Walking Water Experiment for Kids

“Can we do a science experiment?” This is what my 4-year-old son, Cory, asked me while walking in the grocery store one day. We just passed the aisle with vinegar, which is an item we use for many of our experiments. A week before, we did the Tooth Decay Experiment, which taught my son the importance of brushing his teeth twice a day. He had a lot of fun with this experiment and wanted to have that same feeling again.

So I turned to him and said, “Sure we can do another experiment. Do you know what experiment you want to do?” His reply was, “No, but we can look one up.” We did just that the next day and found the Walking Water Experiment. I was familiar with how to do it without instructions. However, I wanted my son to read the experiment instructions and follow directions. Science experiments are a great way to increase a child’s reading level.

Watch the video below to see how science experiments can increase a child’s reading level.

We looked in our kitchen for the materials needed to do the Walking Water Science Project. We had everything except food coloring. Cory was so excited to do the experiment that he requested we go to the grocery store to get it. When my son is excited to learn something new, I try to act on it as fast as I can. After we got home from the grocery store, we were ready to get started.

This is an amazing experiment to show how water can defy gravity with a capillary action. I will explain this at the end of the post.

Let’s Get Started With This Fun Rainbow Experiment!

Materials Needed:

  • Water (enough to fill seven glasses)
  • Seven drinking glasses
  • Food coloring (we used blue, red, yellow, and green)
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Paper towels (six folded into a rectangular shape)

Directions:

  • Fill four glasses with water.
  • At first we only filled the glasses halfway, then we realized it is best to fill them up.
Cory pouring water in the glasses
  • Put a different color of food coloring in each glass.
Putting the food coloring in each of the four glasses.
  • Stir the food coloring and water in each glass.
Mixing the food coloring and water together.
  • Place the glasses so there is an empty glass in between the ones with food coloring.
Alternating food coloring glasses with empty glasses
  • Fold six paper towels into a skinny rectangular shape.
Fold the paper towel like in the picture shown above.
  • Insert paper towels into two glasses placed beside each other.
Placing paper towels in cups. Here you can see we put more water in the glasses.
This is how the paper towels should look. There should be two paper towels in each glass.
The task is complete!
  • Let this sit for 24 hours and watch what happens.
This is what we saw the next day.
  • The empty glasses now had colorful water in them.
  • The glasses that were once full are now only a quarter full.
  • The water seeped through the paper towels and put water in the empty glass next to it.

Why this works:

  • As soon as you place the paper towel in the glasses, you should see that the it starts to absorb some of the water.
  • Water goes up the paper towel and defies gravity in a process called capillary action.
  • Paper towels are made of many small fibers that have gaps in between them.
  • Water gets pulled into these gaps by capillary action.
  • The water goes up the paper towel and down into the empty glass.
  • This is how water moves through plants.

Try this fun experiment at home. Enjoy!

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Play-Doh Games/Challenges for Kids

My family and I recently went on a much needed vacation. We visited amusement parks, saw a musical, and became one with nature. There were days where we relaxed and explored the local area. On some relaxed mornings and evenings, my son and I would either play with a toy, read, watch television, go to the pool or playground.

One of our traditions when traveling is to cook so we don’t have to eat out for every meal. This means we go to the grocery store and also purchase household items from a retail store like Wal-Mart. While in Wal-Mart, my son and I picked up one container of Play-Doh. The next morning I saw him playing with it. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to play as well. Of course my answer was, “Sure.”

We began our playtime with making various shapes and objects. Then my son said let’s play a game with the Play-Doh. We put on our thinking caps to make up a Play-Doh game. After conversing and adding on to each other’s ideas, we came up with the Play-Doh Challenges.

These challenges were fun and caused the morning to go by really fast. I will share the challenges with you below.

Let’s Get Started!

Enjoy Our Play-Doh Creations Below!

The first challenge is called Guess What I’m Making.

Guess What I’m Making

  • Each person takes Play-Doh and makes something with it.
  • You may either give each other a time limit to make something or simply wait until you all are done creating.
  • Next guess what the other person made.
  • You may give clues if the other person is struggling to guess the correct answer.
  • If the person guesses correctly, they receive a point.
  • Please note: You don’t have to play with points as it will make the game more competitive.
My son guessed that I made a flower and he was correct!

The next challenge is Name that Category.

Name that Category

  • Each person takes Play-Doh.
  • One person names a category.
  • Creators will have to make something within that category with Play-Doh.
  • The other creators will guess what you made.
  • My son named the category “Toys.”
  • As a result, we both made toys.
I could not guess what my son made until he showed me his stuffed pterodactyl. He made it perfectly.
My son guessed that I made a Lego and he was right!

