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Now that summer is here, outdoor family outings are officially up for grabs. Fold up a blanket, pack a basket and round up the kids because one of the most popular choices for summer is a good family picnic.
Pack as a Family
When making a picnic lunch, have the kids help prepare and pack as much as possible. Let them spread the peanut butter and jelly on their bread or put veggies into zip-lock bags. They can also pack everything inside the picnic basket. Another option is to bake cookies with the kids to take along as well. Once the basket is all packed up, have the kids grab some drinks and help carry everything to the car. The kids can also help back up blankets, paper plates, napkins, plastic wear and cups.
Once the family gets to the park, parents can let the kids help spread out the blanket and get things ready. This could include getting out food, setting up plates or helping to pour drinks. Kids will enjoy setting up the picnic the way they want it to look, some little girls may even like setting up a tea party for the family to enjoy.
Enjoying Time around the Blanket
The same way a family can enjoy quality time around the table, they can also enjoy time around the blanket. Parents should ask their children questions, tell stories or jokes and keep the conversation flowing. Some of the best memories involve good conversation and laughter, so make sure to create plenty to remember.
Before letting the kids go play, parents should make sure they help clean everything up. Have them throw away their trash and help put away any extra food as well as dishes. They should also help to fold up the blanket and get everything packed up in the car.
Bring Along Some Fun
In order to make the family outing about more than just food, bring along some items to share as a family. This could include footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, jump ropes, hula hoops or Frisbees. It could also be things like cards, yard games or sidewalk chalk. Other options are bicycles, scooters, wagons, anything that the kids can have fun with while also spending time with family.
Keep It Safe
Parents should keep in mind the age of their child when they pack certain toys and always remember to keep safety in mind. Put the kids in proper shoes and clothing, such as tennis shoes or hook-and-loop toddler belts, as well as using things like helmets, knee pads and elbow pads.
Even if parents forget to bring along any items for games, they can still make it fun for the kids by playing hid-and-seek, tag, clapping games, red rover or even rolling down some hills. Parents can also take advantage of local playgrounds or pools.
There is nothing that can beat good food, the great outdoors and the smiles on little one’s faces, so start packing up that basket!
It does not make much sense to ask a younger child to do difficult chores on their own. But in order to get the responsibility ball rolling, parents can choose smaller chores that they can help their children accomplish around the house. These can include dusting the furniture, pushing a vacuum cleaner, helping to take out the trash or holding the dustpan for Mom after she sweeps the kitchen floor. By helping a child do chores around the house, it will be easier as they grow to ask them to start doing things on their own
Plant a Nugget
A small nugget should be planted in a young child’s mind that a household belongs to the entire family and therefore should not be taken care of by just one person. Parents should create a family dynamic with their spouses and children that makes the kids feel like they are an important part of the household as well as a big reason why it runs the way it does. Responsibility should feel like an honor to a child, rather than a burden
Create a Chores Chart
Do not just let the kids choose a chore and expect it to get done every week, because every parent knows that most likely will not happen. Call a family meeting and create a chart that lists all the chores that should be done throughout the week. Assign each child to two or three chores a day, keeping them age appropriate. Once each child has done their chore, they can check it off the list and be free for the day. Make sure to switch chores around week by week so the kids are not doing the same chores over and over again. It is also important that the parents are assigned chores as well to create that equality within the family
Reward Good Behavior
If the kids get their chores done in good time without complaining, whining or putting it off until the last minute, make sure to reward that. Give out prizes for chores checked off the chart. Prizes can be things like candy, cookies, stickers or even special outings such as going to the movies or out to a restaurant
Add Some Fun
Try not to make all the chores miserable for the kids. After all, no one likes cleaning the toilet or taking out the trash. But they may like helping to weed the garden (what kid does not like playing in the dirt?), helping to make dinner or washing the car. Add in some chores that the kids fight over having, rather than just the ones that make them groan.
Every child should learn the importance of chores in a way that does not make them cringe. Keep chores as equal and important acts for the entire family and be sure that the kids will always get them done.
Tags: family chores
Everyone loves a good family vacation. What everyone does not love is packing everything up and making it through a long drive with restless toddlers in the back seat. Even though traveling can be stressful, there are several things that parents can do in order to create a smoother process as well as make traveling fun.
