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Valentine’s Day Dinner Party

14 Feb

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate. They just want to spend time with you. Make the whole day special by creating a Valentine’s Day dinner party with your kids.

Decorations

Pick up some inexpensive Valentine’s plates, cups, and napkins. Or, use your everyday dishes and add some Valentine’s napkins.

Hang some paper hearts from your light fixture, sprinkle some on the table or make a paper heart bunting.

Have your kids make Valentine’s placemats using stickers, paint, construction paper, markers or other art supplies.

Meal

  • Make their favorite meal.
  • Put marinara sauce over pasta in a heart-shape and add heart-shaped meatballs.
  • Make a heart-shaped pizza from frozen pizza dough. Cut out pepperoni or veggies with a heart shaped cookie cutter to put on the pizza.

Crafts

Make some cards for family members. We’ve given you links to some of our favorite painting techniques. We used construction paper and added some ribbon for a special touch.

Add some candles, flowers and a small box of chocolates for each person and you have a night to remember.

Make it Easy

*Plates, food, etc. can all be purchased in one trip at a large box store. We purchased all of our supplies at Walmart.

*We painted two large sheets of white construction paper with using the paint blotting and marbelized painting for all of our crafts and decorations.

Thank You Notes?

29 Dec

Your child has just received a bunch of new gifts that are tons of fun to play with. They said a proper thank you at your holiday gathering so, are thank you notes really necessary? Yes!

I’m not Miss Manners but, there are some things that I know are very important and thank you notes are one of them. I have teenagers who I have taught to write thank you notes for many reasons over the years. Now that they are getting jobs, looking at colleges, or get help from an adult for various reasons, thank you notes are essential. The thank you notes they have written have not only been appreciated, but have set my kids apart.

Your kids may think that writing thank you notes are hard and they may think they are unnecessary, but knowing how to write one could change their life.

How to Write Thank You Notes

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Paper Snowflakes

27 Dec

Paper snowflakes may seem old-fashioned but they are an amazing discovery for kids. Copy paper is the most used paper for paper snowflakes but little hands may not be able to cut through the layers. For your preschoolers, make snowflakes with tissue paper or coffee filters. Make your snowflakes extra special with colored paper or glitter.

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To Our Children’s Children

23 Dec

Many, many years ago, my older brother video taped our grandfather telling his stories over cake and coffee in their apartment. It was fantastic, but I really wish there had been more footage and, I really wished we had interviewed my grandmother, too.

When my parents decided to sell our childhood home after 37 years, I interviewed my siblings about their memories of the house. Because I’m so much younger than them, I had no idea of the shenanigans that went on before my time! It’s a fantastic record of the history that went on in our house.

A few years before our father passed away, I went to visit him and my mom and decided that I would take some time to interview him. I was able to spend several days, covering six hours, interviewing him about his life. It was very informal and I used the book To Our Children’s Children* as a guide for questions. At this point, I haven’t done anything with the video but, hope someday to self publish a children’s book for my grandchildren. The arrival of my grandchildren is very far off but the time will allow me to go through the videos and record my family’s history for future generations. Although this interview may seem irrelevant to my kids now I know they will appreciate it in years to come.

This holiday, when your family gets together, set up an interview station in a quiet area of the house complete with a list of questions and directions on how to turn on the video camera. Ask everyone to take some time answering the questions. Not only will you have a family history, you will have a live recording of your relatives voice and personality. What a great way to capture your family’s roots.

*To Our Children’s Children is a book to assist you in interviewing friends and family about their personal history. The book is broken down into chapters by theme such as childhood, marriage, etc. It ask questions such as ‘Who were you named for?’ or ‘When did you get your first gray hair?’ It’s a serious yet clever way to get your family to open up about their lives.

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Everything Tastes Better Covered in Chocolate

16 Dec

We love chocolate in our house so anytime we can cover something in chocolate, we do. Here are some of our favorite things to cover or dip in chocolate.

This recipe has information on how to prepare chocolate chips for dipping. There are fancier recipes for dipping chocolate, but we like this easy recipe and we always have chocolate chips on hand.

