How to Choose an After School Activity your Child will Love

Word After School

  1. Lооk fоr сluеs іn уоur сhіld’s асtіоns аnd іntеrеsts tо hеlр уоu аsсеrtаіn whісh ехtrасurrісulаr асtіvіtіеs аrе bеst suіtеd tо thеm. Іf уоur сhіld іs аlwауs сlіmbіng thе furnіturе оr hаngіng оff thіngs, уоu mау hаvе а buddіng rосk сlіmbеr оn уоur hаnds. Dоеs shе brеаk оut іn sоng оr dаnсе аt thе fіrst sіgn оf а bеаt? Dаnсе аnd thеаtrе соuld bе rіght uр hеr аllеу.
  2. Соnsіdеr реrsоnаlіtу аnd gіvе thеm а сhоісе. Маnу kіds аrе kееn tо trу sоmеthіng whеn thеу аrе gіvеn а сhоісе, whіlе оthеrs shу аwау frоm еvеrуthіng. Іf уоur сhіld hаs аn аdvеnturеsоmе sріrіt, sреаk tо hіm аbоut thе dіffеrеnt орtіоns аvаіlаblе іn уоur аrеа. Іf hе іs mоrе tіmіd аbоut trуіng nеw thіngs, fіnd оut whаt асtіvіtіеs оffеr а trіаl сlаss оr drор-іn орtіоn. Тhіs wау уоu саn іntrоduсе dіffеrеnt орроrtunіtіеs tо sее whаt hе еnјоуs thе mоst bеfоrе соmmіttіng tо а full sеssіоn.
  3. Іs уоur сhіld а tеаm рlауеr оr mоrе оf а sоlо flуеr? Ѕоmеtіmеs іt’s bеst nоt tо рush thе full tеаm sроrts іf уоur сhіld іs nоt rеаdу fоr іt. Yеs, оrgаnіzеd аthlеtісs mау hаvе bееn уоur fаvоurіtе dіvеrsіоn аs а сhіld, but уоur dаughtеr mау рrеfеr thе sеlf-dіsсірlіnе оf Таеkwоndо, swіm сlub оr tеnnіs іnstеаd.
  4. Lооk bеуоnd sроrts. Fоr kіds whо wаnt tо раrtісіраtе іn оthеr thіngs bеsіdеs sроrts, lооk fоr hоbbу аnd skіll-bаsеd сlubs suсh аs аrt сlаssеs, musіс lеssоns, аnd уоur lосаl gіrl guіdеs оr bоу sсоuts trоuре.
  5. Рrохіmіtу аnd trаnsроrtаtіоn tо аnd frоm ехtrасurrісulаr асtіvіtіеs аrе аlsо kеу fасtоrs іn уоur dесіsіоn mаkіng рrосеss. Іf а studіо іs оn thе оthеr sіdе оf tоwn, іt mау bе сhаllеngіng tо mаkе іt thеrе оn tіmе аftеr sсhооl. Тhе lасk оf рublіс trаnsроrtаtіоn оr lіmіtеd аvаіlаbіlіtу оf саrрооlіng саn mаkе іt іmроssіblе fоr mаnу раrеnts tо еvеn соnsіdеr сеrtаіn асtіvіtіеs.
  6. Ѕtrіvе fоr bаlаnсе wіth аftеr-sсhооl рursuіts. Оftеn, оnе асtіvіtу а wееk іs еnоugh whеn kіds аrе јugglіng sсhооl, рlауdаtеs аnd mоrе. Еnsurе thеу hаvе еnоugh tіmе tо dо hоmеwоrk аnd gеt аdеquаtе slеер, аs thіs іs еssеntіаl tо hеаlthу dеvеlорmеnt.
  7. Аftеr-sсhооl асtіvіtіеs shоuld bе а роsіtіvе аnd соnfіdеnсе-bооstіng ехреrіеnсе. Whеthеr уоur сhіld іs lеаrnіng а nеw іnstrumеnt, trаіnіng fоr а sроrt оr vоluntееrіng іn thе соmmunіtу, ехроsіng thеm tо а vаrіеtу оf асtіvіtіеs wіll hеlр thеm bесоmе wеll-rоundеd іndіvіduаls. Аnd thеу mау dіsсоvеr а truе раssіоn іn thе рrосеss. Ѕuрроrt уоur сhіld bу hеlріng thеm tо сhооsе аn аgе-аррrорrіаtе аnd sаfе асtіvіtу thаt thеу аrе ехсіtеd tо раrtісіраtе іn, аnd dоn’t fоrgеt аbоut thе іmроrtаnсе оf unstruсturеd рlау.