Pack It Up
Rather than waiting until last minute to get everything packed, get different things together throughout the week. Have the kids help pack their own things as much as possible. Pack up clothing first, followed by any toys or games as well as miscellaneous items. Make a list with the kids of everything that they want to bring and everything that the parents want them to bring. That way, everything can be checked off throughout the week.
Teaching How to Pack
Teach the kids how to pack their own suitcase or bag in a neat and tidy way. Help them fold up their clothing, pack up toys neatly and also how to separate things into categories. Have them put all their shorts or pants in one area, shirts in another and accessories, such as hook-and-loop toddler belts, in another. Teaching the kids good packing skills early on will help to insure that they have good packing skills in the future.
Create Fun Boxes
It is no secret that toddlers get restless quickly. In order to guard against that during a long drive, create fun boxes with the kids. A fun box should hold everything a child might need to be entertained. Good ideas are coloring books, crayons, puzzle books, animals, dolls, etc. Also make sure to have plenty of kid’s music to play on the way as well as the occasional movie.
Interact to Pass the Time
One great way to help pass the time is to play family games or sing songs in the car. Good examples are I Spy, Old McDonald or the Alphabet Game. The kids will be a lot less cranky with parents that play with them on the trip rather than just constantly telling them to be quiet.
It is hard for a child to sit for long periods of time without getting a little grumpy. A great way to burn some of their energy is to take breaks throughout the trip. Stop at a park every now and then to let them play on the playground or stop at a rest stop for a quick game of tag or hopscotch. Those small breaks may make the trip longer, but also a lot more enjoyable.
Remember to Eat!
Rather than just going through a drive-thru, it is best to stop at a restaurant in order to let the kids stretch their legs and get some time away from the car. Another option is to pack a picnic to eat at a park or rest stop along the way. Also, remember to pack lots of snacks for those munchies in between meals.
Summer vacations can be some of the most memorable moments for a family, so try and make the entire experience one great memory.
Now that summer is here and the kids are home from preschool, there is a huge block of time that needs to be taken up. But no worries, summer is the perfect time to bond with the kids and to come up with some new family activities.
Proper Summer Clothing
Before starting any crazy summer fun, remember to dress the kids in appriorate summer clothing. Shorts and t shirts are a must. Also, keep light pants on hand to protect against bugs during certain outdoor activities. Another thing to keep in mind is hats and sunglasses for those hot sunny days. Last, but not least, a hook-and-loop toddler belt to finish off those cool summer outfits.
Summer Camp Out
One of the best family traditions during the summer is camping. If parents think their kids are not ready for serious camping quite yet, then make a simple backyard campout. Set up a tent in the backyard complete with picnics, campfires, ghost stories and sleeping under the stars. This way, if the kids get scared, home is just a few steps away.
Create Tasty Treats
Fill up some of that extra time by helping the kids create some tasty summer treats that they can enjoy. Use fruit juice or punch to make homemade popsicles or purchase a small snow cone maker. The kids will love creating the treats and will love eating them even more.
The summer heat always begs for some kind of water activity. If the kids are ready for swimming, take them to the pool with some inflatable flippers to practice their dog paddling. If the big pool is still a little too scary, a lot of public swimming pools offer kiddie pools that are just as much fun. Another great option is setting up water play in the backyard. Use a small inflatable pool or purchase a sprinkler that the kids can run through.
The beach is not the only place to have fun in the sand. Purchase a sandbox, or even a large bin, and fill it with sand for the kids to play in. It is usually best to have the kids wear swisuits while playing in the sand in order to guarantee an easier clean up. With some buckets, a little water and a couple shovels, the kids can create sand castles just like they would at the beach.
Of course summer would never be complete without trips to the park. Take the kids to play on the playground, walk around the lake, feed the ducks or even on a short hike. Playing outside will burn a lot of the kid’s energy while also allowing them to enjoy the summer weather. For active play, make sure the kids wear durable shoes that will keep tiny toes safe while running, jumping or playing.
Remember to use sunscreen and bugspray when needed while letting the kids play outside in the summer while also having them drink lots of water in order to stay hydrated. The last thing to remember this summer is to always have fun.
Tags: Summer kids clothing