Summer is Over…..A New Year Begins

It is hard enough that the pool is now closed, but pumpkins and Halloween candy out at the grocery stores?  That is just crazy!  It is sad to see summer go, especially if you live somewhere with only half the year with nice weather.  Well, whether we like it or not, back-to-school is here!

Here are some things I enjoyed most about this summer:

1.  Traveling with My Husband – Sometimes it’s nice to get away and be a “couple” again once in a while.

 

 

 

2.  Meeting Up with Old Friends – We were lucky enough to meet our old friends from IL, AZ & CA, and I also reconnected with a sorority sister I had not seen in 15 years!  It was so great to see everyone this summer!

 

 

3.  The Pool – Joining the local pool was great!  We got to see our friends often.  You never needed to make a playdate, because someone would be there to play with  the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Town Events – We live in a town with many events to attend.  We enjoyed almost all of them this year!  We did the strolls on Main Street, the Summer Concert series, and Arts Festivals.  It was a wonderful summer of events.  Love our town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Hanging out with “The Girls” – It was fun to just go out with the girls to dance and have fun.  I had not done that in a while, and we were able to get out more than once this summer.  Loved it!

Things that are coming this fall:

1.  School is in session!  I have a 2nd grader and a preschooler.  I will see how the schedules work out.  I am now a part-time working mom (which is a change), so I need to find a balance.  I LOVE my new job, but this is the last year with my preschooler too!

2.  I have learned to say NO a little this year.  No major PTG positions or New Neighbor’s Club positions.  I will still be active in my clubs, but not in charge.  I  have to say,  learning to say NO was quite an accomplishment for me.  It was hard.

3.  Things I am doing: Brownie Leader for my daughter’s troop, participating in two book club, running my new site MamaLuvsBooks, and writing for AMKB, GalTime Providence, and of course working for my new job as a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer for Patch.

It’s going to be a busy school year!!!  Good luck to all you SAHMs and Working Moms out there!  I know both are tough (and now I am doing a little of both)!  What are your challenges this year?  Doing anything new?

 

Kristin Wheeler

After Hurricane Irene…

Many throughout the eastern states have encountered issues from Hurricane Irene.  Some had their houses flooded, trees fell on many houses and cars, and even in some very sad cases people lost their lives.  I guess I can consider our problem of no power as a small issue compared to others.

The morning of the storm, we heard a loud crack, pop,  and then silence.  It was 7:40am and power was already out.  We were hoping this would be a problem for only a couple of hours, but when we went outside to look around the neighborhood we saw power lines snapped and laying in the street just s couple doors down from us.  We knew then we were in the “no power” stage for a while.  I called National Grid to report the incident.  They said they were unsure of when they could get out to fix it.  It could be days they said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided to go and check in to a hotel just one exit down on the highway from our house.  They had power!  People were checking in like crazy!  Almost all the plates on cars in the parking lot were from our state.  We found out that almost 300,000 people were without power overnight, and for some power may be out for a week.

We are going back home today to clean out the refrigerator and freezer.  We probably lost about $400 or more worth of groceries.  I will learn not to “stock-up” before a storm with cold items next time!  There is also the cost of the hotel at over $100 a night (so far booked for three nights, but could be more)!  This is still a small price to pay looking at what some are dealing with.

My kids are finding Hurricane Irene to be a fun vacation!  They have been playing in the indoor pool, jumping on beds, and enjoying the “breakfast feast” as my daughter calls it.  Now we will have to see how the rest of the week turns out.  School was supposed to start on Wednesday, but since the school does not have power the school start has been moved to Thursday.  The Superintendent is taking it day-to-day and make decisions as power comes back.  I think we are looking at a tough start of the school year.  In fact, National Grid just called again and said, “Due to the extensive damage in areas people may not have power restored well into the weekend.”  School may start a few days late, and we are looking at a week stay here at the hotel!

How have you  dealt with the power issues and effects of Hurricane Irene?

Kristin Wheeler

Preparing for Hurricane Irene

I think by now everyone is fully aware a hurricane is coming right up the Eastern Seaboard.  The 95 corridor could be in some trouble.  Things are still unclear as to what the impact will be with power outages predicted, flooding, damage to houses and roads, and issues with oil refineries.  As a precaution, I prepared tonight the best I could.

