If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
With snow finally falling here in New England, it is time to pull out a fun winter tradition and make snow cream! It is a fun activity with the kids if they have a snow day or a fun afternoon after they get home from school. So here is an easy snow cream recipe to try.
For 8ish servings, you need 1 gallon of (clean) snow (about 16 cups), 1 cup of sugar (more or less to taste), 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 2 cups of milk. Put it in a large bowl. Mix it together until creamy. You can add flavors like peppermint oil or cocoa powder. Or you can add ingredients like M&Ms, crushed candy canes, or chocolate chips. Have fun with it!
Have the kids get the snow and add the ingredients, which are safe to handle. Have them play around with ingredients to see what unique flavor they can come up with. For older children, have them name their new snow cream flavor, and/or sketch a logo or design for their snow cream. For brave souls, set up a snow cream stand in lieu of a lemonade stand and see what happens.
Whether you are Irish or not, whether you can spell claddagh or you can’t, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day can be fun, as well as good cultural exposure for your children. So here are some St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids of all ages.
If you have younger kids, here are some fun ways to spice up the day. You can do some or all, or pretend a Leprechaun visits during the night. Here is a good backstory:
Explain there are Irish elves called Leprechauns who love (chocolate) gold coins so much that if they don’t find them in the house on St. Patrick’s Day, they will get mad and leave things a mess. So you need to capture one!
Have the kids make a Leprechaun Trap to see if they can trap a Leprechaun. Here are a couple of ideas, but anything they can think up and imagine is always a great thing too. Just find empty coffee containers, empty cereal boxes, empty oatmeal jars or empty shoe boxes, construction paper, tape or glue, scissors, markers or crayons, stickers, etc. Then use items like fake gold (chocolate gold coins are good), lucky charms cereal or anything that would ‘lure the Leprechaun’ to the trap.
Set up the traps before the kids go to bed and while they are sleeping, leave evidence behind like green confetti, maybe muss up the house a bit (or more so than usual!) Open some kitchen drawers, and leave green napkins hanging out. Turn over a chair. Maybe even leave Leprechaun footprints. Color the toilet water green pretending it must be Leprechaun pee-pee. (Kids love that!) Then hide chocolate gold coins around the house. When the kids wake up, they will see the empty trap, but the fun ‘destruction’ (and chocolate) the Leprechauns left behind in their hasty escape!
Here are some other ‘Lucky 7″ activities to do on or before St. Patricks Day.
1. Serve green eggs for breakfast.
2. Pack a baggy of Lucky Charms cereal for the lunch box or as a fun snack.
5. Make rainbows of colored paper or draw them with colored markers or crayons. Or make shamrocks.
6. Play Irish Music in the house.
7. Make Irish Soda Bread or Irish cookies (flavored with mint as an extra touch!)
An as an FYI, leprechauns are not the only Irish elves…they have lesser-known cousins called Clurichauns that drink too much and will ruin your liquor cabinet if you get on their bad side! (But that is a post for another day.)
Many thanks to the awesome Metrowest Mamas’ and Charlene Chronicles’ fan Joy. Not only did Joy inspire this post, but she always takes the time to like my posts or leave comments on Facebook, which I so appreciate. Thanks Joy!
While there are always scheduled school vacation events in your local community, sometimes the weather can thwart outdoor events. Or here in the Northeast, the standard winter break activities of ice skating or sledding are a no-go with our mild weather this season. Other considerations like budget, or even sick kids, can prevent you from taking even a local road trip to break up the daily boredom.
So here are four indoor, at-home, ideas to add some fun flair to any school vacation week.
1. Have an Indoor Campout. Lay out the blanket, sleeping bags and/or pitch a tent in the family room. Have hotdogs for dinner, and of course, no camp out is complete without smores. Hershey’s makes a great smores kit. Otherwise, use graham crackers, a chocolate bar (or even a chocolate spread like Nutella) and fluff. Turn out the lights, give everyone flashlights and take turns telling stories.
2. Have a Backwards Day. Let your kids wear their shirts backwards. Serve dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. See what other backwards things they can come up with and try them out.
3. Create a Kid Oscar Party. Find old dresses in your closet or hit up a goodwill store for other garments and accessories. Set up a red carpet area with a video camera. Interview them and play it back on the TV or computer! Serve “Oscar” Mayer deli sandwiches. Then serve up some popcorn and pop in their favorite movie for a special screening.
4. Play Restaurant. Have them pick out the menu for dinner (or lunch). Go to the grocery store and let them find the ingredients. Back at home, give them crayons and paper to create the menus and receipts. Then have them pretend they are the head chef and cook the meal. Or have them be the waitstaff and serve Mom and Dad. (Remember to tip!)
It is a worry of mine that my children will struggle as I did with arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. Yet, a lot of the struggles can be avoided with a few points to consider.
At a Math is Fun event hosted by Dads Do Good and sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (a Boston-based company), I listened to a panel of math experts, who shared their strategies for making math fun.
First, don’t panic. Just because you don’t know algebra doesn’t mean it is a hopeless cause. Be calm and your kids will pick up on your enthusiasm (and not your own dread.)
Second, be involved. While it is natural to shy away from things we don’t understand and don’t enjoy, be involved with your child’s math curriculum and their teacher. Ask questions and get lesson plans.
Third, make it fun. There are a variety of online games and tablet apps. While they are not a substitution, they are a great enhancement to reinforce, renew or challenge at a variety of math levels.
Fourth, think outside the box. Use everyday activities to incorporate math. Do you like to watch the TV show Deal or No Deal? Learn about probabilities!
While society can do a lot more to make math interesting, fun and fabulous, it can start a home. No matter at what age.
These were some apps and websites that the panel recommended for parents and kids alike. Hopefully one is right for you!
BrainPop - Subscription based online educational website for a variety of subjects, including Math.
ABCya - Free online educational kids computer games and activities for kids in pre-K through grade 5.