A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: Kid’s Fun (Page 2 of 2)

Should I Get a Pet?

Yes, yes…and YES!  In fact, don’t stop at one!  Drop everything you are doing…seriously….go out a get a pet!  You already have one?  Go get another one….add a new type of pet to your family.  Have you ever considered something other than a dog or cat?  Whenever I hear someone ask, “Should I get a pet?,” there is no hesitation in my answer.  The benefits of having family pets are truly amazing!

 

Many of us already know some of the top benefits of growing up with pets.  Seriously, look at this picture.  PURE JOY AND HAPPINESS!  Studies show that growing up with pets creates:

HIGHER SELF ESTEEM…

PATIENCE…

   (for both the child and the pet 😉)

LEARNING TO SHARE…
EMPATHY & COMPASSION…

RESPONSIBILITY…

THE MANY BENEFITS OF PETS~

However, there are so many other benefits as well.  I constantly am reading about “screen time” rules.  There are many learning opportunities with technology today, but kids also need to get outside.  Time spent playing outside increases exponentially when they have the opportunity to play with their furry friends.

Which then leads to very interesting, yet fun bath times….

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF HAVING A PET~

Owning a furry friend also provides many life lessons.  Lessons of birth, sickness and unfortunately death.  These are not subjects we choose to talk about, however, they are a fact of life, and we must all teach our children how to deal with each one.  They watch and learn from us when dealing with each of these situations.

Along with these lessons are ones more in the way of biology.  What is the purpose of whiskers?  How does a snake digest it’s food?  If my pet is very small, like a goldfish, does it still have a heart?  Why doesn’t a dog have to blow it’s nose?  Does a cat really have 9 lives?  How do birds sleep?  How do you know if your hamster is a boy or a girl?  So many learning opportunities here!!!

Another big topic is bullying.  There is a myriad of articles out there explaining why having a pet helps curb bullying.  This personal story discusses how having a pet helped out.  Not only does she explain how her dog was a great companion, but it also gives examples of how animals (of all types) can be a benefit to children, even  if you are not allowed to have pets in your current living situation:  https://www.ourfamilyworld.com/bullying-and-cyberbullying/bullying-prevention-bullying-and-cyberbullying/pet-stop-bullying-boost-self-esteem/

TYPES OF PETS~

I urge you to consider letting your child raise different types of pets.  Many people do not think of any companions besides a dog or cat.  This is a great read on the types and benefits of other options available to us:  https://www.healthline.com/health/best-pets-for-kids#brine-shrimp .  Of course, all pets have different types of care you need to consider.  Not all of these animals/reptiles are cuddly yet they can still be good companions.

Have you considered any of these options?  Fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, turtles, lizards, frogs, geckos, rats…yes rats!  Explore your options!

SO…SHOULD I GET A PET?

Once again, YES!  More than anything, pets help teach a child about unconditional love.  A love that every child should receive and give!

Ground Rules for Grandparents!

IMPORTANT GROUND RULES FOR GRANDPARENTS ~ MAKE SURE YOU READ TO THE END!!!

 

This says it all, right?  When the grandchildren are at Grandma and Grandpa’s house,  there are no rules for Grandparents.  I believe in earlier decades this was the case.  Maybe it’s because families tended to live closer to each other, and the generations were more inclined to raise the kids the way they themselves had been raised.  I’m going to put it out there….I miss those days.  They just seemed simple and there weren’t so many rules.

Brad and I are very lucky.   Our daughter and son-in-law are raising their children much like we raised her.  We had rules–but they weren’t stringent.  We have always had the belief if you teach your kids to have respect, they will stay within the boundaries you set more often than if you try to raise them with an iron fist.  RESPECT – for elders, for your parents, for siblings, for those less fortunate, for those more fortunate, for animals.

That being said, when Lauren does express an opinion on something she would like us to do while we have the kids, we try our hardest to follow those rules.  I’m not even going to say we do a perfect job of it, but we respect her as a mother enough that we usually succeed.  A prime example is when she asks us to serve them more water than juices.  I do a fairly good job of it.  But have you seen these faces?

They melt my heart every…single…time!  I know every grandparent feels this way about their grandkids as well.  So darnit, sometimes it’s just hard to not say yes to everything!  So here are rules we certainly try to abide by.

RULES TO FOLLOW:

2.  Have Essentials Stocked ~ Load that fridge up with all of their favorites!

3.  Make Life Easier on Your Own Children When They Visit ~ Look for fun ways to help get the grandkids to eat their veggies or have the grandchildren help clean up.  This will help ease stress on your children so they can relax and enjoy the visit too.

4.  Have Lots of Books & Games ~ It doesn’t matter if they are old games you have saved or new ones you purchased…just have them handy.  But don’t just HAVE them….play them!