First of all, my family had plans to see our friends from Peoria, IL that we had not seen in three years!  Our kids are the same ages and same genders.  Our families just seem to line up perfectly.  We had been excited for the past few weeks to meet up with them in Long Island where they are vacationing.  We ended up being very lucky that we had booked the Long Island ferry out of New London, CT on Friday instead of on Saturday or Sunday.  We were JUST able to make our trip in to meet with them.  It was a great day of catching up, and we almost forgot about the looming storm.  Then reality hit once again as the streets of the small quaint town of Greenport, Long Island began to become more vacant, and t-shirts saying “Hurricane Irene Go Away” were hanging in the windows.  We tried to take the kids to the Maritime Museum, but no such luck.  It was closed for Hurricane Irene.  We also learned parking bans and possibly evacuations were taking place just hours after we were planning on leaving.  Luckily, we were able to get our ferry ride back to RI with moderate tides in time to plan for ourselves here in Rhode Island.  Ferry schedules are already being cancelled for this weekend.

So, home and preparing…….  I found Stop-N-Shop to be out of water completely, and I got the last decent loaf of bread.  I also went to Shell to fill up just to find signs on the pumps saying “OUT OF GAS!”  I guess people were here getting ready as we were having fun in Long Island.  We are prepared enough though.  We have food, water, and hopefully I can dig up a flashlight or two.  Two good things to remember: Fill up your tub with water (you can use it for the toilet for flushing if need be and cleaning things), and turn your refrigerator up to the highest level to help keep food longer when the power goes out.

Be safe everyone!  Prepare!  Evacuate if need be!  Take things seriously.

 

Kristin Wheeler

Back-to-School Anxiety

As a parent, I have a mixed bag of emotions about the start of the new school year.  It’s sad that summer is coming to an end.  No more being lazy around the house until 10am if we are so inclined.  No more hanging out at the pool for five hours straight.  No more doing whatever we feel like that day!  We will now be back to a strict schedule of school, after-school activities, PTG meetings, homework assignments, etc.  Not to mention it just shows me how big my babies are getting (and in turn how old I am getting).  Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for their healthy progress in school and proud of their accomplishments;  I just miss those days when they were young!  It really is important to cherish your kids at each age.  They truly are that young ONLY once!

There are positives about heading back to school  as well.  For one, my kids are young and therefore are still in love with going to school.  They are both very excited to start back and meet their teachers!  I have a 2nd grader and one in his last year of preschool.  Having them go back to school will make it so I have a little more time for myself (although preschool hours are fairly short).  I can hopefully get to the gym on a regular schedule without feeling bad about putting them in the kid room, and I will also have more time for the part-time job I picked up this summer as a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer.  Lastly, it is nice to have a little space from the kids.  It does make me miss them, and it makes me want to spend more  “quality time” with them.  Oh, and make sure you still do those last minute things before school starts. Most schools around the country have about two weeks!

Good luck with the start of the new school year!  Are you ready to see your kids go back to school already?

Kristin Wheeler

Where My Love for Reading Took Me……

I have enjoyed blogging so much on Allison Alexander‘s fabulous site, aMomKnowsBest, that I decided I would try it out it myself!  I am a former teacher who absolutely loves reading, so I thought,  why not make a blog geared towards reading? So, that’s what I’ve decided to do with my new blog MamaLuvsBooks!

Here is the outline for what I will be blogging about:

Mondays: Kids’ Book Reviews

Tuesdays: Tips and Advice for teaching kids to read

Wednesdays: Wordless Wednesdays (pictures posted related to reading/writing)

Thursdays: What’s Mom Reading? (reviews of parenting books, or just books moms like to read)

Fridays: Discussion Day (questions and answers, and the first Friday of each month will be our “Virtual Book Club”)

* “Virtual Book Club” will be a discussion on Twitter on the first Friday of each month from 8-9pm.  We will talk via #hashtags that will be provided before the discussion.  The books will be posted a month in advance (maybe sooner) so you will know what to read!  It should be fun, and hopefully in the near future I can supply prizes during the discussion!

Now, how to blog……..

I wasn’t quite sure where to start, so I asked around a bit.  I heard from most people that Blogger is a good place for a first blog.  It’s kind of like a nice safe car for a first time driver.  I started with following everything I needed to do in order to set-up the blog through Blogger.  It was very step-by-step and easy to follow.