The next challenge is Create the Word

Create the Word

I want to give you some background on this game. My son has been learning to write in cursive. He really likes practicing the curves, twists, and turns in cursive writing. If you follow my posts, you will know that we like to do hands-on activities with what we learn. This is one of those activities.

  • Each person take Play-Doh.
  • Have each person name a word.
  • The other player will have to create a word said by the another player.
  • For example, my son said the word “yell” and I made it with Play-Doh.
  • I said the word “cat” and he made it with Play-Doh.
  • If your child is not writing yet, another option is to make letters or numbers with them
    • This is a great activity for number and alphabet recognition.
I made the word “yell” in cursive with Play-Doh.
My son created the word “cat” in cursive with Play-Doh
This word was not a part of the game. My son wanted to practice his upper case S in cursive. I think this may be his favorite letter to write in cursive.

I hope you have fun with this activity!

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4 Fun Waiting Games for Kids

About three weeks ago, my family and I went to Orlando, Florida for a fun vacation! We went to Disney Land and Sea World. The tickets included musical shows you can enjoy with your family. One show that was “epic,” in my son’s opinion, was Finding Nemo.

Below is what we saw before the show started.

We wanted to ensure we sat near the front, so we got to the theatre early. My family had to wait about 45 minutes before the show started. I usually keep activities in my backpack in case we have to wait for long periods of time. These activities include crayons, paper, Boogie board, playing cards, coloring books, and activity books. However, I took these items out of my backpack while walking around Disney Land. It was too much for me to carry all day.

I needed to think of games to play without my activity book, paper, and crayons. I wanted to make the time go faster while waiting for the show to start. Therefore, my son and I played four waiting games. We enjoyed playing the games and I wanted to share them with you.

Let’s Get Started

Rock Paper Scissors

You are most likely familiar with this game. The best thing about Rock, Paper, Scissors is all you need is your hands. You need two players for this game. We play this game in a tournament style. Below are the directions and how we played.

  • Each player uses their hand to represent the three items in the game: Rock, Paper, and Scissors.
  • The hand signals are as follows…
    • Rock = Balled Fist
  • Scissors = holding your pointer and middle finger to the side (similar to making the peace sign with your hands)

  • Paper = holding all five of your fingers out flat

  • Each player will say RockPaperScissors!” and then do one of the three hand signals towards their opponent.
  • The winner of a round is determined by three simple rules:
    • Rock wins against scissors.
    • Scissors wins against paper.
    • Paper wins against rock.
  • In our game, the first person to win 10 rounds won the game.
  • We played this way twice.
  • My son won one game and I was the victor in the other.
  • Try this game while you are waiting!
  • The time will go by faster.

Seek the Alphabet

My son and I love to play Alphabet Hunt Games at home. However, since we were at the Finding Nemo show, we played the Alphabet Seeking Game in the theatre. Below is how we played…

  • The object of this game to is find letters A-Z in the room where you are located.
  • The letters could be anywhere in the room like on clothing, books, pictures, magazines etc.
  • We found letters on our clothing, in the musical’s program, and on the theater’s backdrop
  • If you can’t find a letter in the room, you may either…
    • Say a word that starts with a particular letter
    • Find an object in the room that starts with a particular letter
  • We could not find the letter X, so my son said “x-ray” and moved on to Y.
  • Keep finding letters until you reach Z
  • There is no winner in the game.
  • The game participants are working together to find all the letters in the alphabet.

Alphabet Categories

In this game, you are identifying words in a certain category in alphabetical order. This game will make you think.

  • Choose the categories you want to use in the game.
  • Ideas for categories are…
    • Animals
    • Food
  • We chose food as our category.
  • Take turns saying words in alphabetical order until you get to Z.
  • The first person may say “A is for Apple
  • The second player may state ” B is for Banana.”
  • If a person gets stumped on a letter, the other players can assist them.
  • Once you have completed one category, choose another one.

Clue Game

This is a great listening game for players. It will help players practice their active listening skills. This game can be played with two or more people.

  • One player will pick an item in the room.
  • The same player will give clues to the other person(s) about the item in the room.
  • The other players’ job is to guess the item based on the clues given.
  • Once an item has been guessed, then another player will pick an item and give clues to others.

This is how we make waiting for long periods of time fun! It is a great alternative to having kids on a smart phone or tablet.

Have fun with these games!

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write, and “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.

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Teach Your Child About Money Through Play – 110+ Games/Activities & Tips

Starting Early

My family exposed me to money at an early age. As a four-year-old, my older brother Linsey, introduced me to counting money. Linsey is eleven years my senior, so he was my mentor along with being my sibling.

After learning how to write in cursive, my mother gave me the task of filling out checks to pay our household utility bills. After completing the task, my mom would sign the check.

