Playground Games for Kids

Outdoor Games for Playground

Everyone has warm memories from the playground. That’s where we played tag, made new friends and shared our secrets. Now it's our responsibility to encourage our kids to play more outside, especially in today’s technology-driven times. These ideas for outdoor playground games for kids are sure to get kids moving!

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Outdoor Playground games for kids

A lot of kids are glued to their phones and laptops, and it has a negative impact on their development. Not getting enough physical activity leads to obesity. Let’s not forget that kids addicted to the Internet are more likely to struggle with socializing.

Take your child to the playground to play this weekend. You will see, it's more than just a fun place. First of all, your child will be able to burn off energy. Swinging and climbing will do its work, and your angel will get tired and fall asleep faster. Physical exercise can also help to cope with stress, to develop strong bones, and to do better at school.

Secondly, kids can enhance their social skills and make new friends. So, don’t be afraid to take your kid to a new playground. Once your child starts playing with others, they feel excited and more confident. Teach your kids different outdoor playground games, so they will never get bored!

Playing outdoor playground games can encourage kids to cooperate and boost their creativity. So, play with your children and have fun!


Tips for Travel on a Budget

5 Tips For Traveling On A Budget

Sometimes your travel plans and your budget just won’t work together to give you exactly what you want when it comes to a great vacation, but don’t let that stop you from traveling altogether. With a little forward planning and some compromises along the way, you can ensure you don’t miss out and don’t overspend, giving you the chance to enjoy a spectacular vacation whatever your budget and wherever you choose to go. Here are 5 tips for traveling on a budget.

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Tips for Travel on a Budget

Travel Tips

Plan Ahead
It’s fun to be spontaneous, and sometimes it is even necessary, but it is also a potential problem when it comes to your traveling budget. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead at least part of your vacation. Work out, for example, where you're going to sleep each night if you're traveling from place to place, or how much money you intend to spend on day trips and food if you’re in a hotel. Having this information to hand, to begin with, means that you'll know how much money you'll need, and you’ll be able to ensure that you have it when you get on your vacation.

Have a contingency fund as well. This could be for emergencies, or perhaps for those spontaneous moments that we mentioned earlier. You might spot a day trip that you can’t resist, and if you have ‘spare’ money put aside for just such an occasion, you know you can book it and enjoy it without worrying about the cost.

Save Up
Another way to ensure you stick to your budget is to save as much money to spend as possible. Spend the weeks and months leading up to your vacation saving as much money as you can. You might need to sacrifice buying take outs or reduce the amount you go out, for example, but if it means more money for your vacation, then it’s a good thing in the end. You could also look at taking out a loan so that you know you have enough money to spend.

Of course, you should still save because you'll want to pay the loan off sooner rather than later. This can be difficult for those with poor credit, but credit repair companies such as those found at may be able to help you, so check to see if that is the case.

Only Buy Essentials
When you book your vacation, you'll, like most people, probably make a list of all the things you need to buy to take with you. This is even more relevant to those who are traveling from place to place, but it also happens with those who have chosen to base their vacation in just one place.

The money that you spend on these items could be spent instead on your vacation itself, treating yourself to a good meal out, or taking an extra trip. Remember that you might think you need something because you have heard that it is useful or seen a good advertisement for it, but that doesn’t mean that you really do need it. Take the time to think about what is essential and what you might easily be able to do without.

Therefore, make a list and cross off anything that isn’t completely essential. Or, rather than buying everything brand new, look around for used items instead. This will save you a lot of money and still give you what you need.

Eat Local Food
It’s amazing just how different the prices can be between local food and food from other countries. It will always be far cheaper to buy and eat the food produced locally. Not only will this save you money, but you'll also get a much better feel for what the country is really like, and will give you new experiences.

It’s always good to try new things, and when you’re trying to stick to a budget when on vacation or traveling, saving money can help. Trying new things and eating locally can be a real money saver in the long run.

Look For Bargains
From before you even book your traveling experience you should be on the lookout for bargains. If you're flying, search around for the best deal. It might be that you have to fly at an early hour, or late at night, but that can save you a lot of money, for example. Search around for good deals on hotels as well. Although you might like the look of the one that is right by the beach, these are often more expensive. There might be a better alternative further from the beach that will save you money, and if you check there could be extra options such as a free shuttle to the beach each day which will save you money all


Family Vacation Ideas

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Traveling with Toddlers

Games to Take on Trips

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

What can you do to dress up your mac and cheese? Gourmet mac is all the rage. If you've got seafood lovers, this shrimp macaroni and cheese recipe is an easy weeknight dinner that will please even the most hard to please palates. 

