Summer Homeschool Projects to Get Your Kids Outdoors


Outside Projects for Homeschoolers


When the days are warmer and longer, the beautiful sunny weather makes homeschool lessons more and more difficult to do indoors. Why sit inside and stare at textbooks when you can teach your kids some lessons in the great outdoors? We've got summer homeschool projects to get your kids outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. Read on for homeschool activities you can do outside with the kids!

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Summer Homeschool Projects to Get Your Kids Outdoors




Whether you’re teaching homeschool science, math, or life skills, we’ve compiled a list of some homeschool projects to get your kids outside and learning at the same time!

Grow a Kid-Friendly Garden

Gardening with kids is educational and a good mental and physical workout. Not to mention, digging around in the dirt and planting some flowers with your kids is just good old fashion fun! The internet is full of all sorts of different gardening lesson plans, and you can make this homeschool project as simple or complex as you want.




However, sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to get your kids engaged in a project. Start by building a raised garden bed that is all theirs. If they’re old enough, have them help you put the bed together. This gives them the opportunity to explore their carpentry skills! Next, plant some easy-to-grow vegetable seeds or starts such as beets, potatoes, tomatoes, green onions, beans, and kale.


When the time comes to harvest your plants, you’ll be able to teach your kids a bit about the food industry, and they’ll make the connection that all the vegetables and fruits they eat have to be grown from seed before they make it to their plate!

Education-Based Nature Hike

Hikes are one of the best parts of summer. They get your heart pumping, work up a good sweat and the view at the top of the mountain is always breathtaking. While hiking will definitely fulfill your kids’ PE requirement, it’s also a great time to explore your area’s local climate! Depending on where you live and where you choose to hike, there will be a few different homeschool lessons you can teach. Check out this list of ideas to get started!

Do a Beach Treasure Hunt

As a kid, you probably remember going on a field trip or two to the beach to look for seashells and hermit crabs. The beautiful weather is a great excuse to go do a little hands-on marine biology lesson!




Create your own treasure hunt and have your kids explore the area to find everything on the list. Not only will they learn more about your local environment, but they’ll burn off all that energy by running around trying to collect all their items!

Outdoor Art Projects

Your kids love art projects. They’ll love them, even more, when they get to do them outside! There are a variety of different art projects that utilize plant material to create something beautiful. Some tried and true classics include painting rocks, sun prints, and nature sculptures.

Visit Some Local Historical Landmarks

Who says history lessons have to be taught out of a textbook? Take your kids on a trip to some local landmarks to teach them a little bit about your town’s unique history.




Get in touch with your local museum to see what programs they have going on for kids during the summer. Or, take a day trip to your state’s capital or nearby national or state parks.

Tried and True Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano

Sometimes the classics are hard to beat. Kids love watching stuff explode, but having to clean up the ensuing mess may be a turn-off. Take the mess outside and teach them a little bit about chemical reactions with a baking soda and vinegar volcano. There are hundreds of tutorials on the internet, and this project can be as simple as using a 2L bottle or as complex and crafting a paper mache volcano to go along with the experiment!

Build a Compost Bin

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when we built a compost bin in my 7th-grade science class, I learned so much about building healthy soil and the benefits of compost! Not only will building a compost bin give your kids some experience with woodworking, but they’ll have the first-hand experience of watching kitchen and yard waste turn into a valuable soil additive.




Finish off the lesson by having your kids add your homegrown compost to the garden and observe how the plants respond. Have them predict ahead of time what they think will happen and then help them keep a log of the plant growth and changes.

Bird Watching and Identification

During lunch, take the opportunity to sit outside and do a bit of bird watching! Install a few bird feeders around your yard and you’ll be surprised to see how many of them flock to the seeds. If you can get close enough, you can even make a project out of identifying them. Find a local bird guidebook and have them check off all the different species they find. Or, get out of the house and visit a bird sanctuary.

Take Your Regular Lessons Outdoors

Sometimes getting out and enjoying the outdoors is as easy as taking your regularly scheduled lesson plan outdoors! Establish an outdoor area that your kids can study at without baking in the sun. Consider installing a hardtop gazebo and building a high-quality outdoor table that your kids can comfortably study at.


And when the school day is over, that same gazebo and table can offer your guests a place to hang out on those long summer nights. In the rainy season, you can still use that outdoor space to complete messy projects that you don’t want to do indoors.


