Aug 28

Summer is great for fun but some kids’ activities could harm the environment – like water balloons. The following ideas from Margaret Hyde of Huffington Post would create the best Eco-Friendly Summer Fun for Kids without hurting Mother Nature:

1. Grow a garden play area
- Plant sunflowers to create a maze or a beautiful natural playground in your backyard. Planting a “pizza garden” (tomatoes, oregano, basil) is also a great idea. Harvest them with your kids at the end of summer and make the best homemade pizza.
2. Create a natural art box mobile
- Materials: box, translucent contact paper, string, pebbles, rocks, small twigs, flowers, and some homemade paint (egg white and red ochre blush and charcoal). View some ancient cave art pictures with your child for inspirations.
3. Make toys and crafts from boxes
- Big boxes make great puppet theaters and tunnel playhouses. Medium boxes could be made into train tunnels or matchbox car highways.
4. Add some scent to Play Dough
- Create an “Around the World” Play dough and add different spices like lemongrass and ginger for an Asian smelling clay, or cumin and turmeric for an Indian scented play.
5. Make your own water sponge toys
- Instead of water balloons, why not play with water sponge toys instead? It’s easy to throw around and leaves no rubber trash behind.
6. Do some finger painting
- No brush use but only fingers. Use non-toxic finger paint [cornstarch, water, and food color] for a fun messy activity.
7. Colored rice and pasta (using non-toxic coloring)
- Use food color and some (quick drying) rubbing alcohol for your colored rice and pasta . The kids could use these in spatial relationship play and/or crafting. Let the kids pour them into cups or use to make necklaces or to glue onto their artwork.
8. Sand box treasure hunting
- Buy some inexpensive environment-friendly toy pirate ‘loots’ (“fool’s good” pyrite) and bury them in your kid’s sand box. Have the kids dress up into pirates and let them dig up their gold.
9. Make a toilet paper tube bird feeder
- Take a toilet paper tube and recycle it by covering with peanut butter and rolling in birdseeds. It’s a worthwhile activity for kids.
10. Create a backyard beach
- Buy several bags of sand from the hardware store or local garden shed and spread it out in the kiddy pool or just anywhere you can enjoy it in your own backyard. Next, place some sea shells, sand dollars, and even driftwood you’ve collected from your previous trips to the beach. Then, take out the beach umbrella and sand toys.

Let your kids engage with fun and nature in these activities. Which of these green summertime ideas you’d be trying with your kids?


Aug 15

The sky is great and beautiful this summer – Why don’t you take out your kids and have some fun outside – right in your very own backyard! Natural Parents Network suggests 5 Activities for Summertime Fun that both you and your kids can enjoy:

1. Creating a growing play pot ‘fairy garden’
- What you do is plant a sturdy plant on an extra large pot (a good height for children’s play), cover it with moss or other soft touchable ground covers, and then let your kids decorate it with small stones, pebbles, small animals, toys and trucks, and fairies!
2. Setting up a sensory playground
- To set this up, you will need to use your wading pool (without wat er). Place it outside on the grass or on the porch, or you can take it inside your living during cool or rainy summers. Now dump it with beans, rice, pillows, balls, packing peanuts, and duplos and other colorful blocks and toys. No need to fill it all the way – just a small layer on the bottom and your kids will be ready to dive in!
3. Rock painting and garden decorating
- Go on a walk to where you can find large rounded stones or river rocks you can use for this project. Wash and dry the rocks with the kids. Heat up the rocks in the oven for just a bit, at 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel some crayons and let your kids melt the colors away on the warm rocks! Decorate your garden steps or windowsill with your creations.
4. Making a homemade sidewalk or driveway paint
- Mix equal parts of water and cornstarch and add food coloring. Let your kids do the stirring. You can use painbrushes or just let your colors drizzle and drip. You can now paint the ground with your kids!
5. Painting with water
- How about painting with water? Yes, you don’t have to use paint. Your kids’ imaginations are what matters. Best of all, they can paint anything outside with this – the porch table, trellis, the fence, walkway, or even the wall and the entire deck!