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Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

How to Make Shrimp Mac and Cheese Recipe

1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs (See note)
1/4 cup grated 
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil, divided  
8 oz elbow macaroni 
1 lb peeled raw shrimp
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1.5 cups cheese (cheddar, Cojack, or your favorite), freshly grated if possible (see tips below.)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated if possible.

How to Make Shrimp Mac and Cheese Recipe

How to Make Recipe
Preheat broiler on high.
Mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Set topping aside.
Cook macaroni to al dente according to package directions.  
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium skillet over high heat.
Add shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for another minute until the shrimp has changed color but not fully cooked.
Transfer to bowl. Turn heat down to medium.
Melt butter. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
Pour milk in slowly, while stirring. Once the mixture is smooth, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard.  Continue to stir until thickened.
Add cheeses and stir until melted.  Then add shrimp. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Transfer to an oven safe casserole dish.
Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture, then place under the broiler until the top is golden. 

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Tips:  I never have Panko bread crumbs, but I have found a nice alternative. I save the heels from my loaves of bread in the freezer.  When I need bread crumbs, I thaw a couple of them in the microwave for a few seconds, break them into smaller pieces, and pulse them in the blender until I get the desired consistency.

Packaged shredded cheese is coated to keep the cheese from sticking together.  Your cheese sauce will be smoother if you're able to grate the cheese yourself.  However, the packed shredded cheese will work.  I have made it both ways and have had no complaints!


Forget it, just buy mac and cheese on Amazon!

Adopting Healthy Lifestyles as a Family

Why Everyone in The Family Should Live Healthy Lifestyles

Living a healthy lifestyle is something that many people aspire to do. It's difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle and keep up the routine. However, if the entire family lives a healthy lifestyle, it's easier to maintain your health goals. Perhaps you have a job that takes up a lot of your time, or you're too busy with volunteer work, school, or anything else that life throws at you. No matter the reason, you need to make the time to become healthy and set a good example for your children.

Tips on Adopting Healthy Lifestyles as a Family

You're the only one that can change your everyday habits for the better, but it can be much easier to do if everyone in the family acknowledges the importance of healthy living. If our children learn from a young age what it means to eat healthy meals and exercise, they'll take that knowledge with them into adulthood as well.

Why should everyone in the family live healthy lifestyles? Read on for more tips on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle together as a family.

Kids Learn from Their Parents
Kids look at parents as their role models, which is why it's paramount that parents do their part and teach their children about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s eating healthy and nutritious meals, or the importance of staying active, you can always make a difference in the type of habits that your children adopt.

Use it as an Opportunity to Spend Time Together
Living a healthy life as a family gives everyone an opportunity to spend quality time together. Be mindful and add these tips to your healthy lifestyle efforts.

1. Exercise

Rather than exercising alone, go for a walk outside with your family members. This also gives you an opportunity to properly talk to another. It's a great way to bring up those difficult conversations you've been meaning to get started but never seem to find the time to do.

2. Weekend road trips

Don't forget about road trips with kids This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to destress and improve mental health while enjoying some family fun and making lasting memories together. Road trips are also a great way to get to know each better. Share happy stories of your childhood, but remember to stay away from difficult subjects or anything stressful.

A Future Health Routine
It’s important to find a routine that everyone in the family will benefit from. If you plan on being active, why not do it while everyone is together? Plus, the activities your children pursue from a young age will impact their future, as well.

When your kids are grown up and they're young adults, who is to say that they'll not end up becoming personal trainers, physiotherapists, yoga instructions or something else that is a result of the activities they participated in as a family when they were younger? Often kids who sign up for football and discover a passion for it end up wanting to pursue this in the future, whether as a hobby or a potential career.

The same can be said for other jobs that are considered health and wellness careers. Of course, this is all based on a person's individual personality and what they enjoy doing. Perhaps you found an interest in personal training as a result of working with a trainer to improve your health. That might lead to a career change.

