Here’s a nice A-Z Superfoods list of fruits and veggies. It makes eating from a rainbow a simply concept.
A formal educational setting is not needed to provide lessons to you children. Teachable moments can arise in an instant. As a perfect example of this: the other day, we were at the park and I was stressing to my daughter that she did not need to push back and forth while on the spinning apparatus thing (for lack of better word) because it works by centrifugal force.
So I just finished saying to her “Just slightly move your body back and forth, no harsh movements, you’ll get hurt if you do”.
I turn around for a second and it happens; a yell, a cry and her lip is bleeding. So needless to say our time at the park was cut short. Although she got hurt, it was a lesson none the less.
There is a lot to learned at the park, here are a few:
Literacy: A simple literacy activity that you can do with your child while visiting the park is to simply read the signs. Read the directions and information that you will find around the playground. When you get home have your child write about their experiences at the park that day. If they are still little have them draw it, you can ask them to describe the picture to you and you can write it on the drawing afterwards.
Physical educational: Let them run, climb, jump and slide. Not only will they burn of some steam but they actually be exercising. Most playgrounds have different play areas with designated age levels so they can exert their own physical skills. Take a ball with you to the park and practice kicking an throwing the ball while you are there.
Science and nature: My daughters favorite thing. Go on a nature walk, discuss the nature surrounding them. The trees, flowers, water features, grass and bugs. How do the plants grow, why does mold grow on this side of the tree, what type of flower/tree is this, what type of insects live here and what do they eat and what are the different parts of plants? Collect some leaves and do leaf rubbings when you get home.
Social/Etiquette skills: Lets face it some people just don’t pick up after themselves. You can teach them pick up at least five pieces of trash. (serve your community) If everyone did that, our parks would sparkle. Parks are also very sociable places. It is an ideal opportunity for your child (and yourself) to socialize with other children (moms) and learn a variety of social skills such as talking, listening and sharing.
History: Many parks have some great history behind them. Find information on plaques/memorial statues.
Art: A brilliant way for children to express themselves is through art. Have them draw their experiences. Make a collage out of the leaves they have collected. One of our favorite activities is to gather and collect “nature” then they make create nature creatures. Use grass as rope to tie twigs together.
A simply trip to the park can provide so many lessons.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
Today, we’re attempting to solve this issue on a much larger scale. Along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch and more, Google is launching Made with Code, an initiative to inspire girls to code. The program includes:
We’ve also posted videos about women who are using code in their dream jobs, like Miral, Danielle, Erica and other inspirational girl coders — like Brittany Wenger, who is using code to fight cancer. And, we’ve developed a few steps parents can take at home to get their daughters excited about computer science. Read more about the initiative here.
Nowadays, coding isn’t just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn’t just for engineers. Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there. Their future — our future — is made with code. Let’s do what we can to make sure that future is as bright as possible.
Yesterday marked the beginning of summer for us. It was My 7 year old daughter’s last day of school and she is not happy about it. She asked me “Why can’t the teachers just take the weekend off and start the next school year on Monday?”
I have a huge responsibility here, I need to keep her learning and engaged during the summer. I have listed a few things in my Summer Educational Series that she will be taking part in. Celebrating National Summer Learning Day on June 20th that goes right in line with my mission.
Summer Learning Day is a day to spread awareness about the importance of combating summer learning loss and the need to offer learning opportunities for all students to keep brains engaged in the summer months. Summer learning is for all children, not just those who need to catch up in school. It helps to encourage children to be:
This year, hundreds of events, big and small, are slated to celebrate summer learning across the nation. Find Summer Learning Day events close to you, Summer Learning is about bringing together fun activities and learning to provide a safe space for the children of working families.
As a parent, you can help by turning everyday errands and outings into a learning experience. Download and print out some of the resources below to learn how.
I absolutely loved LEGO’s as a child, as an adult I love to see my children playing with LEGO’s. I know that LEGO’s provide a child with complete freedom that allow their imaginations to soar. They encourage children to give their ideas and predictions a try and their mistakes become masterpieces with endless possibilities.
