Monday, July 26, 2010

So what do you do with the kids...? (TV Free Part 2)


So what do you do with your kids when you are trying to avoid the T.V.? It doesn't require you to be a 24/7 entertainer, there are plenty of activities you can get your kids involved with that they can do on their own, yes even preschoolers!


Here are some suggestions and some resources to get those creative juices flowing!

INDOORS


  • Make a fort

  • read

  • bake cookies

  • play dough

  • paint

  • colour in colouring books or on scrap paper (you could use extra large paper and get the kids to make wrapping paper)

  • write a letter/colour on a card to send to grandparents

  • make a get well picture for someone

  • get your kids to help clean (pick up toys, wipe tables, set the table for the next meal)

  • find some printables from the Internet for learning letters, numbers, colours, shapes (http://www.abcteach.com/ is a great resource).

  • play a game, we like Pegs in the Park (a counting game)

  • use a Tag reader

  • Aqua doodle

  • Make some puzzles

  • make a craft

  • turn on some music and dance

OUTDOORS


  • finger paint

  • play in the sprinkler/kiddie pool

  • plant seeds

  • re-pot plants

  • pull weeds

  • climb trees

  • go for a bike ride/walk

  • help a neighbour

  • trampoline

  • sidewalk chalk (my kids love to make "paint" out of the chalk... it is messy but doesn't stain clothes.) Just give them a bucket of water to wet the chalk, or find a puddle after it rains! It makes really neat smeared artwork.

  • write a message for dad with chalk, when he comes home from work he can read it.

  • have a campfire in your backyard

  • use a hula hoop

  • jump rope

  • feed the birds

  • take a nature walk

  • go ice skating or sliding



http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/rainy-day/tv-free-activities/

http://www.insteadoftv.com/

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/index.htm (you don't have to homeschool to use this site!)

http://www.catholicmom.com/tv_free.htm

What TV free activities do you do with you kids?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recipe Collections: Pineapple Upsidedown Corn Bread



After being rained out of our camping trip this weekend, I needed some comfort food. My husband had requested spaghetti for supper, and I had a hankering for corn bread to go with it. I also craved something sweet, and after slicing up a fresh pineapple, I knew I wanted Pineapple Upside down Cake. Not feeling very energetic, I decided to combine the two for a sweet treat we could eat with supper!





Here's my version:


Topping


Slices of fresh pineapple


4-5 T butter


3/4 c brown sugar.





Grease the sides of a round 9 inch cake pan. In a small pot melt the butter and stir in the sugar. Cook on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and caramelized (a few minutes).


Pour into the bottom of the pan and arrange the pieces of pineapple the way you think looks pretty.

For the corn bread portion, I simply used a Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. It calls for 1/3 c milk and one egg (I used 2 eggs to make the batter more rich). This is the versatile part. You could use a home made recipe, a whole wheat recipe, or add ingredients like ground flax, wheat germs etc. to make it a little healthier.

Cornbread Recipe


http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Favorite-Corn-Bread/Detail.aspx


Whole Wheat Cornbread


http://www.food.com/recipe/whole-wheat-cornbread-80963


Pour the cornbread batter over the pineapple and sugar and bake in a 375F oven for about 17-20 minutes, until the cornbread is golden on top. Remove from oven and invert onto a plate immediately. Pull off the pan (hopefully none of your pineapple comes off with it... we lost one piece :).





Serve warm!


mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TV Free... it is possible!

I'm not big on TV, I watch a few shows but even those I don't commit to. I am a movie buff, and so are my kids. I don't think I have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I get asked to put a movie on. Movies in our house used to be a daily occurrence, and with that my kids behavior took a downward spiral. So we strive to be as TV free as possible.

I came across a great article in the latest Family Fun magazine (www.familyfun.com), and with that some awesome websites I'd like to share for TV free resources.

First here are some facts:

Top 10 Reasons to Become TV-FREE
1. People who watch 3 hours of TV per day are twice as likely to be obese than people who watch less than 1 hour per day.
2. Average US parent spends only 38 min/week in meaningful conversation with children vs. 31½ hours/week watching TV.
3. TV viewing in children at ages one and three is associated with ADHD symptoms at age seven.
4. Viewing TV violence is the single strongest predictor of aggression later in life, according to long-term study.
5. Children witness 16,000 TV murders by age 18.
6. Viewers watch an average 40,000 commercials per year
7. Commercials aimed at kids influence in an estimated $30 billion/year in sales via the “Nag Factor”
8. Students who watched an hour of TV per day or less scored the best on achievement tests
9. TV is addictive.
10. The average American watches 4 hours 35 minutes of TV per day. There is simply so much else to do in life.
(www.trashyourtv.com)

Staggering isn't it!
Here are some neat sites for TV free activities for your kids, so you can save those movies for special occasions!

www.insteadoftv.com
www.unplugyourkids.com