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The Housekeeper Fiasco

This activity is a treasure hunt type game to play together with your kids! A make believe cleaning lady came to your home and made a big mess. Your kids need to help find the missing objects. 

Once the puzzle is completed, the message read, and mission accomplished, take advantage of this opportunity and congratulate your children on how great they are at helping clean up the mess. You can also have a great conversation with them about the benefits of putting things where they belong.

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Gifting Our Children Our Time

I was sitting next to a friend at the park when I phoned another friend and invited her to come join us.  About ten minutes later she arrived and said: “Do you know how I feel right now? I feel like a teenager and that the cool girls invited me to hang out with them.”

Well, I am certainly not a teenager and I am not all that cool. But one thing that I learned from this story is how good it feels when someone wants to spend time with you.

This is a gift we can all give our children. Setting time aside on a weekly basis will make them feel so good; just like that school girl who is so excited to have an “in” with the cool girls. Showing them that we want to spend time with them regularly means that they really matter to us, and that feels really good.

Do you give this gift to your kids?

If you do – please give yourself a HUGE pat on the back!!!

If you need some help giving this gift to your kids, Creating Time™ might be right for you.  Creating Time™ provides the framework in which we engage with our children on a weekly basis, be it through crafts, exploration or just plain fun and games.

Click Here to Subscribe!

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DIY Water Guns

Summer vacation is here and it’s HOT! There is nothing more fun than going out to have a quick (or not so quick) water fight with the kids. The problem we often face at our home is that we do not have enough water guns for everyone and even when we do have some, they break so quickly!

Here is an easy and free solution that I have found!

  • Take an empty water or juice bottle from your home.
  • Remove the plastic cap and pierce at least one hole through the cap using a corkscrew. (The more holes you make the more streams you have).
  • Fill the bottle up, put the cap back on and take it outside!
  • Squeeze the bottle and watch it squirt!

Wishing you a fun and wet summer!!!

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Creating Time with the Perfectionist

Your child likes to get things right. He knows what he’s good at, knows what he likes and likes to stick to just those things. He has a strong need to succeed and will not try something new unless he is confident that he will succeed at it or if he doesn’t have a choice but to do it (in which case he might do it, but not happily).

How Can You Help Him?

  • Encourage, encourage, encourage.  Remind your child of times when he succeeded at doing something new. Tell him how talented he is and how much you believe in him.
  • Calm him down. Perfectionists often get uptight about new situations. Try to remain calm yourself, and set him up for success. It might be a good idea to de-clutter the work area, or to put on some soothing music. You know your child, try to do what works for him.
  • At other times (not when you are sitting down to do an activity together), discuss how much you enjoy spending the time together, and how Creating Time™ activities are just the means to an end. You love him and love to have joint experiences with him, and how the end product is beside the point.
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Creating Time with the Impulsive Child

As a camp director I am very familiar with the girl who starts cutting out the project before she even hears the instructions. Or the boy on a trip who starts walking in the wrong direction because he is sure that he has been here before. These children do so because they just can’t help themselves. Give them scissors, they cut. Give them paint, they start painting. They have a hard time waiting and they often get frustrated with the activity because they were too busy figuring it out on their own to listen to the instructions. Then they’re disappointed with their results.

If this child sounds familiar to you, then you know what you are facing, and you have already won half the battle. You know your child, and you can anticipate his impulsivity.  Here are a few tips that will help you have a great time with this child:

  • Compliment them. The first step is to applaud your child for being such a great kid. Once you have encouraged her, she is in the mindset to please. She wants to continue to gain your approval.
  • Whenever possible, explain the instructions of the first step of the activity before giving out the supplies. Then it will be less likely for them to start without knowing what to do. It might also be a good idea for this child to sit close to you so you can keep an eye on him.
  • Take it step by step. Break down the activity into steps, and make it very clear that you are doing it one step at a time.
  • If there are more children doing the activity and he is now waiting for the next step, you can ask him to help the other children. This will again make him feel good about himself.
  • All in all, if your child is impulsive, it is likely for her to make a mistake. Try to remain calm, and relay the message that it is okay and that you love her just the way she is. Have extra supplies on hand in case she needs to start over again.

Creating Time™ is a great opportunity to have a fun together with your impulsive child while teaching her to follow instructions and how to deal with disappointments.

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Set Yourself Up for Success!

The most important things in life are often the most challenging. Quality time with our children is no exception to that rule. Here are some tried and true tips to set yourself up for success!

Time It Right

You and your kids are most likely to have good time together if you’re in the right mindset. Timing is everything. Make sure that quality time is planned for when everyone is well fed and before it’s late and they’re getting tired. Make sure that the time is good not only for your children – but for you as well. If you’re hungry, tired or irritable – abort and find another time.

Ignore the Mess

This is harder for some more than others. When parents are uptight about the mess being created by activities, the tension spreads to everyone. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ll clean everything up as soon as you’re done, but in the meantime, have a great time.

Remain Focused

The focus of Creating Time™ activities is connecting with our children. The outcome of the activity is at best secondary – and usually irrelevant. Many of us like to make sure when doing crafts or projects with our kids that the finished product looks nice. But in focusing in that we lose sight of our real goal – to be having relaxed, enjoyable, quality time with our children. It’s about the process, not the result.

Unless, of course, the result you’re looking for is a great relationship with your kids. That result you certainly can focus on – and you’ll get it when you keep your focus on having a great time and not on the activity itself.

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Sock Mopping!

This is a fun, clean and wet activity. We call it “Sock Mopping”!

Instructions:

  • Make sure that every family member participating has a pair of thick cotton socks (sweat socks).
  • Get your house ready for washing the floor. This activity is the only thing that gets my kids excited to clean up!
  • Fill a bucket with soapy water (we use regular floor cleaner diluted with a lot of water).
  • Take turns stepping into the soapy water. (this is a great way to cool off!)
  • Now start mopping the floor with your socks! It is actually a lot easier to reach the corners and edges.
  • It’s also a lot of fun to slide around! (With thick socks it is not too slippery but please pay attention to make sure things don’t get too wild.)
  • Heads up – You will probably need to use a mop at the end to finish up the job.

We hope you enjoy this cleaning activity together with your kids!

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S’mores

Making s’mores is one of our yummiest activities!!

What you need:

  • Disposable Barbecue
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Tea Biscuits
  • Skewers
  • Aluminum Foil

Instructions:

  1. Light up the barbecue (or the oven if you prefer)
  2. Make biscuit sandwiches – two biscuits, 2 cubes of chocolate and two marshmallows.
  3. Wrap the biscuit sandwiches in aluminum foil, and stick a skewer through the middle of the sandwich.
  4. Hold the wrapped sandwiches over the barbecue, and roast them for a few minutes.