As a parent, I love that as the child grows, their building possibilities grow from the same set of LEGO’s. They could potentially use the same blocks for years. Although, I am sure that they will add on to their existing set with some of the new themed sets. One set that I am very pleased to see coming out in August is a limited-edition box set called “Research Institute”, featuring three female scientists.
Your local LEGO Store has FREE monthly Mini Model Builds on the first Tuesday of every month. Your child can learn how to build a mini model and take it home for FREE (I think I already said that but I love FREE). These events are for kids ages 6 to 14. The next upcoming Mini Model Build is: LEGO Beach Van: Tuesday, July 1 and begins at 5:00 pm until supplies last.
June 2014 Mini Build
Math and Science Skills
We are less then a week away from Vacation Bible School. We attend and volunteer at the VBS through Calvary Chruch located in Santa Ana.
Calvary Chruch’s VBS is not affiliated with the church that I attend but I love several things about this VBS:
Our VBS starts the day by meeting in the main church, they sing and pray together then head of to their classes where they have a bible based curriculum and then circulate in the campus and do crafts, play games, have a snack and than meet back up in the main church and end their day by singing to the lord and praying together.
They encourage children to give back by contributing through the “Penny Project”. The kids bring in their “pennies” to fund a project to benefit the work of a missionary family. The kids will learn all about this family and what their pennies will help build or provide. This year they are helping a missionary family that is in the process of opening a new Transition Home in Balti, Moldova for 10 boys. The home will be provide a safe, loving home for boys who are too old for an orphanage but still need protection, school, and job training. The money our children raise through the “penny Project” will help buy comfortable furniture for the home, so it won’t be just a house, but a home. Now, I don’t know about you but I think it’s very impressive that my little girl come’s home understanding what missionary work is and is searching for pennies to help people she’s never meet .
VBS not only helps our children discover and grow closer to Christ, they also make friends and have memories and values to last a lifetime.
As for me, I love that volunteering at VBS works on my heart to witness the body of Christ at work. I volunteer in the craft room, which is non-stop from the moment you walk in. VBS needs a lot of volunteers to make it possible for kids to attend. Everything from donating snacks to helping with parking, helping with sign in’s each day, leading or assisting in a class room, helping in crafts room, kitchen area or music. There are tons of jobs that aren’t even addressed here. Every job is important and helps change the life of a child.
I know, yet another volunteer job and no money. But these volunteer positions that I take on give me more then money ever could. They give me the opportunity to give back to my community, to help someone, to make a difference and to refine my purpose by serving. I hope that my children see that volunteering within your community is needed and how important it is to give back. Volunteering doesn’t take money just your time and effort. Kids need to be taught how to volunteer. You have to be the example.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15
pictures from last years VBS from OC Register.com
Every time we come here, I fall more in love with this beautiful spot. Crystal Cove State Park is designated as an Underwater Park and definitely goes under my Summer Educational Series. This place makes it easy to add a learning experience to a family fun day at the beach.
Nothing is better then nature’s classroom. Stop by art museum, located across from the one restaurant on the beach, and pick up a Sea Life pamphlet (made especially for kids but I love it) It describes how to explore the tidepools and the sea life you find at different tide levels. All the kids love seeing sea anemones and get so excited by the Shore crabs. You can also read through the Crystal Cove State Park pamphlet with your to give them a some of the history of Crystal Cove.
I am simply amazed by God’s beautiful creations when I’m here. The pristine beach is surrounded by 80 foot coastal bluffs. It has 3.2 miles of beach and seven separate coves to explore. There’s plenty of room on the beach for sunbathing and picnicking.
There are volunteer led tidepool walks and every Wednesday throughout the summer, the Education Commons has classes on sea glass jewelry making, historic radio shows, historical games and more. These classes are from 9am-4pm and best of all it’s FREE.
A great way to teach your kids about serving your community and preserving our beaches is to join in a beach clean-up effort check out Save Our Beach.
