Monday, March 3, 2014
Sometimes it's best to power down the laptop and simply spend time with the family. Listed here are three fun ways we've been trying to spend time together recently other than the typical "family movie" that we started gravitating towards.
1) Music: Get out the musical instruments. Whether you know how to play them or not! Kids love to make noise and skill usually isn't a factor for them. Just let loose and have fun. Pick up that guitar that has been hiding in the corner all these years or wipe the dust off of the piano and have some good old fashioned fun!
2) Board Games: The challenge with board games is, when you have young children you have to be right there vigilant and watching at all times. But the catch is, that's why kids usually thrive off of board games, because you ARE there with them. They love the attention, interaction and instruction! We love board games in our house because you don't see one child sitting at a computer screen separated from the rest of the family. Rather, they are involved and spending time with the other members of the family!
3) Kitchen Fun: Cook, bake, and create! Sometimes it is so easy to push the children aside when in the kitchen but so many memories can be made here! Don't be afraid of another mess, it is worth it when the time is spent with your family!
For birthdays we used to tell the kids they could pick which restaurant they wanted to go to that evening. After a couple years of doing that, it just seemed to be too much. It also didn't seem special anymore, because they simply expected it. This past year we changed things up and they can pick any homemade meal for their birthday. Let me tell you, this is definitely going to become a new favorite tradition! They love creating the menu from the meal dish to the drink and dessert. We've made homemade chicken fingers, fries, and tasty cakes. It seems more special when the whole family has a hand in it!
Goodnight Angels, by Melody Carlson is a simple, cute and fun board book for kids! This book is written in a similar fashion to Goodnight Moon, except it places God at the center. The story focuses on a little boy who is saying goodnight to the world around him. At the end of his day, he prays to God thanking him for his blessings, love and care. It is a great way to teach children that each day, it is good to look back at all that God has given us and done for us and to be thankful.
This would be a great bedtime story for the child who has a hard time transitioning to bedtime. The story goes through a typical bedtime routine from having to come in from playing outside to taking a bath and brushing teeth. It is a wonderful tool to help children understand that a bedtime routine is normal. This book can help to calm the senses as this particular boy's routine is being read.
Disclaimer: I received this book as apart of the Book Look Blogger Program. All opinions stated are my own.
When this adorable hardcover picture book arrived at my front door, I was thrilled! Pups of the Spirit by Jill Gorey and Nancy Haller, (illustrated by Deborah Melmon) is an adorable, quality book geared toward children ages 4-8. I have personally tried to teach preschoolers the fruits of the spirit and let me tell you, it can be overwhelming! I prepared a series of lessons for the preschoolers in our church complete with cute poems, games and hands-on lessons to try to get it into their little hearts. Even in our own homeschool, at one point, we had two baskets on top of the fridge. A "fruit of the spirit" basket and a "works of the flesh" basket. If my kids, (at the time, five and younger) would demonstrate a fruit of the spirit such as kindness, then they would receive a penny in the basket. If they would demonstrate a work of the flesh a penny would go into the other basket. It worked for a while, but became overwhelming on my part after a while trying to keep track! This book certainly simplifies the task at hand. The task being, trying to teach little ones ALL nine fruits of the spirit! In a simple, cute and memorable fashion, the author is able to communicate this lesson in a way little minds can relate to!
The story is written in rhyme to make it easier for little ones to stay engaged and follow along. I love that. It begins by introducing nine pups who have received a special gift of their own from God, the fruits of the spirit.
The story goes through and describes each pup and how they live out their own special gift. It is cute and memorable. It certainly teaches children what these gifts look like in everyday life. It doesn't simply list the gifts but it actually explains how someone can exhibit each one. And the fact that the "someone" is a puppy makes it all the more relatable to children!
This is an excellent resource for any homeschool with lower elementary aged children or for a Sunday School classroom setting. A neat aspect of this book is that the book sleeve actually doubles as a poster! When you take it off the book, the underside reveals a cute poster displaying each puppy and their gift! What a creative use for a book sleeve! I usually take them off of my picture books since they get ripped and torn so easily, what an excellent idea!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through the Book Look blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are my own.