Next, I had to navigate around Blogger to find out how to do certain things; like post blogs, add gadgets (things listed on your sidebar), change the look of the blog (design), make a TwitterFacebook and StumbleUpon button so people could connect to me there as well, and learn to check stats/views.  This took a while to search around, but just play with the menu bar up top and you will learn a lot.  The “help” section also answers a lot of questions.

I decided after that to purchase my domain (URL).  This way I could make it what I wanted without the “blogspot” being in my URL.  It was only $10 for the year to purchase the domain.  Totally worth it,  I think!  It’s much easier for people to remember a shorter URL.  Why do you think phone numbers are only 7 digits?  Our brains can only hold so much information at one time.

The next things I learned that are important in blogging are to have a Twitter page with a handle set-up (one that relates to your blog), and also a Facebook page set-up to have people follow you.  Not everyone has an account to be able to follow your blog through Google Friend Connect (GFC).  Having the Facebook page to “Like” gives others the opportunity to follow you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m learning currently is Twitter etiquette (to make sure I don’t chase any followers away), meeting other bloggers on-line (blog hops are good ways to meet people and promote your blog), and using AdSense and Amazon Associates to possibly earn some money from doing my blog.  That is set-up through Blogger as well and can give you money when people click on Ads on your page.  I am still working on all of these!

In the meantime, I’m just going to write and have fun!  My site was set-up because I LOVE books and reading, and sharing that love and any advice I can give people is my main goal.

If you want to follow my new blog, please check me out at:  http://www.mamaluvsbooks.com, or you can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MamaLuvsBooks, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MamaLuvsBooks

*  I have a 100 Follower Giveaway going for people that “Like” my Facebook page, or follow me on my blog through Google Friend Connect!  The winner will get a choice of a book from Usborne Books for Kids!

If you have any questions about setting up a blog, then please comment below and ask.  Or if you are a blogger and have advice to share, then I would LOVE to hear it!  I’m learning as I go!  THANKS!!!  And thank you Allison for getting me interested in blogging!!!

Kristin Wheeler

Sometimes You Just Have to Let Go…..

We belong to the neighborhood pool, and the kids are having a blast with their friends swimming this summer.  I find the experience to be a bit nerve-wracking though, as my kids are not expert swimmers (actually they are hardly even considered novices).  I wanted them to take lessons, but they wanted nothing to do with getting to the pool early in the morning when it’s cooler out.  I asked again and again, but they really DID NOT want to and I wasn’t about to battle it out with them every morning.  In any case, I decided I would help them on my own.  I was a lifeguard for years growing up, I was on the high school and summer league swim teams, and I even trained lifeguards to receive their certifications.  I have taught others to swim, so why not my own kids?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are listening and doing well, but they are also getting REALLY brave and that’s what makes me nervous.  I know I need to let them try and learn on their own as well, but after reading about drowning as a silent killer, like in Elizabeth Atalay’s post, I know it can happen and happen quickly.  My son jumps off the side continuously for an hour, and many times he comes close to hitting his head on the side (no matter how many times I tell him to, “Jump out farther!”).  My daughter also wants to go in the “deep end” all the time, and I can tell she gets tired a lot swimming back to the side.  I know I need to let it go a bit, let them explore and have fun, and let them improve and learn for themselves without being afraid.  It’s just very hard to do (especially on float night – UGH!).  Maybe one year soon I will be comfortable enough to sit and read at the pool while my kids swim and play?  I hope so!  We’ll see!

*  How do you deal with kids that are learning to swim?

 

Kristin Wheeler

I’m Not a Perfect Wife…..

I’m not a perfect wife; I do not have a perfect husband.  There is no such thing as a perfect marriage.  There is such a thing as a good, healthy marriage though.  A marriage that is based on trust, friendship, communication, intimacy, and humor.  I have been married now for 10 years; for some that may seem like a long time, but for others it may seem like only a drop in the bucket.  Here are some things that I have learned over the past 10 years of marriage that I feel help to keep a marriage happy and healthy:

1.  Make Time for Your Spouse:

From as simple as asking your mate how their day was (and truly listening and engaging with conversation and eye contact) to making plans for date night!  Especially when you have kids in your life and most things throughout the day revolve around them, it’s very important to have that time together to continue your relationship with each other.  Turn off the TV, put down that book, stop doing work on the computer, and take time out for that special person in your life to let them know they truly are special.