How to Find the Park
The park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, California with easy access from I-5, 405 and 73. Crystal Cove State Park is located just north of Laguna Beach, California and just south of Corona Del Mar, California. Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, passes directly by the Park. There is parking both on the ocean side of PCH at Reef Point and Pelican Point as well as inland parking at El Moro Day Use Parking Area by the Ranger Station which can be reached by going inland at School/State Park traffic signal, located next to El Morro School.. A few miles north from Reef Point is the Los Trancos parking area with trolley access to the Historic District.
To my husband, don’t read this post! Ok, since I know you, I know you will continue to read this post. So act surprised when you receive one (or all) of these as your gift.
I love PBSKids for my girls, they have some great resources. I previously blogged about their SciGirls program. Today, as part of my Summer Educational Series , my focus is on The Electric Company Summer Learning Program (I will highlight some of the other online programs soon). This is a six-week multimedia program which has a total of 24 sessions, with four 90-minute sessions per week. This program will help me feed my daughters thirst for learning during the summer.
PBSKids has created a curriculum based off The Electric Company. Each session uses the show to develop children’s vocabulary and core math concepts like: addition, subtraction, pattern recognition, representing and analyzing data, telling time, reading and writing numbers, and measurement. The children watch the same episode twice, so that they are exposed to the same words and concepts two sessions in a row. This enhances the depth of the each learning experience.
Every lesson is written out for you. Just follow their guidelines and your set. You can set this up with another Mom and take turns hosting a session or do this one on one with you child. However you decide to do this, be sure to encourage discussions about what they learned. Also, playing some of their online games helps reinforce their lessons or have them draw a picture to express what they’ve learned. Families are also given a bi-weekly newsletters to update parents on what children have been learning.
Key features include:
Take a look and let me know what you think.
For my Summer Educational Series, I’m adding an upcoming art/educational program for kids at the O.C. Zoo. Even if you have to drive a bit to get here, it’s completely worth it. You can plan a full day here.
A new Art Program is being offered at the OC Zoo. The OC Zoo has teamed up with Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. On June 27 and August 6 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am., kids ages 9-16 years old will learn to draw an animal with a Chuck Jones Center artist. They’ll also get to meet a zoo animal up close!
The cost is $10.00 per child (parent observer pays $2.00 zoo admission fee) and a $3.00 parking fee. A Chuck Jones center artist will also be inside the zoo after the art program from 12:30pm-2:30pm so general admission zoo visitors have a chance to see the artist drawing and ask questions
Space is limited, class takes place at the OC Zoo which is located inside Irvine Regional Park in Orange. Registration is REQUIRED by calling (714) 973-6846l
Be sure to bring a lunch and spend the day at Irvine Regional Park. You can visit the Nature center, rent a bike, a paddle boat, take a train ride or take a walk along with the lake.
Orange County Zoo
(located inside Irvine Regional Park)
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92862
About Chuck Jones Center for Creativity:
picture and recipe from http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/
This dessert not only looks scrumptious (or is it just me and my love for S’mores?) but it’s a great prep ahead dessert. Perfect for dinner parties.
Just whip the ingredients together, assemble, let it sit in the fridge 3 hours or overnight and serve. If you have kids with Peanut allergies dessert will work out great. You use Biscoff spread in place of peanut butter (Biscoff spread is made from Biscoff cookies and gives that graham cracker taste). It can be found near the peanut butter in most grocery stores.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours, or overnight
Fluffy S’mores no-bake mousse cups
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz package of chocolate pudding (powder)
2 Cups powdered sugar
1/2 Cup Biscoff spread or Peanut Butter
8 oz tub of Cool Whip
2-3 Tablespoons milk
marshmallows and graham crackers for garnish and layers
For complete details visit : Smores Cups Recipe | In Katrina’s Kitchen.
Get Outside Day event actives will offer a mix of information centers, “active fun” areas, places where guests (especially kids) can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition.
The sites will also provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl.
In addition to the days events, participants will be invited to nearby follow-up activities called EchO events occurring throughout the summer, which include introductions to mountain biking and fly-fishing, hikes with rangers to see wildlife, kayaking and rafting and much more.