What other warm weather activities can you suggest? Have fun this summer!


Jul 29

Kids grow up so fast! And because they do, don’t you think you should start planning to spend more time with them? Having fun with kids is one of the best rewards of being a parent. So take your time and enjoy activities with your kids this summer.

Child and Adolescent Therapist Signe Whitson from Huffington Post shares 45 Ideas for Summer Fun with Kids that parents could do with their fast growing children. Her summertime with the kids ‘to-do-list’ includes making stepping stones, having a car wash, running through a fountain, organizing a block party for the neighbors, making homemade icecream, selling lemonade at the park and donating the money to charity, catching fireflies, looking at the stars, swinging ‘so high we think our feet would touch the sky’, making swirly designs with sparklers in the night sky, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on long sticks, wearing glow bracelets and running around after dard, planting flowers, going to a museum, blowing bubbles, swimming a lot, just lying in the hammock, and just enjoying being young spending time the kids!

Remember, children are only young once so make the most out of it. Enjoy the time with them while it lasts, especially while it’s summer. You household and professional tasks can wait. Enjoy the no-school no-hurry mornings, savor the staying-up-late-past-bedtime, and just become a kid again with your kids!


Feb 18

Kids have been turning cardboard boxes into playhouses for years, but they’ve come a long way since the days of your childhood! Check out these great ideas for do-it-yourself cardboard playhouses.


Feb 12

If you’re thinking about adding a new Wii game to your family’s collection, but you don’t know which one to choose, we’ve got the guide for you. Check out the Best Wii Games for Kids, for an age-by-age guide on what to buy your family.


Feb 12

Here’s a fun, last minute craft that you and the kids can make for Valentine’s Day. They’re conversation hearts, but not the kind you eat. All you need for these are felt, thread, a needle and a little boy or girl who likes to cut and sew: make your own conversation hearts.


Feb 9

Here’s a fun project that will both teach your kids recycling and allow them to have fun making Valentine’s Day cards for their friends. Making Valentine’s Day cards with recycled materials like old maps, book pages, junk mail and cereal boxes can be tons of fun!


Feb 8

Winter can mean spending lots of time indoors, avoiding the cold and snowy weather. It’s tempting to put kids in front of the TV when they start to go stir-crazy, but there are other ways to solve the boredom. To prove this, iVillage has come up with 18 tips to keep your kids busy without TV – there’s something here for every age.


Feb 8

Valentine’s Day is just a week away and what better way to celebrate than by doing a fun family craft? All you need are a few cheap, easy-to-find supplies and you and your kids can make these adorable wooden doll fairies.


Feb 3

The weather has been unusually warm in some parts of the country, and what better way to take advantage than by spending some time outside? HGTV has a great do-it-yourself project that is so easy, even kids can do it:  Natural Handmade Birdfeeders.  Even if you’re just going out to play in the snow, birds will appreciate this yummy treat and kids will love to watch for feathered visitors. Best of all, the birdfeeders only require a few ingredients.

 


Jan 31

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away, and what better way to share your love for the kids than by doing some crafts together? Check out these 31 do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day crafts for some fun and cute ideas!


Jan 26

What do you do with your children’s old, broken crayons? Don’t throw them away just yet!  Here are three fun crafts you can make with broken crayons.  They’ll provide your family with a little fun, creativity and a recycling lesson.


Jan 22

Yarn, paper, ribbon, fabric – when you finish a craft project, there are always so many scraps left. You hate to throw them away and waste them, plus it’s good for the environment to recycle, so why not turn them into their own craft project? Check out Picking Up the Pieces: 19 Ideas to Use Up Scrapping Crafts.


Jan 17

Have some buttons lying around the house? If not, you can get them in all shapes and colors pretty inexpensively at your local craft store. There is so much you and your kids can do with them, from counting and colors to making fun button crafts!


Jan 15

If you’re looking for a fun, girly craft to make on a cold winter afternoon, check out these fun and funky bracelets.  They also make a great way to recycle your Christmas ribbon!


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