Don’t forget that no matter what you choose to do in the future, you'll have to acquire the necessary qualifications that allow you to make a career out of your health and wellness lifestyle. This is the case for those interested in personal training, for example, they can complete an online fitness course Leicester in order to get certified, making it an easy way to get educated on healthy lifestyle fitness careers. Keep in mind that different career paths will require different steps. Some will require certifications, some will require degrees.

Of course you want the best for your family. So why not prioritize adopting healthy habits as a family into your daily routine? This will improve your quality of life, both in the short and long-term, and you'll find yourself feeling much happier as a result of it. And, as a result of these simple lifestyle changes, your family will enjoy a closer family bond. Adopting a healthy lifestyle as a family is a win win situation. You can do it!


Professional Development for Preschool Teachers

Where do you find ECE Professional Development Courses?

Are you looking for professional development courses for your early childhood education professionals? ChildCare Education Institute offers a wide variety of courses to keep your staff up to date and knowledgeable in all things preschool. If you are a director or administrator of an early learning childcare center, you may want to share some of the knowledge you gain with your staff. Teaching adults differs from teaching children. If you need ideas on how to do training for your childcare staff, CCEI offers this course, PROF101: Adult Learning: Theories and Strategies for Trainers and Directors. Read on for my review of the course.

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Professional Development for Preschool Teachers

The PROF101: Adult Learning: Theories and Strategies for Trainers and Directors course is designed for directors and other early childhood professionals who train adults or facilitate professional development programs. It reminds you that teaching adults can be challenging. Adults may actually pay less attention to the instructor than children do because they already have a knowledge base and personal bias.

Professional Development for Preschool Teachers: Adult Learning Class

Above is a sample slide from the class. The class shares methods and ideas from various scholars. The biggest take away for me was to (after teaching ECE for many years) be careful not to talk down to your class. Understand that they must want to learn and to do so, they must respect you, but also believe that you respect them.

This class was a little more difficult for me than the previous classes. To be honest, I don't review the study guides and handouts. I know, I know. I achieved a certificate on the first attempt (you're allowed 10 attempts.) However, I scored an 80% and had to guess on a few questions. All of that scholarly info is valuable but difficult to remember, especially when you're tired. Be sure you have plenty of time for the test and that you are well rested!

I truly love learning from the comfort of my own home. In the past, I've done Professional Development for Preschool Teachers through NAEYC. While it's nice to do hands on and meet other people in the field, nothing beats learning at your own pace in your pajamas with ChildCare Education Institute.


Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas

Homeschooler Homework Ideas for Black History Month

What time is it? It's time to learn about black history! These black history homeschool homework ideas will prepare your homeschooler for an oral report on their favorite person in black history. We've organized the famous black Americans by school subject so that you can choose one that fits your interest. With so many famous African American achievers, there's no sense in studying a subject you find boring!

Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas

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12 Black History Homeschool Homework Ideas




Classroom Skits 


Language Arts

Write a bio after researching one of the Black History People in this list.


Black History Month Homeschool Ideas from Kids Creative Chaos.

Active Learning in Early Childhood Education

What is Active Learning?
If you're an early childhood education director, teacher, or a homeschooler of a preschooler, you will benefit ChildCare Education Institute's CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course. This course is a great way to get continuing ed course credit for any ECE program, but it is also a wonderful tool for parents of toddlers and preschoolers to educate themselves for homeschool learning. So, what is the definition of active learning in early childhood education?

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Active Learning in Early Childhood Education Classes

Wikipedia describes active learning as:
Active learning is a form of learning in which teaching strives to involve students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Bonwell states that in active learning, "students participate in the process and students participate when they are doing something besides passively listening."

Sensory Play = Active Learning
As a childcare professional, I am well versed in sensory play and its connection to cognitive learning. Here on the blog, you'll find many sensory play activities and other movement games for early childhood educators. However, I wasn't aware of much of the proven science behind these preschool activities until I took CCEI's online professional development course CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood.

Active Learning in Preschool Early Childhood Education

This course presents practical methods for integrating movement and active involvement across all curriculum areas, including art, language arts, mathematics, music, science, and social studies.
The course only takes about an hour of your time. Be sure to print out the handouts or save them as pdfs so that you'll have access to note taking and a record of some of the valuable ideas and knowledge base taught in the class. At course completion, you’re issued a certificate showing that you've successfully completed the 1 hr. course. Here's mine:

ECE Certificate online

Through the years, I've taken many continuing education courses. The courses offered by ChildCare Education Institute are by far the most convenient. The courses are also very informative. They not only include valuable information and recent studies in the childcare industry, but they also include sample activities that you can try with your own students.

