The Rapper Ludacris – Chris Bridges – has launched a super interactive website with the help of his 10 year old daughter Karma. Called karmasworld.com, it is filled with songs, stories and games for grades first through sixth. I found the games to be entertaining, fun and age appropriate. They are also educational and have great kid appeal.
Since Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, that usually means more time outdoors and lots of outdoor eating. If you’re going to a picnic this weekend, here are a few simple games, activities and food ideas to help win the day.
MAKE PATRIOTIC NECKLACES using red, white, and blue straws cut into one inch sections. String them onto a piece of yarn and everyone looks ready for a parade or backyard barbeque.
Try frozen STRAWBERRY POPS to cool off after a fun day in the sun. Wash and remove the stems from a quart of strawberries. Toss them in a blender and add a splash of orange or grape juice. Puree until smooth. Pour into small paper cups. Place a popsicle stick in each one and freeze until firm. Peel away the paper and they’re ready to eat.
At the next family reunion, have the kids dress up in red, white, and blue and have a backyard parade. You can decorate wagons and bikes, and play some peppy marching band music to add to the festivities. Adults can join in and everyone can “perform” by doing whatever they’re good at: acrobatics, card tricks, puppet show, singing, dancing, telling corny jokes. Getting everyone – young and old – involved adds to the fun.
Happy Memorial Day.
Here is an easy to make recipe for a dip that will be perfect for summer picnics, parties or game nights. Children love the sweetness and will eat the fruit and veggies without protest.
PEANUT BUTTER DIP:1/4 C creamy peanut butter, 3 oz. low fat cream cheese, 1-2 T. apple or orange juice, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/8 to 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce.
1. Combine the PB, cream cheese, juice and cinnamon in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add applesauce, a little at a time, until it is the right consistency for a dip. Chill before serving with the following:
sliced bananas, carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets, apple slices, graham cracker sticks, pretzel rods, or any assortment of fruits and veggies you choose. It’s amazing how many things taste great with peanut butter. Feel free to try it with non-traditional dippers such as pickles, pepper slices, sausage pieces or whatever. Refrigerated, it will be good for 2-3 days.
Let me know how you like it. It’s been one of our favorites for years. Happy Munching!
Here’s a novel way to encourage children to practice counting and other math skills: try counting butterflies. All across the US, volunteers are counting butterflies in the name of science. In 1975, the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) launched it’s annual butterfly count program. Volunteers from all over North America join together on designated days to identify and count butterflies – no scientific degree needed. By using only your eyes and enthusiasm, you will contribute to scientists understanding of local butterfly populations and how they have changed over time.
For more information on where and when these counts take place check out the NABA website:naba.org
You can also learn more about butterfly counting at: monarchnet.uga.edu, or at: butterfliesandmoths.org.
Here are two web sites that have a wealth of fun activities for all ages. They are especially useful on days when the kids are bored or stuck indoors.
1. woojr.com: This site offers printable coloring pages for holidays and just about any category you could imagine. Animals are especially popular. You could download the pages and make story books with them or cut out the animals to have a puppet show. There are also crafts and activities for children of all ages and abilities.
2. Check out the Free Games you can download on this site: makeplaydough.com. There are even ideas for teens to decorate rooms or make gifts for friends.
Who doesn’t love ice cream or frozen yogurt? Even those with a lactose intolerance can now find a frozen treat to enjoy. Jazz up your favorite flavors to celebrate Mother’s Day with Make Your Own Sundaes. A few fun toppings will turn an ordinary dessert into a party for mom.
Try any of the following: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut, crushed cookies or graham crackers, mini M&M’s, crushed candy bars, chocolate syrup or caramel sauce, sprinkles, or whatever your favorite add-on might be. Don’t forget whipped cream. Decorate a large bowl with paper cut-out hearts or flowers. Make a Mother’s Day crown for the “World’s Best MOM, and serve the sundae with a hug and kiss. I don’t know any MOM who could resist!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
I read about a wonderful site for children written by the prolific poet Kenn Nesbitt called http://www.poetry4kids.com.The site offers information on how to write poetry and has numerous word games, puzzles, interactive activities and a wealth of fun-filled information for children and anyone who loves poetry and word play. Check it out and play some of the games. I especially enjoyed the Balloon-Popping word game where I had to guess the word before all 11 balloons popped (guessing a wrong letter pops a balloon). It’s like the old “Hang Man” game we all played as kids.