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Physical Fitness and Training

January 11, 2011

My daughter took several classes at a local gym for children which enhanced her abilities to perform moves in tumbling, ballet, tap dance, and sports such at t-ball and basketball. It got a little expensive over the years so I supplemented her development by teaching some of the same skills at home.

Teaching children physical skills is easier than mental training. While teaching physical skills, parent can rely mainly on demonstrations and focus less on explanation. For example, I can position my daughter to do a front roll and then manipulate her body to perform it.   Or let us say that I want to teach my daughter how to do a cartwheel. I can hold her body in the correct position and physically move her through the correct motion of a cartwheel. I can give her some verbal coaching but the most important part of the learning is how she feels as her body moves through the motions.

Another technique for showing physical activities is to have a picture of the activity. The visual reminder will give children a reference to use while practicing. This just makes it easier for children to remember the positioning of all body parts. Once your children correctly perform the physical activity a few times, it gets easier and easier for them to do it again.

Comments: 2

Exaggerate for Emphasis and Humor - Language Lesson

January 18, 2011

I taught my four year old how to spell and sound out words, and although I firmly believe that free play is the best way to learn, it doesn't hurt to throw in small doses of guided learning. As early as kindergarten children are taught to read so I wanted my child to have a strong foundation for knowing her letters by sight and sound. To assist me with developing this skill I went to my local bookstore and purchased a book that had a built-in letter wheel. You rotate the wheel and it changes the last consonant of a word.  By exaggerating the pronunciation of the word I was able to show my daughter how the last consonant was changing.  For instance I would say saaaaaaaaaaaad, saaaaaaaaaaat, saaaaaaaaaaam to show her that the sa sound is the same for all the words and that the last consonant is the letter that is changing with the rotation of the wheel.  Don't be affraid to exaggerate for emphasis and teaching purposes. 

 

Comments: 4

Guessing Games Superior Math Skills

February 01, 2011

 My daughterMy MyMy jh uMyMyMy daughter seriously asked me to guess the name she had given her stuffed dog.  I tried with a few names and then gave up.  She insisted I keep trying until I guessed it.  So I decided to play along because I thought to myself if we were going to play a guessing game, I wanted to make it a constructive experience that would actually benefit her cognitively.  It was this experience which motivated me to come up with more useful guessing games that were as fun as they were educational.

If your child has mastered straightforward counting, then guessing games will enrich their minds.

Here are some examples.  Give your child a scoop of peas and have them guess how many are there in the scoop. After guessing, count and compare the guess with the actual number. The end result is a child with a better sense for numbers who in turn excels in math later in life.

There are countless ways to make up guessing games. You can show a picture of multiple items in it. Let the child look at it for several seconds. Cover the picture and have them guess the number of items previously shown.

Another one I like to use in our house is when I fill a jar with several items and have children guess how many items  are in the jar. I repeat with different sized items and have them guess again.  In this exercise I demonstrate the concept that larger items take up more space.  It didn't take long for my kids to grasp the ideas of size and space and how fewer large items may take up the same space as several small items. Understanding this concept will serve kids well as their mental development grows..

Comments: 3

Fun with Rhyming Words

February 03, 2011

Rat a Tat Tat... The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat. The rhyming in the book The Fat Cat Sat on The Mat is pleasing to the ear and acts as a great tool for teaching children the fun skill of rhyming. 

Initially children learn how to recognize beginning letter sounds.  From here you can start emphasizing the letters at the end of words to teach ending sounds like bat, suit, boat, rat, eat...and so on. Once these tow concepts are understood, your child is ready to grasp rhyming. After reading the book The Fat Cat Sat On The Mat, discuss how rat, cat, mat, hat, bat, tat, fat, pat, and sat all rhyme. It may be helpful to write all words out and put the beginning letter in a different color to show that the first letter changes but the end of the word stays the same: Rat, Cat, Mat, Hat, Bat, Tat, Fat, Pat, and Sat.