2.  Keep Common Interests

Continue doing the things you enjoyed together before marriage and in the early years  to help sustain the marriage.  It’s easy to change as you age and find new interests, but keeping some similar interests (or creating new ones together) is an important part of making a relationship successful.  For instance, we have always loved to travel, so for our 10-year anniversary we planned a trip together to Ireland (a country on our joint wish list of places to travel), and we went by ourselves (thanks again to my parents who watched the kids!).  It was a great experience to focus on us as a couple, and not just the us as parents.

3.  Talk Things Out

This is probably the hardest one for me, because I do have a hard time not becoming overemotional and hurt during a discussion, but it truly does help to have honest and open talks about your feelings with each other (even if you do feel hurt by it at first).  My husband is able to talk about his feelings in a very open, calm, and logical manner.  Even so, I still sometimes get hurt and defensive, but in the end it’s always good to have that open line of communication to know how the other is feeling.  It makes the relationship stronger when you share and communicate with each other and do your best to meet the other person’s needs.

4.  Have Fun with Each Other

They always say laughter is the best medicine, so a fun-loving household is beneficial to everyone in the family,  parents and kids alike!  My husband truly is funny, even though I don’t always let on that I think he is, and he brings so much joy and laughter into our family and into our relationship.  A fly on the wall would definitely hear some laughter coming from our house.  Laughter helps relieve stress, brings people together, and just makes for an all around happier environment.

5.  The Importance of Intimacy

Intimacy should not go out the door just because you get married, it should continue to be a part of your relationship (one in fact that should even get better with time).  This can be from a gentle touch to rubbing your spouse’s shoulders, or even just the way you look at your significant other.  Everyone wants to feel loved and important, and both partners need to continue to show the other that they are important, attractive, desired, and even just cared for.  Keeping your intimate life strong keeps the bond of the partners strong.  Go snuggle up to your spouse and give them a kiss!  Tell them they are loved!

 

All marriages have their ups-and-downs, because as I said before, no marriage is perfect.  Marriage takes time, commitment, understanding, and hard work to keep it strong and lasting.  Sometime you have to give in, and sometimes you have to know when to let things go.  Compromising and communicating can be difficult, but in the end if the prize is a healthy marriage then the work is worth the effort.  Working toward a good, healthy marriage is on-going, but continuing to put effort in together brings the couple even closer.  My husband has taught me a lot (and continues to teach me) about how to be a better person, mother, spouse, and friend.  He is my teacher, my friend, my partner, my confidant, my imperfect loving husband, who I will continue this journey called marriage with!

A Happy Couple………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes for a Happy Family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

* What do you think is important in your marriage to keep it strong and healthy?

Kristin Wheeler

My 5 Favorite Activities I Do with My Kids!

With the hectic schedules most of us lead, it’s nice to find some quality time with the kids for at least a few minutes a day.  You can be around your kids all day, but sometimes that day can fly by without doing anything meaningful with them.  Research has shown that spending quality time helps in the maturation and social-emotional development of children.  It helps them feel bonded with and attached to the family as an important member with something to contribute.  Quality time builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence in things they do.  Here are my five favorite things I do with my kids to spend quality time with them:

1. Night Talks

Snuggling with the kids at night and finding out about their day for about 10-15  minutes can be a meaningful and very much a learning experience for parents.  I’ve had the most open and honest talks with my kids during this time.  I learn so much about who they are.  I try and do it about twice a week!  The kids love “snuggle time!”

 

2. Reading with the Kids

Many parents do this already!  You should read to your kids, or with your kids, every night.  This is a nice meaningful time with kids, and it is also an important time for them in their education.  It’s a nice bonding time as well.

 

3. Playing with the Kids

It’s important to play with your kids!  As young kids, they need the modeling of how to play, how to be creative/imaginative, and how to interact appropriately in play.  Kids also love it when you get silly and just “be a kid” with them once in a while too!  Have fun with it!  It will bring you closer to your kids!

 

4. Going to Shows with Kids

I love going to shows with my kids.  It’s nice for them to learn to sit and watch a live show and to enjoy it.  We usually talk about it beforehand so they know what is going to happen, and even what kind of music might be sung.  We’ve been to quite a few together, and they ALWAYS love this quality time with us!  Sometimes we go on Mother-Daughter dates to shows.  Go Diego Go Live was probably one of the best we’ve been to!  And yes, dates with the kids is important, especially when you have more than one child.  It gives one kid at a time their “special time” with mom or dad!