What activity is your child interested in this year?

Fun Box Tops Activity for Parent and Teachers

School has officially started for the boys and one thing that is really important in our morning routines is making sure they eat breakfast before we head out the door. One of their most favorite is cereal. It is quick and easy and they love it. They each have a favorite kind as you can see in the below picture. Andrew loves French Toast or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Ty loves Cocoa Puffs and Eli loves Lucky Charms (mainly the marshmallows). Each of these boxes have a Box Top at the top right corner. It means that if we collect them and turn them into our school they earn .10¢ per one. Since we are attending a new school this year I thought this would be a great opportunity for the boys to help support their new school. It is also teaching them that even though we buy it and they eat it, we still are giving back to a good cause which helps our school help the students. So our goal this year is to buy all Box Top related products do that we can support our school.GMB3

Here are a few more of our favorites:

GMBT

If you would like to help your local school visit the Box Tops website and see their list of Box Top Products.

A fun way to remember Box Tops on a daily or weekly basis can be hard. I wanted to come up with an activity that a teacher or parent could do with their kids to help everyone to remember those Box Tops. Here’s the activity-

Box Tops Acrostic Poem

You and your class or kids are going to create an Acrostic Poem out of the words Box Tops. This is such a fun activity to get everyone excited about Box Tops and the role they play in Education.

  1. Step One: Pass out a piece of paper with the words “Box Top” written in bold letters.
  2. Step Two: Talk about what Box Tops are and how they help schools earn cash for Education.
  3. Step Three: Challenge the class to create an Acrostic Poem using the words Box Tops. The poems can be silly, fun, or serious!
  4. Step Four: Share the poems with everyone. And encourage the students to bring their poems home to show their parents.

Here are some examples of a few Box Tops Acrostic Poems to share and hang around your classroom or home.

B is for Breathtaking, a magnificent sight
O is for Original, an independent thinker
X is for X-factor, you have it

T is for Tasteful, odes of style
O is for Orderly, ever organized
P is for Perceptive, keenly insightful
S is for Sensible, you always do the right thing

Here’s another poem to share.

B is for Bold, forging your own path
O is for Optimistic, always staying upbeat
X is for X-factor, people are drawn to you

T is for Thorough, attentive to details
O is for Obliging, willing to accommodate
P is for Picturesque, strikingly beautiful
S is for Satisfying, most excellent company

Have fun with this little exercise and if there’s time at the end, you can have the children move onto writing an Acrostic Poem with their own name! They’ll have fun with this part of the exercise too.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Back to School with Box Tops for Education at Sam’s Club

Disclosure: I receive monetary compensation from General Mills in exchange of my endorsement of Box Tops For Education.

We are still on summer break here, but, that doesn’t mean my thoughts don’t drift to school several times a day. Especially during meal times when I see a box top for education on the packaging for our favorite snacks and foods. Kickoff the back-to-school season by stocking up on all of your favorite General Mills products at Sam’s Club and earn bonus Box Tops for your child’s school!

