Crafts to Keep the Kids Busy While Daddy Is Away

Crafts to Keep the Kids Busy

One of the most difficult things about deployment is the waiting, and more often than not, military wives and moms find themselves slowly counting the days before their husband finally returns home from deployment. Sadly, everyone knows that the more you count the days, the longer they seem to be, and it seems like hours stretch into days and days stretch into weeks.

The wait is agonizing for moms, but it’s even more agonizing for the kids. Many children will be unable to process the thought of their parent leaving, and some might even think they’re to blame for their mom or dad’s departure. The important thing to do is to keep your kids feeling loved and cared for, and to communicate openly about the events going on in the family.

Keeping your kids informed on matters relating to your husband’s deployment is essential if you want to minimize stress and anxiety. More than this, however, kids need to feel involved, and to feel as though they’re still connected to their deployed parent in some way, even though they’re miles apart.

If you’re struggling to find ways to help your children pass the time, consider undertaking some simple projects that not only help them keep track of the days before their daddy comes home, but also give you a great gift to send to the hubby who’s missing his kids on the other side of the world. Creative handiwork and craft-making has been proven to lower stress levels and help kids stay positive, and it might just be what the kids need to help them express them and get in touch with their feelings.

Recognizing the wonderful effects that craft-making can have on children; various organizations have begun making strides to get more kids into making crafts. Many parents will remember the Disney Channel’s Art Attack, a show that taught kids to make creative and fun projects right from home. Companies like Molly-Meg have also made it a point to hold a series of make-and-do workshops to help kids get into crafting things with their hands.

Many different corporations have also recognized the benefits that allowing kids to be creative can have. Mommy Poppins lists various activities in the New York area that allow kids to make their own Muppets, cars, and even Madame Alexander Dolls. Childrenswear brand Tootsa MacGinty has also released denim dresses with iron-on patches that parents can use to help kids customize their dresses and add their own personal flare. Child’s Own takes things a step further by allowing children to draw and design their own plushies, and then bringing them to life.   There are many benefits to creating crafts with your kids, and undertaking craft projects might be just what you need to get through the stresses of deployment. It’s also important to note that taking part in shared activities with your kids and being more involved in their lives can help them take their minds off of missing their deployed parent. If you find yourself strapped for ideas, then try out these fun-and-easy projects you can undertake with your kids as you eagerly await your hubby’s return:

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SpeakaLegend Speech Recognition App

SpeakaLegend App

The SpeakaLegend app for iOS is the first-ever talk & touch speech recognition app. This innovative kids app allows kids to interact with mythical creatures. Now you can travel the world and speak with an array of creatures in hopes of unlocking the secret unicorn. Recently, my nephew who is 6 years old, instantly fell in love with it and played for two hours straight. He had so much fun reading a story to the creatures and they listened to him read, which really facinated him. It has quickly become one of his favorite apps. If you are looking for something fun and new, you should consider giving SpeakaLegend a try. SpeakaLegend is designed for and intended for kids age 6 and above, though we even found that younger members of our family enjoyed playing too. One thing I love is that there are no in app purchases.

Characters 

Loch Ness Monster – excited to show you his homeland
Mermaid – speaking with you only in rhymes
Minotaur – eager to help build courage along the way
Bigfoot – extreme nature lover
Fairy – ready to hear all of your wishes
Cyclops – lovable and goofy
Dragon – poke tummy and she sneezes fire!
Jackalope – teaches explorers about manners
Sphinx – thrilled to share her riddles with you
Unicorn – exceeds all expectations

Features

• 10 legendary characters written and designed by an award-winning creative team
• Exclusive speech recognition technology that allows players to have two way conversations with characters
• Brand new interactive features for touching, playing, and exploring
• Up to two hours of dialogue for explorers to interact with
• A map screen that lets you choose where to go
• The ability to visit the creatures in any order
• Endless play for all of the characters
• Lots of fun and surprising touch activities for each character
• A “Happiness Meter” that shows how far you’ve come in your quest to find the unicorn
• No third-party advertising
• No in-app purchases

Safety & Privacy 

SpeakaLegend is playable in touch-only mode, but enabling speech recognition is strongly recommended in order for kids to gain the full experience. To enable speech recognition, we need to capture audio recordings, for which we require parental permission via email. ToyTalk makes online safety and privacy a priority. After granting permission, parents can access and control their child’s recordings from our website at www.toytalk.com.

About ToyTalk ToyTalk is an award-winning, family entertainment company that creates conversational characters.

If you are interested in downloading SpeakaLegend, click here to download SpeakaLegend on iOS. Thank you for visiting www.KidsDesk.net! If you like our content, please bookmark us and tell your family & friends.

10 Healthy Halloween Treats

10 Healthy Halloween Treats

Fall is here and Halloween is right around the corner. In addition to helping your children pick out the perfect costume, you might consider some healthy alternatives for your halloween/fall theme party. There are so many amazing treats available for children to enjoy in fall. However, the challenge is that most activities, parties and events have an abundance of treats that are  unhealthy for the children to eat in excess. If we are being completely honest, a lot of the treats are unhealthy for anyone to eat in excess, child or adult. Therefore, during this time, it is important to be mindful and help reduce the amount of sugars, sweets and unhealthy options available to children and adults alike.