Later you can extend this activity to playing car games. Wisely use the never-ending time you spend in the car driving your kids all over town to come-up with rhyme words.  You say a word and your children must come up with a word that rhymes. This simple exercise is not only educational for your children, but it helps keep you calm while sitting in rush hour traffic. helhhhe h     he hel h hThisTh 

 

Comments: 2

Thinking Outside The Box

February 10, 2011

When I taught Academically Gifted (AG) or advanced classes in the public school system, we were trained to help our students to think outside the box.  We asked our students to solve problems in untraditional ways utilizing multiple strategies.  Teaching children at home should be no different.

Ask your child to give you various uses for an object.  If they are only able to state the object's main use encourage them to find other creative ways to use the item.  Give your own example to promote understanding of the task.  For example, you could state that y ou use a straw to drink, but you can also use a straw to suck air out of a bag to make it aritight for freezing; to blow bubbles in a bath; to form a square...and so on.  Select items that could have multiple uses such as a cup, stick, net, pail, or blanket.

It is imperative that we challenge our children to think in unique ways.  It will expand their minds and train them to effectively think outside the box.

Comments: 2

Motivating Our Children

March 10, 2011

 

I home schooled a friend’s daughter for two years. As a thank you gift, she gave me something she created, a family honor plate. It is a ceramic plate with a crown in the middle and the 7 fruits of the spirit written on the thick outside rim of the plate. The words written are as follows: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Anytime, a member of the family display one of these virtues, they get to eat off the honor plate. It’s a great way to reinforce the importance of good character.

Comments: 8

Stop Your Children From Being Greedy, Selfish, Self-centered…

March 24, 2011

 My daughter is sitting at the dinner table. My whole family loves my chicken enchiladas.  (The recipe is from the cookbook Spread A Little Joy -- but I replaced the cumin with an extra dose of cilantro.)  I love having a meal that every member of the family loves. I know they love it because there are rarely any leftovers.  But I digress...

My daughter announces that she wants to eat three enchiladas and she proceeds to put three huge ones on her plate. Now there are a lot of developing personality traits in our children that if left in their raw form will become character flaws. We obviously have the most influence on our children when they are young...which is why  I am trying to squeeze in as much as I can now!

Now back to the dinner table.  If my daughter asks for more food before she’s finished with what she has, to me that is a form of  greed. So I gently announce that there is no reason to take more before you are finished with what is on your plate. Then we discuss the meaning of greed.  To make sure she fully grasps this new behavioral concept I make a mental note to check up on this with her periodically.

Some others behaviors to consider:

  • Taking the rest of something without asking everyone else at the table if they want more - selfishness.
  • Talking about yourself without listening to other members of the family -self-centeredness.

You get my point.  I am always looking for suggestions so please feel free to share any of your thoughts.

Comments: 3

Five Ways to Play with Your Children When You are Too Busy to Play

March 31, 2011

Play House: Say you are playing house, be the dad and say you have to go to work.  I run into the kitchen and cook dinner. You can periodically pretend to call home to stay in touch with children in their play mode.

Scavenger Hunt:  For younger kids, draw pictures of different items they are to find.  For example, draw a green leaf or a square or anything the color red.  You can pick items found indoors or outdoors.  For older kids, you can write the items to be found. 

Verbal Communication: Sing, talk or tell a made-up story while you are doing your work.

Workout:  You can work out, holding baby or toddler for a tougher workout.  You can also invite your child to work out with you. 

Contest: Give each child a bag and see who can pick up the most toys.  Winner gets a prize!

Comments: 5

Esmeralda

April 04, 2011

There was a little girl that my mom used to baby-sit. Her name was Esmeralda. Her parents were stark atheists. Wanting their daughter to get a good education, they still sent her to private school. Her father did not want her to pray and insisted she was never to participate in prayer with the others at school. Esmeralda obeyed and refused to partake of the morning prayer. One day my mom asked Esmeralda what they said for morning prayers and she confidently answered, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..." and she recited the whole prayer verbatim. Let there be no doubt that "repetition is the mother of learning." 

