Summer Homework

Summer homework may surprise you that it is important for many reasons. Most teachers and school staff feel that the work is beneficial and try not to give to much. Although it may seem like a bother, know that it will help your child. What will your child gain from summer homework?

1.

Helps you remember what you learnt.  

2.

Reinforces lessons learnt.  

3.

Keeps your mind sharp.  

4. 

Prepares for the upcoming school year.  
Set time and place

When homework is done in a set time and place, it makes it easier to get it done. Such as after breakfast or after camp.

It is not a punishment

Summer homework is not a punishment. Prepare something special such as a snack as they sit down to do homework.

Do not let it pile up

Do the homework on a daily basis so that it should not pile up and get overwhelming.

Summer Homework

Summer homework makes the transitions into a new grade more seamless and allows the teacher to briefly review last years lessons before continuing on with the new curriculum. It may seem like a pain, however your enthusiasm will hopefully make the kids see it differently. Never complain about the amount of work in front of them! If the work seems like a lot speak to the teacher or principal without having the child overhear! However most of the times, summer homework is a reasonable amount. Be sure to set a time and place for the work. It will make everything much smoother, the children will know where to find their homework and not waste time settling down. In addition, preparing a quick snack or a special something makes the work much more pleasant. Pop some popcorn, have a special homework lamp, cushion or pen, cube some melon. Make it fun! Be sure not to let it pile up and do it on a daily basis. Playing catch up is never fun! Good luck!  

   

Make the most of your summer!

Ready for some fun activities?

Let us have some fun with our kids!

Are you looking for easy and entertaining activities that are fun, educational and do not cost a lot?

There are so many wonderful activities that you can do on a long and boring weekend, rainy day or whenever. Let us start with the basics.

Fun activities for Children:

Cooking and Baking with kids:                                                                                                                                                     baking with kids

There are many kid- friendly recipes that you can try with your kids. It is a great opportunity to teach your kids some math. Exact measurements while you are baking make a difference to how something will taste or come out, therefore you must know your math!

Let us start with the basics:

  • Make sure you have the ingredients!
  • Now for easy clean up, I spread  a plastic tablecloth before I start baking so that the table and counter shouldn’t get full of drips and flour.

Here are two fool proof recipes that you can try:

Chocolate chip cookies bake with kids

2/3 cup butter, melted

2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 TBSP hot water

2 eggs

2 2/3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 package chocolate chips ( 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375′. Beat butter, sugar, water and eggs. Mix in the rest of the ingredients besides the chocolate chips. Drop balls from spoon or form balls with hand. Place cookies on un-greased cookie sheet about 2 inches away from one another. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Peanut butter cookies:

1 cup creamy peanut butter                                                                                                           3/4 cup sugar                                                                                                                                           1 egg                                                                                                                                                             1/2 tsp. baking soda                                                                                                                               1/4 tsp. salt                                                                                                                                                 1 cup chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 350′. Mix first 4 ingredients, then stir in the chocolate. Drop 1 TSBP. of dough onto lined cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 12- 14 minutes until puffy. Cool.

There are other recipe that you can try without baking, how about making your own play-dough?

Playdough recipe:play dough recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

1/2 water

3 to 5 drops of food coloring

Instructions:

Mix  together flour and salt. Mix separately the water and food coloring, slowly add the water mixture to the flour and salt mixture. Stir as you pour. Knead with hands. If it is too sticky add more flour.

Keep the play dough in an air tight container. I like to give the children some materials to use to help them sculpt, play and build.

  • rolling pins
  • cookie cutters

Arts n crafts:

There are many different type of arts and crafts that you can create with children beyond the crayons and markers. I like to give them collage materials and glue and let them feed their own imagination.

Collage materials can included:

  • buttons
  • scrap pieces of materials
  • cut straws
  • googly eyes
  • beads
  • beans
  • tissue paper

Be careful around little children for these can be a choking hazard.

Other times I like to give them set crafts to design. I would collect socks with missing pairs and have them create puppets out of them.

Reading time:kids reading

There are many wonderful books for all ages. I sometimes sit through and read Amazons reviews on books and flip through the pages. I like buying books that have a lesson so that I can reread it numerous times to the children.

Public libraries are wonderful resources to borrow books for free. Many times a public library can get you a book you are interested in form one of their branches if they do not have one at the location you are in.

Brooklyn, NY has many libraries as do most boroughs in NYC and around the US states. In addition, many of the libraries offer classes and educational workshops besides books. Sometimes they may have a read aloud for young children too. Take a look!

Board games:

Games promote many skills making it an ideal way to learn and play. children learn to share, work cooperatively and use their heads to solves problems and to help them win.

There are many reviews on games, however I like to start with the classic board games and move on from there.

