Making New Years Resolutions as a Family

New Years ResolutionsNew Year’s Eve is a traditional time to celebrate new beginnings. Whether it’s our diet, attitude, work ethic, or goal to spend more time with the family, new resolutions are wonderful to make with the ones you love and for yourself. We not only benefit from New Year’s resolutions; our children can also learn a lot about themselves and the value of making goals. Children ages 7-12 are able to understand the benefits of setting resolutions, with the help from their parents.

Making new years resolutions with your children is a fun time for growth and change, and an opportunity for family bonding. Read our 3 tips on how to make New Year’s resolutions a positive experience for your family and to help your kids keep in touch with their goals all year long.

3 Tips for Making New Years Resolution as a Family

1. Involve the Whole Family

The best way to teach your children the importance of goal setting is by making it part of the family tradition for everyone. Gather together as a family and reflect on the past year. Talk about everyone’s accomplishments and goals for the New Year. Do this for each person and also talk about goals for the whole family. Go over your past resolutions and talk about why some worked and others didn’t.

Some family goal ideas are taking an annual trip together, doing a game night once a week, reading more books together, or volunteering. Think outside the box and get creative!

2. Be a Role Model

If you take the lead in goal setting, your children will more likely follow. Promote good heath and goal setting by example every day. Involve them in conversations about your goals. For example, “I’m going to read a book every month this year because reading is good for me. Do you want to join me?”

As parents, it’s important to practice what you preach and be what you want your kids to be when they grow up.

3. Shorten the List

Two to three resolutions for the year is a good amount. You don’t want to write down 12+ ideas, as you will get overwhelmed. Help your kids narrow down their lists by having them pick 6 goals and you choose the 3 they should focus on.

Some realistic resolutions for kids might be “I’m going to keep my room cleaner,” “I’m going to be a better sibling,” “I’m going to read more,” or “I’m going to get better at baseball.” Make sure to break down these broad goals into simpler and doable steps.

We hope these three steps will help you and your family come up with fantastic resolutions for the New Year. Meeting goals is wonderful for a child’s self-esteem and growth. Share with us your 2016 resolutions and ones you accomplished in 2015! Happy New Year!

How to Make Rainbow Ice Orbs

rainbow ice orbs

Photo Credit: Child Care Land

Winter is here and its time for some creative outdoor fun with some rainbow ice orbs! This affordable, fun and easy craft is perfect for the kids on a snow day, for holiday parties, or just to add a little extra décor to the outside of you home! Kids will love experimenting and being creative with this simple project. It’s all about their imagination!

Kids will love experimenting and being creative with this simple project. It’s all about their imagination!

Supplies Needed:

  • Kool-aid powder and/or food coloring
  • Balloons
  • A knife (for adults to handle only)
  • Your imaginations

Instructions:

Take your balloons and put a few drops of food coloring or Kool-aid powder into a balloon, then fill with water. Experiment with the amount of drops to create different color shades. Food coloring makes more of a marbled look, while Kool-aid makes a solid color.

Place outside, if it’s cold enough, or in the freezer over night. Depending on how big the balloons are and how cold it is, this will take about 24 hours. Hold them up to the light to see if they are frozen all the way through. Adults cut off the balloons and reveal the rainbow orbs!

Have fun and get creative! You are only limited by your imagination here. Let the kids take the lead, and be there to offer a helping hand if need be. But, make sure an adult is the one to cut the balloon away from the ice.

Once the orbs are done you can line them up in patterns, maybe a Christmas tree shape on the lawn?! You can stack them or line them along your entryway path. Let the kids decide! What a fun way to bring some color into the white of winter! Have fun and happy creating.

Share your orb creations with us on our Facebook page!

Why You Should Give Books This Holiday Season

give booksI love the holiday season. There are so many opportunities for magic moments that make this time of year special. From picking up a good book while traveling to see friends and family to curling up next to a roaring fire with a book and a cup of hot tea, I love everything to do with the season. You may notice a pattern here: I love to read. It is one of the reason’s I wrote The Day We Rode The Rainbow; I wanted to share my family’s love of books with my own offering.

