Did you know that just by playing with blocks children are
building pathways in their brains that will help them to be
successful readers, be able to understand math and science and
become connected to people and things in their environment? It's
On Wednesday, your kids can participate in the educational fun
as the Mid-Columbia Libraries host a block party at the Kennewick
library located on Union Street. This special event is open to two
groups: zero to 5 and kids ages 6 to 12. The block party runs from
9 am to 5 pm to work around your busy day and kids' nap
Bring the children to the meeting room and be prepared to ask
questions while you play with them: What will happen if
we put a round block on top of the tower? Can you find another
that's as heavy as this one? How many more will you need? I wonder
if we have enough blocks to build a road all the way to the
Mark your calendar-be there or be square!
It's a rainy, homemade play doh kind of day.
Homemade Play Doh:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbls. oil
2 cups of water
food coloring of choice
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and mix over medium heat. Stir
constantly - it takes a bit - until the dough leaves the side of
the pan. Let it cool completely and then knead it out to get rid of
the bubbles. Store it in plastic bags. Use cookie cutters and
rolling pins and have fun!
It never fails. You succumb to buying a trendy toy and before
the paint starts to fade your child's interest already has.
The item ends up being shuffled through the toy box that is
periodically opened giving the doll or truck the brief sense of
purpose it once had. Children, like goldfish, have short attention
spans, even when it comes to things that are shiny and new. Instead
of tossing out old toys you can use this situation to create a
unique play date with a purpose. Have your kids pick items they're
ready to let go of and meet up with other moms for an exchange of
Kids can draw numbers to see who gets to select the first toy or
they can pick a grab bag that describes the item briefly, such as
'Car for 5+'. Even if your child isn't ready to give up any of
their belongings before the play date, seeing other children
receive new and interesting toys might assuage them to let go. Set
a return date with the group or decide whether the grab bags will
stay with their new families indefinitely. It's a fun way to have a
party where everyone invited gets a present while keeping your
wallet from thinning out.
One of our favorite family activities is geocaching. My husband
and I started geocaching long before we had kids - the modern-day
treasure hunt was a perfect excuse to get out and discover new
trails and parks in our own backyard that we didn't know
Now that we have kids, they absolutely love searching for
and finding geocaches, and barely notice the exercise they are
getting in the process.
What is geocaching?
Someone hides a geocache somewhere (typically on a trail or in
the woods) and using a GPS notes the coordinates of the geocache
location. That person then logs the geocache coordinates and info
on www.geocaching.com for others to look up and
find. A geocache is something like an ammo box or a waterproof
container. The owner can put whatever he/she wants in it, but we
typically find a log to sign and random trinkets. You can take
something from the box as long as you replace it with something of
equal or greater value. Watch this video and visit www.geocaching.com for more info.
If you are looking for a new, fun family activity, definitely
give it a try!
Here is my daughter Mia navigating with the gps on my husband's
And the kids finding and pulling out the geocache.
Inspired by Baja Fresh's pineapple
salsa, we made these Pineapple & Bean enchiladas tonight - they
were delicious! We even heard "it's better than pizza!" The kids
loved it, which is very rare for a new recipe.
Prep Time: 30
Total Time: 1 1/4
If you're one of the 100 million people or so who plan to watch
the Super Bowl tomorrow, chances are you'll have to have a game
plan. For youngsters who don't understand the game a Super Bowl
party can lose its appeal fast.
With a good offense (fun activities) and strong defense (working
together to keep an eye on them), you and your spouse can enjoy
watching the Steelers and Packers and may even get to eat some
great party food. Here are a few ideas that might help ward
off the whining:
Get your kids excited about the game with Team Face
Painting. Have your kids pick different teams to root for
and get to decorating! Have them dress in team colors and add a
logo or stripes on their cheeks with some face paint or makeup.
Keep them updated throughout the game on how their team is doing.
Some competitive siblings might even watch the game hoping to win
Play Guess the Chip. Chances are there will be
plenty to snack on. Blindfold each child and have them taste four
or five chips or snacks and see who can guess the most correctly.
This would be a great pre-game activity and your kids can continue
the game following the kickoff with a new variety of snacks.
Bring an Arsenal of Activities. If you're
traveling to someone else's home, bring toys, books and board games
that will keep your kids entertained. Find out if other guests have
new board games your tweens or teens haven't played and ask if they
would be willing to bring them to the party.
And finally, map out a strategy with your spouse to keep the
younger children from getting stir crazy. Trade off commercials or
quarters with your significant other to check in with the kids to
make sure they're having fun and staying out of trouble.
Have a family huddle before the party and make sure everyone
knows the house rules. With a little planning it could become an
event the entire family looks forward to!
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