Tag Archives: fun

Personal Safety-General Safety Tips

Personal Safety – General Safety Tips

April 7, 2018 – 9:22 am

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These tips are not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of some simple things you can do to prevent being the victim of a crime.

  • Listen to and act on your intuition. It’s better to be safe and risk a little embarrassment, than stay in an uncomfortable situation that may be unsafe.
  • If you are in danger or being attacked and want to get help, yell “Call 911!” or give specific directions to onlookers; for example: “You! Get the police!” or “Walk me to the store on the corner, I’m being followed.”
  • Have your keys ready when approaching your car or building.
  • Vary your routine: drive or walk different routes every day. If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don’t go home (or they will know where you live). Go to a trusted neighbor or to a public place to call police, or go directly to the police station.
  • Do not label keys with your name or any identification.
  • Don’t talk about your social life or vacation plans where strangers can overhear you.
  • Carry your cell phone with you at all times.

Make Your Own Play Dough

Play Dough - Kevin JarrettMake your own play dough!Play dough is the perfect modeling material for children. Their small hands can pat, poke, pinch, roll and knead it into many shapes. Keep it in an airtight container to use another day, or let it air dry into favorite shapes.

Measure 2 cups of flour, one cup of salt and 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of oil to one cup of water in a separate bowl then add the mixture to the dry ingredients. For colored play dough, squeeze 10-20 drops of food coloring into the water before you add it to the mixture. Cook the dough at low heat in a wide pan, stirring constantly until it becomes rubbery. Remove the dough from the heat and knead it for a few minutes. When it cools the kids can play too!

Witch’s Broom Treat Bag.

 

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What You’ll Need:

  • Brown Paper Lunch Bags
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Bands
  • Ribbon, String, or Yarn
  • Sticks (from your yard)
  • Candy

 

  • Easy Step-by-Step Directions:
  1. Create the broom’s bristles by cutting one of the paper bags in 1⁄2″ strips from the very top (where the bag opens) to the very bottom, stopping at the part of the bag that sits flat on the table top.
  2. Lay the cut paper bag flat on the table.Place the uncut paper bag on top of the cut paper bag, so that the bottoms are sitting exactly on top of one another.
  3. Fill the uncut paper bag about one-quarter full with the candy of your choice.
  4. Put the stick in the middle of the uncut paper bag.
  5. Bring the loose strips of the cut paper bag up and around the sides of the uncut paper bag. Holding both bags tightly against the stick (about half way up) secure with a rubber band.
  6. Tie a piece of string, yarn, or ribbon tightly around the paper bags, concealing the rubber band. Trim excess paper bag.

Use bags as favors/place cards at your next Halloween or Thanksgiving party. Simply print your guests names on cardstock, cut out, and attach to the fronts of the bags!

Spooky Tree Centerpiece

 

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What You’ll Need:

  • Black Plastic Cauldron
  • Floral/Craft Foam
  • Glass Gems, Rocks, or Stones
  • Halloween Tinsel Garland
  • Plastic Skeleton Garland
  • Twigs from Your Yard
  • Paint & Paint Brush (Optional)
  • Glittery Bat Ornaments
    Easy Step-by-Step Directions:
  1. First, gather a few spooky-looking twigs from your yard.
  2. Place the floral/craft foam in the center of the cauldron and fill the empty space around the foam with glass gems, rocks, or stones. This will anchor your foam and provide stability for your tree.
  3. Stick the twigs from your yard securely into the foam…make sure you push them far into the foam for stability. Arrange twigs into your desired tree shape. If you want to paint your twigs black or another color, do that next. They will be easier to paint standing upright in the foam. Set the tree aside to dry.
  4. Once the twigs are dry,cover the stones at the base of the tree with Halloween tinsel garland, then place the skeleton garland on top of the tinsel and position the skeletons however you wish.
  5. Decorate the tree with more skeletons, Halloween creepy creatures, or handmade glittery bat ornaments.

October is National Pizza Month

Click here to get the recipe for Animal Face Pizzas on Annabel Karmel's BlogClick here to get the recipe for Animal Face Pizzas on Annabel Karmel’s Blog

Pizza is easy and fun to make and can be a nutritious meal for the children and is easy to make at home.

You will need a ready-made pizza dough or a ready-made crust, shredded mozzarella cheese and a jar of pizza sauce.  First the dough or crust goes on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Then spread the sauce, add the other toppings, and last of all, sprinkle the cheese. Bake as directed for the crust. Be careful, and keep the children away from the oven as the oven must be very hot to make a nice crusty pizza.

If you want to get a little fancier and try these Animal Face Pizzas, click on the photo to get the recipe.

Click here for a coloring page where kids can draw in toppings and make their own pizza.