This taught me valuable lessons. As a nine-year-old, I was familiar with how much my family paid for water, electricity, telephone, and cable services. As a result, I was conscious of turning off lights when I left a room and how much water I used when taking a bath. Once I started paying bills on my own, it was second nature to pay them in a timely manner.

This book is available on Amazon. Click the image above to access it.

Lessons Continued

During the summers of my middle and high school years, Linsey and his wife, Michelle, invited me to stay with them for two to three weeks. During these times, they exposed me to money topics such as the stock market, interest rates, and credit through games and role plays. They also owned and operated a business and it was my job to assist and learn what it took to be an entrepreneur.

Passing It On

When my son, Cory, was fifteen months, he saw a quarter on the table and tossed it in the air. He was amazed at the sound it made once it hit the floor. He seemed interested in the quarter and I decided it was time to show him a piggy bank.

My purpose was to let him touch, feel, and play with coins. Because Cory was fifteen months at this time, I stayed close to him. I did not want him to put the money in his mouth. He carefully took pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters out of the plastic bag and put them in the piggy bank. He was pleased with the clanging sound made as the coins hit the bottom of the piggy bank.

This was the beginning of his exposure to financial literacy. I took it a step further once he became a preschooler by playing simple financial literacy games with him.

My son as a one-year-old putting coins in a piggy bank.

More Exposure

Cory and I have explored various financial literacy topics since his first encounter with the quarter as a fifteen month old. These topics range from money recognition and saving to real estate investing and business. He has been exposed to this topic through games and playful activities. For example, we discussed real estate investing by using Play-Doh, paper, and pencil.

We have also discussed the purpose of car insurance by using his toy cars. My son and I spend a lot of time in the car going to the grocery store, playdates, church, library, etc. Cory was curious about what happens if I hit a car. This led to a discussion about car accidents, police officers, and car insurance while we had a treat at Dunkin Donuts. We went home and defined terms such as liability and collision insurance by playing and crashing toy cars.

Watch the video below to learn how to teach children the financial literacy words, Assets, Liabilities, and Transactions by simply playing Monopoly.

Below are questions many parents have about teaching kids financial literacy…

How do you teach kids about finances?

Exposing children to lessons in finance does not have to be dry and boring. In fact, as adults we deal with money almost on a daily basis. You can include your child in some of those real world experiences, like my parents did, by having them pay for their own item at the store or helping you pay bills.

Another idea is to use your child’s toys to explain financial concepts similar to how we used toy cars to explain car insurance.

My son and I set up a play Car Wash business. This activity introduced him to entrepreneurship and customer service.
I am paying my son with play money for the car wash service he provided.

With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching financial literacy, Linsey and I have written a book called, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play. There are over 110 games/activities, tips, and resources on how to teach kids financial literacy at an early age. The activities include materials and toys that you already have in your home. They also include fun field trips that create a hands-on approach and a supplement to your child’s learning.

It will help you take the guessing game out of how to expose kids to money topics and concepts.

What is taught in financial literacy?

In the book, Teach Your Child About Money Through Play, we address money topics such as the history of money, various ways people earn it, and how it is used. You will learn fun ways to teach your child about budgeting, basic banking, the difference between liabilities and assets, and debt.

We also teach you how to use items in your home, such as toys and clothing, to introduce your child to real estate investing, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Learn to use household items to create fun scenarios and role plays so your child will have an understanding of these subjects.

If you have a child who has a lot of ideas or has a desire to earn money, starting a business may be appealing to them. You will receive a step-by-step guide on how your child can be an entrepreneur. Even if your child is not interested in business, it is great to expose them to this subject to encourage them to act on their ideas.

How did you decide on these financial literacy topics?

It was important for Linsey and I to teach children the history of money, how it is used, how to earn it, and making it grow. The purpose of this book is for children to have a basic understanding of money since they will manage it in their future. We included games and activities so you will know how to present the information in a relaxed and fun manner.

These financial literacy topics were based on Linsey’s and my teaching experience. I have experience in creating curricula and hiring over 25 teachers to expose kids to real estate investing, the stock market, budgeting, saving, etc. In previous jobs, I helped kids start businesses where they made money.

Linsey is the financial expert in our family and has 27 years experience in financial services and teaching kids about money. He and my parents were my first teachers on financial topics. Linsey is a former bank manager, stock broker, tax strategist, health insurance specialist, licensed in life property and casualty insurance, investor, and recipient of the US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year.

This why I asked him to co-write the book with me. I trust his judgement especially when it comes to financial topics. He approved the topics and content in the book.

Why is financial literacy important for youth?

