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Archive for the ‘Family time’ Category

National Reading Month

Encourage your child to read a little more at this time of year to celebrate National Reading Month. Children’s imaginations are stimulated by reading about fictitious characters and magical worlds. Whether your little learner is interested in cars and trains or wicked witches and goblins, you can find books about any topic; if you can’t find one, create your own.


Another great way to celebrate this month is by writing your own story with your child and then reading it aloud with her. Here’s a template to help you and your little one get started creating her very own story. Talk with her about what each highlighted word means and watch her mind come up with a word to fill in the blank.

Once upon a time, there was a(n) ­­­­­animal named, boy’s name. He is number years old and lives in place. Same boy’s name and his friend Sam get together every day of the week and take a walk in the place. The two friends laugh and play fun activity together until it is time to go home. When the day is over, same boy’s name goes home to eat type of food for dinner, with his family. After dinner, he sits in his color chair and reads favorite bedtime story with his family. The End.

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).



  • three to eight


  • 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!


Ready! Set! Snow!

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


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.


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.


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.


  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.

Four Ways to Encourage Children to Share

Learning to share is important, but it can be challenging to convey this to children. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four ways to encourage children to share.


  1. As is so often the case, children grow to give what they have received. Valued and generously loved children find it much easier to be generous to others – in due time. Parents who behave generously (and talk about it) help their children develop the language of sharing early on. Phrases such as “Want to share my grapes?” or “I’d love it if I could share your orange, okay?” afford your child the chance to hear the vocabulary of sharing in the context of positive emotions like appreciation and generosity. This helps children begin to understand that generosity is a way of staying emotionally close to the people they want to stay close to.
  2. Avoid parent-enforced sharing whenever possible. The umpire is the least popular position in any sport or family. Acting as the referee supports the fantasy that, when a child wants something another child has, you can make things fair or right by forcing that other child to share. Instead, whenever you can, use the huge power of your affection to comfort the child, reassuring him you are staying right there and helping him wait for his turn.
  3. When you catch your child sharing, which they are more likely to do with younger, less intimidating peers, praise her for it, tell her how proud you are that she shared. This works far better than teaching or trying to make children share.
  4. Children in mixed age groups often find it easier to share than those who interact with their peers. Older children are usually less territorial and more likely to share, which can be a cue to younger children to share. These moments should be met with praise.

Snowflakes: A Great Analogy For Teaching Children That It’s Good To Be Unique

In today’s world, we worry more about fitting in than sticking true to ourselves. Peer acceptance is an especially strong concept among young children. When children are starting school, their priority and the thing they may fear the most is simply making friends. Instead of wearing their favorite shirts and risk having other children make fun of them, our children may be holding back and wear something less themselves to fit in with others. Instead of sharing their favorite movie, they may give in and share a friend’s favorite movie so no one laughs at their opinions.


It’s important for our little ones to understand that they are talented and what they like or dislike does matter. Their other opinions matter too. Our children should feel comfortable expressing themselves; just as each snowflake is unique, so is each child different from the others. Completing a snowflake activity is a good way to explain this concept.

Gather a stack of white computer paper and cut each sheet to form a perfect square. Once in a square, fold the paper diagonally and then diagonally another three times. Next, cut the tip off, cut out shapes and slits in the paper and then unfold for the final product. Repeat and see how each snowflake is different from the others while each snowflake is itself beautiful.

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We see that no two snowflakes are the same. It’s similar with people; even twins are not exactly the same. Teach your children that it’s okay to be different and to be confident in being different. Your children are more likely to become leaders when they’re confident in themselves, their likes, their dislikes and their overall decisions.

What are some ways your children openly express themselves?

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.


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?


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!


Spice up your cup by following this recipe!


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


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!



  • 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.


  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


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