5.  Keep Toiletries and Personal Items Stocked ~ Keep a toothbrush for each child, baby soap and shampoo, fun bath towels, swimming suits if there is an opportunity for swimming, detangler spray (a must for my baby girl), vitamins, baby medicines like Tylenol or cough syrup, extra diapers and wipes and pajamas.

6.  DVD’s & VHS Tapes ~  Yes, I actually said VHS.  Did your kids have a lot of favorite movies on tape?  You can be sure your grandchildren will LOVE watching what their parents used to enjoy!

7.  Stock Up on Fun Kitchen Ware ~  They all love to eat and drink from a fun plate with their favorite characters.  Not to mention, sippy cups that don’t leak which will save a lot of stress from spills.  We also really love these fun drinks.  I personally think they are a tad expensive to buy new ones all of the time so we get a few favorites and then wash them out and reuse them a while.  (These make it more fun to drink that water mom demands 😉) :

                                                                 

Aren’t these so fun?  And these are just a few examples of the options available.  You can pretty much get whatever their favorite character is at the moment.  Most stores carry them, but there are usually more options on Amazon.   You can use the link below to have them shipped to you:

good2grow Paw Patrol Collector 100% Apple Juice, 6-pack of 6-Ounce Spill Proof Character Top Bottles, Non-GMO with no Sugar Added and Excellent Source of Vitamin C (Character Tops May Vary)

In Closing:

Did you think I forgot Rule #1???  I would NEVER forget Rule #1,  and I don’t think you will either

RULE #1 ~ LOVE AND HUG ON THOSE GRANDBABIES EVERY SINGLE CHANCE YOU GET!  Aferall, love is the greatest of all things!

 

 

4th of July Fun – Keeping it Simple

It’s the eve of July 4th.  If you are a planner, then you have your menu and activities laid out for the family celebration.  However, if you are more of an impromptu person like myself, you are frantically searching through Pinterest and other websites for new and exciting ideas.  I always feel like I have to find the latest and greatest ideas that surface each year.  It’s great to add new and exciting ideas to family events.  But as I get older, I many times ask myself, “What is wrong with some of the simpler foods and activities that we have always had through the years?”

Don’t we all love a good barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and watermelon?  Does anyone ever play bocce ball and frisbee anymore?  Remember when we ran through sprinklers after eating big slices of watermelon and having seed spitting contests?    We giggled and laughed, and our parents loved it because because our sticky faces and bodies got cleaned up a bit during the process.  Good memories indeed!

Then everyone puts on the bug spray, grabs their blankets and sits down for the fireworks show!

Unfortunately, many of the fireworks have been cancelled this year due to Coronavirus.  However, this does not have to keep you from celebrating this very special day.  Great memories are made with or without fireworks!

READ THE FOLLOWING AND REMEMBER ABOUT KEEPING IT SIMPLE~

This poem, which was written by Patrick Hall,  went around the internet in a frenzy when the Coronavirus first entered our lives.  Whether you have read it already or not, take a minute to read and absorb:

 

 

My wish for everyone is while we are all going about creating new 4th of July traditions, take some time to enjoy the simple fun of the old family fun.  Take some frisbees to your family gathering.  Teach the little ones to play jacks.  Have a coloring contest.  Throw up a net and play badminton.  Have a water balloon fight!  Play ring toss.  Play Patriotic bingo~who doesn’t love a good game of Bingo?

FREE 4th of JULY COLORING PAGE LINK~

There are many wonderful links on Pinterest for free coloring pages.  Here is an example from chrissiegrace.blogspot.com:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/158540849356925077/

 

Maybe you can quiz everyone on their knowledge of the lyrics in The Star Spangled Banner….😉   Here is a little cheat sheet for ya:

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

Family Fun on the 4th of July

July 4th is right around the corner–it’s time to get the grills cleaned and find all of your red, white & blue apparel!  Let’s have some family fun this 4th of July!

We, like most families, always get together to celebrate Independence Day!  Recipes, new and old are made, fireworks are purchased, and fun family crafts are decided upon.  As I get older though, I realize I may not have done a great job instilling in my children “why” we celebrate this great day.  Don’t get me wrong, they knew the importance of the day, I just don’t think I took the opportunity to teach some historical facts like I could have.  If I had it to do over, I would have used this time to create fun ways to teach the kids more about our history.  This is truly a great time to have family fun AND teach some history about why we are celebrating.

Did You Know???
    1. Two of our presidents (who also were signatories of the Declaration of Independence), died on July 4, 1826.  Literally the same year!!!  Do you know which presidents they are?
    2. Another president (who was not a signatory of the Declaration of Independence) died on July 4, 1831.
    3. We also have a president who was born July 4, 1872.

