Showing posts sorted by date for query outdoor play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query outdoor play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query outdoor play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query outdoor play. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Fun In The Sun - 6 Tips For Creating A Mud Kitchen For Your Kids


Kids love mud! And as dirty as they may get, it’s time to advocate messy play so they can learn new skills the fun way. The fastest and easiest way to encourage your kids to get outdoors is to build them a mud kitchen.They'll be tripping over each other to get outside

Building your own mud kitchen is a creative, cost-effective way of enabling messy play for your kids while saving money on an expensive play kitchen

You can build your mud kitchen in your own way, and in the end, your kids will have the perfect environment in which to get their hands dirty anytime.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.


Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash


Six tips to create your own mud kitchen


  1. Use What You’ve Got

Poke around your garage and see what you can recycle to save money on your mud kitchen. You can use wood, recycled pallets, and old timber for the construction. Old cookware and bakeware, utensils, and decorations can also be used to finish out the kitchen,

Remember, the idea is to ignite your child’s imagination, so your DIY mud kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a brand-new toy kitchen set. 


  1. Stove Tops Add to The Fun

While it’s great to leave some things up to the imagination, it’s a good idea to make your play kitchen resemble a real kitchen by creating a stove top. You can paint the burners on a piece of timber or wood, and you can even add broken or thrifted appliances to your outdoor kitchen to enhance its appearance. You can also use good, old cardboard to create a play stove.


  1. Bake Mud Cakes

The fun part of having a mud kitchen is that your kids get to play with mud and get as dirty as they want. All you need to make mud cakes is some sand or soil and water. You can use old cookware and bake ware to contain them and shape them like cakes and cupcakes.

Parents can get involved by showing kids how to create funky-shaped cookies with cookie cutters and molds or add colored pasta to the mud for added texture. This kind of sensory play is an important part of childhood development, but above all, it’s a whole lot of fun.


Pistachio Pudding Play Dough


  1. Set the Table

A mud kitchen is a fun way to teach your child table manners. Guide your preschoolers through setting a table and laying out the dishes. Show them the way to arrange cutlery and allow your children to bring some garden leaves to create napkins for a rustic table setting.


  1. Add a Sink

Since you’ve introduced messy play to your preschoolers with colored pasta and mud cakes, it’s a good idea to take care of the cleanup. The most logical way to do this is to add a sink to your mud kitchen! To create your sink, use a silver or grey bucket and fill it with water or a big flower put with the bottom plugged works nicely too.

Add a hose in the bucket so that there’s an accessible faucet. This is a great way to teach children how to clean up after themselves. Add some dish washing liquid and a sponge so you can wash all the cookware the kids used before bringing it back into the house!


How to Make your own Dish Washing Soap


  1. Dress For The Occasion

Every chef needs a chef’s hat and apron, so make sure to get these for your child. They will love it! Plus, the apron will offer some protection from mud splatter while playing. Rubber boots are a good idea too. Preschool age kids and toddlers love to wear galoshes!


How to Make your own Chef Hat

 

Have fun with your kiddos and their mud kitchen. You may want to wear some rubber boots yourself! Encourage your children to enjoy free and imaginative play, and you can bet they’ll learn tons of kitchen tricks in the process. Pretend play is the best way to learn!


Recommended Reading:

Pretend Play and Play Date Ideas from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos

Fun Books about Galoshes from Amazon




Helping Your Kids Stay Fit and Healthy

 Get Started with these Quick Parenting Tips Today


All parents want their children to be happy and healthy, but it's often difficult to encourage our kids to follow a healthy lifestyle, especially if they have grown used to sweet treats and like to spend a lot of their time in front of their screens. If you’re a parent who is concerned about their child’s health, or would just like a few useful tips to keep in mind, below are a some simple suggestions on how you can help your children stay fit and healthy. You know how to do it, getting started is the hard part. So, here's your motivation.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.




Diet

A good place to start is looking at your children’s diet and whether or not there need to be some changes here. You don’t have to feed your kid all organic food to make sure they maintain a good diet, and obviously, not all households can afford the more expensive products. If you want to make sure your kids are eating well, make sure they get plenty of fruits and vegetables and lots of good carbohydrates. 


Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie Recipe


If your kids are fussy eaters, think of creative ways to get them to eat a variety of foods, like making them a healthy smoothie or soup so the veggies and fruits are hidden from view. Also consider taking time to cook meals with your children so they can start to learn this important life skill and about nutrition and what constitutes a healthy diet. We've started ordering dinnerly, an economical food delivery service. Teenagers can cook their own gourmet meals or easy weeknight dinners, you choose the recipes each week.


After School Snack Planning Ideas Printable


Exercise

Sticking to a good exercise routine, can be difficult. Kids are no different. The best way to encourage your kids (and yourself) to get moving is by finding a sport or activity that they truly enjoy. By making exercise fun, kids are more likely to engage and exercise regularly, especially if their friends are involved. Get the family out and moving together on weekends, whether it’s going for hikes or playing Frisbee together in the park.


Outdoor Play Ideas


Oral Hygiene

As well as making sure they’re eating right and getting their hearts pumping, also watch out for your children's oral health. A lot of kids don’t like having to brush their teeth before bed, particularly if they’re already tired and cranky. However, this is an essential routine they need to get into early to avoid problems with their gums and tooth decay, which can be very painful and unpleasant. Make sure your kids brush their teeth twice a day, and be sure to teach them how to floss. If they hate toothpaste, have them brush with water to get the food out and then do an oral rinse.


Is Chewing Gum good for your Teeth?


Mental Health

Physical health is important, but your child’s mental well-being is also crucial to help them stay physically healthy. This isn't always as easy to see, but the best way you can help is by creating an environment at home where your child feels comfortable talking with you about their feelings and problems. If you discover concerning behaviors, ask your kids' teachers if they've noticed anything at school. The pandemic has been rough on everyone, but especially our kids.Make sure you're paying attention, any changes in behavior might be a cry for help. Kids are struggling with depression from being forced to stay inside.


Mental Health articles from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos


Raising kids is the most challenging thing anyone can do. Keeping your kids fit and healthy is an important part of parenting. Hopefully, these tips will help you find new, creative ways to keep your kids happy and healthy. Be sure to click on the titles between the paragraphs above, for more detailed information on each topic.


As always, thanks for reading. You matter.


Recommended:


Behavior Tips for Parents


Organic Protein Powder


Tips for Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle








Ways to Cut Down Kids Screen Time

 Cutting Down Your Kids’ Screen Time

Using electronics can be great for your kids, it'a a source of both entertainment and education. However, like all good things, they should be used in moderation. Too much screen time can contribute to a whole host of problems, so here are a couple of ideas for alternative activities.


how to cut down kids screen time




Books

Books are a brilliant alternative to using screens before bedtime. The blue light from screens can interfere with the sleep hormone melanin, which can hinder sleep and keep your kids awake. Switching to a book not only helps them relax but comes with a long list of other benefits. Staring at screens for extended periods of time can put a lot of strain and stress on your child's eyes, leading to problems such as dry eye, which is uncomfortable and irritating. Making small changes to your child’s routine can help minimize the risk of these issues developing, while still keeping them entertained.


Arts and Crafts

Being creative is another great way to entertain and educate your child. There are so many activities to choose from, so you will be able to find something your child loves, regardless of age and ability. Painting and coloring are easy options that don’t require lots of room or equipment, as sets are readily available in many places. This is also a great chance for your child to grow their imagination and just have fun, without feeling as though they have to create a masterpiece! You can find coloring sheets online that can be printed off, as well as instructions on creating items out of things you already have in your home. 


Outdoors

Exercise and fresh air are incredibly important for your child, so turning off the screens and taking them for a walk can have huge benefits. Spending time in nature will help nurture their curiosity and teach them about the world. Even just being in the backyard can be a lot of fun, and there are plenty of outdoor activities and games that you can play. Sports clubs are great for building teamwork skills while getting exercise, and they allow your child to make friends, let off some steam and learn a new sport. Exercise strengthens muscle and bones and helps prevent weight gain and other issues that can occur in later life.