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad said  when you are an adult your report card is your credit score. This statement is very true. This is one reason why teaching kids financial literacy is so important. Once a child becomes an adult, handling money becomes inevitable.

It is best to make this process easier for children by exposing them to money topics while they are young. Teach Your Child About Money Through Play shows parents and teachers how to accomplish this with resources they use daily.

Let’s get our children a financial head start and strive to reduce the number one stress in our society today, money.

The Book’s Mission

Linsey and I have made it our mission to expose children to money topics in a fun way. With over 30 years of combined experience in teaching youth financial literacy, we give you a first-hand view of how to make money a conversation that is fun, natural, and interesting!

This is a great tool for parents and educators of children ages 4-10!

This book provides the following and so much more…

  • How to use real-world experiences to expose kids to financial literacy
  • Fun activities to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to money recognition.
  • How money is used in our society now and in the past.
  • Various ways that people earn money
  • Important lessons in budgeting money
  • The basics of banking
  • The difference between a liability and asset
  • Various types of debt and how it is used
  • How people invest in Real Estate
  • How people invest in the stock market, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Starting and operating a business
  • Kid Business Ideas
  • The purpose of having insurance

Here is What Others are Saying About the Book

I love that this book gives children an understanding of money and finances. Not only does it delve into ideas that make money, but it teaches the facts of money; its purpose, how to use money as a tool to grow in all areas of our lives and other vehicles that help accumulate financial growth.

-Elliott Eddie, Inventor- Entrepreneurboardgame.com

This book is a fantastic resource for parents and educators alike who want to teach kids real money skills in a way they can understand and enjoy. The activities are unique, fun, and engaging.


—Stacey K., Editor

Not Sure Yet? Then Complete the Form at the Bottom of this Post to Read the First and Second Chapters for FREE!

This book is available on Amazon! Click the image above to access the link.

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Secret Message Activity for Kids

I am always looking for activities that incorporate reading and writing in a fun way. When I saw this activity, I knew there was potential for a variety of learning. The Secret Message activity will expose your child to science, reading, writing, spelling, and even math. At the bottom of this post, I explain how to use this activity to expose your child to different subject matters.

This activity is quick, simple, and uses materials you probably have in your home. Get ready to share a surprise with your little one.

Go to my son’s Youtube Channel for more exciting experiments, DIY projects, and games. It is called Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • White Crayon
  • Paper
  • Watercolor Paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes

Method:

  • Use a white crayon to write a secret message on a white sheet of paper.
  • You may draw pictures, notes, letters, numbers, etc.
I wrote a message on the white paper.
  • Have your child use watercolor paints to brush over the paper.
  • The watercolor paints will reveal the secret message.
My son painted the paper with green water color and revealed the message “I love you.”
  • Your child should delight in discovering the mystery message.

Other ways to use this activity

  • This is a fun way to have your child practice letters, shapes, and number formation.
  • Write a vocabulary word on the paper and practice using the word during the day.
  • Practice reading skills by writing a note to your child and have them read it.
  • Surprise a love one or a friend with a fun greeting message.
  • Discuss the science of this activity by explaining that colored water paint reveals the message because the white crayon is written on white paper.

Have fun with this activity!

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

OUR TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A 44% DISCOUNT!

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Balloon Rocket Fun Activity

My son loves balloons! He likes to inflate, toss, and hit them. So, when I saw this experiment, I knew we had to do it! This is a perfect activity for July 4th festivities!

You probably have all the materials in your home. Once your child does this activity, they will want to do it repeatedly. Have fun with this simple yet exciting activity!

Materials:

  • String
  • Balloon
  • Wide Straw
  • Tape
  • Two Chairs or Two Trees

Method:

  • Cut string about several feet long
    • The string will be the track for your balloon launch.
  • Cut the straw about 4″ long
  • Thread the string through the straw
String it through the straw
  • Tie the two ends of the string to two chairs or two trees
    • We tied the strings to two chairs
  • Blow up the balloon
Cory blowing up the balloon.
  • Pinch the opening of the balloon to keep the air inside
  • Tape the straw to the balloon.
    • You made need two people to help with this step.
We taped the straw to the balloon.
This is the second try. We taped the straw to the balloon. The yellow balloon burst on us.
  • Go to one end of the string and let go of the balloon opening
  • Watch the balloon zip across the string.
  • Watch the video below of our Balloon Rocket!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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4 Games/Activities that Teach Kids Manners

Many parents are successful at teaching their children manners through modeling the behavior or reminding kids to use them. This post brings a fun, hands-on approach to teaching manners. The games/activities below can be a supplement to what you are already teaching your children at home. These are great group activities to play with young kids. I hope you find these helpful!

Let’s get started!



Please and Thank You Game

The following game will teach your child when to say Please and Thank you.