What projects are you planning for your kids this upcoming summer? Let us know in the comments below!


Bio: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focusing on everything from gardening and raising chickens to tiny homes and off-grid living.







Traveling with Children

Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation


Traveling with children can either be great fun or really hard work, so a bit of advanced planning goes a long way to making sure the trip is stress-free. How do you successfully plan the perfect family vacation? Keep scrolling to see our tips on traveling with kids.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation when Traveling with Children


What Makes a Good Family Holiday
The answer to what makes a good family vacation depends on what kind of family you are as a whole and the ages of your children. If you’re a family that loves being outdoors and at one with nature, then tent camping and mobile home getaways could be perfect for your family. However, if the thought of anything outdoorsy as a family fills you with fear, then something like an all-inclusive family deal in Florida could be ideal.
The age range of the family is also vital when considering where to take your next vacation as two younger children around the same age are going to be easier to entertain on beach vacations. Having older children can  mean activity holidays or trips where they have clubs to entertain the children while you do a bit of sunbathing.
What you don’t want to do is try and mix too many things together on one trip, such as, trying to incorporate a safari trip with a sightseeing outing when the children are very young, as they are going to lose interest and it will make for a highly stressful trip. Believe me, been there done that!

Stress-Free Travel
The options on how to get to your travel destination all need to be carefully considered because, with children, you need to think about whether they are old enough to travel long distance without having to stop every few hours if you drive, or if they can withstand a 24-hour flight.
The benefits of flying are that the journey can be broken up into sections such as a car trip to the airport, hanging around the departures lounge for a while, spending time on the plane, and then renting a car from Advantage Car Rental to finish the journey at your destination.
Taking a boat or a ferry is always great with kids as the excitement of floating across the water keeps them entertained while you get ready for your vacation to start.
A train is also another great option as you can travel at high speeds across country while not having the expense of plane tickets or the worry of bus timetables (if you decide to go down that route.)

Plan the Food
A significant consideration when planning the perfect vacation is what food choices you'll provide for your children. There are a variety of food plans when on vacation, some harder than others. If you are taking a trip where all-inclusive food and drink is on offer, be sure to thoroughly research if the food offered is child-friendly and if they abide by dietary requirements and food intolerance rules. Many theme parks offer these type of meal plans.
Whether you decide to drive your car or choose a car rental, taking all of your own food and snacks is a great and cost-effective option. It means you know exactly what snacks the children will eat and that they will actually eat it, plus you save money as you only buy and take what you need. However, this is only available to you if you have enough car space and if carrying around all those food selections is not too inconvenient.
If you plan to eat out, make sure that you research all of the available restaurants nearby before you book your trip, as there’s nothing worse than getting to your accommodation after a long journey and finding there is nowhere to eat.
Family vacations are where many amazing memories are made, and with a little forward planning, you can design the perfect trip to fit around you and your children's needs. For more fun family vacation ideas follow us on Instagram.


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Family Road Trip Tips

Top Tips to Prepare for a Family Road Trip


Ready for a mini-vacation? There's no better and more flexible way to see the wonders cross country than by taking a good old-fashioned road trip. Of course long car journeys with kids can be challenging,but they don’t need to be!Here are the top ways to beat backseat boredom and prepare yourself and your children for a stress-free family road trip.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Family Road Trip Tips


Make Plans in Advance
Start your family road trip preparation off right by making your vacation plans well in advance. This includes things like planning your route, downloading maps for the area you’re visiting, and booking your accommodations. This will help to make your trip as organized and as hassle-free as possible. If you need to rent a car for your road trip, be sure to look around for the best deal and book well in advance to get the best rates. Click here to find some great deals on car rentals.

Ensure Safety and Comfort
No one wants to have an uncomfortable, cranky kid on a long car ride. When kids sit in a car for hours, it’s important that they are comfortable, safe, and also have good head support. Make sure that kids are safely buckled in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt for the duration of the trip. To make the journey more comfortable for your kids, bring along a neck pillow and their favorite blanket or stuffed toy.

Plan Lots of Stops
Before hitting the road, be sure to map out your journey. Plug your destination into your smartphone’s map or a mapping website to get a realistic idea of how long your road trip will take. This will also allow you to plan some fun stops along the way. Make sure that you schedule a stop every few hours so the kids can get some fresh air and you can stretch your legs. Bring along a Frisbee or ball, in case you can’t find a playground or other entertainment, at least, you'll be able to toss them around in a parking lot.

