Raising an Active Child - We Get It Series

Tips for Parenting an Active and Strong Wiled Child


I have 2 kids, ages 6 and 2 ½.  Both of my kids are, as some call it, movers and shakers, others may use the label "highly active!"  They are both intelligent, creative, thoughtful, and compassionate kids, but they are also very ACTIVE!  The good news is that they will change the world someday =) and probably dance and shake their way there.  I have taught kindergarten for multiple years and babysat many kids before then and I will admit that on an active scale of 0-10, my kids are probably at an 8.

Being active isn’t necessarily a bad thing (They definitely get enough exercise!) but it can be a challenge during those times when it is necessary for little ones to be a little more still and calm – think library story times, at restaurants, going to school, when visiting a friends house, during church, a trip to the grocery store, while visiting an elderly person, before bed and the list goes on and on and on.


Tips for Raising an Active Child

So what do you do if you have a highly active kid?

Let the ENERGY out!


My best parenting advice is to provide opportunities for being active in a positive way.  Here are some things we do to let our kids be active.

  1. Send the kids outside.  Many mornings, my 5 year old will swing for 15 minutes right after breakfast.  This helps her move and refocus right away in the morning. We spent a minimum of two hours outside every day, more like 4-6 hours on good weather days. Yes, my kids literally swing from trees!

  2. Activity Ideas for an Active Child from The Educators' Spin On It

  3. Walk or ride bike to places that are close by.  This not only is great exercise for the kids, but you as well AND it saves $ on gas.  We walk to school 75% of the mornings.
  4. Enroll in a gymnastics or dance class.  We have taken classes that teach the kids to focus their energy in a specific way.  Dance classes like Zumbatomic, a Latin dance fitness class for kids, gets them jumping, shaking, and grooving to a beat for 30 minutes to an hour!
  5. Get to know your local parks and visit them often!  We have both walking and playing parks.   We try to stop at 2 playing parks (ones with a playground) and one nature or walking park each week.  The kids walk 3-5 miles with us and enjoy it!

Channel the ENERGY


Although it is great to let the ENERGY out, it is just as important to teach being able to control or channel the energy.  This is much harder for both of my kids and we continue to work on this daily.

  1. Verbalize the change in energy.  What I mean by this, is explain transitions.  After running at the playground and before getting in the car, I may say, “We were very active and silly on the playground, but now we are going to get into the car and we need to calm our bodies down.  What is one way we can do this?”
  2. Teach ways to channel the energy.  Not every strategy will work every time.  It is important for your kids to have a bunch of different ways that they can do this.
    1. Visual imagery – imagine a calm place, close your eyes and picture a clear blue sky with white fluffy clouds, green grass for as far as you can see and the sound of a little river.
    2. Counting backwards from 10 (20 if they need more time)
    3. Taking 3 deep breaths
    4. Using a “hook up” to destress and focus.  For a short description of this activity and others, here is an easy to read article.
    5. Introduce and practice Yoga with children.  My 6 year old had the opportunity to do Yoga daily at school and really improved with breathing and postures for calming herself.  If your school doesn't offer this, there are some books and videos for kids.  I recommend using your local library as a resource to "try before you buy" as some of the videos we have watched were more effective than others.  Here are some we have used and enjoyed in the past. 
Additional Resources:
Parenting with Purpose Series from The Educators' Spin On It


Our viewers and bloggers submit stories about great parenting they’ve observed in a family member, friend, neighbor or even a stranger.  If you’re interested in sharing your own Parenting with Purpose Story, just email us anytime! 
 
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Preschool Reading Activities Inspired by LEGO DUPLO

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Reading + Building = AWESOMESAUCE!  As a reading specialist K-12 and MOM to 3 young Kiddos, I am so excited to see the addition of these book and build sets.  There are SO many amazing possibilities to use them in your household!

Disclosure: I did participate in a DUPLO House Party and received a Kit to share with my friends. They were so awesome, that I chose to share with you too!