ChildCare Education Institute® provides high-quality, online training courses and programs, applicable to those who work in an array of child care settings, including center-based care, Head Start, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, after school environments and more. Over 150 English and Spanish training courses are available to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials. CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard Comprehensive training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

● 99 percent of students say they would recommend CCEI to others
● Over 4.4 million online course hours completed  
● Graduated over 12,000 early childhood professionals from CDA and other certificate programs
● Web-based coursework, available 24/7/365
● 30 hours of new content added each year
● IACET CEUs awarded for completed coursework at no additional cost
During the CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course, I had many aha moments. There were so many things that I've done in my early childhood programs where I missed valuable opportunities to incorporate movement and music in daily lesson plans for language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. The course lists out many different ideas and further explains how these activities aid in cognitive development and increase brain synapses.

ECE Certificate online

After taking the course, you’ll want to add more movement activities to your daily active learning activities. Here's a list of our most popular posts on early childhood games and sensory play ideas for preschoolers.
Circle Time Games for Active Learning in Early Childhood
Physical Activity Movement Games for Early Childhood
Marshmallow Movement Game
Sensory Tactile Alphabet Activity
Group Cooperation Games for Preschool and Early Childhood
If you're in need of continuing education for your career in early childhood, start here with our review of ChildCare Education Institute. CCEI offers many amazing continuing education courses for professional development in early childhood education. The extensive course list is sure to please even the most hard to please daycare providers and program directors. I encourage everyone involved with childcare and early childhood education to sign up for a course or two. It’s such a convenient way to expand your knowledge in early childhood education. Be sure to check it out!

Active Learning Tools

How to Recover from Surgery When Raising Kids

Facing Surgery? How do You Recover When Kids Need You?

Surgery isn’t often a choice, it's a necessity. However, the procedure and recovery period can affect your everyday life when you're a parent. After all, experiencing plenty of rest doesn’t always come easy when caring for children. If you're set to undergo surgery and want to be back on your feet as soon as possible, here are some handy tips on how to recover from surgery when raising kids.

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How to Recover from Surgery When Raising Kids

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
After surgery, a doctor will provide you with various instructions on how to make a swift recovery, such as avoiding baths and swimming, or not lifting anything heavier than ten pounds. You know the drill, take it easy.
It's essential to follow his or her orders, which means not lifting your children up or carrying heavy loads of washing. If you fail to follow their orders, don’t be surprised if you need to return to hospital. Avoid lifting up heavy objects by having people help you around the house. Your kids can help too!

Attend All Follow-Up Appointments
Many patients fail to attend their follow-up appointments, as they might believe the worst is over. However, even if your wound is healing and you're feeling better each day, you must still attend each appointment set.
While it might stand in the way of cooking a homemade meal or a relaxed day with your children, a doctor will need to review your wound to check the incision is healing well and there are no signs of infection. They also might need to order follow-up blood work and identify if the surgery successfully treated the condition.
If, however, a doctor fails to schedule follow-up appointments, and you experienced an infection or impairment as a result, this will be viewed as inadequate care and you would be wise to turn to The Medical Negligence Experts to make a claim.

Prevent Infection
Every patient is at serious risk of developing an infection following surgery. Signs of an infection can include:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Redness
  • Pain/soreness
  • Pus or drainage
  • An unpleasant smell from a wound
You can, however, prevent the problem by thoroughly washing your hands before touching an incision wound.

Enjoy a Healthy Diet
It's common for people to go off food after a surgical procedure, as they might feel constipated or nauseous. However, if you want to make a swift recovery for your children, you must eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated, as both will:
  • Promote healing
  • Alleviate anesthesia side effects
  • Reduce common complications
Remember, your body needs fuel for energy, so get back onto your feet by eating three meals a day and drinking eight glasses of water.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pneumonia are both common complications after surgery. You can, however, reduce their likelihood by walking every hour or two, but talk to your doctor before embarking on any exercise. Walking is a gentle form of physical activity that can help you to eventually return to your daily activities. However, always walk at a slow, relaxed pace and stop or sit down when necessary.