Tag Archives: preteen

Question Mark

Tips on How to Answer Kid’s Difficult Questions

Question MarkAs our kids grow up, the questions they ask us parents get more  sophisticated and sometimes pretty hard to answer. Here’s help:

Tips on How to Answer Kid’s Difficult Questions.

How to deal with questions that don’t have ready answers, where the answers are beyond their ability to understand and when we ourselves don’t know the answers.

How we handle these situations can impact the depth of our communication with our children for years to come, so they’re very important.


Stories for Middle Schoolers

EmblazonA just launched site to help you find good stories for your middle school reader– some giveaways happening now for the launch too!

Emblazon | Writing Stories on the Hearts of Children

Tweens fall somewhere between children and young adults in the book category, and finding material that engages them can be a challenge. So bookmark this site and check back every Wednesday when they will be posting new recommendations

String Tent

Awesome Backyard Tent for the Kids

String TentGive them this hideout in the backyard and you may actually go a night or two without any TV!

30 DIY Ways To Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer | Your Amazing Places.

You’ll find this about 2/3 of the way down the page– but you’ll have to get past all the other FABULOUS ideas for your backyard.

Old comforters or sheets, lots of pillows, books, games, drawing material, star charts, snacks, battery powered lanterns, a sibling or friend or two, and they’ll be out there for HOURS!

This is what childhood is supposed to be!

Sportsparents Guide

Free ebook -Sportsparents Guide

Sportsparents GuideI could have used this help back when every waking moment (it seemed) was on the sidelines of a soccer field!

Free ebook – Kids in Sports | Character Building | JBM Thinks.

It can get incredibly time consuming and expensive when they’re all doing their sports, so these free tips might just make your life a bit easier.

Outdoor Movie

Outdoor Theater Party

Outdoor MovieRe-create the old ‘drive-in’ movie experience in your backyard this summer- for the family, for a small gathering of friends or for a kids party (even a sleepover).

How To: Create an Outdoor Theater (on the Cheap) | Apartment Therapy.

Outdoor Movie

Follow the links for the tutorials, but in essence the actual equipment you need are the dvd player, a video projector, a sound system and a screen- and it’s not as difficult or as expensive as you might think. Also, any investment you make will get used over and over because it’s FUN to do this on a beautiful summer’s eve.

See how enticing you can make this for a teen or adult get-together? Should be a lovely evening for everyone- just be sure to pick a great movie- maybe even an oldie but goodie.


Sidewalk Soduku

Sidewalk Sudoku!

Sidewalk SodukuWhat a great way to take summer brain training outside into the sunshine– get that vitamin D along with thinking!

The Usual Mayhem: Sidewalk Sudoku!.

You can use cut out shapes or draw chalk shapes. Graduate from shapes to numbers, from a 3×3 grid to a 4×4 grid. Lots of possibilities here.

And if you need a refresher on how to play- here’s the rules for this shape based sudoku: http://math.about.com/od/recreationalmath/ss/KidsSudoku.htm

Kid With Camcorder

Video Making Tutorials for-by Kids

This could be GOLD for the right kid– a child that’s expressed some interest in the family video camera. In a family that’s prepared to give that child access to that camera. Who knows- he or she might just turn out to be the next Stephen Spielberg!

These 3 kids have created tutorials for other kids on how to make videos. And done it well enough to really inspire others to learn the tricks and techniques.

This activity will put your child on the other side of the video screen, introducing a whole new world to be explored. A new hobby, maybe even a new vocation. It IS our parental job to introtoduce new things and new opportunities to explore.

Artist Books

Art and Literature

Artist BooksIf you’ve got a budding artist creating away at your kitchen table, you need to take a look at this marvelous board over on Pinterest. It has a fabulous collection of children’s books about art and various well know artists.

Art and Literature.

If nothing else, books like these will introduce young kids to different styles of art that they’ll no doubt try to copy and perhaps incorporate into their own work. Or, they’ll take it further and learn about the people and the movements, and they’ll be reading. It’s all good.

Word Jar

Word Jar

Word JarWhat a simple idea for a little summer learning to stop that ‘summer slide’! Have a jar for each child, geared to their language level. Everybody grabs a word on the way out the door in the morning, and everybody shares their word, it’s spelling and definition that night at dinner. Maybe even use it in a sentence.

Summer Learning with Vocabulary Word Jar.

Good Idea- thanks whatwedoallday.com

Healthy Food

Foods That Fool You

Healthy FoodIt occurs to me that presenting healthy foods to our kids at home isn’t really sufficient to teaching them how to eat healthy and develop the right life-long habits. We need to actively teach them what constitutes a good diet, that they have to read labels, and about the ‘deceptions’ that pervade in restaurants and even the supermarket. To wit…

Grocery Shopping Guide: Foods That Fool You

There’s way more nutrition information these days, and it looks like a life-long learning process as the science moves forward, so best to get them started now.