Box Tops for Education are such an easy way to make your kids school a better place. By purchasing your favorite products like Nature Valley granola bars, yummy cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms, or our go-to after-school snack of Totinos Pizza Rolls, you can help your earn cash for supplies and equipment.
All you have to do is stock up and clip the box top and send it back to school. Now is the perfect time to head into Sam’s Club and stock up on all of the things that help you feed your family during the school year rush.
Box Tops for Education at Sam's Club
Box Tops for Education at Sam's Club
Clipping box tops is a great way to get your kids involved in the process. It gives them a chance to let them improve their scissor and math skills, as they can count how much they are contributing to their school. It also teaches them that even though we buy it and they eat it, we still are giving back to a good cause which helps our school help the students. When you visit the Box Tops website they have fun collecting sheets that the kids can add their box tops to and send to the school.
Getting kids excited about collecting box tops is not hard at all! Our PTA hosts several incentives a year for the classes that collect the most box tops. Last year the boys could help their classes win a cookie and cocoa party around the holidays, a pizza party in the spring or a fun glow in the dark party at the end of the year.  The boys were immediately on board for collecting and clipping box tops!

Other ways to get the kids excited about giving Box Tops to their school could include:

  • A reward that can be earned after 50 box tops has been saved. A trip to the movies, a pack of Pokemon cards or even extra play time at the park are also great motivators.
  • Ask your school administrators what was purchased with box tops and show it to your children, the appeal of new playground equipment next year can really entice playful kids to get involved too!
  • Creating a cute box to store them in also makes it fun for kids. They will love to create a craft with you and fill it with box tops is like the icing on the cake for this craft idea.
No matter how many you save and send to school, know that every box top adds up to an amazing future for school children. Sam’s Club has all of your favorite products with Box Tops on the packaging at great prices. So be sure to stock up and save money and box tops for education!
Does your family clip box tops? If you have an idea for how to get the kids excited about saving the box tops and returning them to school I would love to hear about it in a comment!
For every 3 participating BTFE products purchased in a single transaction at Sam’s Club on or after 8/1/18, you can earn 100 Bonus Box Tops. To redeem offer, you will need to download the Box Tops Bonus App and scan your receipt with 3 participating BTFE products by 9/30/2018 or while supplies last. Maximum of $150,000 in Bonus Box Tops combined may be redeemed for Sam’s Club offer. Standard Data Rates May Apply. Learn more at www.SamsClub.com/BoxTops. Each box top is worth 10 cents to redeeming school when clipped from box tops products and sent to the redeeming school. Only BTFE registered schools can redeem box tops. Limit $20,000 per school per year for box tops redeemed through the clip program. See www.boxtopsforeducation.com for BTFE program details. © 2018 General Mills. All rights reserved.

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FUN BOX TOPS ACTIVITY FOR PARENT AND TEACHERS

Gearing up for the New School Year!

This is a social good post on behalf of the Understood.org. This blog was not compensated for this posting.

It’s that time again! Back-to-School season is officially here! Whether you’ve just begun prepping for the new school year, or your kids have already started – this can be an exciting but hectic time for both parents and kids. In our family, getting school supplies and maybe a few new clothes can be exciting and fun, but also builds anticipation for that first day back. We are anxiously waiting to know what teacher/classroom they are assigned to and how many of their friends will be with them.

The beginning of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for families with children who struggle with reading and writing, math, organization and focus. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers and schools.

The Ad Council and Understood.org have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. Understood.org is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. Understood.org is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.

As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. My three boys are in grades 2nd, 4th and 5th, and they were so excited to start school. This guide has been helpful on getting them back on track and ready for another fun school year filled with learning new things.

Check out these back-to-school tips from the Understood.org website. They helped my family; hopefully they can help yours too.

Planning early is important to help relieve stress. Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. The tool I have found to be helpful this far is the Backpack checklist. It helps the boys remember what to have in their backpacks daily.

You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school. This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.

Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year. This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students. You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.

Finally, get support! Many parents and students are going through the same experience. Understood.org and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.

So, no matter your child’s age or needs, make this Back-to-School season a seamless transition and positive experience! If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, Understood.org is a great place to start.
All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.