Materials Needed:

  • 3 Stuffed Animals or 3 Action Figures
  • Tape
  • Paper
  • Scissors

  1. Explain to your child that Please should be used with any request such as…
    • When your child wants a drink
    • They should say “May I PLEASE have a drink?”
    • If the child is very young then they can say “Drink, please.”
  2. Explain to your child that Thank you is used when they receive an item, favor, or an act of kindness.
    • For example, children should use it when someone gives them a drink, a gift, or when they have visited someone’s home.
  3. Start the activity by having your child gather their stuffed animals and action figures.
  4. Cut 3 rectangles out of the paper.
  5. Write the word, Doing, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Doing toy’s job is to role play the scenarios with your child.
  6. Write the word, Thank you, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Thank you toy’s job is to say Thank you in the scenario if needed.
  7. Write the word, Please, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Please toy’s job is to say Please in the scenario if needed.
  8. Create four scenarios where the child will have to role play and identify when to use Thank you or Please like the examples below…
    • The Doing Toy just shared his snack with your child. (Answer – say Thank you)
    • The Doing Toy would like a banana. What should the toy say? (Answer – May I please have a banana?) (Another option is Banana please).
    • Your child spilled the Legos on the floor and the Doing Toy helped your child clean up. (Answer – say Thank you)
    • The Doing toy wants to play at the playground. What should the toy say? (Answer – Can you take me to the playground, please?)
  9. Role play the scenarios above (or scenarios you have created) one at a time with the toys and your child.
  10. Below is an example of how the role play should be played. Let use the first scenario as an example..
    • The child and Doing toy should role play the following scenario – The Doing Toy just shared his snack with your child.
    • Now the child should decide if the Thank you toy or Please toy is needed.
    • In this scenario, the child should get the Thank you toy to say Thank you to the Doing toy.
    • If your child is confused about whether to use the Thank you toy or Please toy help them to determine the correct answer.
  11. Repeat steps 9-10 with the scenarios given in number 8. You may also create your own scenarios.
The Manner Animals

Super V!

This activity gives kids a reminder to cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze.

Material Needed:

  • The child’s arm
  1. Explain to your child that it is important to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of germs.
  2. Germs can cause others to get sick.
  3. The best way to stop the spread of germs is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  4. If you don’t have time to get a tissue, then use SUPER V!!!
  5. SUPER V is when you cough and sneeze into the inner crease of your elbow.
  6. When do you this, your arm forms the letter V.
  7. Pretend that you are sneezing or coughing and model to your child how to cover their mouth.
    • As you model how to cover your mouth, say SUPER V like it is a superhero!
  8. Have your child practice saying and doing the SUPER V mouth cover position.
  9. Every time your child really coughs or sneeze, say SUPER V!
  10. If your child is not into superheroes then create something else like the PRINCESS SHIELD to help them remember to cover their mouths.
Sick child doing the Super V

Excuse Me Game

This game will teach your child when it is appropriate to say Excuse Me.

Materials Needed:

  • Something that makes a loud noise like a bell, drum, whistle, or kazoo
  • Child’s stuffed animals, action figures, or other toys
  1. Explain to your child that Excuse Me should be used in the following situations
    • To get another person’s attention
    • When you need to get around someone and they are in your pathway.
    • When you have bumped into someone or accidentally stepped on their foot.
    • During an acceptable interruption
      • For example, if mom is talking to someone and the young child needs to go to the bathroom.
    • When you burp or pass gas
  2. After explaining step 1, role play the situations with your child (using yourself and child as the actors for practice).
  3. Next get your child’s toys.
  4. Give your child a loud noise maker of your choice such as a bell, drum, whistle, or kazoo.
  5. Use the child’s toys to role play each scenario in number 1 and scenarios where Excuse Me is not needed such as…
    • You give your child a snack.
    • Your child wants to go outside and play.
  6. After role playing each scenario with the toys, give the child two choices in which to respond…
    • If saying Excuse Me is an appropriate response to the scenario, then the child should use their noise maker and next say Excuse Me.
    • Is Excuse Me is NOT the appropriate response to the scenario, then the child can say NO!
  7. For example, you role play that one action figure burps and your child has a drum.
    • The child should play the drum and then say Excuse Me.
  8. Keep playing the game with various scenarios.

No Interruptions Game

This activity uses the concept of Shaping to teach kids to be patient while parents are talking to others in person or on the phone. Shaping is a technique many counselors use to teach kids new behaviors or skills. It allows you to build a desired behavior in children using small steps. Once the child has mastered a step, then move to the next one. 