Monopoly

Rummicub

Settlers of catan

Scattergories

apples to apples

hoot owl hoot

chess

clue

jenga

spot it

telestrations

labyrinth

battleship

pandemic

ticket to ride

life

hedbanz

suspend

guess who

scrabble

blokus

trouble

sorry

zingo

rush hour

5 second rule

qwirkle

charades for kids

twister

stratego

mancala

Puppet shows:puppet show for kids

Give your children the opportunity to put up a show for their dolls and you! Use the puppets that either they created, stuffed animals or real puppets to enact a scene or story.

Painting:

Painting is something that is calming and relaxing. Finger paints is great for sensory pleasure. Painting can help children describe a scene and lets them become artistic and creative.

Lay out a plastic tablecloth around the painting area so that the things should not get dirty. Put on a smock or a junk article of clothing, roll up sleeves and begin!

If water is needed nearby , keep a small cup handy though make sure the cup is sturdy and won’t tip.

Painting is  great way to learn about colors and see what happens when you mix and blend colors, let the children experiment. Ask them if anyone can get a green or purple!

blue+red=purple

white+red=pink

red+yellow=orange

yellow+blue=green

red+green=brown

black+white=gray

Letter writing:

Writing letters improves handwriting vocabulary and ELA Skills. Choose to write letters to a pen pal, grandparent, cousin, birthday child or just about anyone. Everyone nowadays loves to receive letters for they are not too common! All we mostly get in the mail is bills so write right away!

Letters can include a description of your day, a paragraph about yourself your family and your hobbies or just a follow up from the last time you spoke.

Water Games:

Playing with water is  great for sensory needs however it is a great calming technique and perfect for those long afternoons. You can either fill up a bathtub or sink and places various toys and tools for experimentation.

You must watch your children at all times to prevent accidents. I like to fill up my kitchen sink  and have the children play nearby as I cook or bake.

Place various items some that float and others that sink. To add some zest and excitement you can color the water by adding a few drops of food coloring, (Be careful for it may stain clothing and toys placed inside).

Do you have any great ideas or fun activities for children while on a  budget? Let us know!

What to do with children on a hot hot day

how to entertain children on a hot day

It is hot outside- very hot, how should we entertain the kids without going out?

Keeping children busy on a hot day is not easy, you probably want to crawl under some shade with a cold cup of coffee or juice and listen to some music or read a book. But the children need to be keep busy and occupied. Heat makes a lot of children cranky and irritable and it is not their fault!

So how should you prepare yourself for a hot day?

How to entertain children on a hot day:

  • check the weather before the heat hits you! Know before hand it will be hot so you are stocked up with essentials and have no pressing errand to accomplish.
  • Stock up with toys and things to do so you can keep them busy, such as:

Water Play- the most economical and easy way to keep children busy for hours. fill up a tub, pool or basins with water and place various toys inside. I like to keep handy some water squirts and buckets. When I see it will be a long day, I sometimes allow the children to wash the car.  In addition, there are plenty of water playing tools such as water balloons. Water keeps the temperature down and if they stay cool they can be outdoors for a bit getting the change of scenery without staying fully indoors.

Crafts- I prefer crafts rather than baking on a hot day for I do not like to have the oven on. Crafts include play-dough, store bought crafts, perler beads, making puppets and at time making their own play dough.

Friends– it is the perfect day for play dates, and friend fun. Children find their friends toys more exciting than their own.  Also, when they play with their friends their own toys seem more enticing.

Story time– perfect time to read and enact some story books with puppets and sounds. Children can take turns reading or have mom read to them. Be sure to visit the public library if you want a change of books.

Pictures/ Albums– look through old pictures and albums, laugh at the changes and show the children how much they changed and grew.

 

The heat should not take away the possibilities of a wonderful day. As an educator and mom it is up to you to create wonderful memories of that very hot day!

 

Vacation is important!

vacation is important

We all know that vacation is important, yet how important is it? There are numerous studies that indicate that vacations can accomplish much.

The benefits of vacation:

  1. It is a time to relax and let your body decompress and fill itself up with renewed positive energy.
  2. vacation broadens ones horizons and educates
  3. develops personal and social relationships

 

How to make the most of your vacation:

  1. Do what works for you! You know yourself best, you know your interest, follow your instinct. Just because a friend went somewhere does not mean you should go if the place or idea does not interest you.
  2. In addition, do not feel guilty going on vacation it is to your benefit after all.
  3. If you must check your email, so that you do not come home to a lot of unread emails and that can add to your idea that you should not go on vacation for it is not worth it when you come back, check your emails once a day then!
  4. Furthermore vacations help when they are well planned, plan them well. Do you have someone to do your work when you are out? Do you need someone at home to ensure that everything is OK? Did you research the place before you went? Is it open all season? Know what  the cost and regulations are. 
  5. Things can happen but try your best to be prepared. Did you check the hotel or airlines fine print and regulations? Flights can get delayed, and hotels can bet solidly booked, just know that it can happen and do not let that ruin your vacation.

Vacations does not mean one needs to get a way by plane or cruise, there are many other wonderful vacations that one can take by car or just by staying home.

Vacations  should be a change of scenery and a time for relaxation.