Children love to communicate. And they all have their favorite ways to do it. Some like to chatter endlessly about their day. They’ll tell you all about the games they played and the friends they saw. Other children like to paint you a picture, using colors, shapes, and even glitter. Some children may even act out what they enjoyed with their soft toys and puppets. Few young children would choose to write it down.
To help a child become more efficient and proficient at writing, they must practice. Giving your kids an excuse to write is a great way to encourage them to practice more. Most children love arts and crafts. Creating cards and notelets offer your child the chance to combine his love for crafting with the art of handwriting.
Start with a small selection of colored card. Your son or daughter can carefully fold it in half to create a four-sided card. Decide what the purpose of the card is. It may be a ‘Happy Birthday’ card. Or perhaps it is a ‘We Love You Daddy’ card. Your child can now write those words on the front side of the card. Use a ruler and pencil to create lines if it helps. For very young children, why not outline the letters for them to write over with a pen?
Time for a break from handwriting. Out come the beads, glitter, and crayons! It’s time to decorate the front of the card. When that is complete, it will be time to practice writing inside the card. Talk about the message your child would like. Understanding that writing is just like speaking will help her develop her creative writing too. Again, provide the template needed. Finally, your child can sign their name at the bottom.
A few more decorations on the inside will help finish this lovely little card. Posting it is just as much fun. Talk about the structure of an address on the envelope. You may need to write this to ensure it is accurate enough to get through. If you like to print postage online at onlinestamp.net, it will save you a queue at the post office. All you need to do now is find a post box to send your lovely card.
Doing this once or twice a week is a great way for the kids to start communicating more effectively through their handwriting. It is a hard skill to learn and is a very inefficient method for an imaginative or artistic child to communicate. Ask the recipient of each card to send an easy to read note back through the post. Receiving real post in the letterbox is a true delight for any youngster (and the odd Grandma too!).
Don’t expect this to be a quick activity. But it is a very worthwhile activity to do with the children. Break it up into five or ten-minute chunks per task to avoid fatigue or loss of interest. Keep a good stock of stickers and stick-ons to decorate each card with too. Felt animal shapes have been particularly popular here! Enjoy.
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Sand in my Sandwich- and other motherhood messes I'm learning to love.
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Attempting control in a messy world....
I think all of us aim for perfection. All of us want a perfect home, perfect relationships, a perfect family filled with perfect children. But life isn’t like that- life is messy, no matter how you try to control it.
'Sand in my Sandwich' is filled with the challenge of messiness in family living; but it’s also overflowing with the realisation that, through it all, God is able to provide strength and the ability to right the very things that seem to have fallen apart.
Sarah writes a light-hearted though transparent account of her life and struggles, especially parenting three children, two of whom are special needs kids (autism spectrum.) She paints a picture of family life that we can all laugh about but also, relate to.
Parenting is not easy. Each child is different. No parenting style is perfect. And life with kids, who invariably create chaos wherever they go, is certainly messy. As parents, we very quickly realise that our parenting skills are largely inadequate for the challenge, and the mess.
“Children are veritable Rembrandts when it comes to making kempt things unkempt.”
If you’ve ever found yourself telling your children not to lick the floor, and other statements that you never thought you’d utter, you will definitely relate to this book. But more than that, you’ll find encouragement and inspiration and hope.
“Attempting perfect control is impossible in an imperfect world. It’s even more unattainable a goal in parenting, where we parents flail and lunge and trip toward raising decent children who love the Lord and sometimes eat their broccoli. There is no perfect family; there’s no life free of mess.”
Sarah’s struggles with family life remind us that we’re not alone on this journey and we need to look to God and His strength to handle this and more. And even when everything seems broken beyond repair He is able to take the chaos and put things together just right- perfect.
I would like to thank Revell for providing me with the opportunity to read and review,
and learn and grow, through this book.
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It's that day of the week again! The grandkids are coming to stay. You've been out shopping especially for their favourite food. You've made sure to kiddie-proof your home. You've spoken to their parents about how they're doing. All that's left now is to spend some quality time with them!
By this stage of our lives, we've exhausted most of our bucket list. We might have a wealth of experience and wisdom to fall back on, but we've also seen it all before. And when it comes time for fun activities, we're running out of ideas. After all, we may not be decrepit just yet, but we're no spring chickens anymore. The problem is that these young guns just had endless energy! Their activity knows no bounds, and we struggle to keep up sometimes. We don't want to bore them to tears, though. The time we spend with family is more precious to us now than perhaps it ever has been. So we want to make every second count. Just how do we go about doing that? Here are some fantastic ideas I've picked up along the way that doesn't involve exerting too much energy.