Materials:

  • One of the child’s stuffed animal, action figure, or other toy
  • Timer
  • Pretend or toy telephone
  1. Explain to your child that interruption is when they talk while someone else is talking.
  2. Interrupting is considered rude unless it is an acceptable interruption such as…
    • You have to go to the bathroom
    • You or someone is hurt.
  3. Some kids interrupt their parents for attention or they think the conversation topic with the other adult is boring.
  4. Start the No Interruptions Game by getting your child’s toy and the telephone.
  5. Tell your child they can’t talk to you until the timer goes off.
    • If this is a struggle for them, suggest ideas to keep them busy like counting, playing with a toy, or just listening.
  6. Set the timer to 20 seconds.
  7. Pretend you are on the phone while the timer is going.
  8. After the times goes off, tell your child they can talk.
  9. If your child does NOT interrupt you within the 20 second period, then next time increase the time to 30 seconds and so on.
  10. Do this until you get to a desired time like 5 minutes.
  11. If your child talks to you before the timer goes off, then try the activity again with the timer set to a lesser time like 10 seconds and work from there.

I hope you find these activities helpful!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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Happy Learning!

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My Toddler Needs Glasses! What Do I Do?

The following is a guest post from my dear friend, Danielle Jerz. She is an attorney, wife, and a mom of two children, ages four and 1.

This post is a great guide on how to introduce our kids to new experiences in a fun and engaging way!

Does my child really need glasses?

My 3-year-old, DJ, needed glasses. He’d failed an eye test (common tests for toddlers include retinoscopy or Spot Vision Testing Camera) at his 12-month appointment, and a pediatric ophthalmologist suggested we check again 2 years later to see if his eye issues would self-correct. 

By 3, DJ was playing t-ball and soccer, he did not hold books too closely, he did not frequently rub his eyes, and he enjoyed learning in preschool. He never complained of difficulty seeing or of headaches, and he passed his visual acuity eye chart test. 

So, when we returned to the pediatric ophthalmologist shortly after his 3rd birthday, it came as a surprise to us that his vision issues had not, in fact, improved and that he needed glasses. His doctor told us that if he wore eyewear now, he might not need to in the future. So, we decided to give it a try. 

Our Concerns

Neither my husband nor I wear glasses, so we were entirely clueless about where to start. As a parent, a million thoughts went through my head: Will he wear the glasses? What will be the consequences if he refuses? Will he be embarrassed? Would he understand why he needed glasses? Will he be teased? The last question was of real concern since most of us know how upsetting childhood taunts can be. 

So, I started researching where many people start these days – GOOGLE. While there was plenty of information out there about children wearing glasses, most of what I could find was geared towards older, school-age children. But my child was a toddler or a young preschooler, with challenges and needs quite different than a child 3 or 4 times his age (a 9- or 12-year-old). 

How I Got my 3-Year-Old to Wear Glasses

I explained to DJ why he needed glasses. He seemed to understand, but when I asked him if glasses were cool, he matter-of-factly replied “no.” So, I slowly started to set the stage for DJ and his new glasses. Before he was even fitted for glasses, I tried to point out every adult friend, relative, stranger, cartoon character, or person in a television commercial who was wearing glasses. 

I would turn to DJ and enthusiastically say look: Aunt Angela is wearing glasses. Doesn’t she look cool? Or, look at the little boy on television with glasses. I think his glasses look so sharp. Or, (your cousin) McKenzi wears glasses, do you think they look really nice? And slowly but surely, his adamant “no’s!” became emphatic “yeah’s!” Glasses were cool!

My husband and I even ordered costume glasses to wear around the house, so they wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary. We wouldn’t announce that we were going to wear them. We would just put them on and wait to see if DJ even noticed. Surprisingly, he may have only asked about mom’s and dad’s “glasses” on one or 2 occasions. 

How We Found the Glasses

Because we knew next to nothing about purchasing eyewear, we decided to find an eyeglass store that carried a large variety of toddler-sized glasses. I didn’t know this at the time, but most eyeglass stores that you may find in a mall or big box retailer don’t carry preschool size glasses. You really need to go to a specialty retailer, so we chose My Eye Doctor. 

I knew I wanted something for DJ that would survive all the fun things that boisterous 3-year-old boys do, so I researched brands with light, flexible, and kid-friendly frames. I also wanted durable frames because I had a feeling DJ’s one-year old little sister might get ahold of them a time or 2, and I didn’t want her to accidently break them. 

At our appointment, the sales associate showed us some of the popular children’s glasses. I told DJ that he could pick out the color, but I would pick out the frame. I figured he might not be equipped to tell what styles fit well with his slender face, prominent chin, and large brown eyes, but he could have the freedom to pick the color since he would be the one wearing them every day. 