Comments: 3

Math Fun

April 07, 2011

  Despite what your kids may think, learning geometry can be fun. Get a pack of simple pipe cleaners or spend a little more and buy some Bendaroos to model geometric shapes: circle, square, rectangle and triangles. For more advanced kids you can add a rhombus, parallelogram, trapezoid and diamond. Then follow up by re-creating each figure using toothpicks. The toothpick will reinforce the idea that the edges are straight. Kids should quickly realize they couldn’t make a circle with toothpicks. All other polygons can be made with toothpicks since the sides are straight.

Extend the activity by finding these shapes around the house or create a shape scavenger hunt with various shapes drawn out.

For older children, you can create a game of concentration. You can have the shape on one card and the name of the shape on the other card; the name and shape cards make a match. Modify the game a bit by adding properties of shapes: right angles, opposite sides are parallel or congruent, opposite angles are congruent, consecutive (next to) angles add to 180 degrees...etc.

Comments: 4

Games, Games and More Games

April 18, 2011

My kids, husband and I love playing family games: Pictionary, Monopoly, concentration and Yatzee to name a few.  Over the years I have come to realize that playing games teaches children many useful skills. 

I remember when I was teaching pre-algebra and a number of my students had a difficult time adding numbers on a number line.  When adding up to a given number students would count the number of spots on the number line instead of the jumps between numbers.  So for instance when given 2 + 5, they would start at the number 2 and then they would count five spots on the number line--2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  Their conclusion was that 2 + 5 = 6.  What they couldn’t grasp was that they didn’t need to start counting by including position 2.  I remember thinking to myself haven’t these kids ever played Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly or just about any other board game out there.  This skill was so basic and yet many students could not perform it. 

Here is my simple solution—and it fits right in with what I have been preaching since I started this site—play more board games with your kids.  Learning is fun.  Play games that teach kids to move items on a board, count money or tally points at the end of the game.  You’ll be surprised what other important skills they develop.  It’s a great way to get the whole family around the kitchen table too.     

Comments: 2

Cooking Adventure - Too Fun to Believe it Teaches Math, Reading, and Science!

April 28, 2011

As I have already mentioned in some of my earlier posts, most Sundays we have a family day. Last year we decided to have each family member pick a Sunday activity.  My enthusiastic daughters always pick baking. 

While this activity seems to compete with my diet, we look forward to homemade melt-in-your-mouth brownies or double chocolate fudge cookies.  My ambitious girls read the ingredients, measure them out and follow the directions. 

Before I proceed I have to share a fun story.  I remember when my daughters were very young, they had the most challenging time cracking eggs. It was entertaining to watch their attempts as egg whites ran down their little fingers.  We ate a lot of crunchy brownies.  I got a fake solid egg and gave it to them to crack.  They kept banging it on the bowl first and then on the countertop and it just would not crack.  They soon realized something was wrong because they knew from experience that eggs break easily.  I had a heck of a time keeping a straight face so when I finally came clean you can imagine the laugh we all had.  That egg still makes an appearance when we bake and we still laugh about it. 

It is hard to believe that while we are having so much fun my daughters are learning lessons in math, reading, science and fine motor skills. 

Without even knowing it my daughters learn...

Math:·                          

Things are measured

There are different units of measurements: cup, tablespoon,...etc.

How to use tools of measurement

Reading:·                  

Following directions 

Reading units of measurements and their abbreviations

Science:·                  

Heat causes a chemical reaction by changing the form of the mixture

Fine Motor Skills:    

Pouring

Scooping·                  

Mixing           

Scraping                   

Cracking eggs

Now I know not everyone out there enjoys baking, but I have some recipes that are impossible to mess-up.  I’ll share some of my favorites over the next few days…so stay tuned.    

