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Archive for February, 2018

KuKu Game

KuKu (Koo – Koo) is a game that teaches risk, money and numbers, but it’s easy enough to explain to your child.

What you need

  • One large poster paper
  • One large drafting compass
  • A pencil
  • A deck of cards
  • Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters) or poker chips for each player

Set up

To set up your board, take the poster paper and draw a large circle close to the edge with your protractor. Next, draw a smaller circle inside and continue that process until you have about five concentric circles decreasing in size toward the middle. Then, draw lines coming from the center to the edge, resembling pizza slices (see below).

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Players

  • three to eight

Goal

  • To not end up with the lowest card

How to Play

  1. Choose a starting dealer. The deal will rotate clockwise with each round.
  2. Have each player put a coin on the red dot at the bottom of the poster.
  3. The dealer distributes one card per player face down.
  4. Starting to the left of the dealer, the player decides to keep the dealt card or to switch it with the person on the left. If switched, the second player can either keep it or switch it again with the player on the left. Remember, the object is to not end up with the lowest card of all players.
  5. This play continues until it circles back to the dealer. The dealer can either keep the card he has or switch it with a card in the deck.
  6. All players turn their card face up. The person with the lowest card moves up one space on the board.
  7. Start a new round with a new dealer.
  8. Once your coin is in the innermost circle, you are out.
  9. The last person left with a coin outside the inner circle wins all the coins.

** If you are dealt a king at any time, you can yell “KuKu” and refuse to give your card to the person asking to switch with you.

Have fun!

 

Cardboard Tube Bird Feeder

This cardboard tube bird feeder craft is a fun way to invite feathered friends to your yard! Watch as birds come to feed, and talk with your little one about all the different birds that visit the feeder. You can even look up the birds you see online to learn more about them. Audubon.com and National Geographic Kids are great resources.

What You Need

  • Plate
  • Birdseed
  • Nut or Seed Butter
  • Cardboard Tube (toilet paper size or half of a paper towel roll)
  • String

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Instructions

Pour the birdseed onto the plate and use a spoon, butter knife or popsicle stick to coat the outside of the cardboard tube with the nut or seed butter.

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Roll the coated tube in the birdseed. Fill in any gaps as needed until the whole tube is covered.

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Thread a piece of string through the cardboard tube and tie the ends of the string together.

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Hang it from a tree for the birds to enjoy!

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Encourage Outside-The-Box Thinking in Your Preschooler

A fantastic way to get your little one to think outside the box is with cooking.

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For example, you can make numerous different croissant dishes with a simple roll of the dough. Unfold each section from the packaged roll and form it into an individual triangle. Once it is face open, ask your child what to add to the middle. There are a ton of possibilities; following are three examples:

  1. Add a piece of ham and a piece of cheese, and then roll the dough for a delicious ham and cheese sandwich.
  2. Add pepperoni and cheese, and serve with a tomato sauce dip to create a mini-croissant pizza.
  3. Add shredded chicken and bacon and serve with ranch.

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Another way to encourage your child to think outside the box is with riddles.

  1. A man went on a trip riding his horse. He left on Friday, stayed in town for three days and came back on Friday. How did he do it?  Answer: His horse’s name is Friday
  2. What has three hands, but cannot clap? Answer: a clock

Chocolate-Banana Yogurt Sundae

Spruce up snack time or dessert with this delicious chocolate-banana yogurt sundae!

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Ingredients

  • Non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Banana
  • Shredded coconut

Spoon a desired amount of yogurt into a dish. Slice up the banana, and place the slices in the yogurt. Then drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle shredded coconut over the sundae.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

How To Fold a Paper Boat

Ahoy! Are you looking for a fun Valentine’s Day craft?! Look no further! Have your children practice their fine motor and math skills while they fold a spare sheet of paper into a floating masterpiece. Let your children decorate it with hearts or fill it with candy, then sail right into Valentine’s Day!

1. Fold a piece of paper in half crosswise.

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2. Fold paper in half lengthwise and open it back out.

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3. Fold the corners down the center crease.

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4. Fold the long bottom strip up and fold the corners over.

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5. Flip the paper over and repeat the previous step.

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6. Fold the opposite corners together and turn it sideways to make a diamond.

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7. Fold the bottom corner up halfway, turn it over and repeat.

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8. Open the triangle and fold the opposite corners together.

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9. Hold the paper at the tip and gently pull the sides apart.

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Ship ahoy!

 

 

Five Ways to Encourage Good Manners

Learning to be polite and respectful is just as important as learning any other life skill. Here are five ways to encourage good manners in children.

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  1. Be a good example. Children imitate what they see and hear, so if you are polite and respectful to others, there is a good chance that your child will be, too.
  2. Role play with your child. For example, ask her to pretend she’s at a restaurant. Then ask her what she would do if she needs somebody to pass the salt or what she would do if the server asks her what she wants to order.
  3. Enlist help from other family members. If you are comfortable with it, let other family members know that it is okay for them to encourage your child to use good manners. Or, say, if a grandparent burps, gently remind the grandparent that he or she should say “Excuse me.”
  4. Begin teaching manners early. Even if your child is a toddler, it is never too early to start teaching manners. After all, if a child is encouraged from day one to say please and thank you, it becomes a regular part of his everyday life.
  5. Correct mistakes politely. Your child is bound to make mistakes, and it is perfectly fine for you to correct her. Just be sure to do it calmly and politely.

Ready! Set! Snow!

Snowfall can be very exciting, especially for children who are full of anticipation for winter fun and games.

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The yard is covered in a white blanket just waiting for little footprints. Children love building snowmen, constructing snow forts and making snow angels.

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Some children believe that wearing their pajamas inside out or putting a spoon under their beds will increase snowfall and may increase the odds for a snow day.

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There are many quirky superstitions to try. What has your family tried? Did it work? How do you celebrate a snow day?

How to Make Chores Fun

When you’re a busy parent coming home from the workday and continuing your second job of being a parent, simple household chores can take up valuable time and can become aggravating.

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Lessen your stress by teaching responsibility to your little ones. Encouraging your children to contribute to small tasks around the house will not only help them develop gross motor skills and responsibility, but it will also provide extra time for you as a parent to bond with your children by playing a game or reading a book.

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  1. Call their help something other than chores. Emphasize that your child will be helping with daily tasks. Children may feel happier about completing their task if they are helping.
  2. Create a Mommy’s and Daddy’s Helper chart. Children will be anxious to check off their task of the day; it will entice them to complete it
  3. Add a sticker each time your child completes an assigned task. Offer your child a special prize for obtaining a certain number of stickers. Prizes can be one of the following:
    • Having an extra 30 minutes of screen time;
    • Choosing the family dinner for a night;
    • Picking the game for family game night.