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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
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    April 18, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Really Cool Multiplication Tip
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    This is INSANE!!! Way easier than the way kids are taught in school. It’s also great for when you don’t have a calculator handy.

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    April 17, 2014
    Pros and Cons of Adopting Toddlers

    If you’ve always wanted to adopt, and longed to have a child of your own no matter what the costs, you probably don’t care about the drawbacks. Also, this post is not intended to dissuade anyone from adopting a toddler- it’s a lifechanging, incredible experience. Rather, it’s so prospective parents know exactly what they’re getting into, especially when adopting a child that’s already 2 or 3 years old. This post by Carly at Africa to America is a pretty good guide. Be sure to click through to the entire post to read her story:

    -You get to be there for a lot of “firsts” with a younger child

    -Attachment may come more naturally with a smaller child

    -Toddlers are super cute!

    -…But they are EXHAUSTING, both mentally and physically.

    -Toddlers have most likely spent their early years in an orphanage, foster care, or a traumatic home. Be prepared for their emotional needs when dealing with this.

    Photo Credit: Jenny Downing 

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    April 16, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Home Book Club Idea

    Photo and Idea from Dabbles and Babbles

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    April 15, 2014
    Getting Outdoors With Your Family

    So far this Spring, I’ve tried to get outside as much as I can with my family and friends. Already, we have walked on our local Greenway, gone to the lake, driven around with the windows down, played badminton, volleyball, cornhole, and grilled out. I’ve been so tired of being cooped up indoors all winter! And getting some fresh air does wonders for both physical and mental health. It’s extremely important for kids to get to play and spend time outside (away from the TV and computer!), but if you’re out of ideas, this post by Jennifer Hughes at The Jenny Evolution has some fun outdoor activities for you to try out:

    -Go for a walk or hike together

    -Plant a garden and tend to it

    -Grab the bike

    -Go stargazing

    -Pick up sticks and clean up the yard

    -Go tent camping

    -Make an obstacle course

    -Draw with chalk

    -Play tag

    -Go to the park or playground

    Photo Credit: William Wootton 

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    April 14, 2014
    Easter Egg Hunt…. In the Dark?

    As a kid, egg hunts are the best part of Easter! They’re most likely to never get sick of them, but there are ways you can amp up the fun. Check out this idea from juleed at WarmHotChocolate– a glow in the dark easter egg hunt! Use large plastic eggs, fill them with treats, and a glow stick! Then hide them (at night)! You could also try it indoors with most of the lights off. The kids will have a blast! Here are some tips from the original post:

    -I recommend using all large eggs or purchasing mini glow sticks.

    -The solid color eggs were better at giving off a “glow” in the landscape that the transparent eggs.

    -Since you have to “turn on” the glow sticks, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to prep this activity in advance. It takes about an hour to hide them, so plan accordingly!

    Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan 

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    April 11, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: How To Make Rock Candy
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    Really fun science experiment / treat for the kids! Could also be used in a homeschool lesson about geology.

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    April 10, 2014
    Is Your Family Prepared For Springtime Allergies?

    I am SO GLAD winter is over, and the first person I hear complaining about the hot weather is going to get slapped. I’d much rather it be ninety degrees than fifteen. Spring is glorious! Plants are blooming, the sun is out, the rain is warm, and everything is a little happier. However, one of the best parts of Spring is also the only bad part: the flowers. The pollen. The allergies. If you or your kids have allergies that kick in this season, I’m sure you’re already gearing up with little pink pills and tissues galore. But, this post by Sarak Wellensiek at the Right Start blog might be helpful. It’s written for baby items to have on hand during cold season, but this stuff is so useful during allergy season as well that it’s worth looking at:

    -Use cleaning wipes to wipe up sneezes

    -Nasal aspirators (sucker balls) suck out boogies.

    -A humidifier keeps the air from drying out

    -LOTS of tissues

    -A ton of patience and TLC

    Photo Credit: Tina Franklin 

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    April 9, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Candy Sushi Activity!

    Photo from Jordan and Dillan

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    April 8, 2014
    Compassionate Kids

    No one wants their kid to be a bully or a jerk. But, how do you teach young kids to be more inclusive and empathetic? It can be tough in a world where racism, sexism, and selfishness are so ingrained in our culture. You have to work hard at it and keep reinforcing positive emotional intelligence literacy in kids for it to stick. In short, tell them about the golden rule: Treat people how you want to be treated. One way to teach this is to read to your kids! This post by Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has some more tips on fostering compassion in young kids, and teaching them how to be more inclusive of kids with different backgrounds than themselves:

    Parents and educators can use literature to teach their children and students how to be more compassionate and inclusive of others. Developing high emotional intelligence in our children is an attainable goal when we use all of the great  literature resources that are available.

    Lee & Low is one excellent source. It specializes in culturally authentic literature for children and young adults. Their website offers resources for home and school, including a section about discussions on race and titles that support these discussions.

    Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt 

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    April 7, 2014
    High Energy Kids + Low Energy Mom Ideas

    Raising kids and looking after them all day is downright exhausting. You have to be in pretty good shape, have your daily schedule together, and be at top energy every day. But, we’re all human. Sometimes, if you’re sick, pregnant, or just feeling off, it can be extremely difficult to deal with crazy children! But, there are ways to divert their energy (into meaningful activities) while not taxing yourself. Check out this list of ideas by Frugal Fun 4 Boys:

    -Ask for help!  If you’re on bedrest or sick for an extended period, don’t be afraid to ask for help! 

    -Lay on the floor with a pillow while they build with blocks, etc.

    -Head to the library for new books or movies

    -Color or do crayon rubbings

    -Sidewalk chalk. You can spend time outside without running around!

    -Paper airplanes


    Photo Credit: Michael Bentley 

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