Perfect Match

DJ tried on and rejected several that I liked, but it was surprisingly easily to reach an agreement on color and shape. His Zoobug glasses came in a delightful blue – DJ’s favorite color. They have polycarbonate lenses and a scratch resistant coating and because they are a single rubber piece with no joints or parts to break, they are flexible enough to withstand all manner of contortions attempted by DJ’s little sister. 

The glasses came with a detachable headband and sliding earlocks to help them stay on. He could have chosen both, one, or none of them to use. DJ uses the earlocks that fit snuggly behind his ears and prevent the glasses from slipping forward. 

These are the glasses we chose.

Informing the School

I talked to DJ’s preschool teacher, Ms. Sherry, and informed her that he would start wearing glasses. I explained that we would have him wear them only at home for 2 or 3 days and then he would wear them to school. 

Ms. Sherry is a great teacher and was very receptive. She stated that she would help him keep his glasses clean and remind him to put them on if he took them off. She also liked my ideas about introducing the glasses to the class. 

Time to Party

When speaking with Ms. Sherry, I’d thought, what would be a good way to “show off” DJ’s glasses and answer any questions other students might naturally have about why he was wearing them. I know! We would have a GLASSES PARTY. The day DJ started wearing his glasses, I showed up to the preschool, glasses in hand, and armed with books about glasses, cupcakes topped with a little pair of glasses (who doesn’t love cupcakes??), and a pair of glasses for everyone! 

We read Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg and Philomena’s New Glasses by Brenna Maloney. To provide everyone with a fun pair of glasses, I’d simply gone to the closest dollar store and purchased enough sunglasses for each of DJ’s classmates and popped out the dark lenses. Voila! An affordable pair of glasses for every child! 

Success!

Much to my delight, the party was a big hit. The children were thrilled to wear their glasses. One of DJ’s classmates, Kyser, asked me if I’d brought him a case for his glasses so he could put them away. I apologized and told him that I had not, but to ask his parents. Sure enough, that evening, Kyser asked his parents for a glasses case and not only that, he wore the glasses to school the next day and for the next several weeks. 

In fact, Ms. Sherry, DJ’s teacher, reported that several of the children wore their party glasses (and still do) for several days after the party, and some even asked their parents if they could get real glasses (sorry parents!) because it was so cool. 

I realized that all my worry about teasing was just that – my own. I came to realize that my concerns were for naught and at that age group (3-4), glasses were cool! They love to read books and are curious to hear stories about new and different things and what makes everyone special and unique. 

Glasses themed party at preschool.

Our Life Now

DJ is now 4 years old and dutifully wears his glasses daily. At preschool, he takes them off when it’s time for recess and nap but otherwise wears them without protest. In fact, not long after he started wearing them, my husband realized he’d forgotten them at home after taking DJ to preschool. DJ immediately had a bit of a fit (“I can’t SEEEE!”) until Dad explained that he would go home to get the glasses, and all was well. 

Now his glasses are a part of his daily routine. He gets to school, puts his belongings away, washes his hands, and puts on his glasses. Like clockwork! We ask him about his glasses occasionally just to make sure they are still fitting and working for him. Santa even brought him a special case with his favorite superhero on it – Batman! 

Try these Steps for (Almost) Painlessly Getting your Toddler or Preschooler to wear glasses:

  1. Prepare your preschooler for wearing glasses. Explain why they need glasses. Don’t assume that they won’t understand. 
  2. Don’t share or show your concerns, fears, or insecurities with your toddler. I’ve learned from this experience that you may be worried for no reason. Even if you got glasses as an older, school-aged child, your toddler will likely have a different experience than you did.
  3. Introduce them to fictional characters who wear glasses. There is children’s programming featuring characters wearing glasses or that have episodes about getting glasses. For example…
    • One of the main characters on the show “Little Einsteins,” Leo, wears glasses. 
    • Arthur from the self-titled cartoon wears glasses.
    • In an episode of “Sid the Science Kid” (season 1, episode 13), Sid explores his sense of vision by trying on his grandma’s glasses. 
    • Clark Kent (AKA Superman) wears glasses.
  4. Read books such as:
  5. Talk about glasses and how they can help people see more clearly and how we can appreciate other’s differences.
  6. Research brands such as Tomato Glasses, Zoobug, and Solo Bambini for the look, affordability, and durability you think is best for your toddler/preschooler. 
  7. Allow your toddler/preschooler to be involved in the process of selecting his/her glasses. 
    • Does he/she have a favorite color? Toddler glasses often have multiple color options for frames, so ask if the styles you are considering come in different frame colors.
    • Let them pick out a case with a favorite character on it. Their glasses are special, so they deserve a special holder. 
      • We found DJ’s case on Amazon. 
      • Or take the (usually plain and simple) case provided by the eyewear retailer and decorate it! 
      • Allow your toddler/preschooler to color it with permanent markers or stickers to make it his/her own.
  8. Lay some ground rules: 
    • At the beginning, expecting your toddler to wear his/her glasses all day right away may be an unreasonable expectation and lead to needless tantrums and a battle of wills. 
    • In fact, your child may become averse to wearing the glasses at all! DJ’s ophthalmologist told us that often, toddlers refuse to wear them, and parents put the glasses away and try again in a year or 2. 
    • Of course, that is always an option, but I think there are other ways to get them to wear their cool specs!  I believe that until your toddler/preschooler is accustomed to them, you should set up reasonable expectations of wherewhen, and how oftenthey should wear their glasses. 
    • Questions to ask yourself?
      • Do you want your child to wear the glasses at home only? While at preschool or daycare? Only on the weekends? When they are permitted screen time? 
    • This trial period doesn’t have to last weeks or months. 
    • Slowly incorporate more time and encourage them to wear their glasses more often. 

