JUST KIDDING AROUND
Spring is in the air, and your kids (and you!) are ready for sunshine and warmer temperatures. So here’s a checklist of fun activities for the entire family.
Make 2017 your family’s year of adventure by trying new things! How about taking the kids to a climbing wall or trampoline park? A hike or bike ride in a new-to-you area is another way to introduce the fun of new experiences. Be prepared with plenty of water and snacks, and you also may want to pack a simple first aid kit, too.
Keep in your kit:
Adhesive bandages (cartoon characters optional)
Travel-size baby wipes
Instant cold compress
Picnic in the Park
This is the perfect time of year to play in the park; and as a bonus, you just might meet other families in your neighborhood, too!
Pack for a perfect day by including:
3 or more beanbags
Small orange cones
A snack with protein (cheese cubes or peanut butter and crackers)
Of course, you’ll want the kids to have hula hooping contests, but you can also lay the hoop on the ground and use it as a target for the beanbags. Come prepared to share your favorite jump-rope songs and chants with your kids, and hold contests like longest jump time and best jump-rope tricks/moves. Use the small orange cones to set marks for races. Hula hoop race, anyone?
Pro tip: Help your kids enjoy their time by using Joy® Essential Oil blend. You can dab it on their wrists, or even let them inhale the aroma.
Still slushy outside? There’s plenty to do inside, while absorbing sunshine from windows. Create a reading corner near a window, using a few throw pillows and a basket of books. (Visit your local library to rotate the books in the basket for free or try a used book store for great keep-the-book bargains!) Want family togetherness? Then set up a table near natural light, and work a jigsaw puzzle together. Younger children can help sort out the edges and colors, while the older kids can work on it with you. Here’s a great challenge: Putting together even a simple, 50-piece puzzle becomes a challenge when the picture on the box is hidden.
Favorite Family Tradition
One of the best ways to strengthen the family bond is by sharing meals with conversation together. While busy lives are the norm in today’s world, by being intentional and planning ahead, you and your family can create great memories and a stronger connection at the table.
Here are some great ideas for this bond-building time:
Eat at a picnic table or on a blanket
Choose breakfast rather than dinner
Make the meal a technology-free zone
Make sure all phones are on silent
Parents, this includes you!
Serve family favorites alongside new dishes
If a disagreement arises, remind family members to be respectful of each other
After a long day, having a nightly routine can help your children relax and wind down, while preparing them mentally and emotionally for sleep. After getting cleaned up and brushing their teeth, your routine should have quiet, low-key activities. Many families read a story or a chapter from a book, but choosing to sing slower, quiet songs or talking about things they’d like to dream about or good things planned for tomorrow are also great ideas.
Good books to read:
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (toddlers)
Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (pre-K through second grade)
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (third grade and up)
Songs to sing:
You Are My Sunshine
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Hush Little Baby