Comments: 2

Top Ten Things to Teach/Occupy Your Children When You Grocery Shop

May 16, 2011

 

  1. Pick out fruits that are red, green...etc.  You can also have children tell you which items are fruits and which are vegetables.  Teaches classification skills - math and language
  2. Children can weigh fruits and vegetables and guess how much the bunch will cost based on the weight and unit cost.  Teaches math
  3. Have children find the items you are looking for as you turn down a given isle. If you are shopping for a recipe, have children find the needed items on the list.  Teaches observation skills and following directions 
  4. Give children a shopping list and have them categorize items.  By grouping similar items, shopping will be quicker.  Teaches time-management and classification skills
  5. Have children pick the cheapest product by looking at the unit price.  They will learn to compare decimals and understand the concept of greater than or less than.  Teaches math
  6. Add the estimated cost of each item purchased and ask your child to estimate the total cost of the groceries.  Teaches math
  7. Have children read labels on products.  Looking at the first five items, discuss what makes certain items healthy or not.  Teaches reading and health
  8. Have children read your shopping list as you find the items.Practice reading
  9. Ask children to find the isle that contains a specific item.  For example, ask your child to read the isle sign to find the one that contains pasta…etc. Practice reading - language and categorization
  10. I let my children assist me at check out and then we look over the receipt for accuracy.  Children learn fine motor skills, following directions, reading money and independence

  

Comments: 1

Play for Reality - 10 Suggestions to Motivate Your Children to Action

May 19, 2011

 

Here are some fun ways to motivate your children to do what you want them to do. 

  

What you want your children to do

Play that encourages it.

Be quiet

My father-in-law started this game with the girls called "zip it". Everyone zips their lips and has a contest to see who can be quiet for the longest.

Pick up

Have contests: Can you beat the timer? Who can pick up the most toys? Have a scavenger hunt for who can find the most things around the house to pick up?

Resolve conflict

Have your children trade places with each other or you can even trade places with your child and see how they would resolve the problem if they were in other’s shoes.

Exercise

Chase children around the house or out in the yard, create an obstacle course for them, do an exercise video together or do yoga animal stances.

Do homework

Play school. Make it fun with healthy snacks, fun colored pencils and role-playing.

Clean

Play house and when you are cleaning your house in play you are also cleaning your house for real.

Bedtime

Pretend the bed is a magic carpet. Play a little and then it’s bedtime. Time to sleep on the magic carpet. Another option is to put a cover on the bed and create a camp. Pretend you are camping--kids love to sleep in forts or tents.

Try a new food

Pretend you are in a new country. Make–up characters and even create pretend countries if necessary. Kids will get caught up in the story and eat…sometimes.

Hustle-Hurry

Time your child for a given activity. Record the time. Next time have your child try to beat their own recorded time for accomplishing the task. The nice thing about this technique is your child is competing against their own times and not against their siblings or other children.

Set the table and help with dinner

This is an easy one…play restaurant. We all know how to do that.

 

  

Comments: 1

Reading Math and Teaching Fun: Enjoyable Books that Motivate Children to Learn Math - Age 2 - 12

May 26, 2011

Here is a list of books that will help increase your children's math IQ.  There are four charts: levels 1 - 4.  Reading these books to your children will enhance math sense and help them build strong learning schemas for math. 

Level 1

Patterns: Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom!

Comparing Sizes: The Best Bug Parade, If Dogs Were Dinosaurs

Directions: Bug Dance

Doubling Numbers: Double the Ducks

Opposites: The Greatest Gymnast of All

Ordinals: Henry the Fourth

Understanding Capacity: A House for Birdie

Hours: It’s About Time!

Counting: 1) Math Fables Too by Greg Tang, 2) One Child, One Seed, 3) One Nighttime Sea, 4) Swan Harbor A Nature Counting Book

Odd and Even Numbers: Missing Mittens

Subtracting One: Monster Musical Chairs

Matching: A Pair of Socks, Seaweed Soup

Sequencing: Rabbit’s Pajama Party

Sorting, Classifying: 3 Little Fire Fighters, Grouping at the Dog Show

Quantities: More or Less

Shapes: Windows, Rings, and Grapes – a Look at Different Shapes, First Shape Book, Round and Square  

 

Level 2

Area: Bigger, Better, Best!

Rounding: Coyotes All Around

Time Lines: Get Up and Go!

Understanding Halves: Give Me Half!

