Contrary to what it looks like outside my window, the first day of spring is March 20th. Here in Michigan the banks are still piled high with snow and a trek to the swing set requires thigh-high boots, a shovel, and a full set of snow gear. Once you reach the swing set, be prepared for some shoveling or you won’t be able to find the swings! Like an internal calendar, however, my girls are ready to ride their scooters, draw on the driveway with chalk (we have a small space of ice scraped away), and jump rope.
Over the winter, it becomes very easy to become inactive. Unfortunately, inactive kids become sedentary adults. This contributes to many things including a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer. Yikes! The good news is that as parents, we can help prevent those things from affecting our children. We can help our children become more active by being active role models and by creating an environment that inspires movement!
Some tips for making activity and movement a part of you and your children’s daily life include:
Find out what free or low cost physical activity areas there are near your home. Set a goal together to do one of those activities each day for a week. For example, find a great bike trail near you and go for a bike ride each day or look for a fun park to play at.
Give fitness gifts. Instead of the latest DVD or video game, give a gift that will help your child move. Examples include bikes, roller skates or roller blades, kites, yard games, sports equipment.
Host a family Olympic games. Plan fun games and sports activities, give out medals, and have an award ceremony.
Visit a local fitness center together.
Set a weekly, monthly, yearly fitness goal for the entire family and create fun incentives to reach that goal. For example, set a goal for everyone to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day for a week and take the family out for a picnic or purchase a small fitness gift for the family if that goal is reached.
Enter a fitness event together. Set a goal to get fit and help a cause you care about. There are numerous jog-a-thons, walk-a-thons, etc. for charity events. These are a great way to get active and strengthen your family bond with the community.
Volunteer to coach a sports team, physical activity event, or recreation program.
You have just purchased a new Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child. It is titled “Mollusks” and you are wondering what other activities or “things” you can incorporate into the unit to make it even more fun and exciting for your child! How do you make snails and slugs exciting to your child? Well, if that child is a 6-year old boy, you probably won’t have a problem…. but, not all kids like snails and slugs. Before you decide not to teach that particular subject to your students, look around and see what you can do to catch their interest!
We all know how easy it is to find fun things to tie into units like Curious George. I was amazed one summer when we did the Curious George Lapbook and I found so many great things to accompany our study! For example, we bought the Curious George movie soundtrack and took time out from our reading and writing for a little Phys. Ed as we danced to the tunes! The girls had lunch at a fast food restaurant with Grandma and came home with Curious George toys. When I did a workshop at our local library, I went with Curious George stuffed animals, books, CDs, you name it! Obviously, Curious George is a fun topic by itself, so that was an easy one.
How do you take a topic or unit study that might not be as exciting as others and make it interesting? Well, it’s all about the odds n’ ends! Look around your house or community and see what objects you find that will tie into the current topics you are studying. Take a more difficult topic like World War II… Why not visit a flea market or antique store and try to find some postcards sent from that time period. Or ask “Grandma” or “Auntie Gertrude” if they have any postcards or letters that were sent during the war that they could share! Who knows, “Auntie Gertrude” may have more than postcards or letters! What better way to learn about an event in history than to talk to someone who actually lived it!
If Great–Grandpa was in the military during World War II, ask if he has a sample menu from his time in the service (I recently found a Christmas Eve dinner menu from when my Dad was in the Navy in 1954. I made a copy of it and that will be sure to go in our Navy Project Pack some day!). Visit a military museum or memorial and include the brochure in the lapbook. Pearl Harbor is a big one, but not many of us can just fly our family to Hawaii, so check in your community or state to see if there are any memorials near you. We visited the zoo this summer and took pictures of the signs that had information about the animals. After we developed the pictures, we put them in our lapbooks – one picture of the animal and another telling about it! The same thing can be done when visiting a memorial or historical site. What were the dates of the event you are researching? Try to find pennies or other currency around your house from that time period.
There are many things that can be incorporated into lapbooks and studies of all topics! Even “Mollusks” can be made interesting…you might have to rent a “Sponge Bob Video” and have your student try to spot how many mollusk characters he or she can find, but at least it will add a some more fun!
Some other examples of “odds n’ ends” that you can use in your unit study include:
With just a little imagination, and some interesting odds n’ ends, your student’s studies will come to life and you will be putting laughter and learning together in the hands of YOUR child!
Open any newspaper or watch a nightly news program and you are bound to find a report about a tragedy somewhere in the world. From natural disasters like forest fires and hurricanes to tragedies like September 11, 2001 and war; these are some of the unfortunate events we hear about and experience on a daily basis. How do we explain these types of things to our children? How do we help our children understand what a crisis is and teach them how to deal with it? One way of helping your child understand tragedy is to create a lapbook about the event or a related topic.
I recently spoke with a mom about her son’s love of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter”. She recounted to me how upset her son was when he heard the news of Steve’s tragic death in 2006. While snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, Steve was pierced by a stingray barb; what some experts says was a one-in-a-million incident. While trying to console her son and think of a way for him to honor his hero’s memory, this mom came across our Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter Project Pack at In the Hands of a Child. They had never tried a lapbook before, but thought this would be a good time to start.
By creating a lapbook on his hero, this young boy learned about and celebrated Steve’s life. He learned about his childhood, his family, his career as a television and movie star, his work with zoos and animals, and his work as a conservationist. Even though it has been 7 years since Steve Irwin’s death, his young fan can pull out his lapbook and remember his favorite “Crocodile Hunter.”
In the Hands of a Child has a variety of topics that can help you create a lapbook that will help kids understand some of the unfortunate events that may be happening right now in or have happened in history. Some of those topics include:
Found a great tool for photo manipulation. It allows you to take out unwanted people and objects from a photo. It’s easy to use too. If you like to play around with your photos then you should check it out! http://www.softorbits.com
Ok! Here is our exhaustive list of winners from our FB party!
Congratulations to all!
If your name is on this list and you have not received an email from either me or one of our great vendors, please let me know right away by emailing me at Info@HandsofaChild.com
Cynthia (last name unknown)
Jessica Miller John Wieger
Nancy (last name unknown)
Shirley (last name unknown)
Terri (last name unknown)
We just want to thank you all again for making our 10 year birthday celebration such a success! We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we have and we look forward to serving you for another 10 years and beyond!
All of our contests are now closed and winners will be notified within a week.
We wish all of you and your children many years of Happy Hands-on Learning!
A Super Member at In the Hands of a Child is someone who has purchased a subscription to our Super Member Area where free Lapbook units are available for download each month. Super Members receive:
Two (one multilevel and one early elementary) free Lapbook units a month that are downloadable* right from the Super Members Area. These Lapbook units are released on the 15th of each month (or the next business day) and remain on the site for two months before being released to the public for sale. Each Lapbook unit includes a Planning Guide, Hands-On Activities, Research Guide, and Answer Key (where applicable) and is brand new. All Lapbook units available for Super Members are written from a neutral/objective standpoint and can be used by those teaching from a secular world view and those teaching from a religious world view.
*Please ensure that you download and save all Super Member Lapbook units to your computer or other file saving device- once they are removed from the Super Members Area, they are no longer available to Super Members.
1. 15% discount off all eBook Lapbook units (15% discount exclude custom ordered units and sales and promotions). Please email email@example.com to receive your Super Member Savings code.
2. A free Birthday Lapbook unit is emailed to Super Members about 2 weeks before their birthdays. This is a special Lapbook unit all about birthdays! To be entered in the Birthday Club, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Order # and birth date.
3. $10.00 off the price of any custom ordered unit. For coupon code and estimated completion dates of custom orders, please contact email@example.com.
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