Tag Archives: toddlers

Summer Reading Programs

4 Jun

Don’t miss these summer reading programs available to your kids. Kids of all ages can participate and often earn a prize for reading. It’s a great incentive. Here are some summer reading programs to try: Your library, Barnes and Noble or other bookstores, Scholastic Books,Sylvan Learning CentersHalf Price BookstoresPBSTD Bank, and Chuck E. Cheese.

Glowing Bubble Bath

30 May

Fill a tub with bubbles, then add some glow sticks. Turn out the lights for a unique bath time!

Bubble Wands

29 May

Click here for some other items to use as bubble wands. You probably already have them in your house.

Bubble Stuff

28 May

I love this idea for a bubble refill station. There are so many cute jugs and dispensers out there now. For the bubble recipe, click on the picture.

*Once recipe calls for glycerin and the other for corn syrup. Both are added to give the bubble a stronger outside so it will last longer. We recommend the glycerin recipe, however be prepared because a small bottle costs about $5. The corn syrup recipe works but leaves a sticky film on hands. It’s much cheaper though.

Daily Planning

23 May

Now that the big activities and events are on your summer calendar, it’s time to look individual days.

If you have younger children, you probably have a regular routine that you can continue during the summer. However, if you have a mix of younger kids and school age kids, it might not be so easy. Your school age kids aren’t used to being home with you every day and will want a plan that revolves around what they want to do.

Here are some suggestions to make everyone have a happy summer, and remember, this is a routine so it needs to remain flexible.

Before 9:00 Parents can do their things and the kids can have breakfast, sleep in, watch some cartoons, etc.

9:00 Everyone is out of their pjs, breakfast eaten and ready to start the day.

9-10:00ish Get in some time outdoors, play a game, do a simple art project, science experiment, run some errands, etc.

10:00-11:30ish Major day activity: Library, Volunteering, etc. Depending upon the age of your kids, you can incorporate the 9-10 time with this time.

11:30-12:30ish Make, eat and clean up lunch. The kids should help with all aspects of this

12:30-1:30ish Quiet time for everyone, even mom! Everyone retreats to their room for some time away from each other. This may mean naps, resting, reading or other quiet activity. We don’t recommend video or hand held games during this time because kids need to learn how to relax their body and mind.

1:30-4:30ish This is our get outside, learn how to play independently, go to the pool, have a friend over, tire the kids out time. Summer may seem like kids should stay up until all hours, but you will have less meltdowns and drama if the kids go to bed at a reasonable time. So use this time to get the kids worn out.

4:30-6:30ish Clean up, dinner prep, quiet play and dinner. This is a great time to have the kids help clean up after the outdoor activities. They can also help you prepare for dinner. At 5 years old, we think kids are ready to plan and cook a full meal with you at least once during the summer. Having them help you prepare daily meals will prepare them for making a meal on their own. It also gives you great time to talk to your kids. Younger kids can “cook” by playing with old spices and mixing bowls. Older kids may want to make pictures using left over cereal, dried beans, etc. while you cook. (Check out this idea our faculty member, Gretchen Stout, did with her kids at dinner time prep.)

6:30-7:30ish Special time with a parent. This is a great time to spend with mom or dad if they work outside the house. Or, you can spend individual time with just one child.

7:30-8:30ish Bath, bed and story time. Just because the kids went in the pool for the day doesn’t mean a bath isn’t important. The point of the bath is to set a bedtime routine and relax them for sleeping. You can make the bath fun by putting some glow sticks in the water and turning out the lights or fill the bath with lots of balloons. We’ve pinned a few fun bathtub ideas on our Pinterest board. Because it’s summer, you also don’t have to rush bath time, so let them play. After the bath, have the same routine about brushing teeth, putting on pjs and reading a story. Again, you don’t have to rush.

9:00ish Lights out and the grownups can spend some time together.

Big Hug

7 May

If you are having trouble viewing the video, click on the title.

Dyeing Eggs

4 Apr

Click here for a list of materials.

Click here to download the April Activity Calendar.

Fox In Socks

2 Mar

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and is celebrated with Read Across America. Do you have any Read Across America events in your neighborhood?

  • Matching, same and different, size, motor skill, spatial relationships, texture
  • Ages 2-8

Optional Activities

  • Cut out two sock shapes from 5 or more different pieces of patterned scrapbook paper.  Glue a strip of matching paper on a  clothes pin. Have your child match the socks and clip them together with the matching clothes pin. Store the activity in a Ziplock bag.
  • Count how many pairs of socks and individual socks in the laundry basket. Why are there more individual socks?
  • Talk about why tongue twisters are hard to read.
  • Draw a picture of crazy socks.
  • If we wear socks on or feet, what do we wear on our head, hands, etc.?
  • Use a ruler or Legos to measure who has the biggest socks in the house.

Download three free Dr. Seuss Activity Packs for children ages 2-7 from Living Life Intentionally.

Minding Your P’s and Q’s

20 Feb

Today’s guest blogger is one of our fantastic ‘Faculty’ members and also the owner of Etiquette Kansas City. We’re so excited to have Janis Kliethermes share some great information on manners we should teach and model for our kids.

National Manner’s Day is February 20, and what a great time to remind your children that good manners are timeless. By knowing and using proper etiquette your children will develop self-confidence and be a more successful adult.

However, the best way to instill good manners in your children is by setting a good example yourself. You can’t say one thing, and do another. A mother once asked me how to help her child that spoke too loudly and had a horrible habit of interrupting. It only took me a couple of minutes into the conversation with the mother to realize that the “fruit didn’t fall far from the tree!” Her son was communicating just as she had taught him!

Here are a few of the basics that will never become “old fashioned” and will help your children become comfortable in any social situation.

Table Manners – napkin on the lap, wait for everyone before beginning to eat, chew with your mouth closed, elbows off the table, cut your food properly, don’t reach, take small bites, sit up straight, try new things, and never complain that you don’t like something.

Conversation Manners – look people in the eye, speak loudly enough for them to hear you, ask questions about them, don’t dominate the conversation, don’t ask personal or controversial questions, and a smile on your face will go a long way.

Respecting Others Call adults by their last name, have a firm handshake, stand when an adult enters a room for the first time, open doors for others, give up your chair if needed, say I’m sorry and excuse me, remember please and thank you at all times.

Be a Gracious Guest –  Follow the rules of the house and don’t assume the rules in your house apply in someone else’s home, respect their property, don’t open doors that are closed, don’t be snoopy, clean up after yourself, thank the parents for having you.

Don’t forget to praise your children when they do remember their good manners. Most people respond better to positive reinforcement than to negative. If they only hear you nagging, they will eventually tune you out. Perhaps you reward your children on occasion when they demonstrate proper behavior.

I have never had a problem with bribery when it comes to kids as long as it’s not overused. “Girls, if you behave and mind your manners at the Conway house, we will go for ice cream later,” I said a few times. Of course, now they blame me for an addiction to ice cream, however their manners are pretty good!

Janis Kliethermes

Etiquette Kansas City


(816) 977-6182

Simple Things to Do With Kids

1 Feb

Do you need some simple activities to do with your kids? Our new February Activity Calendar is ready for you to download and get started on the fun. It’s got ideas, activities, links and much more! Share it with your friends, caregivers, teachers, grandparents and anyone else who loves having fun with kids.

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