each child – a late night up, an ice cream, a small item from a toy store.)

– Make a bingo board game. Whether it’s one child, or a few children, you can just make it a race to complete bingo. Make fun squares – like “reading at night with a flashlight,” “reading outside wearing sunglasses,” “reading to a friend,” “reading in a bathing suit.” Again, the great part is you can customize it to things you know would be fun for them. Being that this game would take a little longer to complete, make a bigger incentive – pizza night, or a day at the beach.

– If you aren’t feeling too creative, contact the local library. Find out what their summer reading programs are – they all have something, some more involved than others, but chances are one of the local libraries will have something that sounds fun to your kids.

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DIY Tips and Advice

Young Entrepreneurs

School is out and the kids are home! The weather is nice and it’s a great time to spend quality time with the children. A great way to do that is setting up a lemonade stand! The kids can help make the lemonade. Grab a few fresh lemons and cut them in half. Juice them into a pitcher. Add sugar, water and ice. You can also make it a “fancy” drink by adding raspberries. Drop some raspberries to the bottom of the pitcher and crush them with a large spoon. Then you can do the traditional steps to make lemonade. Squeeze the lemons; add water, sugar and ice. Construct a lemonade stand by taking an ordinary desk or table and tie a large sign to the front. The sign should say “Lemonade!” and the cost of each cup. If you don’t want to charge, you don’t have to. It can show the kids to be more kind to people by offering them a free cool beverage. This is a great way to spend time outside, and show kids what it is like to own their own business. It would teach them to be nice to customers and at the same time they are learning basic people skills and the value of a dollar. At the end of the lemonade sale, take them to the toy store and they can spend their earnings!

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DIY General Inspiration

This Summer Thar Be Treasure

This Summer That Be Treasure

What kid doesn’t love a good hide and seek? Now that school is out, your kids will be out playing in the water sprinkler to cool off, or maybe in the pool pretending to be a shark or even a pirate!? A fun activity to help your small pirate is to give them a treasure hunt they will never forget.
To prepare this fun game grab a piece of paper and in large letters write a clue to where the treasure will be. (Depending on the children’s age make the riddle easy or hard) After writing the riddle, turn the paper over and start tearing the paper into about eight to ten small pieces. On each piece, write a clue that tells where the next piece is. (One way to keep track of the pieces is to number a corner of each piece.) Work your way down in numbers, so piece nine is a clue to where clue ten is, piece eight tells where clue nine is, and so on. Piece number one must be given to the kid(s) to start the hunt. Once they have all 10 pieces then can fit them together and turn it over to reveal the last clue/riddle of where the treasure is!
To the parents that wish to go all out and make the treasure hunt more realistic take another paper and pour some black coffee on it to give it the very old and dark brown look. After the paper dries write a small story of how buried treasure was hidden in the house and clue were left all around to the whereabouts of it. put clue one in the paper and roll it up and tie a string around it. putting the rolled up story somewhere noticable. when the kids come home say you were cleaning and you found something and ask them to go grab it, when they open it and read it or have you read it, watch as their eyes light up with excitement to go on a treasure hunt in their own home.
Good luck me mates, Yo Ho!


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General Tips and Advice

Summer Plans

Sometimes, the hardest part of summer is having too much time on your hands. Every morning, coming up with a plan of what to do with your children can be a daunting task. A great solution one of my friends suggested to me was to make a big chart at the begining of the summer full of fun ideas. +
The best way to do it is to get everyone involved. Hold a fun family night – and get everyone thinking (last year I got everyone hats and called them their thinking caps). Get a big piece of poster board, and number before your night begins (also find a wall – we usually put it in our kitchen, where it will be hung for the whole summer). Decide going into the night what the minimum amount of ideas you would want to come up with is. Generally 20-30 ideas is a good start depending on your schedule.
Then start brainstorming, and fill it in. Make sure to come up with a variety – time and cost of the events – don’t let the kids create a list that would bankrupt you by the end of summer – and don’t come up with too many ideas that will only last five minutes.
Some fun ideas to contribute:
– Go for a hike
– Swim in a lake
– Build a sand castle
– Make cupcakes
– Camp out in the backyard
– Go to an amusement park
– Sign books out of the library
– Have a pizza party with friends
The best part is, because everyone is contributing to the list, they will already think the ideas are fun, and you won’t have to be too creative on a 90 degree day in July (when all you want to do is sit at the beach and not move a muscle!)

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DIY General Inspiration

Summer Memory Jars

Looking for a unique way to capture your vacation memories? Try making a summer memory jar.
On your next vacation or trip to the beach or park, bring along a few small containers or plastic bags. Put a handful of sand or dirt in a container. Also collect small interesting objects such as stones, shells, feathers and twigs. You never know what treasures you’ll find if you keep your eyes open.
When you get home, find an empty clear glass jar. Put the sand or dirt in the bottom and arrange the other items on top. If you like, you can also add a photograph from the trip or a card with the date and location written on it. All that’s left to do is seal it up, display and enjoy.

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DIY General Tips and Advice

Summer’s here!!

Summer’s here and kids are ready to have fun!! What better way to have fun than some diy outdoor games?  My kids and I love spending time outdoors; the fresh air and exercise are great for the body and mind; and there’s no better way to tire out a toddler!! Great night sleep yay!!
Here’s some fun ideas to get you started:
1. Sponge bombs – these are a fave with my 3 yr old.
Take 3 sponges and cut the lenghtwise into 3 pieces. Then take all 9 pieces and secure in the middle with an elastic. Fluff it up like a pouf ball. We have about 6 of these. soak in a bucket and throw.
2. Foam pit: a fave for my 1.5 yr old
So pool noodles can be used for so many things. Cut them up into 3″ pieces, and fill up a kiddy pool. Add a slide and its like a ball pit but softer. Fill the kiddy pool with water first for even more fun!
3. An obstacle course:
My husband loves to make these in our backyard. We use chair’s, step’s, pool’s, painter’s tape, ball’s and block’s to create a course for the kid’s to climb on, jump over, jump in, climb under. Get creative, make tunnels; tightropes (skipping ropes on the ground); add a sprinkler, kids love the variety, you can change it everytime you do it and it’s free!
Most of all get outside and have fun playing. Its definitely one of the best ways to unwind after a long day or week, for you and your kid’s.
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Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Skylight Dilemma?!

Skylight Dilemma?!

If you woke up today with the sun and heat glaring down on you from a skylight above your bed, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one.  Even better, there is a solution to your problems! When building, a lot of people think that putting a skylight in the bedroom will give good
lighting, and a feeling of openness.  The only issue is that often times people don’t consider that in the summer months, when the sun comes up early, it is going to wake you up! Luckily, there are shades designed to hang up in these openings.

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