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Weather Window

Choose a “weather window” in your house. Label it to remind yourself and your kids. Maybe somewhere near your eating area.

Post a large thermometer outside. Put up a windsock.

Observe. Is it sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy, rainy, or snowy? (Parents, you can talk about what happens to your kids when the barometer changes. Wacko!) Talk about the weather, the temperature and the wind.
Read the newspaper for the weather forecast. Teach your child where the weather section is located. Show them how to read the 5 day forecast, the high and low, and the weather map.

Weather Picture Books:
Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballsby Judi Barrett

Weather activities for young kids:

  • Dress your self — choose the best clothes for the weather.
  • Draw a picture of someone (you?) dressed appropriately for the weather.
  • Dress a doll or stuffed animal for the weather.
  • Online game (dress a bear)

Weather activities for older Kids:

Penny store

If your kids are learning to add, about money, or to be an entrepreneur, suggest a penny store. Save your pennies, and get ready for big fun.

Supplies:

  • Sticky notes for prices
  • Pencil or pen
  • Table or bench for the “store”
  • Cash register (if you have one)
  • Items to sell — see below
  • Pennies ( – nickels and dimes for older kids) for the seller and the buyer in purses, containers or pockets

What to sell:

  • beads and pipe cleaners to make bracelets
  • matchbox cars
  • books
  • Polly Pocket stuff
  • rocks
  • recycled supplies for art projects
  • cut up words for poems
  • toys that didn’t get put away throughout the week
  • ANYTHING except your little sister

Now, for the pricing. Start out with one penny per item. When the “customer” buys three penny items, the seller will total it up.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3

Play. Be sure to trade seller and buyer from time to time.

Try raising prices to two cents or three cents per item. Obviously, older kids can have free reign of both the pricing and different coins.

Please post what you end up selling and how it went. We love to hear from our mama friends.

Mama Drama: Sibling Rivalry and Playtime Struggles

Dear Mama Drama,

I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then she started crying. When we finally got to the root of the problem, she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t.

This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child, I really don’t understand and am not very sympathetic to sibling rivalry.

How can I encourage my children to be loving supportive sisters and discourage them from being self-centered and competitive?

~Seeking Harmony

Dear Seeking Harmony:

Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up with brothers and sisters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have that harmony you are seeking.

Wave your flags, it’s the fourth of July

The 4th of July reminds us adults that we’re in free country! Kids, not so much . . .
Look at the flag – get small ones if you can. Colors? Stars? All have meaning, did you know?

The stripes = 13 = the number of original colonies
The stars = 50 = the number of states in our country
The colors = red, white, blue = Red: valor; White: innocence; Blue = Justice

*If you want, say together the Pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Think of all the activities for stripes and stars in red, white and blue! Many websites will tell you step by step instructions. I’m a big fan of providing materials and letting your kids create something from their imagination. So, my approach is to cut up strips of paper (stripes) and cut out stars, and let your kids create something marvelous. Provide glue, tape, scissors, and markers.

Links for more fun:

Fun School – games, printables and crafts for the 4th of July

Picture Scrambler Puzzles

Stars and Stripes toast

How Stuff Works crafts

Family Fun’s guide to crafts, food and fun

What are some of your favorite traditions/activities?