You May Surprised

You might be pleasantly surprised to find that your toddler/preschooler is very receptive to your slow and steady encouragement to wear their glasses more often, or they may even ask you to wear them more frequently once they see how beneficial they are! DJ wore his glasses at home only during screen time and marveled at how his favorite cartoon character, Blaze from “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” looked. He did that for 3 days and then wore them to school with no complaints!

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10 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve Others

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

10 KIDS SERVE OTHERS

What Kids can Learn from Serving Others?

Encouraging kids to serve others is a great way to teach citizenship. Citizens understand there is a world greater than themselves. They make it a better place to live through helping others.

How Kids Benefit from Serving Others?

Kids who are involved in community service tend to be more confident because they have periods where they can forget about themselves and focus on others.

When kids are constantly thinking about themselves, they tend to focus on their flaws. This is where low self-esteem is usually developed because they constantly compare themselves to others.

Other Benefits of Community Service?

Serving others opens your eyes to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also it boosts a child’s self esteem when they can apply their talents and skills to the benefit of others.

Children, as young as three years old, can learn about serving others. I have provided creative ways kids can help others below.

These service ideas are a collection of my personal experiences and recommendations from the book 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark. The author gives wonderful ideas for kids to assist people, animals, and the environment.

Let’s get started!

1. Collect Tennis Balls for Animals Shelters

Volunteers use the balls to interact with the animals

  • Contact local tennis clubs and ask if they have old balls they don’t need.
  • Ask tennis high school team coaches (if you have one) to announce that you are collecting balls  for animals in shelters.
  • Contact local parks and the recreation department for tennis balls.
  • Set up a drop-off time with animal shelters in your area.

tennis balls

2.  Prepare Birthday Bags for Children Living in Shelters 

It’s difficult for parents living in shelters to provide birthday parties for their children, but you can help.

3. Give Giggle Bags 

Bring joy to kids in the hospital with giggle bags.

birthday bags

4. Help Habitat for Humanity – Even if you are too young to build

 

Go to the Bottom of this Post and Get Access to Service and Gift Ideas from Real Moms. These Moms Share the Service Projects they have done with their Children.

5. Build a Rock Garden for a Senior 

6. Recycle at Home

  • Have a family meeting about ways to recycle.
  • Make a list of ideas like buying in bulk, use reusable containers for lunch, recycle old batteries at the local drugstore, and donating old clothes and furniture to charity.

recycling kid

7. Collect Coins for Those in Need

  • Provide for people who suffer from war, disease, poverty, or natural disasters a gift.
  • Go to the World Hope Website and find the gift catalog to choose a category such as education.
  • Have children collect coins for the need they would like to fill.
  • Call World Hope at 888-466-4673 and decide on the best way to deliver the money.

8. Create Senior Emergency Kits

9. Give Stuffed Animals to Offer Comfort

  • Firefighters and police officers frequently deal with kids going through tough situations and stuffed animals can help comfort these children.
  • Ask the police and fire stations if they would like stuffed animals.
  • Get stuffed animals by looking through your old toys and asking friends and relatives.
  • Ask local stores and office buildings for boxes to store animals.
  • Get ribbons to put around the stuffed animals’ necks.

stuffed animals

10. Pack Up Backpacks for Foster Kids

  • Help foster children by collecting backpacks and small suitcases to help them as they move to a new home.
  • Call your local Social Services or Child Protective Services Office to see if they could use backpacks.
  • Write letters to big stores like Wal-Mart or Target and ask them to donate back packs.
  • Ask local schools for backpacks in their lost and found boxes (that are not claimed).
  • Add a stuff animal in the bag if possible and deliver them to the Social Service agencies you contacted.

There are many ways kids can serve others. Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Happy Serving!

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Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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