Bring Plenty of Snacks
Keep your kids happy when traveling by providing lots of snacks. Things like whole grain crackers, sliced fruit, individually wrapped cheeses, and cereal bars all make excellent road trip snacks. Pack these in separate containers and give them out throughout the trip to keep the kids busy. Packing some snacks for the trip will also save you money as you won’t be at the mercy of whatever roadside food stops have available.

Arrange In-Car Entertainment
Make sure you arrange some entertainment to keep kids occupied on long trips. You can download audio-books and films to watch on an iPad, pack chalkboards and activity books, or plan road trip games to keep kids entertained on the journey. According to Tripsavvy, there are several mobile games and apps that provide hours of entertainment on the road. Check out Road Trip Travel Games on the Google Play store for plenty of classic road trip family activities.

Family road trips don’t have to be stressful. In fact, with a little preparation and planning, your next journey could even end up being the best part of your vacation! Follow these tips to have a fun and stress-free family road trip. Do you have family road trip tips? In the comments,tell us what has worked for you.

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Parent Teen Relationship

How To Build A Closer Relationship With Your Teenager


Having teenagers around the house can be tough and challenging. If you take the right approach, it can also be a happy, rewarding experience. Your child is now grown up and able to interact and connect with you on a deeper level, which is an exciting milestone. So, what do you need to do to build a closer relationship with your teenager?
Keep scrolling for some advice to consider as you strive to build a closer relationship with your teenager and get to know them better. While this is often a difficult task, it's possible, with the right strategy and attitude. Stay patient, some days are easier than others and building a stronger relationship with your teen takes time.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.


Parent Teen Relationship Advice

Spend Quality Time Together

Build a closer relationship with your teenager by committing to spending quality time with them. You can stay indoors and let them teach you how to play their favorite video game or get active together and do activities such as going kayaking, going to the movies, going out for a bike ride, or simply taking a walk on a nice, sunny day. Know that if anything should happen to either of you while biking that you’re protected under the law if you’re not at fault. Contact The Compensation Experts should either of you have a cycling accident and would like to know if you have a case to seek compensation for your damages or injuries.

Practice Open Communication

Another useful tip for building a closer relationship with your teenager is to practice open and honest communication with one another. It's tough at first. When your teen feels comfortable talking to you, you'll likely hear things that surprise, upset, or even hurt you. Bite your tongue and listen. This is a great way to create trust and get on the same page without counseling. Making assumptions or not conversing much will likely cause a lot of conflict between the two of you. It’s okay to have disagreements, but each of you should try to refrain from yelling, name calling, or other forms of intimidation and instead focus on sticking to the facts and speaking in a respectful tone of voice.

Be A Good Listener

In addition to communicating well, you should also work on being a good listener with your teenager. You can build a closer relationship with them by refraining from judging and instead simply opening your ears and listening to their opinions. You may learn a lot from them when you’re open and willing; they too will appreciate that you're taking the time to hear their side of the story and viewpoints on the matter. Take a deep breath and repeat back what your teen is saying at the time instead of having their words go in one ear and out the other and immediately giving your opinion on the topic at hand.

Show A Genuine Interest in Their Life

Build a closer and deeper relationship with your teen when you show an appreciation for and an interest in their life. For example, this includes asking about what’s going on at school and attending their sports games or activities,. You’ll connect better and be more admiring of each other when you respect one another’s lifestyle and choices. Encourage them to try different extracurricular activities and then be there to cheer them on no matter how it is they decide to spend their time.


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How to Get Babies to Sleep Through The Night Tips

The True Secret to Getting Babies to Sleep Through the Night


There is no denying that every parent wants their child to have peaceful sleep throughout the night – an uninterrupted night of great sleep. However, the reality is most kids don’t function that way and will keep waking up time after time, night after night. That’s really frustrating, especially for a parent, as you can't sleep if your young one is awake. So what's the secret on how to get babies to sleep through the night?


How to Get Babies to Sleep Through The Night Tips baby infant toddler


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Even though it’s common for little kids to wake up frequently and “refuse” to take quality naps during the day, there are some things you can do to help your baby sleep better through the night. If you were wondering what you can do to make bedtime better for your infant or toddler, consider the following tips:

Baby Sleep Tips


1. Avoid Over Tiredness

Overtired babies find it hard to sleep, which means that you might think that your child can’t sleep, while it’s actually an effect of over tiredness. It is in your best interest to know your baby’s sleep patterns and to avoid keeping them awake for longer than necessary. Doing so can help you catch the earliest signs of tiredness in your baby, hence address them effectively.

