Memorial Day weekend is almost here, kicking off the Summer and a time to celebrate our servicemen and women. Make your day off from the daily grind special by getting crafty with your kids and creating something patriotic to display in your home. From seriously simple activities to projects that are perfect for older tots, this roundup of red, white, and blue crafts is perfect for showing your love of the great USA.
Wondering how to keep your kids entertained all Summer? Stave off Summer boredom with these 10 fun and affordable activities recommended by Circle of Moms members.
1. Library Programs
Local library Summer programs are recommended by numerous Circle of Moms members. As Rebecca S. advises: "Libraries are always having free events with story times, magic shows, etc." And Evelyne R. shares: "I also love to take my children to the library, most of them have a Summer reading program that offers prizes for books read. My children love this and it is free."
2. Free Bowling
Free bowling for the kiddies all Summer long? Sign us up! Thanks to Kids Bowl Free, children can register for two free games of bowling every day this Summer at participating bowling centers in the US and Canada.
Gardening is a great Summer activity for children of all ages. "The garden is full of hidden surprises" for preschoolers, says Jeanette B., as they can be entertained by "just looking under rocks (and) feeling the textures of different materials, such as grass, leaves, flowers, stones, [and] fir cones." For older children, Alissa V. recommends encouraging older children to independently make or redesign a small flower bed. No backyard? See if community gardens accept children as volunteers (try the ACGA locator tool). And don't forget a field trip to the local farmers market for inspiration.
4. State Parks
To engage curious kids, says Laurie W., "the best activities involve the outdoors — lakes, ponds, streams, conservation areas and trails — to explore rocks, bugs, birds, and plants." And as Chaya S. suggests, Summer is a great time to explore state parks in your area; many have kid-friendly guided nature walks and science centers.
Elementary school educators spend a lot of time teaching children to love and accept all kinds of people. But a recent study suggests that children have "already absorbed an upsetting message: that fat is a negative indicator of a person's character, and that overweight people are undesirable as friends and as people" at an earlier age, The Atlantic reports.
In a study conducted by the University of Leeds, researchers found that kids' prejudice against fat people starts as early as preschool. Approximately 300 schoolchildren ranging from 4 to 6 years old were read a story about two friends who get stuck in a tree. In one version, both children are normal-sized. But in another version, one child is presented as overweight or disabled. When asked what they thought about the characters, the children overwhelmingly decided that the fat kid was less likely to win a race, do well in school, be happy with the way he looks, or get invited to parties, according to the report. Additionally, the children rated the overweight or disabled child more likely to be naughty and have fewer friends.
The "rejection" of the fat character was consistent when the story was portrayed with both male and female characters, the researchers said, indicating that "children pick up on societal cues as to what is socially acceptable and what is not" at a much earlier age than initially assumed.
Should your child's teacher tote a gun?
Allowing guns in school is a controversial issue, especially after the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary school in December. But at least two Utah teachers have anonymously admitted that they legally carry concealed guns at school, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The paper interviewed two middle-school teachers who hold concealed firearm permits — and therefore are not required to tell parents, school police officers, or principals that they are packing heat — because they believe it makes their classrooms safer.
"I can think of nothing worse than having to witness my students being killed or maimed without me being able to at least attempt some sort of intervention," one teacher explained. "I might even die in the process, but, in my opinion, going down shooting would be better than standing in front of them helplessly."
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about what moms regret teaching their kids.
When you're a new parent, seeing your baby learn new things is nothing short of exhilarating! You photograph it, get it on video, share it on Facebook, blog about it, and create a great scrapbook. As they get older, though, sometimes what they pick up works against you. Moms in BabyCenter's community were talking about the things they regret teaching (intentionally or not) their children. I've pulled together a list of the top 10.
- Teaching them how to spell. Buh-bye days of c-o-o-k-i-e and S-a-n-t-a.
- How to open the refrigerator. Clean up on aisle four!
- The word "boobie." It's cute until you're in church and somebody wants a snack.
- The words to any children's song you don't want to hear a bazillion times.
- How to blow raspberries. It's absolutely adorable until you're covered in spit for the 10th time today.
- How to turn on the iPad. Tech addiction obviously starts early.
- Sarcasm. It's just so precious. Seriously.
- How to open doors. "Mommy, what are you and Daddy doing in here?"
- How to say "no" and other useful (sometimes profane) phrases.
- How to unbuckle a car seat. What seemed like a handy thing to know turns parents into an octopus while driving and hearing that unsettling click.
What can you add to the list?
More great reads from BabyCenter:
How to Establish a Nap Schedule
Is Kim Kardashian Sacrificing Comfort For Style?
Why We Grieve With Fellow Moms When Tragedy Strikes
6 Yummy Dishes For Your Memorial Day Menu
When your baby is sleeping in another room, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a valid concern. To ease parents' worries, a group of students from Winona State University have developed a high-tech baby monitor that can measure an infant's heartbeat, breathing, and movement, and even alert a doctor if something goes awry, reports Co.Exist.
The students, who call themselves the Miracle Workers, developed the blanket-looking device for Microsoft's annual student technology competition, Imagine Cup. A sensor-filled pad that is programmed with normal vital ranges according to different ages is placed on top of a baby's crib mattress. If the baby strays from the normal ranges while sleeping, then "the pad alerts the parents (and doctor if that option is selected) via a Windows Phone or tablet," according to the report.
The Miracle Workers say the device costs about $150 to manufacture, and they plan to sell it even if they don’t win the Imagine Cup. Would you pay that for peace of mind?
Regardless of how beautifully decorated a child's nursery or bedroom is, it becomes a lot more special when it's infused with personal touches. While monograms and initials hanging on the walls are one way to go, they've become somewhat expected. Take your creativity up a notch and check out these nine clever "real mom" solutions to adding big-time personality to little people's rooms.
Not sure how to talk about sex with your child? Many moms recommend using a book to help explain how babies are made in an age-appropriate way. As Circle of Moms member Christina H. relays: "It gives us a starting point for the conversation and helps my husband and I tailor our answers to our son's level of understanding." No matter what age your child is, there are kid-friendly books out there that can help you explain the birds and the bees. Here, we've rounded up seven suggestions from real moms, starting with books for kids as young as 5 years old and moving up through the teen years. Keep reading to see their picks.
Manners in the modern age aren't just an issue for the "ladies who lunch" set — issues of etiquette arise every day, in every way, especially if you're a parent! As moms, we're responsible not only for our own decorum, but also for setting an example for our kids.
We were lucky enough to chat about the topic recently with Lizzie Post, great-granddaughter of the famed Emily Post and one of the authors of the 18th edition of Emily Post's Etiquette: Manners For a New World. Totally in touch with the "What's the right thing to do when . . . " challenges that moms face on an ongoing basis, we found Lizzie's advice to be incredibly useful and realistic. Read on — we hope that you find it to be just as beneficial!
There's no mistaking all that pink: these spaces are all about the girls. From boho-chic to vintage-glam, bold and beautiful to sweet and serene, the following 22 little ladies rooms and nurseries are beyond inspirational. Created by some seriously stylish mamas and professional designers, these gorgeous rooms are the stuff little girls dream about. Keep clicking to check them all out and choose your favorite!