Symmetry: Let’s Fly a Kite

Comparing Numbers: More or Less

Numbers 1-100: 100 Days of Cool, 100 Ways To Celebrate 100 Days

Counting by 5’s and 10s: Leaping Lizards, Toasty Toes

Calendars: Pepper’s Journal

Money: Counting Money, Money by Penny Dowdy, Money at the Store by Jennifer Rozines Roy and Gregory Roy, I Can Add Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

Probability: Probably Pistachio

Perimeter: Racing Around

Making Predictions: Same Old Horse

Counting By 2s, 3s, and 4s: Spunky Monkeys on Parade

Combinations: The Sundae Scoop

Measuring: Super Sand Castle Saturday

Order: Guess the Order

Shapes: Shapes in Sports, The Shapes We Eat, The Shape of the World Many-Sided Shapes

Odd & Even Numbers: Splitting the Herd

Graphs: Bar Graphs by Vijaya Khisty Bodach

Addition: 1+1=5 and other Unlikely Additions, Adding and Counting On, Mission Addition

Subtraction: Subtraction by Ann Becker

Multiplying: Doubling and Multiplying by Richard Leffingwell

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 3

Estimating: Betcha!

Classifying: Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop

Equivalent Values: Dinosaur Deals

Dividing: Divide and Ride

Place Value: Earth Day-Hooray!

Time: Game Time!

Percentage: The Grizzly Gazette

Angles: Hamster Champs

Bar Graphs: Lemonade for Sale

Negative Numbers: Less Than Zero

Metrics: Polly’s Pen Pal

Finding Unknowns: Safari Park

Subtracting Two-Digit Numbers: Shark Swimathon

Dollars and Cents: Sluggers’ Car Wash

Fractions: Fraction Action, Full House, Fraction Fun

Symbols: Math Words And Symbols

Problem Solving: 1) Math-terpeices: the art of Problem Solving, 2) Word Problems Made Easy, 3) You Can, Toucan, Math

Counting Large Numbers: Place Value

Multiplying: 2 x 2 = Boo! A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 4

Probability: Chance and Average

Roman Numerals: Fun with Roman Numerals, Roman Numerals I to MM

Multiplication: Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

Clump Counting: Greater Estimations

Real World Math: Restaurants By The Numbers

Geometry: Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone,

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Numbers: Go Figure! A Totally cool book about numbers, On Beyond a Million An Amazing Math Journey


 

Comments: 1

I Repeat, “Repetition is the Mother of Learning.”

May 31, 2011

My job as a parent is to prepare my children to be safe, independent and responsible.  I believe teaching children to stay in pairs is part of being responsible and safe. If I start teaching them the routine now, hopefully it will become habitual.

Unfortunately, I get frustrated by their slow progress developing the habit.  Every day we go to the park and I tell them, “Watch out for each other.”  They impatiently respond, “We know mom, you already told us.”  Then I’m still frazzled trying to keep track of where they are. 

Last week my girls and I head to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather.  As always, I tell my daughters to stay together and watch over each other.  They both say in unison, “We know mom, you’ve already told us!”  Keeping a watchful eye on them, I study their behavior from a distance.  Both daughters swing on the monkey bars.  My youngest girl Madison runs off and leaves the gated area.  A few seconds later Madison is at the drinking fountain.  My oldest daughter Reese notices her sister is absent.  She looks around, finds Madison and follows.    

I asked Reese, “Why did you follow Madison?”  She looks at me and says, “Mom, you said we should watch out for each other!”

Repetition is the mother of learning!

Comments: 1

Promote Math and Science Intelligence by Enhancing Spatial Thinking: Pre-K - Grade 8

June 06, 2011

Spatial thinking is taught indirectly as other math and science content is discussed in schools and textbooks.  Children are given minimal opportunities to apply spatial thinking thus making it even more important for parents to make a concerted effort to teach our children to participate in fun activities that enhance their spatial reasoning. 

Spatial thinking is the ability to perceive the location of things, their shapes, their relation to each other, and the paths they take as they move.  Some very practical ways we think spatially in our everyday lives are: following directions to assemble something, imagining where a new piece of furniture would fit in our home, or using a map to find our way.   