Edelweiss Hat- Celebrate Germany!

edelweiss hat

Oktoberfest in Germany celebrates the harvest – which ironically end at the end of September.  In Germany, celebrations for Oktoberfest are from September until the first weekend in October.  In the USA,  Oktoberfest is celebrated throughout the month of October (probably so we don’t get confused by the name?).     In honor of our German au pairs who are planning the Cultural Connection this month at our business meeting, here is a craft to do with your kids.

In the region of southern Germany known as Bavaria, you’ll often see men and boys in traditional folk hats graced with a feather or an edelweiss, a delicate Alpine flower. Our paper version of these hats offers both.

To make one, fold the green construction paper in half to make it 9 by 12 inches. Fold the two creased corners toward the center to make two 6-inch right triangles, leaving 3 inches at the bottom. Fold each 3-inch flap in half, then fold up again to form the brim. Cut a flower shape out of the white paper, glue on the yellow circle, and glue it to the hat’s brim. To make the chin strap, punch holes on each side of the hat’s brim, string the elastic through, and knot at each end. For a final touch, stick the feather in the fold of the hat.

MATERIALS

12 x 18-inch sheet of green construction paper
Scissors
3 x 3-inch square of white paper
Glue stick
Yellow paper circle, 1 inch in diameter
Hole punch
2 feet of elastic
Feather

Halloween Ghost Jug Decorations

 

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Stationed on a walkway or porch, these homemade lanterns will extend a ghostly greeting and good-bye to all your holiday visitors.

Materials
  • Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
  • Black permanent marker
  • Craft knife
  • String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights
Instructions
  1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don’t dent.
  2. Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent’s job).
  3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

Top Ten Activities for Fall

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Summer is over, and in many places the air is turning colder. As the weather changes be sure to take advantage of what the fall season has to offer. Even if you don’t live in a place that sees a lot colorful leaves, there are fun family-friendly ways to get outdoors this fall:

• Go apple picking. Sure, most of us can get apples year-round from the grocery store, but there’s nothing quite like orchard fresh apples, picked straight from the tree during harvest season. That crunchy, tangy, sweet apple flavor is at its peak during this time of year. Many commercial orchards will let you pick your own. It’s not only fun, it’s also a great way to show kids where their food comes from. Get extras for canning applesauce, or making pies. When you’re done, warm up with a delicious mulled cider.

• Go on a nature hike. Bring along a field guide to identify different kinds of trees. Look for wildlife collecting food for winter. Explain to kids how animals are starting to fatten up and grow thick, protective winter coats. Watch for migrating birds.

• Collect fall leaves. Press them into books or preserve them in glycerin. Paste them onto handmade paper to create greeting cards, or glue them between two pieces of wax paper to make an attractive sun catcher. Go lightly on the glue, or substitute crayon shavings to add color; use a warm iron to melt the shavings and hold the paper together.

• Take a hayride. Many farms offer hayrides during the fall. This is a great way to kick back and enjoy nature with smaller kids who may not be up for a long walk.

• Visit the pumpkin patch. Don’t buy your Halloween pumpkin from the grocery store. Go straight to the source. Kids will love wandering around the patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Choose a couple of big ones for jack-o-lanterns, and grab a few smaller ones for painting or general household decorations. Smaller pumpkins make great additions to fall centerpieces. Roast the seeds in your oven with a sprinkling of tasty spices, and grab a few to make pumpkin pies.

• Visit a corn maze. Many farms earn extra income for the winter by turning their cornfields into large mazes. Test your directional sense, and get some fresh air in the process. Corn mazes are fun or all ages.

• Stuff a scarecrow. Dig out an old shirt and overalls, and stuff it with leaves until firm. Add a pumpkin head (from your trip to the pumpkin patch) and you’ve got a great fall decoration.

• Fly a kite. The gusty, brisk air makes autumn a great time for flying kites. Buy one from the store, or make your own from two long sticks, strong paper, and string.

• Have a bonfire. Invite some friends over for a backyard bonfire. The chill in the air makes fall the perfect time to sit together by the warmth of a blazing fire with a nice warm mug of cocoa or cider. Be sure to get any necessary permits from your town first.

• Make a leaf pile and jump in!

Coin Critters.

Practice learning American Coins with your host kids.

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  • The skills it builds: coin values, addition, and subtraction

    What You Need

  • Coins
  • Paper
  • Marker or crayons
Instructions
  1. Take some coins from your pocket or purse, lay them out on a piece of paper, and have your child draw arms, legs, and other body parts to create a creature.
  2. Then help her total up the value of the coins and write it beside the creature. Add or take away coins to form new shapes, and figure out the new sums.

Caramel Apples

 

Make some caramel apples with your kids to get into the carnival vibe and enjoy some yummy treats.

applesAll you need are apples, cubes of caramel, and milk!

  1. Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.
  2. Butter a baking sheet
  3. Place caramels and milk into a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Roll each apple with caramel sauce and place on sheet to set.

PS – You can use treats like nuts, cookies, etc. to add some extra flavor! (Always check for allergies before serving)