It should be no surprise that one of my favorite gifts to give and receive is the gift of a new book. With the Holidays just around the corner, some of us are already shopping and searching for gifts. Who doesn’t love getting a good book that someone picked out especially for you? Whether you gift your latest favorite read to a family member, or you pick out a best seller for a friend, it is a sure way to beat the stress, the traffic, and still show you care.

Top 4 Reasons to Give Books This Holiday Season:

  1. Books Help Kids Grow

In a world dominated by instant gratification and screens, kids need books to learn and grow. Kids nowadays have a really hard time focusing. Children always have something going on around them or in front of them on their phones, tablets, computers and televisions. It’s important that kids have space from screens and time with their own imaginations. Books help kids dive into new worlds, imagine characters on their own, and learn patience.

  1. Books Last a Lifetime

A book will last a lifetime while a toy or article of clothing will eventually be discarded or outgrown. A book can always stay on a bookshelf and be passed down from generation to generation. Every time they refer to the book that you gave them, they will remember who gave it to them, and the times they enjoyed the story. Special books can even work their way into family traditions.

3. They are Easy to Wrap

Book lovers love pretty things, well thought out packages, and the details. Make your packages stand out with nice wrapping paper and ribbon. Take that extra step to make your holiday gifts special. Books are so easy to wrap, unlike other odd shaped toys and appliances, making your Christmas wrapping chore easy and fun.

  1. Everyone Loves Them! 

Buying a book can be as simple as a click of the mouse. You wrap it, set it under the tree, and you are done! You don’t have to worry about getting the wrong size, forgetting batteries, or hoping you got the right color. Once opened, a book is ready to use; no assembly required.

We hope you find giving books a new tradition for your friends and family. Because we feel so strongly about giving the gift of reading during the Holidays, we are offering a %60 discount on The Day We Rode the Rainbow!

How to Foster Creativity in Your Kids

shutterstock_109715168While some kids tend to express creativity easily and on their own more than others, every child as the ability to be creative! Many assume that creativity is something kids are born with and either have or don’t. While every child is unique, creativity is actually more a skill than a talent and with the help of parents, kids can develop creativity.

Creativity is important for health and happiness and a core skill to practice with kids. And creativity is not limited to painting, singing, or dancing- it also has to do with science, math, social, and emotional intelligence. Creativity plays a role in problem solving and flexibility, which helps children learn coping skills.

Here are some tips to on how to foster creativity in your kids:

1. Provide the resources
Providing your kids with time to have imaginative playtime is the best resource you can give. Unstructured time without adult direction is a great way to allow them to let loose and be creative. Provide them with a play place inside or outside, that they can use without worrying about making messes. Give them the tools they need like art supplies, costumes, disposable cameras, safe building materials, etc. Think outside of the box!
2. Celebrate creativity and new ideas
Set examples with art in your home made by different people. Tell your kids all about your favorite paintings, musicians, songs, and scientists. Share your passion for hobbies with them whether it’s scrapbooking, drumming, photography or whatever interests you at the moment. Remember to embrace new technologies like fun apps or social media so your kids grow to find change exciting, and not overwhelming.
3. Encourage kids to read for fun
Limit TV and other screen time to make room for reading. Encouraging your children to read at an early age has many benefits and one is enchaining their creativity development. Have fun books around the house with colors, textures, and activities.
4. Have them participate in artistic activities
Encourage them to put on a play, a puppet show, or a fashion show for you. Kids love putting together performances and showing off their new skills. Encourage this behavior and invite their friends over to play together. You can get involved with some of the planning and help them find costume materials, print off scripts, and hang a curtain for their show, but let them be the director!

Getting creative with your kids will be fun for you too; maybe you’ll even feel like a kid again!

The Benefits of Reading to Your Kids

Reading to your kidsReading with your kids is a wonderful bonding experience for the whole family. On top of the sentimental and learning value, more and more studies are proving how beneficial reading is for a child’s development.

Reading with your kid’s is also beneficial for parents, as busy families may not actually have time to read on their own. Reading has a ton of benefits for everyone!  Here are just a few examples.

Children’s Benefits of Reading:

 1. Boosted Self Esteem

When children read at a young age they increase their knowledge of vocabulary which helps them better communicate to their peers, teachers, and other adults. When someone knows how to communicate well they often have a strong self-image, sense of confidence, and do better in school. This confidence helps them build self-esteem.