Do you know the answers?  Follow this link to check your knowledge:  https://mimiblog.org/2020/06/30/fun-facts-page/

 

Sooo, how did you do?          Don’t get upset if you didn’t know all of them.  I must admit that I learned some new facts today too.  See, I told you I should have taken the time when my kids were younger…I guess you are never to old!

July 4, 2020

So what’s in store for this year?  We have decided to do some tie dye shirts now that the kids are getting a little older.  I’m sure it will be messy, but it will be fun.  After all, that is  what makes good memories.  This is the tutorial (by Happiness is Homemade) that I am going to follow.  I did not create this pin, but I like the way it walks you through step by step if you have not tie dyed before:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282309018/

I am also including this link (by Leigha Doran) as I love the way this one turned out (this is an image only pin):  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/730709108282308707/

The girls and I are working on the rest of the details….I will share them with you when they are finalized.  Until then, I hope you are inspired to add some new fun to your family celebration, and I look forward to hearing about your ideas!

Favorite Books to Read to Kids

I LOVE READING!

I love reading to my grandchildren, I love reading to myself, I love reading to anyone who will listen!  Reading takes you anywhere you want to be.  In fact, I am known in my family for not enjoying travel very much.  I believe that is because books take me anywhere I want to be while allowing me to stay put  in my own home.  (Plus I don’t have to face that daunting task of packing–yuk!)

There is nothing better than snuggling with the grandkids and listening to them laugh.  You know the kind of laugh I am talking about…that deep down from the belly laugh.  I bet you are smiling right now just thinking about it!

There are so many great books out there, however, I have 3 favorites that I truly enjoy reading to the children.  None of them are particularly new books….just tried and true favorites!  These books require interaction and crazy voices, which make the reading experience even more fun.  They are outlined below (along with a link to check them out):

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury & MIchael Rosen – This fun book takes you through several different landscapes all while searching for a bear.  Do they find a bear?  I will leave that for you to find out, but I will tell you it sure is a lot of fun to make all of the landscape noises (stomping through mud and swishing through tall grass)  with the little ones as you journey through the pages.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books)       

 

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2.  The Monster at the End of This Book  by Jon Stone & Michael Smollin – Who doesn’t love Sesame Street characters?  This book completely engages the children by trying to keep you from getting to the end of the book.  The children laugh with delight as they try to quickly turn the pages….even though Grover tries his hardest to stop them!

The Monster at the End of This Book     

 

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3.  Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett – You must buy this one as the kit….it is a MUST!  You wear the fluffy mitts and do lots of tickling as you venture through the pages.  Talk about deep belly laughs!  This one also makes a wonderful gift.

Tickle Monster Laughter Kit — Includes the Tickle Monster book and fluffy mitts for reading aloud and tickling!

 

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If you haven’t already discovered these books, I think they would be a great addition to your bookshelves.  I would also love to hear of any books you recommend as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go Camping!

Do you have a favorite camping story?  Maybe you have a story that you would consider more of a camping nightmare?  Regardless of whether it is good or bad~ if you have ever been camping with your family, you have some wonderful memories!

My family grew up camping…every….single….weekend!  You don’t see families camping  as much these days.  Sports and other summer activities have become more popular and occupy most of the summer days.  While I love all of these options for kids today, I sure do miss the family togetherness of a good ‘ole camping trip!

Well, if you are one of those families that has a summer calendar jam packed with summer camps, sports, and family vacations, maybe you can plan a “camping day” with your kiddos like my daughter did.

How to Create Your Own Camping Site:

She set up the kid’s tent along with their camping chairs, added a couple of logs with a battery operated candle nestled in them to create the “fire” and engaged the kids in their own camping experience….right in the middle of their living room!

They enjoyed s’mores (which she toasted over a candle)  and drinking juice from their own canteens.   Their Chuckwagon meal consisted of a frozen breakfast bowl set in a tin tray for the “camping look.”

The kids also enjoyed making their own binoculars (with a little help from mom.)  These were made from toilet paper rolls, construction paper, yarn and a little glue (the glue is definitely where help from mom comes in.)

You can even have a supply of stickers and crayons so they can decorate them to their liking (this can even help with arguments of which ones belong to whom!)

So why not have a little “camping” fun with your kids or grandkids.  A camper or tent is not in your future?  No problem!   Traveling to a lake or mountain does not fit in your calendar?  No problem!   You don’t even have to buy coolers and fill them with all the camping necessities.  You can still give your children the camping experience by setting up a fun-filled day right at your own home!

Secret Treasures

Evidently there is some secret character that comes and drops coins in the landscape when Addi and Max come to visit.  Even more curious is that it seems they all are found in the general vicinity of Pappy’s grilling area….hmmm!