Lego Farm Duplo Activities: Learn to Read

Duplo Read and Build Kits


Have you seen Duplo's Read and Build kits?  These kits use building with DUPLO's and connect them to Early Literacy skills.  Each kit comes with a simple board book and DUPLO blocks that connect to build characters in the story as you read it.  Here is a link to the Busy Farm Set.

I like this concept because it encourages kids who love building to get involved in the story AND kids who love reading connected to building.  Both reading and building are such important parts of early learning! (in mine and many expert opinions)  I was a little hesitant about the actual story line, as books like the Disney Princess and Dora series are so repetition and not high quality literature.  The story we read, however, was simple, but well thought out and my kids (ages 2 1/2 and 6) really enjoyed reading and building the farm animals.  In fact, in the last two days since we had first recieved this kid, the kids have read the book and built the characters a minimum of 13 times already!

Learning to READ with Legos

Build, Learn, Create with LEGO's on Pinterest:

I have not only started a Pinterest Board with some AMAZING LEGO Party and Learning Activities, but have created some free learning printables with toddlers and preschool age children in mind.  My kids and I were already huge LEGO fans and were excited to host this House Party Event!

Free Downloadable Materials:


Included in this free printable packet (which I am printing out for my playdate pals!) there is a Shape Puzzle Page, Simple Sentences, Puppets, Character Outline and Word Writing Activity and Mini Poster.
Spacial reasoning with Duplo blocks - preschoolLearn sight words with Duplo - Preschool!

Learn to read with Lego Duplos

learn to read farm animal words with Duplo - preschool activityMake a paper puppet - preschool activity

Makes a Great Gift for a 3-5 Year Old


This picture below shows the Busy Farm Set (book and animals) and some Duplos from our starter set that we gave my son for his 2nd birthday.  If you are in need of a birthday or holiday gift for a little one in your life - these sets would definitely be something to consider! Because in order to become a better reader - children must READ, READ, READ!!!!

How do your littles like to play and learn with LEGOS???

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- Amanda

Top Global Pinterest Boards to Teach Your Children About the World


The Olympics are one of the best times to teach your children about the different countries of the world.  It's a moment in time where they can watch and see the flags and faces from countries everywhere.  It's a teachable MOMENT!

Are you thinking where do I find Books, Activities, Crafts, & Recipes about the World?

Don't worry we've got your covered!  We've been reviewing some of the top websites and pinning the best activities for kids on our Pinterest Boards just for you! We've listed our favorite World Culture Boards for Kids and included a few of our own! It's so important developmentally for your child to celebrate and discuss diversity and explore our child's place in the world through play. 


Learning About the World with the Olympics 

Here are some of our favorite Pinterest Boards about World Culture for Kids




 


Here are the two Boards that Glittering Muffins along with 12 Bloggers, including The Educators' Spin On It, share ideas and resources on as they Travel  Around the World in 12 Dishes in 12 Countries. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world, but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.
Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings so many opportunities for learning- math, science, literacy, language development, and even geography! Plus cooking creates lasting family memories and something yummy to enjoy! Come join the FUN! 

 

Here are some of the Top World Culture Boards that we Contribute too.  Yes,we're just a little bit passionate about World Culture with our international children! 




  • Kid Bloggers Go Olympics  ~ Looking for Olympic Activities for your Child?  Here's the best place we've found for Olympic themed activities.  You can even add your own! 



There you go.... all the resources you need to encourage your young children to learn about the World.  We'd love for you to Follow on Pinterest so we can keep you up to date with all the new resources we find.  As Moms and Teachers we really look for ideas that are worth your time and economical for your family. 


We believe in the power of raising globally aware children and we make a point to allow our children to experience other cultures with food, art, crafts, music, geography, presentations, and more. In addition to raising globally aware children, both of our families have chosen to raise our children to be bilingual speakers of another language.

Here at the Educators' Spin On It we address many cultural topics and educational activities that can be adapted to the language you speak with your child. Although we are experts in Russian and Indian culture, we also teach our children about many other countries and languages as well. Whether you want to learn more about our cultures to teach your children or are interested in raising bilingual kids too - we hope you are inspired!