 2. Academic Success

Reading early to your child opens the door to early academic success. When children learn to read they have greater knowledge, expanded vocabulary and become more fluent readers. They also have a better ability to focus. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn quickly about the world around them.

3. Developed Imagination

When we read our brains translate the descriptions of people, places, and things into images in our minds. When we’re engaged in a story, we’re also imagining the characters emotions, intentions, and morals. We use our own experiences to imagine how we would feel in the same situation and put ourselves into the story. A child’s imagination really flies when they are reading a book.

4. Social Skills

Children have social awareness at a very young age. The few children in kindergarten that can read may receive awards and certificates, be called upon to choose books, or read out loud. In some schools, they may even be asked to help other children in the class, who may still be struggling. Therefore, early readers have the advantage in the classroom by being able to relate to their peers on a confident level.

Benefits for Adults:

1. Mental Stimulation

It’s important to keep your brain active, just like any other muscle in the body. If you don’t have time to pick up a book on your own, reading a short book to your kid can mentally stimulate you too!

2. Reduces Stress

Dive into a great story with your child and watch the stress of a long day melt away. Stores keep you present in the moment and can distract you from your worries. Cuddle up with your kiddo before bedtime and read them an uplifting story to help yourself relax.

3. Memory Improvement

When you read a book, you have to remember many characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, as well as the various themes and sub-plots that weave their way through every story.  This is especially important when reading to your child because they will ask you a lot of questions about the story! Keeping in tune with the story and remembering not only the character but the plot, and the voices you use every time you read the book is a great exercise for your brain!

4. Improved Focus

With the internet and technology, we are so distracted– all the time! When we read,  all of our attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just disappears and we can focus on the small details of the book. Giving your undivided attention to the story can help improve attention and focus.

So there you have it – the many benefits of reading to your kids!

Using The Day We Rode The Rainbow In the Classroom

reading the bookThe Day We Rode the Rainbow story is a wonderful tool for teaching compassion, self-esteem and acceptance to children in the classroom or at home. Teachers, parents and students can integrate the book into their learning experience through activities, story telling and discussion. A few schools recently picked up the book and used it in their classrooms. We love seeing schools incorporate this story into their lesson plans to learn together through reading.

A pre-school recently used the book for a complete week of lesson plans. They timed it with the start of the year, when they were learning the letter B, using Butterfly to kick off the theme. They built the story into the classroom culture on how to make everyone feel welcome and make friends with their classmates.

The Day We Rode The Rainbow Lesson plans integrate the following subjects into an engaging, stimulating and fun educational experience:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Science
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Language Arts

These learning categories are incorporated throughout the week all while teaching valuable lessons of self-confidence and acceptance.

The goal of this lesson plan is to incorporate feelings of respect and welcoming into our first week of class with new students. Throughout the children were encouraged to identify and use words that would help make their friends feel at ease and happy. They also were encouraged to identify the actions and emotions that make them feel good about themselves.

The lessons started with the teacher reading the story of the The Day We Rode The Rainbow to the class. Students were asked questions throughout the story about feelings, emotions, and self esteem. After the teacher promoted the students to think about ‘How can we make our friends feel welcome/happy?

Activities throughout the week centered on this main question. Below are activities that the classroom included in the week and you can choose which ones are right for your classroom or your kids at home:

Art Project:  Students color in a picture of Basil, the main character. This gives the student’s an opportunity to either reflect on the book and how the butterfly looked to them, or express their own creativity.

Craft:  Students will make a picture of a butterfly using their handprints and other decorations to make their unique butterfly. Again at this time, students will be encouraged to complement each other on their work.

Snack:  Students will make a colorful butterfly using a plastic bag, colorful cereal, and clothespins. This is also a fun activity to do at home with your kids after school.

Science:  The class will make a cyclical diagram describing the stages of a butterfly’s life.

Social Studies:  Students can learn and see where butterflies migrate by reading books and using a map of the United States.

Reading/Writing: The class can make a Venn diagram to compare the story Elmer by David McKee with the story we read. The students can find the similarities and the differences between two stories. This can be done using hula-hoops and jotting down the differences and similarities on post-it notes to put in the correct position.