2. Swaddle your Baby

Most babies love being swaddled, and it makes sense! Newborns have just come from a safe environment in their mother’s womb, and they were used to being held tightly, which is why swaddling a baby makes perfect sense. Besides, a swaddled baby won’t be able to hit themselves in the face, which in most cases, wakes them up. Ensure that your baby is comfortable, and you will be surprised by how peaceful their sleep will be through the night (and yours too.)

3. Calm your Baby Before Sleep

Babies need some settling time beforehand as that helps their body to begin a “shut-down” process which enhances better sleep. This is the time when you turn off the TV or music, take your baby to their bedroom which is a quieter environment, and let them have their settling time (10 – 15 minutes.) There are different ways to calm down a baby, dimming the lights and ensuring that the room temperature is perfect are both helpful options. Also, playing nature sounds such as chirping sounds of crickets and other calming nature sounds can help soothe baby.  With these calming techniques, your baby’s mind will easily adjust allowing  them to fall asleep faster and easier.

4. Have a Routine

According to Sleep Reports, a sleep routine for baby’s nap times and bedtimes can help. As far as sleeping is concerned, our bodies “learn” and adjust so that they are always ready for the same process. A bedtime routine can involve activities such as bathing your baby, changing their clothes, feeding them, and then observing some “quiet time.” After the bath, it’s always advisable that you avoid playing, and preserve such moments for cuddling and giving your baby the comfort they need to help them fall asleep.

5. Avoid Over-stimulation

If your baby cannot sleep, the best thing you can do is avoid overstimulating them. Look around your baby’s room, and you’ll notice that it’s probably very stimulating. Lots of shapes, colors, sounds, objects, and even other people.

Of course that was the plan, you designed it to stimulate your baby’s senses.
One of the ways babies can get overstimulated is when you play with them at bedtime or giving them toys to keep them company. This causes them to additional stimulation and makes it hard to sleep throughout the night. It’s the same as when an older child plays video games at bedtime.

6. Embrace the Sun

When a baby’s “body clock” is off schedule, it can be “reset” by exposing them to the sun, whether it means opening the blinds once your baby is awake or taking them for a morning walk in their stroller. Wondering how that makes them sleep better? If your baby’s sleep patterns aren't set, they’ll have some trouble sleeping through the night. However, correcting that by exposing them to sunlight once they wake up, helps your baby sleep better at night.

7. Avoid Sleeping Props

One thing you always want to keep in mind is that babies learn by association. Once you understand that, you should discourage using sleep props to lure your baby to rest. Sleep props are things that you regularly use, such as, feeding or cuddling, to encourage your baby to sleep. If you use sleeping props as solutions to get your baby to fall asleep, your baby will get used to them, which means that you have to use such “solutions” every time the baby needs to sleep. As long as your baby is relaxed and not over-stimulated or over-tired, you don’t have to stimulate them to fall asleep – they’ll do so automatically.

8. Handle Night Wakings 

It’s normal for your baby to wake up at night for diaper changes and nighttime feeding during the first few months. When such situations arise, they should be handled correctly so that your baby won’t find it hard to go back to sleep again.

The most important thing you can do is to ensure that you remain in their bedroom if it’s time to feed or change their diapers. Don’t take them to another room or they will learn this routine. Also keep the room as dark as you can, but ensure that you can see around the room comfortably. You also have to avoid making any unnecessary interactions with your baby – stick to simple feeding and changing.
Once you’ve done everything your baby needs, it’s time to get your baby back to sleep. This is something you need to do quickly to ensure your baby doesn’t get confused thinking it’s time to rise and shine. Make it less complicated, as you want your baby to start learning that they need to sleep through the night.

In some cases, your baby might wake up only for you to find out that they are not hungry nor do they need a diaper change. During such times, you should only give them gentle pats or strokes to encourage them to go back to sleep.

As a result, getting your baby to sleep through the night should not be impossible. One thing you need to know, however, is that some babies are just better at sleeping than other babies, which is why the above tips might not always work effectively for every kid out there. If you have repeated issues with bouts of crying, you’ll want to check your baby for colic or other health concerns. 