 

5. Dinnertime Roundtable

While growing up, this is the quality time I remember having with my family.  Whether at a restaurant or at home, sitting at the table together for meals creates a nice setting for talking and finding out what everyone is thinking and doing.  It’s so easy these days to want to just take your meal to the computer or TV, but you’re missing out on some quality talk and share time with your family if you do that.

 

Overall, it is just important to be engaged with your kids, listen to them fully (making eye contact), and make them feel important.  You can’t have quality time ALL the time, but you can make a point to try to make time for it throughout the week.  An hour here, and an hour there!  The kids will appreciate it, learn from it, and feel more bonded to you and confident as individuals.  It will also be meaningful for you and help you keep good memories with your kids to treasure.

* How do you make time in your busy schedule for quality time with the kids?

Kristin Wheeler

Kids and Food Allergies: A Life-Changing Diagnosis

My daughter and son both have friends they’ve met through school with food allergies.  Some kids are allergic to one food, but others are allergic to many.  Obviously, the more the kids are allergic to the harder to accommodate their food needs.  The eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the United States are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.  When kids are allergic to milk, usually they can drink soy, but if they are allergic to both it  gets even trickier.  You need to find things like Rice Milk or Coconut Milk as substitutes.  The substituting of foods can become pricey and hard to find.  Most kids with allergies need to find what they can eat and of that what they like to eat.

It can even get harder when parents need to take kids out to eat.  My daughter’s friend’s parents usually look online for ingredients to restaurant menus (which have become a little more accessible in recent years), or they call and ask the restaurant.  Most try to be accommodating, but there can’t always be assurances that things are safe.  Some items obviously come prepackaged from plants that also make food with allergens, so traces can get into the foods.  A trace can be harmful to kids with severe allergies and very dangerous.  The most common symptoms of a food-allergy reaction is hives. Here are other symptoms people can have as well:

  • tingling in the mouth
  • swelling of the tongue and throat
  • difficulty breathing
  • stomach cramps
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • eczema

Parents need to be vigilant though, because a severe allergy is different to an intolerance; it is not just a bit of a rash or a bit of an itch, it is actually life-threatening (anaphylaxis).  I’ve seen my friends’ kids have reactions before, and it is very scary to witness.  My friends have also told me many stories of rushing their kids to the emergency room, and some from just a trace of peanut butter on a straw.  It’s scary to think how a trace can set off such a huge reaction, but it can!

Once parents figure out what their kids are allergic to, they can find things for the kids to eat to keep them healthy and thriving.  There is always the threat and worry parents have to live with daily.  Kids are not home all day and protected, they need to go to school and other events outside the home.  Kids need to do their best to learn how to protect themselves from coming in contact with allergens.  This is something  kids with allergies must learn from their parents.  Obviously, a younger child will have more difficulties with this, as they are curious about foods and have more of an “I want to try” type attitude about the world around them.  Schools in recent years have been more accommodating for kids with allergies (setting up special eating areas for peanut eaters like my daughter’s school has, and selling better types of food), but it’s still difficult to keep the child 100% safe from coming in contact with different types of foods.  I remember watching Trace Adkins, a Country Singer, on Celebrity Apprentice.  He was raising money for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network because his 6-year-old daughter, Brianna, suffers from life-threatening reactions to peanuts, milk and eggs.  I remember him saying that his wife met his daughter every single day at lunch time because of the worry of a reaction occurring.

What do children with food allergies do if they come in contact with foods they are allergic to?  Well, if they have a reaction, usually doctors prescribe an antihistamine, such as Benadryl®; however, if there is a severe reaction, then epinephrine may need to be used (also called an EpiPen®).  Parents work with doctors to know what is best for each child and how severe the allergy usually is for that specific child.  Most parents I know with kids that have food allergies carry medications with them all the time, and they also have a set stored with the school nurse.  Reactions can happen quickly or slowly, but you always want to be ready just in case.

Kids with food allergies can live a normal and full life, but just like any child with special circumstances they need to know what to do to keep themselves healthy.  It may be more difficult for a child to participate in certain events with other kids, but in most cases parents can help with accommodating their child to keep them involved.  Getting a diagnosis of a food allergy (for kids and adults alike) is a life-altering experience.  Your life is changed on a daily basis, because you do need food to survive.  Your way of life, where you shop, what you cook, where you eat, what things you participate in, what trips you take, may all have to be changed in some way, but with making these changes life can still be fulfilling.

