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Archive for the ‘Ultimate Activities’ category

UltimateMama loves entertaining by throwing small BBQs all summer long!  Food is important of course but so are myriad activities such as swimming in the pool, badminton, foosball, and ping pong.  However, UltimateMama knows that some kids like to “take a break” after all the excitement so she always sets up a fun outdoor craft station complete with materials to make friendship bracelets, shell napkin rings, and necklaces.  UltimateMama’s crowd pleasing craft station often includes the following:

– beads in all shapes and colors (some fun jingle bell beads too as well as alphabet beads)

– strings in various colors and lengths (elastic too)

– friendship bracelet kit (find many brands on www.amazon.com)

– small shells (UltimateMama finds them with little holes which make them ideal for beading projects)

– special charms to add a “wow” factor to the jewelry (teddy bears, emojis, hearts, puppies, kitty cats, sandals, balls, ballet slippers)

And, make sure you put pretty hydrangeas in a vase in the middle of the table to make it more inviting!

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UltimateMama spent a little time today painting wooden bird figures with her girls! The Kids Made Modern Bird Figure painting kit features artist Charley Harper and is great for all ages.  The kit includes 18 paints and 2 brushes. The only drawback is that after painting 5 birds my kids wanted to do more 🙂

 

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UltimateMama loves to dye eggs…and wants you all to know that egg decorating is not just for Easter! 

Take advantage of post-Easter sales at your local drug stores or grocers and stock up on egg dye or decorating kits.  UltimateMama loves to buy a bunch of PAAS dye kits and save them for a rainy day — literally! 

Your kids will be so surprised when you bring out the egg decorating kits when they least expect it…and you will have fun too!

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UltimateMama and her family are sizzlin’ in NYC these days.  With record setting high temperatures in the tri-state region families are searching for ways to BEAT THE HEAT! 

UltimateMama offers up a few ideas for family friendly summer indoor activities:

– Visit your local library and engage in storytime with your children (hey, it is air conditioned and books are free!)

– Go to your local craft store or art studio and paint with the kids.  Or, if you are in NYC visit Scribble Press and create a book or a bookmark!

– Take the family to a museum.  NYC’s Museum of Modern Art or MOMA has a fun Shape Lab that all will enjoy!

– See a play or puppet show.  Manhattan’s Central Park has a wonderful Swedish Cottage complete with a Marionette Theater. Just remember to buy tickets ahead of time!

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UltimateMama always likes to be prepared for long weekends!  The best preparation is creating an agenda of activities that your whole family will enjoy.

UltimateMama shares her special list of Memorial Day activities for kids:

– Visit a war memorial, a naval ship, or a historical museum.  In NYC, UltimateMama loves the New York Historical Society as well as the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum.

– Host a BBQ

– Meet up with friends in the park for a picnic

– Catch a baseball game

– See a Memorial Day parade

– Make a Memorial Day flower arrangement with your children 

– Create and wear red, white, and blue bracelets

– Read a book about the meaning of Memorial Day to your children such as Memorial Day Surpise by Theresa Golding

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UltimateMama loves to multitask. Every chance she can get she tries to accomplish a task while teaching her children in the process. 

This weekend her oldest daughter wanted raspberries – red, not golden.  Three year olds are very specific as most of you know!  Anyhow, UltimateMama and her daughter visited their local grocer and discovered that raspberries were $6.99 for a small container, way too expensive to purchase.  The good news was that strawberries were only $1.89 for a large container.  However, UltimateMama’s daughter did not see it as such and so began our quest for inexpensive red raspberries. 

UltimateMama took this opportunity to teach her daughter in a fun and sneaky manner the following:

– Seasonality of fruits

– Price differences between stores

– Budgeting money

After visiting three stores, UltimateMama helped her child with counting, weight calculations, and comparison shopping.

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UltimateMama loves the idea of teaching responsibility to young children.  Assigning small tasks or little jobs to your youngster is an easy way for you to teach them to be responsible.  Older children may love the idea of job charts but younger children may just like the independence of completing a spur of the moment task you assign to them.  Many young children are filled with pride when they complete a job that they have seen their mommy, daddy, or older sibling do before! 

Keep in mind that the idea is not to overburden or overwork your youngster but to teach them in a fun manner!

UltimateMama suggests the following little jobs for preschoolers or young children:

– Fish feeder

– Watering the plant

– Napkin helper (at mealtime)

– Table wiper (after meals or snacks)

– Mail helper (carrying it to the home)

– Laundry helper (putting their clothing in their laundry basket or even teaching them to fold a washcloth)

– Weather helper or Meteorologist (look outside with them and discuss how the weather forecast appears)

– Calendar helper (talk about the date, day, month, year, significant events)

– Librarian (putting their books on the bookshelf)

– Prayer leader (saying grace at mealtime)

– Time keeper (teach them how to tell time)

– News reporter (discuss timely events with them)

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UltimateMama wants you to never forget to engage your child (newborn on up) when you are out and about – shopping, driving, walking, inside, outside, etc.  A few tips:

– Always point out interesting sites (buildings, objects, architecture, colors, shapes).  For example, if you see a "star" shape on a building show it to your child and talk about the shape, color, and more. 

– Talk to your child and teach your child while grocery shopping.  Be a Sneaky Teacher and point out the colors and textures of various food items.  For example, show your baby the yellow banana, the red apple, the purple grapes, the orange cheese, the white milk, etc.  Smell the various breads together and discuss the differences.  Encourage your child to use all of their senses!

– Smell the outdoors with your child.  Let your child smell the pretty flowers outside the Doctor's office.  Encourage them to talk about the various textures, colors, and scents of flowers or trees in your yard.  Explore parks with them in a fun manner by taking a drawing pad and letting them sketch their surroundings.

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UltimateMama wants to give you all a heads up on something — most day camp and spring/summer class schedules are out now and registration has begun!  UltimateMama's three favorite words are "early enrollment discount" and she's seeing those words all over the place – from soccer to language classes to various day camps. 

Plan your child's schedule now for the following reasons:

1. You can get "early enrollment discounts"

2. Your child can get the days/times that work best for your family's schedule

3. Classes and camps are most likely not yet booked

4. You will be able to sleep better at night knowing that your child will be active and happy this summer!

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UltimateMama wishes all of you a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!  UltimateMama welcomes in 2010 with a list of New Year's resolutions:

1. Try different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Be exotic.  Spend the extra money to sample an interesting delight and expose your children to a greater variety of fresh food.

2. Read more (for yourself and your children).

3. Organize finances.  Establish a college savings plan, stick with it, and add money to it on a regular basis.

4. Take up a hobby that benefits you and your children (art, exercise, cooking, photography, etc.).

5. Plan all vacations for 2010 right now so that you and your family have something to look forward to every day.

6. Pre-plan meals for the upcoming week…every week.

7. Always shop with lists (grocery, retail stores, etc.).  Do not make impulse purchases.

8. Organize all closets, drawers, and bookshelves.

9. Introduce your children to different types of music.

10. Make a list of all the local places you have always wanted to visit and go with your family!

HAPPY 2010!

Cheers,

UltimateMama

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