Author: Sarah Bernhardson

MORE Sensory Play Fun…this time, for older kids!

School got out really early this year in our district, and since I’m a teacher, I’m home nearly 24/7 with my kiddos during these months. Camps are not cheap, so we have opted to attend “Camp Mom” all summer, as I’m calling it, where I plan activities for us all each day. Here in week three, the “newness” of summer is wearing off and the cries of  “MOM! What is there to do around here?!” are becoming a daily occurrence. I’ve written before about the benefits of sensory play  for younger children, but at ages 7 and 5, my kids have been there...

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Kids Cook Dinner Night: An Experiment

via GIPHY Summer is in full swing at our house, and that means new routines are replacing our school year ones. There’s no homework at night, and evening commitments are nearly nil. We are excited to fill this free time with things we wouldn’t otherwise have time for. There have been more art projects, more hours outside, and (lots) more trips out for ice cream. This week, we’re attempting a new tradition that my sons have wanted to try for some time now: Kids Cook Dinner Night. Both of my children really love to cook. They’ve been helping out in the kitchen with simple tasks like chopping, mixing, and pouring since they were tiny, and both of them have some respectable culinary skills, given their ages. They are convinced they could easily prepare dinner for the four of us with only some adult assistance to put things into the oven and take them out again. They looked at the list of our “usual” dinners and debated what they could do, and settled upon making individual pizzas for us. I grabbed their requested ingredients at the store, and I am setting them lose tomorrow evening for their first attempt as the new family chefs. If all goes well, i.e., nothing catches fire and we find ourselves with edible meals, this could end up being a great new weekly tradition! They...

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Summer Traditions

I seriously can’t believe summer is already back. It seems like we blinked, and suddenly the school year is ending and my “babies” are entering kindergarten and second grade. Now that the kids are older, summer is more precious. It’s becoming clear that the years of childhood are very short, and time moves so quickly. We have a few summer traditions in our family, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with my sons again this year, in just a few short weeks. Tie-dye Day I don’t know when it began, but we kick off the summer with “tie-dye” day....

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It’s Good to be #2

My younger son recently had his kindergarten screening. My husband and I are both the oldest in our families, and of course, our first-born son is the oldest here. So, as my sister-in-law put it, my younger son is the only younger sibling in a house full of first borns. I didn’t really think about this as a perk until kindergarten was on the horizon. All I can say is wow…it’s way easier to be a younger sibling when it comes to life events! For a long time, I had “first-born guilt” for my poor second kid. After all, with two...

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Sensory Play: A Primer for Parents

If you have small children and spend time browsing Pinterest for activities for said children, you’ve probably heard the term Sensory Play before, and may have wondered what it is, why it matters, and how to set it up at home. Fortunately, all these questions have fairly easy answers: What is sensory play? Sensory play is an activity focused on engaging children using one or more of their five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, or hearing. Why does it matter? As parents are well aware, children learn through exploration. All children, but young children especially, are active learners. They learn though doing,...

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