Here are some ways to help your children increase their math performance through activities that develop spatial awareness.

Level One 

  1. Teach geometric shapes using some strange-looking as well as the standard shapes for triangles, circles, and rectangles.
  2. Teach spatial words such as middle, between, in, out, inside, outside, front, back, side, top, bottom, around, over…etc.
  3. Have children tell you where items will go in an experiment.  Let us say you plan to drop a bouncy ball.  Before dropping the ball, ask child to imagine where the ball will land.  

Level  Two

  1. Have children do jigsaw puzzles.  If you go to my technology tag and scroll down, you will find a list of websites for children. Several of them have jigsaw puzzles children can practice online.  Use spatial language as you help your children master puzzles.  Have children separate the straight edges from the others.
  2. Use simple maps with your children or create your own.  My daughters and I used to play treasure hunt.  We would take turns hiding an object (the treasure) and then draw a map so the other player(s) could locate the treasure.
  3. Read the book Zoom with your children.  Helping children deal with the intangible and detailed challenges in the book will increase childrens' scores on spatial tests.
  4. Encourage young children to gesture when imagining movement of objects.

Level Three

  1. Have older children practice using a real map. 
  2. Highlight the element that is used to measure space.  Let us look at an example where children use number lines in math.  To measure the number of units from 2 to 5, it is the space between the numbers that is being measured.  Highlight this space so children measure the change from 2 to 5, instead of the digits from 2 to 5.  The difference(space) from 2 to 5 is three units whereas there are four digits from 2 to 5.  Students often make a mistake and come up with an answer that is one too many.
  3. Encourage children to engage in recreation that enhances the use of spatial thinking such as:  
  • Photography (scale changes from real life unit to the unit of the picture),
  • Paper folding (turning a 2-dimensional object into a 3-dimensional one,
  • Origami (combining shapes),
  • Assembling something, building,
  • Rearranging the furniture in a room, 
  • Playing the game Tetris (rotates shapes to fit them together)
  • Playing with any software for creating three dimensional objects 

 

Some information from this blog post was taken from American Educator, a Quarterly Journal of Educational Research and Ideas, Vol, 34, No. 2\ Summer 2010  in an article titled: Picture This on pg 29

Comments: 1

Silly Nillies

June 09, 2011

Here is an activity from Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner.   My kids love them!  Answers will be posted on Sunday.

Directions: Make up two-word definitions for these phrases. The words must rhyme and have the same number of syllables. Examples: An escaped gander is a loose goose. Chocolate bars with nuts and caramel are dandy candy.

1. An improved wool pullover is a_________________________________________________

2. An undisciplined youngster is a _________________________________________________

3. An out-of-tune chorus sings a __________________________________________________

4. A minuscule tool for unlocking things is a_________________________________________

5. An overweight feline is a ______________________________________________________

6. A girl who talks back to her parents is a __________________________________________

7. Pizza served on an airplane is___________________________________________________

8. A cart to carry a fire-breathing monster is a________________________________________

9. A meal for someone who is on a serious diet is_____________________________________

10. Coinage used to purchase items that can’t be bought with regular currency is _____________

11. A tall, strong rose on a very thick stem has ________________________________________

12. A citizen who thinks very clearly on politics is a ___________________________________

13. A worker who finishes walls speedily uses ________________________________________

14. An instrument that is used only for one specialized task is a___________________________

15. Someone who’s determined to build an atomic device is on a _________________________

16. Two very ugly monsters make a_________________________________________________

17. A brave soldier on a white horse who saves a town from a dragon is a __________________

18. A jar lid that comes off with very little effort is a ___________________________________

19. A display of people’s handiwork in the registration area of a hotel is a __________________

20. An opera contains a series of ___________________________________________________

 

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc.,

Minneapolis, MN: 800/735-7323; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. Since Free Spirit

Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content. 

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc.,

Minneapolis, MN: 800/735-7323; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. Since Free

Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and conte

Comments: 6

Threats or Natural Consequences?

