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Archive for the ‘Family time’ Category

New Year’s Resolutions

The start of every new year brings the excitement of the unknown and offers the opportunity for reflection on the year that has passed. The idea of a clean slate, even a new beginning, gives us the opportunity to create goals that we want to accomplish over the course of the next year.

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In 2018, you can make creating New Year’s resolutions a family event. Give your children a pen and paper for them to write out three goals that they want to accomplish. You can ask questions to help get them started:

  • What hobby, sport or instrument do you like?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • How many books did you read this year?

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While they develop their goals, work on a few of your own. Make this time together a chance for your children to experience your “grown-up” life. When all of you are all finished writing out your New Year’s resolutions, take turns reading them out loud to each other. Reasonable, well-thought-out goals can empower your children to achieve something that they had not considered before.

Tack up your lists on a pin board or put them on the fridge. Review them occasionally throughout the year to see how everyone is doing. At the year’s end, have a celebration, whether you hit your goals or not, and start planning for next year!

Hot Chocolate Recipe

A cold winter night and a cup of hot cocoa fit perfectly together for any occasion. Have a cozy night at home with your little one and share some silly stories over a cup of hot chocolate. Turn off all the lights except one and make shadows on the walls with your hands to put on a shadow-puppet show with your child. Read stories together or make up your own tales!

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Spice up your cup by following this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 2 packs of cocoa mix
  • A handful of mini-marshmallows
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A topping of whipped cream

Directions

Heat up a cup of milk and add two packs of cocoa mix for that extra-delicious chocolate taste. Then, mix your ingredients well. Next, add a handful of marshmallows and a dash of cinnamon. Finish with a squirt of whipped cream on top.

What are your children’s favorite additions to their hot chocolate?

Apple Ring Cookies

Give snack time some healthy zest with these apple ring cookies!

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Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • Your choice of nut- or seed-based butter
  • Raisins
  • Sliced almonds
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Shredded coconut

Slice apple into thin rings and remove core from each ring. Spread nut butter on one side of ring. Top with almonds, walnuts, raisins and coconut. Feel free to substitute chocolate chips for the raisins and/or chocolate-hazelnut spread for the nut butter.

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

Encourage Imagination during Halloween

Halloween is the perfect time for your children to go above and beyond with their imaginations. Here are a few ways to help them express themselves.

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  1. Ask your children to create mysterious potions with items found in your kitchen. While the potions are brewing, encourage them to come up with spells that the potions will produce and ask them to elaborate on the outcome of taking the potions.
  2. Inspire your children to dress up as anything they want to be. Try to make them think outside the box. Share some of your favorite old costumes to help them get started.
  3. Create a spooky story with your children. You can begin by starting a sentence and asking them to finish it. You’ll be amazed where their minds will take them. Don’t forget to write the story down for lasting memories. For example, “As I was trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I heard a rustling in the bushes and …”
  4. Bake cookies in the shape of a pumpkin and ask your children to use their artistic skills and imagination to decorate them as a pumpkin family. Ask your children to tell you about each pumpkin family member in the process. You can use bat or ghost cookies for this activity

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What are some of your favorite costumes that your children have worn or will wear for Halloween?

Pumpkin Carving Party

The days are chilly, the leaves are changing and fall is in the air.

A pumpkin carving party is a great way to gather your community together. Bring your own pumpkin (BYOP)!

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Invite families in your community to get slimy with pumpkin goop, spooky with spider webs and creative with jack-o-lanterns.

Decorate your yard or block with fun Halloween decorations and watch this magical land come to life. Your little ones will love getting together with other children in the community.

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Play in the Park

Parks are a great place to encourage outdoor play. Instead of sitting inside watching television or playing on a tablet, plan a day at the park with your little one. Bring lunch, water and snacks so you and your child can enjoy the outdoors all day.

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A few activities to get you started for the day can include playing Frisbee, playing catch and jumping rope. Try to gather a group of children and their parents for a friendly game of whiffle ball. If your park has a walking trail, bring a notebook and ask your child to draw things that you see along the way. Take photos of unique animals, flowers or trees and research them at home for a nice cool-down activity.

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What are some activities you and your children do at the park?

National Fossil Day

Today, October 11, 2017, is National Fossil Day! Many little ones love playing with dinosaur toys. What better time to learn through play than on National Fossil Day? Many children may see dinosaurs as fantasy characters since the creatures lived millions of years ago. You can have a prehistoric blast by teaching your child what fossils are and how we use them to research past time periods. Here’s a great way to help your child visualize fossils instead of looking up photos of them in books or online.

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Take out your favorite sugar cookie recipe and gather some small toy dinosaurs. Together with your child, prepare the cookies, and while they are baking, clean the toy dinosaurs. Once the cookies are out of the oven, while still soft, press the toy dinosaurs into the cookies to leave a dinosaur imprint. Then, carefully remove the toy dinosaurs, and set the cookies aside to cool and harden. The imprint of a toy dinosaur will allow your child to see what a fossil looks like.

collecting fossils. get coral fossil out of a chalk rock.

What are some ways that you and your child can learn about fossils?

Grandparents Day

This Sunday, September 10, is Grandparents Day! Having strong family connections is important for a child’s healthy, happy lifestyle. Although there is a large age gap between preschoolers and their grandparents, children can learn a lot from their elders.

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Grandparents have vast amounts of wisdom to offer, and they can render a kindness that is unlike that of other generations. There is a certain admiration that grandparents and grandchildren share with each other, and it is beneficial to give them opportunities to spend time together. The celebration of Grandparents Day is a great way to show grandparents just how loved and appreciated they are.

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Homemade crafts from grandchildren are the perfect gifts to celebrate this special day.

Hand or Foot Print Masterpieces

Gather some non-toxic paint and have your child dip his hands or feet in it. Then place his hands or feet onto a sheet of paper, a t-shirt or a piece of canvas. After the paint has dried, help your preschooler sign his name for that extra special touch.

Photo Album

Sit down with your little one and sift through the photos that you have taken of her with her grandparents over the years. Choose the best ones (though they are all great!), and create a photo album filled with wonderful memories. Grandparents will be able to reflect on this gift for many years and enjoy reminiscing the beautiful moments they spent with their grandchildren.

Those children who live far away from their grandparents can still celebrate Grandparent’s Day. You can take a trip to the nearest assisted living center and spend some time with the residents who cannot see their grandchildren on Grandparents Day. The residents will be delighted to spend time with your child, and she will feel good about herself for giving back to those in the community while having fun.

What are some activities your family does for Grandparents Day?

DIY Banana Chips

Many store-bought banana chips are loaded with added sugar and fat. Follow these simple instructions to make healthy banana chips at home.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Slice the banana (or bananas, depending on how many chips you want) into 1/8-inch-thick rounds, and lay them on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees F for two to three hours or until golden. Then let the chips harden at room temperature. Enjoy them as is or serve with nut butter. For an extra kick of sweetness, brush lemon juice on the banana slices before baking.

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

 

Bean and Cheese Tacos

Looking for a quick and easy dinner idea? Please adults and children alike with these bean and cheese tacos!

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Ingredients

  • 15-oz can of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup mild salsa
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce
  • Taco shells (hard or soft)
  • Low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Combine beans and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Spoon the bean mixture into each taco shell, top with lettuce and cheese.

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