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Things to do in Indy with Teenagers

Fun Activities to do with Teens in Greater Indianapolis


Did you type in your search bar, 'fun activities with teens near me' or  'things to do with teens near me?' If you're looking for fun things to do with teenagers in Indiana, we're compiling a list and editing it often! No matter the season, whether you live in Indiana or you're on vacation, you'll find things to do with teens as a family. These Indiana things to do are also perfect for your teenagers birthday parties.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Things to do in Indy with Teenagers Fun Activities to do with Teens in Greater Indianapolis

Things to do with Teens in the Greater Indianapolis Area


Fishers Castleton Noblesville Carmel



Axe Throwing Review, Kid Friendly?

Oh my gosh, it's fun! Is axe throwing safe for kids? Well, it's no less safe for kids than it is for adults, particularly for adults who've been drinking. Is axe throwing safe? If you follow the rules, if you go slow, if you pay attention to your surroundings, yes! 


axe throwing teen birthday party teenagers parties in Indy Indiana


They'll give you a quick lesson, tips, and rules to follow. Make sure everyone listens. For me, the hardest thing to remember was to wait for the other thrower to throw BEFORE you go after your axe. Think of it like bowling. Be polite and go one at a time. Then, when you're both done throwing, go together to retrieve your axes. 

Tip:  It's a hour. It seems pricey for an hour, but you'll be tired and your muscles will ache. Got a kid who doesn't listen and likes to run around? Don't bring them here. Everyone is required to sign a waiver.

Love it? They also offer axe throwing leagues... for real.


Axe throwing with teenagers kids in indy fishers near me


  • Tomahawk Throwing at Conner Prairie, Fishers, Indiana. Ask about Tomahawk Throwing when you purchase your ticket at the gate. There's lots to do at Conner Prairie, but this is probably the thing teenagers will most enjoy. Conner Prairie also offers balloon rides, weather permitting.






Tip:  What makes Bounce U more teen friendly than other bounce and jump places? It's not all slides and bounce houses. You can box, sumo, and joust. Also, they lead the teens in the activities while you sit and use the wifi or participate, whichever you prefer.


un activities to do with teens in indy fishers things to do with teenagers



  • Dave and Buster's, Castleton, Indiana is a fun place for teenagers. They offer many youth activities including birthday parties for teens and kids of all ages. Enjoy bowling, pool, arcade games, virtual reality games, and dancing games

  • Woodland Bowl on 96th Street, Indianapolis offers fun teen activities like bowling, Pirate Laser Tag and Miniature Golf.


Avon Clermont Danville Plainfield Speedway


  • Roller City is just across the parking lot from Western Bowl. Offering $2 Tuesdays.



Fall fun things to do with Teens Apple cannons at Beasley's Orchard Danville Indiana


Your teens with racing aspirations can participate in Wild Wednesdays with a signed, notarized waiver. They'll love you forever... if they live through it. 



Things to do in Danville Indiana with teens teenagers preteens


Indianapolis Downtown with Teens

  • If you're cool with sexual innuendo (and who isn't?) and you have older teens, eat at Dick's Last Resort, downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Fun Restaurants near me downtown Indianapolis Indy Dick's Last Resort



Beech Grove Greenwood Franklin Whiteland




Zipline Indiana Indianapolis


This place is fun for everyone, but teens will especially like the climbing wall, indoor ziplines, jousting and more. 


Camby Mooresville Martinsville Bloomington



  • Pioneer Park Flying Soaring Eagle Zipline, Mooresville, Indiana. This zipline is mommy friendly too. Afraid of heights? Hold your breath, but take a chance. This is an Eagle shaped car (think an amusement ride) you sit in and fly through the trees. Best part? It's only $5 per rider. The park also has an awesome swimming pool, trails, and a covered bridge.

things to do in Mooresville with Teens Flying Eagle Zipline Pioneer Park

things to do in Mooresville with Teens Flying Eagle Zipline Pioneer Park



  • Double B Arena, Mooresville, Indiana, Mutton Busting and Bull Riding. You read that right, your teens and preteens can ride a bull for $20 and other rodeo experiences. Bring your ambulance.



Saturday Family Nights at Observatory Things to do with Teens Kids



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More to come, we'll be updating this post monthly. For more things to do with teenagers in Indy stay informed on our  Kids Creative Chaos Instagram profile.