When the kids first get to our house, there is flurry of activity with very important decisions regarding snacks, drinks, and what toys they want to play with.  Meanwhile, Pappy will scurry off outside to start the firepit and grill for the evening.

Once all decisions have been made, we all head outside, with little hands full of all the goodies they have collected inside.  However, even better treasures await them outside.  Pappy announces, “Addi, Max~get over here quick!  It looks like secret treasures have been left yet again.

They run over by Pappy, already forgetting those items that were oh so important just a few minutes ago…and the search begins!  Quickly, Addi eyes some silver and copper coins (she is the master egg hunter just like her mother!).

However, they know there are still more goods to uncover in the rocky path, so they continue on~each trying to find the most coins to add to their piggy banks (or pockets if we are discussing Max).

This continues on until the every inch of the area has been combed.  They make sure to put their new finds in their own secret areas to save away for a rainy day.  Leave it to Pappy, he has always been the one to help us all understand the importance of saving….all while making it fun!

                               

 

Let’s Dance!

Dance:  the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself.

How long has it been since you danced?  Really danced–letting go of all stress and just taking delight in the movement itself?  For Brad and I as a couple it has been a while.  We used to love dancing!  We would go every single weekend when we were dating.  When I sit and reminisce about those days I am filled with pure joy!  So why did we stop?  Life got in the way I suppose.

Enter Addi & Max….they have brought that fun back into our lives!  Every time we have an overnight–after dinner is done, one of the kids yells “Alexa, play <insert their favorite song of the moment>, and we all dance around the kitchen like crazy.  Thus the sign that is now a focal point in our kitchen.  We play new music that they are obsessed with and then we play old music that Brad and I are obsessed with…and we abandon all cares and just have FUN!

           

 

 

 

When the evening is over and jammies are put on and teeth are brushed, we snuggle in with movies.  Only to wake up and…..DANCE AGAIN!  Isn’t it amazing that with all the toys and gadgets out there, that you can have so much fun just dancing.

            

It is a must that all members of the family join in on this family fun!  Afterall, this is a great activity that is sure to bring smiles but also is a great form of keeping active with the whole family.  More fun can be added in with the addition of this awesome game…. Check out this entertaining family dance game!  This will be sure to have the kid’s often saying, “let’s dance!”

I ask again, how long has it been since you danced?

I Spy – Dig In

I Spy Dig In, The Great Game of Frantic Finding, Fast Paced Color & Shape Identification Game For Kids

Man, was I excited when I came across this awesome game!!!  Are your kiddos fans of  I Spy?  Our family loves everything I Spy!

What I have discovered is so great about this game is that you can alter the rules for all age groups.  My 2 grandchildren’s ages are quite a challenge when trying to find something that both kids will enjoy.  We have come up with many different versions of rules to make everyone happy.  You can play with or without the timer, depending on the ages.

However, the game cards included do come with different playing levels as well.  If I am honest, I must say I have yet to conquer the challenging side of the cards within the allotted time….so this game should last us awhile!

Click on the green link above to go straight to Amazon and order yours today….you will NOT regret adding this one to your game closet.

Update – December 18, 2020

While we continue to have so much fun with the I Spy Dig In game, we have since discovered I Spy Eagle Eye.  Check out the I Spy Eagle Eye game here!!!  In this fast paced game, you race to be the first one to find all of the items on your card and ring the bell to share your victory!  Just like the I Spy Dig In game, this can also be played with different ages which is a huge plus in my book.

There are so many references to how I Spy type games can boost both memory and visual learning in kids.  One such article is from Scholastic, which I am sure we all agree is a leading source in learning.  Read more about the I Spy Book benefits as cited by Scholastic.  This is a great read about why I Spy books and games are so beneficial for your kids.  Even better is that teachers agree!!!

Any time you can pair learning with fun it is a win-win!  In fact, I enjoy sometimes just sitting back and watching the gears turning in their heads as they are making decisions and manipulating the game boards.  Not to mention the big smiles on their faces when they complete their task!

I Spy Printables ~

This is another excellent way to bring more search & find fun to your kids.  You can find so many fun options on Pinterest, like the ones I discovered here by “And Next Comes L.”  They offer you over 100 pages of I spy printables with an array of different fun themes.   Loads of free I Spy printables by And Next Comes L.  As they suggest in their article, these come in handy for different times, such as while you are preparing dinner or when you need quiet time.

You can also get creative and make your own as I did here ➡➡Scroll down here for a fun shark I Spy!  It is just so worthwhile to find as many I Spy sources as possible for continued learning and fun!  As stated earlier in this post, we have always been big fans of search and find games and books.  While I still believe I Spy Dig In is a must have, it is also worthwhile to check out all of the other options out there as well!

Keep Searching…and keep having fun!

 

 

 

 

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