🌟 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.




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!


20 Ways to Spice up Days with Your Kids & 30 Would You Rather Questions!

Bungee5(To receive my weekly post via email, sign up on the right sidebar. 30 Would you Rather Questions can be found at the bottom of this post).

Since you probably won’t be bungee jumping with your kids any time soon, here are 20 WAYS TO SPICE UP YOUR DAYS TOGETHER:

  1. Do a science experiment such as an exploding volcano. Here is a huge list of experiments such as ice chalk and ice crystal names: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/gmp1389/diy-kids-activities/
  2. Have a picnic in your back yard, or family room if it’s raining, to change things up. Have a breakfast picnic in your kids’ bedroom.
  3. Alter a cookie recipe you have, letting your kids come up with the ingredients.
  4. Create a scavenger hunt for your kids leading to a simple surprise.
  5. Create a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood.
  6. Make mud pies WITH your kids in the backyard.
  7. Find a creek to explore or skip rocks on.
  8. Spin a globe or point to a map after closing your eyes, and randomly pick a place to take an imaginary trip to. Have fun researching the country and making that country’s food.
  9. Make slime with cornstarch and water. Put amount of cornstarch in first, and then slowly add water until you have consistency you want (2 cups cornstarch, and 1 cup water works well).
  10. Play a game of Uno. Winner gets a back massage.
  11. Throw on the music, have a dance party, and imitate each other’s moves.
  12. Write anonymous, encouraging notes for friends and ring the doorbell and run so you’re not seen. Let the kids (and maybe even you) dress up in disguise.
  13. Create the grandest fort you have ever seen with blankets and pillows. Then, play in the fort with your kids.
  14. Pick a Bible story to act out, and have fun dressing up and playing the part.
  15. Play old classics like Kick the can, Hop Scotch, Pictionary, or Charades.
  16. Have a talent show. Show them “Suzy Stretch” where one person lays down (put a blanket over his head), and the other person sits on top of that person’s stomach and pretends to have “amazing flexibility”-looks hilarious.
  17. Find a short hike to take your kids on (gummy bears are a great inspiration to keep spirits up, and complaining down!). Along the way, play “Would you Rather.” For 30 question ideas see the bottom of this post.
  18. Have your children lay on their back and draw eyes and a nose on their chins so it looks like faces (or use washable paint as long as it doesn’t drip). Cover the rest of their face with a blanket. Now have them sing or say silly things-that should get the laughter going!
  19. Have a classic water balloon fight.
  20. Roll up Questions and place them in balloons, and then blow them up. Have your kids pop them to answer the questions, and they might have fun drawing their answers. Ideas are: “What would your dreamland be like?”, “If you could create an animal, what would it look like?”, “If you created one invention, what would it be?”, or “Describe your best day.”

As you spend days changing diapers, cleaning up messes, or carpooling, it can be easy to miss the adventure and freedom to go off by ourselves (even for just 10 minutes). There are times I longingly look back on Guatemala, Rome, Romania, and bungee jumping in Switzerland–what!? Life looks so different now so I have to do a double take to make sure that was really me jumping off that enormous lift.

But, as Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Seasons will not last forever. Our children won’t be babies, toddlers, elementary-age, or teenagers forever. They’re growing up fast, and this is a season. There is indeed a time for everything. A time for adventure, and a time for simplicity. A time for travel, and a time to stay put.

Now your adventure just looks different. It involves precious little children the Lord saw fit for you to raise. Our adventures don’t have to take place across the globe–they can be right here at home. Enjoy spicing up days with your kiddos with this fun list!

30 Ridiculous Would You Rather Questions for Kids

Would you Rather…

  1. Swim in ice cream or donuts?
  2. Never brush your teeth again or never take a bath again?
  3. Would you rather have stinky feet or stinky hands?
  4. Have to crawl everywhere or walk upside down everywhere?
  5. Have a cupcake-making machine in your room or a donut-making machine?
  6. Not wash your hands or hair for a month?
  7. Eat a chocolate covered cricket or a peanut-butter worm?
  8. Hiccup or burp all the time?
  9. Be able to walk on the ceiling or sideways on the wall?
  10. Have 5 noses or 5 eyes?
  11. Sleep on pinecones or spaghetti?
  12. Be smaller than an ant or bigger than a tree?
  13. Hop on one foot or spin everywhere you go?
  14. Have feet on your head or on your knees?
  15. Have Olaf or Snoopy for a pet?
  16. Live in the sea or an underground prairie dog tunnel?
  17. Have noodles or broccoli for hair?
  18. Have a slide or pole instead of stairs?
  19. Have an elephant’s trunk or a giraffe’s neck?
  20. Be a bird or dolphin?
  21. Be a chameleon so you can change colors, or be a cheetah so you can run as fast as a car?
  22. Live on a cloud or in the bottom of the sea?
  23. Stand barefoot in a bowl of smooshy bananas or slimy mushrooms?
  24. Have your tongue or your hands stuck in a bottle?
  25. Only be able to yell or whisper?
  26. Go to the beach or mountains?
  27. Be sprayed with a snail’s gooey liquid or a spider web?
  28. Be able to walk on water or on the top of trees?
  29. Sleep with a helmet on or with your shoes on?
  30. Ride on a Cloud or a Rainbow?