Cooking

Depending on their age, your child may enjoy helping with the cooking or baking. You can find lots of child friendly recipes online, and they can have the feeling of accomplishment at having created something. There are plenty of baking kits available that are aimed at children and parents, with easy-to-follow instructions and basic ingredients, which are a great introduction to the kitchen. Baking can provide your child with many useful skills, such as reading, collaboration, creativity, and fine motor skills, and is also a lovely opportunity to spend time together. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a great cook yourself, as you can find and adapt recipes to work for you and learn and make mistakes together! 




How to Get your Kids Excited About Nature at a Young Age

How do you Get Kids to Enjoy Nature?


There’s no refuting that encouraging our kids to get out in nature and engage in outdoor play will result in your family reaping a myriad of benefits, spanning from improved physical and emotional health to providing your children with a ton of fun opportunities for both learning and family bonding. But we also know how difficult it can be to get your kids genuinely excited about outdoor time in this age of screens, screens, and more screens. So, how can you get kids to enjoy nature? Here are a few quick tips!


This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

How do you Get Kids to Enjoy Nature?


NATURE APPRECIATION TIPS


1. Plan regular outings

Hands down, the best way to get your kids excited about being out in nature is to make sure that you take regular family trips to beautiful places. Make full use of your local hiking trails on weekends, and set some time aside every week to go on a nice, long (and maybe even educational) bushwalk! If you’ve got younger kids with you, be sure to come equipped with a sturdy Joolz stroller, or another kind of stroller that you’re certain can handle off-road terrain if you plan to stray from the beaten path. 

2. Watch nature documentaries

It’s safe to say that young children have very few opportunities to engage with the wonders of the wider world, especially if your family has no upcoming travel plans. But you don’t need to go to Africa to see the lions of the Serengeti or to the Arctic Circle to see polar bears! If you have an allocated family movie night, be sure to flick on some David Attenborough and other nature documentaries every now and then to keep your kids in absolute awe of the natural world. Not only this, but documentaries can also be a great tool when it comes to teaching your kids about the effects of climate change and the importance of decreasing your household’s carbon footprint. Putting these complex issues into real-world contexts can really help your kids develop and maintain healthy living habits.



how to get kids outside in nature


3. Grow your own garden

Speaking of healthy living habits, did you know that even the pickiest kids are more likely to eat veggies that they’ve grown themselves? And that not only is gardening a natural stress reliever, but it’s also been proven to boost our immune systems and strengthen our fine motor skills? Both suburban and city-dwelling families alike, are jumping on the gardening bandwagon and using any free outdoor space to cultivate their own little veggie patches. And you don’t need to go all-out here to reap the benefits either! Even families living in apartment buildings can utilise balcony space to nurture their own herbs and potted produce like tomato plants. If you’re uncertain of where to start, here are five low-maintenance plants that will be sure to get your kids excited about flexing their green thumbs for years to come.

4. Play some outdoor games

Some of our strongest memories from childhood are made during outdoor play, whether we’re bouncing on a trampoline in the backyard or swinging from the monkey bars of our nearest playground. For this reason alone, it’s highly recommended that you take any and all opportunities to play some outdoor games with your kids and to encourage your kids to play sports and other outdoor activities with their peers. Even younger kids can join in on the fun with some inclusive activities like a sandcastle-building competition, and older kids will have a whale of a time with age-old classics like ‘Tag’ and ‘Capture the Flag.’


Finally, it’s a good rule of thumb to always have a small debrief with your little ones after any outdoor activity, just so you can gauge what interests them and what you can do to nurture those interests. If you listen well, you’ll be sure to have some very avid little hikers, bikers, and gardeners on your hands who will only find more ways to keep themselves learning and developing new skills as they grow up!



Recommended:


Outdoor Games with a Twist from Adventures Kids Creative Chaos


Nature Games


Nature Based Circle Time Activity







Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?

School Closure Home Learning


Have you unexpectedly been tossed into the throes of homeschooling since the Corona virus pandemic? If you've suddenly had to to become the school teacher, cafeteria lady, and janitor during these school closures, you're well aware that home learning is more difficult than it looks. So, how do you do homeschooling during the coronavirus pandemic? As seasoned homeschoolers, we're here to help. Below is a list of our favorite homeschool resources and some articles specifically addressing these troubled times and how to help your kids cope. What a life lesson this is, right?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For more on our personal journey scroll to the end.