June 13, 2011

It occurred to me the other day that some types of ineffective discipline can often resemble bullying. I asked my daughter to listen to me otherwise she couldn’t have her after dinner treat. She responded: "Mom, what do treats have to do with listening?"

I realized that she was right! What do they have to do with each other?  She is expected to listen out of respect not because she will be rewarded with desert. Rather than using threats as discipline, it may be more effective to just allow the natural consequences of misbehaving act as discipline.

Punishing by natural consequences prepares children for the real world. Punishing by threatening, being vindictive, or any other motive may get the immediately desired result, but it ultimately teaches poor character development and isn’t true discipline.

Often, bad behavior has natural consequences. Here are some examples:

  • Not picking up barbies from the floor- dolls may get lost, stepped on or broken.
  • Not listening when told to hold your ice-cream cone still - icecream falls to the floor, cannot be eaten, and must be cleaned up
  • Procrastinating by not completing chores in a timely manner - miss out on fun play-dates because end up spending fun time on chores instead
  • Fail to brush teeth when told to –friends may not want to play with you or get too close.
  • Poor manners—will miss out on play-time because parents may choose to leave play-date early so their children won’t be exposed to a bad example
  • Going to bed too late—too tired to enjoy the day and have to go to bed early the next night 
Comments: 3

Summer Fun - Top 5 Activities

June 23, 2011

Top Five Summer Activities (taken from Family Fun Top Twenty list - March issue)

SPONGE BRIGADE

First, divide players into two teams and have the members of each team lie down side-by-side. Place a bucket of water near the head of each line. Have the first player on each team hold a large, soaked sponge with her feet. At "Go," the teams use their feet to pass their sponge down the line and back. If a player drops the sponge, he may sit up to recover it but can use only his feet to get it back into the game. The first team to get their sponge into the bucket wins.

Physical Fitness: Fine Motor Skills

MAKE DELICIOUS HOMEADE SUMMER TREATS

Chocolate Pudding Pops

Use a whisk to blend together 1 package of instant chocolate pudding, 2 cups milk, ½ cup cream, and ½ cup sugar. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds. You can also pour into small plastic cups, cover each with aluminum foil, and insert a craft stick through the foil. Freeze and eat.

Ice Cream in a Bag

Combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 cup half and half, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a pint size Ziploc bag and seal it tightly. Place 1/2 cup coarse salt in a gallon-size bag. Most grocery stores sell Morton Ice Cream Salt. Then fill the gallon-size bag halfway with ice cubes. Place the sealed pint size bag into the gallon size bag as well and seal the larger bag. Shake the bags until the ice cream mixture hardens, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Math: measuring

CONSTRUCT A DELUXE KID WASH or MAKE A PLAY CANOPY

On a sweltering summer day, few kids can resist running through the spray of a lawn sprinkler. The Deluxe Kid Wash continues that time-honored tradition-but with a creative new twist. It’s crafted almost entirely from PVC pipe, a material we love not just for its low cost and durability, but also for its ease of use (with all those interconnecting pieces, it’s like Tinker toys for grown-ups) For a complete set of instructions, click on "free printable" at FamilyFun.com/funshop.

If everyone opts to stay dry, then make a play canopy. Be creative and use various household items to construct one.

Science & Creativity: constructing

MAKE A PINAQUA – A CANDY-FREE VERSION OF A PINATA

Fill a medium plastic trash bag with one to two gallons of water and knot the top. Tie a rope tightly beneath the knot. Toss the free end of the rope over a tree branch and either tie it securely of have an adult stand by to raise and lower the pinaqua. After being blindfolded and spun around three times, each player takes three whacks at he pinaqua with a broom. The winner is the one who manages to break the bag and unleash the wave.

Physical Activity: swinging a bat

SQUASH THE SHARKS

Blow up balloons and draw on shark faces with permanent markers. Fill a kiddie pool with water, add the balloons, and have children try to sit on the balloons and pop them - no standing allowed. The player who squashes the most sharks wins. Note: collect and discard the pieces promptly since pooped balloons can be a choking hazard.

Creativity: imagination 

  

   

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