Friday, July 30, 2010

Keeping in Touch with Grandparents - Writing Letters

While technology is a wonderful tool to keep in touch, writing letters to each other is a very personal way of communicating. While many people send email regularly, handwritten letters are special and more likely to be saved for years to come. This is a great way to help your child to stay in touch with their grandparents.

Have your child and their grandparents pick out a journal together and take turns writing their thoughts in it. Encourage them to write stories about their life, share memories of each other, and ask each other questions. For long distance grandparents, take turns writing in the journal and mail the book to each other. If mailing it is an obstacle, have your child and his grandparents write letters to each other and store the letters in a special box.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Looking for Ways to Occupy Your Kids on a Trip?

If you are headed on a late summer vacation and looking for a way to amuse your child on the trip, check out the Never Bored Books by Evan Moore. These books are brightly colored activity books that are both educational and fun. The books are divided by age and start at age four and go up to age nine. The activities vary from word searches, to cut-and-paste art simple projects. My kids always ask for me to pick up a new one before we head out of town. These would be good for the car, plane or at a hotel room.

Since some of the activities require glue and scissors, I put a glue stick, scissors, crayons and pencil in a bag for each child. Be sure that if you are flying on a plane that you pack the scissors instead of trying to carry them on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beach Games

Since are going to be heading to the beach in a few weeks, I was looking for some ideas of fun games to play with the kids and found "Fun Beach Games for Kids" on While some of the ideas are things that we typically do, such as shelling and building sand castles, I think that my kids would really enjoy the limbo idea. Many of these games would be especially fun if you are vacationing with a group or family reunion.

One of my kids favorite things to do on the beach is to have my husband and I bury them in sand. My daughter loves it when we cover her in sand and make her a mermaid tale. And then they get the fun of breaking out of the sand.

What do you like to do with your kids on the beach?

iPhone Apps for Kids

I am guilty of occassionally handing my kids my iPhone to play with in a doctor's office waiting room or went a restaurant meal is taking a long time. I am always looking for new (and hopefully free) entertaining and somewhat educational games for them to play in these moments of desperation. I was excited to run across an article on on 25 iPhone Apps for Kids.

Most of the apps listed in the article are ones that I have not downloaded and am very excited to try them. I think that my kids will enjoy Word Search, Mad Libs Junior and Reversi. I am positive that my son will quickly become addicted to Checkers since he loves playing in real life.

My kids current favorite iPhone app is the Game of Life. Although, it's $4.99 they have played it more than any other game and it has well been worth the price.

What iphone apps do your kids like?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Christmas in July

Our church is doing a fundraiser to help families who can not afford school supplies and back-to-school clothes. We found several families who are struggling and created an "Angel" tree with their back-to-school needs. Church members are going to buy items, such as backpacks, shoes and supplies for the families.

If you know a family who is struggling this year, I encourage you to see if there is a way that you can help them afford back-to school supplies.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming Safety Tips

Earlier in the summer I interviewed Peter McKenzie at teh Great Wolf Lodge about water safety. Since we are in the heart of pool season, I thought it would be a good time to share his tips for keeping your kids safe in the water.

 Peter McKenzie, director of aquatics, Great Wolf Lodge – Concord, recommends that if your child is not an independent swimmer you should have them wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when in the water. “Water wings and other learn-to-swim devices are not life saving devices,” says McKenzie. He also encourages parents to participate with their child in the water and stay within an arms length of her while swimming. “Children can drown in under a minute. Things can happen very quickly in the water,” says McKenzie.

Be sure to watch your children at all times when they are in the water and do not rely on lifeguards to supervise your kids. If you are with a group of friends or at a private pool, do not assume that someone else is watching your kids just because there are a lot of people around. You may want to designate at least one person who does not participate in the conversation to watch the kids for a certain period of time and take turns.

10 Kids CD's to Take on a Desert Island

I will admit it. Most children's music makes me batty. I believe that I aged several years during my daughters Wiggles obsession when she was a toddler. I am pleased that she is moving towards pop music to spare me the agony (although that has opened up a whole other set of issues).

I stumbled across an article on that listed 10 Kids CD's to Take on a Desert Island and was very intrigued. I had listend to the They Might Be Giants Kids CD and an earlier one of Laurie Berkner and was actually able to tolerate both of those for more then three minutes at time. Hopefully the rest of the list is of the same "parent appropriate" quality.

What kid's CD's do your kids like and which ones do you find listenable?