Saturday, July 4, 2015

Surviving the Sidelines


Soccer, baseball, swimming, lacrosse... have you been sitting on the sidelines of your kid's activities lately? We don't do it nearly as much as other families, but enough to realize the dilemma of the bored child who is NOT participating. Oftentimes, it's the younger siblings that are on the sidelines, but in the case of our family, my oldest daughter is finding herself more and more on the sidelines. 

While I'm happy that my youngest is discovering activities that she loves, I also understand my oldest not always being eager to come along. It's not always fun to sit on the sidelines. So, what to do?

Disclaimer: Thank you to Parragon Books for providing the fun activity book showcased in this post. All opinions are my own. This post also contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sight Word Tallies


Since my youngest daughter is heading into 1st grade in the fall, we've been focusing a lot on sight words. She's got a great handle on some, but as you know, there are many to learn. We're trying to keep up the practice over the summer, but I definitely want to keep things simple. That's where sight word tallies comes in. It's easy to prep. Simple to do. And, it's fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rock Sums


Whether your child is just learning a new math concept or needs help reinforcing a skill, math manipulatives are always a big help. Manipulatives aren't just a fancy new math term, nor is it something you need to run out and purchase.  It's simply a group of small items used to illustrate a math concept. I'm teaming up with a group of bloggers to showcase ordinary items you probably already have at home and the fun ways you can use them to reinforce math concepts. 

We're using a basic item, rocks. With rocks, you can do math anywhere... in your house, in your backyard, on a camping trip, in the park. They're easy to find. And, if your kids are anything like mine, you may already have a nice collection of rocks at home. We're using them to reinforce addition skills, but they can be used in many other ways.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Activities for Kids Who Want to Save the Earth


My youngest daughter recently had her birthday. After tossing about party themes for a few weeks prior, she came home from school one day and told me she wanted a "Save the Earth" birthday party. Her kindergarten class had been doing a lot of earth-friendly activities in the days leading up to Earth Day this year. She was inspired. She had a few friends over for her birthday and we planted seeds, made bird feeders from recycled materials, had a recycling relay race, and tried to be very conscious of our waste (i.e. no fancy decorations). The kids had a ton of fun.

Ever since then, she's become my tiny earth warrior. She's interested in learning all about saving the earth. I've been looking for fun ideas to help her learn all she can. I've rounded up some of the great ideas we've found for my daughter and all the other kids out there who want to save the earth.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Illuminated Manuscript Initials: Exploring Armenia Through Art


There's an area of land sandwiched in between the continents of Asia and Europe, called Eurasia. Armenia is a small, mountainous country located in that area. It is in Asia, very near Europe. (See it on a map here.) Armenia was a part of the former Soviet Union after being taken over by Russia following World War I. The modern Republic of Armenia gained its independence in 1991.


For our artistic inspiration, we went far back in history, way before World War I. Every time I went searching for Armenian art, I discovered illuminated manuscripts. While not exclusive to Armenia, I found many wonderful Armenian examples. Here is an illustrated version of the Armenian alphabet done in the style of illuminated manuscripts. The Armenian alphabet is also unique with a rich history. It was created in 405 A.D. You can read about the history here. The written word and beautifully illustrated versions are an important part of Armenia's history. We used this inspiration to create illustrated versions of our initials.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.