Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Meandersings - Road Trip

A couple of weeks ago, we supplied some activities for the car. This time, we are focusing on snacks. One tough thing about road trips is eating. No one wants to eat fast food all day and sit down meals can get expensive. Here are some snacks to pack and keep your family fed.

First we have Parenting with this delicious crunchy chickpea recipe. I can tell you from experience that these are delicious. We have made them plain and we have added chili powder to them. They are tasty any way you make them.

Next, we have Choose to Thrive with an amazing idea to carry vegetables and a dip. Her picture shows peanut butter and celery, but you could also do your favorite dip (Ranch, Spinach, etc.) with cut up veggies (carrots, snow peas, peppers, etc.).

Smashed Peas and Carrots has the best recipe! No bake Energy Bites. It is easy to make and has very few ingredients. Sounds perfect!

In addition these snacks, grab some more from our list:

Nuts - be sure they are age appropriate for your kids
Dried Fruits
Hard Boiled Eggs - peel the shells off before leaving home for a healthy protein
Cherry tomatoes - buy a variety of colors for a delicious and healthy snack
Grapes - Nature's perfect travel waste
Blueberries - another perfect, no waste snack
String Cheese
Peanut Butter and Crackers
Trail Mix - make your own mix! We loves Cheerios, Goldfish crackers, small pretzels, banana chips, dried pineapple and walnuts. Sometimes we add chocolate chips, but I try to not to add them if it is very warm out to prevent melting messes.
Orange segments
Drink mixes - every now and again it is good to have a flavored water
V8 juice

How do I keep the cold foods cold? We pack a small cooler that we keep in the car trunk and then a smaller insulated lunch bag or two are kept in the front of the car.

For our insulated lunch bags, I love the Packit Bag. They have not provided me with a sample or anything for this, but I purchased two bags on my own. You store them in the freezer and then pull them out to fill with food. They have kept my food cold for up to 9 hours! If you do not have a Packit, you can always freeze a water bottle to put in the bag and keep your food chilled.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Finger Strength

As children work on writing, cutting and the variety of other activities that require coordination and strength to your hands, they can become frustrated. It is not always easy to master these skills, but finger strength is vital.

No one wants to just sit and trace letters and numbers all day to increase finger strength, so why not have some fun.

Some great activities to practice:

1) Have you ever considered the strength and coordination needed to hold several small items in your hands and to just sit down one item at a time? It is not an easy skill. To start, we each picked up 5 beans in our hands. Next we set the beans down, one at a time, onto a piece of paper.

2) The same concept as number one, but a little more difficult, is to have the child hold several coins in their hand and then put them one at a time in a piggy bank. This is more difficult because the coins have to be held just right to fit into the small slot of a piggy bank.

3) Monkey bars. This is not just finger strength, but works for your whole hand. You will need to hold your child to keep them safe. Hold around the waist and have them bend their knees while counting to a predetermined number. This also works on the child's core strength.

4) Play dough. Just the act of manipulating play dough requires finger strength and dexterity.

Have fun and give your child a chance to strengthen those muscles!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Teachings - I've Been Slimed!

Who you gonna' call? Ghostbusters! I found myself humming this song the whole time we did this experiment. Please tell me that you remember that movie!

For a little Science on a Tuesday Teaching, we decided to make some slime. Since I had that theme song running through my mind, I we decided to make our slime green. I we wanted it to look just like the slime that was put on Bill Murray's character, Venkman.

1 tsp Borax
1 cup warm water
4 oz Elmer's White School Glue
1/2 cup water
Food Coloring (we used neon green gel)

Put one cup of warm water in a bowl, add the Borax and stir until dissolved. Set this aside.

Pour the glue into a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup water and stir.

Add the food coloring and mix until you get the desired color.

Once that is mixed well, pour in the Borax/water mix. It will start to set up immediately. Use a spoon to stir it around and then get your hands in there.

At first it will be very wet and slimy but as you mix with your hands, it will dry out some and become more of a solid.

We loved playing with this and did numerous activities with it. The slime will take on any shape, so we used our sand molds, bowls and other things to put the slime into. Next, we would dump it out on the table and see how long it would take to flatten back out.

We also wanted to see how far across the table we could stretch it, without the slime ripping.

Have fun. We loved ours and have made numerous batches since then.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Meanderings - Father's Day

Father's Day is this weekend so here are some great ideas to make the Dads in your life happy.

First from Martha Stewart we have several great ideas. I love the decorated paper cube!

Next is, Me and My Pink Mixer, with one of my favorite photo props. We have done this before for several holidays. You can buy the wooden letters like Me & My Pink Mixer, or make them out of paper, or even make paper signs.

I Can Teach My Child made this adorable shadowbox using old ties. I love it and think it would look great on any Dad's wall!

Lastly, we have I Heart Crafty Things, with another cute photo prop. I must admit that the reason I love this one so much is that I do it with my son each year and have done it each year since he could stand. I just use the same frame each year and change out the picture. It is a great way to see the growth each year.

Do something nice for the Dads in your life!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Meanderings: Summer Snacks - Vegetables!

With Summer, comes vegetables fresh from the garden. Do you kids have an aversion to vegetables? Do they fall apart at anything green/healthy? Here are some ideas to get your kids to try out vegetables on their own.


First is Taste of Home with this great vegetable spiral recipe. Most kids love bread sticks, add some vegetables to get them to try .

Dashing Dish created these delicious looking Cauliflower Pizza Bites. I am going to try these, as my son loves pizza.

I have never met a child that doesn't like chips! Why not fry up some Root Vegetable Chips courtesy of Gooseberry Mooseberry.

Those are some great recipes to get started, but some days it is all about presentation!
Here are some great vegetable presentations:
Veggie skeleton from Neatorama
Sesame Veggie Trays by Off Beat Mama

Another thing that we do in our household is make lots of our veggies (and fruit) in fun shapes using cookie cutters.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fabulous Friday - Drum Time

Who knew that 5 gallon buckets could make such beautiful music? Sit your kids down this weekend and teach them how to make something beatiful from nothing.