Okay, so we're not going to be running around aimlessly anytime soon, but surely we can handle a little bit of physical activity. When the sun comes out to play, I like to take advantage of it by heading into the garden. There are endless possibilities out there! Kids love being active, and they can't quite understand why grandma can't keep up with the pace. To save us all from red faces (in more ways than one), come up with a plan well in advance. You can be sure that the grandkids are going to want to play outside at some point. Having a shortlist of things you can do will help avoid any awkward explanations as to why you could do with putting your feet up for a while!
Believe it or not, my grandchildren have expressed interest in my gardening before. So, I made it my mission to get them involved in whatever way I could. I even gave them their own little patch to plant a sunflower. It warms my heart seeing them glaring in anticipation as it grows a little taller every time they come to see me. Another idea I had was to buy some youth baseball gloves and a ball online. I'm just about capable of playing catch, so that's become my fall back option when the weather permits
I've written at length about this before, but being confined to inside your home doesn't have to be the end of the world. Nor does it mean simply dumping your grandchildren in front of the television. At Grandma's Place, we like to think a little more creatively than that. One of my go-to activities on a rainy day is arts and crafts. There is always something new to create, and the kids love getting their hands dirty. They'll marvel with pride by the end of it, having created something of their own. I've still got some of their proudest creations pinned to my fridge from when they were younger.
Another foolproof idea is to dig out your old board games. In the modern world, you'd be surprised how few chances children get to play an old-fashioned board game. It's all digital now. The first time I brought down a battered old Monopoly box, they stared at me like I was crazy. However, we ended up having a lot of fun that day. They even look forward to unearthing some of my other relics! Remember what the original point of board games was - to bring families closer together. That's exactly what it achieves in grandma's house.
Now, my absolute favourite activity to get my grandchildren involved in is baking. I love all manners of cooking anyway, but it feels extra special with your little helpers. Obviously you need to employ a keen eye to watch over them and make sure they aren't in any danger. But children love to get involved in the kitchen; mixing, stirring, and decanting. I don't know if this is just because trying to please is in their nature, but I'm certainly grateful of the help! Maybe they just know that come the end of it, there'll be freshly baked secret recipe cookies waiting for them.
Most of all, just cherish the time you get to spend with your grandchildren. Especially if you don't get to see them as much as you'd like. Their presence in our lives really is a blessing.
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Children need to have constant stimulation, but they also need to learn. There are many things that are vital for kids as they are growing. They need to understand how the world works, and find out some things about themselves in the process. Now, that is why getting your children involved in arts and crafts is such a good idea.
Arts and crafts are an effective and entertaining way of keeping your children entertained. Here are some of the best reasons why arts and crafts matter for your kids. Check them out, and make sure you encourage your children to get involved.
It’s important for children to be stimulated and entertained. They can get bored very easily, so they have to have something to do to occupy them. Arts and crafts are creative and as such they keep kids occupied. They will be stimulating their brains and learning new skills and abilities as they go. Stimulation is an important part of brain development and cognitive functions. It helps kids to grow and thrive as they get older.
It’s so important these days to teach our children vital skills they can use later in life. Now, you’re going to find that arts and crafts provide them with these skills. They will be creating and making things, and this can prove essential as they get older. They will develop their skills further and might even be able to create much more complex things. They will also develop knowledge of using certain tools. Some crafts will involve using a glue stick for glue guns while others will involve a hammer and nails. They will be able to learn how to use all these different things, and this will benefit them later in life.
Believe it or not, arts and crafts can teach your kid discipline. You might seem sceptical, but it’s the truth. See, a lot of the projects will take time to be fully completed. You may need to wait for paint to dry, or clay to set, etc. And kids will learn how to be patient and disciplined. There is also the fact that a lot of the time things that the children try will not work out. There’s a big trial and error element. And this will teach them not to give up, but to persevere with something to succeed, and this is important.
Something else that’s very important about arts and crafts is that they improve self-esteem. The kids will be creating things from scratch using only their imaginations. And creating something is very good for building confidence and self-esteem. These are essential as your child grows up. So make sure you encourage them to take up arts and crafts as soon as possible.
There are so many things that a pivotal to children during their formative years. And arts and crafts are in that category. They can teach kids a lot about the world, and themselves. And on top of that they improve creativity and keep children entertained. That’s why there’s never a wrong time to introduce your kids to arts and crafts.
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Grandmas have the best job. They get to spend time with their adorable little grandchildren. And then give them back! When the grandchildren come to stay, enjoy this special time. Get the most from their visit by following a few simple rules.
