- The God Who Digs in the Dirt at The Architect and the Artist
- J Is for Joy at Ben and Me
- 35 Name Activities for Preschoolers at Hands on as We Grow
- The 4 Parenting Rules I Won’t Quit Using at The Better Mom
Have a great week!
Looking for a fun summer diversion? How about one of these giant games for the backyard? Take your favorite board and computer games up a notch by creating jumbo versions you can play outside. And if you can figure out how to incorporate the hose and some water fun, all the better!
Giant Bananagrams via Constantly Lovestruck
Giant Matching Game via Studio DIY
Cloth Picnic Games (Squares and Tic Tac Toe) at Say Yes
Giant Candyland at Ashlee Marie
You can purchase this Giant Chess Set for about $60 for some big-time backyard fun!
What backyard games do you play during the summer?
Summer–we all love it and we all need a little time off. But your child can fall as many as four months behind in their learning during the short break of summer if we aren’t continuing to focus on learning. I affectionately call that the “summer rust.” So, how do you keep the rust from settling? There are plenty of great workbooks out there and even some great websites, but there are also some sneaky ways to add in some learning with things you are probably already doing.
Let’s focus on literacy first. If you read your child will be more likely to read. If your child is a hesitant or reluctant reader, read aloud to them or listen to audio books together, especially on those long road trips. When you are listening or reading be sure to ask your child questions about what they are reading or listening to such as, “What is happening in the story? Who are the main characters? What was your favorite part and why?” Encourage your kids to write about trips you have taken together in a journal or draw a picture and write a story to go along with it. Another idea we enjoy is to keep a correspondence journal where you write to your child and they write back to you.
Now for math! Have your children tell you what time it is on an analog clock. Allow the kids to help you cook, measuring the ingredients and noticing which amount is more. Identify, count, or sort coins after receiving change. Go on a shape hunt around your house or neighborhood. Lastly, play games! Games that involve numbers, dice, patterns, addition or problem solving will help your child keep those math skills sharp.
In addition to literacy and math I am hopeful you will explore with your children, take a hike, try something new, and genuinely enjoy one another’s company.
Stephanie Ingerman is an elementary-school teacher in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a mom to two kids, ages 7 and 9.
Her first album with her band The Jumping Jacks, Every Day’s Your Birthday was released by Miss Nina on May 6.
Musically, Every Day’s Your Birthday traces its roots to ’60s and ’70s pop and rock music — from The Brady Bunch and The Beatles to Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead — and also displays Miss Nina‘s love for dance and early ’80s hip hop and rap. In a delightfully engaging manner, the songs colorfully combine high-energy dance music with memorable bits of practical advice.
My 7-year-old daughter adores “The (Silly) Wheels on the Bus” and asks for it repeatedly (because who doesn’t love soldiers with pet kangaroos on a bus?). We’ve been enjoying the upbeat tunes, perfect for a car ride and for dancing at home. With over 9,000 YouTube subscribers, Miss Nina has found her sweet spot for entertaining children. (We like the “Brown Bear Rap” too!)
A little less pop and a lot more tongue-in-cheek entertainment, Bubble Wrap is a June 10 release from Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies.
Says Eric Herman, “Bubble Wrap reflects both the coming together of our band and my own personal creative re-invigoration. The last album I released was Party Animal in 2014, and that took five long years to finish. I was pretty burned out during that period, and of course my wife Roseann’s extended illness and death was a huge factor. But all of the Bubble Wrap songs came together in just over a year, and the process felt exciting, vibrant and meaningful, with new kinds of ideas being inspired and explored in a very organic way by the band.“
Herman’s YouTube channel boasts over 32,000 subscribers and 50 million views. Bubble Wrap is a thoughful and relaxed but witty album. It may take your kids awhile to “get” some of the jokes – but they will bring a smile to your face. Featuring songs addressing light topics like bubble wrap, food, and cell phone addiction, Bubble Wrap also has songs about stage fright, a friend moving away, and the death of a parent. It’s a well-rounded album that your family can enjoy and talk about together.
Want to win both albums? One lucky winner will get both Every Day’s Your Birthday and Bubble Wrap on CD. Just leave a comment here telling me one of your favorite kids’ albums or songs.