🌟 Week One – 5 Screen-Free Activities🌟

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Fun, simple ideas to bring fun to learning beyond the screen! (Add your ideas in comments)

Activity #1: Oobleck: Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup cornstarch (it seems stiff, but when your hands touch it, IMG_8620it loosens up. It’s a lot of fun. You can add an additional teaspoon of water at a time if you want to loosen it up more. We make it together and then start centers. You can add little plastic items to it also to make it more fun.

Activity #2: Treasure Hunt. Talk about directions North, South, East, & West. With painters’ tape, make a cross/compass on the ground and write the directions, N, S, E, W in the appropriate place so they remember.

Tell them they will follow directions to find a treasure. Ask if they believe that there really will be a treasure at the end. Share with them that that is Faith: believing even when you don’t see it. Give your child the treasure to hide (I gave mine a lollipop).

Have them start where you made the painters tape compass. Then, tell them to write down a list of directions to get to the treasure. For example: 5 steps North, 10 steps East, South 3 steps, etc. to get to the treasure. Have them try it out to see if they did it correctly. Then they give the directions to someone else in the family to follow. My kids had so much fun doing this.

Activity #3: Writing Prompt: If you could make your dream house, what would it look like? Slides instead of stairs, upside down house, etc.? Then, have them either draw the house or create it with play dough or boxes, paper towel tubes, egg cartons and other items.

Activity #4: Foam Dough. Mix 1 cup shaving cream & 1 cup cornstarch. You can add a little washable paint for color or food coloring. This is more crumbly than regular play dough, but still fun to play with. You can always use regular play dough if your kids would enjoy that more. I got this activity from the great book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. 

Activity #5: Painting Ice. Fill a few different-sized plastic containers with water and IMG_2896
Freeze them overnight. The next day, pour them into different pans. Your kids can paint
on the ice with plastic utensils, paintbrushes, or their hands if they don’t put their hands in their mouths. The design of painting the ice looks so cool, especially mixing and matching different colors. The texture is awesome for the kids to feel. (Previously published on Focus on the Family.) 

You can also put little plastic items in the containers with the water, and then freeze them. The next day, put the blocks of ice in the sun and the kids can paint and then chip away at them to free the items from the ice.

I usually have one child do the creative center, while one does school assignments on the computer, and one works on Sunshine Math with me. I don’t always do a creative activity each day in the school week, but I try to. After 20 to 25 minutes, we switch.


Encouragement…

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0-3When my dad was younger, he had a rebellious side. Raced cars in the alleys, sat in detention every Saturday at his military school, and well, got into trouble.

He had a line of step-dads, seven of them, and his mom died at 49.

His mom was the “life of the party”. One of his step-dads was the Assistant Director of the Lassie series, but my dad wasn’t star struck by him. He was star-struck by her –because she was his mother.

My dad has an uncanny way of looking at life in contentment and making the most of it.

He could have wallowed. He had every reason to, but he chose to move past it.

You would think he’d follow in his mom’s footsteps and marry time and time again.

But, he chose the beautiful way of commitment – true love. My dad and mom have been married 47 years.

Despite the roller coaster of his childhood, he has been a remarkable husband and dad.

Not perfect, but just the dad I need and just the husband my mom needs. My mother has also been the stronghold he needs.

If your past is marked with pain, you do not have to stay there.

You have a choice to be the person God calls you to be. To choose differently. To pave a different path.

You don’t have to follow the footsteps of the ones who went ahead of you.

You can follow the steps of the One who created you.
The One who formed you.
The One who believes in you.

Look to him and follow the footsteps marked out for you by the One who is perfect.
By the one who loves you.
By the One who calls you by name.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
Before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5


Enjoy Getting Creative!

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