Parents and kids need to stay educated, aware, and involved in protecting themselves from allergens.  There is no cure as of now, and the best way to avoid a reaction is to avoid the allergen.  Hopefully everyone (food allergy affected or not), can come to together in awareness to help protect people that are dealing with food allergy reactions and make life a little easier and safer for them!  There are many affected with this, as more than 12 million Americans have food allergies.  This means that it’s 1 in 25, or 4% of the population.  More statistics are listed at this site.

Lastly, here again is the “Welcome to Holland” article I posted in my Special Needs post.  My friend, who has daughters with food allergies, said she could really relate to the Holland article as well.  It is definitely appropriate for people in many circumstances.

* Are you or your children affected by food allergies?  How has the diagnosis changed your everyday life?

 

Kristin Wheeler

How to Keep Up Kids’ Academic Skills Over the Summer

Being a former elementary and middle school teacher, I truly know the meaning of the educational summer slump.  It’s very easy for kids to fall back in their reading and math skills while playing all day and hanging around the pool all summer.  Here are some ways you can help to keep your kids’ skills strong (maybe even improving them!):

1.  Read to your child EVERY night (10-20 minutes)

Kids learn by example, and if you set the example that reading is important then it will be for them. Reading on a regular basis correlates to higher test scores and a more extensive vocabulary.  Libraries are a great resource during the summer as well.  Many have summer reading programs with incentives for kids.  Allison Alexander, owner of AMKB, also loves reading to her child and to schools to promote literacy (pictured below reading at an elementary school in East Greenwich, RI).  Lastly, check out what this teacher says about reading nightly.

2.  Play “I Spy” while driving in the car!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fun game you can play with the kids while in the car (and I’ve been spending a lot of time driving on vacations and to and from activities).  Practice letters, colors, shapes, reading, math, etc.  Example: I spy the letter D (Dunkin’ Donuts).  How many do you see?  (2).  I spy a white triangle (sail on the Chelo’s sign).  How many people are on the sign? (4).

3.  Cook with your kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is fun, and kids can learn a lot from measuring, mixing, and baking.  Math and science skills can be practiced by discussing and measuring ingredients, seeing what happens when things are mixed together, learn what different amounts of ingredients can do, and even dividing up amounts (cupcakes into groups).

4.  Buy educational workbooks & utilize educational websites

 

I like to pick up fun educational books that I find for the kids.  I make it out to be a fun thing, not a chore.  Many good books can be found at Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Costco, etc. (or online).  Kids can even use the workbooks to “play school,” and the books are easy to pack for a fun vacation activity.  Also, let kids have some “computer time” to play/learn.  I found some sites I think are educational, as well as having my daughter use a site that was sent home from school for summer practice.

5.  Take your kids on field trips

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a free day in your summer schedule, or if you are out of town on vacation, plan an educational field trip for the kids!  Children’s Museums, Aquariums, Zoos, Nature Centers, and Historic Sites are all great places to take the kids.  While my parents were watching my kids recently, they took them to the Hidden Pond Nature Center and The Air and Space Museum.  My kids found both of them to be so much fun (and very educational).  My kids also love learning about history.  We visited the Smith Castle in North Kingstown, RI recently, and they learned so much!  Field trips are so much fun for the kids;  they don’t even realize they are learning!

6.  Buy educational toys to play with your kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find great educational stores in most towns and cities.  Many of these are individually owned.  I shop at a place called Learn All About It in Warwick, RI.  It is family owned, has many educational activities for kids to participate in at the store, and it carries wonderful educational toys.  Stores like Lakeshore Learning also carry many great toys!  Playing with your kids is one of the greatest things you can do for them.  Kids, especially young kids, need to learn how to play and be imaginative.  Spend 30 minutes a day in engaged play with your child.  Try this at least three times a week!  You will cherish this time and so will they!  Fold the laundry after the kids go to bed,  or wash the dishes later.  This is time you will never get back with your kids.  They grow older each day!  Engaged play helps kids learn, and you can be an part of your child’s educational development.  Remember, this is their summer, so HAVE FUN!!!

 

* What do you like to do in the summer with your kids?  Do you find educational experiences for them to keep them sharp with their skills?  Here is another great article about summer learning loss.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Kristin Wheeler