These can make great holiday treats to give to friends and family.

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Gingerbread Man Treasure Hunt

15 Dec

Gingerbread is a holiday favorite and it’s decorating gingerbread men is a winner for kids. Make a fun holiday gingerbread hunt for kids after reading classic storybook, The Gingerbread Man.

Decorate some gingerbread men then hide them somewhere in the house. Write some clues leading your kids around the house that will lead them to the hidden gingerbread men. Tape the first clue to the back of the book.

Once you’ve hidden the clues, read the story, The Gingerbread Man to your children. Read the first clue to your children and begin the treasure hunt!

This is a fun activity for a holiday party. The adults at the party can hold the clues and the clues can lead them to another adult. The final adult can have a bag filled with gingerbread men to give to the children.

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Meaningful Gift Giving

12 Dec

Yesterday we blogged about some great gifts kids can make for friends and family. Today, Dr. Keith Kanner, shares his blog with us about the true meaning of gift giving.

Background:With the holidays just around the corner, children and adults alike are struggling to find that “right” gift for a loved one and become concerned with issues such as quantity, quality, degree of personal appreciation, and amount of money available for gift buying in an economy that is tight for many. The giving of a gift for most however, is, intended to be an expression of love, affection, and appreciation of others, while the receiver is commonly touched by the thought and investment of the other’s time and thought about the choice of the token.
The “right” or most meaningful gift however is typically based upon on how well the giver knows the needs, interests, and personality of the recipient. When this type of information is obtained, issues of quantity are replaced with the more important aspect of quality, and the outcome is a benefit for all. The recipient feels as though the giver took the time to find out what he or she was really in need of or interested in, while the giver then feels gratified that their choice was well accepted and appreciated. So, how does one go about obtaining this type of information? If one plans ahead, asking the recipient what they are interested in before the holiday season allows one to gain important and direct information. However, most people do not plan far in advance and then asking such questions too close to the season eliminates the surprise. In most cases, most people then rely on other people who know the interests of the person and t! his then helps narrow down possible gifts.

Once this type of information is obtained, the concern of finance then becomes an important consideration and the giving person must be realistic in what they are able to afford given other gift commitments for their entire lists. Here, perhaps having a number of possible “meaningful” gifts for the recipient is important for some will be more expensive than others and one may fit more into the budget than another.

For children giving gifts, they will typically need the assistance of their parents to both choose and purchase gifts for others. For many parents however, they often enjoy their child making them a gift, rather than buying one, and this is often more meaningful than any sort of purchased item. Here, again, the quality of the gift outweighs the amount of money spent of number of presents.

It is very important that parents teach their children early about the goals of gift giving – that gifts are tokens of love, appreciation, and an investment in trying to bring some joy to another person. Here is where the uniqueness of a gift becomes important as it relates to a person’s needs and desires and that they have more to do with the meaning of the gift rather than the price or amount of presents given or received.

After all, when all is said and done, most individuals, adults and children alike, seem to be most invested in gifts which fit their needs and interests, rather than numbers of gifts which end up being stored in a closet and never enjoyed.

Key Points:

1. The “right” or most meaningful gift however is typically based upon on how well the giver knows the needs, interests, and personality of the recipient. Quality is much more important than quantity.

2. The concern of finance then becomes an important consideration and the giving person must be realistic in what they are able to afford given other gift commitments for their entire lists.

3. For children giving gifts, they will typically need the assistance of their parents to both choose and purchase gifts for others.

4. It is very important that parents teach their children early about the goals of gift giving – that gifts are tokens of love, appreciation, and an investment in trying to bring some joy to another person. It is not the price of the gift, amount of gifts, but the thought and meaning behind the gift that is the most important.

Find more from Dr. Kanner, author of Your Family Matters, at kanner.tv


Laura Crawford
Social Media/Web Content Manager
Dr. Keith Kanner
Web: www.kanner.tv
Facebook: Dr.KeithKanner
@DrKeithKanner

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