How to include The Day We Rode the Rainbow in your classroom

Teachers, want to see how The Day We Rode The Rainbow can be integrated into your classroom or at home with your children? Get an exclusive coupon code for educators, and download these free lesson plans:

You can pick and choose parts you like or add on your own to fit your teaching style and lesson plans. Share photos of your activities with us on facebook! We can’t wait to see how you use the story.

How to Make Rainbow Fruit Kabobs

rainbow fruit kabobsIf you are looking for a fun way to serve you kids a healthy snack, try making rainbow fruit kabobs! These are extremely delicious and easy for you to make with young ones. Paired with a creamy honey-vanilla yogurt dip, these pretty kabobs are a fun and nutritious treat.

 Fruit Kabob Ingredients:

  • Fruits of your choice in a rainbow pattern.  Feel free to have fun with these and pick your favorites! If you want to follow a simple rainbow pattern our favorite combo is: strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew and blueberries.
  • Wooden Skewers (You can find these in the baking aisle at a regular grocery store)
  • 2 Cups plain or Greek yogurt (vanilla)
  • ½ cup honey
  • Add ons:
    • ½ tsp. cinnamon
    • ½ tsp brown sugar

 Instructions:

1. Wash and prepare all of your fruit and cut bigger fruits into bite-sized chunks.

2. Pile on fruits of choice in a rainbow order. You can use any fruit you like, whatever is in season or your kid’s favorite!

3. Whip up a quick yogurt dip with the yogurt, honey and optional cinnamon for a little spice. If you’d like it a little sweeter, add a bit of brown sugar.

For birthdays, showers, after school or any other event these rainbow fruit kabobs are the perfect healthy treat! They’re fresh, kid friendly, and easy to make last minute. Making these with your kids creates the perfect opportunity to not only teach them about healthy eating, but it let’s them use their own creativity! Have your kids pick out their favorite fruits ad let them pick the order ,remember they don’t have to be rainbow!

Have fun and remember to share your photos of your snack creations on our Facebook page! Let us know your kid’s favorite fruit combination! 🙂

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Library Book Version without Color-Me Page and 3-D Sticker Elements is also available. Please contact us directly.

‘BUY NOW’ Special Price: $ 17.95 per book Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.95 per book Contact us for other promotional specials and discounted pricing as well as a book store near you. Shipping and Handling Fees not included. Taxes differ from state to state.

‘The Day We Rode the Rainbow’ book is in compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”) issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (COSC) and meets 15 U.S.C. 1278a (Book testing exemption 15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(5));

General Reviews

General Testimonial

For additional reviews and testimonials, please go to Tab ‘REVIEWS.’

Educators and child psychologists have approved this fun and creative, interactive adventure for an entertaining way to introduce tolerance, kindness, self-acceptance, social skills as well as 21st century learning skills without young readers even noticing.

Charity

A portion of the proceeds from this book will go towards F-U-N. “Foster Understanding Now” is a program for children around the globe to support the love of reading and promote tolerance, self-acceptance and life skills.

 

Books will be donated to various organizations such as St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Do you have other programs you would like to suggest, please email me at jodimays@aol.com. If you buy 10 books, book # 11 will be donated to a Children’s Hospital or Charity of your choice. Contact us for special pricing.

The Day the Lake Disappeared

The Day the Lake Disappeared

Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking (The 4Cs) are some of the 21st Century Skills necessary for our children to flourish in today’s and tomorrow’s world. Why not start now?

  • star_icon Enjoy this interactive, educational, fun and entertaining story for children.
  • star_icon Make the book with multi-colored, holographic foil come alive with various 3-D touchy-feely elements and stickers for the readers to place and stick throughout the book while reading.
  • star_icon Enrich the creative imagination of the young readers with a Color-Me-Page.
  • star_icon Find some Discussion Suggestions you may choose to do with your young reader.
  • star_icon Enjoy this interactive, educational, fun and entertaining story for children.
Hard Cover Book – NEW in 2015 – not yet available
  • star_icon Book Specifications: Same as The Day We Rode the Rainbow
  • star_icon PLUS the new ‘MyPal Pedia Page’ – some educational facts for children
  • star_icon PLUS the new ‘Find-It Fun’ – a game of Hide and Seek for the reader