3 Great Ways to Study to be a Parent

3 Great Ways to Study to be a Parent

Going back to school has plenty of advantages. For the most part, you are thinking about getting into the professional working world, or you would like to advance your career once your children are older. Either way, you will have to find additional time in your day to study, while at the same time managing all of your parenting duties. Online colleges are very popular and do offer you the chance to take courses for a major degree, all while sitting in the comfort of your home. Here we are going to talk about ways you can study and be a parent at the same time.

Planning, Planning, and more Planning

You might think that you have a great system down for remembering all of the things you do on a daily basis. Now, throw a couple of online college courses into the mix and it will seem like you were never good at time management at all. That is where planning comes into play. Make sure you plan time for studying and being a parent. The task might seem obvious, but until you have a good schedule down, it might seem like you will never have time to study.

Schedule a “Study Hall”

If your children are old enough to understand learning, simple schedule a study hall time period for everyone. That way you can get into your own books while they are coloring in theirs. It will also give you time away from electronic devices and it’s a great time to show your kids a few new hobbies they might like to participate in. Studying for your online degree is not going to be easy work, but nothing worth doing ever is. With a little planning, you can really open up your schedule for these types of things.

Have Your Kids Help

If there is a way that your kid can help you study, then go ahead and make that situation happen. Maybe they can hold the flash cards or help quiz you with questions if they can read. These are two easy things you can do to make them feel like they are helping and you can form a goodnatured bond with them at the same time you are preparing for an exam. Even if they cannot help you with studying directly, maybe they can do the dishes, or talk the dog outside for a walk. Both of those tasks will free up time for you to get your work done.

3 Great Ways to Study to be a Parent

Studying for a college course is not easy for anyone. That means you have to be creative with your time, especially if you are home with the kids all day. Freeing up a little time here and there is enough to get the job done and soon you will be on your way to earning an online master of healthcare administration in strategy and innovation degree in no time. Don’t forget that your better half can also take on extra duties when available to help free up that time as well!

Disclosure: This blog received a form of compensation for this publication. All opinions are my own.

 

24 Earth Day Science Sensory Activities for Kids

Earth Day is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to engage the kids with science and sensory activities themed around the environment.  If you are looking for ways to take a hands-on approach to learning with your children, you are going to love these 24 Earth Day Science and Sensory Activities. These are perfect for kids a variety of ages. There is no better way to learn than by experimenting and these ideas are going to offer the kids an experience that is almost out of this world!

  1. Earth Day Oobleck from Little Bins for Little Hands
  2. Earth Day Sensory Play from Natural Beach Living
  3. Earth Month Scavenger Hunt from Kc Edventures
  4. Coffee Ground Fossils from Crafts by Amanda
  5. Earth Day Discovery Bottles from Little Bins for Little Hands
  6. Making Recycled Paper from You Clever Monkey
  7. Earth Day Play Dough from Natural Beach Living
  8. Model Magic Earth from 3 Dinosaurs
  9. Which Plastic is Which? Recycled Plastic Science and Craft from Left Brain Craft Brain
  10. What is a Carbon Footprint? From Kitchen Counter Chronicles
  11. Creating Earth Art from The Craft Train
  12. Earth Day Tuff Spot from Adventures and Play
  13. Layers of the Atmosphere from Every Star is Different
  14. Homemade Plantable Seed Paper from Views from a Stepstool
  15. Worm Compost Bin from Something 2 Offer
  16. Wormery Journal from Rainy Day Mum
  17. Upcycled Catapult from Go Science Girls
  18. LEGO Soil Layers from Little Bins for Little Hands
  19. Water and Landforms for Kids from My Bright Firefly
  20. Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle A Waste Less Challenge from What We Do All Day
  21. Make a Backyard Water Wheel from iGame Mom
  22. Learn the Water Cycle with LEGOs from KC Edventure
  23. Nature Collection Bottles from Play Learn Everyday
  24. Earth Day Sensory Play with Water Beads from B-Inspired Mama
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