Goal Setting for Kids

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There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.-Aristotle

Last week we did our yearly Family Meeting in which we talk about Family and Personal goals. We talked about what goals are, how to set a specific goal and work towards it step by step, and what can help to be more successful like setting a specific time of the day and making the goal very specific. We discussed how goals should help us have good habits;  we consistently do good things until they become good habits. We also talked about how as disciples of Christ we constantly want to try to improve and each time we become better and more like Christ we have more help from Him to move forward and improve even more (Proverbs 4:18)

To make the process more visual and help the kids keep track of both their goals and progress we made up this GOAL SETTING WEEKLY STAIRS on which they could write their goals and each time they complete it for the day they move up a stair step. We had the kids choose a cartoon face of a child they thought looked like them from this Multicultural kids faces Clip-Art to use to “climb” the stairs. Elf chose one of the little Asian girls:)

 

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Moon Pies?….Kinda

Moon Pies?....Kinda

So while studying the Moon, we needed something more for our kiddos to make the connection between the Phases of the moon, the changing of the month, orbit and so on…they got the gist but it wasn’t enough.
With our kids, interest is a first priority cause they can tune you out OH SO MASTERFULLY! Thankfully inspiration hit (my good ideas are never mine 🙂 ) and I remembered some buttercream frosting in the fridge (Homemade and thus thicker than store-bought, made with vegetable oil spread actually)
We rolled 3 dollops of the plain white frosting into about 2inch diameter balls, for the Full and 2 Gibbous Moons, then stuck them in the freezer.
Then we mixed some cocoa powder into some white frosting to make the dark portions on the white frosting balls (Gibbous Moon Phases).
Next we mixed some peanut butter and cocoa into some of the white frosting and made 5 more balls (approx. same size as others) for the other Phases (2 crescents, 1 New, and 2 quarters).
We stuck those in the freezer for a bit and then “frosted” them with the leftover white frosting to make them look like the other before mentioned Phases of the Moon.
Anyway, the best part was it didn’t take long, the kids could do the majority of it, and they were totally focused.
While the “Moons” were freezing we cut up the papers and wrote the names of the phases on them, used some yellow playdoh for the side of the sun and our well-played-with-clay was all rolled into a ball to make the earth. Then we got out our “Moons” and set them up on the correct label and Voila! A memorable and tasty model of the Phases of the Moon!
P.S. The added bonus was that tonight was our Family Night and this Science activity took care of our family treat too! 

Ornaments!

Ornaments!

After finding that I had “undesirables” living in the kilo of whole-wheat flour I just bought,we decided to use it for our salt-clay ornaments! So we invited over some friends and had an ornament party! We’ve made them several years and in several different ways and I’ve messed with the recipe until I’ve found one that we like:

1 kilo whole-wheat flour (you could substitute any flour, corn flour for gluten-free)
1 cup salt
1 cup white (“school”/all-purpose) glue
1/4 cup cinnamon
Enough water to make stiff dough (similar to chilled cookie dough)

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out the shapes you would like. Bake at 350 degree F for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly baked (will look and feel like a cracker). Paint and glitter to hearts content! We’ve also just left them plain, for a fun country look. Use a clear acrylic paint (we use a spray-paint) over the top to have them keep longer. We’ve had some for several years now!

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

If you have “visual/hands-on” learners at your home you might enjoy this gratitude exercise. We have done this the past few years, starting on our first family night in November, it’s a great way to start off the holiday season.
1.) Gather the family and have a Gratitude discussion (we ask questions like, “What is gratitude?” “How do you show gratitude to others and God?” and accompany the discussion with Scripture)
2.) Cut 1-2 in. wide by 6-10 in. long strips of different colored paper and have everyone write the things they are thankful for on the strips.
3.) Staple the strips of paper around each other to create a “Gratitude Chain” and hang it up as a reminder of blessings. We keep ours up til after Christmas!
The kids always look forward to this activity and we’ve kept our chain from the last two years to add on to. It’s been so fun to see how some things stay the same (I’m thankful for food, family, home,etc.) and some things change (our favorites this year have been “I’m thankful for my belly button, my hair and poop! I guess the “better out, than in” saying holds true :))

Pumpkin Rolls

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So, I know Halloween is over but wouldn’t it be cute to have one of these next to everyone’s place at your Thanksgiving dinner?

This is the one my 3 yr-old made and we had all of the neighborhood kids over to make them. Super fun and super easy.

Just use your favorite bread recipe. Set aside 1/4 of the batter (when you only have about 1/4 of the flour in so the dough is still rather runny). Dye this small portion green and add extra flour to make a stiffer dough to use as the stem.

Dye the larger portion of the dough orange. Make the rolls into large balls and roll them in cinnamon and sugar after you’ve put on the stem.

I wish I had taken a picture of the larger one I made. I made the ball and then stuck my thumb deep into the middle before sticking the stem in. It made it look more like a pumpkin, even after baking.

This was simple, fun, festive and the kids loved it!