Homeschooling During the Coronavirus?



Worried how school closure and remote learning will affect your child? Love them, support them, build them up, and they'll be fine. Think homeschoolers are weird? Maybe, depends on your perspective, but we're more normal than you think. We only had 7 months of brick and mortar school, but our previously homeschooled kids made the best of their first year of brick and mortar school. They miss school so much. When this is all over your kids will look forward to going to school too! I've added a photo album for our long time readers and fans. Enjoy!


homeschool success stories
I love this post! We have a similar experience.
Keep scrolling to see our homeschoolers' success in public school!

Tips for Home Learning and Coping during School Closures and Covid19 




Coronavirus Memes Covid18 Memes Apocalypse
These are scary times, so here's a Coronavirus meme to lighten the mood.

Educational Resources for Homeschooling during the Coronavirus

  • Many of our older homeschool resources that target elementary students are listed in the homeschool tab on this site: Homeschool Learning Lessons for Elementary Age You can also do a search on our site for specific types of lessons like, grammar, math, and science.

  • BrainPop has the most fun videos; I love them as much as my kids do. BrainPopJr. is great for the younger set. They are a paid service, but offer a free movie of the week and other free lessons.


  • Mobymax has free options for remote learning and homeschoolers. The great thing about this website is they find and fix learning gaps. Kids can take assessments to see where they fall and then do educational activities based on their grade level in different subjects. It's a great way to see if your child has been falling through the cracks in public school.



  • Khan Academy is not for the faint of heart. If you're all in to the homeschooling thing, give it a try. We used it for several years. It's a free learning resource originally targeted toward middle schoolers and high schoolers, but now offers lessons for elementary too. It feels a lot more like "real school" than some of the other online options and keeps track of your progress and grade level.

  • Why not give this difficult time a fun spin? Our Summer Camp Handbook is edutainment at its best! Enjoy science experiments, PE Activities, and more disguised as fun! 

  • We also love CrashCourse with John and Hank Green. (Yes, that John Green!) You'll even find some of their lessons on Khan Academy. These are super fun, especially for older students.

Best Homeschool Blogs











First day of public school 2019.

We hope these resources help ease your mind and put you on the right track for remote home learning during the Coronavirus pandemic situation. Remember, homeschooling isn't easy and not all parents nor all kids are cut out for it. 



Bowling allows for socialization and physical activity. During the quarantine,
bowl with your game console or set up milk jugs to knock down with a basketball.

Do the best you can. Don't overdo it! If you take it too seriously, your kids won't enjoy it and neither will you. Make learning fun, make it light, and focus on those skills that are best learned at home: writing letters, sending emails, tying shoes, telling time, how to follow a recipe, chores (consider doing laundry a PE activity,) working on cars, putting together puzzles, dice games, Minecraft Uno or any Uno game, and anything that brings your family closer together.



Dress up day.

Note:
This past year, my kids decided to go back to public school. My 15 year-old was placed as a high learning junior taking all senior and college level courses, my 13 year-old is a well-rounded, straight A, school loving eighth grader. 

In previous years, we spent a maximum of 2 hours a day on book learning. The rest  of our day was focused on healthy outdoor activities, field trips to museums, special events at the library, and a local homeschool group for "socialization." Turns out, it was more than enough. 

Take it easy, don't stress out, and remember that YOU CAN DO IT!









Made the grade, first semester honor roll.


Never played football in his life. Made the team!


Loving the school band.

My son was looking forward to performing in the high school play, finishing building a home for Habitat for Humanity, trying out different sports and clubs, and now, that will have to wait until next year. My daughter was on an academic team, loving art club, playing in the school band, and appreciating school for its many wonderful opportunities. I took great pride and joy watching them try new things. My heart aches for their loss and for the loss of those long time public school seniors who are missing out on their last school dance, possibly graduation, and all the joys of being a high school senior. If nothing else, this experience will teach us not to take life for granted. 

Never forget, no matter how stressful it gets, getting to stay home with your kids is a gift.

Good Luck, go hug your kids!