Wednesday, November 26, 2008

nature walk

When my kids were small, we would go on nature walks regularly. They would carry a small bag to collect items in that they could bring home for further study. We might walk around the neighborhood or walk along the ditch in the back. Occasionally, if my husband went with us, we would go to an old sand pit behind our house. The kids loved going out for walks and really loved being able to bring back the things they found on our walks. Be it leaves, grass, flowers, even weeds, they found these items interesting and worthy of more study. It is a good way for kids to learn about the world around them and a great way for families to spend time together.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

caramel apples

I have been looking for some time for a good homemade caramel recipe. We love this sticky treat, but I don't like using candy with artificial flavors and colors. I have come across a couple of easy recipes online. And when fall is in the air, we love to stir up the sticky sweetness, slice up some apples and dip them in the caramel! Whether you choose to melt caramel candies, use pre-cut caramel slices or find a recipe, caramel apples are a great fall family snack!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have been working on some vocabulary activities for my daughter. It reminds me of how kids learn words in the first place. It is often from hearing or reading new words. I love hearing my kids learn new words. I think it is important to read books with good, rich vocabulary in them, from the time the kids are young. Then you can expand that by keying in on a word or two, particularly if there are some the child asks about. Then, go about in using that word within normal conversations. This will help the child to make the word his/her own and increase her/his vocabulary. You can make this a fun family game by reading a book or article together and make a point to use the new words throughout the day or week.

Monday, November 10, 2008

raking leaves

Although this can't really be done at this time of year where I live, in many places the leaves have already started turning fall colors and dropping from the trees. One of the favorite things that can be done with these fallen leaves is to rake them into large piles and let the kids jump into them! Most of the time the kids will be really happy to help rake and make piles. And after the jumping fun, they will likely want to rake and re-pile them to keep jumping into the pile! Lots of fall fun for the family!

Monday, November 3, 2008


As tomorrow is election day in the U.S., this is an opportune time to teach our kids about voting. If possible, take them with you to the voting place. Talk to them about who you vote for and why. Of course, depending on their age, you can teach them how folks get nominated and elected. Talk about the different parties and their platforms, talk about the right and privilege to vote. Talk about the different issues which are important to people. I think kids care about what is going on in the world around them and the older they get, the more important it is that we teach them how to use this information and how to participate in the world in which they are growing.