Monday, June 21, 2010

Creative, INEXPENSIVE Ways to Build Memories With Your Family This Summer!

Here are some FUN ways to get to know your kids this summer:
  • With younger kids: There’s no better way to get to know their thoughts than to have them write and act out a play. Try this easy ‘puppet’ show:
You will need
  1. magazines
  2. scissors
  3. glue
  4. popsicle sticks or straws
  5. imagination
-Cut out various faces and glue them to sticks or straws
-Name each character, identify who they are (Mom, Dad, etc.) and what they do
-Write an outline script (not too detailed … you’ll want them to be spontaneous!)
-Gather an audience and put on a puppet play

  • With Tweens: My favorite time and place to bond with my sons is in the kitchen! Food is typically the byproduct of the time we spend together. Try making these ‘edible crayons’ and make certain you have your secret list of topics already in your head to get a good quality discussion going while you ‘work’ at this fun project:
You will need:
  1. pretzel rods cut into 3” pieces (adult with serrated knife works best)
  2. fun-colored melting chocolates (from craft or kitchen store) melted
  3. wax paper or foil
  4. wrappers for your crayons (check out my colleague‘s link to download free ‘end of school’ labels here: 24/7 MOMS
-Cut labels apart
-Dip ends of pretzel rods into colored melted chocolates
-Set on wax paper or foil to dry
-While chocolate is still tacky, wrap a label around each ‘crayon’

  • With Older Kids: This is a great time to teach your kids to journal. Perhaps at this age, they will also need one ‘private’ journal of their own; however, to get them in the habit, get a journal for each of you with the intent that you will share what you have written with each other.
You will need:
  1. journals or notebooks
  2. special pens (this makes it more ceremonial and special … and perhaps gives incentive to write)
  3. specific topics that will help you get to know each other a little better (for instance: What was your favorite age, and why? Did you have a favorite birthday, and what made it special? What is your favorite holiday? What was your most embarrassing moment? …)
  4. quiet time separately
  5. quiet time together to share your journals
-Choose a specific topic and set a time frame to write about it (perhaps you can give each other a day or two)
-Decide on a time and place to get together and share your journal entries (it might help if you keep the same day of the week and time slot as your special appointment)

No matter how old your kids are, these exercises will allow you to spend quality bonding time with them now while building memories of a lifetime.

Enjoy the magic,

Friday, June 18, 2010

School's Out!

What now?!

Wouldn't you LOVE to have the best summer EVER with your kids? ... If your answer is, "Yes!" keep reading:

To start this summer on the right track with your kids keep an even playing field (or at least make it seem as though you are! :) by giving them the opportunity to help design your summer plans.

Everyone's input counts here ~
  • Set goals for things you'd like to achieve this summer
      • Be somewhat flexible so that this is more fun and not a pressure-cooker item
      • Perhaps the goal can be for a certain week rather than a specific day to help ease the urgency
  • Let your kids set goals, too
      • Is there theme park close by that they'd like to visit?
      • Have you been wanting to eat at a restaurant that is further than you'd typically drive for dinner?
      • What would you like to do that is out of the family 'norm?'
      • Would you like your child to read a certain book?
  • Ask every family member to make their own 'wish list'
      • Each person should write down 10 different things (depending on how many family members are participating)
      • Pass your lists around and vote on 5 items from each person's list (again this number can change depending on family size)
      • Assuming there are 2 parents and 2 children, you might have 20 goals to hit, and you can spread them out accordingly
  • When summer comes to an end, make a family night out of reviewing your list and reminiscing about each goal ... Perhaps each family could come to the table with something they wrote about each goal, or simply one specific 'fave' ... this is also a great time to put together a scrapbook of photos and mementos you collected ... and include what each person wrote, too!
  • You've not only had the best summer, you've got it documented so you can relive it for a lifetime of memories!
Stay tuned for more fun tips from Mrs. Wilson!

Enjoy the magic~