We invite you to visit our Around the World  page

Are you ready for the Olympics???


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10 Ways to Travel the WORLD with your Family


There are SO many places that our family would like to visit around the globe; China, Australia, Greece, the list is endless.  This summer, although we would LOVE the opportunity to actually travel the world with our children, we are spending time traveling to other countries through Art, Music, Literature, Local Travel and even in our Playtime.  As parents, we are providing our children opportunities to travel the globe, without actually traveling there! 

Check out some simple ways you can bring the world into your own home, just in time for the olympics too! Just click on the images to bring you to each activity! 

Art & Crafts
It's really easy to learn about other places through art!  You can learn about famous artists from an area and study their pieces.  You can recreate your own.  One of the key things about using art is that it introduces the new vocabulary words to your child in a sensory integrated way.  
    
 
Toys and Games
Here's another hands on way to learn about other cultures.  You can recreate a place with place and print out the landmarks.  Discover different modes of transportation or simply play with dolls from that region.  Using play to learn is best!
   
  
Cooking
If you have been following our blog, you would know that we are cooking around the world this year with a focus of one country each month. Any time you want to learn about a new place it's a great way to connect your child's senses with cooking. 
   
Clothing and Objects
A great  way to experience another culture is to find out the clothing and items that come from that region.  Sometimes friends travel and it's an easy thing to bring back or you can stumble upon them at garage sales.  Playing dressup can take you to any place on earth! 
   

Literature
The first thing you should get out to travel the world is a Globe and a Children's Atlas!  Libraries are full of books about every place around the world.  Just pick a destination and a book will take you there.  You can learn about the land, monuments, culture, foods, art and even famous people from your destination.  Folktales are a fun way to learn about another place!  Encourage your children to act out stories from other regions during playtime.
   

Just as in the story Mandy and Pandy Say "Ni Hao Ma?", One of the stories from Memetales Readathon this week, it's fun to learn new words from other languages too.  Here's a simple family word book you could create for the country you want to learn about. 
   

Travel
Many cities offer opportunities to visit other countries without traveling very far. 
  • Local Museums- Our local art museum hosts several exhibits that feature artists of other cultures.  They even have monthly family friendly cultural events that are free of charge.  We take advantage of these and take our kids when possible.
  • One-time events - Many dance or performing groups may hold a one-time event that is free or low-cost.  We have seen drummers, dancers, and even painters from other countries performing their art. Many of these events are listed in our local paper and online.

  • Family Vacations- Using part of your family vacation to stop at a location that teaches your family about another culture is also an amazing way to travel the globe!  We were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Disney World this year.  Our adventures in Epcot have spurred an interest in reading, cooking, and learning about other cultures.
We can't wait until our next adventure!  Where is your next adventure? 

To get more inspirations we encourage you to check our Around the World Page or Follow our Bilingual Babies & Geography Pinterest Board

This is the last week of the Readathon! If you haven't joined, please do and help us reach our goal! Plus it also helps to feed another kid when you join! As part of Global Culture week, these four books are free for the week! There are some terrific activities that come with your participation too!  Click here for your Global Readathon Resources .
Cora Cooks Pancit #readforgood on MeMeTales
Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth on MeMeTales #readforgood
Mandy and Pandy Say, "Ni Hao Ma?" at MeMeTales #readforgoodMandy and Pandy Visit China at MeMeTales #readforgood

HOW and WHY of Readathon 2012 and the impact it had on 7000 children! Help us reach our goal of 10000 children by signing up today here at  How Do I Participate?.
To see all the fun that we have been having during the Readathon, here are our past Readathon posts.
Week 1 - Animal Tales
Week 2 - Friendship
Week 3 - Character Building
Week 4 - Imagination
Week 5 - Earth and Being Green
Week 6 - Global Culture
Disclosure - We will be given free books in compensation for Readathon blog posts, but all opinions about Memetales are solely ours.

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