1) Make Time
Once you’ve agreed to babysit, keep your diary empty of other engagements. Time at grandmas requires your undivided attention. Make time for your grandchildren. Indulge yourself in their company. Forget about your own commitments. For now, the only thing of importance is your little ones.
2) Re-Stock the Fridge
Grandmas like to spoil their grandchildren. Right? So take a look in the fridge. It’s likely to be full of adult foodstuffs and drinks. It’s time to re-stock! Write a shopping list of foods your grandchildren will eat. Fussy eaters may require a bit of persuasion. Or play it safe and only buy what you know they like. Add a few little sweets and snacks as a treat. It’s what any good grandparent would do!
3) Plan Some Activities
Think about how you will be spending your time with your little charges. How many days are they visiting for? How many hours do you need to fill? What do they like doing? What is your budget? Organize a mixture of activities to keep them amused all day. A full day out is a special treat. Or a few rainy day activities indoors like crafts and story time. Have a look at educational toys planet if you want them to learn while they play. The time of the year will determine what is feasible to do. Warm weather opens up lots of fun (and free) adventures. Plan for inclement weather too so you aren’t left scratching your head for ideas.
4) Child-Proof your Home
A child-free house is filled with obstacles you won’t normally notice. The danger level of your house will depend on the age of your grandchildren. Older children know not to eat washing powder and stick their fingers in sockets! Little ones don’t. Do a risk assessment of your home. Look at each room carefully through a child’s eyes. Remove sharp objects. Put chemicals hidden away out of reach. Remove breakables and introduce plastic plates and cups if necessary. Minimize tripping hazards like rugs and trailing electrical wires.
5) Set Boundaries
It isn’t your responsibility to teach your grandchildren right from wrong. But they are in your home. Therefore, set boundaries. You may let them get away with more than their parents would permit. That doesn’t mean you’re a pushover! Take control and be clear what the limiters are. Don’t be afraid to impose restrictions. Or tell them off if they disobey your rules.
6) Get Your Rest
Young children are hard work. They are active and on the go from dawn until dusk. When your own children are fully grown it can be hard to remember how much hard work they were! Plus, you are older than you were as a parent. Look after your health and avoid doing too much. Overstretching yourself will mar the enjoyment of being with your grandchildren. Provide some activities the children can do with minimal supervision. Take a break when you can. And get to bed early!
Time with grandchildren is special. Enjoy the moments you share together with a fun-packed action plan at the ready.
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(Image from Flickr https://flic.kr/p/6x73gC)
I’m sure many grandparents can relate to the struggle of finding ways to entertain your grandkids on a rainy day. The lazy way out is to stick a movie on and park them in front of the TV. But, all that teaches them is to be lazy in the future! Why not mix things up and get a little creative? Here are some brilliant arts and crafts things you can do with your grandkids
If you want to do something that’s a little bit peaceful, colouring books are your thing. You can pick up numerous colouring books from your local book store, supermarket or arts & crafts place. The great thing about them is that they’ll last for a long time and provide your grandkids with hours of fun. Sometimes it’s great to sit at the table and just let them colour away. Young kids get very serious about colouring; they want to make sure they stay inside the lines.
If you want, you could make a little competition out of it. Give both grandkids the same colouring book and make them colour the same picture. Whoever manages to stay inside the lines the most will win a prize!
Like I said, it’s peaceful and fun, two things you want out of an activity with kids!
This sounds like a pretty vague topic, but there’s no real way to sum it up in just a couple of words! The classic is using playdough to create whatever the kids can imagine. You and your grandkids can have fun trying to mould different animals or even create bowls. But if you want something longer lasting you can use things like alginate to mould stuff that will harden and set. It’s perfectly safe for you and your grandkids, you can even put it on your hands to create a cast.
Plus, it can also leave imprints, which gives you the opportunity to personalise your creations. One of your grandkids could mould something and then press their fingerprint into it as a way of signing their design. Or, you could go the Hollywood route and get a thick slab of the stuff and press their hands into it. It’s a great way to preserve their handprints so you can look back on them in the future.
The best thing about moulding is that it’s messy, and kids adore messy things!
Cutting & Sticking
One of the age-old arts & crafts things to do is cutting and sticking. If you’re confused, this is basically cutting things out and sticking them on other things. You can gather all your colourful bits of paper and other equipment on a big table. Then, you give your grandkids one large sheet of paper to stick things on. They can then draw things on the coloured papers, cut them out, and stick them on the big sheet. They could also try and stick glitter and other bits and bobs to this sheet.
The aim is to get them to create a lovely little collage of whatever they like. Kids will absolutely love doing this because it involves scissors and glue - two things they want to use! Of course, make sure you have child-friendly scissors in your house, you don’t want anyone hurting themselves.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.