There are so many interesting ideas available for children and adults to enjoy that are healthy and still taste amazing. We have compiled a small list of fun and interesting ideas for healthy Halloween treats that you might like:

• Monster Mouth Apples
You start with a quarter of an apple, and you make two slices to make it look like an open mouth with the peel being the lips. Next take cracked almond slices and push them in to the apple to look like jagged teeth. Organic apples and raw almonds are a healthy choice.

• Eye Balls
If you are looking to create eye balls, one easy way is to use grapes, any color, and put a little dot of icing on the grape to make it look like eyeballs. They are easy and can be applied to other recipes and foods for additional decoration.

• Zombie Fingers
To make these, all you need to do is carve out the knuckles on baby carrots and make them look like little fingers. You can serve these with your favorite healthy yogurt dip or dressing.

• Brains
Need brains for your Halloween operation? You can now find a mold that looks like a brain online and in specialty stores. You can make it with sugar free Jello. Vegetarian alternatives for this one include Agar-Agar and carrageen instead of Jello.

• Graveyard Goo
This is another one that would go great with other recipes or used in a table setting with other items. For this one, use sugar free chocolate mousse and spread it in a pan. Crush fat free graham crackers over the top. You can then use uncrushed graham crackers for headstones.

• Ghostly Grahams
For these you need yogurt-covered raisins, sugar free icing and graham crackers. Take the graham crackers and form them into the shape of a ghost as best as you can. Then cover with icing and use the raisins for the eyes and mouth.

• Mummies
For this yummy snack, you will need whole wheat English muffins, pizza sauce, low fat shredded mozzarella, and olives. Take ½ of the English muffin and cover with pizza sauce. Cover the top ¼ with the mozzarella. Just below that, place two olives for eyes, then cover the last 1/2 with more mozzarella. Place these in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. 

• Honey Graham Haunted House
To make this you need honey grahams, honey or your favorite healthy icing. Using the graham crackers, construct a haunted house and use the honey or icing as a glue to keep it together. The more uneven it looks the more haunted it will look. This one looks good with the graveyard goo listed above!

• Scary Cupcakes
Instead of using oil, substitute applesauce, and instead of using eggs you can substitute egg whites or egg beaters. Many healthy recipes can be found online. After you have baked your favorite flavored cupcake, decorate them with a scary design. We used the grape eyeballs and blended raspberry juice and drew jagged lines with a toothpick to make bloodshot eye cupcakes!

• Creepy frozen hand
For this one, you take a clear plastic glove and fill it with water. Put in the freezer and once it is frozen, carefully slide the ice out of the glove and add it to your favorite healthy drink in a punchbowl. We used V8 fusion berry flavor.

These healthy Halloween treats are a great way to enjoy all of the upcoming Halloween fun without all of the calories and sugar found in traditional sweet treats. Tell us your favorite in the comments!

Fall Science Projects for Kids

Fall science projects for students

Fall is a beautiful time for children to get outside and have some fun. It is a time before the snow begins to fall and the swelteringly hot summer days are long gone. While fall is a great time to enjoy outside, it is also a time of the year when the environment is rich with scientific lessons to teach children. There are a ton of really fun science projects that kids can get involved in. They can have a good time learning! Here are a few ideas for kid’s science projects this fall:

Decomposing Pumpkins
Now that Halloween is done, you can take those pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and let the little ones observe as the pumpkin turns from an orange shape into a squishy and gooey mound, and later turn into compost. You will want to ensure that the pumpkin is placed in a location where kids and students can observe it, but not touch or access it.  One idea is to allow preschool age children to draw pictures of the pumpkins changing shape every few days. Explain what is happening during the decomposition process. Arrange to have it placed in local compost pile when you are finished, use this opportunity to describe how our food grows from compost and how our food returns to mother earth.

Sprouting Kernels
Take a rectangular container and add about ¼ inch of water in the container.  Place an ear of corn in the water.  The best corn to use is Indian corn since it is so colorful!  In approximately 7 days, your children will begin to see sprouts coming out of the kernels! As the sprouting occurs, your child can take measurements each day to track the growth of the sprouts.  Make sure and let your child touch and feel the corn and sprouts as well.

Caterpillar Transformation
If you have caterpillars around your home, you and your child can have an amazing opportunity to watch a caterpillar transform into a beautiful butterfly!  Have your child gather twigs and leaves from your yard or local park and place them in a clear glass container.  Each day have your child observe the caterpillar. It will eventually make a chrysalis.  Then in early spring, your child can watch a beautiful butterfly emerge!

Showering Shades
This is a project where you can take the kids outside and have them look for fallen leaves. This time of year, there are many different and beautiful colors. Have the kids find leaves that start as close to green as possible, as well as the many different shades of yellows, oranges and reds.  Then have them create a fall rainbow of the different colors. This is a fun way to either have the parents explain to the younger children or to have older kids explain how and why this happens to leaves. You can expand on this in the spring when trees are budding.

Rain Measurements
Now is a great time of year to give your kids and students the opportunity take rain measurements. You can use this activity to discuss how clouds form and why it rains. You can also have them determine whether you are receiving more or less rain than the same time last year. You can find affordable rain gauges online or at your local home improvement store.

These are just a few ideas that will give children a new learning experience with an array of fall science experiments. Hands-on experiments can inspire children to use their senses and also create exciting learning opportunities and keep students engaged. We hope these ideas spark some fun and exciting fall science projects for your children and students.  If you have a science project or idea that you would like to share, please tell us in the comments.

 

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